Philip Pendleton Barbour

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Philip Pendleton Barbour
PPBarbour.jpg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
March 15, 1836[1] – February 25, 1841
Nominated by Andrew Jackson
Preceded by Gabriel Duvall
Succeeded by Peter V. Daniel
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
In office
October 8, 1830 – March 17, 1836
Preceded by George Hay
Succeeded by Peter Vivian Daniel
12th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
December 4, 1821 – March 4, 1823
President James Monroe
Preceded by John W. Taylor
Succeeded by Henry Clay
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1827 – October 15, 1830
Preceded by Robert Taylor
Succeeded by John M. Patton
In office
September 19, 1814 – March 3, 1825
Preceded by John Dawson
Succeeded by Robert Taylor
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Orange County
In office
1812 – 1813
Alongside Lawrence Dade and Robert Mallory
Personal details
Born (1783-05-25)May 25, 1783
Orange County, Virginia
Died February 25, 1841(1841-02-25) (aged 57)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Democratic
Alma mater The College of William & Mary
Profession Law
Religion Episcopalian

Philip Pendleton Barbour (May 25, 1783 – February 25, 1841) was a U.S. Congressman from Virginia and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was also the brother of Virginia governor and U.S. Secretary of War James Barbour as well as the first cousin of John S. Barbour and first cousin, once removed of John S. Barbour, Jr..

Biography[edit]

Barbour was born near Gordonsville, Orange County, Virginia. He was named for his ancestor Philip Pendleton through whom he was related to politician and judge, Edmund Pendleton. He attended common and private schools and graduated from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1799. A year later he was admitted to the bar, and began practicing law in Bardstown, Kentucky. In 1801, he moved his law practice to Gordonsville in Orange County, Virginia.

Barbour started his public life as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1812 to 1814. When U.S. Representative John Dawson died, Barbour won the special election to fill the seat, and served as a Democratic-Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives from September 19, 1814 to March 4, 1825, reaching the office of Speaker from 1821 to 1823.

He declined to run for re-election in 1824 and turned down an offer to become the professor of law in the University of Virginia in 1825. Instead, he was appointed a judge of the general court of Virginia and served for two years, resigning in 1827 to return to his seat in the House of Representatives as a Jacksonian. For the first two years of his second stint in the House, he was chair of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. In 1829 he was president of the Virginia constitutional convention, while remaining a Representative.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Barbour turned down offers of a chancellorship and the post of U.S. Attorney General before finally resigning October 15, 1830 to accept President Jackson's appointment to be judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Jackson appointed Barbour by recess appointment on October 8, 1830, to a seat on that court vacated by George Hay. Barbour was formally nominated on December 14, 1830, and two days later he was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission, serving thereafter until March 17, 1836.[2]

Barbour continued to receive offers: he refused nominations for judge of the court of appeals, for Governor, and for United States Senator. In 1832, Democrats unhappy with the selection of Martin Van Buren as their party's vice-presidential nominee held a convention in Virginia, at which they nominated Jackson for president and Barbour for vice president.[3] Barbour eventually withdrew his candidacy and endorsed the Jackson-Van Buren ticket, but the alternative Democratic ticket still appeared on the ballot in several Southern states.[4]

Finally, he was offered and accepted an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nominated by Jackson on December 28, 1835, to a seat vacated by Gabriel Duvall, Barbour was confirmed by the Senate, and received his commission, on March 15, 1836. Barbour served until his death in Washington, D.C., on February 25, 1841. He died during the arguments of John Quincy Adams in the Amistad Case.

He built a large and graceful brick home in Orange County, Virginia called "Frascati". Historians often say that he was born at "Frascati", but it did not exist at his birth. His brother, James Barbour, also build a beautiful plantation house. His was designed by Thomas Jefferson. One can see the Jeffersonian influence in Frascati as it is very much like Barboursville and was erected by the same workmen who built the University of Virginia and Barboursville.

Philip Pendleton Barbour was buried in the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Namesakes[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Dawson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th congressional district

September 19, 1814 – March 3, 1825
Succeeded by
Robert Taylor
Preceded by
Robert Taylor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th congressional district

March 4, 1827 – October 15, 1830
Succeeded by
John M. Patton
Political offices
Preceded by
John W. Taylor
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
December 4, 1821 – March 4, 1823
Succeeded by
Henry Clay
Legal offices
Preceded by
George Hay
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
October 8, 1830 – March 17, 1836
Succeeded by
Peter Vivian Daniel
Preceded by
Gabriel Duval
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
March 15, 1836 – February 25, 1841
Succeeded by
Peter Vivian Daniel