James Wilson Writings and Biography


Wilson, James; 1742-1798; educator, statesman and jurist; arrived in America from Scotland 1765; admitted to the Bar 1767 after study in office of John Dickinson; instructor College of Philadelphia; member of Pa. Provincial Convention, 1774; wrote a widely distributed essay showing why Parliament lacked authority over the American Colonies; member of 2nd Continental Congress, voted for Independence and a signer of Declaration of Independence; also in Congress repeatedly in period 1777-1787; member of the Federal Convention, 1787, which framed the Constitution--of which he was a signer; member of Pa. Ratifying Convention, Oct.-Dec., 1787; became member of U.S. Supreme Court 1789; lectured on law 1790-1791 at College of Philadelphia.

Biographical data courtesy of The American Ideal of 1776: 12 Basic American Principles.

Writings on LEXREX:

Ratification Speech, October 6, 1787, James Wilson - Speech promoting the ratification of the new Constitution, delivered to a public meeting outside the Pennsylvania State House by James Wilson, delegate to the Federal Convention. Widely printed in newspapers of the day throughout the States.