Justice Joseph Story and the Rise of the Supreme Court

By Gerald T. Dunne | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
Fletcher v. Peck

SALLY WETMORE

Story's late arrival and early departure from his legislative duties were perhaps excusable. He had cases at the November setting of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He also had them early in the year at the Rockingham court in New Hampshire. Yet his departure might also be due -- to use his own phrase -- to the law of love rather than a love of the law, for the preceding August he had remarried. His bride was Sarah Waldo Wetmore, a distant relative of his first wife and, appropriately, the daughter of a judge of the Boston Court of Common Pleas. The second romance did not have the lyrical note of the first ("Esteem...ripened into affection," Story put it 1), and perhaps Story took care that it did not. Nonetheless the marriage was to last for thirty-seven years, during which Story would be the model of husband and father.

It might be truly said that Judge Wetmore had not lost a daughter but had gained a son. The judge had a habit of leaning on his in-laws. He seems to have gotten in over his head in the original Boston speculations in the Yazoo lands, whence he had been rescued by one of his wife's relatives who had been 1 unfor-

____________________
1
"Letter to Joseph White", May 28, 1808, in W. W. Story, I, 170.

-70-

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