About the Papers of Roger Brooke Taney

Roger Brooke Taney (1777 – 1864) was one of the most significant American jurists of the 19th century, second only to John Marshall (1755 – 1835) in importance. Although remembered today for his decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, Taney wielded considerable political influence in the years prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court. His writings during the first half of the 1830s provide insights into the political and economic dynamics of the period, the lessons of which inform the contemporary American political scene and our understanding of his juridical reasoning.

Volume I: The Bank War centers on Taney’s role as Secretary of the Treasury during Andrew Jackson’s prolonged fight with the political opposition and president and directors of the Bank of the United States. This clash culminated in Jackson elevating a sympathetic Taney from Attorney General to Treasury Secretary – via a recess appointment – to fulfill Jackson’s plans to diminish and defeat the Bank.

Taney played a significant role in Jackson’s decision to veto a bill to renew the Bank’s charter, remove federal deposits from the Bank, and distribute these federal deposits in state-chartered “pet banks.” These policies, and the constitutional arguments advanced to defend them, shaped the political, economic, and social realities of the Jacksonian and antebellum periods. 

Contributors & Credits

David Ramsey – Senior Editor / Associate Professor and Chair of the Reubin O’D. Askew Department of Government at the University of West Florida

Kelly Carr – Associate Editor / Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of West Florida

Ed Bradley – Assistant Editor / Papers of Roger Brooke Taney, University of West Florida


Project efforts have been advanced by the valuable contributions of graduate assistants, staff, interns and volunteers:

  • Erin Jackson
  • Grace Wheeler
  • Carter Edwards
  • Tyler Luong
  • Meyer Levy
  • Ayla Green
  • Sebastian Meyer
  • Joseph Zavoral
  • Trevor Schott
  • Evelyn VanDerbeck
  • Burak Kotan
  • Zachary Van Meter
  • Micaiala Hamner
  • Patrick Feagles
  • David Lagos
  • Erica Evans
  • Damon Hickey
  • Jessica Ramm
  • Taylor Wantje
  • Brenton Avery
  • Michelle Adams
  • Steven Wiktorski
  • Gaige McMillian
  • Karen Tibbals
  • Joyce Southard