Jacob Brinkerhoff

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Jacob Brinkerhoff
Jacob Brinkerhoff.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847
Preceded byBenjamin S. Cowen
Succeeded byJohn K. Miller
Ohio Supreme Court Justice
In office
February 9, 1856 – February 9, 1871
Preceded byWilliam Kennon, Sr.
Succeeded byGeorge W. McIlvaine
Personal details
Born(1810-08-31)August 31, 1810
Niles, New York
DiedJuly 19, 1880(1880-07-19) (aged 69)
Mansfield, Ohio
Resting placeMansfield Cemetery
Political party
  • Caroline Campbell
  • Marian Titus

Jacob Brinkerhoff (August 31, 1810 – July 19, 1880) was an American jurist, Congressman, and author of the Wilmot Proviso.

Life and career[edit]

Brinkerhoff was born in Niles, Cayuga County, New York. He was schooled at the academy at Prattsburgh, New York, and studied law in the office of Howell and Bro. Two years later he moved to Mansfield, Ohio, where in 1837 he was admitted to the bar and began to practice in partnership with Thomas W. Bartley.[1] In October of that year he married Carolina Campbell, who died in 1839. He married, secondly, Marian Titus, of Detroit, Michigan, by whom he had two sons and two daughters.[1]

He was prosecuting attorney for Richland County, Ohio, from 1839 to 1843, and was then elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847), where he was chairman of the Committee on Invalid Pensions (Twenty-eighth Congress). He became affiliated with the Free Soil party and drew up the famous resolution known as the Wilmot Proviso; the original draft in his handwriting is in the Congressional Library.

Several copies of this resolution were made and distributed among the Free Soil members of Congress, with the understanding that whoever among them should catch the speaker's eye and get the floor should introduce it. David Wilmot chanced to be that man, and, therefore, the proviso bears his name instead of Brinkerhoff's.

At the close of his Congressional career, he resumed his law practice at Mansfield. In 1856, he was elected to Ohio Supreme Court, where he served as Chief Justice from 1859 until 1871, being succeeded by Josiah Scott. He dissented in the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue case of 1858, a test of the Fugitive Slave Law, arguing that slavery was solely a state institution, that should enjoy no protection at the federal level.[1] He became affiliated with the Republican Party on its formation in 1856, and was an alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio in 1868. He died in Mansfield, and was buried in Mansfield Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c "Jacob Brinkerhoff". The Supreme Court of Ohio and The Ohio Judicial System.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Benjamin S. Cowen
United States Representative from Ohio's 11th congressional district
Succeeded by
John K. Miller
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Kennon, Sr.
Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court
Succeeded by
George W. McIlvaine