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The dark side of James Wilson
BY NATALIE WEXLER, L’83
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Wilson arranged for his son to bail him out and then fled southward, settling in the small town of Edenton, N.C., where his fellow Justice James Iredell lived. (Although the two men were on opposite sides of the era’s most famous Supreme Court case, Chisholm v. Georgia, they were good friends.) Meanwhile, Wilson’s wife Hannah — defying the predictions of the gossips — stayed in Philadelphia with several of her stepchildren; she and Wilson’s daughters sold their needlework in an effort to make ends meet. When Iredell arrived — without Wilson — for the February 1798 sitting of the Supreme Court, his first stop was the Wilson house. “[F]inding Mr. Wilson was not coming,” Iredell wrote to his wife, Hannah Wilson “burst into tears.”
 
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