Stephen Johnson Field

Stephen Johnson Field

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Stephen Johnson Field

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Stephen Johnson Field (November 4, 1816 – April 9, 1899) was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from May 20, 1863, to December 1, 1897. Prior to this, he was the 5th Chief Justice of California.

Early life and education

Born in Haddam, Connecticut, he was the sixth of the nine children of David Dudley Field I, a Congregationalist minister, and his wife Submit Dickinson. His family produced three other children of major prominence in 19th Century America: David Dudley Field II the prominent attorney, Cyrus Field the millionaire investor and creator of the Atlantic Cable, and Rev. Henry Martyn Field a prominent clergyman and travel writer. He grew up in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and went to Turkey at thirteen with his sister and her missionary husband. He graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, in 1837. While attending Williams College he was one of the original Founders of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. After studying law in New York City with his brother David Dudley II, they practiced law together until 1848 when he went west to California in the Gold Rush.Robert Green McCloskey, American Conservatism in the Age of Enterprise, 1865-1910 (1951; Harper & Row, 1964), pp. 86-92.

Career in California politics and law

There his legal practice boomed and he was elected alcalde, a form of mayor and justice of the peace under the old Mexican rule of law, of Marysville. Because the Gold Rush city could...
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