Henry Potter (judge)

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Henry Potter
Judge Henry Potter.JPG
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina
In office
April 7, 1802 – December 20, 1857
Appointed byThomas Jefferson
Preceded byJohn Sitgreaves
Succeeded byAsa Biggs
Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit
In office
May 9, 1801 – April 7, 1802
Appointed byThomas Jefferson
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byEdward Harris
Personal details
Born(1766-01-05)January 5, 1766
Mecklenburg County, Virginia, British America
DiedDecember 20, 1857(1857-12-20) (aged 91)
Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican

Henry Potter (January 5, 1766 – December 20, 1857) was the longest-serving United States federal judge to sit on a single court and the longest-serving judge in active service. Judge Potter served on the United States circuit court for the Fifth Circuit from May 1801 until April 1802, and then served (through various redistricting schemes) as the sole judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina from 1802 to 1857.[1]

Early life[edit]

Henry Potter was born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia to John Potter and Mary Howard Hawkins. He moved with his parents to Granville County, North Carolina, where is spent his childhood.[2] Potter became an attorney by reading law sometime around 1790, and had a private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina from about 1792 to 1802.[1] Potter married Sylvania Williams in 1799.[2]

Career[edit]

He received a recess appointment from Thomas Jefferson on May 9, 1801, to a new seat on the Fifth Circuit created by 2 Stat. 89. He was formally nominated to that seat on January 6, 1802, confirmed by the United States Senate on January 26, 1802, and received his commission that day. On April 6, 1802, he was nominated by Jefferson to a seat vacated by John Sitgreaves on what was then known as the United States District Courts, Albemarle, Cape Fear & Pamptico Districts of North Carolina. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 7, 1802 (thus terminating his service on the Fifth Circuit in favor of his new position), and received his commission the same day. He thereafter served as a District Court judge for over 55 years, until his death on December 20, 1857.

Potter became a trustee of the University of North Carolina in 1799, and held that position until his death, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He published various books, including an 1816 tract on the Duties of a Justice of the Peace, and, with John Louis Taylor and Bartlett Yancey, an 1821 revision of the two-volume Law of the State of North Carolina.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Potter, Henry | Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  2. ^ a b "Potter, Henry | NCpedia". www.ncpedia.org. Retrieved 2017-11-20.

Sources[edit]

See also[edit]

Legal offices
New seat Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Fifth Circuit
1801–1802
Succeeded by
Edward Harris
Preceded by
John Sitgreaves
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Carolina
1802–1857
Succeeded by
Asa Biggs