Joseph Story

Media Items
Personal Information
Saturday, September 18, 1779
Wednesday, September 10, 1845
Childhood Location 
Childhood Surroundings 
Associate Justice
Nominated By 
Commissioned on 
Monday, November 18, 1811
Sworn In 
Monday, February 3, 1812
Left Office 
Wednesday, September 10, 1845
Reason For Leaving 
Length of Service 
33 years, 7 months, 7 days
Joseph Story
The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Artist: George P.A. Healy)

Joseph Story was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts. He graduated second in his class at Harvard College. He read law and was admitted to the bar three years later. He established a successful private practice in Salem despite the acts of prejudice heaped upon him by Federalists because he was a Republican- Democrat.

Story served in the Massachusetts legislature and then in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term. Story was selected by Madison for the High Court in 1811. This was Madison's fourth attempt to fill the seat. Levi Lincoln and John Quincy Adams declined invitations; the Senate rejected Alexander Wolcott.

Story was instrumental in the establishment of Harvard Law School. He was appointed professor of law there in 1829. Story maintained true academic interest in the law. He wrote a series of "Commentaries" which went through nine editions and were published in several languages. Story also contributed essays on law to a variety of publications.

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