Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Backus, Franklin Thomas

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BACKUS, Franklin Thomas, lawyer, b. in Lee, Mass., 6 May, 1813; d. in Cleveland, Ohio, 14 May, 1870. He lived on a farm near Lansing, N.Y., was graduated at Yale in 1836, studied law in Cleveland, and was admitted to the bar in 1839. He was elected prosecuting attorney of the county in 1841, and was sent to the Ohio house of representatives in 1846, and to the state senate in 1848. He was a delegate to the peace congress at Washington in 1861. He supported McClellan for president in 1864, and was a delegate to the national convention that met at Philadelphia in 1866 to form a new party. He gained especial distinction in the early part of his career as prosecuting attorney at the trial of Brooks, who was sentenced to life-long imprisonment for wrecking a train, and as attorney for the Oberlin rescuers, who had assisted in the escape of a slave. In his latter years he was much consulted in railroad cases, and was influential in settling the principles governing the Ohio courts regarding railroads.