Woodbury, Levi

Born: 1789-12-22 New Hampshire

Died: 1851-09-04 Portsmouth, New Hampshire

After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1809 and attending a law school in Connecticut, Woodbury read law with two judges in Boston. Governor William Plumer of New Hampshire appointed him to the New Hampshire Supreme Court in 1817, and Woodbury himself was elected governor of New Hampshire in 1823. Between 1825 and 1831, Woodbury represented New Hampshire in the United States Senate. From 1831 to 1834, he was secretary of the navy under President Andrew Jackson. He served as secretary of the treasury from 1834 to 1841 under Presidents Jackson and Martin Van Buren. President James K. Polk nominated Woodbury to a seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1845, and the Senate confirmed his nomination the next year. As a Supreme Court justice, Woodbury strongly believed in the protection of the rights of states from interference by the federal government. Woodbury served as an associate justice until his death in 1851.

Judith K. Schafer, "Woodbury, Levi," American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 23:792-94; Kermit L. Hall, ed., The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 937; Timothy S. Huebner, The Taney Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy, (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003), 84-87.