SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Levi Woodbury, 1845-1851

Justice Levi Woodbury, 1845-1851
LEVI WOODBURY was born on December 22, 1789, in Francestown, New Hampshire. He was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809, read law, and attended Tapping Reeve Law School. He was admitted to the bar in 1812 and practiced law in Francestown and nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In 1816, Woodbury was appointed Clerk of the State Senate, and after one year he was placed on the New Hampshire Superior Court, where he served until 1823, when he was elected Governor of New Hampshire. In 1825, Woodbury was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives and became Speaker. Later the same year the State Legislature elected him to the United States Senate, where he served until 1831. President Andrew Jackson appointed Woodbury Secretary of the Navy in 1831. Three years later, the President appointed him Secretary of the Treasury, where he served until 1841 when he was again elected to the United States Senate. President James K. Polk names Woodbury to the Supreme Court of the United States as a recess appointment on September 20, 1845. Formally nominated by President Polk on December 23, 1845, Woodbury was confirmed by The Senate on January 3, 1846, making him the first Associate Justice to have attended a law school. Woodbury served on the Supreme Court for five years and died on September 4, 1851, at the age of sixty-one.