The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Taft, Alphonso

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TAFT, Alphonso, American jurist: b. Townshend, Vt., 5 Nov. 1810; d. San Diego, Cal., 21 May 1891. He was graduated from Yale in 1833, became a tutor there and was admitted to the bar in 1838, In 1840 he settled in Cincinnati and took part in politics, being a member of the Republican convention in 1856. In 1865 he was appointed judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati, serving until 1872, when he resigned to resume his law practice. On 8 March 1876 he was appointed Secretary of War but after two months was transferred to the post of Attorney-General. During 1877-82 he practised law in Cincinnati, and in April of the latter year was sent as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Austria. From 1884 to August 1885 he was Minister to Russia.