Leonard Henderson

2nd Supreme Court Chief Justice

Date Born: 1772

Date Died: August 13, 1833

Place Born: Granville County

Place Buried: TBD

From (County): Granville

Party: Unknown


Chief Justice 1829-1833
Associate Justice 1818-1829

Elected as Chief Justice on August 13, 1829.

A Judge of the NC Superior Court and a Justice of the NC Supreme Court. His education was a good as the country afforded. His father (late Judge Richard Henderson) was distinguished for his learning, sagacity, and intellect. His life and services were spent in the highest duties of our land - the administration of law - whose decision is the perfection of reason, "whose voice is the harmony of the world, and whose seat is the bosom of God."

Such duties are among the most elevated functions that can exercise the mind of man. In this the comprehensive mind of Judge Henderson delighted, and no one who knew him, or who may read his opinions, will doubt for a moment his intellectual greatness. He was more remarkable for his genius than for labor. His mind, with instictive rapidity, seemed to arrive at a sound conclusion, but the modes and method by which he arrived at that opinion was to him laborious to explain. He was distinguished for his kindness of heart and generous sentiments.

Henderson was never in the Legislature. Public honor and popular applause never was an object of his idolatry. He felt that the law was a jealous mistress, and allowed no rival in his attentions or affections.

He was first elected to the NC Superior Court in 1808, yet he resigned in 1816.

On the formation of the Supreme Court, he was elected one of the first Associate Justices, along with John Hall and John Louis Taylor, and on Taylor's death in 1829 he was appointed as the second Chief Justice..

Full of years, and full of honors, he died at his residence in Granville in August of 1833, in his 61st year of his age. He married Frances Farrer and left two sons and two daughters, one of whom married Dr. Richard R. Sneed; the other Dr. William C. Taylor.

Leonard Henderson was born in that part of Granvill County which is now Vance County, in 1772. His sister married Spruce McKay, and his niece became the wife of Judge Boyden of the NC Supreme Court.

Henderson was elected to the NC Superior Court in 1808 and resigned in 1816. Elected to the NC Supreme Court in 1818, he became Chief Justice in 1829 and died in August 1833.

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