Mortimer M. Jackson

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The Honorable

Mortimer M. Jackson
Mortimer M. Jackson.png
Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court
In office
September 1848 – June 1, 1853
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 5th Circuit
In office
September 1848 – June 1, 1853
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by Montgomery M. Cothren
3rd and 5th Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory
In office
1845 – January 22, 1846
Governor Henry Dodge
Preceded by William Pitt Lynde
Succeeded by A. Hyatt Smith
In office
June 26, 1842 – 1844
Governor James Duane Doty
Preceded by Horatio Wells
Succeeded by William Pitt Lynde
Personal details
Mortimer Melville Jackson

(1809-03-05)March 5, 1809
Rensselaerville, New York
Died October 13, 1889(1889-10-13) (aged 80)
Madison, Wisconsin
Resting place Forest Hill Cemetery
Madison, Wisconsin
Nationality American
Political party
  • Catharine Garr
  • (m. 1838; died 1875)
Occupation lawyer, judge

Mortimer Melville Jackson (March 5, 1809 – October 13, 1889) was an American lawyer, judge, and diplomat. He was a justice of the original Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1848 through 1853 and was later a United States consul general in Canada for twenty years. Prior to Wisconsin statehood, he was Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory.


Born in Rensselaerville, New York,[1] Jackson was educated in New York City, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. In 1838, Jackson moved to Milwaukee,[1] and then in 1839 to Mineral Point, Wisconsin Territory,[1] where he practiced law, involving the lead-mining industry.[2]

In 1842, Wisconsin Territorial Governor James Duane Doty appointed Jackson Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory, where he served until 1846.[1] When Wisconsin became a state, in 1848, Jackson was elected one of the first five Wisconsin Circuit Court judges. At the time, the Wisconsin Supreme Court was constituted of the five circuit court judges, thus Jackson was also a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court until a separate Supreme Court was formed in 1853.[1]

Politically, Judge Jackson was involved with the Whig Party from as early as 1834, and joined the Republican Party when it was formed in the 1850s.[1] In 1857 he was a candidate for United States Senate, but was defeated by James Rood Doolittle. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Jackson United States consul general in Halifax, Canada.[2] As consul general, he was instrumental in the seizure of about $3,000,000 worth of Confederate property during the American Civil War (about $49,000,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars).[1] He would remain in this role for 21 years until his retirement in 1882. He then returned to Madison, Wisconsin, where he died seven years later at the Park Hotel.[3][1]


Jackson's will donated $20,000 to the Law School at the University of Wisconsin to create the Mortimer M. Jackson Professorship of Law.[4][5][6][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "A Pioneer Jurist Gone". The Representative. October 18, 1889. p. 2. Retrieved April 16, 2018 – via open access
  2. ^ a b c Berryman, John R., ed. (1898). History of the Bench and Bar of Wisconsin. vol. 1. Chicago: H. C. Cooper, Jr. pp. 98–101. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-02-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Generous Jackson". The Oshkosh Northwestern. October 16, 1889. p. 1. Retrieved April 17, 2018 – via open access
  5. ^ "Mortimer M. Jackson (1809-1889)". Wisconsin Court System. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin. Madison: Democrat Printing Company. 1907. p. 763.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Horatio Wells
Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory
1842 – 1844
Succeeded by
William Pitt Lynde
Preceded by
William Pitt Lynde
Attorney General of the Wisconsin Territory
1845 – 1846
Succeeded by
A. Hyatt Smith
Preceded by
New court
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the 5th Circuit
1848 – 1853
Succeeded by
Montgomery M. Cothren

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