Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PRATT, Benjamin, jurist, born in Cohasset, Massachusetts. 13 March, 1710 ; died 5 January, 1763. The loss of a limb in early life led him to study. He was graduated at Harvard in 1737, studied law, and soon became known for his learning and eloquence. He was a representative of Boston in 1737-'50, and was a zealous lover of freedom. The friendship of Governor Thomas Downall procured him the appointment of chief justice of New York. He was a man of great research and learning, wrote some fugitive verses, and had made extensive collections with the intention of writing a history of New England, but his death prevented the execution of his design. His wife was the daughter of Judge Robert Auchmuty.
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