Catron, John


1818 DS of the Taney Court Associate Justice while a Nashville lawyer, witnessing a land indenture


Type: Document
Description: (1786-1865) Taney Court Associate Justice 1837-65, critic of the national bank, advocate for federal power over corporate power, and pro-Union, pro-slavery supporter. Many of his beliefs followed those of his friend and battlefield leader, Andrew Jackson. Catron fought against corporations of accumulated wealth and privilege and for the rights of citizens. He remained true to his pro-slavery stance in, Dred Scott v. Sandford. Despite his pro-slavery stance, Catron was a strong advocate for the Union. Ultimately, his most important contribution to the Supreme Court was his loyalty to the Constitution and his undying support of the Federal Union, despite political costs.

15 ¼ x 12 MsDS, White County (Sparta), Tennessee, January 22 1818, signed as a witness at lower left corner of a land indenture between Joseph Copher and Thomas Hopkins of White County, Tennessee involving property in the town of Sparta. On the verso are MsDss of Deputy White County Clerk A. B. Lane and County Register Elijah Chisum.

Elijah Chisum (1744-1818) Pioneer farmer, large land and slave owner. A captain in the Revolutionary War, he received a North Carolina certificate which he exchanged for land. He was commissioned a Justice of the Peace for Hawkins County, Tennessee in 1790 by Territorial Governor William Blount. In 1791, he was commissioned by Governor Blount as Captain in the Hawkins County Militia Regiment. He was a Hawkins County delegate to the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1789 which ratified the Constitution. Chisholm’s Ford in Hawkins County was named for him. He was active in the establishment of Grainger County in 1796, and represented it in the Tennessee House 3rd General Assembly 1799-1801. He represented Sumner County in the Tennessee House 6th General Assembly 1805-07 but also represented Jackson, Smith, and Wilson Counties which did not have direct representation at that time. At the time of his death he lived near Sparta, White County, Tennessee.

Although Catron served on the Court for 28 years, his autograph is considered uncommon.

Condition: Good, light staining and soiling, folds

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