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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Augusta in Kennebec County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Melville Weston Fuller

 
 
Melville Weston Fuller Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
1. Melville Weston Fuller Marker
Inscription.

Melville Weston Fuller
February 11, 1833 — July 4, 1910
Eighth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court


Melville Weston Fuller, an Augusta native, returned to the city following his graduation from Harvard Law School. Here he briefly practiced law, held municipal offices, edited a newspaper and then migrated to Chicago, where he became one of its leading trial lawyers.

President Grover Cleveland nominated Fuller to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1888, a post Fuller held for twenty-two years. Fuller was an able administrator of the Court and established the tradition of each Justice greeting and shaking hands with every other Justice prior to case conferences. This tradition has persisted and has encouraged comity among the Justices.

A tactful and self-effacing jurist, Fuller often assigned the more important opinions to Justices other than himself in order to promote a sense of teamwork within the Court. Following his death the bar and the judiciary eulogized him as one who, with few exceptions, successfully led the Court through the challenges of the post-Civil War years and the growth of the American economy.
 
Location. 44° 18.89′ 
Melville Weston Fuller Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
2. Melville Weston Fuller Marker (wide view)
N, 69° 46.652′ W. Marker is in Augusta, Maine, in Kennebec County. Marker is on State Street north of Court Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker and related statue are located near the sidewalk, directly in front of the State Street entrance to the Kennebec County Courthouse complex. Marker is at or near this postal address: 95 State Street, Augusta ME 04330, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cornerstone Day / La pose des premières pierres (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); United States Post Office / La Poste des Etats-Unis (about 800 feet away); Flag Protest ~ War of 1812 / Drapeau en berne - Guerre de 1812 (about 800 feet away); Augusta's Publishing Empire / L'empire de l'édition à Augusta (approx. 0.2 miles away); Granite Block / Un Bâtiment en granit (approx. 0.2 miles away); Market Square / La place du Marché (approx. 0.2 miles away); They Were Superior Buildings / Des bâtiments pittoresques (approx. 0.2 miles away); A New Look for Water Street / Un nouvel arrivant dans Water Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Augusta.
 
Also see . . .
1. Melville Weston Fuller.
Melville Weston Fuller, eighth chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, whose amiability, impartiality, and rare administrative skill enabled him to manage court conferences efficiently
Melville Weston Fuller Memorial (<i>view from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
3. Melville Weston Fuller Memorial (view from marker)

MELVILLE WESTON FULLER
Born in Augusta. February 11, 1833
A. B., Bowdoin. College, 1853
Harvard Law School, 1854 - 1855

President,
Augusta Common Council, 1856
Augusta City Solicitor, 1856

CHIEF JUSTICE
OF THE UNITED STATES
SUPREME COURT

1888-1010

Died in Sorrento, Maine, July 4, 1010

Justitia Custodia Libertatis Est
and to resolve or forestall serious disputes among the justices whom he superintended. Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Samuel F. Miller, two outstanding members of the Fuller court, called him the best presiding judge they had ever known. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Melville Fuller.
In 1855, Fuller set up his own practice in Augusta. But he didn't stay in his home state for very long. The following year, he went west to Chicago, where he became immersed in politics as well as the law. He was active in the Democratic Party. In 1860, he served as Stephen Douglas's campaign manager in his presidential run against Abraham Lincoln. While Douglas was unsuccessful in his efforts, Fuller himself won office a few years later. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Melville Weston Fuller.
During his tenure as Chief Justice, Fuller presided over several important cases and coined phrases that are still recognized by Americans today. For example, he ruled on Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, and coined the phrase “separate but equal” in his court opinion. He served on the Arbitration Commission in Paris to resolve a dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela. In Gonzalez v. Williams in 1904, Fuller ruled that Puerto Ricans were not aliens and could not be
Melville Weston Fuller Memorial Sculpture (<i>detail view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
4. Melville Weston Fuller Memorial Sculpture (detail view)
denied entry into the United States. His various rulings on immigration issues raised other questions about citizenship status and immigration rights. (Submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Melville Weston Fuller Memorial (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
5. Melville Weston Fuller Memorial (wide view)
Kennebec County Courthouse Complex, State Street Entrance (<i>marker near sidewalk at center</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 30, 2017
6. Kennebec County Courthouse Complex, State Street Entrance (marker near sidewalk at center)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 9, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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