Philip P. Barbour
Philip Barbour was a native of Virginia whose wealthy family had long been involved in colonial, state, and national politics. He was tutored privately, read law briefly, and set up his own legal practice in Kentucky when he was seventeen. He returned to Virginia, married, and then ran for public office.
Barbour was twice elected to the House of Representatives. He made an unsuccessful bid to be Speaker, losing to Henry Clay. He was appointed to the federal district court for Eastern Virginia in 1830; he remained a federal trial judge until his appointment to the Supreme Court. President Andrew Jackson nominated Barbour to the Supreme Court in February 1835 to replace Gabriel Duvall.
Barbour was part of Virginia's slaveholding plantation elite; his values promoted the interests of that class. He supported states' rights and was therefore opposed to federally sponsored internal improvements and the second Bank of the United States. He was a vigorous defender of slavery.
Barbour wrote a handful of opinions. His only important constitutional decision for the Court was in Mayor of New York v. Miln.