Document Type



Legal History


Kent Newmyer’s biography of Justice Joseph Story set the standard of later judicial biographies. Yet it focused on the public aspects of republicanism in Story’s court decisions rather than the ways a republican ethos might lead to the construction of alternative realms. Such realms became increasingly important as the common republicanism of the founding generation waned. In response to Jeffersonian and, especially, Jacksonian partisan politics, Story began to carve out space to invent domains apart from the politicized spheres of Supreme Court decision-making. It was Story’s adaptation to what he considered dark times. This Article examines three of these parallel worlds—his construction of a saltwater jurisprudence through admiralty law that proved a separate realm from the Court’s common law cases, his lengthy poetic imagining of a solitary place apart from politics, and his encouragement of mechanic republicanism through patent law and his involvement with mechanical institutes. Dark times elicit the making of new, uncharted parallel worlds.

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