Joseph Hamilton Known As Jo Daviess (Daviess), an American lawyer and soldier, born in Bedford co., Va., in 1774, killed at the battle of Tippecanoe, Nov. 7, 1811. In 1779 his parents emigrated to Kentucky, and settled in Lincoln county, and afterward near Danville. He was educated in an academy at Har-rodsburg, where he became a good classical and mathematical scholar, and pursued a wide course of reading. After six months' service as a volunteer against the Indians in 1793, he studied law, and in 1795 settled at Danville and entered on a career which soon made his name a household word in the west. Being a federalist, he was excluded from any hope of political advancement, and devoted himself to his profession. Many stories are told of his eccentricities. Instead of " riding the circuit," he used to shoulder his rifle and range the woods from town to town; and he often appeared in court in a picturesque hunting costume. In 1799 he acted as second to John Rowan in a duel in which Rowan's antagonist was killed. Both principal and seconds fled, to avoid prosecution. Daviess was for some time a fugitive; but finally hearing that Rowan had been arrested, he returned, appeared in court as his counsel, and secured his acquittal.
Daviess is said to have been the first western lawyer that ever argued a case in the United States supreme court. He made his appearance in the national capital in a remarkably picturesque and dilapidated costume, gained an important suit, and returned in nearly the same guise. Soon afterward he married a sister of Chief Justice Marshall, and was appointed United States attorney for the district of Kentucky. As such, on Nov. 3, 1806, he moved for an order requiring Aaron Burr to appear and answer to a charge of levying war against a nation with which our government was at peace. The judge overruled the motion; but Burr appeared in court next day, and requested that the motion be granted. This was done, Burr boldly courting investigation, and Henry Clay becoming his counsel. Some of the witnesses upon whom Daviess had relied could not be brought into court, and the prosecution fell through. This affair almost entirely destroyed the popularity of Jo Daviess, which even the subsequent revelation of Burr's plot could not fully restore.
In the summer of 1811 he joined the army under Gen. Harrison, for the campaign against the northwestern Indians. In the battle of Tippecanoe, seeing that an exposed angle of the line was likely to give way before a determined assault, he led a cavalry charge against the savages at that point. The manoeuvre was completely successful; but Daviess fell, shot through the breast.