William & Mary | Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Database


Washington, Bushrod (1762-1829)

Washington, Bushrod (1762-1829)
Historical Note
Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 - November 26, 1829) is perhaps most noted for his long career on the U.S. Supreme Court as one of the Justices that made up the Marshall Court. The nephew of George Washington, he authored the famous opinion of [i]Corfield v. Coryell[/i], 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (C.C.E.D. Penn. 1823), while riding circuit as an Associate Justice. In Corfield, Washington listed several rights traditionally viewed to be "fundamental." This list of fundamental rights has profoundly influenced later Consitutional jurisprudence, particularly with respect to the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

Washington was nominated for the court after another Federalist, John Marshall, turned John Adams down and endorsed him. He became an associate justice on February 4, 1799, at the age of 36. After Marshall became Chief Justice two years later, he voted with Marshall on all but three occasions (one being [i]Ogden v. Saunders[/i]). In 1816, he helped create the American Colonization Society. Justice Washington was an owner (and seller) of slaves.

He was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and graduated from the College of William and Mary, where he was one of the first members of Phi Beta Kappa. George Washington sponsored Bushrod's legal studies with fellow Founder James Wilson.

He inherited Mount Vernon from his uncle when Washington died in 1799.

Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: Bushrod Washington



17 august 2007

By this creator

Records or Manuscript Collections
Bushrod Washington to George Turberville, 1787