South Carolina Supreme Court Justices

Franklin J. Moses, Sr.
Date Born: August 13, 1804

 Date Died: March 6, 1877

Place Born: Charleston, SC

Place Buried: Sumter Cemetery, Sumter, SC


Chief Justice 1868-1877

Franklin J. Moses was born Franklin Israel Moses on August 13, 1804 in Charleston, SC, the son of Major Myer Moses and Esther "Hetty" (Phillips) Moses. Upon completing his early education in Charleston, he attended the South Carolina College in 1819 and graduated in 1823. He returned to Charleston to study law under the tutelage of James L. Petigru. After being admitted to the bar in 1825 he moved to Columbia.

In 1828, Franklin J. Moses married Jane Dorcas McClenahan, daughter of James McClenanah and Ann (Harrison) McClenahan of the Chesterfield District, and they had four known children. Although he was born into the Jewish faith, he never practiced it and raised his children in the Episcopalian faith.

At the urging of Judge J. S. Richardson in Clarendon, Franklin J. Moses was persuaded to move to Sumterville in the Sumter District, where he entered a law practice with John L. Wilson.

In 1830, he acquired two lots in Sumterville for a residence on the north side of Republican (now East Hampton) Street in between Main and Harvin streets. At about that time, he reversed the order of his first and middle names, and became known as Franklin I. Moses. Some people confused his middle initial as the letter "J," and thereafter he began using the name Franklin J. Moses (as did his son).

In 1832, he and his younger brother, Montgomery Moses, established the law firm of F. J. and M. Moses, and their practice became well known across the state.

In 1841, Franklin J. Moses was first elected to represent the Claremont District (in the Sumter District) in the SC Senate in the:
- 34th General Assembly that met from 1840 to 1841, replacing James Wilson English, who had died
- 35th General Assembly that met from 1842 to 1843
- 36th General Assembly that met from 1844 to 1845
- 37th General Assembly that met from 1846 to 1847
- 38th General Assembly that met from 1848 to 1849
- 39th General Assembly that met from 1850 to 1851
- 40th General Assembly that met from 1852 to 1853
- 41st General Assembly that met from 1854 to 1855
- 42nd General Assembly that met from 1856 to 1857
- 43rd General Assembly that met from 1858 to 1859
- 44th General Assembly that met from 1860 to 1861
- 45th General Assembly that met from 1862 to 1863
- 46th General Assembly that met in 1864

In 1865, Franklin J. Moses was elected to represent Sumter County in the SC Senate of the:
- 47th General Assembly that met from 1865 to 1866 - elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate

On December 18, 1865, Franklin J. Moses resigned from the SC Senate because he had been elected as Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions.

In 1868, the SC Constitution included many significant changes to the SC Supreme Court, and Franklin J. Moses was elected Chief Justice on July 29th. He served until his death.

Franklin J. Moses died on March 6, 1877 in Columbia, SC and was buried at the Sumter Cemetery in Sumter, SC.

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