LaFayette Emmett


1822 – 1905

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Who was LaFayette Emmett?

LaFayette Emmett was an American lawyer and an early leader in Minnesota law. He was the second attorney general of the Minnesota Territory from 1853 to 1858 and the first chief justice of the state supreme court, serving from 1858 to 1865.

Emmett was born and raised in Ohio, died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was buried in Faribault, Minnesota. He had nine children and was the father-in-law of Miguel Antonio Otero, who was governor of the New Mexico Territory from 1897 to 1906.

In the divided convention which drafted the Minnesota Constitution, he served as a Democrat and advocated the popular election of judges, a position that was adopted. He said, "if the people are incapable of selecting their judges, they are also incapable of selecting the man who is to appoint the judges."

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May 8, 1822
Mount Vernon
Aug 10, 1905
Santa Fe

on July 23, 2013


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