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Bushrod Washington, 1799-1829

BUSHROD WASHINGTON was born on June 5, 1762, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was a nephew of the first President of the United States, George Washington. He was graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1778 and attended a course of law lectures conducted by George Wythe at the same time as did John Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States. Washington enlisted in the Continental Army near the end of the Revolution and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the War, he resumed his law studies in the Philadelphia office of James Wilson, who preceded him on the Supreme Court. Washington began a private law practice in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and then moved to Alexandria, Virginia. In 1787, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, and in 1788 he served as a delegate to the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution. In 1790, Washington moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he continued his law practice. He served as a reporter for the Court of Appeals and also instructed many law students, including Henry Clay. President John Adams nominated Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States on December 19, 1798. The Senate confirmed the appointment the following day. Washington served on the Supreme Court for thirty years. He died on November 26, 1829, at the age of sixty-seven.

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