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Alfred Conkling

Alfred Conkling (October 12, 1789 – February 5, 1874) was a lawyer, statesman and jurist from New York.

Alfred Conkling was born in Amagansett, New York to Benjamin Conkling of East Hampton, Long Island, and Esther Hand. He graduated from Union College in 1810 and read law in 1812. He was in private practice from 1812 to 1819 in upstate New York.

During this time he married Eliza Cockburn of Montgomery County. They had 5 children, Margaret, Frederick, Aurelian, Eliza and Roscoe. Frederick Augustus Conkling became a Democratic-Republican U.S. Congressman from New York. Aurelian Conkling studied law and served as the Clerk of Court for the Northern District of New York in Buffalo until his death in May 1860. Eliza Conkling married Samuel Hanson Coxe, the son of abolitionist minister, author, and educator Samuel Hanson Cox. Margaret Cockburn Conkling (Mrs. Steele; born 27 January 1814; died 1890) became an accomplished author, with works such as The American Gentleman's Guide To Politeness and Fashion, Memoirs of the Mother and Wife of Washington (Auburn, N. Y., 1851-1853), Isabel; or, Trials of the Heart and a translation of Florian's History of the Moors of Spain. Roscoe Conkling studied law and became a United States Senator.

From 1819 to 1821 Alfred Conkling served as District Attorney of Montgomery County. In 1821 he was elected U.S. Representative and returned from this service to private practice in the Albany area until his appointment to the United States District Court in 1825 by John Quincy Adams.

Judge Conkling sat in Albany from 1825 until 1836 when he moved to Auburn, NY. On August 25, 1852 he resigned the position of Judge in the Northern District of New York. He was appointed U.S. Minister to Mexico by President Millard Fillmore and served a one year term. Upon return from Mexico he entered private practice in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended the Nebraska State Constitution Convention and served as the Chairman of the state's Republican Committee.

He returned to New York in 1861 to pursue literary endeavours. Several of his writings are listed in the biographical directory of the United States Congress. During this period he lived in Rochester, Geneseo and Utica. Judge Conkling died on February 5, 1874, in Utica.

A photograph of Judge Conkling hangs in the courtroom at the United States District Court in Utica, New York. He is interred at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Utica.

His grandson Alfred Conkling Coxe, Sr. was also a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of New York. He went on to become a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His great-grandson Alfred Conkling Coxe Jr. was a Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York

? – ?
Succeeded by


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