William Paterson


"His honored name is borne by a great manufacturing city of our state, but most of his work is forgotten by the general public. Those of you who practice in the courts owe to him a great debt that you cannot repay. But while you cannot repay him, you can repay that debt as he would have it repaid -- by service to the state and to the nation that he loved and to which he devoted all his life. Under a special commission from the legislatureof the state he compiled and revised the old English statutes that had been in force in the colony of New Jersey and framed them into a consistent body of law, which was confirmed by the legislature. This work was done by a man who had the duties of governorship on his shoulders and a part of the time was on the Federal supreme bench. Paterson spent eight laborious years on this important task of revising the statutes. Perhaps that is one reason that his work lasted for so long a time. The giants of those days made haste by going slowly."

(From an address delivered by United States Senator Dwight Whitney Morrow at a meeting of the New Jersey Bar Association at Atlantic City, June 5, 1913)

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