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Scottish American Lawyers

John Mercer (1704-68), author of "An exact abridgment of all the public Acts of Assembly," Williamsburg, 1737, was a descendant of the Mercers of Aldie. Robert Auchmuty (born in Scotland, died in Boston, 1750), and his sons were distinguished lawyers of Colonial times. Hugh Maxwell (1787-1873), born in Paisley, was Assistant Judge Advocate General (1814) and District Attorney of New York (1819-29). Edward Duffield Ingraham (1793-1854), of Scottish descent, was at the head of the legal profession of his time in Philadelphia. He was also an eminent bibliophile, possessing a library of thirty thousand volumes. Robert Rantoul (1805-52), of Scots ancestry, was member of the first Commission to Revise the Laws of Massachusetts, Member of the first Massachusetts Board of Education, "an honor intended to be conferred only on such as were well qualified by their literary acquisitions to discharge its responsible duties." He was also a prominent agitator against the fugitive slave law, and organizer and corporator of the Illinois Central Railroad, the first transcontinental line projected. John Jay McGilvra (1827-1903), of Scots parentage, took part in many prominent enterprises for the public benefit in Washington State, and forced the Northern Pacific Railroad to restore five million acres to public domain. Lawrence Maxwell, born in Glasgow in 1853, was Solicitor-General of the United States (1893-95), and also held many other important positions. David Robert Barclay, author of the well known "Barclay's Digest" of the decisions of the Supreme Court (St. Louis, 1868) was of Scots descent. William Birch Rankine (1858-1905) of Scots parentage, took up the work of developing Niagara power and founded the Niagara Falls Power Company (1886). Thomas M. Logan (b. 1840), lawyer, soldier, and railroad officer was a descendant of Logan of Restalrig. David Clarence Gibboney (b. 1869), Special Counsel for the Pure Food Commission in 1906, grandson of a Scot, has also made a reputation for prosecution of gamblers, dive-keepers, illicit liquor dealers, etc., in Philadelphia.

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