Rufus Choate was born on October 1, 1799, in Essex, Massachusetts. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1819, and worked as a tutor for the College to pay of his college debts until 1820. He entered the law offices of William Wirt in Washington, DC in 1821, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1822. In 1825, he established a law practice in Danvers, Massachusetts and was elected to the Lower House of the Massachusetts General Court. Two years later he was elected to the state senate and in 1830, to Congress on the anti-Jackson ticket, where he served two terms before resuming his law practice in 1835. In 1841, Choate was chosen to complete Webster's term in the US Senate, returning to his law practice in 1845. Even though he never returned to professional politics, he took an important part in the Massachusetts convention to revise the state constitution in 1853. Choate died in Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 13, 1859.