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ALABAMA'S SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICES

George Goldthwaite

George Goldthwaite was born and educated in New England. He moved to Alabama in 1826, read law at his brother's office in Montgomery, and was admitted to the bar at age eighteen. He began practicing law in Pike County but soon relocated in Montgomery.

 

In December of 1843, Goldthwaite was elected circuit judge by the legislature and then elected again in 1850 by popular vote. He continued in office until January, 1852, at which time the legislature, having increased from three to five the number of justices on the Supreme Court, elected him to that body. When the number was reduced back to three in 1853, Goldthwaite was one of those chosen to remain on the bench.

 

Upon Chief Justice William Parish Chilton's resignation on January 2, 1856, Goldthwaite was chosen his successor. He held that office for thirteen days, then resigned and resumed his law practice.

During the Civil War, Goldthwaite was appointed adjutant general of the state of Alabama and held that position for three years. After the war, in 1866, he was again elected circuit judge but was removed from office by the 1868 Reconstruction Acts. Beginning in December of 1870, Goldthwaite served a six-year term in the United States Senate, after which he retired to private life.

 

George Goldthwaite married Olivia Price Wallach, of Boston, in November of 1835. They had six children.

 

Source: Alabama Judicial System website.