Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PARKER, Amasa Junius, born in Sharon, Connecticut, 2 June, 1807. His father, Daniel, was for many years a Congregational clergyman, and subsequently a successful teacher in Greenville, New York, and elsewhere. The son went to Union in the summer of 1825, passed an examination on the whole course, and received his degree with the class of that year. He was admitted to the bar of Delhi, New York, in 1828, and settled in practice there as the partner of his uncle, Amasa Parker. He was in the legislature in 1834, was elected to congress as a Democrat in 1836, serving one term, was appointed circuit judge and vice-chancellor of the 3d district of New York in 1844, and held office till 1847. He was then elevated to the supreme bench of the state. He resumed practice in 1855 in Albany, was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1856, and again in 1858, and declined the office of United States district attorney for the southern district of New York in 1859. Since his retirement from the bench he has occupied no public office, except that of a delegate to the state constitutional conventions in 1867 and in 1868, but continues in the full practice of his profession, in which he takes high rank. He was an active advocate of the reforms by which the court of chancery was abolished, law and equity powers vested in the same tribunal, and the practice of the courts simplified. In 1853 he visited England, and, at the request of Lord Brougham, addressed the Law-reform club on that subject at its annual meeting. He has occupied many offices of trust, including the presidency of the board of trustees of Albany medical college, was a regent of the University of New York in 1835-'44, and is a trustee of Cornell and of Union. He has received the degree of LL. D. His publications include six volumes of law reports (Albany, 1855-'69). He has also assisted in preparing the "Revised Statutes" (3 vols., 1859), and edited " The Reports of the Decisions in Criminal Cases" (1858-'77).
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