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to exercise with great ability until 1780, when he was made by Congress Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in prize and admiralty cases. In 1782, he was elected Governor of his native State. He was distinguished for great correctness and integrity in the discharge of the duties of this station, and manifested a peculiar regard for the interests of religion and literature. At the close of the year he retired to private life. In 1786, he again accepted the executive chair, and continued in it for a
On the organization of the Federal Government, in 1789, he received from Washington the appointment of Judge of the District Court of the United States for Maryland. This office he held until the year 1799, when he died, in the sixtieth year of his age.
ROBERT TREAT PAINE. Robert TREAT PAINE was born in Boston, in 1731.
At the age of fourteen years, he became a member of Harvard College, and after leaving it, kept, for a period, a public school, the fortune of his father having been considerably reduced. With the view of obtaining more ample means for the maintenance of his parents, he also made a voyage to Europe. Before entering on the study of the law, he devoted some time to the subject of theology. In 1775, he acted as chaplain to the troops of the provinces at the northward, and afterwards preached occasionally in other places. At length he applied himself earnestly to the study of the law. On being admitted to the bar, he established himself at Taunton, in the county of Bristol, where he resided for many years. In 1768. he was chosen a delegate from that town to the Convention called by the leading men of Boston, in consequence of the abrupt dissolution of the General Court by Governor Bernard.
In 1770, Mr. Paine was engaged in the celebrated trial of Captain Preston, and his men, for the part which they acted in the well known Boston Massacre. On this occasion, in he absence of the Attorney General, he conlucted th prosecution on the part of the crown.
managed the case with great credit and ability, and received from it a considerable degree of distinction. In 1773, he was elected a representative to the General Assembly, from Taunton; and was afterwards chosen a member of the Continental Congress, which met at Phil. adelphia. The following year he was re-elected.
Of the Congress of 1776, Mr. Paine was also a mem. ber; and to the Declaration of Independence, gave his vote and signed his name.
In 1780, Mr. Paine was sent to the Convention which met to deliberate respecting a constitution for the State of Massachusetts; and of the committee which framed that instrument he was a conspicuous member. Under the government organized, he was appointed Attorney General, an office which he held until 1790, when he was transferred to a seat on the bench of the Supreme Judi. cial Court. In this station he continued until his seventy-third year. His legal attainments were extensive ; and he discharged his judicial functions with the most rigid impartiality. Indeed, his strict fidelity sometimes gave him the reputation of unnecessary severity; but the charge could only have proceeded from the lawless and licentious. His memory was uncommonly retentive; and his conversation was marked by great brilliancy of wit, and quickness of apprehension. If he sometimes indulged in railery, he evinced no ill humor at being the subject of it in his turn. He was an excellent scholar; and to literary and religious institutions rendered important services. The death of Judge Paine occurred on the 11th of May, 1814; he having attained the age of eighty
He was a founder of the American Academy, estahlished in Massachusetts in 1780, and continued his ser. vices to it till his death. The degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by Harvard College.
JOYN PENN. JOHN Penn was born in Caroline county, Virginia, on the 17th of May, 1741. His early education was greatly neglected ; and at his father's death, 1759, he became the sole manager of the fortune left him, which, though not large, was competent.
At the age of twenty-one, he was licensed as a practitioner of law. He rise rapidly into notice ; and was soon eminently distinguished as an advocate.
In 1774, Mr. Penn moved to the province of North Carolina, where he attained as high a rank in his profession, as he had done in Virginia. The following year he was chosen a delegate froin North Carolina to the General Congress, in which body he took his seat on the 12th of October. He was successively re-elected to Congress, in the years 1777, 1778, and 1779, and was respected for his promptitude and fidelity in the discharge of the duties assigned him. He was seldom absent from his seat, and was a watchful guardian of the rights and liberties of his constituents. He was urgent in forwarding the measures which led to the total emancipation of the colonies.
After the return of peace, Mr. Penn betook himself to private retirement. The even tenor of his way was marked by few prominent incidents after this period. He departed from this world, September, 1788, at the age of forty-six years. He had three children, two of whom died unmarried.
GEORGE READ. George READ was born in Maryland, in the year 1734. Being designed by his parents for one of the learned professions, he was placed at a seminary at Chester, Pennsylvania. Having there acquired the rudiments of the languages, he was transferred to the care of the accomplished Dr. Allison, with whom he remained *until his seventeenth year. He was then placed in the office of John Morlan), Esq., a lawyer in the city of
Philadelphia, for the purpose of fitti:g himself for the legal profession.
In 1753, at the age of nineteen years, Mr. Read was admitted to the bar. In the year following, he commenced the practice of the law, in the town of Newcastle. In 1763, he was appointed Attorney General of the three lower counties on the Delaware. In the year 1765, Mr. Read was elected a representative from Newcastle county to the General Assembly of Delaware, a post which he occupied for twelve years.
On the 1st of August, 1774, Mr. Read was chosen a delegate from Delaware to the Continental Congress. To this station he was annually re-elected, during the whole revolutionary war. Mr. Read did not vote for the Declaration of Independence. But when, at length, the measure had received the sanction of the great national council, and the time arrived for signing the instrument, Mr. Read affixed his signature to it
, with all the cordiality of those who had voted in its favor.
Mr. Read was president of the Convention which formed the first Constitution of the State of Delaware. In 1782, he accepted the appointment of Judge of the Court of Appeals, in admiralty cases, an office which he held until the abolition of the court. In 1787, he represented the State of Delaware in the Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States, under which he was immediately chosen a member of the Senate. The duties of this exalted station he discharged till 1793, when he accepted of a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court of Delaware, as Chief Justice. He died in this office, in the autumn of 1798.
The legal attainments of Mr. Read were extensive ; and his decisions are still respected as precedents of no s.ight authority. In private life he was esteemed for an expanded benevolence to all around him.
CÆSAR RODNEY. Cæsar Rodney vas a native of Dover, in Delaware where he was born about the year 1730. He inherited from: his father a large landed estate. At the age of twenty-eight, he was appointed High Sheriff in the county where he resided, and on the expiration of his term of service, was created a Justice of the Peace and a Judge of the lower courts. In 1762, and perhaps at in earlier date, he represented the county of Kent, in the Provincial Legislature. In the year 1765, he was sent to the first General Congress, which assembled at New York, to adopt the necessary measures for obtaining a repeal of the Stamp Act, and other odious measures of the British ministry.
In 1769, Mr. Rodney was elected speaker of the House of Representatives, an office which he continued to fill for several years.
About the same time, he was appointed chairman of the Committee of Correspondence with the other colonies. He was a member of the well known Congress of 1774 ; when he had for his colleagues, Thomas M'Kean and George Read.
At the time that the question of independence came before Congress, Mr. Rodney was absent on a tour of duty, in the southern part of Delaware. Mr. M'Kean, and Mr. Read, his colleagues, were divided upon the subject. Aware of the importance of an unanimous vote, Mr. M Kean despatched, at his private expense, an express into Delaware, to acquaint Mr. Rodney of the delicate posture of affairs, and to hasten his reiurn to Philadelphia. With great exertion, he arrived on the spot, just as the members were entering the door of the statehouse, at the final discussion of the subject
. In the autumn of 1776, a Convention was called in Delaware, for the purpose of framing a new Constitution, and of appointing delegates to the succeeding Congress. In this Convention the influence of the royalists proved sufficiently strong to deprive Mr. Rodney of his seat in Congress. He remained, however, a member of the Council of Safety, and of the Committee of Inspection, in both of which offices he exerted himself with great diligence. In 1777, he repaired in person to the Princeton, where he remained for nearly two months, in the most active and laborious employment. During the same year, he was re-appointed a delegate to Congress, bute Defore taking his seat, was elected President of the State.