David Josiah Brewer

David Josiah Brewer

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David Josiah Brewer

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David Josiah Brewer (June 20, 1837 – March 28, 1910) was an American jurist and an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for 20 years.

Biography

Early life

Brewer was born to Emilia Field Brewer and Rev. Josiah Brewer, who at the time of his birth were running a school for Greeks in Izmir, Turkey; Mrs. Brewer's brother Stephen Johnson Field, a future Supreme Court colleague of Brewer's, was living with the couple at the time. His parents returned to the United States in 1838 and settled in Connecticut. Brewer attended college at Wesleyan University (1851–1854) and Yale University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the latter in 1856. While at Yale, Brewer was a classmate of Henry Billings Brown and was "greatly influenced by the political scientist-protestant minister Theodore Dwight Woolsey." After graduation, Brewer read law for one year in the office of his uncle David Dudley Field, then enrolled at Albany Law School in Albany, New York, graduating in 1858.

Career

Upon graduating from law school, Brewer moved to Kansas City, Missouri and after attempting to start a law practice, left for Colorado in search of gold, returning empty-handed in 1859 to nearby Leavenworth, Kansas. He was named Commissioner of the Federal Circuit Court in Leavenworth in 1861. He left that...
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