Buckner Thruston Notes



Buckner Thruston (1763-1845)



Married 1795, 8 children.

Senator from Kentucky 1805-09

Federal Judge, 1810-1845

(Biographical Directory of the United States Congress)


Political ally of Andrew Jackson

Owned Weston, 1830-1845, but it is unclear if he resided there



With his colleague William Cranch he took an interest in the founding of a Lancastrian School (Intelligencer, February 29, 1812).

Being about to remove into the country, I will sell or lease the house in which I reside on Capitol Hill, Washington City- B. Thruston.” (Intelligencer, January 1, 1814)

Bought from John Addison Barber alias Murdock, part of Harlem in Whitehaven, (DC Liber AI34 (1815) f. 396/419)

Director, as of 1817, of the Branch Bank of the United States in Washington, as had been Walter Chandler.

1827 Directory Judge Circuit Court, dwelling south side B Street, between New Jersey and 1st, SE on Capitol Hill.

1828, Sophia Jackson bought her daughter Lurenna (age 31), and Lurenna’s children William (3), and Adelena (10 months), from Buckner Thruston. In 1813 Thruston had, at the request of the mother, Sophia Jackson, a free black woman, bought Lurenna at age 11 in Prince Georges County.  Jackson now frees her daughter Lurenna. (DC Liber WB24,  ff.103-4)


1828, Bank of Columbia foreclosed, Weston sold at auction (Intelligencer, October 22, 1828)

1830, Buckner Thruston records putting fifty grape roots, and fifty peach trees in at Weston

(Buckner Thruston Diary, Historical Society of Washington, unpublished ms 251, p.170)

This is the only record found of his presence there!  Thruston may have used Weston as a summer house, or may have rented it out.  30 acres of Weston were sold by Thruston to Joseph Nourse.


For sale or rent, beautiful and healthy country seat, on the heights above Georgetown, called Weston. A long lease might be had of it. (National Intelligencer, September 28, 1831)

For sale, Weston, near Washington City, 70 acres. House is built of brick in the cottage style. Buckner Thruston (National Intelligencer, January 23, 1835)


1834 freed his slave Michael Brown, deed to become effective on 4th of July, 1837, praising him as “among the most honest and correct men I have ever known.” (Letitia Woods Brown)


Furniture for sale and house for rent on Capitol Hill at house formerly occupied by Judge Thruston, house to be rented for two years, in good repair. P. Mauro, auct. (National Intelligencer, October 10, 1834)


Died on March 28, Mrs. Jeannette Thruston, wife of the Hon. Buckner Thruston of Washington City. (National Intelligencer, March 31, 1835)


1836, one of three judges in US v. Crandall, where defendant was acquited after 8 mos in jail for receiving abolitionist literature in the mail.


1843, to James H. Causten from “Septimus Davis of Weston”, all that Chandler had sold to McKenney in 1817, except 30 acres sold by B. Thruston to J. Nourse.

The Davis deed to Thruston was to satisfy a loan of $4,000. The mortgage and costs were paid by Davis, evidently with the aid of Causten, and Thruston and Davis gave a deed to Causten July 25, 1843, for the 30 acres that were part of Weston.


Died August 30, 1845, buried at Congressional Cemetery;  his funeral was from his house on 3rd street, wash city.


Thruston, Alfred B. d. 25 May 1849 43 yrs. Congressional Cemetery, R37/96

Thruston.  On Friday morning after a lingering illness in the 44th year of his age, Alfred B. Thruston, son of the late Judge Thruston, leaving a family and a numerous circle of relatives to mourn his death.  His friends and those of the family are respectfully invited to attend his funeral from his late residence on Capitol Hill at half past 4 o’clock today.




Thomas L. Thruston, a marshall of the day for reception of Lafayette (National Intelligencer, Oct. 11, 1824)

Mr. Thos. L. Thruston, Dept. of State, of Wash City, married Sarah Ward, daughter of Col. Thos. Ward, of Newark, NJ (National Intelligencer, Sept. 14, 1825)

Thos. L Thruston, 1827 Directory, clerk, Secretary of State’s office;

Thruston, Thomas L.  d. 19 Oct. 1850.  Congressional Cemetery, R36/10

Thruston.  On Saturday, 19th instant, Thomas L. Thruston, Esq., eldest son of the late Judge Thruston of this city. Mr. Thruston was well known and highly esteemed in this community.  His death will be long lamented by his family, as well as by a very numerous circle of friends.


Gen.Charles Mynn Thruston (1789-1873)

Appointed to West Point from the District of Columbia;  2nd Lt., Artillery, 1814, resigned 1836

Mayor of Cumberland, Maryland

Commanded Maryland Volunteers (Union), September, 1861-April 1862




Impeachment of Buckner Thruston:

Memoirs of John Q. Adams, Vol. VIII: characterizes Thruston as “partially insane”


Case of Judge Thruston

24th Congress, 2nd session, March 3 1837, report 327, Doc 306

Testimony regarding charges against Buckner Thruston, Assoc, Judge of the DC Circ Crt.


From Wikipedia/impeachments of judges:

Circuit Court Judge John Ness sent a memorial to Congress complaining of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Buckner Thruston’s official conduct. The memorial was referred to the Judiciary Committee for investigation. On February 28, 1825, the Judiciary Committee submitted its report to the House. The report recommended no action be taken against the Judge.[41]

On January 30, 1837, William Brent and Richard Coxe sent a memorial to Congress requesting an investigation of Judge Thruston, who was reputed to be a nasty individual and bad judge. The memorial was referred to the Judiciary Committee. On March 3, 1837, the Judiciary Committee submitted its final report to the House. The report contained witness testimony, but no recommendation for or against impeachment.[42]

No other record regarding the disposition of this report has been found in primary or secondary sources. Presumably, no action was taken before the end of the congressional session.




Carlton Fletcher

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