Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Felix Grundy (1838–1839): Attorney General

Felix Grundy was born September 11, 1774, in Berkeley County, Virginia. He attended Bardstown Academy in Kentucky, studied law privately, and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1797. Grundy served on the committee that reformed the Kentucky state constitution in 1799, was elected to the state House of Representatives from 1800 to 1805, and was appointed associate justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals in 1806.

He served as chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1807 but resigned to practice privately in Nashville, Tennessee. Grundy was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1811 to 1814 and to the Tennessee house from 1819 to 1825.

He was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Eaton during the Jackson Administration and served from 1829 to 1838, until President Martin Van Buren made him attorney general. Grundy's tenure was cut short in 1839 after a series of procedural maneuvers involving his election to the Senate while holding a cabinet position compromised his position in the Van Buren administration. Grundy would, in fact, be reelected to the Senate in 1839, where he served until his death on December 19, 1840.