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Future Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo: “I am alone in the world now.”
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Cardozo thanks fellow Judge Alphonso T. Clearwater for his kind words about Cardozo’s work and opinions, and grieves about the death a week earlier of his older sister Ellen Ida Cardozo, with whom he lived on New York’s West 75th Street. “Nell” was the last of Cardozo’s five siblings to die.

BENJAMIN CARDOZO. Autograph Letter Signed, to Alphonso T. Clearwater, December 4, 1929, Albany, NY. 3 pp., 5½ x 9 in.

Inventory #26781       Price: $950

Complete Transcript

State of New York, / Court of Appeals. / Benjamin N. Cardozo, / Chief Judge

                                                                        Albany, / Dec. 4, 1929

Dear Judge Clearwater

            I have your letter of Nov. 29, and have given instructions to the clerk to furnish you with the desired information.

            I am grateful to you for your kind words with reference to the <2> work of my court and my own opinions in particular.

            Things have not been going well with me of late. About two weeks ago I lost a dearly beloved sister with whom I lived. I am alone in the world now. In such circumstances I prize more than ever the fond will of my friends among <3> whom I am proud to include you.

                                                                        Faithfully yours,

                                                                        Benjamin N. Cardozo

The Hon. A. T. Clearwater.

Benjamin Cardozo(1870–1938) was born in New York City into a Jewish family whose ancestors immigrated to the British colonies before the American Revolution. A fraternal twin sister Emily and four other siblings all died before he did. His father, a judge of the Supreme Court of New York, was forced to resign in 1868 due to a corruption scandal. Benjamin Cardozo entered Columbia University at age 15, and graduated, and was admitted to Columbia Law School in 1889. He left without a degree, but was admitted to the bar in 1891. He practiced law in New York City until his election as a judge of the New York Supreme Court. Two years later, he was designated to the Court of Appeals, and elected to a fourteen-year term on the Court of Appeals in November 1917. In 1926, he was elected as Chief Judge. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated Cardozo as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed Oliver Wendell Holmes. He became part of the liberal faction, serving on the Court until his death.

Alphonso T. Clearwater(1848-1933) was admitted to the bar in 1871. He served as district attorney of Ulster County, and as a justice on the New York Supreme Court. He was one of the organizers of the American Bar Association and the American Law Institute. He donated his impressive collection of the work of early American silversmiths to the Albany Institute of History and Art.

Condition: Large signature, expected folds from mailing.

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