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David Brearley


David Brearley. was born in New Jersey, about the year 1763, and at the age of eighteen he received the honors of Princeton College. On leaving that celebrated seminary, he commenced the study of the law, and in a few years stood foremost at the bar of his native State. In consideration of his distinguished talents as a lawyer and statesman, he was unanimously elected a member of the grand convention which met at Philadelphia, in 1787, for framing the constitution of the United States, and his name is affixed to that charter of our liberties.
   In 1789 he was appointed by President Washington, chief-justice of the State of New Jersey, which office he held with distinguished honor to himself and his country until his death, which took place at his seat, near Trenton, August 23, 1790, in the twenty-seventh year of his age.
   Mr. Brearley was cut off in the bloom of his powers, and when the highest hopes were entertained of his future usefulness. To have reached the position of chief-justice at the age of twenty-six years, was an almost unprecedented instance of the triumph of youthful genius, and sufficient of itself to inspire his friends with glorious anticipations. As an advocate he was always eloquent and forcible; and as a judge he was learned and impartial.

Source: Marshall, James V.. The United States Manual of Biography and History. Philadelphia: James B. Smith & Co., 1856. Pages 175 and 176. (Some minor spelling changes may have been made.)


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Last modified January 1, 2004