He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Luke Bliss and Mercy Ely. Bliss was educated at Harvard College, studied law in Boston and set up practice in Wilbraham. He was named a justice of the peace in 1770 and a major in the militia in the following year. He travelled to England near the start of the American Revolution, and was subsequently named in the Massachusetts Banishment Act of 1778. In 1784, he accepted the post of attorney general for the province of New Brunswick. With Ward Chipman, he was elected to the 1st New Brunswick Legislative Assembly after the sheriff closed the polls early and disallowed votes for opposing candidates. In 1790, Bliss married Mary Worthington. He purchased a large home in Saint John formerly owned by Benedict Arnold. He was named Chief Justice of New Brunswick in 1809 and was appointed to the Executive Council of New Brunswick that same year.
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