Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McALLISTER, Matthew Hall, jurist, born in Savannah, Georgia, 26 November, 1800" died in San Francisco, California, 19 December, 1865. After receiving" his education at Princeton he studied law, was admitted to the bar about 1820, and practised in his native city. In 1827 he was appointed United States district attorney, which post had been held by his father under General Washington's administration. In 1832 he was active in opposition to nullification, and became a political leader during the discussions of that period. He was several times elected to both branches of the legislature, in which he obtained the establishment of the court for the correction of errors, and in 1845 was defeated by a small vote as Democratic candidate for governor of Georgia. For several years he was mayor of Savannah, and was noted as a protector of the colored people. In 1848 he was a delegate to the National Democratic convention that nominated General Lewis Cass for the presidency. He removed to California in 1850 with his family, entered upon the practice of law in San Francisco, and in 1855 was appointed the first United States circuit judge of California, rendering eminent service by his wise decisions upon land-titles, which were then in the utmost confusion. He was also well known for his energetic action in suppressing the vigilance committee by an appeal to the naval authority. Judge McAllister resigned his office in 1862, owing to impaired health. In 1860 Columbia gave him the degree of LL.D. He was the author of a "Eulogy on President Jackson" and also of a volume of legal opinions, which was published by his son. --His son, Julian, soldier, born in New York city, 28 October, 1823; died on Governor's island, New York, 3 January, 1887, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1847, assigned to the 2d artillery, and served in the war with Mexico in 1847-'8. He was transferred to the ordnance corps on 13 April, 1848, and was at various arsenals till the civil war, during which he was chief of ordnance of the Department of the Pacific. He received all the brevets up to colonel at the close of the war, and in 1866 became major and a member of the board to determine the armament of the Pacific coast fortifications. He was made lieutenant-colonel on 23 June, 1874, and in 1886 was transferred to the command of the New York arsenal on Governor's island, where he also served as president of the board for testing rifled cannon.--Matthew Hall's grandson, Ward, jurist, born in Newport, Rhode Island, 27 July, 1855, was educated at Princeton and graduated at Harvard law-school in 1880. He was assistant district attorney for California in 1882-'5, resigned, and then became judge of the United States court for the territory of Alaska.
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