Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lucas S. Beecher, Lawyer

Lucas Selkirk Beecher was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 31, 1798. He lost a leg in an accident when he was thirteen years old. At the age of 18, Lucas S. Beecher moved with his family to New York State, where he studied law. He married Janet Walker Turk in 1824. By 1828, Lucas Beecher settled in Sandusky, where he practiced law with Eleutheros Cooke. Beecher became blind in 1830, but an operation in New York City restored his sight partially.

An article in the January 1897 Western Reserve Law Journal stated about Lucas Beecher that "He was a very eloquent and forceful speaker, honest with the courts, his clients and opposing counsel, had a wonderful memory and great tact in the examination of witnesses, was respectful and kind to all, more especially to the younger members of the bar. He had a very large and remunerative practice." Judge E. B. Sadler, in the same article, wrote about Beecher: "Disabled as he was when just entering upon the threshold of a successful practice, nevertheless, he rose to a height which enabled him to easily maintain his position as a leader in this most difficult of all professions."

Lucas S. Beecher was the counsel for Benjamin Johnson, a former slave who settled in Sandusky. The Justice of the Peace at Sandusky, John Wheeler,sided with Beecher and maintained that Johnson was a free man, under the provisions of the Ordinance of 1787, which stated that involuntary servitude was prohibited in Ohio.The Lucas Beecher home, still standing in Sandusky, was a safe haven for runaway slaves during the Underground Railroad.

Lucas S. Beecher died on October 18, 1882, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Beecher died in May of the same year.

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