John Sergeant (politician)

John Sergeant ( born December 5, 1779 Philadelphia, † November 23, 1852 ibid ) was an American politician. He was the candidate of the National Republican Party for the Vice Presidency on the side of Henry Clay in the presidential election in 1832.


John Sergeant was a member of a family that produced many politicians; so was his father Jonathan delegate to the Continental Congress. His grandson John Sergeant Wise and Richard Alsop Wise sat for Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives, his great-grandson John C. Kunkel for Pennsylvania.

After attending the public schools and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Sergeant in 1795 graduated at Princeton College. After that, he was trained as a lawyer and in 1799 was added to the bar, after which he practiced the profession in the next 50 years. In 1800, he became Deputy Attorney General of Philadelphia; then he stood as a bankruptcy trustee ( Commissioner of bankruptcy ) in government services.


From 1808 to 1810 Sergeant belonged to the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania before he was elected as a member of the Federalists in the House of Representatives in Washington. There he took from the October 10, 1815 the place of the late Jonathan Williams a; after repeated re-election he remained until March 3, 1823 in Congress and was during this time, among others, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He supported the economic program of Henry Clay and the establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. In addition, he was an opponent of slavery and the Missouri Compromise.

The result was Sergeant President of the Pennsylvania Board of Canal Commissioners, as well as ambassador to the Panama Congress under the leadership of Simón Bolívar in the summer of 1826, for another two years before he belonged to the Congress from March 4, 1827. After misguided re-election, he worked as a lawyer for the Bank of the United States.

1832 Henry Clay finally appointed him to be his running mate in the election for U.S. president. However, they could win a majority in only six states and thus subject to very clear the Democratic incumbent Andrew Jackson and his vice presidential candidate Martin Van Buren. Sergeant retired after the first from politics, but then entered again in 1836 in the election for the House of Representatives and was this time elected as a Whig to Congress. There he remained on 4 March 1837 until his resignation on September 15, 1841, where he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee again. During this time he also officiated in 1838 as president of the Constitutional Convention of Pennsylvania.

After John Sergeant refocused on his activities as a lawyer. During the time in which the Whigs represented the U.S. president, he got offices in the government or in the diplomatic service offered, but this struck out. He died in 1852 in his hometown of Philadelphia.