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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesNew Jersey

William PATERSON

(1745-1806)
Senate Years of Service:
1789-1790
Party:
Pro-Administration

PATERSON, William, a Delegate and a Senator from New Jersey; born in County Antrim, Ireland, December 24, 1745; immigrated to the United States in 1747 with his parents, who settled in New Castle, Pa.; moved about through the colonies before settling in Princeton, N.J., in 1750; attended private schools; graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1763; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1768 and commenced practice in New Bromley, N.J., in 1769; delegate and secretary to the Provincial Congress 1775-1776; member, State legislative council 1776-1777; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1776; attorney general of New Jersey 1776-1783, when he resigned; moved to Raritan, N.J., in 1779; elected as a Delegate to the Continental Congress in 1780, but declined, owing to his duties as attorney general; moved to New Brunswick, N.J., in 1783; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and one of the signers of the Constitution; again elected as a Delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787, but declined; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1789, to November 13, 1790, when he resigned, having been elected Governor of New Jersey; reelected Governor and served until 1793, when he resigned to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and served until his death in Albany, N.Y., September 9, 1806; interment in the Van Rensselaer Manor House vault, near Albany, N.Y.; manor house destroyed around 1900; reinterred in Van Rensselaer lot, Albany Rural Cemetery, Albany, N.Y.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Haskett, Richard. “William Paterson, Counsellor at Law.” Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1952; O’Connor, John E. William Paterson: Lawyer and Statesman. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1979.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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