Levi Woodbury

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Woodbury, Levi,

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 StatesBank of the United States,
name for two national banks established by the U.S. Congress to serve as government fiscal agents and as depositories for federal funds; the first bank was in existence from 1791 to 1811 and the second from 1816 to 1836.
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 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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Woodbury, Levi

(1789–1851) cabinet member, Supreme Court justice; born in Francestown, N.H. He served as a New Hampshire Superior Court judge (1817–23), as governor (1823–24), and in the U.S. Senate (N.H.; 1825–31, 1841–45). He served Presidents Jackson and Van Buren as secretary of the navy (1831–34) and secretary of the treasury (1834–41). President Polk named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1845–51).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Jackson owed his administration and many of its perceived successes to another type of legendary figure in his era: "new men of politics" like Levi Woodbury, Amos Kendall, and Van Buren, many of whom ran the very state banks that the radicals wanted to destroy.
In chapter 1 the author describes Edmund Roberts's prior experience as a civilian seafarer, his pecuniary impetus to seek government employment; Levi Woodbury, Jackson's secretary of the navy; and matters relating to European and American trade with Arabia and Southeast Asia.