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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KINNEY, John, jurist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1693; died in Burlington, New Jersey, 11 May, 1750. He was the son of a Quaker preacher, and the grandson of John Kinsey, one of the commissioners of the proprietors of West Jersey, who came from London in 1677. The son was educated in the law, and practised in the courts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In 1725 he appeared as counsel in a cause before the court of chancery in Philadelphia, and on his arising to address the court with head covered, after the manner of the Quakers, Sir William Keith, the governor and president of the court, ordered Kinsey to take off his hat, which he refused to do, whereupon Keith directed an officer to remove it. This act on Keith's part gave great offence to the Quakers. They claimed that under the law they had the right to remain in court with heads covered, and to this effect addressed a petition to the governor, in consequence of which Keith rescinded his ruling and ordered that a decree to this end be entered on the minutes of the court. Up to 1730 Kinsey resided in New Jersey, where he served in the assembly, and for several years was speaker of that body" but after this date he lived in Philadelphia, and in the same year was chosen to the assembly of Pennsylvania, to which body he was continuously re-elected till his death, and after 1739 was its speaker. He was attorney-general of the province from 1738 till 1741, and in 1743 was appointed chief justice, which post he held until his death. In 1737 he was one of the two commissioners that were sent to Maryland to negotiate for a settlement of the boundary dispute, and in 1745 was one of the commissioners who, in conjunction with commissioners from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, negotiated at Albany, New York, a treaty with the Six Nations. He published "Laws of New Jersey (1733).--His son, James, jurist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 22 March, 1731, died in Burlington, New Jersey, 4 January, 1803, became eminent as a lawyer and practised in the courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In 1772 he was chosen to the assembly of New Jersey, and was the leader of the opposition to Governor William Franklin. In 1774 he was elected to the Continental congress, but resigned the office in November, he was chief justice of New Jersey from 1789 till his death. He received the degree of LL.D. from Princeton in 1790.
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