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Robert Cooper Grier (New York Times)

Obituary

"Hon. Robert C. Grier," New York Times, September 27, 1870, p. 5: 3.

Hon. ROBERT COOPER GRIER, until recently the oldest of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, died at Philadelphia, on Sunday evening, at the advanced age of seventy-seven. He has been suffering from paralysis for many years, and his death is not an event altogether unexpected. He was born in Cumberland County, Penn., on the 5th of March, 1794. Educated by his father, Rev Isaac Grier, a distinguished theologian and teacher, until he was seventeen, he then entered as a student at Dickinson College, where he graduated with high honors in 1812. After teaching for a year at Dickinson College, he settled in Northumberland, where his father had removed, and established a seminary of high repute. He assisted his father up to 1815, when the latter died, and was succeeded by ROBERT as principal. In this capacity he served for a year or two; taught astronomy, mathematics, Greek and Latin, lectured on chemistry, and in the intervals studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1817, and practiced at Bloomsburg, whence in 1818 he removed to Danville. At that place he pursued his profession with great success, supporting his mother and ten younger brothers and sisters, whom he liberally educated. On the 4th of May, 1838, he was appointed President-judge of the District Court of Alleghany County, at Pittsburg, where he removed in the same year, and resided until September, 1848. He removed to Philadelphia on the 4th of August, 1846, was nominated Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President POLK, in place of Justice BALDWIN, deceased, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, This position he continued to fill until his failing health a few months ago compelled him to resign and take the benefit of the act of Congress of April, 1869, which continued to him the same salary which he received as Judge.

In early life Judge GRIER was a Federalist, and in later years acted with the Democratic Party, but on the breaking out of the rebellion he pronounced unmistakably in favor of the efforts made for the preservation of the Union. He presided at a public meeting at Williamsport, Penn., in 1861, and earnestly exhorted the people to their duty in the crisis. In ability and learning, he held a high rank among American jurists, and in his private life was greatly esteemed as a high-minded and patriotic citizen, and a man of pure and upright character. He has passed away after a long and useful life, and leaves a place which few public men are capable of filling.

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