John Catron

Media Items
Personal Information
Tuesday, May 30, 1865
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Wednesday, March 8, 1837
Sworn In 
Monday, May 1, 1837
Left Office 
Tuesday, May 30, 1865
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
28 years, 0 months, 29 days
John Catron
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: C. Gregory Stapko)

John Catron was a self-educated man who served under Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. Catron was a successful businessman and lawyer in the Nashville area. He was elected to the position of chief justice of Tennessee's highest court but later resigned when the court was abolished by judicial reorganization.

Catron was active in politics and directed the presidential campaign of Martin Van Buren in Tennessee. President Andrew Jackson picked Catron to fill one of two newly created seats on the nation's highest court. Jackson nominated his fellow Tennessean Catron on his final day in office as president.

Catron stood on the states' rights side but opposed secession. He was forced to leave Tennessee when he refused to support the Confederacy. Catron died in harness on May 30, 1865. Congress then abolished his seat, reducing the number of justices from ten to nine.

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John Catron. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
John Catron, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"John Catron," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,