Curtis, Benjamin Robbins

Curtis, Benjamin Robbins, 1809–74, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1851–57), b. Watertown, Mass. After studying law at Harvard, he practiced at Northfield, Mass., and served in the state legislature. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Fillmore, he wrote one of the two dissenting opinions in the Dred Scott Case and resigned from the court because of the bitter feelings engendered by the case. One of the nation's leading lawyers, he was chief counsel to Andrew Johnson at the President's impeachment trial.

See biography by his son B. R. Curtis (1879, repr. 1970), which includes a memoir by G. T. Curtis.

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