Benjamin R. Curtis
Benjamin Robert Curtis was born in Massachusetts and educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Eventually, he entered law practice in Boston. After 15 years of practice, Curtis ran successfully for a seat in the Massachusetts House. Curtis was a strong ally of Daniel Webster. Webster, who was serving as Secretary of State for President Millard Fillmore, recommended Curtis to the Supreme Court.
Curtis resigned from the Court after just 6 years of service. The collegiality often associated with the Court was not present in Curtis's case: He and his colleagues argued bitterly over the Dred Scott case and other pre-Civil War issues. Curtis also labored over his circuit-riding duties and he found the pay inadequate.
After leaving the bench, Curtis took up a successful law practice in Boston. He had several occasions to appear before the Court on which he once sat; and, he served as lead counsel representing President Andrew Johnson during his impeachment trial in the Senate in 1868.