The Fenton Building at 2 East Second Street, and the Hotel Jamestown, at 106 West Third Street in Jamestown, were recently recognized by New York State as Historic Landmarks. Prominent attorney, Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson maintained offices for his law practice in both buildings.
Jackson was born in 1892 in Spring Creek, PA and graduated from Frewsburg High School in 1909, spending a post-graduate year at Jamestown High School. Although he did not attend college, Jackson apprenticed in a Jamestown law office and attended Albany Law School for one year. Jackson had a thriving law practice in Jamestown for over 20 years, from 1913 until 1934, when he joined Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal administration and relocated to the Washington D.C. area. He went on to become Solicitor General, Attorney General and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Following World War II, Justice Jackson was selected by President Truman to be the Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, where he personally led the trial against the senior Nazi leadership for crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.
During a recent visit to Jamestown, Jackson’s former law clerk, E. Barrett Prettyman, Jr. visited both locations and gave his official “Seal of Approval” on the placement of the historical markers. “These markers recognize the achievements of a person who, from rather humble beginnings, invested of himself and reached a very high pinnacle, not just in this community, but nationally and internationally as well,” stated Mr. Prettyman, who also serves on the board of the Robert H. Jackson Center. “I am proud to have known and worked with him.”
The Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York was established to honor and advance Justice Jackson’s remarkable legacy, pursue the relevance of his life’s work, and to provide an educational facility for those purposes. The Center’s programs place special emphasis on educating youth on issues of justice and fairness and applying Jackson’s work in international humanitarian law as it relates to bringing to trial those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and other serious violations of international law. More information about the Center can be found at www.roberthjackson.org.