Justice Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar

Justice Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar joined the U.S. Supreme Court on January 18, 1888, replacing Justice William Burnham Woods. Lamar was born on September 17, 1825 on a plantation in Georgia. He graduated from Emory College (now Emory University) in 1845, and he was admitted to the Georgia bar two years later. Over the next decade, Lamar took initial steps toward a political career, while practicing law and establishing a cotton plantation in MIssissippi.

Lamar was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1857 and served there during the last few years before the Civil War. As the conflict loomed, he resigned from his seat and wrote the Mississippi Ordinance of Secession. During the Civil War, Lamar served in the Confederate army. He also worked as a diplomat and tried to persuade European nations to recognize the Confederacy. When the war ended in 1865, Lamar was pardoned and returned to practicing law. He also taught at the University of Mississippi between 1866 and 1870.

In 1873, Lamar completed his political comeback by rejoining the House of Representatives, over a decade after he had resigned from the chamber. He served two terms there before moving to the U.S. Senate in 1877. Lamar would spend eight years in the Senate. In early 1885, President Grover Cleveland appointed him as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

Less than three years later, on December 6, 1887, Cleveland nominated Lamar to the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him on January 16, 1888 in a 32-28 vote, and he took the judicial oath two days later. Lamar was the first former Confederate official to serve on the Court. He stayed there for almost exactly five years and left minimal impact on the law.

Lamar died on January 23, 1893 in what is now Macon, Georgia. Although he was originally buried there, his remains were brought back to Mississippi in the following year. Justice Howell Edmunds Jackson replaced him on the Court.