|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court|
September 20, 1845 – September 4, 1851
|Nominated by||James Polk|
|Preceded by||Joseph Story|
|Succeeded by||Benjamin Curtis|
|13th United States Secretary of the Treasury|
July 1, 1834 – March 4, 1841
Martin Van Buren
|Preceded by||Roger Taney|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Ewing|
|9th United States Secretary of the Navy|
May 23, 1831 – June 30, 1834
|Preceded by||John Branch|
|Succeeded by||Mahlon Dickerson|
|9th Governor of New Hampshire|
June 5, 1823 – June 3, 1824
|Preceded by||Samuel Bell|
|Succeeded by||David Morril|
|United States Senator|
from New Hampshire
March 4, 1841 – September 20, 1845
|Preceded by||Henry Hubbard|
|Succeeded by||Benning Jenness|
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1831
|Preceded by||John Parrott|
|Succeeded by||Isaac Hill|
|Born||December 22, 1789|
Francestown, New Hampshire, United States
|Died||September 4, 1851 (aged 61)|
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College|
Tapping Reeve Law School
Levi Woodbury (December 22, 1789 – September 4, 1851) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Governor of New Hampshire and cabinet member in three administrations. He was the first Justice to have attended law school.
Life and career
Woodbury was born in Francestown, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1809, briefly attended Tapping Reeve Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut, and read law to be admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1812. He was in private practice in Francestown from 1812 to 1816. He also joined the Freemasons.
Woodbury was a clerk of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1816 to 1817, and a Justice of New Hampshire Superior Court of Judicature from 1817 to 1823. He was Governor of New Hampshire from 1823 to 1824 and was Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, 1825.
Federal government service
Senate and Cabinet service
Woodbury served as a United States Senator from New Hampshire from 1825 to 1831. Elected to serve in New Hampshire State Senate in 1831, Woodbury did not take office due to his appointment as United States Secretary of the Navy under President Andrew Jackson, from 1831 to 1834. At the beginning of this term, he was instrumental in the appointment of fellow New Hampshireman Edmund Roberts as special agent and envoy to the Far East. Woodbury served as Secretary of the Treasury under Jackson and Martin Van Buren from 1834 to 1841, and served again as Senator from New Hampshire from 1841 to 1845. He was a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1845 to 1851.
As a U.S. Senator, Woodbury was a dependable Jackson Democrat, and President Jackson appointed him Secretary of the Navy (1831–1834) and then Secretary of the Treasury (1834–1841). Woodbury successfully worked to end the Second Bank of the United States; like Jackson he favored an "independent" treasury system and "hard money" over paper money. In retrospect, the financial Panic of 1837 and the collapse of speculative land prices were legacies of Woodbury's tenure. After the Panic, Woodbury realised that the U.S. Treasury needed a more secure administration of its own funds than commercial banks supplied, and he backed the act for an "Independent Treasury System" passed by Congress in 1840. It was largely repealed under the new administration the following year, but the foundation was laid for an independent U.S. Treasury, finally established in 1846, under President James K. Polk. Woodbury also served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance during a Special Session of the 29th Congress. His ten day chairmanship is the shortest on record.
Supreme Court service
In the 1844 presidential election, Woodbury and the Jackson Democrats supported the Democrats' nomination of Polk. On September 20, 1845, Polk gave Woodbury a recess appointment to a seat as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court vacated by Joseph Story. Formally nominated on December 23, 1845, Woodbury was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 3, 1846, and received his commission the same day. Woodbury was promoted as a candidate for President in the 1848 Democratic National Convention where his support was largely centered in New England. He remained on the Court until his death at age 61 in 1851, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Woodbury is one of the few individuals to serve in all three branches of U.S. government and one of three people to have served in all three branches and also served as a U.S. Governor (the others being Salmon P. Chase and James F. Byrnes). Woodbury County, Iowa, the City of Woodbury, Minnesota, Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Woodbury School in Salem, New Hampshire, and the ship USS Woodbury were named in honor of him.
- Political, Judicial, and Literary Writings (edited by N. Capen, Boston, 1852)
- Harrison Gray Dyar
- Levi Woodbury Homestead
- Supreme Court Justices Who Are Phi Beta Kappa Members, Phi Beta Kappa website, accessed Oct 4, 2009
- Roberts, Edmund (Digitized Oct 12, 2007) [First published in 1837]. Embassy to the Eastern courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat in the U. S. sloop-of-war Peacock during the years 1832-3-4. Harper & brothers. 432 pages. OCLC 12212199. embassytoeaster00unkngoog. http://archive.org/stream/embassytoeaster00unkngoog/embassytoeaster00unkngoog_djvu.txt. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Levi Woodbury at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Levi Woodbury at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- Dictionary of American Biography;
- Capowski, Vincent. The Making of a Jacksonian Democrat: Levi Woodbury, 1789-1851 Ph.D. dissertation, Fordham University, 1966
- Woodbury, Levi. Writings of Levi Woodbury. 3 vols. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1852.
- Treasury Dept. biography
- Woodbury as a liberal
|Wikisource has the text of an Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.) article about Levi Woodbury.|
- Levi Woodbury at Find A Grave
|Governor of New Hampshire
|United States Secretary of the Navy
|Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives
|U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Served under: Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren
|United States Senate|
|Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Samuel Bell
|Senator (Class 2) from New Hampshire
Served alongside: Franklin Pierce, Leonard Wilcox, Charles Atherton
|Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance
|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|