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tality to its fullest extent, and to live in a sty.e of unusual elegance.
It is not determined with certainty at what period the political career of Mr. Nelson commenced. He was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1774, and during the same year was deputed to the first General Convention of the province, which met at Williamsburg on the 1st of August. The next year he was again returned a member to the General Convention, and introduced a resolution for organizing a military force in the province.
In July, 1775, Mr. Nelson was appointed a delegate from Virginia to the General Congress about to assemble at Philadelphia. He retained his seat in this body until 1777. In May of that year, he was obliged to resign all serious occupation, in consequence of a disease in the head. When relieved from this malady, his energies were again called into action, and he was appointed Brigadier General and Commander in Chief of the forces of the commonwealth. In this office, he rendered the most important service to his country, and in times of emergency often advanced money, to carry forward the military operations. In 1779, he was again chosen to Congress; but a close application to business produced a recurrence of his former complaint, and he was again compelled to return home.
Soon after his recovery, General Nelson entered with animation into several military expeditions against the British, who, at that time, were making the Southern States the chief theatre of war. It was owing to his measures that the army was kept together, until the capture of Yorktown terminated the war. For this service, Governor Nelson had the pleasure of receiving the acknowledgments of Washington, who, in his general orders of the 20th of October, 1781, thus spoke of him : “The General would be guilty of the highest ingratitude, a crime of which he hopes he shall never be accused, if he forgot to return his sincere acknowledgments to his Excellency Governor Nelson, for the succors which he received from him, and the militia under his command, to whose activity, emulation, and bravery, the highest praises are due.'
A month subsequent to the surrender cf Lord Cornwallis, Governor Nelson resigned his station, in consequence of ill health, and immediately afterwards was accused by his enemies, of having transcended his powers, in acting without the consent of his council: but he was honorably acquitted by the Legislature, before whom the charge was preferred. He died on the 4th of January, 1789, just after he had completed his fiftieth year.
WILLIAM PACA. WILLIAM Paca was born on the 31st of October, 1740. He was the second son of John Paca, a gentleman of large estate, who residad in Hartford county, Maryland. After receiving his degree of bachelor of arts at the Col. lege of Philadelphia, in 1759, he studied law, and, when admitted to the bar, established himself at Annapolis.
In 1771, Mr. Paca was chosen a representative of the county in the Legislature. At this time much contention existed between the proprietary government of Maryland and the people. Mr. Paca, who represented the people in this body, proved himself a staunch and determined assertor of their rights, which no one more clearly understood. He zealously opposed the avaricious proceedings of the proprietor and his partisans; and manifested on all occasions a settled hostility to tyranny and oppression.
Mr. Paca was a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress of 1774; and was re-appointed to the same station until the year 1778, at the close of which he retired. He was an open advocate for a declaration of independence, as were several of his colleagues. A majority of the people of Maryland, however, were not prepared for such a measure. A change was afterwards effected among the people in relation to this subject. The Convention of Maryland recalled heir prohibitory instructions to their delegates ; and M.. Paca gladly received permission to vote according to the dictates of his own fearless and unshackled judgment.
In 1778, Mr. Paca was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maryland, an office which he continued to exercise with great ability until 1780, when he was made by Congress Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in prize and admiralty cases. In 1782, he was elected Governor of his native State. He was distinguished for great correctness and integrity in the discharge of the duties of this station, and manifested a peculiar regard for the interests of religion and literature. At the close of the year he retired to private life. In 1786, he again accepted the executive chair, and continued in it for a year. On the organization of the Federal Government, in 1789, he received from Washington the appointment of Judge of the District Court of the United States for Maryland. This office he held until the year 1799, when he died, in the sixtieth year of his age.
ROBERT TREAT PAINE. Robert Treat PAINE was born in Boston, in 1731.
At the age of fourteen years, he became a member of Harvard College, and after leaving it, kept, for a period, a public school, the fortune of his father having been considerably reduced. With the view of obtaining more ample means for the maintenance of his parents, he also made a voyage to Europe. Before entering on the study of the law, he devoted some time to the subject of theology. In 1775, he acted as chaplain to the troops of the provinces at the northward, and afterwards preached occasionally in other places. At length he applied himself earnestly to the study of the law. On being admitted to the bar, he established himself at Taunton, in the county of Bristol, where he resided for many years. In 1768, he was chosen a delegate from that town to the Convention called by the leading men of Boston, in consequence of the abrupt dissolution of the General Court by Gov. ernor Bernard.
In 1770, Mr. Paine was engaged in the celebrated trial of Captain Preston, and his men, for the part which they acted in the well known Boston Massacre. On this occasion, in the absence of the Attorney General, he conlucted the prosecution on the part of the crown. He managed the case with great credit and ability, and received from it a considerable degree of distinction. In 1773, he was elected a representative to the General Assembly, from Taunton ; and was afterwards chosen a member of the Continental Congress, which met at Philadelphia. The following year he was re-elected.
Of the Congress of 1776, Mr. Paine was also a member; and to the Declaration of Independence, gave his vote and signed his name.
In 1780, Mr. Paine was sent to the Convention which met to deliberate respecting a constitution for the State of Massachusetts; and of the committee which framed that instrument he was a conspicuous member. Under the government organized, he was appointed Attorney General, an office which he held until 1790, when he was transferred to a seat on the bench of the Supreme Judicial Court. In this station he continued until his seventy-third year. His legal attainments were extensive ; and he discharged his judicial functions with the most rigid impartiality. Indeed, his strict fidelity sometimes gave him the reputation of unnecessary severity ; but the charge could only have proceeded from the lawless and licentious. His memory was uncommonly retentive; and his conversation was marked by great brilliancy of wit, and quickness of apprehension. If he sometimes indulged in railery, he evinced no ill humor at being the subject of it in his turn. He was an excellent scholar; and to literary and religious institutions rendered important services. The death of Judge Paine occurred on the 11th of May, 1814; he having attained the age of eighty
He was a founder of the American Academy, estahlished in Massachusetts in 1780, and continued his ser. vices to it till his death. The degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him by Harvard College.
JOHN PENN. John Penn was born in Caroline county, Virginia, on the 17th of May, 1741. His early education was greatly neglected; and at his father's death, 1759, he became the sole manager of the fortune left him, which, though not large, was competent.
At the age of twenty-one, he was licensed as a practitioner of law. He ruse rapidly into notice ; and was soon eminently distinguished as an advocate.
In 1774, Mr. Penn moved to the province of North Carolina, where he attained as high a rank in his profession, as he had done in Virginia. The following year he was chosen a delegate from North Carolina to the General Congress, in which body he took his seat on the 12th of October. He was successively re-elected to Congress, in the years 1777, 1778, and 1779, and was respected for his promptitude and fidelity in the discharge of the duties assigned him. He was seldom absent from his seat, and was a watchful guardian of the rights and liberties of his constituents. He was urgent in forwarding the measures which led to the total emancipation of the colonies.
After the return of peace, Mr. Penn betook himself to private retirement. The even tenor of his way was marked by few prominent incidents after this period. He departed from this world, September, 1788, at the age of forty-six years. He had three children, two of whom died unmarried.
GEORGE READ. GEORGE READ was born in Maryland, in the year 1734. Being designed by his parents for one of the learned professions, he was placed at a seminary at Chester, Pennsylvania. Having there acquired the rudiments of the languages, he was transferred to the care of the accomplished Dr. Allison, with whom he remained until his seventeenth year. He was then placed in the office of John Morland, Esq., a lawyer in the city of