Franklin, Selim H.
b. 1814
d. 1885
Born in 1814 in Liverpool, England, Selim Franklin immigrated first to California (1849) and then to Victoria (1858), accompanied by his brother, Lumley Franklin.1
The Franklin brothers were auctioneers and real estate agents in San Francisco, and continued their business ventures in Victoria with the establishment of S. Franklin & Co., located on Yates Street.2 Both brothers were prominent members of the early Jewish community of Victoria, executive members of the Victoria Philharmonic Society, and had brief but significant careers in politics.3
In 1860, Selim was elected to the second Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island, at which time other electees (Alfred Waddington, notably) complained that he could not take the Christian oath of office.4 Chief Justice David Cameron overrode this political barrier when he ruled that Jews could indeed take the oath, citing precedents of non-Christians taking office in British North America.5 Unlike his brother, Selim opposed the union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, resigning from the Legislative Assembly and returning to San Francisco when the colonies merged in 1866.6 In San Francisco, he took up an interest in chess before passing away in 1885.7
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