Calvin E. Pratt Calvin E. Pratt

Calvin E. Pratt

January 23, 1828 - August 3, 1896

from The New York Times, August 4, 1896:

         COURT BENCH SINCE 1869.
Was a Member of the Appellate Di-
  vision of the Court in the Second
  Judicial District--He Suffered for
  Many Years from a Bullet in His
  Head, Received at the Battle of
  Mechanicsville--Was a Gallant
  Federal General.

 Justice Calvin E. Pratt of the Appellate
Division of the Supreme Court of the Sec-
ond Judicial Distric, died at Rochester,
Mass., yesterday morning.
 Justice Pratt had been ill for several
years, having first been attacked by a
stroke of paralysis. After being confined to
his house at 1,489 Pacific Street, Brooklyn,
for many weeks, he recovered sufficiently
to be able to resume his place on the
bench. He was again stricken June 20,
this time his right arm being affected. He
rallied and was able to go to Rochester,
Mass. It was believed he was getting bet-
ter, as Justice Clement yesterday received
a letter stating that he was much better,
and that his family believed he would re-
cover. Only a short time after receiving
this letter Justice Clement received a tele-
gram announcing the death of the eminent
 Justice Calvin E. Pratt was the son of
Edward A. Pratt of Princeton, Mass., and
was born in that town June 23, 1828. He
attended the district school until he was
sent to Sutton, Mass., and when sixteen
years old he attended the Collegiate Acad-
emy, Wilbraham, and practiced survey-
ing on the Providence and Worcester Rail-
road. He also taught school for a time at
Uxbridge, Sutton, and Worcester. In 1849
he began the study of law, and in 1850 was
made Clerk to the Criminal Court. Two
years later he was admitted to the bar.
For eight years, from 1851 to 1859, he stud-
ied medicine and anatomy in their relation
to jurisprudence and was quite an expert
on these two studies.
 Justice Pratt during these years took an
active interest in the National Guard of
the State of Massachusetts, and was for a
time attached to the Worcester Light In-
fantry. He became Major of the Tenth
Massachusetts Infantry, and later was
appointed upon Major Gen. Hobbs's staff,
with the rank of Major.
 In 1853 he was elected Justice of the
Peace for Worcester, and he held that office
for six years. He took an active part in 
politics, and was always a Democrat. For
years he was a member of the Democratic
State Central Committee and was Chair-
many of the County Committee.
 At the outbreak of the war he organ-
ized the Thirty-first Regiment, New-York
Volunteers, and went to the front with that
organization. He was appointed Colonel by
Gov. Seymour. Col. Pratt had recruited
the regiment at his own expense. At the
battle of Bull Run he was very active and
did gallant work, for which he was recom-
mended for promotion.
 While at the head of his regiment, at the
battle of Mechanicsville, on Jun. 20, 1862,
he was shot in the left cheek, the bullet
lodging behind the cheekbone. The bul-
let was removed in 1901, after he had suf-
fered a great deal for twenty-nine years.
 Col. Pratt was recommended for promo-
tion by Gen McClellan for gallantry on
the field, and in September, 1862, was ap-
pointed a Brigadier General by President
Lincoln. He took charge of one of the
brigades under the command of Gen. Hancock.
This brigade formed part of the Sixth Army
 After the war Gen. Pratt resumed the
practice of law in Brooklyn, and associ-
ated with him were the late Greenville F.
Jenks, ex-Judge James Ewalt, and ex-Judge
Joshua M. Van Cott.
 In 1865 and 1866 he was the Collector of
Internal Revenue for the district including
Kings and Queens Counties, and in 1869
he was elected to the Supreme Court bench
by the votes of the Democrats and Re-
publicans. In 1877 he was elected without
opposition for another term, and in 1891 he
was again chosen for a term of fourteen
years. As on previous occasions, he had
no opposition, the Republicans and Demo-
crats working in unison.
 Justice Pratt was a member of the Brook-
lyn Club. He leaves a wife and several
daughters, who are well known in Brooklyn
 The flags on the public buildings and on
the houses of the Hamilton and the Brook-
lyn Club were displayed at half mast out of
respect to the memory of Justice Pratt.
His term of office would have expired Dec.
31, 1898.

Maintained by Sue Greenhagen.