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Benjamin Bourne (September 9, 1755 – September 17, 1808) was an American jurist and politician from Bristol, Rhode Island. He represented Rhode Island in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as a judge in both the federal district and federal appellate courts.

Benjamin Bourne
Benjamin Bourne.jpg
Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit
In office
February 20, 1801 – July 1, 1802
Appointed byJohn Adams
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
In office
October 13, 1796 – February 20, 1801
Appointed byGeorge Washington
Preceded byHenry Marchant
Succeeded byDavid Barnes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Rhode Island's at-large district
In office
August 31, 1790 – October 13, 1796
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byElisha Potter
Personal details
Born(1755-09-09)September 9, 1755
Bristol, Rhode Island, British America
DiedSeptember 17, 1808(1808-09-17) (aged 53)
Bristol, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political partyFederalist
EducationHarvard University (BA, MA)

Borurne was born in Bristol and graduated from Harvard College in 1775. He read law to enter the Bar and began practice in Providence. During the Revolutionary War, he served as ensign, then quartermaster of the Babcock's/Lippitt's Regiment of the Rhode Island Militia from January 1776 to January 1777.

After the war, Bourne began his political life as a member of the Rhode Island general assembly in 1789 and 1790. In 1799, Bourne was appointed to a committee to revise the state's militia laws. From 1783 to 1784, Bourne collected excise tax for Providence County. Then, between 1785 and 1789, he served as Justice of the Peace in Providence County. Bourne served on the federalist (pro-Constitution) committee which negotiated an end to William West's armed anti-federalist (Country Party) protest on July 4, 1788. In 1789, with the Reverend James Manning, Bourne petitioned Congress regarding relief from import duties imposed upon Rhode Island as a foreign nation.

After Rhode Island ratified the Constitution, Bourne was elected as Pro-Administration to the First through Third Congresses and as a Federalist to the Fourth and Fifth Congresses. He resigned before the fifth Congress began, however.

Upon returning to Rhode Island, Bourne received a recess appointment from President George Washington on October 13, 1796, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island vacated by Henry Marchant. Bourne was formally nominated on December 21, 1796, and was confirmed by the United States Senate, and received his commission, the following day. On February 18, 1801, Bourne was nominated by President John Adams to a new seat on the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit created by 2 Stat. 89. He was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission, on February 20, 1801. Bourne's judicial service ended on July 1, 1802, due to abolition of the Circuit court.

Bourne died in Bristol, and is buried in the Juniper Hill Cemetery there.

He was a first cousin once removed of Massachusetts Congressman Shearjashub Bourne [1]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

  • Benjamin Bourne Papers, Rhode Island Historical Society
  • United States Congress. "Benjamin Bourne (id: B000669)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Benjamin Bourne at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Rhode Island's At-large congressional district

1790–1796
Succeeded by
Elisha Potter
Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry Marchant
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
1796–1801
Succeeded by
David Barnes
New seat Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit
1801–1802
Seat abolished