Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BURKE, AEdanns, jurist, born in Galway, Ireland, 16 June, 1743; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 30 March, 1802. He was educated as a priest at the College of St. Omer, in France, visited the West Indies, and came thence to South Carolina near the beginning of the revolution. He volunteered in the patriot army, was chosen a judge of the state Supreme Court in 1778, and, when the British overran that part of the country, left the bench and again joined the army. When the courts were re-established, he resumed his office, and in 1785 was appointed one of three commissioners to form a digest of the state law. He was outspoken in the state convention against the federal constitution, because he feared consolidated power, but after its adoption was elected to the 1st congress. He served from 4 March, 1789, until he resigned in 1791, the South Carolina legislature having passed a law prohibiting any state judge from leaving the state. Judge Burke was for several years a member of the assembly, and just before his death became chancellor of the state. He published a pamphlet against the Society of the Cincinnati, which became famous, and caused that body to abandon some of the aristocratic provisions formerly in its constitution. The pamphlet was translated into French by Mira beau, and used by him in the assembly. Judge Burke had a plentiful fund of Irish wit, and many stories are told of him; but, though eccentric, he was an upright and earnest republican.
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