Richard Dana, an American jurist, born in Cambridge, Mass., July 7, 1699, died May 17, 1772. He was grandson of Richard Dana, progenitor of the family in America, who settled at Cambridge in 1640. He graduated at Harvard college in 1718, and after practising law for a time at Marblehead and Charles-town, he removed to Boston, where he became a leading barrister. He was very prominent in the measures of resistance to the arbitrary acts of the British government, which immediately preceded the revolution. Although devoted to his profession and declining office, he took a leading part in those important political assemblages, where he sometimes presided, the Boston town meetings from 1763 to 1772; and he was often at the head of the committee chosen by Boston to address the country at large on public affairs, under the form of published instructions to the representatives of the town. He reported the papers of Nov. 20, 1767, and May 8, 1770, noted at that time. He was a member of the sons of liberty, and at their celebrated meeting of Dec. 17, 1769, administered to Secretary Oliver the oath of non-execution of the stamp act, and made and signed a solemn official record of that fact. His death is spoken of in the letters of the leading patriots as a great loss to the cause.
He married the sister of Judge Trowbridge, and was the father of Chief Justice Dana.