Gabriel Duvall, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court

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Gabriel Gabariel Duvall (Duval)

Birthdate: (91)
Birthplace: Prince George's County, Maryland, United States
Death: March 6, 1844 (91)
Glenn Dale, Prince George's County, Maryland, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin DuVal, II and Susanna / Susannah Duvall
Husband of Mary Bryce
Father of Edmund DuVal
Brother of Benjamin Duvall, Sr.; Elizabeth Clarke; Sarah DuVall; Delilah DuVal; Edward DuVall and 4 others

Occupation: Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Justice, Supreme Court Justice
Managed by: Thad A Broom, Jr
Last Updated:

About Gabriel Duvall, Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court

Marietta House

Built between 1812 and 1816 by Judge Gabriel Duvall. Probably built with slave labor and from bricks manufactured on the property or nearby.

Grandson Edmund Bryce DuVal inherited the house and 325 acres upon the death of his grandfather in 1844.

Edmund and his wife Caroline Lansdale DuVal lived at Marietta after their marriage in 1846. Their eleven children were born and raised there. EBDII died in 1878 and his wife Caroline in 1890.

Great grandson and oldest surviving son of Edmund and Caroline, Gabriel DuVal bought the house and 95 acres from his mother's estate in 1892. He and his wife Elizabeth lived there with her two children and their four children. Elizabeth died in 1896; Gabriel sold the house in 1902 and moved his family to Baltimore.

William and Mary Bowie bought the house and 95 acres for $5,250 in 1902 . They owned the house until their deaths in 1930. Having no children they left the house and property to a nephew.

Hunter Bennett from West Virginia inherited the property in 1930. He never lived in the house but rented it as a tenant farm.

Tenants, the Dodd family lived at Marietta from 1935-1941. The first electricity and flush toilet were installed in 1936.

William and Mary-Eula Blair purchased the house and 95 acres in 1941. Among their improvements to the house were oak flooring over the worn and damaged pine floors, installing three full bathrooms, central heat and book shelves in the parlor.

The last private owners of the house were Paul and Margaret Hale Scherer. They continued improvements to the property. In the 1950's Mr. Scherer designed and built a geothermal central air conditioning system for the house. Members of the 1950's NASA "brain trust" met and socialized in the parlor of Marietta.

In 1968 the Scherers sold the house and 25 acres to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for $165,000 with a life tenancy clause. The Scherers that same year removed the old kitchen and built an apartment wing. They resided at Marietta until 1978 when they moved to Oregon.

In 1980 the National Quilting Association entered into an agreement to use the house as their headquarters. That agreement was terminated in 1983.

In 1985 the Prince George's County Historical Society were invited to make Marietta their headquarters. In 1989 with approval of the Commission they opened the house as a museum.

In 1991 the Commission hired the first part time museum manager.

The Life of Gabriel Duvall

Public Life

Read the law with John Hall in Annapolis 1772-'74

Admitted to the Prince George's County Bar in 1778

Admitted to the Annapolis' Mayor's Court by 1781

Admitted to Anne Arundel County Bar by 1783

Appointed Clerk of the House of Delegates 11/17/73; reappointed 3/74; and 1777.

Elected member of the Council of Safety in Annapolis 8/29/75 (Served 1775-77)

Clerk of the Maryland Convention (Executive body of the aforementioned) 1775

Named Musterman and Commissary of Stores for the Maryland Militia 1/3/76

Served in Md. Militia at Morristown and Brandywine

Elected Clerk of the Commission to Preserve and Sell Confiscated British Property 2/27/81

Elected Commissioner of the aforementioned 7/13/81 (Served as an agent of this Commission from 1781-1785)

Appointed Prosecutor of Mayor's Court (1781-1785)

Elected Recorder of Mayor's Court 10/8/87; Reelected 1/9/89; Reelected for terms 1790-1794 and again 1797-1799 and in1802

Selected as member of Governor's (William Paca) Council 11/21/82 (1782-1783); reappointed 11/27/83 (83-84); resigned 7/2/84 over law giving the Governor too much power

Elected member of Governor's (Wm. Smallwood) Council 11/25/85 (1785-1786); resigned 4/20/86

Elected Delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 4/23/87 - declined the position along with the other 4 persons elected with him; new elections were held for a different slate of five persons, three of whom eventually signed the U.S. Constitution.

Elected Delegate to the Md. General Assembly's House of Delegates 10/4/87 (1788-1789); one of two persons representing the city of Annapolis (Served 5 terms); Reelected 10/8/89 (1790-1791); Reelected 10/6/91 (1792-1793); Reelected 10/4/92 (1793-1794); Reelected 10/7/93 (1794-1795) Resigned to serve in the US House of Representatives

Clerk of the Annapolis Corporation Council , 1790-1794 and 1801-1802

Appointed Major in the Militia of Anne Arundel County 6/12/94

Elected Representative to the U.S. House of Representatives 5/ 23/94 upon the resignation of John Mercer representing the 2nd District of Maryland

Seated in Congress Hall, Philadelphia 5/31/94 , 3rd U.S. Congress; reelected for full term 10/10/94 (4th U.S. Congress); resigned seat 3/28/96

Appointed Judge of the Maryland General Court 4/2/96. (Served 1796-1802)

Elected 11/12/96 as an Elector in the Presidential election 1796 representing Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City. (Defeated Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 76 to 41) Controversy as Duvall was sitting judge and electors cannot hold positions of "public trust" and serve as electors) Duvall cast his vote for the losing Presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson.

Reelected as Elector in 1800 representing the 5th District; defeated Jeremiah Chase in Baltimore City, 1,497 to 439. Total in District (Baltimore.& A. A. Co.) for G.D. - 2,379 votes. Again cast his vote, this time for the successful Presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson

Appointed Elector to select Md. Senator to U.S. Senate. Convened 9/24/01 - Duvall elected President of the elector panel.

Named Commissioner (one of three) to ascertain Maryland's western and southern borders (boundaries with Virginia)

Appointed first Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury by President Thomas Jefferson, 12/15/02; Resigned 11/21/1811

Elected Trustee (one of 12) of "Permanent Institution for the Education of Youth in the City of Washington" (1st District of Columbia Public School board) 8/14/05

Appointed Chancellor and Judge of the Land Office 1806 DECLINED

Appointed Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by President James Madison 11/15/1811; confirmed 11/18/1811

First case heard 2/3/1812; Resigned 1/15/1835 and retired to Marietta

Private Life

Born December 6, 1752 to Benjamin (1719-1801) and Susannah Tyler (1718-1794 ) Duvall, probably at father's farm on the Northwest Corner of Darnall's Grove. Grandparents: Benjamin (c. 1687 -1774) and Sophia Griffith 1692-1730) Duvall. Great-grandparents: Mareen DuVal (called the Immigrant) who was born in France. He was a Huguenot and went to England to escape religious persecution. He changed his name to Duvall, indentured himself to John Covell and came to Maryland in the 1650's. He completed his indenture in 1659 and received 50 acres of land. By the time of his death in 1694 he was considered a gentleman and was a major landowner in Anne Arundel County. He married Susannah in 1673 and with her had seven children of whom Benjamin was the youngest.

Had 9 siblings; he was the 2nd son, 6th child

Received a classical education under tutelage of Alexander Irwin and Samuel Duvall Beck

Read the law in Annapolis under supervision of John Hall- 1772

Pledged funds for the building of St. John's College in Annapolis in 1786

Married Mary Brice (1761-1790) of Annapolis July 24, 1787

Only son Edmund Brice Duvall born January 25, 1790

Wife Mary died March 24, 1790

Pledged funds for the building of St. Anne's Church (Episcopal) in Annapolis, 1790

Sent infant son to family farm in Prince George's County to be raised by grandparents and aunts Sarah and Delilah

Married Jane Gibbon (1757-1834) of Philadelphia, May 5, 1795

Moved to Annapolis with Jane after resigning from Congress and accepting appointment to Maryland General Court, 1796

Official records and other documents showed that Duvall owned 9 enslaved people in 1799; his father owned 8. The 1828 tax list showed that he owned 34 enslaved people, and 37 enslaved people were listed in the inventory taken of his property after his death in 1844. In 1818 he advertised in the National Intelligencer on October 12 for an overseer to manage a farm of about 700 acres and 20 slaves. When Edmund and Augusta died their 9 slaves then belonged to their children. Six of them resided at Marietta.

Moved to Washington D.C. after accepting appointment as Comptroller of the US, 1802

Accepted appointment as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, Nov. 1811

c. 1812-1815 began building Marietta on property owned in Prince George's County

Grandson Marcus born, December 3, 1824. Died January 1, 1873.

Grandson Edmund Bryce II born March 20, 1826. Died May 23, 1878

Granddaughter Mary Frances born April 6, 1827. Died in adulthood.

Granddaughter Gabriella Augusta born July 18, 1831

Daughter-in- law Augusta C. McCausland DuVal died October 7, 1832

Grandchildren, Marcus, Edmund and Gabriella came to Marietta to live under the guardianship of their grandfather, Gabriel Duvall. Granddaughter Mary Frances went to Norfolk VA to live under the guardianship of her uncle John Southgate.

Wife Jane Gibbon Duvall died April 17, 1834

Gabriel Duvall died March 6, 1844 at Marietta. His remains are buried at the Duvall Memorial Garden on the grounds of Marietta.

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 County, Maryland, United States
Age 37
- 1796
Age 41
The United States of America
- 1835
Age 58
Washington D.C., United States
March 6, 1844
Age 91
Glenn Dale, Prince George's County, Maryland, United States