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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BENSON, Egbert, jurist, born in New York City, 21 June 1746 ; died in Jamaica, Long Island, 24 August 1833. He was graduated at King's College in 1765, and became distinguished for eloquence as a pleader, and for legal learning. He was a member of the revolutionary committee of safety, was appointed in 1777 the first attorney general of the state, and was elected the same year to the first state legislature. In 1783 he was one of the three commissioners appointed to direct the embarkation of loyalists for Nova Scotia in June of that year. In 1788 he took the lead in the legislature in advocating the acceptance of the federal constitution. He ceased to be attorney general of New York in 1789. He was a member of the continental congress from 1784 till 1788, and was returned to the first and to the second congress, taking an active part in the deliberations. He was judge of the Supreme Court of New York from 1794 till 1802, and also sat for a time on the federal bench as a circuit judge. He was a member of congress again in 1813-'5. From 1789 to 1802 he was a regent of the New York University. In 1808 he received the degree of LL. died from Harvard, and in 1811 from Dartmouth. He was the first president of the New York historical society, and author of a "Vindication of the Captors of Major Andr6" (New York, 1817), and of a monograph entitled "Memoir on Dutch Names of Places" (1835).
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