Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Return Jonathan Meigs


Ohio pioneer, politican, Governor of Ohio, U.S. Senator
Judge on the Supreme Court of both Ohio & Louisiana

Return J. Meigs was born in Middletown, Connecticut on November 17, 1764. He graduated from Yale College in 1785, studied law, and was admitted to practice law. He began law practice in Marietta, Ohio in 1788 and as a pioneer was involved in the Indian fighting of the time. He was appointed territorial judge in 1798 and served in the territorial legislature in 1799. He was chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court from 1803-1804 and judge of the Supreme Court of Louisiana from 1805-1806. He then served as judge of the United States District Court for the Territory of Michigan, 1807-1808. He returned to Ohio in 1808 and was elected Governor of the state but based on his previous residency was found to ineligible to serve. He was then elected to the United States Senate and reelected in 1809. He resigned from the Senate when elected elected Governor, a position he held from 1810 to 1814. Meigs was then Postmaster General in the administrations of Presidents James Madison and James Monroe, 1814-1823. He died at Marietta, Ohio, March 29, 1825.

[Source: Edited biographical profile, Biographical Dictionary of the United States] [See C.L. Martzoloff (ed.), Poems on Ohio 187-188 (Columbus, Ohio: F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1911)(including the poem, "A Prophecy")(which Martzoloff offers as "the first poem wiritten in the Northwest Territory.")]

Return J. Meigs, Jr.

Return J. Meigs, Jr.
Ohio Historical Society

Return Jonathan Meigs
Dictionary of American Biography


Return Jonathan Meigs, A Poem Spoken in the Chapel of Yale-College at the quarterly exhibitions, March 9th, 1784 (New Haven: Printed by Meigs, Bowen and Dana, 1784)


Return Jonathan Meigs, Reports of Cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Tennessee (Nashville: S. Nye & Co. Printers, 1839)

__________________, Digest of all the Decisions of the former Superior courts of law and equity, and of the present Supreme court of errors and appeals, in the state of Tennessee (Nashville: Printed by W.F. Bang & Co. & B.R. Mackennie, for the author, 1848-1850)

Journal of Major Return Johnathan [sic] Meigs copied from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society to which it was given by Josiah Meigs (Winchester, Virginia: Winchester, Virginia, Historical Society, 1931)

Return Jonathan Meigs and the War of 1812 (Columbus: Ohio Historical Society, 1957)(transcription by Richard C. Knopf)

Research Resources

Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, Ohio

Meigs Papers
Manuscripts Department, Lilly Library
Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Return J. Meigs, Sr.