Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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Jurist, born in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1732; died
there, 31 August 1800, was graduated at William and Mary College, studied law at
the Temple, London, soon became prominent in his profession, and was a member of
the legislature as early as 1765. On the dissolution of the assembly in 1769,
Blair was one of those that met at the Raleigh tavern and drew up the
In June 1776, he was a member of the committee that
drew up a plan for governing the state, was chosen to the council, and in 1777
became a judge of the court of appeals. He was afterward chief justice, and in
1780 judge of the high court of chancery. When the Virginia legislature
established circuit courts, and directed the judges of the court of appeals to
perform the duties of circuit judges, Judge Blair, with his colleagues,
remonstrated, and declared the act unconstitutional. He was a delegate to the
convention that drew up the federal constitution, and with Washington and
Madison, alone of all the Virginia delegates, voted for its adoption. He
afterward supported it also in the state convention.
In September 1789, he was appointed by Washington a
justice of the United States Supreme Court, and in 1796 resigned his seat.
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