Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Spalding, Rufus Paine

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SPALDING, Rufus Paine, jurist, b. in West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., 3 May, 1798; d. in Cleveland, Ohio, 29, Aug., 1886. He was graduated at Yale in 1817, and subsequently studied law under Zephania Swift, chief justice of Connecticut, whose daughter, Lucretia, he married in 1822. In 1819 he was admitted to practice in Little Rock, Ark., but in 1821 he went to Warren, Ohio. Sixteen years later he moved to Ravenna, Ohio, and he was sent to the legislature in 1839-'40 as a Democrat, serving as speaker in 1841-'2. In 1849 he was elected judge of the supreme court of Ohio for seven years, but when, three years later, the new state constitution was adopted, he declined a re-election and began practice in Cleveland. In 1852 he entered political life as a Free-soiler, and he was one of the organizers of the Republican party. He was a member of congress in 1863-'9, where he served on important committees, but he subsequently declined all political honors. Judge Spalding exercised an important influence in restoring the Masonic order to its former footing after the disappearance of William Morgan.