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Reed, Johnlocked

(05 June 1786–19 January 1850)
  • William E. Butler


Reed, John (05 June 1786–19 January 1850), legal educator, judge, and author, was born in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, the son of General William Reed, a farmer who distinguished himself during the Revolutionary War and in 1790 was a member of the convention from York County that in the same year framed the first constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. William Reed later served as a senator in the state legislature, representing York and Adams counties in 1806. The name of John Reed's mother is unknown. John Reed remained on the farm until the age of seventeen, when he was sent together with his brother William to grammar school under the care of the Reverend Mr. James Dobbin at Gettysburg. Both Reed brothers attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, graduating—according to college records—with the class of 1806. Then the two studied law under the supervision of William Maxwell of Gettysburg. In 1809 John Reed was admitted to the bar, and as his autobiography relates, he “settled down for practice in Greensburg, Westmoreland County” on 1 April of that year. For several years he practiced in the counties of Somerset, Indiana, Armstrong, and Westmoreland, acting as prosecuting attorney in the latter two counties....

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