The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Class of 1809

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Levi Woodbury, Class of 1809

This article is part of a series recognizing Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

Born in Francestown, New Hampshire in 1789, Levi Woodbury arrived Dartmouth College at the age of sixteen in 1806. Little is known about Woodbury during his time at Dartmouth. There is record like many of his contemporaries, that he helped pay for his tuition by teaching school in the neighboring towns around Hanover. Having graduated with honors in 1809, he traveled to Connecticut to study law at Tapping Reeve, America’s first law school. He didn’t stay long in Litchfield; before the year was over Woodbury returned home to hang out his shingle. At just twenty-two, he was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar, which allowed him to establish a small law office.

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