Associate Justice, US Supreme Court. He was the son of Josiah Brewer, a missionary, and Emilia Field Brewer, sister of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field, with whom he eventually served. After their missionary work, the family settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut and Brewer attended Wesleyan University prior to transferring to Yale. After graduating with honors he studied law for a year with an uncle before enrolling in Albany Law School. He received his degree and was admitted to the New York bar in 1858. Upon deciding that his future was in the west, he settled in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1858 and established a law practice. His long judicial service began in 1861 when he was appointed as a Commissioner of the Federal Circuit Court. Twenty-eight years later he was appointed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was to remain in that position until his death. He and his uncle made up the ultra conservative wing of the Court at that time. He was sometimes called a racist, not uncommon at the time, even among leaders; however, his record shows that in matters of race he was rather mixed.
Bio by: Tom Todd