As the first officially appointed Supreme Court reporter, Wheaton virtually created the office. He displayed common prejudices of his times, and his reports were often verbose and tardy, but his thorough knowledge of law and cordial relationships with the justices set positive and practical precedents.
A graduate of Rhode Island College (later Brown University), Wheaton had distinguished careers in diplomacy and political science in addition to law. He served as a charg d’affairs to Denmark and Prussia, negotiated a tariff treaty, and wrote a well-received volume on international law.
It was as Supreme Court reporter,
This decision was indicative of the democratization and growing sense of public inclusion in government of the Jacksonian era. It made it possible for the poor to have ready access to official court records and therefore the opportunity for greater understanding and impact. Interestingly, despite his eloquence, intelligence, and writing ability, Wheaton’s primary contribution to Court history could be, arguably, instigating a very noteworthy but financially ruinous, lawsuit.
Reporters, Supreme Court
United States Reports