Rawle, William (1759–1836)

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RAWLE, WILLIAM (1759–1836)

A Philadelphia lawyer and Federalist, Rawle declined george washington's offer to become the first attorney general of the United States. As United States attorney for Pennsylvania, he was the government prosecutor in the cases arising from the whiskey rebellion (1794) and fries ' rebellion (1798). Rawle also advocated the existence of a federal common law of crimes. He is best remembered as one of the earliest commentators on the constitution. His New View of the Constitution (1825) was widely used as a textbook. Although he was a nationalist, he was the first to advocate the right of state secession.

Leonard W. Levy