June 21, 2019 10:00 AM EDT Cincinnati


Very Rare 1861 New Orleans Imprint, Opinion of Chief Justice Taney in the Case of Ex Parte John Merryman

Opinion of Chief Justice Taney, in the Case of Ex Parte John Merryman, Applying for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. New Orleans, LA: George Ellis, 1861. Printed booklet with paper cover, 18pp, 5.75 x 9.75 in. 

During his tenure as Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney (1777-1864) played an integral role in several important Supreme Court decisions. Born to a prosperous family of tobacco growers in Maryland, Taney studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1799. He was nominated to the Supreme Court by Andrew Jackson and sworn in as chief justice in March of 1836. Among the cases heard by the Taney Court (1836-1864) were Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, (1837), Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), and perhaps most famously, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). After the start of the Civil War, Taney remained on the US Supreme Court, rather than joining its counterpart in the Confederacy. In 1861, Taney wrote an opinion opposing President Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, following the imprisonment of secessionist John Merryman. Lincoln ignored Taney’s decision, however, issuing his own explanation for his actions to Congress in July.


Covers with brittleness, toning, soiling, and wear to edges/corners, including some tearing and loss, particularly to back cover. Pages with toning and staining, as well as holes to upper right corners of pp 3-18.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  

Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 

For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com.