Thomas Todd

Thomas Todd (January 23, 1765 – February 7, 1826) was an American attorney and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Raised in the Colony of Virginia, he studied law and later participated in the founding of Kentucky, where he served as a clerk, judge, and justice. He was married twice and had a total of eight children. Todd joined the U.S. Supreme Court in 1807 and his handful of legal opinions there mostly concerned land claims. The Supreme Court seat first held by Justice Todd is currently held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Thomas Todd
Thomas Todd SCOTUS
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
In office
March 3, 1807 – February 7, 1826
Nominated byThomas Jefferson
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byRobert Trimble
Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
In office
December 13, 1806 – March 3, 1807
Preceded byGeorge Muter
Succeeded byFelix Grundy
Associate Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
In office
December 19, 1801 – December 13, 1806
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded byRobert Trimble
Personal details
BornJanuary 23, 1765
King and Queen County, Virginia, British America
DiedFebruary 7, 1826 (aged 61)
Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Harris
Lucy Payne (1812–1826)
EducationWashington and Lee University (BA)

Early life

Todd was born in King and Queen County, Virginia, on January 23, 1765.[1] He was the youngest of five children. Both of his parents died when he was young. He was raised Presbyterian. At the age of sixteen, Todd served in the American Revolutionary War for six months and then returned home. He attended Liberty Hall Academy in Lexington, Virginia, which is now Washington and Lee University, and graduated in 1783.[1]

Todd then became a tutor at Liberty Hall Academy in exchange for room and board and instruction in the law. Todd studied surveying before moving to Kentucky County (then part of Virginia) in 1783 when his first cousin, Harry Innes, was appointed to the Kentucky district of the Virginia Supreme Court. Todd read law to gain admission to the Kentucky bar in 1786, but he gained positions of influence by becoming a recorder.


Todd served as the clerk at five constitutional conventions between 1784 and 1792 where Kentucky was seeking statehood. He served as secretary to the Kentucky State Legislature when Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792. When the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the State's highest court, was created in 1789, Todd became its chief clerk. He also maintained a private practice in Danville, Kentucky from 1788 until 1801, when Todd was appointed a Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 1806 he was elevated to Chief Justice.


Todd married Elizabeth Harris in 1788 and they were the parents of five children: Elizabeth (Mrs. John Hanna), Ann Maria (Mrs. Edmund Starling), Harry Innes, Charles Stewart, and John Harris. On March 29, 1812, Todd married Lucy Payne Washington, the youngest sister of Dolley Madison[1] and the widow of Major George Steptoe Washington, who was a nephew of President George Washington. It is believed to be the first wedding held in the White House.[2] Their three children were William J. Todd, Madisonia Todd, and James Madison Todd.

Appointment to the Supreme Court

Thomas Todd House; Frankfort, Kentucky
Thomas Todd House in Frankfort.

Todd was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Thomas Jefferson on February 28, 1807, after Congress raised the number of seats on the court to seven by 2 Stat. 420, 421. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 2, 1807, and received his commission the following day. He is one of 19 Presbyterians to have served on the Court.[3]

Todd served as a Supreme Court Justice until his death in Frankfort, Kentucky on February 7, 1826 at the age of 61. Todd was buried in the Innes family cemetery but later exhumed and reinterred in the State Cemetery at Frankfort.

Court opinions

Todd served under Chief Justice John Marshall. Politically, Todd was a Jeffersonian.[1] Although they had different political beliefs, Todd adopted Marshall's views on judicial interpretation, but did not write a single constitutional opinion. He was labelled the most insignificant U.S. Supreme Court justice by Frank H. Easterbrook in The Most Insignificant Justice: Further Evidence, 50 U. Chi. L. Rev. 481 (1983). Todd wrote only fourteen opinions—eleven majority, two concurring and one dissenting. Ten of his eleven majority opinions involved disputed land and survey claims.

Todd's first reported opinion was a dissent to the opinion of Chief Justice Marshall in Finley v. Lynn. He concurred in all other opinions written by the Chief Justice. One of the more interesting of these cases was Preston v. Browder, where Todd upheld the right of North Carolina to make land claim restrictions on filings that were made in Indian territory and violated the Treaty of the Long Island of Holston made by the state on July 20, 1777. His opinion in Watts v. Lindsey's Heirs et al., explained confusing and complicated land title problems which plagued early settlers of Kentucky.

Todd's only Court opinion which did not involve land law was his last. In Riggs v. Taylor, the Justice made the important procedural ruling, now taken for granted, that if a party intends to use an original document as evidence, then the original must be produced. But if the original is in the possession of the other party to the suit, who refuses to produce it, or if the original is lost or destroyed, then secondary evidence will be admitted.

Death and legacy

Todd's remains are reinterred at historic Frankfort Cemetery, overlooking the Kentucky River and the capitol of Kentucky.[4]

Upon his death, Justice Todd was vested with substantial real property, particularly in Frankfort, Kentucky. He was a charter member of the Kentucky River Company, the first business formed to promote Kentucky waterway navigation. The inventory of his estate revealed he was a shareholder of the Kentucky Turnpike, (the first publicly improved highway west of the Alleghenies), and the Frankfort toll bridge, crossing the Kentucky River. In addition to his home, he owned more than 7,200 acres (29 km2) of land throughout the state and another twenty or so pieces in Frankfort. After his children were provided for, as he put it, in "their full proportion", the remainder of his estate valued at more than $70,000—a large sum at the time.[5]

Todd's papers are kept in three locations:

During World War II the Liberty ship SS Thomas Todd was built in Brunswick, Georgia, and named in his honor.[7]

Memberships and other honors

Elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1820.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Kleber, John E. (ed.) (1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia, p. 888. The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2011-03-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Religion of the Supreme Court".
  4. ^ The Kentucky Encyclopedia, p. 888
  5. ^ Biography and Bibliography, Thomas Todd Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine, 6th Circuit United States Court of Appeals.
  6. ^ Location of Thomnas Todd Papers Archived 2007-03-17 at the Wayback Machine, 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
  7. ^ Williams, Greg H. (25 July 2014). The Liberty Ships of World War II: A Record of the 2,710 Vessels and Their Builders, Operators and Namesakes, with a History of the Jeremiah O’Brien. McFarland. ISBN 1476617546. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  8. ^ "MemberListT".


Further reading

  • Abraham, Henry J. (1992). Justices and Presidents: A Political History of Appointments to the Supreme Court (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-506557-3.
  • Cushman, Clare (2001). The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies, 1789–1995 (2nd ed.). (Supreme Court Historical Society, Congressional Quarterly Books). ISBN 1-56802-126-7.
  • Flanders, Henry. The Lives and Times of the Chief Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1874 at Google Books.
  • Frank, John P. (1995). Friedman, Leon; Israel, Fred L., eds. The Justices of the United States Supreme Court: Their Lives and Major Opinions. Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 0-7910-1377-4.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. (1992). The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505835-6.
  • Martin, Fenton S.; Goehlert, Robert U. (1990). The U.S. Supreme Court: A Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Books. ISBN 0-87187-554-3.
  • Urofsky, Melvin I. (1994). The Supreme Court Justices: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland Publishing. p. 590. ISBN 0-8153-1176-1.
  • White, G. Edward. The Marshall Court & Cultural Change, 1815–35. Published in an abridged edition, 1991.

External links

Legal offices
New seat Associate Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
Robert Trimble
Preceded by
George Muter
Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
Felix Grundy
New seat Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Succeeded by
Robert Trimble
1982 UK Athletics Championships

The 1982 UK Athletics Championships was the national championship in outdoor track and field for the United Kingdom held at Cwmbran Stadium, Cwmbran. It was the second time the event was held in the Welsh town, following on from the 1977 UK Athletics Championships. The women's 5000 metres race walk was dropped from the programme for this championship.

It was the sixth edition of the competition limited to British athletes only, launched as an alternative to the AAA Championships, which was open to foreign competitors. However, due to the fact that the calibre of national competition remained greater at the AAA event, the UK Championships this year were not considered the principal national championship event by some statisticians, such as the National Union of Track Statisticians (NUTS). Many of the athletes below also competed at the 1982 AAA Championships.David Ottley extended his unbeaten streak to five straight UK titles in the javelin throw. On the men's side, Steve Barry (racewalk), Graham Eggleton (pole vault), Peter Gordon (discus throw) and Martin Girvan (hammer throw) also defended their 1981 UK titles. Fatima Whitbread was the only woman to repeat her victory, doing so in the javelin. No athlete won multiple titles at this edition, though Mike McFarlane and Bev Callender both won the 200 metres title and were runners-up in the 100 metres.The main international track and field competition for the United Kingdom that year was the 1982 European Athletics Championships. Reflecting the secondary status of the UK event at national level, none of the British individual medallists there were present at UK Championships, though four relay medallists were on the UK podium: Bev Callender, Shirley Thomas, Todd Bennett, Phil Brown. The four countries of the United Kingdom competed separately at the Commonwealth Games that year as well, and UK champions who won there were men's 200 m champion Mike McFarlane, men's racewalker Steve Barry and women's shot putter Judy Oakes.

Charles Stewart Todd

Colonel Charles Stewart Todd (January 22, 1791 – May 17, 1871) was an American military officer and government official.

The son of Supreme Court Associate Justice Thomas Todd, he was born near Danville, Kentucky, and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1809. He was a subaltern and judge-advocate of General James Winchester's division in the War of 1812. In 1813, he was made a captain of infantry, and was an aide to General William Henry Harrison in the Battle of the Thames. In March, 1815, he was made Aide-de-Camp to Governor Isaac Shelby, with the rank of colonel.

In 1817, he was appointed Secretary of State of Kentucky. In 1820, Todd was appointed a Confidential Agent to Gran Colombia, where he would remain until 1824. From 1841 to 1846 he served as the fifteenth United States Ambassador to Russia. He died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was buried at Rosehill Elmwood Cemetery

Todd married Isaac Shelby's youngest daughter, Letitia, on 15 June 1816. They had twelve children.

Corner in Celebrities Historic District

Corner in Celebrities Historic District is a neighborhood located in the north section of Frankfort, Kentucky that is designated an historic district because of the high concentration of structures that previously belonged to notable residents. The area contains the historic homes of George M. Bibb, Benjamin G. Brown, James Brown, John Brown, John J. Crittenden, Thomas Crittenden, James Harlan, John Marshall Harlan, Robert P. Letcher, Thomas Metcalfe, Charles Slaughter Morehead, Hugh Rodman, Thomas Todd, George G. Vest, and John C. Watson. The area was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris may refer to:

Elizabeth Underwood, née Harris, Australian landowner

Elizabeth Harris, rapper, professionally known as Cupcakke

Elizabeth Rees-Williams, married name Harris, Welsh socialite

Elizabeth-Jane Harris, British cyclist

Liz Harris, actress

Grouper (musician), Liz Harris

Betty Harris, singer

Betty Harris (scientist)

Elizabeth Harris, wife of Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd

Eliza Harris, character in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Elizabeth Harris, character in Unknown (2011 film)

Gabriel Duvall

Gabriel Duvall (December 6, 1752 – March 6, 1844) was an American politician and jurist. Duvall was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1811 to 1835, during the Marshall Court and early-Taney Court eras. Previously, Duvall was the Comptroller of the Treasury, a Maryland state court judge, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland, and a Maryland state legislator.

Whether Duvall is deserving of the title of "the most insignificant" justice in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court has been the subject of much academic interest, most notably a debate between University of Chicago Law Professors David P. Currie and (now-Judge) Frank H. Easterbrook in 1983. Currie argued that "impartial examination of Duvall's performance reveals to even the uninitiated observer that he achieved an enviable standard of insignificance against which all other justices must be measured." Easterbrook responded that Currie's analysis lacked "serious consideration of candidates so shrouded in obscurity that they escaped proper attention even in a contest of insignificance," and concluded that Duvall's colleague, Justice Thomas Todd, was even more insignificant.

List of Justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court

Following is a list of persons who have served as Justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court since its formation in 1975.

Prior to the formation of the current Kentucky Supreme Court, the highest court in the state was the Kentucky Court of Errors and Appeals. Justices of this court include:

Felix Grundy (1805–1807, Chief Justice in 1807)

Thomas Todd (1801–1807, Chief Justice 1806–1807)

Robert Trimble

Robert Trimble (November 17, 1776 – August 25, 1828) was an attorney, judge, and a justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Rolling Stones Mobile Studio

The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio was a mobile recording studio owned by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. Numerous bands and artists have recorded music using it, including Dire Straits, Deep Purple, Lou Reed, Bob Marley, Horslips, Nazareth, Fleetwood Mac, Bad Company, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Wishbone Ash and the Rolling Stones themselves. More recently, the unit has been acquired by the National Music Centre in Calgary.

SS Thomas B. King

SS Thomas B. King was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Thomas B. King, a United States Representative from Georgia.

SS Thomas Todd

SS Thomas Todd was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Thomas Todd, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Seventh Circuit Act of 1807

The Seventh Circuit Act of 1807 (formally, "An Act establishing Circuit Courts, and abridging the jurisdiction of the district courts in the districts of Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio", 2 Stat. 420; 9th Congress, ch. 16; enacted February 24, 1807) was a federal statute which increased the size of the Supreme Court of the United States from six Justices to seven, and which also reorganized the circuit courts of the federal judiciary. The Act became law on February 24, 1807, during the Jefferson administration.

Thomas Todd (disambiguation)

Thomas Todd (1765–1826) was a justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1807–1826.

Thomas, Tom or Tommy Todd may also refer to:

Thomas Todd (piper) (c. 1832–1903), player of the Northumbrian smallpipes

Tommy Todd (1926–2014), Scottish footballer

Thomas Wingate Todd (1885–1938), English orthodontist

Thomas Todd (piper)

Thomas Todd (c.1832 - 1908) was a noted player of the Northumbrian smallpipes, considered by William Cocks to be 'of highest rank'. One account, from 1890, states that he learned the pipes from Thomas Hair, a blind piper and fiddler of Bedlington, who also taught Todd's contemporary, Old Tom Clough.

A photograph of him is in the Cocks Collection, and is visible at [1]

It is known that Todd taught the pipers Tom Clough and Richard Mowat to play, as well as Mary Anderson, known as 'Piper Mary'. W. A. Cocks later noted that she was herself 'well known in her day as a piper of the first order'.

Todd Manning

Thomas Todd Manning is a fictional character from the American daytime drama One Life to Live (OLTL). Created by writer Michael Malone, the role was originated in 1992 by actor Roger Howarth. Todd was a college student and fraternity brother to Kevin Buchanan, Zach Rosen, and Powell Lord. In 1993, following a storyline in which he becomes acquainted with Marty Saybrooke, he initiates a gang rape on her with the help of Zach and Powell. The storyline was considered groundbreaking by television critics. Its main players—Howarth, Susan Haskell (Marty), and Hillary B. Smith (Todd's lawyer Nora Hanen)—won Emmys in 1994, as did Malone and his writing team. Howarth left the role in 2003; it was recast with Trevor St. John, physically altered by plastic surgery. In 2011, Howarth returned to OLTL; it was disclosed Todd had been taken hostage and St. John's version of the character was really Todd's identical twin brother, Victor Lord, Jr., conditioned to assume Todd's place.

Todd was initially a short-term villain, but his popularity with the audience and critics inspired the writers to forgo killing him or permanently sending him to prison, like most soap operas had done with rapists in the past. While keeping aspects of his personality dark or violent, they had Todd exhibit a conscience and compassion. They took steps to redeem him and made him an integral part of OLTL's canvas, despite Howarth's objections to a redemption storyline. With the use of literary techniques for the redemptive arc, the writers borrowed from nineteenth-century melodrama and Gothic traditions, and literature such as Frankenstein. Todd became the product of an affair between his father, Victor Lord, and his mother, Irene Manning, which provided him a fortune and ties to other major characters, including his sisters, Tina and Victoria Lord. An important aspect of the character became his appearance, most notably the scar on his right cheek, which emerged as synonymous with him and served to remind him of his past misdeeds against Marty. Music and the use of humor were also key to Todd's development. Although he formed many relationships (including with his wives, Blair Cramer and Téa Delgado), and fathered children, a defining characteristic of his personality was his resistance to close relationships and sexual intimacy.

The drive to redeem Todd eventually drew Howarth, who always saw Todd as a villain, to leave the show for a year; he was uncomfortable with the redemption storyline and with many fans' positive reactions to Todd. Recasting Todd years later with St. John was generally considered successful by viewers and critics. St. John, instead of imitating Howarth's portrayal, brought his own spin to the character. After OLTL's cancellation in 2012, Howarth brought Todd to General Hospital (GH), but returned, along with St. John as Victor, Jr., to the online version of OLTL in 2013, which was cancelled after one year.

Todd has been the subject of numerous soap opera articles, feminist studies, and inspired the creation of a doll in his likeness. He has remained a popular and controversial figure since his creation, and is considered one of soap opera's breakout characters.

Todd Thomas

Todd Thomas may refer to:

Speech (rapper) (Todd Thomas, born 1968), American rapper and musician

Todd Thomas (American football) (1959–2000), gridiron football player

Todd Thomas (designer) (1961), fashion designer


Toddsbury is a historic home located on the banks of the North River in Gloucester County, Virginia. The house was built around 1669 by Thomas Todd and inhabited by his descendants until 1880. The house continues to be a private residence.

A story and a half building of brick laid in Flemish bond. A L shaped house with a center stair hall, and two flanking rooms in the long arm and a subsidiary stair hall and another room in the wing. Toddsbury is a 17th-century house with 18th-century additions. The land was patented by Thomas Todd in 1657 but later went to the Tabb family. About 1870 it was purchased by the parents of William Mott, who died about 1939, and has been since then the Mott family house.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Marshall Court (1801–1835)
Supreme Court of the United States
The Marshall Court
Chief Justice: John Marshall (1801–1835)

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