World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Smith Thompson

Article Id: WHEBN0027419495
Reproduction Date:

Title: Smith Thompson  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: James Moore Wayne, Gabriel Duvall, Roger B. Taney, Henry Brockholst Livingston, John Catron
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Smith Thompson

Smith Thompson
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
September 1, 1823 – December 18, 1843
Nominated by James Monroe
Preceded by Henry Brockholst Livingston
Succeeded by Samuel Nelson
Personal details
Born (1768-01-17)January 17, 1768
Amenia, New York
Died December 18, 1843(1843-12-18) (aged 75)
Political party Democratic-Republican,
National Republican
Alma mater College of New Jersey
Profession Lawyer, Politician, Judge
Religion Presbyterian

Smith Thompson (January 17, 1768 – December 18, 1843) was a United States Secretary of the Navy from 1818 to 1823, and a United States Supreme Court Associate Justice from 1823 until his death in 1843.

Life and career

Born in Amenia, New York,[1] Thompson graduated from Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey) in 1788, taught for a short period thereafter, then studied law under James Kent and subsequently set up a law practice.[2] He practiced in Troy, New York from 1792 to 1793, and in Poughkeepsie, New York from 1793 to 1802.[1] He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1800, and attended the New York Constitutional Convention of 1801.[1] He was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court in 1802, serving as Associate Justice from 1802 to 1814, and Chief Justice from 1814 to 1818.[1] His wife Susanna was a member of the Livingston family.

He was a founding vice president of the American Bible Society and provided a copy to every officer and enlisted man in the Navy.

He was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President James Monroe, and campaigned for the Democratic-Republican presidential nomination in 1824. When Andrew Jackson won the nomination, Thompson only reluctantly accepted his appointment to the United States Supreme Court.[3] Thompson received a recess appointment from President James Monroe on September 1, 1823, to a seat vacated by Henry Brockholst Livingston.[1] Formally nominated on December 5, 1823, Thompson was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 9, 1823, and received his commission the same day.[1] He did not give up his political ambitions there, and took the — now considered unusual, but then quite common — step of running for political office from the bench; however, his 1828 bid for Governor of New York was unsuccessful, unlike the example of Chief Justice John Jay, who had been elected governor in 1795. Thereafter he mostly exited political life, and on the court was a staunch opponent of Chief Justice John Marshall.[4]

USS Smith Thompson (DD-212) was named for him.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Smith Thompson at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  2. ^ Tomlins, Christopher, ed. (2005). The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice (Houghton Mifflin), p. 522. ISBN 0-618-32969-2.
  3. ^ Smith, Jean Edward (1998). John Marshall: Definer of a Nation (Macmillan), p. 470.
  4. ^ Tomlins (2005), p. 522.

Further reading

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Benjamin W. Crowninshield
United States Secretary of the Navy
January 1, 1819 – August 31, 1823
Succeeded by
Samuel L. Southard
Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry Brockholst Livingston
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
September 1, 1823 – December 18, 1843
Succeeded by
Samuel Nelson
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.