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Robert Trimble is Born

Today in Masonic History Robert Trimble is born in 1776.

Robert Trimble was an American jurist.

Trimble was born on November 17th, 1776 in Berkeley County, Virginia. At the age of three, he moved with his family to Kentucky. Growing up there provided little opportunity for education. He gathered what resources he could to study. He eventually taught school for a few years. Later he attended a new law school in Lebanon, Ohio.

Trimble read law, essentially apprentice to be a lawyer, under George Nicholas until his passing in 1799. He then read law under Louisiana Senator James Brown. He was licensed to practice law in 1803 and opened a practice in Paris, Kentucky.

In 1803, Trimble was elected to represent Bourbon county, Kentucky in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He served only a single term. He never held another elected office due to his dislike for the life of a politician. He was nominated twice for the United States Senate, turning down both nominations.

In 1808, Trimble was commissioned as an associate justice on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. It was offered in 1810 to promote him to Chief Justice of the court. He declined for fiscal reasons and returned to his law practice.

In 1813, Trimble was appoint the United States Attorney for the District of Kentucky by President James Madison. Madison later nominated Trimble to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Kentucky. Trimble was quickly confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 1817.

In 1826, President John Quincy Adams nominated Trimble for a vacated seat on the United States Supreme Court. Again Trimble was easily confirmed. As a member of the court, Trimble generally agreed with the opinions of Chief Justice John Marshall. His most notable departure from the Chief Justice was the only case Marshall wrote the dissenting opinion for the court. The case was Ogden V. Saunders involving the ability of states to write bankruptcy laws and how those laws effect the Constitutional clause on barring states from impairing the obligations of a contract.

Trimble served on the Supreme Court until the time of his death. He passed away on August 25th, 1828. He died from a "malignant bilious fever."

Trimble was a member of Union Lodge No. 16 in Paris, Kentucky.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.