John SERGEANT, Congress, PA (1779-1852)


SERGEANT, John, (son of Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant, grandfather of John Sergeant Wise and Richard Alsop Wise, and great-grandfather of John Crain Kunkel), a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Philadelphia, Pa., December 5, 1779; attended the common schools and the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia; was graduated from Princeton College in 1795; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1799 and practiced in Philadelphia for fifty years; deputy attorney general for Philadelphia in 1800; commissioner of bankruptcy for Pennsylvania in 1801; member of the state house of representatives 1808-1810; elected as a Federalist to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Jonathan Williams; reelected to the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Congresses and served from October 10, 1815, to March 3, 1823; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Congresses); was not a candidate for reelection; president of the Pennsylvania Board of Canal Commissioners in 1825; envoy to the Panama Congress in 1826; elected as an Adams candidate to the Twentieth Congress (March 4, 1827-March 3, 1829); unsuccessful candidate for reelection; unsuccessful National-Republican candidate for election as Vice President of the United States in 1832; president of the state constitutional convention in 1838; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, and Twenty-seventh Congresses and served from March 4, 1837, until his resignation on September 15, 1841; chairman, Committee on the Judiciary (Twenty-sixth Congress); died in Philadelphia, Pa., November 23, 1852; interment in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present