Philip Pendleton Barbour

Philip Pendleton Barbour
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
March 15, 1836 – February 25, 1841
Nominated byAndrew Jackson
Preceded byGabriel Duvall
Succeeded byPeter Daniel
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
In office
October 8, 1830 – March 17, 1836
Appointed byAndrew Jackson
Preceded byGeorge Hay
Succeeded byPeter Daniel
Chair of the House Judiciary Committee
In office
Preceded byDaniel Webster
Succeeded byJames Buchanan
10th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
December 4, 1821 – March 4, 1823
Preceded byJohn Taylor
Succeeded byHenry Clay
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1827 – October 15, 1830
Preceded byRobert Taylor
Succeeded byJohn Patton
In office
September 19, 1814 – March 4, 1825
Preceded byJohn Dawson
Succeeded byRobert Taylor
Personal details
Born(1783-05-25)May 25, 1783
Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.
DiedFebruary 25, 1841(1841-02-25) (aged 57)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican (Before 1825)
Democratic (1828–1841)
Other political
EducationCollege of William and Mary

Philip Pendleton Barbour (May 25, 1783 – February 25, 1841) was the 10th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is the only individual to serve in both positions.

Born in Gordonsville, Virginia, Barbour established a legal career in Gordonsville after studying at the College of William & Mary. Several members of Barbour's family, including Governor James Barbour of Virginia, went on to hold prominent political office. Barbour won election to the House of Representatives in 1814 as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. He served a single term as Speaker from 1821 to 1823 and declined to seek re-election to Congress in 1824. Barbour returned to Congress in 1827 as an ally of Andrew Jackson.

Barbour served in Congress until 1830, when he accepted appointment as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. President Jackson appointed Barbour to the Supreme Court in 1835 to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Gabriel Duvall. He served on the Court until his death in 1841. On the Court, Barbour generally supported Jacksonian principles and states' rights.

Early and family life

Barbour was born near Gordonsville, Orange County, Virginia, as the son of a planter, Thomas Barbour, who was a legislator, neighbor and early political sponsor of James Madison. He was named for his ancestor Philip Pendleton, through whom he was related to politician and judge, Edmund Pendleton. The family was one of the First Families of Virginia, descended from a Scottish merchant who married a Miss Taliaferro and made his home in nearby Culpeper County, Virginia.[1]

Like his brother James Barbour, Philip attended common and private schools before beginning formal legal studies under Virginia jurist, St. George Tucker in Williamsburg, Virginia. Financial circumstances caused him to leave Philip in 1799.

He soon moved to Kentucky to make his fortune, where after a year reading law, he was admitted to the bar, and began practicing law in Bardstown. After another year, friends persuaded him to return to Virginia and resume his studies at William and Mary College, so in 1802, he began practicing law near his family home in Gordonsville.[2]

In 1804, Barbour married a local planter's daughter, Frances Johnson, with whom he had one son named Sextus Barbour.