Thomas Jefferson named Augustus Woodward (1772-1827) the first Chief Justice of the Michigan territory in 1805. Born in New York City, Woodward moved to Rockbridge County, Virginia by 1795 to teach and read law, and it was at this time that he met and befriended Thomas Jefferson.
Woodward later moved to Washington D.C. and copied the plans for the city from Pierre Charles L'Enfant. Woodward had an opportunity to use those plans when he went to Michigan, as Detroit was devastated by fire a few months before; the plans were ultimately rejected, however.
Inspired by the University of Virginia, he would help to establish the University of Michigan with its 1817 charter. In 1824, Woodward became a judge in the Florida territory.
- Bryan Craig, September 10, 2008
- Library of Congress. Thomas Jefferson Papers Collection. Some of Jefferson's and Woodward's correspondence is located in the Library of Congress's Thomas Jefferson Papers Collection.
- Correspondence and Papers of Augustus Brevoort Woodward, 1790-1928. Burton Historical Collection Manuscripts Collection, Detroit Public Library.
- University of Michigan. "University of Michigan History."
- Woodford, Frank B. Mr. Jefferson's Disciple: A Life of Justice Woodward. East Lansing: Michigan State College Press, 1953.