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Encyclopedia > George Wythe
George Wythe

George Wythe (1726June 8, 1806), was a lawyer, a judge, a prominent law professor and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. He was the first professor of law in America, earning him the title of "The Father of American Jurisprudence." Wythe served as a representative of Virginia and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention—though he left the Convention early and did not sign the final version of the Constitution [1]. Image File history File links WytheGeorge. ... Image File history File links WytheGeorge. ... Events George Friderich Handel becomes a British subject. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1806 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The United States Declaration of Independence was an act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776, which declared that the Thirteen Colonies were independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ...

Contents

Early life

Wythe was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, and educated at home by his mother. His father died when he was three. Wythe attended the College of William and Mary but dropped out, unable to afford the fees. He read law at the office of Stephen Dewey and was admitted to the bar in Spotsylvania County in 1746. He was Clerk of the committee on Privileges and Elections of the House of Burgesses in 1746, and was appointed Attorney General by the Royal Governor of Virginia in 1773. He served in the House of Burgesses until its dissolution. Elizabeth City County was located at the eastern tip of the Virginia Peninsula. ... The College of William and Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M or The College) is a small, selective, coeducational public university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. ... Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... Spotsylvania County is a county located in the U.S. state — officially, Commonwealth — of Virginia. ... Patrick Henry before the House of Burgesses in an 1851 painting by Peter F. Rothermel The House of Burgesses was the first elected legislative assembly in the New World established in the Colony of Virginia in 1619. ... In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ...


Wythe served as mayor of Williamsburg, Virginia from 1768 to 1769. In 1779 he was appointed to the newly created Chair of Law at William and Mary, becoming the first law professor in the United States. Wythe's pupils at William and Mary included Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, James Monroe, and John Marshall. A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger, greater) is the modern title of the highest ranking municipal officer. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... The College of William and Mary in Virginia is a public, liberal-arts university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... Henry Clay, Sr. ... James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was the fifth President of the United States (1817-1825), and the fourth Virginian to hold the office. ... John Marshall (September 24, 1755 – July 6, 1835) was an American statesman and jurist who shaped American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court a center of power. ...


Of these men, Wythe was closest to Thomas Jefferson -- so close that Jefferson once described Wythe as a "second father." At a time when law students often read law for a year or less, Jefferson spent five years reading law with George Wythe, and the two men together read all sorts of other material; from English literary works, to political philosophy, to the ancient classics. Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political philosophy is the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what makes a government legitimate, what... Classics, particularly within the Western University tradition, when used as a singular noun, means the study of the language, literature, history, art, and other aspects of Greek and Roman culture during the time frame known as classical antiquity. ...

In John Trumbull's famous painting, The Declaration of Independence, Wythe is shown in profile farthest to the viewer's left. Trumbull's painting can also be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill, but Wythe's image is cut off in that depiction..
In John Trumbull's famous painting, The Declaration of Independence, Wythe is shown in profile farthest to the viewer's left. Trumbull's painting can also be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill, but Wythe's image is cut off in that depiction..[2]

Wythe was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, voting in favor of the resolution for independence and signing the Declaration of Independence. He helped form the new government of Virginia and was elected Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates in 1777. In 1789 he became Judge of the Chancery Court of Virginia and later designed the seal of Virginia inscribed with the motto "Sic Semper Tyrannis," it is still in use today. Image File history File links Declaration_independence. ... Image File history File links Declaration_independence. ... John Trumbull, 1756–1843 John Trumbull (June 6, 1756 – November 10, 1843) was a famous American artist from the time of the American Revolutionary War. ... John Trumbulls Declaration of Independence is an iconic 12- by 18-foot painting in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda depicting the presentation of the draft of the Declaration to Congress. ... A declaration of independence is a proclamation of the independence of a newly formed or reformed independent state from a part or the whole of the territory of another, or a document containing such a declaration. ... The U.S. two dollar bill ($2) is a denomination of U.S. currency. ... POOP HS;JHGF;JADHGJHASGHASJHGJSAHGJWJITHADHSGJHDASJLGFNKRA The Continental Congress was the first national government of the United States. ... The Virginia House of Delegates is the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly. ... Great Seal of Virginia with the state motto. ...


Death of an Abolitionist

A slaveholder, Wythe became an abolitionist, freeing his slaves and providing for their support. Wythe provided for his slaves, Lydia Broadnax and her son Michael Brown, in his will. The will also contained a provision for Brown's education. According to Jefferson biographer Fawn Brodie, Broadnax was almost certainly Wythe's concubine, and Brown was his son. A monument celebrating the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, erected in Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, Westminster, London Look up Slavery in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Slavery is a condition of control over a person against their will, enforced by violence or other forms of coercion. ... This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... Slave redirects here. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Wythe's other heir, his great-nephew, George Wythe Sweney, decided to avoid this dilution of his fortune by poisoning the slaves with arsenic. In the process, he accidentally killed Wythe as well, though Wythe lingered long enough to change his will to eliminate his bequest to his murderer. Broadnax survived the poisoning. General Name, Symbol, Number arsenic, As, 33 Chemical series metalloids Group, Period, Block 15, 4, p Appearance metallic gray Standard atomic weight 74. ...


It was the only punishment his killer received. Sweney was acquitted of murder in Virginia, primarily because of a law that forbade the testimony of black witnesses. Sweney was tried for forgery, and convicted, but that was overturned on appeal and Sweney is said to have gone to Tennessee, stolen a horse, and served a term in a penitentiary. The rest of his life was then lost to history.


Wythe, in his will, left his extraordinary book collection to Thomas Jefferson who described his mentor and friend by stating: "He was my ancient master, my earliest and best friend, and to him I am indebted for first impressions which have [been] the most salutary on the course of my life." Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ...


Memorialization

Wythe's home in Williamsburg, Virginia has survived to the present day. It was acquired by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 2006 and is preserved as a museum. Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... Colonial Williamsburg is the historic district of the independent city of Williamsburg, Virginia. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Louvre Museum in Paris, one of the largest and most famous museums in the world. ...


Wythe County, Virginia, its county seat Wytheville, Virginia, George Wythe High School (also in Wytheville, Virginia), George Wythe High School in Richmond, Virginia, George Wythe Elementary in Hampton, Virginia (present day name of Elizabeth City County) and George Wythe College (Cedar City, Utah) are also named after George Wythe. The Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, also bears his name. Location in the state of Virginia Formed 1790 Seat Wytheville Area  - Total  - Water 1,200 km² (463 mi²) 4 km² (1 mi²) 0. ... Wytheville is a town located in Wythe County, Virginia. ... Nickname: Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars) Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: , Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Government  - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I) Area  - City 62. ... Motto: Americas First Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates: County Independent City Mayor Ross Kearney II Area    - City 352. ... Cedar City is a city located in Iron County, Utah, 250 miles South of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15. ... The Marshall-Wythe School of Law, more commonly known as William & Mary Law School (W&M Law), located in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a top-tier law school in the United States. ... The College of William and Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M or The College) is a small, selective, coeducational public university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. ...

Preceded by
James Cocke
Mayor of Williamsburg, Virginia
1768-1769
Succeeded by
James Blair, Jr.

Dr. James Cocke served as mayor of Williamsburg, Virginia from 1767 to 1768 and again from 1772 to 1773. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... 1768 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1769 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... James Blair, Jr. ...

Notes

  1. ^ usconsitution.net Notes on the Constitution
  2. ^ americanrevolution.org Key to Trumbull's picture

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
George Wythe (560 words)
George Wythe was one of the very most distinguished men of his age, yet due to his modesty and quite dignity, we learn little about him from the history books.
In 1755 Wythe was elected to represent Williamsburg at the House of Burgesses.
Wythe served in the House of Burgesses until it was dissolved, on the eve of the revolution.
From Revolution to Reconstruction: Biographies: George Wythe (702 words)
George Wythe, the second of Thomas and Margaret Wythe's three children, was born in 1726 on his family's plantation on the Back River in Elizabeth City County, VA. Both parents died when Wythe was young, and he grew up under the guardianship of his older brother, Thomas.
At Williamsburg, Wythe immersed himself in further study of the classics and the law and achieved accreditation by the colonial supreme court.
Wythe was one of the first to express the concept of separate nationhood for the colonies within the British empire.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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