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 James Iredell

James Iredell

Birth
Lewes, Lewes District, East Sussex, England
Death 20 Oct 1799 (aged 48)
Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 5865 · View Source
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United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. James Iredell was appointed as one of the original justices of the U.S. Supreme Court by President George Washington. He was born in England and came to America in 1768 to be King George III's collector of customs in the port town of Edenton. He studied law under Samuel Johnston, later a North Carolina governor and one of its first two U.S. Senators. He would later marry Samuel Johnston's sister Hannah Johnston. Iredell became a leading essayist in support of American independence. Following independence, Iredell was the draftsman of North Carolina's initial court bill. When the first three superior court judges were selected, Iredell was among them. He later resigned and returned to law practice. In 1779, he became North Carolina's second Attorney General. He served as an original trustee of the University of North Carolina in 1789. When the federal Constitution was proposed, Iredell was a leading advocate in North Carolina. At the first North Carolina ratification convention in 1788, Iredell was the floor leader for the Federalist forces. After the 1788 North Carolins convention refused to ratify the federal Constitution, he continued to argue the benefits of the proposed Constitution. When North Carolina ratified the document at its second convention in 1789, Iredell was widely considered a key influence in the ratification victory. For Iredell's ratification efforts, President George Washington rewarded him with an appointment to the original U.S. Supreme Court in 1790. In the case of Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), Iredell was the lone dissenter. The majority decision in that case led to the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Chisholm case still receives legal consideration. In Alden v. Maine (1999), a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court cited Iredell's Chisholm dissent. Like other Supreme Court Justices of his era, Iredell spent most of his time traveling and doing the work of the federal circuit courts. The travel involved over the country's poor transportation system took a physical toll. Iredell died on October 20, 1799, at the age of forty-eight. He is buried in Edenton, North Carolina. Iredell County, North Carolina is named in his honor.

Bio by: D. S. Johnson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5865
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Iredell (15 Oct 1751–20 Oct 1799), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5865, citing Johnston Family Cemetery, Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .