JoinCalifornia: Election History for the State of California

Information Home Elected Offices Elections by Decade Longest Service Shortest Service Most & Fewest Votes Uncontested Races Closest Contests Redistricting Recalls
Elections 2024 PREVIEW 2024 General 2022 General Prior 2020s Elections Elections by Decade
Other Stuff Advanced Search CA Constitution Line of Succession Highest Ranking

[search tips] [advanced search]

Searching tips

  • Enter a candidate's name to find a candidate
  • Enter the name of a political party to find the party and all candidates
  • Enter a date to find an election
  • Enter a year to find all elections within that year

Stephen J. Field


Date Party Office Votes Result
10-07-1850 Democratic AD-14 0 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: November 4, 1816 in Haddam, Connecticut
Married: Sue Swearingen (m. 1859)
Family: Brother of Jonathan Field (President of the Massachusetts State Senate, 1863-1865), Uncle of Anita Whitney
Died: April 9, 1899 in Washington, DC

1850: Alcalde of Marysville
1857-1859: Justice, California Supreme Court
1859-1863: Chief Justice, California Supreme Court
1863-1897: Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court

  • LEGISLATION: Author of the California Pratice Act (1851), which later became the Code of Civil Procedure, establishing a judicial system for the state.
  • At the time of his departure from the US Supreme Court, Field was the longest serving Associate Justice in Court history. Currently, only one Justice has served longer than him; William O. Douglas (who served from 1939 to 1975).
  • Former California Supreme Court Justice David Terry tried to kill Justice Field. Field's bodyguard shot and killed Terry. Terry had previously killed US Senator David C. Broderick in a duel in 1859.
  • A series of contentious legal battles with Judge William R. Turner of California's Eighth Judicial District ended with Turner calling Field a "perjured scoundrel", ordered Field disbarred, and threatening to cut off his ears. In response, Field asked a friend to communicate the following to Turner: "Tell him from me, that I do not want any collision with him; that I desire to avoid all personal difficulties with him; but that I shall not attempt to avoid him; that I shall not cross the street on his account, nor go a step out of my way for him; that I have heard of his threats, and that if he attacks me or comes at me in a threatening manner I will kill him."
  • The author of this website feels that this individual is one of the greatest people to ever serve in the California Legislature.

Source: California's Stately Hall of Fame by Rockwell D. Hunt (1950)
Source: Personal Reminiscences of Early Days in California by Stephen J. Field (1893)