Memory Hold The Door

Henry Edward Young (1831–1918)

Henry Edward Young (1831–1918)

Henry Edward Young was the son of Reverend Thomas John and Anna Rebecca Young. His father was the Assistant Minister of St. Michael’s Church in Charleston. He received the degree of Doctor Utricesque Juris from the University of Berlin, Prussia.

He was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1855. He served as a Major in the Confederate Army and as Judge Advocate General of the Army of Northern Virginia on the staff of General Robert E. Lee.

Returning to his Charleston practice after the war, he was especially interested in raising the standards of the Bar and in improving the administration of Justice. In 1878, he was one of the lawyers who founded the American Bar Association. In 1889, he served as President of the South Carolina Bar Association. He retired from active practice in 1916, being, at that time, the oldest member of the Charleston Bar.

“He was an excellent lawyer. The law is a jealous mistress, and to that mistress he gave devoted and undivided service. He was proud of his profession. Learned in the law, as became one who ‘read law’ under James L. Petigrue, he continued to be a diligent student of law to the end. As a practitioner, he was remarkable for the care and thoroughness he bestowed on the cases he had in charge — on the petty cases as well as on the important ones. His briefs were noted for accuracy and precision. Modest and unassuming in Court as in private life, his arguments were models of clearness and compactness, better adapted than perfervid eloquence to convince the judge or conciliate the jury. He might have chosen as his professional motto the word “Through.”
He was the founder of the South Carolina Bar Association, which gave him genuine pleasure. The two main purposes he had in view were the promotion and maintenance of high professional standards, and the encouragement of social intercourse among the lawyers of the whole State. He and a brother lawyer issued a circular calling for a meeting in Columbia of all who desired to become members. A numerous gathering was the result. The Constitutions and By-Laws previously drafted by the two promoters were adopted, and the Bar Association was established. Here again was manifested the unselfish characteristic of Henry Young, for when he was urged to accept the presidency he firmly declined, and prevailed on the nominating committee to adopt and act upon his view that the presidency should be regarded as a great honor to be conferred on the old and distinguished members of the Bar, the older the better. Meanwhile for several years he acted as Chairman of the Executive Committee — the office of hard work. Afterwards he yielded to the unanimous desire of the members and served one term as president.”

Henry Edward Young by a Brother in the Bar, in Transactions of the South Carolina Bar Association 1918 Annual Meeting at 98–99 (1919).