Woodbury, Levi

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Woodbury, Levi

Levi Woodbury, 1789–1851, American cabinet officer and jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1845–51), b. Hillsboro, co., N.H. Important as a politician and jurist in New Hampshire, he served as governor (1823–24) and as U.S. Senator (1825–31). President Andrew Jackson, whom he firmly supported, appointed (1831) him Secretary of the Navy. In 1834 when Henry Clay obtained the Senate's rejection of Roger B. Taney, who had been appointed in 1833, Woodbury was chosen U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and inherited the difficult task of transferring the government deposits from the Bank of the United States to state banks ( "pet banks" ). Successfully fulfilling his duties he continued as Secretary until the end of President Van Buren's term (1841). Again a Senator (1841–45), Woodbury was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Polk, and on the bench he generally concurred with the decisions of Chief Justice Taney. Many of his speeches and his writings (3 vol., 1852) have been published.

See D. B. Cole, Jacksonian Democracy in New Hampshire (1970).

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