|8th Chief Justice of California|
|Preceded by||Silas Sanderson|
|Succeeded by||Lorenzo Sawyer|
|Born||October 4, 1814
Westchester County, New York
|Died||December 18, 1912
He came to California in 1849, eventually settling down in Benicia, Solano County, California where he established a successful law practice. Among his clients was Juan Manuel Vaca, owner of a large tract of land, a Mexican land grant near the present-day city that bears his name: Vacaville, California.
In 1850 and 1852, Millard Fillmore nominated him to be a district court judge in California, but both nominations were unsuccessful; the Senate voted to reject the first nomination and took no action on the second.
In 1859 the Anti-Lecompton Democratic Party selected Currey as their candidate for Governor of California. The rival faction at the time Lecompton Democrats chose Milton Latham as their candidate. The Republican Party ran its first California gubernatorial candidate in 1859, businessman and railroad tycoon, and later Governor Leland Stanford.
Despite the Democratic party split in California in the 1850s and the surge of new Republican Party's candidate in the campaign, Latham won the election garnering sixty percent of the vote.
Despite being defeated in his run for Governor, Currey would find other promising opportunities for office. In 1863 several vacancies on the Supreme Court opened the door those aspiring to serve on the state's highest court. The departed justices included the sixth Chief Justice Stephen Johnson Field who was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. Supreme Court (becoming the first Californian serve on the high court).
Running as a "union" party candidate at the height of the American Civil War, Currey was elected to the Supreme Court of California, taking his seat on the court in January 1864. At the time justices served two-year terms. After his first term as associate justice, Currey became Chief Justice in December, 1866. (He was defeated in his re-election bid, for the newly established ten-year term, by associate justice Augustus Rhodes and therefore succeeded as Chief Justice by Lorenzo Sawyer).
Having served four years on the court, two as chief justice, Currey resigned to his home in San Francisco. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire left him homeless he move to his estate north of Dixon, California in Solano County, in the Sacramento Valley.
There, with his sons, Montgomery Scott Currey and Robert Spencer Currey, he lived out his last years.
|Chief Justice of California
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