Author: Christopher M. Curtis


William Jr. Daniel (1806–1873)

William Daniel Jr. was a member of the House of Delegates (1831–1832, 1835–1836, 1838) and served as a judge of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (1847– 1865). Born in Winchester, Daniel earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and practiced in Lynchburg. He represented Campbell County in the House of Delegates, and during the slavery debate of 1831–1832 spoke against a proposal to free children born to enslaved mothers. Elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals in 1846, he sat on the bench through the American Civil War (1861–1865) issuing respected rulings on equity jurisprudence and property rights. In 1861, he wrote an opinion in Baker v. Wise, Governor, which upheld a Virginia law that required state inspectors to verify that ships owned out of state and bound for the North did not harbor fugitive slaves. After the war Daniel resumed his law practice in Lynchburg and died in nearby Nelson County in 1873.