James Mercer (jurist)

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James Mercer
James Mercer of Virginia.jpg
Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court
In office
November 14, 1789 – October 31, 1793
Personal details
Born(1736-02-26)February 26, 1736
Stafford County, Virginia
DiedOctober 31, 1793(1793-10-31) (aged 57)
Richmond, Virginia
Alma materCollege of William and Mary
OccupationLawyer, soldier, judge, politician

James Mercer (February 26, 1736 – October 31, 1793), also known as William James Mercer, was an American soldier, jurist and political figure.


Mercer was born in Virginia at Malborough plantation on February 26, 1736. He was the son of John Mercer and Catherine Mason Mercer. He graduated from the College of William and Mary about 1755. After graduation, he went to serve as a captain in the French and Indian War and became the commander of Fort Loudoun in Winchester, Virginia, in 1756.

Mercer subsequently entered politics and became a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765. He later served as a delegate for Virginia to the Continental Congress in 1779.

He was appointed a judge of the general court in 1780 and became a judge on the first Court of Appeals as a result. In 1789, he was appointed as a member of the reorganized Court of Appeals. He remained on the bench of that court until his death in Richmond on October 31, 1793.

Mercer was the brother of George Mercer and John Francis Mercer, and father of Charles Fenton Mercer.

External links and references[edit]

  • United States Congress. "James Mercer (id: M000644)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • James Mercer at Find a Grave