The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth
District of Minnesota Branch
Judge Rensselaer Russell Nelson:
The First Federal Judge in Minnesota
Rensselaer R. Nelson, a native of New York and the son of a justice of the
U.S. Supreme Court, was the first federal judge from Minnesota.
Appointed by President Buchanan, Judge Nelson sat on the federal
bench from the beginning of statehood in 1858 until his retirement
in 1896. During his tenure his most important cases concerned civil
rights, copyright infringement, writ of habeas corpus, eminent domain,
property rights, and an interpretation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Judge Nelson was revered by his contemporaries for his knowledge,
judgment, courtesy, dignity, and patience.
A display depicting Judge Nelsonís life is open to the public on the
first floor of the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis through the
end of 2008. Programs about Judge Nelson are planned for late spring.
Click on image for larger view.
Board of Directors |
Annual Reports |
8th Circuit Courthouses Poster
the Federal Judiciary |
Jan. 10, 2008
©2001 by the Historical Society of the U.S. Courts in the Eighth Circuit