Henry R. Selden

Henry R. Selden

Henry Rogers Selden (October 14, 1805September 18, 1885) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1857 to 1858. He defended Susan B. Anthony in her 1873 trial for unlawfully voting as a woman. New Mexico's Fort Seldon was named in his honor.

Selden was born in Lyme, Connecticut. He moved to Rochester, New York, in 1825 to practice law in the firm of Gardiner and Selden, headed by Addison Gardiner, a future Lieutenant Governor of New York, and Selden’s brother Samuel, who would become a state supreme court justice. He entered the state bar in 1830 and subsequently moved to Clarkson, New York.

On September 25, 1834, Selden married Laura Anne Baldwin at Clarkson. They would have three sons and two daughters, among them George Baldwin Selden, who became the first person to be granted a patent for the automobile. He became the case reporter for the New York State Court of Appeals in 1851. Originally a Democrat, he became an abolitionist and founding member of the New York Republican Party in 1856, and was elected Lieutenant Governor that November. He held that post until 1858, when he earned a law degree at Yale, and returned to Rochester in 1859. He served as a justice on the state court of appeals from 1862 to 1865, when he became a state legislator for two years.

In 1872 Selden was involved in the convention of the Liberal Republican Party in Cincinnati. Partisan bickering there led him to retire from politics. He spent the latter portion of the year and the first half of 1873 involved in Anthony’s case, for which he never billed Anthony. Selden retired from law in 1879. He was buried near Anthony at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

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