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Attorneys to Judges - the American Legal System

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  • Cordell Hull, U.S. Secretary of State, Nobel Peace Prize 1945 (1871 - 1955)
    Cordell Hull (October 2, 1871 – July 23, 1955) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best-known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for...
  • James Wilson, signer of the "Declaration of Independence" (1742 - 1798)
    James Wilson (1742–1798) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence. Wilson was elected twice to the Continental Congress,...
  • Vice Pres. Alexander H. Stephens, CSA (1812 - 1883)
    Alexander Hamilton Stephens (February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883) was an American politician from Georgia. He was Vice President of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil Wa...
  • Judge William Fleming, House of Burgesses (1736 - 1824)
    Birth: Jul. 6, 1736 Cumberland County Virginia, USA Death: Feb. 15, 1824 Chesterfield County Virginia, USA Continental Congressman and jurist. He graduated from the College of William and...
  • William B. Preston, U.S Sec'y Navy, Confederate Senator (1805 - 1862)
    William Ballard Preston (November 25, 1805 – November 16, 1862) was a United States political figure. He served as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy between 1849 and 1850. He is also the cousin o...

The justice system in the United States is one of the most unique in the world. It consists of two separate levels of courts, state and federal, that can peacefully co-exist under the concept of federalism . The type of court that a case is tried in depends on the law, state or federal, that was allegedly violated. Most of the laws that govern our day-to-day living are state laws; violations of federal law include offenses involving federal government employees, crimes committed across state lines (for example, kidnapping or evading arrest), and fraud involving the national government (such as income tax or postal fraud).

Was your ancestor an attorney? prosecutor? justice of the peace? judge? If so, he (or she) helped to maintain this unique system that guarantees our civil liberties, our right to a trial, the belief that we are innocent until proven guilty.

Please add your ancestors to this project!