Benjamin F. H. Witherell

Benjamin F. H. Witherell

Benjamin F. H. Witherell

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Benjamin Franklin Hawkins Witherell (August 4, 1797 – June 26, 1867) was a jurist in the U.S. state of Michigan. He served as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court in 1857.

Witherell was born in Fair Haven, Vermont, the second son and fifth of six children of James Witherell. The father moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1808 after being appointed by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson as a Judge of the Supreme Court for the Territory of Michigan. With the impending outbreak of hostilities in the War of 1812, Benjamin was sent back to Vermont with his mother in 1811. He studied the classics privately with in Troy, New York, and returned to Detroit in 1817. He then studied law in the offices of his father and of Territorial Secretary William Woodbridge and was admitted to the bar in 1819. He was subsequently admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States on the motion of Daniel Webster.

He served as prosecuting attorney and judge in various local and state courts through the 1820s and 1830s. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1824 and Recorder of the City of Detroit in 1828. In 1834-1835, he was a Judge of Probate, and from 1835 to 1839, he was Prosecuting Attorney for Wayne County. In 1840 and 1841, he served in the Michigan State Senate. He also held at various times, the military offices of Judge Advocate General, Brigadier General, and Major General of the militia.<ref name="p....
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