Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 - November 26, 1829) is perhaps most noted for his long career on the U.S. Supreme Court as one of the Justices that made up the Marshall Court. The nephew of George Washington, he authored the famous opinion of Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (C.C.E.D. Penn. 1823), while riding circuit as an Associate Justice. In Corfield, Washington listed several rights traditionally viewed to be "fundamental." This list of fundamental rights has profoundly influenced later Consitutional jurisprudence, particularly with respect to the Privileges and Immunities Clause. Washington was nominated for the court after another Federalist, John Marshall, turned John Adams down and endorsed him. He became an associate justice on February 4, 1799, at the age of 36. After Marshall became Chief Justice two years later, he voted with Marshall on all but three occasions (one being Ogden v. Saunders). In 1816, he helped create the American Colonization Society. Justice Washington was an owner (and seller) of slaves. He was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and attended the College of William and Mary in 1778, where he was one of the first members of Phi Beta Kappa. George Washington sponsored Bushrod's legal studies with fellow Founder James Wilson. He inherited Mount Vernon from his uncle when the latter died in 1799.
Material in the Special Collections Research Center
- SCRC file.
- Provisional List of Alumni.
To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center.
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