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Tom Leatherwood
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Thomas Frank Cassels

Thomas F. Cassels is considered the first Black to practice law in Memphis. After moving to Memphis in 1875, he was appointed "attorney pro tem" of the Criminal Court in 1880 and served in the Tennessee General Assembly from 1881 to 1883. During the 1800s, he was Collector of the Port of Memphis and in 1883 was appointed U.S. Surveyor of Customs. His first office was located at 317 Second Street.