John Lawrance, an American statesman, born in Cornwall, England, in 1750, died in New York in November, 1810. He emigrated to America in 1767, settled in the city of New York, was admitted to the bar in 1772, and soon established himself in successful practice. An active patriot at the outbreak of the revolution, he served in the army throughout the war, first as aide-de-camp to his father-in-law Maj. Gen. McDougall, and afterward attached to the general staff as judge advocate general. In the latter capacity he conducted the proceedings of the court of general officers appointed to inquire into the case of Major Andre. On the termination of hostilities he returned to New York, where for many years he was engaged in a large and lucrative professional practice. In 1785-'7 he was a delegate to the congress of the confederation, but was superseded in 1788 in consequence of his advocating the new federal constitution. He was a member of the state senate when in 1789 he was elected the first representative from New York city in the first United States congress. He was a zealous and able defender of the measures of Washington, and a political and personal friend of Hamilton. He was elected to the second congress, and in 1794 was appointed judge of the United States court for the New York district.

He resigned in 1796 upon being elected to the United States senate, of which he was for a time president. He supported the measures of President Adams, upon whose retirement he resigned and withdrew to private life.