James Moore Wayne

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James Moore Wayne
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
In office
January 14, 1835 – July 5, 1867
Nominated by Andrew Jackson
Preceded by William Johnson
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1829 – January 13, 1835
Preceded by George R. Gilmer
Succeeded by Jabez Y. Jackson
Personal details
Born 1790
Savannah, Georgia
Died July 5, 1867(1867-07-05)
Washington, D.C.
Religion Episcopalian [1]

James Moore Wayne (1790 – July 5, 1867) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and was a United States Representative from Georgia.


Wayne in his elder years

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Wayne was the son of Richard Wayne, who came to the U.S. in 1760 and married, on Sept. 14, 1769, Elizabeth Clifford (? - 1804), born in Charleston, S.C. Wayne graduated from Princeton University in 1808, read law to be admitted to the bar in 1810, and began his practice in Savannah. He served in the United States Army during the War of 1812, from 1812 to 1815, as an officer in the Georgia Hussars. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1815 to 181. He then served as the mayor of Savannah from September 8, 1817 to July 12, 1819, thereafter returning to private practice in Savannah until 1824.

He then served as a judge, first of the Court of Common Pleas in Savannah, Georgia from 1819 to 1824, and then of the Superior Court of Georgia from 1824 to 1829, until he was elected as a Jacksonian to the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1829, to January 13, 1835. He resigned to accept the appointment as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. He was nominated by President Andrew Jackson on January 6, 1835, to a seat vacated by William Johnson, and was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 14, 1835, receiving his commission the same day. He served on the court from January 14, 1835 to his death on July 5, 1867. He favored free trade, opposed internal improvements by Congress (except of rivers and harbors), and opposed the rechartering of the United States Bank.[2]

While Justice Wayne himself remained loyal to the Union, his son Henry C. Wayne served as a general in the Confederate Army.

Wayne died in Washington, D.C., and was interred in Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia. His sister Mary was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. In 1831, he sold his home to William Washington Gordon, Juliette's grandfather. This home is now called the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace.

In order to prevent President Andrew Johnson from appointing any justices, Congress passed the Judicial Circuits Act in 1866, eliminating three of the ten seats from the Supreme Court as they became vacant, and thus reducing the size of the court to seven justices. The vacancy caused by the death of Justice John Catron in 1865 had not been filled, so upon Wayne's death, there were eight justices on the court. In 1869, Congress passed the Circuit Judges Act, setting the court at nine members. With Wayne's and Catron's seats remaining vacant, the Court had eight justices at the time of this Act, so one new seat was created. The new seat was ultimately filled on March 21, 1870, by Joseph Philo Bradley. (In the meanwhile, William Strong had filled the seat vacated by Robert Cooper Grier.)

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Abraham, Henry J. (1992). Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506557-3. 
  • Cushman, Clare (2001). The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–1995 (2nd ed.). (Supreme Court Historical Society, Congressional Quarterly Books). ISBN 1-56802-126-7. 
  • Flanders, Henry. The Lives and Times of the Chief Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1874 at Google Books.
  • Frank, John P. (1995). Friedman, Leon; Israel, Fred L., eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-7910-1377-4. 
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. (1992). The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505835-6. 
  • Martin, Fenton S.; Goehlert, Robert U. (1990). The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Books. ISBN 0-87187-554-3. 
  • Urofsky, Melvin I. (1994). The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland Publishing. p. 590. ISBN 0-8153-1176-1. 
  • White, G. Edward. The Marshall Court & Cultural Change, 1815-35. Published in an abridged edition, 1991.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Charlton
Mayor of Savannah, Georgia
Succeeded by
Thomas Charlton
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Rockingham Gilmer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1829 – January 13, 1835
Succeeded by
Jabez Y. Jackson
Legal offices
Preceded by
William Johnson
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
January 14, 1835 – July 5, 1867
Succeeded by
None (Seat Abolished)