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S. S. PRENTISS.
One of the best informed writers on the history of the Revolutionary times and of the war for the Union thus introduces a notice of Mr. Prentiss:
Small in stature; limping in gait; broad-chested; a high intellectual forehead; manly beauty in every feature; a voice of remarkable sweetness and flexibility; a mild but deeply penetrating eye; a most retentive memory; endowed with varied knowledge by extensive reading; unrivaled in power of oratory; frank in thought, speech, and manner; patient and forbearing in temper; powerfully governed by the affections, and with unbounded generosity of disposition, Seargent Smith Prentiss was one of the most remarkable characters in our history. Living persons who were adults a generation ago will remember how the newspapers between 1835 and 1850 were filled with his praises as a citizen unapproachable in oratory, whether he spoke as an advocate at the bar, a debater in the halls of legislation, or at occasional public gatherings. 
S. S. Prentiss was born at Portland, Maine, September 30, 1808. While yet an infant, he was reduced by a violent fever to the verge of the grave and deprived for several years of the use of his limbs, the right leg remaining lame and feeble to the last. For his partial recovery he was indebted to the unwearied care and devotion of his mother, herself in delicate health.
During the war of 1812 his father removed to Gorham. At the academy in this town, then one of the best in Maine, Seargent was fitted for Bowdoin College, where he was graduated in the class of 1826, at the age of seventeen. After studying law for a year with Judge Pierce, of Gorham, he set out for what was at that day the Far West, in quest of fortune. Having tarried a few months at Cincinnati, he then made his way down the Mississippi to Natchez, where he obtained the situation of tutor in a private family. Here he completed his legal studies; was admitted to the bar in June, 1829, soon afterwards became the law-partner of Gen. Felix Huston, and almost at a bound stood in the front rank of his profession in the State. “Boundless good-nature,” to use the language of Dr. Lossing; “keen logic; quickness and aptness at repartee; overflowing but kindly wit; an absolute earnestness and sincerity in all he undertook to do, made him a universal favorite in every circle.” In 1832 Mr. Prentiss removed to Vicksburg. John M. Chilton, a leading member of the bar of that place, thus describes his first appearance in the Circuit Court of Warren county: