Benjamin Franklin Butler (lawyer)
|Benjamin Franklin Butler|
|12th United States Attorney General|
November 15, 1833 – July 4, 1838
Martin Van Buren
|Preceded by||Roger B. Taney|
|Succeeded by||Felix Grundy|
December 17, 1795|
Kinderhook Landing, Columbia County, New York
November 8, 1858
Benjamin Franklin Butler (December 17, 1795 – November 8, 1858) was a lawyer, legislator and Attorney General of the United States.
- Early life 1
- Political career 2
- Legacy and death 3
- Published works 4
- References 5
- Further reading 6
He was the son of Medad Butler and Hannah Butler (née Tylee), of Kinderhook Landing, in Columbia County, New York. He studied at the Academy in Hudson, New York, and read law with Martin Van Buren, whose son John Van Buren would do the same in turn with Butler.
Butler was admitted to the bar in 1817, and became Martin Van Buren's partner. Francis Wellman, in his book The Art of Cross-Examination, regarded Butler as one of the most successful cross-examiners of his day (p. 233).
In 1818, he married Harriet Allen; their children included attorney William Allen Butler.
Butler was one of the earliest members of the Albany Regency. He began his political career as district attorney of Albany County, serving from 1821 to 1824. He was appointed one of the three commissioners to revise the State statutes in 1825. Butler was a member from Albany County of the New York State Assembly in 1828. In 1833, he served as commissioner for New York to adjust the New Jersey boundary line. On November 15, 1833, President Andrew Jackson appointed Butler Attorney General, an office he held until 1838. From that year until 1841, and from 1845 to 1848, he was United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Legacy and death
Butler was instrumental in founding New York University in 1831 and served in various capacities with the university from its inception. He was made principal professor at the New York University in 1837.
- Wellman, Francis L. (1903–1904). The Art of Cross-Examination. London: at Internet Archive
- Riggs, Brett H.; Duncan, Barbara (2003). Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook. Chapel Hill, NC:
Roger B. Taney
U.S. Attorney General
Served under: Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren