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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MURRAY, William Vans, diplomatist, born in Cambridge, Maryland, in 1762; died there, 11 December, 1803 After receiving a classical education he went to London in 1753 and studied law in the Temple He returned to Maryland in 1785, practised his profession, was in the state legislature, and in 1790 was elected to congress as a Federalist, serving in 1791-'7. He took an active part in the early legislation of that body, and had few superiors in erudition, eloquence, and skill in debate. He was appointed by Washington minister to the Netherlands in 1797, and envoy to France by President Adams in 1799. In the latter mission he was associated with Oliver Ellsworth and William R. Davie, but the convention that was signed in Paris, 30 September, 1800, and put an end to the threatened difficulties between the United States and France, was mainly the work of Mr. Murray. He then returned to his post at the Hague, which he occupied till 1801. He published a, pamphlet entitled "The Constitution and Laws of the United States," which was much commended.
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