Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Court History and
Public Education Programs
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History
Justice Blackford was born November 6, 1786, in Bound Brook, Somerset County, New Jersey,52 and died December 31, 1859, in Washington, D.C.53 He graduated from Princeton University in 1806.54
As the clerk and recorder in Washington County, Indiana, in 1814, his primary responsibility was to register brands for stocks.55 He was elected principal clerk for the Territorial House of Representatives in 1813, but resigned when he was appointed a judge in the 1st Circuit Territorial Court, where he served from 1814 to 1815.56 He was an Indiana State Representative from 1816 to 1817 and chosen Speaker during his term.57 In 1817, Blackford was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court where he served until 1853.58 After several failed attempts at running for political office, he was appointed to the newly created U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C., where he served from 1855 until his death in 1859.59 He was a trustee for Indiana University from 1838 to 1841 and compiled the renowned Blackford's Reports (8 volumes 1830-1850).60
52. 1 id. at 187.
53. 1 id. at 190-91.
54. 1 id. at 188.
55. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY OF THE INDIANA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 27 (Rebecca A. Shepherd et al. eds., 1980) [hereinafter BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY].
56. 1 id.
57. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 189; 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 27.
58. 1 BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY, supra note 55, at 27.
59. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 190-91.
60. BURTON DOOR MYERS, TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF INDIANA UNIVERSITY 1820-1850, at 104, 106 (1951).
Source: Browning, Minde C., Richard Humphrey, and Bruce Kleinschmidt. "Biographical Sketches of Indiana Supreme Court Justices." Indiana Law Review: Vol. 30, No. 1, 1997. View this source in PDF format.