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Supreme Court Justices

Samuel Blatchford (1820-1893)

Samuel Blatchford was born in New York City on March 9, 1820. His father Richard was a lawyer. His mother was Julia Mumford. Blatchford read law in the offices of William Seward, a governor of New York and later Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War. In 1842, he married Caroline Appleton. Blatchford practiced law with his father in New York, and with Seward in Auburn, New York. He was appointed a federal district court judge in 1867, and was named to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1878. In 1882, Blatchford was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Chester Arthur, and he was quickly confirmed by the Senate. Blatchford remained on the Court for eleven years. He was considered a centrist on a Court that, during the Gilded Age, was becoming more divided.

Further reading: Aviam Soifer, Samuel Blatchford, in The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (1992).