Joseph Story (Supreme Court Justice)
Joseph Story

Joseph Story was an American lawyer and jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1812 to 1845, during the Marshall Court and early-Taney Court eras. He is most remembered for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee and The Amistad case, and especially for his magisterial Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, first published in 1833. Dominating the field in the 19th century, this work is a cornerstone of early American jurisprudence. It is the second comprehensive treatise on the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and remains a critical source of historical information about the forming of the American republic and the early struggles to define its law. Story opposed Jacksonian democracy, saying it was “oppression” of property rights by republican governments when popular majorities began to restrict and erode the property rights of the minority of rich men.

Born: September 18, 1779, Marblehead, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: September 10, 1845, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party: Democratic-Republican
Alma mater: Harvard University (BA, LL.D)
Preceded by: William Cushing
Succeeded by: Levi Woodbury

About Joseph Story

Served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1811 to 1845.

Before Fame

He graduated from Harvard College in 1798.


He was one of the youngest associate justices appointed to the Supreme Court, attaining the position at 32 years old.

Family Life

He married Sarah Waldo Wetmore in 1808.


He was nominated to the Supreme Court by President James Madison.

Information related to Joseph Story

  • United States federal judges appointed by James Madison
  • United States constitutional law scholars
  • Massachusetts Democratic-Republicans
  • Speakers of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Hall of Fame for Great Americans inductees
  • Burials at Mount Auburn Cemetery
  • Harvard Law School faculty
  • American Unitarians
  • Members of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • 19th-century American judges
  • Members of the American Antiquarian Society

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Latest information about Joseph Story updated on September 09, 2020.

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