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Gray, Horace (24 March 1828–15 September 1902), jurist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Horace Gray, a manufacturer, and Harriet Upham. He was a half brother of John Chipman Gray. Gray’s mother died when he was still young. After preparation at private schools, he graduated from Harvard College in 1845 at seventeen, an early age even for the era. As was typical of a wealthy family, Gray had no urgent need to prepare for a profession. However, in 1847, while on a European tour, he received word that his father had suffered a severe financial setback. Gray turned to law and entered Harvard Law School in 1848, graduating the following year. As an undergraduate, he had developed a great interest in botany and ornithology, exhibiting the ability to memorize and to categorize specimens. That aptitude marked Gray’s career in law....

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Oliver Wendell Holmes. Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92753).

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Holmes, Oliver Wendell (08 March 1841–06 March 1935), Supreme Court justice and scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Oliver Wendell Holmes, a physician and man of letters, and Amelia Lee Jackson, a leader of Boston society and charitable organizations. The elder Holmes, for whom the future justice was named, was one of the founders of the ...

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Joseph Story. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110196).

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Story, Joseph (18 September 1779–10 September 1845), U.S. Supreme Court justice, legal scholar, law professor, and congressman, was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the son of Elisha Story, a prominent physician and surgeon, and Mehitable Pedrick, the daughter of a wealthy Loyalist merchant who lost most of his fortune during the Revolution. Story’s father was an early patriot and a member of the Sons of Liberty. He participated in the Boston Tea Party and later served at Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Long Island, White Plains, and Trenton. Growing up in the aftermath of the Revolution, Joseph absorbed from both of his parents republican values, Unitarian theology, a heritage of Puritan idealism, a fierce sense of nationalism, and an unbending dedication to public service....