Charles G. Myers


Attorney General of New York, 1860-1861

Charles Godfrey Myers was born to a farming family in Madrid, St. Lawrence County, New York, on February 17, 1810, and was educated at the St. Lawrence Academy in Potsdam. He began his legal studies in the law offices of Gouverneur and William Ogden at Waddington, New York, and was admitted to practice in 1832. He was also a solicitor-in-chancery.

In 1833, Myers joined the thriving law practice of the Hon. Ransom H. Gillett, then a member of Congress. He held the office of Surrogate of St. Lawrence County from 1844 to 1848, when he was elected to the New York Assembly. Charles Myers was opposed to the extension of slavery, and supported the resolution urging passage by Congress of the Wilmot Proviso (amending the resolution for the admission of Texas). When the Republican Party was formed, he became a member. At the end of his term in the Legislature, he was elected District Attorney of St. Lawrence County and held that office until 1854.

In 1859, Myers was elected Attorney General of New York and, in 1860, became a member of the Military Board charged with the organization of troops to fight the Civil War. When his term as Attorney General expired, he became a chairman of the military committee of his home district and was involved in the organization of the 95th, 116th and 142nd Regiments of Volunteers.

Myers represented Peter La Beau, who was accused of murder for the poisoning of Julius Denny, the husband of his lover. He argued the appeal at the New York Court of Appeals (La Beau v. The People, 34 N.Y. 223 [N.Y. 1866]). Judge William Wright wrote the opinion, which was frequently cited as precedent in cases involving questions of evidence.

In 1873, Governor John A. Dix appointed Charles Myers as a canal appraiser, a position he held until 1879.

Charles G. Myers died in Ogdensburg, New York, on December 27, 1881.



Charles G. Shanks. The State Government for 1879: Memorial Volume of the New Capitol (1879).

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