Thomas Jefferson named Augustus Woodward (1774-1827) 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, 9/10/2008

Further Sources