Wendell Phillips Stafford

Wendell Phillips Stafford (May 1, 1861 – April 21, 1953) was an American attorney and jurist. He was most notable for his service as an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court and as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

Wendell Phillips Stafford
Wendell Phillips Stafford by C. M. Bell.jpg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia
In office
June 1, 1904 – May 4, 1931
Appointed byTheodore Roosevelt
Preceded byJeter Connelly Pritchard
Succeeded byF. Dickinson Letts
Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court
In office
Preceded byLaforrest H. Thompson
Succeeded byGeorge M. Powers
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from St. Johnsbury
In office
Preceded byFrancis Walker
Succeeded byJohn Calvin Clark
Personal details
Wendell Phillips Stafford

(1861-05-01)May 1, 1861
Barre, Vermont
DiedApril 21, 1953(1953-04-21) (aged 91)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeMount Pleasant Cemetery
St. Johnsbury, Vermont
EducationBoston University School of Law (LL.B.)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Barre, Vermont, Stafford was the son of Franklin Stafford and Sarah (Noyes) Stafford. He attended the public schools of Barre and graduated from Barre Academy in 1878.[1] Stafford graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in 1880, and received a Bachelor of Laws from Boston University School of Law in 1883.[2] He was admitted to the bar, and began to practice in St. Johnsbury, Vermont in partnership with Henry Clay Ide.[3] Among the prospective attorneys who studied law in their office was William H. Taylor, who later served as an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court.[4]


Stafford was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives in 1892.[2] He was a Reporter of Decisions for the Supreme Court of Vermont from 1896 to 1900.[2] He was an associate justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1900 to 1904, succeeding Laforrest H. Thompson.[5] He resigned to accept appointment as a federal judge, and was succeeded by George M. Powers.[6]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Stafford received a recess appointment from President Theodore Roosevelt on June 1, 1904, to an Associate Justice seat on the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia (now the United States District Court for the District of Columbia) vacated by Associate Justice Jeter Connelly Pritchard.[2] He was nominated to the same position by President Roosevelt on December 6, 1904.[2] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 13, 1904, and received his commission the same day.[7][8][9] His service terminated on May 4, 1931, due to his retirement.[10]

Other serviceEdit

Stafford was a Professor at George Washington University in 1908.[11]

Career as authorEdit

Stafford was also a poet, and his published works include: North Flowers (1902); Dorian Days (1909); and The Land We Love (1916).[12][13][14]

Death and burialEdit

Stafford died at his home in Washington, D.C. on April 21, 1953.[15] He was buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in St. Johnsbury.[16]


In 1886, Stafford married Florence S. Goss of St. Johnsbury.[citation needed] They were the parents of two sons, Edward, a Washington, DC attorney and Robert, who died as a child.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Barre Academy Collection, 1852-1891, BHC 9-11", Barre History Collection, via vermonthistory.org.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wendell Phillips Stafford at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ Oldroyd, Osborn Hamiline (2 April 2019). "The Poets' Lincoln: Tributes in Verse to the Martyred President". The editor. p. 236 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Cummings, Charles R. (November 1906). "The New Judiciary System: The Board of Superior Judges; William H. Taylor". The Vermonter. White River Junction, VT: Chas. R. Cummings. p. 296.
  5. ^ Noel, Francis Regis; Downing, Mrs Margaret Brent Burke (2 April 2019). "The Court-house of the District of Columbia". Press of Judd & Detweiler, Incorporated. p. 77 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Judge George M. Powers". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. June 4, 1904. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Crockett, Walter Hill (1921). Vermont: The Green Mountain State. Century history Company, Incorporated. p. 373 – via Internet Archive. wendell phillips stafford appointed judge 1904.
  8. ^ Easby-Smith, James Stanislaus (1907). Georgetown University in the District of Columbia, 1789-1907: Its Founders, Benefactors, Officers, Instructors and Alumni. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 275 – via Internet Archive. stafford, wendell phillips.
  9. ^ "The Philadelphia Record - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. p. 857.
  10. ^ Beacon Lights of Literature, published by Iroquois Publishing Co., Syracuse, Book 9, 1940, page 857
  11. ^ College, Middlebury (2 April 2019). "Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont: And of Others who Have Received Degrees, 1800-1915". The College. p. 498 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Stafford, Wendell Phillips (2 April 2019). "North Flowers...: A Few Poems". Press of the Caledonian Company – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Stafford, Wendell Phillips (2 April 2019). "Dorian Days: Poems". Macmillan – via Google Books.
  14. ^ Stafford, Wendell Phillips (1916). The Land We Love: Poems, Chiefly Patriotic. A. F. Stone – via Internet Archive. Wendell Phillips Stafford poet.
  15. ^ The Journal of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, published by the association, Volume 20, 1953, page 276
  16. ^ Report of Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, published by Vermont Bar Association, 1954, page 50

External linksEdit

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jeter Connelly Pritchard
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia
Succeeded by
F. Dickinson Letts