Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PIRTLE, Henry, jurist, born in Washington county, Kentucky, 5 November, 1798; died in Louisville, Kentucky, 28 March, 1880. His parents were among the early settlers in Kentucky. The son received a good English education, working at intervals on his father's farm, studied law, and after practising five years in Harford. Ohio county, removed in 1825 to Louisville. A few months later he was appointed a judge of the general court to fill a vacancy, which post he resigned in 1832 and engaged in active practice. He was again appointed in 1842, but again resigned in a few days, at the close of the pending term of court. In 1840 he was elected to the state senate, and while chairman of the committee on Federal relations he made a report that condemned certain state-rights resolutions of the South Carolina and Virginia legislatures. The same construction of the constitution that was made in this report was laid down several days later by the United States supreme court. Judge Pirtle was chancellor of the Louisville chancery court and professor of constitutional law, equity, and commercial law in the University of Louisville in 1846-'68. He published "Digest of the Decisions of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky " (2 vols., Louisville, 1832).
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