William Sprigg (judge)
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William Sprigg Judge
William Sprigg
Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court

April 2, 1803 - April 12, 1806
none (state established)
George Tod

February 16, 1808 - February 10, 1810
Daniel Symmes
William W. Irvin
Personal details
Born 1770
Prince George's County, Maryland
Died September 9, 1827
Hagerstown, Maryland

William Sprigg (1770 – September 9, 1827)[1] was a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, the Superior Court of the Orleans Territory and the highest court of the Illinois Territory.

Early life

Sprigg was born in 1770 in Prince George's County, Maryland to Joseph Sprigg and Hannah Lee. His uncle, Thomas Sprigg, was a Member of Congress from Maryland from 1793-1797 and his half-brother, Samuel Sprigg was Governor of Maryland from 1818-1820.


Sprigg was an early pioneer and an attorney in Adams County, Ohio, then the Northwest Territory. When Ohio became a state in 1803, the state legislature appointed Sprigg to the Ohio Supreme Court. He served as a justice of the Supreme Court from April 1803 to April 1806 and again from 1808 to 1810. During the interim period, Sprigg was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to serve on the highest court in the Territory of Orleans, from January, 1806 to November, 1808.[2] In 1809, Sprigg was appointed by Governor Ninian Edwards a judge in the newly formed Illinois Territory.

Sprigg served on the Illinois Court for many years and when Illinois became a state, he became the center of a great controversy about the relative relationship between the judicial and legislative branch in Illinois. The result was that by April, 1818 Judge Sprigg was either removed or had resigned from the bench.[3]

When Illinois became a state in December 1818, Sprigg sought the Illinois House of Representatives nomination for Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Illinois. He failed to win their approval, and moved to Hagerstown, Maryland, where he died September 9, 1827.[1]


Sprigg Township in Adams County, Ohio is named for Judge Sprigg.[4]


  1. ^ a b "William Sprigg". The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System.
  2. ^ Celebration of the Centenary of the Supreme Court of Louisiana (March 1, 1913), in John Wymond, Henry Plauché Dart, eds., The Louisiana Historical Quarterly (1922), p. 113.
  3. ^ Buck, Solon Justus (1918-01-01). Illinois in 1818. McClurg.
  4. ^ Evans, Nelson Wiley (1900). A History of Adams County, Ohio: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. E B. Stivers. p. 461.
Legal offices
Preceded by
newly created position
Judge of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by
George Tod
Preceded by
Peter Stephen Duponceau
Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans
Succeeded by
John Thompson
Preceded by
Daniel Symmes
Judge of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by
William W. Irvin
Preceded by
Obadiah Jones
Judge of the Superior Court of the Territory of Illinois
Succeeded by

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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