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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EMOTT, James, jurist, born in Poughkeepsie, New York, 14 March 1771: died there, 7 April 1850. He did not receive a collegiate education, but the degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Union in 1800. He studied law, began to practice at Ballston Centre, and soon became a distinguished member of the bar. He was a commissioner to settle disputes concerning titles to lands in the military tract of Onondaga County in 1797 and about 1800 removed to Albany, which he represented in the legislature of 1804. He was a leader of the Federalist party in congress from 1809 till 1813; a member of the New York assembly from 1814 till 1817, and its speaker in 1814; first judge of the court of common pleas of Dutchess County from 1817 till 1823, and judge of the second judicial circuit court from 1827 till his resignation, about 1831. He received the degree of LL. D. from Columbia in 1833.
His son, ,James Emott, jurist, born in Poughkeepsie, New York, 23 April. 1823; died there, 11 September 1884, received his early education in Poughkeepsie, and in 1838 was graduated at the head of his class at Columbia. He then studied law in Poughkeepsie, was admitted to the bar there, and at once began active practice in his native place, soon taking a prominent position in the profession. When Poughkeepsie received its charter, he was elected its first mayor, holding the office from April 1854, to January 1855, when he resigned to accept the office of justice of the New York Supreme Court for the second judicial district.
He was appointed presiding judge of his district in 1862 and judge of the court of appeals in 1863 when his term closed. He then resumed the practice of law in Poughkeepsie, but removed to New York City in 1870. He was a vice president of the Union League club and a warm supporter of the Union cause during the civil war, having taken a prominent part in organizing the first regiment sent from Dutchess County, he was one of the founders of the New York bar association, and a member of the committee of seventy, so largely instrumental in the overthrow of the Tweed ring in 1870. From 1862 till his death he was president of the Merchant's bank of Poughkeepsie. His associates considered Judge Emott a man of wide reading and large culture, thorough professional training, sound judgment, and masterly clearness in the exposition of the law. He was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
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