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 ?
Henry's grandson, William Wirt Henry, edited a useful work, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (3 v.
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.
and nominated for president William Wirt, attorney general in the cabinets of James Monroe and John Quincy Adams.
Kennedy also wrote Memoirs of the Life of William Wirt (1849).
A versatile American of the early national period was William Wirt of Virginia.
Reno was attorney general throughout Clinton's two terms as president and was in the job longer than anyone except William Wirt, who held it from November 1817 until March 1829.
This mansion in San Jose, California was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester.
history have served longer than the 63-year-old Holder: William Wirt in the administrations of James Monroe and John Quincy Adams, Janet Reno in the Bill Clinton administration and Homer Cummings for Franklin Roosevelt.
The prosecution had three lawyers on its side, including William Wirt, who was later to serve as attorney general for a dozen years under two presidents.
When William Wirt died in 1834, Daniel Webster and Chief Justice John Marshall spoke in his honor in the U.