George Whythe

George Whythe (1726-1806)


George Wythe was born in 1726 on a Virginia plantation.

He attended the College of William and Mary and studied law.

He entered political life by serving in the Virginia legislature and as mayor of Williamsburg.

He signed the Declaration of Independence and worked actively for the Revolution.

In 1779, he was named the first professor of law in a U.S. college.

Although he was well respected for his knowledge and high ethical standards, he did not contribute greatly to the Philadelphia Convention, leaving early because of other obligations.

He did not sign the Constitution, but he supported ratification at the Virginia ratification convention.

Wythe died in 1806 under mysterious circumstances.

He was probably poisoned by his grandnephew and heir, George Wythe Sweeney.

Like George Washington, Wythe emancipated his slaves in his will.

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