SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

John McLean, 1829-1861

Justice John McLean, 1829-1861
JOHN MCLEAN was born in Morris County, New Jersey, on March 11, 1785. His family soon moved to western Virginia, then to Kentucky, and settled in Warren County, Ohio, in 1797. McLean began his legal career in Cincinnati in 1804 by working in the office of the clerk of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas and reading law in the office of a Cincinnati attorney. He was admitted to the bar in 1807 and moved to Lebanon, Ohio, where he combined a law practice with publication of a weekly newspaper. Beginning in 1810, he devoted himself fully to his law practice. McLean was appointed an examiner in the Federal Land Office in Cincinnati in 1811. In 1812, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Re-elected two years later, he resigned in 1816 to take a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. In 1822, President James Monroe appointed McLean Commissioner of the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., and one year later McLean was appointed Postmaster General. President Andrew Jackson nominated McLean to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 6, 1829. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 7, 1829. McLean served on the Supreme Court for nearly thirty-two years. He died on April 4, 1861, at the age of seventy-six.