Franklin J. Moses, Sr.

Franklin J. Moses, Sr.

Franklin J. Moses, Sr.

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Franklin J. Moses, Sr., born Israel Franklin Moses, (August 13, 1804 – March 6, 1877) was an attorney, planter, politician and judge in South Carolina.

Early life

Moses was born in Charleston to Major Myer Moses and Esther (Hetty) Phillips, one of 22 children of Jonas Phillips. Upon completing his early education in Charleston, Moses attended South Carolina College in 1819 and graduated in 1823. He returned to Charleston to study law under the tutelage of James L. Petigru, but left for Columbia after he was admitted to the bar in 1825. At the urging of Judge J. S. Richardson in Clarendon, Moses instead went to practice law in Sumterville. The only possessions that he took with him were a few law books and a ten-dollar bill, nevertheless Moses was determined to make his home in Sumterville.


Moses entered a practice with John L. Wilson and from the beginning Moses established a principle he followed: Never in the criminal courts to prosecute a man where his life was in danger, and on the civil side never to bring a suit unless there was real merit in it. He quickly rose to the forefront among those of his profession in Sumterville because of his exceptional ability and his beneficial dealings with his clients. His popularity and highly regarded reputation were confirmed by his election as captain of a company of cavalry, the Claremont Troop. In 1832, Moses and his younger brother Montgomery Moses established the law firm of F. J. and M. Moses and their...
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