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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BERRIEN, John Macpherson, statesman, born in New Jersey, 23 August 1781; died in Savannah, Georgia, 1 January 1856. He was a son of Major John Berrien, who served in the war of independence. He was graduated at Princeton in 1796, was admitted to the bar of Georgia at the age of eighteen, and attained a high reputation as a lawyer. He was solicitor of the eastern district of Georgiain 1809, and judge of the same district from 1810 till 1821 ; served in the Georgia senate in 1822-'3; and was United States senator in 1825-'9, and again in 1840-'52. He was attorney general of the United States from 1829 till 1831, when he resigned on account of the inharmonious condition of President Jackson's cabinet.
In 1844 he was a delegate from Georgia in the convention at Baltimore that nominated Henry Clay for the presidency. He was one of the board of regents of the Smithsonian institute. In January 1829, he submitted a "protest" against certain measures before congress, backed by a speech so clear and impressive that the title of "American Cicero" was given him.
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