Justice Biographies

Justice Samuel Elliott Perkins

(Ninth Justice)

Justice Samuel Elliot Perkins

Justice Perkins was born on December 6, 1811, in Brattleboro, Vermont, and died December 17, 1879, in Indianapolis.

Left as an orphan at age five, he lived with friends in Massachusetts and then read law in New York.434 He arrived in Indiana in 1836 and opened a law office in Richmond, Indiana.435

He was very active in Democratic politics and edited a newspaper that recruited new party members from those displeased over the failure of the canals and other improvement projects.436 Governor Whitcomb nominated him to the Indiana Supreme Court, and his nomination was twice rejected by the Indiana Senate.437 He served on the supreme court created by Indiana's first constitution, until January 3, 1853 and then joined the supreme court, created by the second Indiana Constitution, on the same day. The only justice to serve on both supreme courts, he remained on the bench until January 3, 1865. He returned to the Indiana Supreme Court, serving from 1877 to 1879. He is remembered for his publication of an Indiana Digest of more than 800 pages and his Indiana Practice.438

434. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 207.
435. WHO WAS WHO, supra note 342, at 406.
436. 1 MONKS, supra note 25, at 207.
437. 1 id.
438. 1 id. at 206-07.

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.