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Coles, Edward 1786-1868

Governor; born in Albemarle county, Va., Dec. 15, 1786; graduated at William and Mary College in 1807; went to Russia on a confidential diplomatic mission for the United States government in 1817. He removed to Edwardsville, Ill., in 1819, and freed all the slaves which he had inherited, giving to the head of each family 160 acres of land. He was governor of Illinois from 1823 to 1826, and during his term of office he prevented the slavery party from obtaining control of the State. Later he settled in Philadelphia, Pa., and in 1856 read a History of the ordinance of 1787 before the Pennsylvania Historical Society. He died in Philadelphia, Pa., July 7, 1868.

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