The post of U.S. Commissioner dates back to 1793, when Congress authorized U.S. Circuit Courts to appoint “discreet persons learned in the law” to take bail. With the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, Congress granted commissioners new powers to determine the fate of fugitive slaves.

More than 300 U.S. Commissioners were in office throughout the period of the law’s operation (1850-1864), though only a select few actually handled fugitive cases. At present, no comprehensive list of commissioners operating under the 1850 law exists. The names below represent a working list, which will be modified accordingly as this thesis project progresses. Names in bold signify commissioners who handled fugitive cases.

Alabama:
  • R.B. Owen
Arkansas:
  • J.B. Ogden
California:
  • W.H. Cheevers
  • J.E. Gryme
  • H.C. Hyde
  • George Pendleton Johnston
  • H.B. Jones
  • C. McAllister
  • G.L. Mix
  • J.J. Papy
  • A.M. Schell
  • A.S. Tayler
  • J.O. Wheeler
  • J.B. Williams
Colorado Territory:
  • W.P. Bacon
  • W. Larimer
  • P.P. Wilcox
Connecticut:
  • A. Blackman
  • J.C. Comstock
  • F. Fellower
  • Charles R. Ingersoll
  • D.W. Pardee
  • W.D. Shipman
  • Erastus Smith
Delaware:
District of Columbia:
Florida:
  • Winer Bethel
  • E.A. Perry
Georgia:
  • M. Myers
Illinois:
Indiana:
Iowa:
  • S.E. Brown
  • A.C. Dillon
  • George Frazee
  • J.L. Harvey
  • A. Humphreys
  • J.M. McKinley
  • G.L. Nightingale
  • J.N. Rogers
  • S. Silbley
  • A.L. Walling
  • W.G. Woodward
Kansas:
  • C.G. Aiken
  • A.N. Blacklidge
  • D.J. Brewer
  • H.A. Burgess
  • F.A. Callahan
  • W.T. Gallaher
  • J.P. Greer
  • P.S. Post
  • W. Roy
  • J.F. Todd
  • A. Wiley
  • H.K. Wood
Kentucky:
  • R.A. Athey
  • A.J. Ballard
  • C.J. Clark
  • J.G. Haswell
  • H.F. Middleton
  • J.F. Ward
Louisiana:
  • M.M. Cohen
  • W. Cornelius
  • J.W. Gurley
  • W.H. Hunt
  • R.M. Lusher
Massachusetts:
  • George Ticknor Curtis
  • J.P. Curtis, jr.
  • A.S. Cushman
  • C. Demond
  • W.S. Dexter
  • G.D. Guild
  • H.L. Hazlett
  • George Hilliard
  • C.W. Loring
  • Edward Greely Loring
  • Elias Marvin
  • E. Mervin
  • Charles Wesley Tuttle (1860-)
  • Sidney Webster (1858-1860)
  • C.L. Woodbury
Maryland:
  • John Hanan
  • A.S. Ridgely
  • W.F. Watson
Maine:
  • Joseph Carr
  • W.H. Clifford
  • E.H. Davis
  • T.A. Deblois
  • A. Hayden
  • George Herbert
  • E.B. Jackson
  • J.M. Messerve
  • John Rand
  • J.S. Rowe
  • C.W. Waterman
Michigan:
  • W. Ashley, jr.
  • G.G. Buell
  • G.S. Clapp
  • G.A. Coe
  • J.M. Edwards
  • G.A. Graves
  • G.W. Hoffman
  • Charles Jewett
  • G. Kingsley
  • A.A. Knapper
  • H.R. Lovell
  • A. Mandell
  • G.A. Mason
  • John McNeil
  • S.D. Miller
  • W.W. Mitchell
  • J.H. Parish
  • G.L. Parsons
  • J.H. Stockton
  • G.B. Turner
  • J. Van Ransalear
  • W.L. Webber
  • W.D. Wilkins
Minnesota:
  • C.S. Bryant
  • J.N. Cardazo
  • J.H. Carey
  • E. St. J. Cox
  • S.B. Garvie
  • J.J. Noah
  • G.G. Ripley
  • J.A. Willard
Missouri:
  • A.W. Alexander
  • B.F. Hickman
  • J.M. Krum
  • N. McDonald
  • J.C. Moody
  • G.T. White
North Carolina:
  • P. Adams
  • Q. Busbee
  • B.G. Graham
Nebraska:
  • D. Gantt
  • Isaac S. Gibbs
  • J.M. Parker
  • C.W. Troy
  • J.M. Woolworth
New Hampshire:
  • W.L. Foster
  • W.H.Y. Hackett
  • Ralph Metcalf
  • Horace Webster
New Jersey:
  • J.M. Cassady
  • J.P. Vroom
  • John Whitehead
  • James Wilson
New York:
  • Miles Beach
  • G.M. Beckworth
  • G.F. Betts
  • A.A. Boyce
  • J. Brigham
  • J.L. Carroll
  • J.L. Clark
  • A. Conkling
  • G.B. Dusenberne
  • L. Farrar
  • W. Frothingham
  • Alexander Gardiner (1845-1851)
  • Charles M. Hall
  • J.B. Harvey
  • Orlando Hastings
  • R.J. Hilton
  • T.M. Howell
  • O.K.A. Hutchinson
  • G.E. Isbell
  • H.S. Johnson
  • L. Kip
  • John Lampert
  • G.W. Morell
  • George W. Morton
  • J.W. Nelson
  • A.P. Nichols
  • J.A. Osborn
  • P.G. Parker
  • Alberts Perry
  • W.C. Ruger
  • J.F. Sabine
  • W.H. Shumway
  • Henry K. Smith
  • R.E. Stillwell
  • W.C. Storrs
  • C.O. Tappan
  • B. Thompson
  • K.G. White
Ohio:
  • E. Adams
  • J. Adams
  • W. Baker
  • W.H. Baldwin
  • S.R. Bonenitz
  • Charles C. Brown
  • H. Carey, jr.
  • Samuel S. Carpenter
  • Sterne Chittenden
  • J.D. Cleveland
  • J. Cochran
  • D.H. Dodge
  • C.M. Dorr
  • W. Dunbar
  • J. Fitch
  • G.W. Frost
  • J.C. Grannis
  • F. Halliday
  • C. Hayden
  • John F. Hoy
  • G.M. Lee
  • J.J. Manor
  • E.R. Marshall
  • W.M. Meek
  • J.T. Mott
  • Edward R. Newhall
  • J.F. Oliver
  • J.R. Osborne
  • Richard C. Parsons (1852-)
  • John L. Pendery (1853-1857)
  • J.L. Perry
  • Thomas Powell
  • G. Sanderson
  • Charles Stetson (-1852)
  • J.H. Smith
  • G.W. Trost
  • W.W. Warden
  • Bushnell C. White
  • P.B. Wilcox
  • D.H. Young
Pennsylvania:
Rhode Island:
  • T.S. Anthony
  • Charles Hart
  • J.H. Parsons
  • S.W. Peckham
  • J.L. Pitman
  • J.S. Pitman
South Carolina:
  • G.W. Eggleston
  • R.C. Gilchrist
  • H.Y. Gray
Tennessee:
  • J.L. Bostick
  • William Lowry
  • J.A. McMurry
Texas:
  • J.C. Fowler
  • F.J. Parker
  • J.A. Settle
Virginia:
  • H. Forbes
  • J.T. Francis
  • Nathan Goff
  • L. Haymond
  • J. McCally
  • J.H. Pendleton
  • D.S. Purnel
  • J.S. Wheat
  • J.C. Wheeler
Vermont:
  • R.N. Clark
  • C.N. Davenport
  • H.L. Hallett
  • Robert Pierpont
  • N.T. Sheafe
  • Royal Tyler
Washington Territory:
  • E.S. Dyer
  • N.D. Hill
  • H.W. McGill
  • J.J.H. Von Bokhelen
  • R.M. Walker
Wisconsin:
  • F. Bloodgood
  • J.B. Brunson
  • J.H. Clary
  • James Hutchinson
  • J. LaDue
  • W. Merrill
  • S.O. Payne
  • J.A. Savage, jr.
  • Winfield Smith
  • J.G. Townsend