Justice Thomas Todd

Justice Thomas Todd joined the U.S. Supreme Court on May 4, 1807, filling a seat that was created when Congress expanded the size of the Court from six to seven Justices. Todd was born on January 23, 1765 in King and Queen County, Virginia, east of Richmond. He briefly served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and then attended Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University), graduating in 1783.

Todd soon moved to current-day Kentucky, which was then part of Virginia. He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice, while participating in the movement for Kentucky to become a state. After this occurred in 1792, Todd became secretary to the Kentucky state legislature. In 1801, he received a seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which was the highest court in the state at the time. Todd was elevated to Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals five years later, but he did not remain in that position for long.

On February 28, 1807, President Thomas Jefferson nominated Todd to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him on March 2, and he took the judicial oath two months later. Todd wrote a relatively small number of opinions during his 19 years on the Court, most of which involved land disputes. He generally agreed with Chief Justice John Marshall on major issues.

Todd died on February 7, 1826 in Frankfort, Kentucky and was buried there. Justice Robert Trimble replaced him on the Court.