William Wirt


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Wirt, William

(wûrt), 1772–1834, U.S. Attorney General and author, b. Bladensburg, Md. He had little formal schooling but was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1792. His first book was an anonymous collection of sketches called The Letters of a British Spy (1803), which purported to be the work of a "meek and harmless" noble visitor to America. The Rainbow (1804) and The Old Bachelor (1810) are similar collections, attempting the style of Joseph Addison. Wirt's Life and Character of Patrick Henry (1817) was his first book to appear under his own name; it presumed to give the text of Henry's speeches. His role as prosecutor in the trial (1807) of Aaron Burr brought him renown as a lawyer. As U.S. Attorney General (1817–29), Wirt initiated the practice of preserving his official opinions so that they could be used as precedents. In 1832 he accepted the nomination for President of the Anti-Masonic partyAnti-Masonic party,
American political organization that rose after the disappearance in W New York state in 1826 of William Morgan. A former Mason, Morgan had written a book purporting to reveal Masonic secrets.
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Wirt, William

(1772–1834) lawyer, cabinet officer, author; born in Bladensburg, Md. Son of Swiss-German tavern-keepers, he read law and began his practice in Virginia. After three terms as clerk of Virginia's House of Delegates (1800–02), he gained fame as assistant prosecuting attorney in Aaron Burr's treason trial (1807). As U.S. attorney general (1817–29) under both President James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, he argued landmark cases. He was the reluctant presidential candidate of the Anti-Masons in 1832. With some ambition to have a literary reputation, he enjoyed considerable popularity with The Letters of the British Spy (1803), observations on society supposedly written by an English visitor. Less successful was his Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (1817).
References in periodicals archive ?
William Wirt 1817-1825 John Quincy William Wirt Adams.
House of Representatives, in 2 JOHN KENNEDY, MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF WILLIAM WIRT 62 (1850); Attorney-General, supra note 51, at 384 C'[I]t is understood that the heads of the departments consider the advice of the law officer conclusive.
129) See Moss, supra note 85, at 1305 ("Few, however, dispute the proposition that whether for legal reasons, to promote uniformity and stability in executive branch legal interpretation, or to avoid the personal risk of being "subject to the imputation of disregarding the law as officially pronounced," executive branch agencies have treated Attorney General (and later the Office of Legal Counsel) opinions as conclusive and binding since at least the time of Attorney General William Wirt.
Adopted Son: The Life, Wit, and Wisdom of William Wirt, 1772-1834 by Gregory Glassner (with a forward by Sen.
Monroe also named William Wirt of Virginia as his attorney general.
at 20 (quoting Joseph Pendleton Kennedy, 1 Memoirs of the Life of William Wirt 386 (Lea & Blanchard 1849)) (emphasis omitted).
Bladensburg High School, William Wirt Middle School, Bladensburg Elementary School)
Their candidate, William Wirt, got only seven electoral votes in the 1832 election, but Masonry and anti-Masonry became divisive issues throughout the Northeast.
Steel Scholars from Gary area high schools are: Ava Johnson, 1992, West Side High School; Denika Kimbrough, 1993, Horace Mann High School; Anthony White, 1994, William Wirt High School; L'Netta Dawn Moss, 1995, Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts; Jesse Flores, 1996, William Wirt High School; Lee Cunningham, 1997, Roosevelt High School; Walter Conwell, 1998, Lew Wallace High School; Dawn Yerger, 1999, Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts; Audrey Whittaker, 2000, Horace Mann High School; and Ilisha Dowell, 2001, West Side High School.