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Wed, 12.02.1829

Charles E. Vanderburgh, Judge born

Charles E. Vanderburgh

*Charles Vanderburgh was born on this date in 1829. He was a white-American lawyer, abolitionist, and judge.

Born in Saratoga County, New York, Charles Edwin Vanderburgh graduated from Yale University in 1852.  He taught school and studied law in Oxford, New York. In 1856, Vanderburgh moved to Minnesota Territory and practiced law in Minneapolis. In 1859, he was elected District Judge, Fourth Judicial District.

When first he commenced his judicial office his district embraced a wide circuit, including the counties of Hennepin, Carver, Wright, Meeker, Stearns, Mille Lacs, Benton, Morrison, Crow Wing, Cass, Itasca, Todd, and Pembina, covering an area of nearly one-half the state, and stretching from Fort Snelling to the British boundary, and from the Red River of the North nearly to the Great Lakes.

On August 21, 1860, an enslaved Black woman named Eliza Winston was freed from her Mississippi owner in his courtroom while in Hennepin county working.  Vanderburgh served the court until 1880 by virtue of reelection. He was elected Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and served in that position from 1882 to 1894 when he returned to the private practice of law. Charles Vanderburgh died at his home in Minneapolis on March 3, 1898.

Minnesota State Law Library

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