Gabriel Duvall (1752 - 1844)

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Birthplace: Prince George's, MD, USA
Death: Died in Glenn Dale, MD, USA
Occupation: Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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Immediate Family

About Gabriel Duvall

Find A Grave Memorial # 5853

Gabriel Duvall (December 6, 1752 – March 6, 1844) was an American politician and jurist.


Born in Prince George's County, Maryland, Duvall read law to enter the Bar in 1778. He was a clerk for the Maryland Council of Safety from 1775 to 1777, and for the Maryland House of Delegates from 1777 to 1781. He participated in the American Revolutionary War, first as a Mustermaster and commissary of stores in 1776, then as a private in the Maryland militia, where he fought in the battles of Brandywine and Morristown. He was a Commissioner to preserve confiscated British property from 1781 to 1782, then a member, Maryland Governor's Council from 1782 to 1785. He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, serving there from 1787 to 1794. He served one term as a U.S. Representative from the second district of Maryland, from November 11, 1794, to March 28, 1796. He was then Chief Justice of the Maryland General Court from 1796 to 1802, and was the first U.S. Comptroller of the Treasury from 1802 to 1811.

On November 15, 1811, Duvall was nominated by President James Madison to an Associate Justice seat on the Supreme Court of the United States vacated by fellow Marylander Samuel Chase Duvall was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 18, 1811, and received his commission the same day.

In the twenty-three years he sat on the Supreme Court, Duvall penned an opinion in only seventeen cases. For all of Duvall’s tenure, John Marshall presided as Chief Justice. In only two cases, does the record show the two men holding different opinions. In Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, Duvall offered only a brief note calling attention to French law on the irrevocability of royal charters. In Mima Queen v. Hepburn, Duvall would have authorized the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia to accept hearsay evidence proving the emancipation of a slave by her owner, but the rest of the Court, per the Chief Justice, decided against it. He served until January 12, 1835, when he resigned due to old age.

Death and legacy:

Duvall lived for nine years after he retired, and died in Prince George's County, Maryland. Justice Duvall's home, Marietta House Museum, is open to the public and is operated as an historic house museum by M-NCPPC.

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Gabriel Duvall, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court's Timeline

December 6, 1752
Prince George's, MD, USA
- 1796
Age 41
The United States of America
- 1835
Age 58
Washington D.C., United States
March 6, 1844
Age 91
Glenn Dale, MD, USA