Justices of the Florida Supreme Court

Supreme Court of Florida
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Tallahassee Florida

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Justice Franklin D. Fraser

Served 1873 – 1874 as Justice
b. Montrose, New York – April 23, 1819                 d. November 10, 1879 – Montrose, New York

Franklin Fraser completed his education at Union College in Schenectady, New York, read law and was admitted to the bar in 1842.  Colleagues characterized his legal style as careful, painstaking, and tenacious.  He achieved success in both the office and the courtroom.  His older brother Philip had moved to Florida in the 1840s and achieved much success in Jacksonville, gaining the friendship of Ossian Hart.  With the onset of Civil War, Philip returned to Montrose, New York, but returned to Florida in 1863 as President Abraham Lincoln’s appointed federal judge of the Northern District of Florida.  Younger brother Franklin accompanied him as his law clerk.   After the war, Franklin became acquainted with then-Justice Ossian Hart and promoted Hart’s candidacy for governor in 1873.  When Hart was elected, he appointed Franklin as his own successor to the high court.  Governor Hart died in office in 1874.  Fraser decided against continuing on as justice, disturbed by the chaos and turmoil of Reconstruction politics in the South and deeming his justice’s salary as inadequate.  He returned to the North, first to Pennsylvania, then to his native Montrose, New York.  He died suddenly of pneumonia in the winter of 1879, four years after he left Florida.

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