Yeates, Jasper, 1745-1817Alternative names
Yeates was a lawyer from Lancaster, Pa. He served as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Ratification Convention in 1787 and was a judge of the Pennyslvania Supreme Court, 1791-1817.
From the description of [Letter] 1801 Mar. 22, Philada. [to] Sally / J. Yeates. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 501843254
From the description of ALS : Lancaster, Pa., to Robert Aitken, 1772 June 4. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122347819
Student at the College of Philadelphia, A.B. 1761; later a justice on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
From the description of Student notes, 1758-1760. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 79431688
Jasper Yeates, the son of John Yeates (1705-1765) and Elizabeth Sidebotham (1704-1763; also spelled Sidebottom), was born on April 17, 1745 in Philadelphia. His grandfather, Jasper Yeates (1670-1720), a native of Yorkshire, came to Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century and became a successful merchant as well as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Province of Pennsylvania (1691-1711). The elder Jasper Yeates's third son, John, married Elizabeth Sidebotham in 1730, and went on to become a prominent merchant in Barbados and Pennsylvania throughout the 1740s and 1750s. After experiencing financial difficulties he was commissioned comptroller of customs at Poconoke, Maryland, a position he held until his death. Jasper Yeates earned a bachelor's degree from the College of Philadelphia in 1761, and shortly thereafter he went on to study law. After his admission to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1765, Yeates started his law practice in Lancaster where he became the most prominent lawyer of the county. In 1767 he married Sarah Burd, the daughter of Colonel James Burd and Sarah Shippen, and together they had at least four children, John, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Catherine. Yeates led a distinguished legal career until his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1791, but he also performed many public functions. He was the chairman of the Lancaster Committee of Correspondence in 1775, which communicated with the second Continental Congress. He also served as captain in the Lancaster militia under Colonel Matthias Slough and played a vital role with the organization and equipping of the militia. His militia duties were interrupted the following year, however, when the Continental Congress appointed Yeates to a Commission of Indian Affairs to negotiate a treaty with the Lenape (Delaware) Indians at Fort Pitt. The Commission's efforts resulted in the Treaty of Fort Pitt in 1778, which gave American soldiers the right to travel through Delaware territory, among other things. He wrote a letter to Benjamin Franklin accepting the post on July 6, 1776. In 1787, Yeates, Chief Justice Thomas McKean, and James Wilson served as delegates to the Pennsylvania State Convention which ratified the U. S. Constitution. Following ratification, Yeates became a Federalist, and on August 8, 1794, George Washington appointed him to a commission to negotiate with the participants of the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. The commission produced a treaty titled "Treaty between Com⁰́₉n & Committee of Insurgents, Sept. 2, 1794," which guaranteed the rebels a pardon. The only negative mark on Jasper Yeates's legal career was his impeachment by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1803, along with Chief Justice Edward Shippen and Thomas Smith, for charging a man named Thomas Passmore with contempt of court. Yeates and his colleagues were acquitted by the Senate in 1805, however, and Yeates continued to serve until his death in 1817. During his tenure, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined British statutes would remain Pennsylvania law. This work culminated in the publishing of the Digest of Select British Statutes (1807). A collection of his notes on the Supreme Court was published posthumously as Reports of Cases adjudged in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: with some select cases at Nisi Prius, and in the Circuit Courts (4 volumes, 1817-1818).
From the description of Jasper Yeates papers 1733 - 1876 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122474456
Jasper Yeates was a Lancaster County lawyer and served as judge on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
From the description of Court Docket, 1775-1776. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122633113
American jurist; associate justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
From the guide to the Jasper Yeates papers, 1781-1817, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)
Jasper Yeates was a Lancaster County, Pa. lawyer and jurist.
From the description of Diary and Memoranda, 1764-1769. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122524440
Jasper Yeates was a Philadelphia lawyer. Edward Hand was a general in the Revolution.
From the description of Account book, 1802-1814. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 86155853
Jasper Yeates was a Lancaster County, Pa. lawyer.
From the description of Letterbook, 1769-1771. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). WorldCat record id: 122524198
Jasper Yeates (1745-1817) was a lawyer and Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, one of the state's most successful colonial-era legal practitioners. After moving to Lancaster County in 1765, he became active in colonial and early federal affairs, first by supporting the Revolutionary struggle and later by serving as one of Lancaster's delegates to the State Convention of 1787, which ratified the U.S. Constitution.
Yeates was born in Philadephia on April 9, 1745, to John and Elizabeth (Sidbotham) Yeates. He studied at the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania), where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1761. Upon graduation he continued his studies at the college, earning a Master of Arts two years later (1763). He was admitted to the bar in 1765 and subsequently moved to the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Yeates went on to become one of the most successful legal practitioners in the state. His notoriety earned him the commission of Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1791. He served in that position until his death in 1817. Judge Yeates prepared notes of judicial proceedings in which he took part, with the intent to publish. They were printed after he died.
From 1802 to 1805, Yeates was involved in an impeachment trial along PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward Shippen and Judge Thomas Smith. The three men were charged with illegally sentencing Thomas Passmore to thirty days in jail and for imposing a $50 fine for a “supposed contempt.” All three men were acquitted.
Yeates was one of the foremost patriots from the inception of the Revolutionary struggle. He served as chairman of the Committee of Correspondence of Lancaster in 1776. He was also one of Lancaster County's delegates to the State Convention of 1787, which ratified the U.S. Constitution.
Jasper married Sarah Burd in Lancaster on December 30, 1767. Sarah was the eldest daughter of Colonel James Burd and his wife, Sarah Shippen, who was daughter to Edward Shippen of Lancaster and sister to Chief Justice Edward Shippen. They moved to 24 South Queen Street in 1775 and raised 10 children over a period of 37-plus years.
Many of their children grew up to marry and have families of their own. Their firstborn, Mary Yeates, arrived in in 1770. In 1791, she married Charles Smith, son of Rev. William Smith, the provost of the College of Philadelphia. Charles became judge for the Ninth Judicial District of Pennsylvania and in 1820 was commissioned judge of the city of Lancaster. Together he and Mary had eight children.
Son John Yeates was born in 1772, and followed in his father’s footsteps by graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Pennsylvania in 1792. He became a lawyer and married Eliza Buckley, daughter of Daniel Buckley. They had no children.
Daughter Elizabeth Yeates was born in 1778. In 1808 she married Redmond Conyngham, a prominent literary figure and the son of David Hayfield Conyngham and grandson of Redmond Conyngham, Esq., of Ireland. Together Elizabeth and Redmond had six children.
Jasper and Sarah also had two daughters who never married: Margaret (born 1780) and Catherine (born 1782). Five of the Yeates' 10 children died in infancy.
As a result of Jasper’s political and judicial duties and travels, he and Sarah-whom he called “Dear Sally”-exchanged many letters throughout their marriage. In these letters, the couple expressed their love, shared news, and made family decisions. Yeates also exchanged many letters with his children and grandchildren.
Jasper became involved with St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster, serving the congregation as warden and vestryman. He died on March 14, 1817, and was buried at the churchyard of St. James. Sarah died in 1829 and is buried near him in the same graveyard.
Bibliography Jordon, John W. Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1911), p. 663-668.
Lancaster Historical Society. “Sarah and Jasper Yeates: A Lifetime of Romance.” Accessed March 15, 2011. http://www.lancasterhistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=368&Itemid=172.
RootsWeb’s World Connect Project.
Warren, Charles. History of the Harvard Law School and of Early Legal Conditions in America (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1908), p. 199-200.
From the guide to the Jasper Yeates Papers, Bulk, 1760-1816, 1738-1910, (American Philosophical Society)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Lancaster County (Pa.)|
|Middle Atlantic States|
|United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763|
|Indians of North America--Wars--1750-1815|
|Seven Years' War|
|Pennsylvania Supreme Court|
|Ethics--Early works to 1800|
|Social Life and Customs|
|Marriage and Family Life|
|Economics--Early works to 1800|
|Natural law--Early works to 1800|
|Metaphysics--Early works to 1800|
|Lancaster County (Pa.)--History|
|Administration of estates|
|Pennsylvania--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763|
|Universities and colleges--History--18th century|
|Political science--Early works to 1800|