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Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney 1883 Artist Signed Portrait

This is a nice 1800s engraving of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney signed by the artist D. H. Anderson that was published in 1893 by Christian Klackner of New York. 

Taney was born during the Revolutionary War in 1777 and served in the cabinet of President Andrew Jackson as both Attorney General and acting Secretary of Treasury and was instrumental in helping Jackson dismantle the Second Bank of America.  In appreciation President Jackson appointed him Chief Justice and Taney was confirmed by the Senate on March 15, 1836. Taney served on the Supreme Court until his death in 1864, 28 years, second only to the legendary Chief Justice Marshall. He is most famous for his ruling upholding slavery in the Dred Scott case in 1857.  He also ruled against Abraham Lincoln in a wartime habeas corpus case which, along with the Dred Scott case, made him very unpopular in the North.

At the end of the biography of Taney in Wikipedia is this note about Taney's legacy:

Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, author of the dissent on Dred Scott, held his former colleague in high esteem despite their differences in that case. Writing in his own memoirs, Curtis described Taney:

He was indeed a great magistrate, and a man of singular purity of life and character. That there should have been one mistake in a judicial career so long, so exalted, and so useful is only proof of the imperfection of our nature. The reputation of Chief Justice Taney can afford to have anything known that he ever did and still leave a great fund of honor and praise to illustrate his name. If he had never done anything else that was high, heroic, and important, his noble vindication of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the dignity and authority of his office, against a rash minister of state, who, in the pride of a fancied executive power, came near to the commission of a great crime, will command the admiration and gratitude of every lover of constitutional liberty, so long as our institutions shall endure.

Modern legal scholars have tended to concur with Justice Curtis that, notwithstanding the Dred Scott decision and the furor surrounding it which will forever be attached to his name, Taney was both an outstanding jurist and a competent judicial administrator.

Below are pictures of D. H. Anderson's signature on the print, the copyright notice at the bottom of the print and the worn plate on the frame identifying the subject as "Roger Brooke Taney," the back of the frame and a close-up of Taney's face.  This portrait of Taney looks like it is of him in the middle of his career in the 1840s.

Original wood back of portrait and close-up of Taney's face.

The frame is 27" x 31" and the portrait itself is 13" x 16."  The large old frame and glass are heavy and it will cost $25 to ship it so it will arrive intact. This is a very nice 112 year old engraving in an old period frame of one of the more important political and legal figures of American history.  We could not find any other examples of this print listed in museum catalogues or offered by print dealers so it may be quite rare.

Price: SOLD