Joseph Story

U.S. Congressperson

1779 – 1845

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Who was Joseph Story?

Joseph Story was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1845. He is most remembered for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and The Amistad case, and especially for his magisterial Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first published in 1833. Dominating the field in the 19th century, this work is a cornerstone of early American jurisprudence. It is the second comprehensive treatise on the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and remains a critical source of historical information about the forming of the American republic and the early struggles to define its law.

Story opposed Jacksonian democracy, saying it was "oppression" of property rights by republican governments when popular majorities began to restrict and erode the property rights of the minority of rich men. R. Kent Newmyer presents Story as a "Statesman of the Old Republic" who tried to be above democratic politics and to shape the law in accordance with the republicanism of Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall and the New England Whigs of the 1820s and '30s, including Daniel Webster.

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Born
Sep 18, 1779
Marblehead
Children
Religion
  • Christian Unitarianism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Harvard University
Died
Sep 10, 1845
Cambridge
Resting place
Mount Auburn Cemetery

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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