The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

September 24, 2013

September 24, 1755

John Marshall (September 24, 1755 to July 6, 1835) was Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, from 1801 to 1835. He is credited with establishing the court as a branch of government equal to the executive and congressional branches. Marshall's death allowed President Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 to June 8, 1845) to nominate Philip Pendleton Barbour, (May 25, 1783 to February 25, 1841) to the court. Barbour was a Virginia politician who had laid a theoretical groundwork for states' rights. His nomination was part of a power play whereby Barbour refrained from competing against Jackson's favorite for the vice-presidential spot on the 1834 ticket. Nominating Barbour to the court also strengthened Jackson's support from the southern states.

The possibility of Barbour's replacing John Marshall had been dreaded by John Quincy Adams, (July 11, 1767 to February 23, 1848) ) who once worried aloud (1831) that, were Marshall to retire, "some shallow-pated wild-cat like Philip P. Barber, fit for nothing but to tear the union to rags and tatters, would be appointed in his place."


Adams had a way with an adjective, and Melvin I. Urofsky an eye for the vivid detail. The latter is the author of The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary (1994), where we found this detail. And that no one has ever written a biography of Barbour. 

1 comment:

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