Andrew Hamilton (lawyer)

Andrew Hamilton (lawyer)

name=Andrew Hamilton

office= Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
term_start= 1729 – 1732, 1734
term_end= 1738
birth_date=c. 1676
death_date=death date|1741|8|4|mf=y
death_place=Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Andrew Hamilton (c. 1676 – August 4, 1741) was a Scottish lawyer in Colonial America, best known for his legal victory on behalf of printer and newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger. This 1735 decision helped to establish that truth is a defense to an accusation of libel. His eloquent defense was concluded with the notion that the press has "a liberty both of exposing and opposing tyrannical power by speaking and writing truth." His success in this case has been said to have given rise to the expression "Philadelphia lawyer", in the sense of a particularly adept and clever attorney, as in "It would take a Philadelphia lawyer to get him off." [ [ Philadelphia Bar] ] [ [ "Philadelphia lawyer" at Merriam-Webster Dictionary] ]

In defending Zenger, Hamilton had worked pro bono. In gratitude for what he had done, the Common Council of New York awarded Hamilton the freedom of that city. In addition, a group of prominent residents contributed to the production of a 5½-ounce gold box that was presented to Hamilton as a lasting mark of their gratitude to him. The box was preserved as a family heirloom for many years and is now in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Each year the Philadelphia Bar Association presents a replica of the box to its outgoing Chancellor. A Latin motto inscribed on the box, identical to one on the original, is translated as “Acquired not by money, but by character.”

The Hamilton Watch Company was named after Andrew Hamilton, original owner of the site of Lancaster. Andrew Hamilton, the Scottish-born immigrant, is also remembered as one of the designers of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, and as the attorney general of Pennsylvania from 1729 to 1739.

Lancaster became the fourth county in the province of Pennsylvania in 1729, whose principal founder was Andrew Hamilton. The community was located on a 500-acre (2 km²) tract owned by Hamilton, on which he laid out Lancaster Townstead around 1730. By 1734, James Hamilton, proprietor of Lancaster town and son of the distinguished lawyer Andrew Hamilton, won a seat in the Assembly and became the political leader of the county, and in 1742, secured the original charter of government, which gave the settlement the status of borough (this charter can be found today in the city clerk’s office).

Hamilton was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1727, and served as its Speaker from 1729. [ [] ]

He died in Philadelphia, where he was buried at Christ Church. [ [ The Graves, Christ Church, Philadelphia] ]


External links

* [ Article] at Philadelphia Reflections
* [ Article] at


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