Cortlandt Parker Dead
Famous Jersey Jurist Refused Many High Federal Appointments
Cortlandt Parker, 89 years old, one of the foremost jurist of New Jersey, whose father, James Parker, was also a noted New Jersey legislator and public man, died on Monday night at his home, 586 Broad Street, Newark.
When he retired a few years ago, Mr. Parker was the oldest practitioner at the New Jersey bar and one of the most famous. He was connected with many public questions affecting both New Jersey and the Nation.
Cortlandt Parker was born in 1818 at Perth Amboy, New Jersey's capital in Revolutionary days. He was graduated from Rutgers College in 1836 at the age of 18. Some of his classmates were Associate Justice Joseph P. Bradley of the United States Supreme Court, Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, United States Senator from New Jersey and Secretary of State under President Arthur, and William A. Newell, Governor of New Jersey from 1857 to 1860. He studied law with Theodore Frelinghuysen, an uncle of his classmate, in Newark, and was admitted to the bar in 1839.
At 21 he plunged into politics and worked stoutly for the men and the party he favored. He was an ardent Whig then. Young, he had to fight hard to make some preliminary successes in the law, but succeeded through being a good "mixer." He got the jovial parker manner from his father.
In 1844 Theodore Frelinghuysen, his old preceptor, was a running mate with Henry Clay on the Whig ticket, and Mr. Parker stumped the State for this Presidential ticket. He felt deeply on the slave question, and, dissatisfied with the position of the Whigs, joined the Republican Party. He was a staunch Republican from that time until his death.
He was Public Prosecutor of Essex County from 1857 to 1867. He served with a commission appointed to settle the Delaware boundary dispute; was appointed by President Grant to preside over the hearing of the Tilden-Hayes controversy in New Orleans; declined to serve as Minister to Russia, which position was offered him by President Hayes; declined to serve as Minister at Vienna, which was offered to him by President Arthur, and refused to Judgeships – one on the New Jersey Supreme bench and the other to preside over the Court of Alabama Claims.
Mr. Parker was a member of the American, New Jersey, and Essex County Bar Associations, of each of which he was President. Many of his public addresses were published.
He leaves six sons, two daughters, and a grandson, Malcolm Campbell, a midshipman in the navy. The sons are Congressman R. Wayne Parker, James Parker, Cortlandt Parker, Jr., Charles W. Parker, Chauncey D. Parker, and Robert M. Parker. The daughters are Mrs. W. D. Beekman of New York and Mrs. Henry Parkman of Boston. Mrs. Parker died last January, after nearly sixty years of married life.
~ The New York Times, Weds., 31 Jul 1907