Paterson, William

Paterson, William

biographical name

(born Dec. 24, 1745, County Antrim, Ire.—died Sept. 9, 1806, Albany, N.Y., U.S.) Irish-born U.S. jurist. He immigrated with his family to New Jersey in 1747. He was the state's attorney general from 1776 to 1783. At the Constitutional Convention he played a leading role in the opposition of the small states to representation according to population in the federal legislature, submitting the New Jersey (or small-state) Plan, which called for an equal vote for all states, to counter the Virginia (or large-state) Plan, which favoured larger states. He secured ratification of the Constitution of the United States in New Jersey and was elected one of the state's first U.S. senators (1789–90). He served as governor of New Jersey from 1790 to 1793 and as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1793 to 1806.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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