Edward J. C. Kewen, 1st Attorney General

Photo of Edward J. C. Kewen
Born in Columbus, Mississippi on Nov. 2, 1825. Elected as California's first Attorney General on December 22, 1849, less than a month after arriving from the midwest. He was 24 years old. Supported only by part-time clerical help; a frugal Legislature denied him office supplies.

Resigned from his post in less than a year to return to private practice because his salary "was simply too low." Kewen was eloquent and bold; in fact, he later served time in Alcatraz for treason (publicly advocated secession). Continued on to serve in the California State Legislature, in both the Assembly and Senate. Died on November 25, 1879 at the age of 54.