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THE honourable Robert Trimble, one of the associate justices of this Court, died at his residence in Paris, Kentucky, in September 1828.
Mr Justice Trimble was born in Augusta county, Virginia, in 1777, and was the son of Mr William Trimble, one of the earliest settlers in Kentucky; a virtuous man, whose bold, firm, and enterprising character induced him to seek an increase to his fortunes, by establishing himself on the frontiers, encountering all the dangers and hardships of a new and advanced settlement.
Mr Justice Trimble accompanied his father when he emigrated, and the early years of his life were passed in agricultural industry; and frequently in the amusements and toils of the chase, upon the success of which the settlers often depended for food: he was sometimes engaged in defence against Indian invasion, to which the borderers were then constantly exposed. He was distinguished in his youth for his conduct, his courage and his sagacity; and was acknowledged as a leader by his associates.
The native and powerful energies of his mind could not be restrained by the situation in which he was placed, and he became desirous of obtaining an education which would
fit him for higher duties. By teaching an English school he procured the means of entering Bourbon Academy; and he afterwards was a student in the Kentucky Academy in Woodford county, where he completed his classical attainments. He then studied law, and in 1800 commenced the practice of his profession at Paris, in Bourbon county, where he married. His widow, and a numerous family of children survive him.
Mr Justice Trimble always enjoyed the highest consideration and confidence of his fellow citizens. In 1802 he was elected to the house of representatives of Kentucky; but in the following year he declined a re-election, determining to devote himself to his profession, a duty enjoined upon him by his narrow fortunes. In 1807, his professional reputation and character were such, that he was appointed a judge of the supreme court of Kentucky; which situation he held for two years with great reputation. He relinquished the office to resume the practice of his profession; and in 1810 he refused the commission of chief justice of the state. In 1813 he again declined the office of chief justice; and having assiduously and successfully devoted himself to the bar until 1817, he was in that year appointed district judge of the United States, for the district of Kentucky. In May 1826, he received, from President Adams, the commission of associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
In the performance of judicial duties in Kentucky, in the state courts, and in the district and circuit courts of the United States, Judge Trimble obtained the respect and esteem of the profession and of his fellow citizens. Learned in the law, just and discriminating in his judicial investigations, his decisions were characterised by great legal accu
racy, research and perspicuity, and by an enlarged and liberal equity. In the Supreme Court of the United States, Mr Justice Trimble maintained and increased the character and reputation which had placed him upon that bench. His opinions were clear and comprehensive, illustrated and enriched by all the legal learning their subjects demanded; and they gave to those who heard them the surest anticipations of increasing usefulness and talents, had it been permitted to him to remain in the performance of the high functions of his station.
In private and domestic life Mr Justice Trimble was universally beloved and respected. Gentle, conciliating and kind in his manners and disposition, honourable and faithful in all his transactions, every one who knew him sought bis friendship, and was proud of attaining it. As a husband and a father, his mild and amiable virtues endeared him to those with whom he was connected in these relations; and his home was always the abode of cheerfulness and content. He was a patriot, and a firm republican, and he was devotedly attached to the union ; always maintaining those constitutional principles which have been declared from the tribunal, of which he had been an efficient and much honoured member.