Robert H. Harrison

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Robert Harrison
Robert Hanson Harrison.jpg
Personal details
Born 1745
Charles County, Maryland,
British America
Died 2 April 1790 (aged 44–45)
Charles County, Maryland,
Political party Federalist

Robert Hanson Harrison (1745 – April 2, 1790) was an American jurist.

Harrison began his legal career in Alexandria, Virginia, which is where he met George Washington. He began the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant in the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. In 1775 he became an aide-de-camp to General Washington with the rank of lieutenant colonel. The next year he succeeded Joseph Reed as military secretary to Washington, and served in that role until 1781.

He served as the Chief Justice of the General Court of Maryland from 1781 to 1789. Washington nominated Harrison to the Supreme Court of the United States as an Associate Justice on September 24, 1789. The United States Senate confirmed his appointment on September 26, 1789, and Washington signed Harrison's commission on September 28, 1789. However, Harrison declined to serve as Associate Justice, citing health reasons. The seat eventually went to James Iredell. In the U.S. presidential election of 1789, Harrison, a de facto member of the Federalist Party, received 6 electoral votes.

Harrison died in Charles County, Maryland. His parents were Richard Harrison, a member of the Maryland legislature, and Dorothy Hanson. He was married twice, and had two daughters, Sarah and Dorothy.


  • "Harrison, Robert Hanson". West's Encyclopedia of American Law (2 ed.). Retrieved 2014-03-24.

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