Samuel Benedict

Judge

1792 – 1854

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Who was Samuel Benedict?

Samuel Benedict was a Liberian politician and jurist who served as the 1st Chief Justice of Liberia. He was born a slave in the U.S. state of Georgia in 1792, and purchased his freedom and that of his family. He emigrated to Liberia in 1835, on the ship Indiana.

Prior to Liberia’s independence, Benedict was a judge of the Superior Court and a merchant. He later presided over the Liberian Constitutional Convention of 1847, which officially provided Liberia’s independence from the American Colonization Society. He was one of Montserrado County’s delegates at the convention and a signer of the Liberian Declaration of Independence.

Representing the Anti-Administration Party, Benedict was defeated by longtime political foe Joseph Jenkins Roberts in the 1847 election to serve as Liberia’s first president.

Benedict later became the first Chief Justice of the Liberian Supreme Court. He died in 1854.

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Born
1792
Georgia
Died
1854
Monrovia

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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