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Job Durfee

Rhode Island

Job Durfee was born in Tiverton, Rhode Island on September 20, 1790. He attended local schools and graduated from Brown University in 1813. He studied law and was admitted to the bar at Newport, Rhode Island in 1817 and returned to Tiverton to practice law. He served in the State house of representatives 1816-1820 and was elected to Congress where he served from 1821 to 1825. He lost his bid for reelection in 1824 and again in 1828. He ran successfully for the State house of representatives in 1826 and was elected speaker, a position he served in from 1827 to 1829. He resumed the practice of law and in 1833 was elected associate justice of the State supreme court. He was named Chief Justice of the State supreme court in 1835 and served in that position until his death in Tiverton, Rhode Island on July 26, 1847. Interment: In the family burying ground at Quaket Neck, near Tiverton, Rhode Island. [Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]

Thomas Durfee, Job Durfee's son, took up the look profession, published a book of poems, and served as a justice on Rhode Island's Supreme Court.

Job Durfee


Job Durfee, "Hymn by Twilight," 5 The Green Bag 35-36 (1893)


Job Durfee, The Vision of Petrarch, a Poem (Providence: Miller, Goddard & Mann, 1814)("delivered before the United Brothers' Society of Brown University, on their anniversary, September 6, 1814")

________, What Cheer, or, Roger Williams in Banishment, a Poem (Providence, Rhode Island: Cranston and Hammond, 1832)(Providence, Rhode Island: Leeds, reprinted and sold by John Heaton, 2nd ed., 1840)(Providence: Preston & Rounds, 1896)(revised & edited, Thomas Durfee) [online text]

Roger Williams Taking Leave of his Family Before His Flight from Salem

John Gilmary Shea, The Story of a Great Nation
(New York: Gay Brothers & Company, 1886)

[Used with permission of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology]


Job Durfee, The Panidea: or, An Omnipresent Reason Considered as the Creative and Sustaining Logos (Boston: Thomas H. Webb & Co., 1846)(pseud. Theoptes)

_________, The Complete Works of the Hon. Job Durfee late Chief Justice of Rhode Island: With a Memoir of the Author (Providence, Rhode Island: Gladding and Proud; Boston: C.C. Little and J. Brown, 1849)(edited by his son, Thomas Durfee) [contains Durfee's Roger William poem (146 pgs.) and a poem about fairy Queen Mab (16 pgs.)] [online text]


Thomas Durfee, Memoir of Job Durfee, Late Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island (Cambridge, Massachusetts: John Wilson & Son, 1881)

Rowland G. Hazard, A Discourse Delivered Before the Rhode-Island Historical Society, on ... January 18th, 1848: On the Character and Writings of Chief Justice Durfee (Providence, Rhode Island: C. Burnett, Jr., 1848)