Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864)
MSA SC 3520-1500


Born: March 17, 1777, in Calvert County.
Father: Michael Taney (1750-1820).
Mother: Monica (Brooke) Taney (1752-1814).
Siblings: Michael; Augustus (1787-1823); Octavius C. (?-1832); Dorothy; Sophia Y.; Alice.
Education: Attended public schools; graduated, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1795; studied law under Jeremiah Townley Chase in Annapolis, 1796-1799.
Marriage: Anne Phoebe Charlton Key (1783-1855), January 7, 1806.
Children: Anne; Sophia; Ellen; Elizabeth; Maria; Alice; one son who died in infancy.
Religious Affiliation: Catholic.
Public Offices:
House of Delegates, Calvert County, 1799.
            Senate, Western Shore, 1816-1818, 1819 (did not serve), 1820.
            Maryland Attorney General, 1827-1831.
            U.S. Secretary of War (Acting), July 21, 1831.
            U.S. Attorney General, 1831-1833.
            U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, 1833-1834.
            Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1836-1864.
Private Career:

            Admitted to the Bar, 1799.
            Practiced law, Frederick County, 1801-1823; Baltimore City, 1823-1864.
            Director, Frederick County Bank, 1818-1813.
            Counsel, Union Bank of Maryland.
Political Affiliation: Federalist to 1824 (pro-war, 1812-1814); Democrat, after 1824.
Real Property: At time of death, owned houses in Washington, DC and in Baltimore City.
Personal Property: Estate valued at $6,398, including $4,625 in stock, silver plate valued at $456, and a library of over 600 volumes. Held substantial life insurance policies.
Slaves: Owned at least eight slaves, who he manumitted between 1818 and 1821. No evidence of any other slave ownership after that time, although some of the manumissions were delayed, the last not taking effect until 1846.
Died: October 12, 1864, in Washington, D.C.
Buried: St. John's Cemetery, Frederick County.

Other biographical sources:

Profile of Roger Brooke Taney and Discussion of Taney Supreme Court from The Supreme Court Historical Society.

Profile of Roger Brooke Taney from the Columbia Encyclopedia from Bartleby website (

Profile of Roger Brooke Taney from Encyclopedia Dickinsonia, Dickinson College website (

Profile of Roger Brooke Taney from the Catholic Encyclopedia website (

Return to Roger Brooke Taney's Introductory Page

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