Judicial Portraits
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

William Cranch Cranch, William

Dates Served
1801 - 1855

Biographical Sketch
Born 7/17/1769 in Weymouth, MA
Died 9/1/1855 in Washington, DC

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, Circuit Court for the District of Columbia Nominated by John Adams on February 28, 1801; Confirmed by the Senate on 03/03/1801, and received commission on March 3, 1801. Service terminated on February 24, 1806, due to appointment to another judicial position. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia USCC, Chief Judge Nominated by Thomas Jefferson on February 28, 1801; Service terminated on September 1, 1855, due to death.

Harvard College, 1787
Read Law, 1790

Professional Career:
Private practice, Braintree, Massachusetts, 1790
Private practice, Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1790-1791
Justice of the peace, Essex County, Massachusetts
Private practice, Washington, DC, 1791-1800
City land commissioner, U.S. Government, Washington, DC, 1800-1801
Supreme court reporter, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, DC, 1802-1815
Professor of law, Columbian College, Washington, DC, 1826-1828

John Cranch was the son of Judge William Cranch who was appointed to the Circuit Court by President John Adams in 1801. John Cranch, a native of Washington, D.C., and a noted portrait painter and poet, was an associate of the National Academy of Design where he also exhibited. He painted and studied in Washington and in Italy, and he exhibited in New York and Cincinnati. In Cincinnati, he was elected president of the fine arts section of the Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge where he exhibited a portrait of visiting novelist Charles Dickens. Interestingly, he painted the portrait of his father which hangs in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse.

See Judge William Cranch's Sculpture.