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Page 1

George Read


George Read by Thomas Sully, after Robert Edge Pine, c. 1860. Used by permission of Independence National Historic Park.
George Read by Thomas Sully, after Robert Edge Pine, c. 1860. Used by permission of Independence National Historic Park.
George Read was a native of the province of Maryland, where he was born in the year 1734. His grandfather was an Irishman, who resided in the city of Dublin, and was pos-sessed of a considerable fortune. His son, John Read, the father of the subject of the present memoir, having emigrated to America, took up his residence in Cecil county, where he pursued the occupation of a planter. Not long after the birth of his eldest son, he removed with his family into the province of Delaware, and settled in the county of Newcastle. Mr. Read designing his son for one of the learned professions, placed him in a seminary at Chester, in the province of Pennsylvania. Having there acquired the rudiments of the learned languages, he was transferred to the care of that learned and accomplished scholar, the Rev. Dr. Allison, a gentleman eminently qualified to superintend the education of young men. With this gentleman young Mr. Read continued his studies until his seventeenth year, when he entered the office of John Moland, Esq. a distinguished lawyer in the city of Philadelphia, for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the legal profession. The intense application, and the sober habits of Mr. Read, were at this time highly honorable to him. While yet a student, he gave promise of future eminence in his profession. Mr. Moland reposed so great confidence in his abilities, that even before he had finished his preparatory studies, he entrusted to him a considerable share of his attorney business.
   In 1753, at the early age of nineteen years, Mr. Read was admitted to the bar. On this event he performed an act of singular generosity in favor of the other children of the family. As the eldest son, he was entitled, by the existing laws, to two shares of his father's estate, but he relinquished all his rights in favor of his brothers, assigning as a reason for this act, his belief that he had received his proper portion in the education which had been given him.
   In the following year, he commenced the practice of law, in the town of Newcastle, and although surrounded by gen-tlemen of high attainments in the profession, he soon acquired the confidence of the public, and obtained a respectable share of business. In 1763, he was appointed to suc-ceed John Ross, as attorney general of the three lower counties on the Delaware. This office, Mr. Read held until the year 1775, when, on being elected to congress, he re-signed it.

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Designed and Edited by John Vinci
Last modified January 5, 2005