James Iredell, Sr.

James Iredell, Sr. of Edenton, at age 38, was the youngest member of the first US Supreme Court, appointed by George Washington. As wikipedia notes:

“James Iredell was born in Lewes, England, the oldest of five children of a Bristol merchant. The failure of his father’s business (and health) impelled James to immigrate to the Colonies in 1767 at the age of 17. Relatives assisted him in obtaining a position in the customs service as deputy collector, or comptroller, of the port of Edenton, North Carolina.”

While working at the customs house, Iredell read law under Samuel Johnston (later governor of North Carolina), began the practice of law and was admitted to the bar in 1771. The grandson of a clergyman, he was a devout Anglican throughout his life and his writings display an interest in spirituality and metaphysics beyond a simple attachment to organized religion. In 1773, Iredell married Johnston’s sister Hannah and they had four children; only 3 survived. One of his sons, James Iredell, Jr. served a short period as the Democratic-Republican Governor of North Carolina and then as a U. S. Senator where he was a Jacksonian, the early Democrats of the Congress.