SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Stephen J. Field, 1863-1897

Justice Stephen J. Field, 1863-1897
STEPHEN J. FIELD was born on November 4, 1816, in Haddam, Connecticut. He was graduated in 1837 from Williams College, and for the next four years read law with his brother’s law firm. He was admitted to the bar in 1841 and practiced law with his brother for seven years. In 1849, after a trip to Europe, Field settled in Marysville, California. In 1850, he became the chief local administrative officer of Marysville. When California was admitted to the Union that same year, Field was elected to the State Legislature. There he drafted the criminal and civil codes for the new State. After he was defeated in a bid for the State Senate in 1851, Field resumed the private practice of law. In 1857, he was elected to the California Supreme Court, where he served for six years. On March 6, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Field to a newly created seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment four days later. Field retired from the Supreme Court on December 1, 1897, after thirty-four years of service. He died on April 9, 1899, at the age of eight-two.