Celebrating 200 Years

The Bicentennial of the Louisiana Supreme Court


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Celebrating 200 years . The Bicentennial of the Louisiana Supreme Courrt 1813-2013


Louisiana Supreme Court Justices



Chief Justice Francis T. Nicholls

Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls (1834-1912)

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, April 5, 1892, to April 4, 1904

Associate Justice, April 5, 1904, to March 18, 1911


Born Donaldsonville, Louisiana, August 20, 1834 • Father was presiding judge of Court of Errors and Appeals • Attended Jefferson Academy in St. James Parish • Graduated from West Point Academy in New York 1855 and served in the Army • Studied law at University of Louisiana (forerunner of Tulane) and admitted to the bar 1858 • Married Caroline Zilpha Guion 1860 and fathered one son and six daughters • Practiced law in Napoleonville • Brigadier general in the Confederate Army • Lost left arm in Battle of Winchester 1862 and left foot at Battle of Chancellorsville 1863 • Returned to Napoleonville and ran for governor in 1876 • Although Democrats claimed victory for Nicholls, Republican officials declared S.B. Packard the winner • Established de facto state government, eventually recognized as legitimate, thereby ending Reconstruction in Louisiana • As governor, appointed Thomas C. Manning chief justice of new Supreme Court • Gubernatorial term shortened by 1879 Constitution • Appointed President of Board of Visitors of West Point • Elected to second term as governor 1888 • Appointed chief justice 1892 • When term as chief justice ended in 1904, accepted re-appointment as associate justice • Resigned 1911 because of declining health • Died January 4, 1912 •