Excerpt from Memoir of Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
About two years before the death of Chief-Justice Taney, in a conversation with him on the Lives of the Chief Justices of England, by Lord Campbell, he expressed a wish that I would write his life. It was accordingly agreed between us that I would do so; though I was fully aware of the difficulty and the delicacy of the undertaking. And how, almost entirely, I have had to rely upon my own resources for the materials of the life, will appear by the following letters from Mr. Campbell, the son-in-law of the Chief Justice, and a distinguished member of the Baltimore Bar.
My Dear Sir:
I this morning received your favor of the 3d. It gives me and the family great satisfaction to learn that yon intend writing the Chief Justice's life, and have been for some time making collections with that view. I shall be very happy to contribute any information to you which I possess. I do not know whether you have ever seen Van Santvoords Lives of the American Chief Justices. The volume was published by Scribner, of New York, in 1854. Many of the facts in it, and particularly those relating to his English ancestors, were communicated to the author by me, ex relatione of the Chief Justice. Van Santvoord says that the name Taney is of Welsh extraction, but I think that a mistake. There is a church known as Taney in Ireland, and I think in the county Dublin; and the name appears in the Rolls of Letters Patent and Closed in the years 1203 and 1221, published by the English Record Commission. I have a copy of a pedigree of the Brookes beginning in 1602 and ending in 1717. It records the aspect of the Planets at the time of the births of several of the children. If you think it would be worth while, I will send you a copy. I will also send Van Santvoord's book, if you have not got it.
Great men have often simple tastes, and the Chief Justice was no exception. He was passionately fond of flowers, and always thought well of one who liked them.
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