|Strangers to Us All||Lawyers and Poetry|
William Wirt was born on November 8, 1772 at Blandensburg, Maryland and died February 18, 1834. He was a prominent lawyer in the early days of the republic, a statesman, and an author. Wirt acted as prosecutor in the conspiracy trial of Aaron Burr in 1807 and served as United States Attorney General from 1817 to 1829. Over the course of his career, he argued over 170 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1832 Wirt was the unsuccessful nominee of the Anti-Masonic Party for the Presidency of the United States.
Wirt was a friend of St. George Tucker, a fellow lawyer poet and they exchanged manuscripts of poems over the years.
[I wish to thank Margaret Cook, Volunteer, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, for bringing Wirt's endeavors as a poet to my attention.]
R. Thomas, A Pictorial History of the US of America (Hartford: E. Strong, 1847) [Used with permission of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology]
William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (Philadelphia: Published by James Webster, 1817) [online text]
Gregory Kurt Glassner, Adopted Son: The Life, Wit & Wisdom of William Wirt, 1772-1834
Jay B. Hubbell, William Wirt and the Familiar Essay in Virginia, 23 (2) William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine 136 (1943)(2nd series)
Henry M. Dowling, William Wirt, 10 (11) The Green Bag 453 (1898)