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Joseph Reed (lawyer)

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Preceded by  Walter Franklin
Name  Joseph Reed
Children  4
Spouse(s)  Maria Ellis Watmough
Succeeded by  Richard Rush

Born  July 11, 1772 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1772-07-11)
Died  March 4, 1846(1846-03-04) (aged 73) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Joseph Reed (July 11, 1771 – March 4, 1846) was a Pennsylvania lawyer and legal writer, who served briefly as the state Attorney General.


Biography and career

Reed was born the son of Pennsylvania lawyer Joseph Reed and Esther de Berdt. Shortly after Reed's birth, the elder Reed gave up his law practice and became closely involved with George Washington and the Revolutionary War, served a term as Pennsylvania's president, and was a delegate to the first Continental Congress, but died a few years after the war ended. Reed was then raised in the home of Jared Ingersoll, graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1792 and was admitted to the bar the same year.

In 1805, he married Maria Ellis Watmough (or Watmaugh), they had four children. Two sons, Henry Hope and William Bradford would become lawyers. Henry would switch careers and become a distinguished academic in literature. William Bradford would, like his father, serve as state Attorney General, and then also switch careers. He would be the U.S. Envoy to China, and become an academic in history, writing books on his paternal grandparents.

Reed served as prothonotary of the state Supreme Court from 1801–1810. When Walter Franklin resigned in 1810 as state Attorney-General near the end of his term, Reed was appointed to complete the term. Reed was recorder of the city of Philadelphia, 1810–1829.


  • The Laws of Pennsylvania, 5 volumes, 1822–4.
  • References

    Joseph Reed (lawyer) Wikipedia

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