Levi Woodbury

Levi Woodbury

Infobox Governor
name =Levi Woodbury

imagesize =200px
order =15th
office =Governor of New Hampshire
term_start =June 5, 1823
term_end =June 3, 1824
lieutenant =
predecessor =Samuel Bell
successor =David L. Morril
order2 =United States Senator
from New Hampshire
term_start2 =March 4, 1825
term_end2 =March 3,1831
preceded2 =John Fabyan Parrott
succeeded2 =Isaac Hill
order3 =9th United States Secretary of the Navy
term_start3 =May 23, 1831
term_end3 =June 30,1834
preceded3 =John Branch
succeeded3 =Mahlon Dickerson
order4 =13th United States Secretary of the Treasury
term_start4 =July 1, 1834
term_end4 =March 3,1841
preceded4 =Roger B. Taney
succeeded4 =Thomas Ewing
order5 =United States Senator
from New Hampshire
term_start5 =March 4, 1841
term_end5 =November 20,1845
preceded5 =Henry Hubbard
succeeded5 =Benning W. Jenness
order6 =Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
term_start6 =September 23, 1845
term_end6 =September 4,1851
preceded6 =Joseph Story
succeeded6 =Benjamin R. Curtis
birth_date =December 22, 1789
birth_place =Francestown, New Hampshire
death_date =September 4, 1851 (aged 61)
death_place =Portsmouth, New Hampshire
nationality =
party =Democratic
spouse =
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater =Dartmouth College
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website =
footnotes =

Levi Woodbury (December 22, 1789ndash September 4, 1851) was the first justice of the Supreme Court of the United States to have attended law school.

Life and career

Woodbury was born in Francestown, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809, briefly attended Tapping Reeve Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut, and was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in 1812.

Woodbury was Justice of New Hampshire state supreme court, 1816-23; Governor of New Hampshire, 1823-24; Speaker of the New Hampshire State House of Representatives, 1825; US Senator from New Hampshire, 1825-31; US Secretary of the Navy under Andrew Jackson, 1831-34; US Secretary of the Treasury under Jackson and Martin Van Buren, 1834-41; served again as Senator from New Hampshire, 1841-45; and Justice of the US Supreme Court, 1845-51. He 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 other being Salmon P. Chase and James F. Byrnes).

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 US 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.

In the 1844 presidential election, Woodbury and the Jackson Democrats supported the Democrats' nomination of Polk. When Polk was elected he promptly named Woodbury an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

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.

Woodbury was the father-in-law of Montgomery Blair and great-great-grandfather of actor Montgomery Clift.


* "Political, Judicial, and Literary Writings" (edited by N. Capen, Boston, 1852)


*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.
* [http://www.ustreas.gov/education/history/secretaries/lwoodbury.html Biography]
* [http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/management/curator/collection/secretary/woodbury.htm Treasury Dept. biography]
* [http://www.sonic.net/~buscador/Woodbury.htm Woodbury as a liberal]

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5673 Levi Woodbury] at Find A Grave
* [http://gravematter.smugmug.com/gallery/1085830/1/52556976/Large Burial site of Levi Woodbury] in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Woodbury County, Iowa — Infobox U.S. County county = Woodbury County state = Iowa map size = 225 founded = 1851 seat = Sioux City | area total sq mi =877 area land sq mi =873 area water sq mi =5 area percentage = 0.55% census yr = 2000 pop = 103877 density km2 =46 web …   Wikipedia

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