Alexander James Dallas
b.21 Jun 1759 Kingston, Surrey, Jamaica
d.16 Jan 1817 Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Facts and Events
Dallas was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to Dr. Robert Charles Dallas and Sarah Elizabeth (Cormack) Hewitt. When he was five his family moved to Edinburgh and then to London. There he studied under James Elphinston. He planned to study law, but was unable to afford it. He married Arabella Maria Smith of Pennsylvania, the daughter of Maj. George Smith of the British Army and Arabella Barlow (in turn the daughter of the Rev. William Barlow and Arabella Trevanion, the daughter of Sir Nicholas Trevanion), in 1780 and the next year they moved to Jamaica. There he was admitted to the bar through his father's connections. Maria's health suffered in Jamaica and they moved to Philadelphia in 1783. Dallas was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1785. His law practice was slow and on the side he edited the Pennsylvania Herald from 1787 to 1788 and the Columbian Magazine from 1787 to 1789.