31 March 2010

Alfred Conkling

Federal Judge, United States Minister to Mexico

Judge Conkling attained considerable notoriety in the region for his handling of the "Jerry Rescue" case, in which an anti-slavery mob freed a runaway slave from the custody of federal marshalls enforcing the reviled Fugutive Slave Law. He was appointed as United States Minister to Mexico President Millard Fillmore, who is remembered for signing the hated Fugitive Slave Act into law.

Judge Conkling was the father of Aurelian Conkling, who served as Auburn's mayor; Roscoe Conkling, powerful member of the United States Senate; and Mrs. Margaret Conkling Steele, biographer and poet.

The Conkling family resided at "Melrose," an estate just outside of Auburn in the Town of Owasco. Some maps denominate the neighborhood as "Melrose Park," altough the name of "Melrose Road" is the only reminder of Conkling family's presence in Auburn with which current residents are likely to be familiar.