Luther, Martin

Essay by Austinarita99A+, March 2006

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Martin Luther(February 9, 1748-July 8, 1826) was a politician and one of United States' Founding Fathers, but refused to sign the Constitution because he felt it violated states' rights. Though born in Metuchen, New Jersey, in 1748, Martin moved to Maryland after receiving his degree and taught there for three years. He then began to study the law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1771. Martin was an early advocate of American independence from Great Britain. In the fall of 1774 he served on the patriot committee of Somerset County, New Jersey Somerset County, and in December he attended a convention of the Province of Maryland in Annapolis, which had been called to consider the recommendations of the Continental Congress. Maryland appointed Luther Martin its attorney general in early 1778. In this capacity, Martin vigorously prosecuted Loyalists, whose numbers were strong in many areas of the state. Tensions had even led to insurrection and open warfare in some counties.

While still attorney general, Martin joined the Baltimore Light Dragoons.

In July 1781 his unit joined Pierre Lafayette's forces near Fredericksburg, Virginia, but Martin was recalled by the governor to prosecute a treason trial. From 1778 to 1805 he was Attorney General of Maryland; in 1814-1816 he was chief judge of the court of Oyer and Terminer for the city of Baltimore; and in 1818 to 1822 he was again attorney-general of Maryland. Martin married Maria Cresap on Christmas Day 1783. Of their five children, three daughters lived to adulthood. His postwar law practice grew to become one of the largest and most successful in the country. In 1785 Martin was elected to the Continental Congress, but this appointment was purely honorary. His numerous public and private duties prevented him from traveling to Philadelphia He attended the Constitutional Convention...