Joseph Story

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Story, Joseph,

1779–1845, American jurist, associate justice of the Supreme Court (1811–45), b. Marblehead, Mass. Admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1801, he practiced law in Salem and was several times elected to the Massachusetts legislature. He served briefly in the U.S. Congress in 1808–9. Story's legal scholarship quickly earned him great prominence, and in 1811 (at the age of 32) he was appointed by President Madison to the U.S. Supreme Court, the youngest person ever to hold that position. In the early period of his judicial tenure, as part of his duties on the Supreme Court, he was also a circuit justice in New England. His decisions helped frame U.S. admiralty and prize law. Story's judicial views nearly always agreed with those of John MarshallMarshall, John,
1755–1835, American jurist, 4th chief justice of the United States (1801–35), b. Virginia. Early Life

The eldest of 15 children, John Marshall was born in a log cabin on the Virginia frontier (today in Fauquier co., Va.
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; this was not the case with Marshall's successor, Roger B. Taney. One of the most important opinions Story wrote for the Supreme Court was Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816); it established the power of the federal court to review issues of constitutional law raised in state cases. Story expressed his strong antislavery sentiments in several judgments that ordered the repatriation to Africa of blacks brought into U.S. ports by slavers. In 1829, Story became the first Dane professor of law at Harvard. For the remainder of his life he sat on the Supreme Court and taught at Harvard. In connection with his teaching, Story wrote many legal works, systematic summaries of bodies of case law (mostly British), so treated as to elucidate the legal and philosophical bases. A nationalist in principle, he attempted to provide a justification for rational and uniform legal principles, thereby not privileging the legal standards practiced in any region. Story's texts must be ranked with James Kent's Commentaries on the American Law as formative influences on American jurisprudence and legal education. They include commentaries on bailments (1832), the U.S. Constitution (3 vol., 1833), conflict of laws (1834), equity jurisprudence (2 vol., 1836), equity pleading (1838), agency (1839), partnership (1841), bills of exchange (1843), and promissory notes (1845). All his books appeared in several editions; that on equity jurisprudence (14th ed. 1918) perhaps retained its utility longest.

Bibliography

See Life and Letters of Joseph Story, ed. by his son, W. W. Story (1851); studies by J. McClellan (1971) and R. K. Newmyer (1985).

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Story, Joseph

(1779–1845) Supreme Court justice; born in Marblehead, Mass. He was serving on the Massachusetts legislature (1805–07, 1811–12) when President Madison named him to the U.S. Supreme Court (1812–45). Along with chief justice John Marshall, he promoted nationalism and a strong central government.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
As we are told in the biblical story, Joseph had to take his expectant wife from Nazareth, where they were living, to Bethlehem, their ancestral village, in order to fulfil a requirement imposed by the authorities to register as part of a nationwide census.
In the old Bible story, Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream of the seven fat and seven thin cows as a prophecy of good times followed by bad: so for seven years Ancient Egypt's barns were filled with surplus harvest, which carried the people through the ensuing seven years of famine.
In the Qur'anic story, Joseph is bought by al-Aziz and handed to his wife Zulaykha, (10) after he is found in the well into which his brothers had thrown him.