Thomas Todd

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1807-d. 1826

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Thomas Todd was the first Supreme Court Justice from Kentucky. He was born in King and Queen County, Virginia on January 23, 1765, served in the Revolutionary War, and then graduated from Liberty Hall in Virginia, now Washington and Lee University. Cousin to Harry Innes, he migrated to Danville, Kentucky with the Innes family in 1784, where he was admitted to the bar in 1788. In 1801, Todd was appointed as Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and in 1806, he was elevated to chief justice. President Thomas Jefferson nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States on February 28, 1807 to a new seat authorized by 2 Stat. 420. He was confirmed by the Senate on March 2, 1807 and received his commission on March 3. Holding the seventh seat on the Supreme Court, Todd served as an associate justice for eighteen years until his death on February 7, 1826.

Archival Materials

  • Todd family papers, Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Todd family papers, The Filson Club Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky.