A Brief View
of the
of the
United States


This short essay was published in 1831 by Peter S. Du Ponceau, just two years before the Joseph Story commentaries.  It was address to the Law Academy of Philidelphia af which he was the Provost.


Du Ponceau had studied to be a priest and became a noted linguist. But instead of going into the priesthood he came to the American Colonies in 1777 as secretary to the Prussian military officer Friedrich Welhelm Augustus, Baron von Steuben (1730-1794) during the War for Independence. Du Ponceau served as a captain in the American army until 1781 when Illness forced him to resign; afterward, he remained in America, eventually settling in Philadelphia and becoming a lawyer.

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