Edward Henry Durell

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Edward Henry Durell (July 14, 1810 – March 29, 1887) was the 25th mayor of New Orleans, and later a United States federal judge.[1]

Born in the "Governor Wentworth House" in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Durell was the third son and sixth child from his parents. After studying at Phillips Exeter Academy Durell moved onto school at Harvard College where he graduated in 1831.[2] He was fluent in German, French, and Spanish.[3] At Harvard College he read law to enter the Bar in 1834. He had a private practice in Pittsburgh, Mississippi and on January 1, 1836 he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. He became a member of the City Council of New Orleans in 1854. In 1845, Durell's book, New Orleans as I found it, was published. under the pen name H. Didimus. The book deals with Durell's experience when arriving at New Orleans and how things are different from other places in the United States.[4] From 1862 to 1863, he was president of the Bureau of Finance of New Orleans.

On May 20, 1863, Durell received a recess appointment from President Abraham Lincoln to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana vacated by Theodore McCaleb. While sitting on the court, Durell became mayor of New Orleans on September 12, 1863, and held the office for just over a month and a half, until October 30. Durell was formally nominated to the court on February 8, 1864, and was confirmed by the United States Senate, and received his commission, on February 17, 1864. On July 27, 1866, the Districts of Louisiana were reunited into a single United States District Court for the District of Louisiana by 14 Stat. 300, and Durell was reassigned to this court by operation of law. He thereafter presided over the single district of Louisiana until his resignation on December 4, 1874.[5] Published in 1867, Durell participated in the formation of Rules, orders and regulations in bankruptcy : adopted by the Hon. Edward H. Durell, Judge of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Louisiana, July 15, 1867. This book consists of 24 adopted rules that deal with bankruptcy.[6] On December 1, 1874, Durell had written a letter to his sisters in his home state of New Hampshire mentioning how throughout his judicial power he only meant to do right. However, that same day he sent President Ulysses S. Grant his resignation letter because he felt people had lost faith in him. While Durell was a federal judge, he strongly enforced the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and was the first judge to have former slaves be on the jury alongside whites. Edward Henry Durell had settled a case in one man's favor, resulting in a political vendetta. After the case, the United States House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach Durell on false accounts of drunkenness and corruption.[7]

After his resignation, Durell had moved to New York City where he married a widow, Mary Seitz Gebhart, continued to practice law, and attempted to write a history of the South which was never completed. Edward Henry Durell died on March 29, 1887 and is buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, New Hampshire.[8]

Sources[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James F. Miller
Mayor of New Orleans
September 12, 1863 – October 30, 1863
Succeeded by
James F. Miller
Legal offices
Preceded by
Theodore McCaleb
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
May 20, 1863 – July 27, 1866
Succeeded by
Seat abolished
Preceded by
Newly created seat
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Louisiana
July 27, 1866 – December 4, 1874
Succeeded by
Edward Coke Billings

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges: Durell, Edward Henry." History of Federal Judiciary. Federal Judicial Center, n.d. Web. 4 April 2013.
  2. ^ Metcalf, Henry H. "Hon. Edward Henry Durell." The Granite Monthly New Hampshire Magazine: Devoted to Literature, History, and State Progress. 1888: 117-129. Print.
  3. ^ "District Judge Edward Henry Durell." LAED US Courts. United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, n.d. Web. 4 April 2013.
  4. ^ Durell, Edward H. New Orleans as I found it. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1845. Print.
  5. ^ "District Judge Edward Henry Durell." LAED US Courts. United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, n.d. Web. 4 April 2013.
  6. ^ Durell, Edward H, United States. Rules, orders and regulations in bankruptcy : adopted by the Hon. Edward H. Durell, Judge of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Louisiana, July 15, 1867. New Orleans: The Republican. 1867. Web.
  7. ^ "District Judge Edward Henry Durell." LAED US Courts. United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, n.d. Web. 4 April 2013.
  8. ^ "District Judge Edward Henry Durell." LAED US Courts. United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, n.d. Web. 4 April 2013