William Paterson

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Paterson, William,

1658–1719, British financier. By the time of the Glorious RevolutionGlorious Revolution,
in English history, the events of 1688–89 that resulted in the deposition of James II and the accession of William III and Mary II to the English throne. It is also called the Bloodless Revolution.
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 (1688–89, which he supported), he had acquired considerable wealth and influence through foreign trade. In 1691, he was the chief projector of the plan to establish the Bank of EnglandBank of England,
central bank and note-issuing institution of Great Britain. Popularly known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, its main office stands on the street of that name in London. The bank has eight branches, all of which are located in the British Isles.
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, which finally came into being in 1694. Paterson served as a director from 1694 to 1695. In 1695, he proposed to the Scottish Parliament the famous but ill-fated Darién SchemeDarién Scheme,
Scottish project to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama (Darién). In 1695, the Scottish Parliament passed an act that chartered a company for trading with Africa and the Indies.
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. Subsequently he devoted several years to carrying out that plan and accompanied the expedition of 1698 to Darién. Paterson advised William III on economic, financial, and state affairs, and he strongly advocated the union of Scotland and England. Paterson strenuously argued for free trade and was a recognized authority in later years. His writings were edited by Saxe Bannister (3 vol., 1859).


See biography by S. Bannister (1858); J. S. Barbour, William Paterson and the Darien Company (1927).

Paterson, William,

1745–1806, American political leader and jurist, b. Co. Antrim, Ireland. He emigrated to America as a child. Raised in New Jersey, he practiced law there and was attorney general (1776–83) of the state before he became a delegate to the Federal Constitutional ConventionConstitutional Convention,
in U.S. history, the 1787 meeting in which the Constitution of the United States was drawn up. The Road to the Convention

The government adopted by the Thirteen Colonies in America (see Confederation, Articles of, and Continental
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 (1787). He was prominent as a champion of the rights of the small states; he set forth the New Jersey, or small state, plan (sometimes called the Paterson plan). He later played a prominent part in state and national life as U.S. Senator (1789–90), governor of New Jersey (1791–93), and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1793–1806).


See biography by J. O'Connor (1979).

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Paterson, William

(1745–1806) Supreme Court justice; born in northern Ireland. He came to the U.S.A. when he was two. He served as New Jersey's first attorney general (1776–83), in the first U.S. Senate (N.J.; 1788), and as governor of New Jersey (1790–93) before President George Washington named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1793–1806).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1.) In his masterpiece, Paterson, William Carlos Williams rejects the organic; he rejects the processes which link and connect (and this, of course, is the key to reading Paterson itself).
In Williams's work, thought is action, feeling is action." Another critic, speaking of Paterson, Williams' most famous poem, stated that "his acceptance of life, too often before muted, now speaks almost joyfully" in that work.
In one of the many self-reflexive passages of Paterson, Williams questions the benefits of progress, social conventions, and the city itself:
In several large portions of Paterson, Williams presents a perspective that views women as heavily sexualized, nearly perverse, beasts.