On this day in 1790: George Washington appoints James Iredell of Edenton to the U.S. Supreme Court. Among Iredell’s attributes, says Washington, is that “he is of a State of some importance in the Union that has given no character to a federal office.”
The English-born Iredell, who proves to be one of the court’s sharpest minds, serves until his death in 1799.
North Carolina’s only other Supreme Court justice will be Alfred Moore of New Hanover County, appointed by John Adams in 1800.
On this day in 1800: Alfred Moore of New Hanover County, who fought the British as soldier and saboteur during the Revolutionary War, is sworn in as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. President John Adams has appointed Moore to replace the late James Iredell, the only other North Carolinian ever to serve on the court.
At four feet five inches Moore is the shortest Supreme Court justice ever.