James, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, born near St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1742, died in Edenton, N. C, Aug. 28, 1798. He studied at St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, and in 1766 emigrated to Philadelphia, where he was admitted to the bar. He sat in the provincial convention of Pennsylvania in 1774, and in May, 1775, was chosen a member of the continental congress, and was repeatedly rechosen. Upon the commencement of hostilities he obtained a colonel's commission. From 1779 to 1783 he was advocate general of France in the United States. He was a member of the convention that framed the federal constitution, and of the Pennsylvania convention that adopted it, and was one of the first judges of the supreme court of the United States. In 1790 he became the first professor of law in the college of Philadelphia, and delivered lectures which were published together with others of his works by his son (3 vols., Philadelphia, 1803-'4).
Bird, an American clergyman, son of the preceding, born in Carlisle, Pa., Jan. 8, 1777, died in New York, April 14, 1859. He graduated at the college (now university) of Pennsylvania in 1792, was admitted to the bar in 1797, and was appointed president judge of the court of common pleas of the seventh circuit at the age of 25. Afterward he studied for the ministry of the Episcopal church, and was admitted to orders March 12, 1819. He became rector of St. John's church, Norristown, in 1820, and in 1821 was appointed professor of systematic divinity in the Episcopal general, theological seminary, New York, which chair he resigned in 1850. He was secretary of the house of bishops from 1829 to 1841. Besides editing his father's works, he published "Abridgment of the Law by Matthew Bacon," with notes, etc. (7 vols., 1811-'13), and "Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Rev. Bishop White" (1839).