Boudinot, Elias

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Boudinot, Elias

"… there are no express words; and this is the case with most of the powers exercised by Congress."
—Elias Boudinot

The first lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court was New Jersey patriot Elias Boudinot. A good friend of President George Washington, Boudinot was a prominent public official who strongly supported the American Revolution. Boudinot held several key positions in the Continental Congress and signed the 1783 peace treaty with England after the United States' victory in the War of Independence. After the war he aligned himself with Federalists John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. Like them, Boudinot supported a strong, centralized national government and distrusted many of the principles of participatory democracy.

Born May 2, 1740, in Philadelphia, Boudinot studied law and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1760. By 1770 he had risen to the prestigious level of Serjeant at Law. Although Boudinot began his career as a political conservative, he eventually supported the colonies' efforts to break away from English domination. He joined the Revolutionary party after the U.S. War of Independence erupted and served as deputy of New Jersey's provincial assembly.

Boudinot was a representative to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1784. He was president of the Congress from 1782 to 1784 and was named secretary of foreign affairs. He became commissary general of prisoners in 1777 and donated a large sum of his own money to help improve prison conditions. In 1787 Boudinot played a key role in obtaining New Jersey's ratification of the new U.S. Constitution.

In 1789 Boudinot became a member of the House of Representatives from New Jersey, holding office during the first three sessions of Congress. Once the U.S. Supreme Court was officially established, Boudinot became the first lawyer admitted to practice before it, on February 5, 1790. He also served as a trustee of Princeton University and was director of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia from 1795 to 1805.

In the later years of his life, Boudinot's interests turned from politics to evangelical theology. Founder and president of the American Bible Association, Boudinot proposed a universal acceptance of religion as a cure for society's ills.

Boudinot died in New Jersey on October 24, 1821, at age eighty-one.

References in periodicals archive ?
44) See Jonathan Den Hartog, Elias Boudinot, Presbyterians, and the Quest for a 'Righteous Republic, ' in Faith and the Founders of the American Republic, 253-76 (Daniel L.
The first president of the Continental Congress was named Elias Boudinot, and he was so impressed with Buck that he sponsored him to attend the Cornwall Mission School in Massachusetts, a fine university.
Another band of three braves deceived Elias Boudinot into going with them to secure medicine; they stabbed Boudinot in the back (3).
Elias Boudinot, A Star in the West: or A Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, preparatory to their return to their beloved city, Jerusalem (Trenton, NJ: D.
These are the mission of Betsey Stockton to Hawaii and the marriage of Elias Boudinot to Harriet Gold.
But Ritchie chooses many lesser-known, but important, figures as well: Elias Boudinot, founder in 1828 of the Cherokee Phoenix; Lawrence Gobright, the AP's ace Civil War reporter; Jane Grey Swisshelm, whose reporting on Daniel Webster's personal life may have kept him from the presidency; and Abraham Cahan, who ran the Jewish Daily Forward for almost half a century.
M]ore money had been spent at law, in disputes arising from that mode of settlement, in New Jersey," noted Elias Boudinot in 1790, "than would have been necessary to purchase all the land of the State.
Boudinot was born in Georgia and educated at a mission school in Cornwall, Connecticut; he adopted the name of Elias Boudinot as an act of gratitude to the school's patron.
According to Mulford's introduction to Stockton's letters, the author was born in 1736 to Catherine Williams and Elias Boudinot, a well-to-do couple who provided her with an education "alongside her brother Elais.
Elias Boudinot was the first editor and Reverend Samuel Worcester, a missionary, was director.
In 1829, Elias Boudinot, editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, penned an essay on "Indian Clans.
Elias Boudinot, who founded the Cherokee Phoenix in 1828 on behalf of a tribe that then was largely in the South, was enmeshed in tribal politics, just as most of his newspaper counterparts in the mainstream press then were allied with political parties.