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Selim Franklin (1814-1884) was an American pioneer, chess master, and Canadian legislator.

Born in Liverpool into an English-Jewish family, he was a son of Lewis Franklin, a Liverpool banker, and Miriam Abraham. He emigrated from England in 1849 to San Francisco for the California Gold Rush. He is listed in the Pioneer Club of San Francisco. Franklin was a President of the California Chess Congress began on March 22, 1858, at the Hall in Hunt's Building, San Francisco (three San Francisco chess clubs joined together to host the Congress: the Mechanic's Institute, the German Chess Club of San Francisco, and the Pioneer Chess Club). He won the tournament and the first prize "of a costly gold watch".[1]

In 1858 he moved to Victoria, British Columbia, with his brother Lumley Franklin and opened the first Real Estate/Auctioneer business.[2] (See photo of Lumley and Selim Franklin in Victoria.) In 1859 Selim was elected to the Legislature of British Columbia. He achieved the title of Esquire and was a member of the Freemason lodge in Victoria.

He returned to San Francisco in 1873 where he died in 1884.

The Franklin River on Vancouver Island is named for him. San Francisco pioneer Edward Franklin is another brother of Selim. Lewis and Maurice Franklin of Old San Diego are first cousins. Selim Maurice Franklin is his nephew.

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