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 ?
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.
An account of Monroe's leadership qualities was published in 1803 by William Wirt, a Virginia lawyer who later became attorney general in the Monroe administration.
Part of what had prompted him to write to Niles in the first place was the assertion made by Virginian William Wirt that Patrick Henry and others from the Old Dominion had led the charge to independence.
Toward the beginning of his book, Frederick quotes this advice on oral advocacy from William Wirt, a premier advocate in the early Supreme Court: "[M]aster the cause in all its points, of fact and law; .
Dinner parties often included the Chief Justice, Justices Johnson, Story, and Todd, Attorney General William Wirt, and notable members of the Supreme Court bar, such as Daniel Webster.
Several items illuminate obscure aspects of the Court's operation: a proposal from the entire bench to President James Monroe suggesting the creation of a Court library; a flurry of applications from office-seekers hoping to win appointment as clerk of the Court; a leave to the publishers of the Washington Daily National Intelligencer permitting the newspaper to print the Court's opinion in Gibbons; a request from Attorney General William Wirt soliciting certification of his argument in The Antelope in order to refute a calumny made against him.
The correspondence between William Wirt and Dabney Carr, two members of the Virginia gentry, provides a good example.