Woodbury, Levi (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Levi Woodbury served on the U.S. Supreme Court as an associate justice from 1845 to 1851. Woodbury's career encompassed a range of positions in state and federal government. By the time of his nomination by President JAMES K. POLK, he had served as a state judge, governor, U.S. senator, and secretary of both the U.S. Navy and Treasury. A lifelong advocate of STATES' RIGHTS, this position guided him throughout his brief tenure on the Court. He rarely stood out except in the occasional instance when he dissented. A proponent of SLAVERY, he worried about the Court's potential for exacerbating national tensions over the volatile issue.
Woodbury was born on December 22, 1789, in Francestown, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1809 and then studied at the LITCHFIELD LAW SCHOOL. After his admission to the New Hampshire bar in 1812, he began practicing law while gradually preparing himself for politics. In 1816, he served as clerk of the state senate, and in 1817 he entered the judiciary as associate justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court.
Woodbury was passionate about states' rights, the cause of the Jeffersonian Republicans. His marriage in 1819 to Elizabeth Clapp, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, helped to advance his aspirations, and in 1823 he won election as governor of New Hampshire. In 1825, he became speaker of the state House of Representatives...
(The entire section is 518 words.)
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