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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Wirt, William

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WIRT, WILLIAM, an American lawyer; born in Bladensburg, Md., Nov. 8, 1772; was admitted to the bar in 1792, and in 1806 settled in Richmond, Va., where he became a prominent lawyer. He distinguished himself at the trial of Aaron Burr in 1807, as one of the counsel for the prosecution. He held many State offices, being clerk of the House of Delegates, Chancellor of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and member of the House of Delegates. He was appointed United States District Attorney in 1816, and Attorney-General in 1817, holding the latter office till 1829, through three administrations. He was nominated for President in 1832 by the Anti-Masonic party and received the electoral vote of Vermont. He wrote “Letters of the British Spy” (1803); “The Rainbow” and other essays; “Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry” (1817), and various addresses. He died in Washington, D. C., Feb. 18, 1834.