- Levi Woodbury
name =Levi Woodbury
office =Governor of New Hampshire
June 5, 1823
June 3, 1824
David L. Morril
order2 =United States Senator
March 4, 1825
March 3, 1831
John Fabyan Parrott
United States Secretary of the Navy
May 23, 1831
June 30, 1834
United States Secretary of the Treasury
July 1, 1834
March 3, 1841
Roger B. Taney
order5 =United States Senator
March 4, 1841
November 20, 1845
Benning W. Jenness
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
September 23, 1845
September 4, 1851
succeeded6 =Benjamin R. Curtis
December 22, 1789
Francestown, New Hampshire
September 4, 1851(aged 61)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Levi Woodbury (
December 22, 1789ndash September 4, 1851) was the first justice of the Supreme Court of the United Statesto have attended law school.
Life and career
Woodbury was born in
Francestown, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth Collegein 1809, briefly attended Tapping Reeve Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut, and was admitted to the New HampshireBar 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. Chaseand 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 1837and 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 It was largely repealed under the new administration the following year, but the foundation was laid for an independent U.S. Treasury, finally established in 1846, under President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 Financeduring 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 Blairand 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]
* [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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