William Wirt (William Wirt)

William Wirt

US Attorney General. As a young orphaned boy, he was educated in several classical schools, including one kept by the Reverend James Hunt of Montgomery Co. Maryland. He received the largest part of his education during a four year period in Hunt’s school. At the age of fifteen he went to reside with the Benjamin Edwards family for 20 months, where he freely used their library to study and prepare for the bar, his chosen profession. Wirt was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1792, and began law practice at Culpeper CourtHouse, Virginia. In 1795 he removed to near Charlottesville, Virginia, where he met many persons of prominence, including Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. He removed to Richmond, Virginia in 1799 where he became Clerk of the House of Delegates. Three years later at the age of thirty, he was elected Chancellor of the Eastern District of Virginia, resigning after only six months of duty. In 1807 he was asked by Thomas Jefferson to aid in the prosecution of Aaron Burr for treason. In 1808 he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, the only time he served as a State Legislator. He was appointed a District Attorney in 1816 and then in 1817 he was appointed by James Monroe to be the ninth Attorney General of the United States. He holds the record for the longest tenure in the history of US Attorney Generals. After serving for 12 years, he resigned and moved to Baltimore, Maryland. In 1832 he was nominated by the Anti-Mason Party as their candidate for President of the United States. In that election he received the seven electoral votes of Vermont and a popular vote of 33,108. After an illness of two days, Wirt died of Erysipelas at Washington, District of Columbia. (bio by: Priscilla)  Family links:  Spouses:  Mildred Gilmer Wirt (1772 – 1799)*  Elizabeth Washington Gamble Wirt (1784 – 1857)*  Children:  Ellen Tazewell Wirt McCormick (1812 – 1853)*  Elizabeth Gamble Wirt Goldsborough (1813 – 1885)*  Agnes Carol Wirt (1814 – 1830)*  William Wirt (1815 – 1899)*  Henry Grattan Wirt (1818 – 1859)* *Calculated relationship


  • November, 08, 1772
  • USA


  • February, 02, 1834
  • USA


  • Congressional Cemetery
  • USA

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