Wislon, James - History

Wislon, James - History

Wilson, James

James Wilson was born in near St. Andrews Scotland in the early 1740's. He received an excellent education at St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Edinburgh Universities. In 1765, he arrived in America while the tensions over the Stamp Act were high. He was offered a position teaching Latin at the College of Philadelphia the following year, but chose to go ahead and study law instead. In 1768 he was admitted to the bar. Two years later, he moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began to build up what would become an extremely successful law practice.. Wilson became active in Revolutionary politics around 1774 when he joined the Carlisle committee of correspondence and attended the first provincial assembly. In 1775 he was elected to the Continental Congress where he went on to specialize in military matters and Indian affairs. Later in life, Wilson maintained an active public life. Congress chose him to be one of the directors of the Bank of North America in 1781, and in 1787 he attended the Constitutional Convention where he lead the floor debates and the drafting committee. Finally, President Washington appointed him associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1789. James Wilson passed away in 1798 and was buried in Philadelphia's Christ Church.


An American Family History

"[L]iberty must at all hazards be supported.
We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.
But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us,
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania was formed on July 1, 1781.

James Wilson was born about 1751 in Maryland. His parents were Robert Wilson and Mary Douglas.

A James Wilson enlisted on July 13, 1776 and served in Captain Leonard Deakins Company, Colonel John Murdock's Maryland regiment of the Flying Camp.

James married Anne Johnson on October 16, 1777 in the Sugarloaf Hundred, Montgomery County, Maryland.

At first they lived in Frederick County, Maryland, then in 1778 they moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania.

In 1784 he bought 200 acres in Canton Township which is now Franklin Township from Reason Virgin.

James and Anne's children included:
Douglas Wilson (1778-1846, married Jeanette Ossie Hinds),
Elizabeth M. Wilson McMurry (1782),
Robert Wilson (1785, married Elizabeth Lacock),
Jane Wilson Ross (1786),
Margaret Wilson Sweeney (1788),
Euphene Wilson Ely (1788, married Jonas Ely),
Agnes Wilson (1790),
Mary Wilson Braddock, and
Sarah Wilson.

In 1787 he was paid 7 shillings 6 pence for lathe timber and 5 shillings for drawing wood and new boards for the first court house in Washington County. The

first court-house was burned in the winter of 1790/91, and then for a short time the courts were held temporarily at the house [tavern] of James Wilson, on one of the opposite corners of Beau Street [northwest corner of Main and Beau Streets]. (from The courts of justice, bench and bar of Washington County, Pennsylvania)

James signed his will on May 9, 1827 in Washington County.

Ann died on February 23, 1827. She is buried with her son Robert in the Vankirk Cemetery in Amwell Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

At the time of the 1830 census, James Wilson was still in Canton (now Franklin) Township. The household consisted of a man between 70 and 79, 3 women between 30 and 39, a girl between 10 and 14, and a boy between 5 and 9.

The Flying Camp was an American military formation used during the second half of 1776. It was a mobile, strategic reserve of 10,000 men. The men recruited for the Flying Camp were militiamen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

In the name of God Amen. I James Wilson of Canton township in the county of Washington.
In the first place-
To my son Robert Wilson I give and devise all that plantation and tract of land in Canton township aforesaid and on which I now reside, subject however to the payment of the following legacies, and the said land is hereby made chargeable with the payment thereof in the manner hereinafter mentioned.
2nd to my son Douglass Wilson I give and bequeath the sum of two hundred dollars, to be paid to him by my son Robert, within two years after my decease.
3rd to my stepson Josias Johnson I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, to be paid by my son Robert, in the manner and at the time last above mentioned.
4th to my daughter Mary Braddock I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, payable in like manner.
5th to my daughter Elizabeth McMurry I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, to be paid in like manner.
6th to my daughter Euphene Ely I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, payable in the same manner.
7th to the children of my daughter Jane Ross deceased, I give & bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, payable in like manner.
8th to my daughter Margaret Sweeny I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars, payable in the same manner.
9th to my daughters Agness and Sarah I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred dollars each, payable in like manner, and also all the household and kitchen furniture, beds and bedding, horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs that remain on hand at the time of my death. And so long as they or either of them shall remain single and unmarried, my son Robert is to provide them a comfortable dwelling house on the mansion place, and pasture for a cow, so long as they may require it.
10th to my son Robert I give and bequeath all the residue of my estate of whatsoever kind for the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses.
Lastly-I nominate and appoint my sons Douglass and Robert to be executors of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I the said James Wilson have hereunto set my hand and seal the 9th day of May in the year of our lord 1827.
Wilson seal

Signed, sealed, published & declared by the above named James Wilson as and for his last will and testament, in our presence, who at his request & in his presence, have subscribed our names as witnesses.
Alex Sweeney
John Mauhil

Know all men by these presents that I Douglass Wilson of Stark county Ohio, one of the executors named in the last will and testament of James Wilson late of Canton township in the county of Washington Pennsylvania deceased, has renounced released and for ever quit claimed and by these presence do renounce release and forever quit claimed all my right and title to the said executorship and to the administration of the goods and chattels which were of the said deceased and desire that the same may be committed to my brother Robert Wilson who was named a co-executor along with me.
In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal the 22 day of October 182[7].
Douglass Wilson

Frederick County, Maryland was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George's and Baltimore Counties. In 1776 it was divided into Washington, Montgomery and, Frederick Counties. In 1837 parts of Frederick and Baltimore Counties formed Carroll County.

from History of Greene County, Pennsylvania

Jonas Ely, farmer and stock-grower, Waynesburg, Penn., was born in Washington County, Penn., August 28, 1823. He is a son of Jonas and Euphen (Wilson) Ely, who were of German and Scotch extraction. His mother was also a native of Washington County.

His father, who was a farmer and stock-grower, was born in Berks County, Penn., and came to Greene County in 1843. He settled near Waynesburg on the farm now owned by J. A. J. Buchanan, Esq. Mr. Ely reared a family seven children, of whom Jonas is the sixth.

He received a common school education in Washington County, where he remained on the farm with his parents until their death. His father died in 1863 and his mother in 1860. Mr. Ely has been successful as a farmer, and is the owner of 384 acres of land. In 1870 he bought his present farm, to which he moved in 1875. The following year he erected one of the finest houses in Franklin Township, where he now resides. Mr. Ely was united in marriage in Greene County, in 1845, with Miss Elizabeth, daughter of William and Margaret (Milligan) Hill, who were of English and Irish origin. Mrs. Ely’s Father was born in Franklin Township in 1798. To Mr. and Mrs. Ely have been born three children—William and Jonas, farmers and Belle, who is the wife of Jonathan Funk, Esq., of Waynesburg, Penn. Their mother is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ely takes great interest in the schools of the county, and has served seventeen years as school director. He has also been for several years secretary of the Green County Agricultural Society. In politics he is a Republican. Jonas, his second son, was born October 15, 1848, and is a successful farmer. In 1878 he married Miss Alice, daughter of Madison Saunders, of Waynesburg, Penn .

from History of Stark County: With an Outline Sketch of Ohio edited by William Henry Perri

Douglas Wilson, farmer P. O. Waynesburgh is a son of Douglas Wilson, who was born near Frederick, Md, in 1778 his parents emigrated to Washington Co., Pa., when he was only three years of age they remained in that locality for the remainder of their lives.

Douglas, Sr., was married in that county to Osie Hinds, and emigrated to Stark Co., in 1811, settling, March 20th of that year, in the southern portion of Osnaburg Tp., where they continued until their deaths. They were for many years members of the Methodist Church, and exemplary members of society his death was in 1846, and his wife’s in 1851 thirteen children were in this family
James, died in 1828 upon the old farm
Benjamin living in Osnaburg Tp.
Nancy, deceased
Robert, living in Mapleton
Isaac, died in Wood Co., 0.
Douglas
Osie Elson, wife of John Elson, of Sandy Tp.
Phebe Yohe, living in Osnaburg Tp.
Sarah Kinney, deceased
John, living in Indiana
and two infants deceased. . .


Wislon, James - History

Some historians consider James Wilson the greatest of all U.S. secretaries of agriculture. In tenure and accomplishment, he set records that have never been equaled. Wilson was born August 16, 1835 in Ayrshire, Scotland, near the farm rented by Robert Burns 50 years earlier. He was one of 14 children. His parents came to the U. S. in 1852, settling in Connecticut before moving to Tama County, Iowa, three years later.

He attended Grinnell College, farmed, taught school, and was elected to the Iowa state house (1867-71), serving as speaker (1870-71). He was a state university regent and from 1891 to 1897 was a professor of agriculture at what is now Iowa State University. In 1897 he joined the McKinley administration as secretary of agriculture and was retained by Presidents Roosevelt and Taft until 1913. Wilson was know as "Tama Jim" to distinguish him from Iowa Senator James Wilson, no relation. Tama Jim was an unusual combination of accomplished educator, shrewd politician, and gifted organizer. President Warren Harding once asserted that except for his Scottish birth he would almost certainly have become president of the United States.

He revolutionized American agriculture by extending the U.S. Department of Agriculture into many areas. He established the extension service, began U.S. world leadership in agricultural science, inaugurated programs in agricultural economics, farm credit, soil conservation, and reforestation. He expanded facilities for research in plant disease and insect control and began a complex of experimental fields and laboratories at Beltsville, Md., that is known as one of the world’s greatest research facilities.

Wilson never forgot his Scottish heritage. He was well indoctrinated, mostly by his father, in the Bible and the poetry of Burns and Scott which he often quoted to make a point. He was a good friend of Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist, a friendship made closer by their common Scottish heritage. He was also very close to other prominent Scottish Americans like Governor William Hoard of Wisconsin, founder of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine, and Henry Wallace. Wallace was the father of Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace.

All three men - Wallace, Hoard, and Wilson - were excellent speakers and writers. They were all about the same age and tried to meet annually. They would meet, sip a little scotch, quote Burns, and plan next year’s meeting. As a staunch Republican, Tama Jim never wavered. He would sometimes admit there was some good in a Democrat, but would add that he had never found it. When President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, came to power in 1912, his 16-year tenure as Secretary of Agriculture came to an end. He was 78.

During his tenure, he expanded weather forecasting, mapped soil types, and pushed for all weather rural roads and food inspection. Wilson began building the hugh complex that houses the U.S.D.A. The classic colonnades stand as his memorial. James "Tama Jim" Wilson died August 26, 1920 in Traer, Iowa.

President William McKinely said of Wilson, "He was a most valuable public servant." General Wickersham said, "He was typically Scottish, poised, reserved, competent." President William Howard Taft said, "He was a canny Scot, a delightful associate, thoughtful, genial, and thoroughly loyal."


James Wilson

James Wilson was one of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. He was elected twice to the Continental Congress, and was a major force in drafting the United States Constitution. A leading legal theorist, he was one of the six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States.

As a delegate to the Second Continental Congress Wilson served alongside fellow Pennsylvania delegates: Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, John Morton, Robert Morris, George Clymer, James Smith, George Ross, and George Taylor.

Early Life

One of seven children, Wilson was born to a Presbyterian farming family on September 14, 1742 in Carskerdo, Fife, Scotland to William Wilson and Alison Landall. Wilson attended a number of Scottish universities without attaining a degree. Imbued with the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in British America in 1766, carrying valuable letters of introduction. These helped Wilson to begin tutoring and then teaching at The Academy and College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). He petitioned there for a degree and was awarded an honorary Master of Arts several months later.

Wilson began to read the law at the office of John Dickinson a short time later. After two years of study he attained the bar in Philadelphia, and, in the following year (1767), set up his own practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. His office was very successful and he earned a small fortune in a few years. By then he had a small farm near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was handling cases in eight local counties, and was lecturing at The Academy and College of Philadelphia.

On 5 November 1771, he married Rachel Bird, daughter of William Bird and Bridget Hulings they had six children together: Mary, William, Bird, James, Emily and Charles. Rachel died in 1786, and in 1793 he married Hannah Gray, daughter of Ellis Gray and Sarah D&rsquoOlbear the marriage produced a son named Henry, who died at age three. Hannah had previously been the widow of Thomas Bartlett, M.D.

American Revolutionary War

Taking up the revolutionary cause, Wilson published in 1774 &ldquoConsiderations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament.&rdquo In this pamphlet, Wilson argued that the Parliament had no authority to pass laws for the American colonies because the colonies had no representation in Parliament. It presented his views that all power derived from the people. Though considered by scholars on par with the seminal works of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams of the same year, it was actually penned in 1768, perhaps the first cogent argument to be formulated against British dominance.

In 1775 he was commissioned Colonel of the 4th Cumberland County Battalion and rose to the rank of Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania State Militia.

As a member of the Continental Congress in 1776, James Wilson was a firm advocate for independence during the American Revolutionary War. Believing it was his duty to follow the wishes of his constituents, Wilson refused to vote until he had caucused his district. Only after he received more feedback did he vote for independence. While serving in the Congress, Wilson was clearly among the leaders in the formation of Indian policy. &ldquoIf the positions he held and the frequency with which he appeared on committees concerned with Indian affairs are an index, he was until his departure from Congress in 1777 the most active and influential single delegate in laying down the general outline that governed the relations of Congress with the border tribes.&rdquo

Wilson also served from June 1776 on the Committee on Spies, along with John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, and Robert R. Livingston. They together defined treason.

On October 4, 1779 the Fort Wilson Riot began. After the British had abandoned Philadelphia, James Wilson successfully defended at trial 23 people from property seizure and exile by the radical government of Pennsylvania. A mob whipped up by liquor and the writings and speeches of Joseph Reed, President of Pennsylvania&rsquos Supreme Executive Council, marched on Congressman Wilson&rsquos home at Third and Walnut Streets. Wilson and 35 of his colleagues barricaded themselves in his home, later nicknamed Fort Wilson. In the fighting that ensued, six died, and 17 to 19 were wounded. The city&rsquos soldiers, the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry and Baylor&rsquos 3rd Continental Light Dragoons, eventually intervened and rescued Wilson and his colleagues. The rioters were pardoned and released by Joseph Reed

Wilson closely identified with the aristocratic and conservative republican groups, multiplied his business interests, and accelerated his land speculation. He also took a position as Advocate General for France in America (1779-83), dealing with commercial and maritime matters, and legally defended Loyalists and their sympathizers. He held this post until his death in 1798.

The Constitutional Convention

One of the most prominent lawyers of his time, Wilson is credited for being the most learned of the Framers of the Constitution. A fellow delegate in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia made the following assessment of James Wilson: &ldquoGovernment seems to have been his peculiar study, all the political institutions of the world he knows in detail, and can trace the causes and effects of every revolution from the earliest stages of the Grecian commonwealth down to the present time.&rdquo

Wilson&rsquos most lasting impact on the country came as a member of the Committee of Detail, which produced the first draft of the United States Constitution in 1787. He wanted senators and the president to be popularly elected. He also proposed the Three-Fifths Compromise at the convention, which made slaves count as three-fifths of a person for representation in the House and Electoral College. Along with James Madison, he was perhaps the best versed of the framers in the study of political economy. He understood clearly the central problem of dual sovereignty and held a vision of an almost limitless future for the United States. Wilson addressed the Convention 168 times. A witness to Wilson&rsquos performance during the convention, Dr. Benjamin Rush, called Wilson&rsquos mind &ldquoone blaze of light.&rdquo

Though not in agreement with all parts of the final, necessarily compromised Constitution, Wilson stumped hard for its adoption, leading Pennsylvania, at its ratifying convention, to become the second state (behind Delaware) to accept the document. His October 6, 1787 speech in the State House courtyard has been seen as particularly important in setting the terms of the ratification debate, both locally and nationally. In particular, it focused on the fact that there would be a popularly elected national government for the first time. Wilson was later instrumental in the redrafting of the 1776 Pennsylvania State constitution, leading the group in favor of a new constitution, and entering into an agreement with William Findley that limited the partisan feeling that had previously characterized Pennsylvanian politics.

Later Years

He was nominated to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by George Washington on September 24, 1789, after the court was implemented under the Judiciary Act of 1789. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 1789, and received commission on September 29, 1789. Only nine cases were heard by the court from his appointment in 1789 until his death in 1798.

He became the first professor of law at the College of Philadelphia in 1790&mdashonly the second at any academic institution in the United States&mdashin which he mostly ignored the practical matters of legal training. Like many of his educated contemporaries, he viewed the academic study of law as a branch of a general cultured education, rather than solely as a prelude to a profession.

Wilson broke off his first course of law lectures in April 1791 to attend to his duties as Supreme Court justice on circuit. He appears to have begun a second-year course in late 1791 or in early 1792 (by which time the College of Philadelphia had been merged into the University of Pennsylvania), but at some unrecorded point the lectures stopped again and were never resumed. They were not published (except for the first) until after his death, in an edition produced by his son, Bird Wilson, in 1804. The University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia officially traces its foundation to Wilson&rsquos lectures.

James Wilson&rsquos last and final years were marked by financial failures. He assumed heavy debts investing in land that became liabilities with the onset of the Panic of 1796-1797. Of note was the failiure in Pennsylvania with Theophilus Cazenove. In debt, Wilson was briefly imprisoned in a Debtors&rsquo Prison in Burlington, New Jersey. His son paid the debt, but Wilson went to North Carolina to escape other creditors. He was again briefly imprisoned, but continued his duties on the Federal judicial circuit. In 1798, he suffered a bout of malaria and then died of a stroke at the age of 55, while visiting a friend in Edenton, North Carolina. He was buried in the Johnston cemetery on Hayes Plantation near Edenton, but was reinterred in 1906 at Christ Churchyard, Philadelphia.

Tracing over the events of Wilson&rsquos life, we are impressed by the lucid quality of his mind. With this went a restless energy and insatiable ambition, an almost frightening vitality that turned with undiminished energy and enthusiasm to new tasks and new ventures. Yet, when all has been said, the inner man remains, despite our probings, an enigma. &ndash Charles Page Smith


Wilson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Wilson begins among the Viking settlers who arrived in Scotland in the medieval era. The name Wilson is derived from the personal name William. The name literally was derived from the patronymic expression son of William or son of Wil. [1]

"The family are said to be descended from a Prince of Denmark, and were established at a very remote period in the Orkney islands, intermarrying with the clans of Monro, and others. After a long continuance in the north, alliances taking place with some of the principal Lowland families, the Wilsons moved southward. " [2]

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Early Origins of the Wilson family

The surname Wilson was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where John Wulson was a merchant in the service of Sir John of Montgomery in 1405. Michael Wilsoun was Burgess of Irvine in 1418, and John Wilson was Burgess of Berwick in 1467. [1]

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Early History of the Wilson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wilson research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1563, 1563, 1567, 1662, 1603, 1685, 1680, 1750, 1667, 1685, 1704, 1667, 1685 and are included under the topic Early Wilson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Wilson Spelling Variations

Contemporary spellings of ancient Scottish names often bear little resemblance to the original recorded versions. These spelling variations result from the fact that medieval scribes spelled words and names alike according to their sounds. Wilson has been spelled Wilson, Willson, Wilsone, Wulson, Wilsoun and others.

Early Notables of the Wilson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Margaret Wilson (died 1685), one of the Wigton martyrs, a young Scottish Covenanter from Wigtownshire executed by drowning for refusing to swear an oath declaring James VII and John Willison (1680-1750), an evangelical minister of the Church of Scotland and a writer of Christian literature. Margaret Wilson (1667-1685), the 'martyr of the Solway,' and the eldest daughter of Gilbert Wilson (d. 1704), a yeoman of Penninghame, Wigtownshire, was born at Glenvernock in that parish in 1667. " Though her parents conformed to episcopacy, Margaret and her younger sister Agnes refused to do so. On.
Another 124 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wilson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Wilson family to Ireland

Some of the Wilson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 90 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wilson migration +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Clement Wilson, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [3]
  • John Wilson, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Andrew Wilson, who arrived in New England in 1651
  • Andrew Wilson, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1651 [3]
  • Christopher Wilson, a Scotch prisoner sent to Boston in 1651
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Cornelius Wilson, who landed in Virginia in 1712 [3]
  • David Wilson, who settled in Virginia in 1719
  • Anne Wilson, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Maryland in 1724
  • Alexander Wilson, a Scotch-Irish settled in Boston sometime between 1730 and 1736
  • Elizabeth Wilson, who landed in Augusta County, Va in 1740 [3]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Wilson, who arrived in New York from Londonderry in 1803 aboard the "Independence"
  • Joseph Wilson of Belfast, who arrived at Philadelphia in 1803, aboard the "Snow George"
  • Eleanor Wilson, aged 36, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • James Wilson, who arrived in New York in 1806 aboard the "Augusta" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Brown Wilson, who landed in Ohio in 1807 [3]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wilson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wilson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Richard Wilson, who settled in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1703 [4]
  • Henry Wilson, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Ann Wilson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Barbara Wilson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Mr. Dyann Wilson U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 536 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [5]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Wilson, who emigrated from Yorkshire to St. John's, Newfoundland in 1813 [4]
  • John Wilson, who emigrated from Yorkshire to in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1813 [4]
  • George Wilson, aged 56, a farmer, who arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815
  • Isobel Wilson, aged 43, who arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815
  • James Wilson, aged 15, who arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1815
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wilson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Wilson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Wilson, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia[6]
  • Miss Bridget Wilson, (Mary Ann, Jackson), English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Canada" in March 1810, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[7]
  • Miss Margaret Wilson, (b. 1778), aged 35, Irish servant who was convicted in Antrim, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "Catherine" on 8th December 1813, arriving in New South Wales, Australia[8]
  • Miss Ann Wilson, (b. 1790), aged 24, English servant who was convicted in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Broxbournebury" in January 1814, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1839 [9]
  • Thomas Wilson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia[10]
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Wilson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wilson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J A Wilson, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1832
  • Thomas Wilson, who landed in Cloudy Bay, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Bee
  • Mr Wilson, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Nimrod
  • Archibald Wilson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Charles James Wilson, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • . (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Wilson Settlers in New Zealand in the 20th Century
  • Robert Wilson, aged 23, a miner, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926
  • Harold Wilson, aged 18, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Waimana" in 1926

Contemporary Notables of the name Wilson (post 1700) +

  • Edmund Wilson (1895-1972), American literary critic and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Paul Wilson (1950-2017), Scottish professional footballer, who played for Celtic, Motherwell and Partick Thistle, member of the Scotland National Team in 1975
  • Robert Gordon Wilson (1938-2017), Scottish politician and solicitor, Leader of the Scottish National Party (1979-1980)
  • Alexander Wilson (1714-1786), Scottish mathematician, appointed Chair of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow in 1760
  • John MacKay Wilson (1804-1835), Scottish writer and editor
  • Sir Daniel Wilson (1816-1892), Scottish archaeologist
  • Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (1869-1959), Scottish pioneer of atomic and nuclear physics who received the Nobel Prize in 1927
  • Frank Edward Wilson (1940-2012), American songwriter and record producer for Motown Records
  • Bruce Winston Wilson (1942-2021), Australian bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia
  • Budge Marjorie Wilson CM ONS (1927-2021), née Archibald, Canadian writer, noted for her work in children's literature
  • . (Another 108 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Wilson family +

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. Rodger L Wilson (b. 1966), American Specialist 4th Class from Dayton, Ohio, USA who died in the crash [11]
Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. F. Wilson, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [12]
  • Mr. J. Wilson, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [12]
  • Mr. John Wilson, British Trimmer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [12]
  • Captain George H. Wilson (1885-1914), Canadian Second Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland[12]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Robert  Wilson (1859-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mrs. Mary Ellen  Wilson (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [13]
  • Mr. Francis Alexander  Wilson (1873-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mrs. Mabel  Wilson (1889-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mrs. Marion M  Wilson (1896-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [13]
  • . (Another 2 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. Thomas L Wilson (1879-1914), English Miner from Lambley, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [14]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Roderick Richard Wilson (1919-1941), Australian Sick Berth Attendant from Burra, South Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Clifford Wilson (1918-1941), Australian Telegraphist from Dungog, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Allan Robert Wallace Wilson (1910-1941), Australian Engineer Lieutenant from Haverfield, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Roy Weeden Dawes Wilson (1918-1941), Australian Ordinary Seaman from Genmorne, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [15]
  • Mr. Jack Stanley Wilson (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Parkside, South Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Cornwall
  • Gerald William Leslie Wilson (d. 1942), British Stoker 1st Class aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he died in the sinking [16]
  • James Wilson (d. 1942), British Leading Stoker aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he died in the sinking [16]
  • Alexander Frank Wilson (d. 1942), British Petty Officer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he died in the sinking [16]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Ross Franklin Wilson, British Lieutenant aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he survived the sinking [17]
  • Roland Wilson (d. 1945), British Marine aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he died in the sinking [17]
  • David Wilson (d. 1945), British Lieutenant Engineer aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk he died in the sinking [17]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Walter Wilson (b. 1920), Scottish Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Dumfries, Dumfries-shire, Scotland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. John V Wilson (b. 1916), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Benwell, Northumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Herbert G Wilson (b. 1905), English Leading Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Gordon A C Wilson (b. 1920), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Kilburn, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. George Wilson (b. 1907), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Hull, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [18]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Joseph E Wilson, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. James Cairns Wilson, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Jack Wilson, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. George Wilson, British Gunner, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. George Herbert Wilson (b. 1924), English Ordinary Seaman from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [19]
  • . (Another 2 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. D Wilson, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Stanley Wilson, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. William Thomas Wilson, British Stoker 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Douglas Henry Wilson, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Jack Robert Thomas Wilson, British Engine Room Artificer 5th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [20]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald E. Wilson, British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he survived the sinking [21]
  • Cyril J. Wilson, British Chief Engine Room Artificer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he survived the sinking [21]
  • Stephen Richard Mercer Wilson (d. 1939), British Midshipman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [21]
  • Ronald Victor Wilson (1919-1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [21]
  • Robert Wilson (1919-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk he died in the sinking [21]
  • . (Another 3 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Ibrox disaster
  • George Wilson (1956-1971), Scottish football supporter, from Renfrewshire who was at the Ibrox disaster on 2nd January 1971 when a human crush among the crowd killed 66 and injured 200 people he died of his injuries [22]
Lady of the Lake
  • Miss Elizabeth Wilson, Scottish traveller from Newton Stewart, Scotland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and she died in the sinking
  • Mr. Andrew Wilson (b. 1823), Scottish labourer from Newton Stewart, Scotland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. Robert Wilson (b. 1821), Scottish labourer from Newton Stewart, Scotland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. John Wilson (b. 1818), Scottish labourer from Newton Stewart, Scotland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • Mr. James Wilson (b. 1815), Scottish labourer from Newton Stewart, Scotland who sailed aboard the "Lady of the Lake" from Greenock, Scotland on 8th April 1833 to Quebec, Canada when the ship hit ice and sunk of the coast of Newfoundland on the 11th May 1833 and he died in the sinking
  • . (Another 2 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. James R. Wilson, English First Waiter from Bootle, Lancashire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [23]
  • Mrs. Emily Wilson, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Miss Dorothy Wilson, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Master Frank Wilson, Canadian 3rd Class passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [24]
  • Mr. John Wilson, English 2nd Class passenger residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping on life boat 14 it is believed [24]
  • . (Another 2 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Bertie Wilson, aged 28, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 15 [25]
  • Miss Helen Alice Wilson, aged 31, American First Class passenger from Tuxedo Park, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat 3 [25]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Harold G. Wilson Jr., American Fireman Second Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Charles L. Wilson, American Seaman First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [26]
  • Mr. John James Wilson, American Seaman First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Neil Mataweny Wilson, American Chief Warrant Officer (Machinist) from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Ray Milo Wilson, American Radioman Third Class from Iowa, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [26]
  • . (Another 3 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Related Stories +

The Wilson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vincit qui se vincit
Motto Translation: He conquers, who conquers himself.


James Wilson (1742-1798)

As the only person who signed the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and served as a Supreme Court Justice, James Wilson of Pennsylvania made important contributions to American democracy. During the Constitutional Convention, Wilson successfully proposed a unitary executive elected through an electoral college system and negotiated the Three-Fifths Compromise that paved the way for the Constitution&rsquos adoption. Wilson spent the last years of life as a Supreme Court Justice. During his time on the court, financial difficulties distracted him from his duties. Wilson died in 1798, at the age of 55.

Wilson was born in Fife, Scotland in 1742 in the Scottish Lowlands. He won a scholarship to the University at St. Andrews and attended the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh where he studied prominent thinkers of the Scottish enlightenment such as Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith. After finishing his studies, Wilson emigrated to British North America in 1765, became a legal apprentice to prominent Pennsylvania lawyer John Dickinson, and set up a highly successful law practice in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Wilson represented Pennsylvania with Dickinson and Benjamin Franklin at the Second Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence.

After the Revolutionary War, Wilson served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Wilson made several critical contributions to the new federal constitution. At the convention, Wilson&rsquos ideas served as the basis for the American presidency. A unitary president was not a foregone conclusion. When Wilson proposed a single executive on June 1, three weeks after the Constitutional Convention had come to order, his proposal competed with that of Virginia Delegate Edmund Randolph, who advocated for an executive consisting of three people. Randolph argued that a single executive would give one person too much power and serve as the &ldquofetus of monarchy,&rdquo mirroring the alleged tyranny of the British monarch. Randolph argued that a three-person executive would make the executive more accountable. 1 Wilson responded to Randolph&rsquos proposal by pointing out that most of the complaints the colonists had levied against the British had to do with laws enacted by Parliament, not the king. He believed that a three-person executive would lead to animosity and discord, which would unnecessarily complicate decision making at the federal level. The delegates voted in favor of Wilson&rsquos single executive proposal on June 4, with seven states in favor and three states against. 2

Convention delegates had a more difficult time determining the method of the president&rsquos election. Initially, Wilson argued that the executive and the legislature should be elected by popular vote. He asserted that by having a popular mandate, the president and Congress would have political independence from each other. However, delegates disliked Wilson&rsquos proposal of a popularly elected executive. Connecticut Delegate Roger Sherman called it his proposition &ldquothe very essence of tyranny,&rdquo believing that an executive elected without the consent of the legislature would enable the president to ignore the wishes of Congress. 3 Additionally, Sherman worried that smaller states such as his own Connecticut would have little influence over the electoral process. Sherman favored Edmund Randolph&rsquos proposal that the national legislature select the president. James Madison noted that southern delegates also opposed the popular election of the executive because it would dilute southern influence over slavery. They feared that the northern states&rsquo larger population would afford them disproportionate influence over the presidency, and by extension national policies addressing slavery.

Wilson reworked his proposal into something more agreeable to the delegates. On June 2, Wilson proposed the Electoral College, making it so &ldquothe States be divided into Districts &mdash and that the persons, qualified to vote in each District, elect Members for their respective Districts to be electors of the Executive Magistracy.&rdquo 4 Delegates initially voted down Wilson&rsquos idea and opted for legislative selection of the president. However, on August 24, the delegates reached a stalemate about how the legislature would select the president. On August 31, the delegates agreed to refer the issue to a committee of eleven delegates. This referral provided a window of opportunity for the Electoral College. Both Madison and Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, who favored the Electoral College, had been selected for the committee and likely had a heavy hand in advocating for replacing legislative selection of the president with the Electoral College. On September 4, the committee of eleven proposed the Electoral College to the delegates, with each state legislature having the ability to decide their method of choosing electors. The delegates agreed to the committee&rsquos plan. Finally, Wilson&rsquos Electoral College proposal had succeeded. 5

Besides the Electoral College, Wilson also helped negotiate several other compromises related to slavery in the Constitution. Delegates disagreed about how slaves should be counted for the purposes of congressional representation and Electoral College votes. Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman wanted to use the number of free people in a state to determine representation, while South Carolina delegate John Rutledge wanted to use wealth as the key metric, which would also account for the value of enslaved people. To resolve this impasse, Wilson offered the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted enslaved people as three-fifths of a whole person to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, thus affording the slave-majority southern states greater representation in Congress. The compromise also did not recognize the right to own other individuals explicitly in the text, something that Wilson as an opponent of slavery had sought to exclude from the Constitution. 6

Wilson also played a role in constructing the language of the Constitution&rsquos Fugitive Slave Clause. Though he opposed its inclusion, southern delegates to the convention insisted on its inclusion. However, Wilson purposely left the clause&rsquos enforcement mechanism vague, leaving unclear a slaveholder&rsquos recourse to recovering a fugitive slave from the northern states. 7 It was not until 1850 that the Fugitive Slave Act introduced a defined mechanism of enforcing Article IV, Section 2.

In 1789, President George Washington appointed Wilson to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Wilson delivered the court&rsquos key opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), where the Supreme Court held that individuals could sue states in federal courts. The ratification of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution in 1795 negated the court&rsquos ruling. During his time on the Supreme Court, Wilson also taught law at the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) where he delivered a series of lectures on law. President Washington, Vice President John Adams, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and numerous members of Congress attended Wilson&rsquos first lecture on December 15, 1789. Wilson&rsquos lectures discussed the importance of law, its history, and how the law should be taught and administered in the United States. Specifically, Wilson advocated for thinking about the Constitution and future laws as an extension of natural law.

Wilson&rsquos excessive land speculation and tremendous debts marred his legal accomplishments. Wilson owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in land debt but continued to purchase more land despite his insolvency. He spent the last year of his life largely absent from the Supreme Court, fleeing from his creditors.

Wilson died of malaria in 1798. He was 55 years old. Wilson was the first Supreme Court Justice to pass away in office. Bushrod Washington, George Washington&rsquos nephew and one of Wilson&rsquos law students, succeeded him on the court. Although Wilson was an opponent of slavery for much of his life, he owned a household slave named Thomas Purcell for 26 years. At the request of his wife, Hannah Gray, Wilson freed Purcell in 1794.

Mark McKibbon
The George Washington University

1. June 2, 1787, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. 1. Accessed 12/09/2019, https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/farrand-the-records-of-the-federal-convention-of-1787-vol-1.

2. June 1-4, 1787, Farrand, Records, Vol. 1.

6. June 11, 1787, Farrand, Records, Vol. 1.

Bibliography:

Neale, Thomas H. The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections. Congressional Research Service, 2017. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32611.pdf

Pederson, Nicholas. &ldquoThe Lost Founder: James Wilson in American Memory.&rdquo Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 22, issue 2 (January 2010): 257-337. https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1361&context=yjlh

Seed, Geoffrey. James Wilson. United States: KTO Press, 1978.

Smith, Charles Page. James Wilson: Founder Father 1742-1798. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1956.

Wilentz, Sean. No Property In Man: Slavery and antislavery at the nation&rsquos founding. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.


James "Tama Jim" Wilson

James Wilson "Tama Jim" as he was popularly known to distinguish him from James F., or "Jefferson Jim," who had opposed the College bill in the 'fifties, and from James H., or "Prairie Jim," who was a College trustee from 1902 to 1906 was a Scotchman who, with limited educational opportunities, had combined with unusual success agricultural and political leadership. He had been influential in farm organizations, a contributor to agricultural papers, and had served in the General Assembly, on the state railroad commission, and in Congress. Hitherto he had been a vigorous critic of the college program and had been one of the most pronounced advocates of a practical, vocational organization and emphasis. He had the unenviable task of reorganizing the instruction and directing the experimental program in a way to meet the desires of the occupational groups and the approval of educators and scientists. That he would at all times be zealous for the farmers' interests, as he understood them, there could be no doubt.

James Wilson was Secretary of Agriculture for three successive cabinets of Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft. He was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1835, the first of fourteen children, and came to America at age sixteen. His parents first settled in Connecticut but emigrated to Traer in Tama County, Iowa, in 1855. His collegiate education was obtained at Grinnell College, then engaged in farming for himself, marrying Esther Wilbur in 1863 and edited the Traer Star-Clipper. Being a man of broadest sympathies and inspired with the ideals of public duty, he was elected a member of the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth Iowa Assemblies. He was Speaker of the last Assembly, and as such took so prominent an interest in educational matters that he was made Regent of the State University of Iowa during the years 1870 to 1874. In 1873 he was elected to the forty-third Congress, a position he retained during the subsequent session. He served on the Committee on Agriculture and the Rules Committee. While there he acquired the nickname "Tama Jim" to distinguish him from Senator James Falconer Wilson ("Jefferson Jim"), also from Iowa. In 1877 he was made a member of the Iowa State Railway Commission, where he remained for six years until returned to Congress. Unfortunately his right was contested, but with the delays his contestant was not seated until the last hour of Congress. In 1890 he was appointed Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Professor of Agriculture (this title was used before 'Dean of Agriculture' came into existence) at the Iowa Agricultural College, a position he retained until called upon March 5, 1897, by President McKinley to take his place as spokesman for agriculture in the newly formed cabinet.

The organized agricultural discontent with the course of study and leadership of Iowa Agricultural College had the cumulative force of a local "green rising." The opposition showed itself unmistakably during the latter part of the college year, 1890. In October the Farmers' Alliance appointed a committee to visit and report on college conditions. The committee made its visit at commencement time and consulted with the Board. Its report on the agricultural work was most unfavorable. The resignations of President Chamberlain and Professor [Thomas] Smith at the November meeting offered the opportunity for a change of policy and a campaign was conducted by the opposition through November and December with the Homestead then under the editorship of Henry Wallace, as the organ. His ally, James Wilson, in addresses at farm gatherings and in his page in weekly papers had long denounced and ridiculed the pretensions to practical agriculture at Ames.

Letters and editorials charged that in the agricultural work the College had been steadily getting away from its true original purpose. The act of 1884 redefining the objective had been taken advantage of, said the protestors, to offer general theoretical courses at the expense of the practical. According to these critics, the work in engineering and veterinary science was highly satisfactory, but there had been no real agricultural course since the Knapp administration. The claim that the course of study in the sciences related to agriculture was in any way professional was ridiculed by a student correspondent, who found the requirement of general and cultural subjects in this curriculum an unfavorable discrimination.

The plan of the Board adopted at the November meeting to divide the station fund among half a dozen departments rather than to continue it according to the original plan as a separate and distinct establishment was held to be a scheme for promoting certain personal interests at the expense of the direct interest of the farmers for which the experimental work was undertaken. The meeting of the Stock Breeders' Association in December under the leadership of Henry Wallace and James Wilson adopted resolutions for a "distinctly agricultural and mechanical course in which no place will be found for purely academic and scientific subjects," the establishment of a dairy school, and an experiment station as a "distinct department directly for the benefit of farmers, incidentally of students."

The immediate concern of the protestors was to secure the "right" men for the presidency and the agricultural professorship. There was manifested at this time an extreme occupational and state consciousness. This was expressed in an open letter to the Board published in the December 12 issue of the Homestead. The College, the writer contended, should be strictly an Iowa farmers' institution, "managed by Iowa men--from the president down to the janitor--men whose every interest is in Iowa, and who are thoroughly imbued with the spirit of progress now extant in this state men who have a greater interest in the institution than simply drawing their salary." Acting on this suggestion, several successful practical farmers with no particular academic training or competence in the basic sciences offered their services for the professorship either through friends or directly to the Board. Meanwhile, leaders in the farmers' organizations were planning for constructive and competent selections.

In 1891, a critical turn was in order at Iowa State Agricultural College. The choice centered on two individuals felt to be unusually well adapted to meet the situation and to command general confidence in the state. The Reverend William M. Beardshear, then superintendent of the West Des Moines school district, was brought forward by his supporters as a man of experience, adaptability, and personal appeal who would meet ideally the executive demands. For the agricultural work overtures were made to Henry Wallace, but he did not wish to leave his work in agricultural journalism and suggested James Wilson for the position. Shortly before the meeting of the Board Wallace and Wilson conferred. The latter agreed to accept the position if he were the unanimous choice. The endorsement of these key men by the leading organizations was then shrewdly arranged. Wallace insured this by cleverly drawing away the force of the opposition in the Alliance by purporting to oppose Wilson's selection.

The day before the Board meeting in Des Moines, January 8, 1891, the Farmers' Alliance, The Dairymen's Association, The Improved Stock Breeders, and The Butter, Cheese, and Egg Association met and endorsed resolutions presented by an Alliance committee. The address emphasized the neglect of agriculture, which had reached the point where it could "no longer be fairly considered an important feature of the course." At the same time they found "the higher mathematics, ancient and modern languages, and other studies, which are at most permissive under the law, occupying the time and attention of the student to the almost entire exclusion of studies that by the same law are made one of the chief objects for which the college received its munificent endowment." They were convinced that "the agricultural interest of the State emphatically demands, in addition to the complete course of graduation, a two years' course and a three months' winter course, to which students shall be eligible without regard to age or education." In addition the dairy interest was demanding a special school.

But "of equal importance with the reconstruction of the course of study" was the selection of an "understanding and sympathetic president." The delegates were alarmed at the suggestion of the selection "of any officer of the college or any alumnus who has not been recognized in the past as thoroughly imbued with the farm spirit, or who has not earnestly protested in time past against the measures that have brought the department of agriculture of the College into its present deplorable condition." No man should be chosen who sympathized with the aim of certain of the alumni to use the funds granted for an industrial college to develop a general university. On the contrary, they believed that "an entirely new man should be chosen, one of well-known executive ability in the management of an educational institution and in entire harmony with the objects sought by the Farmers' Alliance in the appointment of this committee." Beardshear was endorsed as a candidate having these qualifications. If the recommendations of these representative bodies to recognize the curricula "by excluding all scientific and classical studies that are not absolutely necessary to the successful pursuit and highest attainment of a practical agricultural, mechanical, and business education, not only from the course but from all the courses, and make the college distinctly industrial and agricultural" according to the intent of the law, to established a dairy school and to elect a suitable president were heeded, they were prepared further to ask the election of James Wilson as professor of agriculture. "If, however," they concluded ominously, "the present course is to be retained and the present conditions at the College are to continue, we withdraw all recommendations."

The following day these recommendations, in essentials, were enacted. A full agricultural curriculum was re-established with a two-year short course, and a dairy school. Beardshear and Wilson were unanimously elected. On the experiment station organization there was a compromise. The existing system was continued, and by a vote of five to four Director Spear was displaced by Wilson, who thus headed the experimental as well as the teaching work.

While thus recognizing in the main this mandate from the organized farmers, the Board issued a reply to the Alliance communication prepared by a committee representing both alleged factions in which they sought to correct certain misapprehensions. The Board had not known of the change in the agricultural course until too late to alter it before it was embodied in the catalogue. The allegation that the agricultural work had hitherto been a failure was disproved by the number and standing of graduates in the profession. Any alarm over the selection of an alumnus to head the institution was removed by the action now taken.

On the matter of the experiment station, after an examination of the organization in the various states, the Board was convinced that their plan of combining teaching and research was the most practicable, and they urged that final judgment be withheld until the plan was considered more fully.

Whatever the immediate influences in effecting the change of policy and of leadership, it unquestionably reflected the prevailing sentiment of the state regarding the College's work. The action marked a turning point in the relations internal and external. It came in a period of transition in the land-grant college movement resulting from the research impetus given by the experiment stations, the increased endowment of the second Morrill Act, and the standardizing influence of the Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations. The new leadership was worthy of the opportunity of this transitional era. During his six years at Iowa State he established a very close relationship with George Washington Carver, often discussing the possibility of applying the principles of plant genetics to improving livestock.

In 1896 Charles F. Curtiss, whose reputation as a livestock authority was growing steadily and whose organizing capacity was being felt, was promoted to a professorship of animal husbandry and made assistant director of the station. The following year, Wilson became secretary of agriculture, with the understanding that Curtiss would be made his successor as head of the department and station. Wilson was given an indefinite leave of absence and kept a nominal connection with the staff and a real one with college policies throughout his four-term service at Washington.

The awakening of agricultural interests and the establishment of a firm market for farm products, were matters of accomplishment at the turn of the century. The definition of the phases of agriculture as an industry and the attacking of its problems in a thorough and scientific way have been functions of the United States Department of Agriculture. Although the Department's beginning were merely a sop, thrown out by politicians to their rural interests, the strong hand of the Honorable James Wilson, grasping the foundations laid by Secretary Jeremiah McLain Rusk, shaped their development so as to yield firm federal support to the industries of the land. During his years the US Department of Agriculture grew from a very few hundred employees to over 5,000. It was during this period of service that the multitudinous activities of the Bureau of Animal Industry developed. Under his supervision the department extended its activities, established experiment stations in all parts of the U.S., inaugurated farm demonstration work in the South, began cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, and sent experts and scientists all over the world to gather information for the promotion of agriculture. Also under his tenure, legislation dealing with plant and animal diseases, insect pests, forestry, irrigation, conservation, road building, and agricultural education was enacted.

Wilson recognized the need for a strong organization to unify and catalyze rural interests. Improved market conditions resulting from the financial prosperity of the country furnished the farmer a degree of independence he had hitherto not known hence, Secretary Wilson found willing material to support him in his efforts in placing agriculture on the permanent constructive basis it now enjoys. He sponsored particularly legislation and propaganda that would build up the agricultural export trade, and at the same time encouraged the search for new plants and animals suitable to the arid conditions that had to be met in the unorganized land areas of the continent. President Roosevelt's conservation policies received able support under his constructive genius and the national forest policy of America was firmly established. During his supervision the department extended its activities, established experiment stations in all parts of the U.S., inaugurated farm demonstration work in the South, began cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, and sent experts and scientists all over the world to gather information for the promotion of agriculture. Also under his tenure, legislation dealing with plant and animal diseases, insect pests, forestry, irrigation, conservation, road building, and agricultural education was enacted. She served Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft.

Wilson was welcomed home on March 12, 1913, retiring at the change of administration. The event, including a mid-day convocation and an evening banquet, was a fitting recognition of a man who had gone from the College to the position of most distinguished leadership in national agriculture. President Pearson noted Wilson had been kept on the faculty roll through the years of his service in Washington and the administration and staff still felt that he was one of them Wilson pledged his remaining years to the service of the College.


Victoria Wilson-James

In 2001, she appeared on Superchumbo’s single “The Revolution”, which peaked at quantity 43 on the Dance Club Songs chart. [12] The track additionally peaked at quantity 37 on the Hot Dance Maxi-Singles Sales chart. [13] In 2002, she was featured on Mr. C’s single “Circles of Love” for his debut album “Change”. In 2004, Victoria starred as “Greta” within the movie Road to Damascus, directed by Chris Munro. In the identical yr, she performed the function of “Missy Judson” within the musical Purlie. [14]

In 1997, Wilson-James launched a single titled “Reach 4 the Melody”. Her second album “Colorfields” was launched in 1997 on the Dance Pool recording label. In 1998, she re-joined The Shamen for his or her last album known as “UV”. Their final single “Universal” was launched earlier than their amicable break up in 1999. In 1999, she returned to musical theatre and performed Roxy, a task created for her, within the UK musical “Oh What a Night!”. [8] [9] [10] In 2001, she performed the function of “Glinda”, the nice witch of the South, within the UK manufacturing of “The Wiz”. [11]

In 1993, she grew to become the entrance lady for techno-pop band The Shamen. In 1995, they launched their first album collectively known as Axis Mutatis, which peaked at quantity 27 on the UK Album chart. [7] The album spawned the singles “Destination Eschaton” and “Transamazonia”, which peaked within the top-thirty on the UK Singles Chart. [7] The last single “Heal (The Separation)” peaked at quantity 31 on the UK Singles Chart. [7] In September 1996, the group launched an album titled Hempton Manor. Shortly after the album, the group went on hiatus.

In late 1990, she started recording her first album, which might be produced by fellow Soul II Soul members Jazzie B and Nellee Hooper. On March 26, 1991, she launched her first album Perseverance, which peaked at quantity 55 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. [4] In March 1991, the album’s lead single “Through” was launched and peaked at quantity 22 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. [4] She additionally promoted the album by acting on numerous musical selection reveals together with The Party Machine with Nia Peeples, Soul Train, The Word, and Video Soul. In July 1991, she launched the second single “Bright Lights”, which peaked at quantity 83 on the R&B Songs chart. [4] The album’s last single “One World” was launched in late 1991.

In 1988, she launched her first single “I Want You in My Movie” on Risin’ Records. In 1990, Jazzie B recruited Wilson-James to affix British music group Soul II Soul after the departure of their earlier members Rose Windross, Doreen Waddell, and Caron Wheeler. In May 1990, Soul II Soul launched the second single “A Dream’s a Dream”, which featured Wilson-James on lead vocals from their album Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade. The track peaked within the top-ten on the UK Singles Chart. [6] In the identical month, Soul II Soul launched their second album Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade, which peaked at primary on the UK Albums Chart. [6] The album additionally grew to become licensed gold-status within the United Kingdom. Wilson-James additionally toured with the group in the summertime of 1990. One of their concert events was recorded at Brixton Academy and launched in September 1990 titled A New Decade: Live from Brixton Academy. Following the conclusion of the tour, she left to pursue a solo profession.

Wilson-James attended the Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts, the place she graduated with a level in Theatre Arts. She additionally attended Phil Moore’s Singers Workshop in Hollywood. [ citation needed ]

In June 2012, Soul II Soul obtained with the honorary Heritage Award from Performing Right Society, which Wilson-James additionally obtained regardless of not with the ability to attend. [5] In March 2013, she launched her third album titled The Rapture.

Following her exit from the group on the finish of 1990, she launched her debut solo album, Perseverance (1991), which contained hits “Through” and “Bright Lights”. [4] In 1993, she joined The Shamen and continued performing and recording with them till their disbandment in 1999. In 1997, she launched her second album Colorfields, which featured certainly one of her signature hits “Reach 4 the Melody”. Wilson-James has additionally appeared in numerous theatre musicals together with The Wiz (2001), Purlie (2004), and Lush Life (2005). She shaped a duo known as Avitas and launched an album known as “A Course in Miracles” in September 2005.

Victoria Wilson-James is an American-born British singer, songwriter, report producer and actress. Born and raised in Gary, Indiana, she carried out in numerous theatre performs and musicals as an adolescent. Following the discharge of her debut single “I Want You in My Movie”, she was recruited by Jazzie B to joined a newly reformed line-up of R&B group Soul II Soul. Managed by her bandmate, Jazzie B, the group grew to become certainly one of London’s best-selling teams of all time. Their second album, Vol. II: 1990 – A New Decade (1990), which achieved gold-status within the US and UK, [1] [2] featured the top-charting single “A Dream’s a Dream” with Wilson-James on lead vocals. [3]


James Wilson

James Wilson was born near St. Andrews in Scotland on August 14, 1742. He was one of only six men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. He became a pioneer law professor and served as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. Coming to America in 1765, he lived first in New York City and after a year moved to Philadelphia. Having once been a seminary student and then a student of accounting, Wilson switched again and studied law under John Dickinson. He was admitted to the Philadelphia bar, started a practice in Reading, and finally established himself successfully in Carlisle. Becoming involved in revolutionary activity, he was involved with the Carlisle Committee of Correspondence, and later was elected to represent Carlisle in the Pennsylvania assembly and Pennsylvania in the First Continental Congress, where he was a strong voice for the patriot view against Britain. When it came time to vote, however, he felt that he had not received such a mandate from his Pennsylvania constituents, so he consulted with them before deciding to vote for independence. Wilson became strongly identified with the conservative, propertied interests and lost his seat in Congress in 1777. In his law practice, he defended the rights of Loyalists. He was returned to Congress in 1782 and served a final stint from 1785 to 1787. Regarded as one of the best legal minds during the constitutional convention of 1789, Wilson was a strong advocate for the idea that ultimate sovereignty rested with the people. James Wilson afterwards devoted himself to the advancement of a unique American jurisprudence, separate from its European antecedents, and to the training of American lawyers. Washington appointed him an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1789, and when the College of Philadelphia established a school of law in that year, Wilson became the first professor in the law faculty. Wilson wrote the court's opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia, upholding the authority of the federal government over that of a state. Wilson's final years were marked with personal financial distress, including a brief stint of imprisonment for a small debt. He died in Edenton, North Carolina, on August 21, 1798.


James Wilson (1742-1798)

As the only person who signed the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and served as a Supreme Court Justice, James Wilson of Pennsylvania made important contributions to American democracy. During the Constitutional Convention, Wilson successfully proposed a unitary executive elected through an electoral college system and negotiated the Three-Fifths Compromise that paved the way for the Constitution&rsquos adoption. Wilson spent the last years of life as a Supreme Court Justice. During his time on the court, financial difficulties distracted him from his duties. Wilson died in 1798, at the age of 55.

Wilson was born in Fife, Scotland in 1742 in the Scottish Lowlands. He won a scholarship to the University at St. Andrews and attended the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh where he studied prominent thinkers of the Scottish enlightenment such as Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith. After finishing his studies, Wilson emigrated to British North America in 1765, became a legal apprentice to prominent Pennsylvania lawyer John Dickinson, and set up a highly successful law practice in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Wilson represented Pennsylvania with Dickinson and Benjamin Franklin at the Second Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence.

After the Revolutionary War, Wilson served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Wilson made several critical contributions to the new federal constitution. At the convention, Wilson&rsquos ideas served as the basis for the American presidency. A unitary president was not a foregone conclusion. When Wilson proposed a single executive on June 1, three weeks after the Constitutional Convention had come to order, his proposal competed with that of Virginia Delegate Edmund Randolph, who advocated for an executive consisting of three people. Randolph argued that a single executive would give one person too much power and serve as the &ldquofetus of monarchy,&rdquo mirroring the alleged tyranny of the British monarch. Randolph argued that a three-person executive would make the executive more accountable. 1 Wilson responded to Randolph&rsquos proposal by pointing out that most of the complaints the colonists had levied against the British had to do with laws enacted by Parliament, not the king. He believed that a three-person executive would lead to animosity and discord, which would unnecessarily complicate decision making at the federal level. The delegates voted in favor of Wilson&rsquos single executive proposal on June 4, with seven states in favor and three states against. 2

Convention delegates had a more difficult time determining the method of the president&rsquos election. Initially, Wilson argued that the executive and the legislature should be elected by popular vote. He asserted that by having a popular mandate, the president and Congress would have political independence from each other. However, delegates disliked Wilson&rsquos proposal of a popularly elected executive. Connecticut Delegate Roger Sherman called it his proposition &ldquothe very essence of tyranny,&rdquo believing that an executive elected without the consent of the legislature would enable the president to ignore the wishes of Congress. 3 Additionally, Sherman worried that smaller states such as his own Connecticut would have little influence over the electoral process. Sherman favored Edmund Randolph&rsquos proposal that the national legislature select the president. James Madison noted that southern delegates also opposed the popular election of the executive because it would dilute southern influence over slavery. They feared that the northern states&rsquo larger population would afford them disproportionate influence over the presidency, and by extension national policies addressing slavery.

Wilson reworked his proposal into something more agreeable to the delegates. On June 2, Wilson proposed the Electoral College, making it so &ldquothe States be divided into Districts &mdash and that the persons, qualified to vote in each District, elect Members for their respective Districts to be electors of the Executive Magistracy.&rdquo 4 Delegates initially voted down Wilson&rsquos idea and opted for legislative selection of the president. However, on August 24, the delegates reached a stalemate about how the legislature would select the president. On August 31, the delegates agreed to refer the issue to a committee of eleven delegates. This referral provided a window of opportunity for the Electoral College. Both Madison and Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, who favored the Electoral College, had been selected for the committee and likely had a heavy hand in advocating for replacing legislative selection of the president with the Electoral College. On September 4, the committee of eleven proposed the Electoral College to the delegates, with each state legislature having the ability to decide their method of choosing electors. The delegates agreed to the committee&rsquos plan. Finally, Wilson&rsquos Electoral College proposal had succeeded. 5

Besides the Electoral College, Wilson also helped negotiate several other compromises related to slavery in the Constitution. Delegates disagreed about how slaves should be counted for the purposes of congressional representation and Electoral College votes. Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman wanted to use the number of free people in a state to determine representation, while South Carolina delegate John Rutledge wanted to use wealth as the key metric, which would also account for the value of enslaved people. To resolve this impasse, Wilson offered the infamous Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted enslaved people as three-fifths of a whole person to apportion seats in the House of Representatives, thus affording the slave-majority southern states greater representation in Congress. The compromise also did not recognize the right to own other individuals explicitly in the text, something that Wilson as an opponent of slavery had sought to exclude from the Constitution. 6

Wilson also played a role in constructing the language of the Constitution&rsquos Fugitive Slave Clause. Though he opposed its inclusion, southern delegates to the convention insisted on its inclusion. However, Wilson purposely left the clause&rsquos enforcement mechanism vague, leaving unclear a slaveholder&rsquos recourse to recovering a fugitive slave from the northern states. 7 It was not until 1850 that the Fugitive Slave Act introduced a defined mechanism of enforcing Article IV, Section 2.

In 1789, President George Washington appointed Wilson to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Wilson delivered the court&rsquos key opinion in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), where the Supreme Court held that individuals could sue states in federal courts. The ratification of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution in 1795 negated the court&rsquos ruling. During his time on the Supreme Court, Wilson also taught law at the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) where he delivered a series of lectures on law. President Washington, Vice President John Adams, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and numerous members of Congress attended Wilson&rsquos first lecture on December 15, 1789. Wilson&rsquos lectures discussed the importance of law, its history, and how the law should be taught and administered in the United States. Specifically, Wilson advocated for thinking about the Constitution and future laws as an extension of natural law.

Wilson&rsquos excessive land speculation and tremendous debts marred his legal accomplishments. Wilson owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in land debt but continued to purchase more land despite his insolvency. He spent the last year of his life largely absent from the Supreme Court, fleeing from his creditors.

Wilson died of malaria in 1798. He was 55 years old. Wilson was the first Supreme Court Justice to pass away in office. Bushrod Washington, George Washington&rsquos nephew and one of Wilson&rsquos law students, succeeded him on the court. Although Wilson was an opponent of slavery for much of his life, he owned a household slave named Thomas Purcell for 26 years. At the request of his wife, Hannah Gray, Wilson freed Purcell in 1794.

Mark McKibbon
The George Washington University

1. June 2, 1787, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911), Vol. 1. Accessed 12/09/2019, https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/farrand-the-records-of-the-federal-convention-of-1787-vol-1.

2. June 1-4, 1787, Farrand, Records, Vol. 1.

6. June 11, 1787, Farrand, Records, Vol. 1.

Bibliography:

Neale, Thomas H. The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections. Congressional Research Service, 2017. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32611.pdf

Pederson, Nicholas. &ldquoThe Lost Founder: James Wilson in American Memory.&rdquo Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 22, issue 2 (January 2010): 257-337. https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1361&context=yjlh

Seed, Geoffrey. James Wilson. United States: KTO Press, 1978.

Smith, Charles Page. James Wilson: Founder Father 1742-1798. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1956.

Wilentz, Sean. No Property In Man: Slavery and antislavery at the nation&rsquos founding. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.


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