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Rensselaer R. Nelson First Federal Judge from 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.

Below are PDF version of each display. Click on the links to view each panel.