Justice Under Fire

Civil War Reconstruction Shows Challenges to Tennessee Courts are Nothing New

Today’s Tennessee judiciary confronts many changes and proposed changes, ranging from how judges and justices are selected to the handling of workers’ compensation claims. As unsettling and controversial as these current “reforms” are, it is a good time to pause and reflect on past challenges our state’s judicial system has endured. Unquestionably its greatest challenge was the bloody and devastating Civil War, a conflict in which Tennessee was a principal battlefield. If Tennessee’s legal system could survive that upheaval, it can and will persevere over anything. So let us go back to a day when it looked like our courts would truly collapse and perhaps not recover, but, in the end, they triumphed.

On the morning of June 6, 1862, thousands of Memphians congregated on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River to watch the Battle of Memphis. A powerful Union fleet of five ironclads and four rams faced a Confederate flotilla of eight steamboats. Following a fierce naval battle of 90 minutes, all but one of the Southern vessels were captured or destroyed.[1] Memphis had fallen. Also lost was the last refuge of Tennessee’s vagabond state government as Gov. Isham G. Harris and other Confederate officials evacuated into Mississippi. The flag of the Confederacy was lowered from the roof of the post office and that of the United States was hoisted in its place.[2] As lawyer John Hallum, who witnessed the surrender of his city, wrote:

As soon as the army of occupation took possession of the city an order was issued commanding all citizens within a prescribed time to take the oath of allegiance to the National Government. Non-compliance meant banishment beyond the lines. This was gall and wormwood to all who had given their adhesion to the Confederate States. Rather than submit to its terms, I resolved to go South with my family.[3]

The Memphis Courts Fall

Like John Hallum, George Dixon — judge and chancellor of the two-sided “Common Law and Chancery Court,” Memphis’ state civil tribunal in the city founded in 1850 — was a staunch Confederate. Accordingly, the Union army discovered that Dixon, like many other state and local officials, had fled south. Furthermore, at the command of Confederate authorities, the minute books and records of the court were removed to Mississippi to prevent capture, presumably in the custody of Chancellor Dixon.[4] The last-minute book entry before the fall of Memphis abruptly ends on Thursday, May 22, 1862, without the normal entry of adjournment, thus indicating haste. The remainder of the minute book, Minute Book 12 of the “Chancery Side” of the court, is blank.[5]

The judge of the Criminal Court, J. T. Swayne, stayed in Memphis and said that Dixon had left “in apprehension of personal inconveniences from Federal authorities.”[6] Judge Swayne further observed that even if Dixon had remained, and had not been imprisoned or forced out of the city, the Common Law and Chancery Court could not have conducted business because of the obvious difficulty in locating witnesses and taking depositions.[7] As for the other officials of the court, the clerk of the “Common Law Side,” Marcus J. Wright, joined the staff of Confederate General Benjamin F. Cheatham.[8] The clerk and master, John Lanier, remained in Memphis but with little to do without a chancellor or records.[9]

The Union Army Oversees Civil Litigation

As in other captured Tennessee cities, in 1863, owing to the absence of civil courts and the demands of Memphis Unionists, the Union army established a “Civil Commission” to “hear suits and complaints instigated by loyal citizens” without a jury.[10] It was composed of Union officers “deriving powers from military authority.”[11] Since Confederate sympathizers had no real standing before this tribunal imposed at the point of bayonet, even if they were present in the city, Unionists had a distinct advantage to litigate before the commission. The first session of this tribunal convened in the chancery courtroom on Monday, April 27, 1863.[12]

One Unionist litigant before the commission, who had previously lost his suit before Chancellor Dixon, sought relief by boldly arguing that the removal of the Common Law and Chancery Court records was for the sole purpose of “frustrating or delaying his appeal.”[13] The commission proceeded to dispose of cases in an expedited manner, without the usual practice and procedure of civil courts.

As mentioned, Criminal Court Judge J. T. Swayne did not flee Memphis even though he was a Confederate. More surprisingly, he continued to operate his busy court for a full year following occupation, with apparent pride in presiding over the only functioning court. General William Tecumseh Sherman offered this explanation:

Finding a criminal court here, I conferred with Judge Swayne, and explained to him that whilst we were determined the flag of our country and the just authority of the Government shall be respected all over the world, we wanted the people of Memphis protected against criminals in their midst, and that he might hold his court.[14]

Yet the mischievous Swayne was subject to scrutiny and repeated warnings by military authorities. Undaunted, he proudly pronounced his pro-Confederate views to juries and ignored a writ of habeas corpus from the military commission governing the city.[15] General Sherman declared, “Union men may rest assured that no insult shall be made to our Government by Judge Swayne or anybody else, and stand unrebuked.”[16] Swayne’s court was accordingly declared “defunct” and closed by Sherman on June 10, 1863.[17]

There were other important changes. Not only did local Unionist find Memphis a more hospitable place, Northern entrepreneurs, Union supporters from surrounding areas, refugees, freed slaves and all sorts of drifters flocked to the bustling city in the hope of making a fortune or simply a living. The result of the migration was unprecedented lawlessness and vice — and a population explosion.[18] By early 1863, 19,000 of Memphis’ 35,000 residents were recent arrivals.[19] Hence, the demand for adjudication, both civil and criminal, was acute.

Reconstruction of Tennessee’s Trial Courts

Alvin Hawkins — a Republican attorney from Carroll County and a former Whig state representative, who would soon be named U.S. attorney for West Tennessee by President Lincoln and would later serve on Tennessee’s Supreme Court — quietly arrived in Memphis in late September of 1864 on a special mission for Andrew Johnson, the Military Governor of Tennessee.[20] As Hawkins defined his task in his report to Gov. Johnson of Nov. 17, he had promised to report “concerning Men and Matters in West Tennessee,” and thus proceeded to “attempt to give … a candid statement of the result of … observations during a sojourn of six weeks in Memphis.”[21]

To understand Hawkins’ assignment, one must first understand the goals of Gov. Johnson. When the Union army captured the state capital of Nashville in February of 1862, forcing the hurried relocation of the capital and state archives to Memphis, President Lincoln appointed Johnson military governor, a post carrying almost unlimited powers.[22] Although Johnson, a United States senator and former governor of the state, was a Democrat, he strongly opposed secession and remained loyal to the Union. In fact, Johnson had been the only Southern senator to refuse to leave the Senate when his state left the Union. Because of his loyalty and experience as civil governor of Tennessee, Lincoln considered him well suited to govern, or at least the portions of Tennessee in federal hands.

The president’s selection showed confidence in the ability of Tennessee’s sizable pro-Union faction to manage the state. (These unionists were located throughout Tennessee, but chiefly centered in mountainous East Tennessee and the rolling-hill country of the West Tennessee counties along the west bank of the Tennessee River, both regions unsuited to cotton production and large-scale slavery. One such West Tennessee Unionist county was Carroll County, Alvin Hawkins’ home.) Furthermore, as a former governor, it was hoped Johnson’s appointment would be seen as a conciliatory move to all Tennesseans as opposed to the appointment of a Northern general.

Even though installed as governor by military might, once in charge, Johnson was less harsh and more respectful of elected civil authorities than his counterparts in other conquered regions of the South. He was committed first to the Union cause, and despised secession and the wealthy planters he blamed for the war, but he also wanted to see the normal organs of government restored, albeit with “loyal” Union men at the helm. Thus, he worked to make Tennessee an early laboratory of reconstruction that would serve as an example to other conquered states.

More particularly, in furtherance of his philosophy, Johnson desired to see state courts put back in operation, but with reliable Unionists on the bench. For example, even after the fall of Nashville, Johnson allowed the scheduled judicial elections to proceed in that city. However, he was not willing to give the voters complete freedom of choice. When a pro-Confederacy candidate won the Davidson County’s circuit court position, Johnson duly issued the new judge his commission, but promptly had him placed in prison so he could not use it.[23]

Considering judicial elections too dangerous after his Nashville experience, Johnson forbid further elections of Tennessee chancellors and judges in March of 1864. By June, he had begun to appoint at will new Unionist jurists to posts held by Confederates, which were declared vacant. He also appointed new Supreme Court justices. Generally, Tennessee’s powerful chancery courts were more promptly reorganized and put back in operation. By comparison, some of the new Johnson-appointed circuit court judges did not even begin to hear cases until months after the Civil War ended in 1865.[24]

Even though Johnson resorted to heavy-handed methods, he continued to profess a desire to re-establish democratic government as soon as possible, and, in the meantime, tried to find truly qualified men to serve on the various benches. Although clear Unionist credentials were a prerequisite, it was not enough. He wanted judges with the capability of fulfilling their responsibilities effectively and honestly and thereby win the trust of the people, even if presiding in areas with strong rebel sympathies like Memphis. Proven integrity was of a heightened concern because of the corruption being discovered with many officials seeking to benefit from their extraordinary positions as part of a government of occupation. Therefore, careful evaluation of potential appointees was instituted, to-wit, Alvin Hawkins’ investigations across West Tennessee.

A Bleak Picture of Memphis

Pursuant to Johnson’s policies, Alvin Hawkins was discreetly dispatched to Memphis to appraise the overall status of Union governance and to make specific recommendations regarding the judiciary. As for Unionists in Memphis, Hawkins informed the governor:

There are many there, professing loyalty, who have gone thither from other states since the Federal occupation of the city; a few of whom are doubtless sincere, reliable, gentlemen, but they are mostly hangers on, place hunters, speculators, mere gamblers in search of mammon and unfortunately not very conscientious as to the means by which it is acquired, and who would sell their country for less than induced the betrayal of our Savior. … I will mention the fact that our Grand Jury during the recent term of the Federal Court returned three presentments against our Govt. officers for accepting bribes, … Suffice it now to say it is to be hoped, so much corruption among officials has never been practiced elsewhere as in Memphis.[25]

Hawkins painted a bleak picture of occupied Memphis, but he did have good news for the military governor. William Macon Smith had agreed to accept the judgeship of the Common Law and Chancery Court.[26] This news was of immediate concern, for Johnson planned to soon dissolve the Civil Commission and return litigation in Memphis to a reorganized state civil court. In this regard, Hawkins said:

I don’t think the secessionists of Memphis desire a reorganization of the Court. They seem to prefer the Military Tribunals but why it is difficult to imagine. So far as I had an opportunity to learn of the wishes of the people in the Country they were rejoiced at the prospect of a restoration of law and order in their midst and were gratified to see your efforts in that direction. I shall return to Memphis as soon as my health will permit and shall at all times be not only willing but anxious to aid you and the friends of the Government everywhere, in the work of restoring its authority and giving harmony to a once happy people.[27]

As Hawkins noted, “It is difficult to imagine” why so many Confederates favored the Civil Commission over a return to the civil judicial system. Some may have found its swiftness desirable, as well as the advantage to those present in the city, Unionist and Confederate, in litigating before the commission when opposing refugee defendants away in Confederate territory. A more admirable reason may have been a preference for an enemy-imposed tribunal, openly operated as such, as compared to Unionist judges, possibly from outside Tennessee, installed in their regular courts in place of Confederates elected by the people. Conversely, realizing that the commission would be replaced eventually by a civil court, Unionists in the city may have favored the reopening of the court while Unionists could be entrenched on the bench. In any event, the people, regardless of allegiance, really did not have much say in the matter. Governor Johnson’s Memphis experiment in judicial reconstruction would now begin.

The Governor Finds a Tennessee Chancellor

The idea of making William M. Smith chancellor was not new. As early as 1862, Gov. Johnson had offered Smith the Common Law and Chancery bench, but it was declined.[28] On Aug. 13, 1864, undeterred by the earlier refusal, a group of 20 prominent Unionist Memphians wrote Johnson urging the appointment of certain men to local judicial posts. One on the list was Smith for the Common Law and Chancery position.[29] Therefore, when Alvin Hawkins unreservedly recommended the appointment after securing Smith’s agreement, Johnson promptly offered the post once more and it was accepted.[30]

The 34-year-old Unionist chancellor immediately set about preparing for the first term of court to open the following year on the second Monday of February 1865.[31] And, even before the end of 1864, Smith would become the unofficial leader and spokesman of the new Memphis judiciary. His leadership role is not surprising. He had served as a Whig member of the legislature[32] and, more importantly, had been chancellor in another part of the state. Back in June of 1860, upon the retirement of Chancellor Isaac B. Williams, he was elected to preside over the Sixth Chancery Division at the age of 30. This division included the West Tennessee counties of Henry, Weakley, Obion, Gibson, Dyer, Haywood, Lauderdale, Tipton and Fayette.[33]

With the coming of the Civil War, Smith aligned himself with the Union. In November of 1861, not long after hostilities commenced, the war forced a suspension of the functioning of the Sixth Chancery Division with the last session being held at Ripley.[34] And, with constant disruption, movement of great armies, fighting, and his county and court within Confederate territory, the young Brownsville chancellor and his family, and many other Unionists from up and down the Mississippi Valley, streamed to Union-controlled Memphis after its fall in June of 1862.[35]

As a war refugee, Smith organized and led other Haywood County citizens in the city. These Haywood Unionists petitioned Johnson on Sept. 23, 1864, to bring the rest of West Tennessee, including their county, within Union lines.[36] Nevertheless, Smith was in Memphis to stay, and he was soon given the opportunity to show his judicial independence from the military.

Judicial Independence Upheld

In late 1864, Union Major General Napoleon J. T. Dana, commander of the Department of West Tennessee, issued Special Order 226. This controversial dictate required “all persons between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years … to be included in the Militia.”[37] In a letter of Dec. 26, 1864, to Gov. Johnson signed by Smith and the other Shelby County judicial officials, a complaint was lodged. They stated that they had explained to General Dana that with such military service “it would be utterly impossible for civil officers to discharge the duties devolving on Militia men and at the same time carry on the affairs of the courts.”[38] Yet Dana “replied in that event, the Civil Courts must ‘bust up.’”[39]

In a personal note to the governor, Chancellor Smith reminded Johnson that he had agreed to permanently move his home from Brownsville to Memphis to take on the Common Law and Chancery Court assignment, an assignment he described as “an onerous one at any time, and is likely now to be more so than heretofore.”[40] Smith went on to tell the governor that “in accepting this office I did not expect to be subject to the duties of a soldier, in addition to those of a judge, and to be required to obey the commands of militia officers who might delight to throw difficulties in may way.”[41] In response, Johnson dispatched a telegram to Dana on Jan. 2, 1865, politely but firmly backing the judges of Memphis and specifically sent a copy to Smith.[42] The judges had won.

Reconstruction Courts Open

With the independence of the judiciary upheld. Chancellor Smith turned to his crowded docket. The Common Law Side of the court would convene on Monday, Feb. 13, 1865. In preparation, John Donovan was elected by the Unionist citizenry as clerk of the Common Law Side on June 16, 1864, in an election held by order of Gov. Johnson.[43] Smith appointed Auguston Alston clerk and master on Jan. 31, 1865. The Chancery Side would open on May 8, 1865.[44] Court sessions would be held at the Greenlaw Building on the southwest corner of the intersection of Second Street and Union Avenue. There was still no regular courthouse building at Memphis.[45]

Smith soon confronted many new and perplexing cases arising from the confusion and devastation of war and Reconstruction.[46] Many of the issues were matters never before addressed, regarding everything from property and contract obligations to monumental issues such as ex-Confederates’ voting rights[47] and the power of moderate Republican Gov. Dewitt Clinton Senter to remove election registrars and thus allow the registration of ex-Confederates en masse.[48] Chancellor Smith wrote to Chancellor O. P. Temple in Knoxville:

Let me congratulate you that you have escaped these questions, for they cannot be decided to suit everybody. Harris was applauded last year as an “able and upright judge” while I, following in his footsteps, am called by the same people a “partisan judge.” You have fortunately escaped.[49]

In both voting cases, Smith ruled in favor of the maintenance of Radical Republican control; yet in the latter case, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed and Tennessee Radical Republican rule was thereby ultimately doomed. Smith, nevertheless, earned a reputation with both Unionist and Rebel Memphians for fairness and diligence in his handling of the regular, private law disputes of the public. Therefore, a goal of Andrew Johnson was achieved.

Civil Courts Reorganized

Because of the weighty docket and the population growth of Memphis, the Common Law and Chancery Court became solely a court of equity: the Chancery Court of Shelby County. The jurisdiction of the Common Law Side was separated and lodged in a newly created Law Court of Memphis, pursuant to an act of the General Assembly passed in 1865.[50] The newly appointed judge of the Law Court was none other than Chancellor Smith’s older brother, Thomas G. Smith. Like the chancellor, Judge Thomas Smith came to Memphis from Haywood County during the war; and like William, taught school, graduated from college and became a Brownsville attorney. However, Thomas Smith did not serve out his term, for he died in office on Oct. 18, 1867.[51]

One leading historian, who witnessed the Reconstruction period in Memphis, summed up the local judiciary by concluding that [o]f the courts and judges of the period, with some honorable exception, little best be said. Their most charitable mention is silence. The judges were in most cases petty tyrants — beggars raised to horseback and commandants of military posts clothed with the ermine. Among these honorable exceptions was W. M. Smith, still living and then a respected chancellor, and Thomas G. Smith, of the Law Court created in 1866.[52]

The Criminal Court Goes Rogue

In contrast to the respected Smith brothers, Judge William Hunter of the criminal court proved to be the most tyrannical and despised member of the Memphis judiciary during Reconstruction. Although a recent arrival from Illinois as part of the army of occupation and thus having no connection to Tennessee, Hunter was placed on the bench by Gov. William G. Brownlow because of his extreme views and loyalty to Brownlow, a governor with far less noble and democratic aims than those of Andrew Johnson. Once on the bench, Hunter’s rulings were characterized by arrogance, prejudice and revenge. To Hunter, or “the Thing” as he was commonly called, a criminal defendant’s political allegiance was much more important than guilt or innocence.[53]

When Matt Galloway, the editor of the local newspaper, The Avalanche, launched a barrage of criticism of Hunter’s ability and “carpet bag” background, Hunter ordered that proceedings of his court not be published and eventually held the editor in contempt and threatened a fine.[54] Galloway responded by printing this retort:

If the fine is in proportion to the contempt we feel for him as a stupid judge … we will owe his court an amount as large as that out of which he swindled and defrauded his honest creditors in Illinois.[55]

Hunter held Galloway in contempt again and this time placed him in jail; yet the resourceful editor had his editorials smuggled out and published.[56] Hunter eventually managed to cut off Galloway’s communications with the outside, but Galloway’s wife and co-editor took up the cause.[57] Then Judge G. W. Waldran of the Municipal Court issued a writ of habeas corpus and freed Galloway. An enraged Hunter responded by ordering Judge Waldran’s arrest in the middle of the night. Next, Galloway’s friends, 17 in all, dressed up like Ku Klux Klan members and paid a visit to Hunter’s home late one night. Hunter was so terrified that he did not open court for days and demanded military protection. But Judge Waldran, now thoroughly intimidated by Judge Hunter, determined that he did not have jurisdiction to issue the writ and Galloway was jailed once more. Yet he subsequently secured release pending appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.[58] The Memphis bar soon entered the fray, bravely declaring Hunter’s actions illegal.[59]

The fiasco was brought to a close when the Supreme Court reversed Judge Hunter,[60] but his petty reign of terror did not end until he was removed from the bench in December of 1869 when his court was abolished after the fall of Gov. Brownlow’s Radical regime. Under the reorganization, criminal matters were assumed by the Circuit Court of Shelby County,[61] a court that had previously only handled matters arising in the rural areas surrounding the city at the county seat of Raleigh, but was now more conveniently relocated to the new county seat of Memphis.

The End of Radical Rule: A Tale of Two Judges

With ex-Confederates regaining the vote, Radical Republican rule of Tennessee was over and Tennessee’s turbulent Reconstruction era ended. On Dec. 4, 1869, a reorganization act affecting the Memphis judicial structure was passed by the General Assembly. In addition, elections were set for the judiciary for May 26, 1870. For the first time since the Civil War, the people of Memphis and Shelby County would elect judges. Smith decided not to seek election, most likely realizing that no Republican could win, and resigned before the conclusion of his term,[62] leaving Gov. Senter with the task of appointing a successor to serve until the election.[63] Smith held court for the last time on Thursday, Nov. 23, 1869.[64] On the following Saturday, he was formally admitted as a “solicitor-in-equity” of the chancery court by the new chancellor,[65] the wealthy ex-Confederate Robert Jarrell Morgan.[66]

In tribute to Smith’s service, the Memphis bar adopted a frank resolution stating in part:

Presiding in the most important chancery court in the State, with a crowded docket, full of cases presenting new and vexed questions growing out of circumstances incident to the late war, for the decision which he was often without precedent in history or adjudged cases to guide him, his position was both trying and responsible, and if sometimes the soundness of his legal conclusions was questioned by the bar, yet it was not the disparagement of his legal attainments, nor did the taint of suspicion attach to the judicial integrity which guided him to, or the conscientious conviction which accompanied, these conclusions.[67]

Judge William Hunter received no tributes. He became a pariah, with his reputation, finances and career in ruins. Soon after leaving the bench, he passed into total obscurity. Upon his death, he did not even receive the customary obituary in the Memphis Bar Association Memorial Book.

By contrast, William Macon Smith became a prominent leader of the Tennessee bar and the Republican Party. Although confronting hard political times when most re-enfranchised ex-Confederates indentified with the Democrats, William Smith and Alvin Hawkins strove to rebuild their party, but the recollection of Radicals, such as Judge Hunter and Gov. Brownlow, hampered their efforts. Finally, in 1880, with the Democrats divided over the state debt issue, Hawkins was elected governor and Smith speaker of the State Senate.[68] Together, the two Republicans brought honest government to Tennessee, led the fight for positive and wise judicial improvements and went a long way in erasing the stigma carried by their party because of Radical rule. On Aug. 15, 1921, Smith, the elder statesman of the Memphis GOP and the oldest member of the Memphis bar, died at the age of 91, to be hailed as a fair and impartial Tennessee jurist of the state’s most trying time and an all too rare exemplar of judicial reconstruction done well.[69]

Notes

  1. Gerald M. Capers Jr., The Biography of a River Town, Memphis: Its Historic Age, 2d ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1939: 2d ed. Published by Gerald M. Capers, Jr., 1966), p. 149.
  2. Charles W. Crawford, Yesterday’s Memphis (Miami: E. A. Seeman. 1976), p. 33.
  3. John Hallum, The Diary of an Old Lawyer, or Scenes Behind the Curtain (Nashville: 1895), p. 282.
  4. Robert A. Lanier, The History of the Memphis and Shelby County Bar (Memphis: 1981), p. 18; Civil Commission, Roll 6 (National Achives Microfilm), p. 46.
  5. Chancery Minute Book 12, p. 604.
  6. Joseph H. Parks, “Memphis Under Military Rule, 1862 to 1865,” The East Tennessee Historical Society’s Publications 14 (1942): 46.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Lanier, 16.
  9. Ibid., 18.
  10. Civil Commission, Roll 6, p. 46.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Civil Commission, Roll 6, pp. 1-2.
  14. W. T. Sherman, Maj. Gen., Letter to Joseph Tagg, President of the Washington Union Club, Headquarters District of Memphis, Nov. 17, 1862, OR., Ser. I, Vol. 17, pt. II, p. 869-70.
  15. Lanier, 21-22.
  16. Sherman, Letter to Joseph Tagg, Nov. 17, 1862.
  17. Lanier, 21-22.
  18. Crawford, 36.
  19. Robert E. Corlew, Tennessee, A Short History, 2d. ed. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1981), p. 325.
  20. Leroy P. Graf, ed., The Papers of Andrew Johnson (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986), VIII, 296-98.
  21. Ibid., 296.
  22. Corlew, 391.
  23. William M. Robinson Jr., Justice in Grey (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1941), p. 294.
  24. Ibid., 295.
  25. Graf, 296-97.
  26. Ibid., 297.
  27. Ibid., 297-98.
  28. John Allison, Notable Men of Tennessee (Atlanta: Southern Historical Assoc., 1901), II, 76-77.
  29. Graf, 92-93.
  30. Allison, 77.
  31. Allison, 76; Robert M. McBride and Dan M. Robinson, Biographical Dictionary of the Tennessee General Assembly (Nashville: The Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee Historical Commission, 1979), II, 686.
  32. Allison, 76.
  33. Shelby County Bar Association Memorial Book, I, 39.
  34. Memorial Book I, 39.
  35. Allison, 76.
  36. Graf, 184.
  37. Ibid., 358.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid.
  40. Ibid., 360.
  41. Ibid.
  42. Ibid., 372.
  43. Common Law Side Minute Book 15, p.1.
  44. Chancery Side Minute Book 1, p. 1.
  45. P. M. Halpin, Memphis City Directory (Memphis: 1866), p. 276.
  46. Chancery Side Minute Book 12, p. 94.
  47. Eugene G. Feistman, “Disenfranchisement and Restoration of Tennessee, 1865-1866,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, XII, (1953): 142.
  48. Thomas B. Alexander, Political Reconstruction in Tennessee (New York: Russell & Russell, 1968), p. 218.
  49. Ibid.
  50. J. P. Young, A Standard History of Memphis, Tennessee (Knoxville: 1912), p. 525.
  51. Bar Memorial Book 1, 5.
  52. O. F. Vedder, History of the City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (Syracuse: 1888), p. 64.
  53. Lanier. 33.
  54. Ibid., 33-34.
  55. Ibid., 334.
  56. Ibid.
  57. Crawford, 39.
  58. Lanier, 34.
  59. Ibid.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Memorial Book I, 5; Young, 528.
  62. McBride, 686.
  63. Chancery Side Minute Book 12, p. 85.
  64. Ibid., 84.
  65. Ibid., 85.
  66. Ibid., 94. Following his appointment by Gov. Dewitt Clinton Senter, Chancellor Morgan took office on Nov. 27, 1869. Chancery Side Minute Book 12, p. 94. Morgan subsequently won election.
  67. Ibid., 94.
  68. McBride, 686.
  69. The Commercial Appeal, 15 Aug., 1921, p. 1.

Russell Fowler RUSSELL FOWLER is associate director of Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) and since 1999 has been adjunct professor of political science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He served as the law clerk to Chancellor C. Neal Small in Memphis and earned his law degree at the University of Memphis in 1987. Fowler has more than 40 publications on law and legal history, including several in this Journal.