William Cranch

Born: July 17, 1769
Weymouth, Massachusetts

Died: September 1, 1855
Washington, D.C.

William Cranch

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

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.

Professional Career:

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

Cincinnati Historical Society, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Papers, ca. 1790-1855. ca. 300 items; finding aid; collection contains correspondence, poems, documents, and other personal papers.

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, N.Y.

  • Cranch-Greenleaf family papers, 1749-1917; 219 items; finding aid; represented.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

  • Cranch family papers, 1758-1882; 118 items; correspondence.

Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Mass.

  • Cranch-Bond papers, 1731-1938; 1 box; represented.
  • Christopher P. Cranch papers, 1782-1928; 5 boxes; finding aid; correspondence.
  • Cranch family papers, 1749-1928; ca. 700 items; finding aid; represented.
  • Richard Cranch papers, 1767-1844; 1 narrow box; represented.
  • Elizabeth Cranch Norton papers, 1783-1822; 1 narrow box; finding aid; represented.
  • Jacob Norton papers, 1774-1840; 4 boxes and 1 folder of photocopies; represented.

New York Public Library, New York, N.Y.

  • Robert Morris papers, 1751-1802; 1 linear ft.; finding aid; restricted; correspondence.