SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

John Blair, Jr., 1790-1796

Justice John Blair, Jr., 1790-1796
JOHN BLAIR, JR., was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1732. He was graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1754. After one year of law study in England at the Middle Temple, London, he returned to Virginia to practice law. Blair began his public service in 1766 as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. In 1770, he resigned from the House to become Clerk of the Governor’s Council. Blair was a delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1776, which drafted the State Constitution. Blair became a Judge of the Virginia General Court in 1777 and was elevated to Chief Judge in 1779. From 1780 to 1789, he served as a Judge of the First Virginia Court of Appeals. Blair was a delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was one of three Virginia delegates to sign the Constitution. He was also a delegate to the Virginia Ratification Convention of 1788. On September 24, 1789, President George Washington nominated Blair one of the original Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment two days later. Blair served five years on the Supreme Court. Citing the rigors of circuit riding and ill health, he resigned on January 27, 1796. Blair died on August 31, 1800, at the age of sixty-eight.