The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions - Vol. 1

By Leon Friedman; Fred L. Israel | Go to book overview

the death of Rutledge's wife in 1792 "his mind was frequently deranged so as to be in a great measure deprived of his senses." Benjamin Moodie, a Charleston lawyer, wrote to Read in December, 1795, "Poor man. I am sorry to say that my ideas were too true with respect to the deranged state of his mind as on the morning of the 26th I am credibly informed that he made an attempt to drown himself at old Cap Blake's wharf, South Bay." However, both Izard and Read voted to confirm Rutledge as Chief Justice, indicating they did not consider the disorder serious or the position particularly important.

On occasion, Rutledge returned to a normal existence. Iredell, riding circuit in Charleston in May, 1798, reported him as "perfectly recovered and in such high spirits that he, and another gentleman and myself outsat all the rest of the company at a friend's house, till near 11 o'clock." The next day Rutledge accompanied Iredell to Roger Smith's house: "This gentleman is married to a sister of Mr. Rutledge's and has a very large and agreeable family ... Mr. Rutledge has lived so much in retirement that, though very fond of his sister, and the whole family, they had not seen him for a long time; and it was truly affecting to witness their meeting, and how happy they all seemed to be."

Rutledge died on June 21, 1800, a few months after his brother Edward. Though he participated in all the great events of his time, he lacked the vision, ability, and power of Hamilton, Madison, Jefferson, or even of Jay and Adams. Only as the wartime commander of his state did he show the consistent strength required by the times of its leaders. While many members of the Virginia aristocracy concerned themselves with the general welfare of the nation, the South Carolinian leaders looked only to their own constituents. As a broker between what the rest of the colonies were willing to concede and what the South was prepared to accept, Rutledge did his job well. But history demands more of its elected.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Many of Rutledge's personal papers are held by the Charleston Library Society. Only one full-length biography has been prepared: Richard Barry's Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina ( New York, 1942), which is uneven and exaggerates all of Rutledge's accomplishments. Henry Flanders's The Lives and Times of the Chief Justices ( New York, 1875) is useful. A few valuable articles have appeared: George S. McCowan, "Chief Justice John Rutledge and the Jay Treaty," 52 South Carolina Historical Magazine 10 ( January 1961), and Robert W. Barnwell , "Rutledge, 'the Dictator,"' 7 Journal of Southern History 215 ( May 1941).

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The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Justices of the United States Supreme Court - Their Lives and Major Opinions *
  • Contents *
  • About the Editors and Contributors ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction by Louis H. Pollak xv
  • John Jay *
  • Selected Bibliography 21
  • John Rutledge *
  • Selected Bibliography 39
  • William Cushing *
  • Selected Bibliography 54
  • James Wilson *
  • Selected Bibliography 73
  • John Blair, Jr. *
  • Selected Bibliography 81
  • James Iredell *
  • Selected Bibliography 94
  • Thomas Johnson *
  • Selected Bibliography 106
  • William Paterson *
  • Selected Bibliography 119
  • Samuel Chase *
  • Selected Bibliography 134
  • Oliver Ellsworth *
  • Selected Bibliography 149
  • Bushrod Washington *
  • Selected Bibliography 165
  • Alfred Moore *
  • Selected Bibliography 179
  • John Marshall *
  • Selected Bibliography 200
  • William Johnson *
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • Brockholst Livingston *
  • Selected Bibliography 232
  • Thomas Todd *
  • Selected Bibliography 240
  • Gabriel Duvall *
  • Selected Bibliography 251
  • Joseph Story *
  • Selected Bibliography 272
  • Smith Thompson *
  • Selected Bibliography 291
  • Robert Trimble *
  • Selected Bibliography 298
  • John Mclean *
  • Selected Bibliography 312
  • Henry Baldwin *
  • Selected Bibliography 323
  • James M. Wayne *
  • Selected Bibliography 336
  • Roger B. Taney *
  • Selected Bibliography 358
  • Philip Pendleton Barbour *
  • Selected Bibliography 370
  • John Catron *
  • Selected Bibliography 384
  • John Mckinley *
  • Selected Bibliography 394
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