The Honorable Thomas Dawes
A member of the Harvard class of 1777 and son of Col. Thomas Dawes, Thomas Dawes was born in Boston on July 8, 1757. A noted jurist who served on the Massachusetts Supreme Court from 1792 to 1803, he was also a member of the state constitutional conventions of 1780 and 1820 and of the convention which adopted the federal constitution in 1789.
After leaving the state Supreme Court, he was judge of the municipal court until 1823 and then remained a probate court judge until his death on July 22, 1825.
Judge Dawes was known for his oratory as well as his judgments, being appointed as a public orator for the City of Boston for several historic occasions including the 1781 remembrance of the Boston Massacre and the 1787 remembrance of July 4, 1776. He connected his two best skills with the faith instilled at Old South Church (where his father was a Senior Deacon) in his oration on the Law Given on Mt Sinai in 1777. In 1800 he moved his church membership from Old South to the Federal Street Church, under the leadership of Rev. William Ellery Channing.