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James McClurg (1746 - 1823)

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Dr. James McClurg
Born in Hampton, Virginiamap
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [location unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Richmond, Virginiamap
Profile last modified | Created 24 Jan 2015
This page has been accessed 457 times.

Categories: American Founding Fathers | American Revolution.

Dr. James McClurg served during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:


McCLURG, James, physician, b. in Hampton, Va., in 1747: d. in Richmond, Va., 9 July, 1825. He was a fellow-student with Thomas Jefferson at William and Mary college, at which institution he was graduated in 1762. He took his degree in medicine at Edinburgh in 1770, and subsequently pursued his studies in London and Paris. On returning to this country in 1773 he settled in Williamsburg, Va., where tie soon took high rank as a physician, but in 1783 he removed to Richmond. Be sat for many years in the Virginia council, and was a member of the convention that framed the constitution of the United States. During his residence abroad he published an " Essay on the Human Bile " (London), which was translated into several languages. He is also the author of a paper on "Reasoning in Medicine" in the Philadelphia " Journal of the Medical Physical Sciences." He had considerable skill as a writer of vert de societi, and his "Belles of Williamsburg" (1777), a few stanzas of which were written by Judge St. George Tucker, is published in John Esten Cooke's " Virginia Comedians " (New York, 1854).[1]

Dr. McClurg was one of six Virginians to attend the Constitutional Convention in 1787, but left before the final draft was complete and never signed it. He believed that the power of the executive (the President) was too weak in the proposed constitution. He was to later serve on the Virginia Executive Council and was elected Mayor of Richmond for three terms.

His close friend George Wythe was poisoned in Richmond in 1806 and Dr. McClurg was a major figure in conducting Wythe's autopsy and in the subsequent trial of Wythe's nephew, George Wythe Sweeney. Sweeney was acquitted of murder at the trial largely because Dr. McClurg's autopsy results were inconclusive as to whether Wythe had actually been poisoned and because slaves were not allowed to testify in Virginia at that time. A slave servant had actually witnessed Sweeney administer the poison in Wythe's coffee.[2]


  1. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, ed.,Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, D. Appleton and Co., New York,1888, vol. IV, page 9, Link
  2. Bruce Chadwick, I Am Murdered, Wylie, Hoboken, NJ, 2009

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On 15 Feb 2018 at 22:08 GMT Henry Chadwick wrote:

Great. I have added the connection. McClurg-240 is father of McClurg-129.

On 15 Feb 2018 at 19:11 GMT Saundra Stewart wrote:

I believe I have the father of Dr. James McClurg:

I don't have his mother yet although I do have his father's second wife.

James is 35 degrees from Jelena Eckstädt, 17 degrees from Theodore Roosevelt and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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