Royal Sprague
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Royal Sprague
Royal Tyler Sprague
11th Chief Justice of California

January 2, 1872 - February 24, 1872
Augustus Rhodes
William T. Wallace
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California

January 3, 1867 - January 1, 1872
Direct election
John Currey
Isaac S. Belcher
President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate

January 1855 - December 1855
Direct election
Benjamin F. Keene
Delos R. Ashley
Personal details
Born(1814-01-23)January 23, 1814
New Haven, Vermont, U.S.
DiedFebruary 24, 1872(1872-02-24) (aged 58)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Francis Blocksom (m. 1844)

Royal Tyler Sprague (January 23, 1814 – February 24, 1872)[1] was the 11th Chief Justice of California.


Sprague taught elementary school in Potsdam, New York and later opened a school in Zanesville, Ohio.[2] In 1838 he began to study law and was admitted to the bar in Ohio. The finding of gold in the Sierra Nevada prompted Sprague to become a "Forty-Niner". After arriving in California in September 1849, Sprague worked a claim on Clear Creek on the Sacramento River.[3] He settled in Reading's Springs, now Shasta, California, and once again became an attorney.

In 1852, he was elected to the California State Senate representing the 18th District, and in 1855 served as its President pro tempore.[4]

In 1867, Sprague was elected to the Supreme Court of California as a Democrat;[5] he was chosen to be Chief Justice in January 1872 and died the next month.[6][7][8] He is interred in Sacramento Historic City Cemetery.[9]

A collection of his journals is in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley.[10]

Personal life

On, May 30, 1844, he married Francis Blocksom at Muskingum, Ohio. In 1852, Sprague returned to Ohio briefly to retrieve his wife and their family; they returned to California with him. The couple had four children: Anna Maria Sprague (1845-1879); Arthur Hale Sprague (1848-1922); Ella Sprague (1853-1855); and Frances Royal Sprague (1864-1957).[11][12]


  1. ^ Sacramento Daily Union, January 1, 1873, State & County Statistics (For the year 1872)
  2. ^ Johnson, J. Edward (1963). History of the California Supreme Court: The Justices 1850-1900, vol 1 (PDF). San Francisco, CA: Bender Moss Co. p. 104-106. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Death of Justice Sprague". Russian River Flag (16). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 29 February 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "The Legislature". Sacramento Daily Union (2 (247)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 6 January 1852. p. 2. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Appleton's annual Cyclopaedia (1867), Volume 7, 1869.
  6. ^ "Death of Chief Justice Sprague". Sacramento Daily Union (42 (7421)). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 26 February 1872. p. 1. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Old Shasta, Town of Shasta Interpretive Association with Al M. Rocca, 2005, Arcadia Publishing, p. 21
  8. ^ "Appointment of Supreme Judge". Russian River Flag (17). California Digital Newspaper Collection. 7 March 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ "Sacramento Historic City Cemetery Burial Index" (PDF). Old City Cemetery Committee. 2005. Retrieved 2011.
  10. ^ Online Archive of California, Royal T. Sprague journals, collection guide.
  11. ^ Cemetery tour of Shasta mentioning grave of Ella Sprague. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  12. ^ Royal Sprague genealogy. Retrieved July 10, 2017.

External links

See also

Legal offices
Preceded by
Augustus L. Rhodes
Chief Justice of California
Succeeded by
William T. Wallace
Preceded by
John Currey
Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
1867 - 1872
Succeeded by
Isaac S. Belcher
Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin F. Keene
President Pro Tempore California State Senate
Succeeded by
Delos R. Ashley

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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