William Fell Giles
Born in Harford County, Maryland, Giles attended a private academy and the Bel Air Academy. He read law, was admitted to the bar in 1829, and commenced practice in Baltimore, Maryland. He later served as member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1838 to 1840.
After his tenure in Congress, Giles served as officer of the American Colonization Society for more than thirty years, and for more than twenty years as one of the commissioners of the State of Maryland supervising the emigration of free blacks to Liberia.
Giles received a recess appointment from President Franklin Pierce on July 18, 1853, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland vacated by John Glenn. He was formally nominated on December 19, 1853, and on January 11, 1854 he was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission on January 11, 1854. He issued the original writ of habeas corpus in Ex parte Merryman. He served as a judge until his death in Baltimore, Maryland on March 21, 1879. He was interred in Greenmount Cemetery.
- Benson John Lossing (1866), Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War, 1997 reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, Vol. I, Ch. XVIII, "The Capital Secured—Maryland Secessionists Subdued—Contributions by the People", pp. 449-450.
- United States Congress. "William Fell Giles (id: G000184)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- William Fell Giles at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
- William H. Rehnquist (1998), All the Laws but One: Civil Liberties in Wartime, New York: Morrow, ISBN 978-0-679-44661-3.
|United States House of Representatives|
John P. Kennedy
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 4th congressional district
| Succeeded by|
Robert Milligan McLane
|Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
July 18, 1853 – March 21, 1879
| Succeeded by|
Thomas John Morris
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.