Roger Brooke Taney was born in Calvert County, Maryland, on March 17, 1777. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1795, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1799. That same year he was elected to a one year term in the Maryland House of Delegates. Taney settled in Frederick, served five years in the State senate, moved to Baltimore in 1823, and in 1827 was chosen attorney general of Maryland. President Jackson appointed him Attorney General of the United States and he assumed office on July 20, 1831. He resigned the position on September 23, 1833. Taney was then appointed Secretary of the Treasury. In 1835 President Jackson nominated Taney to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was confirmed by the Senate and held that office until his death on October 12, 1864, in Washington, D.C.
This portrait of Attorney General Taney was reportedly painted in 1856.