James was born in Carskerdo, Scotland back in 1742 to William and Alison. He studied at two universities one in St. Andrews, Glasgow and the other at Edinburgh. He never stayed long enough to obtain a degree however, one can never put a good man down. He moved to America in 1766 where he began tutoring and teaching at The Academy and College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). For his work at the University he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree several months later.
After studying he was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia in 1767. He opened his own practice in Reading, Pennsylvania earning him aa small fortune in just a few years. In 1771 he married Rachel and they had six children. He published “Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament” in 1774. He argued that the Parliament had no authority to pass laws for the American Colonies. In 1775 he was commissioned a Colonel of the 4th Cumberland County Battalion rising to the rank of Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania State Militia. Sorry but my self-imposed limit is almost there so let’s get to the point.
For you history buffs you already know however, for those who haven’t figured it out I’m writing about James Wilson who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States signing the Declaration of Independence, serving twice tot eh Continental Congress. However, what he will be most noted for is he is one of the six original justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Pretty good for someone with nothing but an honorary degree don’t you think?