Lewis L. Laska


David Allison
David Allison, backcountry lawyer, political operative, and land speculator, was an agent for the Blount brothers, especially William Blount, Tennessee's first territorial governor. Allison'... Continue Reading »
Adolpho A. Birch
Adolpho A. Birch, a pioneering African American jurist, became the first black man to hold several judicial posts in Nashville and the first to assume the chief justice position of the Tennessee Supre... Continue Reading »
George M. Deaderick
The wealthiest Nashvillian of his time, George M. Deaderick was a wholesale merchant, real estate dealer, and pioneer banker. Born of German stock (the family name was originally Dietrich) in Winchest... Continue Reading »
Kelly v. Board of Education
This lawsuit filed by several African American families in 1955 to desegregate the Nashville public schools dramatically altered education patterns, and its various remedies continue to generate debat... Continue Reading »
Lotteries
Lotteries appeared in Tennessee before statehood in 1796, were prohibited by constitutional amendment in 1835 and 1870, and continue to generate public debate today. By definition, a lottery is any co... Continue Reading »
Samuel McElwee
One of the state's most influential African American men of the 1880s, Samuel A. McElwee had to struggle to achieve a college education and law degree, but nonetheless served his race for three t... Continue Reading »
Edward T. Sanford
An influential Tennessee lawyer, civic leader, orator, and U.S. Supreme Court justice, Edward T. Sanford was born in Knoxville on July 23, 1865, the eldest of six children whose wealthy parents stress... Continue Reading »
Tennessee Bar Association
Founded in 1881, the Tennessee Bar Association has been an influential voice in shaping Tennessee law and setting standards for legal instruction, lawyer discipline, and continuing education. Today ov... Continue Reading »
Avon N. Williams Jr.
A powerful advocate for African Americans, Avon N. Williams Jr. became the leading African American lawyer in Tennessee in the protection and advancement of the rights of blacks in education, the work... Continue Reading »
William F. Yardley
William F. Yardley, an influential and powerful advocate for the legal rights of blacks, was the first African American to run for governor of Tennessee. Yardley was born in 1844, the child of a white... Continue Reading »