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Daniel Chipman was born October 22, 1765, in Salisbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1788, pursued legal studies, and was admitted to the Vermont bar in 1790.
In 1794 Chipman relocated to Middlebury, Vermont, where he established a successful legal practice and acted as counselor until 1819. In 1797 he became state attorney for Addison County, performing these duties until 1817.
Chipman entered state politics in 1798 as a delegate from Middlebury to the General Assembly. From 1808 to 1815 he served as a member of the governor's council, acting as speaker in 1813 and 1814.
In 1814 Chipman began service in the federal government as a congressman; he left his post after one session, due to illness. In 1818 he returned to the General Assembly and represented Middlebury during that year and again in 1821.
Chipman's career interests also extended to the field of education. He accepted a professorship of law at Middlebury College in 1806 and taught for the next ten years.
The last years of Chipman's life were devoted to his writing; however, he also served as a Vermont supreme court reporter in 1823, and as a representative to two state constitutional conventions, in 1843 and in 1850.
As an author, Chipman wrote numerous publications, including several biographies. His most famous work is An Essay on the Law of Contracts for the Payment of Specific Articles, published in 1822.
Chipman died April 23, 1850, in Ripton, Vermont.