Jared Ingersoll

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Founding Fathers
Jared Ingersoll.jpg
Jared Ingersoll
State Pennsylvania
Religion Episcopalian
Founding Documents United States Constitution

Jared Ingersoll (October 24, 1749 – October 31, 1822) was a lawyer and the first attorney general for the state of Pennsylvania. He was also a member of the Continental Congress who attended the Federal Constitutional Convention and signed the United States Constitution.[1]

In the United States presidential election, 1812, Ingersoll ran alongside De Witt Clinton for vice president. Clinton and Ingersoll lost to James Madison and Elbridge Gerry.

Early life

Ingersoll was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on October 24, 1749 the son of a British officer Jared Ingersoll Sr.[2] As a young man, he received a classical education, graduating from Yale College in 1766. Following graduation, he settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1771. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1773; in 1774, he continued his legal studies at the Middle Temple in London, and then in Paris. He entered practice upon returning to Philadelphia in 1778. In 1781, he married Elizabeth Pettit and had four sons: Charles Jared, Harry, Joseph Reed, and Edward.[3]


During his legal career, he served as counsel for the state of Georgia during the case Chisholm v. Georgia,[4] and also argued the case Hylton v. United States.[5]

Ingersoll was elected as a member of the Continental Congress in 1780. Later, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention that framed the Federal Constitution in 1787, along with George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Gouverneur Morris, Robert Morris, and James Wilson.

While he initially favored revision of the existing Articles of Confederation, he ultimately chose to support the creation of a new United States Constitution.

Later Political Service

Following his time in Congress, Ingersoll held many positions. He was the first attorney general of Pennsylvania from 1790-1799 and served again from 1811 to 1817. From 1800-1801, he served as United States district attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania. During this time, he played an important role in helping define the limits of the new government's power. Ingersoll represented the state of Georgia in the landmark Supreme Court case of Chisholm v. Georgia in 1793, arguing that a state should not be subject to suit from a citizen of another state. The Supreme Court ruled against him; however, their ruling was later rescinded by the Eleventh Amendment. Ingersol was also involved in the first legal challenge to the Constitutionality of an act of Congress; in Hylton v. United States, he argued that the Federal government should not have the authority to tax carriages.[6]

Ingersoll unsuccessfully ran as a Federalist candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1812. In 1821, he became presiding judge of the district court of Philadelphia County, and remained in that position until his death.


Jared Ingersoll died in Philadelphia on October 31, 1822, and was buried in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery.


  1. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=I000018
  2. Shapers of the Great Debate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787
  3. The Life of Charles Jared Ingersoll
  4. The Philadelphia Lawyer
  5. The Documentary History of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1789-1800, Volume 7
  6. http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar/ss/ss-fm.htm