004_iredell.jpg

James Iredell, 1790-1799

JAMES IREDELL was born on October 5, 1751, in Lewes, England. He was educated in England and in 1768 became Colonial Comptroller of Customs in Edenton, North Carolina. While serving in that position, Iredell read law and was admitted to practice in 1770. In 1776, he resigned from his position with Customs and joined the independence movement. When North Carolina severed its ties with the British Crown, Iredell served on a commission to redraft the state’s laws. In 1778, the Superior Court of North Carolina was created and Iredell was named one of its three Judges. He resigned after a few months because of the rigors of circuit riding and resumed his law practice. He served as Attorney General of North Carolina from 1779 to 1781. Under a new state constitution, Iredell codified the laws of North Carolina. In 1788, he served as floor leader of the Federalists in the North Carolina Ratification Convention. On February 8, 1790, President George Washington nominated Iredell to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Iredell served for nine years on the Supreme Court and died on October 20, 1799, at the age of forty-eight.

Return to the Timeline of the Justices