WOODWARD, George Washington

1809–1875

Biography

WOODWARD, George Washington, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Bethany, Wayne County, Pa., March 26, 1809; attended Geneva Seminary (now Hobart College), Geneva, N.Y., and Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Academy; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1830 and commenced practice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1837; president judge of the fourth judicial district 1841-1851; unsuccessful candidate for United States Senator in 1845; nominated in 1845 by President Polk a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States but was not confirmed by the Senate; associate judge of the supreme court of Pennsylvania 1852-1863 and chief justice 1863-1867; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor in 1863; elected as a Democrat to the Fortieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles Denison; reelected to the Forty-first Congress and served from November 21, 1867, to March 3 1871; was not a candidate for renomination in 1870; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868; unsuccessful candidate for president judge of the eleventh judicial district in 1870; moved to Philadelphia in 1871 and continued the practice of his profession; was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1873; traveled abroad in 1874 and died in Rome, Italy, on May 10, 1875; interment in Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1848, 2 items. A letter from George Washington Woodward to Reah Frazer written on July 25, 1848. In the letter, George Washington Woodward writes pertaining to William Bigler and other candidates for governor of Pennsylvania and to the Democratic Party. A typewritten transcript of the letter is also included.

University of Chicago
The Special Collections Research Center,

Chicago, IL
Papers: 1853, 1 item. A letter from George Washington Woodward to Franklin Pierce written on February 11, 1853. In the letter, George Washington Woodward recommends I. C. Van Dyke for District Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The letter is tipped into: The Supreme Court in United States History / by Charles Warren, call # alc JK1561.W298 Rare Faces p.420, v.2.

Yale University Library
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In the Southard Hay Autograph Collection, 1750-1885, 0.75 linear foot. Subjects include George Washington Woodward. An unpublished finding aid is available in the library.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Cook, William A. Hon. George W. Woodward and the gubernatorial contest in Pennsylvania. [Washington]: Chronicle Print, 1863.

Curran, Daniel J. "Polk, Politics, and Patronage: The Rejection of George W. Woodward's Nomination to the Supreme Court." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 121 (July 1997): 163-199.

Kulp, George Brubaker. Sketch of the Life and Character of George W. Woodward: Together with the Proceedings of The Supreme Court and Several of the Various Bar Meetings. Wilkes-Barre: N.p., 1875.

Shankman, Arnold M. "For the Union As It Was and the Constitution As It Is: A Copperhead Views the Civil War." In Rank and File: Civil War Essays in Honor of Bell Irvin Wiley. Edited by James I. Robertson, 93-111. San Rafael, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1976.

White, Jonathan W. "Citizens and Soldiers: Party Competition and the Debate in Pennsylvania over Permitting Soldiers to Vote, 1861-64." American Nineteenth Century History 5 (Summer 2004): 47-70.

White, Jonathan W., ed.. "A Pennsylvania Judge Views the Rebellion: The Civil War Letters of George Washington Woodward." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 129 (April 2005): 195-225.

Woodward, George Abishai. Biography of George Washington Woodward. N.p., 1924.

Woodward, George Washington. Laws and lawyers. An address, delivered before the Law academy of Philadelphia. Wednesday evening, September 28th, 1859. Philadelphia: King & Baird, printers, 1859.

------. Speech of Hon. George W. Woodward, of Pennsylvania, on the debt and currency of the country; delivered in the House of Representatives, January 18, 1868. Washington: F. & J. Rives & G.A. Bailey, 1868.

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