Stephen Booth Cushing was born in January 1812 in the village of Pawling, Dutchess County, New York. He graduated from Williams College in 1832, studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced in Ithaca, New York.
He represented Tompkins County in the New York State Assembly in 1852, and held the office of New York State Attorney General in the years 1856 and 1857. During that time, he was the prosecutor in the trial of Emma Augusta Cunningham for the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell in New York City in 1857.
At the expiration of his term of office, he relocated to New York City and practiced law in partnership with Daniel E. Sickles. He died on June 9, 1868.
John Davison Lawson. American State Trials: A Collection of the Important and Interesting Criminal Trials which Have Taken Place in the United States, from the Beginning of Our Government to the Present Day, vol. 5, p 90 (1916)