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Tracy, Benjamin Franklin  

Thomas Adams Upchurch

Born in Tioga County, New York, Benjamin Franklin Tracy grew to have an interesting and controversial career in politics, military service, business, and law. He served as a New York State assemblyman in 1861 before joining the Union army in the Civil War. As a brigadier general he received the Medal of Honor for his exploits during the wilderness campaign, but as director of the Elmira prison camp he earned the disapprobation of Southerners for the treatment of Confederate prisoners of war. For most of the Reconstruction years he served as U.S. attorney for eastern New York. He earned a seat on the New York Court of Appeals from 1881 to 1883. His only major national political service came during the presidential administration of Benjamin Harrison, when he was appointed as secretary of the navy in 1889 During his tenure he became Harrison s most trusted ...