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William Paca - Maryland

William PacaWilliam Paca
Represented Maryland at the Continental Congress

Born: October 31, 1740
Birthplace: near Abingdon, Maryland
Age at Signing: 35
Education: Philadelphia College, Studied Law at Annapolis. (Judge)
Work: Delegate to the Maryland Legislature, 1771; Member of the Committee of Correspondence, Patriot Leader; Elected to Continental Congress, 1774-78, Chief Justice of Maryland, 1778; Elected Governor of Maryland, 1782; Federal District Judge for the State of Maryland, 1789-99.
Died: October 23, 1799

William Paca was born in Hartford, Maryland, on the thirty-first of October, 1740. He was well educated by Dr. Allison in the Philadelphia College, and then studied law at Annapolis. He soon became conspicuous, and in 1771 was elected a member of the State Legislature. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1774, was re-elected in 1775, and remained in that body until 1778, when he was appointed chief justice of the State of Maryland. In 1782 he was chosen governor of the state, and was very popular. He was appointed district judge for the State of Maryland in 1789, which office he held until his death, which occurred in 1799, when he was in the sixtieth year of his age.


Notable Quotes

The generality of princes, if they were stripped of their purple and cast naked into the world, would immediately sink to the lowest rank in society, without a hope of emerging from their obscurity.

Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, XXII

Founder's Quotes

"What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose."

Thomas Jefferson to Jean Nicholas Demeunier, January 24, 1786

Did You Know?

President George Washington would bow to guests at presidential receptions to avoid physical contact and the tradition lasted through the presidency of John Adams. Washington would rest one hand on a sword and the other holding a hat to avoid the remote possibility of anyone forcing a handshake! Thomas Jefferson ended the tradition of “bowing” by shaking hands when greeting people.

A Government of Laws...

Article V - Amendment Process - United States Constitution

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Term Limit Congress
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A Book You Should Read

Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution, Forrest McDonald (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1985)