On this date…

christiancyOn September 8, 1890, Big Four Justice Isaac Christiancy died. He was 78 years old. He passed away just six months after fellow Big Four Justice James V. Campbell. Christiancy had resigned from the Court fifteen years earlier, upon his appointment to the U.S. Senate in 1875. He did not stay in Washington, D.C. for long. A scandal involving a woman led to his resignation, and President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him U.S. Minister to Peru in 1879. One of the more interesting lines from Justice Christiancy’s memorial, printed in the Michigan Reports of the time: “After serving as senator he entered the more difficult field of diplomacy. Appointed minister to Peru, he saw that unfortunate people forced to succumb to the superior powers of Chili.” (emphasis added for effect — it was in fact the beginning of the War of the Pacific, fought by Peru and Bolivia on one side and Chile on the other, not a problem with hearty bean stew that befell his time there).  In 1881, Justice Christiancy returned to Lansing to resume the practice of law and it is there he lived until his death on this date 126 years ago.

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