November 30, 2017 6:00 pm Chamber Supreme Court of the United States
JAMES WILSON was born on September 14, 1742 in Caskardy, Scotland. He entered St. Andrews University in 1757 and emigrated to America in 1765 to take a teaching position at the College of Philadelphia. He read law with an attorney and in 1768 began a private law practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. Wilson was elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress in 1775 and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He also served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Wilson was a member of the committee that produced the first draft of the Constitution. He signed the finished document on September 17, 1787, and later served as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention. On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Wilson one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Wilson served on the Supreme Court for eight years and died on August 21, 1798, at the age of fifty-five.
WILLIAM EWALD is a Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently at work on a book, The Style of American Law, that examines, from a comparative perspective, the distinctive character of American law. This work has led him to write on the legal philosophy of James Wilson, the first professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. He also works in the philosophy of mathematics and is the editor of a standard source-book in philosophy of mathematics, From Kant to Hilbert (Oxford, 1996). He received an award from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue research in the foundations of mathematics.
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