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Joseph P. Bradley, 1870-1892

JOSEPH P. BRADLEY was born in Berne, New York on March 14, 1813. He attended a country school and began teaching at the age of sixteen. He attended Rutgers University several years later and was graduated in 1836. Bradley studied law in the Office of the Collector of the Port of Newark, New Jersey, and was admitted to the bar in 1839. For thirty years, he specialized in the practice of patent, commercial, and railroad law. In 1862, after lobbying in Washington for a compromise settlement of the Civil War, Bradley was a Unionist candidate for the United States House of Representatives but did not win election. President Ulysses S. Grant nominated Bradley to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 21, 1870. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 23, 1870. In 1877, Bradley served on the electoral commission created to decide the outcome of the disputed 1876 presidential election. The commission was divided seven to seven on partisan lines. Bradley voted with the Republicans on all issues, making Rutherford B. Hayes President by a margin of one electoral vote. Bradley served on the Supreme Court for twenty-one years. He died on January 22, 1892, at the age of seventy-eight.

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