Samuel Milligan

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Samuel Milligan (November 16, 1814 – April 20, 1874) was an American attorney who served as a judge of the United States Court of Claims from 1868 to 1874, and Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court during the 1860s. He also served three terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1841–1846). He was a close friend and confidant of President Andrew Johnson.[1]

Born in Greene County, Tennessee, Milligan attended Greeneville College from 1834 to 1838 and Tusculum College from 1838 to 1843, and read law to enter the Bar in 1846. He was a classmate of future judge and historian Oliver Perry Temple.[1] A Democrat, Milligan was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives for three terms, from 1841 to 1846 (24th, 25th, and 26th General Assemblies). He represented Greene and Washington Counties in the 24th General Assembly, but, following redistricting, represented only Greene County in the 25th and 26th. He was in private practice in Greeneville, Tennessee from 1846 to 1847, and again from 1848 to 1860, interrupted by his service as a Major in the United States Army, Quartermasters Corps, during the Mexican-American War, from 1847 to 1848.[2] He was appointed Inspector General of the state militia by then-Governor Johnson in 1853,[3] and represented Tennessee on a commission to resolve a boundary dispute with Virginia in 1858. During the Civil War, he remained loyal to the Union,[1] and was present at the pro-Union East Tennessee Convention in April 1864.[4]

Milligan served three stints as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, first from 1860 to 1861, when he was also a delegate to the Peace Conference of 1861 in Washington, D.C., then from 1864 to 1867, and again from 1867 to 1868.[5] In 1868, Milligan was nominated by President Johnson for a seat on the United States Court of Claims. Confirmed by the United States Senate, he received his commission on July 25, 1868,[2] and served thereafter until his death in Washington, D.C., in 1874.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Oliver Perry Temple, Mary Boyce Temple (ed.), "Sam Milligan," Notable Men of Tennessee (Cosmopolitan Press, 1912), pp. 152-158.
  2. ^ a b Federal Judicial Center entry on Samuel Milligan. Accessed 17 December 2014.
  3. ^ Andrew Johnson, LeRoy Graf (ed.), Ralph Haskins (ed.), The Papers of Andrew Johnson: 1852-1857 (University of Tennessee Press, 1967), p. 186.
  4. ^ Hans Louis Trefousse, Andrew Johnson: A Biography (American Political Biography Press, 1989), p. 174.
  5. ^ Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society entry on Samuel Milligan. Accessed 17 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Hon. Samuel Milligan," Knoxville Chronicle, 22 April 1874, p. 4.