BERRIEN, John Macpherson, (1781 - 1856)

Senate Years of Service: 1825-1829; 1841-1845; 1845-1852
Party: Jacksonian; Whig; Whig

BERRIEN, John Macpherson, a Senator from Georgia; born at Rocky Hill, near Princeton, N.J., August 23, 1781; moved with his parents to Savannah, Ga., in 1782; graduated from Princeton College in 1796; studied law in Savannah; admitted to the bar and began practice in Louisville, then the capital of Georgia, in 1799; returned to Savannah; elected solicitor of the eastern judicial circuit of Georgia in 1809; judge of the same circuit from 1810 until January 30, 1821, when he resigned; captain of the Georgia Hussars, a Savannah volunteer company, in the War of 1812; member, State senate 1822-1823; elected as a Jacksonian to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1825, until March 9, 1829; resigned to accept the position of Attorney General in the Cabinet of President Andrew Jackson and served from March 9, 1829, until June 22, 1831, when he resigned; resumed the practice of law; again elected, as a Whig, to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1841, until May 1845, when he again resigned to accept an appointment to the supreme court of Georgia; again elected in 1845 to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by his second resignation; reelected in 1846 and served from November 13, 1845, until May 28, 1852, when he resigned for the third time; chairman, Committee on Judiciary (Twentieth, Twenty-sixth, and Twenty-seventh Congresses); president of the American Party convention at Milledgeville in 1855; died in Savannah, Ga., January 1, 1856; interment in Laurel Grove Cemetery.


Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Govan, Thomas P. “John Macpherson Berrien and the Administration of Andrew Jackson.” Journal of Southern History 5 (November 1939): 447-67; McCrary, Royce, Jr. “John Macpherson Berrien of Georgia: A Political Biography.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Georgia, 1971.