Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Sterne, Simon

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

STERNE, Simon, lawyer, b. in Philadelphia, Pa., 23 June, 1839. He was graduated in the law department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1860, and established himself in practice in New York city. In 1862 he was elected lecturer on political economy in Cooper union. He was on the staff of the “Commercial Advertiser” in 1863-'4, was a founder of the American free-trade league in 1864, and in 1865 published the “Social Science Review.” Taking an active part in the movement for the purification of municipal politics, he was chosen secretary of the committee of seventy in 1870, and drafted the charter that was advocated by that committee. In 1876 he was appointed by Gov. Samuel J. Tilden on a commission to devise a plan for the government of cities, in 1879 acted as counsel for the New York board of trade and transportation and chamber of commerce in the investigation of abuses in railroad management, which resulted in the appointment of a board of railroad commissioners for the state of New York. He was also a leader in the movement that resulted in the creation of the inter-state commerce commission, drafting the inter-state commerce bill in conjunction with the committee of the United States senate. In 1885 he was appointed by President Cleveland a commissioner to examine and report on the relations between the railroads and the governments of western Europe. An essay that he read before the American bar association on “Slip-shod Legislation” led to the appointment in 1888 of a committee of the legislature to consider reforms in the drafting of laws. He has been a frequent writer on economical and political subjects, contributed articles on “Cities,” “Legislation,” “Monopolies,” “Railways,” and “Representation” to John J. Lalor's “Cyclopædia of Political Science and United States History” (1881-'3), and is the author of “Representative Government and Personal Representation” (Philadelphia, 1870) and “Constitutional History and Political Development in the United States” (New York, 1882; 4th ed., 1888).