James Wayne (1790-1867)
Wayne was born in 1790 in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from the
College of New Jersey (now Princeton) in 1808, and returned to Savannah
and began a legal apprenticeship. Wayne served as both a judge and
legislator in Georgia, as well as mayor of Savannah. In 1829, Wayne
became a Congressman where he opposed John C. Calhoun's theory of
nullification. In early January 1835, Wayne was nominated to the seat
vacated by the death of South Carolinian William
Johnson. Wayne served on the Court from his confirmation on January
14, 1835 to his death 32 years later.
Wayne supported the rights of slaveowners and was a slaveholder himself. He was the only Justice to join Chief Justice Taney's opinion in Dred Scott. Despite such sympathies, Wayne was a Unionist who was declared a traitor to the South. Wayne beli8eved in the exclusivity of federal power to regulate interstate commerce. Although he spent 32 years on the Court, his influence was, at most, modest.
He died on July 7, 1867.
Further reading: Alexander A. Lawrence, James Moore Wayne, Southern Unionist (1943).