Bushrod Washington

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Bushrod Washington

Bushrod Washington (June 5, 1762 - November 26, 1829) was the nephew of President George Washington, who sent him many letters containing fatherly advice. After George passed away, Bushrod made available of his uncle's letters for historical and public analysis.

He was also a founding member and President of the American Colonization Society.[1]

Early life

He was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the son of John Augustine Washington, younger brother of General Washington. He graduated in 1778 from William and Mary College where he was one of the original members of the Phi Beta Kappa society.[2] After graduation, he studied law in Philadelphia and then practiced for a time in Westmoreland County county.

From 1780 until the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, he served as a volunteer in Col. J. F. Mercer's troop of horse.

Congressional career

In 1787 he became a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and in the following year was a member of the Virginia state convention that ratified the Federal Constitution after the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention.

Supreme Court

After serving in the Virginia state legislature, Bushrod became one of the youngest Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court when he was nominated at the age of 36 by President John Adams, in 1799.[3] He then served as a consistent ally of Chief Justice John Marshall, with whom he had gone to law school.

Later life

Four years later, upon the death of Martha Washington, he inherited the mansion of Mount Vernon and part of the estate.[4]


The island of Bushrod, near the city of Monrovia, Liberia, is named after him.[5]


  • Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia (1798–99)
  • Reports of Cases Determined in the Circuit Court of the United States, for the Third Circuit, from 1803 till 1827,