About William Vans Murray
William Vans Murray (February 9, 1760 – December 11, 1803) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates (1788–1790). He next was elected to the US House of Representatives from the fifth district of Maryland, serving from 1791 until 1793.
He then represented the eighth district from 1793 to 1797. Murray was appointed the U.S. Minister (ambassador) to the Netherlands from 1797 until 1801. He supported the U.S. mission to France in peace negotiations.
Early life and education
William Vans Murray was born in Cambridge, Maryland, where he lived much of his life. In 1784, as a law student in London, Murray wrote in defense of state government in the United States of America. This eventually ran to a series of six essays, which were published in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention. Murray rejected the notion, advanced by Montesquieu among others, that virtue was the root of democracy. He addressed his essays to John Adams, then assigned to London as the United States ambassador, and of whom Murray was a "political disciple." Career
Murray represented the area of Cambridge when elected to the state legislature (1788–1790). He next was elected to the US House of Representatives from Maryland's Fifth District (1791–1793). He served another four years representing what was then the eighth district.