Wilson, James

Wilson, James
born Sept. 14, 1742, Fife, Scot.
died Aug. 21, 1798, Edenton, N.C., U.S.

American colonial lawyer, politician, and jurist.

Immigrating to North America in 1765, he taught Greek and rhetoric in the College of Philadelphia and then studied law under John Dickinson. In 1774 he published a widely read treatise proposing a commonwealth of British colonies. He was a member of the Committee of Correspondence, a delegate to the Continental Congress (1775–77), and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He helped draft the U.S. Constitution and the Pennsylvania state constitution and delivered lectures that became landmarks in American jurisprudence. He served on the U.S. Supreme Court (1789–98).

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▪ United States statesman
born Sept. 14, 1742, Fife, Scot.
died Aug. 21, 1798, Edenton, N.C., U.S.
 colonial American lawyer and political theorist, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

      Immigrating to North America in 1765, Wilson taught Greek and rhetoric in the College of Philadelphia and then studied law under John Dickinson, statesman and delegate to the First Continental Congress. Wilson's fame spread with publication in 1774 of his treatise Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament. In this work he set out a scheme of empire in which the British colonies would have the equivalent of dominion status. In 1774 he became a member of the Committee of Correspondence in Cumberland County, Pa., and he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In 1779 he was appointed advocate general for France and represented that country in cases rising out of its alliance with the American colonies. He became a champion of the Bank of North America and an associate of merchant-banker Robert Morris in his struggle for currency reform after 1781. As a member of the federal Congress (1783; 1785–86), he pressed for an amendment to the Articles of Confederation to permit Congress to levy a general tax.

      During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Wilson helped to draft the U.S. Constitution; he then led the fight for ratification in Pennsylvania. In 1790 he engineered the drafting of Pennsylvania's new constitution and delivered a series of lectures that are landmarks in the evolution of American jurisprudence. He was appointed an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1789–98), where his most notable decision was that on Chisholm v. Georgia. In the winter of 1796–97 financial ruin brought on by unwise land speculation shattered his health and ended his career.

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  • Wilson, (James) Harold, Baron Wilson (of Rievaulx) — born March 11, 1916, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, Eng. died May 24, 1995, London British politician and prime minister (1964–70, 1974–76). The son of an industrial chemist, he was educated at the University of Oxford, where he collaborated with… …   Universalium

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  • James Falconer Wilson — (* 19. Oktober 1828 in Newark, Ohio; † 22. April 1895 in Fairfield, Iowa) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker (Republikanische P …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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