Du Ponceau, Peter S. (1760–1844)

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DU PONCEAU, PETER S. (1760–1844)

Peter S. Du Ponceau arrived in America from France as Baron von Steuben's interpreter. Following service in the Revolution, he became a citizen of Pennsylvania where he was admitted to the bar in 1785. He defended the radical state constitution of 1776 and was an anti-federalist, but as time passed he became a Jeffersonian Republican. He declined thomas jefferson's offer of the chief justiceship of Louisiana. Du Ponceau was a founder and provost of the Law Academy of Pennsylvania. Among his books were A Dissertation on the Nature and Extent of the Jurisdiction of the Courts of the United States (1824), in which he advocated a federal common law, and A Brief View of the Constitution of the United States (1834), in which he sought a middle course between a consolidated government and states ' rights. In general he taught moderate nationalism and the supremacy of the union.

Leonard W. Levy


Bauer, Elizabeth K. 1952 Commentaries on the Constitution. Pages 65–78. New York: Columbia University Press.

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Du Ponceau, Peter S. (1760–1844)

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