Augustus Woodward

Augustus B. Woodward was a native of Virginia, born in November of 1774. It is speculated that he received his college education from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. In his early life, Woodward devoted himself to literary pursuits and wrote and published several works. He was present at the official formation of the District of Columbia and witnessed the laying of the cornerstone for the District at Jones' Point in 1792. He becaome the first attorney to establish a law practice in the new capital.

On March 3, 1805, he was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to serve as Judge for the Territory of Michigan. Woodward did much to improve the conditions for its citizens, as they had been placed under martial law. While Governor Hull and the other two justices did not remain in Detroit, Woodward stayed to continue his duties.

In August of 1824, Woodward was appointed United States Judge for the Territory of Florida. Augustus B. Woodward died on July 12, 1827, having never married.

It has been said that Woodward was among the first to recognize the coming of the scientific age. In 1816, he published his seminal work, A System of Universal Science.

With Reverend John Montieth and Father Gabriel Richard, Woodward drafted a charter for an institution he called the Catholepistemiad or the University of Michigania. On August 26, 1817 the Governor and Judges of the Michigan Territory signed the university act into law. This institution became the University of Michigan.

Another of Woodward's legacies is the Woodward Code: a series of statutes serving as the basis of the Territorial Supreme Court legal procedures.


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