William Augustus Atlee


William Augustus Atlee

William Augustus Atlee (1735–1793) was a Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and a University of Pennsylvania Trustee 1779-1786.

Atlee was born in Philadelphia on July 1, 1735. He later moved to Lancaster County where he read law with Edward Shippen, Esq. (future Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court). Admitted to the bar on August 3 1758, Atlee served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 1777 to 1791. Under the Reorganization Act, he was selected to head the court of the Second District. An avowed Constitutionalist and an active Whig during the American Revolution, his burning patriotic views during the Revolutionary period earned him the name "savage Atlee". Also, it is actually written that Justice Atlee was probably the most handsome of the five new President Judges. Justice Atlee held the office of President Judge for the Second Judicial District until his death on September 9 1793, at which point John Joseph Henry (November 4 1758April 15 1811) assumed his place.

The provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 required for the first time that local courts have a Presiding Judge "learned in the law". Atlee was designated as the first President Judge of the Lancaster County court under the 1790 constitution. He held court in a structure in Penn Square, Lancaster, with the first session extending over four days beginning October 31 1791. The two trials held during that term involved theft, one of a cow and one of a horse. The horse theft case had been held over for re-trial by order of the pre-constitutional court, and the alleged cow thief was cleared on the condition that he pay court costs. [http://www.warwicktownship.org/courts/cwp/view.asp?a=467&Q=262076&courtsNav=%7C]

Family

Brother, ATLEE, Samuel John, 1739-1786. A journal extract of Samuel John Atlee containing details of a battle between the British and the Continentals.

Wife, SAYRE, Esther Bowes. Eleven Children.

References

Library of CongressManuscript DivisionWashington, DCPapers: In the William Augustus Atlee Papers, 1759-1816, 150 items.Correspondents include William Augustus Atlee's brother, Samuel John Atlee, relating to combat conditions and military strategy at Flatbush, Long Island, NY.

External links

* [http://www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/features/1700s/people/atlee_wm_augustus.html Biographical note at the University of Pennsylvania]


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