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Strong, William (Congressman)

Born: 1808-05-06 Connecticut

Died: 1895-08-19 New York

Flourished: Pennsylvania

William Strong was a lawyer, judge, U.S. representative, and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. After attending Munson Academy in Massachusetts, Strong enrolled in Yale College, graduating with a B.A. in 1828 and a M.A. in 1831. After graduation, he taught school in New Haven, Connecticut. He read law, received admittance to the bar, and commenced practice in Reading, Pennsylvania. Strong married Priscilla Lee Mallery in 1836, and the couple had three children before Priscilla Strong died in 1844. In 1846, Strong won election as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 1847 to March 1851. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1850. After leaving Congress, Strong married Rachel Davies Bull, with whom he had three children. From 1857 to beyond the end of the Civil War, Strong was an associate justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He began his tenure as a Democrat, but his anti-slavery views gradually saw him embrace the Republican Party. He later served a decade as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gravestone, Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, PA; Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1900; Timothy L. Hall, Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (New York: Facts on File, 2001), 158.