United States Supreme Court Justice. Born to a prominent lawyer and Ambassador to the Vatican, he graduated from Columbia College at the age of 17. In 1840 he served as private secretary to Governor William Henry Seward (future Secretary of State in the Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Presidential Administrations). While working for the governor he studied law and entered practice in his fathers law firm. In 1854 he moved to New York City and with his partners opened "Blatchford, Seward and Griswold". That firm. now known as "Cravath, Swaine and Moore", is regarded by many as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world. He had a very lucrative practice and was considered a expert on Patent Law and Maritime Law. In the spring of 1867 President Andrew Johnson appointed him judge of the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Samuel Betts. On March 4, 1878 President Rutherford B. Hayes elevated him to Circuit Court judge for New York to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Alexander S. Johnson. Following the resignation of Ward Hunt, President Chester A. Arthur nominated him for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, only after Senator George Edwards and former Senator Roscoe Conkling both turned down the nomination. When he was confirmed, he became the first person to serve as a judge in all three levels of the federal judiciary. His eleven-year career on the high court saw him write 430 opinions but only 2 dissents. He was also a Trustee of Columbia College(Columbia University).
Bio by: Matthew Fatale
Caroline Frances Appleton Blatchford