Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1762 - 1829) MP

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Birthplace: Westmoreland, Westmoreland, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation: Supreme Court Judge
Managed by: Holly Dianne Faulkner
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About Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court


Favorite nephew of President George Washington. In 1802, upon the death of his aunt, Martha Washington, he inherited Mount Vernon and a part of the estate. Also mentioned in his father's will.

Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 – November 26, 1829) was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice and the nephew of George Washington.

Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and was the son of John Augustine Washington. He graduated from the College of William and Mary, where he was one of the first members of Phi Beta Kappa. His uncle sponsored Bushrod's legal studies with fellow Founder James Wilson. He inherited Mount Vernon from George after the latter died in 1799.[1]

Washington received a recess appointment to the seat vacated by James Wilson on September 29, 1798,[2] after another Federalist, John Marshall, turned John Adams down and endorsed Washington. Formally nominated on December 19, 1798, he was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1798, and received his commission the same day. He became an associate justice on February 4, 1799, at the age of 36. After Marshall became Chief Justice two years later, he voted with Marshall on all but three occasions (one being Ogden v. Saunders).

While serving on the Marshall Court, he authored the opinion of Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (C.C.E.D. Penn. 1823), while riding circuit as an Associate Justice.[3] In Corfield, Washington listed several rights traditionally viewed to be "fundamental." This list of fundamental rights has profoundly influenced later Constitutional jurisprudence, particularly with respect to the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

In 1816, he helped create the American Colonization Society and held the position as its first president for his entire life. Justice Washington was an owner (and seller) of slaves.[4]

Washington died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] His remains are imposingly interred at Mount Vernon, along with his wife (who died of grief within two days of his demise).[5]


  1. Guide to American Presidents - GEORGE WASHINGTON 1732-99 - 1st PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 1789-97 "Family Essay". "George Washington's nephew Bushrod Washington was an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1798 to 1829 when that institution was at perhaps its greatest importance in shaping the young republic. He was considered to have a slow mind and he may also have had poor judgement in worldly matters (he was enthusiastic about the Society of the Cincinnati in correspondence with his famous uncle). But he made up for that with the clarity of his legal judgements. His uncle bequeathed Bushrod his library and personal papers. Eventually (after Martha's death) Bushrod inherited Mount Vernon itself. He oversaw preparation of John Marshall's five-volume work The Life of Washington (1804-7)."
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Bushrod Washington, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court's Timeline

June 5, 1762
Westmoreland, Westmoreland, Virginia, United States
Age 15
William & Mary College, Williamsburg, VA.
Age 22
"Rippon Lodge", Va
November 26, 1829
Age 67
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 66
Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia, United States