WILSON, James, a Delegate from Pennsylvania; born in Carskerdo, near St. Andrews,
Scotland, September 14, 1742; attended the Universities of St. Andrews,
Glasgow, and Edinburgh; immigrated to the United States in 1765; resided in New
York City until 1766, when he moved to Philadelphia, Pa.; tutor in the College
of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania); studied law; was admitted
to the bar in 1767; practiced in Reading and Carlisle, Pa., and for a short
time, during Howes occupation of Philadelphia, in Annapolis, Md.; also engaged
in literary pursuits; member of the Provincial Convention of Pennsylvania in
1774; Member of the Continental Congress 1775-1777, 1783, and 1785-1786; chosen
colonel of the Fourth Battalion of Associators in 1775; advocate general for
France in America and guided that countrys legal relations to the
Confederation; member of the board of war; brigadier general of the State
militia; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; a delegate from
Pennsylvania to the Federal Convention in 1787 and a delegate to the State
ratification convention; settled in Philadelphia in 1778 and resumed the
practice of law; Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
1789-1798; first professor of law in the College of Philadelphia in 1790 and in
the University of Pennsylvania when they were united in 1791; died in Edenton,
N.C., August 21, 1798; interment in the Johnston burial ground on the Hayes
plantation near Edenton, N.C.; reinterment in Christ Churchyard, Philadelphia,
Pa., in 1906.
BibliographySmith, Charles Page.
James Wilson, Founding Father, 1742-1798. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1956.