For all the disappointments that the Jacksonian and post-Jacksonian periods afforded, Story managed to live a full and satisfying life through them-or at least until the end of the 1842 term. From this point on, almost in the fashion of a Greek tragedy, a host of troubles began to converge upon him. The Prigg decision brought an unprecedented flood of Northern abuse upon his head and doubtless was one of the factors which led to the breaking of his health in the latter part of the year. As a consequence he missed a term of the Supreme Court for the first time in his third of a century of service, and in further consequence he underwent a shocking and painful affront from his colleagues. And this was only the beginning of still more painful circumstances -- the burgeoning slave power, the rising democracy, the second winnowing of the hand of death on his Court, and an electoral triumph of the Democratic Party.
He fell ill in November of 1842. In addition to the Prigg turmoil, a lifetime of overwork was also a significant cause, and his persistent dedication was evident in a premature assumption of recovery and an abortive attempt to leave for the 1843 term. The resulting relapse struck him down until spring, and he used