George C. Watkins

Other Name:
George Claibourne Watkins, George Claiborne Watkins
November 25, 1815
December 7, 1872
Home Town:
Shelbyville, KY
Later Residences:
Little Rock, AR
Mary Crease Watkins (June 28, 1841)
Sophia Curran Watkins (1855)
Biographical Notes:
George Claibourne Watkins was the son of Major Isaac and Marie Toncre Watkins of Shelbyville, Kentucky. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where his father built the first tavern and grist mill in Little Rock. After attending Litchfield Law School, Watkins returned to Little Rock and formed a partnership with fellow Litchfield Law School graduate Chester Ashley. Watkins later formed another partnership with James M. Curran.

He entered state politics serving first as Attorney General of Arkansas in 1843 and later as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas from 1852 to 1854.
His most important ruling as Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court was the case of Merrick vs. Avery in 1854 where he based his reasoning on the case of The Genesse Chief vs. Fitzhugh. H...

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Attended local schools in Little Rock, AK.
Attended Yale College

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Political Office
State Posts:
Attorney General (AK) 1843
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (AK) 1852-1854

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Fisher, Samuel. Litchfield Law School 1774-1833, Biographical Catalogue of Students New Haven, CT: Yale Law Library, 1946.
Secondary Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History George Claibourne Watkins accessed on July 16, 2018.

Hallam, John. Biographical and Pictorial History of Arkansas. Southern Historical Press, 1978.

McCaslin, Richard B. "Reconstructing a Frontier Oligarchy: Andrew Johnson's Amnesty Proclamation and Arkansas." The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 49, no. 4 (1990): 313-29. doi:10.2307/40038173.

Watkins, Francis Nathaniel. A Catalogue of the Descendants of Thomas Watkins, of Chickahomony. VA: Ludington and Aycock, 1888.

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