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3 1924 086 013 574 





JUN 9- 

lORi A V 




f 1 \m 




Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


5[lje Mmtif mh lar of Hitcljfielb 

Cfnuntg. QJanngcticut 






Clerk of Superior Court, Member of the Connecticut Historical 
Society, Member of the Kansas Historical Society, Vice- 
President of the Litchfield Historical Society. 


PUBLISHED [ i 11/^ 

BY THE AUTHOR ' ' ' ^<- 










Edition Limited to 500 




''""'■■' H/Ji^ 




¥ ¥ 


Statk.alext of tiif Case xiii 

Judge Church's Cextenxiae Address i. 

First settlement of the towns. County organization. County Officers. 
Character of the people. Iron Works. Rehgious matters. Colonial 
and Revolutionary Wars. Newspapers. Merchants. Slitting Mills. 
Xail rods. Scythes. Iron Mines. Paper Mills. Woolen Mills. Emi- 
gration to Vermont and the Western Reserve. Education. Morris' 
Academy. Miss Pierce's School, The Law School. First Law Re- 
ports. Lawyers. Doctors., Authors. Foreign Missionary Society. 
Mission School at Cornwall. Temperance Movement. Infidelity. The 

BoARDiuvx's Early Lights 39 

Partridge Thatcher. Daniel Everett. Tapping Reeve. John Allen. 

Barzillai Slosson. Samuel W. Southmayd. John Cotton Smith. 

Nathaniel Smith. Noah B. Benedict. James Gould. Asa Bacon. 

Elisha Sterling. Jabez W. Huntington. Phineas Miner. Leman 

Sedgwick's Fifty Years at ti-ie Bar 68 

Correspondence. Organization of the Courts. Chief Justice Hosmer. 
Judge Peters. Judge Chapman. Judge Brai'nard. Judge Bristol. 
Judge Daggett. "The Superior Court. The County Court. Judge Petti- 
bone. Judge Strong. Judge Welch. Judges Burrall, Woodruff and 
Boardman. Clerk Frederick Wolcott. Sheriff Seymour. 'Messenger 
John Stone. Business of the County Court. Admission to the Bar. 
Practice. Authorities in 1808. Judge Gould. Noah B. Benedict. Asa 
Bacon. General Sterling. Judge Boardman. Phineas Miner. William 
G. Williams. John Strong, Jr. William M. Burrall. Col, William 
Cogswell. Seth P, Beers, Perrv Smith. Roger Mills. Michael F. 
Mills. Charles B. Phelps. Matthew Minor. Holbrook Curtis. Isaac 
Leavenworth. Royal R. Hmman. Joseph H. Bellamy. Theodore 
North. Leman Church. William S. Holabird. George S, Boardman, 

Judge W.vrx^er's Remixiscexces 100 

Experiences in the General .\fsembly. History of the Act allowing 
prisoners to testify. Story about Diwight Morris. Adonijah Strong. 
Col. Joshua Porter. John G. Mitchell, Philander Wheeler. Aunt 
Poliy. John H. Hubbard, Roger Averill, Norton J. Buell, John 
Elmore. Leman Church, Miles Toby Granger, Col, Jacob B. Har- 
denburg, George W. Peet, Michael P, Mills, William K, Peck. Jr, 
William S, Holabird, Gideon Hall, Roland Hitchcock, Roger H, 
Mills, Jared B. Foster, Nelson Brewster, George Wheaton, Julius 
B. Harrison, Solon B, Johnson. Frederick Chittenden. John G. Reed. 

x. coxtents 

Historical Notes 1 18 

The first Court Record. Early Attorneys. Present Attorneys. Gov- 
ernors. Judges. State Attorneys. Clerks. Sheriffs. Court Houses. 
Jury matters. Witnesses. Stenographers. Students. Libraries. 
White Fund. Count>- Centennial. Judge Daggett's Letter. Ancient 
Court Expenses. County Court. 

NoTDD Tri.vls 144 

The Sellick-Osborne case. Blasphemy. Wrong Verdict Stands. A 
Funeral Order. Rabello. Robert Drakely. Bernice White. William 
H. Green. James LeRoy. Burglars on a hand car. Liquor Prosecu- 
tions. Masters vs. Warren ;Robbins vs. Coffin. Higgins' (Hadley) 
escape. Michael Bion. Borgesson. Tax case. Mannering. Norman 
Brooks' Will case. John T. Hayes. Haddock vs. Haddock. 


First Law Reports i68 

The preface. Fac-simih'e. Ephraim Kirby. His law books. 

Ti-iE CouxTY Jail 176 

The Litchfield Laav School 178 

Chas. C. Moore's article from the Law Notes. Charles G. Loring's ad- 
dress. A Students letter. Augustus Hand's letter. The Buildings. 
The Catalogue. 

Biographical Notes Alphabetic.vlly Arraxged . . .". 215 

LiGANS 307 

Ex-Governor and Ex^Chief Justice Andrews address. A demurrer de 
Kickapoo Indians. Sound Advice of Albert Wadhams. The Annual 
Banquets. President Huntington's address. Rev. A. N. Lewis' letter. 
Hurlbutisms. Felicities. Poetry. Jokes. Judge's Evidence. Old 
Grimes. Complimentary dinner to Judge O. S. Seymour at Bridgeport. 
Watertown trial. NewMilford Power Company. Sermon at the Ex- 
ecution of John Jacobs, 1768. Truman Smith. Jury Commissioners. 
County Commissioners. Court Messengers. The Judgment File. 

JxTDEx OF Naiies 


« 4 

Old Litchfield ii 
Tearing down King George Statue 17 

Old Writ 48 

County Centennial 1851 34 

Superior Court in Session 122 

Court Houses 128 

Judge Preston's Tombstone 143 

First Law Report, fac-simile 168 

County Jail 176 

Law School Buildings 180 

Reeve's Building 192 

Gould's Building 194 

May it please the Court 308 

Kickapoo Indians 314 

Banquet 316 

Old Grimes 320 

Judges Evidence, fac-similie 328 

Title page of Old Sermon 340 


Allen, Henry J. 164 
Andrews, Charles B. 310, 220 

Bacon, Asa (Group) 63 

Francis 63 

Epaphroditus C. 63 

Baldwin, Birdseye 115 

George H. 223 

Barnes, Andrew G. 342 

Beers, Seth P. 93 

Beeman. Frederick D. 138 

Ballamy, Joseph H. 78 

Benedict, Noah B. 58 

Botsford, Henry A. 229 

Brinsmade, Daniel N. 231 

Buel, Chauncey J. 336 

Canfield, Judson 232 

Col. Samuel 18 

Case, Hubert B. 344 

Catlin, Abijah 236 

George 234 

Church, Samuel 
Coe, William G. 
Cogswell, Leonard W. 
Cothren, William 
Dowd, Wheaton F, 
Ellsworth, William W. 
Ethen'dge, Frank W., 
Fenn, Augustus A. 
Foster, Jared B. 
Gould. James 
Granger, Miles T. 
Graves, Henry B. 
Guernsey, Howard M. 
Hall, Gideon 
Harrison, George C. 
Herman, Samuel A. 
Hickox, George A. 
Higgins, Richard T. 
Hitchcock, Roland 
Holcomb, Marcus H. 
Hollister, Gideon H. 
Home, Samuel B, 
Hubbard, John H. 
Huntington, James 
Hurlbut, William F. 
Karl, John J. 
Kilbourn, Dwight C. 
Kirby, Ephraim 
McMahon, James H. 
Middlebrooks. Chesterfield 
Mills, Michael F. 
Mosher, Lewis W. 
Nellis, Edward A. 
Nickerson, Leonard J. 
Nettleton, Charles 
Pierpont, John 
Pettibone, Augustus 
Phelps, Charles B. 
Porter, Charles J. 
Piatt, Orville H. 













Ransom, William L. 


Tuttle, Byron 


Reeve, Tapping — Frontispiece 

Warner, Arthur D. 


Roraback, Alberto T. 


Donald J. 


Ryan, Thomas F. 


Donald T. 


Sanford, David C. 


Welch, Gideon H. 


Henry S. 


Wessells, Col. L. W. 


Sedgwick, Charles F. 


Wheaton, George 




Williams, Frederic M. 


Seymour, Edward W, 




Origen S. 


Wolcott, Frederick 




Gen. Oliver 


Origen S., 2nd 


Gov. Oliver 


Morris W. 


Woodruff, George C. 


Moses, Jr. 


George M. 


Sherman, Roger 


Lewis B. 


Smith, John Cotton 28, 


Morris, (Group) 




James P. 


Wellington B. 


County Coroners 


Willey T. 




Turkington, Frank H. 


Jury Commissioners 



¥ ¥ 

The practice of the law in the Enghsh speaicing colonies of the 
new world previous to the organization of Litchfield County is an 
interesting study of various methods of procedure all founded upon 
the practice of the mother country. Some were copied from the 
common law courts, and some from the other courts and in hardly 
any two colonies was there similarity of practice, while the old com- 
mon law of England was a general guide to the interpretation of the 
statute law, with such modifications in the Puritan colonies as the 
mosaic law suggested to the religious teachers and pastors thereof. 

About the time our county was organized, these different modes 
of practice began to be crystaUized into a more established form. 
There were practically no attorneys, as we now understand the 
term, "men learned in the law." In many sections there was some 
influential man who was generally known as "the Squire," and 
whose opinions ruled the circle of his acquaintance. In this county 
there were only five or six men who pretended to be lawyers. 

Directly after the formation of the county and the establishment 
of the county court, these men were admitted to practice as at- 
torneys with slight examinations, and with little knowledge oif the 
law, but they were strong-minded and of sterling character, oracles 
in their own communities, and they very soon brought the decisions 
of the county court of this county to the front rank of judicature. 
It was in this opportune period that Tapping Reeve located at 
Litchfield and unintentionally began that process which eventually 
overthrew the common law of England, for a common law of our 
own, and changed the old forms, rules and precedents which had so 
long prevailed. The close of the Revolutionary War utterly de- 
stroyed the doctrine that "the king could do no wrong" and swept 
awav his prerogatives and common laws ; and while we now quote 
the good contained in the "wisdom of ages," we decide questions 
by Reeves, Swift and Gould, and modern "wise instances." 

Ten years ago the compiler of this book conceived the idea of 
collecting and preserving in a permanent form a mass of material 
which was then available relating to the legal history and tradition 
of his native county, and in the midst of his active duties as the 
Clerk of its courts, has gathered these items and now presents them 
for your consideration, believing his work to be a somewhat valuable 
contribution to our earlier history. 


The reprint of Chief Justice Samuel Church's Address at the 
Centennial Celebration of the organization of the county, in 1851, 
gives a very concise and thorough analysis of the elements which 
have conduced to give our county great influence in the religious, 
social, political and legal affairs in both the state and nation. The 
address, however, was made too early to include Henry Ward 
Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe among the writers and speak- 
ers who have done so much to uplift the world's ideas, and wonder- 
fully advance its progress towards its present power and greatness. 

The reprint of Hon. David S. Boardman's "Early Lights of the 
Litchfield County Bar," being the reminiscences of a man nmety 
years of age, of his colleagues and associates in the earlier years 
of our county's history, will I am sure be of great interest to every 
one, and it is worthy of permanent preservation. The original 
pamphlet containing them has long been out of print, and is very 
rare. I regret very much my inability to procure his portrait for 
insertion in this work. 

Li the re-publication oif Sedgwick's address, "Fifty Years of 
the Litchfield County Bar," I am enabled to bring the biographies 
of most of the prominent old lawyers down to modern times, pre- 
pared by an associate and brother in the legal arena, while Judge 
Warner's "Reminiscences" completes the chain of those living and 
practicing at the Bar during his life. Charles B. Phelps published 
obituaries of a number of his attorney friends in some of the 
earlier volumes of Connecticut Reports, but as these are easily ac- 
cessible I have referred to them without republishing. 

In the Biographical Notes I have endeavored to include the name 
of every member admitted to our Bar, or coming from elsewhere 
to practice, excluding however, those who have been debarred for 
cause. These notes are not intended to be genealogies or eulogies,. 
but only the legal life briefly told, and they have nearly all been 
prepared by mv.self. I deeply regret that there are so many whom 
I have been unable to trace beyond the mere fact of their admission. 

The section on the Law School contains the list of its students 
alphaibetically arranged, with some other interesting- matter relating 
thereto. So many reiferences are made throughout the volume to 
Judges Reeve, Gould, Huntington, Bacon and others prominently 
connected with its instruction and management, that I did not think 
it wise to devote more space to the further history of the Law 

The Historical Notes include only a few of the many trials and 
incidents which could be gathered from the Court Records, but in 
very many cases the account of trials, especially those of a criminal 
nature, might give pain to some friend or relative of the accused, 
which I have tried to avoid doing. 


Probably no county in the state furnished the Supreme Court 
in its earher days, more knotty problems to solve and adjudicate, 
than Litchfield County, and a full history of its "Leading Cases" 
would make an interesting volume of itself. 

I have obtained all the subjects for illustration which I could 
and the pictures have been made from originals, many of them from 
old and faded paintings, as I desired to place in everlasting re- 
membrance the faces of those gone before. In two or three in- 
stances I have duplicated, taking another and different portrait for 
the second picture, after the first one was already in print. If any- 
one thinks it is easy to collect a hundred pictures of as many per- 
sons who have long since deceased, a trial will dispel the illusion. 

It is unavoidable that many errors will occur in such a work as 
this. Great care has been given to make it as nearly accurate as 
possible, and the compiler will be very glad to have his attention 
called to any such error, so that in due time proper corrections can 
be made. 

To the very many friends who have aided me in this work, I 
wish to return m\- heart-felt thanks for their assistance. I have 
refrained from making any acknowledgment of quotations or ex- 
tracts because I have thought that the matter itself would indicate 
the source from which it was taken. In conclusion I wish to say 
that I hope the perusal of this book will afford the reader as much 
pleasure as it has the compiler to prepare it. 

Litchfield, ]\Iay i, 1909. 
D. C. K. 










Hon. Samuul Church, C. J. 

Judge Church's Address 

Fellow Citizens : — 

I have no leisure now to offer apologies for my unadvised con- 
sent to appear before you, in this position, on the present occasion. 
Declining years, and the constant pressure of other duties, should 
have excused me. 

My residence of sixty-six years from my nativity in this County, 
and an acquaintance of half a century, of some intimacy, with the 
events which have transpired, and with the men who have acted in 
them here, and having been placed within traditional reach of our 
early history, I suppose, has induced the call upon me to address 
you. In doing this, I shall make no drafts upon the imagination, 
but speak to you in the simple idiom of truthful narrative. 

Among the most ancient and pleasant of New England usages, 
has been the annual gathering of children and brethren around the 
parental board on Thanksgiving day. The scene we now witness 
reminds me of it. Litchfield County, — our venerable parent, now 
waning into the age of an hundred years, has called us here, to 
exchange our mutual greetings, to see that she still lives and thrives, 
and hopes to live another century. 

A little display of vanity on the part of such a parent, thus 
surrounded by her children, may be expected ; but speaking by me, 
her representative, it shall not be excessive. She must say some- 
thing of herself — of her birth and parantage — of her early life 
and progress, and of the scenes through which she has passed. 
She may be indulged a little in speaking of the children she has 
borne or reared, and how they have got along in the world. To tell 
of such as she has lost, and over whose loss she has mourned ; and 
in the indulgence of an honest parent's pride, she may boast some- 
what of many who survive, and who have all through this wide 
country made her name and her family respected. 

We meet not alone in this relation, but we come together as 
brethren, and many of us after long years of separation and absence, 
to revive the memories and associations of former years. 

Some of you come to visit the graves of parents and friends — 
to look again into the mansions where the cradle of your infancy 
was rocked, or upon the old foundations where they stood — to look 


again upon the favorite tree, now full grown, which your young 
arms clasped so often in the climbing, or upon the great rock upon 
and around which many a young gambol was performed. You 
come to enter again, perhaps, the consecrated temples at whose 
altars the good man stood who sprinkled you with the waters of 
baptism, and from whose lips you learned the lessons which have 
guided your footsteps in all your after life. 

These are but some of the pages in the history of early life, 
which it is pleasant after the lapse of years to re-peruse. And now, 
if the spirits of these dead can pierce the cloud which hides our 
view of heaven, they look down with a smile of love upon your 
errand here ; and when you shall leave us on the morrow, many 
of you will feel in truth, as did the patriot Greek, "moriens rerii- 
iniscitur Argos." 

A stranger who looks upon the map of Connecticut, sees at its 
north-west corner a darkly shaded section, extending over almost 
the entire limits of the County, indicating as he believes, a region 
of mountains and rocks — of bleak and frozen barrens. He turns 
his eye from it, satisfied that this is one of the waste places of the 
State — affording nothing pleasant for the residence of men. He 
examines much more complacently the map of the coast and the 
navagable streams. But let the stranger leave the map, and come 
and see! He will find the mountains which he anticipated — but 
he will find streams also. He will find the forests too, or the ver- 
dant hill-sides where they have been; and he will see the cattle 
on a thousand hills, and hear the bleating flocks in many a dale and 
glen, and he will breath an atmosphere of health and bouyancy, 
which the dwellers in the city and on the plain know little of. 
Let him come, and we will show him that men live here, and 
women too, over whom it would be ridiculous for the city popula- 
tion to boast: a yoemanry well fitted to sustain the institutions of 
a free country. We will show him living, moving men ; but more 
than this, we will point out to him where, among these hills, were 
born or reared, or now repose in the grave, many of the men of 
whom he has read and heard, whose names have gone gloriously 
into their country's history, or who are now almost every where 
giving an honorable name to the County of Litchfield, and doing 
service to our State or nation. 

The extensive and fertile plains of the Western country may 
yield richer harvests than we can reap; the slave population of 
the South may relieve the planter from the toil experienced by a 
Northern farmer ; and the golden regions of California may sooner 
fill the pockets with the precious metals ;— and all this may stand 
in strong contrast with what has been often called the rough and 
barren region of Litchfield hills. But the distinguishing traits of a 
New England country, which we love so well, are not there to give 
sublimity to the landscape, fragrance and health to the mountain 
atmosphere, and energy and enterprise to mind and character 

church's centennial address 5 

Not many years ago, I was descending the last hill in Norfolk 
in a stage-coach, in company with a lady of the West, whose for- 
mer residence had been in that town. As we came down upon 
the valley of the Housatonic, with a full heart and suffused eyes, 
she exclaimed, "Oh, how I love these hills and streams! How 
much more pleasant they are to me than the dull prairies and the 
sluggish and turbid waters of the Western country." It was an 
eulogy, which if not often expressed, the truth of it has been a 
thousand times felt before. 

Our Indian predecessors found but few spots among the hills 
of this Country, which invited their fixed residence. Here was 
no place for the culture of maize and beans, the chief articles of 
the Indian's vegetable food. Their settlements were chiefly con- 
fined to the valley of the Housatonic, with small scattered clans 
at Woodbury and Sharon. The Scaticoke tribe, at Kent, was 
the last which remained among us. It was taken under the pro- 
tection of the Colony and State; its lands secured for its sup- 
port. _ These Indians have wasted down to a few individuals, who, 
I believe, still remain near their fathers' sepulchers, and remind 
us that a native tribe once existed there. 

We now see but little to prove that the original American race 
ever inhabited here. It left no monuments but a few arrow-heads, 
which are even now occasionally discovered near its former homes 
and upon its former hunting grounds, — and a sculptured female 
figure made of stone, not many years ago was foiuid in this town, 
and is now deposited at Yale College. 

There are other monuments, to be sure, of a later race of In- 
dians; but they are of the white man's workmariship, — the quit- 
claim deeds of the Indians' title to their lands ! These are found 
in several of the Towns in the County, and upon the public re- 
cords, signed with marks imcouth, and names unspeakable, and 
executed with all the solemn mockery of legal forms. — These are 
still referred to, as evidence of fair purchase! Our laws have 
sedulously protected the minor and the married woman from the 
consequences of their best considered acts ; but a deed from an 
Indian, who knew neither the value of the land he was required 
to relinquish, nor the amount of the consideration he was to re- 
ceive for it, nor the import or effect of the paper upon which he 
scribbled his mark, has been called a fair purchase ! 

The hill-lands of this County were only traversed , by the In- 
dians as the common hunting grounds of the tribes which inhab- 
ited the valleys of the Tunxis and Connecticut rivers on the east- 
ern, and the valley of the Housatonic on the western side. 

The first settlers of this County did not meet the Indian here 
in his unspoiled native character. The race was dispirited and 
submissive — probably made up of fugitives from the aggressions 
of the early English emigrants on the coast, — the successors of 
more spirited tribes, which, to avoid contact with the whites, had 


migrated onward toward the setting sun. These Indjans_ were 
like the ivy of the forest, which displays all its beauties in the 
shade but droops and refuses to flourish in the open sunshine 

Previous to the accession of James II. to the throne of Eng- 
land and before our chartered rights were threatened by the ar- 
rival of Sir Edmund Andros, the territory now comprising the 
County of Litchfield was very little known to the Colonial Gov- 
ernment at Hartford. The town of Woodbury, then large in ex- 
tent, had been occupied some years earlier than this, by Rev. 
Mr. Walker's congregation, from Stratford. The other parts of 
the County were noticed only as a wilderness, and denominated 
the Western Lands. Still it was supposed, that at some time they 
might be, to some extent, inhabited and worth something. At 
anv rate, they were believed to be worth the pains of keeping out 
of' the way of the new government of Sir Edmund, which was 
then apprehended to be near. To avoid his authority over these 
lands, and to preserve them for a future and better time of dispo- 
sal, they were granted, by the Assembly of the Colony, to the 
towns of Hartford and Windsor, in 1686, — at least, so much of 
them as lay east of the Housatonic river. I do not stop to exam- 
ine the moral quality of this grant, which may be reasonably 
doubted ; and it was soon after followed by the usual consequences 
of grants, denominated by lawyers, constructively fraudulent — dis- 
pute and contention. 

Upon the accession of William and Mary, in 1688, and after 
the Colony Charter had found its way back from the hollow oak 
to the Secretary's office, the Colonial Assembly attempted to re- 
sume this grant, and to reclaim the title of these lands for the 
Colony. This was resisted by the towns of Hartford and Wind- 
sor, which relied upon the inviolability of plighted faith and pub- 
lic grants. The towns not only denied the right, but a.ctually 
resisted the power of the Assembly, in the resumption of their 
solemn deed. This produced riots and attempts to break the 
jail in Hartford, in which several of the resisting inhabitants of 
Hartford and Windsor were confined. 

It would be found difficult for the Jurists of the present day, 
educated in the principles of Constitutional Law, to justify the 
Assembly in the recision of its own grant, and it can not but ex- 
cite a little surprise, that the politicians of that day, who had not 
yet ceased to complain of the mother country for its attempts, by 
writs of quo warranto, to seize our charter, should so soon be en- 
gaged, and without the forms of law, too, in attempts of a kindred 
character against their own grantees. No wonder that resistance 
followed, and it was more than half successful, as it resulted in 
a compromise, which confirmed to the claimants under the towns 
the lands in the town of Litchfield and a part of the town of New 
Milford. The other portions of the territory were intended to 
be equally divided between the Colony and the claiming towns. 


Thus Torrington, Barkhamsted, Colebrook, and a part of Har- 
winton, were appropriated to Windsor ; Hartland, Winchester, 
New Hartford, and the other part of Harwinton, were rehnquish- 
ed to Hartford ; and the remaining lands in dispute, now consti- 
tuting the towns of Norfolk, Goshen, Canaan, Kent, Sharon and 
Salisbury, were retained by the Colony. These claims having 
at length been adjusted, the western lands began to be explored, 
and their facilities for cultivation to be known. 

Woodbury, as I have before suggested, by several years our el- 
der sister in this new family of towns, began its settlement in 1674. 
The Church at Stratford had been in contention, and the Rev. Mr. 
Walker, with a portion of that Church and people, removed to the 
fertile region of Pomperauge, soon distinguished by the name of 
Woodbury, and then including, beside the present town, also the 
region composing the towns of Southbury, Bethlem and Roxbury. 

Pomperauge is said to have felt some of the effects of Philip's 
war — enough, at least, to add another to the many thrilling scenes 
of Indian depredation, so well drawn by the author of Mount Hope. 

New Milford next followed in the course of settlement. This 
commenced in 1707. Its increase of population was slow until 
1716, when Rev. Daniel Boardman, from Wethersfield, was or- 
dained as the first minister. This gentleman was the ancestor of 
the several distinguished families and individuals of the same 
name, who have since been and now are residents of that town. 
His influence over the Indian tribe and its Sachem in that vicinity, 
was powerful and restraining, and so much confidence had this 
good man and his family in the fidelity of his Indian friends, it is 
said, that when his lady was earnestly warned to fly from a threaten- 
ed savage attack, she coolly replied, that she would go as soon as 
she had put things to rights about her house, and had knit round 
to her seam needle ! The original white inhabitants were emigrants 
from Milford, from which it derives its name. 

Emigrants from the Manor of Livingston, in the New York 
Colony, made Indian purchases and began a settlement at Wea- 
togue, in Salisbury, as early as 1720. After the sale of the town- 
ship in 1737, the population increased rapidly, — coming in from the 
towns of Lebanon, Litchfield, and many other places, so that it was 
duly organized in 1741, and settled its minister. Rev. Jonothan 
Lee, in 1744. 

The first inhabitants of Litchfield came under the Hartford and 
Windsor title, in 1721, and chiefly from Hartford, Windsor and 
Lebanon. This territory, and a large lake in its south-west sec- 
lion, was known as Bantam. Whether it was so called by the In- 
dians, has been doubted, and is not well settled. 

The settlement of the other towns commenced soon after, and 
piogressed .'•teadily, xet slowly. The town of Colebrook was the 
last enrolled in this jraternity, and settled its first minister. Rev. 
Jonathan Edwards, in 1795. Rev. Rufus Babcock, a Baptist min- 


ister, had, lor some time before this, resided and officiated in the 

One general characteristic marked the whole population; it was 
gathered chiefly from the towns already settled in the Colony, and 
with but few emigrants from Massachusetts. Our immediate an- 
cestors were religious men, and religion was the ruling element; 
but it would be a mistake to suppose that it absorbed all others. 

I shall not detain you with an eulogium on Puritan character. 
This may be found stereotyped every where — not only in books and 
speeches, but much more accurately in its influence and effects, not 
in New England alone, but throughout this nation. Our American 
ancestors were Englishmen, descendants of the same men, and in- 
heritors of the same principles, by which Magna Charta was estab- 
lished at Runny-mede. — They were Anglo-Saxons, inspired with 
the same spirit of independence which has marked them every where, 
and especially through the long period of well defined linghsh his- 
tory, and which is destined in its further developments to give tone 
and impress to the political and religious institutions of Christen- 
dom. So much has been said and written of the Puritans, I have 
sometimes thought that some believe that they were a distinct race, 
and perhaps of a different complexion and language from their 
other countrymen ; whereas, they were only Englishmen, generally 
of the Plebian caste, and with more of the energies and many of the 
frailties and imperfections common to humanity. If our first settlers 
here cherished more firmlythe religious elements of their character 
than any other., the spirit of independence to which I have alluded 
developed another — the love of money, and an ingenuity in grat- 
ifying it. 

Since the extent and resources of this County have been better 
known, the wonder is often expressed, how such an unpromising 
region as this County could have invited a population at first; but 
herein we misconceive the condition of our fathers. Here, as they 
supposed, was the last land to be explored and occupied in their 
day. They had no where else to go, and the growing population 
of the east, as well as the barren soil of the coast, impelled them 
westward. Of the north, beyond the Massachusetts Colony, noth- 
ing was known ; only Canada and the frozen regions of Nova Scotia 
had been heard of. On the west was another Colony, but a dif- 
ferent people ; and still ,beyond, was an unknown realm, possessed 
by savage men, of whom New England had seen enough; and not 
much behind this, according to the geography of that day, was the 
Western Ocean, referred to in the Charter. A visible hand of 
Providence seems to have guided our fathers' goings. Had the 
valley of the Susquehanna been known to them then, they would 
but the sooner have furnished the history of the massacre of 

If there were here the extensive and almost impenatrable ever- 
glade of the Green-Woods, the high hills of Goshen, Litchfield 

church's centenxial address 9 

and Cornwall, and heavy forests every where — these were trifles 
then in the way of a New England man's calculation, and had been 
ever since the people of the May Flower and the Arabella and their 
descendants had been crowding their way back among the forests. 
These, and a thousand other obstacles, were surmounted, with hard- 
ly a suspicion that they were obstacles at all, and every township 
began ere long to exhibit a well ordered, organized society. 

This was no missionary field, after the manner of modern new 
settlements. Every little Colony, as it became organized and ex- 
tended from town to town, either took its minister along with it, or 
called him soon after. He became one with his people, wedded 
to them almost by sacramental bonds, indissoluble. A Primus 
inter pares, he settled on his owji domain, appropriated to his use by 
the proprietors of every town, and he cultivated with his own hands 
his own soil, and at his death was laid down among his parishoners 
and neighbors in the common cemetery, with little of monumental ex- 
travagance to distinguish his resting place. The meeting-house was 
soon seen at the central point of each town, modestly elevated above 
surrounding buildings, and by its side the school-house, as its 
nursling child or younger sister, and the minister and the master 
were the oracles of each community. The development of the 
Christian man, spiritual, intellectual and physical, was the necessary 
result of such an organization of society as this. 

The original settlers of this County were removed two or three 
generations from the first emigrants from England, and some of 
the more harsh pecularities of that race may well be supposed, ere 
this time, to have become modified, or to have subsided entirely. 
If a little erf the spirit of Arch-Bishop Laud, transgressing the 
boundaries of Realm and Church, had found its way over the ocean, 
and was developed under a new condition of society here, it is not 
to be wondered at; it was the spirit of the age, though none the 
better for that, and none the more excusable, whether seen in Laud 
or Mather — in a Royal Parliament, or a Colonial Assembly. 

Less of these peculiarities appeared in Connecticut than in Mass- 
achusetts ; and at the late period when this County was settled, the 
sense of oppression inflicted by the mother country, whether real 
or fancied, was a little forgotten, and of course neither Quakers, 
Prayer Books nor Christmas were the object of penal legislation. 
A more tolerant, and of course a better spirit, came with our fathers 
into this County, than had before existed elsewhere in the Colony, 
and, if I mistake not, it has ever since been producing here its legiti- 
mate effects, and in some degree has distinguished the char- 
acter and the action of Litchfield County throughout its entire his- 
tory, as many facts could be made to prove. 

Before the year 175 1, this territory had been attached to dif- 
ferent Counties — most of it to the County of Hartford; the towns 
of Sharon and Salisbury to the County of New Haven ; and many 
of the early titles and of probate proceedings of several of the 


towns, before their organization or incorporation, may be found on 
the records of more early settled towns. The first settlements of 
estates in Canaan are recorded in Woodbury, and many early deeds 
are on record in the office of the Secretary in Hartford. 

In 1 75 1, the condition of the population of these towns was such 
as to demand the organization of a new County, and the subject 
was extensively discussed at the town meetings. As is always 
true, on such occasions, a diversity of opinions as well as the or- 
dinary amount of excited feeling existed, regarding the location 
of the shire town. Cornwall and Canaan made their claims and had 
their advocates — but the chief contest was between Litchfield and 
Goshen. The latter town was supposed to occupy the geographical 
center, and many persons had settled there in expectation that 
that would become the fixed seat of justice, and, among others, 
Oliver Wolcott, afterward Governor of the State. But at the 
October session of the General Court in 175 1, the new County was 
established with Litchfield as the County Town, under the name 
of Litchfield County. 

Litchfield County, associated with the thought of one hundred 
years ago ! A brief space in a nation's history ; but such an 
hundred years ! — more eventful than any other since the intro- 
duction of our Holy Religion into the world. This name speaks 
to us of home and all the hallowed memories of youth and years 
beyond our reach, — of our truant frolics, our school boy trials, our 
youthful aspirations and hopes ; and, perhaps, of more teiider and 
romantic sympathies ; and many will recall the misgivings, and 3'et 
the stern resolves, with which they commenced the various avoca- 
tions of life in which they have since been engaged. A-nd from this 
point, too, we look back to ties which once bound us to parents, 
brothers, companions, friends — then strong — now sundered ! and 
which have been breaking and breaking, until many of us find our- 
selves standing, almost alone, amidst what a few years ago was an 
unborn generation. 

Litchfield County ! Go where you will through this broad 
country, and speak aloud this name, and you will hear a response, 
"That is my own, my native land." It will come from some whom 
you will find in the halls of Legislation, in the Pulpit, on the Bench, 
at the Bar, by the sick man's couch, in the marts of Trade, by the 
Plow, or as wandering spirits in some of the tried or untried ex- 
periments of life. And sure I am, that there is not to be found a 
son of this County, be his residence ever so remote, who would not 
feel humbled to learn that this name was to be no longer heard 
among the civil divisions of his native State. 

The usual officers, made necessary by the erection of the new 
County, were immediately appointed by the General Court. William 
Preston, Esq., of Woodbury, was the first Chief Justice of the 
County, and his Associates were John Williams, Esq., of Sharon, 
Samuel Canfield, of Xew Milford, and Ebenezer Marsh, of Litch- 


field. Isaac Baldwin, Esq., was the first Clerk, and the first Sheriflf 
was Oliver Wolcott, of whom I shall speak again. The County 
Court, at its first session in December of the same year, appointed 
Samuel Pettibone, Esq., of Goshen, to be King's Attorney, who 
was, within a few years, succeeded by Reynold Marvin, Esq., of 
this village, and these two gentlemen were all in this County, in 
this capacity, who ever represented the King's majesty in that ad- 
ministration of criminal justice. 

The tenure of official place in the early days of the Common- 
wealth, was more permanent than since party subserviency has in 
some degree taken the place of better qualifications. The changes 
upon the bench of the County Court were not frequent. The office 
of Chief Judge, from the time of Judge Preston to the time of his 
successors, who are now alive, have been John Williams, of Sharon. 
Oliver Wolcott, Daniel Sherman, of Woodbury, Joshua Porter, of 
Salisbury, Aaron Austin, of New 'Hartford, also a member of the 
Council, and Augustus Pettibone, of Norfolk. I can not at this 
time present a catalogue of Associate Judges. It has been com- 
posed of the most worthy and competent citizens of the County — 
gentlemen of high influence and respect in the several towns of their 

In the office of Sheriff, Governor Wolcott was succeeded by 
Lynde Lord, David Smith, John R. Eandon, Moses Seymour, Jr., 
and Ozias Seymour, of this village, and the successors of these 
gentlemen are still surviving. 

Mr. Marvin was succeeded in the office of State's Attorney, by 
Andrew Adams. Tapping Reeve. Uriah Thacy, Nathaniel Smith. 
John Allen, Uriel Holmes, and Elisha Sterling, whose successors, 
with a single exception, still survive. 

Hon. Frederick Wolcott succeeded Mr. Baldwin in the office 
of Clerk, and this place he held, undisturbed by party influences, 
for forty years, and until nearly the time of his death in 1836. 

The common Prison first erected was a small wooden building, 
near the late dwelling house of Roger Cook, Esq., on the north 
side of East street. This stood but few years, and in its place a 
more commodious one was built, nearly on the same foundation. 
The present Prison was built in 1812, and essentially improved 
within a few years. The first Court House stood on the open 
grounds a little easterly from the West Park, and may still be seen 
in the rear of the buildings on the south side of West street. It 
was a small building, but in it were often witnessed some of the 
most able efforts of American eloquence. In this humble Temple 
of Justice, Hon. S. W. Johnston of Stratford, Edwards of New 
Haven, Reeve, Tracy, Allen, and the Smiths of this County, ex- 
hibited some of the best essays of forensic power. The present 
Court House was erected in 1798. 

The early progress of the County presents but a few incidents 
of sufficient note to retain a place in its traditionary history. The 


apprehension of savage incursions had passed away, and the people 
were left undisturbed to carry out, to their necessary results, what 
might have been expected from the spirit and enterprise which 
brought them hither. The old French War, as it has smce been 
called disturbed them but little. Some of the towns in the County, 
moved by a loyal impulse, and a legitimate hatred of France, as 
well as hostility to Indians in its service, furnished men and officers 
in aid of some of the expeditions to the northern frontier. 

The pioneers here were agriculturists. They came with no 
knowledge or care for anv other pursuit, and looked for no greater 
results than the enjoyment of religious privileges, the increase of 
their estates bv removing the heavy forest and adding other acres 
to their original purchases, and with the hope, perhaps, of sending 
an active bov to the College. Of manufactures, they knew nothing. 
The grist-mill and saw-mill, the blacksmith and clothier's shops, — 
all as indispensable as the plow and the axe,— they provided for as 
among the necessaries of a farmer's life. 

Thus they toiled on, till the hill-sides and the valleys every 
where showed the fenced field and the comfortable dwelling. The 
spinning wheel was in every house, and the loom in every neigh- 
borhood, and almost every article of- clothing was the product of 
female domestic industry. Intercourse with each other was diffi- 
cult. The hills were steep, and the valleys miry, and the means 
of conveyance confined to the single horse with saddle and pillion, 
with no other carriage than the ox-cart in summer and the sled in 
the winter. The deep winter snows often obstructed even the use 
of the sled, and then resort was had to snow-shoes. These were 
made of a light rim of wood bent into the form of an ox-bow, 
though smaller, perforated and woven into a net work with thongs 
of raw-hide, leather or deer skin, and when attached to the com- 
mon shoe enabled the walker to travel upon the surface of the 
snow. Four-wheeled carriages were not introduced into general 
use until after the Revolution. Ladies, old and young, thought no 
more of fatigue in performing long journeys over the rough roads 
of the County, on horseback, than the ladies of our times in mak- 
ing trips by easy stages, in coaches or cars. 

The County Town constituted a common center, where the 
leading men of the County met during the terms of the Courts, 
and they saw but little of each other at other times. The course 
of their business was in different directions. The north-west towns 
found their markets on the Hudson River — the southern towns at 
Derby and New Haven — and the eastern ones at Hartford. In 
the mean while, and before the breaking out of the war of the 
Revolution, nearly every town had its settled Pastor, and the schools 
were every where spead over the territory. 

No manufacturing interest was prevalent in the County at first. 
The policy and laws of the mother country had discouraged this. 
But the rich iron mine which had been early discovered in Salis- 


bury, and the iron ore found in Kent, could not lie neglected. Iron 
was indispensable, and its transportation from the coast almost 
impracticable. The ore bed in Salisbury had been granted by the 
Colonial Assembly to Daniel Bissell of Windsor, as early as 1731, 
and produces a better quality of iron than any imported from abroad 
or found elsewhere at home. 

The manufacture of bloomed iron in the region of the ore, com- 
menced before the organization of the County. Thomas L,amb 
erected a forge at Lime Rock, in Sahsbury, as early as 1734, — 
probably the first in the Colony. This experiment was soon ex- 
tensively followed in Salisbury, Canaan, Cornwall and Kent, and 
there were forges erected also in Norfolk, Colebrook and Litch- 
field. The ore was often transported from the ore beds to the 
forge in leathern sacks, upon horses. Bar iron became here a sort 
of circulating medium, and promissory notes were more frequent- 
ly made payable in iron than in money. 

The first Furnace in the Colony was built at Lakeville, in Salis- 
bury, in 1762, by John Hazelton and Ethan Allen of Salisbury, 
and Samuel Forbes oi Canaan. This property fell into the hands 
of Richard Smith, an English gentleman, a little before the war 
of the Revolution. Upon this event he returned to England, and 
the State took possession of the furnace, and it was employed, un- 
der the agency of Col. Joshua Porter, in the manufacture of can- 
non, shells and shot, for the use of the army and navy of the 
country, and sometimes under the supervision of Governeur Mor- 
ris and John Jay, agents of the Continental Congress ; and after 
the war, the navy of the United States received, to a considerable 
extent, the guns for its heaviest ships, from the same establishment. 

It will not be any part of my purpose to become the Ecclesiasti- 
cal historian of the County. This duty will be better performed 
by other pens. And yet* the true character and condition of a 
people can not be well understood without some study of their re- 
ligious state. 

I have already suggested, that there was here a more tolerant 
and better spirit than existed among the first emigrants to Ply- 
mouth and Massachusetts. The churches were insulated, and in 
a manner shut out from the disturbing causes which had agitated 
other portions of the Colony. I do not learn from that full and 
faithful chropicler of religious dissensions. Dr. Trumbull, that there 
was in this Coimty so much of the metaphysical and subtle in the- 
ology, as had produced such bitter efifects at an earlier time, in the 
churches at Hartford, New Haven. Stratford ard Wallingford. 
The Pastors were men of peace, who had sought th( retired parishes 
over here in the hills and valleys, without much p/ide of learning, 
and without ambitious views. The influence of the Pastor here 
was oaternal ; the eloquence of his example was more potent than 
the eloquence of the pulpit. It might be expected, that by such a 
Clergy, a deep and broad foundation of future good would be laid, — 


a fixed Protestant sentiment and its legitimate consequence, in- 
dependent opinion and energetic action. 

There was here, also, very early, another element which modi- 
fied and liberalized the temper of the fathers, who had smarted, 
as they supposed, under the persecutions of an EngHsh home and 
English laws. A little alloy was intermixed in the religious 
crucible, which, if it did not, in the opinion of all, render the mass 
more precious, at least made it more malleable, and better fitted 
for practical use. There was not in this Country an universal 
dislike of the Chuch of England. We were removed farther back 
in point of time, as I have said, from the original causes of hostility. 
We were Englishmen, boasting of English Common Law as our 
birthright and our inheritance, and into this was interwoven many 
of the principles and usages of English Ecclesiastical polity. 
This respect for the institutions of the mother country, though 
long felt by some, was first developed in the College, and extended 
sooner and more widely in this County than any where else; so 
that congregations worshiping with the Liturgy of the English 
Church were soon found in Woodbury, Watertown, Plymouth, 
Harwinton, Litchfield, Kent, Sharon and Salisbury, and were com- 
posed of men of equal intelligence and purity of character with 
their neighbors of the Congregational Churches. And yet, enough 
of traditional prejudice still remained, uncorrected by time or im- 
partial examinations, often to subject the friends and members of 
the Church of England to insult and injustice. Some of it remains 
still but too little to irritate or disturb a Christian spirit. 

The spirit of emigration, that same Anglo-Saxon temperament 
which brought our ancestors into the County, and which constantly 
pushes forward to the trial of unknown fortune, began its mani- 
festitations before the Revolution, and sought its gratification first 
in Vermont. Vermont is the child of this County. We gave to 
her her first Governor, and three Governors besides ; as many as 
three Senators in Congress, and also many of her most efficient 
founders and early distinguished citizens, — Chittendens, Aliens, Ga- 
lushas, Chipmans, Skinner and others. The attitude assumed by 
Vermont in the early stages of the Revolutionary War, in respect 
to Canada on the north and the threatening States of New York 
and New Hampshire on either side, was peculiar and delicate, and 
demanded the most adroit policy to secure her purp.ose of inde- 
pendence. In her dilemma, her most sagacious men resorted to 
the counsels of their old friends of Litchfield County, and it is said 
that her final course was shaped, and her designs accomplished, 
by the advice of a confidential council, assembled at the house of 
Governor Wolcott in this village. 

Perhaps no community ever existed, with fewer causes of dis- 
turbance or discontent than were felt here, before the complaints 
of British exaction were heard from Boston. But the first mur- 
murings from the East excited our quiet population to action, and in 


nearly every town in the County, meetings of sympathy were holden, 
and strong resolves adopted, responsive to the Boston complainings. 
The tax oh tea and the stamp duty were trifles. The people of 
this County knew nothing of them, and probably cared no more. 
The principle of the movement was deeper — more fundamental; 
the love of self government — "the glorious privilege of being in- 
dependent!" The excitement was general throughout the Country. 
Individuals opposed it, and from different, though equally pure mo- 
tives. Some supposed resistance to the laws to be hopeless at that 
time, and advised to wait for more strength and resources ; others 
were influenced by religious considerations, just as pure and as 
potent as had influenced their fathers aforetime ; others had a deeper 
seated sense of loyalty, and the obligations of sworn allegiance. 
But the County was nearly unanimous in its resistance to Britisli 
claims, and saw in them the commencement of a Colonial servitude, 
degrading, and threatening the future progress of the country, in 
its destined path to wealth and glory. I believe no individual of 
distinction in the County took arms against the cause of the country. 

Our remote position from the scenes of strife and the march of 
armies, will not permit me to speak to you of battle-fields, of vic- 
tories won or villages sacked any where in our sight. We were 
only in the pathway between the different wings of the American 
army. I have no means of determining the amount of force in men 
or money furnished by this County in aid of the war. From the 
tone of the votes and resolves passed at the various town-meetings, 
and from the many officers and men. Continental and militia, who 
joined the army, I may venture the assertion, that no county in New 
England, of no greater population than this, gave more efficient 
aid in various ways, or manifested by its acts, more devoted pa- 

Sheldon's was, I believe, the first regiment of cavalry which 
joined the army. It was raised in this County chiefly, and com- 
manded by Col. Elisha Sheldon of Salisbury. The services of 
this regiment have been favorably noticed by the writers of that 
day, and on various occasions called forth the public thanks of 
the Commander-in-Chief. Among other officers attached to it, was 
Major Benjamin Tallmadge, afterwards and for many years a dis- 
tinguished merchant and gentleman of this village, and, for several 
sessions, a valuable member of Congress in the Connecticut dele- 
gation. Major Tallmadge distinguished himself by a brilliant ex- 
t>loit against the enemy on Long Island, for which he received the 
public approbation of General Washington; and through the whole 
struggle, this officer proved himself a favorite with the army and 
the officers under whom he served. Besides these, several other 
officers of elevated as well as subordinate rank, were attached to 
the Continental army, from this County. Among them were Col. 
Heman Swift of Cornwall, Major Samuel Elmore of Sharon, Col. 
Seth Warner of Woodbury, Major Moses Seymour of Litchfield, 


Major John Webb of Canaan, Capt. John Sedgwick and Edward 
Rogers of Cornwall, Col. Blagden and Major Luther Stoddard of 
Salisbury, and many others not now recollected. 

Contributions in support of the war were not confined to the 
payment of heavy taxes, but voluntary aid came from associations 
and individuals in every town. The ^aggregate can not be com- 
puted, — if it could, it would show an amount, which, rich as we 
now are, I think could not be demanded of our citizens for any 
cause of patriotism or philanthropy without murmurs, and perhaps, 

Nor was the Patriot spirit confined to men and soldiers, — it 
warmed the bosoms of wives, mothers and sisters, in every town. 
An equestrian statue of the King, of gilded lead, before the war, 
had stood upon the Bowling Green in New York. As soon as 
the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence reach- 
ed New York, this was missing. Ere long it was found at the 
dwelling-house of Hon. Oliver Wolcott, in this village, and in 
time of need was melted down into the more appropriate shape of 
forty thousand bullets, by the daughters of that gentleman and 
other ladies, and forwarded to the soldiery in the field. Other la- 
dies still, and in other towns, were much employed in making 
blankets and garments for the suffering troops. 

I have no means of determining the number of killed and 
wounded soldiers belonging to this County. 

Mr. Matthews, the Mayor of the city of New York, was for 
some time detained in this village, a prisoner of war, and it is said 
that his traveling trunk, and some parts of his pleasure carriage, 
still remain in possession of the Seymour family. Governor 
Eranklin, the Royal Governor of New Jersey, and a son of Dr. 
Benjamin Franklin, was confined as a prisoner of war in our jail 
which was often used to detain English prisoners as well as Tories. 

Although the treaty of peace brought peace to other parts of 
the State, it did not bring it to the whole of this County. One 
town was left, — not to the continued and merciless inroads of 
British soldiers and savage Indians, as before, but to the unjust 
oppressions of Pennsylvania, — Westmoreland, better known to the 
readers of Indian tragedy by the name of Wyoming. Its history 
is one of melancholy interest. This territory is in the valley and 
region of the Susquehanna River, and included the present flourish- 
ing village of Wilkesbarre. Its extent was as broad as this State. 
It was supposed to be embraced within our chartered limits, and such 
was the opinion of the most eminent counsel in England and in 
the Colony. Under this claim, a company associated about the 
year 171^4, by the name of the Susquhanna Company, and purchased 
the Indian title to the country, for two thousand pounds. New York 
currency. This was a voluntary movement, — a people's enterprise, 
unsanctioned by any direct Legislative act, but unforbidden, and 
probably encouraged. Within a few years, a settlement was ef- 



fected upon the choice > lands of the Susquehanna, chiefly by emi- 
grants from the counties of Windham and New London, with sev- 
eral from this County, among whom was John Franklin of Canaan, 
the brother of the late Silas Franklin, Esq., of that town, a gentle- 
man whose fortune and history were closely interwoven with the 
fortunes of that colony. The Authorities of Pennsylvania, though 
claiming under a later Charter, opposed this settlement, and kept 
up a continual annoyance until the breaking out of the war with 
England, and even then sympathized but Httle with our people 
there, under the dreadful afflictions which that event brought upon 

Sad indeed was the condition of the colonists of Wyoming ! — 
persecuted by their Pennsylvania neighbors, and left defenceless 
to the ravages of British troops and their savage allies ! The 
Legislature of this Colony recognized this interesting band of its 
own children, and incorporated them into a township, by the name 
of Westmoreland, in 1774, and annexed it to the County of Litch- 
field. They would have been protected from the aggressions of 
Pennsylvania, if the war of the Revolution had not prevented, and 
the good Friends of that Commonwealth would have been compelled 
to dofif the Quaker a while, or quietly to have left our fellow-citizens 
in peace. Under the protection of their parent power, this little col- 
ony now looked for security. They were a town of the Connecticut 
Colony, organized with Selectmen and other ordinary Town Of- 
ficers, and semi-annually sent their Deputies to the General Court 
at Hartford and New Haven ; chose their Jurors to attend the 
Courts of this County, and their Justices of the Peace were mag- 
istrates of the County of Litchfield, and all writs and process, 
served there, were returnable to the Courts of this County, and 
remain now upon our records. But their security was transient ; 
the war of the Revolution brought down upon them a combined 
force of British Provincials and Tories, from Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey and New York, and a large body of Indians, commanded 
iby Brant, a celebrated chief. This whole force was directed by 
Col. John Butler, of infamous memory. 

I have no leisure to describe, in its details, the progress of the 
tragedy of the Wyoming massacre. Cols. John Franklin and 

Zebulon Butler were conspicious in their efforts to avert the sad 
destiny of the citizens. It was in vain. The battle opened on 
the 3d day of July, 1778, and it closed with the entire destruc- 
tion "of the settlepient. Men, women and children, whether in 
arms or defenceless, were devoted to the bayonet and scalping knife, 
and such as were so fortunate as to escape, were driven away, 
houseless and homeless, many of them to be dragged from their 
hiding places to the slaughter, and others to escape after many 
perils by the way. That massacre was without a likeness in modern 
warfare, and a stain upon the English character, for which English 
hi,storians have found no apology. 


"Accursed Brant ! he left of all my tribe 
Nor man, nor child, nor any thing of living birth ; 
No, — not the dog that watch'd my household hearth 
Escaped that night, upon our plains, — ^all perished !" 

Men, maidens, widowed mothers and helpless infants, flying- 
from this scene of death, are remembered by many still living, 
passing on foot and on horseback through this County, back to 
their friends here and to the eastern towns. Such was the fate 
of a portion of the citizens of our own County. Nine years Wy- 
oming had been a part of us, and after the war was over, Penn- 
sylvania renewed her claims and her oppressions. Our Pilgrim 
fathers could recount no such afflictions ! Our jurisdiction ceased 
in 1782, after a decision by a Board of Commissioners ; but a great 
portion of those who had survived the conflict with the Indians, 
gathered again around the ruins of their former habitations, and 
still refused submission to the claims of Pennsylvania. Col. Frank- 
lin was the master spirit of resistance, and upon him fell the weight 
of vengance. He was arrested, imprisoned, and condemed to death 
as a traitor. After a long confinement in jail, he was at length 
released, and survived many years, and was a respectable and in- 
fluential member of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, from 
the County of Luzerne. 

The result of the compromise of our claim to the town of West- 
moreland, was the acknowledgment, by Congress, of the claim of 
Connecticut to the Western Reserve, from which has been derived 
the School Fund of the State. 

The war of the Revolution had ceased, and left us an exhausted 
people. The extravagant hopes of many were disappointed: they 
felt the present pressure, but anticipated none of the future prosper- 
ity and glory in reserve. This disappointment, in a neighboring 
State, had produced open resistence to the laws, — rebellion ! It 
was a contagious spirit, and such as municipal lines could not con- 
fine. Much was feared from it here. A spark from that flame 
in Berkshire county had flown over into Sharon. One Dr. Hurl- 
but, an emissary of Shay's, visited that town, in the spring of 1787, 
to enlist men in his cause. He made some impression. The 
General Assembly was then in session, and took efficient measures 
to prevent the spread of the treasonable contagion. Col. Samuel 
Canfield, of New Milford, and Uriah Tracy, of this village, were 
sent to suppress it. Several individuals were, arrested and im- 
prisoned in the jail of this County; but, as the disturbance in the 
sister State subsided, the advocates of resistance to the laws were 
disheartened, the prosecutions were finally abandoned, and these 
disciples of the treasonable doctrine of resistance were permitted to 
go at large, punished enough by the contempt which followed them. 

Although the resources of our citizens had been consumed by 
a wasting war and a bankrupt government, the elasticity of our 

Col. Samuel Canfibld. 


former enterprise was not relaxed. Released, now, from Colonial 
dependence, and free to act without foreign restrictions, the ener- 
gies of our citizens soon recovered all ■ they had lost. A Consti- 
tution of Government, uniting the former Colonies info a great 
nation, was proposed to the State for adoption; and, in January, 
1787, a convention of deligates from the several towns met at 
Hartford to consider it. The votes of the deligates from this 
County, upon this great question, stood, twenty-two in the affirm- 
ative, and nine in the negative. The negative votes were from 
Cornwall, Norfolk, and Sharon. Harwinton, New Hartford, and 
Torrington were divided. 

No portion of the country sooner revived under the new im- 
pulse, given by the establishment of a National Constitutional 
Government, than this County. Our resources were varied. Our 
soil was every where strong on the hills and by the streams. Var- 
ious sections possessed their peculiarities of production. Wheat 
was a staple of the western towns. Dairy products were yielded 
in abundance in the northern and central regions; and, in almost 
every location, every species of grass, fruit, and grain, indigenous 
to any northern latitude, by reasonable culture, was found to flourish. 
We were rich in the most useful mineral in the world, and our 
streams of purest water afforded privileges every where for con- 
verting our ores into iron and our forests into building materials. 
But we had more — that, without which, all these were worthless ; 
we had an industrious, and what was better, an economical and an 
intelligent yeomanry. We had a few slaves, to be sure ; not enough 
of these, nor enough of a degraded foreign population to render 
the toil of our own hands, in the fields, or of our wives or daughters, 
in the kitchen or the dairy, dishonored or disgraceful. Our peoole 
were Native Americans ! And here is the secret of our prosperity 
and progress. 

In 1784 the first newspaper press was established in this County 
by Thomas Collier, and was continued under his superintendence 
for more than twenty years. It was called the "Weeklv Monitor." 
It was a well conducted sheet, and it is refreshing now, after the 
lapse of many years, to look through its columns, as through a 
glass, and see the men of other days, as they have spoken and acted 
on the same ground on which we stand. Mr. Collier was an able 
writer, and his editorial efforts would have done honor to any 
journal. It is a Litchfield monitor now, and whoever shall look 
over its files will see, at a glance, the great changes which have been 
introduced, in later days, into all the departments of business and of 
social and political life. 

Then, the intercourse between the several towns in this County 
and the market towns was slow and difficult. The Country mer- 
chants were the great brokers, and stood between the farmer and 
the markets. Thev received all his produce and supplied all he 
wished to buy. The thrifty farmer, on settlement, received his 


annual balance from the merchant. This enabled him to increase 
his acres. He did not invest it in stocks ; of these he knew nothing, 
except such as he had seen attached as instruments of punishment, to 
the whipping post in every town. 

The merchants, thus employed, almost all became wealthy. 
A broken merchant in the County was seldom heard of. Among 
the most successful and respectable of these gentlemen, whom I 
now recollect, were Julius Deming and Benjamin Tallmadge, of 
this town; Tallmadge, of Warren; Bacon, of Woodbury; Lea- 
vitts', of Bethlem and Washington; Starr, Norton, and Lymans', 
of Goshen ; Battel, of Norfolk ; King, of Sharon ; Holley, of Salis- 
bury, and Elijah Boardman, of New Milford, afterwards a highly 
respectable Senator in the Congress of the United States. At 
that time, Derby was the chief market town for many of the mer- 
chants in the southern towns of the County. 

The age of Turnpike Roads commenced about the year 1800, 
and no portion of the country was more improved by them than 
this County. Before this, a journey through the Green Woods 
was spoken of as an exploit, — a region now accommodated by the 
most pleasant road in the County. The roads constructed, about 
the same time, from New Haven to Canaan, from Sharon to Goshen, 
and from Litchfield to Hartford, changed very much the aspect of 
the County and its current of business, and if they have not been 
profitable to stockholders, they have been invaluable to the people. 

The spur given to agriculture by the wars following the French 
Revolution was felt in every thing. If our farmers have failed 
in any thing, it has been in a proper appreciation of their own calling. 
They have yielded a preference to other employments, to which they 
are not entitled. If we are to have an Aristocracy in this country, 
I say, let the farmers and business men, and not our idlers, be our 
Princes ! — not such as are ashamed of their employments and with- 
draw their sons from the field and their daughters from domestic 
labor. I would have no such to rule over me. But, in spite of 
some such false notions, agriculture has kept pace even with other 
branches of industry in the County, as the appearance of our farms 
and the thrift of our farmers attest. Much of this may be attributed 
to an Agricultural Society, which was formed here several years 
ago, and has been well sustained until this time. 

I have alluded to the condition of manufactures as it was before 
the Revolution — limited to iron and confined to the furnace in Salis- 
bury and a few forges in that vicinity : to which may be added, the 
manufacture of maple sugar, to some extent by the farmers in some 
of the towns. 

Even a few years ago, this County was not believed to be destined 
to become a manufacturing community. During the Revolutionary 
War, Samuel Eorbes, Esq., commenced a most important experi-' 
ment in Canaan — the manufacture of nail rods. Before this, nails 
were hammered out from the bar iron — a slow and expensive process. 


There was a slitting-mill in New Jersey, in which nail rods were 
made, but the machinery was kept hidden from pubHc inspection. 
Forbes wished to obtain a knowledge of it, and for this purpose 
employed an ingenious mechanic and millwright, Isaac Benton, of 
Salisbury. Benton, disguised as a traveling mendicant, obtained 
admission to the mill, and so critically, and without suspicion, 
marked the machinery and its operation, as to be able immediately 
to make such a model of it as to construct a mill, of the same sort, 
for Forbes. This was the foundation of his great fortune in after 
life. He afterwards erected another slitting-mill in Washington, 
(now Woodville.) By these he was able to supply the great de- 
mand for this article. This was a great improvement upon the 
former mode of nail-making, but was itself superseded, some years 
afterwards, by the introduction of cut nail machinery. Esquire 
Forbes, as he was afterwards familiarly called by every body, may 
justly be deemed the pioneer of the manufacturing interests in this 
County. His efforts were confined, generally, to the working of 
iron. His forge he extended, and accommodated to the manufactur- 
ing of anchors, screws, and mill irons. He introduced this branch 
of the iron business into this County, if not into the State. It was 
not long after followed by those enterprising manufacturers, Russell 
Hunt & Brothers, at South Canaan, by whom the largest anchors 
for the largest ships of the American Navy were made. 

The manufacture of scythes by water-power, was commenced 
in this County first at Winsted, by Jenkins & Boyd, in 1794. These 
enterprising gentlemen, with the brothers Rockwell, soon extensive- 
ly engaged in various branches of the manufacture of iron and steel 
in Winsted and that vicinity, from which originated, and has grown 
up to its present condition, one of the most flourishing manufactur- 
ing villages in the State. 

The furnace, in Salisbury, continued for many years in most 
successful operation under its active proprietors, and especially 
its last owners, Messrs. Holley & Coffing, by whose energy and 
success, the iron interest, in Salisbury, has been most essentially 
promoted; and it has extended into the towns of Canaan, Corn- 
wall. Sharon, and Kent. Ames' works, at Falls Village, are not 
equalled by any other in the State. 

In speaking of the iron interest, I cannot but allude agam to 
the Salisbury iron ore, which is found in various localities m that 
town It stands superior to any other for the tenacity of the iron 
which it produces, with which the armories of Springfield and 
Harper's Ferry are supplied, and from which the chain cables and 
best anchors for the Navy are made. And I am confident, if the 
machinery of the steam vessels and railroad cars were made ex- 
clusively from this iron, and not from a cheaper and mferior ma- 
terial, we should know less of broken shafts and loss of life in our 
public conveyances. , 1^ „ r .t 

Paper was first made in this County, at the great Falls of the 


Housatonic, in Salisbury, by Adam & Church, as early as 1787, 
and soon after in Litchfield. The first carding-machine erected, 
I think, in this State, was built at the great falls in Canaan, about 
1802. Previous to this time, wool was carded only by females, at 
their own firesides. 

A general manufacturing policy was suggested by the measures 
of government, and not long after a more extensive experiment 
was made in the manufacture of woolen cloths by the late Gov. 
Wolcott, and his brother Hon. Frederick Wolcott of this place, 
than had been made in this County before ; and although the trial 
was disastrous to its projectors, it was the parent of the subse- 
quent and present prosperity of the village of Wolcottville. 

The same policy has spread into almost every town in the 
County, and has not only extended the manufacture of iron, from 
a mouse trap to a ship's anchor, but has introduced, and is intro- 
ducing, all the various branches of manufactures pursued in thii= 
country ; and of late, the elegant manufacture of the Papier Mache. 
Plymouth, New Hartford, Norfolk, Woodbury, as well as the 
towns before mentioned, have felt extensively the beneficial effects 
of this modern industrial progress, so that our County may now 
be set down as one of the first manufacturing Counties in the 
State ; and this confirms what I have said, that here are all the 
varied facilities of profitable employment, which can be found in 
any section or region o fthis country. Our young men need no 
longer seek adventure and fortune elsewhere ! Neither the desire 
of wealth, nor the preservation of health and life, should suggest 

As soon as the war was over, and the Indians subdued into 
peace, our people rushed again to Vermont, and to the Whites- 
town and Genesee countries, as they were called ; so that, in a few 
years, let a Litchfield County man go where he would, between the 
top of the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain, or between Utica 
and the Lakes, and every day he would greet an acquaintance or 
citizen from his own County. 

And then followed the sale and occupation of the Connecticut 
Western Reserve, Many of its original proprietors were our citi- 
zens : and among them, Messrs. Boardman, of New Milford ; Holmes, 
Tallmadge, and Wadsworth, of Litchfield ; Starr and Norton, of 
Goshen ; Canfield, of Sharon ; Johnston, Church, and Waterman, 
of Salisbury. For a time it seemed as if depopulation was to fol- 
low. The towns of Boardman, Canfield, Tallmadge, Johnson, Hud- 
son, and several others on the reserve, were soon filling up with 
the best blood and spirit of our County ; and since then, we have 
been increasing the population of other parts of the States of New 
York and Ohio, as well as of Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, so 
that now there is not one of us who remain, who has not a parent, 
a brother, or a child, in New York, Vermont, or the States of the 
West. And we believe that these children of our own raising, have 


transmitted the impress and image of Litchfield County, to the gen- 
eral condition of societ}' where the}- have gone, and that they have 
fixed there a moral likeness which proves its parentage. This em- 
igrating propensity has characterized the Saxon race in all times 
of its history ; and it is still at work, scattering us into every corner 
and climate, and away to dig for gold and graves in the barrens of 
California ! Notwithstanding this exhausting process of emigration, 
our population which, in the year 1800, was 41,671, has increased 
to the number of 46,171. 

I do not know that before the Revolution there was a pubHc 
Grammar School in the County. The preparatory studies of young 
men, intended for collegiate course, were prosecuted with private 
instructors — generally, the Clergy; and this course was pursued 
still later. 

Among the clergymen of the County most distinguished as in- 
structors, and in fitting young men for college, as it was called, 
were Rev. Daniel Farrand, of Canaan, Ammi R. Robbins, of Nor- 
folk, Judah Champion, of Litchfield, and Azel Backus, D. D., of 
Bethlem. This last named gentleman was afterwards President 
of Hamilton College. 

Soon after the war, Academies were instituted, and among the 
first and best of them was the Morris Academy in the parish of 
South Farms, in this town, which was commenced in 1790, by 
James Morris, Esq. Esquire Morris was no ordinary man. He 
was a distinguished graduate of Yale College, and an active officer 
in the Revolutionary Army. His learning was varied and practical, 
and under his direction the Morris Academy became the most noted 
public school of the County, and so continued for many years. 
An Academy at Sharon, not long after, acquired a deserved repu- 
tation, under such instructors as John T. Peters, Elisha Sterling, 
and Barzillai Slosson. Many years afterwards an Academy was 
conducted in Ellsworth Society, in the same town, under the super- 
intendence of Rev. Daniel Parker, which soon attained a high 

Our relative position in the State, and the controlHng influence 
of the cities, have left us without College, Asylum, or Retreats ; 
but our district schools have been doing their proper work, so that 
Judge Reeve remarked while alive, that he had never seen but one 
witness in Court, born in this County, who could not read. And 
these schools have not only made scholars, but school-masters, and 
these have been among the best of our indigenous productions, and 
have found a good market every where. When Congress sat in 
Philadelphia, a Litchfield County man was seen driving a drove 
of mules through the streets. A North Carolina member congratu- 
lated the late Mr. Tracy upon seeing so many of his constituents that 
morning, and enquired where they were going, to which he facetious- 
ly replied, that they were going to North Carolina to keep school. 


A new tone to female education was given by the establish- 
ment of a Female Seminary, for the instruction of females in 
this village, by Miss Sarah Pierce, in 1792. This was an un- 
tried experiment. Hitherto the education of young ladies, with 
few exceptions, had been neglected. The district school had limit- 
ed their course of studies. Miss Pierce saw and regretted this, 
and devoted herself and all of her active life to the mental_ and 
moral culture of her sex. The experiment succeeded entirely. 
This Acedemy soon became the resort of young ladies from all 
portions of the country — from the cities and the towns. Then, 
the country was preferred, as most suitable for female improve- 
ment, away from the frivolities and dissipation of fashionable life. 
Now, a different, not a better practice, prevails. Many of the 
grandmothers and mothers of the present generation were educated 
as well for gentel as for useful life, in this school, and its influence 
upon female character and accomplishments was great and extensive. 
It continued for more than forty years, and its venerable Principal 
and her sister assistant now live among us, the honored and honor- 
able of their sex. 

Before this, and as early as 1784, a Law School was instituted 
in this village. Tapping Reeve, then a young lawyer from Long 
Island, who had commenced the practice of his profession here, 
was its projector. It is not known whether in this country, or any 
where, except at the Inns of Court at Westminster, a school for 
the training of lawyers had been attempted. No Professorships 
of Law had been introduced into American Colleges ; nor was the 
Law treated as a liberal science. 

Before this, the law student served a short clerkship in an at- 
torney's office, — studied some forms and little substance, and had 
within his reach but few volumes beyond Coke's & Wood's Insti- 
tutes, Blackstone's Commentaries, Bacon's Abridgment, and Jacob's 
Law Dictionary, and, when admitted to the Bar, was better instruct- 
ed in pleas in abatement, than in the weightier matters of the Law. 
Before this, too, the Common Law, as a system, was imperfectly 
understood here and in our sister States. Few lawyers had master- 
ed it. The reputation of this institution soon became as extensive 
as the country, and young men from Maine to Georgia sought to 
finish their law studies here. 

Judge Reeve conducted this school alone, from its commence- 
ment until 1798, when, having been appointed to the Bench of the 
Superior Court, he associated with him, as an instructor, James 
Gould, Esq. These gentlemen conducted the school together for 
several years, until the advanced age of Judge Reeve admonished 
him to retire ; after which, Judge Gould continued the school alone 
until a few years before his death. It may be said of Judge Reeve, 
that he first gave the Law a place among liberal studies in this 
country, — that "he found it a skeleton, and clothed it with life, 
color, and complexion." This school gave a new impulse to legal 

church's centennial address 25 

learning and it was felt in the Jurisprudence as well as in the 
Legislation of all the States. 

A new subject of study, not known in any other country, had 
been presented to the legal student here,— the Constitution of the 
United States and the Legislation of Congress. Uniformity of in- 
terpretation was indispensable. 

At this institution students from every State drank from the 
same fountain, were taught the same principles of the Common 
and Constitutional Law ; and these principles, with the same modes 
of legal thinking and feeling and of administration were dissemin- 
ated throughout the entire country. More than one thousand 
lawyers of the United States were educated here, and many of 
them afterwards among the most eminent Jurists and Legislators. 
Even after Judge Gould's connection with the school, an inspection 
of the catalogue will show, that from it have gone out among the 
States df this Union, a Vice President Of the United States, two 
Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, forty Judges 
of the highest State Courts, thirteen Senators, and forty-six Repre- 
sentatives in Congress, besides several Cabinet and Foreign Min- 

I have said that this school gave a new impulse to legal learn- 
ing in this country. Soon after its establishment, and not before, 
reports of judicial decisions appeared. Ephraim Kirby, Esq an 
able lawyer of this village, published the first volume of Reports 
of Adjudged Cases, in this country, — a volume which deserved 
and received the approbation of the profession here and elsewhere. 
This was soon followed by Reports in Massachusetts and New York. 

Standing at this point of time, and looking back over the events 
of an hundred years, we would recall, not only the scenes which 
have transpired, but revive our recollections of the men who have 
acted in them. Memory cannot raise the dead to life again; yet 
it may bring back something of their presence, — shaded and dim, 
but almost real ; — and through the records of their times we may 
hear them speak again. To some of these I have made allusion. T 
would speak of others. 

The allusion to the Law School of the County suggests to me 
a brief notice, also, of the legal profession here, and of its most 
distinguished members, as well as a further allusion to others of 
the sons of Litchfield County, distinguished in other professions 
and employments of life. In speaking of these I must confine 
myself, to the memorv of the dead. And here. I feel that I am 
under a restraint, which, on any other occasion. I would resist. I 
feel this chain which binds me the more as I look around on this 
gathering and see some here, and am reminded of others — so many, 
who have contributed by splendid talents and moral worth, to make 
our name a praise in the land. As the representative of the County, 
I would most gladlv do them livin? homage before you all. I re- 
gret that I have had so brief an opportunity to make this notice 


as perfect as it should be,— a favorite theme, if I could but do it 

I have not been able to learn much of the Lawyers who practiced 
in this territory before the organization of the County in 1751. 
Samuel Pettibone, Esq., of Goshen, and Reynold Marvin, Esq., of 
Litchfield, (a native of Lyme^) are all of whom I can speak. 

Mr. Pettibone lived to a great age and died in reduced circum- 
stances, in 1787. Mr. Marvin was respectable in his profession, 
and was King's Attorney at the time of the Revolution. His resi- 
dence was at the dwelHng of Dr. William Buel, in this village. 

Among the Lawyers of the new County who appeared in its 
Courts, were Mr. Thatcher, of New Milford, Hezekiah Thompson 
and Edward Htnman, of Woodbury, Mr. Humphrey, of Norfolk, 
John Canfield, of Sharon, Andrew Adams, of Litchfield, Mr. Catlin, 
of Harwinton, and Joshua Whitney, of Canaan. Of these, Messrs. 
Canfield and Adams became distinguished at the Bar and in public 
life. Mr. Canfield was the son of Samuel Canfield, of New Mil- 
ford, one of the Associate Judges of the County. He was appoint- 
ed a member of Congress under the Confederation, but died before 
he took his seat. We can appreciate his character when informed 
that he was the chosen colleague of Johnson, Ellsworth, and Ti^um- 
buU. Mr. Adams succeeded Mr. Marvin as State's Attorney. He 
was esteemed an eloquent advocate, and his reputation at the Bar 
was distinguished. He was well versed in theological studies, and 
in the absence of his minister, often officiated in the pulpit. He 
was a member of the Continental Congress, and after the Revolu- 
tion, became an Associate, and then Chief Justice of the Superior 

Before the Revolution there were but. few eminent lawyers in 
the County, and professional gentlemen from abroad attended our 
courts and were employed in the most important causes. Among 
these were Thomas Seymour, Esq., of Hartford, and Hon. Samuel 
W. Johnson, of Stratford, then standing at the head of the Con- 
necticut Bar. A colonial condition was, as it ever will be, im- 
favorable to the development of forensic talent. 

The change in the state of this Bar, after the War, and especi- 
ally after the settlement of the government, was sudden and great; 
and, within a few years after this event, no County in the State 
and but few in other States, could boast of a Bar more distinguished 
for legal talent and high profession and moral excellence, than this. 
Reeve, Tracy, Allen, Kirby, Strong of Salisbury, Smith of Wood- 
bury. Smith and Canfield, of Sharon, are names which revive proud 
recollections among the old men of the County. And while these 
gentlemen stood before our courts there ca,me to their company a 
youneer band, destined, with them, to perpetuate the high stand- 
ing of the profession here ; — Gould. Sterling, of Salisbury ; Benedict, 
Ruggles, Boardman, Smith, of Litchfield; Slosson, Southmayd, 


Swan, Pettibone, and afterward, Miner, Williams, Bacon, and 

Tapping Reeve was a native of Long Island, and a distinguished 
gradute of Nassau Hall, New Jersey, and a tutor in that college. 
He commenced practice here in 1783, and was one of the most 
learned lawyers of the day in which he lived. He loved the law 
as a science, and studied it philosophically. He considered it as 
the practical application of religious principle to the business afifairs 
of life. He wished to reduce it to a certain, symmetrical system 
of moral truth. He did not trust to the inspiration of genius for 
eminence, but to the results of profound and constant study, and 
was never allured by political ambition. I seem, even now, to see 
his calm and placid countenance shining through his abundant 
locks, as he sat, ppring over his notes in the lecture room, and to 
hear his shrill whisper, as he stood when giving his charge to the 
jury. He was elevated to the Bench of the Superior Court in 1798, 
and to the office of Chief Justice in 1804, and retired from public 
life at the age of seventy years and died in 1827. He published a 
valuable treatise on Domestic Relations, and another on the Law 
of Descents. 

Gen. Uriah Tracy was a native of Norwich, and one of the 
first of the pupils of Judge Reeve. As a jury advocate he obtained 
a high distinction. ' His wit was pungent and his powers of oratory 
uncommon. He was a politician, often a member of our own Legis- 
lature ; for several years a member of Congress, and he died in 1807, 
while a member of the Senate of the United States, in which body 
he was eminently distinguished. 

Col. Adonijah Strong, the father of the late Hon. Martin 
Strong, was unique in genius and manner, of large professional 
business, sound practical sense, and many anecdotes of his say- 
ings and doings are still remembered and repeated in the County. 

Hon. Nathaniel Smith, of Woodbury, a native of Washington, 
commenced life under discouraging circumstances. He had neither 
fortune nor the prospect of any, nor early education, to stimulate 
him. Like many other New England boys, he fought his way to 
eminence ; and eminent he was ; and I cannot tell by what process 
he became so. He, too, was one of the early members of the Law 
School here. He was not a man of many books. He seemed to 
understand the law, as did Mansfield and Marshall, by intuition, 
and to have acquired the power of language by insoiration. His was 
a native eloquence yet chaste, and "when unadorned, adorned the 
most," I think he was one of the most orofound lawyers and judges 
of this country. He was a member of the Council a member of 
Congress, and was elevated to the Bench of the Superior Court in 

Hon. Xathan Smith was a younger brother of Nathaniel Smith, , 
and though born and reared in this County, his professional and 


public life was passed in New Haven County, but he often appeared 
at this Bar. He was less profound than his brother, more ardent, 
and perhaps more effective as a jury lawyer. He died, while a 
Senator in Congress, in 1835. 

Hon. John Allen was a native of Massachusetts and instructed 
by Mr. Reeve, and for several years held a commanding position 
at this Bar. 

Hon. John Cotton Smith, of Sharon, was the son of Rev. Cotton 
Mather Smith, of that town. A graduate of Yale College and of 
the Litchfield Law School, he soon took a prominent place by the 
side of Tracy and Nathaniel Smith at the Bar of the County. He 
was known as a fluent speaker, and of easy and graceful address; 
he became a popular advocate. For several sessions of the Legis- 
lature of the State he was speaker of the House of Representatives. 
In Congress he sustained an enviable reputation as a presiding offi- 
cer. Upon retiring from Congress he was soon placed upon the 
Bench of the Superior Court, from which he was promoted to the 
office of Governor of the "State. From this he retired, and from 
public life, in 1817. The remainder of his life was spent in doing 
good, either as President of the American Bible Society, or in dis- 
charging the duties of a virtuous citizen in his native town, until 
his death in 1845. 

Hon. James Gould was a native of Branford, a graduate and 
a tutor of Yale College. He pursued his professional studies with 
Judge Reeve, and, soon after coming to the Bar of this County, 
he became associated with him as an instructor of the Law School. 
Judge Gould was a critical scholar, and alwavs read with his pen 
in his hand, whether Law book or books of fiction or fancy, for 
which he indulged a passion. In the more abstruse subjects of the 
law, he was more learned than Judge Reeve, and, as a lecturer, more 
lucid and methodical. The Common Law he had searched to the 
bottom, and he knew it all — its principles, and the reasons from 
which they were drawn. As an advocate, he was not a man of 
impassioned eloquence, but clear and logical, employing language 
elegant and chaste. He indulged in no wit, and seldom excited a 
laugh, but was very sure to carry a listener along with him to his 
conclusions. With his brethren, his intercourse was always courte- 
ous, and with his younger ones, kind and afifectionate. He never 
gave offense. In his arguments, he resorted to no artifice, but met 
the difficulties in his way fully in the face, and if he could not over- 
come them he yielded without irritation. He was appointed an 
Associate Judge of the Superior Court in 1816, and retired from the 
Bench to private life soon after. Judge Gould published an able 
treatise on the Law of Pleading, in which he was governed by the 
truth of Lord Coke's saying, "he knoweth not the law. who 
knoweth not the reason thereof." His volume has received flat- 
tering aoproval from the most learned Jurists in this countrv and 
England. Judge Gould died in 1838. 

^ 'vv 'ftm'n \-v 

Joiix CoTTox Smith. 
From Crayon Sketch, 1800. 


Noah B. Benedict was the son of Rev. Noah Benedict, of 
Woodbury, a gentleman of no precocity of intellect or genius, and 
his first appearance at the Bar did not promise the eminence which 
he afterwards acquired. He studied, and the Law was the chief 
subject of his study. He aspired to no higher place than distinc- 
tion in his profession. He engaged in none of the ordinary busi- 
ness transactions of society, and, as he once told me, he never gave 
a promissory note in his life. With such an undivided attention 
to his professional calHng, it was not strange that he should reach 
a high place at the Bar. And he did reach it, and, at the time of 
his death, no man here stood before him. His example should be 
a choice model for young lawyers. 

Gen. Elisha Sterling, of Salisbury, was a native of Lyme. No 
one in our profession was more assiduous in its practice than this 
gentleman. His causes were never neglected in their prepara- 
tion. The controlling points of every case he discovered quick, 
and pressed both, in preparation and argument, with zeal. He 
neglected the study of method and system in his arguments, but, 
when concluded, nothing had been omitted. 

Passing by, on this hurried occasion, a more particular notice 
of the galaxy of Lawyers, to whom I have alluded, I may be in- 
dulged in paving an affectionate tribute to one or two, whose familiar 
voices still .seem sounding in our Court House. 

Hon. Tabez W. Huntington earned his high orofessional char- 
acter here, where he commenced and continued his practice for 
several vears. He engaged in public life, and returned to his na- 
tive town of Norwich. He was elected to Congress ; afterwards 
he was elevated to the Bench of the Superior Court, which olace 
he retnined until he was appointed a Senator in Congress, in which 
positi-^n he died in 1847. Having been associated with Judge 
Huntington at the Bar and on the Bench, I can bear true testimony 
to his superior abilities- in both places. 

Of my late brother, Leman Church Esq., the proorieties of my 
connection will not permit me to speak. The deep sensation pro- 
duced at this Bar, and the grief which tore the hearts of his num- 
erous friends, when he died, is the only eulogy upon his life and 
character to which I may refer. 

I had a young friend, uoon^ whose opening prospects I looked 
with anxiety and hope. He was of generous heart and liberal 
hand and stimulated by an honorable ambition, which seemed 
nearlv at the point of eratification. when death came for its vic- 
tim. This friend was Francis Bacon. Esq.. who died in 1849. at 
the age of .^o years. 

Hon. Oliver Wolcott, the younger, late Governor of this State, 
was also a member of this Bar, and though he engaged in oublic 
life soon after his admission, we are entitled to retain his name 
on our catalogue. I shall not speak now of his life and erninent 
services. They make a prominent part of the country's history, 


and have been, within a few years, faithfully written by his near 
relative. He died in 1833, and I regret to say that his remains 
lie in our grave-yard, without a monument to mark his resting 
place. His bust has been presented, on this occasion, to the Bar 
of this County. 

I make the same claim to retain among the names of our de- 
parted brethren, that of Hon. Frederick Wolcott, a son of the 
elder Gov. Wolcott, of this village. He became a member of this 
Bar in early life, and with high prospects of professional distinc- 
tion; but he accepted the proffered office of Clerk of the Courts 
and Judge of Probate for this district, in 1793, and soon relinquish- 
ed professional duties. For several years he was a prominent mem- 
ber of the Council, under the Charter administration. An intimate 
connexion with this gentleman, both public and private, justifies 
the high opinion I have ever entertained of his purity of life and 
character, his public spirit, and his frank and open bearing. I never 
pass by the venerable mansion of the Wolcott family, in my daily 
walks about this village, without recalling the stately form and 
ever honorable deportment of Frederick Wolcott. The duties of 
his official stations were discharged with the entire approbation of 
the community for many years, and until a short time before his 
death, and amidst the conflicts and overturnings in the political 
revolutions of the times. 

Roger and Richard Skinner, were sons of Gen. Timothy Skin- 
ner of this town, and members of this bar. Roger commenced 
business in this village, and gave assurance, by his early talents, 
of his future standing; but he was here in the most bitter state of 
Connecticut politics, and, as he believed, was compelled to escape 
from unmerited opposition. He removed to the State of New 
York ; soon attained a deserved eminence in his profession and 
was appointed a Judge of the United States Court, in the North- 
ern District of that State. Richard Skinner removed to Ver- 
mont and afterwards became an eminent Judge of the Superior 
Court, and ultimately Governor of that State. 

In the clerical profession, I have remarked before, that there 
was early manifested a disposition rather to be good than great. 
The clergy of this County were nearly all educated men ; and many 
of them rioe scholars and profound divines, and if there were not 
as manv here as in some other regions, whose names have been 
transmitted to us as among the great ones of New England, it has 
been because the severer calls of parochial duty, and stinted means, 
and Christian graces, restrained their aspirations after fame. Di- 
vinity has furnished the most comr^on theme and employed the most 
pens. We are all theolgians in New England. 

Rev. Joseph Bellamy, D. D.. of Bethlem, was probably the 
first and most eminent of our writers on this subject. He was 
eloquent and impressive as a preacher, as well as learned and pro- 
found as a scholar and writer. He published several theological 

church's cen'Tijnnial address 31 

works upon practical and controversial subjects, besides occasional 
sermons, which are found in the libraries of Divines, and have 
been held in high repute, not only among the disciples of his own 
peculiar opinions, but among others, as well in Europe as in this 
country; and a modern edition of them has been recently pub- 
lished. Dr. Bellamy was the grandfather of the late Joseph H. 
Bellamy, Esq., of Bethlem, a gentleman of great moral and pro- 
fessional worth. 

Rev. Jna. Edwards was a pupil of Dr. Bellamy in his theolog- 
ical studies, and, although not a native of this County, he resided 
among us for several years, as the first settled minister of Cole- 
brook, and until he was called to the presidency of Union Col- 
lege, in 1799. He was the author of several volumes of great 
merit; and among them, a treatise upon the salvation of all men, 
in reply to Dr. Chauncey ; also, a dissertation on the liberty of 
the will in reply to West, and observations on the language of the 
Stockbridge Indians. 

Rev. Chauncey Lee, D. D., who succeeded Dr. Edwards, as 
minister in Colebrook, was a' native of Salisbury, and a son of 
Rev. Jonathan Lee, of that town. He was educated for the bar, 
and commenced nractice in his native town. This he soon relin- 
quished for the clerical calling. Very early he published a Deci- 
mal Arithmetic and afterwards a volume of Sermons on various 
subjects. But his most elaborate work, and the one most 
esteemed by himself, was a poem, entitled "The Trial of Virtue," 
being a paraphrase of the book of Job. Dr. Lee was a gentle- 
man of some eccentricities, but a very learned divine and impres- 
sive preacher. 

Rev. Samuel J. Mills, a native of Torrington, and son of the 
venerable pastor of one of the societies there, is entitled to a more 
extended notice than I am prepared on this occasion to repeat. 
Xot because he was the author of books, but the author and 
originator of liberal and extensive benevolent effort. The noble 
cause of Foreign Missions in this country, is deeply indebted to 
him as one of its most zealous and active projectors and friends. 
Another of the most splendid charities of any age or country — 
the Colonization Society, — owes its existence to the efforts of this 
g°ntleman ; and his name will be cherished by the philanthropists 
of the world, along with those of Howard and Wilberforce. 

Rev. Horace Holley. D. D.. of Salisbury, was son of Mr. 
Luther HoHev. and one of a highly distinofuished and worthy 
family of brothers. Dr. Holley was first ordined pastor of a 
Church and Society at Greenfield, in Eairfield County, and was 
one of the successors of the late Dr. Dwight,^ in that parish. He 
subsequently removed to Boston, and became one of the most 
eloquent puloit orators among the eminent divines of that metrop- 
olis. He afterwards became President of Transylvania _ Univer- 
sity in Kentucky, and died, while yet a young man on ship-board. 


when on his return from New Orleans to New England. I am not 
informed that he left any published works behind him, except 
sermons delivered on special occasions. He was my class-mate 
in College^ and I knew him well. 

The Rev. Dr. Backus of Bethlem, Rev. Mr. Hooker of Goshen, 
and Rev. Dr. Porter of Washington, are remembered as among 
the most learned Divines of the County. 

Of the Medical Profession and the Medical Professors here, 
my opportunities of information have not been extensive. And 
yet I have known enough of them to persuade me that a more 
learned and useful faculty, has not been found elsewhere in the 
State. Empiricism has always existed, and will exist ; and the 
credulity of some good men will give it countenance. We depend 
upon a learned medical influence, more than any thing else, to 
save us from its death-dealing results. 

As early as January, 1767, a Medical association was formed 
in thi^ County, composed of the most eminent physicians then in 
practice here. Its object was to eSitablish rules of practice and 
intercourse ; — promote medical science by providing for annual 
consultations and dissertations, and to protect the reputation of 
the profession and the health of the community, from the inroads 
of ignorant pretenders to medical science. Among the names of 
the gentlemen composing this body, I see those of Joshua Porter, 
Lemuel Wheeler, Joseph Perry, Seth Bird, William Abernethy, 
Samuel Catlin, Simeon Smith, Cyrus Marsh. Ephraim Gitteaii, 
John Calhoun, &c. One of the earliest physicians of the Countv 
was Oliver Wolcott. He was the son of Hon. Roger Wolcott. 
of Windsor, a former Governor of the Colony. He had served 
as an officer in the French war, and settled himself in Goshen 
before the organization of the County, in the practice of his pro- 
fession. Whether he continued in practice as a physician after 
his removal to this town is not known; probably, however, his 
official duties as Sheriff prevented it. He was subsequently 
honored with almost every official place which a good man would 
covet. — he was a member of the House of Representatives, of the 
Council, a Judge of Probate, a Judge of the Countv Court, a 
Reoresentative in Congress, a signer pf the Declaration of Tn- 
dcDendence. Lieutenant Governor, and Governor of his native 
State, and more than all, the father of an excellent family. He 
IS said to have been a man of uncommon diffidence, and dis- 
trustful of his own ability. His nublic communications displav 
sound judgment, and his more confidential correspondence a 
warm affection and a pure purpose. 

Dr. Seth Bird, of Litchfield, probably held the first place 
among the early physicians of the County. His reputation was 
wide-spread. For acuteness of discrimination and soundness of 
judgment he was not excelled. 


Dr. Joseph Perry, of Woodbury, was not only eminent in his 
profession, but, what was unusual in his day, he excelled as a 
belles-lettre scholar and was a gentleman well read in various 
branches of science. Later generations produced their eminent 
and accomplished physicians. Dr. Nathaniel Perry, son of the 
gentleman jvist named ; Dr. Daniel Sheldon, of this town ; Drs. 
Fowler of Washington, Rockwell of Sharon, Welch of Norfolk 
Ticknor of Salisbury. 

Dr. Samuel Woodward, of Torrington, was not only a physi- 
cian of high repute himself, but he was almost literally a father 
of the faculty. Dr. Samuel B. Woodword, late of Worcester, 
^Massachusetts, Dr. Henry Woodward, late of Middletown, and 
Dr. Charles Woodward, of the same place, were his sons, — ^born 
and educated in this County. Few men in any community have 
attained a more eminent and useful position than Dr. Samuel B. 
Woodward. Under his superintendance the Insane Hosoital, at 
Worcester, was established and for many years conducted and 
now sustains a reoutation equal with any of the noble charities 
of this country. The Annual Reports of Dr. Woodward and his 
other professional writings, and the success of his efforts in the 
cause of humanity, have earned for him a reputation which will 
long survive. 

Among the Surgeons of note, in earlier times, was Dr. Samuel 
Catlin, of Litchfield, and at a later period. Dr. Samuel R. Gager, 
of Sharon. 

The medical profession in this County has produced some 
writers of respectability. Dr. Elisha North was for several years 
a physician of extensive practice in Goshen, and he afterwards 
removed to New London. He published an approved treatise on 
spotted fever, which extensively prevailed in Goshen and its vicin- 
ity, while he resided there. 

Dr. Caleb Ticknor of Salisbury, was brother of the late ex- 
cellent Dr. Luther Ticknor, of that town, and of Dr. Benajah 
Ticknor, for many years a surgeon in the navy of the United 
States; and although a young man when he removed to New 
York City, about the year 1832, he rose rapidly to a high place 
in his profession. He published several medical works, the most 
ponular of which was, the Philosoohv of Livmg, which consti- 
tutes one of the volumes of Harpers' Family Library. 

The Chipman family, a numerous brotherhood., removed from 
Salisbury to Vermont immediately after the Revolutionary War; 
it produced eminent men. Nathaniel was an officer of the Rev- 
olution. He became Chief Justice of Vermont, and_ a Senator 
in Congress. He published a small volume of Judicial K^'^orts 
and a larger treatise upon the Principles of Government. Daniel 
Chioman. a vounger brother of this gentleman, was a very prom- 
inent member of the Vermont Bar. He was the author of a very 


creditable essay "On the Law of Contracts" ; and besides a vol- 
ume of Law Reports, he published the life of his brother Nathaniel, 
and also the life of Gov. Thomas Chittenden. 

Hon. Ambrose Spencer, late Chief Justice of the State of 
New York, was born in Salisbury, the son of PhiHp Spencer, 
Esq, He was prepared for his collegiate course under the in- 
struction of Rev. Daniel Farrand, of Canaan ; studied the law, I 
believe, with Hon. John Canfield, of Sharon, whose daughter he 

Hon. Josiah S. Johnston, late an eminent member of the Sen- 
ate of the United States, from Louisania, was a native of the same 
town. He was the son of Dr. John Johnston, who removed 
early to Kentucky. His academical studies were pursued here. 

Samuel Moore, of Salisbury, was a profound mathmatician 
and engaged much in the instruction of young men in what was 
called the surveyor's art. He published a treatise on surveying, 
with a table of logarithms. It- was the earliest work on that 
branch of mathematical science published in this country. It 
Introduced the method of computing contents by calculation en- 
tirely, without measuring triangles by scale and dividers. It 
was a valuable treatise, but was nearly superseded by a more 
finished one by Rev. Abel Flint, in which he borrowed much from 

Ethan Allen is deserving of notice only for his revolutionary 
services, which are matters of public history. He published a 
narrative of his cantivity as a prisoner of war, and a volume of 
Infield Theology. He was a native of this county ; the town of 
his nativity has been a matter of dispute, but is not a question 
worth solving. 

We have had Poets, too, besides such as I have mentioned, 
who deserve a remembrance on this occasion. 

Hon. John Trumbull, late one of the Judges of the Superior 
Court of the State, was born in Watertown, in this County, in 
which his father was a minister. The Progress of Dulness, and 
McFingal, the most admired of his Poems, were written in early 
life. The\- are satyrical oroductions, and for genuine wit have 
not been excelled by any modern effort. Judge Trumbull's ac- 
tive life was passed chiefly in Hartford. 

William Ray was a Salisbury man, born in 1771, and while a 
lad developed a taste for Doetry. but earlv destitution and mis- 
fortunes pressed upon him drove him into the Navy of the United 
States. He was for some time a caotive in Tripoli, and in 1808 
he published the Horrors of Slavery, and in i8?i a volume of 

Ebenezer P. Mason was a native of Washington. Very few 
men gave more early promise of ' literary and scientific distinc- 
tion than young Mason. His life and writings were published 
in 1842, by Professor Olmsted, of Yale College 



*, i i 'is '""^ «^» 

^ .1 M A^. ■ 


Washington has been a nursery of eminent men, of whom I 
cannot now speak without violating my purpose of speaking of the 
dead, and not of the living. 

Mrs. Laura M. Thurston, of Norfolk, permitted to be pub- 
lished by her friends, several poetical pieces of uncommon sweet- 
ness and excellence, — the Paths of Life, the Green Hills of my 
Father Land, and others. 

There are but few occasions, and these extreme ones, which 
call out the qualifications for military life. 

Gen. Peter B. Porter was the youngest son of Col. Joshua 
Porter, of Salisbury, of whom I have spoken before. He was 
a graduate of Yale College and pursued the study of the law 
where so many of the noted men of the country have — at the 
Litchfield Law School. He was among the early emigrtants 
from this County to the Gensee country. He was soon called 
to occupy places of trust and power in the State of his adoption. 
He was a member of Congress when the project of the Erie Can- 
al was first suggested, and was one who, with De Witt Clinton, 
originated that important national work, and is entitled to equal 
honor with him for its projection. He urged it, when in Con- 
:gress, as a national work, in a speech of great strength, and asked 
for the aid of the nation. As a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, he was associated with Henry Clay on a Committee to 
consider the causes of complaint against Great Britain, and drew 
up the report of that Committee, recommending the declaration 
of the war of 1812. He thus early ardently espoused the cause 
of his country, and stood by the side of Tompkins and other 
patriots, in their efforts to prosecute that war to an honorable 

He was then a civilian only ; but, impatient and mortified at 
the ill success of our arms upon the northern frontier — his own 
house pieced by the enemy's shot, on the banks of the Niagara 
River — he threw off the civil and assumed the military attitude. 
He raised a regiment of ardent volunteer troops, and at their 
head, soon contributed to turn the tide of success. His services 
at Fort Erie and the battles at the Falls, have been repeatedly 
told by the writers of the country's history. I will not repeat 
them. So highly were they esteemed by the general Government 
' ' • and the State, that thanks and medals were presented, and before 
the close of the war he was offered the chief command of the 
army, bv the President. Under the administration of the younger 
Adams he was ofifered, and accepted, the place of Secretary of 

Mv time confines me to the notice of the most conspicuous of 
our sons, native and adopted; but there were others, in every 
town, perhaps of equal merit but with fewer opportunities of 
display. The list of our members of Assembly, and of men by 
whose efforts the foundations of society were laid here, and by 


whom this County has been brought from a repulsive region of 
mountains and rocks to its present condition of fertility and wealth, 
would show an aggregate of moral and intellectual worth which 
no region, equal in extent, has surpassed. 

And by whom were all these eminent and excellent men reared 
and prepared for the stations which they have occupied in society? 
By fathers, whose own hands have toiled — by mothers, who were 
the spinsters of the days in which they lived, and who knew and 
practised the duties of the kitchen as well as the parlor, and to 
whom the music of the spinning-wheel and the loom was more 
necessary than that of the piano ahd the harpsichord. 

The spirit of strict economy has marked our progress from the 
beginning, and by no other could our fathers have left to us this 
heritage of good ! Removed from the profusion, and from what 
is esteemed the higher liberality of city habits, our County has not 
fallen behind other kindred communities in encouraging the benev- 
olent operations of these latter days. 

A Missionary Society, auxiliary to the Board of Commissioners- 
of Foreign Missions, was established in this County, in the year 
1813, and has been in active operation since. This noble charity, 
since its organization, has received and paid over, as near as I can 
ascertain, the sum of about $125,000. The benevolent offerings 
of other denominations — the Episcopalians, Methodists, and Bap- 
tists, to the purposes of their respective religious operations, I have 
no present means of knowing; that they have been equally liberal 
in proportion to their means, with their Congregational brethren, 
I have no reason to doubt. 

In the year 1817, the Foreign Mission School was established 
in Cornwall, with the special object of spreading Christian truth 
and the means of civilization among the heathen.. The origin of this 
effort, if not accidental, was gradual in its conception and develop- 
ment. Two young natives of the Sandwich Islands were, by the 
directing, and almost visible hand of Providence, thrown among us 
and fell under the notice of Mr. Elias Cornelius, in 1815, then a 
student in Yale College, and since distinguished as a Divine and 
Philanthropist. The names of these young heathen, as known 
among us, -^vere Henry Obookaih and William Tenoe. These young 
men were carefully instructed by Mr. Cornelius, Samuel J. Mills, and 
Edwin Dwight, with a chief object of preparing them to become 
Christian Missionaries among their countrymen. They were soon 
after placed under the care of Rev. Joel Harvey, then a Congrega- 
tional minister in Goshen ; at bis suggestion, the North Consociation 
of Litchfield County, became their patrons. They were, not long 
after, joined by Thomas Hopoo, their countryman, and all were 
placed under proper instruction for the great object designed. But 
a more liberal and enlarged project was conceived; a Seminarv in 
a Christian land, for the instruction of the heathen joined with the 
purpose of . preparing young men here for missionary service in 

church's centennial address 37 

heathen lands. It was a splendid thought, and the American Board 
attempted its consummation. 

Rev. Timothy Dwight, Hon. John Treadwell, James Morris, 
Esq., Rev. Drs. Beecher and Chapin, with Messrs. Harvey and 
Prentice, were authorized to devise and put in operation such a 
Seminary, and the result was, the Foreign Mission School at Corn- 
wall. Young natives of the Sandwich Islands, and from China, 
Australasia, and from the Indian nations on this Continent, as well 
as American youths, were instructed there. The school continued 
successfully until 1827. The establishment of the Sandwich Island 
Mission, was one of the important results of this school. 

Many \ears before the modern movement in a temperance re- 
formation was suggested, such a project was conceived in this town 
and encouraged by the most prominent men here. A Temperance 
Pledge was signed in May, 1789, repudiating the use of distilled 
liquors, by 36 gentlemen ; and among the names annexed to it, were 
those of Julius Deming, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uriah Tracy, Eph- 
raim Kirby, Moses Seymour, Daniel Sheldon, Tapping Reeve, 
Frederick Wolcott, and John Welch — names well known and well 
remembered here. I believe the first temperance association of 
modern date, in the County, was formed among the iron operatives 
at Mount Riga, in Salisbury. The results of this grand effort 
have been as successful here as elsewhere. If any special cause has 
operated to retard the final success of this charity, it has been the 
strangling, death-ensuing embrace of party politicians — the scathing 
curse of many a good thing. As long ago as 1816, there were dis- 
tilleries in every town in the County ; and in New Milford, as many 
as 26, and in the whole County, i^ ! and, besides these, there were 
188 retailers of spirits, who paid licenses under the excise laws of 
the United States, to the amount of $3,760. Whether there be a 
distillery in the County now, I am not informed ; I believe but very 

I have not attempted to trace the modifications of society here 
— its progressive changes in modes of opinion and consequent action. 
It would lead me too far from my object, which has been only to 
speak of events, and the men who have been engaged in them. 

Before the Revolution there was little to excite. There was a 
common routine of thinking, which had been followed for years-- 
somewhat disturljed, to be sure, by what were called "neiv lights ' 
in religion. But the results of our emancipation from the mother 
country turned everything into a different channel, opmions and 
all. A new impulse broke in upon the general stagnation of mind 
which had been, and made every body speculators in morals, religi6n, 
politics, and everv thing else. My own memory runs back to ^a 
dividing point of time, when I could see something of the old world 
and new. Infidel opinions came in like a flood. Mr. Paine s Age 
of Reason," the works of Voltaire, and other Deistical books, were 
broad cast, and young men suddenly became, as the>' thought, wiser 


than their fathers; and even men in high places, among us here, 
were suspected of infidel opinions. At the sanie time came the 
ardent preachers of Mr. Wesley's divinity, who were engaged in 
doing battle with Infidelity on the one hand, and Calvinistic theology 
on the other. Here were antagonistic forces and influences, which 
introduced essential changes, and both have been operating ever 
since, And it would afford an interesting subject of investigation, 
to trace these influences to their results. The Methodist preachers 
first visited this County about the year 1787, and organized their 
first classes in Salisbury and Canaan. This was their first appear- 
ance in the State, and, I believe, in New England. In this County 
they were received with courtesy, and found many to encourage 
them among those who did not well understand the old divinity. 

I might detain you in speaking of the prevalence and effects of 
party spirit here ; but as this, as well as denominational controversy, 
is unpleasant to me, I forbear. There was a time, about the year 
1806, when the spirit was rife here, and led to prosecutions, fines 
and imprisonment, and a disturbance of social relations, which has 
never since re-appeared to the same extent. 

I need not say any thing of the present condition of the County. 
This you see and know. Its Railroads, penetrating regions not long 
since supposed to be impenetrable; villiages rising up in the deep 
valleys, whose foundations have been hidden for nearly a century; 
and fertility and thrift, where a few years ago were uncultivated 
forests and wasting water-falls. 

Of what shall we complain? Is it that we do not, all of us, 
make haste to be rich ? Ah ! is it so, my brethren ? Is there noth- 
ing but wealth which can satisfy a rational mind and an immortal 
spirit ? 

Of the future we may indulge proud hopes, while we doubt and 
fear. Progress is the word of modern theorists, but of doubtful 
import. Innovation is not always progress towards useful results. 
Of this we, who are old, believe we have seen too much, within a 
few years, and fear much more to come. Our County is but a 
small part of a State and Nation, and so our fate stands not alone. 
We can but look to our political institutions as our ultimate pro- 
tectors, and I urge upon you all, my brethren, their unwavering 
support. Our Constitution requires no innovating process to im- 
prove it. It demands of us more than a mere political respect and 
preference — almost a religious reverence. Love for it, in all its 
parts, in every word and sentence which compose it, should be 
interwoven into all our notions of thinking, speaking and acting. 
Disturb but one stone in this great arch — but one compromise in 
this holy covenant — and the whole must tumble into ruin ! 

^atlg Iitgljt0 









boapdman's sketches 41 


Patndge Thatcher was the first man who practiced the legal pro- 
fession in New Milford. He was not educated to the profession, but 
took up the trade, because there were none of the craft hereabout, 
when this county was organized, which was after he came to middle 
age. He was a native, I have been told, of Lebanon in this state, and 
came to New Milford, I know not how long ago. He was, how- 
ever, a married man at the time. He had no children ; but a large 
number of negroes, whom he treated with kindness enough to put 
to shame the reproaches of all the abolitionists in New England. 
He was a man of strong mind, of rigid morality, and religious to the 
letter according to the strictest sect of orthodox episcopacy. He 
adored Charles I. as a martyr and he hated Oliver Cromwell worse 
than he did the evil one. Loyalty, unconditional loyalty, was the 
prime element of his political creed. Of course, his name was not 
found in any list of the wicked Whigs of the Revolution, and had he 
lived in these days, he would most thoroughly have eschewed democ- 
racy and abolitionism. On the breaking out of the Revolutionary 
war, his loyalty necessarily silenced his voice in court, and he died 
soon after its conclusion. Lawyer Thatcher, as he was always 
called, was undoubtedly, a very odd, a very honest and a very good 
man. I wish there were many such men now, both on account of 
the good example they would set, and the harmless, amusement they 
would afford. 


Daniel Everitt was a native of Bethlem and settled in New Mil- 
ford as a lawyer, some time during the early part of the Revolu- 
tionary war, probably as early as '76 or 'y/, possibly earlier, as from 
a record I have access to I see he was married to a daughter of the 
Rev. Nathaniel Taylor on the first of January, 1778, and I remember 
that he lived here some time before that event. He had not a colle- 
giate education, but was a man of good education and received an 
honorar}' degree. He read law with Judge Adams of Litchfield, and 
I remember to have heard him say, that he occasionaly officiated in 
Mr. Adams' place as state's attorney, when he, (Adams) was absent 
in Congress, which he often was, during the war of the Revolution. 
Mr. Everitt was a man of much wit, boundless extravagance of ex- 
pression, quick conception, and in command of language and fluency 
of utterance, unsurpassed, but not a man of much depth of mind nor 
had he much legal learning: his library extended little beyond 
Blackstone' and Jacobs' Law Dictionary. He had, I believe, a very 
good run of practice, when the Court really opened to do civil busi- 
ness, after the conclusion of the war. His success in this respect 
was, however, of rather short duration; a number of younger law- 


yers having about that time commenced practice here, and other cir- 
cumstances conspired to carry business away from him, and he never 
recovered it. While studying law I heard him argue a case or two, 
keeping the Court house in a roar by his wit and sarcasm, but by the 
time I was admitted, viz. in '95, he had about given up attending 
Courts at Litchfield, though he was not fifty years of age — and indeed 
he was, I think, but fifty-seven when he died in 1805. I met him, 
however, a few times, before Arbitrators and Justices, and had 
enough to do to parry his home thrusts of good natured wit. Before 
him I often went, as he tried almost all the Justice cases, which he 
always did with entire integrity and usually came to a correct con- 
clusion. He represented this town, I think three times in the general 
assembly, and as a member of the convention which ratified the Con- 
stitution of the United States. He was a man of strict honesty, en- 
tire moral rectitude of conduct, and a professor of religion. He was, 
however, much given to sociality, and to that conviviality which some 
time borders on a kindred indulgence. Mr. Everitt succeeded the 
late Col. Samuel Canfield as Judge of Probate in this district in 
1790, and held that office till 'his death at the time above mentioned. 


I saw much of Judge Reeve's practice at the bar for nearly 
five years, during which time he was engaged in almost every case of 
importance tried in the Superior Court at Litchfield, and never failed 
to argue every one in which he was engaged, if argued at all. In the 
County Court, after I became acquainted with him, he did not prac- 
tice. His school had become numerous, and he gave up his practice 
in that Court because (I suppose,) it too much interrupted his course 
of daily lectures, and knowing as he did that he should have a part 
in every cause expected to be tried in the Superior Court. And, by 
the way, trials were then managed and got through with in a reason- 
able time, and not suffered to be dragged out to the abominable and 
shameful length which they now are, to the disgrace of the Pro- 
fession for indulging in it, and of the Courts for permitting it. 

I joined Judge Reeve's school in the fall of 1793, and he was not 
placed on the bench till the spring of 1796, so that I saw him at the 
Bar during nine sessions of the Superior Court, and never failed to 
listen to him, if I could avoid it, with unqualified love and admiration 
through every speech he made, to its conclusion. I say with love, for 
no instructor was ever more generally beloved by his pupils, and in- 
deed entirely so except it was by those whose love would have been 
a reproach to the object of it. As a reasoner, he had no superior 
within the compass of my observation of forensic performances. I 
mean true, forcible and honest reasoning. In sophistry, he was too 

boardman's sketches 43 

honest to indulge, and too discerning to suffer it to escape detection 
in the argument of an adversary. 

As a speaker he was usually exceedingly ardent, and the ardor 
he displayed appeared to be prompted by a conviction of the justice 
of the cause he was advocating. His ideas seemed often, and indeed, 
usually, to flow in upon him faster than he could give utterance to 
them, and sometimes seemed to force him to leave a sentence unfinish- 
ed, to begin another, — and in his huddle of ideas, if I may so express 
it, he was careless of grammatical accuracy, and though a thorough 
scholar, often made bad grammar in public speaking. Careless as 
he was of his diction and thoughtless as he was of ornament in ordi- 
nary cases, yet some elegant expressions and fine sentences would 
seem, as if by accident, to escape him in almost every speech. But in 
such cases as afforded the proper field for the display of eloquence, 
such as actions of slander, malicious prosecutions, etc., and in that 
part of such cases as usually prompt to exertions of the kind, his hur- 
ried enunciation and grammatical inaccuracies, all forsook him, and 
then he never failed to electrify and astonish his audience. Many of 
these used to be recited to me by those who had often heard him and 
it fell to my lot to witness one such occasion. In an action for mali- 
cious prosecution, in closing the argument, on entering upon the sub- 
ject of daniages, he burst forth into such a strain of dignified and 
soul-thrilling eloquence, as neither before nor since, has ever met my 
ear. The first sentence he uttered thrilled through every nerve of my 
entire frame to the very ends of my fingers, and every succeeding 
sentence seemed to increase in overwhelming effect. I was perfectly 
entranced durjng its delivery, and for an hour afterwards I trembled 
so that I could not speak plain. His manner was as much changed 
as his language, and to me he looked a foot taller than before. The 
next day I went to him and asked him to commit to writing the con- 
cluding part of his speech, to which request he said in the simplicity 
of his nature, "Why, if I should do that, perhaps I should make it 
better than it really was, and that would not be fair." We told him 
(Mr. Bacon was with me,) there was no danger of that, for we knew 
it could not be bettered. Well, he said he would try, but he did not 
know whether he could recall it to memory, for there was not a word 
of it written before hand. A day or two after he saw me in Court, 
behind his seat, and beckoned me to him and said he had tried to 
comply with my request, but it was so gone from him that he could 
make nothing of it. 

I believe I have said enough in regard to Judge Reeve as an 
advocate, and that is the extent of your enquiry. As a Judge, you 
are acquainted with his reputation, historically, though you probably 
never saw him on the bench, as he left it nearly thirty-nine years ago, 
to wit, in May, 1816, to the regret of all admirers of legal learning 
and lovers of impartial justice. 

As I loved and admired Judge Reeve while living, and mourned 
him when dead, I love to think and talk of him now that I have at' 


tained to a greater age than he did, though he reached some eighty- 
four years, and I feel tempted to obtrude upon you some such leading 
incidents of his life as I am in memory possessed of, and which can- 
not be much longer retained. 

Judge Reeve was the son of a Presbyterian clergyman and was 
born on the south side of Long Island. He was educated at Prince- 
ton College, where he graduated in 1763 at seventeen years of age 
as I have heard him say. He was immediately appointed tutor of 
the grammar school connected with the college, and in that station 
and as a tutor in the college itself, he remained seven years. He 
then came to Connecticut to study law, which he prosecuted in the 
office of Judge Root, then a practicing lawyer in Hartford, and as 
soon as he was admitted to the bar he settled in the practice at Litch- 
field. This I suppose to have been in 1772. He had previously 
married Sally Burr, the eldest child and only daughter of President 
Burr of Princeton College, and the sister of the celebrated Aaron 
Burr, who was a pupil of Judge Reeve in the grammar school. The 
Revolutionary war having commenced within a short time after he 
came to the bar, there was but little civil business done in the Courts 
until its conclusion, or nearly so. He therefore early betook himself 
to giving instruction to young gentlemen who looked forward to the 
legal profession for support and advancement in life, when the cir- 
cumstances of the country would allow of its exercise. This employ- 
ment tended greatly to systematize and improve what stock of legal 
science he already had acquired, and aided by his uncommonly fine 
talents and native eloquence early secured to him, the deserved rep- 
utation of an able lawyer. About the close, I believe, of the Revolu- 
tionary war, either through an acquaintance with the late Judge 
Sedgwick or otherwise he was introduced to some practice in Berk- 
shire County, and in the celebrated crim. con. case of Winchell vs. 
Goodrich, gave such a display of his oratorical powers as astonished 
the natives, and that, together with the conspicuous part he took with 
Judge Sedgwick in the great case of General Ashley's negroes, which 
put an end forever to slavery in Massachusetts, he established a rep- 
utation which ensured him business there as long as his avocations at 
home allowed him to attend to it. This however, I believe, was not 
very long. The delicate health of his wife, and his great professional 
business at home induced him to forego any business which called 
him abroad, and to utterly decline any sort of public appointment 
whatsoever, during her life. She died to the deep grief of as devoted 
a husband as ever lived, a few months before it became necessary to 
fill two vacancies in the Superior Court, occasioned by the death of 
Chief Justice Adams and the final extinction of mental capacity in 
Judge Huntington — and to one of those vacancies Judge Reeve was 

I must draw this long letter to a close. It is enough to say, 
that no act of Judge Reeve's life ever, in the least degree, lessened 
the admiration and respect entertained for his capacity, integrity and 

boardman's sketches 45 

learning, or even diminished the esteem and affection cherished for 
the spotless purity of his moral deportment through a long life, nor 
the reverence extorted from all for the deep religious impression 
which adorned his old age and perfected his character. He was, I 
presume, in youth extremely handsome. 


John Allen was born in Great Barrington, Mass., sometime, I 
believe, in 1762, of respectable parents, though not distinguished in 
society, as I remember to have heard him say that he was the son of 
a joiner. There were but two children in the family, a son and a 
daughter, both much distinguished in life for many good qualities, 
and especially for dignity of manner and deportment, but the winning 
and amiable accomplishments all fell to the lot of the female, gaining 
her many admirers and among others, an husband worthy of her, in 
that excellent man, Elizur Goodrich of New Haven. Their father 
died during the minority of both children. Mr. Allen, having an 
excellent common school education, though not a classic education, 
became a teacher, and being impelled by a spirit of adventure, some- 
what romantic as he was thought in those days, went suddenly, and 
without the knowledge of his friends, and while yet a minor, to Ger- 
mantown near Philadelphia, where he obtained a place as instructor 
of the young classes of an academic establishment of some note at 
the time. How long he remained in the above mentioned establish- 
ment I do not know, but soon after leaving the place, and I believe 
almost immediately, he came to New Milford, and taught a school for 
some six months, and from here went immediately into Mr. Reeve's 
law school, and after the accustomed period of study was admitted 
to the bar, and immediately settled in practice in Litchfield, where 
he spent his life. He confined himself almost entirely to the practice 
of Litchfield County, though occasionally when called, in consequence 
of the eminence to which he soon attained in the profession, he prac- 
ticed in other counties, in some cases of importance, and especially in 
the Federal Circuit Court, in which, for a few years after the forma- 
tion of the present Constitution of the United States, some consider- 
able business was done. Mr. Allen, however never went abroad in 
quest of business, thinking that the very great share of Attorney busi- 
ness which he acquired in being always found in his office, equal, 
at least in point of profit, to what counsellor business he might obtain 
by attending Courts in other counties, considering that all the coun- 
sellor business flowing from the attorney business which he did, he 
was sure to be engaged in. From the time I entered the law school 
in the fall of 1793, I occupied a room in his office, and had free ac- 
cess to his ample library and boarded at the same house with him. 
During all that time, and all the remaining years of his prosperous 


practice, which indeed lasted till the apparent commencement of his 
rapid decline, soon followed by death, he was engaged in almost every 
case of any importance in the Superior and County Court. He was 
certainly, a very successful and powerful advocate, equally with the 
Jury as with the Court, a thoroughly read lawyer, equal in point of 
legal science to any one at our bar during the fore part of the time I 
am speaking of, except Tapping Reeve, who had no rival, and in the 
latter part of the period, James Gould, of whom I need say nothing 
as you knew him in his meridian light. Mr. Allen always made dili- 
gent and faithful preparation of all cases committed to his care, and 
made himself fully acquainted with every point of law and every ac- 
cessible point of evidence which could arise in the case, and was 
therefore usually successful when the case deserved success. 

If I knew that you ever saw Mr. Allen, I would omit any attempt 
to describe his personal appearance, for I am sure any one who ever 
saw his colossal form and imposing visage, would never need to have 
him described in order to recall his appearance. He was six feet four 
or five inches high, very erect and with an attitude and walk well 
calculated to set off his full stature, and though quite lean, weighed 
full 230 pounds. His countenance was strongly marked and truly 
formidable, his eyes and eye brows dark', his hair dark, what little he 
had for he was quite bald, far back, even before middle age, and in- 
deed his whole appearance was calculated to inspire dread, rather 
than affection. His manner and conversation were, however, such 
as to inspire confidence and respect, though little calculated to invite 
familiarity, except with his intimates, of whom he had a few, and 
those, knowing the generous and hearty friendship of which he was 
capable, were usually, much attached to him and ready to overlook 
all his harsh sallies, imputing them to the "rough humor which his 
mother gave him." His feelings were not refined, but ardent, gener- 
ous and hearty. His friendships were strong and his aversions equal- 
ly so — and as I used to say of him, speaking to others,' "his feelings 
were all of the great sort." He neither enjoyed nor suffered any 
thing from many of those little incidents which so often affect, either 
pleasingly or painfully, minds of a more refined texture. As he had 
no taste for such things, nor, as it would seem, any faculty of per- 
ceiving, so he knew no language appropriate to their description, but 
in respect to those things and principles which he thought worthy of 
his regard, he lacked no power of language to make himself fully 
and forcibly understood.. For neutral ground, either in morals or 
politics, he had no taste, and but little less than absolute abhorrence. 
As a specimen of his feelings and language, better than I can des- 
cribe, I will give you the laconic answer to an enquiry of him, why 
he took the Aurora the leading democratic paper in the county, then 
under the guidance of that arch democrat, Duane ; he replied it was 
because he zvanted to know what they zvere about in the infernal 
regions. And after giving this specimen I need make no futher at- 
tempt to give you an idea of his humor, manners and language. 

boardman's sketches 47 

After Mr. Allen was married, which was not till he was towards 
forty years old, and went to house keeping, I boarded at his house at 
his express solicitation for many years while attending Court ; though 
he took no other one, nor ever named to me any price, nor would he 
count the money I handed to him when leaving for home, seeming to 
receive it only because I refused to stay on any other terms. I there- 
fore saw much of him in his family, where his conduct was always 
dignified, proper and kind. He was proud, very proud, and justly 
so, of his wife, who was a woman of much personal beauty, polished 
manners, and great and even singular discretion, and for whom he 
entertained, I believe, an ardent affection. 

Before his marriage and at the age of thirty-five Mr. Allen was 
elected a member of the fifth Congress, where he distinguished him- 
self at a time when Connecticut was never more ably represented in 
the House of Representatives, and would undoubtedly have been cho- 
sen for as long a period as he would have desired to be a member ol 
that body, but he declined a further election. He was elected an 
Assistant in 1800, and was re-elected for the five succeeding years, 
and as such was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Errors. 
For several years, previous to his election to Congress, he had repre- 
sented the town of Litchfield in the General Assembly. His wife was 
a grand daughter of the first Governor Griswold. His only son, the 
Hon. John Wm. Allen of Cleveland, Ohio, has been a member of 
Congress from that State and is now a very distinguished man there. 
His only surviving daughter resides also in Cleveland, and is the 
wife of her brother's immediate successor in Congress, Mrs. Allen, 
after a rather brief widowhood, accepted the hand of a Mr. Perkins 
of Oxford in the State of New York, a man of respectability and 


The request, which is the subject of yours of the 4th inst., is too 
alluring in its nature to be long unattended to. So nearly am I alone 
in the world that an invitation to hold converse about those of my 
age and standing in life, and who have now slumbered in the grave 
for more than forty years, and especially those who were so much 
beloved and esteemed as were those of whom you solicit my at- 
tention, is quite irresistible. 

In speaking of Mr. Slosson, I must first observe that I had form- 
ed a tolerably correct notion of him before I ever saw him. When I 
was a boy his father was often at my father's house, intimately ac- 
quainted there, and I believe, scarcely ever passed that way without 
calling and holding a pretty long chat, for he was never in a hurry, 
and his peculiar turn of mind, abundance of common sense, and great 
fund of wit, joined to his singularly slow, emphatic and sententious 


mode of talking, was such as to secure the attention of any one, and 
especially a boy. He used, occasionally to speak of his children, and 
especially of his oldest son Barzillai^of whom he was manifestly very 
proud, representing him to be always at the head of the school when 
small, and afterwards used to speak with high gratification of his in- 
dustry and tact at acquiring the higher branches of knowledge with- 
out the aid of an instructor, and more particularly the knowledge of 
the dead languages, of which he knew nothing himself. And this 
account given by the old gentleman, from intimate intercourse and 
frequent conversation with his son, when I afterwards became ac- 
quainted with him, I found was by no means exaggerated. And to 
his excellent and accurate common school education, he owed much, 
very much of his character for exact accuracy and correctness in all 
that he said and did through life. He was about the best reader I 
ever heard, wrote a fair, handsome and legible hand, and in the un- 
failing correctness of his orthography and use of terms, no lexico- 
grapher excelled him, and in everything pertaining to mere English, 
home and common school education, no one appeared to be more 
thoroughly proficient. And in Greek and Latin I never saw his su- 
perior, except old President Stiles, nor with that exception perhaps, 
his equal, unless it was old Parson Farrand of Canaan, and in the 
other branches of collegiate education he was, to say the least, above 
mediocraty. As he entered college not until the senior year, and, I 
believe, did not even attend during the whole of that year, he 
could not, of course, expect to shine and did not shine in the college 
honors depending upon the faculty, but he availed himself of the right 
to become a candidate for the honors of Dean Scholar, and obtained 
the first premium for excellence in Greek and Latin, in a class of 
unusually high reputation. This, I suppose, he did merely, out of 
a laudable pride, for he did not avail himself of the pecuniary re- 
ward which would have required him to reside in New Haven ; for 
he went, immediately after his graduation with one of his class- 
mates (Mr. afterwards the Rev. Dr. Smith,) to reside in Sharon, 
as one of the instructors in the Sharon Academy, ' then in full and 
successful operation. He soon after became a student at law, under 
Gov. Smith's instruction, and the first County Court which sat after 
his two year's clerkship had expired, being in Fairfield County, 
he went, there for examination and admission to the Bar. This 
was I believe at the November Term, 1793. It was not until he 
began to attend Court at Litchfield, and while I was in the law school 
there, that I first became personally acquainted with Mr. Slosson 
though I had barely seen him once or twice before. After my admis- ■ 
sion to the Bar, being located in adjoining towns, we often met each 
other before Justices, and consequently before the upper courts. 
From our frequent meetings and intercourse at Litchfield and else- 
where, I became greatly attached to him, and finally, for a number of 
years he and L with Southmayd for our constant companion, always 
occupied the same room at Catlin's Hotel during every court until his 

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boardman's sketches 49 

death and there was the last time I ever saw him in life. Soon after 
the Court adjourned, hearing of his rapid decline, I set out to visit 
him, and on the way, heard that he had died the night before. I how- 
ever went on and stayed with the family until I assisted in burying 
him. This was in January, 1813, and in that grave I felt that I had 
buried a sincere, and I am sure, a much loved friend ; on whose char- 
acter and conduct in life I could reflect with melancholy satisfaction, 
unmarred by a singk reproachful recollection or one which I could 
wish to have forgotten. 

Mr. Slosson had been out of health for a very considerable time, 
and fears were apprehended on his account, in which he fully and 
rationally participated. So gradual, however, was the operation of 
his disorder, that he continued his attention to business until some 
three or four weeks before his death. He attended court at Litch- 
field, the first and I think the second week of the December term, 
the month before his decease. 

Mr. Slosson's great fondness for ancient literature, rendered him 
scarcely just in his comparative estimate of that with modern im- 
provements. As a lawyer he was highly respectable in theory and 
remarkably accurate in practice; as a pleader, I do not remember 
that he ever had occasion to ask for an amendment, or to alter a title 
of what he had written. As an advocate he was clear, deliberate, 
methodical and logical in his deductions. He spoke in much of the 
peculiarly emphatic manner of his father, above mentioned, though 
not with his unusual slowness. He was always cool and self-pos- 
sessed, rarely warming into any high degree of animation, or aiming 
at effect to appear eloquent, but he never failed to secure a respect- 
ful and satisfied attention. Though not one of the most leading 
advocates of which there are always some three or four at any Bar, 
he might, at least be estimated an equal to any of the second class 
of the Litchfield Bar which was then, certainly, a highly respectable 

Though not an aspirant after public preferment, and from his 
habitually modest and retiring habits, not calculated to push his way 
where opportunities offered, he was yet, at the time of his decease, in 
a fair way of promotion. He was early and often elected to the 
legislature from his native town, and indeed their usual representa- 
tive until the October session, 1812, when he was elected Clerk, 
which in those days was a sure stepping stone to further advance- 
ment, and having myself been a witness of the manner in which he 
performed the duties of that office, for which no man was better 
qualified, I am sure he established a reputation,^ which, had Provi- 
dence permitted, promised a solid and lasting existence. 

Mr. Slosson's political opinions were of the genuine Washingto- 
nian, political school. None of your heady, rash, and merely parti- 
zan notions found favor with him. He was a constant and honest 
adherent to the political views then nrevalent in this State. He 
left a widow and two sons— the oldest John William, has been and I 


believe now is a merchant in Kent. The second son, Nathaniel, a 
very promising boy, was, I believe soon after his father's death, taken 
under the care of his uncle, WilHam Slosson, a distinguished lawyer 
of New York, and was by him educated at Union College and for 
the Bar, and died soon after his admission. 

The foregoing sketch of the leading incidents in Mr. Slosson's 
life, may be a sufficient indication from which to deduct his true 
character, but I must indulge myself in adding, that I never knew 
or heard of a single act of his life, either in youth or mature years, 
that left even a shade upon his reputation. Cool and deliberate in 
his temperament, never hurried away by enthusiasm, for enthusiasm 
never manifested itself in his nature, except in his passion for ancient 
literature, he was sure to think and act with propriety. He was 
nevertheless warm and faithful in his attachments, biit not so far as 
to warp his conscientious regard for integrity. He was perfectly 
just and generous in his intercourse with the world, honest in his 
predilections and imcompromising in his love of virtue and detesta- 
tion of vice. In morality his principles were without a taint and his 
practice through life in conscientious conformity 'with them. In re- 
ligion he was a firm and steadfast believer in the great doctrines of 
the gospel, though not a public professor. His principles were those 
of true rational Calvanism, unswayed by vindictive zeal or hysteri- 
cal weakness. 

You observed in your letter that you never saw Mr. Slosson. He 
was a small man, not much, if any, under medium height, but of slen- 
der frame and countenance. Though not dark complexioned his 
countenance was rather dusky, his skin not clear, his features though 
far from handsome bespoke intelligence and were therefore not dis- 
agreeable. His general appearance was more like that of the late 
Leman Church than any other member of the Bar I can think of, 
though he was somewhat larger and more erect. 


In the life, conduct and character of Samuel W. Southmayd there 
were some peculiarities, such as render it a matter of difficulty to des- 
cribe him in such a manner, as to make them intelligible to one who 
did not personally know him. 

L never saw, or heard of him until I became a member of the law 
school in the fall of the year 1793, of which he had then been a mem- 
ber about one year, I believe, and of which he continued a constant 
attendant during the eighteen months which I spent there. He was 
admitted to the Bar the next term after I was, to wit : September 
Term, 1795, and passed as good an examination as I ever heard 
there, or elsewhere, he having been for the full period of three years 
toder Judge Reeve's tuition. He was a native of Watertown, where 


he settled in practice, and where he spent his Hfe. Like Mr. Slosson, 
he had an excellent common school education. Beyond that, his ac- 
quirements did not extend far in an academic course — enough, how- 
ever, I believe, to enable him to understand the homely law-latin used 
in our books. Few have entered upon the practice of law, with a 
better store of legal learning than Mr. Southmayd, but the place in 
which he settled was not calculated from its location and the habits 
of the people, by no means litiguous, to furnish much practice, and 
he was too honest to promote litigation ; and furthermore, he had no 
legal adversary there except an old gentlemen who never had any 
more legal learning than was necessary for a Church Warden, and 
whose ignorance made him the victim of Southmayd's merry witch- 
ery and innocent cunning, of both of which he had a superabundance, 
though he never indulged in malicious, or even very serious mischief, 
and indeed in none except such as would do to relate for the purpose 
of making fun in merry company. Anecdotes of that description 
used to be related in great numbers. As a pleader, Mr. Southmayd 
was always sure to have all in his drafts which was requisite and per- 
tinent to the object in view, and in all his declarations, afifording 
room for coloring circumstances to be inserted, there was pretty sure 
to be found, slyly slipped in, some ingenious slang whang, or South- 
maydism, as we used to call it. He was not ambitious of arguing 
cases in Court, but when he did, he always displayed much ingenuity, 
and attracted respectful attention from the audience as well as from 
the triers. And before arbitrators, referees and committees a more 
formidable opponent could hardly be found. And although his prac- 
tice was not large, and as was observed of Mr. Slosson he was not 
among the leading practitioners at the Litchfield Bar, he was certain- 
ly a very resf)ectable lawyer, up>on a par with the foremost of the sec- 
ond class, and much beloved and respected by all whose good 
opinions are desirable. 

As was observed in the outset, there were peculiarities in Mr. 
Southmayd's private character and deportment, which it is difficult 
to describe or reconcile. Though of a benevolent disposition and full 
of good nature and kind feelings, there was yet in him a vein of ad- 
venture after intellectual amusement, which, from its very nature, 
could not be gratified but at the expense of others, and often to such 
an extent as to render them ridiculous in the view of third persons 
to whom the results of the adventure was related. I have many 
times joined most heartily in the laugh at the relation of the result 
of many such seemingly innocent pieces of roguery, though I could 
not help condemning the mischief, while participating in its fruits. 
In all such indulgences, Southmayd never entertained the least ma- 
lice, for his heart was a stranger to it, but his intense love of fun, and 
enjoyment of the ridiculous often impelled him to go beyond the line 
of honest propriety. I used often to reproach him with it, but my 
admonitions were not well calculated to take effect, when given at 
the close of a hearty laugh. 

52 i<itchfie;i,d county bbxch axd bar 

From what I have been saying of Mr. Southmayd you would, I 
presume, be ready to conchide that he was one of the most cheerly 
and happy of men. But the case was directly the reverse, and during 
a considerable period of his life, and that too, the most valuable part 
of it, he was a very unhappy man, indeed, and I have no doubt he had 
recourse to much of the indulgence of that peculiar propensity I have 
attempted to describe for the purpose of dispelling a mental malady 
which for a long time oppressed and preyed upon his heart. He was 
for many years the victim of the strongest species of hypochondria 
that ever mortal man was. It never showed itself in long fits of set- 
tled melancholy or monomania, but in sudden fits and starts. After 
hours 6i cheerful conversation, and while in entire health, he would 
suddenly complain of great distress, and exhibit unmistakable evi- 
dence of great terror and apprehensions of immediate dissolution. 
One very extraordinary instance I will relate. He and I had been 
alone many hours, conversing and reading together, and he, not in 
the least complaining, when he at once sprung from his seat, and with 
a scream as would have alarmed me,_had it been any other person, 
and pressing both hands upon his breast he exclaimed that he was 
going to die immediately. I stepped to him and gently and calmly 
said to him, "don't be alarmed, you are not going to die" — for we 
never treated him as if he thought his distress imaginary, — and put 
my hand gently upon him to lead him to the bed, when he raised che 
hand from his breast and thrusting his finger against the side of his 
head, declared, with another outcry that something was passing 
through his head. I persuaded him to lie down, telling him the feel- 
ing would pass off in a few minutes, but he continued to groan for 
some time. I, knowing what would cure him, took up and began to 
read to him one of Burke's finest essays which lay by me, and turning 
to a passage of extraordinary eloquence read it ; on which he sprung 
up on end in the bed, and exclaimed "was ever anything finer than 
that !" I continued on reading, and in the course of half an hour he 
was well and cheerful as ever. This was the most extraordinary in- 
stance I ever saw in him, but those in a degree like it were frequent. 
He always went to bed an hour or two before Slosson and I did, he 
saying that he never was able to get sleep until he had gone through 
a great deal of such feelings as he never would attempt to describe-. 

Mr. Southmayd was greatly esteemed in his native town, by, I 
believe, almost every one, both old and young. He was early in life 
sent to the legislature, and that often, and was so, T know, the last 
year of his hfe. He died of lung fever in March, 1813, about two 
months after the death of his friend Slosson. At the December 
Term, 181 2, the three who had so long occupied the same room in 
perfect harmony, were, for the last time there together. At the Feb- 
ruary Term of the Supreme Court, Southmayd arid I occupied it, but 
felt that we were in solitude, and in the next term it seemed to me, 
most emphatically, a solitude, and more like a family vault than like 
an abode for living men, and I believe I have never-been into it since. 

boardman's sketches 53 

Mr. Southmayd was undoubtedly an honest and honorable man, 
of uncommon pleasing manners and much beloved, and I never heard 
that he had an enemy. Indeed the amenity of his manner and the 
gentleness of his temper almost forbade it. 

The family to which Mr. Southmayd belonged was of the Con- 
gregational order, and two of his sisters married Congregational 
clergymen. He, however, joined himself to the Episcopal church of 
which he was a member after he settled in life, and of which, I be- 
lieve he was a communicant, but am not sure. He died unmarried, 
and I believe in the 39th or 40th year of his age. 


At your request, I now inform you, that the Hon. John Cotton 
Smith, only son of the Rev. Cotton Mather Smith of Sharon, was 
born there on the 12th day of February, 1765. It is said that for the 
first six years of his life his instruction and training was almost 
wholly conducted by his excellent mother, and to her government 
and precepts he is said to have attributed much of his extraordinary 
success in life. His common school education, as exhibited in after 
life, must have been of the most exactly accurate kind. His class- 
ical instruction preparatory to entering college, was commenced at 
home, and completed under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Brinsmade 
of Washington. He entered Yale College in September, 1779, when 
between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and though yotmg, main- 
tained a high standing in his class, as appeared by the share he had in 
the exercises of the commencement at his graduation, the appointees 
being less than one-fourth of the entire class. Immediately after his 
graduation in September, 1783, he entered as a law student in the 
office of the Hon. John Canfield in his native town, and there con- 
tinued until he could be by law admitted to the Bar, which was in the 
March Term, 1786, a month after coming to t-wenty-one years of 
age : and Mr. Canfield, his legal preceptor, having died a few months 
after his admission to the Bar, a large portion of business for a long 
time habitually flowing for management to Mr. Canfield's office, he 
having for many years been one of the ablest lawyers of the County, 
Mr. Smith's commencement in business was thereby attended by for- 
tunate circumstances, and he improved them with becoming industry, 
and from the very first found himself in a lucrative practice, which 
continued to increase until called into absorbing public business. 
He was first elected to the legislature in 1793 and frequently after- 
wards ; indeed, from 1796 to October, 1800 he was constantly a mem- 
ber, and during the two sessions of 1800 was speaker of the house, 
and while occupying that station in the October session he was in- 
formed by the Goveror that he was elected a member of Congress 
to fill a vacancy which had occurred for the then approaching last 


session of the Sixth Congress, and also for the full term of the 
Seventh Congress; soon after which information, he resigned the 
chair in the house, and returned home to prepare for assuming his 
newly assigned duties. It so happened that the extra session to 
which he had been chosen was that, which, by law, was to be holden 
at the new City of Washington, whither he repaired and served 
through that term, and the Seventh Congress ; was re-elected to the 
Eighth and again to the Ninth Congress, at the expiration of the 
Ninth Congress he declined any further elections to that honorable 
body. During his congressional career he did not participate much 
in debate, but his fine talent at presiding was early discovered, and 
caused him frequently to be called to the chair when the House was 
in committee of the whole, and he thus presided during some of the 
most memorable debates which distinguished those days. He was 
during all but the first session, a member of the committee of claims 
while in Congress, and during the Eighth and Ninth Congress at 
the head of that committee, though in the minority. In May, 1809, 
Mr. Smith was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, which he 
resigned in May, 181 1, on being elected Lieutenant-Governor; in 
May, i8i3,he was elected Governor, and re-elected to that office until 
1818, when, a political revolution having taken place, he retired 
finally from public life. His administration of the gubernatorial 
office embraced the greater part of the war of 1812 and 1815, and 
his duties in all respects were performed with dignity, propriety 
and grace. 

After his retirement to private life much of his time was devoted 
to religious studies, and his eminent Christian and literary accom- 
plishments being extensively known and appreciated he was selected 
as the first president of the Connecticut Bible Society on its estab- 
lishment. In 1826 he was chosen president of the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and in 1831 president of the 
American Bible Society. In 181 5 he received the degree of LL. D. 
As old- age pressed upon him his hearing became impaired, and he 
never would suffer himself to hold public stations when he could not 
perform all their duties with becoming grace, he resigned all his 
posts of honor, and on the 7th day of December he died in the 8ist 
year of his age. 

In an eulogy delivered before the Connecticut Historical Society 
by the Rev. W. H. Andrews, then of Kent, soon after the decease of 
Mr. Smith, giving a concise but eloquent historical sketch of his life 
and character, stating that he was admitted to the Bar in Litchfield 
County, and observing that at the time there was no bar in the state 
which presented a more splendid array of legal forensic talents than 
this, proceeds to state the standing which he at maturity acquired, in 
the following words quoted, as he says, from the communication of a 
well informed competent judg?, long acquainted with Mr. Smith at 
the bar: — "He was esteemed, and justly so, an accurate pleader, and 
a well read and learned lawyer, and though some of those alluded to 


exceeded him in force and popularity as an advocate, none of tliem 
surpassed, and in m_v judgment, none of them equalled him in grace 
of manner and elegance of diction and utterance." 

Early in life Gov. Smith married Miss Margaret Everson of. 
Amenia, N. Y., a young lady of many accomplishments, who lived 
tc old age. The issue of this marriage was only one child, WiUiam 
M. Smith, Esq., of Sharon, a gentleman much esteemed for his 
many virtues and eminent piety. A grandson bearing his name is 
now the Minister resident of the United States to the court of 
Bolivia, South America. 


{Prom Hollisfer's History of Connecticut.) 

"I received a line from my friend. General Sedgwick, stating 
that is was your desire that he would ask of me, in your behalf, to 
furnish you with some facts in relation to the late Nathaniel Smith, 
and my views of his character, which might be of use to you in the 
preparation of the work you have in hand. 

"I am of course aware that this application is owing to the ac- 
cidental circumstance that I am the oldest^ if not the only member of 
the profession now living, who had much personal acquaintance with 
that truly able and excellent man, or saw much of him in the exercise 
of his forensic or judicial talents. Judge Smith was indeed one of 
nature's nobles, and considering the limited range of his early educa- 
tion, he had few equals and perhaps no superior in the profession 
which he chose, and which he eminently adorned. You are doubtless 
aware that Judge Smith had only such an education in childhood and 
youth, as the common schools of the country afforded at the time. It 
was such, however, as a boy of unusual capacity and industrious 
habits would acquire from such a source, and such as, under the 
guidance of uncommon discretion through hfe, rarely permitted its 
defects to be disclosed. 

"When I first went to the Law School in lyitchfield, which was 
in the fall of 1793, Mr. Smith though not over thirty years old, was 
in full practice, aiid engaged in almost every cause of any importance. 
Indeed, he was said to halve established a high reputation for talents 
in the first cause he argued in the higher courts. It was upon a trial 
for manslaughter, which arose in his native town, and in which he 
appeared as junior counsel, and astonished the court, the bar, and all 
who heard him. Not long afterwards, in the celebrated case of Jed- 
ediah Strong and wife, before the General Assembly, (she having ap- 
plied for a divorce), he greatly distinguished himself again, and thus 
■ bfecame known throughout the state as a young lawyer of the first 
promise; and the reputation thus early acquired was never suffered 


to falter, but on the other hand, steadily increased in strength until 
his elevation to the bench. 

"During my stay in Litchfield, and after my admission to the 
bar, I of course saw Mr. Smith, and heard him in almost all the im- 
portant cases there; and as I was located in the south-west corner 
town in the county, adjoining Fairfield, I almost immediately obtain- 
ed some business which, though small, was such as during nearly all 
my professional life caused me to attend the courts in that county, 
where I found Mr. Smith as fully engaged and as highly esteemed as 
in his own county. In New Haven I also knew he had a very con- 
siderable practice. 

"It is worthy also to be observed, in forming an estimate of Mr. 
Smith's professional talent and character, that there never at any 
period was an abler bar in Connecticut, than during his practice. In 
Litchfield county, were Judge Reeve, Judge Adams, General Tracy, 
John Allen, Judge Gould, N. B. Benedict, and others ; at the Fairfield 
county bar, were Pierpont Edwards, Judge Ingersoll, and Judge 
Daggett, constantly from New Haven, Judge Edmonds, S. B. Sher- 
wood, R. M. Sherman, Judge Chapman, and Governor Bissell ; and 
in New Haven, besides the three above named, were James Hillhouse, 
Judge Baldwin, and others. 

"As I suppose it not probable that you ever saw Judge Smith, 
as he ceased to attend courts in 1819, and died when you was very 
young, I will observe, what you have doubtless heard, that he was a 
large and fine appearing man, much of the same complexion of the 
Hon. Truman Smith, his nephew, with whom you are all so well ac- 
quainted ; less tall than he, but of rather fuller habit. His face was 
not only the index of high capacity and solid judgment, but uncom- 
monly handsome; his hair was dark and thin, though not to baldness, 
except on the fore part of the head, and was very slightly sprinkled 
with gray. His fine, dark eyes, were remarkably pleasing and gentle 
in ordinary intercourse, but very variable, always kindling when high- 
ly excited in debate, they became almost oppressive. " His voice was 
excellent, being both powerful and harmonious, and never broke un- 
der any exertion of its capacity. His manner was very ardent and 
the seeming dictate of a strong conviction of the justice of his cause ; 
and his gestures were the natural expression of such a conviction. 
Mr. Smith's style was pure and genuine Saxon, with no attempt at 
classic ornament or allusion. His train of reasoning was lucid and 
direct, and evincive of the fact that the whole of it was like a map 
spread out in his mind's eye from the beginning. His integrity was 
always felt and dreaded by his opponent. He spK>ke with much 
fluency, but with no undue rapidity ; he never hesitated for or hag- 
gled at a word, nor did he ever tire his audience with undue prolixity, 
or omit to do full justice to his case for fear of tiring them ; and in- 
deed there was little danger of it. Though certainly a very fine 
speaker, he never achieved or aspired to those strains of almost 

boardman's sketches 57 

superhuman eloquence with which his old master Reeve, sometimes 
electrified and astonished his audience, and yet, in ordinary cases, 
he was the most correct speaker of the two — though Judge Reeve 
was, and he was not, a scholar. Mr. Smith, though quite unassum- 
ing, and often receding in common intercourse and conversation, was, 
when heated in argument, it must be confessed, often overbearing to 
the adverse party, and, not only them, but to their counsel. Upon 
all other occasions, he appeared to be, and I believe was, a very kind 
hearted, agreeable and pleasant man. To me, he always so appeared, 
and I have been much in his company. 

"Mr. Smith came early into public life, and was frequently elect- 
ed to the General Assembly from Woodbury. In 1795, he was elect- 
ed a member of the fourth Congress ; and in 1797, he was chosen to 
the fifth Congress ; but declined further election. In May, 1799, he 
was made an assistant, and was re-elected for the five following 
years, when he resigned his sea? at that board in consequence of the 
passage of the act in 1803, prohibiting the members of the then Su- 
preme Court of Errors from practicing before the Court. He re- 
mained in full practice at the bar until October, 1806, when he was 
elected a judge of the Superior Court, and continued to fill that office 
until May, 1819, when the judiciary establishment of that year went 
into operation; from which time he remained in private life until 
his death. 

"In every public station in which Mr. Smith was placed, he dis- 
tinguished himself. He did so in Congress, at a time when our rep- 
resentation was as able, perhaps, as it ever has been, and when the 
character of the house to which he belonged was far higher than it 
now is. In the Superior Court he was certainly very greatly respect- 
ed and admired, as an able and perfectly upright judge. 

"In private life his name was free from reproach. A strictl}^ 
honest and pure life, free from any of those little blemishes which 
often mar the fame of distinguished men, may, I think, be fairly 
claimed by his biographer to be his due. As a husband, a parent, a 
friend, a neighbor, a moralist and a christian, I believe few have left 
a more faultless name." 


In further compliance with your late request, I now place at jQuv 
disposal some account of the life, character and standing of another 
highly esteemed member of the Litchfield County Bar. 

The Hon. Noah Bennet Benedict was a native of Woodbury, in 
which he resided during his whole life. He was the son of the Rev. 
Noah Benedict, long the pastor of the First Congregational Church 
in that town. - Mr. Benedict's early school education must have been 


correct and good, as its fruits invariably showed itself in after life. 
He graduated at Yale College in September, 1788, when a little short 
of eighteen years of age. His legal studies commenced soon after his 
graduation, which were, 1 believe, pursued principally, if not wholly, 
in the office of his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Smith, afterwards so 
highly distinguished as a jurist, which was near the residence of Mr. 
Benedict's father. As soon as he arrived to lawful age Mr. Benedict 
came to the Bar, and for the remainder of his life, to wit: abou^ 
thirty-nine years, it is believed he never failed to attend every regular- 
session of the Courts holden at Litchfield ; and though he never habit- 
ually attended Courts in other counties, he occasionally did so for the 
purpose^ of arguing a particular case. During the long course of his 
practice Mr. Benedict had an ample share of business, and for the 
latter half of that period, he \yas, especially in the Superior Court, the 
leading advocate, on one side or. the pther, in most of the trials either 
to the cpurt or to the jury. His management of a trial was discreet, 
his argutnent sound, sensible, and being aided by the well known and 
generally esteemed integrity of his character, had their due effect. 
He never; attempted to play the orator or to attract attefttion by fine 
turned periods, but contented himself with plain reasoning, of which 
he was no indifferent master. 

At a very early period Mr. Benedict was a member of the legisla- 
ture. But the political majority of the. voters in Woodbury becom- 
ing about this time and for long afterwards decidedly democratic, 
proved an effectual bar to his political promotion, as far as depended 
upon that town, but by the vote of the State at large he was elected 
in 1813 one of the twelve assistants, (as they were then styled, who 
composed the Upper House of the assembly) , and was re-elected the 
two following years; but in the year 18 18 an entire political revolu- 
tion took place in Connecticut, and Mr. Benedict shared the fate of 
almost every one who held any post of dignity or profit depending 
upon the public suffrage at large in the State. He was subsequently 
many years later elected once more to the Lower House. He was 
also for several years Judge of Probate for the District of Woodbury, 
an appointment then depending upon the legislature. Mr. Benedict 
was twice married, but left no living issue. He died in June or July 
1 83 1, at the age of sixty, or in his sixtieth year. 

In private life Mr. Benedict was entirely unassuming, and a very 
pleasing companion to all who could relish purity of moral character 
and conduct, which his whole life was an eminent example : his feel- 
ings were peculiarly sensitive and delicate ; a loose or profane expres- 
sion never escaped his lips, and indeed so fastidious was he in respect 
to the former, that it used to be a matter of amusement with his less 
scrupulous associates in jocose conversation, to tease his feminine 
delicacy upon such subjects. Though when alone and unoccupied 
he had a propensity to indulge in somewhat gloomy reflections, yet 
he was not averse to participate in facetious conversation when due 

Noah Bh;nnet Benedict 
From an old Painting. 

boardman's sketches 59 

delicacy was observed. He had a profound respect for religion and 
was in all respects a good, a very good man. 

Mr. Benedict was of somewhat less than midling size, of a medi- 
um complexion, but his eyes and hair rather dark. 


In compliance, in part, with a request recently received from you, 
I now send you a brief and imperfect sketch of the literary and pro- 
fessional character, standing and reputation of the Hon. James Gould, 
who for a very considerable period of time contributed much to the 
fame of the County and State for legal science, by his talents as an 
advocate and especially as an instructor and as a judge of the Supe- 
rior Court ; with some account of his person and family. Mr. Gould 
the son of Dr. William Gould, an eminent physician, was born at 
Branford in this State in the year 1770. The goodness of his com- 
mon school education is inferable from the perfect accuracy of it, 
which showed itself in all he did or said in after life. He graduated 
when a little over twenty-one, at Yale College, in September, 1791, 
with distinguished honor in a class distinguished for talents. 

The year next following his collegiate course he spent in Balti- 
more as a teacher. He then returned to New Haven and commenced 
the study of law with Judge Chauncey ; and in September of that 
year he was chosen a tutor in Yale College, in which office he contin- 
ued two years. He then joined the Law School of Mr. Reeve at 
Litchfield and was soon after admitted to the Bar. Immediately af- 
ter his admission to the Bar he opened an office for practice in that 
town, where he resided during the remainder of his life. 

On his first appearance as an advocate he evinced such an ap- 
parent maturity of intellect, such a self-possession, such command of 
his thoughts and of the language appropriate to their expression, that 
he was marked out as a successful aspirant for forensic eminence. 
His progress in the acquisition of professional business was steady 
and rapid. 

Fortunate circumstances concurring a few years before his choice 
of Litchfield as a field of his professional labors, in the removal by 
promotion of two very distinguished practitioners at the Bar, opened 
the way to such a choice, and by like good fortune a similar event re- 
moved one of the two only remaining obstructions in that town to his 
full share in the best business as an advocate, the only business to 
which he aspired. As a reasoner Mr. Gould was forcible, lucid and 
logical : as a speaker his voice was very pleasant and his language 
pure, clear and always appropriate. He never aspired to high strains 
of impassioned eloquence, and rarely, if ^ver, addressed himself to the 
passions of the Court and Jury, but to their understanding only, and 


was a very able, pleasing and successful advocate. His argument was 
a fair map of the case, and one sometimes engaged against him, but 
feeling his superiority, observed, that he had rather have Gould 
against him in a case, than any other of any where equal powers, 
because he could perfectly understand his argument, and if suscepti- 
ble of an answer could know how to apply it In his practice at the 
Bar he was always perfectly fair and honorable. Within some two or 
three years after Mr. Gould commenced practice, Mr. Reeve, the 
founder and until that time the sole instructor of the Litchfield Law 
School, accepted a seat upon the bench of the Superior Court. This 
Court made it necessary for him to give up the school, or to associate 
some one with him in its management, and to deliver lectures in his 
absence upon the circuits. The Judge selected Mr. Gould as that 
associate; and for a number of years they jointly conducted and re- 
ceived the pupils of the School : and on the final retiring of Judge 
Reeve from any participation in the instruction of the School, Mr. 
Gould became its sole instructor and so continued until elevated to 
the bench of the Superior Court in the spring of 1816, when he in 
turn had to have recourse to temporary aid for the short time he re- 
mained on the bench. But a thorough political Revolution having 
taken place in this State, and a new constitution formed which entire- 
ly new modeled the courts of law, Mr. Gould took no further share 
in public employments : and his health being greatly impaired; he 
never resumed practice at the Bar, but confined himself wholly to his 
School during the remainder of his life, as far as severe infirmities 
would permit. He died, as appears by the College catalogue, in 

In person Mr. 'Gould was very handsome. Of about medium 
heighth, or perhaps 'a little over; but rather less in body and limbs 
than mediurii' size. 'His complexion fair, with fine dark eyes and 
beautiful brown hair ; all his features good and in connection indica- 
tive of much intelligence and good nature, and his form for symmetry 
and gracefulness could hardly have been mended ; and in all respects, 
in body, mind and education, he may be fairly styled a finished man. 
In private and social intercourse he was highly pleasing", facetious 
and witty. 

Soon after his settlement in Litchfield he married the eldest 
daughter of the Hon. Uriah Tracy, so well known for his long and 
distinguished service in the councils of the state and nation. 

Mrs. Gould in person and mind was a fit wife for such a husband, 
and partook with him in the happiness of raising a very numerous 
and promising family of children. 

Judge Gould wrote and published a volume of Pleadings, which 
together with his fame as an instructor, gave him a distinguished 
rlame among the eminent jurists of the country. 

boardman's sketches 6i 


Again in compliance with your later request for further sketches 
of the lives and profesional standing of the former members of the 
Litchfield County Bar I transmit you a name which, though not dec- 
orated by the civic honors annexed to some of them, I think highly 
worthy of a place in the series. 

Asa Bacon, the son of a very respectable and somewhat opulent 
farmer of Canterbury in this State, was born there on the 8th day of 
February, 1771. His early school and classical education was had 
in that and neighboring towns in Windham County so far as was 
necessary to a preparation for entering Yale College, which he did 
in September, 1789 ; and during his collegiate course, sustained a very 
prominent standing in his class ; and by his instructor and class-mates 
was marked out as one who would make a distinguished figure in the 
profession in which his talents and turn of mind plainly indicated 
would be his choice. Immediately after his graduation in September, 
1793, he entered the office of Gen. Cleaveland in his native town as a 
Law-student, and there .remained about six months and then joined 
the Law school at Litchfield, at that time, and for long before, under 
the sole instruction of Tapping Reeve, Esq., afterwards Judge Reeve, 
in which he remained until admitted to the Bar in September, 1795, 
Soon after which, without consulting anybody or taking a single let- 
ter of which he might for asking obtained any quantity of the best 
sort, with characteristic boldness and love of adventure in youth, he 
left Connecticut for Virginia with a determination of establishing 
himself in the practice of law in the latter state : an attempt, it is be- 
lieved never before made by any one from Connecticut. In order to 
the accomplishment of which object, he found on arrival in Virginia 
that he had got to obtain a license from a majority of the Judges of 
the Supreme Court in that state, and that too by visiting them at their 
respective residences : for they were not in the practice of examining 
and licensing candidates during the session of the court. This sub- 
jected him to the trouble and expense of traveling over a great part 
of the state ; and this being accomplished, he determined to fix him- 
self at Leesburg, the capital of Loudon county, and he accordingly 
opened an office for practice there ; and being aided by a fine and 
imposing personal appearance and promptness in manners, he suc- 
ceeded in obtaining a fair and encouraging portion of the business, 
and there remained for nearly three years, when, on returning to 
Connecticut to visit his relations, he found the prospects of profes- 
sional business in his native county to be such as, in connection with 
a natural preference for Connecticut society to that of Virginia, to 
induce him to renounce his connection with his new formed estab- 
lishment and open an office in his native town, and this he did not 
only with such success as speedily to secure him a fair professional 
business, but also to induce four young gentlemen to enter his office 


for legal instruction, upon a plan which he adopted ; three of whom 
were from Massachusetts, and one a member of Congress from the 
state of New York. 

After a prosperous practice of over seven years in Windham 
County, he received an invitation from the Hon. John Allen, then at 
the head of practice in the larger county of Litchfield, to remove 
there and become his partner in business. This he accepted, and 
was probably in a measure induced so to do from the prospect that 
Mr. Allen would, on account of declining health, wholly retire from 
the Bar at no very distant period ; and this in fact happened at a 
time earlier than was desirable. By means of his connection with 
Mr. Allen, and of a peculiar faculty of his own, Mr. Bacon soon 
obtained an ample and satisfactory share of the business done at the 
Litchfield County Bar, and by his faithfulness and zeal in the man- 
agement of it he retained it for many years to his great satisfaction, 
for he was very fond of his profession. No man more thoroughly 
identified himself with the interests of his client, insomuch that he 
could hardly bring himself to doubt of the justice of his cause, how- 
ever he might of the legal means of obtaining it; hence his utmost 
exertions were sure to be put forth for the attainment of it. In un- 
tiring industry in the preparation of a cause for trial no man ex- 
celled him. He was an able, and when the nature of the case al- 
lowed of it, an eloquent advocate. Until some sixty years old he 
was in full practice, almost never being in any degree diverted from 
it by political aspirations. But repeated pneumoniae attacks of a 
threatening nature in the autumn of the year 1,832 admonished him 
of the danger of much public speaking, and induced him to retire 
from the Bar as soon as it could conveniently be done. While in 
practice, his untiring diligence in the preparation of his causes for 
trial, the learning, wit and force of reasoning- was so satisfactory 
to his numerous clients, that it was not remembered that any one 
who once employed him ever forsook him when in after time he had 
occasion for legal advice. 

After the close of his practice of law, and indeed long before 
that event, Mr. Bacon paid much attention to pecuniary affairs, and 
his skill and judgment in the management, led to his appoinment 
as president of the branch of the Phoenix Bank located at Litchfield, 
which he held for a number of years. But his cautious policy in the 
management of it proved unsatisfactory to some of the stockholders, 
but more particularly with the managers at head quarters. 

As a man, a mere private individual, Mr. Bacon will be agreed 
by all who ever knew him to have been a very peculiar man, both in 
appearance and in manner. He was full six feet two inches high; 
well formed for appearance ; neither too fleshy nor too spare ; and 
his inexhaustible fund of pleasant wit, judiciously used, made him 
an agreeable companion to both sexes and all ages : and having in 
himself an vmcommon elasticity of spirits he was fitted to enjoy life 

boardjVian's sketches 63 

and to impart to others its enjoyment in an eminent degree. On 
many accounts, and indeed on most accounts, Mr. Bacon may be 
said to be a fortunate man, but on others, had it not been for his 
peculiar buoyancy of spirits, a very unfortunate man. 

In March, 1807, he married Miss Lucretia Champion the only 
daughter of the Hon. Epaphroditus Champion, of East Haddam, who 
still survives him ; and never was a man through a long married life 
of half a century, more happy in the conjugal connection. This mar- 
riage was blessed by the birth of three sons of uncommon promise, 
but all of them were cut down in early manhood : not, however, until 
■each had given decided proof of natural and acquired capacity. 
Three daughters were also the fruit of that mariage, but all died in 
early infancy. 

Quite a number of years since, Mr. Bacon disposed of his proper- 
ty in Litchfield and removed to New Haven, where he spent the re- 
mainder of his long and useful life, and died in the full possession of 
his mental faculties when but two days short of eighty-six years of 
age. No one ever questioned his integrity. He was a professor 
of religion, and is believed to have lived in accordance with his pro- 
fession. He died in the possession of an ample estate, in a great 
degree the fruit of his discreet management, 'and out of which, it is 
but justice to his memory to state, he made a donation to Yale Col- 
lege of ten thousand dollars. 


Gen. Elisha Sterling of Salisbury, who was for a long time a 
very respectable member of the Eitchfield Count}- Bar, was a native 
of Lyme in this State, where he received his training and early edu- 
cation, until he became a member of Yale College, of the class which 
graduated in September, 1787 ; and that he sustained a good stand- 
ing in it is evinced by his having an honorary share in its commence- 
ment exercises. Immediately after his graduation he assumed the 
charge of an academy, then recently established in Sharon; and 
during the two years while it was under his management and tu- 
ition, it became very thoroughly established and very .extensively 
and popularly known. While at the head of the academy he pursued 
the study of Law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1789 or 1790, and 
immediately opened an office for the practice of his profession in 
Salisburv, where he continued to reside during the remainder of his 
life. He was very fortunate in his place of settlement, and soon 
found himself engaged in lucrative practice, which he pursued with 
much industry for a long time; and it is believed that very few 
lawyers have by the mere practice of their profession in Connecti- 
cut acquired a larger property than he did. He was at an early 


period by the County Court appointed Attorney for the State in that 
County, and by them (to whom alone the right of that appointment 
then pertained,) annually reappointed for many years, and until a 
political change in a majority of that Court led to a change in the 
attorneyship. The propriety of his management as a public prose- 
cutor was never questioned even by his political opponents. As a 
mere advocate he did not stand at the head of such practice, but 
did a respectable share of it, and stood high in the secondary rank; 
and in the entire amount of business, in point of profit, few equaled, 
and perhaps none surpassed him. In addition to the office of State's 
Attorney, he for a long time held the office of Judge of Probate for 
the district of Sharon — an office then depending upon the annual 
appointment of the legislature, and tintil, for a like cause above 
mentioned, he was required to give place to another, of different 
political principles from his own ; and the latter office he held two 
or three years after he ceased to be, of the then, healthy political 
faith. He was very often a representative to the General Assembly 
from Salisbury when the political standing of the town would allow 
of such a choice, and was a major-general of the militia. At a 
somewhat earlier period he married a daughter of the Hon. John 
Canfield, deceased, of Sharon, who for a long time was a distin- 
guished member of the Bar of L/itchfield County in former times; 
and by that marriage he became the father of a somewhat numerous 
family, nearly all of whom were sons. They were all young men of 
promise, and on entering into business were well endowed by their 
father, and it is believed were respectable and prosperous in their 
several vocations. Gen. Sterling somewhat late in life married the 
widow of the Rev. Dr. John Elliott, who survived him. Through 
life Gen. Sterling enjoyed a good state of health, and died when 
over seventy years of age, in the year 1836, of a sudden illness oc- 
casioned by a slight wound in the leg, too much neglected. He was 
above medium size, of a light complexion and good personal ap- 
pearance, and his moral and religious habits unimpeachable. 


In compliance with former requests and of a recent intimation 
of my own, I now transmit you a brief sketch of the life and char- 
acter of the Hon. Jabez W. Huntington, son of the late Gen. 
Zachariah Huntington of Norwich, and grandson of the Hon. Jabez 
Huntington of that place, the assistant and associate of the first Gov. 
Trumbull, who was born in Norwich in the year 1787 or 1788. He 
received his early training and instruction in his native town, which 
after times evinced to be accurate and good. He became a member 
of Yale College in September, 1802 and graduated in September, 

boardman's sketches 6s 

1806, with the reputation of a good scholar. Soon after his gradua- 
tion he became a teacher in an academic school under the govern- 
ment of its founder, Esquire Morris of Litchfield South Farms, as 
then called, now the town of Morris, named after the founder of 
said school. After about a year thus employed, Mr. Huntington 
entered Judge Reeve's Law School, in which he continued a diligent 
student until admitted to the Bar in Litchfield County, of which he 
soon showed himself to be a worthy member, and in due time a 
distinguished one ; he having commenced the practice of his pro- 
fession in Litchfield, and there continued it, until its final termina- 
tion by an office conferred upon him incompatible with its further 
pursuit. In practice, his whole aim and ambition was to become 
an advocate, and had no desire to obtain any share of collecting 
business, though in many hands not less lucrative ; and as he was 
always ready to aid the less ambitious of speaking, he early acquired 
a very considerable share of the portion of practice of which he was 
ambitious and which was improving to him. His forte as an advo- 
cate was in detecting error in declarations and other parts of plead- 
ings, and in a lucid manner of pointing them out. Upon the whole 
he was as an advocate clear and accurate, rather than peculiar for 
the gracefulness of manner or refinement of diction, though his 
manner was by no means disgusting, and his language entirely free 
from any approach to Vulgarity. His manners were pleasing and 
popular, and he repeatedly represented Litchfield in the General 
Assembly and distinguished himself there. He was elected to the 
2 1 St Congress, and re-elected to the 22d and 23d Congress ; and near 
the expiration of the last of his Congressional career he was chosen 
a Judge of the Superior Court, and held that office until 1840, 
when being chosen a senator of the United States he resigned the 
Judgeship and accepted the latter appointment, and continued to 
hold it by virtue of a second appointment until his death in 1847. 
In all which stations he performed the duties thereof with honor to 
himself and to the entire satisfaction of the pubHc. His moral char- 
acter was irreproachable ; a professor of religion and an observer of 
its precepts. Late in life he was married, but it is believed left no 
issue. Soon after election to Congress he removed to his native 
town and died there. 


Phineas Miner, a very respectable and somewhat eminent mem- 
ber of the Litchfield County Bar, was a native of Winchester in that 
county, and there, and in that region, as far as by the writer hereof 
known, received his entire training and education m all respects. At 
an early period in life he commenced the practice of law m the place 


of his birth, in the society of Winsted, as is believed, a place of a 
great deal of active manufacturing busines's and furnishing an ample 
share of employment for gentlemen of the legal profession, of which 
Mr. Miner soon acquired an ample share, and at no distant period, 
an engrossing one, with which he appeared in court from term to 
term until he felt warranted in the expectation of drawing after him 
an engagement in all the disputable cases from that fruitful quarter,- 
when he removed to Ivitchfield and was much employed as an advo- 
cate for a number of years, and until his health rather prematurely 
failed, and he became the victim of great mental and bodily suffer- 
ing, until relieved by death before reaching the ordinary period at 
which old age begins to make its effects much perceptible in the hu- 
man frame. As an advocate Mr. Miner was ■ ardent, impassioned 
and fluent, but in his apparent great ambition to be eloquent he 
often made use of figures of speech which a more chastened and 
correct training in youth would have taught hirn to avoid, and less 
wounding to an ear of taste, but the fault apparent to all, was the 
extreme prolixity of his arguments; but these faults notwithstand- 
ing, Mr. Miner was a respectable and able advocate. 

Before his removal to Litchfield Mr. Miner was an early and 
frequent member of the legislature from his native town and after 
his removal there, a member of the state senate for the fifteenth 
district, and was also elected to fill a vacancy in the second session 
of the twenty-third Congress. 

Mr. Miner was twice married, but it Is believed, left no issue, 
but of this the writer is uncertain. He led a strictly moral life and 
was justly esteemed a good maii. 

- i,b;man church. 

One more attempt to comply with your repeated requests. Le- 
man. Church,. a late member of the Litchfield County Bar, was a na- 
tive of Salisbury in this county, a son of an opulent farmer of that 
town, . and in it, it is supposed, he received his education, both 
scholastic and professional ; the latter in the office of his half- 
brother, Samuel Church, afterwards a Judge of the Superior Court, 
and finally Chief Justice of thg same, and after his admission to the 
bar he opened an office in North Canaan, where he resided during 
the remainder of his life. Mr. Church was successful in acquiring 
at an early period a promising share of professional business, which 
steadily increased, until by the middle of professional life he occu- 
pied a stand among the leading advocates at the bar ; and towards 
the close of life there was scarce a cause, especially in the higher 
Courts, of considerable importance discussed, in which he was not 

boardman's sketches 67 

In September, 1833, Mr. Church was appointed by the Court, 
State's Attorney, as successor to his brother Samuel, on the latter's 
ekvation to the bench of the Superior Court, and held that office by 
annual re-appointments until September term, 1838, when by a politi- 
cal change in the court he was required to yield the place to another ; 
it is believed, however, that he afterwards for a time, re-occupied 
that place, but not positively recollected. 

As a speaker he was cool, unimpassioned and ingenious ; he never 
attempted to affect the passions of those he addressed, and being 
destitute of passion himself, was consequently incapable of moving 
the passions of others; he never attempted to be eloquent or made 
use of a merely ornate expression, his object in speaking was effect, 
and that wholly directed to his cause and not to himself ; in the man- 
agement of a case he was always cool and self-possessed ; no sud- 
, den and unexpected turn in the progress of a trial disconcerted 
him, or appeared to be unexpected by him; no collision at the bar 
ever appeared to affect his temper in the least. With such a tem- 
perament it is obvious that the legal profession, was of all the pro- 
fessions, the one for hini, and that in which he was calculated to 

Mr. Church was always entirely regardless of personal appear- 
ance and dress ; he was. very small, meager and ill formed, his fea- 
tures quite ordinary, but all this very indifferent appearance was res- 
cued from inattention by a most remarkably attractive and intelli- 
gent eye. 

Mr. Church was frequently a representative to the Legislature 
from Canaan, and never failed to make an impression upon that 
body; and to his sagacious management is attributable the preseva- 
tion of the Housatonic Railroad from ruin, as a commissioner there- 
on appointed by the Legislature, with power, together with his as- 
sociate in office, Mr. Pond, to sell and consequently to destroy the 
road which seemed to be a favorite object with them for a time. 

Mr. Church died in the midst of life as a professional man, July 
1849. I ^"T "nable to state the particulars of his family. 

§B&guiirk*0 Sfifta l^ata 












Litchfield, Feb. 9, 1870. 
Gen. Sedgwick: 

My Dear Sir — At a bar meeting held this noon the following 
resolution was offered by E. W. Seymour and unanimously adopted : 

Whereas, at the next term of this Court Gen. C. F. Sedgwick 
will have completed a fifty years connection with this bar as a re- 
spected member thereof, 

Resolved, That he be invited to deliver an address in the Court 
Room at such time next term as may be convenient to him upon some 
subject connected with his long professional career. 

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to extend this 
invitation to the General and to make arrangements that may be 
necessary in case the invitation be accepted, 

O. S. Seymour, J. H. Hubbard and Abijah Catlin were appointed 
a committee for this purpose. 

It gives the committee great pleasure to communicate the fore- 
going proceedings to you and we hope you will gratify us by accept- 
ing the invitation. We will at any time confer with you upon the 
subject of what arrangements should be made. 

Yours truly, O. S. Seymour^ 

For the Committee. 

The committee of the Litchfield County Bar have received the 
annexed letter from General Sedgwick and have agreed upon Wed- 
nesday evening, the 13th of April, for hearing the commemoration 
discourse at the Court Room. Members of the Bar of other Courts 
and the public generally are invited to attend. 

J. H. Hubbard, 
O. S. Seymour, 
Abijah Catlin, 


Litchfield, March 14, 1870. 

SwHARON, March 12, 1870. 

Judge Seymour : 

Dear Sir — I received, in due time, yours, written in behalf of 
the committee of the Bar, and owe you an apology for not giving 
it an earlier answer. The truth is that I have hesitated to give an 
affirmative response from a feeling of incompetency to get up any 
thing which would be of any interest to my kind friends of the Bar 


whose polite proceedings you communicate. But the respect which 
I feel for them combined with a feeling of gratitude for the past 
kindnesses as well as the urgency of many individuals of the profes- 
sion here as well as in other counties have persuaded me to make 
the attempt to comply with their wishes, and I will try to get up a 
commemoration discourse to be read to the Bar at the next term of 
the Court. As Good Friday will come during the first week of Court 
I will suggest Wednesday evening of that week for the hearing 
instead of Thursday, but in this I will conform to the wishes of the 
committee. If they should fix on any other evening please notify 

Yours, respectfully, 

C. F. Sedgwick. 

The statement that I have been for fifty years a member of the 
bar of this county, admonishes me of a rapid journey across the stage 
of life, from its morning to its evening. Those years have sped 
away, and they have embraced a large portion of the time usually 
alloted to man as the period of his existence here. 
"Large space are they 

Of man's brief life, those fifty years; they join 

Its ruddy morning with the paler light 

Of its declining hours." 
They have swept oflf in their current nearly every one who was 
active in the proceedings of the courts of chis county, at the com- 
mencement of that period. It did not then occur to me to consider 
the question whether I should outlive nearly all my associates at the 
bar, but of the forty-four members who were then in active practice 
here, all save three, and they are not now in practice, have preceded 
me on their journey to the grave. Some have laid their bones in 
distant parts of the country, but with the exception above named, 
all have gone to their last account. 

I suppose it to be the wish of the bar, as it has been intimated 
to me, that I should say something of those who were active in con- 
ducting the judicial proceedings in this County, fifty years ago. 
This will imply a notice of the judges, clerks and officers of the court, 
as well as the legal profession. A wide field is open before me, 
and I fear the exploration which I shall give it will be of very little 
interest to my brethren, but such impressions of the men of those 
times as remain with me, I will endeavor to lay before them. 


The Courts had then just been organized under the present Con- 
stitution of the State. Under the old government, the Supi^eme 

Sedgwick's address 73 

Court consisted of nine judges, and they were elected annually by the 
legislature. Under the Constitution, the number was reduced to 
five, and they held their office during good behaviour, or until they 
reached the age of seventy years. In like manner, the judges of the 
County Courts were reduced from five to three. Formerly these 
judges held the Superior Courts, but under the Constitution, they 
were holden by one judge. The old Court has embodied as high an 
order of judicial talent as any other Court in any of the States, and 
when the appointment of the judges under the new organization was 
in contemplation, much anxiety was felt among the members of the 
legal profession lest the character of the Court should deteriorate. 
Chief Justice Swift was very popular with all classes, and it was 
thought that his high character as a jurist, and his spotless charac- 
ter as a man, would render it pretty certain that he be retained at 
the head of the new Court. But the, party then in power, known in 
our-political-history as the Toleration party, determined to make an 
almost entire change in the material of the Court, and to man the 
bench with new incumbents. For the new Chief Justice, they select- 
ed the Hon. Stephen Titus Hosmer, of Middletown, who had been 
a member of the old Court some three or four years, and who, it was 
clairried, had voted the ticket of the party at the next preceding 
election. It was laid to his charge*' that he had done so with the 
intent of thereby obtaining the position which he was afterwards 
called to fill. The other judges were John T. Peters, Asa Chapman, 
Jeremiah Gates Brainard, and William Bristol. Judge Brainard 
was of the old Court, and it was the intention of the ruling party to 
put James Lanman in the place ; but some of the tolerationists of 
New London County did not believe him qualified to fill it, and 
refused to vote for him. Judge Brainard was of the same county, 
and the federalists naturally rallied upon him in opposition to Lan- 
man, and with the aid of dissentient tolerationists, Brainard was 
elected.- He was the only old federalist on the bench, till Daggett 
came on, in 1826. 


Stephen Titus Hosmer was a lawyer of eminence in his peculiar 
way. He had no very high standing as an advocate, but as a lawyer, 
learned in elementary principles his position was a very good one. 
A gentleman who had heard him, told me that his manner was hard 
and dry, and his elocution very defective, but in some branches of 
legal science he had few superiors. He seemed to delight in ex- 
ploring ancient paths in search of legal principles, and in getting 
up old legal tracts and dissertations. In the first volume of Day's 
Reports, there is a note of forty pages of fine print, containing an 
opinion of Lord Camden, of the English Court of Common Pleas, 


which has hardly a rival in judicial learning or eloquence. Mr. Day 
informed me that this was presented him in manuscript by Mr. Hos- 
mer, there being then no printed copy of it on this side of the At- 
lantic. He was appointed a Judge of the old Court in 1815, but be- 
ing one of the younger judges, it never fell to his lot to preside on 
the trial of a case, until his accession to the Chief Justiceship. His 
career, on the whole, was very successful, both at nisi prius, and on 
the bench of the Supreme Court. His apprehension of the points 
involved in the case before him, was very quick, and the first inti- 
mation he gave on incidental matters occurring in the course of the 
trial, was a sure indication of what the result would be ; and al- 
though he would take special pains to say to the counsel that he 
had formed no opinion, the party against whom he leaned knew 
that his fate was sealed. His labors in his official duties, must have 
been immense. It fell to his lot to give the opinion of the Court 
in nearl}' all the cases tried in the Supreme Court for several years 
after his appointment, and nearly all the material of the third, fourth 
and fifth large volumes of the Connecticut Reports are the result 
of his study of the cases before the Court, and some of them are 
very learned and labored. His illustrations in the case of Mitchell 
vs. Warner, in the 2d of Connecticut Reports, of the extent of the 
obligations incurred in the covenants of a deed, explained the sub- 
ject to me, when I was young, better than anything I had before 
read on the subject. 

It seemed to be his object to render himself as agreeable as pos- 
sible to the members of the bar, sometimes employing his leisure 
moments on the bench in furnishing prescriptions for human ail- 
ments, such as corns on the toes, and handing them -over to such 
members as stood in need of them. Then he would hand over a 
formula for making, as he said, the best kind of lic[uid blacking for 
our boots. In fact, every thing which he had prescribed, he always 
designated as the very best. At one term of the Court, Phineas 
Miner, Esq., who had lived a widower for several years, was about 
being married, which fact was intimated to the Judge. While he 
sat waiting on the bench for the preparation of some business, he 
spoke out suddenly, "Gentlemen! Is there a vacant cell in your jail? 
Won't it be necessary for me to commit Mr. Miner to prevent his do- 
ing some rash act?" The laugh was thoroughly turned upon poor 
Miner, and the whole scene was very enjoyable. He employed all 
his leisure hours in obtaining all the relaxation which was within 
his reach. He played on the piano and violin, and sang with great 
power and effect. 

There was no perceptible waning of his powers, physical or men- 
tal, during the time of his service on the Court. He retired from 
the bench at the age of 70 years, in February, 1833, and died, after 
a short illness, in less than two years thereafter. 



John Thompson Peters was the senior Associate Judge of the 
Court, and he held his first circuit in this County. He was a native 
of Hebron, and a lawyer of respectable standing. His fellow-citi- 
zens had often honored him with a seat in the Legislature, and thus 
he had become tolerably well known in the State. When the United 
States direct tax was laid in 1813, he was appointed Cbllector for 
the first district, removed to Hartford, and held that office when 
he was appointed Judge. He had been one of the leaders of the 
Democratic party from its formation; and, as an Episcopalian, had 
opposed the claims of the "Standing Order" to ecclesiastical prior- 
ity, and some apprehensions were felt lest his well known views on 
these subjects might temper his opinions on those questions inci- 
dentally involving them. Many fears were entertained as to the 
stability of ecclesiastical funds which existed in almost every Con- 
gregational parish, and those who desired to break them down look- 
ed to Judge Peters and his influence with the Court to aid them. 
But those who entertained such hopes were destined to an early dis- 
appointment, as their first experience of his administration on such 
questions showed him to be disposed to stand firmly on the old 
paths. He used to tell an amusing anecdote relating to his first 
trial of such a case in one of the Eastern Counties of the State, 
where he was appealed to, very strongly, to decide that a promise 
to pay money in aid of such funds was without consideration. But 
he told the parties that the law on that subject was well settled, and, 
in his opinion, founded on correct principles ; and that if he had 
the power, he had not the disposition to change it. It had been the 
practice of the Congregational pastor of the village, to open the 
proceedings in Court with prayer, but considering Peters to be a 
heretic, (I use the Judge's own language,) he had never invited 
Divine favor for him, but after that decision, every prayer was 
charged with invocations of blessings upon "thy sarvcnt, the judge." 

He was verv severe in meting out the punishments of the law to 
convicted criminals, generally inflicting the severest sentence that 
the law would allow. One case was tried before him which excited 
much remark and some reprehension. A man had been convicted 
before Judge Lanman of a State prison offence, had been sentenced 
to four years' imprisonment and had served a partof a year, when 
he obtained a new trial. He was tried again before Judge Peters, 
and again convicted. When the time came to pass sentence on the 
last conviction, his counsel asked for some mitigation on account 
of the imprisonment already suffered. Said the Judge "He must 
settle that account with Judge Lanman. He owes me five years' 
imprisonment in State prison"— and such was the sentence. One 
prisoner who had received a severe sentence at his hands, after the 
expiration of his confinement, burned the Judge's barn, and he 


petitioned the Legislature of the State to pay for it, in 1813, but 
they dechned to make the compensation. 

For a few years, the services of Judge Peters on the bench were 
very acceptable. His decisions were prompt, and generally found- 
ed on a sensible view of the matter before him, without any affect- 
tation of learning or display of oratory. His entire candor and fair- 
ness were never called in question, and the decay of his powers, 
which was very apparent towards the close of his career, was 
observed by the bar with sorrow and regret. I witnessed an af- 
fecting scene connected with his experience on the bench, which 
excited a deep feeling of sympathy. He had a favorite son, Hugh 
Peters, Esq., whom he had educated at Yale College, and in whom 
all his hopes seemed to centre. This young man, in connection 
with George D. Prentice, the noted Editor, had-much to do in con- 
ducting the New England fF^^fe/y Review, a paper just estabHshed 
in Hartford, and which was the organ of the party which elected 
William W. Ellsworth, Jabez W. Huntington, and William L. 
Storrs to Congress. He had acquired a wide reputation as a writer 
.of brilliant promise, and after a while went to Cincinnati to go into 
business as a lawyer. On his way across Long Island Sound, he 
wrote a Farewell to New England in poetry, which was published 
with great commendation, in most of the newspapers in the country. 
Soon after his arrival at Cincinnati, his dead body was found float- 
ing in the Ohio, several miles below the city, and circumstances were 
such as to create the belief in some minds that it was a case of suicide. 
The intelligence of this sad event was brought to Litchfield while 
the Court of Errors was in session in June, 183 1. It was first com- 
municated to Judge Williams, who s^-t next to Judge Peters ; and he, 
with all possible tenderness, informed the htter. The Reporter, Mr. 
Day, in giving the report of the case on trial, closing it by saying: 
"Peters, Judge, having received, during the argument of this case, 
intelligence of the death of his son, Hugh Peters, Esq., of Cincinnati, 
left the Court House, 'multa gemens casuque animum concessus,' 
and gave no opinion." I witnessed the mournful scene, and I well 
remember the loud and plaintive groans of the afflicted old man as he 
passed out of the Court room and down the stairway to his lodg- 

When Chief Justice Hosmer retired from the bench, the Legisla- 
ture, by a very strong vote, elected Judge Peters' junior. Judge Dag- 
gett, Chief Justice. He felt the slight, but did not retire, and held 
his place till his death in August, 1834. A few weeks longer, and 
he would have reached the age of seventy years. 


The next Judge in seniority was Asa Chapman, of Newtown, in 
Fairfield County. For several years before he received the appoint- 

Sedgwick's address 'j'j 

ment, he practiced to some extent in this County, and was, of course, 
well known here. He was the father of the late Charles Chapman of 
Hartford. He was somewhat taller than the son, and with his bald 
head, white locks, thin face, and grey eyes, he resembled him not a 
little in personal appearance, but he had none of that bitterness of 
manner or spirit which characterized the eflforts of the younger Chap- 
man. He was an Episcopalian in religious faith, and he had very 
naturally fallen into the ranks of the new party, and being well quali- 
fied for the place in point of legal ability, he made a very acceptable 
and popular Judge. He was a man of good humor, genial temper, 
and great colloquial powers, which he exercised very freely on the 
trial of cases. If a lawyer undertook to argue a case before him, 
he soon found himself engaged in a friendly, familiar conversation 
with the Judge the evident intent of the latter being to draw out 
the truth and justice of the case. His adminstration was very 
popular, and his early death was greatly deplored. He died of con- 
■ sumption in 1826, at the age of fifty-six years. 


Jeremiah Gates Brainard, of New London, the father of the poet 
Brainard, was next in seniority on the bench. He had been a mem- 
ber of the old Court from 1807 and he was elected to the new Court, 
under the circumstances which I have mentioned. He was a man of 
no showy pretensions, very plain and simple in his manners, and 
very familiar in his intercourse with the Bar. He affected very 
little dignity on the bench, and yet he was regarded as an ex- 
cellent Judge. He dispatched business with great facility, and im- 
plicit confidence was placed in his sound judgment and integritx. 
He resigned his place on the bench in 1829, his health not being 
equal to the duties of the office, having served as judge for twenty- 
two years. 


Of all the judges on the bench, William Bristol of New Haven 
was the youngest in years as well as in . rank. He had not been 
much known as a lawyer, out of the County of New Haven, and, of 
course his coming here was looked for with considerable interest. 
He evidently had a high sense of judicial dignity, his manners on 
the bench being very taciturn, approaching severeness, very seldom 
speaking, except to announce his decisions in the fewest possible 
words, and I doubt if any one ever saw him smile in Court. His 
decisions were sound and well considered and, upon the whole, his 
administration was respectable, although he could not be said to 
have had much personal popularity at the bar. 



The decease of Judge Chapman and the resignation of Judge 
Bristol in 1826, created two vacancies in the Court which were to 
be filled at the session of the Legislature of that year. The same 
party which had effected the change in the government of the state, 
and in the constitution of the Court, was still in power, but nearly 
all the eminent lawyers in the State adhered to the federal party. 
Probably the most obnoxious man in the state to the dominant party 
was David Daggett, not so much from personal dislike as from his 
prominence in the ranks of his party. His talents, integrity and 
high legal abilitties were conceeded by everyone, but when the legis- 
lature assembled, there was probably not a man in the state who 
looked. to his election as a judge. 

There were a few men in the state belonging to the toleration 
party who felt deeply the importance of having a reputable court, 
and who, on this question, were willing to forego all party considera- 
tion. Morris Woodruff, of Litchfield County, Thaddeus Betts and 
Charles Hawley, of Fairfield County, Walter Booth, of New Haven 
County, and Charles J. McCurdy, of New London County, were 
men of that stamp; and it was through the influence of these men, 
and of others of less prominence, that David Daggett was elected a 
Judge of the Supreme Court. The same influence, exerted by the 
same men, secured the election of Judges Williams and Bissell, three 
years later. 

After the election of Judge Daggett was effected, no one seemed 
to care who the other judge might be, as with Chief Justice Hos- 
mer at the head of the court, and Judge Daggett as an associate, it 
was felt that it could have a highly respectable character. The 
Hon. James Lanman received the appointment, but after a short 
term of service, resigned. 

An elaborate sketch of Judge Daggett is given in the twentieth 
volume of our reports. 


There were sessions of the Superior Court in each year, holden 
on the third Tuesdays of August and February, and the terms rare- 
ly extended beyond two weeks. If they reached to the third week 
they were deemed to be of extraordinary length. The Superior 
Cburt had no original jurisdiction, except as a court of equity. 
All its actions at law came up by appeal from the County Court, 
and generally important cases were carried up without trial in the 
court below. The party wishing to appeal his case would demun, 
either to the declaration or plea, as the case might be, suffer a 
judgment to be entered against him, and appeal from it and then 





Sedgwick's address 79 

change his plea in the Superior Court as the exigencies of his case ' 
may require. The making of copies in the case appealed was a ' 
very profitable item in the business of the clerk. All cases at law 
wherein the matter in demand exceeded seventy dollars were ap- 
pealable, and all matters in equity in which the sum involved ex- 
ceeded three hundred dollars were brought originally to the Su- 
perior Court. In criminal matters the jurisdiction of both courts 
was concurrent, except in crimes of a higher grade which were 
tried exclusively in the Superior Court. A case was pretty certain 
to reach a trial at the second term after it was entered in the 
docket, unless special reasons could be shown for its further con- 


The County Court had an important agency in the administra- 
tion of Justice, fifty years ago. Under the old form of govern- 
ment it consisted of one judge and four justices of the quorum; 
under the constitution, of one Chief Judge and two associate judges. 
When I came to the bar Augustus Pettibone of Norfolk was Chief 
Judge; Martin Strong, of Salisbury, and John Welch, of Litch- 
field, associate judges. Judge Pettibone had presided for several 
years in the old court, and although he was a federalist of decided 
convictions, he was continued in office by the party in power until 
he resigned the place in 1832. It will be remembered that the 
judges in this court were appointed annually by the legislature. 
Judge Pettibone had a high standing as a man of integrity and of 
sound common sense. His early education was deficient and he 
made many grammatical mistakes in his charges to the jury, but 
he had been esteemed, and was a lawyer of respectable attainments. 
He was a native of Norfolk, where he lived to a very great age. 
He was tall and slender in person, somewhat round shouldered 
with hair which was very abundant and which remained so during 
life. No one could doubt the fairness and good sense of his de- 
cisions; and, upon the whole, his career as a judge was creditable 
to his reputation. 

JUDGE strong. 

Martin Strong of Salisbury, was the senior associate judge. 
He was a son of Col. Adonijah Strong of that town, a lawyer of 
the olden time, of whose wit as well as blunders, many stories were 
rife fifty years ogo. Colonel Strong had four sons all' of whom 
entered into professional life, two as clergymen and two as law- 
yers. His son, the Rev. William Strong, was father of the Hon. 
William Strong, of Pennsylvania, recently appointed an associate 
justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Our Judge 


Martin ^Strong had been a member of the bar for several years, but 
had never made a very high mark in his profession — in fact he had 
never devoted himself very assiduously to the discharge of its du- 
ties. He owned a large and valuable farm on the town hill in Salis- 
bury, and his principal business was 'to attend to that. When he 
came upon the bench he seemed' to have a recollection of a few 
plain legal maxims, but his methods of applying them to cases was 
not always the most skillful. He was a man of immense physical 
dimensions, and when he had taken his seat on the bench, he sat 
in perfect quiet, until the lofld proclamation of the sheriff an- 
nounced the adjournment of the court. He remained in office 
till 1829, when William M. Burrall, Esq., of Canaan, took his place. 


The junior judge of the court was the Hon. John Welch of 
Litchfield. He was a native of the parish of Milton and a gradu- 
ate of Yale College in the class of 1778, a class which is said to 
have produced more eminent men in proportion to its numbers than 
any other which ever graduated at that institution. Joel Barlow, 
Zephahiah Swift, Uriah Tracy, Noah Webster and the last Gover- 
nor Wolcott, with many other distinguished men, were of the class. 

Judge Welch never entered either of the professions, but he 
lived to a very great age. He was appointed a judge of the County 
Court in the place of Cyrus Swan, Esq., of Sharon, who had re- 
signed his position on the bench of the court in 1819. Judge 
Welch continued on the bench till he became disqualified by age in 
1829. He made no pretentions to legal learning but his decisions 
were based on a fair impartial view of the questions as they came 
up. He always gave reasons for the opinion he had formed, al- 
ways made himself well understood, and his candor, fairness and 
sound judgment were admitted by all. 


In 1829, when Judge Welch must retire on account of his age, 
it was deemed proper by the legislature to make new appointments 
of both associate judges. Judge Strong had been twelve years on 
the bench, and in his place William M. Burrall, Esq., of Canaan, 
was appointed senior associate judge, and Gen. Morris Woodruff 
took the place of Judge Welch. The court continued thus organ- 
ized till the resignation of Judge Pettibone, when, not only with 
the consent, but with the decided approval of both associate judges, 
David S. Boardman, Esq.,- af New Milford, was taken from the 
bar and installed Chief Judge of the County Court, which as then 
constituted, held a high position in public confidence. 

Sedgwick's address^ 



The Clerk of the Court was the Hon. Frederick Wokott, who 
was appointed as early as 1781, and who retained the place till 1835, 
when he resigned, after a service of forty-four years. He was a 
son of the second, and a brother of the late Governor of that name, 
and undoubtedly cherished highly aristocratic feelings and had a 
great amount of family pride, but his intercourse with the members 
of the bar was gentlemanly and conciliatory. He was of a noble 
presence, large and manly in person, and always dressed jn the 
best style of the ancient fashion of small clothes, white stockings, 
and white topped boots. His knowledge of legal proceedings in 
the County, ran back so far that no one ever presumed to question 
his accuracy as to leeal forms and precedents. When his resigna- 
tion was accepted by the Court, a minute, preoared bv Judge Bur- 
rail, which referred to his long and faithful service, and which con- 


tained the statement that no judgment of the Court had ever been 
reversed on account of any mistake of the Clerk, was entered on 
the records of the County Court. He was a member of the Gover- 
nor's Council under the Charter Government, and was coutinued 
in the Senate for several years, under the constitution. 


Moses Seymour, Jr., Esq., was Sheriff of the County from 1819 
to 1825, but the active duties of the office were performed by his 
deputy, his brother Ozias, who had been a deputy of the old Sheriff 
Landon, and who had become well acquainted with the practical 
duties of the office as they were preformed in our County. He 
opened and adjourned the daily sessions, called parties to appear 
in court as their presence was demanded, and, in fact, was the ac- 
tive Sheriff in nearly all the proceedings. He succeeded his brother 
as Sheriff in 1825, and held the office till 1834. 


Nor must we omit to mention here, the messenger of that day, 
good old Uncle John Stone. How long He had held the place be- 
fore 1820, I know not, but I found him here then, and it took, but a 
very short time to make his acquaintance, and learn his kindness 
of heart. He had a kind of dry humor, which sometimes showed 
itself in witty sayings, and sometimes in pungent sarcasms. He 
was a faithful messenger, an honest man, and to all human appear- 
ance, a sincere christian. He retained his place till he fell de^fl in 
the public highwa}-, in 1830, in a fit of apoplexy. 


There were three sessions of the old County Court in each year 
in March, September and December. The September term was 
generally short, merely disposing of the criminal business and such 
other prehminary matters as could not be passed over. The Ma;[ch 
term lasted three weeks, and the December term from ifoiif to six 
weeks, as the business might demand. The first half day" was al- 
ways taken up in calling the docket. Mr. Wolcott-had his files ar- 
ranged alphabetically, corresponding with the entries -on the docket; 
and of these some member of the bar, usually one of the younger, 
had charge. The Sheriff took his station in the center of the bar' 

Sedgwick's address 83 

and as the cases were named by the Clerk, the proper entries were 
made both on the docket and on the file, and then the file was passed 
to the Sheriff, who delivered it to the party entitled to it and thus 
at the close of the proceedings all the files had passed into the hands' 
of the members of the bar where they remained until the case re- 
ceived final disposition. Three hundred cases were considered as 
constituting a small docket and I have known as many as nine 
hundred entered at a single term. 


When I came to the bar in 1820, there were two grades of law- 
yers in the State. The first admission only authorized the candi- 
date to practice at the County Court, and a service of two years 
was required at that bar before he was allowed an examination for 
admission to the bar of the Superior Court; and I was at the bar 
of the County Court for a year or more in expectation of under- 
going another ordeal in the upper Court. In the meantime the 
statutes of the State had been revised under the superintendence of 
Judge Swift and many and material alterations had been made to 
conform the provisions of the law to the new order of things under 
the constitutions. The question came before Judge Brainard and 
he decided that under the revised statutes an admission to the bar 
of the County Court gave the candidate authority to practice in all 
the Courts in the State, and that decision was assented to by all the 

The matter of examining candidates for admission to the bar 
was, in those days, an imposing solemnity, and the day for that 
proceeding was a marked day of the term. All the members of the 
bar were expected to be present and few failed of attending. The 
committee of examination occupied the judges seats; the chair- 
man holding the place of the Chief Judge, indicating to each separ- 
ate member of the committee the subject in which he was expected 
to examine the candidate, and thus a thorough and searching ex- 
amination was had. After the examination was closed the candi- 
dates retired, and the members of the ba;- gave their opinions 
seriatim on the question of the admission of the applicant. Some- 
times candidates were rejected. It had been the practice in early 
times to have an entertainment at the close of the examination at 
the expense of the successful candidates, but this had been dispensed 
with when I was examined. Stories were told of some eminent 
members of the bar who, on such occasions, indulged in practices 
which were not creditable to their reputation for temperance and 
sobriety. Perhaps it was for this reason that the practice was 



Statutory provisions and the advance of legal science, as well 
as a more just sense of what is due to the best interest of litigation, 
have made great changes in the course of proceedings before the 
Courts, during the last fifty years. Then, it was customary for 
counsel to take advantage of any trivial omission which could be 
found in the proceedings, and a case nevei- came to trial until every 
possible effort for abatement or delay, had been exhausted. Our 
Statute in relation to amendments had not then received so liberal 
a construction, nor was it in itself so liberal in its provisions as it 
now is ; and thus opportunity was afforded for the display of much 
ingenuity in the prosecution of dilatory pleas. 

Then, there were no statutory provisions relating to injunctions. 
All the power which the Court had in that matter being that with 
which it was invested by the common law as a Court of Equity, and 
hence, very little will be found in our Reports on this subject, until 
about 1826, after the Statute authorizing the judges to grant tem^ 
porary injunctions had been passed. This Statute was introduced 
into the legislature by Judge Swift, who was a member for several 
sessions after his retirement from the bench. Since then many 
cases relating to this branch of jurisprudence, have been before our 

Probably more than half the suits commenced in our County 
Courts, fifty years ago, were brought to enforce the collection of 
debts, and in some localities this was a profitable business. The 
County Court then had jurisdiction in all cases where the matter 
in demand exceeded the sum of fifteen dollars, and this brought into 
it a great number of suits now tried by single justices, and accounts 
for the great diminution in the ijumber of cases now brought here. 

Piles of learning were devoted to destruction by the edict of the 
legislature, admitting parties and other persons in interest to be 
heard as witnesses. The nicest and most refined legal questions 
were frequently brought before the Courts for decision in matters 
relating to the interest of witnesses, but now they are almost for- 
gotten by the most learned of the profession. 


The Statutes then in force were the Revision of 1808, by far the 
most elaborate and complete of any ever published. It contains 
a complete history of the legislation of Connecticut on all subjects 
of statutory enactment from the first, and is still a useful book for 
study by the profession. The principal labor of its preparation for 
publication was performed by Thomas Day. 

Comparatively few American authorities were cited in our 

Sedgwick's address 85 

Courts, then. Mr. Day had published four volumes of Day's Re- 
ports, and then had suspended further publication for want of en- 
couragement. The Legislature, in 181 5, had authorized the Court 
to appoint a Reporter, and had given him a salary. Under such an 
appointment, Mr. Day had commenced publishing the Connecticut 
Reports, and had published three volumes of them, when he publish- 
ed the fifth of Day, thus filling the gap between the fourth of Day 
and the first of Connecticut. The N. Y. Reports, by Caine and 
Johnson, down to the 12th of Johnson, and twelve volumes of the 
Massachusetts Reports, were out, and these, with our Reports, were 
about the only American authorities which were cited in our Courts 
Not a single American elementary work had then been published, ex- 
cept Swift's System arid Swift's Evidence. The Enghsh Reports from 
Burrows down, including Douglas', Cowper's, Term, and East's 
Reports, down to the 12th volume, with Blackstone's Commentaries, 
which were always on the table, were the staple authorities of the 
times. I remark in passing, that Judge Reeve said that he consider- 
ed Cowper^s Reports the best that had then been published of the 
decisions of the Court of King's bench. 

But it is time to speak of the warriors in those bloodless forensic 
battles which were fought on this field, fifty years ago. They are all 
fresh in my memory, but they have passed from the stage of life. 
I have delayed this part of my undertaking to the last moment, from 
the mere dread of entering upon it. I feel it to be a very difficult 
task to present the lawyers of those days to the profession now, in 
anything like their just attitude. Men of the hig'hest attainments at 
the bar are entirely different from each other. Many Httle things 
which cannot be detailed enter into the composition of the characters 
of different men. The same qualities mingle in unequal proportions 
in different persons and I feel embarrassed in every way as I ap- 
proach the task of speaking of the professional gentlemen who 
manned the post of duty on this field, fifty years ago. 

There were then, as now, two clases of the profession here. One 
class had a local practice, being principally engaged in causes arising 
in their immediate locality. The practice of the other class was 
co-extensive with the power of their ability and not always confined 
to the county — of this later class there were several here. 


The Honorable James Gould had undoubtedly stood at the head 
of the profession in this state, both as an advocate and a lawyer, 
previous to his elevation to the bench of the Supreme Court. After 
his retirement from that position he professed to have retired from 
practice, and devoted himself principally to giving law lectures to 


Students, but in two cases in this county, and one in Hartford County, 
he came to the bar and conducted the trials. One was the case of 
the Phoenix Bank against Governor Wolcott and others, in which 
the Governor endeavored to avoid payment of a debt for which he 
was only a surety, on the grounds of usury. It was a proceeding 
in equity, and the argument of Judge Gould was exceedingly able and 
elaborate. He occasionally indulged in keen, cutting sarcasms, 
which pointed strongly to the Honorable defendant who was present. 
His argument was what Cotton Mather would call "a luculent com- 
mentary" on the law of usury. The case was decided in favor of 
the Bank. 

The other was a trial to the jury in which a very intimate friend 
of Judge Gould was a party, and in this case his professional emi- 
nence was exhibited in a very striking manner. In his argument 
he was entirely unimpassioned, and remarkably clear in his illustra- 
tions. He stood much of the time with his hand on a book, which 
stood on one end, on the table before him, and I do not remember 
that he made a single gesture during the whole time of his argu- 
ment. He occupied the attention of the court and. jury for an hour 
and a half, and it was the last case he tried. He was a perfect master 
of the most effective method of delivery. In his written opinions 
while on the bench there is sometimes an involution of thought and 
language as well as a prolongation of sentences which renders neces- 
sary the strictest attention while reading to work out the true mean- 
ing, but in his oral deliveries he had such a perfect mastery of the 
laws of accent, emphasis and cadence as to make his meaning in- 
telligible to the most careless hearer. The exhibition^ of his ability 
in this case was an appropriate closing effort of a long career of high 
professional eminence. 

There were a few other members of the bar, not reaching the 
eminence of Judge Gould, yet whose practice was co-extensive with 
the county and extended sometimes into other Counties. The names 
of the following gentlemen now occur to me as belonging to that 
class: Noah B. Benedict, Asa Bacon, Elijah Sterling, David S. 
Boardman and Phineas Miner. I have not included the name of 
Jabez W. Huntington, for the reason that he was then a young man 
and had not, by any means, reached the high standing which he 
afterwards attained. He was engaged in very many of the cases 
tried, but very often as a volunteer in aid of some young beginner 
who had sought his help, which under such circumstances he was 
always willing to render. For the same reason I have omitted the 
late Chief Justice Church because he was then just beginning to 
obtain a good professional standing, and was called to the bench of 
the Supreme Court which he afterwards greatly adorned before he 
had obtained the high rank as a lawyer which otherwise surely 
awaited him. 



From my best recollection of the standing of the first lawyers 
at the bar in those olden times, I am inclined to award the first place 
as an advocate to Noah B. Benedict. He had every advantage which 
a fine personal appearance could give him, not very tall, but well 
proportioned, with a countenance of great beauty, indicating kind- 
ness of feeling and intelligence of mind. His arguments produced 
conviction in the minds of the triers more by insinuation than by 
impression. He was earnest, but seldom impassioned, mild and 
winning in his manner, and thus worked his way as by stealth to 
the heart and convictions of the court and jury. I remember a case 
on trial in which he was opposed by Boardman ; and Benedict, who 
was for the defendant on the trial, contested the points inch by inch 
as they arose in the case. During an intermission some one asked 
Boardman how they were getting along with their case. He replied 
impatiently, "Not very well. Benedict is as ingenious as the devil 
can make him, and he plagues us to death." He was engaged in 
nearly all the important cases tried in all the courts, and his practice 
was extensive in New Haven and Fairfield counties. He attended 
the session of the Supreme Court at Litchfield in 1831 and argued 
several cases, but left on account of illness before the term closed. 
In a short time I heard he was dead. He had reached the age of 
sixty-one years. In the case of Fairman vs. Bacon the last case 
but one which Mr. Benedict argued. Judge Daggett, in giving the 
opinion of the court, pays the following tribute to his memory : "I 
have, in this opinion, made great use of a brief furnished by the late, 
lamented Mr. Benedict, because I found it presented the argument 
in that terse, yet luminous view of which that gentleman was so 
conspicuous, and by which the court were so often instructed and 
enlightened, and rarely more so than in this, one of his last efforts." 


Asa Bacon was a native of Canterbury and cahie to Litchfield as 
early as 1806, after a short period of practice at East Haven, and, 
for a while, was a partner of Judge Gould. In 1820 he had become 
a leading spirit at the bar. He had a fine personal appearance, being 
tall and well proportioned, and usually richly dressed. The first 
time I saw him before the jury his head was well cased in powder 
and pomatum, and a long queue was dangling at his back ; but he 
soon laid aside this conformity to old time fashions, although he was 
the last member of the bar to do so. He was undoubtedly a very 
hard student, and his briefs were the result of extensive and faithful 
study, but was after all an interesting speaker. He would sometimes 


interlude his aj-guments with specimens of drollery and flashes of 
wit, and the expectation that these would be put forth secured a very 
strict attention from all his hearers. He frequently quoted passages 
of scripture, and commented upon them, not always irreverently, 
but sometimes with rather unbecoming levity. He was a mortal 
enemy of universal suffrage, and once in commenting upon the para- 
ble of talents he called the bailee of one talent who had hid it in 
the earth a universal suifrage man. He was a genial, jolly, com- 
panionable man, and although not addicted to excessive liberality 
in his benefactions, still kept himself in good standing while he re- 
mained here. When he had reached the age of sixty years he was 
appointed president of the Branch of the Phoenix Bank, located in 
Litchfield, and after that was never seen professionally engaged in 
Court. The last years of his life were spent in New Haven where 
he died at a very advanced age. 


General Elisha Sterling was a native of Lyme and a graduate of 
Yale College in the class of 1787. He studied law with the Hon.- 
John Canfield of Sharon, who was his father-in-law, and settled in 
Salisbury in 1791. He was a man of high order of talent, and had- 
he addressed himself solely to professional points would probably 
have stood at the head of the bar in this county. But he loved 
money and gave much of his time to , different kinds of business, 
and acquired great wealth for those times. Notwithstanding this 
propensity he had an extensive practice and was engaged in most of 
the cases coming from the northern portions of the county. He 
was a ready speaker, not very select in the choice of words and 
not eloquent by any established rule of elocution, but there was a 
kind of impetuosity in his manner, accompanied by a rapid but dis- 
tinct utterance of language which gave him popularity as an advo- 
cate. He was appointed State's Attorney in 1814, and held the 
office six years when Seth P. Beers, Esq., was appointed in his place. 
He retired from practice soon after, and died in 1836, at the age of 
seventy-two years. His wealth enabled him to indulge the strong 
taste he had for a handsome style of living and equipage, and in 
that direction his mind had strong aristocratical tendencies. 


David S. Boardman was a native of New Milford and settled 
there in the practice of law after his admission to the bar in 1795. 

se;dcwick's address 89 

He was a man of retiring disposition, in no way giving showy dis- 
play of his powers, but he was a finished legal scholar, and was 
deemed a very safe and prudent professional adviser. He had a very 
nice literary taste, and the least grammatical blunder by a judge or 
lawyer attracted his attention and frequently his ridicule. His argu- 
ments were pointed specimens of perspicuity, precision and force, 
but he failed to attract much attention as an advocate through a 
defect of vocal power. His voice was feeble and could scarcely 
be heard except by those who were near him. He had a high char- 
acter for moral rectitude, and his four or five years service at the 
head of the County Court gave it a dignity and moral power which 
in other years it had scarcely obtained. Sketches from his pen, 
descriptive of some of the members of the bar in this County of the 
last century were published in one of our county papers, some 
twenty years ago, and they are of the deepest interest to those whose 
tastes lead them in that direction of historic inquiry. They were 
originally in letters written to myself, and were afterwards with his 
consent prepared for the press and published in the paper and in 
pamphlet form. He was a College classmate of Asa Bacon and 
they were warm personal friends. He lived to the great age of 
ninety-seven years. 


Phineas Miner, the last because the youngest of the class of 
lawyers to whom I have referred deserves a much more extended 
notice than I shall be able to give him. His amiable and genial 
temper as a man seemed to make him very popular as a lawyer. 
Fidelity to his client and a laborious attention to their interests was 
a marked trait in his professional career. He commenced practice ■ 
in Winchester, his native town, and had there acquired a good stand- 
ing in his profession when he came to Litchfield in 1816. He had 
an extensive practice and was noted for the diligence with which 
he pressed every point, however unimportant, which could be made 
to tell in favor of his client. His arguments were generally ex- 
tended to a great length, and I have known him to receive a gentle 
hint from the Judge recommending a condensation of his thoughts. 
He died in 1839 at the age of sixty years, and Mr. Day, the Reporter, 
gives a flattering estimate of him in a foot note on the 134th page 
of the 13th volume of Connecticut Reports. 

I am now to speak of a class of lawyers, much younger than those 
to whom I have already referred, but who had obtained a good 
standing at the bar fifty years ago. 



Of New Hartford, stood as high as any member of this class. He 
belonged to the eminent and reputable Williams family of Massachu- 
setts, his father being a nephew of Colonel Ephriam Williams the 
founder of Williams Cbllege, and himself the first cousin of Bishop 
Williams of the Episcopal Church of Connecticut. As a special 
pleader he had no superior at the bar. He had a tolerably fair stand- 
ing as an advocate, and was indefatigable in pursuing to the last 
possible eflfort any purpose he had undertaken. If he failed in one 
form of action he would try another, and never gave up till further 
persistence was hopeless. He commenced business as a lawyer in 
Sharon, where he married, but after a few years he removed to New 
Hartford, where he remained during his life. He had scarcely 
reached the age of sixty years when he died. 


Of Woodbury, his native town, was a lawyer of very fair standing. 
I remember once to have heard Judge Boardman say, that if he 
found John Strong differing from himself on a point, he always 
doubted the correctness of his own conclusions. He was a ready 
speaker and had a peculiar habit of looking all over the hall, fre- 
quently directly behind himself, while he was addressing the jury. 
His arguments were clear and logical, and he was always listened to 
by the court with attention. He had scarcely reached the age of 
fifty years when he died. ' 


Of Plymouth, had a very good reputation as a lawyer. He also 
stood well with his fellow citizens of Plymouth, as he was often a 
member of the legislature, and he was of the convention of this 
state. He was also a member of the Senate in 1832. He had a part 
in all cases which came from that town and managed a trial very 
well. He was earnest in his manner of addressing the jury, and he 
was in full practice up to the time of his death, when he had 
reached the age of seventy-two years. He died suddenly, while 
away from home, and left behind a good record as a faithful law- 
yer and an honest man. 


Of Stonington, came to the bar of this county in 1798. He settled 
in Sharon, and continued in full practice for twenty years. He was 


appointed a judge of the county court in 1818, and reappointed for 
the succeeding year, but resigning the office before the close of the 
term. His health becoming intolerant of sedentary habits and re- 
quiring out-door pursuits, he never resumed full practice, although 
he occasionally appeared in trials where his old friends demanded 
his aid. His arguments were clear, sound and sensible, and were 
listened to with attention. His mind was well stored with sound 
legal maxims and his aim seemed to be to make a sensible applica- 
tion of these to the case in hand. He died in 1835 at the age of 
sixty-five years. 


A younger brother of the General, with whom he studied law, 
settled first in Salisbury, but in 1808 went to Sharon, where he spent 
his life. His talents were diversified, addicting himself readily to 
any pursuit which was a source of money making, in which he was 
very -successful. As a lawyer, his forensic ability was of high 
order, nor was he deficient in legal science. His language flowed 
readily and rapidly, and sometimes his appeals to the jury were very 
efifective. He was a member of Congress for two terms, and did 
not conceal his disappointment that he was not nominated for the 
third. That compliment was afforded him two years later, but he 
was defeated by Orange Merwin whom the federalists had placed 
on their ticket. He died at the age of seventy-two years, leaving a 
large estate and a numerous family. 


Of Winsted, who died recently in Michigan at a very advanced age, 
was a man of moral talent and of a higher order of legal acquire- 
ments than he usually had credit for. After the removal of Mr. 
Miller to Litchfield, his practice was large and continued to be so for 
several years. His arguments were short, compact and logical, 
and were listened to with attention and interest. In middle life he 
removed to Michigan, where he had a prosperous career. 


A native, and through life a resident, of Canaan, was a lawyer of 
very extensive practice in one branch of business. He commenced 
a great many cases to the court, but never argued one on the final 


trial. He would sometimes argue motions for continuance, or for 
other purposes, and his success on such occasions showed that he 
had underrated his own powers. Although he did not argue his 
cases he was the master spirit in managing all the details of the trial, 
in what order witnesses should be called, and the points of testi- 
mony brought out. His associates depended greatly on his skill 
in conducting this part of the proceedings. He had a kind, affable 
and winning way in his social intercourse, and his offices were em- 
ployed in adjusting and settling legal controversies. He acted as 
committee and arbitrator in more cases than any pther member of 
the bar of his time, and if a desire to make himself as indifferent as 
possible to all parties sometimes seemed to hold him back from de- 
cisive action, he always, in the end, showed true firmness and in- 
tegrity. He was an associate judge of the County Court from 1829 
to 1836, and after that chief judge for ten years. He died at the 
age of seventy-seven years. 


Of New Preston, a very worthy and respectable gentleman, was a 
member of the bar and was very seldom absent from the courts. 
He never engaged in the trial of a case, and very seldom spoke to 
the bench, but he was always a busy man in the court room. He was 
one of the electors who cast the vote of Connecticut for John Quincy 
Adams for President in 1824. He died before he had reached a very 
advanced age. 


When I came to the bar in 1820, Seth P. Beers, Esq., was in full 
practice. He was appointed State's Attorney soon after, but resign- 
ed in three years, having been appointed Commissioner of the 
School Fund, which office he held for twenty-five years. I have 
heard him say tha't some terms of the Court he had commenced as 
many as one hundred and fifty cases, and he was very . thorough in 
all matters committed to his trust. His talents as an advocate' were 
respectable, his briefs being very full and his knowledge of every 
minute point being very complete. It is hardly necessary to speak 
further of him as he lived down to a period within the memory of^ 
most of those who are present. 


Of New Milford, held a somewhat prominent place at the bar and 
his practice was extensive. So many different estimates have been 



made of Mr. Smith's real qualities, that it is difficult to speak of him 
with any very strong assurance of correctness. That he had talents 
and friends the success he achieved both as a lawyer and a politician 
render certain, but those who remember the time of his professional 
experience, here, know that he had enemies, and such would be the 
natural result of the unrelenting bitterness with which he pursued 
his adversaries in his efforts before the courts. There was a bitter- 
ness in his invectives, a persistence in his persecutions, an implaca- 
biHty in his enmities, which gave a decided character to his pro- 
fessional career, and which insured him the enmity of all against 
whom his efforts were directed. He was always listened to with a 
kind of inquisitiveness as to what new fountain of bitterness he 
would open, or what new invectives he would invent to pour out 
upon his adversary. These were sometimes directed against the 
opposing party, and upon the whole he incurred a great amount of 
hatred. I am only speaking of what occurred in court, and express- 
ing the opinion which we would form in witnessing his professional 
conflicts. It cannot be doubted that he had many friends and sup- 
porters outside of this scene of action and it is not likely that he was 
as warm and constant in his friendship as he was bitter and unre- 
lenting in his hatreds. After his election to the United States Senate 
he retired from the bar and was very seldom seen here. 


Of New Hartford, was at one time a partner of Mr. Williams, of 
whom we have already spoken, from whom he differed in every re- 
spect except that both held the position of honorable and worthy 
gentlemen. Mr. Mills was slow in his conception of thoughts, slow 
in all the movements of mind, and very slow in his delivery of his 
arguments, and yet when all his duties in a case were accomplished 
it would be seen that he had made a creditable effort and that he 
was far from being a lawyer of indifferent pretensions. His son of 
the same name succeded him in the practice of law at New Hartford, 
but has since moved to Wisconsin where he has had a successful 



Of Norfolk, was a somewhat prominent member at the bar, not 
because he had very much legal ability, but because he had the tact 
to make much show out of little substance. He never attempted to 
argue cases in the higher courts, but on the trial of motions-as they 
came before the Courts, he was very prominent. We all thought 


well of Uncle Mich, as we used to call him and so did the people 
of Norfolk, for he was always a prominent man in the affairs of the 
town. He was a member of the legislature in 1830 and 1831, and 
there made himself conspicuous in the same way he did before the 
courts. He lived to a very advanced age. ' 


Settled in Woodbury soon after his admission to the bar, nearly 
sixty years ago. He continued in practice while he lived. He 
died suddenly, from a disease of the heart, at the age of seventy-two 
years. He held a respectable position as a lawyer and for two years 
was a judge of the_ County Court, while that court was holden by a 
single judge. All who knew him have a very pleasant memory of 
his genial hnmor, pertinent anecdotes, and witty and pungent say- 
ings. The younger members of the bar were delighted with his com- 
pany and all deeply deplored his sudden death. 


Of Woodbury, was a lawyer of good classical education and respect- 
able legal attainments. He had a native diffidence, which prevented 
him putting himself forward, very often on the trial of cases, but 
when his powers were brought out he made a respectable show. 
He belonged to one of the eminent families of Woodbury and for 
personal qualities was very much respected. 


Of Kent, was a quiet, unobtrusive, conscientious man. He was the 
only lawyer in that town during the greater part of his professional 
life, and did a good local business. He was very diligent in the pur- 
suit of his profession and generally argued the cases that he 'com- 
menced. He was a member of the Senate for two successive years 
and died at the age of about sixty years. 


Was a, native of Newtown but practiced law in Watertown. He 
was a judge of the County Court for two years was frequently a 


Sedgwick's address 95 

memljer of the legislature, where he had a good share of influence. 
He was usually chairman of the committee on divorces and his re- 
ports in such cases were very interesting. He was a man of good 
common sense and acquitted himself creditably as a judge, but his 
powers failed with his advancing life and he lived for several years 
in comparative obscurity. 


There were two lawyers in Roxbury fifty years ago, Isaac Leaven- 
worth and Royal R. Hinman, who made a considerable show of busi- 
ness before the courts, but who retired from practice in the course 
of a few years. Mr. Leavenworth went into other business in New 
Haven where it is said he has been very successful and is still living 
at a very advanced age. Mr. Hinman held the office of Sec- 
retary of State for eight years, and published several pamphlets con- 
taining the statistics of many of- the most prominent families in the 


Of Bethlehem, deserves more than a passing tribute. He was a 
grandson of the celebrated divine of that name and was a man of 
great moral worth. He never had a very extensive practice as a 
lawyer, but was much imployed in various branches of public busi- 
ness. He was frequently a member of the legislature, and once rep- 
resented the sixteenth district in the Senate. He died in middle 
life, and all, of all names and parties, pay him the tribute of an 
affectionate and respectable remembrance. 


Of Goshen, his native town, removed to Chenango County, N. Y., 
about 1823. He graduated at Williams College in 1806 with the 
highest honors of his class. He was a remarkably well- read-lawyer, 
and had a respectable standing as an advocate. He attained to 
eminence in his profession in the State of New York. He died 
some twenty year^ since. 



In 1820 there were several young members of the bar who had 
just commenced practice, some of whom afterwards became eminent, 
and two of them, Truman Smith, and his cousin Nathaniel B. Smith 
still survive. Besides these there were George Wheaton, lyeman 
Church, David C. Sanford, Nathaniel Perry of New Milford, and 
William S. Holabird. These all lived to a period within the memory 
of many now in practice here. Perry died at an earlier date than 
either of the others and left a family, but he was still a young man 
when he was called away. Sanford became judge of the Supreme 
Court and was greatly respected for his eminent fitness for the place. 
Wheaton was celebrated for the great skill with which he prepared 
his cases for trial, and his arguments, homely in style, and common- 
place in method, were listened to with great attention. They were 
often charged with dry shots of wit which told upon his adversary 
and excited merriment with the bar. 


Obtained quite a celebrity for his legal acumen and sharp points of 
character. If a lawyer is to be deemed successful in proportion 
to the number of cases in which he wins he was far from being a 
successful lawyer. I am inclined to think that the spirit of forensic 
combativeness, which seemed to possess the whole man, led him 
sometimes to advise groundless prosecutions and to encourage 
groundless defences. He wanted to fight, no matter whether for 
the right or wrong, and the consequence was that he lost more 
cases in proportion to the whole number in which he was engaged 
than any other lawyer at the bar. Still, nobody could deny that he 
possessed eminent shrewdness and sagacity as a lawyer, as well as 
forensic ability of very high order. 


A native of Canaan, practiced in Cblebrook, but spent most of his 
life in Winsted. He possessed talents which might have given him 
prominence and distinction as a lawyer had he devoted himself 
strictly to professional avocations, but he addicted himself more to 
other pursuits than to that. He was Lieutenant Governor for two 
years, and for a short time United States Attorney for the District 
of Connecticut, .and I never heard any complaint of his want of fit- 
ness for either position. He experienced various fortunes in his 
worldly affairs, being sometimes poor and sometimes rich. At 


Sedgwick's address 97 

his death, which occurred soon after he reached the age of fifty 
years, he left a handsome estate to his family. 

There were a few young members of the bar in 1820 who died 
after, a short career, some of whom were probably never heard of 
by the members of this generation. Their names now occur to me : 
Homer Swift of Kent ; Philo N. Heacock of New Milford ; and 
Chauncey Smith of Sharon. These started in professional life with 
ardent hopes and fair prospects of success, but their career was soon 
cut short bv death. 


Son of tlie Hon. Elijah Boardrnan of New Milford, was admitted 
to the bar in 1821. He was a young man of decided promise and 
was a special favorite of his uncle Judge Boardrnan. When I visit 
New Milford I observe, still standing, the brick fire proof office 
which his father built for him, but he lived only a few months after 
taking possession of it, and his death was greatl}- lamented through- 
out the community. His efforts at the bar gave proof of decided 
talent and he had made himself a special favorite among the mem- 


The whole history of this bar for the last fifty years, teems with 
pleasant recollections. As a whole, it has a reputation for high 
toned integrity and professional comity among its members which 
is very much to its credit. If there have been instances of profes- 
sional delinquency, they have been so rare as to have made no mark 
on the record of the times. 

I have now spoken, to as great an extent as the time will allow, 
of the men who flourished in this temple of justice fifty years ago. 
I have no time to give expression to thoughts which come up, with 
great urgency for utterance, upon such an occasion as this, or to 
review the history of the last fifty years in any other relation than 
those which appertain to the administration of justice here. The 
progress of human affairs during that period, towards their final con- 
summation, has been marked with great changes and vicissitudes. 
What shall be their development during the fifty years to come, can 
be -of very little personal interest to me. I cherish the hope that 
this bench will continue to be occupied by judges of integrity, ability 
and of high judicial aptitudes, and that this bar will contmue to be 
adorned with members whose pure lives and eminent attamments 
shall make their position one of honor and usefulness. 


Standing here alone, the only member of this bar who has been 
in practice for fifty years, I take pleasure in expressing to my 
brethren of more recent experience the deepest gratitude for the 
pleasant and friendly relations they have permitted me to enjoy with 
them during the whole of our acquaintance. By their kind amenities 
and the favor of the judges, the rays of my evening sun have fallen 
upon me softer than did those of my noonday. These precious 
remembrances will remain with me as long as I have consciousness, 
and in conclusion I say to my brethren, not as a thoughtless wish, 
but as an honest prayer — may God bless you, each and all. 

WntmtB ^tmxnmnttB 






NOVEMBER 18, 1898 




Reminiscences of Litchfield County Bar. 

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Bar. I thank you all sin- 
cerely that I am permitted to be present on this occasion, and the 
effort would require better language than I can express to tell you 
of my gratitude at your kind reception. 

If I understand the purport of what is expected of me on this 
evening it is that I shall give my reminiscences of the Bar, of the 
sayings and doings of the dead who have passed before me. As a 
preliminary matter I wish to call your attention to an earlier period 
in my life in relation to the great inroads made by the Legislature 
of the State of Connecticut upon the ancient laws. Fifty years 
ago last April, through a rupture in the democratic party in Salis- 
bury to which I belonged, a faction, I ought to say, not being identi- 
fied with either, but attending to my own business rather than to any 
political aspirations, I was urged to stand for the nomination for 
representative to the House ; I did so, was elected and became a 
member of the Legislature which held its session in May, 1849. 
Fortunately or unfortunately I was elected, in my 29th year, although 
at that time I was considered a very youthful man to legislate for the 
people of the State of Connecticut. Lafayette Foster, the distin- 
guished g-entleman, state senator and judge of the Superior Court, 
was the Speaker of the House ; Hon. Charles J. McCurdy afterwards 
minister to Austria and a judge of the Superior and Supreme 
Courts, was Lieut. Governpr and presided over the Senate. . I was 
highly honored, without any solicitation on my part, by being ap- 
pointed on the Judiciary Committee. Of course I had to go to the 
tail end of it, a very proper place for me, 

Mr. Huntington: — But that tail wagged the dog. 

Mr. Warner: — Well, I will tell you about the dog later. In 
the year 1847, three distinguished men in this state had been ap- 
pointed a committee to revise the statutes of the state. That com- 
mittee consisted of Governor Minor, afterwards a Superior Court 
judge, Judge Loren P. Waldo and Francis Fellowes, a lawyer, keen 
and shrewd, of Hartford, on that committee. The very first thing 
that was referred to our judiciary committee was the report of this 
revision committee, and our very first subject were the details of 
that report. They appeared before us at our first sitting. And al- 
low me to say right here, that chief- justice Butler of Norwalk, then 
state senator, was the chairman of that judiciary committee. The 
revision committee had drafted one or two laws which they wished 
the judiciary committee would see were offered in the Legislature 


and passed so that it might be incorporated in the revision which 
would be published that year. 

This was only an act permitting and authorizing, in a suit between 
parties, that the party in question should have the privilege of call- 
ing upon the opposite party as a witness to testify to the facts that 
he might inquire about. Judge Waldo was also on the judiciary 
committee, repesenting Tolland. The distinguished William W. 
Eaton was his colleague in the House. I, being the first at the tail 
end of the committee, was called upon after the discussion to give 
my opinion. The opinion which I gave I had a long time under 
consideration in relation to the law of witnesses and parties inter- 
ested being permitted to testify. Chairman Butler called upon me 
to give my opinion. I said distinctly, (it was in the presence of the 
revision committee also) that I was opposed to any such law. They 
had said to me it was a copy of an Act that had been passed in the 
State of New York, a recent statute there, and I gave my reason ' 
as being opposed to it, one great reason was this, that an honest 
party might be compelled by a scoundrel to testify to a fact that 
would be damaging to him unless he had the same ability to testify 
himself. And I was in favor of going further, I was. in favor of 
passing an Act which would sweep away and wipe out that century- 
old doctrine and permit every man, party or interested witness in 
any form, to tell his story before a court and jury, that justice might 
be done. I said further "look over your Connecticut reports and 
you will find decision after decision where questions have gone up 
to the Supreme Court to ascertain whether there was a shred of 
interest in the witness that testified before the court. I said to 
them "we have the action of account in which witnesses are permitted 
to testify; we have the action of book debt in which all parties may 
testify, and how many cases, will you find in the reports in this state 
where the question is laid before them whether an action which was 
brought in book debt did not properly belong in an action of general 

Well, the next gentleman was the late Hon. John P. C. Mather 
of New London who sat at my right. He concurred with me, and 
so it went around from lawyer to lawyer and laymen, we had an 
excellent layman there, he did royal work, and it was passed unani- 
mously with the exception of Judge Waldo, who said : "I am in 
favor of the law, but we tried it last year in the Legislature and it 
could not pass and the people are not ready for it, and I have con- 
cluded that the next best thing to do is to adopt the law of New 
York." Well, there, was then in the House a man named Peck of 
New Haven, a brilliant man, a lawyer by education and a leader 
of the Whig side ; there was Trumbull, later Governor, there was 
the elder Charles Chapman who were leaders from Hartford, there 
was Chauncey Cleveland, Ex-Governor, a power anywhere, his name 
and his fame are known t*^ you all ; there was William W. Eaton 

Warner's reminiscences 105 

also. Well, I was finally instructed by the chairman, Judge Butler 
to draw up a bill and have it presented. I drew the bill which 
was introduced in the House or Senate, I forget which. It immedi- 
ately passed the judiciary committee, and was introduced into the 
House, and also in the Senate. It lay upon the table sometime 
there and the matter was often cussed and discussed. Judge Button 
came to me while in the House and said to me "Mr. Warner, every 
member of the Superior and Supreme Court is opposed to this law, 
it is such a radical change that they think a great injustice, wrong, 
fraud and perjury will be perpetrated in the administration of jus- 
tice." I said "Well, I can't help that, I am in favor of it." So it 
went along, and one day Judge Button came to me in my seat and 
said to me "Mr. Warner do you intend by that Act that a criminal 
should testify in Court?" "By no means, sir." Button said "Well, 
he has a right to." I said "No, sir." Well, we looked at it and he 
explained it to me, to my astonishment I felt as if I had done a very 
wrong thing, that I had disgraced myself by drafting a bill that 
extended the law to criminals, and I looked at it and it convinced 
me that he was right. I immediately went to Chapman in his seat 
and told what Judge Button said and I told him I thought it per- 
mitted of such an interpretation. He replied "well, it does, now 
what shall we do?" After a thought, he said "Warner, draw an 
amendment, when it coijies into the House, just move an amendment 
to the bill." Well, I drew the amendment and soon after that Chap- 
man came to me hurriedly and said "that bill has only passed the 
Senate by the casting vote of the Lieut. -Governor, don't you intro- 
duce that amendment, don't say a word, unless objection is made in 
the House, and then you can offer the amendment." The bill came 
into the House passed by the Senate and the usual formal vote was 
gone through with and the bill passed in the House. Chapman 
came around to me and said he "Well, Warner, it went through 
like grease." Thus was passed the law which made a radical change 
in the administration of justice and permitted interested parties in 
criminal as well as civil cases, to testify in their own behalf. That 
law I consider one of the wisest laws that was ever passed by this 
Legislature and the roll of honor for it stands to Connecticut, and 
I thank God that some of its labor belonged to Litchfield County. 

The very next term of the Superior Court in Litchfield County 
after that session of the Legislature was held in August and pre- 
sided over by Judge Church, a native of Salisbury and one of the 
best lawyers on the bench. There was an interesting criminal trial 
on the docket, a lawyer of prominence from New York and Judge 
Seymour were the prisoner's counsel. The defendant had put in 
his' evidence when Judge Seymour arose and said to his Honor, 
"here is a statute passed by the last Legislature, I am not clear in 
my own mind as to the proper interpretation of it, whether it will 
permit the prisoner to testify or not, but I am of the opinion that he 


has that right, and I submit the question to your Honor for the 
purpose of determining." The Judge with considerable acerbity of 
feehng animadverted upon the passage of that law as cutting up 
root and branch of the old principle which had come down to us 
and which no one had conceived ought to be changed. He thought 
it would introduce fraud and perjury and all those things which go 
to outweigh and destroy justice as administered by the court. Then 
Seymour, after the judge had decided that the prisoner had the 
right to testify, said to the States Attorney "Then I offer you this 
prisoner to testify, I don't propose to put him on the stand for he 
might say something which might inadvertently injure his case" 
and that was a shrewd act on his part. The States Attorney de- 
clined to accept it and the prisoner did not testify. 

Now there was another radical change and overthrow of the com- 
mon law principle, and that was that no plea in abatement of a suit 
brought in an action of tort should bar the prosecution of it, which 
was in effect that the right of action for personal injuries survived. 
In other words, that the executor or administrator of a person that 
had deceased could continue an action commenced by .the deceased. 
Well, that was a charitable act, but too radical for many of the 
lawyers, but it passed the Legislature and no one has seen fit since 
to have it repealed. 

Now I will tell of an incident which I heard which shows the 
workings of the old law. There was a distinguished lawyer by the 
name of Loomis in Bridgeport, a merry fellow full of fun, and there 
was also Dwight Morris. This was before the passage of the law 
of the survival of actions for personal injuries and before the law 
allowing criminals to testify. There was a wayward son down in 
Bridgeport who had an old, warm, kindhearted father. This way- 
ward son had cost the old man many hundreds of dollars and great 
grief. He had recently committed some tortious act and he was 
prosecuted criminally and convicted and then prosecuted cfvilly for 
damages and his body was attached, and the poor old father gave 
bonds for his appearance at Court. 

This worthless son was a merry-go-round fellow and he began to 
have some feelings for his old gray-headed father, who was in great 
grief and sorrow and in great affliction; his money was nearly ex- 
pended on his boy who was so wayward. Well, Dwight Morris was 
the junior counsel who was most familiar with the case that had to 
be tried at the approaching term, and this rollicking fellow came into 
his office one day and talked over the case and the facts in it, how 
much they could do and what circumstances would mitigate the 
damages. He said "Well, now, Morris, supposing I should die be- 
fore that case comes on ; would that have any effect on the case ?" 
Morris said "Why, yes, that would end the case." This son then 
replied "By God, I guess I had better die first." Morris said "I 
think that is a damned good idea." A few days before the session 


of the Court Dwight Morris hurried into Loomis's office and said 
"My God, Loomis, I guess I have committed murder." "Why?" 
"Why our cHent is dead, he has committed suicide ; he came into my 
office and said he guessed he would die if it would end the case," 
and in a foolish manner I said "Why, it would be a damned good 
idea." Well, the case went out, the poor old man's money was 
saved, and he lost his son. 

It is a well-established fact that in the law repealing that old 
common law which prohibited an interested witness to testify, Con- 
necticut was the pioneer. And that Westminster Hall in England 
from which we received our common law adopted that very act that 
was passed by the Legislature of 1848. And from there it has ex.- 
tended all over the United States. 

Brethren, I commenced reading law in March, 1841, under the 
instructions of Hon. John H. Hubbard at Lakeville, and I spent a 
portion of my time under his advice at Litchfield so that I might 
have the advantages of attending Court there, and under the in- 
struction of the Hon. Origen S. Seymour, that venerable and great 
man. I completed my studies with Mr. Hubbard and was admitted 
to the bar at the August term, 1843. Now as it was expected of me 
that I should speak of the lawyers who are gone, that I knew when 
I was first admitted to the bar, I shall go in routine and start with 
my native town. 

Before I come to those that I knew, I wish to speak about an- 
other man, one of the pioneers of law in the town of Salisbury, be- 
cause he was the ancestor of a very distinguished race of people, 
the ancestor of that prominent man, a judge of the Supreme Court 
of the United States who went from the State of Pennsylvania and 
died a few years ago. Adonijah Strong was one of the rough- 
est pieces of granite, I suppose, that ever existed. He had a strong 
powerful mind, he was full of wit and humor, he was illiterate, but 
he had great common sense and he had great force and ability and 
effect upon the court and jury, as I have learned by tradition. 
Adonijah had a peculiar voice, it is said, and he had a good old wife 
by the name of Nabby, and a great many stories are told about him. 
He was a strong man and belonged to the Congregational Church 
and a great supporter of it. There was another colonel there, a 
distinguished man. Col. Joshua Porter. He was the ancestor of 
distinguished sons, one of them was a cabinet officer under the 
presidency of John Quincy Adams. Now about the time that the 
Methodist people organized a society in Salisbury there was a great 
deal of opposition to them. I guess there was more objection to 
them than the Salvation Army has seen in these later days. They 
held a meeting in my old school district on Ore Hill, and Col. Strong 
and Col. Porter had made up their minds that they would go over 
there, but not for any very religious purposes. Well, they eaoh 
had a peculiar reputation. Col. Strong had the reputation of im- 


bibing considerably and eating heartily. Col. Porter had another 
reputation, but I will let you guess what that was. It is spoken of 
in the Scriptures. Well, the clergyman who was to ofRciate on that 
occasion had been advised and Col. Strong's character was por- 
trayed and so was Col. Porter's. They went in and sat down, and, 
as I said, for not very worthy purposes, and after a while the clergy- ■ 

man was speaking about the characteristics of different individuals, 
and he said "where is that wine-bibber and a glutton ?" Col. Strong 
got up and said "here I am, sir !" and sat down. The next thing 
the preacher said when speaking of the wickedness of the world, 
"and where is he." Col Porter sat still. Strong said "Col. Porter, 
get up and answer to your name as I did?" 

Now I will come to those whom I knew in Salisbury. There was 
John G. Mitchell of Salisbury, I believe he was born in Southbury. 
He came from a very pious parentage and was admitted to the bar, 
and came to Salisbury at an early age. He was not an educated 
man academically speaking, he was rough in his manners, uncouth, 
but he always maintained a reputation of a man of the highest 
integrity, but that is common among laywers in Litchfield County. 
Everybody esteemed him. He had in his office a very few books, -j 

old and musty, but he was a trial justice and judge of probate after 
the establishment of the Salisbury district. He was also connected 
in merchandise with Mr. Walton under the firm name of Walton & 
Mitchell, and he lived to an advanced age. He was rough and un- 
couth, but he had great redeeming traits. Late in life he came 
under the influence of a revival in the village in Lakeville and be- 
came a very religious man to the astonishment of everybody. 

He was frequently called upon to speak in Methodist and re- 
ligious meetings, he attended faithfully always, and in one of them 
he spoke of how they should work and toil to bring men into the 'J 

fold. He said "brethren and sisters, you know the sharks follow the 
ship, now cast your nets out among them and you may bring in a 
lawyer as they brought me in." On another occasion he was speak- /^^ 
ing of the power of God, and talked well about it and wound up by 
saying "why God could take and throw me right through this meet- 
ing house, but he won't do it." 

There was another old lawyer there when I was admitted to the 
bar in 1843 who gave me a great deal of good advice? He ad- 
vised me one day as a lawyer "if anybody offers you anything, take i 
it, if it is nothing but a chew of tobacco." I recollected that and 
always took one. 

Then there was Philiander Wheeler, a Yale College graduate, an 
educated man, a keen bright man, full of wit and humor, quick 
and happy in repartee, but after I came to the bar he never attended 
the courts at Litchfield, neither did Mitchell, but tried ca^es before 
justices and arbitrators. One day he was called in over in Canaan 
as an adviser to the justice in the trial of a man by the name of 



Rockwell who was prosecuted for murdering his brother. Leman 
Church was the defendant's counsel and the Hon. John H. Hubbard 
was another, and the prosecuting attorney I think was Elmore, and 
it was a protracted case, and one forenoon the lawyers had a set-to 
as to the admissibility of evidence or some question that^ arose before 
them, and there was a great deal of controversy between the lawyers, 
and after very much had been said they adjourned and went to din- 
ner. The lawyers sat around the table and Wheeler came in and sat 
down. The landlord came and asked him what he would have, he 
wanted to know if he would take some of the goose. "No" he 
said "I have had that all the morning and I don't want any." 

There was an old lady who possessed some property in Salis- 
bury, whom they called Aunt Polly. She was litigious in her 
character and she applied to every lawyer to sue somebody and when 
one would refuse she would go to another and finally she got a 
writ out for one of her neighbors and brought it before the Court. 
Wheeler defended the person that she had brought the suit against 
and he would stir up Aunt Polly until she become violent and quick- 
tempered. She had her money in specie tied up in one corner of 
her handkerchief, and he became so intolerable, as she thought, 
towards her that she jumped up and she just flung this specie at 
his head and it hit him, but didn't hurt him very much. He picked 
it up and put it in his pocket. No sooner had he done that, 
than Aimt Polly went for him and downed him over his Chair and 
the lawyer on the other side said "stick to him, aunt Polly." That 
was a scene in court in the early days. 

I come now to speak of a man to whom I feel greatly indebted, 
and I wish I could pay a better tribute to his character than I am 
able to, and that is the Hon. John H. Hubbard. He was a native 
of Salisbury and in his early struggles he had formidable opposition 
to contend with. In early life he was feeble and unable to work 
and finally he chose this profession, and by dint of educating him- 
self by hard study and teaching school winters he was admitted to 
the bar in the year 1826. He had a great opposition politically, it 
was the day of anti-masonry when the feelings of people were very 
much excited upon that question arising out of the alleged death 
of one Morgan in the State of New York. He adopted the views 
of the anti-masonic party and was opposed by strong men and he 
had a terrible struggle, but he held his own. He had that per- 
sistent indomitable never-die principle in him that carried him 
along and he became a distinguished lawyer of the bar of Litch- 
field County. He is a living example to young men, no matter what 
the circumstances may be, if he is persistent, if he is studious, if 
he bends his efforts in that direction with an inflexibility that is not 
to be beaten, he will in the end conquer. I owe a debt of gratitude 
to that man for he drilled me in the principles of the law to such an 
extent that he said when I went to the office of Judge Seymour so 


as to be present when the courts were in session and learn some 
thing of its practice, that I was able to be admitted as soon as my 
time of study should expire. He became a member of Congress 
and represented the 4th district. He was states attorney for the 
county for how many years I don't now remember. 

I will now speak of another gentleman, a lawyer in Salisbury, 
Roger Averill. He was a graduate of Union College, tall, erect 
and well proportioned, dignified in manners and a lawyer of fair 
ability. He practiced in Salisbury for some years, but the field 
was not sufficiently wide and he moved to Danbury and practiced 
there, until he was made Lieut.-Governor during a portion of the 
time of the distinguished war governor. Gov. Buckingham. He 
was my opponent in many cases that we tried and he early taught 
me an important lesson in table pounding. In a case we were try- 
ing before a justice I became quite vehement and brought my fist 
down on the table so strong and so often that he commiserated me 
and felt sorry for me, and he kindly placed a law book upon the 
table on the spot where I had been hammering and said "Brother 
Warner, I am afraid you will injure your hand, the book is softer." 
That took all the starch out of me. 

Another gentleman by the name of Norton J. Buel was a native 
of Salisbury. He studied a portion of his time under the venerable 
Charles F. Sedwick, and the latter portion of it under Judge Church 
when he was practicing in Salisbury. He moved to Naugatuck 
in the first place and afterwards to Waterbury, but he frequently 
tried cases in this county and at this bar. He was a successful 
lawyer and a gentleman, and one who acquitted himself with great 
ability as a lawyer. 

Moving along East, we come to North Canaan and we find John 
Elmore, he was a native of the town and I understood he was a 
very popular young man when he started in business, he was sur- 
rounded by many friends,' he was very genial and a hale fellow 
well-met, everybody liked Jack Elmore, and he was on the high- 
tide to become a successful lawyer, but his convivial habits dragged 
him down. 

Leman Church, who was a half brother of Samuel Church, was 
a native of Salisbury, and he attended the law school of Judge 
Gould at Litchfield. He located at North Canaan about the same 
time that Elmore did. Instead of having many friends to aid him 
he had to encounter the opposition of the prominent men of the 
place. I asked years ago an old gentleman who was familiar with 
North Canaan why it was that they all stood by Jack Elmore and 
not by Church. Well, he said, Elmore was a congenial man, he 
was a pleasant man, he had all the social ehments in him that were 
attractive. While they never saw Church, he never met us any- 
where and if he did, why there was no congeniality between us, they 
were all opposed to him in the town, I mean the prominent men; 


but he studied his books and thought deeply. He would occasion- 
ally have a case, and bye and bye his star began to rise, and though 
he could not and did not command the love, yet he commanded the 
respect of the people by dint of his great talents and power. I con- 
sidered Leman Church one of the ablest lawyers and the best 
equipped on all occasions that I ever met. He had a keen, quick 
perception, he had that continuousity of purpose ; he did not pander 
to please the multitude nor to the applause of the individual. He 
ploughed a straight furrow along his own course, and he attained 
the highest position at the bar at an early age. He had the keenest 
blade of satire, wit and humor, it abounded with him; at repartee 
he was never at a loss, nor upon any question that the judge might 
propound to him whether he ever had the case under consideration 
or not; and always acquitted himself with the highest ability. I 
speak thus of him because I was so situated when I first came to 
the bar, the other lawyers being older, I was forced to call upon 
Leman Church, and he aided me and always assisted me in any 
case for which I might call upon him. Physically he was tall, frail 
in appearance, he had a hunch with his head slightly deformed, a 
shrivelled face, lean and gaunt, and his apparel was always neat 
but of the coarsest character. His feet were clad in heavy brogan 
shoes, but the redeeming feature of his countenance was his eye, 
and such an eye would convince you gentlemen when cast upon 
you as being that of a man of powerful intellect. Now to speak 
of his ability as a lawyer. Porter Burrall, the son of William Bur- 
rall, a Canaan man, a highly educated man was president of the 
Housatonic Railroad. Some of its directors lived in the city of 
New York and some question arose in relation to the management 
of the road and there were lawyers in New York who had the 
question under advisement and they had expressed opinions in re- 
lation to it. There was a final meeting appointed for the further 
discussion and the determination of the question involved. Bur- 
rall called upon Church and told him he wanted to have him to go 
down to New York City and attend that Director's meeting. Church 
said in his peculiar voice "I am not going down among those dandy 
lawyers they think they know everything, and I am not going." 
However, Burrall had great faith in him and insisted upon his go- 
ing, and he finally went down, clad like a clod-hopper and he sat 
down in that convention. The opinions of these distinguished New 
York Lawyers were called for and finally Mr. Burrall said, "Mr. 
Chairman, I wish my friend Mr. Church of Canaan might be per- 
mitted to speak." Well Church got up, a most inferior looking 
man, you can't find one to compare with him in that respect, but 
he went at the question under discussion and laid them out so broad 
and clear and so perfectly lucid that he established them, and his 
views were finally adopted. He could not bear a fop, he could not 
bear what he called a Miss. Nancy, or vaporism of any kind, he 


went too far perhaps in that respect, but he had a happy gift of 
puncturing bubbles and I will give you one or two instances of it. 
Now you know that when young men come to the bar and make 
their first appearance before a Jury, they wish to make an impres- 
sion and sometimes be classical and ornate. There was brother 
Hitchcock who lived in Winsted, a man for whom I held the high- 
est respect, and whose memory I ■ revere. He and Judge Granger 
and myself were great friends. Hitchcock was a partner of Hol- 
abird. They had a very important case to be tried at L,itchfield. 
Hitchcock had made great preparations in the case, and it was 
among his first efforts at the bar in the way of argument and trial, 
and' he familiarized Granger and myself with the case and we felt 
a very deep interest in his behalf. Hitchcock in the course of his 
argument animadverted upon one principal witness in the case 
against him, he was a very important witness for the other side, 
and it was very important for Hitchcock's client that the Jury 
should not take his word or the testimony he gave before the Court. 
In the course of his argument Hitchcock said, alluding to that wit- 
ness, "why, gentlemen of the jury, he is the very 'foUiculus,' in 
this case." A little further along he said "He is a Jupiter Tonans, 
gentlemen of the Jury." When Leman Church came to answer 
that he said "Now, gentlemen of the Jury my young friend here, 
brother Hitchcock has attempted to mislead you ; why he has talked 
about one Miss Polly New Rose gentlemen of the jury, have you 
seen any such witness on this stand?" "Not satisfied with that, 
he has imposed upon you again, he has talked about a witness here 
by the name of Jew Peter Toe Nails." As soon as we could, 
Granger and I took our hats and went out. Another case we had 
in the Superior Court in which Leman Church was interested, we 
had medical experts in, and a learned Doctor by the name of Fuller 
from New Haven was there as a witness against the interests of 
Church's client. He went along very learnedly, as such physicians 
do, and when Church came to cross-examine this witness he com- 
menced by saying "well, now. Dr. Fooler" and he took the wind ovtt 
of him pretty effectually. 

Another illustration of his mode of examining a witness. There 
was' a great controversy in years gone by between Jedediah Graves 
and Sylvanus Merwin, father-in-law and son-in-law, about a man 
who went and took up the tombstones of his children and offered 
them for sale on an execution for a judgment. 

Graves was a pompous sort of fellow, he was a trial justice in 
the town of New Milford and he was called upon to testify to what 
was said before him on a trial. He went along well and easily 
and was turned over to Church for cross-examination, and Church 
in his questions began to imply that he was going .outside of the 
truth. After a while the witness stopped and says "Squire Church, 
I have a realizing sense of the obligations of my oath, I have ad- 


ministered them and I protest against your insinuations." Church 
said "Squire Elliott, if you have got through with your peroration, 
please answer my question." 

Now I come to speak of that distinguished man in North Canaan, 
Miles Toby Granger. He was a graduate of Wesleyah University 
at Middletown in this state. He was a school teacher on a plan- 
tation down in Mississippi, teaching the sons and. daughters of the 
surrounding plantations, and during that time he studied law in 
Mississippi and was admitted to the bar in that state. He came 
back to Connecticut and went into the office of Leman Church and 
studied law with him for the purpose of obtaining a knowledge of 
Connecticut laws and was admitted to the bar after 1843. He was 
the greatest wit, humorist and wag of the bar, he was the very 
Mark Twain of the bar. His sayings, his wit and his humor might 
be read as Innocents at Home instead of Innocents Abroad. He 
was skilled in doggerel poetry as he called it. He would see the 
ludicrous and ridiculous in persons and things that no one but he 
thought of, and he would bring it out to the great amusement of 
his hearers. His very first argument in the Superior Court was 
in poetry. It was the case of Dunham vs. Dunham. Dunham 
brought a petition for a divorce against his wife, he was a widower 
when he married, and she was a widow. They were both very old 
and infirm, their spouses were dead and they desired companionship, 
and so they inter-married. Jack Elmore brought the petition and 
in that petition he set up as a ground, a fradulent contract. Judge 
Ellsworth, a very grave man and a deacon of the church in Hart- 
ford was holding Court. Granger led off in the argument for the 
defense and Church was to close the debate. His whole argument 
was in poetry, but I remember nothing but the last verse, which 
was this : 

"Now all his hopes in ruins lie. 
Crushed by this prolapsus uteri." 

He was a great fellow for giving names to persons. He dubbed 
me by the name of Elder, and it has been carried on to this day, and 
I believe I had been so addressed since I have been here. Why he 
did it I don't know, whether an elder of the Methodist Episcopal 
church or some other persuasion I havn't any idea, he never ex- 
plainded it to me. He was full of his jokes and quirks, it made no 
difference whether it was foe or friend, but it was all in good na- 
ture. Well, you all know his history in later life when he was 
highly honored, represented his town in the Legislature, in the Sen- 
ate and represented the 4th district in Congress after his retirement 
as a Judge. 

Col. Jacob B. Hardenberg, he was a native of Kingston, N. Y. 
He was a good lawyer, a soldier and a warrior at Gettysburg under 
Col- Pratt. I might well say of him "he was the bravest of the 


Now I come to one of my first students, George Washington 
Peet. He was a native of Salisbury and read law in my office and 
completed his studies in the law in the Harvard Law School. Soon 
after his admission lie located in South Canaan in the office of 
Judge Burrall and commenced practice there, and afterwards at 
Falls Village. From his maternal ancestry he inherited the power 
of acquisitiveness, which was but little diluted by what he inherited 
from the paternal side. And only semi-occasionally did he commit 
waste by profuse expenditure. ' He was a unique character. Peet 
was a nervous, excitable, confident, energetic, bold man. He went 
in pursuit of money and he got it. He was not devoid of wit and by 
it occasionally entertained us. We boys were playing tricks upon 
each other, as I presume they are now, the younger members. 
Hitchcock had a good deal of that in his makeup, and one day at 
the Court in Litchfield in warm weather Peet was down there with 
his linen cOat on, and in those days the clerk had on his desk a 
wafer box with little red wafers, we didn't have mucilage then, 
but we used red wafers to stick things on, and Hitchcock got out 
a lot of these every little while, then would wet one of them and 
go around and slap Peet on the back and stick on a wafer, and soon 
got him pretty well pasted. Peet was marching around in different 
places making an exhibition of his back, and finally he found peo- 
ple were laughing at him. Peet would ask, "well, what are you 
laughing at" and then they would laugh the more. Finally some- 
one asked "What the devil have you got on your back, Peet?" 
Peet was very indignant and accused Hitchcock of trying to make 
him the butt of this bar. 

As I said. Granger gave names to everybody. There is a place 
in South Canaan called Dogtown, and years ago there was a tavern 
there and the place of trial of many cases. That was Peet's stamp- 
ing ground, and Granger and others met him there, and so Granger 
gave him the name, not of the constellation exactly, but he called 
him Attorney Serious, the dog-star, the brighest star in dog-town. 

I pass along to Norfolk. There was Michael Mills. He was 
a tall, lean lank, bony man, high cheek bones and rather tawny 
face. Granger called him the Sachem of Norfolk. 

Then comes William K. Peck, Jr., he was a native of Harwin- 
ton ; his parents moved with him to Salisbury when he was a young 
boy. He studied law in my office and commenced practice in Nor- 
folk. He was very fond of making public speeches when ever an 
opportunity presented. Abolitionism and temperance were his 
favorite topics and he availed himself of every opportunity to make 
speeches, and in that respect, so far as capability of addressing pop- 
ular sentiment at his age of life, he had decided talent. Granger 
called him Duke of Norfolk. When he contemplated settling in 
Norfolk, one of the good deacons of Norfolk came over to see me 
to inquire about him and informed me that Mr. Peck had referred 



him to me and wanted to know what sort of a man he was. I told 
hun he was exactly adapted to Xorfolk. He said "what do you. 
mean?" I replied "in the first place he is a very moral man, a man 
of excellent moral character ; in the second place he will be an ad- 
mirable successor of Michael ^lills in his physical make-up, he has 
a peculiar tawn\- brown hair, high cheek bones, and in another re- 
spect he is a black republican" as they called them then. The old 
deacon laughed and said he guessed he was the man. So he settled 
there and I believe acquitted himself with ability. After he had 
been there a while he removed to ^lichigan where I have heard he 
became a successful lawyer. I felt proud of him as a student in my 
office. ' ■' > . .'j 

Xow I come to \\'insted. ^^"illiam S. Holabird was a native of 
South Canaan. He was physically a large, tall, splendidly made-up 
man, imposing- in appearance and presence, and he was the great 
democratic leader of the bar. He was a politician and he was a man 
around whom the young democratic lawyers liked to gather. He 
had excellent conversational powers and they were always interested 
in his conversation. He was really one of the instructors in politi- 
cal matters among the democratic lawyers, and he was then in ac- 
tive practice. He had some bitterness in his make-up, but his 
friendship was as strong as his hatred was deep and unforgiving". 

Gideon Hall was an opponent, and as a lawyer and in politics 
thev were diametrically opposed. Holabird was vindictive some- 
times, and his hatred extended down too far. 

Xow I come to another unique character, and that was Gideon 
Hall. He was a lean, tall, gaunt man, he was in full practice, and 
continued in practice until he was appointed Judge of the Superior 
Court. He was a hard worker, diligent; his contests were elabor- 
ate, manv and severe. Hall and Holabird were opponents always 
in politics and lawsuits, never associated. Hall was very prolix in 
the conduct of trials, and remarkably so in his arguments before; 
the court and jurv. The one hour rule had not been passed when 
he practiced. Hall would occasionally make attemjns at oratory 
in his trials, and here is an illustration of it. He had a suit in 
court for his client, the plaintiff in the case. It was a contest oyer 
a piece of rockv land of no value comparatively speaking. During 
the trial he was often talking about the littleness and smallness of 
the case, and it was so alluded to in the argument by the counsel 
for the defense. This, was a sort of an exordium or peroration in 
which he said it was not available on account of the super-abundant 
fecundity of its soil, but because it was ancestral estate and Imd 
come down from a long line of colonial ancestors. 

In relation to Hall, there is one thing which shows the estuna- 
tion of the bar. This stor\' was told to me by the late George C. 
Woodruff of Litchfield. A lawyer of this county had a suit m 
court, a young lawver and he had associated with hmi George C. 


Woodruff. It was a case asking for the appointment of a committed 
in chancery which was to be tried out of term-time, and the question 
arose who should be that committee. Of course, if the parties agreed 
on the committee, the court would sanction it, otherwise the court 
would have to decide and appoint whom it thought best. Negoti- 
ations were made between the opposite counsel. Woodruff on one 
side and Hubbard and Granger on the other side, and Hubbard and 
Granger suggested Hall as a good one for the committee-man. The 
young man went to see Mr. Woodruff and told him that they pro- 
posed to have Hall appointed committee, and Woodruff said to him 
"don't you have him, why he will get things all mixed up in his 
report so that we shall not get head or tail to it." The young man 
reflected and said "Mr. Woodruff, that may be just what we want." 
Well, it turned out so, it was mixed and Woodruff won his case. 

I come now to the friend of whom I have spoken, Roland Hitch- 
cock. He was a native of Burlington. He read law in Holabird's 
office and he was admitted to the bar in about 1844, and became 
a partner of Holabird and practiced law in Winchester until ap- 
pointed as Judge of the Superior Court. I always liked the man, 
and so well did I know him that his peculiarities never interfered 
with our friendship. He at times exhibited much wit and humor 
and enjoyed the funny side of things and contributed his share to 
the merriment of the bar. There was a streak of melancholia in his 
nature which always made him sorrowful. It lasted him through 
life, and in the last few years of his life, had a woeful effect upon 
him. He was testy and often irritable in trials. As an illustration 
of that I remember a case in which Granger and myself were on 
one side and Hitchcock on the other before a committee at Canaan. 
Hitchcock's client was one Hart, a notable character arid who was 
easily stirred up. In the course of the trial Granger, knowing 
Hart's peculiarities would stir him up and he would rattle along 
and interrupt the trial so that Hitchcock would sometimes get mad 
at his client and he would once in a while issue an expletive on the 
subject. He was- vei^y fixed in his opinions of the law and un- 
changeably so at times. He was through and through an honest 
man and administered justice impartially in the courts where he was 

I go now to Barkhamstead and speak of the late Hiram Good- 
win. He was in full practice, his clientage was not only in his town, 
but extended to the adjoining towns in this, and Hartford County. 
I considered him an able lawyer. He conducted his trials with 
skill and his arguments were clear and logical. As a judge of the 
County Court he gave satisfaction. 

I come now to New Hartford. Roger H. Mills was in prac- 
tice there many years before I came to the bar. He was of fine ap- 
pearance and high standing at the bar. He was a member of the 
Senate in the Legislative session of 1848 at the time these radical 





laws were made and I think he opposed both of those enactments. 
He was a very accomplished man, pleasant, scholarly, but the field 
was not wide ^enough for him and so he moved to Wisconsin, and 
after a while died there. 

Jared B. Foster was his successor there. He came to the bar 
after 1843, and he is entitled to great credit, for he read law while 
making and mending boots and shoes in Colebrook. He was a 
merry, good fellow, he became well equipped in the principles of the 
law and quickly acquired its practical parts. He represented the 
town in the Legislature with ability and he succeeded Hitchcock 
as judge of the Litchfield County Court and discharged his duties 
with ability. He was eminently social and a hale fellow well-met. 
We used to address him as Jerry. Granger dubbed him Terry Red. 
For many years he was a suflferer from rheumatism and it finally 
brought him to his grave. 

Goshen. Nelson Brewster. His law business was local. He 
lived two years in Litchfield and he tried a few cases and he was a 
bank commissioner several times. Birdseye Baldwin, a unique char- 
acter was his contemporary in Goshen, a kindhearted man of limit- 
ed practice and of great simplicity of character. He was very fond 
of whist. Granger and Hitchcock at court whenever they were in 
session entertained him very often very royally, in the amusement 
of which I was a witness. Oftentimes I was a partner of Granger, 
and Baldwin and Hitchcock were partners. If Hitchcock and 
Granger turned up a trump they would pass their trumps one to the 
other under the table and pick out all the best cards and hand 
back the poor ones. Finally Baldwin would get up and exclaim, 
after losing all the games, "well, it does beat the devil." 

I now come to Cornwall, to George Wheaton. He was of 
humble origin, born in East Haven. When I was a boy, I learned 
that he was of most extraordinary ability, illiterate, he murdered 
the Queen's English, but one of the most skilful and adroit lawyers 
at the bar in his day and time. Wheaton was a great lawyer in 
my judgment. He had one peculiar gesture and that was this, he 
never laughed and hardly ever smiled. As an illustration of his 
cunning and shrewdness and his aptitude for hitting the party 
against him I will mention an instance. There was a suit brought 
against the Housatonic Railroad for damage to property injured 
by the cars. Peet and myself were defending the Railroad Com- 
pany and Granger and Wheaton were counsel for the plaintiff. 
One of the witnesses, Charles Emmons, an employee of the railroad, 
was a very important witness and his', testimony was crucial in be- 
half of the defendant. Of course the casd being against a railroad 
corporation it had to be put to a jury. This witness Emmons was 
a very honest mail and.a.. christian gentleman, and if he could make 
the jury beilieve as they ought to believe, that his testimony was 
truthful, theri the casfe- 'should be decided for the defendant. In the 


course of the argument, in commenting on the testimony of the 
witness Emmons, I dwelt upon the purity of his hfe and character, 
his christian character. When Wheaton came to wind up the case 
he said "Brother Warner says this Emmons is a Christian. Well, 
I aint going to dispute that, but if the company finds out that 
that is his character, they will discharge him very quick." 

Another instance comes down by tradition. Church frequently 
came in contact with Wheaton. He was called down there to de- 
fend a man in some case before a justice, and Wheaton commenced 
the argument of his case. He had his book of Connecticut reports 
and he stated to the Court what the law was and he would read 
from this book and so he read from the brief of one of the lawyers. 
Church said, "Wheaton, let me take that book." Wheaton said, 
"go get your own law, brother Church." 

Church of course told the judge he was reading from the brief 
of the attorney, not from the opinion of the court or the judge 
who decided the case. Wheaton replied "I didn't say I did, I said I 
read what is the law there, and I believe it to be good law, and if 
the Supreme Court has said otherwise, they will over-rule that 
decision." He was a communicant of the Congregational Church 
in Cornwall. Now there was a religious revival in that town long 
years ago and there was a man there by the name of Daniel Scoville. 
During that revival he attended these meetings very faithfully and 
appeared very much interested in them. There was a bitter hatred 
between this man and Wheaton. Wheaton had law suits against 
him frequently and they were conducted sharply by Wheaton as 
against him. Some of Wheaton's fellow members went to him and 
said, "Why this man is so much interested in the supject of re- 
ligion I think that you ought, as a member of the church, to go to 
him and encourage him in some form and show forgiveness on 
your part." So one evening Wheaton went up there and while 
Scoville was in the attitude of praying, and said "If there is any 
mourner here who has any feeling against me or I have any against 
him, God forbid that I should in any way bar his coming to God." 
Well, he had a client there who waited until Wheaton came out 
and then he said "Wheaton, you know that law suit we have got 
there against him, now I want that fought right up." Wheaton 
replied "Oh ! he'll fight all right." 

Then there was Julius B. Harrison. He was a native of Corn- 
wall, he read law with Wheaton and came to the bar after 1843 
and practiced a while in Cornwall and moved to New Milford where 
he died. He was states attorney for the county, he was a very 
diligent man, very ambitious and he rapidly rose in his profession. 
He was repetitious in his arguments, and that was the only criticism 
I ever heard made, for he was certainly logical, and had he lived 
to-tte ordinary age, I have no doubt he would have been one of 
the leaders of the bar. 


Warner's reminiscences i 17 

Another man from Cornwall was Solon B. Johnson, and many 
of you no doubt remember him. He was a tall, large-framed per- 
son, I don't know what year he came to the bar, and he was editor 
of the Litchfield Sentinel, and his editorial articles were read with 
a great deal of interest; there was a great deal of wit and humor 
and sarcasrii contained in them. He died early in life, he was of 
a peculiar nature and character, a loveable man in a great many 
respects. He had a peculiar stolid appearance at times, whether 
put on or natural, I don't know. If unnatural it was very success- 
ful comsumation. The last term that Judge Minor held of the 
Superior Court prior to his resignation, having accepted the nomi- 
nation for member of Congress from the 4th district, there was a 
gentleman came up to Litchfield, an entire stranger. He was in 
everybody's office, he was in the court room. He was a queer 
sort of a man, talking with everybody and with Judge Minor and 
3'ou couldn't help being interested to know who he was. He came 
across Solon Johnson and Johnson tried to get rid of him. He 
was all the while teasing Johnson to take drinks with him, and Mr. 
Johnson declined and kept declining. Finally, after much urging 
Johnson says "my friend, there is a drug store down here and we 
will go down there and get something that is pure and good." 
Well, they went down to the drug store and a pint bottle was brought 
out with the very purest kind of whiskey they had and a tumbler 
was set down, and this stranger told Mr. Johnson to take a drink. 
Johnson took up the bottle, looked at the cork, smelled of it and 
says "that's all right" turned it up and drained the bottle. The 
stranger looked at him aghast, expecting him to fall dead every 
minute. Johnson looked at him, smiled and said "Well, aint you 
going to take something?" 

Xow I come to Frederick Chittenden. He was in practice when 
I came to the bar, a high tempered man of great knowledge. He 
had many conflicts with those with whom he came in contact. He 
was of an irrascible temper, but a good-hearted, generous likely 
man, very well read in the law, but depended a great deal upon 
his natural abilities ; it took but very little to excite him, he was 
very behgerent in the trial. There was a lawyer from Kent, Henry 
Fuller, who came to the bar after myself. They had a contest and 
Chittenden was so excited he struck him on the head. Well, there 
was an interruption, and after the adjournment Chittenden came 
in and laid his cane down upon the table and he said he would 
preserve order in the court room. 

John G. Reed was a native of Salisbury and read law with me. 
His father and mother were Scotch. His father, the late Dr. 
Adam Reed was a celebrated Divine. He was educated at Williams 
College, he practiced law in Kent a short time, moved to Ohio, en- 
listed in an Ohio regiment in the civil war, and when he returned 
from that, he removed to Chicago and there distinguished himself 


as a lawyer before the higher courts upon mere questions of law. 
He was not what you call a jury lawyer. 

Well, brethren and gentlemen of the bar: The bell tolls and 
my hour has expired. I look back to the time when life was new 
and bright before me and everything seemed fair and good to see. 
I stand here now and remember all these friends of so long ago 
As I stand here alone of all those I knew in my early days, 
whom I have seen fall around me like leaves in the wintry weather. 

"I feel like one who stands alone, 
In some banquet hall deserted; 
Whose lights are dead. 
Whose joys are fled. 
And all but he departed. 

^tatottol 55^0t^0 




Compiled By 




Upon the establishment of Litchfield County in 175 1, the General 
Assembly was pleased to order two terms of the County Court to 
be held therein, one on the fourth Tuesday of December, and the 
other on the fourth Tuesday of April in each year, and also one 
term of the Superior Court to be held on the last Tuesday save 
two, in August of each year. 

In this Superior Court there was but one Clerk for the whole 
Colony wlio went with the Judges from place to place as the 
sessions were held, and kept the records all together in Hartford, 
where those prior to 1798 can now be found in the Secretary of 
State's office. 

The following is the record of the first court held in Litchfield 
County : 

'■At a County Court held .at Litchfield within and for the County 
of Litchfield on the fourth Tuesday of December A. D., 1751. 

Present : William Preston, Chief Judge. 

John Williams ) « , . 

„ „ 1 hsqrs. Justices 

Samuel Caneield > , 
-rA i,;r \ of quorain. 

EbEnezER Marsh ) 

Isaac Baldwin was appointed Clerk and sworn. 

Mr. John Catling, County Treasurer and Excise Master. 

Mr. Joshua Whitney of Canaan in said County, Attorney. 

"At the same Court John Davies of Litchfield in the County of 
Litchfield pit. versus John Barrett of Woodbury in sd County deft. 
The parties appeared and the deft, exhibited pleas in abatement 
of the pltf's writ which being overruled the parties then joyning in 
a demurr. to the declaration as on file, the Court is of Opinion that 
the Declaration is sufficient in the Law and thereupon it is con- 
sidered that the pit. shall recover of the Deft, the Sum of £1200 
money. Damages and costs of Court allowed to be . 

The deft, appeals from the judgment of this Court to the Su- 
perior Court to be holden at Litchfield on the second Tuesday of 
August next, and the plat, with Mr. Samuel Darling of New Haven 
before this Court acknowledged themselves bound to the Treasurer 
of sd County in a recognizance of £200 money to prosecute their 
said appeal to efifedl and answer all damages in case they make not 
their plea good." 

The following is the Record of the first Superior Court held 
in Litchfield County, and to be found in Hartford. 


At a Superior Court holden at Litchfield on Tuesday ye nth, 
day of August Anno Dommi 1752 anno ye Regni Rt. Georgii 
Secunde Vigestum Sexto. 
Present, ye 

Honbl. Thomas Fitch, Bsqr. Chief Judge. 
William Pitkin | 
EbenEzEr Syllyman > Assistant Judges.^, 
Samuel L,ynde j 

This Court was opened by Proclamation and adjourned till 
Two of ye clock of ye afternoon, and then opened according to 

Persons returned to serve as jurors were: 
William Marsh ] Nathan Botchford 1 

Joshua Garrett j- Litchfield John Hitchcock i- New Milford 

Thomas CatlingJ Partridge Thatcher j 

Timothy Minor ) Nathan Davis \ 

Gideon Walker f Woodbury Jacob Benton \ Harwinton 
Benjamin StilES ) , Samuel Phelphs ) 

The first recorded judgment is that of : 
William Sherman ) ( John Treat 

and - of New Milford vs. | of 

Roger Sherman ) ( New Milford 

At the May session of the General Assembly 1798 it was en- 
acted that the Superior Court Judges appoint a Clerk for each 
County and that the Records thereafter be kept in their respective 
Counties, but that the then existing records be kept at Hartford. 

In obedience of this law the Judges appointed Frederick Wol- 
cott, Esq. of Litchfield, Clerk for Litchfield County, and the first 
term of the Superior Court having its records at Litchfield, was 
held at Litchfield on the Third Tuesday of August 1798 and was 
"Opened by proclamation." 

The record is as follows: 

State oe Connecticut : 

At a Superior Court holden at Litchfield within and for the 
County of Litchfield, on the Third Tuesday of August A. D. 1798, 

The Hon. Jesse Root, Esq. Chief Judge 
Hon. Jonathan Sturges \ 

Hon. Stephen M. Mitchell f Assistant 
Hon. Jonathan Ingersoll ( Judges. 
Hon. Tapping Reeve ) 

Frederick Wolcott, Clerk. 








8 i 

<= i 

O I 
CC I- 


D. " 



u t 




The Attorneys in active practice in 1798 were the following: 

At Litchfield : 

Tappixc. Reeve 
Elijah Adams 
John Allen 
Isaac Baldwin 
Uriel Holmes 
Daniel ^^'. Lewis 
Ephraim Kirby 
Reynolds Marvin 
Roger Skinner 
Aaron Smith 
Uriah Tracy 
Frederick Wolcott. 

At Canaan : 

John Elmore 

At Goshen : 

Nathan Hale 


At Kent : 

Barazilla Slosson 

At New Milford : 

Da\id S. Boardman 
Samuel Bostwick 
Daniel Everett 
Philo Ruggles 

At Norfolk: 

Edmund Aiken 

Augustus Pettibone 

At Plymouth: 

Linus Fenn 

At Roxbury : 

RuEus Eastman. 

At Salisbury : 

Joseph Canfield 
Elisha Sterling 
Adonijah Strong 

At Sharon : 

JuDSON Caneield 
John C. Smith 
Cyrus Swan 

At Southbury : 

Simeon Hinman 
Benjamin Stiles, Jr. 

At Washington : 

Daniel N. Brinsmade 
William Cogswell 

At Watertown : 

Eli CuRTiss 

Samuel W. Southmayd 

At Winchester: 

Phineas Miner 

At Woodbury: 

Noah B. Benedict 
Nathan Preston 
Nathaniel Smith 

The following members of the Bar are now (April 1907) residing 
in the County: Those with a * are not in active practice. 

Litchfield : 

J. Gail Beckwith, Jr. * 
Francis BissEll * 
Wheaton F. Dowd 
John T. Hubbard 
D wight C. Kilborn 
William L. Ransom * 
Elbert P. Roberts 
Thomas F. Ryan 
George M. Woodruee 
James P. Woodrufe 

Bethlehem : 

Walter M. Johnson * 

Cornwall : 

William D. Bosler 
Leonard J. Nickersojt 

Goshen : 

Charles A. Palmer * 

Norfolk : 

Robbins B. Stoeckel 



INew Hartford: 

Frederick A. Jewell 
H. Roger Jones, Jr. 
Frank B. Munn 

Jsiew Milford: 

John F. Addis 
Frank W. Marsh 
Henry S. Sanford 
Fred'M. Williams 

INorth Canaan : 

Samuel G. Camp 
Geo. a. Marvin 
Alberto T. Roraback 
J. Henry Roraback 
J. Clinton Roraback 

Plymouth : 

Henry B. Plumb * 
E. Leroy Pond 
Fred a. Scott 

Salisbury : 

Howard F. L,andon 
Donald T. Warner 

Sharon : 

Willard Baker 

Thomaston : 

Albert P. Bradstreet 
E. T. Canfield 
Frank W. Etheridge 

Torrington : 

William W. Bierce 
Bernard E. H^iggins 
Walter Holcomb 
Peter J. McDermott 
Willard A. Roraback 
Homer R. ScovillE 


Gideon H. Welch 
Thos. J. Wall 

Watertown : 

C. B. Atwood * 

S. McL. Buckingham 

Winchester : 

Wm. H. Blodgett 
C. E. Bristol * 
Jas. p. Glynx 
Samuel A. Herman 
Richard T. Higgins 
Samuel B. Horne 
Wm. p. Lawrence * 
Wilbur G. Manchester 
Geo. a. SajJford 
Frank W. Seymour 
James P. Shelley 
Wellington B. Smith 
James W. Smith 

Woodbury : 

James Huntixgtox 
Arthur D. Warner 

The following persons who have been connected with this Bar 
•either by admission or residence, are not now residing in the County. 
l)ut are supposed to be alive and residing elsewhere. 

John Q. Adams, 

Negaunee, Mich. 

Xouis J. Blake, 

Omaha, Neb. 
Edward J. Bissell, 

Fond-du-Lac, Wis. 
John O. Boughton, 

Stamford, Conn. 
David S. Calhoun 

Hartford, Conn. 

Uriah Case, 

Hartford, Conn. 
John D. Champlin, 

New York City. 

Chester D. Cleveland, 
Oshkosh, Wis. 

Frank D. Cleveland, 
Hartford, Conn. 

George W. Cole, 
New York City. 




Stewart ^^^ Cowan, 

Mount \'ernon, N. Y. 
S. Gregg Clark, 

New Jersey. 
E. T. Caxfield, 

Hartford, Conn. 
Spencer Dayton^ 

Phillipa, West Va. 
Lee p. Dean, 

Bridgeport, Conn. 
E. C. Dempsey, 

Danbury, Conn. 
William H. Ely, 

New Haven, Conn. 
John R. Farnum, 

Washington, D. C. 


Bridgeport, Conn. 
W. W. Guthrie, 

Atkinson. Kansas. 
Robert E. Hall, 

Danbury, Conn. 
Ch.vrles R. Hathway, 

So. Manchester. 
jMarcus H. Holcomb, 

Southington, Conn. 
John D. Howe, 

St. Paul, Minn. 
Edward J. Hubbard, 

Trinidad, Col. 
Frank W. Hubbard, 

New York. N. Y 
Frank L,. Hungerford, 

New Britain, Conn. 
Walter S. Judd, 

New York City. 
William Knapp, 

Denver, Col. 
Fred M. Koehler, 

Lrivingston, Mont. 

Frank D. Liksley, 

Philmont, N. Y. 
Rev. A. N. Lewis, 

New Haven, Conn. 
Theodore M. Maltbie^ 

Hartford, Conn. 
T. DwiGHT Merwin, 

Washington, D. C. 
Nathan Morse, 

Akron, Ohio. 
Fred E. Mygatt, 

New York City. 
Wm. p. Mulville, 

J\'ew Canaan. 
Wm. H. O'Hara, 

New York City. 

E. Frisbie Phelps, 

New York City. 
Fred a. Scott, 

Hartford, Conn. 
Morris W. Seymour, 

Bridgeport, Conn. 
Origin Storrs Seymour, 

New York City. 
George P\ Shelton, 

Butte, Mont. 
George E. Taft, 

Unionville, Conn. 

F. R. Tiffany, 

John Q. Thayer, 

Meriden, Conn. 
Frederick C. Webster^ 

Missoula, Mont. 
Rev. Edwin A. White, 

Bloomfield, N. J. 
John F. Wynne, 

New Haven, Conn. 


.Governors of Connecticut who were members of this bar. 

Gen. Oliver Wolcott 1796-1798 Oliver Wolcott, Jr. 1817-1823 

John Cotton Smith 1813-1817 Wm. W. Ellsworth 1838-1842 

Charles B. Andrews 1 879-1 881 




Members of this bar who have been Judges of the Superior 
Court. Those starred, members of the Supreme Court of Errors. 

Roger Sherman,* 1766-1789 

Andrew Adams,* 1789-1798 

Chief Justice, 1793. 
Tapping Reeve,* 1798-1815 

Chief Justice, 18 14. 
Nathaniel Smith, 1806-1819 

John Cotton Smith,* 1809-1811 
James Gould,* 1816-1819 

John T. Peters, 1818-1834 

Samuel Church,* 1833 -1854 

Chief Justice, 1847. 
Wm. W. Ellsworth,* 1842-1861 
J. W. Huntington,* 1834-1840 

David C. Sanford,* 1854-1864 
Origen S. Seymour,* 1855-1863 
Gideon Hall, 1866-1867 

Miles T. Granger,* 1867-1876 
Origen S. Seymour, 1870-1874 

Chief Justice, 1873. 
Roland Hitchcock, 1874- 1882 
Charles B. Andrews,* 1883-1901 

Chief Justice, 1889-1901. 
Augustus H. Fenn,* 1887-1897 
Edward W. Seymour,* 1889-1902 
A. T. Roraback,* 1897 


The following members of the bar have been Clerks of the Su- 
perior Court. 

Frederick Wolcott, 
Origen S. Seymour, 
O.- S. Seymour, 
G. H. Hollister, 
G. H. Hollister, 
EHsha Johnson, 


I 836- I 844 
1 846- 1 847 
I 844- I 845 

F. D. Beeman, 
Henry B. Graves, 
F. D. Beeman, 
William L,. Ransom, 
Dwight C. Kilbourn, 




The following members of the bar have been Attorneys for the 
State, or King's Attorney. 

Joshua Whitney, 1752. 
Samuel Petibone, 1756. 
Reynold Marvin, 1764. 
Andrew Adams, 1772. 
John Canfield, 1786. 
Tapping Reeve, 1788. 
Uriah Tracy, 1789. 
John Allen, 1800. 
Nathaniel Smith, 1806. 
EHsha Sterling, 1814. 
Seth P. Beers, 1820. 

Samuel Church, 1825. 
David C. Sanford, 1840. 
Leman Church, 1844. 
John H. Hubbard, 1845. 
Leman Church, 1847. 
John H. Hubbard, 1849. 
Julius B. Harrison, 1852. 
Gideon Hall, 1854. 
Charles F. Sedgwick, 1856. 
James Huntington, 1874. 
Donald T. Warner, 1896. 


The following have been the Sheriffs for Litchfield County 
from its organization: 




Oliver Wolcott, 
Lynde Lord, 
John R. L,andon, 
Moses Seymour, Jr., 
Ozias Seymour, 
Albert Sedgwick, 
Charles A. Judson, 
Albert Sedgwick, 
L. W. Wessells, 

I 838- I 854 
I 854- I 866 

Henry A. Botsford, 
George H. Baldwin, 
John D. Yale, 
Charles J. Porter, 
Henry J. Allen, 
Edward A. NeUis. 
C. C. Middlebrooks, 
F. H. Turkington, 

1 866- 1 869 
I 869- I 878 
I 878- I 88 I 
I 884- I 895 


The first Court House of the County was built at LitchSeld in' 
1751-52. It stood on the public square directly in front of and 
about one hundred and fifty feet distant from the site of the present 
one. It was a very plain looking building about twenty-five feet 
wide by thirty-six long and fifteen feet posts. In it was a huge 
stone chimney and a monstrous fire-place. It was in existence as- 
a part of one of the stores of the village until the great fire of 1888. 
It cost as near as can be ascertained from the County Treasurer's 
books £3343 4s 9d. The tax paid by each town was as follows : 















1 124 






New Milford 























Xew Hartford 



The second Court House was located on the same site now 
occupied by the present one, it was given to the County for that 
purpose by Moses Seymour. It was built in 1789 at a cost to the- 
County of five thousand dollars; and whatever it cost over that 
was made up by private contributions. It was designed by Wil- 
liam Spratt an English Architect whose original drawing of it is- 
now in existence. 

After many years it was believed that the spire was unsafe and 
it was taken off and the one shown in our cut of it was adderf 
which ruined the whole effect of the front. 

It was a veritable temple of justice, the interior being like a. 
church all in one large high room with a jury room in one corner 
and a gallery at one end with stairs leading up to it. It took a 
large amount of wood to fill the immense fire-places and keep it 
warm during the sessions in the winter. The judges sat on a. 
raised platform at one end with a pulpit-like desk in front of them 
and looked down with great majesty and dignity upon the arenas 
in front and beneath them. 


After a number of years (in 1818) an arrangement was made by 
and between the town of Litchfield and the county officials where- 
by the town was permitted to divide the high room and make an 
upper and a lower room ; the courts to use the upper one and the 
town the lower room and this arrangement continued to the time of 
its destruction by fire Jcine 10, 1886. The expenses of repairs and 
maintaining were divided 'between the town and county. 

It has been often remarked that this old court room was one 
of the pleasantest in the State and although devoid of every modern 
convenience, it was a delight to lawyers and judges to practice 
therein. From its windows the finest of landscapes greeted the 
eye, the beautiful lakes encircled by emerald hills and the mountain 
peaks beyond towering into the blue sky, the fertile and well- 
tilled farms on every side made a natural panorama that soothed 
the weary brain of the tired lawyer. The great Franklin, stoves 
filled with Mt. Tom hickory wood made snapping sparkling fires. 
The graceful arching over head the quaint wooden benches and 
painted carvings, all delighted the eye and by their simple effects 
aided the judges and worn-out jurors in solving the intricate prob- 
lems they were called to try. , 

The jury room in the cold bleak north-west corner was not a 
parlor. A big sheet iron stove for wood, a dozen wooden benches, 
and a plain table was the make-up of this trysting place; there 
was little prospect of comfort for an all night session of a dis- 
, agreeing jury and they seldom lingered patiently about. Their 
verdicts generally were rendered altogether too speedily for the poor 
prisoner in the box or the fellow who lost his case. 

The States Attorney's room was entirely wanting. In those 
primitive times those officials carried their all in their heads and 
pockets and what the attorney failed to do in his last argument the 
Court carefully supplemented in his charge. The practice in the 
criminal cases was largely a degree of eloquence and if the testi- 
mony was weak the advocate was strong and never failed to men- 
tion what the witnesses ought to have said. 

The Clerk's office was also absent and he was permitted to 
rent at his own expense an office in some other building and keep 
the records and files wherever he chose. The judge's room was 
not thought of in the olden days. Why should he need one? No 
findings of facts were required of him and when the sheriff ad- 
journed the court his duties ceased. 

On the morning of the nth of June, 1886 nothing remained of 
this old building where so many memories clustered but the two 
great chimneys. The fire fiend in its ruthless track had swept 
everything away. 

Directly after the fire in 1886 attempts were made to divide the 
County or divert the Court to other places, and the town of Litch- 
field began to erect another Court House which was practically 


completed about the ist of August 1888. It was a wooden struc- 
ture somewhat Hke the former one with good arrangernents for 
court, clerk, jury, judges and attorneys rooms. On. the morning 
of the 8th of August 1888 before it had been turned over to or 
occupied by the County this also lay in ashes. 

Immediately the town took action towards building another 
Court House and appointed a committee consisting of Hon. Charles 
B. Andrews, Dr. Henry W. Buel, Henry B. Graves, Esq., with 
Jacob Morse and Garner B. Curtiss, selectmen of the town. The 
result of their action is the present building at Litchfield built of 
stone and practically fire proof with excellent accomodations for 
all court purposes and presented to the County by the town and 
accepted by the county commissioners in behalf of and for the 
county on the nth of March, 1890. 

Meanwhile the agitation about dividing the county and court 
business continued until finally it resulted in an act of the legisla- 
ture allowing courts to be held at Litchfield, Winchester and New 
Milford upon the two latter towns providing suitable accomoda- 
tions. Whereupon the town of Winchester leased to the county 
such a building with suitable accomodations for the courts of the 
county on the 9th of August, 1887 and the town of New Milford 
also leased such building and accomodations on the 15th day of 
August, 1887 and the courts are now held at each of said places 
practically holding court wherever it is most convenient to try the 

In 1905 the town of Winchester increased the Court accomo- 
dations by adding four large spacious rooms and fire proof vault 
with metal fixtures, making this Court building one of the best in 
the State for its purposes. 

In 1907 a bill was presented before the General Assembly of 
Connecticut, ordering the removal to Winchester from Litchfield, 
of the civil records and files of the Superior Court, with the seal 
and Clerk, making Winchester practically the main office of the 
Court. It also provided for the removal of all the files of the Com- 
mon Pleas Court and seal, to the Winsted Court House. The bill, 
however, failed of passage. 


The Statutes of Connecticut provide for the selection of jury- 
men for the several towns, and also prescribe the number to which 
each town is entitled. 

Various ways of selecting these men have been provided in 
former years, but the present method seems to have been more 
nearly satisfactory than any of the past ones. 

The Selectmen of each town are required to forward to the 
Clerk of the Superior Court during the month of May the names 
of twice the number the town is entitled to. The Judges at their 


annual meeting in June appoint two Jury Commissioners to act 
with the Clerk of the Superior Court, who is by Statute a Jurj 
Commissioner, who meet on the second Monday of July and select 
one half of the names returned by the Selectmen. These names, 
so selected, are printed on slips of paper, and those of each town 
are placed in a box by themselves, and are the names of the men 
liable for jury duty each town for the year from the following 
September first. When a petit jury is required, the Clerk draws 
them without seeing the name, from such towns as he desires, in 
the presence of a Judge and a Sheriff. 


This important part of the Court deserves a very honorable 
mention. The juries of this County have been composed of the 
very best class of men ; men of good judgment and sterling common 
sense, seldom carried away with the oratory or pathos of the ad- 
vocate or losing sight of the issues of the case. 

There are some incidents related of jury trials that tend to show 
that they are but men and liable to some of the caprices of human 
nature. The common style of voting blank upon a case by one or 
more of thent on the first ballot is of very little consequence only 
showing that some people do not form conclusions as rapidly as 

That the jurymen do not always agree with the Court is illus- 
trated by a case in which Judge Carpenter in charging the jury 
remarked "Now gentlemen,^ if you believe this incredible story you 
will convict the prisoner, but if you do not believe it you must 
acquit him." The jury after a long consultation disagreed. Upon 
receiving further instruction in which the incredible story was dis- 
credited still more strongly, they again retired and after mature 
deliberation they still disagreed. Another strong instruction, re- 
tirement and disagreement, when they were discharged from further 
consideration of the case. It was ascertained they stood eleven for 
conviction and one for acquittal. 

In another case wherein a man sued ah officer for false im- 
prisonment it was admitted that the officer was liable and the 
judge charged the jury that they were the ones to assess the 
damages. The offense was where an officer arrested a drunk and 
put him in the town lockup over night, intending to try him in the 
morning; before the trial however the man's friends hearing of 
his condition went to the lockup opened the door and carried him 
away. After being out a long time the jury returned much to every 
ones surprise a verdict for the defendant. The exolanation that the 
jury gave was that the man was rescued by his friends before the 
officer had had a reasonable time to prosecute the offense. 

A man was prosecuted for an assault and battery of rather an 
aggravated nature ; he claimed it was done in self defense. It wns 



shown that the parties had an altercation and the accused followed 
up the complainant and pounded him. The prisoner admitted it, 
but claimed he was obliged to follow up for fear that the other man 
would, as soon as he got a little distance irom him, turn around 
and shoot him. The Jury p6iidered a long while, then returned to 
the Court Room for instructions. The foreman said they wished 
to know how far the law allowed a man to follow up another with 
a sled stake in self defense. 


Of course oiu- Courts had all sorts of witnesses to deal with 
from the garrulous man who knows everything, to the reticent man 
who knows nothing and has forgotten that. 

A few specimens are preserved in the traditions of our elders. 

A child was asked if he knew the nature of an oath and he re- 
plied "Xo sir." Then the kind hearted judge leaned over the side 
of his desk and smilingly asks "My son don't you know what you're 
going to tell?" "Yes, sir," said the boy, "that old bald headed 
lawyer over there told me what I must say." "Administer the 
oath, Air. Clerk." 

A witness in a criminal case haled from a unsavory place called 
"Pinch Gut;" he was duly sworn and upon being asked his name, 
gave it. The next question was "Where" do you reside?" No 
answer came. The question was repeated twice and the last time 
with great severity. The witness turned with dignity to the judge 
and said, "Must I answer that question?" "AVhy not?" said the 
Court. "Because" said the witness "I have been told that no man 
was obliged to criminate himself." 

\\'itnesses are often ridiculed for making evasive answers to 
attorneys' questions but perhaps they do not always fully under- 
stand the query. The following is a question asked by a learned 
attorney in the trial of a tax case, taken from tlie Stenographer's 
notes : 

O. "What I want to ask you is whether comparing his land 
with the other lands that you have been swearing about here, you 
have sworn to some 30 other farms, and in comparison, that is, I 
mean whether, how should you take them in comparison, how 
should you consider them, if you take that as a basis, they are 
assessed for $3,000. Taking that as a basis for your comparison, 
how should you start?" 


In 1884 the General Assembly passed an act providing for the 
appointment of a Stenographer for the Superion Court in each of 
the Counties. About 1886 Mr. Leonard W. Cogswell was ap- 
pointed for this Cbunty and has held the position since that date. 

Leonard \\'. Cogswell, Esq., the official stenographer is a na- 




tive of Litchfield County, and was born in New Preston, in July 
1863, and enjoyed all the lights and shadows of a farmer's son on 
a rugged farm upon the side of Mt. Bushnell. He polished up an 
education received at the districe school and Village Academy by 
a term at Claverack College at Hudson, N. Y. In 1884 he quit 
the farm and went to New Haven and learned short hand. In 
1886 he was appointed official Stenographer of Litchfield County, 
and holds the same position for Windham County. His services 
are in great demand during the sessions of the Legislature, by the 
Committees thereof. 

He was admitted to the Bar of New Haven County in June, 
1897, and resides in New Haven. In the preparation of this 
memoir we are indebted to him for the preservation of the re- 
marks at the Banquet, and for poetical selections herein. 


At the Bar Dinner in 1901 Judge Roraback in his remarks gave 
a few reminisences of his student days which are worthy of preser- 
vation as illustrating how lawyers were made in the country of- 
fices. Upon being introduced by the Toastmaster he responded 
as follows : 

Mr. Toastmaster, and gentlemen of the Litchfield County Bar: 
I hardly expected to make a speech, but the reference that was 

>.-.-■ --^r-s^-i 

AIvBERTO T. roraback. 


made by my distinguished friend, Donald J. Warner carries me back 
to the month of April, 1870. That is almost 32 years. I then 
commenced the study of Blackstone in his office. Well, I pounded 
away at Blackstone for five months, and learned it pretty thorough- 
ly. As I remember it, if it had been set to music I think I could 
have sung it. It was pretty dry work and pretty hard work. But 
one morning D. J. came in, and he says, "Roraback, you have been 
pounding away at Blackstone some time, would'nt you like a 
change?" Well, I hardly knew what was coming, whether it was 
a change from Blackstone to Chitty, or what it was, but I looked 
up at him, and I said I thought I would. "All right," he said, "I 
have got a client for you." I could hardly believe it. A real 
client with a case? It was the first ray of light, the first gleam 
of hope in those long months ; to have a client, a real live client. 
He brought him in. I wish you could have seen him. He was 
colored. His trotisers were stuck in the tops of his boots, he was 
out at the seat of his pants, but he was a client ; my first client. It 
was my first case, and I was happy. The case was returnable be- 
fore Daniel Pratt, a Justice who had his office in the village of 
Salisbury. I went to work to prepare my case, and at the time 
stated for the trial I was there with my client. I made the great, 
supreme, and sublime effort of my life. There was'nt any attorney 
for the plaintiflF. I appeared for the defense. It was'nt necessary 
that the plaintiff should be represented. The magistrate occupied 
that position, and when I had finished my argument he made his. 
It was very effective; iust $36.22 for the plaintiff and costs. Well, 
of course I felt crestfallen. I. came down to the office the next 
morning, and Donald J. the elder came in, and he asked me how 
I got along with the case. I had to tell him I got beat. Thorough- 
ly beaten. And he said to me, "Oh,, well, never mind that. You 
will come across those little misfortunes once in a while in vour 
practice of law, but, of course, vou won't get any pay." "I did, I 
got my pay." "You did? How' much did you get?" "$6.""Jt6," 
Donald J. says, "that is better than a victory ; I have been defending 
that cussed nigger in season and out of season for the past twenty- 
five years, and I never received a cent," and he grasped me warmly 
by the hand, and he says, "Roraback, you will be a success." That 
was case No. i. My first case. 

Case No. 2 was the case of Julius Moses vs. Virgil Roberts. 
Virgil Roberts was an old farmer that lived down on the Gay St. 
road, as I remember it. When the case came to trial D. J. said to 
me that I had better come along down and write the evidence. So 
I went along down and wrote the evidence, and when the evidence 
was all in D. J. spoke to me over across the table and he says, 
"Roraback, you get up and make the opening argument." I was 
demoralized, for gentlemen, sitting on the other side was Gen'l. 
Charles S. Sedgwick. You never saw him, most of you, but he 



was a man that stood six feet four in his stockings, and weighed 
250 lbs. "I^-am afraid I made very poor work of it with tliat great 
giant on the other side. I was afraid. I verily- -beHeve if the old 
General had stamped his foot and yelled "scat," I would have gone 
through the window and forever abandoned the idea of studying 
law. But we fought it out. I got up and made my argument, 
and then the old General got up and made No. 2, and then Donald 
J. Warner made the closing. Talk about wit, and talk about sar- 
casm, talk about eloquence, I learned the lesson right there and 
then that it was not the avoirdupois of the lawyer that wins cases. 
Gen. Sedgwick was three score and ten. He lived along a few 
-ears, and wrote a little pamphlet on his experiences in fifty years 
at the Litchfield County Bar. He was then state attorney. 


The matter of having a Bar Library at the Court House was 
attended to at an early date. The following action of the Bar is an 
interesting Record. 

"At a meeting of the Bar December 29, 1819. 

The following Report of a Committee having been read was 
adopted. "To the Bar of the County of Litchfield. The Sub- 
scribers having been appointed by said Bar, a Committee to enquire 
into the expediency of commencing a Law Library for the use of the 
Bar, (and if deemed expedient to devise some mode by which it 
may be obtained), having attended to the subject beg leave to re- 
port in part, That the Bar now owns six volumns of the Statutes 
of Massachusetts, the two volumns of the revised edition of the 
Statutes of New York, published in 1813, and the two volumes of 
the Statutes of Vermont published in 1808; that there now remains 
tmexpended the sum of Seventeen Dollars formerly raised by the 
Bar for the purpose of purchasing Statutes of other States. 

And further report that it is expedient that there be raised by 
the Bar the further sum of One Hundred and Fifty-six Dollars to 
be paid and apportioned to the members thereof as follows : 

Elisha Sterling 


Jabez W. Huntington 


Jno. G. Mitchell 


Samuel Church 


Reuben Hunt 


Wm. M. Burrall 


W. S. Holabird 


Michael F. Mills 


Calvin Butler 


Holbrook Curtiss 


Chas. B. Phelps 


Nathaniel B. Smith 


Nath'l. Perry, Jr. 


Roger Mills 


R. R. Hinman 


Philo N. Heacock 


Perry Smith 


Homer Swift 


Nath'l. Perry 


Geo. Wheaton 


Cyrus Swan 


Phineas Miner 


Asa Bacon 


Philander Wheeler 



Leman Church 4.00 Wm. Cogswell 3.00 

Joseph Miller 5.00 Ansel Sterling 5.00 

Wm. G. Williams 5.00 Theodore North 4.00 

Noah B. Benedict 7.00 Seth P. Beers 6.00 

John Strong 2,00 Matthew Minor 3.00 

Jos. B. Bellamy 4.00 Isaac Leavenworth 4.00 

David S. Boardman 6.00 

And that said sums of Seventeen and One Hundred and Fifty- 
six Dollars with such further sum as the Court may appropriate from 
the County Treasurer for that purpose, be applied to the purchase 
of the Law Books hereinafter mentioned, or such other Books as 
the Bar may hereafter direct, viz : 

Kirby's Reports, Root's Reports, Day's Cases in Error, Con- 
necticut Reports, Swift's Evidence, Swift's System, Chitty's Plead- 
ings, Lane's Pleadings, Phillip's Evidence, Johnson's Reports, Mas- 
sachusetts Reports. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

Signed per order, 

S. P. Bters, Chairiiian. 

The books mentioned in this report were purchased and are 
now in the Library at Litchfield. The only provision for the in- 
crease of the Library which I find is an admission fee of Five Dol- 
lars from a new attorney, until 1874, nor do the books in the Li- 
brary show additions of any account. 

In 1874, it was Voted As a standing Rule of the Bar, that each 
member pay to the treasurer thereof the sum of One Dollar each, 
yearly, to be expended in the purchase of Books for the benefit and 
use of the said Bar. Said payments to be made at the annual meet- 
ing in each year. 

In 1877 the Legislature enacted a Bill providing for the forma- 
tion of County Law Library Associations. The County Commis- 
sioners were to pay in their discretion each year on the first of 
January a sum not exceeding Three Hundred Dollars, for the 
support thereof. The Litchfield County Law Library Association 
was duly organized and received money from the County Treasurer 
for one year, after which the discretion of the Commissioners did 
not mature, and payments ceased, for some years. In 1897 an act 
was passed making the payment obligatory of one hundred and 
fifty dollars to each of the libraries at Litchfield, Winsted and New 
Milford, since which time a good supply of law books may be found 
in each Court House. 

At the session of the Legislature of 1907 an act was passed re- 
quiring the County Commissioners to pay each library four hundred 
dollars a year. 

At New Milford large accessions came from bequests of Bros. 
Henry S. Sanford and James H. McMahon. 




In 1906 Bro. McMahon left by his will the sum of $1,200 to 
be equally divided between the three libraries, which was available 
in 1907, and has been paid to the committees. 

In each Court House may be found a first class working library 
with some of the Reports of other States. 

In 1900 the Bar voted that all the law books of the Bar, As- 
sociation be presented to the Litchfield County Law Library As- 
sociation, so that all the books are under one management. 


Another branch of these libraries is purchased by the income 
derived from a bequest of Aaron White, a lawyer who by his will 
left to each County Law Library one thousand dollars for certain 
classes of books. 

The following account of Mr. White who deceased in 1886, 
taken from a newspaper, will no doubt be of interest in this con- 
nection and is worthy of preservation. 

A Boston Globe correspondent tells the following story of Aaron 
White of Quinnebaug: — 

Aaron White has figured in his life as the most eccentric man 
in this locality, and one who is widely known in Massachusetts, 


Connecticut and JRhode Island. He was born in Boylston, Mass., 
October 8, 1798, and was the eldest of ten children, seven boys and 
three girls, nine of whom are now living. He entered Harvard 
college, graduating in a class of sixty-eight members in 1817. Of 
his classmates only seven are now living. Mr. White, in recounting 
incidents of his college life, shows a wonderful memory. Among 
his classmates were the late Hon. Stephen Salisbury of Worcester, 
the Hon. George Bancroft, the Hon. Caleb Cushing, whom he con- 
sidered the most talented man he ever met ; Samuel Sewall, now 
living in Boston ; Dr. John Green of Lowell, the Rev. Dr. Tyng of 
the Episcopal church, now living in Phildelphia; John D. Wells of 
Boston, one of the greatest anatomists of his day, and Professor 
Alva ^^'oods, formerly president of the Transylvania college in the 
South. living- in Providence. When the "Dorr War" broke out 
Squire White was living in Woonsocket. "Governor" Dorr, be- 
ing at the head of the controvesy, called upon Mr. White, for advice 
"as a friend and acquaintance,"' which resulted in frequent visits 
between them. This resulted afterwards in both White and Dorr 
being obliged to leave the state, both going to Thompson, Conn. 
Soon after, Mr. White secretly got Dorr into New Hampshire. 
The authorities in Rhode Island used a warrant for the arrest of 
Squire \Miite, in which he was called the "coriimander-in-chief" of 
the forces that opposed the state. They called on Governor Chauncy 
Cleveland of Connecticut for assistance, which was refused. They 
afterwards called on Governor John Davis of Massachusetts to ar- 
rest White when he came to Dudley, Webster or Worcester, but 
Governor Davis as in the case of Governor Cleveland, refused to 
grant the request. Both governors were in sympathy with Dorr 
and \Miite. The Rhode Island authorities then threatened to send 
■an armed force to kidnap Squire White at his home in Quinnebaug. 
Governor Davis then issued a warrant for White's arrest if seen in 
^Massachusetts, but this warrant was not intended to harm Squire 
White, for it was to run only thirty days from its date. The result 
was that Squire White remained unmolested in his quiet home on 
the banks of the placid Quinnebaug. He is a lawyer and his busi- 
•ness has been such as settling estates, drawing up wills, giving ad- 
vice, etc., and he has always been considered a safe man to consult 
on such business. When he was in his prime he was six feet in 
height, lightly built and very long-limbed, weighing 160 pounds. 
He is nearly blind, his eyesight having been failing for some five 

In his college days he, with Caleb Cushing, collected several 
rare coins. Later he engaged in collecting old-fashioned coppers. 
When the government called in the old coppers in 1863 or there- 
abouts, issuing new ones, and for three years afterwards, he was 
most active in picking them up. His reason for going into this 
business was that he thought it very profitable. He visited the mint 


at Philadelphia, making arranganents with the officers to take 
these coppers and give him new pennies in return, the government 
to pay all expenses in shipping to and from his home. This busi- 
ness, which he has carried on for some fifteen years, as a whole has 
netted him a large amount of profit. He has some instances sold 
copper coins of rare date for from $1 to $3, and in one case he re- 
ceived $5 for a rare copper. He paid from forty to forty-four 
cents per pound, "good, bad and indifferent," selecting the good 
ones from them and shipping the rest to the mint. In his trips he 
visited the principal cities and large towns in New England, collect- 
ing many thousand coins as a result. 

After the death of Mr. White in 1886, his executors found many 
barrels of copper cents — of the "not rare" ones. About four tons 
of these coins were redeemed by the Sub-Treasury at Washington. 

Extracts from aaron white's will. 

Fourth. — Out of the residue of the estates so given in trust as 
aforesaid, to pay to the Treasurers of the present eight Counties 
in the State of Connecticut, to each the sum of One Thousand 
Dollars in lawful money, to be by them received in trust, as funds 
for the procurement and maintenance of County Bar Libraries 
in their respective Counties, in their several County Court Houses, 
for the sole use of the Judges and Clerks of Courts therein. Mem- 
bers of the Bar, and their students at law while in the Oiffices of 
said Bar members, in their respective Counties ; which funds or the 
annual income thereof, as said Bar Members may direct, shall be 
expended under their direction in the purchase of Books of His- 
tory, and Books of Moral and Political Philosophy. 

And in case said residue last mentioned be not sufficient for 
the payment of all said legacies to said Counties in full, then said 
residue, in equal portions to said Counties for the purposes afore- 
said shall be deemed a fuUfilment of their trust. Such payment 
to be made within three years from the time of my decease.'" 


At a meeting of the Litchfield County Bar held at the Court 
House in Litchfield on the 4th day of January 185 1 the following 
preamble and resolution was adopted : 

Whereas, During the present year a century will elapse since 
the organization of the County of Litchfield; and 

Whereas, a Centennial celebration of that event has been under 
consideration. Therefore 

Resolved, That Chas. B. Phelps, O. S. Seymour, John H. Hub- 
bard, Gideon Hall, G. H. Hollister, J. B. Harrison and J. B. 
Foster Esquires, be a Committee of the Bar to call a meeting of 
citizens of the County to consider that subject and to take such 

F. D. Beumax 


order- thereon by appointment of a Committee of arrangements or 
otherwise as shall be thought best. 

F. D. Beeman, Clerk. 
In pursuance of these pcoceedings the Centennial Celebration 
of August 185 1 was held. Several thousand people were present. 
Judge Samuel Church delivered the Historical acldress which is 
reprinted in this volume. Horace Bushnell the sermon and John 
Pierpont the poem. 


At a meeting of the Bar of Litchfield County during the August 
Term 1834, a Committee was appointed to prepare an address to 
the Hon. David Daggett, Chief Justice of the State, on the occasion 
of the near approach of his term of judicial service, which Com- 
mittee reported to the Bar the following address, which was by 
order of the Bar communicated to the Hon. David Daggett, and 
together with the reply thereto was ordered to be recorded upon 
the records of the Bar. 

"To the Hon. David Daggett, Chief Justice of the State of 
Connecticut. Sir : — The members of the Bar of the County of 
Litchfield, having heard from a communication which you made 
to the Legislature of the State at its last session that your judicial 
term of office service will expire by Constitutional limitation dur- 
ing the present year, and consequently not expecting to meet you 
again in your official character, beg leave to express to you the high 
sense "which they entertain of the ability, integrity and impartiality, 
which you have manifested upon the bench, and to thank you 
cordially for the uniform kindness and courtesy with which you 
have treated them when they have had occasion to appear before 
you to discharge the arduous duties of their profession. Li taking 
leave of you we cannot but recollect that it is now rising of forty 
years since you first formed a connection with the Bar of this 
County, and that vou were long associated in practice with Adams, 
Reeve, Smith, Tracy, Allen, Kirby, Benedict, Slosson and South- 
mayde, whose bright names are inscribed on our records and whose 
memory will be cherished so long as learning, talent and virtue 
shall command esteem ; nor can we forget that your labors may 
be traced in the very foundations of the judicial system of Connecti- 
cut, nor that you have exercised a happy influence in adorning that 
system with various learning, and in bringing it to its present 
matured condition. 

We tender you our best wishes that the residue of your days 
may be as happy as your life has been heretofore distinguished and 

Per order of the Bar, 

Phineas Miner, Chairman. 
Geo. C. Woodrufif, Clerk pro fern. 
Litchfield, August 29th., 1834. 


The following is the repl}- made by the Hon. David Daggett to 
"the foregoing address. 

"To the members of the Bar of Litchfield of the County of 
Xitchfield : 

Gentlemen : — I have received with high satisfaction the address 
signed by Phineas Miner and G€orge C. Woodruff, Esquirei, 
your Chairman and Secretary, which you did me the honor to 
communicate to me this da}-. 

In taking leave of a Bar so distinguished, by the illustrious 
names inscribed on its records, it is impossible that I should not 
entertain a grateful recollection of the memories of those who are 
now away from all earthly scenes, and also cherish a lively affec- 
tion and respect for those who now occupy with such honor their 

If my official conduct on the bench deserves the commendation 
bestowed upon it, much of it is justly due to the gentlemen of a 
Bar ever characterized by ability, integrity, industry and learning. 
Of your courtes}' towards me and your gentlemanly deportment 
towards each other while engaged in the conflicts of the Bar, I 
cannot speak in terms sufficiently expressive of the feelings of 
my heart. They will be recollected with grateful affection. How 
much such an intercourse between the Bar and the bench tends 
to alleviate the burdens of the judicial station, can be known only 
by those who have had the pleasure to witness it. 

I pra}' you to accept my fervent wishes for the prosperitv and 
happiness of you individually, and my cordial thanks for this ex- 
pression of your esteem and respect. 

David Daggett. 
Litchfield, August 28th., 1834. 

A true copv. Attest, 

Wm. P. Burrall, Clerk. 

COURT Expenses. 

In the earlier part of the century the Judges were given a cer- 
tain sum per day and their dinners. 

Among the vouchers of the past the following bill of Court 
expenses appears. 

The State of Connecticut : 
To Isaac Baldwin, Dr. 

Superior Court, February Term, 1810. 
To ninety nine dinners for the Court $40.50 

To 21 bottles of wine at los 35-50 

To Brandy, Sugar, etc., 17 days at 4-6 12.75 

To pipes and tobacco .50 

'To Segars .2$ 

To paper .25 





Prepared by the late Wm. F. Hurlbut, Clerk. 

The first Court organization in lyitchfield County was the County 
Court, and for several years it was the principal trial court, — hav- 
ing criminal jurisdiction in all cases except those punishable by 
death, or imprisonment in the State Prison for life, — and civil juris- 
diction in law and equity where the matter in demand did not ex- 
ceed three hundred and thirt\-five dollars, but a right of appeal to 
the Superior Court existed, in cases where the ad damnum exceeded 
two hundred dollars, or the title to land or right of way was in 
question, also raising or obstructing the water of any stream, river, 
creek or arm of the sea by erection of a dam, etc., which gave 
litigants the power to prevent a determination of causes by the 
County Court, and which the defeated parties availed themselves 
of to such an extent that most cases passed through both courts 
with a trial of facts in each, with the result that public opinion con- 
sidered the County Court of but little practical value. Therefore 
the legislature of 1855, abolished it and transferred all causes there- 
in pending to the docket of the Superior Court, causing that Court 
to be loaded with such a mass of business that it was impossible 
for a case to be tried within two years after being brought. This 
congestion of the docket of the Superior Court coupled with the 
inconvenience of travel to Litchfield (then the only County Seat) 
caused the organization in 1872 of the District Court for the First 
Judicial District, the district being composed of the towns of Bark- 
hamsted, Bridgewater, Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Kent, New 
Hartford, New Milford, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, 
Washington and Winchester. This Court continued to exist until 
1883 when the remainder of the County desirous of enjoying the 
privilege afforded by it, the name was changed to the Court of 
Common Pleas and its jurisdiction extended to the entire Countv 
with sessions holden at Litchfield in addition to Winchester, New 
Alilford and Canaan. 

This was practically a revival of the old Count\- Court with 
civil powers enlarged to cover causes demanding one thousand dol- 
lars damages but with no right of appeal to the Superior Court 
nor any criminal jurisdiction. 

The Court of Common Pleas has been a popular court transact- 
ing a large. majority of the litigation of the Count\' with less ex- 
pense to the State and to parties than the same could have been done 
by the Superior Court. 



William Preston, 

John Williams, 

Oliver Wolcott, 

Daniel Sherman, 

Joshua Porter, 

Aaron Austin, 

Xew Hartford 

ji'ixjivs oif the; county cocrt. 

Ansel Sterling, 

1 754- 1 773 Calvin Butler, 

1773-1786 Ansel Sterling, 

1786-1791 William M. Burrall, 

1 791-1808 Abijah Catlin, 
1808-1816 Elisha S. Abernethy, 


Augustus Pettibone 1816-183T Holbrook Curtiss, 
Norfolk Watertown 

David S. Boardman, 1831-1836 Hiram Goodwin, 

New Aliifofd Barkhamsted 

WilHam ^J. Burrall, 1836-1838 Charles B. Phelps, 
Canaan Woodbur}' 

Hiram Goodwin, 1851-1856 



1 840- 1 84 3 
1 842- 1 844 
1 844- 1 846 
1 846- 1 847 

1 849- 1 850 


John Miner, 1704-1716 John Sherman, 

Woodbury Woodbury 

John Sherman, 1708-1714 Joseph Miner, 

^^'^oodbur}• Woodbury 

William Preston, 1740-1751 

; Woodbury 



Thomas Chipman, 

John Williams, 

Samuel Canfield, 

New Milford 
Ebenezer Marsh, 

Joseph Bird, 

Noah Hinman, 

Elisha Sheldon, 


1751-1753 Licrease Moseley, 1755-1780 

1751-1754 Roger Sherman, 1759-1762 

New Milford 
1 75 1 -1754 Daniel Sherman, 1761-1786 

1751-1772 Bushnell Bostwick, 1762- 1776 

New Milford 
1753-1754 Joshua Porter, 1772-1791 

1754-1759 Samuel Canfield, . 1777-1790 

New Milford 
1 754- 1 759 Jedediah Strong, 1 780-1 79 r 




Htman Swift, 1786-1802 Birdseye Norton, 

Cornwall Goshen 

Aaron Austin, 1790-180S Augustus Pettibone, 

Xew Hartford Norfolk 

Nathan Hale, 1791-1809 Uriel Holmes, 

Canaan Litchfield 

David Smith, 1791-1814 Moses Lyman, Jr., 

Plymouth Goshen 

Daniel N. T.rinsmade, 1802-1818 Oliver Burnham, 

^^'ashing-ton Cornwall 

Judson Canfield. i8o8-i8i5Cyrus Swan, ] 

Sharon Sharon 



^lartin Strong, 




^Martin Strong, 1820-1829 Morris Wodruff, 

Salisbury Litchfield 

Tohn Welch. 1820-1829 H:ugh P. Welch, 

Litchfield Litchfield 

William M. Burrall, 1829-1836 



The Judges of the District Court were Roland Hitchcock, two 
years; Jared B. Foster, three years; Florimond D. Kyler, four years 
and Donald J. Warner, two years ; of the Court of Common Pleas 
Donald J. Warner, six years ; Alberto T. Roraback, four years ; 
Arthur D. AA'arner, three and one half years ; Alberto T. Roraback, 
five months (when he was appointed to the Superior Court bench) 
and Gideon H. ^^''elch now (1907) holding the office. 

The Clerks have been of the County Court 
Isaac Baldwin, 175 1- 1793 Frederick Wolcott, 1793- 1836 

Of the District Court and Court of Common Pleas 
Wm. F. Hurlbut, twenty-two years Walter S. Judd, two years 

Wheaton F. Dowd, from 1901 

juDGi; Preston's mojstument in woodbury 




Although the Courts are organized to remedy private wrongs 
and as such their proceedings are not matters of general history, yet 
these are sometimes of such a public nature and relate so closely 
to the g-eneral weal and welfare that they are properly a part cf 
Court history, while of course Criminal trials are public property. 
Some of these have passed through the Courts of highest adjudica- 
tion and are very important. 

The Attorney in preparing his brief in an action cannot have 
avoided noticing how often his references quote from some Litch- 
field County decision, especially in the earlier cases. 

Those earlier Blackstones of our jurisprudence. Reeve, Gould, 
Church and Seymour laid their work on the deep foundations of 
the philosophy and truths of natural justice and common sense. 

The early part of our records are of appeals from the County 
Court, motions for new trials, foreclosures, and a good many cases 
of Insolvency proceedings and cases of ec[uitable nature. Very few 
trials of fact occur; the judgments were rendered mostly after de- 
cisions upon demurrers, pleas in abatement and such preliminar}' 
pleadings, upon the determination of which we now have a right 
to answer over, and have a trial on the facts. 

In the Criminal prosecutions, if the accused by any chance was 
acquitted he was discharged by paying the costs of his trial, 
and till 1835 the sentences of imprisonment were made to Newgate, 
now known as the Copper mines in Simsbury. . 

We append herewith a few of the memorable trials, and have 
probably omitted others of equally as valuable and important signifi- 
cance. The abstracts are necessarily very brief and condensed. 

The first recorded case upon the books of the Superior Court 
is that of 

Abner Wheeler, of Bethlem 


Joshua Henshaw, of New Hartford. 

In which the plaintifif recovered $642.75 damages and costs taxed 
at $49.86. 

The first divorce granted was Lucy Mix of Salisbury against 
Thomas Mix. 

These mixings and unmixings have formed a large per cent, of 
the judgments during the century. 


One of the most important trials and probably one that in its 
general results affected the State, especially the political part of it 
more than any other that has ever occurred in the State, was the 
Selleck-Osborn trial 1806-1807. 

Benjamin Talmadge. Esq., was a Colonel in the Revolution and 
at the close of hostilities settled in Litchfield where he was a very 


prominent citizen and for many years a member of Congress, 
Frederick Wolcott, who for more than forty years was the clerk of 
the County and Superior Courts, brought a suit against one WilHam 
Hart of Saybrook and at the August Term of this court 1805 re- 
covered $2,205.00 damages. The case was taken to the Supreme 
Court and affirmed. Execution was issued and paid in full in .1806. 

Selleck Osborn and Timothy Ashley were then publishing a 
newspaper in Litchfield called. the Witness and made comments upon 
the judgment reflecting severely upon the integrity of the Court. 

Whereupon the Superior Court prosecuted them as follows : 
"James Gould, Esq., Attorney for. the State for the County of 
Eitchfield specially appointed by this Court in this behalf filed an 
information before this Court, therein representing that Selleck 
Osborn and Timothy Ashley both now resident in Litchfield in 
County intending to bring the Superior Court of judicature of this 
State into disrepute and contempt and especially to induce a belief 
among the good people of this State that said Court in proceeding 
to and rendering judgment in a certain cause in which Benjamin 
Talmadge and Frederick Wolcott, Esquires were plaintiffs and 
William Hart, Esq., was defendant, and that the jury who attended 
said Court. in finding a verdict in said cause were influenced by par- 
tial, dishonest and corrupt motives, did at Litchfield aforesaid on 
the 4th day of September 1805 with force and arms most unjustly 
wickedly and maliciously print and publish and cause to be printed 
and published of and concerning said Court and jur}^ and of and 
concerning the proceedings in said cause in a publick newspaper 
called the Witness a certain false and scandalous libel purporting to 
he a statement or report of the aforesaid action of the evidence ad- 
duced therein and of the proceedings therein had which said infor- 
mation is as on file." 

The defendants plead to the jurisdiction of the Court to which 
the attorney demurred and the Court decided that it had jurisdiction. 
It then went to the Court for trial on their plea of not guilty. They 
were found guilty and fined two hundred and fifty dollars each. 
Osborn in his statement of the numerous trials says that this one 
cost him $605.98. The libel suit of Julius Deming against him 
$346.46 and for slandering Thomas Colier he paid $522.00. 

Osborn and Ashley were also fined in the County Court one 
hundred dollars for libelling Julius Deming a prominent merchant 
of Litchfield. Mr. Ashley paid his part but Mr. Osborn would not 
pay and was taken to jail. This aroused the Jeffersonians all over 
the County and State, they calling it a political martyrdom and on 
the 6th of August 1806, they gave him a great ovation forming a 
grand procession with cavalry and military parade passing by the 
jail where he was confined and saluting him with great honors. A 
part of the celebration was an address delivered in the meeting house 
by Joseph L. Smith, then a young lawyer of Litchfield. He made 


remarks reflecting upon the Superior Court, consequently in due 
course of time tlie State's Attorney, Urial Holmes, Esq., issued an 
information against him for uttering "the following false, malicious, 
scandalous and defamatory words, viz: 'The Courts of justice 
(meaning the aforesaid Courts of justice in this State) have re- 
garded the face of man in judgment. If the Republicans shall re- 
take the property which the Federal Courts (meaning the aforesaid 
Courts , magistrates, judges and justices of this State) have taken 
from them (meaning the said Republicans) it will be but a poor 
apology for the Federalists that they obtained it by false witnesses 
perjured judges and packed juries." Also "Osborn is imprisoned 
for publishing that of a Federal justice which is true of every 
Federal justice in the State." 

Smith first plead not guilt}-, then the Court allowed him to 
change his plea to a demurrer. The Court found the information 
sufficient and fined Smith two hundred and fifty dollars and costs, 
one hundred and twenty three dollars and sixty four cents. 

The clerk adds to the record, "The delinquint was delivered to 
the custody of the Sherifif of said County." 

Smith's connection with the Court was not altogether agreeable 
after that, but he was soon appointed Major in the United States 
Army and was a Colonel in the War of 1812 after which he was 
United States Judge in Florida. He was the ancestor of the con- 
federate General E. Kirby Smith. 


At the August Term of the Court in 1809 William Leavenworth, 
Jr., was informed against for blasphemy in the town of Plymouth. 
The information stated "Who did in the presence and hearing of 
sundry of the good people of the State then and there assembled, 
blaspheme the name of God the Father and of the Hol\- Ghost, and 
deny and reproach the true God and His government of the world 
bv wickedly and blasphemously uttering and speaking the words 
following, viz : 'I am the Holy Ghost and here is the Holy Ghost,' he 
the said ^^'illiam speaking of himself and meaning that he, said 
William was the Holy Ghost." 

The accused was arrested, brought before the Court and plead 
not guilty, and after a trial was acquitted by the jury and the Clerk 
adds, "The said William was discharged by order of Court without 
the payment of costs." 

This was a new departure, it having been customary for the 
prisoner to be obliged to pay the costs whether convicted or ac- 

The following remarkable proceeding appears upon the record 
of our Courts, but the account herein given is from Gen. Sedg- 
wick's History of Sharon. 



At a regimental training in Sharon on the 20th day of Sept., 
A. D. 1805 an altercation occurred between Zenas Beebe of Sharon 
and Aner Ives of Kent which was consummated by the stabbing of 
Ives by Beebe with a bayonet,, inflicting a mortal wound of which 
he died at the end of a week. There were mitigating circumstances 
in the case which relieved Beebe from the charge of wilful murder, 
but it was a clear case of manslaughter. By a singular blunder of 
the foreman of the jury he was pronounced not guilty of any of- 
fense. The jury had agreed upon the verdict to be rendered to be 
"not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter." The foreman 
rendered the first part of the verdict but stopped there. The sub- 
sequent proceedings in the matter are copied from the records of the 

"After the verdict was rendered the^ foreman informed the Court 
that the verdict which the jury had intended to return and had 
agreed on was — that the said Beebe was not guilty of murder, but 
by mistake he had omitted to return and state the whole finding of 
the jury, and desired to be directed by the Court whether the verdict 
and the whole finding of the jury as agreed upon by them, and as he 
designed at first to have stated the same, would then be made and 

On consideration it was adjudged by the court that the verdict 
of the jury as returned and recorded by them could not be ex- 
plained or altered." 

Beebe was defended by two of the ablest lawyers in the State 
Nathaniel Smith of Woodbury and David Daggett of New Haven. 

At the Term of the Superior Court holden February, A. D. 1820, 
Beebe was tried for an assault with intent to kill Amasa Maxam 
and found guilty. He was sentenced to confinement in the Old 
Newgate prison for two years but died before the expiration of his 


In 1814, Elisha Sterling, Esq., then Attorney for the State for 
the County of Litchfield presented to the Court his information 
against a very prominent man of the County who was at that time 
Brigadier General of the State Militia. 

The complaint was for libel upon his deceased father-in-law 
made by the General in the form of a "Funeral Order" and sent 
to one of the inferior officers of his regiment directing him to con- 
duct the funeral. The order is too wicked and vulgar to be pub- 
lished entire but a few extracts from it will show its general pur- 


I have this day been informed that old is dead, 

and I being out of health cannot attend the funeral. I therefore 


give you this order and empower you to conduct it in the following 
order and I will pay the expense. First get a coffin made of 
Pepperidge Plank three inches thick and duftail it strong together 
with large Iron Spikes, Hoop it thick with Bars of Iron, make a 
winding sheet with sheet iron, braze it well Top and Bottom, make 
a Muffler with two hundred pounds of German Steel. Place a 
large Iron Screw on the top of his head extending through the Jaws 
so that the old fellow cannot open his mouth, next place on 

a mule dressed in Regimentals with old sword and 
Epaulette which he wore at the time the British invaded New York, 
when he run and left his men twenty rods behind 

Raise four red or crimson .Flags, place (certain neighbors) as 
pall bearers to blow Rams Horns, dress (other neighbors) in Indian 
Stockings and Wampum and make them carry around Winkum or 
Cyder Brandy in large iron kettles to treat the procession, start by 
the shouting of Rams Horns until the walls fall in ( ) 

as they did in Jericho. Draw Him to , then blast 

a grave into a solid rock ten feet deep, put him in head downwards, 
place bars of iron thick across the grave, take a sledge, drive in 
stones, cement them with Plaster of Paris, so that the old Devil 
cannot get out, as he would make Quarrells and Disturbance until 
the Day of Judgment. Go to and get one hundred and 

fifty barrells of tar or pitch and twenty barrells of brimstone and 
burn around the door to keep off the devils until you perform this 
my order 

The information concludes as follows : — 

"All of which was false, willful and malitious and done to blacken 
the memory of the said deceased and cast a stigma on his memory 
and on all others connected with him and excite his children to a 
breach of the peace and expose them to the hatred and contempt 
of the good people of this State ; all which wrongdoings of the said 
are against the peace and dignity of this State contrary 
to law and a high crime and misdemeanor and of evil example to 
others in like manner to offend. Said attorney therefore prays the 
advice of the Honorable Court in the premises. 

Elisha Sterling.' 

The indorsement is as follows : — 

"James Gould and Xoah B. Benedict assigned as counsel for 
the delinquint. Plea not guilty. On the jury for trial. The de- 
linquint changing, pleads guilty. 

The Court adjudge that delinquint is guilty and that he pay a 
fine of $75 into the treasury of this State and the costs of this 
prosecution and stand committed until judgment be comphed with. 

J. W. H., Clerk pro tem." 

rabEIvLO trial. 
"" In the spring of 1835 a most horrible murder was committed 
in New Preston. A young lad of- twelve years of age, son of Mr. 


Ferris Beardsley, was brutally murdered by a wandering fellow, a 
Portuguese by birth, for some fancied insult, claiming that the boy 
stepped on his toes. The trial commenced in August 1835 before 
Judges Waite and Williams. The prosecuting attorney for the 
State was Leman Church assisted by George C. Woodruff, Esq., 
and the Court appointed Truriian Smith and O. S. Seymour for the 
prisoner. The ti-ial lasted several days and on the eighteenth of 
August 1835 the jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of 
insanity. The prisoner was committed to jail for safe keeping and 
remained there a number of years but was afterwards committed 
to State Prison for safe keeping. He became a raving maniac 
and died in prison only a few years since. It was at that time a 
noted case and one of the earliest ones, now so common, of offering 
expert evidence on insanity. 

The proceedings of the trial were published in pamphlet form. 


On the 23rd of November, 1846, Bennet Ward went into a store 
kept by W. B. Lounsbury, he was somewhat intoxicated, became 
noisy and violent, threatened to whip several persons who were in 
the store, and began to throw fire among the dry goods that were 
■disposed about the store. Among those present was George W. 
Smith. Ward finally proposed to whip him, and Smith seized a stick 
of wood from the wood box, and struck him over the left side of the 
head, causing a fracture in the skull five inches in length. He 
then kicked him out of the store and he fell upon the stoop. He 
got up however and wanted to fight, but the door was shut upon 
him. He then went about a quarter of a mile, to an out house of 
David J- Stiles and staid there two nights, when he went into Mr. 
Stiles' house, and soon became insensible. In this condition he re- 
remained till his death, which occurred fifty-six hours after the 
blow was received. A post-mortem examination showed there was 
•concussion and compression of the brain, besides a chronic inflamma- 
tion resulting from an old injury. Smith was arraigned for murder, 
February Term 1847. Hon. John H. Hubbard, State's Attorney 
and Hon. Charles 13. Phelps, appeared for the State and Hons. 
Leman Church, G. H. Hollister and William Cothren appeared for 
the accused. After an interesting trial. Smith was acquitted, on 
the ground that he acted in self defence. 


On the morning of March 4th., 1856, Lucius H. Foote, a tavern- 
■er of Woodbury, was, found brutally murdered, under the horse sheds 
of the Episcopal Church in the center of the town, and his whole 
body frozen stiff, showing that he had been killed the evening be- 
fore. Circumstances strongly pwinted to Edward E. Bradley, as 
Ijeing the perpetrator of the crime. He was arrested on this sus- 
picion, and after a hearing before Justice Bull, bound over, without 



bail to the next Superior Court to be held at Litchfield. A Grand 
Jury was summoned, and a true bill for the crime of murder was 
found. The trial of the accused on the indictment commenced at 
Litchfield on the 14th., of April, before Judges William L. Storrs 
and Origen S. Seymour and a Jury, Hon. Gideon Hall, State's At- 
torney, Hon. Charles B. Phelps and William Cothren, Esq. ap- 
peared for the State, and Hon. Charles Chapman of Hartford, 
Gideon H. Hollister and Henry B. Graves, Esqrs. appeared for 
the prisoner. Not only very nice questions of circumstial evidence, 
but other intricate questions of law, were involved in the case, and 
the trial excited a more general interest than any case which has 
been tried in this county. On the tenth day of the trial the presid- 
ing Judge charged the jury, and on the eleventh day, they having 
failed to agree on a verdict, after having been sent out for several 
times, the papers were taken back, the jury discharged, and the 
prisoner remanded to jail. The jury stood five for conviction of 
murder in the second degree and seven for acquittal. 

At the September term of the Court the case came on again for 

trial. It was commenced October 3rd., 1856 before Hon. David C. 

Sanford and Hon. John D. Park, presiding Judges with a jury. 

After a careful and laborious trial for twelve days, the jury again 

■ disagreed and were discharged. 

On the 14th of April, 1857 he was again arrainged for trial be- 
fore a jury with Hon. William W. Ellsworth and Hon. Thomas B. 
Butler as presiding Judges, and after a trial of fourteen days the 
jury again disagreed. Soon after this result the State's Attorney 
entered a nolle prosequi and the accused was discharged. Mr. 
Cothren published a complete report of the trial. 


On the 17th of July, 1861, Woodbury was again startled by the 
announcement that another murder had been committed there. 
Matthew M. Morris a very respectable citizen became engaged in 
a quarrel with one Charles Fox, was stabbed by Fox and the knife 
at the last thrust, entirely severed the main artery under the collar 
bone on the right side, called by the doctors the vena cava. Fox 
immediately hid his knife in the corner of the yard where it was found 
the next morning, almost covered with blood. Pox took his scythe 
and started for Roxbury, but was detained by a neighbor till Sherifif 
Minor arrested him. 

After an inquest, Fox was bound over for trial to the September 
term of the Superior Court, 1861. Judge Ellsworth presided over 
that Court. Gen. Charles F. Sedgwick and Wm. Cothren, ap- 
peared for the State, and Gideon H. Hollister and Henry B. Graves, 
Esqrs., for the defence. After the evidence on both sides had been 
introduced the judge called all the counsel to the bench, and told 
them that in his judgment the crime amounted to manslaughter and 
no more; and that if it pleased them to agree to that view and 


would waive argument, he would immediately so charge the jury. 
The counsel cheerfully acceded to the suggestion of the distinguished 
judge, who immediately charged the jury in accordance with his 
views. The jury retired, and in a few mitiutes returned with a ver- 
dict of manslaughter, and Fox was sentenced to ten years imprison- 
ment in the Connecticut State Prison. 


Again Woodbury was the scene of a sad murder. On the night 
of August loth., 1886 Robert Drakely shot his wife through the 
heart after she had retired for the night. He was a young man, 
not twenty years old and had been married only a few weeks and 
was, as he claimed, jealous of his wife for the attentions she be- 
stowed on a small child that boarded with them. He was of a 
good old family of very respectable people but had become disso- 
lute and dissipated and committed the act while in a drunken frenzy. 
He was bound over to the Superior Court by Justice Skelly and 
taken to the jail at Litchfield. At the April term, 1887 of the 
Court the Grand Jury indicted him for murder in the second de- 
gree. In September, 1887 he was arraigned and plead not guilty. 
He was tried before Hon. David Torrance and a jury. The prose-, 
cution was conducted by Hon. James Huntington, State's Attorney 
and Arthur D. Warner, Esq. ; the defense by Henry B. Graves anjl 
AVilliam Cothren, Esq. The defense was that the accused from 
various reasons was not mentally or mortally resf>onsible for his acts. 
After an exhaustive trial and the charge of Judge Torrance the' jury 
retired and in about ten minutes returned with a verdict of guilty. 
He was sentenced to State Prison for life and died a few years 
after commitment. 


In the early part of 1850 the people of Colebrook and vicinity 
were startled by the report that Bernice White, an elderly gentleman 
living near Colebrook River, had been murdered. In a short time 
four men were arrested for the deed, named William Calhoun, 
Lorenzo T. Cobb, Benjamin Balcomb and Henry Mennasseh, the 
latter a half breed Indian. After the preliminary hearing they 
were bound over for trial to the Superior Court at Litchfield. A 
Grand Jury found a true bill against each of them and they were 
brought to trial at the August Term 1850. There was so great a 
crowd of witnesses and interested spectators that the Court was 
obliged to adjourn to the Congregational Church to hold the trial. 
Two Judges presided, Chief Justice Church and Judge Storrs. 
Calhoun and Balcomb being minors, Charles Chapman, Esq., of 
Hartford was appointed guardian ad-Utem of Calhoun and Origen 
S. Seymour for Balcomb. Upon their arraignment Balcomb 
plead guilty and the rest not guilty of murder in the first degree. 


After a long trial Calhoun and Mannasseh were found guilty and 
Cobb was acquitted. The guilty ones were sentenced to be hung 
on the second Friday of July, 1851. One of them, Cobb, died in 
jail and the other three finally had their sentences changed to im- 
prisonment in State Prison for life. After serving there some 
years Balcomb died in prison and Calhoun and Mennasseh were par- 
doned out, it having been fairly proved that they had no hand in the 
actual commission of the deed but were only accessories after the 
fact. Calhoun died somewhere in the west and Mennasseh died in 
the Farmington town house. He is said to have been the last of the 
Tunxis Indians. 


The trial of the Rev. William H. Green of Cornwall for murder 
excited a very general interest. 

In 1865 Mr. Green resided in Centerville, N. Y., in the character 
of an itinerant Methodist preacher, and about that time he married 
a woman with whom he lived several months occupying with her 
the parsonage of the parish wherein he preached. In 1866 he 
abandoned this wife and married a young widow who had a small 
amount of property amounting to some twelve or fifteen hundred 
dollars. In the spring of 1867 he came to Connecticut and tooK 
the stump for P. T. Barnum who was then running for Congress 
on the Republican ticket. He was esteemed a very powerful 
preacher and his political arguments were eloquent and convincing, 
he also lectured on temperance and was an evangelist and held re 
vival meetings in different places. After a time he joined his sec- 
ond wife's brother in West Cornwall and engaged with him in the 
general country store business. Mrs. Green was in feeble health 
with consumption and grew rapidly worse. On the evening 
of May 6, 1867 she was attacked with spasms and died just aftei 
midnight. From certain suspicious circumstances and subsequent 
conduct of Green, suspicion was aroused to the cause of her death. 
About the middle of June her body was exhumed and the stomach 
and liver sent to Prof. Barker of New Haven for examination who 
found traces of strychnine in those organs. Green was arrested and 
sent to Litchfield for safe keeping without a mittimus and of course 
was not locked up. While under keepers here his brother-in-law 
called upon him and informed him of the result of the analysis. 
Green concluded that his residence at the jail was not desirable at 
least on his part and made his departure therefrom unknown to the 
authorities and was for a few days in parts unknown. In a few 
days he reported at West Cornwall where he was formally arrested 
and attempted to save the State the trouble and expense of three 
trials by cutting his throat with a pocket knife in which he was not 
entirely successful. He was bound over to the Superior Court for 
trial and in November 1867 was tried for the crime and convicted 


of murder and sentenced to be hung on December 4th., 1868. His 
case was carried to the Supreme Court and a new trial granted him 
on the ground of newly discovered evidence. In January .1869 he 
was again before the Superior Court and the new trial resulted in 
a disagreement of the jury, but in September of that year the third 
trial was had and the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in 
the second degree. He was sentenced to State Prison for life 
September 25, 1869, where he died. 


The career of James LeRoy, who received in 1850 at the age of 
twenty-five years his third commitment to the State Prison for the 
term of fifteen years upon his plea of guilty to seven different 
burglaries committed in or near Winsted and New Hartford in the 
years 1849 and 1850, is in many respects a remarkable one. From 
his boyhood he seemed to have nothing but a criminal instinct. 
When arrested in 1850 he was placed under keepers who fell asleep 
and he not enjoying their society departed from them. He had 
hand cuffs on and disliking them, proceeded to one of the scythe 
shops, broke into the shop and set one of the water grindstones 
running, and ground the shackles from his wrists and then secreted 
himself so that he was not found by the officials for several days, 
although they were constantly on the alert for him. After his 
release from the Connecticut State Prison he was engaged in 
practical observations in the management of prisons in other States 
and in 1877 under the name of James Whiting was sent to prison for 
theft for three and a half years, and died in prison. He made in 
1850 a confession of his exploits which was published. 


On the night of November 1876 the warehouse of the Union 
Manufacturing Company in Torrington was broken into and a 
large quantity of manufactured goods carried away. The burglars 
stole a hand car from the section house and started towards Bridge- 
port on the Naugatuck Railroad track. When it passed through 
Waterbury the watchman at the depot informed ■ Superintendent 
Beach of the passage of the car. Mr. Beach immediately had an 
engine fired up and started in pursuit, and just before reaching 
Ansonia at about half past four in the morning the engine struck 
the hand car and threw it from the ti-ack. Stopping the engine 
they found fifteen pieces of woolen goods scattered about, but the 
occupants of the hand car had fled, but were tracked in the snow 
and soon arrested. They were lodged in Litchfield jail and had 
their trial before this Court December 6, and 7, 1876 and Franklin 
Johnson, William C. Davis and William C. Davis, Jr. were con- 
victed of the crime and received State Prison sentences. It was 
a case that excited great attention partly on account of the mode 
of capture and the novel method of transit. The whole evidence 

(Xu^Uftujf tt-T*^*^ 


was purely circumstantial and the defense was not only denial by 
the accused but a fairiy proved alibi presented. The skillful prose- 
cution conducted by the State's Attorney Huntington and G. H. 
Welch, Esq. with the adroit defenses presented by H. B. Graves and 
the large attendance at the trial makes it a noted case. 


From the Litchfield Enquirer of April 29, 1880 we take extracts 
which will illustrate the great battle which was fought in our Courts 
in the prosecution for the illegal sale of intoxicating spirits at about 
that date : 

"With all its victories in the moral field, temperance has hereto- 
fore met defeat or but partial success in the Courts. Even in high 
teetotal times, when the people were electing Prohibition Governors 
and Prohibition Legislatures, we have seen rum-seller after rum- 
seller brought before juries, their guilt conclusively proved, yet 
escaping justice by acquittal or disagreement. The old prohibitory 
Statute of 1854 in this County at least was an utter failure. Of 
the dozens we have seen tried under the act we can recollect but 
one conviction. Under Local Option there has been a marked 
change, particularly of late years, and especially since the popular 
feeling against the liquor trafific has been intensified by the Blue 
Ribbon movement. There can be no doubt, too, that Litchfield 
County is very fortunate in her State's Attorney, an officer who 
never shirks or slights his duty, whether it is a rum-seller, or a 
sheep stealer that is brought to the bar of the Superior Court for 
trial. Of late years, therefore we have seen several convictions bv 
juries, but in this County, rum and justice have never been brought 
face to face so sharply and with such decisive defeat — indeed such 
utter rout, demoralization and capture of the liquor interest — as 
the past week has witnessed." After stating the trial of a certain 
case which was most strongly contested by State's Attorney 
Huntington, H. P. Lawrence and W. B. Smith for the prosecution 
and H. B. Graves and A. H. Fenn for defense but resulted in convic- 
tion of the parties, the article continues : "The prisoner was very 
much overcome and went home completely broken down and took 
to his bed seriously if not dangerously ill. On Thursday the Win- 
sted Temperance men began to reap the benefit of their victory, 
Dealer after dealer came up to make such settlement as he could. 
The terms were the same to all. All costs must be paid and an 
obligation given that they would quit the trafific. On Friday after- 
noon the Court adjourned for the Term with the following record of 
progress for about six days work on liquor cases : 

Three convictions with fines and costs amounting to about $500 
and one hundred and six cases settled for $2,664.11 and one man 
in jail. 

Messrs. Forbes, Holmes, Lawrence, W. B. Smith and others are 
to be highly commended in their wonderfully successful assault of 
what has so long been considered the last strong-hold of the liquor 
traffic, the Glorious uncertainty of the law !" 



One of the important civil cases tried in this Court cairie from 

Nicholas Masters, while riding horse-back in the eastern part of 
the town, was thrown from his horse by reason of its breaking 
through a small wooden sluice or bridge and received serious in- 
juries, having his neck nearly broken and for some )ears carried- 
his head turned partly around an-d, also received some other minor 
injuries of not so serious or permanent a nature. 

His- attorneySj Graves and Hollister; brought suit against the town 
of Warren for damages, claiming ten thousand dollars, the writ re- 
turnable to the September term, 1856. A long exhaustive trial be- 
fore a jury was had at the November term, 1857 in which the 
plaintiff recovered thirty-five hundred dollars. Some very inter- 
esting c]uestions came up during the trial regarding the taking of 
depositions by the defendant without notice to the plaintiff and also 
in the charge of the judge to the jury of a statement made by the 
judge of matter outside of the evidence. An appeal was taken to 
the Supreme Court of Errors by the defendant claiming a new trial 
which the Supreme Court did not grant and final judgment was 
rendered against the town at the April term, 1858 for three thousand 
five hundred and eighty-seven dollars and fifty cents damages and 

The story is told in connection with this case that Dr. Buel one 
of the expert witnesses for the plaintiff testified that he examined 
the plaintiff and found him suffering from tortochlorosis of the 
neck. J\Ir. Hollister in his argument indulged in the high sounding 
word frequently, portraying the sufferings of his client during his 
lifetime from such a terrible complaint. Dne of the defendant 
lawyers soon after met Dr. Euel and asked him what that big word 
he used meant. "Stiff neck," was the answer. "Why didn't you say 
so in Court said the lawyer. That word cost the town $1500." 

rohbixs VS. COEEIX. 

In 1883 an action from Salisbury wherein Samuel Robbins 
sued the administrator of the estate of George Coffing. 

The points of law involved were important and the amount in- 
volved was about $70,000, an unusually large sum for this Court 
and the attorneys engaged were of the highest rank in the State. 

George A. Hickox, who then edited the Litchfield Enquirer, re- 
ports it as follows : "The management of the case b\' the noted 
counsel on each side respectively, was looked on with much interest. 
Judge Warner made an excellent opening argument for the de- 
fendants, on whom the burden rested to prove their various de- 
fenses. Then followed John S. Beach, with a verv clear quiet 
statement of the plaintiff's claim. Most interest was naturally felt 



in the argument of Ex-Governor Hubbard, who followed Mr. Beach. 
The elegant forcible style of his address showed all the polish of 
his first class literary work, and the weight of his oratory was made 
doubly effective by his remarkable power as an actor. It was 
worth while studying the use he made of an old pair of steel 
spectacles he wears, to damn the defendants claims or enforce his 
own. The way they fell on the table was made to express the ex- 
treme of confidence or the extreme of disgust. They came down 
with the weight of a sledge hammer in emphasizing the one or the 
other view. His mode of handling a law paper spoke volumes. In- 
deed we have heard as fine rhetoric and as fine oratory in a law 
court, but never combined with such acting. Mr. Perkins closed 
the case with a very telling exposition of the evidence in connection 
with the position of the defendant." The jury returned a verdict 
for the plaintiff to recover $67,633.33 damages and costs. 

In connection with Brother Hickox's discription of the conduct 
of the trial it may be proper to add that this was the last argument 
in a law court that "Dick" Hubbard ever made. 

higgin's escape. 

One of the most interesting and exciting matters that have arisen 
in modern years, related to the escape of Richard Hadley a prisoner 
while being transported to the State Prison in Wethersfield in the 
year 1883. — Higgin's alias was Richard Hadley. 

The following extracts from the papers of the time will give full 
details as well as some interesting history: 

When James R. Higgins escaped from the wagon in which he 
was being taken from Litchfield to Wethersfield to serve out a ten 
years sentence for burglarly it was supposed that he had been fur- 
nished with a key to his handcuffs by his counsel, Henry H. Prescott 
of Litchfield. A. T. Roraback of Canaan, W. B. Smith of Winsted, 
and Dwight C. Kilbourn of Litchfield were appointed a committee 
to obtain evidence to be presented to the court at Litchfield touch- 
ing Mr. Prescott's connection with the affair. Mr. Smith, of the 
committee, was at Wethersfield on Tuesday and obtained the fol- 
lowing statement i rom Higgins : — 

I first met Harry H. Prescott of Litchfield soon after I was ar- 
rested, in Litchfield jail. He was my attorney in the superior court 
in that county. When I called him into the case he agreed to help 
me to get away from jail, and I was to give him $250. Not having 
any money I was to give him some stolen bonds as security. The 
bonds were stolen from the savings bank at Woodbury, this state, 
and the total amount was $7,500. I put into Prescott's hands 
$6,400 in bonds. The understanding was that if I got out he should 
have the bonds. He was to give Paddy Ryan and others who came 
from New York to assist me in breaking jail all the points about 
jail, also the use of his office, and in short was to act as a general 


go-between to aid me in escaping from jail. The understanding 
was that Prescott was not to negotiate the bonds and was to keep 
the matter quiet until Howard, my pal, who was arrested with me, 
and I had escaped. Prescott told me that he went to New York to 
see Ryan at 154 East Twenty-third street, and that Ryan was afraid 
to have anything to do with him in the matter. Later he told me 
that he had been to New York again, but did not see Ryan. Soon 
after Prescott brought me a letter that was sent to him by Ryan and 
written by Farley, one of the Ryan gang. The letter inquired 
whether Prescott was all solid and to be trusted. After reading 
the letter I burned it in the jail stove. I sent a letter through Pres- 
cott to Ryan saying that Prescott was straight and to be trusted. 

The following Sunday, after he had been to New York, Prescott 
came to me and stated that he had taken the bonds to the bank 
parties and had got something over $400 for them. As I had ob- 
jected to his doing anything about the bonds until I had made my 
escape, I was angry when I found that he had given them up. At 
that time he gave me $15 and in a day or two gave my wife $200. I 
could not get anything more out of him. I afterwards found that 
he received about $1,200 for the bonds, but I could not get anything 
more out of him. My friends of the Ryan gang did not appear and 
I found that I had to depend upon my own resources. I continued 
to find fault because Prescott would not give me more money, and 
at last he said to me, about two weeks before court opened, that if 
I would keep still he would get me a key that WOuld fit my hand- 
cuffs, and I could escape either when on the way from jail to the 
court house, or when I was being conveyed to the state prison if I 
was convicted. Howard and I talked it over and concluded to make 
the attempt to escape when we were being conveyed to or from the 
court room. Prescott brought us "four' handcufif keys that fitted my 
handcuffs and two small keys, like dog-collar keys ; also two files. 
I had the four handcuff -keys in my pocket, all the time during the 
trial. The two other keys I filed and gave to Howard. One of the 
files I kept until I escaped, the other I left in the jail. When Pres- 
cott gave me the keys he told me that he knew that four of them 
would fit any handcuff in the jail. They did fit without any filing. 
When we were taken to the court room to plead Howard was 
handcuffed to me and the sheriff took my right wrist in his nippers. 
While we sat in the dock, Prescott came up tO' us and said : "Why 
did you not escape on the way over ?" I told him that Howard might 
have got away, but I could not. Prescott replied : "That's right. 
You had better wait and get away together." While I was in the 
Litchfield jail Prescott gave me a revolver loaded with five cart- 
ridges, also ten cartridges afterwards. He gave them to me in my 
cell, I think on the afternoon of the day I was sentenced. I wanted 
the revolver and he did not want to give it to me until after I had 
received a visit from my wife, so that it would appear as if she had 

Wellington B. Smith. 


furnished it to me if it was discovered. I asked him if he had it 
with him, and he said he had. I then asked him to let me see it. 
After making- me promise to give it back to him, he let me take it. 
I examined it and then handed it back. At 4 o'clock Thursday 
evening, after I was sentenced, he gave me the ten cartridges. The 
revolver was a "Young America" or "Young American," I don't 
remember which. It was double-acting, had five chambers, and was 
of 32 caliber. I did not know where he got it. I don't remember 
whether ho told me he got the keys from a man in Litchfield, or 
whether he said he was going to get them of some man there. I 
understood that the man was an officer or had been one. The last 
time I saw Prescott before my escape was when he gave me the 
ten cartridges on Thursday. He then cautioned me not to use the 
revolver, sliook hands with me and wished me good luck. After 
mv escape I pawned the revolver in Baltimore. I had it tied be- 
tween mv legs the Saturday morning when the\' started to take me 
to \\'ethersfie]d. I was on the back seat of the last wagon, which 
the sheriff" was driving, Howard was in the first wagon with the 

?^Ir. Prescott was present while the latter part of this statement 
was made, and afterwards cross-examined Higgins without material- 
ly shaking his statement of the case." 


One of the most important cases of our Courts, considering it 
in all of its features, was the case of Michael Bion from the town 
of Xorth Canaan. 

In 1871 Lvman Dunning's store at East Canaan in the town of 
Xorth Canaan was burglarized, and a woodchopper named Michael 
Bion was arrested and convicted of the crime and sentenced to two 
years in State Prison. He behaved himself well, receiving the due 
credit therefor and was discharged at the expiration of his sentence 
with no great love for Mr. Dunning. 

In 1874 a bag containing gun powder was placed near the house 
of the next neighbor of Mr. Dunning occupied by the congregation- 
al minister and was exploded in the night time setting the house on 
fire, but doing no great damage. The two houses looked alike and 
it was supposed that the intention was to place the powder at Mr. 
Dunnings house. Bion was charged with this deed and arrested and 
after a hard fought trial convicted and sentenced to ten years in 
State Prison mainlv bv the active agency of Mr. Dunning which 
did not increase Bion's affection and he made threats of. violence 
against Mr. Dunning. Upon his discharge from prison he was 
induced to return to France his native country. About five years 
after this he was discovered working under an assumed name m 
the vicinitv of Pine Plains only a few miles distant from East 
Canaan. Air. Dunning fearing further injury from him got out a 


sureties of the peace complaint, obtained a warrant and when he 
found him in Connecticut had him arrested and brought before a 
justice who placed him under bonds in the sum of five thousand 
dollars. Bion could not furnish such bond and on the 19th day of 
November 1889 was lodged in Litchfield jail. He employed at- 
torneys who instituted habeas corpus proceedings to release him and 
by various stages the matter came before the Supreme Court of 
Krrors at the May Term 1890 and the report of the case occupies 
twenty pages of the 59th volume of the Connecticut Reports. The 
Court found no error in the judgment complained of and Bion still 
remained in the Litchfield jail. Afterwards an arrangement was 
made by the French Consul by which Bion was released and re- 
turned to France. 

tije; bor/essox ^iurder trxae. 

On!}' one sentence of death passed by this Court during the 
Century was carried into effect and this was upon Andrew Bor- 
jesson a native of Sweden who was residing in New Milford. On 
the first of August 1890 in the night season Borjesson went to the 
house of Homer Buckingham and climbing on the roof of the ell 
part of the house entered the room of a Swedish girl named Emma 
Anderson, a servant of Mr. Buckingham's and murdered her. 

j\Ir. Buckingham hearing the noise in the room, went out of his 
house and saw Borjesson upon the roof of the house from which 
he jumped and ran off into the woods, and going to the girls room 
found her lying upon the floor in a pool of blood, her neck cut from 
ear to ear on the back side with other wounds upon her body. The 
murderer was arrested and bound over to the Superior Court and 
a true bill was found against him on the 9th of October 1890. He 
was tried before the Superior Court in December and a verdict of 
guilty found against him December 31st 1890, and sentenced to be 
hung January 29th, 1892. His counsel made most strenuous efforts 
for his reprieve getting depositions from relatives in Sweden con- 
cerning his sanity. All efforts failed. It was a cool deliberate 
murder and there was no public sympathy or extenuating circum- 
stances. The sentence was duly carried into effect in the jail yard 
at Litchfield. The scenes connected with the execution outside of 
the jail enclosure, were of a disgraceful character but everything 
connected with it officially were solemn, orderly and proper. The 
citizens of the village were exasperated and shocked and made such 
an appeal to the public sense of propriety that the Legislature en- 
acted the law that all future executions of the death penalty should 
be had within the State Prison. 


In 1894, June Term, a very interesting case was tried at Win- 
sted being an appeal from the decision of the Board of Relief of 



Town of Goslicn, about abatement of Taxes. The amount involved 
was trifling, but the principle was important enough for a two 
weeks contest with a very large number of witnesses and several 
attorneys. A local bard reports the trial as follows : 


A famous tax-case once was tried, 

r..\- the staid old land of Goshen ; 
One Fessenden Ives was taxed too high, 

At least, that was his notion. 

He said his land was cold and wet. 

And hard-hacks covered the ground. 
The once fertile soil was sterile and cold 

And yellow charlicks abound. 

His barn was like sweet charity 

That covereth a multitude of sin : — 
The outside was neat and fair to the cvc. 

But old rotten timbers within. 

He's assessed too high, the rest too low, 

And there's a plot to take his gold, 
'Tis wrong to do so after years of toil. 

Thus to nib him when he's old. 

The town appeared by Huntington and Warner, 

By Webster, Welch and Judd, 
\\'hile Ives employed Hubbard, Hickox and Burrcll 

To shed his opponent's blood. 

Tlie air was fragrant with sweet breath of June, 

Outside were the birds and bees : — 
The Judge's desk was strewed with Howcrs, 

Hardbacks, charlick and cheese. 

The stenographer dreams of hardback on toast, 

Of ivy, rocks, alders and birch, 
As the lawyers try to win their case 

The other side trying to smirch. 

The case dragged on its weary length. 

Watched b\' Goshen ladies fair. 
While poor old Kilbourn, the portly clerk. 

Sat fast asleep in his chair. 

For ten long days they fussed and fumed, 

With witnesses goaded to tears, 
Wliile the costs were doubtless large enough. 

To pay the taxes a hundred years. 

1 62 

i,itci-ii?ii;ld county bench and bar 



Edwin iNIannering a resident of Roxbur}'' died on February 19, 
1893, the result of taking a dose of Epsom Salts for medicinal pur- 
poses in which as afterwards discovered was a quantity of strich- 
nine. The coroner made a very full investigation which resulted in 
the arrest of Mrs. Mannering for 'the crime of poisoning her hus- 
band. It was admitted that strichnine had been kept in the house 
for the purpose of poisoning foxes, and it was shown that she had 
purchased strichnine from a neighboring druggist a short time 
before his death. She was bound over for trial to the Superior 
Court and a true bill was found against her by the Grand Jury. 
The trial occurred at Litchfield in November 1893, lasting six 
(lays and resulted in her acquittal. 

It was perhaps the most sensational trial ever held in this 
Court. The prisoner was led into Court leaning upon the arms of 
two friends and one or two physicians were constantly near to ad- 
minister stimulants which was occasionally necessary. Several 
ladies of the village of Litchfield interested themselves in her trial 
by attending Court every day arrayed in all the sombre blackness 
of mourning habiliments. It seemed like a stage play rather th^n 
a cold blooded matter of fact trial. Her attorney left no art or 
artifice untouched to arouse the sympathies of the Court and jury. 
A distinguished jurist remarked that it was the most artistic trial 
he ever witnessed. 




Norman Brooks a farmer living in Winchester died on the 28th 
of July 1895, aged 78 years. He left a widow but no children and 
had a small amount of property. After his death a will was offered 
for probate which was made on the 15th of January 1895 in the 
office of Warner & Landon at Salisbury. From the probate of 
this will his widow appealed to the Superior Court. Upon the trial 
of the case in the Superior Court the claim was made that the will 
in question was not made by Norman Brooks but by some one per- 
sonating him and that the disposition of his property given in this 
will was entirely different from repeated declarations he had made 
and also that there was a previous will which corresponded with 
these declarations. The contestants had his body exhumed and the, 
witnesses to the will were present to identify or not identify the 
person. It was also claimed that one E. M. Clossey whose wife 
was a relative of the deceased and with himself were the principal 
beneficiaries of the disputed will was largely instrumental in the 
production of this will. That he went with Mr. Brooks who was 
quite an infirm man on one of the coldest days in January to Salis- 
bury to get the will made although he was not actually present at 
its execution. The case came to trial before the Superior Court and 
a jury at Winchester at the April Term 1896, and after a protraced 
trial the jury found that there was undue influence exerted upon the 
testator in making a part of said will to wit, that part which gave 
the residue of the estate to said Clossey and also of that clause 
which gave him power to sell all the real estate and that said 
paragraph was null and void but confirming and establishing the rest 
of the will. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Errors 
at the October Term 1896. Upon a motion for a new 'trial for a 
verdict against evidence. 

In the record of the case the evidence is printed in full, occupy- 
ing 269 pages. 

After a full hearing before the Supreme Court the motion for 
a new trial was denied. 


In Februar}- 1901, John T. Hayes, a young man of Winsted, 
shot and killed Winnifred F. Cooke, a young lady he had fallen 
in love with, because she would not elope with him and marry 
against the wishes of her father. The tragedy occurred at the 
Gilbert Home in Winsted on the nth of February, where the lady 
was employed as a teacher. He, after shooting her shot himself 
three times in his head— but failed to kill himself— and was held for 
trial in the Superior Court. The trial came on at Litchfield at the 
October Term, before Judge Elmer and lasted four weeks, when the 
Jury returned' a virdict of, on the 8th of November of guilty of 


murder in tiie second degree, and he was sentenced to imprison- 
ment for life. The defense was insanity from hereditary^ causes 
and four expert physicians were present all through the trial, and 
testified from a supposed state of facts — which it took nearly two 
hours to read. Two of them pronounced him not responsible and 
the other two thought him responsible, for which important evi- 
dence the state allowed nearly two thousand dollars, while the 
jur\- paid no attention to them at all, but on their first ballot stood 
eight for first degree and three for the second degree and one 
blank. After twelve hours confinement in the jury room they all 
agreed to bring- in a verdict of murder in the second degree, which 
the court accepted. It was the most expensive trial on our cost 
book. The total expenses being a little over seven thousand dollars. 


One of the most important cases regarding the property rights 
of husband and wife, and also one that has made great confusion 
in the divorce laws of the country, was decided in the United States 
Supreme Court, April 12, 1906, and can be found in Vol. 201 of said 
Reports beginning at page 562. This case had its inception in this 
Superior Court, December 1881, and is known by the legal pro- 
fession as the case of Haddock vs. Haddock. 

The facts are briefly as follows : The Haddocks were married 
in 1868 in New York, where both parties then resided. The very 
day of the ceremony they separated, and never lived together. In 
1881 Air. Haddock having resided in Connecticut for three years, 
obtained a divorce from his wife Harriet Haddock, at the December 
term, on the ground of desertion. The service of the writ was by 
publication in the Litchfield Enquirer and a copy sent by mail to 
the defendant at Tarrytown, X. Y. where it was supposed she re- 
sided. This divorce was granted December 6, 1881, and the decree 
was signed by Hitchcock, Judge. At that time the plaintiff was 
poor but he afterwards acquired considerable property, and also 
married another wife by whom he had children. In 1894 the first 
wife brought suit against him in New York for a divorce from 
bed and board and for alimony. Constructive service was made 
of this process and she obtained a decree. As there was no per- 
sonal service the judgment for alimony was ineffectual. In 1899 
she brought another suit against him, and obtained personal service 
on him, and was allowed a decree for alimony for $780. a year. 
The defendant in this last suit' plead for one of his answers the 
Connecticut divorce in 1881, but the New York courts disallowed 
it. Haddock appealed to the United States Supreme Court on the 
ground that the decree denied full faith and credit to the judgment 
of the Connecticut courts, but the Supreme Court upheld the actions 
of the New York courts and sustained the judgment, five judges 
in the affirmative and four dissenting. The discussion and ex- 
planation of this seemingly inconsistent decision require thirty pages 
of fine print in the Report. 





I'revious to 1883 ^^^ sudden deaths that occurred in the county 
wore reported to the Clerk's office only by the returnes of a jury 
of inquest. A very great many of such deaths were never reported, 
and those that were, showed some remarkable verdicts. 

In 1883 the Legislature enacted a law for the proper return and 
preservation of these untimely deaths. Each county was to have 
a coroner wlio should be appointed b}- the Judges of the Superior 
Court at their annual meeting, and who should hold office three 
3'ears, and until another was appointed in their place. The county 
coroner had power to appoint an able and discreet person learned 
in medical science to be medical examiner in each town in the 
county. The medical examiner was to examine the cause and 
manner of each sudden death and make his report thereon to the 
county coroner who was to keep a record of such deaths. The 
medical examiner's reports were to be placed on file with the clerk 
of the Superior Court. 

The first Count\- Coroner in Litchfield County was Col. Jacob 
Hardenburgh of Canaan, who held the office until his decease on 
April 4. 1892. Richard T. Higgins of Winchester was appointed 
to succeed him, and has held the office from that time until the 





In 1893 the Legislature enacted a law for the appointment of a 
County Health Officer, who was to be an attorney-at-law and be 
appointed by the judges of the Superior Court, and hold office for 
four years. The statute prescribes that he shall cause the execution 
of the laws relating to public health and the prevention and abate- 
ment of nuisances dangerous to public health, and of laws relating 
to the registration of vital statistics, and co-operate with, and super- 
vise the doings of town, city and borough health officers, and boards 
of health within his county. He is clothed with all the powers of a 
grand juror and prosecuting officer for the prosecution of violations 
of laws relating to such matters. 

The appointee was Walter S. Judd, of Litchfield. The sec- 
ond was William F. Hurlbut of Winchester, in 1894, and the third 
was the present incumbent, Frank W. Etheridge, who has held the 
office since 1896. 


illSTORlCAl, XO'l'HS 




In 1897 the Legislature of Connecticut enacted a law for the 
election of an Attorney General. In November 1906 Marcus H. 
Holcomb a member of this bar, but residing in Southington and 
practicing law both in that town and in Hartford was elected to 
that office. 



Judge Church in his address mentions the fact that the first Law 
Reports in this country were published at Litchfield soon after the 
establishment of the Law School, by Ephraim Kirby, Esq. who was 
then a prominent and successful attorney at Litchfield. 

A manuscript copy of part of these reports has been preserved 
by some of his descendants, and has been placed in the room of 
the Historical Society at Litchfield, by whose courtesy I have been 
able to reproduce in this work the first page of the "Symsbufy" 
case. =' .*)', 

I am also enabled to give a picture of this eminent man from 
a photograph of a painting presented to St. Paul's Lodge, E and A. 
M. of Litchfield, by Col. E. K. Russell U. S. A., a grandson of 
Col. Kirby. 

I also republish the preface to the Reports, together with a short 
memoir of its author and a list of the books composing his Law 


The uncertainty and contradiction attending the judicial de- 
cisions in this state, have long been subjects of complaint. — The 
source of this complaint is easily discovered. — When our ancestors 
emigrated here, they brought with them the notions of jurisprudence 
which prevailed in the country from whence they came. — The riches, 
luxury, and extensive commerce of that country, contrasted with the 
equal distribution of property, simplicity of manners, and agricultur- 
al habits and employments of this, rendered a deviation from the 
English laws, in many instances, highly necessary. This was ob- 
served — and the intricate and prolix practice of the English courts 
was rejected, and a mode of practice more simple, and better ac- 
commodated to an easy and speedy administration of justice, adopt- 
ed. — Our Courts were still in a state of embarrasment, sensible that 
the common law of England, "though a highly improved system," 
was not fully applicable to onr situation; but no provision being 
made to preserve and publish proper histories of their adjudica- 
tions, every attempt of the Judges, to run the line of distinction, be- 
tween what was applicable and what not, proved abortive: For 
the principles of their decisions were soon forgot, or misunderstood, 
or erroneously reported from memory. — Hence arose a confusion in 
the determination of our courts ; — the rules of property became un- 
certain, and litigation proportionably increased. 

In this situation, some legislative exertion was found necessary; 
and in the year 1785 an act passed, requiring the Judges of the 
Superior Court, to render written reasons for their decisions, in 
cases where the pleadings closed in an issue at law. — ^^This was a 
great advance toward improvement ; still it left the business of 
reformation but half performed : — For the arguments of the Judges, 

. / / , y 

^ ■ y' -"^ry-- y 

-,■.,,/.. ^V...wS .«^-vr«S<» 1--.. ,'Xi c^,,/- '/'"^ y/^ 

.f;'v^ ..,.^... /^rr:/^. ^.--^^ 



without a liistory of the whole case, would not always be intelliigible ; 
and they would become known to but few persons ; and being written 
on loose papers, were exposed to be mislaid, and soon sink into total 
oblivion. — besides, very many important matters are determined on 
motions of various kinds, where no written reasons are rendered, 
and so are liable to be forever lost. 

Hence it became obvious to every one, that should histories of 
important causes be carefully taken and published, in which the 
whole process should appear, showing the true grounds and princi- 
ples of the decision, it would in time produce a permanent system 
of common law. — Vnit the Court being ambulatory throug-h the 
State, the undertaking would be attended with considerable expence 
and interruption of other business, without any prospect of private 
advantage : therefore, no gentleman of the profession seemed willing 
to make so great a sacrifice. — I had entered upon this business in a 
partial manner, for private use ; which came to the knowledge of 
several gentlemen of distinction. — 1 was urged to pursue it more 
extensively ; — and being persuaded that an attempt of the kind 
(however imperfect) might be made in some degree subservient 
to the great object, I compiled the \'olume of Reports which is now- 
presented to the public. — Could any effort of mine induce govern- 
ment to provide for the prosecution of so necessary a work by a 
more able hand, my wishes would be gratified, and my labour in 
accomplishing this, amply repaid. 

In these Reports, I have endeavored to throw the matter into as 
small a comi)ass as was consistent with right understanding of the 
case: — Therefore, I have not stated the pleadings or arguments 
further than was necessary to bring up the points relied on, except 
some few instances which seemed to require a more lengthy detail 
of argument. — As the work is designed for general use in this 
state. I have avoided technical terms and phrases as much as pos- 
sible, that it might be more intelligible to all classes of men. — Some 
cases are reported which are merely local, and have reference to the 
peculiar practice of this state ; these may appear unimportant to 
readers in other states: but they were necessary to the great object 
of the work. 

I am sensible that this production is introduced to the world 
under sircumstances very unfavorable to its reputation. — But, how- 
ever different I might be^ under other circumstances, I feel an honest 
confidence in this attempt to advance the common interest of my 
fellow-citizens; — and that, so obvious are the difficulties which 
occur in almost everv stage of the business, that to detail them in 
a preface would be oft'ering an insult to the understanding of my 
readers.— The candid and generous, if they read the Reports, will 
doubtless find frequent occasion to draw into exercise those ex- 
cellent virtues ; and as to readers of an opposite disposition, I have 
neither wishes or fears concerning them. — If any one should ex- 


perience disagreeable sensations, from the inelegance of this per- 
formance, let him rest assured he cannot more sincerely regret its 
faults than I do." 

Having persued Mr. Kirby's "Reports of Cases adjudged in 
the Superior Court, from the year 1785 to 1788," it appears to us. 
that the Cases are truly reported. 

Richard Law. 

Eliphalet Dyer. 

Roger Sherman. 

William Pitkin. 

Oliver Ellsworth. 

EPHRAIM kirby. 

Ephraim Kirby was born in Litchfield in 1756, as appears by 
the records of the town. His birth is also claimed to have been 
in the town of Washington, Conn, on the site of the residence of 
the late Hon. O. H. Piatt. He was a farmer boy, but at the age of 
nineteen on the arrival of the news of the Battle of Lexington he 
shouldered his musket and marched with the volunteers from Litch- 
field to the scene of conflict and was present at the Battle of Bunker 
Hill. He remained in the field until independance was won, ex- 
cept when driven from it by severe wounds. He was in nineteen 
battles and skirmishes, among them Brandywine, Monmouth and 
Germantown, where he received thirteen wounds, seven of which 
were saber cuts on the head inflicted by a British soldier at German- 
town, where Kirby was left for dead upon the field. Mr. Kirby 
studied law in the office of Reynolds Marvin, Esq., who had been 
King's Attorney before the war, and who was a prominent member 
of the bar. In 1787 he received the degree of M. A. from Yale 
College. After his admission to the bar, he married Ruth Marvin, 
daughter of his preceptor. Col. Kirby took a prominent part in the 
political matters of the day, and in 1791 was first elected representa- 
tive to the Legislature, and was re-elected at thirteen semi-annual 
elections, and was several years, candidate for the office of governor. 

On the election of Jefferson to the Presidency, in 1801. Col. 
Kirby was appointed supervisor of the national revenue for the 
State of Connecticut. Upon the acquisition of Louisiana, the Presi- 
dent appointed him a judge of the then newly organized territory 
of New Orleans. ' Having accepted the station, he set out for New 
Orleans; but he was not destined to reach that place. Having 
proceeded as far as Fort Stoddard, in the Missiissippi territory, he 
was taken sick, and died October 2d, 1804, aged forty-seven — at a 
period when a wide career of public usefulness seemed opening 
upon him. His remains were interred with the honors of war and 
other demonstrations of respect. Col. Kirby was a man of the 
highest moral and well as physical courage — devoted in his feelings 
and aspirations — warm, generous and constant in his attachments — 




and of indomitable energy. He was, withal, gentle and winning 
in his manners, kindly in his disposition, and naturally of an ardent 
and cheerful temperament, though the last few years of his life were 
saddened by heavy pecuniary misfortunes. As a lawyer, he was 
remarkable for frankness and downright honesty to his clients, 
striving always to prevent litigation, uniformly allaying irritation 
and effecting compromises, and only prosecuting with energy the 
just and good cause, against the bad. He enjoyed the friendship 
of many sages of the Revolution, his correspondence with whom, 
would form interesting materials for the history of his time. 

Col. Kirby, was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity. 
He was one of the early Masters of St. Paul's Lodge of Litchfield, 
and for many years was its secretary. He was a beautiful penman, 
as is evidenced by the records of St. Paul's Lodge. He was largely 
instrumental in forming the Grand Lodge of the State of Connecti- 
cut, and was one of its early officials. He was also a prominent 
Royal Arch ^Nlason, and was a delegate to the convention which 
organized the general Grand Chapter of the United States, and 
was its first General Grand High Priest. When he left Litchfield 
to accept the position of Judge of the territory of Louisana, he 
gave to St. Paul's Lodge, Lit-chfield, his library of miscellaneous 
books, which have been carefully preserved by the Lodge as a 
memorial of him, and are now placed in the fireproof building of 
the Historial Society. 

He also sold his law books to Seth P. Beers and I am enabled 
to give the conveyance with the list of books, which will show the 
library of a prominent practising lawyer of a century ago. 

List of Law Books sold to Seth P. Beers by my husband Ephraim 
Kirby and delivered to said Beers by me in jjursuance of written 
directions from my said husband which directions bear the date 
of July the 5th A. D. 1804. 

Vols. Vols. 

Blackstones Commentaries 
Dunscombs trial per pais 
Beacon Abridgm't 
Jacobs Dictionary 
English Statutes 
Goddphin on Executots, etc. 
Fosters Crown Law 
Bullen Nisi Prius 
Powel on Mortgages 
Alorgans Essays 
Attorneys \'ade Mecum 
Comyn's Digest 
Cokes Institute 2 Part 
Hawkins Plea of ve Crown 

4 Powel on Devises i 

2 Woods Institute i 

5 Coke on Littleton i 
I Woodesons Lectures 3 

6 Bacon on Awards i 
I New York Atty Vade Mecum i 
I Schifflers Practice ' i 
I Barlamiqui on Xat. Law i 

1 Historical Law Tracts i 

3 Compleat Attorney i 

2 Stats. England abridgd i 
5 Stiles Practical Regr. I 

1 English Pleader i 

2 Clerks Tutor 2 



Every man his own Lawyer i 
Office of Justice 2 
Douglass on Wills i 
Law of Evidence i 
Dagges Criminal Law 3 
Statutes of Vermont i 
Benthams Defence of Usury i 
Adye on Court Martial i 
Beccaria on Crimes i 
Acts of 1st Session of Con- 
gress I 
Acts of 3d Session of 5th 

Congress i 
Acts of I St Session of 6th 

Congress i 
Acts of 1st Session of ist 

Congress i 

Saxbys Customs i 

Holts Reports i 

Strangers Reports 2 

Burrows Reports 5 

Wilsons Reports 3 

W. Blackstone Reports 2 

Browns Reports i 

Douglass Reports i 

Dainfords Reports i 

Salkelds Reports 2 

Lutwyches Reports i 

Cokes Reports 7 

Crokes Reports 3 

Kebles Reports 3 


Plowdens Reports 
Ventries Reports 
Carthews Reports 
Hobarts Reports 
Cowpers Reports 
Vernons Reports 
Vesey's Reports 
Pre Chancery 
Fincks Reports 
Hardwicks Re^ports 
Vaughan's Reports 
Siderfins Reports 
Thos. Raymond Reports 
Littletons Reports 
Yelvertons Reports 
Dyer's Reports 
Moore's Reports 
Palmer's Reports 
Jenkins Reports 
Fitzgibbons Reports 
Saville's Reports 
Peere Williams Reports 
Atkins Reports 
Livins Reports 
Ambles Reports 
Lord Raymonds Reports 
Comberbach's Reports 
Bulstrode's Reports 
Comyns Reports 
Chipman's Reports 
Kirbys Reports 






Signers of the Declaration of 


One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, was ad- 
mitted to the practice of tlie law in 1754 by the Litchfield County 

He was born in Newton, Mass., April 19, 1721, and received a 
very hmited education, and learned the trade of a shoemaker. His 
father, William Sherman, dying when Roger was twenty years old, 
he soon after removed to New Milford, Connecticut, and lived with 
his brother William who had been settled there on a farm for about 
three years. The first notice of Roger Sherman on the town records 
of Kew Milford is Feb. 6, 1744. He became a large land owner 
and was very prominent in all the town affairs, a deacon in the 
church, and clerk and treasurer of the Eccl. Society. He and his 
brother also had a general store, and he lived very nearly on the site 
of the present Town Hall, which in later years has been named 
"Roger Sherman Hall." The old store building is said to be still 
in existence. 

He was a very industrious and studious man. In 1745 the Gen- 
eral Assembly appointed him a County Surveyor of New Haven 
County, which then included New Milford ; this office was pecuniari- 
ly of more value in those da)'s than it has been in later years, for 
one of his surveys he received nearly 84 pounds ; many of the plans 
and maps of his surveys are to be found in the New Milford L,and 
Records made by him in his own hand. 

Soon after the formation of Litchfield County in 175 1 he studied 
law, and in 1757, three years after his admission to the bar, he was 
appointed County Judge, and a Judge of the Quorum. He was 
also a representative to the General Assembly several sessions. Re- 
moving to New Haven in 1761, he was chosen the Governor's as- 
sistant, and also a Judge oif the Superior Court, which office he 
held twenty-three years. 

• He was elected a member of the first Continental Congress 
which met September 5th, 1774 in New York, and continued a 
member of Congress for nineteen years, the last two being in the 
Senate, of which he was a member at the time of his death, July 
23, 1793- 


As a member of the Continental Congress, he was one of the 
committee to draft the Declaration of Independence, which he sign- 
ed on July 4, 1776. 

Thomas Jefferson says of this distinguished statesman, "I served 
with him in the old Congress in the years 1775 and 1776. He was 
a very able and logical debater in that body, steady in the principles 
of the Revolution, always at the post of duty, much employed in 
the business of the committees, and, particularly, was of the com- 
mittee with Dr. Franklin, Mr. J. Adams, Mr. Livingston and my- 
self for preparing the Declaration of Independence. I had a very 
great respect for him." 

John Adams also wrote, "Destitute of all literary and scientific 
education, but such as he acquired by his own exertions, he was 
one of the most sensible men in the world. The clearest head and 
steadiest heart. He was one of the soundest and strongest pillars 
of the Revolution." 

Chief Justice Ehsworth said that he made Mr. Sherman the 
model of his youth. 

The honor and fame of Roger Sherman does not rest entirely 
upon his being a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 
the early formation of this government, he took an active and im- 
portant part. He was a member of the Convention which framed 
the Consatution of the United States, and it was undoubtedly due 
to his wise and sagacious counsel and cool impartial judgment, that 
the Convention was held together until the great work was ac- 
complished. A^ery many of its peculiar provisions, which are now 
considered so important, originated with him. This compilation 
cannot go into the history of the Convention in detail, but those 
wishing further light on the subject of the part taken in it by 
Roger Sherman, will do well to consult Hollister's History of Con- 
necticut, where it is discussed at length. 

A competent authority says, that "he is the only man who signed 
four important fundemental documents of our government, viz: 
The Articles of Association in 1774 ; the Declaration of Independence 
in 1776, which he assisted in drafting; the Articles of Confedera- 
tion in 1778, and the Federal Constitution in 178.8. 


The other signer of the Declaration of Independence in whom 
Litchfield County is interested, was Oliver Wolcott, who was the 
first sheriff of the County upon its organization in 1751. 

The following taken from Kilbourn's History of Litchfield is a 
pretty concise sketch of this distinguished man. 

"The Honorable Oliver Wolcott, son of His Excellency, the 
Hon. Roger Wolcott, Governor and Chief Justice of Connecticut, 
was born in Windsor, December 20, 1726, and vyas graduated at 
Yale College in 1745. In early manhood he commanded a company 

Gdn". Oliver Wolcott. 


of volunteers in the Northern Army, in the war against the French. 
Having pursued the usual course of medical studies, he established 
himself as a physician in Goshen, and was there at the date of the 
organization of the County of Litchfield, October, 1751. The 
Legislature appointed him the first High Sheriff of the new County, 
and he immediately took up his abode in this village, and con- 
tinued to reside here until his decease, a period of forty-six years. 
In 1752 he erected the "Wolcott House" in South street, where dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War, King George's leaden statue was melted 
into bullets, to be fired at his own troops. 

With a commanding personal appearance, dignified manners, 
a clear and cultivated intellect, and a character for integrity far 
above the reach of suspicion, it is not to be wondered at that he 
became a favorite of the people with whom his lot was cast. Besides 
holding the office of Sheriff for over twenty years, he was chosen 
a Representative to the Legislature five times between the years 
1764 and 1770, inclusive; a member of the Council or Upper House 
from 1771 to 1786. Judge of the Court of Probate for the District 
of Litchfield from 1772 to 1795 ; Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas from 1773 to 1786; and member of the Continental Congress 
from 1775 to 1784 (except two years). He was one of that memor- 
able band of patriots and sages who, on the 4th of July, 1776, affixed 
their names to the Declaration of Independence. In the early part 
of the war of the Revolution, Judge Wolcott was commissioned as 
a Brigadier General, and Congress appointed him a Commissioner 
on Indian Affairs for the Northern Department, with General 
Schuyler and others. In May, 1779, he was elected by the Legisla- 
ture and commissioned by Governor Trumbull as Major General 
of the Militia of Connecticut, to succeed General James Wadsworth, 
resigned. In these important and responsible stations, he rendered . 
the country essential service. On the field, in the camp, at the 
rendezvous, in the department of the Commissary of Supplies — in 
fact, wherever he could render himself useful — he was found, ever 
prompt in planning and efficient in executing. At the same time 
he was an active member of the Committee of Safety; and, when 
at home, was equally zealous and conspicuous in the local affairs 
of the town — officiating as Moderator, Selectman, Committeeman, 
etc. Indeed, no man in the State, at this period, discharged so many 
and varied public duties. A considerable share of the reputation 
which Connecticut required for promptness in furnishing men and 
means for the army, is due to' General Wolcott. Certainly, to no 
other individual in the western counties could Governor Trumbull 
or General Washington appeal for aid, with the certainty of suc- 
cess, as to him. 

In 1786, he was elected to the office of Lieutenant-Governor 
of the State, and was annually re-elected for a period of ten years. 
In May, 1796, he was chosen Governor, to which distinguished 


position he was again elevated at the annual election in 1797. He 
was now seventy years of age. His naturally robust constitution 
began to feel the weight of care and responsibility which had been 
so long pressing upon it. He departed this life at his residence in 
Litchfield, December i, 1797, aged 71 years. 

Joel Barlow, in his great national poem. The Columbiad, thus 
refers to his zeal and efforts in the cause of Independence ; 

"Bold WOLCOTT urged the all-important cause, 
With steady hand the solemn scene he draws ; 
Undaunted firmness with his wisdom joined, 
Xor kings nor worlds could warp his steadfast mind." 

Governor Oliver Wolcott was of and had a very distinguished 
family. His son, Oliver, Jr., was Secretary of the United States 
Treasury under President George Washington, and Governor of 
this State for ten years. Another son, Frederick, was clerk of 
County and Superior Courts for years, and the founder of the 
village of Wolcottville, now the business portion of Torrington. 
One of his daughters married Hon. William Moseley, M. C, of 
Hartford, and another married Lieutenant-Governor Goodrich, of 

His sister, Ursula Wolcott, married Governor ]\Iatthew Gris- 
wold, and was the mother of Governor Rog'er Griswold. Thus 
her father, brother, husband, son and nephew were all governors 
of Connecticut, a fact which cannot probably be said of any other 
lady who has lived in the State or the United States. 


The history of the legal matters of the County would be in- 
complete without a reference to the County Jail. This institution 
is situated on one of the most prominent sites in Litchfield at the 
corner of North and West streets. The original jail was located 
on the brow of East Hill, on the exact spot now occupied by the 
Center school At the excavation of tlie ground for the 
cellar for the school house. some of the original foundation work 
was discovered, and in some of the stone work Vv^ere found staples 
and rings indicating that occasionally a prisoner might have been 
chained up. It is said to have been a crude, but strongly built 
structure of hewn, logs. Adjoining it a large old-fashioned house 
was erected in which the jailer lived and kept a hotel, the prison 
being in the rear. This building appears to have been built in 
1786, at a cost of about nine hundred pounds, sterling. 


The front part of the present jail was erected in 1810-11, at 
an expense of $11,24578, and was kiilt of brick, which were made 
_ofclay dug on the road between Torrington and Litchfiefd, just 
east of "Seymour's meadow." The bricks were very hard and 
builders have said that it was much easier to clig through tlie 
granite foundations than througli the brick. 

A wooden building for a kitchen was afterwards added on 
the northern side, and the present arrangement of cells in the 
middle building was made about sixty }ears ago. 

In 1895. the accommodations not proving adecjuate, a county 
meeting was held and an addition ordered to be constructed on 
the west end of the original building, which was done at a cost 
of about $25,000.00. The old part had cells for seventeen inmates 
and this addition provided cell room for twenty-eight, with cages 
for five more, with washroom, bathroom and other needed ac- 
commodations. It is now heated b_\' steam and furnished with 
city water, and is lighted with gas from its own private plant. 

In the earl}- days the keeping of the prisoners was let out to 
the highest bidder and the keeper (now called the jailer) made 
what he could out of the prison work and also kept a hotel in 
the building. This s\-stem prevailed until about 1865, when the 
sheriff, as one of the prerog-atives of his office took possession and 
ran the institution himself. The price allowed for laoard of pris- 
oners has varied ; at the present time it being $2.25 per week, paid 
by the State. 

One of the large rooms in the third story was used as a public 
haJl. The Masons and other societies used it for their meetings 
and at other times it was used as a schoolroom. The compiler of 
these sketches has attended school there. 

A large workshop is located in the second story of the new part, 
in which many of the prisoners are employed caning chair seats, 
manufacturing brooms, and such other employments as is allowed 
to prison labor. 

A large elm tree, seen in the cut at the southeast corner of the 
jail yard, is known as the " Whipping post elm," on which formerly 
prisoners were publicly whipped; the last whipping occurred about 
sevent\-five vears ago. 

21am ^4onI 









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I7§4, |UTCHnELD),^33 

■^-^ !, lawj;x-m*l/ 

LAW scirooiv i8i 


The following" article appeared originally in the February 
(1901) number of The Lazv N'otes, published by The Edward 
Thomson Co., of Northport, L. I. It was written by Charles C. 
IMoore, Esq., a native of Winchester, and a former member of 
this bar, now one of the editors of the American and English 
Encyclopedia of Law, published by the above-named company. 
The article has been slightly abridged for this work. In its prepar- 
ation Mr. Moore was largely aided by the late Chief Justice Charles 
]_'. Andrews : 

" One who looks through the records of the town meetings of 
Litchfield from 1765 to 1775 will find that there were discussions 
on the Stamp Act, the Boston Port Bill, and other acts of Parlia- 
mentary aggression, as clear and well defined as the debates in 
that town meeting where Samuel Adams and Harrison Gray Otis 
were the principal speakers. The child Liberty would not have 
been born in the Boston town meeting had not the Litchfield town 
meeting and other like town meetings tliToughout the colonies 
prepared the atmosphere in which alone that child could breathe. 
Litchfield was the principal station on the highway from Hart- 
ford to the Hudson ; and a depot for military stores, a workshop, 
and a provision storehouse for the Continental Army were there 
established during the Revolution. Many distinguished royalist 
prisoners were sent there, and a military atmosphere pervaded 
the place. General Washington was a frequent visitor, and so 
were other general officers of the American forces, including" 
Lafayette, who, when he visited the United States in 1824, went 
to Litchfield to renew old memories with some of his former 
comrades in arms. The leaden statue of King George the Third 
which stood on the Battery in New York was conveyed to Litch- 
field, and in an orchard in the rear of the W^olcott house it was 
melted into bullets for the patriot army. All through the struggle 
with the mother country Litchfield was a hotbed of patriotism, and 
when the first law school in America commenced its regular sys- 
tematic course of instruction there in 1784, the ambitious village 
had among its citizens numerous men of exceptional intelligence 
and culture. One of them was Andrew Adams, who had been a 
member of the Continental Congress and was afterward a judge 
of the Supreme Court. Oliver Wolcott was there. He also had 
been a member of the Congress, had signed the Declaration of In- 
dependence, and was afterward Governor of the State. Ephraim 
Kirby, who a few years later published the first volume of law 
reports ever published in America, Major Seymour, who had com- 
manded a regment at the surrender of Burgoyne ; Benjamin Tall- 


madge, perhaps the most noted cavahy commaiider of the Revolu- 
tion; JuHiis Deming, a very prominent and successful merchant 
and financier, and many others of like character were residing in 
the town. Into this community in the year 1778 came Tapping 
Reeve, a young lawyer just admitted to tiie bar, to settle in 
the practice of his profession. Born in Southold, Long Island, 
in 1744, the son of Rev. Abner Reeve, a Presbyterian clergyman, 
he was graduated at Princeton College in 1763, and was immediately 
appointed teacher in a grammar school in coiniection with the 
college. In that station and as a tutor in the college itself he 
passed seven years. He then came to Connecticut to study law, 
entering the office of Judge Root, who was then a practicing 
lawyer in Hartford, and some years later a judge of the Supreme 
Court. From Hartford he came to Litchfield. He had just pre- 
viously married Sally Burr, daughter of President Burr of Prince- 
ton, and sister of Aaron Burr. Until the conclusion of the Revo- 
lutionary War there was but very little civil business done in the 
county at Litchfield, and Mr. Reeve betook himself to giving in- 
struction to young gentlemen who looked forward to the' legal 
profession for support and advancement when quieter times should 
come. This employment tended greatly to enlarge and improve 
his stock of legal learning, and led the way for him to begin in 
1784 a systematic course of instruction in the law and to regular 
classes. The Law School dates from that year. It continued in 
successful operation and with annual graduating classes until 1833. 
The catalogue contains the names of one thousand and fifteen 
young men who were prepared for the bar subsequent to the year 
1798, most of whom were admitted to the practice in the court at 
Litchfield. The list of students prior to that date is imperfect, 
but there are known to have been at least two hundred and ten. 
r\Iore than two-thirds of the students registered from states other 
than Connecticut. Maine sent four. New Hampshire fifteen, Ver- 
mont twent}'-seven, Massachusetts ninety-ifour, Rhode Island 
twenty-two, New York one hundred and twenty-four. New Jersey 
eleven, Pennsylvvania thirty, Delaware eighteen, Maryland thirty- 
nine, A^irginia twenty-one. North Carolina twenty. South Caro- 
lina forty-five, Georgia sixty-nine, Ohio four, Indiana, Mississippi 
and Tennessee each one, Kentucky nine, Alabama three, and Louisi- 
ana seven. There were four from the District of Columbia and 
one from Calcutta. The greatest number who entered in any 
single year was fift3'-four in 18x3. 

" Lawyers now Hving in the original states will recognize the 
names of many men conspicuous- in the juridical annals of their 
state. Aaron Burr studied law at Litchfield. John C. Calhoun 
entered the Law School in 1805 ; only a few rods from the school 
building was the house where Harriet Beecher Stowe was born 
in 181 1, and Henry Ward Beecher in 1813; and a short hour's 


walk would have brought the }-oung Southerner to the spot where 
John Ih-own was born in 1800, in the adjoining town of Torrington. 
Two of tlie graduates became judges of the Supreme Court of the 
United States — Henry Baldwin and Levi Woodbury ; fifteen United 
States Senators, fifty members of Congress, five members of the 
United States Cabinet, ten governors of states, forty-four judges 
of state and inferior United States courts, and seven foreign minis- 
ters. Georg'ia is especially well represented. Among the names of 
judges of that State we notice Eugenius A. Nesbit, who wrote 
the elegant dissertation in JNfitchum v. State, 11 Ga. 615, on the 
privilege and duty of counsel in arguing a case to a jury, in con- 
nection with the proper limitations of the freedom of debate — an 
opinion copied almOiSt verbatim in Tucker v. Henniker, 41 N. H. 
317, with an omission of quotation marks so singular and flagrant 
as to have occasioned comment by the profession, 

" The course of instruction was completed in fourteen months, 
including two vacations of four weeks each, one in the spring, 
the other in the autumn. No student could enter for a shorter 
period than three months. The terms of instructicn were (in 1828) 
^100 for the first year and $60 for the second, payable either in 
advance or at the end of the year. 

" In the library for the Law School at Yale University may be 
found several bound volumes of manuscript which apparently con- 
tain the entire lectures of Judge Reeve. They are in the hand- 
writing of his son, Aaron Burr Reeve. But marginal reference 
interlineations in his own hand make it certain that these volumes 
•have all been revised by Jixdge Reeve himself. The tradition is that 
the_\- are the manuscripts which he used in his lectures during the 
last years that he taught. An inspection of these volumes shows 
that the course of instruction given at the Litchfield Law School 
covered the entire body of the law. They speak of the law gener- 
ally — in reference to the sources whence it is derived, as customs 
and statutes, with the rules for the application and interpretation of 
each. Then follows Real Estate, Rights of Persons, Rights of 
Things, Contracts, Torts, Evidence, Pleading, Crimes, and Equity. 
And each of these general subjects is treated under various sub- 
-sidiary topics, so as to make the matter intelligible and aflford the 
student a correct and adequate idea of, and basis for, the work he 
will be called upon to perform in the practice of his profession. 
Judge Reeve conducted the school alone until 1798, when, having 
been elected a judge of the Supreme Court, he associated James 
Gould with him. They had the joint care of the school until 
X820, when Judge Reeve withdrew. Mr. Gould continued the 
■classes until 1833, being asissted during the last year by Jabez 
W. Huntington. Judge Reeve reinained on the bench until he 
reached the limit of seventy years in 1815. The last part of the 
term he was chief justice. He died in 1823, in the eightietii year 

]84 i,iTcir]?iL;i,D cooxty jiExcir axd bar 

of his life. He left an only child, Aaron Burr, who graduated 
at Yale in 1 802. Aaron Burr Reeve married Annabelle Shedden, 
of Richmond, Va., in 1808. He died in 1809. He left an only child, 
'J'apping Burr Reeve, who graduated at Yale, but died unmarried 
in 1829, and thus the family became extinct. Mr. Gould became 
a judge of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and was the author 
of the celebrated work on Pleading. He died at" Litchfield in 1838. 
The course of instruction at the school must have been incom- 
parably more exhaustive than would be possible at the present day, 
tor the obvious reason that there was so much less to learn. In 
1784 there were no printed reports of decisions of any court in 
the United States. Substantially the entire bod}' of the law was 
to be found in the English reports. It is said that Judge Gould 
had systematically digested for his students " every ancient and 
modern opinion, whether overruled, doubted, or in any way quali- 
fied." But vast bodies of law of which the modern student must 
learn something were unknown to the curriculum of the Litchfield 
L;aw School, and many principles latent in the common law were 
just beginning to be developed. Lord Mansfield resignecl his 
office of Chief Justice in 1788, after presiding in the King's Bench 
over thirty vears. Prior to his time the greatest uncertainty had 
prevailed on c|uestions of commercial law. " Mercantile questions 
were so ignorantly treated when they came into Westminster Hall," 
says Lord Campbell in his Lives of the Chief Justices, " that they 
were usually settled by private arbitration among the merchants 
themselves." There were no treatises on the subject and few cases 
in the books of reports. Thus in Helyn v. Adamson, 3 Burr. 699, 
decided in 1758, it was first distinctly ruled that the second in- 
dorser of an inland bill of exchange was entitled to recover from the 
prior indorser upon failure of payment by the drawee, without mak- 
ing any demand on or inquiry after the drawer. In 1770 it was held 
that the indorser of a bill of exchange is discharged if he re- 
ceives no notice of a refusal to accept by the drawee. (Blesard v. 
Hirst, 5 Burr. 2670.) And not until 1786, in Tindal v. Brown, 
I Term Rep. 167, was it finalU' determined that what is reason- 
able notice to an indorser of non-payment by the maker of a 
promissory note, or acceptor of a bill of exchange, is a question 
of law and not of fact. Of course there was no American con- 
stitutional law when the school was founded, though some of the 
states had already adopted constitutions. The first book on cor- 
poration law was that of Kyd, published in London in 1793, but 
it was chiefly made up of authorities and precedents relatmg to 
municipal corporations; and Willcock on Corporations, also an 
linglish treatise was still more limited in its plan. There was no 
American text-book on corporations until the first edition of Asigell 
and Ames was published in 1831. At that time the need of such 
a book had become very urgent, but in the early years of the Litch- 

yff^ ^^ 


From a Crayon now owned by Hon. A. T. Roraback. 


field Law School there must have been extremely few piivate 
business corporations in this coiintry. Not until Louisville, etc., 
R Co. ■t'. Letson, 2 How. (U. S.) 497, decided in 1844, did cor- 
jxjrations become competent to sue and be sued as "citizens" of a 
State, regardless of the citizenship of the corporators. A "fellow 
servant" was a total stranger in legal nomenclature: Priestly v. 
Fowler, 3 ]\I. & W. i, was decided in 1837; Murray v. Railroad 
Co., I JilclMull. (S. Car.) 385, in 1841 ; and Farwell v. Railroad 
Co., 4 Met. (Mass.) 49, in 1842. The term "contributory negli- 
gence" had not been coined: Butterfield v. Forrester, 11 East 60, 
was decided in 1809; Davies v. Mann, 10 M. & W. 546, in 1842, 
and the phrase is not used in either case. Civil actions for dam- 
ages for death by wrongful act were not maintainable. 'l"he law 
of insurance was virtually the creation of Lord Mansfield, but the 
volume of insurance law was comparatively insignificant for several 
decades. On the other hand, there ^yas an abundance of real estate 
law and of law concerning executors and administrators and trustees 
generally. In those days the executor de son tort was more in 
evidence than at present, although even now he has so much vitality 
in some jurisdictions that it would not be wise for the practioner 
to characterize him as Judge Lumpkin did in Shotwell v. Rowell, 
30 Ga. 559, "de son fiddlestick!" and cry, "Away with him!" The 
principles of equity jurisprudence had secured a firm footing, and 
at this day they are administered in the Federal courts as they 
were expounded in the High Court of Chancery in England when 
the Constitution was adopted in 1789. Judge Gould was a master 
of the common-law system of pleading, which was extolled by some 
of its eulogists as the perfection of human reason. During the 
period of the Law School the noble science of pleading became 
burdened wiih. so many refinements and fictions that it fell into 
disrepute ; the celebrated Rules of Hilary Term were adopted in 
1834, and we have since substituted very generally for the techni- 
calities of the common-law system what we term a plain and con- 
cise statement of causes of action and of defenses, administering 
law and equity in one suit, and sometimes peradventure evolving 
a judgment as incongruous as the one examined in Bennett v. But- 
terworth,, 11 How. (U. S.) 669, or exhibiting the chaos of plead- 
ings and proceedings tabulated by the reporter in Randon v. Toby, 
II How. (U. S.) 493. Speaking of the reformed procedure, how 
many lawyers are aware that the chief merit of the Code system was 
recognized and recommended for adoption by the precep,tor of 
Judge Reeve, founder of the Litchfield Law School? The first 
volume of Root's Connecticut Reports was published in 1798. The 
reporter was Jesse Root, afterward, as above stated, a judge of 
the Supreme Court, with whom Tapping Reeve had studied law 
in Hartford. We will close with a quotation from the introduction 
to that volume: "Are noit the courts of chancery in this State 


borrowed from a foreign jurisdiction, which grew out of the ignor 
ranee and barbarism of the law- judges at a certain period m that 
country from whence borrowed ? And would it not be as safe for 
the people to invest the courts of law with the power of deciding 
all questions and of giving relief in all cases according to the rules 
established in chancery, as it is to trust those same judges as chan- 
cellors to do it? Those rules might be considered as a part of 
the law, and the remedy be made much more concise and ei?eccual. 
■Further, would not this remedy great inconveniences and save much 
expense to suitors, who are frequently turned round at law to seek 
a remedy in chancery, and as often turned round in chancery be- 
cause they have adequate remedy at law? These are serious 
evils and ought not to be permitted to exist in the jurisprudence of 
a country famed for liberty and justice, and which can be remedied 
only by the interposition of the legislature.' 


At the annual dinner of the Story Association, of Cambridge 
Law School (Mass.) in 1851, the following reference was made 
to the Litchfield Law School : 

Judge Kent gave the sentiment: 

" The first-born of the law schools of this country — the Litch- 
field Law School. The Boston Bar exhibits its rich and ripened 
fruits. By them we may judge of the tree and declare it good." 

Hon. Charles G. Loring, of the class of 1813, reponded: 

" I do not remember," he said, " to have ever been more forcibly 
reminded of my }'ounger da}'s, than when looking around on my 
young friends in the midst of whom I stand. It recalls the time 
when I, too, was a student among numerous fellow students. It 
will, probably, be news to them and many others here, that thirt}'- 
. eight years ago, which to many here seems a remote antiquity, there 
existed an extensive law school in the State of Connecticut, at which 
more than sixty students from all parts of the country were as- 
sembled — every State then in the Union, being there repre- 
sented. I joined it in 1813, when it was at its zenith, and the only 
prominent establishment of the kind in the land. 

"The recollection is as fresh as the events of yesterday, of our 
passing along the broad shaded streets of one of the most beauti- 
ful of the villages of New England, with our inkstands in our 
hands, and our portfolios under our arms, to the lecture room of 
Judge Gould — the last of the Romans, of Common Law Lawyers'; 
the impersonation of its spirit and genius. It was, indeed, in his 
eyes, the i^erfection of human reason, by which he measured every 
principle and rule of action, and almost every sentiment. 


" Why, sirs, his highest visions of poetry seemed to be in the 
refinement of special pleadings ; and to him a non sequiter in logic 
was an offense deserving", at the least, fine and imprisonment, and 
a repetition of it, transportation for life. He was an admirable 
English scholar; every word was pure English, undefiled and every 
sentence fell from his lips perfectly finished, as clear, transparent, 
and penetrating as light, and every rule and principle as exactly 
defined and limited as the outline of a building against tlie sky. 
From him we obtained clear, well-defined and accurate knowledge 
of the Common Law, and learned that allegiance to it was the 
chief duty of man, and the power of enforcing it upon others, his 
highest attainment. From his lecture room we passed to that of 
the venerable Judge Reeve, shaded by an aged elm, fit emblem of 
himself. He was, indeed, a most venerable man, in character and 
appearance, his thick, gray hair parted and falling in profusion upon 
his. shoulders, hrs voice only a loud whisper, but distinctly heard 
by his earnestly, attentive pupils. 

"He, too, was full of legal learning, but invested the law with 
all the genial enthusiasm and generous feelings and noble sentiments 
of a large heart at the age of eighty, and descanted to us with a 
glowing eloquence upon the sacredness and majesty of the law. 
He was distinguished, sirs, by that appreciation of the gentler sex 
which never fails to mark the true man, and his teaching.s of the 
law in reference to their rights and the domestic relations, had 
great influence in elevating and refining the sentiments of the young 
men who were privileged to hear him. As illustrative of his feel- 
ings and manner upon this subject, allow me to give a specimen. 
He was discussing the legal relations of married women ; he never 
called them, however, by so inexpressible a name, but always spoke 
of them as 'the better half of mankind,' or in some equally just 
manner. When he came to the axiom that 'a married womaij 
has no will of her own,' this, he said was a maxim of great the- 
oretical- importance for the preservation of the sex against the 
undue influence or coercion of the husband; but although it was 
an inflexible maxim, in theory, experience taught us that practically 
it was found that they sometimes had wills of their own — most 
happily for us. 

" We left his lecture room, sirs, the very knight errants of the 
law. burning to be the defenders of the right and the avengers of 
'the wrong ; and he is no true son of the Litchfield school who has 
ever forgotten that lesson. 

"I propose, sirs, the memories of Judge Reeve and Judge Gould 
■ — ajrhong the first, if not the first founders of a National Law 
School in the United States — who have laid one of the corner stones 
in the foundation of true American patriotism, loyalty to the law.'' 



Litchfield, October 28th, 1830. 
Dear Friend: — 

Having received your letter just as I was on the wing for this 
place, I was unable to answer it then; but avail myself of these 
first moments of calm after the bustle and confusion incident to the 
settling down into my nest, to turn my thoughts to that brood in 
which I found myself when my eyes were first opened to legal light, 
and when I first inhaled the legal atmosphere which from its misti- 
ness gives to those who breath it, (at least so I presume) the well 
known name of petty fogs (you will perceive an analogy m the 
derivation of this word to that of luc'us a non luce\ndo, or Pared a 
non parcendo) & from which like yourself I have absconded, being 
now big enough to take care of myself. 

Really, Ned, since my arrival I have been as busy as a hen 
with one chick — I have been obliged to furnish my room, wi'th 
whatever I need, from the bellows tO' the lamp wick. Wc are 
obliged to board here, at one house and lodge at another. They 
give you a room, with bed and bestead, et tout ca, at the rate of 
one dollar a week you furnish your wood, your servant, carpet if 
you don't wish to go without, lamps, oil, &c., &c. 

You see & hear no more of the family than if you were the sole 
occupant of the premises. 

Upon your return from breakfast your room is swept, bed made, 
things set to rights, as if done by magic, you never see how. I 
have a fine room at Parson Jones', who is very obliging and would 
be more so if able, and I board at Mrs. Reeve's, a very agreeable, 
pleasant, old lady. We pay h€r, I believe two dollars and a half a 
week. Our board and lodging and contingencies will run us up to 
about five dollars a week, which I think is pretty well on to the 
brogue for a country town. And this is independent of the lectures. 
Judge Gould is so much overcome with his late family bereave- 
ment that he is unable to lecture himself. Plis son, ho\,ever, 
delivers them in his stead. As far as I can judge they will be very 
valuable, independent of their intrinsic merit ; I will be obliged to 
write up at least three reams of finely ruled foolcap. The lecture 
lasts for an hour and a quarter each day, examinations once a week. 
Litchfield appears to be a very pretty place, and I think I sha'l like 
it well. I attended an evening or two ago an exhibition of the 
young ladies' seminary at this place of which you si>eak in your 
letter. There were several very handsome and interesting' young 
demoiselles. The court room in which it was held was excessively 
crowded and two or three fainted, one young lady upon receiving 
her premium. At one end of the room men, boys and girfs were 
all heaped up together, and ever and anon, you would hear some 


Sturdy bum resounding against the floor, its luckless owner having 
incautiously pushed it out beyond the line of equilibrium. 

I understand from Mrs. Reeve that all the marriageable' young 
ladies have been married off, and that tliere is at present nothing 
but young fry in town, consequently that it will not be as gay as 
usual. The young ladies, she tells me, all marry law students, but 
as it will take two or three }'ears for the young crop to become 
fit for the harvest, you need apprehend no danger of my throwing 
up my bachelorship. 

The road from Poughkeepsie here is, I think, the most tedious 
I ever travelled, 3-ou see nothing but rocks and stones. Con.sider- 
ing the roughness of the country and the scarcity of land I am not 
at all surprised the yanka3-s depend for their livlihood upon their 
zi'its. I wish I had it in my power to exercise a watchful care over 
B. as you have enjoined me. "Ah me! forsooth, he is a sorry 
weight." His pa I suspect is afraid of some singular mancirvre 
on his part and dare not trust him from his paternal eye. He did 
not accompany me, as in all probability you know, but I do not yet 
despair of his coming. In such expectation I shall not write him, 
for I think it ver}' possible he may arrive this evening, if so he 
shall write you a P. S. He and his father had not fully considered 
the subject when I left. 

It is growing dark and I must conclude before tea (for I ex- 
pect this evening to be very busy copying notes) and this I cannot 
do, without assuring you that it will give me the greatest pleasure 
to see you here. I have a double bed. I will give 3'ou half, and 
as long as Coont. is the land of cakes you will not starve. The 
excursion will, no doubt, be agreeable and advantageous to your 
health. You can come by the way of New Haven or Poughkeepsie. 
When you write to the office remember me to them and to all enquir- 
ing friends. 

Direct, Litchfield, Connt. 

The following extracts from a letter written by Augustus Hand, 
while a student at the law school, will further illustrate the conduct 
of the institution : 

"Litchfield, Jan. 30th, 1829. 
" ;My De.'VR Father : — 

* * * Let me tell you how I spend my time. I rise between 
7 and 8, make a fire and scrub for breakfast, from thence to lecture, 
where I remain until between 10 and 11. Thence to my room and 
copy lectures till 5 p. m. (Save dinner time at i p. m.) thence to 
O. S. Seymour's office with whom I read law until half past 9 p. m., 
then again to my room, write till between 12 and i o'clock, then 
draw on my night-cap and turn in." Exception— Monday we 
spend from 6 to 9 in the Law School Debating Society, over which 


I have the honor— I never brag) . Friday at 3 p. m, attend an extra 
lecture on criminal law, and also hear an argument in the " ?>loot 
Court" and decision by the judge. On Saturday at 2 p. m. attend 
a severe three hours examination on the studies of the week by 
Jabez W. Huntington, Esq. Aside from these exceptions the first 
day is a correct specimen. As to the lectures and their utility I 
will refer you to the preface of the catalogue mailed with this. I 
can only say that their daily practical use to a lawyer can only be 
appreciated by those who have enjoyed them. Without any doubt, 
they give the same talent^a powerful superiority. The whole 
is comprised in between 2500 and 3000 pages. Of these I have 
written about 1200 and 1300 and should I remain here till May 
and enjoy my present excellent health there will be no difficulty in 
copying the whole, having access to Seymour's volumes (for what 
I do not take in the office ) , who has attended two courses and has 
them complete. This is, however, business between ourselves for 
Ihese lectures are secured to the Judge, being the labor of his life 
in the same manner as a patent right. So we talk less and write 
faster. This Seymour with whom I study is the son of the sheriff 
of the county, nephew of our State Senator, a graduate of Yale, 
a bachelor of 26 or 27, of most sterling mind and manners, with a 
brain completely identified with the study of the law in its most 
theoretical and scientific part. From a natural weakness of the 
eyes he does not allow himself to study evenings and therefore 
invited me to read to him. This ofifer, knowing his fame, &c., I 
readily accepted, his office being next door but one to mine, and he 
being altogether such a man as "studies learning to use it." We 
take up the title in a lecture and progress with it till it is finished, 
reading (about) between ten and twenty pages an evening, he 
giving me a thorough insight into it as we proceed — allowing me 
without reserve, to tease liim with as many questions as I please 
and now and then reading a report of some cases adapted to the 
subject. Before the lesson he examines me in the preceding lesson 
from memory. * * . * The law here is a study. There are ore 
or two lawyers in the vicinity who make 4 or 5000 dollars a year. 
I pass every day by the door of one worth about $150,000.00, about 
one-half of which he made in law. This " Huntington " who ex- 
amines is a bachelor rather above forty who studies, thinks and talks 
law sleeping and waking. He never " pettifoggs," but pleads ia 
the higher courts and writes opinions for other lawyers in every 
section of the country. He will sometimes become so animated in 
discussing a question which arises on the examination, that he can 
hardly keep his seat. Friday, the nth inst., it came my turn for 
the second time to come on to the " Moot Court." A short time 
after my admission my name came on opposed to Mr. Halsted, of 
N. J. (in alphabetical order), who was an old student. I tried to 
cross the Rubicon but like "a poor, stuck-in-the-mud I could not ford; . 


Frightened out of my wits, surrounded by a literary fog in the 
midst of my " notliing," I quoted from an author (Swift) with 
whom the Judge had a personal quarrel, this with being oil the 
wrong side of the question fired me. This time I resolved to re- 
trieve. A most intricate question on the doctrine of relation and 
estoppel was handed M. Brown of N. J. and myself by Sq. »San- 
ford of this place. The next day we had a very learned decision 
luckily in my favor. * * * 

Your affectionate son, 

Augustus H.vnd 


The pictuhe of the Reeves Law School building appended here, 
shows it as now ( 1908) appears after the restoration as far as 
possible to its original condition. The Litchfield correspondent of 
the IJ^aterbury American describes the situation as follows: 

Litchfield, Nov. 19 — Tapping Reeve, the founder of the Litchfield 
Law School, famous as having been the first law school in the 
United States, was the son of a Presbyterian minister and was born 
on the South side of Long Island. He was educated at Princeton, 
where he graduated in 1763, at the age of 17 years. For seven 
years he remained as a tutoj at Princeton, then came to Connecticut 
and practiced law in the office of Judge Root of Hartford and as 
soon as he was admitted to the bar he settled in Litchfield about 
1772. He had previously married Sally Burr, daughter of Presi- 
dent Burr of Princeton College, and sister of Aaron Burr, who 
studied in the school, and who was a frequent visitor in his family. 

In 1782, the number of students who wished to study in Reeve's 
office had become so large, that he built the small house shown 
in the picture, in the corner of his yard, on South Street, the place 
now owned by Charles H. Woodruff of New York and Litchfield. 
To this school came students from all parts of the country, many 
of the men who gained renown in the practice of law and in other 
professions, being graduates of this school. 

Judge Reeve continued to use this building until his death, and 
in 1846 the building was sold to Henry Ward, who purchased a lot 
of land on the brow of West Hill and placed the building there, 
fitting it up as a small house. In 1886 the property was bought by 
]\Irs. Mary C. Daniels and her son, Prof. Charles F. Daniels of 
New York, who made it their summer home for many years. Prof. 
Daniels died a few \ears before his mother and upon Mrs. Daniel's 
death it became necessar}- to sell the property. 

D. C. Kilbourn began planning to have the old building pre- 
served, and to that end a con>mittee was apponted by the Litchfield 
County Bar, with Mr. Kilbourn as chairman. He went before the 
Legislature at its session of 1907 with the proposition that the state 


buy it and keep it as sta;te property. This proposal was, however, 
rejected. Thereupon the executor was obhged to sell the place at 
auction, and Mr. Kilbourn bought it for about $2,700. He im- 
mediately began restoring the old part and to do this he had the 
original law school building detached from the additions which had 
been put on by Mr. and Mrs. Daniels. 

The building was moved to the extreme west end of the lot and 
has been restored both inside and out as far as possible to its 
original appearance. At the time of the Ward purchase of the 
house, it was lathed and plastered. This has been taken ofif, leaving 
the original wide pine boards with which it was ceiled, which still 
show inkstains, and in some places penciled names. One of the 
original outside doors was found in a mutilated condition, and this 
has been framed into the wall, and forms the frame of a large 
crayon portrait of Judge Reeve. The old small-paned windows, 
which appear in the picture are the same as of old. 

When taking off the plastering and lath, several old boards were 
found literally covered with names and inscriptions, done by jack- 
knife artists in those old school days, when human nature was much 
the same as now. Many of these names are to be found in the cata- 
logue of the school in Mr. Kilbourn's possession. Some of the 
names are W. T. Gould, 1818; N. Billings, New London; Board- 
man, 1820; William Petit, Marietta, Ohio; 1810; J. B. Skinner, A. 
Bates, Samuel W. Cheever, F. E. P., R. McE., E. P. S., Jones, (in 

An interesting question is how the building was heated, as no 
trace of a fireplace was found. Did they sit in the room with no fire, 
as the churches of those days were unheated! 

It is Mr. Kilbourn's present intention to make, if possible, some 
arrangement b}' which the old building can be kept as an interesting 
relic, and the members of the Eitchfield County Bar are getting 
much interested to have this done. 

It should be understood, in this connection, that the picture of 
what has been called "The First Eaw School of America" which 
has appeared from time to time in the state papers, is not a picture 
of the first law school building, but of the second one, which was 
built by Judge Gould later. He came to Litchfield and was as- 
sociated with Judge Reeve in his school, and after Judge Reeve's 
death he carried on the school, putting up the building sometimes 
called the first school in the yard of his property, now the Hoppin 
house, on North street. The school was carried on in that building, 
to be sure, but it was not the first building. It has been standing 
about a mile west of the villaige, and used as a negro tenement, 
but is fast falli'ng to pieces. There is no doubt that the interest 
of Mr. Kilbourn in the real "first law school building" has been 
the means of saving this historic building, and preserving it for the 
benefit of future generations. 
















■ A catalogue of this school was published in 1828 of those attend- 
ing from 1798. A supplement was added bringing the names down 
to 1831. In 1849 it was reprinted including the names to the close 
of the school in 1833. 

In January, 1900, Hon. George M. Woodruff again reprinted 
the catalogue, adding some pictures and matter relating thereto. 

The various notices and prefaces are herewith reprinted and 
fully explain themselves. 

In the former catalogues the names are arranged by classes, 
in this they appear alphetically. 

It is believed that these names all appear upon the Bar Records, 
it being the rule that all students should be entered thereon. Upon 
bur records there are a great many names not appearing in this 
catalogue, being students who were studying with other attorneys. 
That none of the law school students previous to 1798 appear here 
"is probably from the fact tliat our bar records begin at that date. 


The committee to whom has been referred the publication of 
this catalogue, deem it proper to prefix a few observations in rela- 
tion to the institution, and the course of in^^truction therein pre- 

The Law School was established in 1782 by the Hon. Tapping 
Reeve, late Chief Justice of this State, and continued- under his 
sole direction until the year 1793, when the Hon. J. Gould was 
associated with him. These gentlemen continued their joint labors 
until 1820, since which period Judge Gould has lectured alone. 
■From its commencement, it has enjoyed a patronage, which dis- 
tinguished talent, combined with legal attainment, justly merited. 
It has been composed of young men from every section of the 
Union, many of whom have since beeji eminently conspicuous, both 
as jurists and as statemen. And, indeed, even now, notwithstand- 
ing the nuermous legal seminaries which have been established 
throughout our country, this school maintains its proud pre-emi- 
nence. This, it is believed, it to be attributed to the advantages, 
which the mode of instruction here prescribed, possess over the 
system usually adopted in similar institutions. 

According to the plan pursued by Judge Gould, the law is 
-divided "into forty-eight titles, which embrace all its important 
branches, and of which he -treats in systematic detail. These titles 
are the result of thirty years severe and close application. They 
comprehended the whole of his legal reading during that period, 
and continue moreover, to be enlarged and improved by modern 
adjudications. The lectures, which are delivered every day, and 


which usually occupy an hour and a half, embrace every principle 
and rule falling under the several divisions of the different titles. 
These principles and rules are supported by numerous authorities, 
and generally accompanied with familiar illustrations. Whenever 
the opinions upon any point are contradictory, the authorities in 
support of either doctrine are cited, and the atfguments', advanced 
by either side, are. presented in a clear and concise manner, together 
with the lecti'irer's own views of the question. In fact, every ancient 
and modern opinion, whether over-ruled, doubted, or in any way 
qualified, is here systematically digested. These lecture.?, thus 
classified, are taken down in full by the students, and after being 
compared with each other, are generally transcribed in a more neat 
and legible hand. The remainder of the day is occupied in examin- 
ing the authorities cited in support of the several rules, and in read- 
ing the most approved authors upon those branches of the law, 
which are at the time the subject of the lectures. These notes, 
thus written out, are, when complete, comprised in five large vol- 
umes, which constitute books of reference, "the great advantages 
of which must be apparent to every one of the slightest acquaint- 
ance with the comprehensive and abstruse science of the law. The 
examinations, which are held every Saturday, upon the lectures of 
the preceeding week, consist of a thorough investigation of the 
principles of each rule, and not merely of such questions as can 
be answered from memory without any exercise of the judgment. 
These examinations are held by Jabez W. Huntington, Esq., a dis- 
tinguished gentleman of the bar, whose practice enables him to 
introduce frequent and familiar illustrations, which excite an interest, 
and serve to impress more strongly upon the mind the knowledge 
acquired during the week. 

There is also connected with the institution, a Moot Court for 
the argument of law questions, at which Judge Gould presides. 
The questions that are discussed are prepared by him in the forms 
in which they generally arise. These courts are held once at least 
in each week, two students acting as counsellors one on each side. 
And the arguments that are advanced, together with the opinion of 
the judge, are carefully recorded in a book kept for that purpose. 
For the preparation of these questions, access may at all times 
be had to an extensive library. Besides these courts, there are 
societies established for improvement in forensic exercises, which 
are entirely under the control of the students.. 

The whole course is completed in fourteen months, including 
two vacations of two weeks each, one in the spring, the other in 
the autumn. No student can enter for a shorter period than three 
months. The terms of instruction are $ioo for the first year, and 
$60 for the second, payable ejther in advance or at the end of the 


This building was built by James Gould as his law office about 
1795- When he associated with Judge Reeve in law school he used 
his office for his lectures. It stood in his yard on the West side of 
North street. It was abandoned at the close of the Law School 
about 1835, and soon after the death of Judge Gould was sold and 
removed a mile West of the village on the Bantam road and con- 
verted into a dwelling house. For many years it was occupied by a 
colored family, and for five or six years has been unoccupied. It 
is now a ruin. 

The photo from which this picture was made was taken in 1898. 

CmiiCZ C. WOODKUl'lf 

Compiler of this Catalogue, 1828. 


This catalogue extends only as far back as 1798. Previous to 
that period, it is believed that the whole number exceeded four 

■hundred ; no record, however, has been preserved. The names of 
the students are placed in the order in which they entered, without 
an\' regard to the length of time they continued as members of the 
institution. The committee have endeavored to notice those who 
have distinguished themselves ; but as this has been done it erely 

. from recollection, they have no doubt passed by many, who have 
conferred honor upon their country and their profession. 
Litchfield, Jan. i, 1828. 


Abeel, George New York 1823 

Adams. Charles Massachusetts 1812 

Adams, Joseph T .Massachusetts 1820 

Adams, John IMassachusetts 1822 

Adams, John T Connecticut 1833 

Aiken, Charles ]\ew Hampshire 1832 

Albro, John A Massachusetts 182 1 

Alden, Cyrus ?lassachusetts 1808 

Alden, Hiram O Xew Hampshire 1823 

Allen, Alexander M Georgia 1801 

Allen, Zimri R Vermont 181 1 

Allyn, J. T Maryland 1821 

Alston, William W South Carolina 1818 

Alston, William J South Carolina 1824 

Ames, Samuel Rhode Island — Chief Jus. R. L . 1824 

Andrews, A\'illiam Massachusetts 1812 

Andrews, AMlliam T Massachusetts 1812 

Anderson, Franklin Maryland 1813 

Anderson, John Maryland 1815 

Ashley, Chester New York— U. S. Senator 1814 

Aspinwall, Thomas L New York 1810 

Atwater, Frederick New York 1814 

Atwater, Russell New York 1815 

Austin, Charles Massachusetts 1812 

Austin, Ralsamon Connecticut , 1801 

Austin, Senaca Vermont 1820 

Averill, Elisha Connecticut 1814 

Averill, William H Connecticut 1817 

Aver, Zaccheus Georgia 1817 



Babbitt, Roswell New York 1833 

Bacon, David Connecticut 1806 

Bacon, William J. New York 1823 

Baker, Joshua Louisiana 1821 

Baker, Walter New Hampshire 1812 

Balcom, Everett Massachusetts 1818 

Baldwin, Birdsey Connecticut . 1806 

Baldwin, Charles New York '. . 1801 

Baldwin, Charles Connecticut 1810 

Baldwin, Ebenezer Connecticut 1810 

Baldwin, Henry Conn.— Judge Sup. Ct. U.S. M. C.1798 

Baldwin, Roger S .Conn. — Governor. U. S. Senator. 1812 

Baldwin, Samuel S .Connecticut 1800 

Banks, William C . Georgia 1818 

Barclay, David, Jr \''irginia 1832 

Barnes, Enos H Virginia 1826 

Barnes, Joseph Massachusetts — Judge Penn. . . . 1801 

Barnes, Lauren .Connecticut 1806 

Barnwell William South Carolina 1826 

Bartram, Daniel S Connecticut 1799 

Bates, Anson Connecticut 1820 

Battle, Josiah B . . Connecticut 1798 

Baxter, Eli H .Georgia — Judge Circuit Court. . 1818 

Baxter, Horace Massachusetts 1812 

Beach, Erasmus D Massachusetts 1832 

Beebe, Levi S New York 1830 

Beecher, Truman .Connecticut 1816 

Beers, David B Connecticut 1829 

Beers, Frederick Connecticut 1809 

Beers, Seth P Conn. — Com. of School Fund. . . 1803 

BeMen, Hfezekiah Connecticut 1798 

Beli, Harvey Vennont 1812 

Bell, James Vermont 1824 

Bellamy, Joseph H Connecticut 1808 

Bennett, Milo L Conn.— L.L.D, Judge SupCt. Vt. 1811 

Beverly, James District Columbia 1813 

Beverly, William District Columbia 181 3 

Bigelow, Horatio Massachusetts 1810 

Bigelow, Silas Massachusetts 1814 

Billings, Noyes Connecticut — Lieut.-Governor . . 1820 

Bingham, F. W New York 1830 

Bissell, Edward Connecticut 1828 

Bissell, John, Jr Connecticut 1826 

Bishop, Jonathan P Maryland 1814 

Bixby, Alfred New Hampshire 1821 


Blackwell, David Kentucky 1813 

Blake, Eli W Connecticut 18.17 

Blake, Francis A Massachusetts 1817 

Bond, Nathaniel P Georgia 1819 

Bond, William Maryland 181 1 

Bonestall, Virgil D New York 1830 

Bonnel, Joseph Delaware 1815 

Boardman, George S Connecticut 1819 

Boardman, William W ....Connecticut — Member Congress. 1816 

Bolles, Job S. T Georgia " 1822 

Booth, James, Jr Delaware — Chief Justice 1810 

Bosson, Charles Massachusetts 181 r 

Bostwick, Charles Connecticut 1798 

Boyle, James Connecticut 1833 

Brace, John P Connecticut 1812 

Brace. Thomas K Connecticut 1802 

Bradley. Benj. H Connecticut 1818 

Bradley, Edwin B Connecticut 1827 

Brayton, George .\ Rhode Island 1825 

Breckenridge. John Maryland 182 c 

Brimsmade, Daniel B Connecticut 1803 

Eronson, Frederick New York 1824 

Broome. Jacob Delaware 1809 

Brookes, Whitefield South Carolina 1814 

Brown. Charles R Connecticut 1813 

Brown, Franklin New York 1827 

Brown, George New York 1814 

lirown, Nicholas. Jr Rhode Island 1811 

Brnvn. Andrew D. W New York — Member Congress. .iSii 

Buffet, William P New York 1813 

Buchanan, William S Pennsylvania 1824 

Bulklev, Joseph Cnnecticut 1810 

Bullaril, Royal Massachusetts 1810 

Bull, Epaphras W Connecticut 1826 

Bunker, Charles ]\. fassachusetts 1822 

Bunnell, James F. New York 1827 

Burgess, W. Arnold Rhode Island 1821 

Butler, Chester P Pennsylvania — Mem. of Cong. . . 1818 

Butler. David B New Jersey 1825 

Burrall, William P Connecticut 1828 

Calhoun, John C South Carolina — L. L. D., \'. P. 

Mem.. of Cong.; Senator; Sec. 

of State and of War 1805 

Camp, Ralph G .". Connecticut 1824 


Cambrelling Stephen .North Carolina , . .1813 

Campbell, Collin South Carolina i8bt) 

Campbell, George L New York ii826 

Campbell, John South Carolina 1820 

Cantelou, Peter L Georgia 1813 

Cantelou, William B Georgia 1813 

Canfield, Ezra Connecticut 1801 

Canfield, Henry J Connecticut 1808 

Cardwell, John W South Carolina _. . 1823 

Carroll, Charles H New York — Member Congress. . 1817 

Carroll, Willam ~. . . . . .Indiana ,1823 

Castor, Dyer Pennsylvania 1825 

Catlin, George Penn. — Indian portrait painter. . 1817 

Catlin, George S Conn. — Member of Congress. . . . 1827 

Catlin, Grove Connecticut 1806 

Chase, Harvey New liampshire : . . . 1800 

Chase, Moses New Hhampshire 1798 

Chase, Samuel .• . . New York 1818 

Champion, Epaphroditus . . .Connecticut 1805 

Champlin, Christopher Rhode Island 1810 

Chambers, Joseph Pennsylvania 1820 

Chambers, Benjamin L, Mar3dand 1822 

Chamberlin, Mellin Maine 1819 

Chandler, Anson G Maine 1818 

Chandler, John A Maine 1818 

Chandler, Hannibal Virginia 1832 

Channing, Henry W Connecticut 1809 

Chapin, Moses Mass. — Judge N. Y. Courts 1813 

Chapman, Charles Connecticut 1818 

Chester, Henry New York 1815 

Chester, Stephen M Connecticut 181 3 

Cheever, Samuel Massachusetts 1812 

Child, Abiel Connecticut 182T 

Childs, Timothy, Jr. ._. Massachusetts — Mem. Congress. 1814 

Chittenden, Frederick Connecticut 1824 

Church, Aaron .Connecticut 1800 

Church, Leman Connecticut 181 5 

Church, Samuel Connecticut — Chief Justice 1806 

Clark, Archibald Georgia 1800 

Clark, Gibson Georgia 1804 

Clark, Henry L New York 1826 

Clark, James , . . Georgia 1820 

Clark, Robert Georgia 1832 

Clark, Peter New Jersey . 181 1 

Clayton, John M Delaware — L.L.D, Chief Justice; 

U. S. Senator; Sec. of State.. 1817 
Cleveland, Stephen New York 1815 


Clifton, William C Georgia 1825 

Clinton, George W New York .1828 

Cockburn, William New York 1818 

Cogshall, Josiah H Massachusetts 1809 

Coleman, John J Alabama 1827 

Collier, John A Connecticut— M. C. New York. . 1805 

Collins, Augustus Connecticut 1804 

Collins, Josiah, Jr North Carolina 1826 

Cook, James C Connecticut 1813 

Cook, Oliver D., Jr Connecticut 1818 

Cooke, Roger W Connecticut 1817 

Cooley, James Massachusetts 1799 

Cole, John " New York 1810 

Cooper, Benjamin F New York 1821 

Conkling, Thomas Maryland 1817 

Condit, Jacob A New Jersey 1813 

Converse, Porter .Vermont 1804 

Cowles, Samuel Connecticut 1802 

Cowles, Henry B New York 1817 

Cowles, Sands G. . . . ._ Connecticut 1826 

Crawford, James Vermjont 1832 

Crawford, Joel Georgia — Member of Congress. . 1806 

Croghan, William Kentucky 1815 

Crosby, Piatt H New York 1813 

Cruger, H. N., Jr South Carohna 1821 

Gumming, Edward H New Jersey 1826 

Gumming, William Georgia 1806 

Cunningham, Robert South Carolina. 1810 

Cuthbert, John A Georgia — ^Member of Congress. . 1807 

Cuthbert, Alfred Georgia— United States Senator. 1804 

Cutler, George Y Connecticut 1819 

Cutting, Brockholst New York 1823 

Cushman, Charles C Vermont 1828 

Cushman, John P ". Conn.— M. C. and Judge N. Y. .1808 


Dart, John S South Carolina 1821 

Davidge, Francis H Maryland 1815 

Davis, John Virginia . 181 1 

Davis, James Maryland 1816 

Davis, John H Delaware 1817 

Davies, Henry Maryland 1809 

Davies, Israel W Massachusetts 181 1 

Davies, John B Virginia 1815 


Dawson, Lawrence South Carolina 

Dawson, William C Georgia — Judge; L'. S. Senator. . 

Day, Edgar B New York 

Delamotter, Jacob ,. . .Georgia ". 

DeMenou, Charles Charge d' Affairs of France, D. C. 

Deming, Buel rf Connecticut 

Denn)^ Thomas Massachusetts 

Deveraux, Geo. P North Carolina 

Deveraux, Thomas North Carolina 

Deveraux, Thomas P No. Carolina — Reporter Sup. Ct. 

Deas, Henry South Carolina 

Dexter, Christopher C Rhode Island 

Doolittle, Amos B Connecticut 

Doan, Guy Connecticut 

Downes, Appleton Massachusetts 

Downman, John B Massachusetts 

Doyle, Francis Georgia 

Dubois, Cornelius, Jr New York 

Dunbar, Daniel Connecticut 

Dunbar, Miles Connecticut 

Dwight, Henry W Massachusetts, Member Congress. 

Dver, Thomas Connecticut 





Eastman, A. G New York 1833 

Edwards, Henry P Conn. — Judge Sup. Ct. N. Y. . . . 1828 

Edwards, Henry P New York 1830 

Edwards, Henry W Conn. — U. S. Sen. ; Gov. Conn. . 1798 

Edwards, John S Connecticut 1798 

Edwards, Odgen .-.Conn. — -Judge-Sup. Ct. N. Y. . . . i8m 

Eickelbergger, Louis Maryland 1810 

Elgin, Hezekiah R Maryland 1815 

EUis, Grindall R New Hampshire 1809 

Ellsworth, Henry L .Connecticut 1811 

Ellsworth, William W Conn. — ^Com. of Patents; M. C. ; 

Governor; Judge Sup. Court. .1811 

Ellmaker, Amos Pennsylvania 1806 

Ellmendorf , Edmond B New York 1826 

Ennis, William Rhode Island 1820 

Erwin, Isaac H Alabama 1828 

Everest, Sherman Connecticut 1800 


Fairle, Frederick New York 1818 

Felder, John M South Ca rolina — Mem. of Cong. 1805 

Fine, John New York ". . 1813 


Reprinted the Catalogue, 1900 


Fisher, Isaac, Jr Maryland 

Fisher, Samuel Massachusetts 

Fitch, John Connecticut 

Fleming, Matthew South Carolina 

Floyd, Joseph R JMar\'land 

Follet, Timothy A'^^ermiont 

Folsom, Joshua New Hampshire 

Foot, John A Connecticut 

Footman, William ]Maryland 

Ford, Wilham H South Carolina 

Foster, George Massachusetts 

Foster, James ]\lassachusetts 

Foster, Thomas F Massachusetts — M. C, Geo. 

Fowler, James ^Massachusetts 

Fowler, John D Massachusetts 

Francis, John B Rhode Island 

Franklin," ^\'alter S Penn.— Clerk H. R. U. S.. 

Frazier, Alexander G South Carolina 

Frisbie, Samuel Connecticut 

Fuller, Henry H Massachusetts 

Fuller, William W' Massachusetts 

Fullerton, Alexander X A'ermoiiit 

Fullerton, Thomas S A'ermSont 





Gantt, Samuel South Carolina 181 7 

Ganesvoort, Peter New York 1810 

Gardner, Philip S Rhode Island 1826 

Gibbs, David Alassachusetts 1808 

Gibbs. Henrv W' Connecticut 1808 

Gibbs, William C Rhode Island — Governor 1810 

Gibson, William Georgia 1823 

Glover, Samuel " New York 1820 

Gold. Thomas A Massachusetts 1808 

Goodwin, Edward Connecticut 1823 

Goodwin, Hiram Connecticut 1829. 

Gould, George Conn. — Judge Sup. Court N. Y. . 1827 

Gould James R Connecticut 1824 

Gould, William T Conn.— Judge, Georgia 1818 

Graham, John L New York 1814 

Grant, W'illiam South Carolina 1823 

Grant, W'illiam A Georgia 1823 

Graves. Thoiuas C Kentucky 1808 

Gray, Thomas Connecticut 1817 

Green, Caleb, Jr New York 1830 

Greene, Albert C Rhode Island — U S. Senator. . . 1812 


Greene^ Benjamin D Massachusetts 1813 

Green, Henry W Rhode Island — Justice Sup. Court 

and Chancellor New Jersey. .. 1823 

Greene, Richard W Rhode Island 1812 

Greene, William Rhode Island 1817 

Griffin, George Connecticut— L.L.D 1798 

Griswo-ld, Shubal Connecticut 1809 

Groome, John C Maryland 1824 

Gustin, Alpheus North Carolina 1819 

Gwathmy, Isaac K Kentucky 1813 

Gunn, I^rederick Connecticut 1812 


Hadnall, William B Maryland 1819 

Hall, Ambrose Massachusetts 1802 

Hall, Gideon Conn. — Judge Sup. Court 1829 

Hall, Horace Vermtont 1803 

Hall, Willis New York— Attorney Gen. N. Y. 1826 

Halsted, Oliver S N ew Jersey — Chancellor N. J . . . 1813 

Halsted, Robert W New Jersey 1827 

Halsted, William, Jr New Jersey 1814 

Halsey, Hopkins (jeorgia — Mem. of Congress. . . . 1819 

Hand, Augustus C Vermont — Judge Sup. Ct. N. Y.1827 

Hamilton, Thomas South Carolina 1810 

Harrison, Tipton B yirginia 1818 

Harvey, Leroy Georgia 1821 

Hasbrook, Abraham B New York— M. C. ; L.L.D. ; Pres- 
ident Rvttgers' College, N.J... 1812 

Hassell, Bentley South Carolina 1825 

Hatch, Moses Connecticut 1801 

Hawkes, Francis L North Carolina — Clergyman ; au- 
thor N. Y 1818 

Hawkes, Benjamin B North Carolina 1823 

Hawkins, Samuel New York 1798 

Hawley, Charles . . . ." Conn. — Lt.-Gov. Conn 1813 

Haydcn, Moses Massachusetts 1804 

Head, George E Massachusetts 1813 

Hepburn, Joseph L Pennsylvania 1819 

Hiccox, Guy Connecticut 1806 

Hill, Joseph A North Carolina 1819 

Hill, William R South Carolina 1821 

Hillhouse, Augustus L Connecticut 1812 

Hine, Homer Connecticut 1800 

Hines, Richard 1814 

Hinman, Royal R Conn. — Sec. State; historian ...1806 

Hitchcock, Samuel Alabama 1828 


Holabird, William F Connecticut — Lt. Gov. Conn 181 5 

Hodges, William F Connecticut 1812 

Holcomb, Chauncey P Connecticut 1824 

Holley, John M., Jr. . .^ Conn. — Mem. of Cong. N. Y 1823 

Holt, George B Conn. — Judge in Ohio 1812 

Holt, Thaddeus G Georgia— Judge Sup. Court Ga. . 1816 

Hooker, James Connecticut 1810 

Hopkins, Abiather New Hampshire 1808 

Hotchkiss, Minor Connecticut 1813 

Houston, Patrick Georgia 1798 

Houghton, Josiah J^laine 1817 

Howard, Benjamin Chas. . . .Maryland 1812 

Howard, John H Georgia 1813 

Howe, Samuel Massachusetts — Judge 1805 

Hoyt, Henry S New York 1829 

Hubbard, Elijah Connecticut 1798 

Hubbard, Elizur Vermont 1799 

Hubbel, James Vermont 1802 

Hudson, Jonathan T '. .Connecticut 1826 

Hull, Hezekiah B Connecticut 1813 

Hunt, Hiram P New York — Mem. of Congress. 1817 

Hunt, Jonathan Connecticut 1808 

Hunt, Ward E New York — Chief Justice of X. 

Y. Judge U. S. Sup. Court. . . . 1830 
Huntington, Jabez W Conn. — M. C. ; U. S. S. ; Judge 

Supreme Court 1808 

Humphrey, Joseph Connecticut 1812 

Hurlbut, William Connecticut 181 5 

Huffington, William Delaware 1823 

Hyde, John J Connecticut 1829 


IngersoU, Charles AI New Hampshire 1812 

Ingham, Alpheus Pennsylvania 1825 

Ives, Moses B ' i-lhode Island 1812 

Ives, Henry C New York 1831 


Jacobs, Cyrus Pennsylvania 1823 

Jacobs, George W Pennsylvania 1819 

Jacobs, William C Pennsylvania 1820 

Jackson, Ebenezer, Jr. CTCorgia — Member of Congress. . 1814 

Jackson, John P '. New Jersey 1824 

Jackson, Joseph Georgia 1817 

Jackson, Oliver P New York 1823 


Jackson, Thomas L Georgia ., 1823 

Janvier, Thomas, Jr Delaware 1828 

James, Edward M New York 1805 

Tarvis, Russell Massachusetts - . . . 1813 

Jenkins, Charles M NewYork 1831 

Jessup, Ebenezer Connecticut 1825 

Jewell, Ezra Connecticut 1809 

Johns, Kensey, Jr , Delaware— M. C. ; Chancellor. . . 1812 

Johnson, Charles F. . Connecticut 1824 

Johnson, Edwards Connecticut 1826 

Johnson, James Georgia 1816 

Johnson, William S Connecticut 1816 

Johnston, James T Georgia 1816 

Jones, Heiiry Calcutta, East Indies 1810 

Jones, Joel Pennsylvania — L.L.D 1819 

Jones, John Q New York 1817 

Jones, Robert 1813 

Jones, Rice Louisiana 1807 

Judson, Noah Massachusetts 1799 


Kaleb, William M Maryland 1827 

Kaleb, J. A. Mc Maryland 1829 

Kellogg, Edward Massachusetts 1823 

Kelso, Charles W. . . ._. Pennsylvania 1828 

Kerr, Joseph C North Carolina 1817 

Key, Phillip Maryland 1829 

- Kilbourn, Austin Connecticut 1821 

King, Edward New York 1813 

King, George G Rhode Island 1826 

King, James G New York — Mem. of Congress. . 1810 

Kingsbury, Sanford New Hampshire 1801 

Kinnecutt, Thomas Massachusetts — ^"Lieut-Gov 1823 

Kirby, Reynold M Connecticut 1809 

Kirkland, Chas. P New York 1818 

Knight, Frederick Massachusetts 1812 

Dake, Joseph Ohio , . 1820 

Lamar, Lucius Q. C. Georgia-^Judge Sup. Court 1817 

Langdon, Benjamin F Vermont '. 1821 

Langsing, I,eviness S New York 1830 

Lathrop, Cyrus H Massachusetts ' 1810 

Latham, Allen Massachusetts ; 1814 

Lashell, John '. Pennsylvania ; 1810 


Lawrence, Augustus A New York 1813 

Lawrence, Phillip K New York .1814 

Lawrence, William B New York — Charge d'affaires, 

London '. 1819 

Leavenworth, Elias W Mass.— LX.D. ; M. C. ; Sec. of 

State N. Y 1825 

Leavenworth, Nathan New York 1813 

Leavenworth, William F. . . .Connecticut 1822 

Leavitt, Harvey F New Hampshire 1816 

Ledyard, Henry N ew York 1830 

Leonard, Cornelius New York 1810 

Lewis, John L Louisiana 1825 

Lewis, Robert H Virginia 1821 

Lewis, William Louisiana 1817 

Livingston, Carroll New York 1827 

Livingston, Henry W New York 1820 

Livingston, James K New York 1818 

Livingston, John R New York 1823 

Livingston, Robert New York 1829 

Livingston, Walter New York 1820 

Lloyd, Joseph R North Carolina 1818 

Lockwood, Ephraim Connecticut 1798 

Loring, Charles G Massachusetts 1813 

Loring Edward G Massachusetts 1822 

Lord, Daniel, Jr New York — L.L-D 1814 

Longstreet, Augustus B Georgia — L.L.D. ; Judge Sup. Ct. ; 

College President 1813 

Lott, Adrain New York 1831 

Low, Cornelius New York 1812 

Lowndes, Benjamin Virginia 1825 

Ludlow, Alfred New York 1822 

Lundy, Etheldred Virginia . 1818 

Lyman, Darius Connecticut 181 1 

Lyman, Samuel F Massachusetts 1819 

Lyman, Theodore Massachusetts 181 1 


Marberry, John Maryland 1813 

Mack, Elisha Massachusetts 1805 

Magruder, Enoch Pennsylvania 1816 

Mackie, Peter New York 1813 

Mallory, Garrick Penn. — ^L.L.D. ; Judge Penn. . . . 1810 

Mann, George Rhode Island 1826 

Mann. Horace Mass. — M. of C. ; educator 1822 

Mansfield, Edward D New York 1823 

Markley, Benj. A South Carolina 1806 


Marvin, Ebenezer Verraont 1799 

Marsh, Charles, Jr Vermont •, 1813 

Martin, Joseph F Rhode Island 1818 

Martin, WilHam D. . .' South Carolina— M. C 1810 

Mason, John Y Virginia— M. C. ; Judge ; Sec. of 

Navy ; Mason and Slidell afifair. 1817 

Mason, William J Virginia 1821 

Mayson, Charles C South Carolina 1814 

Mather, Nathaniel Connecticut 181 1 

Maxwell, Robert Maryland 1817 

Maxey, Virgil Rhode Island — Chg. d'aifairs Bel- 
gium 1805 

Mayer, Abraham I'ennsylvania 1817 

Mayer, John B Pennsylvania 1823 

Mayo, Harman B New York 1821 

]\IcCawley, Robert Virginia 1819 

McClean, James G Maryland : 1822 

McElhenny, James South Carolina 1822 

McFarland, William H Airginia 1818 

Merwin, Elijah B Vermont 1801 

Metcalf, Theron Massachusetts 1806 

Middleton, Henry A South Carolina 1815 

Middleton, Henry South Carolina 1817 

Mills, Roger Connecticut 1798 

Mills, Michael F Connecticut 1801 

Millar, Bowyar Virginia — (Boyer F Miller?) . .1817 

Miller, Charles Connecticut 1818 

Miller, Joseph Connecticut 1801 

Miller, Morris Georgia 1798 

Miller, Rutger B New York 1824 

Miller, Solomon S \Aermont 1811 

Minturn, Thomas R New York , 1826 

Mitchell, Charles Connecticut 1804 

Mitchell, Henry A Connecticut 1826 

Mitchell, Louis C Connecticut 1807 

Mitchell, Louis Connecticut 181 3 

Mitchell, Stephen M Connecticut 1800 

Moffit, Thomas Georgia 1816 

Morris, Henry New York 1826 

Moore, Robert Georgia 1822 

Morrison, James New Hampshire 1809 

Morse, Sidney E Mass. — Founder N. Y. Observer. 1814 

Morson, Arthur A Virginia 1823 

Moseley, Charles Connecticut 1806 

Mumford, William W New York 1815 

Alunger, Warren Connecticut 181 1 


Purchased the Judge Reeve Homestead 




Nash, Lonson Massachusetts 1803 

Neill, George P Pennsylvania 1829 

Nesbit, Eugenius A Georgia — M. C. ; Judge Sup. Ct. 1823 

Nichols, Joseph H New York 1827 

Nichol, Edward New York 1813 

Nicoll, John C Georgia — Judge; U. S. District 

Judge 1814 

Nixon, Henry G South Carolina 1820 

Nelson, Armstead Maryland 1814 

Newcomb, Isaac M New York 1828 

Norton, Marcus Mass. — Judge ; Gov. Mass 1806 

Norton, James C New York 1819 

North, Theodore Connecticut 1808 

Nutall, William B North Carolina 1823 


Oakley, Jesse New York 1814 

Ogden, Matthias B New Jersey 1813 

Olcut, Theophilus New Hampshire 1801 

Oliver, Henry Maryland 1821 

Oliver, Samvtel W Georgia 1820 

Olmstead, Charles C Connecticut 1810 

Ormsbee, Edgar S Vermiont 1824 

Orne, Henry Massachusetts 181 1 

Overton, Thomas B Pennsylvania 1813 

O'Hara, Arthur H North Carolina 1814 

Page, Benjamin Rhode Island 1805 

jPage, Henry Rhode Island 1816 

Painter, Alexis Connecticut 1817 

Park>'r, Araasa Connecticut 1809 

Parker, Aurelius D Massachussetts 1826 

Parker, Charles T Massachusetts 1828 

Parker, William M 1820 

Parrott, Abner B Georgia 1821 

Parson, Anson V Mass. — Judge Sup. Court Penn. . 1825 

Pasteur, Edward G North Carolina 1823 

I'atterson, Chris. S Pennsylvania 1821 

Patton, Robert 1814 

Payne, Elijah, Jr Vermont 1815 

Peck, William V Cennecticut — Judge, Ohio 1824 

Pell, Duncan C New York 1826 

Penney, Samuel New York 1828 


Perkins, Charles Connecticut 1813 

Perkins, Thomas S Connecticut 1812 

Pettibone, Sereno Connecticut 1802 

Petet, Joel T Connecticut 1800 

Petet, William W Ohio 1815 

Phelps, Charles B New Hampshire 1806 

Phelps, Edward A Connecticut 1828 

Phelps, Elisha Conn. — Mem. of Congress 1801 

Phelps, Jedediah Massachusetts 1810 

Phelps, Samuel S Conn.— U. S. S. ; Judge S. C. Vt. 181 1 

Pickett, Reuben North Carolina 1825 

Pickett, William D North Carolina — Judge Sup. Ct. 

Alabama 1826 

Pierce, James Connecticut 1798 

Pierce, Levi Maryland 1815 

Pierce, William L Georgia 1809 

Pierpont, John Connecticut — Rev. ; poet . 1809 

Pierpont, John Conn. — Chief Justice Vermont. . 1825 

Pierson, George New York 1830 

Pillsbury, William Massachusetts 1813 

Pitcher, John New York — Lieut.-Gov 181 5 

Pitcher, PhiHip New York 1828 

Pitt, John R Georgia 1816 

Player, Thompson T South Carolina . 1826 

Poe, Washington Georgia — Member of Congress. . 1823 

Polk, Thomas G North Carolina . 181 1 

Porter, George B Penn. — Gov. of Michigan 1812 

Porter, Timothy H New Hampshire — M. Congress. . 1807 

Porteus, John South Carolina 1800 

Post, Albert L 1832 

Potter, Ansel Connecticut 1805 

Potter, Asa Rhode Island 1S26 

Prentice, Henry- E 1832 

Preston, Isaac T Virginia — ^Judge S. C. Louisiana. 1812 

Price, Benjamin Maryland 1820 

Pumpelly, George J New York 1826 

Putnam, Austin . New York 1828 

Putnam, Charles Massachusetts 1814 

, tiftli if, .u. , , : , 


Rankin, Robert G New York 1827 

Raymond, Daniel Connecticut 1810 

Raymond, David H Connecticut 1810 

Raymond, James Connecticut 1820 

Raynor, Benj. L Connecticut 1824 

Read, John, Jr Delaware 1824 


Read, John D Delaware 1823 

Read, William T Delaware 1812 

Reed, George Delaware 1808 

Reed, John H South Carolina 1809 

Reeve, Aaron B Connecticut 1802 

Reynolds, Walter New York 1822 

Richards, George H Connecticut 1809 

Richards, Henry S N ew York 1826 

Richards, Robert K New York 1829 

Rideley, Greensburg Kentucky 1816 

Ridgate, Benjamin Maryland 1814 

Ridout, Addison Maryland 1813 

Robbins, Samuel H Connecticut 1817 

Robbins, Silas Conn. — Judge, Kentucky 1808 

Rogers, Archibald G New York 1823 

Rogers, Artemas Connecticut 181 1 

Rogers, Charles W Georgia 1829 

Rogers, Edward Delaware 1810 

Rogers, Henry A Rhode Island 1821 

Rogers, Henry B Massachusetts 1823 

Rogers, Henry W Connecticut 1810 

Rogers, Henry Pennsylvania 1823 

Rogers, John Delaware 1813 

Rogers, Moulton C Delaware — Judge, Pennsylvania. 1807 

Rogers, William M Georgia 1829 

Ross, Thomas Pennsylvania 1827 

Ruggles, Heman Connecticut 1803 

Ruggles, Henry J New York 1832 

Rutledge, Benj. H South Carolina 1817 

Rutherford, John Georgia 1829 

Rutherford, Robert Georgia 1806 

Samuel, Beverly South Carolina 1819 

Samson, John P. C New York 1817 

Sankey, Joseph S Georgia 1826 

Sanford, Rollin Connecticut 1831 

Sargent, William F. W Mississippi 1817 

Saunders, Curtis H Tennessee 1833 

Schley, John T Maryland 1828 

Schell, Augustus New York 1831 

Schuyler, Robert New York 1818 

Scott, John Ray New York 1807 

Scott, Jessup W Connecticut 1822 

Scudder, Phillip J New Jersey 1813 

Sedgwick, Harry Massachusetts 1807 


Sedgwick, Philo C Connecticut 1831 

Selden, Ulysses Connecticut 1802 

Sewall, William H Maryland 1816 

Seymour, Henry Conii. — M. of C. ; Gov. of Conn. . 1829 

Seymour, Horatio Conn. — L.L.D ; U. S. Senator Vt. 1798 

Seymour, Isaac G Georgia 1825 

Seymour, Origen S Conn. — M. of C. Judge and Chief 

Justice 1824 

Seymour, Osias V ermont 1821 

Shaffer, Joseph L Georgia 1825 

Shaiimburgh, Charles W. . .Louisiana 1827 

Shaw, Henry New York — Mem. of Congress. . 1810 

Sheldon, Daniel Connecticut 1798 

Shelden, William Connecticut 1822 

Sheldon, Isaac Connecticut 1810 

Shelton, Stephen Connecticut 1809 

Shepard, Samuel 1799 

Sherman, Klkanah C New York 1825 

Sherrell, Joseph Massachusetts 1815 

Sill, Theodore Connecticut 1798 

Simkins, Eklred South Carolina — M. C. ; L,t.-Gov. 

S. C 1803 

Sims, John G ,. . . .Pennsylvania 1812 

Simons, Moses South Carolina 1810 

Simmons, Edward P South Carolina 1815 

Skinner, John B Connecticut 1820 

Skinner, Oliver Connecticut 1800 

Skinner, Richard Conn. — Chief Jus. and Gov Vt. . . 1798 

Skinner, Roger S Connecticut 181 5 

Sloan, Douglass W Massachusetts 1804 

Slosson, Barazilli New York 1830 

Smith, Archibald New York 1814 

Smith, Charles Massachusetts 1810 

Smith, Henry B Massachusetts 1809 

Smith James H North Carolina 1818 

Smith, Joseph L Conn. — Judge Florida ; U. S. ... 1800 

Smith, Junius Conn. — L.L.D ; ist ocean steam- 
ship, Tea grower 1802 

Smith, Ira Connecticut 1809 

Smith, Lemuel Massachusetts 1817 

Smith, Levi B Pennsylvania 1825 

Smith, Nathaniel B Connecticut 1817 

Smith, Perry Conn. — U. S. Senator 1807 

Smith, Truman Conn. — M. of C. ; U. S. Senator. 1817 

Smallwood, William A District Columbia 1824 

Spaulding, Richard B Georgia 1809 

Sparks, William H Georgia 1820 



Spaight, Charles G Georgia 1822 

Spires, Bracnc}' T North Carolina 1832 

Sprague, Peleg A'] assachusetts — U. S. Senator. . . 1813 

Speed, Robert H Virginia 1827 

Spencer, Alexander O New York 1818 

Spencer, Oliver M Ohio 1829 

Spooner, William Massachusetts 1813 

Stagg, Peter New York 1823 

Stansbury, G. A New York 1827 

Stanley, Henry New York 1801 

Stark, Caleb, Jr Viermont 1823 

Stark, Wyatt South Carolina 181 1 

Starr, Ephraim, Jr Connecticut 1803 

Starr, Henry Connecticut 1809 

Steele, William F Maryland 1814 

Sterrett, John Pennsylvania 1822 

Sterrett, William P Georgia 1821 

Stewart, Charles S New York 1817 

Stiles, Joseph C Georgia 1817 

Stiles, Richard Georgia 1822 

Stone, Gregory D New Hampshire 1823 

Stoddart, John T Maryland 1813 

Storrs, Juba Connecticut 1806 

Stevens, Henry W Connecticut 1811 

Stevens, John L New York 1823 

Stevens, Thomas Georgia 1823 

Strobel, Martin South Carolina 1806 

Strong, Elisha B Conneticut 1810 

Strong, Martin Connecticut 1801 

Strong, Moses M Vermont 1830 

Strong, Theron Connecticut 1822 

Stuart, Francis South Carolina 1809 

Stuart, Josephus B Massachusetts 1812 

Sullivan, James Massachusetts 1822 

Sutherland, Josiah, Jr New York— M. C. ; Judge Sp.Ct.j825 

Sweezy, Thomas Massachusetts 181 r 

Swift, Benjamin Vermont — U. S. Senator 1801 

Swift, William Vermont 1817 

Tabor, William J Connecticut 1813 

TaUifero, William F. . '. Virginia 1813 

Tallmadge, Frederick A Conn. — M. C. from N. Y 181 1 

Tatnall, Edward F Georgia — Member of Congress. . 1810 

Taylor, Edwin M Massachusetts 1832 


Taylor, Hubbard Kentucky 1810 

Taylor, James S Virginia 1818 

Taylor, John Oilman Massachusetts 1803 

Taylor, William South Carolina 1828 

Teakle, James D Maryland .' 1817 

Tellfair, Josiah Georgia 1804 

Tellfair, Thomas Georgda 1806 

Tenney, William New Hampshire — M. of C 1809 

Terry, Alfred Connecticut 1823 

Thayer, James Massachusetts 1815 

Thweat, Uriah , Georgia 1802 

Thomas, Alexander Georgia . 1810 

Thomas, Charles, Jr Delaware 1812 

Thompson, Henry Massachusetts 1814 

Thorndike, Larkin Massachusetts . . 1809 

Todd, Charles Kentucky 1810 

Tolman, Thomas Kentucky 1813 

Torrey, Charles Massachusetts 1814 

Tracy, George H New York 1830 

Treat, Selah B Connecticut 1825 

Trescott, Henry South Carolina 1815 

Trotter, James G Kentucky 1809 

Troup, Robert R New York 1809 

Tucker, George J 1824 

Tuthill, Cornelius New York 1815 

Twining, Thomas, Jr .Massachusetts 1814 

Tyler, Nathan Connecticut 1825 


Vandusen, William .Connecticut : 1803 

Vanderheyden, Samuel New York 1820 

A'andyke, Kensey J New Jersey 1818 

Vanmeter, John J Virginia 1821 

Van Wagener, Gerritt G. . . New York 1823 

A'erplank, James D New York 1827 


Wager, John A'irginia 1823 

Wakeman, Jonathan Connecticut 1807 

Waldo, William B New York 1828 

Walburg, George j\I Georgia 1815 

Walker, Charles Massachusetts 1822 

Walker, George J. S Georgia 1826 

Wallace, James W Pennsylvania 1829 

Waring, Nathaniel F New York 1827 


Ward, Isaac New Jersey 1813 

Ward, Richard R New York 1817 

Ward, Solomon Massachusetts 1802 

Warner, Eh Connecticut 1808 

Warner, Thomas Massachusetts 1809 

Waterhouse, Andrew O Massachusetts 181 1 

Watson, John B Connecticut 1815 

Watson, Samuel Massachusetts 1826 

Watson, William Connecticut 183 1 

Webber, Sumner A Massachusetts 1823 

Weeks, Alfred A New York 1823 

Wells, Ralph Connecticut 1812 

A\'elles, Thomas L, New York 1823 

Weems, James J District Columbia 1820 

\\'etmore. William Connecticut 1815 

Wheeler, Justice P Massachusetts 1804 

White, John P Connecticut 1799 

White, Thomas Georgia 1816 

White, William New Hampshire r8i8 

Whiting, John C Massachusetts 1823 

Whitman, John 1808 

Whitman, Lemuel Connecticut — Mem. of Congress. 1805 

Whittlesey, Elisha D Connecticut — Mem. of Congress. 1813 

Whittlesey, Frederick Conn. — M. of Congress; Judge 

Sup. Court N. Y 1819 

Whittlesey, Thomas T Connecticut — Mem. of Congress. 1818 

Wight, John L, Virginia 1824 

\\'illiams, David Louisiana 1816 

Williams, Henry F Louisiana 1818 

■ Williams, Jared W 1820 

Williams, Lemuel Massachusetts 1806 

Williams, Thomas S Connecticut I797 

Williams, William G Massachusetts 1799 

Wilkins, Edmond North Carolina 1817 

Wilkins, John L N^orth Carolina 1820 

Wilson, Andrew P Pennsylvania 1825 

Winslow, Edward D North Carolina 183 1 

Winship, John C. M A'lassachusetts 1810 

Wittich, Lucius L Georgia 1824 

Wolcott, Oliver S Connecticut 1818 

Wood, James 1798 

Woodbridge, William Ohio — U. S. Senator . 1802 

Woodbury, Levi New Hampshire — Gov. of N. H. ; 

Sec. of Navy and Treas. ; Judge 

of LT. S. Sup. Court 1809 

Woolridge, Thomas South Carolina 181 5 


Woodruff, George C Connecticut — Mem. of Congress . 1825 

Woodruff, Lewis B. Conn. — ly.L.D. ; Judge Sup. Ct. 

Ct. of Appeal N. Y. and Judge 
of Circuit Ct. N. Y., Conn, and 

Vermont 1830 

Worthington, Perry Maryland 1831 

Wright, Augustus R Georgia — ^Judge Sup. Court. . . . 1833 

Yates, Metcalf New York 1821 

Yates, William New York 1824 

Young, Charles C New York 1827 

Young, Ebenezer Connecticut — Mem. of Congress. 1809 

Number on Catalogue 805 

Students previous to 1798. 210 

Whole number 1015 









In the following sketches the compiler has endeavored tO' give 
in most cases only a very brief account of the legal history of the 
person with no attempt at genealogy, or comments upon the life 
or character. The information has been drawn from a great variety 
of sources and is believed to be in the main correct. It is, however, 
merely an index of the names of those who have contributed their 
lives and energies to make our Mountain County deserve its high 
and noble record of the past and to incite our present and future 
attorneys to uphold and maintain the lofty standard that their sires 
have bequeathed them. 

"Sflic liUE0 of 8«at men all ceminb uh 
Sfljat vae can make nut liuea sublime 

Anil Jiging leaue hcljtnJi ua 

Jfaatpcints nn tljc aaniia of time." 


Ei.isiiA S. AuERN'ETiLY, was a son of General Russell Abcr- 
nethy, of Torrington, born October 24, 1805. He entered Yale 
College when sixteen years old and (graduated in 1825. Admitted 
to the bar and practiced in Waterbury, removed to Torrington and 
afterwards to Bridgeport, where he was the Clerk of the Superior 
Court of Fairfield County from 1859 to the time of his death in 1869. 

Andrew Adams, Lly.D., was born in Stratford in i;7.s6 and 
graduated at Yale College in 1760, settled in Litchfield. He 
rose to the rank of Colonel in the Revolutionary War, was a 
member of the Council of Safety two years, of the State Council 
for nine years, a member of the Continental Congress three years 
and Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1779 and 1780. 
He was an associate Judge of the Superior Court for four years 
and the Chief Justice from 1793 to the time of his decease, 
November 27, 1797. 

The Litchfield Monitor mentions it as a sad and singular coin- 
cidence that Governor Wolcott and Chief Justice Adams (the two 
highest official dignitaries of the State), both residing in the same 
village and on the same street should be lying apparently at the 
point of death at the same time. Governor Wolcott survived his 
distinguished neighbor only three days. 

Upon a rapidly crumbling marble slab in the West burying 
ground in Litchfield, is the following epitaph of this eminent man : 

" In memory of the Hon. Andrew Adams, Esq., Chief Judge of 
the Superior Court, who died November 27, 1797, in the 63d year 
of his age. Having filled many distinguished offices with great 
ability and dignity, he was promoted to the highest judicial office 
in the State, which he held for several years, in which his eminent 
talents shone with uncommon lustre, and were exerted to the great 
advantage of the public and the honor of the High Court in which 
he presided. He made an early profession of religion, and 
zealously sought to promote its true Interests. He lived a Life and 
died the Death of a Christian. His filial Piety and paternal tender- 
ness are held in sweet Remembrance." 

Elijah Adams, was a son of Chief Justice Adams. He studied 
law with Judge Reeve and was admitted to this bar in 1795, 
practiced his profession a few years in Litchfield and then moved 
to Geneva, New York. 

Sajiuel Adams, was a native of Milford, Conn., but in early 
life went to Stratford, where he married Mary Eairchild. He 
became a prominent lawyer and a Judge of the Fairfield County 
Court. A few \ears before his death, which occurred November 
12, 1788, in his 85th year, he removed to Litchfield and assisted 
his son, the Hon. .Andrew Adams, in his extensive practice. His 


widow died August 29, 1803, in the io6th year of her age, having 
Hved in three centuries. 

John Q. Adams, born in Cornwall, November 2, 1837. Was 
admitted to this bar in 1864, and located at West Cornwall, where 
he practiced until April, 1872, when he removed to Negaunee, 
Michigan, where he made a fortune by his practice and successful 
mining investments. He has held many and important political and 
executive positions and is widely known. 

John Adams, was born in Canaan June 22, 1785. He wa^ 
admitted to this bar in 1825. He carried on a very large business 
in the iron industry at Woodville, in the town of Washington, 
and was interested in other iron works. It does not appear that 
he ever practiced law. He removed to Litchfield and from thence 
to Falls Village in the town of Canaan, where he died about 1871. 

J. Henry Adaic, only son of John Adams, was born at Wood- 
ville, town of Washington, December 29, 1822, graduated at Yale 
College 1842, and was admitted to this bar in 1844. Soon after he 
removed to New York City and began the practice of his profes- 
sion, which he relinquished and became interested in the lighting 
of the city; was president of the gas company and acquired much 

John F. Addis, is a native of New Milford, Connecticut. 
Studied law with his uncle John S. Turrill, Esq., and was admitted 
to this bar in 1882. Resides and practices in his native town, and 
is Judge of Probate for the district of New Milford. 

Edmond Aiken, was admitted to this bar in 1790 from Nor- 
folk, Connecticut. He practiced in that town and was also engaged 
in keeping a country store. He died in 1807. 

John Aiken was admitted to the bar in 1800 from Sharon. 

John A. Albro was admitted to this bar in 1821. He abandoned 
this profession and became a clergyman. 

John AleEn. — A long biography of this eminent attorney will 
be found in Boardman's sketches, page 45 of this book. 

On a simple headstone in the East Cemetery in Litchfield ap- 
pears the following epitaph : 

To the memory of John Allen, Esq. 
Many years during a life of eminent usefulness, highly 
distinguished for his integrity and patriotism as a 
member of the Council and Supreme Court of Errors 
of Connecticut, and no less distinguished during a 
period interesting and critical to his country as a mem- 
ber of the Congress of the United States. 
Born June 12, 1763. 
Died July 31, 181 2. 
Aged, 49 years. 


Henry J. Ai^len, Sheriff 1884-1895. He was born in Man- 
chester, Connecticut, May 26, 183 1. He came to Litchfield County 
in 1859, and engaged in the hotel business in the then village of 
" Wolcottville " as the proprietor of the well known " Allen House," 
which he kept until 1880. During much of this time he was em- 
ployed as an agent or trustee in the management and settlement 
of large estates, and was very successful therein. He was also 
a constable and especially noted from his skill in collecting doubt- 
ful claims. He enjoyed political life and was a shrewd worker. 
In 1884 his party elected him Sheriff, which office he held until 
1895, when he was defeated. 

He had the unpleasant duty of carrying into effect the first and 
only execution of the death penalty of the century. His great 
executive ability was fully felt throughout the County. After his 
retirement he was active in the interests of the New York Mutual 
Life Insurance Company, of which he had been an agent for many 
years, and also in the management of various trust estates. He 
died October 9, 1899, and his funeral at Torrington on October 11 
was remarkable for the attendance of many prominent citizens of 
the State. See picture, page 164. 

Charles B. Andrews, LL.D., was born in Sunderland, Massa- 
chusetts, in 1834. Graduated at Amherst ColleJge in 1858. Ad- 
mitted to the bar of Fairfield County in 1861, and began his 
practice in the town of Kent. 

In 1863 he removed to Litchfield and formed a partnership with 
Hon. John H. Hubbard, then a member of Congress. He was 
elected Senator from the Fifteenth District in 1868 and 1869, and 
was chairman of the Judiciary committee in 1869, a member of 
the House of Representatives in 1878, and again chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee. Was elected Governor of the State of Con- 
necticut in 1879, which office he held two years. Became a Judge 
of the Superior Court in 1882 and Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court in 1889, which office he resigned October i, 1901. He was 
unanimously elected by the electors of Litchfield member of the 
Constitutional Convention of 1902, of which body he was the presid- 
ing officer. 

He died suddenly at Litchfield September 12, 1902. His legal 
obituary is in the seventy-fifth volume of Connecticut Reports, from 
which we quote the tribute paid to him by his successor, Chief 
Justice Torrance : 

" This Court is fully sensible of the distinguished services 
rendered to this State by Chief Justice Andrews, and expresses its 
obligation to the Attorney General for the appropriate manner in 
which he has called the attention of the bench and bar to them on 
this occasion. 





" The Practice Act was enacted with the warm approval of 
Governor Andrews in 1879. Three years later, it became his duty, 
as a judge of the Superior Court, to aid in its administration, — a 
work which he continued on the bench of that and of this court 
for nearly twenty }-ears. But the re'gulation of legal practice, 
however important, is but a small part of judicial labor. Chief 
Justice Andrews was an earnest student of law as a science, — of 
its fundamental principles, and philosophical development. Only 
such an one could have written such an opinion, for instance, as 
that from his pen, in the case of Wildman vs. Wildman, 70 Conn., 
700, in which he analyzes with so much clearness and precision the 
nature of a cause of action. 

" He was the seventeenth in the line of Chief Justices who 
presided in this court during the first hundred and seventeen years 
of its history, and of this number, only Judges Hosmer, Williams 
and Park held the office for as long a period. 

" In a review of a history of the courts of Connecticut, on a 
public occasion, he once said this, ' In every government of laws, 
the courts hold the most important place. The legislature may 
he nominally higher than the judiciary, but in the actual experience 


of life, the courts touch the citizen more frequently and more 
nearly than the lawmaking power.' 

" Acting under his conviction, he was deeply impressed by the 
responsibility which attaches to a judicial station. It was his 
ambition to discharge it with fidelity, and none of his associates 
on the bench failed to remark the earnestness of his convictions 
and the force and perspicuity with which he was able to set them 
torth. On the pages of our reports they have become interwoven 
with the jurisprudence of the State and of all the States." 

Charles W. Axdrews, only son and child of Judge Charles B. 
Andrews, was born in Litchfield November 21, 1874. Was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1902. He located in Hartford. 

Edward AVarrEx AxdrEws. born at AMndham, Connecticut, 
July, 181 1, a son of Rev. William Andrews. Was at Union College 
but did not graduate, studied law and was admitted to this bar 
in 1834. He was for a time partner of the Hon. Truman Smith 
at Litchfield. He gave up the practice of law, studied theology 
and was settled in 1837 over the Congregational Chruch at West 
Hartford. About 1841 he went to Xew York to be pastor of the 
Broadwav Tabernacle Church. After some years he went to Troy 
as the pastor of a Presbyterian church. He gave up preaching and 
established a school at Cornwall, Connecticut. He was sent to the 
Legislature in 1851. He then gave up teaching' and resumed the 
practice of law in New York City. In the war of 1861 he was 
a captain and was made assistant adjutant general under General 
Ivlorris at Fort McHenry, Baltimore. After the war he practiced 
law for a short time in West Virginia. He then returned to New 
York but soon left his professiori. He died September, 1895, at 
Chicago, Illinois. 

Samuel James Andrews, son of Rev. William Andrews, born 
at Danbury, Connecticut, July, 1817. Graduated at Williams 
College in 1839. Studied law in Hartford and Boston and was 
admitted to this bar in 1842, was also admitted in New York City 
and removed to Ohio and was re-admitted there. In 1844 he left 
the law and studied theology, and was settled as pastor of the Con- 
gregational Church at East Wiridsor, Connecticut, 1848. Dismissed 
1855. He became an author and student for some years, and in 
1868 took charge of the " Catholic Apostolic " congregation in 
Hartford. He died in Hartford October, 1906. James P. Andrews 
the present reporter of the Supreme Court of Errors, is one of his 

CuRTiss B. Atwood was born in Bethlehem in 1845. Was 
educated at Stamford Academy, New York, and at Brandon Sem- 
inary, Vermont. Studied law with Webster and O'Neil in Water- 


bury, and was admitted to the bar at New Haven in 1879. ^°^ 
resides at Watertown but is not in active practice. Represented his 
town in the Legislature of 1905. 

Rai^samon C. Austin, was a son of the Hon. Aaron Austin, 
born in New Hartford, graduated from Yale College in 1801, and 
vras admitted to this bar in 1808. He practiced a short time at 
Litchfield and then located in Peekskill, New York. He died at 
Washington, D. C, September 19, 1840. 

Roger Averii,i,, born at Salisbury, August 4, 1809. Graduated 
at Union College, 1832. Admitted to this bar in 1834 and practiced 
at Salisbury until 1849, when he removed to Danbury, where he 
had a successful practice and held many important offices and was 
Lieutenant Governor of the State during the four years of the Civil 
war. He was one of the organizers of the American Bar Asso- 
ciation. He died in Danbury, December 9, 1883. (Obituary in 
50th Conn. Report.) See Warner's Reminiscences. 

RussELr^ W. Ayres, of Waterbury, admitted 1869. He gradu- 
ated at Yak, 1868, and afterwards at Harvard Law School. He 
was the founder of the shore resort at Woodmont, Connecticut. He 
died December 14, 1873. 

Asa Bacon, a native of Canterbury, Connecticut, born February 
8, 177 1, graduated at Yale College in 1793, and was admitted to 
this bar in 1795. After practicing in various places he removed 
to Litchfield in 1806, where for many years he held a leading Dosition 
at the bar. He died in New Haven in 1857. (See Boardman and 
Sedgwick's sketches.) His picture appears in the Bacon group, 
page 62. 

Epapiiroditis Champion Bacon, a son of Asa Bacon, born in 
Lichfield in 1810. Graduated at Yale College in 1833, and was 
admitted to this bar in 1840. He died at Seville in Spain, January 
II, 1845. Picture on page 62. 

GUNERAi, Francis Bacon was another son of Asa Bacon, born 
in Litchfield January 6, 1819, and graduated at Yale College in 
1838. Was admitted to this bar in 1840; he was a young man of 
great promise, holding a high rank as a lawyer, and took great 
interest in military affairs, rising to the rank of Major General 
of the State militia. His death occurred September 16, 1849. 
Picture on page 62. 

Willard Baker was admitted to this bar in 1881. He located 
and resides in Sharon. He has a large office practice and real estate 

Birdsey Baldwin, born in Goshen, February 3, 1786. Studied 
law at Litchfield Law School and was admitted to practice in 181 1. 



He lived and practiced in his native town until 1841, when he re- 
moved to West Cornwall, where he died April 27, 1858. His pic- 
ture is on page 115. 

_ George BAi.nAvix, a native of Washington, Connecticut, was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1840. He relinquished the law for other pur- 

George H. Baedwix, Sherifif 
1 869- 1 878. He died in Litch- 
field December 2, 1879. The 
following obituary of him ap- 
peared in the Litchfield Bn- 
q hirer : 

"Our readers will notice, 
with deep regret, the death of 
ex-Sheriff George PI. Bald- 
win, which occurred at his 
residence in this village on 
Tuesday morning. Mr. Bald- 
win was born on the 20th of 
September, 1827, and had en- 
tered upon his 53d year. His 
father, Captain Daniel Bald- 
win, was a man of great ener- 
gy, and the son was of a simi- 
lar nature. After a good edvt- 
cation in our village schools, 
he served an apprenticeship in 
the Enquirer office. He sub- 
sequently published, for a short time, the Litchfield Republican, 
a democratic paper, and was the first publisher of the Sentinel. 
He was postmaster here for eight 3'ears, Judge of Probate for one 
year, and Sherifif of the county for nine years. Hie represented 
the town in the General Assembly in 1861, held the office of town 
clerk for five years, from 1858 to 1863, and was first selectrnan for 
several years succeedirtg. His friends were warmly attached to 
him, and he was noted for his generosity and neighborly kindness. 
In his family, he was a devoted husband and father, and his excellent 
widow and children have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire com- 

Isaac Baldwin', was born in Milford, Connecticut, February 22, 
171 '5-16. His father removed to Durham and subsequently to 

He graduated at Yale College in 1735, and studied theology 
and was licensed to preach in 1737. He was never settled in this 
profession, but occasionally preached in neighboring churches. 



He married a daitg-hter of Parson Collins, the eccentric minister 
of Litchfield, bought a farm and went to farming. His services 
were soon demanded in public affairs and for many years he was 
a prominent man in town and county matters. He represented his 
town in the General Assembly ten sessions, and was town clerk for 
thirtv-one years (1742- 1773.) 

He was clerk of the Probalte Court for the district of Litchfield 
for twenty-nine years, and was the first clerk of the County Court, 
which office he held for forty-two years (1751-1793.) He died in 
Litchfield January 15, 1805. 

Isaac Baldwin, Jr., born at Litchfield November 12, 1753. 
Graduated at Yale in 1774. Admitted to the bar and practiced at 
Litchfield until 1812, when he removed to Pompey, New York, 
where he died in 1830. 

Roger Sherman Baldwin, born in New Haven, Connecticut 
in 1793. Was a member of the Litchfield Law School, and admitted 
to the bar of this county in 1813. He locaited in his native city, 
where he died February 19, 1863. 

Probably nO' lawyer ever attained in Connecticut a higher rank 
at the bar than that which was generally conceded to Governor 
Baldwin by his professional brethren, and few men have filled more 
public offices than he. (For a more extended sketch of him see 
obituary in 30th Conn. Report.) 

Samuel S. Baldwin was born in Litchfield, and graduated at 
Yale College in 1801. Was admitted to this bar in 1803 as of 
Litchfield. He died in 1854. 

William Baldwin, lawyer at Salisbury 1842. (Conn. Regis- 

Luther T. Ball was born in Salisbury, studied law with Judge 
D. J. Warner and at Ballston, New York, and was admitted to this 
bar in 1854. He removed to Illinois, where he acquired a good 
reputation as a lawyer. In the Civil War he was an officer of the 
Eighty-fourth Illinois regiment and was killed at the battle of Mur- 
freesboro, December, 1862, and buried on the field. 

LoRRiN Barnes studied in the law school. Was admitted in 
1807 and practiced a short time in Bristol. 

Henry S. Barbour was a native of Canton, Connecticut. Born 
August 2, 1822. Studied law at Yale Law School, and was ad- 
mitted to this bar in 1849. He practiced at Torrington for twenty- 
one years, when he removed to Hartford, where he died September 
21, 1891. 

Syia'Ester Barbour was a brother of Henry S. Barbour and 
practiced law a short time about 1861 at New Hartford and is now 
in practice in Hartford. 


Anson Bates, admitted to the bar in 1820. The History of 
ilartford County says he practiced law at East Granby 1831-1869. 

Robert C. Bates, admitted to the bar in 181 1 as of Salisbury. 

JosiAii B. Battell, born in Woodbury March i, 1776. Ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1799 as of Torrington. Died May 7, 1843, i" 

Jesse Beach was born in Litchfield in 1769. He studied law 
with Judge Reeve and was admitted to the bar in 1791. The next 
year he married Sally Wheeler, of Derby, to which place he moved 
and practiced law there until 1801, when he removed to Redding, 

J. Gail Beckwith, Jr., was born in Litchfield in 1874. Gradu- 
ated at Union College in 1896. Studied at Albany Law School 
and in the offices of Terry & Bronson and L. F. Burpee in Water- 
bury, where he engaged in practice for a short time. He served 
as Corporal of Company A, Tenth Battalion, First New York 
Volunteers, from April, 1898, to April, 1899. The regiment was 
ordered for service in the Philippines, but only went as far as 
Honolulu. Was admitted to the Litchfield bar in 1899. Was a 
deputy sheriff under Sherifif Middlebrook. Is engaged m jour- 

Hezekiaii Beeciier, was born in Bethlehem, the son of Abra- 
ham Beecher. He was admitted to the bar in 1854. He removed 
to, and was an early settler of Fort Dodge,' Iowa. Is now deceased. 

PniLEiiox Beecher, a native of Kent, was born in 1775 and was 
admitted to this bar in 1800 as from Sharon. He soon removed to 
Lancaster, Ohio. Henry Howe in his Historical Collections says 
of him : "He represented this district in Congress from 1817 to 
1827, and died about 1840. Was in politics a whig, and a man of 
fine address and presence. He it was who- gave Thomas Ewing 
liis first law business of any moment. The very elegant Henry 
Stanbery, who began his law practice in Lancaster, and lived there 
for many years, married for his first wife the daughter of Mr. 
]3eecher. He later lived at Columbus and in the vicinity of Cin- 
cinnati, and ended his professional career as Attorney General of 
the United States under General Jackson." 

Truman Beecher, admitted in 1818 from Kent. Was a 
student of the law school. 

Frederick Beers was born in Woodbury July 23, 1785 and 
was admitted to this bar in 1815. He died in Woodbury on Decem- 
ber 6, 1828, at the age of 43. 


George W. Beers was a son of Hon. Seth P. Beers and was 
born in Litchfield February i8, 1817. He graduated from Trinity 
College in 1839, and was admitted to this bar in 1842. He never 
practiced his profession, but was an assistant for his father in 
the care and management of the immense interests of the School 
Ftmd in the Western Reserve of Ohio. He died at Litchfield. 

Lewis F. Beers was admitted in 1864 to this bar from Winsted. 
He studied with Judge Gideon Hall, and remained in his office 
in Winsted a short time after Judge Hall's death ,when he removed 
to South Norwalk, where he died February 15, 1872. 

Setpi p. Beers, a native of Woodbury, born July 4, 1781. Was 
a student of the Litchfield Law School from 1803 to 1805, when 
he was admitted to this bar and settled in the practice of his pro- 
fession in Litchfield, where he died September 9, 1862. He had a 
liirge clientage and occupied many positions of trust. He was 
State's Attorney for the county 1820 to 1825. His principal work 
was commissioner of the School Fund oF Connecticut from 1824 
to 1849, a- period of twenty-five years, during which time the settle- 
ment of a ver\' large number of contested land claims and titles in 
the Ohio land, known as the Western Reserve, had to be adjusted 
by him. It is largely through his legal and financial ability that 
our present school fund of $2,000,000 exists. Died September 9, 
1862 at Litchfield. (See Sedgwick's address.) Picture on page 92. 

Frederick D. BEEii.vx, was a native of Warren, graduated 
at Yale, class of 1842, and was admitted to this bar in 1846, and 
settled and began practice in Litchfield. In 1855 he was appointed 
clerk of the Superior Court, which office he held at the time of his 
death, August i, i860, aged 38 years. Picture on page 138, 

Charles O. Beldex. born in Montecello, New York, in 1827, 
was admitted to practice in 1848. After practicing a short time at 
Litchfield he removed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1861 he took 
an active part in the Civil War, organizing the Sixty-seventh New 
York Volunteers, of which he was the Lieutenant Colonel and was 
in several engagements. At the close of the war his health failed 
and he was unable to follow his profession. He died in Litchfield 
November 22, 1870. 

Joseph H. Bellamy, a native of Bethlehem, was a grandson of 
the celebrated divine Joseph Bellamy, D. D. He graduated at Yale 
College in 1808, and was admitted to this bar in 1810 and resided 
and practiced in Bethlehem, where he died in 1848. (See Sedg- 
wick's Address.) 

A:mos Benedict, born in Middlebury, Connecticut, July 6, 1780, 
graduated at Yale College 1800, studied law in the Litchfield Law 


School and was admitted to practice in 1803. After practicing a 
short time in Litchfield he removed to Watertown, New York. 
He died in 1816 while on a visit to Litchfield. 

Noah B. Benedict, born in Woodbury, April 2, 1771. Gradu- 
ated at Yale 1788. Admitted to the bar in 1792 and died July 2, 
1831. He was one of the most learned and distinguished lawyers 
in the State. (See Boardman's sketches and Sedgwick's Address 
and note in 8th Conn. Report 426, also obituary in 15th Conn. 
Report.) His portrait is on page 58, taken from an old painting 
in the Woodbury Probate office. 

MiEO L. Bennett, admitted in 1813, as of Sharon. Removed 
to Vermont and was a Judge of the Supreme Court of that State. 

Heman Berry, admitted 1796, as of Kent. 

John B. Betts, admitted to this bar in 1882; practiced a short 
time in New Hartford ; removed to the West. He died in Beatrice, 
Nebraska, and was buried in New Hartford, January 24, 1902. 

William W. Bidwell, born in Colebrook in 1850 and admitted 
to this bar in 1858, located in Collinsville, where he practiced his 
profession and was killed by accident in 1894. 

WiLLiAiC W. BiERCE was born at Cornwall Bridge in 1863 ; 
graduated at Williams College in 1885 and was admitted to this 
bar in 1891. Is now in practice at Torrington, where he was the 
town clerk and town prosecuting attorney, and is also one of the 
prosecuting agents for Litchfield County. 

Henry A. Bills, admitted to this bar in 185 1, practiced a short 
time in Winsted, Connecticut. Published for some years the Win- 
sted Nczus, and then followed other avocations. He died June 
24, 1892. 

Hon. Jotin' Bird, born in Litchfield, November 22, 1768, gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1786, was admitted to this bar in 1789, and 
after a practice of five years removed to Troy, New York, where 
he resided until his death in 1806. During these few years he held 
many important positions and was a member of Congress. 

Edward Bissell, a native of Litchfield, born November 27, 
1808, and admitted to this bar in 1832. He afterwards entered 
the United States naval service, and died January 24, 1876. 

Edward Bissell, born in Litchfield, December 16, 1827, and 
graduated at Yale College in 185 1, and at the Yale Law School in 
1853, and was admitted to this bar in 1853. He removed to Fond 
du Lac, Wisconsin, where he now resides. 


Francis BissEll, born in Litchfield April i6, 1852, and ad- 
mitted to this bar in 1875. He practiced a short time in New Hart- 
lord , then went into the insurance business, from which he retired, 
and is now engag-ed in agriculture at Bantam. 

EbenezEr B. Blackman, graduated at Yale College in 1817, 
admitted to this bar in 1822 and practiced at Sharon, whence he 
removed to Brookfield in 1840 and died there in 1863. 

Lewis J. BeakE, admitted-to this bar in 1874 and began practice 
in Litchfield, but soon removed west, and is now a law stenographer 
and teacher at Omaha, Nebraska. 

J. W. BeakESEEE, admitted in 1866, as of Plymouth. 

Samuel C. BlakelEy, admitted in 1800 from Roxbury. 

William H. Blodgett, a native of Canaan. Admitted to this 
bar in 1903. He located in Winsted and is now Town Prosecuting 
Attorney. He was assistant clerk of the Connecticut House of 
Representatives in 1907. 

' David Sherman Boardman, born in New Milford in 1768, 
graduated at Yale in 1793 and admitted to this bar in 179.5. ^^ 
located and practiced all his lifetime in his native town, where he 
died December 2, 1864. President Porter, of Yale College, in his 
sketch of Mr. Boardman, published in the history of New i\lilford, 
says : " There have been few, if any of the inhabitants of New 
Milford since its settlement, who deserve to be more honored than 
this pure minded, sagacious and noble hearted man." He is the 
author of the sketches published herewith. See Sedgwick's Address. 

George S. Boardman, a native of New Milford, son of Hon. 
Elijah Boardman, born 1799, admitted to this bar in 1820 and died 
in New Milford 1825. (See Sedgwick's' Address.) 

William Whiting Boardman, another son of Hon. Elijah 
J>oardman was born 1794 graduated at Yale College in 1812 and 
admitted to this bar in 1818. He removed to New Haven, where he 
had a large practice and held many public offices — member of Con- 
gress, etc. Died August 27, 1871. 

William D. BoslER, born in New York City February 23, 1877. 
Studied law with L. J. Nickerson, of West Cornwall, and admitted 
to this bar in 1902. Commenced practice at West Cornwall, but in 
1906 he removed to New York City, and is now connected with the 
District Attorney's office. 

Charles Bostwick was born in New Milford, graduated at Yale 
College in 1796, and studied law under Judge Reeve, of Litchfield, 
I'legun to practice his profession but subsequently went into com- 



mercial pursuits in New York. Later he removed to Bridg-eport, 
where he was elected mayor in 1840 and served afterwards as city- 

Joseph A. Bostwick, of New Milford, admitted in 1804. 

Samuel Bostwick was born in New Milford in 1755 and gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1780. He practiced law in his native town 
until his death, April 3, 1799. 

Henry A. Botsford was 
born in Watertown in 1821 
and died at Hartford, April 
14, 1895. He was Sheriff 
from 1866 to 1869. He 
came to Litchfield from 
Salisbury, where he had 
been deputy sheriff for ten 
years and about 1870 he re- 
moved to Winsted and in 
1872 to Hartford and en- 
gaged in the wholesale Chi- 
cago dressed beef business. 
He received the first car of 
that commodity from Chi- 
cago shipped to any point 
in New England, except to 
Boston., Lie was a genial, 
kind-hearted gentleman and 
made no enemies in his of- 
ficial and business life. 


John A. Boughton was admitted to this bar in 1862. He soon 
removed to Bridgeport, Conn. He was for many years connected 
with the internal revenue service. Is not now in the practice of his 
legal profession. 

John Boyd was born in Winsted March 17, 1799. He graduated 
at Yale College in 1821 and was admitted to the bar of New Haven 
County in 1825, and to this bar in 1826. Representative in the 
General Assembly 1830 and 1835 ; County Commissioner 1840, 1849 
and 1850; State Senator 1854, and_ President pro tern, town clerk 
of Winchester about thirty years and died in 1881. 

He was Secretary of the State of Connecticut 1859, i860 and 
1861. One of the mottoes used in some of the political campaigns 
of the State was, " Give us your hand, honest John Boyd." He 
compiled and published the annals of Winchester. It is to him 


that the State is indebted for the preservation of so much as re- 
mains of the original cliarter granted by King Charles II. In 1698 
the duplicate of the patent was by the Governor and council placed 
in the hands of Captain Joseph Wadsworth " in a very troublesome 
season when our constitution was struck at " and was safely kept 
and preserved by him until May 1715. This history is worth record- 
mg here. 

" In 1817 or 1816, while Mr. Boyd was preparing for college at 
the Hartford Grammar School, he boarded in the family of Rev. 
Dr. Flint, of the South Church, Hartford. 

"Coming one day froixi school he noticed on the workstand of 
Mrs. Bissell, the doctor's mother-in-law, a dingy piece of parchment, 
covered on one side with black letter manuscript. In answer to his 
inquiries Mrs. Bissell told him that having occasion for some paste- 
board her friend and neighbor, Mrs. Wyllys, had sent her this. 
Mr. Boyd proposed to procure her a piece of pasteboard in ex- 
change for the parchment, to which Mrs.. Bissell consented. It 
was not, however, until six or eight year.p had elapsed when Mr. 
Boyd examined the parchment with care, when he learnedfor the 
first time that he had what he thought and was generally {bought, 
until recently, was a duplicate of the charter." 

The Colonial Record, Vol. IV.', published in 1868, says : 
" The original charter, which now hangs in the secretary's office 
.at Hartford, is engraved on three skins. The duplicate was written 
on two. So much of the duplicate as remains being about three- 
fourths of the second skin, is now in the library O'f the Connecicut 
Historical Society, where it was placed by Hon. John Boyd, late 
Secretary of State." 

Not long ago, however, search was made through the records in 
London and it was found that five pounds was the fee paid for 
drafting the original charter and twenty shillings for the duplicate. 
Examination of the documents showed that twenty shillings was 
written (probably a memorandum) on the supposed original charter 
and five pounds on the supposed duplicate so that now it is certain 
that the one saved by Mr. Boyd was the original and the one that 
hung for years in the secretary's office and has been recently hung in 
the State library is the duplicate. 

The Mrs. Wyllys spoken of was related to the former Secretary 
of the State by tha't name and the parchment was probably found 
with his efifects. 

Connecticut lived under this charter until 1818, forty-two years 
after the Declaration of Independence.'' 

Abraham Bradley, Jr., was born in Litchfield 1767. Studied 
law with Judge Reeve and was admitted to the bar in 1791. He 
located in the valley of the Wyoming, Pennsylvania. Soon after he 
.accepted a position under Colonel Pickering, then the Postmaster 

JilOi.KAI'niCAl. NOTlCS 


General of the United States at Washington. H» removed to- 
Washington, D. C, and was assistant postmaster general, under 
various administrations for nearly forty years. He and his brother, 
Phineas, were the real organizers of the postoffice department of 
the United States. 

AijiKKT r, Bkajjs'i'reET was born in Thomaston in 1846, gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 187 1, and Columbia Law School in 1873. 
He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and took up practice in Thomas- 
ton. He was a member of the General Assembly in 1872-78, and in 
1881 and 1882 was elected to the Senate from the Sixteenth District, 
being the first Republican who was returned from that district for 
several years. He was town clerk of Thomaston from 1875 to 
1891, and Judge of Probate from 1872 to 1890. In 1879 he was 
appointed deputy judge of the Waterbury district court and in 
1883 he was elected Judge of the same court, being re-elected in 
1887 and 1893. He is now in business in New York City. 

Nei.sox Brkwstkr was admitted from Cornwall in 1824. He 
resided in Goshen and had a very limited practice. He died in 1850. 

Jamics T. Bruen was admitted from Winsted in 1881, located in 
the West. 

, D.\NiEL N. Brixsji.vde, 

of Washington, was the son 
of the Rev. Daniel Brins- 
made, the second pastor of 
the Society of Judea, after- 
wards the town of Wash- 
ington. He was born in 
1750, graduated at Yale 
College in 1772, read law 
at Sharon and was admitted 
to this baf and settled in 
his native town, where he 
practiced his profession for 
more than fifty years. In 
1787 he was a clelegate to 
the convention at Hartford 
that ratified the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. 
He was justice of the quo- 
rum and assistant judge of 

I the County Court for six- 

teen years. He represent- 

DANIEL X. BRIXSMAO,.. ^^, ,^. ^^^,^ .^^ ^j^^ ^^^j^j^. 

ture during forty-three sessions and was one session clerk of the 
House of Representatives. He died in 1826. 


Clifford E. Bristol was admitted to this bar in 1882 and began 
practice at Norfolk and then removed to Plainville. He now resides 
in Winsted and is engaged in mercantile business. 

Merritt Bronson was admitted to this bar in 1855 from New 

Bennett Bronson was a graduate of Yale College in 1797 and 
admitted to this bar in 1802 as of Southbury. He was born No- 
vember 14, 1775, in Waterbury. He became a prominent man in 
Waterbury, as lawj^er and banker, and died there December 11, 

Charles R. Brown was admitted to the bar in 1816 from Sharon. 

Saml'El Brownson v/as one of the early settlers of New Mil- 
ford and its town clerk from 1714 to 1733. He was its first justice 
of the peace and also Judge of the New Haven County Court and 
died in 1733. He acted as attorney for the town on several occa- 
sions and is said to have been an attorney in fact. 

Roger Brownson was a brother of Samuel and succeeded him 
in the ofSce of town clerk in New Milford and was there justice of 
the peace for a number of years. He died in 1758. 

Norton J. BuEL, born in Sahsbury September 13, 1813. Studied 
law wth General Sedgwick and Judge Seymour and was admitted 
to the bar in 1834. Removed to New Haven County and died in 
New Haven JMarch 6, 1864. See Warner's reminiscences. 

Epaphrus W. Bull, born in Danbury in 1805, and was admitted 
to this bar in 1825. He went South in 1830 and was reported to 
have been killed by the Indians in Texas in its war of 1840.' 

WiLLiAii Burke was born in Ireland in 1820, came to Amer- 
ica in 1838 and»following the example of Roger Sherman, settled 
in New Milford, and while earning his living by shoemaking, studied 
law and was admitted to this bar in 1868. He removed to Dan- 
bury in 1869, and resided there at the time of his death in 1890. 
The History of Danbury says of him : "In social matters his 
kindness of heart, his ever ready smile and cordial bearing, his 
bright and sunny disposition, and his uprightness and strength of 
character made him many warm friends, who will long cherish a 
pleasant memory of him." 

William M. Burrall was a native of Canaan and admitted to 
this bar in 1808. He was associate Judge of the County Court 
from 1829 to 1836, and after that its presiding Judge for two years. 
He died in Canaan in 1851, aged ^j years. (See Sedgwick s Ad- 



William Porter Burrall, was a son of the Hon. William M. 
Burrall, born in Canaan September i8, 1806. Immediately after 
his graduation from Yak College in 1826 he began the study of 
law with his father, attended the Litchfield Law School and was 
admitted to this bar April, 1829. He practiced law in his native 
town until October, 1838, when he removed to Bridgeport, Con- 
necticut, and assumed the presidency of the Housatonic Railroad 
Company, then just organizing, which office he held till 1853, when 
he resigned. He was connected with the New York, New Haven 
& Hartford Railroad Company during its construction and the 
earlier years of its operation. He was also treasurer and president 
of the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1862 he was chosen vice- 
president of the Hartford and New Haven Railroad and in 1868 
was made its president, and upon consolidation became the vice- 
president of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Com- 
pany, which office he held at the time of his death at Hartford, 
March 3, 1874. 

Charles D. Burrill, of Litchfield, was born in Charleston, 
South Carolina, in 1854. He entered the class of 1878, Yale, and 
after studying at the Columbia Law School, was admitted to the 
Hartford bar in 1884. He removed to Litchfield in 1891. 

Calvix Butler, born in Waterbury in 1772. He began to study 
at Williams College but left at the close of the sophomore year and 
began the study of law at Norfolk. He was admitted to this bar in 
1799, and finally located at Plymouth in 1806, where he died in 
1845. He held many of the town offices, was a member of the 
Constitutional Convention in 1818. In 1839 he was appointed a 
Judge of the County Court for Litchfield County. 

Cal\ix R. Butler was a son of Calvin Butler, Esq., and born 
in Plymouth August 6, 1809, and was admitted to this bar in 1843. 
He died October 16, 1844. 

Malcomb N. Butler was another son of Calvin Butler, Esq., 
and was born in Plymouth, June 26, 1826, and admitted to this bar 
in 1846. He died in Plymouth February 29, 1848. 

S. McLeax BucKixGiTAjr, born in Brooklyn, N. Y. October 3, 
1876. Graduated at Yale 1899 ^"d at Harvard Law Schooli902. 
Admitted to this bar 1903. Resides and practices at Watertown. 

CuRTiss W. Cable was admitted to this bar in 1828. 

Daniel W. Cady, a native of Petersboro, New York, and a 
graduate of Cornell in 1878, was admitted to this bar in 1884. He 
removed to Kansas and was engaged as a law instructor until his 
death in 1885. 


David S. Cauioun, born in Coventry, Connecticut, in 1827, 
graduated at Yale College in 1848. Studied law with Judge O. S. 
Seymour at Litchfield 1850-51, and was admitted to this bar Decem- 
ber 18, 185 1. Has practiced in Hartford County to the present time 
and for many years was Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for 
that county, He resides in Hartford. 

GgORGi!; W. Camp was admitted to the bar in 1882 from New 

Samuel G. Camp is a native of North Canaan. He was admitted 
to the bar in 1902. Resides and practices in his native village, and 
is largely interested in lime manufacturing. 

Ezra CanfiiJld was admitted to the bar in 1802 from Salisbury. 

Edward T. CanfiEld was born in Thomaston, graduated at 
Yale College and Yale Eaw School in 1903, and admitted to this 
bar 1903. Practices his profession at Hartford, bvtt resides in his 
native town, which he represented in the Legislature in 1907. 

John CanPiEld was born in New Milford in 1740 and graduated 
at Yale College in 1762; admitted to this bar in 1763 and settled in 
Sharon as the first lawyer who established himself in practice there. 
He was ten times sent from that town to the General Court and in 
1786 he was a member of the Continental Congress and died the 
same year. He was State's Attorney for the county from 1772 until 
his death. 

Joseph Canfield, Jr., born in 1767 in Lyme, Connecticut, and 
removed with his father when he was young tO' Salisbury. He 
studied law with Colonel Strong and at the Litchfield Law School 
and was admitted to the bar in 1786. He located and practiced in 
Salisbury until his death in 1803. 

Judson CanEiEED, born in New Milford January 24, 1759, and 
graduated at Yale College in 1782. He was admitted to the bar in 
1785 and located and practiced in Sharon. He held many import- 
ant official positions and was for many years one of the judges of 
the County Court. He was one of the purchasers of the school lands . 
in Ohio and the county seat of Mahoning County was named after 
him. He died in New York City February 5, 1840. 

Henry J. CanEieed was a son of Judson Canfield, born in 
Sharon, 1789, graduated from Yale College in 1806 and was ad- 
mitted to this bar in 1810. In early life he removed to Ohio to take 
care of his father's interests in that State. Died November 27, 1856, 
at Canfield, Ohio. 

. Samuel Canfield was born in Milford and removed to New 
Milford early in its settlement. For many years he was the Justice 

GliOKGE C.\TI,1X. 


of the Peace and Town Clerk. Upon the organization of the county 
in 1 75 1 he was one of the justices of the quorum for the county, 
and in 1754 was appointed the agent of the county for the building 
of the court house at Litchfield. He died December 14, 1754, aged 
52. He was the father of Colonel Samuel. Canfield, whose picture 
IS shown on page 18. " But few men have a higher record than he 
at his age in the olden time." 

Albert M. Card, born in Amenia, New York, in 1845 ^nd re- 
moved to Sharon while quite young. He was admitted to this bar 
in 1889. He represented Sharon in the Legislature in 1866 and 
in 189I; Is deceased. 

Lymax W. Case was admitted to this bar in 1849 ^-nd resided 
in Winsted. He died May 9, 1892, at the age of 64, and the 
disposal of his large estate can be seen in the case of Pinney vs. 
Xewton et al. in the Sixty-sixth Connecticut Reports. 

Orrin S. CasEj born in Canton and admitted to this bar in 1849. 
He practiced in CoUinsville. In the war of the rebellion he was an 
officer in the Thirty-first Connecticut Volunteers and was killed 
before Petersburg, Virginia, August 6, 1864. 

Uriah Case, born in Canton in 1828, studied law with Elisha 
Johnson and was admitted to this bar in 1851. He practiced in Pine 
Meadow and Plainville, but finally removed to Hartford, where he 
now resides. 

Abijah Catling, of Harwinton, appears upon the records of the 
County Court as a practitioner in 1752. 

George Catlin, was a son of Putnam Catlin and was born in 
Wilkesbarre, Penn. He studied law in the Law School and was 
admitted to the Bar in 1817. After a few years practice in Penn- 
sylvania he quit the profession and went to painting Indian portraits 
for which he has gained a world wide reputation. Our portrait of 
Judge Reeve is from Catlin's painting. 

George S:^nTH Catlin, born in Harwinton August 24th, 1808, 
and admitted to this bar in 1828. He practiced in Windham 
County from 1829 to 1853. He was a representative in Congress 
in 1843-45. 

Putnam Catltn, was born in Litchfield April 5, 1764 and ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1786 and soon after removed to Pennsylvania 
and died at Great Bend in that state in 1842. He served in the 
revolutionary war and received a "Badge of Merit." Pie was the 
father of George Catlin the Indian painter. 



AbIJAH C a T Iv I N, 

born in Harwinton, 
Conn., April i, 1805. 
Graduated at Yale in 
1825 and was admit- 
ted to the bar in New 
Haven County i n 
1827. He practiced a 
few years in Georgia 
but returned in 1837 
■to Harwinton where 
he lived until h i s 
death, April 14, 1891. 
He held various pub- 
lic offices, representa- 
tive to the General 
Assembly ten times, 
member of tlie Senate 
in 1844, Comptroller 
of the State 1847, 
1848 and 1849, School 
Fund Commissioner 
1852. Was Judge of 
the County Court a 
number of years. He 
was Chairman of the 
Bar Association for 
many years prior to 
his death and all his life an active participant in all reform matters 
of good citizenship. See his obituary in 60 Conn. Report. 

John D. Champlin, was born in Stonington, Conn. January 29, 
1834, but in early life removed to Litchfield. He was admitted to 
this bar in 1859. After a very brief practice he engaged in news- 
paper work, publishing the Litchfield Sentinel, but disposing of 
that enterprise he removed to New York City, and has ever since 
been engaged in literary work. 

Elmore S. Chaffee, was born in Sliaron April 26, 1810 and ad- 
mitted to this bar in 1833, and died in 1834. 

Charles Y. Chase, was born in Sharon in 1784. Admitted 
to this Bar in 1808 and after a short practice abondoned his pro- 
fession for the ministry, and removed to Ohio. 

Thomas Chipman removed from Groton, Conn, to Salisbury 
in 1740 with five sons. He was a practioner of law and was ap- 
pointed a Judge of the first County Court, but died before its first 
term. He was the grand-father of Hon. Nathaniel Chipman of 



Frederick ChiTTEiVDEx was born in Kent, but died in Ivitclifield 
August 12, 1869, aged 65 years, and with one exception was the 
oldest practicing member of this Bar. He possessed good legal 
attainments, and at one time did a very extensive law business. He 
was of a very impulsive tempement, and sometimes made enemies, 
but he also had warm friends. He was given to acts of kindness 
and generosity. He resided at Woodville in the town of Washing- 
ton and carried on a large Iron Works making bar and slitted iron. 

Aaron Church, admitted to this Bar from Hartland in 1802. 

Leman Church, born in Salisbury, and was admitted to this Bar 
in 1816. He settled in Canaan where he died in 1849. He had 
an extensive practice and was State's Attorney for a number of 
years. (See Boardman sketches and Sedgwick's Address.) 

jMany years ago Truman Smith was called to try a case in 
North Canaan. The affair was one which called together a good 
many witnesses and others, and the rooms at the hotel were all 
taken. Air. Smith, in his absentmindness had neglected to have 
a room assigned to him, and toward midnight, having spent the 
evening in preparation for the trial of the morrow, he made ap- 
plication to the landlord for a room. The host was quite taken 
back to find that more room was wanted, for every bed was oc- 
cupied. It was finally decided that Mr. Smith would have to occupy 
the same bed with Judge Leman Church. Judge Church, as will 
be remembered by the men of those days, was of very small stature, 
not larger than the average boy of fourteen of fifteen; his head 
was round and small, albeit he was a very able jurist. Accepting 
the situation, Mr. Smith disrobed for sleep, turned down the bed- 
clothes, and there beheld the Judge, up over on the back side of the 
couch, like a crooked-necked squash. "Humph!" said the senator, 
glancing around at the host, who was waiting to carry away the 
tallow-dip of those early days, "this is the first time I ever had to go 
to bed with an interrogation point!" (See Warner's Address.) 

Samuel Church, LL. D., born in SaHsbury February 4, 1785. 
Graduated at Yale in 1806. Studied at the Litchfield Law School 
and was admitted to the Bar in 1806 and soon began practice in his 
native town. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention 
in 1818, a Judge of the Superior Court in 1832, Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court in 1847. The latter part of his life he resided in 
Litchfield, where he died in 1854. (See Sedgwick's Address.) See 
Portrait on page 3. 

Gregg Clark was born in Iowa City, Iowa, February 5th, 1872. 
Graduated at Harvard 1893. Engaged as a teacher at "The Gun- 
nery" in Washington, Conn., and studied law with Hon. Geo. A. 
Hickox, and was admitted to this Bar in 1899. Removed to New 

Ti-iomas M. Clark, born in Winsted, January 4, 1830. Never 


practiced. Noted as being a long time the spicy editor of the 
Winsted Herald, and afterwards a prominent manufacturer. He 
died at sea November 13, 1887, while returning from a voyage 
taken for his health. 

Chester D. Cleveland, born in Barkhamsted, served in the 2nd. 
Conn. Heavy Artillery in the Rebellion, gaining the rank of Major. 
Admitted to this Bar in 1866. Removed to Oshkosh, Wis. where 
he was County Judge. 

Frank E. Cleveland, born in Salisbury May 18, 1853. Gradu- 
ated at the University of Michigan and was admitted to the Bar at 
Ann Harbor, Mich, in 1873, and also to this Bar the next year. 
After a short practice he became totally blind. He moved to Hart- 
ford and was the publisher of law blanks and stationery. He was 
the secretary of the State Board of Education for the blind. Hfe 
now, 1907, resides in Washington, D. C.-and is engaged in education 
of the blind. 

William G. CoE, born in Winchester September 10, 1829, ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1851, began his practice at New Britain, Conn., 
but in 1856 removed to Winsted and engaged in manufacturing. He 
was an active promoter -of the then Connecticut Western Railroad 
Company and was its secretary. He died in Winsted May 31, 1872. 

Churchill Coeein, born in Salisbury, admitted to this Bar. 
Died in Chicago in 1873. 

George W. Cole, born in Warren, Conn. September 6, 1850. 
Was admitted to this Bar in 1876 and practiced about two years in 
Plymouth and removed to Torrington in 1878. He remained there 
until 1885 when he left the practice of law and became a professional 
librarian. He is now engaged in Bibliographical work in New York 

Richard Cook, admitted in 1835 from New Hartford. 

Roger W. Cook, born February 10, 1797 in Litchfield. Admitt- 
ed to this Bar in 1819 from Litchfield. Died at sea November 4, 
1823 on a voyage to the West Lidies for his health. 

William Cogswell, was a native oi Washington and admitted 
to this Bar in 1791. Was a Presidential elector in 1824 and died in 
1825. He took great interest in military matters and was Colonel 
in the Militia. (See Sedgwick's Address.) 

William Cothren, born in Farmington, Maine, November 28, 
1819. Graduated at Bowdoin College in 1843. Came to Woodbury 
and studied law with Hon. Charles B. Phelps, and was admitted to 
this Bar in 1845. He located and always resided in Woodbury hav- 
ing an extensive practice until his death March nth, 1898. His 
fame will rest principally upon his historical investigations and 
especially his History of Ancient Woodbury. 


Stewart W. Cowen, born in Middlebury, studied law with 
James Huntington, of Woodbury, admitted to the Bar in 1885, now 
in practice in Mt. Vernon, N. Y. 

Edward P Cowles, born in Canaan January i6, 1815, admitted 
to the Bar in 1849. Practiced in Hudson, N. Y. and in New York 
City ; was appointed in 1854 Justice of tlie Supreme Court of New 

Walter S. CowlEs, born in Canaan February 23, 1819, admitted 
to the Bar in 1851. Located and practiced in Bridgeport, and re- 
moved to New York City, where he died in 1897. 

Samuel Cowles, admitted to the Bar in 1803 from Norfolk. 

Edward H. Cujeming, admitted in 1830. 

Eli Curtiss, was born in Northbury, (now Plymouth) Febru- 
ary 10, 1748. Graduated at Yale College in 1777, was active in the 
Revolutionary War where he reached the rank of Captain. He lost 
an arm in the service for which he received a pension. He was 
admitted to the Bar in 1781, and practiced in Watertown, but finally 
removed to Bristol, where he died December 13, 1821, and was, 
buried in Plymouth east burying ground. 

HoLBROOK CuRTiss, born in Newtown, Fairfield County July 14, 
1787. Graduated at Yale College 1807, admitted to this Bar in 
1809. Began his practice in Litchfield County in 181 5 at Water- 
town. He died February 21, 1858. (See Sedgwick's Address.) 

William E. Curtiss, was a son of Holbrook Curtiss, born in 
Watertown September 29, 1823, graduated at Trinity in 1843, 
studied law with William Curtiss Noyes in New York City and was 
admitted to this Bar in 1846. He practiced in New York City and 
was a Judge of the Superior Court of that State in 1871, and its 
presiding Judge in 1876. He died in Watertown July 6, 1880. 

Medad Curtiss, admitted to this Bar in 1797 from Norfolk. 

George Y. Cutler, born in Watertown April 6, 1797. Gradu- 
ated at Yale in 1816, admitted to this Bar in 1820 from Watertown. 
He practiced at Watertown till about 1828, when he removed to 
Illinois, where he was land agent, lawyer, merchant and farmer at 
Commerce, the place where the Mormons located in 1838 and 
changed the name to Nauvoo. He died there September 3, 1834. 

Spencer Dayton, born in Winchester in 1820, and admitted to 
the Bar in 1846. Resides in Philippi, W. Va. 

Gilbert Dean, born in Dutchess County, N. Y. in 1819. Gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1841. Admitted to the Bar in 1842. Died 
in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. in 1870. 

Lee P Dean, born in Canaan October 18, 1838. Admitted to 
the Bar in 1864. In 1886 he removed to Bridgeport, where he now 
resides engaged in other pursuits. 


Eugene C. DempsEy, born in Barkhamsted January 7, 1864, ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1886. Located in Danbury, where he now 

Jeremiah W. DexTER^ a native of Salisbury, served in the war 
of the rebellion and was admitted to the Bar in 1866. Located and 
resides at Waverly, N. Y. 

William E. Dickinson, was born in New York City May 30, 
1824, but came to Litchfield when a child. He was admitted to this 
Bar in 1846. Located and practiced at Stonington, Conn., until 
1850, when he removed to the Lake Superior regions and was en- 
gaged in important mining operations. Subsequently he went to 
Cuba in the same business and while there had charge of building 
the Daiquria Pier for loading ore, the same pier used by the United 
States to unload troops during the Spanish-American War. He 
then removed to Wisconsin where he was District Attorney of 
Florence County for a number of years. He died at Florence, Wis., 
June 15, 1899. 

WhEaton F. Dowd, born in New Hartford, August 21, 1867. 
Graduated at Yale Law School in 1894 and was admitted to this 
Bar the same year, and was appointed Assistant Clerk of the 
Superior Court. In 1901, after the decease of William F. Hurlburt, 
he was appointed Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas for Litch- 
field County which office he has since held. He resides in Winsted. 

Theodore W. Downs was admitted to this Bar in 1870 from 
Bridgeport. The fohowing is taken from a Bridgeport paper of 
September 24th, 1907, "Former Consul dead. Theodore Waldren 
Downs former United States Consul to Quebec and prominent in 
national Democratic politics, died at his home in this city yesterday 
after a sickness of about seven weeks following a shock." 

William Drinkwater, came to New Milford about 1730 from 
Ridgefield and for nearly thirty years was a prominent man there 
and was in the practice of law in 1753. He died in 1758. 

Daniel Dunbar, was a native of Plymouth, admitted to this 
bar in 1798. Located and practiced in Berlin, Conn., 1803 to 1841. 

Miles Dunbar, was a native of Plymouth but was admitted to 
this bar in 1810 as from Sharon. The history of Ellsworth a part 
of the town of Sharon gives this notice of him. "Our first Dunbar 
was hardly representative of the household, for he came and went 
more like a comet than the staid and planetary bodies since represen- 
tative. That was Miles Dunbar of Plymouth, Conn., lawyer, music 
teacher and jack-at-all-trades. About 1812 he departed from 



Henry M. Dutton, was a son of Ex-Governor and Judge Button 
(who was born in Litchfield), and practiced law in Litchfield in 1861 
with his uncle Henry B. Graves, Esq. Upon the breaking out of the 
war he entered the service of his country and received a commission 
as Lieutenant in the 5th Connecticut Infantry, and was killed in 
the battle of Cedar Mountain, Va., August 9th, 1862. 

RuFus Eastjian, admitted to the Bar in 1796 from Washington. 

Da\id Ediiuxds, admitted to the Bar in 1806 from Newtown. 

Ogden Edwards, born in 1781, a student of the Law School in 
1801, admitted to the Bar in 1802 as from New Haven. He re- 
moved to New York where he was a prominent man and a lead- 
ing attorney for many years ; a Judge of the Superior Court, Sur- 
rogate, etc. 

Frederick Eggleston, admitted in 1834 from Cromwall. 

NaThaxiEE B. EldrEdge, admitted in 181 1 from Salisbury. 

JoHX Elmore, was a son of Col. Samuel Elmer of Revolution- 
ary war fame, and born in Sharon. Settled in Canaan in 1793 and 
died in that town December loth, 1849, aged 84 years. 

Joiix EemorE, Jr., was admitted to the Bar in 1819 from Canaan. 
He died at East Canaan, June 12th, 1857, in his 6sth year. See 
Warner's Reminisences. 

Hexrv Loo-Mis ElesworTii was a son of Chief Justice Oliver 
Ellsworth, and after studying with Judge Reeve in the Law School, 
he was admitted to this Bar in 1812 from Windsor. After a prac- 
tice in Hartford he was appointed Commissioner of Indian affairs 
under President Jackson. He was also Commissioner of Patents 
for ten years. He died in 1858. 

WiLLiAjr H. Ely, admitted to the Hartford Bar in 1879, but 
located at Winsted and then removed to New Haven, where he now 
resides and has a large practice. 

James Ex^sinx, born in Canaan February 2, 1819, graduated at 
Yale 1842, and admitted to this Bar in 1848, from Canaan. He 
practiced law but a short time when he engaged in farming. He 
died in Salisbury, February 3, 1883. 

Fraxk W. EticeridgE, of Thomaston, was born in Montville in 
1858. He was educated at the Hartford High School and pursued 
his law studies with the late firm of Johnson & Prentice, of Hartford, 
being admitted to the Bar in 1880. He settled in Thomaston and 
has held a number of town offices. He has been Juds:e of Probate 
since 1890. In 1896 he was appointed Health Officer for the 
County which office he has since held. He was a member of the 
last Constitutional Convention. He is also the publisher and editor 
of the Thomaston Express, a weekly newspaper. 



William W. Ellsworth 
was born in Windsor in 1781, 
the third son of Oliver Ells- 
worth, the second Chief Jus- 
tice of the United States, 
graduated at Yale in 181 o, 
studied law with Judge 
Reeve and was admitted to 
this Bar in 181 3, and began 
h i s practice in Hartford, 
where he died January 15th, 
1868. He was a member of 
Congress five years;' Gover- 
nor of the State four years; 
a judge of the Superior Court 
and the Supreme Court four- 
teen years. Rufus Choate 
said of him "If the land of 
the Shermans and Griswolds, 
and Daggetts and Williamses 
— rich as she is in learning 
and virtue — has a sounder 
lawyer, a more upright mag- 
istrate, or an honester man 
in her public service, I know 
not his name." (See obitu- 
ary in 34th, Conn.) 

Daniel Everett, born in Bethlem in 1748, and began practice 
of law jn New Milford in 1772, where he resided until his death in 
1805. (See Boardman's Sketches.) 

Sherman Everett, was admitted to this Bar in 1801 as from 
Cornwall. He seems however, to belong to Sharon, where he was 
born April 20, 1781, lived there and died October 5, 1870. The 
Ellsworth History says, "The major became captain of militia was 
early sent to the legislature, surveyed almost every bit of this town, 
and much of other towns, was a justice of no mean record, rose to 
the rank of major in the war of 1812, was treasurer of this (Ells- 
worth) society, commissioner of the common land and founder of 
the library which .now bears his name. 

John R. Farnam, was admitted to this Bar in 1871, practiced 
a short time at Litchfield and also published the Litchfield Sentinel. 
In 1877 he located in Danbury, Conn., from whence he removed in 
1884 to Washington, D. C. 

Amos H. Farnswortii, was admitted to this Bar in 1849. 


Augustus H. Fen.y, born in Plymouth January i8, 1844. In 
the Civil War he gained the rank of Major of the 2nd Conn. Heavy 
Artillery. At the battle of Cedar Creek he was wounded and suf- 
fered the amputation of his right arm at the shoulder. He was 
a graduate of Harvard Ivaw School and was admitted to this Bar in 
1867 and began his practice at Plymouth removing to Waterbury 
and thence to Winsted at which place he resided at his death, Sep- 
tember 12, 1897. In 1887 he was elected Judge of the Superior 
Court, and in 1893 he was promoted to the Supreme Court of 
Errors. (See his obituary in Vol. 67, Conn.) 

The following tribute to Judge Fenn was given by his associate 
Judge David Torrance at the Annual Meeting of the Army and Navy 
Club in 1898 : 

"I trust, that you will pardon me if I say a few words about him 
who was my friend and companion for some years in the highest 
court of this state, whom all of you know and loved, and who, when 
he died was the honored president of this club. 

The best legacy that a man can leave to his children and to his 
fellow men, is the inspiring example of a well spent life ; a clean life, 
nobly lived for noble ends. Happy the man who dying leaves be- 
hind him the record of such a life ; and to the full measure of such 
felicity, as far as human facility will permit, my friend and yours 

His war record, young as he was, is as brilliant as it is inspiring. 
Entering the army in July, 1862, when he was eighteen years old, 
as a member of the gallant Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, he 
served with distinction as lieutenant, as caotain, as brevet major 
and brevet lieutenant-colonel, till the close of the war and after. 

When wounded and disabled by the loss of his arm at Cedar 
Creek in 1864 he refused to be discharged and reported for duty 
within seven weeks after he was wounded. Most men would have 
regarded the loss of a good right arm as sacrifice enough for one's 
country, but our comrade, in this respect, as in some others, was not 
like most men. Since the war what a busy useful life he led, as 
student, as lawyer, as the trusted judge of probate for years in Ply- 
mouth and Winchester, as member of the Legislature, as member 
of imoortant committees for the revision of our laws, as an active 
participant in political contests, as lecturer in the Yale Law School, 
as the eloquent orator on Memorial Days, and at Grand Army meet- 
ings innumerable, as the trusted friend, the wise counsellor, and 
burden bearer, in local matters and affairs, and finally as judge of 
the superior court and of the supreme court of errors of this state. 
What a deal of work he crowded into his fifty-four years of life. 
What a useful life it was to his country and to his fellow men ! How 
unselfishly and unstintedly he gave himself to all things that tended 
to help men and make them better citizens, and in the midst of all 
its stir and activitv and storm and stress, what a clean and noble life 


it was ! He was the architect of his own fortunes. About all he 
inherited from the past was the blood of a vigorous ancestry, but 
blood will tell, and in him it made the desert of adverse circum- 
stances the very vantage ground of succeess, and caused its barren 
wastes to blossom as the rose. 

He was successful because he merited success. He won his 
promotions in the army, without the aid of influential friends, by 
sheer force of character, by his bravery, and his proved fitness to 
fill every position to which he was assigned. 

In civil life he attained position and influence by his sterling 
integrity and his own unaided ability. He worthily filled every of- 
fice he ever held, and worthily fulfilled every one of the many trusts 
that were reposed in him. His was on the whole a successful life, 
in a high sense a joyous victorious life, and now that death has put 
a period to it, while yet the infirmities of old age were afar off, 
he may, with the wise old Greek, call it a happy Hfe, worthily ended." 

Elliott J. Fenn, was born in Plymouth September i, 1855, and 
studied law with Augustus H. Fenn in Plymouth, and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1874. He began practice in Waterbury in 1875, and 
died there in 1888. 

Frederick J. Fenn, was a native of Washington, Conn., but was 
admitted to this Bar in 1821 as from Canaan. He removed to 
Harrisburg, Penn. 

Linus Fenn, was a native of Plymouth and studied with Judge 
Reeve and was admitted to practice in 1794 and persued his pro- 
fession in his native town. He died in 1852. 

George L,. Field, was born in Watertown December 4, 1828. 
He studied law with John W. Webster in Waterbury, and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1856, and after a brief practice in' Watertown 
he opened his olfice in Waterbury. He was one of the earlier 
Judges of the city court, and also the Mayor of the city. During 
the last few years of his life he was totally blind. He died in 
Watertown, October 22, 1879. 

John A. FooTE, was admitted to this Bar in 1825, having at- 
tended the Law School. The following taken from Howe's His- 
torical Collections of Ohio, is of interest regarding Mr. Foote : 

"Much gratification was derived at this time in Cleveland by 
a call upon Mr. John A. Foote, an old lawyer an octogenarian, of 
whom I had all my life heard but never met until now. He was 
a brother of Admiral Foote and a son of that Governor Foote of 
Connecticut who introduced a resolution, historically known as 
'Foote's Resolution' which led to the debate between Daniel Web- 
ster and Mr. Hayne, of South Carolina. 

"Mr. Foote first came here from Cheshire, Connecticut, in the 
summer of 1833, and was for years a member of the eminent law firm 


of Andrews, Foote & Hoyt. He was born in 1803 on the site of 
the Tontine Hotel in New Haven, but his home at the time of leav- 
ing was in Cheshire. That town was overwhelmingly Democratic, 
and he was a Whig, but as the State Legislature was in session 
but for a few weeks his townsmen irrespective of politics gave him 
and a Mr. Edward A. Cornwall, prior to their departure for the 
distant wilds of Ohio, as a parting compliment the privilege of 
representing them in that body. So they went down to Hartford 
and passed a few weeks pleasantly among the 'Shad Eaters' as in 
the humorous parlace of the time the members were called, from 
the fact that they met in May, the season of shad-catching in the 

"The year 1883 came around when Foote and Cornwall, after a 
lapse of fifty years, in company visited the Legislature of Connecti- 
cut at Hartford and were received with great eclat. 

"The House passed some complimentary resolutions, signed by 
the speaker (Charles H. Pine) and by the clerk (Donald H. Per- 
kins) expressive of their high gratification. 'Passed February 22, 
1883. Washington's birthday.' These Mr. Foote with commend- 
able pride pointed out to me framed on his parlor wall." 

EbexEzer Foote, was born in Watertown (then Westbury) 
July 6, 1773. Studied law at Judge Reeve's school and was ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1796. He located at Lansingburgh, N. Y., and 
with the increase of his business moved to Troy and later to Albany. 
He was one of the leading attorneys of the state, an active and in- 
fluential politician. He was the founder and promoter of the cele- 
brated Albany Female Academy. He died July 21, 1814, at Troy, 
New York. 

Jared B. Foster, born in Albany, N. Y., 1820, was admitted to 
this Bar in 1848 and located and practiced in New Hartford until 
his death in March 3, 1895. He held many town offices and was 
Judge of the District Court for Litchfield County for the term of 
three 3'ears. He was a very bright man and a witty lawyer and 
a great many pleasant stories and recollections are told of his prac- 
tice. (See picture, page 107.) 

Walter S. Franklin, born in Lancaster, Penn. in 1799. Stud- 
ied at the Litchfield Law School and was admitted to this Bar in 
1820 and practiced law in York, Penn. He was Clerk of the House 
of Representatives in Washington, D. C. from December 2, 1833 to 
his death September 20, 1838. Major General Wm. B. Franklin 
was one of his sons. 

George A. Freeman was born in Boscowen, N. H. in 1876, fit- 
ted for College at Phillips Academy, Andover, graduated at Yale 
Scientific School in 1897, studied law with Huntington & Warner, 
and was admitted to the Bar in 1901. Mr. Freeman resides and 
practices in Waterbury. 


SaimuBL FrisbiE, admitted to the Bar in 181 1 from Waterbury, 
where he practiced a few years and then removed to Indiana. 

Henry I. Fuller, admitted in 1846 from Kent and removed to 
the State of New York. 

Jerome Fuller, admitted in 1832 from Kent. 

RuFus Fuller, born in Plymouth in 1810, graduated at Union 
College in 1835, was admitted to this Bar in 1836, located in Kent, 
where he practiced his profession for a quarter of a century^ .and 
retired therefrom in consecjuence of ill health. 

Florimond D. FvlER, born in Torrington in 1834, graduated 
at Yale Law School in i860, admitted to this Bar in 1864, located 
at Winsted, was a Ju'dge of the District Court for Litchfield County, 
1878-1882. Returned to Torrington, and from ill health quit his 
practice and became extensively engaged in the poultry business on 
his ancestral home, where he died after a protracted illness, August 
22, 1905. 

Frederick Gaylord, admitted to the Bar in 1853 from Goshen. 

Ammi Giddings, born at Sherman, Conn., in 1822 and graduated 
at Yale Law School and was admitted to this Bar in 1849. He 
practiced at Plymouth until 1866, when he removed to Kalamazoo, 
Mich., returning to Connecticut in 1872. He died at his birth-place, 
February 13, 1882. 

Van Renssalaer C. Giddixgs, born in New Milford in 1833 and 
after attending Yale Law School was admitted to this Bar in 1861. 
After practicing in this County a while he removed to Bridgeport 
in 1869 and was the City Attorney for Bridgeport. 

James P Glyxk, a native of Winsted was admitted to this Bar 
in 1895. Practices in Winsted and was for some years the Town 
Clerk of Winchester, and also Prosecuting Attorney of the Town 
Court. In 1 90 1 was appointed by President Roosevelt, Postmaster 
of Winsted, which office he now holds. 

George R. Gold, admitted to the Bar in 1856 from Cornwall 
and removed to Michigan. 

Thomas R. Gold, born in Cornwall in 1764, graduated at Yale 
College in 1786, admitted to this Bar in 1788 and removed to Cen- 
tral New York, where he held a leading position as a lawyer. Was 
a member of Congress for twenty years. He died in 1827. 

James Gould, born in Branford, Conn. December 5, 1770, grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1795, attended the Litchfield Law School 
and was admitted to this Bar in 1798. He assisted Judge Reeve 
in the Law School and after the retirement of Judge Reeve con- 
• ducted it himself until its close in 1833. He died in Litchfield May 


Ti, 1838. He was a Judge of the Stipreme Court of Errors, and 
author of Gould's Pleadings, published in 1832. (See Boardman 
and Sedgwick Sketches.). 

Jajies Reeve Gould, a son of James born in Litchfield Novem- 
ber 2, 1803. Graduated at Yale College in 1824, was admitted to 
this Bar in 1826, and removed to Augusta, Georgia, where he died 
October 11, 1830. 

George Gould, a son of James born in Litchfield September 2, 
1807, admitted to this Bar in 1829. Removed to Troy, N. Y., where 
he died February 11, 1868. He had been Mayor of Troy and a 
Justice of the Supreme Court of New York from 1855 to 1863. 

William Tracy Gould, another son of James and born October 
25. 1799. graduated at Yale College in 1816, and admitted to this 
Bar in 1820. He removed to Augusta, Georgia, where he became a 
distinguished Judge and prominent citizen. Died July, 1882. 

HiR.vM GooDWix, born in New Hartford May 5, 1808, admitted 
to the Bar in 1830. Located at Riverton in the town of Barkham- 
sted. Was a Judge of the Litchfield County Court 1851 to 1855. 
Died February 5, 1885. His obituary is in 52d Conn. Reports. 

Lyman Gra.xgee, admitted to the Bar in 1821. He was a native 
of Salisbury or Canaan, and graduated at Union College in 1820. 
After a short practice in Salisbury he removed to Rutland, Ver- 
mont and associated with Moses Strong, having a large law practice. 
He died in 1839. 

Elijah Phelps Grant, born in Norfolk, 1808. Practiced in 
Winsted in 1835 and 1836, when he removed to Canton, Ohio, where 
he died December 21, 1874. 

Friend Grant, born in Litchfield September 14, 1740. Gradu- 
ated at Yale 1761, and practiced in Litchfield a year or two, and 
died in 1764. 

Miles Tobey Granger, was born August 12, 1817 in New 
Marlboro, Mass. By his own exertions as a farmer boy and at 
country school teaching he graduated at Wesleyan College at 
Middletown in 1842. The next year he went to Louisana as a fam- 
ily teacher and began studying law and was admitted in that State 
in 1845. Returning to the North he was -admitted the same year 
to this Bar, and soon located in North Canaan, making that his 
residence, until his decease October 21, 1895. 

Judge Granger was a Democrat in his political views, and in 1857 
represented his town in the General Assembly, and in 1867 and 
1868 he was State Senator from his district and chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee, and was appointed a Judge of the Superior 
'Court. In 1876 he was advanced to the Supreme Court of Errors 


which office he held until '1887, when he resigned to accept an 
election to Congress. In 1893 he was appointed a State Referee, 
which position he held at the time of his death. 

Bro. Hickox in his obituary of Judge Granger published in the 
66th Conn. Reports, ends with a sentence with which every mem- 
ber of the Bar fully concurred. "A grave, honest, shrewd man,' he 
inspired confidence and respect, while his sense, wit and kindly 
nature won him general esteem, and his loyalty, many lasting 
friends." (Picture on page 156.) 

Henry B. Graves, born in Sherman, Conn, in 1822 and admitted 
to this Bar in 1845. He began his practice in Plymouth, but after 
a couple of years removed to Ivitchfield where he had for more than 
forty years a large and lucrative practice, frequently representing 
the town in the General Assembly. The Judicial History says of 
him, "He was a typical lawyer of the old school. In figure he was 
tall, handsome and striking. He had great keenness of preception, 
splendid capacities for analyis and was a compact and logical 
thinker. He was a man of most kindly feelings warm and ardent 
in his friendships, generous and helpful to all and never vindictive 
even to his opponents." He died in Litchfield August 10, 1891. 
Obituary in 60 Conn. Reports. Picture, page 152. 

G. W. Griswold, was in practice in Winchester in 1831, but 
was not admitted at this Bar. 

Frederick Gunn, admitted in 1813 from New Milford. Died 
in New Milford November 23, 1852, aged 65. 

Warren W. Guthrie, admitted to this Bar in 1855, began prac- 
tice in Seymour, Conn., but in 1856 removed to Atkinson, Kan., 
and was Attorney General of Kansas for a number of years. 

Nathan Hale, was an Attorney at Sharon in 1777 and an as- 
sistant Judge of the County Court for eighteen years. 

Benjamin Hall, admitted to this Bar in 1797. 

Elanathan S. Hall, admitted in 1846 from Fairfield County. 

Gideon Hall, born in Winchester May i, 1808, graduated at 
Litchfield Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 1832. He 
always resided in Winsted and had a large practice until 1866, when 
he 'was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, which office he 
held at the time of his death December 8, 1867. (See Warner's 
Reminiscences.) Picture, page 113. 

Robert E. Hall was born in Morris, Conn, in 1858, graduated 
at Yale Law School in 1882 and was admitted to the Bar in New 
Haven County, has practiced principally in Waterbury. Is not now 
in practice. 


Jacob B. Hardenburgpi, born in New York State in 1833, was 
admitted to the Bar in 1854 and practiced at Kingston. In the war 
of the rebeUion he served nearly five years and was Colonel of the 
8oth N. Y. \'oli. In 1867 he located at North Canaan taking Judge 
Granger's practice. In 1883 he was appointed County Coroner 
which office he held at the time of his death, April 4, 1892. 

John HARPER/admitted to this Bar from Winsted in 1850. He 
removed South and located at Alpalechicola, Fla. about 1851. He 
was an officer in the Confederate service during the rebellion. 

Julius B. Harrisox, was born in Cornwall in 1819, was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1843 and located at New Milford. Was State 
Attorney in 1852 and died in New Milford October 10, 1854, aged 
35 years. 

IMoSES Hatch was born in Kent in 1780, graduated at Yale in 
1800, admitted to this Bar in 1802, settled in Danbury where he 
died in 1820. 

Charles R. Hathaway, a native of Winchester. Admitted to 
this Bar in 1880, now in practice in Manchester, Conn. Is now the 
Record Commissioner of Connecticut. 

A\'illia:\[ H.vwlEy, born in Redding, Conn , graduated at Yale 
College in 1780, was admitted to this Bar in 1791 ; he removed from 
Eairfield County in 1798 to Woodbury, and soon thereafter aban- 
doned his legal practice for mercantile pursuits. 

Charles Gordon H.vyes, eldest son of the Rev. Gordon Hayes, 
born in Washington, Conn. January 20-, 1830. Graduated at Yale 
in 1851. Admitted to this Bar in 1855. Removed to Rock Island, 
111., and to JNIuscatine, Iowa. Died at DesMoines, Iowa, April 
8, 1878. 

Louis M. Heminway was born in Watertown in 1875. Was 
fitted for College at the Cheltingham Military Academy, graduated 
at Lafayette College in 1896 and at the Law School of the Univer- 
sity of Virginia in 1899 and admitted to this Bar in the following 
3"ear. He is largely engaged in the hotel business. 

Joshua Henshaw, was admitted to this Bar in 1797, from New 

Philo M. Hea cocks, born February 8, 1784, admitted to the Bar 
in 1810, and practiced in New Milford until his death April 20, 1825. 

Samuel A. Herman, born in Canaan 1855, and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1878. He located at Winsted in company with the 
late Judge Fenn, and they had a large and lucrative practice. He 
has attended strictly to his profession, doing very little non-pro- 



fessional work. He was State Senator in 1897. He was an active 
promoter of the Torrington & Winchester Electric Road, and its 
Secretary. He resides at his farm residence in the to^n of Tor- 
rington, but continues his practice at Winsted. 

George A. Hickox 
was born in Washing- 

P ^ - - ton in 1830, graduated 

i at Trinity' College in 

[ 1851, was admitted to 

this Bar in 1853 and 
located at Litchfield. 
In 1866 he purchased 
the Litchfield Enquir- 
er, which he publish- 
ed for a quarter of a 
century, editing i t 
with marked ability 
and profound scholar- 

In 1895 he remov- 
e d to his ancestral 
home at Washington, 
where he died, June 
6, 1903. 

Richard T. Hig- 
GiNS was born in 
Washington in 1865, 
was educated at St. 
Francis College, 
Brooklyn, New York. ■ 
Studied law with 
Hon. James Hunting- 
ton of Woodbury and 
Winsted and has for 
several years been the County Coroner. (See Coroner page 165.) 

Bernard E. Higgins, born in Woodbury January 31, 1872, ad- 
mitted to the Bar June, 1897. Resides and practices in Torrington, 
Conn. Was Borough Clerk for three years. Is now (1907) Prose- 
cuting Attorney for the town. 

Homer Hine was admitted to the Bar in 1800 from New Milford. 

Charles W. Hinman, born in Southbury in 1829, admitted in 
1853, Before he had begun to practice he received an appointment 
as one of the librarians of Congress and removed to Washington, 
D. C. 

Edward Hinman was born in Southbury, then a part of Wood- 

GEORGE a. hickox. 
admitted to this Bar in 1890. Resides in 



bury in 1740 and practiced in Southbury. He was familiarly 
known as Lawyer Ned. He is said to have been a very able lawyer. 
He was very corpilent man, weighing something over four hundred 

Robinson S. Hinman was born in South Britain in 1801. Was 
admitted to this Bar in 1825. In 1827 he removed to Utica, N. Y., 
but returned to Connecticut in 1828 and was appointed Clerk of the 
Superior Court for New Haven County in 1831, holding that office 
seven years. He died in New Haven in 1843. 

Royal R. Hinman was born in Southbury, graduated at Yale 
College in 1804 and was admitted to practice in 181 1 and practiced 
for twenty years at Roxbury. In 1835 he was elected Secretary of 
State and held that office for seven years. He was largely en- 
gaged in compiling and publishing matters relating to the early 
history of the State, and in other historical and genealogical labors. 
He subsequently removed to New York City. 

Simeon Hinman, graduated at Yale College in 1784, was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1790 and engaged in his profession in South- 
bury, where he died in 1825. 

Roland Hitchcock, one of the Judges of the Superior Court, 
was a native of Burlington in Hartford County. He was admitted 
to this Bar in 1844 and located in Winsted, where he died on April 
28th, 1889. Picture, page 114. 

The following was published at the time of his death : 
"Roland Hitchcock, ex-judge of the Superior Court, died Sun- 
day afternoon at his residence in Winsted, aged 66. He was a 
native of Burlington and wrote the history of that town for the 
Memorial History of Hartford County. He studied law with lyieu- 
tenant-Governor Holabird in Winsted, which town he afterward 
made his residence. He was clerk of the House of Representatives 
in 1852 and 1853, postmaster from 1853 to 1861, and judge of pro- 
bate six terms. He was appointed on the Superior Court bench in 
1874, by Governor Ingersoll, and served until 1882. His last pub- 
lic service was as representative from Winchester in 1883, when he 
served on the judiciary committee. Since that time he has been en- 
gaged in the practice of law in Winsted." 

Elkanaii H. Hodges was born in Torrington in 1812 and was 
admitted to this Bar in 1837. He was one of the pioneers of Cali- 
fornia and died in that State in 1862. 

William S. Holabird was born in Canaan in 1794 and attended 
the Litchfield Law School. Was admitted to this Bar in 1816 and 
commenced his practice in Colebrook, removing to Winsted in 1824. 
He was District Attorney under President Jackson's administration. 
In 1842 and 1844 he was Lieutenant Governor of this State. Died 
May 22, 1855. 


Marcus H. Holcomb was born in New Hartford, Litchfield 
County November 28, 1844. He received his higher education at 
Wesleyan Academy and studied law with the late Judge Jared B. 
Foster. He was admitted to the Litchfield County Bar in 1871 and 
soon after removed to Southington, where he has since resided. 
He has been Judge of Probate for more than thirty years and Treas- 
urer of the County of Hartford since 1893 ; a Commissioner of the 
State Police since its creation; was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention in 1902 ; he has been representative and senator several 
times in the General Assembly and was unanimously elected speaker 
one term. He holds many offices of trust and responsibility in 
Southington and is closely identified with all its business interests. 
Is now the Attorney General of Connecticut. (See page 167.) 

Walter Hoi^comb, born in New Hartford October 13, 1853. 
Admitted to this Bar in 1881, removed to St. Paul, Minn., where he 
practiced until 1896 he then returned to Connecticut and located in 
Torrington, where he now resides. Is Judge of the Borough Court. 

David F. Hoi^IvISTEr, born in Washington March 31, 1826, grad- 
uated at Yale in 185 1 and was admitted to the Bar the same year. 
He commenced practice in Salisbury, removing in 1854 to Bridge- 
port, where he resided and died May 4, 1906. He held the office 
01 Collector of Internal Revenue for Connecticut a number of years. 
The lollowing notice is from the Bridgeport Standard : 

The death of the Hon. David F. Hollister removes another of 
the older citizens of Bridgeport who had been a prominent factor 
in its development and in all the reputable and admirable elements 
of its progress. Mr. Hollister distinguished himself by his probity 
and ability in every station which he filled and as a government 
official, occupying an important place for many years he made a 
record that is hardly paralleled in that department for accuracy, 
efficiency and thoroughness. As a citizen he answered every obli- 
gation; as a professional man he was honorable and able and in 
every walk in life he set an example to be emulated. He lived a 
long and useful life and he leaves a memory to be cherished with 
afifection and respect by all who were associated with him. 

John B. Hollister, born in Litchfield in i860, the only son of 
Gideon H. Hollister ; was admitted to the Bar in 1884. Has never 

John M. Holly, born in Salisbury and graduated from Yale Col- 
lege in 1820 and was admitted to this Bar in 1824. He removed to 
western New York, became a member of Congress and died in 
Florida while holding that position. 

George B. Holt^ born in Norfolk in 1790, attended the -Litch- 
field Law School and was admitted to practice in 1812 and removed 
to Dayton, Ohio in 1818, where he became a very prominent man 



in the prosecution of its system of internal improvements. He was 
Judge of the Circuit Court of Ohio and its President Judge for 
fourteen years. 


TERj born in Washing- 
ton in i'8i7, and grad-, 
uated from Yale Col- 
lege in 1840, and was 
admitted to this Bar 
in 1.842, and soon 
after located in Litch-- 
field, but has resided 
and practiced at var- 
ious times in other 
places. He was Clerk 
of the Courts 1844 to 
1845, a"d from 1847 
to 1850. Under Pres- 
ident Andrew John- 
son he was the United 
States Minister t o 
Hayti. He is best 
known of from his 
literary work, being 
author of several His- 
torical novels a n d 
plays. He was sin- 
gularly gifted in mak- 
ing" and delivering 
addresses on public 
celebrations and anniversary occasions. In 1855 h^ published the 
History of Connecticut in two large volumes. He died at Litch- 
field March 21, 1881. His obituary is in Vol. 48, Conn. Reports. 

Uriel Holmes, born in Hartland in 1765, graduated at Yale in 
1784 was admitted to the Bar and located at Litchfield. He was 
State Attorney from 1807 to 1814. A member of the General As- 
sembly from Litchfield nine times ; Judge of the County Court from 
1814 to 1817 ; a member of Congress in 1817 and 1818. He died 
May 18, 1827. 

Samuel Miles Hopkins, L. L. D. was born in Waterbury 1772, 
but in early life removed to Goshen, studied at Yale, but refused 
graduation, studied at Judge Reeve's Law School and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1793. He removed to the State of New York and 
was engaged in large real estate transactions. He was a member 
of Congress and held many other high official positions. He died 
at Geneva, N. Y. October 8, 1837. 


Samuel B. Horne, of Winsted was admitted to the Bar in 1869 
from that town, having served through the Civil War where he gain- 
ed the rank of Captain. He was an aide on the staff of Governor 
Phineas Lounsbury and was Commander of the Connecticut Dept., 
G. A. R. He was United States consul under President Harrison. 
Labor Commissioner for Connecticut from 1895 to 1899. He 
now resides and practices at Winsted; holds a Medal of Honor 
Badge. His practice is mostly confined to recovering estates from 
foreign countries. 

F. H. HoRTON, admitted to the Bar in 1846. 

Isaac M. Horton, admitted to the Bar in 1882 from Harwinton. 

Samuel C. Hoseoed, admitted to the Bar in 1850 from Canaan; 
never practiced; became a teacher and removed to New Jersey, 
where he died. 

John D. Howe, studied law with Judge Hitchcock in Winsted, 
admitted to the Bar in 1866 from Winsted and soon after his ad- 
mission removed to St. Paul, Minn, where he holds a large practice 
as a railroad attorney. 

Edward J. Hubbjs.rd, born in Bethlehem, studied with Wm. Coth- 
ren, was admitted to this Bar in 1864 and removed to Trimdad, 
Colorado, where he is now in practice. 

John T. Hubbard, born in Litchfield in 1856, graduated from 
Yale College in 1880, studied law at Yale Law School and was ad- 
mitted to the New Haven Bar in 1883. Now resides at Litchfield. 
Represented his native town in the General Assembly 1901 and 1903 ; 
is now, (1907) Judge of Probate for District of Litchfield. 

John H. Hubbard, born in Salisbury in 1804 and admitted to 
this Bar in 1826. He began practice in his native town, but in 
1854 removed to Litchfield. Was elected member of Congress from 
his district in 1863 and 1865. Was State Attorney of the County 
in 1844 and again in 1849. He enjoyed a lucrative practice and was 
one of the leading lawyers of the State. He died July 30, 1872. 

The following notice of the death of- this distinguished member 
of our Bar, is from the Litchfield paper and written by his neighbor 
and friend, Hon. Henry B. Graves : 

The Hon. John H. Hubbard died in this village on the 30th of 
July, 1872. The deceased was born in Salisbury in November, 1804 
and was therefore at his death past sixty-seven years of awe. He 
was admitted to the Litchfield County Bar in April 1826 and soon 
after commenced practicing law in his native town, in the village 
of'Lakeville, where he continued in a very successful business until 
about seventeen years since when he removed to Litchfield. Here 
he was constantly occupied in his profession, being engaged in most 
of the important causes tried in our higher courts until his election 



to Congress in 1863, from this District. He was again returned 
to Congress in 1865. Having served his four years in Congress, 
he again returned to the practice of the law and continued it till 
within a few weeks of his death. 

He was very industrious, energetic, and perserving; never dis- 
couraged by an adverse decision, where there was an opportunity 
to pursue the cause of his client further, and was often victorious 
in the court of review, where he had been overruled in the inferior 

In the course of his professional career he had a lucrative prac- 
tice and for many years was one of the more prominent lawyers in 
this county. He served five years as State Attorney of the county 
in which position he gave general satisfaction ; he was also State 
Senator from the 17th District two terms and served in various 
other public relations and in all of them acquitted himself with 
honor. He was a good citizen ; liberal, kind, and generous to the 
poor, and always reg,dy to contribute his full share to all objects 
of worthy charity. As a husband and parent, he could not do 
enough for those so nearly connected to him, and his affections knew 
no bounds or limit. The deceased leaves a widow, three sons, and 
a daughter, surviving him, to mourn his loss. Though his death 
had been expected for several days, owing to the character of his 
disease, yet our community was not prepared to meet with so great 
an affliction and deeply sympathize with the stricken family in their 
great sorrow. Picture on page 107. 

Prank W. Hubbard, born in Litchfield in 1861, graduated at 
Yale College in 1888 and from Yale L,aw School in 1890 and was 
admitted to the Bar. After a few years practice in Torrington he 
removed to Flushing, N. Y., and is Attorney for New York City 
Railway Co. 

Frank L. HungerFord of New Britain was born in Torrington 
in 1843 and entered the University of Vermont in i860. From 
1862 to 1864 he studied law in the office of Senator Edmunds, and 
graduated at the Harvard Law School in 1865 being admitted to 
the Bar in Burlington in 1865 and to this Bar in 1866. He prac- 
ticed in Torrington for three years, then removed to New Britain, 
where he has been Judge of Probate as well as City Attorney. 

Levi HungerEord, admitted to this Bar in 18=14 from Sherman. 
He was a Lieutenant in the 28th C. V. and died in service August 
9, 1863. 

Joseph D. Humphrey, admitted to the Bar in 1812 from Goshen. 
He was born in Goshen March i'^, 1780, and after admission settled 
in practice in Torrinrford, a oart of Torrington, for a few years, 
when he removed to Norton, Summit County, Ohio, where he died 
February 4, 1839. 


Van R. Humphrey, admitted to the Bar in 1820. Was born 
in Goshen July 28, 1800. Soon after his admission to the Bar he 
removed to Ohio, where he became a Judge and a very promment 
man. He died in Hudson, Ohio September 5, 1864. 

Hiram Hunt, a native of Canaan, was admitted to this Bar in 
1820; removed to New York City. 

Reuben Hunt, a native of Canaan, admitted to this Bar in 1812, 
and removed to Illinois. 

Robert Hunt is on Connecticut Register, 1859 as Attorney in 
Falls Village. 

JaeEz W. Huntington, born in Norwich in 1788, graduated at 
Yale College in 1806, studied at the Litchfield Law School and was 
admitted to this Bar in 1810. He located in Litchfield until 1834, 
when he removed to Norwich. He was a Judge of the Superior 
.and Supreme Courts. He was elected a member of Congress sev- 
eral terms, and United States Senator in 1840. He died in 1874. 
(See Boardman's Sketches, page 64.) 

James Huntington was born in Coventry, Tolland County, 
Connecticut, June 4th, 1833, the son of Edward G. and Eliza Clark 
Huntington, and died at his residence in Woodbury, Litchfield 
County, May 2nd, igo8. 

Mr. Huntington received a high school education and taught 
school in his native town. Later he attended Wilbraham Academy, 
and the New York Conference Seminary at Cbarlottsville, N. Y., 
and in 1857 was graduated, with the degree of L. L. B., from the 
State and National Law School at Poughkeepsie, at which time he 
was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York. 

Subsequently he entered the law office of Alvin P. Hyde and 
Loren P. Waldo at Tolland, Connecticut, and was admitted to the 
Bar of Tolland County in April, 1859. 

After being admitted to the Bar in the spring of 1859 ^^ opened 
an office in Woodbury, where he continued in active, honorable 
and successful practice up to the time of his death, at which time 
he was, and for a long number of years had been president of the 
Litchfield County Bar and Law Library Associations. 

In April, 1861 he was elected Judge of the Probate District of 
Woodbury, comprising the towns of Woodbury, Bethlehem and 
Southbury, which office he retained continuously, with the exception 
of one term, until disqualified by age limitations in 1903. His wise 
and judicious administration of the office of Judge of Probate for 
a period of over forty years won for him a high standing as a pro- 
bate lawyer, and the unqualified confidence and esteem of his fel- 
low men. 

On July 4th, 1874 he was appointed State's Attorney for Litch- 
field County, filling that office with marked ability until June, 1896, 



nearly a quarter of a centur\-, and during that time tried many im- 
portant cases, and became renowned as a States Attorney in his 
tireless effort to eradicate crime and bring criminals to justice ; some 
of the most bitterly contested cases being in connection with liquor 
prosecutions, and yet at all times he displayed the commendable dis- 
position of tempering justice with mercy. At the close of his twenty- 
two years of service as States Attorney the members of the Bar 
of Litchfield County presented him with handsomely engrossed reso- 
lutions expressive of their high regard and esteem for him in the 
conduct of that important and off-times unpleasant office. 

He was appointed a member of the Commission of State Police 
at the time of its organization in 1903, and took a great interest in 
the workings of that police power, in the detection and punishment 
of crime, up to the time of his death. 

Mr. Huntington always took an active interest in public affairs, 
and in politics was a democrat, representing the town of Woodbury 
in the Legislature in 1874-5, and was Senator from the old sixteenth 
district in 1877-8. In 1904 he was a candidate for Secretary of 
State on the Democratic ticket. 

Mr. Huntington was married January 6th, 1863 to Miss Rebecca 
Huntley Hurd, of Honesdale, Pa., who died February 28th, 1865, 
leaving one daughter, Rebecca. On June nth, 1868 he married 
Miss Helen Elizabeth Parker, of Woodbury, who survived him, 
together with two daughters, Rebecca Huntington and Eunice 
Huntington Tomlinson, and one grandson, James Huntington Tom- 

For over a quarter of a century. Judge Huntington was engaged 
in nearly all the large legal battles in Litchfield County, and was 
considered one of the giants of the Litchfield County Bar, always 
honest with the court, fair to his opponents and faithful to his clients. 

He was not a great orator, but his honesty of purpose, integrity 
of character and thorough familiarity with the law and facts of 
the case on hand, together with his clear, concise and logical presen- 
tation, made him a- tower of streng^th in the courts, and especially 
before a Litchfield County Jury. He abounded in quaint simile, and 
many times the studied argument of his opponent would fall before 
some simple homley illustration, delivered at the oppertune time, in 
his inimitable style. 

While always firm, and sometimes stern, in the performance of 
his duty, he possessed a most generous disposition, and was ever 
courteous and obliging to his brother lawyers and especially to the 
younger members of the Bar, to all of whom he became endeared, 
and was affectionately known as "Uncle Jim." He loved his pro- 
fession and the members of the Bar, and their honest and oft ex- 
pressed love and esteem for him, was a matter of great comfort to 
him in his declining years. 


His commanding form and genial presence were in evidence at 
nearly every official meeting of the Bar, and were among the most 
pleasant features of the annual Bar banquets. 

Socially, Mr. Huntington was of a domestic nature, and de- 
lighted in the companionship of his home, family and surroundings,- 
believing in the simplicity of the nineteenth century customs rather 
than the pomp and glitter of twentieth century fads. He was a 
great lover of nature and would spend hours at a time roaming 
through the woods, fields and gardens where every tree, plant and 
flower had for him a noble sentiment to reveal, and he took an active 
interest in their growth and protection. 

Mr. Huntington was a member of the school board and did much 
to build up and strengthen the educational system of the town of 
Woodbury. He was always active in his support of the Episcopal 
Church to which religious denomination he belonged. The high 
esteem in which Mr. Huntington was held by the citizens of Wood- 
bury was in a measure evidenced by the memorial services held in 
that town on the evening of June 28th, 1908, and the proposed mem- 
orial fountain to be erected to his memory. 

As a practicing attorney Mr. Huntington stood in the front 
ranks, not only of the Bar of lyitchfield County, but also of the State 
of Connecticut, and yet the characteristics which stand forth most 
prominently to commemorate his memory, were his nobility of char- 
acter, sincerity of purpose, lofiy ideals and generous disposition; 
born of New England ancestors, reared in a New England climate, 
he lived and died an illustrous example of christian manhood. 

William F. Hurlbut, born in Winsted, Conn., January 27, 1835, 
and was admitted to the Bar in 1859. He resided in Winsted and 
was the Clerk of the District Court and Court of Common Pleas 
for Litchfield County since 1872, excepting three years during which 
time he was County Health Officer. He died at Winsted, April 11, 
1901, aged 66. (See picture on page 142.) 

Henry C. Ives, admitted in 1832. 

George W. Jacobs, admitted to the Bar in i8io. 

Daniel Jaqua, Jr., admitted to the Bar in 1819. Practiced in 
Connecticut about twenty years. 

George P. Jenks, admitted to the Bar in 1856. 

EbENEzER Jesup, Jr., admitted to the Bar in 1826. 

Ezra Jewell, admitted to the Bar in 1810 from Salisbury. 

Frederick A. Jewell, admitted to the Bar in 1881 from Salis- 
bury. He removed to New Hartford, where he is now in practice. 
Is Judge of Probate. He represented the town in the General As- 
sembly, 1907. 


Amos JM. Joiixstiy, born in Soiithburv, October 21, 1816, ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1851. Died at the Old People's Home in Hart- 
ford, April 6, 1879. 

Elisiia Joiixsov, born in Barkhamsted, Mhy i, 1818. Gradu- 
ated at Trinity College in 1835. Attended the Yale Law School 
and was admitted to this Bar in 1840. He practiced in Plymouth 
until 1855 when he removed to Hartford. He was Clerk of this 
Court from 1850 to 185 1. He died in Hartford, February 18, 1891. 

Solon B. Jorxsox was born in Cornwall, admitted to this Bar 
in 1863. He published the Litchfield Sentinel from 1866 to 1873, 
then removed to his farm in Cornwall, where he died, Alay 30, 1890, 
aged 51 A-ears. 

Walter \\^ Joitxsox was admitted in 1866. He never practiced. 

Sylvester Johnsox, admitted in 1813 from Cornwall, of which 
town he was a native. 

H. Roger Joxes. Jr., born at New Hartford, June 22nd, 1882, 
attended public schools in New Hartford and Gilbert School, Win- 
sted. graduated from the latter, June, 1901. Entered Cornell Uni- 
versity Law School at Ithaca, N. Y., September, 1903 and gradu- 
ated June, 1906. Became a member of the New York Bar in Sep- 
tember, 1906 and the Connecticut Bar February, 1907. At present 
is editor and proprietor of the New Hartford Tribune, and engaged 
in the practice of law at New Hartford. 

Walter S. Judd was born in Litchfield in 1859, graduated at 
Yale Law School in 1882 and was admitted to the New Haven Bar 
that same year. Settled in Litchfield and was Clerk of the Court 
of Common Pleas from 1894-7. Was in the Legislature in 1891 
and 1893, serving on the judiciary committee the last named 3'ear. 
Now resides in New York City. 

George H. Ji-nsox- was a native of W'oodbury, admitted to the 
Bar in 1845 ''"d removed to Texas. 

S. ^^'. JcDsox was a native of Cornwall and a graduate of L'nion 
College. W'as admitted to practice in 1836. He located in New 
YorkCity. It is said of him, "As a lawyer he is more distinguished 
for his learning, integrity and honesty, than for his brilliancy as a 
pleader. If lawvers were more generally of his style, we should 
have fewer law-suits and more justice." 

Charles -V. Junsox was a native of ^^^ashington. Held the of- 
fice of Sheriff from 1835 to 1838. After his term of office he re- 
moved to New Haven and engaged in mercantile business. 

James D. Keese was born in the City of New York, entered Yale 
College, but did not finish his course of studies there; came to 


Litchfield and studied law with Judge Seymour, and was admitted 
to this Bar in April, 1852. He immediately set up practice in Wood- 
bury, but in less than one year removed to Birmingham, Conn., 
where he died. 

Eb]3:n]<;zer B. Kellogg was a native of Norwich, Conn., and for 
some years was a school teacher coming to Litchfield from Nauga- 
tuck, where he had been Principal of the schools. He studied law 
with George A. Hickox, and was admitted to the Bar in 1879. 
After a brief practice in Litchfield he removed to Denver, Colorado, 
where he died. 

William Kelsey practiced law in Winchester in 1850, and in 
1856 removed to Cheshire, where he died. 

DwiGi-iT C. KiLBOURN" was born in Litchfield, October 9th, 1837. 
He read law with Seymour & Seymour and Henry B. Graves, of 
Litchfield, and after a three years service in the war of the Re- 
bellion was admitted to the Bar in April, 1866. Practiced in Litch- 
field until 1887 when he was appointed Clerk of the Superior and 
Supreme Courts of Connecticut for Litchfield County, which office 
he now holds. 

George Kingsbury^ admitted to this Bar as of Canaan in 1794. 
Mr. Boyd in his annals of Winchester, refers to him as being as- 
sessed in that town in 1796 for his faculty as attorney-at-law, being 
the "first legal luminary that shed its light on this benighted town. 
His stay seems to have been as brief as a comet's visit." He re- 
moved to Poultney, Vt., where he died, April 30, 1803. 

John Kingsbury, born in Norwich, West Farms (now Frank- 
lin), December 31, 1762. Graduated at Yale, 1786, and 1788 en- 
tered the Law School at Litchfield, and was admitted to this Bar in 
1790, and the next year opened an office in Waterbury and soon 
became a leading citizen of that town. He was seventeen times in 
the Legislature. He was Judge of the County Court about twenty 
years. He died August 26, 1844. He was the grandfather of 
Frederick J. Kingsbury, Esq. of Waterbury, the distinguished banker 
and historian. 

Daniel M. King was admitted to this Bar in 1870 from Water- 
town. He located in the West and died there. 

Ephraim Kirby, born in Litchfield in 1756, in a part of the town 
now included in Washington. See Article "First Law Reports" 
for his biography. 

Reynold M. Kirby was a son of Ephraim Kirby and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1810. 

Philemon Kirkum, admitted to the Bar in 1799, resided at Win- 
sted. In Boyds Annals of Winchester is a very interesting account 
of this eccentric man. 


WiLUAM KxAPP was a member of the Fairfield County Bar, but 
practiced in New Milford a few years prior to 1880, when he re- 
moved to Denver, Colorado. 

Frederick M. KoehlER, admitted to the Bar in 1885, resided in 
Litchfield, but soon removed with his family to Montana. 

Edward A. Kunkee, practiced at Torrington a year or two prior 
to 1878 and at a later period was at Thomaston. 

John" R. Landox was born in Salisbury, September 14, 1765, and 
married in Litchfield, Anna Champion, daughter of Rev. Judah 
Champion, January 10, 1796, and settled at Litchfield. He was 
Sheriff from 1801 to 1818. After his term of office expired he re- 
moved to Castleton, Vt., where he died, February 27, 185 1. Mr. 
Landon during his term also had unpleasant duties. Here is sen- 
tence that he had to execute : 

"Whereas Samuel Whitmore, of New Milford, in said county, be- 
fore the Superior Court holden at Litchfield in said county, on the 
. 1st Tuesday of February 1804, was legally convicted of Adultry, 
and, on consideration, was by the Judges of said Court sentenced 
and adjudged to be whipped on his naked body' Ten Stripes, and 
to be stigmatized or burnt on his forehead with the letter "A" on a 
hot iron, and to wear a halter about his neck on the outside of his 
garments during his abode in this State of Connecticut — and as 
often as he shall be found without his said halter, worn as aforesaid, 
upon information and proof of the same before any Assistant or 
Justice of the Peace, to be whipped not exceeding thirty stripes, and 
to pay the cost of this prosecution, etc." All these sentences were 
thus executed to the letter, as appears from sheriff's returns. 
In executions for horse stealing, the prisoners were sentenced 
to be twice set astride a wooden horse and kept there an hour and 
then whipped fifteen stripes on the naked body, with an interval of 
a month between two punishments. A man convicted of forgery 
in 1788 was sentenced to stand twice in the pillory, and was "dis- 
enabled to give any evidence or verdict in any court or before any 
Magistrate or Justice of the Peace." 

Joseph LakE^ admitted in 1822. 

Edgar M. Landon of Salisbury, admitted in 1824. 

Howard F. Landon of Salisbury was born in Sharon in 1869 
and graduated at the Amenia Seminary. He studied law with Hon. 
Donald T. Warner in Salisbury and graduated at the Albany Law 
School in 1890. He was admitted to the Litchfield Bar the follow- 
ing year and formed a partnership with Mr. Warner in Salisbury. 
As Senator from the 19th district he made an enviable record in the 
session of 1901. 


Hiram P. Lawrence of Winsted was born at Norfolk in 1833. 
He fitted for Yale College at Norfolk Academy, studied law with 
Judge F. D. Fyler in Winsted and was admitted to the Litchfield 
Bar in 1873. Died August 9, 1908. 

Isaac Leavenworth, admitted to this Bar in 1815. Settled in 
Roxbury where he practiced for twenty years. In 1837 he removed 
to New Haven and engaged in other business. (See Sedgwick's 
fifty years.) 

Bradley D. Lee, born in Barkhamsted March 24, 1838. Served 
in the War of the Rebellion as Quartermaster of the Second Connec- 
ticut, Heavy Artillery. Admitted to this Bar in 1856 and removed 
to St. Louis, Mo., where he became a leading attorney. Died in that 
city May 10, 1897. 

CiiAUNCEY Lee, D. D., born in Salisbury November, 1763. 
Graduated at Yale College in 1784, was admitted to this Bar in 1786. 
He practiced a few years and then relinquishing his profession, en- 
tered the Ministry and became a very learned and impressive preach- 
er. He was author of "Revival Sermons," "Triumphs of Virtue," 
a metrical paraphrase of the Book of Job, an arithmetic, and several 
pamphlets. He died in Hardwick, N. Y., 1842. 

Rev. Alonzo Norton Lewis, M. A., born at New Britain Sep- 
tember 3, 1831. Graduate of Yale, class of 1852. For several years 
a teacher of public schools and academies. Principal of Litchfield 
Academy 1852-4. Studied law with Hollister and Beeman and after- 
wards with Judge Charles B. Phelps of Woodbury, whose youngest 
daughter, Sarah Maria he married November 28, i860. Admitted 
to the Bar at Litchfield September, 1857. Ordained an Episcopal 
clergyman in 1866. Rector at Bethlehem, Connecticut, Dexter, 
Maine, New Haven and Westport, 1866 to 1891. From 1891 to 
1907 was rector of Christ Church, Montpelier, Vt. He died in New 
Haven September 12, 1907. He had been Secretary of the Masonic 
Veteran Association of Connecticut for many years. Was a mem- 
ber of the Society of the Cincinnati of Connecticut. 

Daniel W. Lewis was a native of Farmington. Studied law 
with Judge Reeve, graduated at Yale College in 1788, and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1796. 

Ja^ies LillEy, admitted in 1809 as from Sharon. 

Frank D. LindslEy, admitted in 1882 from North Canaan. He 
located at Philmont, New York. 

Cit.'VRLES D. LoxgeELLOw was a native of Maine, but studied with 
Mr. Cothren in Woodbury and was admitted to this Bar in 1861. 
He located in Pennsylvania. 


John J. Lord, admitted in 1823 from Sharon. 

Lynde Lord was the second Sheriff of the County, holding the 
office from 177 1 to 1801, about thirty years. He was born in Lyme, 
Connecticut, and died in Litclifield June 16, 1801, aged 68 years. 

That he had some unpleasant duties to perform the following 
returns on Executions attest : 

The execution in this case is dated 1779 and signed by Geo. Pit- 
kin, Clerk of the Superior Court. The statute of blasphemy then 
in force reads as follows : 

That if any person within this state shall presume wilfully to 
blaspheme the name of God the Father, Son or Holy Ghost, either 
by denying, cursing or reproaching the true God, or his government 
of the World ; every person so offending shall be punished by whip- 
ping on the naked body, not exceeding forty stripes, and sitting in 
the pillory one hour; and may also be bound to his good behavior, 
at the discretion of the Superior Court, who shall have cognizance 
of the offence. 

The nature of the punishment inflicted will most concisely appear 
from the following return of the officer setting forth what he did in 
pursuance of the sentence of the court : 

LiTCi-iFiULD, 23d August, 1779. 

Then by virtue of the within Execution took the within named 
Samuel Tousley from the common Goal in Litchfield to a Gallos, 
viz, erected for that purpose, and set him thereon with a Rope 
round his Neck for the space of one full hour, and then I branded 
him with the capital Letter B with a hot iron on his forehead, and 
then tied him to a tail of a Cart, and caused him to be whip'd thirty- 
nine Stripes in his Naked body, in the whole, — at four of the most 
public places in the Town of Litchfield and then returned him to 
the Goal from whence he came. 


Lyxdiv Lord, Sheriff. 

Three days after execution of the sentence Tousley paid the cost 
in the case, amounting to £153, 8 shillings and six pence, or $531.42. 
This would imply that Tousley must have been a man of consider- 
able property, but these costs were probably payable in paper money 
worth at that time hardly a twentieth of its face value in specie. 

It seems that tramps were not unknown in Connecticut in our 
early history. A transient person who, "not having the fear of God 
before his eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of 
the devil" burnt some buildings in Sharon, "contrary to the law of 
this colony and the rights of mankind." The fellow was duly con- 
victed and sentenced, and the following sheriff's return shows the 
nature of his punishment. After being duly "bull dozed" at the 
cart's tail by the sheriff, he was remanded to jail till he could pro- 


cure sureties for future good behaviour and had paid the costs of 
his prosecution : 

LiTCH]?iUi<D, 2 1 St Feb., 1776. 

Then by virtue of the within Execution I caused the within nam- 
ed John Thomas to be taken from the common Goal in Litchfield to 
the place of Execution and there Set upon a Gallos with a Rope 
Roimd his neck for the full Term of one hour and Then tied to the 
Tail of a Cart and Transported to four of the most public places in 
the Town of Litchfield and there whipped on his naked body Thirty- 
nine stripes in the whole, according to the within Directions. 
Fees 40s. Test, 

Lyndu Lord, Sheriff. 

GuoRGE LovERiDGE was admitted in 1840 and practiced a short 
time in New Milford. 

John P. Loveridge. This name appears on the Connecticut Reg- 
ister of 1842 as an attorney at New Milford. 

RoMUo LowERY, born in Farmington in 1793, graduated at Yale 
in 1818, studied at the Litchfield Law School and was admitted to 
this Bar in 1820. He settled in Southington and was a highly re- 
spected member of the Hartford County Bar and a Judge of the 
County Court. He died in 1856. 

Benedict E. Lyons was born in Thomaston, June 13, 1883. 
Graduated from Yale College in 1905 and from the Law School in 
1908, and was admitted to this Bar in 1908. Located at Hartford. 
Represents Thomaston in the General Assembly of 1909. 

Darius Lyman was a son of Col. David Lyman, born in Goshen 
July 19, 1789. Was admitted to this Bar in 1812 and removed to 
Ravenna, Ohio. He died at the residence of his son-in-law, W. S. 
C. Otis, Esq., of Cleveland, Ohio December 13, 1865. 

David Lyman was admitted to this Bar in 1841, and after a 
practice of five years he relinquished the profession and entered the 
Ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

SamuEE Lyman was a son of Ensign Moses Lyman, born in 
Goshen January 25, 1749. He graduated from Yale College and 
studied Theology and afterwards studied law and was admitted to 
this Bar in 1773. He commenced practice at Hartford with flatter- 
ing prospects of success, but relinquished that for a military ap- 
pointment and removed to Massachusetts. Here he became a 
Judge of the Circuit Court of that State and was a member of the 
first Congress convened under the Constitution of the United States. 
He died at the age of 55 years. 

Wilbur G. Manchester was born in Winchester in i860. Grad- 
uated at the Yale Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 1896. 
resides and practices in Winsted, and has been active in Grange 
and Prohibition circles. 


Theodori; M. Maltbie, born in New York in 1842, admitted to 
this Bar in 1863 from Norfolk where he practiced a short time and 
then removed to Hartford where he now resides. 

Cyrus Marsh, practiced law in Kent in 1761 and was after- 
wards a Minister of the Gospel of that place. 

Fraxk W. Marsh, born in New Milford in 1855, graduated at 
Yale College in 1879, admitted to the New Haven Bar in 1882, re- 
moved to New Milford where he now resides. 

SamuEIv Marsh, born in Litchfield in 1765, graduated from Yale 
College in 1786, admitted to this Bar in 1788 and remove?d to Nor- 
folk, Va. 

George A. Marvin was born in Norfolk in 1870, graduated from 
the Yale Law School in 1901 and was admitted to this Bar. He 
resides and practices in North Canaan. 

Reyxoed Marvix was born in Lyme, Conn., and graduated at 
Yale College in 1748. He located in Litchfield on the formation of 
the New County, and was the first lawyer in that town. He was 
appointed King's Attorney in 1764, which office he held eight years. 
After this period he does not appear to have been active in legal 
matters. He died at Litchfield in 1802. 

Nicholas Masters, born in 1758, graduated from Yale College 
in 1779, admitted to this Bar in 1780, resided in New Milford, where 
he died in 1795. 

Charles S. Masters, admitted to this Bar in 1812 from New 

Peter J. McDermoTT was born in Torrington, and graduated 
from Yale Law School in 1905 and was admitted to this Bar. 

James H. McMahox, born at New Milford, June 24, 1839 ; son 
of John and Sophia Wells McMahon. He received an acedemic 
education, but did not enter College. He studied law at the Albany 
Law School and was admitted to the Litchfield County Bar in No- 
vember, 1863. Judge McMahon was a well-known lawyer in West-, 
ern Connecticut, and for many years was engaged on one side or 
the other in most of the important cases in that section. He was 
elected Judge of Probate for the District of New Milford in August, 
1864, and held his first term of probate, August 30th, of that year. 
He continued in office until the first Monday in January, 1897. In 
1873 ^nd 1875, he was a member of the General Assembly. He 
died at New Milford, August 9,1906. His funeral was very largely 
attended by lawyers from Litchfield, Fairfield and New Haven 
Counties, in all of whose courts he had been an active practioner, 
and also by the members of the Odd Fellows, and the Masonic 
bodies of which he had been a member. 



He gave in his will the sum of $1,200 to the Litchfield County 
Bar Association, to be divided between each of the Law Libraries 
at the Litchfield, Winsted and New Milford Court houses. His' 
picture may be found on page 136. 

William H. McMorris was admitted to the Litchfield Bar in 
1904. He removed to Pennsylvania. 

Walter S. Merrill, born in New Hartford in 1829, admitted 
to this Bar in 1852 and located in Southington, where he resided 
until his death, January 10, 1901. 

Paul E. Mead was born in Westbrook, Maine, October 27, 1878. 
but came when quite young to Falls Village, Conn. Studying at 
Exeter and at Brown's University, he entered the Yale Law School, 
from which he graduated in 1904, and was admitted to this Bar. 

Chesterfield C. Middlebrooks 
was Sheriff of Litchfield County 
from 1903 to 1907. He was born 
in Sharon, Conn., July 24, i860. In 
1880 he went to Winsted and en- 
tered the employ of the Gilbert 
Clock Company, where he contin- 
ued for fourteen years. He was 
for several years at the head of the 
police force in Winsted, and was a 
constable of the Town of Winches- 
ter, in which offices he showed 
great executive ability. In 1894 he 
was appointed deputy sheriff under 
Sheriff Henry J. Allen, and in 1903 
was elected sheriff by a good ma- 
jority. At the expiration of his 
office in 1907 he was appointed by 
the Judges of the State, one of the 
Jury Commissioners for Litchfield 

Edward S. Merwin, admitted to the Bar in 1870 from New Mil- 

T. DwiGHT Merwin, born in New Milford. Graduated from 
Yale College in 1877. After a short practice in New Milford, he 
removed to New York City, where he is now in practice. 

Michael F. Mills^ born in Norfolk in 1786, admitted to this 
Bar in 1801. He located in Norfolk, dying there in 1857. (See 
Sedgwick's Address.) 

Roger Mills was admitted to this Bar in 1798 from Norfolk 
and settled in New Hartford about 1800. 



fct « 







Roger H. Miles was a son of Roger Mills and was admitted to 
this Bar in 1836 and located at New Hartford. Was Secretary of 
State in 1849-1850, after which he removed to Beloit, Wis., where 
he died, November 11, 1880, aged 67. 

Joseph MielER, a graduate of Williams College, studied at the 
Litchfield Law School and was admitted to this Bar in 1802. He 
located at Winchester, was a member of the Constitutional Con- 
vention in 1818. In 1835 he removed to Richland, Mich. He was 
a member of the Michigan Constitutional Convention and also U. 
S. Attorney for the District of Michigan. 

]\Iatthew Miner, Jr.. born in Woodbury in 1781, graduated 
from Yale College in 1801 and was admitted to this Bar in 1804. 
Practiced in Woodbury, which town he represented in the General 
Assembly in 1830-1832, and was also Senator of his district in 1837. 
Died at \A'oodbury, December 11, 1839. 

Gilbert S. Minor, a native of Cornwall, admitted to the Bar in 
1848. He removed to Alexandria, Va., where he died about 1880. 
(The compiler of this work pursued his law reading while in the 
U. S. service in the Civil War, from books borrowed from this 
gentleman's library.) 

Phixeas Miner, born in Winchester 1777, studied at Litchfield 
Law School, admitted to this Bar in 1797, began practice in his 
native town, but removed to Litchfield in 18 16, was representative 
in Congress in 1832. Died at Litchfield, September 16, 1839. 
(See Boardman's Sketches.) 

John G. Mitchell, practiced in Salisbury. (See Warner's 
Reminiscences. ) 

Henry A. Mitchell. The Connecticut Register says, he was 
a lawyer in Plymouth in 1832. He removed to Bristol. Was States 
Attorney for Hartford County, 1836 to 1838. Was editor of the 
Hartford Times. 

John G. Mix, admitted to this Bar in 181 5 from Woodbury. 

Henry S. Morrill, born in New Hampshire in 1840, graduated 
at Wesleyan College in 1866, was admitted to this Bar in 1870, and 
for a few years thereafter he was engaged as a teacher, but finally 
removed to Waterbury, where he was a Judge of the City Court. 
He died in Waterbury, July 12, 1884. 

T. DwiGHT Morris, born in Litchfield in 1817, graduated from 
Union College in 1838, and was admitted to this Bar in 1839 and 
located at Bridgeport. Was Colonel of the 14th Connecticut In- 
fantrv in the Civil War, United Statets Consul at Havre, France, 
1865 to 1869, Secretary of State, 1876. Died at Bridgeport, Septem- 
ber 26, 1894. 


Nathan Morse;, a graduate of Amherst College, practiced in 
New Hartford in 1876, and removed to Akron, Ohio. 

Charles E. Moss, born in Litchfield and admitted to, the Bar in 
1843. Practiced in Waterbtiry until 1847, when he removed to 
Iowa. He was engaged in the Mexican War as a Sergeant of the 
3rd United States Dragoons, and in the War of the Rebellion as a 
Lieutenant-Colonel of an Iowa Cavalry Regiment. 

WiELiAM P. MuLViLLE, born in Norfolk February 23, 1879. 
Graduated at Yale Law School in 1906, and was admitted to this 
Bar. Located at New Canaan, Connecticut. 

Warren MungER, admitted to this Bar in 1812 from Norfolk. 

Frank B. Munn, born in West Stockbridge, Mass. November 
16, i860. Graduated from Dartmouth College in 1887, admitted" 
to this Bar in 1891. Resides in New Hartford and practices in that 
town, and also has an office in Winsted. He is now, and has been 
a Referee under the United States Bankrupt Law since its passage.' 

Harris B. Munson, born in Middlebury in 181 2, .admitted to 
this Bar in 1850, finally located at Seymour, where he died, February 
2, 1885. 

Thaddeus Munson, practiced in Canaan in 1809. 

Frederick E. MygaTT, a native of New Milford, studied at the 
Yale Law School, admitted to this Bar in 1892. Now practices in 
New York City. 

Edward A. Neeeis held the office of Sheriff of Litchfield County 
from 1895 to 1903. He was born in the State of New York, but 
m early life came to Winsted, where he has since resided. For 
many years he carried on a tinware manufacturing and jobbing 
business. He was a soldier in the Civil War, a member of the 6th 
Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, he was wounded at the siege of 
Petersburg in 1864 and suffered an amputation of his left foot. 
(See picture on page 162.) 

Leonard J. Nickerson of West Cornwall was born in that town 
October 23, 1857. He graduated from the Alger Academy and 
studied law with Hon. Arthur D. Warner, being admitted tO' this 
Bar in 1879. In 1883 he represented Cornwall in the General As- 
sembly, and has been very active in town affairs. He has an ex- 
tensive practice throughout the State. Picture, page 162. 

Major A. Nickerson, a native of Cornwall, admitted to this Bar 
in 1834. After a brief practice, mostly in Berlin, Connecticut, he 
removed to New York State and entered the Ministry. 



Major A. NickErson, born in Cornwall and admitted to this 
Bar in 1868. For some years, owing to poor health he did not 
practice, but about 1888 opened a law office in Plainville, Conn. 
Died suddenly in his office, April 25, 1891. 

MiKKEL Neilson, a native of Denmark, studied law in Litchfield 
and was admitted to the Bar in 1881, and removed West. 

Charles Nettleton was 
born in Washington, Conn. 
October 2, 1819, and after 
studying law at Litchfield 
was admitted to the Bar. 
He opened an office in 
Naugatuck and was for a 
time in New Haven, but 
not meeting with satisfac- 
tory clientage he removed 
to the city of New York 
and made a specialty of 
conveyancing and for some 
years was a pension attor- 
ney. He was a great col- 
lector of the session laws 
of' all the different States 
and it was claimed that he 
had the largest and fullest 
library in this line in the 
country. For the help of 
the Tilden-Hayes Electoral 
Commission, the Library of 
Congress moved to Wash- 
inton all this part of 'Mr- 
He died in New York May 5, 1892. 

Theodore North, born in Goshen March 2, 1780. Graduated 
from WilHams College and was admitted to this Bar in 1809. Mem- 
ber of the Constitutional Convention in 1818. Removed to Elmira 
N. Y. in 1823. Died April 21, 1842. 

Jonathan T. Norton was admitted to this Bar in 1847 and 
practiced a short time in West Cornwall, when he removed to 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 

James H. Norton, born in Goshen in 1823, admitted to this Bar 
in 1846 and soon removed to Pennsylvania. Entered the field of 
journaHsm and was connected with the New York City daily papers. 
Resided at Middletown, N. Y. Died in 1894. 

William H. O'Hara, born in Washington October 15, 1859 
and was educated at the "Gunnery"; admitted to this Bar in 1880. 

Nettleton's library. 


Practiced in. Bridgeport. In 1893-4 was an Alderman in Bridge- 
port and the latter year president of the Board and Acting Mayor. 
In 1902 removed his office to New York City. 

James L. Orr, born in Hudson, N. Y., studied with Hon. John 
H. Hubbard, was admitted to the Bar in 1845. He practiced at 
Sharon and then removed to Michigan. His health failing him he 
returned to Salisbury, where he died. 

Samuei. D. OrTon, born in Bridgewater. Admitted to the Bar 
in 1830. Practiced a number of )'ears in New Milford. 

Eugene O'Sueeivan practices law in Torrington. 

ChareES a. Paemer, born in Goshen in 1859, graduated from 
Williams College. Admitted to this Bar in 1885. Practiced a few 
years at Sharon and then removed to Torrington. Now resides in 
Goshen, and is not in the practice of law. 

Joseph M. Paemer, born in New Milford in 1788. Was ad- 
mitted to the Fairfield County Bar, but located at Woodbury, where 
he practiced until 1816, when he removed to Predericktown, Md. 
He was a Judge of one of the higher courts in that State. 

Solomon M. Paemer was admitted to the Bar in 181 1. 

Jonathan Edward Parjialey, admitted to the Bar in 1790, re- 
sided and practiced in Bethlehem. 

David ParmalEE, a lawyer in Eitchfield, 1797. (Connecticut 

CoE. Amasa Parker, born in 1784 in the limits of the present 
town of Washington. Graduated from Yale College in 1808. At- 
tended the Litchfield Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 
1810. He removed to Delhi, Deleware County, N. Y. 

AxsoN V. Parsons, admitted to the Bar in 1826. 

Daniee Parsons, admitted to the Bar in 1847 from Sharon. 

Walter M. Patterson, admitted to the Bar in i860, practiced 
a short time in Sharon. 

Calvin Pease, a lawyer in New Hartford, 1799. (Connecticut 

William K. Peck, Jr., born in Harwinton and admitted to the 
Bar in 1847 from- Norfolk. He located in Norfolk and removed to 
Winsted in 1864. He removed from Winsted to Michigan in 1869, 
and died at Grand Rapids, Mich, in 1870. The following paragraph 
is from a highly complimentary notice of the stump labors of Wm. 
K, Peck, Esq. which we find in the Western New Yorker published 
at Warsaw, November, 1867: 

"The series of meetings held in this county by W. K. Peck, Esq., 
of Connecticut, have been among the most successful and satisfac- 
tory ever known here. The appointment for the Court House on 


Saturday evening drew together an audience that pacl<ed the room 
full. Mr. Peck is a man of fine presence and genial manners with 
a remarkably good voice and excellent qualities as a popular speak- 
er. For perfect candor and fairness, for strong points sharply put, 
for earnestness and agreeable humor, and to sum it all up — for a 
good effect in a political speech, Mr. Peck ranks with the best men 
on the stump. We hope to have him here again." 

Nathaxibl Perry was a native of Woodbury and was admitted 
to the Fairfield County Bar in 1816. He began practice in Wood- 
bury, removing to New Milford in 1823. He died in Kent in 1849, 
aged 60 years. 

George W. PeET was born in Salisbury in 1828 and after ad- 
mission to the Bar he practiced in Canaan. The latter part of his 
life was devoted chiefly to financial operations. He was president 
of the Iron Bank of Falls Village, etc. He died at North Canaan 
in 1882. 

Hugh F. Peters, graduated at Yale College in 1849; admitted 
to the Bar in 1851. 

John Thompson Peters, graduated at Yale College, 1789 ; ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1791. Was Judge of the Superior Court from 
1818 to 1834. Died August 28, 1834. Resided at Hartford. (See 
Sedgwick's "Fifty Years.") 

Joel T. Pettet, admitted to the Bar in 1801 from Sharon. He 
was a young man of great promise, but died of consumption, Septem- 
ber 13, 1807, aged 32. 

Augustus Pettibone, born in Norfolk February 19, 1766, a son 
of Col. Giles Pettibone. Attended the Litchfield Law School and 
was admitted to the Bar in 1790. He settled in Norfolk, was a 
member of the Constitutional Convention in 1818 and Judge and 
Chief Judge of the County Court from 18 12 to 1831 He died 
October 4, 1847. (See Sedgwick's "Fifty Years.") 

CoL. Giles Pettibone, born in Simsbury December 9, 1735. His 
name appears as an attorney in the early records of the County 
Court. Resided in Norfolk and died there March 17, 1810. 

Samuel Pettibone, the first King's Attorney of Litchfield 
County was born in Simsbury July 26, 1798. He began to practice 
law as early as 1730. He removed to Goshen prior to 1740 and was 
active in the formation of the County in 175 1. Upon the establish- 
ment of the County Court he was appointed King's, or as we now 
term it, State Attorney, which office he held several years. He was 
prominent in the town afifairs of early Goshen and represented the 
town in the General Assembly a number of times. He died in 1787. 

SerEno Pettibone was a brother of Augustus Pettibone and 
born in Norfolk November 9th, 1778; graduated at Williams Col- 



leg-e in 1800, and was admitted to this Bar in 1803. He practiced 
a few years at Norfolk, and died there, November i6th, 1826, "just 
in the prime of hfe, a man of fine abihty and promise." 

"^'.'.f Mi. 


JOHN PlERPONTj 1 85 1. 

John Pierpont, born in Litchfield April 6, 1785. Graduated at 
Yale College in 1804. Studied law at the Litchfield Law School 
and was admitted to this Bar in 1810. He removed to Newbury- 
port, Mass., where after a short practice of law he became an Uni- 
tarian Minister. He edited a large number of school books; the 
old fashioned National Preceptor, being perhaps the best known 
of them. He was also a poet, and his "Stand, the ground's your own 
my braves ! " has been the standard for boyhood declamations, dur- 
ing the last three-quarters of a century. His poem delivered at our 
Centennial celebration in 1851, has also become classical. In his 
earher years he, like many of the Boston celebreties, was not fas- 
tedious in his dress, and the portrait we publish of him is said by all 
our old men to be a characteristic one. The second, near the close 
of this book, looks as he did in later life, when he held a clerical 
position in one of the Government departments in Washington. He 
was the ancestor of John Pierpont Morgan, the noted banker and 
financier. Mr. Pierpont died at Medford, Mass., August 27, 1866. 


Charles B. Phelps was born in Chatham, now Portland, Con- 
necticut in 1788 and pursued his professional studies under Judge 
Reeve and Noah B. Benedict, Esq., and was admitted to the Bar in 
September, 1809. Entered into practice at Woodbury, and there 
continued the exercise of his profession to the time of his death, 
December 21, 1858. He was Judge of Probate for nearly thirty 
years and was an authority on Probate Law. He was a member of 
the House of Representatives in 1831, 1837, and 1852 in which latter 
year he was elected its Speaker. In 1843 he was elected to the Sen- 
ate and was its President pro tern. In 1850 he was elected Judge 
of the County Court, holding the office three years. In Mr. Coth- 
ren's history of Woodbury, will be found a lengthy biography of this 
honest lawyer. Picture, page 94. 

Ralph P. Phelps, attorney in Winchester, 1832. (Connecticut 

E. Frisbie Phelps, graduated from Yale Law School, and was 
admitted to this Bar from Harwinton in 1866. He soon removed 
from the State. Is now in New York City in the insurance business. 

Elisha Phelps, born in Simsbury. Graduated from Yale Col- 
lege in 1800; attended the Litchfield Law School and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1802. Settled in his native town, where he died m 

Amos Pierce (Pearce), graduated at Yale, 1783. Died in 
"Woodbury, 1798. 

James Pierce was admitted by the County Court in 1799. 

John Pitcher was admitted by the County Court in 1816. Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of New York. ' 

John Pierpont, born in Litchfield September 10, 1805 ; mem- 
ber of the Law School ; admitted to the Bar in 1826. He removed 
to Vergennes, Vermont. Was Judge of the Supreme Court and 
held other important offices in that State. 

OrvillE Hitchcock Platt was admitted to this Bar in 1850. 
He was born in Washington, Conn., and his early life was that of a 
hard working farmer boy. Both parents being of good New Eng- 
land stock, earnest in religion, patriotic, and having the courage of 
their convictions; he inherited that breadth of mind and strength of 
character for which he became so prominent. Beginning in the old 
red school house, and afterward attending the Academy, in which 
he later on taught, he was still further furnished, by close and per- 
sistent study at home. Having chosen the law as his profession he 
entered the office of Gideon Hollister and Fred. Beeman in Litch- 
field in 1848 and in due time was admitted to this Bar. He began 
his practice at Towanda, Penn., but in a short time returned to 
Connecticut and settled at Meriden, where he soon became a prom- 


inent attorney and citizen. In 1855 he was Clerk of the Connecti- 
cut Senate and in 1857 was Secretary of State. He was repeatedly 
elected to represent his town in the General Assembly of the State, 
serving in the Senate in 1861-2, and in the House of Representatives 
in 1864 and 1869 and was given important positions in the deliber- 
ations of those bodies. In 1877 he was appointed State Attorney 
for New Haven County. In 1879 he was chosen United States 
Senator by the General Assembly, a position which he occupied 
continuously until his death at his summer residence at Washington, 
Connecticut, April 21, 1905. 

In an address delivered by him to his townsmen just before start- 
ing for Washington to take his seat in the Senate, he said, "Just 
now everything is new and seems unreal. I can scarcely appreciate 
the future; how I shall walk in the new part in which I am set, 
time will show. I do know that I shall try to do right as I see the 

He took his seat March 18, 1879, and for more than a quarter 
of a century gave his best thought and untiring industry to all 
matters of legislation and gradually won his own place in the front 

He served eighteen years on the committee of patents, eight of 
those years as chairman. He was regarded by all, as the best au- 
thority on patent law in the Senate. For sixteen years he was a 
member of the committee on Indian affairs, and no one was more 
alive than he to the true welfare of the Indians. No man in of- 
ficial life was ever a more practical and useful friend of these 
wards of the nation. 

For twelve years he was a member of the committee on Territories, 
six years as chairman, and while such chairman six states were ad- 
mitted into the Union, viz : North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, 
Washington, Idaho and Wyoming. 

For ten years and up to the time of his death, he was a mem- 
ber of the committee on finance. For four years he was chairman 
of the committee on Cuban Relations, and was the author and 
father of the noted Piatt Amendment — that great bulwark and 
mainstay of the Cuban Republic against foes, foreign and domestic. 
In the investigation of this subject he accumulated a large and ex- 
haustive library relating to Cuban and Philippine matters, probably 
the largest in the country, which has been given by his heirs to the 
State Library at Hartford, Conn. 

He was for twelve years a leading member of the Judiciary 
Committee, and at the time of his death was chairman of that com- 
mittee. On this great committee, on account of his skill and learn- 
ing as a lawyer, and his industrious prudence and conservative 
character, he was one of the most active, useful and safe members, 
favorable to all reasonable innovations, but strongly set against 
revolutionary or doubtful schemes or measures. No man in the 
Republican party was oftener consulted by both Presidents, I\Ic- 



Kinley and Roosevelt upon vital questions, not only of party policy, 
but of material and international importance. The last great 
service he rendered, was in presiding over the' Senate as a Court 
of Impeachment in the case of Judge Swain. The care, dignity and 
impartiality with which he performed that difficult task proved him 
to be a master mind in that eminent body. 

Senator Teller of Colorado said of him : "He was a party man 
with a strong partisan spirit, because he believed his party was best 
calculated to secure the highest degree of progress and prosperity 
it was possible for a nation to attain. While he was a partisan 
and defended the principles of his party with inteUigence and vigor, 
he recognized that there were two political parties in the country, 
and that there might be wisdom and patriotism in those differing 
with him. He was a good type of Americanism, and his aspiration 
for his country was for all parts and all the people within its 

Probably the obsequies of no eminent man of Litchfield County 
were ever attended by so many distinguished public men as were 
his when he was laid to rest amid the scenes he loved so well on 
April 24th, 1905, in the cemetery at Washington, Connecticut. 

Hexry B. Plumb, a native of Wolcott, Conn., born in 1857, 
was admitted to this Bar in 1879. He has never practiced law — 
but is Secretary of the Eagle L,ock Company of Terr3'ville, with 
office in New York city, and resides in Terryville. 

E. EuRoY Pond, born in Terryville, Town of Plymouth, Dec. 
26, 1883. Graduated at Yale College 1904, and from the Law 
School in 1906. Admitted to this Bar February, 1907, and opened 
an office in Terryville. 

Charles J. Porter, born in Goshen, January 27, 1839 ; was 
sheriff from 1881 to 1884. He was in the Civil War for three years 
in the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery in which he was a Quarter- 
master Sergeant. He resided in Goshen Center where he was Post 
Master and carried on a large general store business. He repre- 
sented his town in the Legislature in 1866 and 1893. He died 
Dec. 19, 1907. (See picture, page 160). 

Peter B. Porter, born in Salisbury. Graduated from Yale 
College in 1791, admittd to this Bar in 1793. Removed to the State 
of New York and died at his home at Niagara Falls in 1844. He 
was in Congress in 1810 and was Secretary of W^ar under John 
Q. Adams' administration. 

Joel B. Potter, admitted in 1803 from Sherman. He died 
October 7, 1806. 

Nathan Preston, born in Woodbury in 1758. Graduated from 
Yale College in 1776. He served in the Continental Army until 
1780. In 1782 he was admitted to the Bar and settled in his 
native town having a large practice and enjoying many political 
honors until his decease in September, 1822. 


William Preston. He was born in Stratford in 1676, but 
when quite young removed with his father's family to Woodbury. 
He became a leading man in the town and colony. He was a mem- 
ber of the General Court thirty-five sessions, and stood high m the 
militia, having attained the rank of Colonel. He was justice of 
the quorum eleven )-ears from 1740. On the formation of Litch- 
field County in 1751, he was appointed its first judge, which office 
he held till his death in 1754. He was a man of fine talents and 
commanding influence — of sterling integrity and unflinching de- 

In another place will be seen a cut of his tombstone in fine pres- 
ervation in the cemetery at Woodbury. 

William L. Ransom was born in Granville, Mass., March 28, 
1822. He studied law with Judge Hiram Goodwin of Riverton 
and was admitted to this Bar in 1854. Three years later he came 
to Litchfield and associated with Hon. John H. Hubbard in the 
practice of his profession until 1859, when he was appointed Clerk 
of Superior and Supreme Courts for Litchfield County from which 
position he resigned in 1887 after an honorable service of twenty- 
nine years. He now resides in Litchfield. 

From the history of the Ransom family I quote the following 
well deserved tribute : "William L. Ransom was tendered the posi- 
tion of Clerk of the Superior Court and the Supreirje Court of 
Errors which his experience and methodical habits eminently quali- 
fied him to fill. He accepted the appointment and for twenty-eight 
yxars he continued to discharge the duties of the office with honor 
to himself and the tribunal of which he was a trusted official. 
Patience and courtesy secured for him the well grounded regard of 
the clientage that had 'their day in court' and Bench and Bar alike 
held him in the highest esteem." 

Timothy C. Ransom was a brother of William L. and born 
September 22, 1824, and was admitted to the Bar in- 1858. He 
practiced a few years in Meriden, Conn., and then removed to North 
Dakota where he died. 

David Raymond admitted to the Bar in 181 2 from Montville, 

James Raymond admitted to the Bar in 1834 from Canaan. 

John ReEd. This gentleman was undoubtedly the earliest at- 
torney in the territory embraced in Litchfield County. He grad- 
uated at Cambridge in 1697 and entered the ministry and preached 
at Waterbury, Stratford and other places. He became interested 
in the Stratford colony of settlers who went to the region now called 
New Milford, and obtained a large tract of land now the center of 
that town, and built a residence near the present Ingleside School, 
where he resided and held religious services in his house. In 1708, 



while living there, he was admitted as an attorney by the General 
Court and in 1712 he was appointed Queen's Attorney for the 
Colony. Mr. Reed had plenty business of his own to attend to, for 
the Milford settlers claiming a superior title to the New Milford 
lands, over the Stratford title, occupied some of the 26,000 acres, 
and J\Ir. Reed sued them for trespass, and after sixteen trials, 
fifteen of which he won and lost the sixteenth, became discouraged 
and gave up the effort, and removed to a large tract of land he 
obtained in the present town of Redding where he resided until 
1722, when he went to Boston, and soon became the most eminent 
lawyer in the Colonies. He was Attorney General for several 
years and also a member of the Governor and Council. He was 
known there as "Leather Jacket John." Many anecdotes are told 
of this eccentric attorney which this compilation does not care to 
repeat. Knapp's Biographical Sketches says of him: ''One act 
alone should give him immortality. He, from his own high re- 
sponsibility reduced the quaint, redundant and obscure phraseology 
of the English deeds of conveyance, to the present short, clear and 
simple form now in use. His influence and authority must have 
been great as a lawyer, to have brought these retrenched forms into 
general use. The declarations which he made and used in civil 
actions, have, many of them, come down to us as precedents, and 
are among the finest specimens of special pleading that can be 
found. Story has preserved some of his forms, and Parsons says 
that "many other lawyers had assumed his work as a special pleader 
as their own ; and that honors due him had by carelessness or ac- 
cident, been given to others, who had only copied his forms." 

He married Ruth Talcott, daughter of Col. John Talcott of 
Hartford and sister of Governor Joseph Talcott. One of his sons 
was the celebrated Col. John Reed of the "Lonetown Manor," 
Redding, Connecticut. He died in 1749, leaving a large estate. 

John G. Reid was a son of Rev. Adam Reid of Salisbury and 
was admitted to this Bar in 1857 and located at Kent. He did 
honorable service in the War of the Rebellion, and afterwards 
removed to Chicago. 

Aaron B. Reeve was a son of Hon. Tapping Reeve, graduated 
from Yale in 1802, was admitted to the Bar in 1808, began practice 
in Troy, New York, where he died in iSog. 

Tapping Reeve, born in Southhold, Long Island, October, 1744. 
Graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1763. In 1784 he 
opened the Law School at Litchfield which continued until 1833. 
In 1798 he was 'appointed Judge of the Superior Court and in 1814 
he became the Chief Justice of the State. He died at Litchfield, 
December 13, 1823. See Boardman's "Early Lights," Law School, 


James Richards was admitted to the Bar in 1862. He then re- 
sided at Litchfield where he had been preaching for some years. He 
afterwards removed to Charleston, W. Va., where he died. 

Francis X. Richmond was born in New Milford, admitted to 
the Litchfield Bar in 1897, and practiced for a short time in Water- 
bury. He removed to New Milford, and later returned to Water- 
bury, where he died in 1906. 

Edward Richmond, admitted in 181 5 from Washington. 

Clark Richter, graduated from Yale in 1856, admitted in 1861 
from Salisbury. 

William H. Rood, admitted in 1845. Practiced in Winsted, was 
a Judge of Probate there, removed b Lynn, Mass., where he died. 

Edward Rockwell, born in Colebrook June 30th 1801. Gradu- 
ated at Yale College 1821. Admitted to this Bar in 1827 as from 
Sharon. He located in Youngstown, Ohio. Was the Secretary of 
the Cleveland and Pittsburg Railroad Company until 1867, when 
he resigned that office and removed to New York City, where he 
died in 1874. ■ , 

Julius Rockwell was born in Colebrook, graduated at Yale 
College in 1826, admitted to this Bar in 1829 and located at Pits- 
field, Mass. He was a member of Congress and also a. Judge of 
the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. 

The following extract shows the proceedings taken by the Berk- 
sire County Bar upon the death of Judge Rockwell in 1888 : 

"The Superior Court opened here this morning. Chief Justice 
Brigham presided at a memorial meeting of the Berkshire Bar in 
honor of the late Judge Julius Rockwell. There was a large at- 
tendance of lawyers, prominent citizens of the county and ladies. 
Attorney General Waterman offered resolutions adopted at a meet- 
ing of the Bar yesterday, gave a short sketch of Judge Rockwell's 
career and moved the adoption of the resolutions. Judge Tucker 
seconded the resolutions, and speeches were also made by the Hon. 
Marshall Wilcox, T. P. Pingree, Senator Dawes and Judge Brig- 
ham. The resolutions were ordered spread on the records of the 
court and as a mark of respect to Judge Rockwell's memory the 
court adjourned until to-morrow morning." 

William Rockwell was born in Sharon in 1804. Graduated 
at Yale College in 1822, and admitted to this Bar in 1824. Located 
in Brooklyn, N. Y. Was a Judge of the Superior Court of King's 

Alberto 1'. Roraback was born in Sheffield, Mass. in 1849. 
Acquiring a good academic education ; in 1872 began the study of 
law with Judge Donald J. Warner in Salisbury and was admitted to 
this Bar in 1872. He located at North Canaan and was for a 

: . ,^'i-^ 



quarter of a century a leader of the affairs of north western Con- 
necticut. From 1889 to 1893 he was the Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas for Litchfield County. In 1895 and 1896 lie repre- 
sented his town in the General Assembly, and in 1897 was appointed 
a Judge of the Superior Court. He was in 1907 promoted .by the 
Legislature to be a Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors to take 
effect in September, 1908. His picture is shown on page 133. 

J. Clixtox Roarback, a son of Judge A. T. ;Roarback was born 
in North Canaan. Graduated at Yale University and at the Yale 
Law School. Was admitted to this Bar in 1905. He resides and 
practices in Xorth Canaan. 

J. HuxRY RoARBACK was born in Sheffield, Mass. in 1870, and 
admitted to practice in 1892 at this Bar. He located at North 
Canaan in company with his brother Judge A. T. Roarback to whose 
law business he suceeded upon the latter's elevation to the bench in 
1897. He has been a very active politician, holding the position 
of a member of the Republican State Central Committee for several 
years. Is the Postmaster at North Canaan. He is also extensive- 
ly engaged in the lime. business of that region. 

WiLLARD A. RoRABACK was born in New Marlboro, Mass. March 
I2th, i860 and admitted to this Bar in 1883. Locating in Torring- 
ton, he has held many of the town offices, representing the town in 
the Legislature of 1895. Has been Judge of the Borough Court, 
and is now Judge of the Probate Court of that District. 

Elbbrt p. Roberts was born in Litchfield in 1863 and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1884. Resides and practices in Litchfield. He 
has a large real estate business, and has for many years been the 
Secretary of the Board of Education of Litchfield. 

WiLLi.vJi J. Roberts was born in New Milford and graduated in 
Yale College in 1859. During the War of the Rebellion he was a 
Captain of Company I, Eighth Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers. 
He was admitted to the Bar in 1866, and died in New Milford, June 
30, 1870. ■ 

WiLLi.Mi R. Rogers, of Georgia, a graduate of the Litchfield 
Law School, was admitted to this Bar in 1831. 

Samuel Rowland, admitted to this Bar in 1794, resided in Fair- 
field, Conn, and died there in 1837. 

PiiiLO RuGGLES was born in New Milford in 1765 and admitted 
to the Bar in 1791. Began practice in New Milford and then re- 
moved to Poughkeepsie, and afterwards to New York City where 
he died in 1829. 

John H. Russell, a native of Canaan, admitted to this Bar in 
1849 and settled in Salisbury. He devoted most of his time to 
farming. He died at Lakeville in 1871. 


Joseph Ryan, admitted to practice in 1858 from Norfolk, went 
to Illinois. 

Timothy Ryan, admitted in 1861 from Norfolk. Located in 

Thomas F. Ryan was born in Ireland, March 6, 1872. He was 
educated at St. Mary's College, Troy, N. Y. and graduated from 
Yale Law School in 1897, and was admitted to this Bar. He be- 
gan to practice at Torrington, but soon went to Tucson, Arizona, 
where he combined law and mining. He returned to Connecticut 
in 1901 and located in Litchfield in 1905. 

David C. Saneord, born in New Milford in 1798, was admitted 
to the Bar in Fairfield County in 18.20. He removed to Litchfield, 
where he practiced till 1832, when he went to Norwalk, but soon 
returned to New Milford, where he resided at the time of his death 
in 1864. In 1854 he was elected a Judge of the Superior Court, 
which office he held at the time of his decease. 

George A. Saneord, born in Simsbury, 1852 ; educated at Union 
College, was admitted to the Litchfield County Bar in 1903. He 
resides and practices at Winsted. Is an active member of the 
School Board of Winchester. 

RoEiviN Saneord was born in Cornwall, Vt. of Litchfield, Conn, 
ancestry. Graduated from Yale College in 183 1 and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1833. He abandoned the legal profession and en- 
gaged in the mercantile business in New York City, where he died, 
December 2, 1879. 

Henry Seymour Saneord died at his home in New Milford on 
Saturday November 2, 1901 at the age of 69 years. He was the 
son of the late Judge David C. Sanfor J and of Amelia S. (Seymour) 
Sanford, a member of the distinguished Seymour family of Litch- 
field. He was born in Norwalk, Conn., March i, 1832. He en- 
tered Yale College in 1848 and graduated in the class of 1852. He 
then took the two years' course at the Harvard Law School. After 
his admission to the Bar he spent one year in Washington, D. C, 
as private Secretary for Ex-Judge Seymour, then a member of Con- 
gress. Returning to New Milford, he became associated with his 
father in his well established law practice, and when his father was 
elevated to the supreme bench, the son carried on the practice with 

At the age of 29 years he met with a serious accident that dis- 
abled him physically for life, placing him at a great disadvantage 
when in the full strength of youth he was entering upon an un- 
usually promising career. But with remarkable pluck and bravery 
he rose superior to a misfortune which would have discouraged an 
ordinary man from attempting to do anything noteworthy, and for 
many years with rare perseverance and patience successfully pur- 




sued his chosen caUing, although unable to go about except in a 
wheel-chair, and what was more remarkable still, he retained his 
naturally high spirits and genial disposition. 

Mr. Sanford moved to Bridgeport in 1869 and was a well known 
attorney there for thirty years. He was at one time the leading 
lawyer of the Fairfield county Bar, and he was associated with or 
opposed to the foremost lawyers of his city and state in many im- 
portant cases, a number of which came before the Supreme Court. 
He was aggressive, able and brilliant as a lawyer and liked nothing- 
better than to cross swords with a foeman worthy of his steel. 

One of the last and most gracious acts of Mr. Sanford's life was 
to donate the rare and valuable collection of law books which had 
belonged to him and his distinguished father to the law library in 
New Milford for the use of the members of the L,itchfield County 
Bar which the two Sanfords, father and son, had both honorably 
and ably represented. 

Henry S. Sanford, a son of Henry Seymour Sanford, was born 
in Bridgeport August 5, 1873. Graduated from Yale Law School 
in 1895. He was admitted to the New Haven Bar in the same 
year, and admitted to the New York Bar in 1898. Practiced in 
New York until 1905. Soon after the decease of his father he re- 
moved to New Milford, where he now resides and practices. 

• :,. Albert Sedgwick was born in 

Cornwall in 1801. He held the 
office of Sheriff 1834 and 1835 
and also from 1838 to 1854 in 
which latter year he resigned the 
office, having been appointed 
School Fund Commissioner of 
Connecticut which office he held 
for twelve years during which 
time he resided in Hartford. He 
was an ardent and active poli- 
tician, with a genial pleasing way 
and won many voters to his side 
at the polls. He died in Litch- 
field at the residence of his 
daughter Mrs. Thomas M. Coe 
in 1878. He at one time was 
greatly interested in developing 
the mining of Nickel in the 
western part of Litchfield, but the opening of the civil war and dis- 
covery of the rich silver deposits in the great West ruined this 
industry in Connecticut. 


Frederick A. Scott, born in Plymouth in 1866, graduated from 
Yale 1889, from Yale L,aw School in 1891 and admitted to this Bar 
the same year. Resides at Terryville, practices at Hartford. Has 
been Clerk of the different branches of the General Assembly and 
in 1901 was Clerk of Bills in that body. Represents Plymouth in 
the General Assembly of 1909. 

Homer R. Scoville was born in Harwinton ini86s, graduated 
at Williams College in 1890, the New York Law School in 1892, 
and was admitted to that Bar the same year. After a few years 
practice in New York City, he removed to Torrington, Conn., and 
was admitted to this Bar in 1900. He is now in active practice in 

Charles F. Sedgwick. The following obituary of this distin- 
guished member of our Bar is taken from the Soth Conn. Reports, 
for which it was prepared by his colleague and friend Bro. Donald 
j. Warner: 

Charles F. Sedgwick was born in Cornwall, Litchfield County, 
Connecticut, Septemeber i, 1795. His grandfather Gen. John 
Sedgwick, was a major in the Revolutionary army, and a major- 
general of the State Militia. His ancestory is traced to Robert 
Sedgwick, one of Cromwell's Generals. 

He was a brother of the late Albert Sedgwick, and a cousin of 
the renowned Gen. John Sedgwick, of the Sixth Corps of the Army 
of the Potoma. 

After graduating at •Williams College, 1813, he took charge of 
an academy in Sharon, Conn, and at the same time studied law, and 
was admitted to this Bar in March, 1820. He immediately located 
in Sharon, and there continued in the practice of his profession, 
and ended there his life's work. 

He married Betsy, daughter of Judge Cyrus Swan, of Sharon, 
October 15, 1821. 

He was early a member of the Legislature in both branches, a Judge 
of the Court of Probate for the District of Sharon, and from 1856 
to 1874 was States Attorney for the county. 

He inherited and manifested a special admiration for military 
afifairs, and was appointed Brigadier General of the State Militia in 
1829, and afterwards Major General of the Third Military Division 
of the State. Physically, he was a remarkable man ; large, tall, and 
erect, his appearance in and out of the court room was attractive 
and commanding-. As a lawyer not arrogant, not brilliant, always 
counteous, a ready, fluent advocate, presenting his views of the case 
on trial with force and zeal, commanding the respect of the court 
and jury. 

In the discharge of his duty as a public prosecutor, the ad- 
ministration of his office was characterized by the application of the 
principle "that ninety-nine guilty persons should escape, rather than 


one innocent person should suffer." His habits were exemplary; 
tobacco and intoxicants in all their forms were to him abhorrent. 

The current events of the day were all noted by him, and he de- 
lighted in works of history, biography -and genealogy. His wonder- 
fully retentive memoiy, bodily vigor, and genial nature made him 
a delightful talker in the social circle, and eminently useful in fur- 
nishing information of and concerning persons and their affairs. If 
it became necessary to find a collateral or other heir to an estate, or 
to insert a branch in the genealogical tree of a family in Western 
Connecticut, Gen. Sedgwick was referred to as a living compen- 
dum of the required information, and his detailed reminiscences of 
the peculiarities and characteristics of persons always interested his 
hearers and often excited their merriment. 

His centennial address and history of the town of Sharon in 
1865, is a valuable depository of knowledge for the inhabitants of the 
town. He lived soberly, he waited for death calmly and died in 
communion with the Congregational Church at Sharon, March 9th, 
1882, in his 87th year. Picture on page 70. 

Edward Woodruff Seymour, a Judge of the Supreme Court of 
this State, died at Litchfield, on the i6th day of October, 1892. He 
was born at Litchfield, August 30th, 1832 the oldest son of Chief 
Justice Origen S. Seymour. His mother was a sister of George 
C. Woodruff, Esq., of Litchfield, a prominent lawyer there, and 
Judge Lewis B. Woodruff of New York. He graduaited at Yale 
in 1853, and was admitted to the Bar in Litchfield in 1856, where 
he continued to practice until 1875, when he removed to Bridgeport, 
and formed a partnership with his younger brother, Morris W. 
Seymour, with whom he was associated until 1889, when he was 
appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors. He was for 
several years Judge of Probate in the Litchfield district. He repre- 
sented Litchfield in the State Legislature in 1859-60-70-71, and was 
a member of the State Senate in 1876. He represented his district 
in Congress from 1882 to 1886. He was one of the representatives 
of the diocese of Connecticut in the general conventions of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. 

As a lawyer he was thorough, quick in perception, sound in re- 
flection, pleasing and effective in speech. He prepared his causes 
conscientously. His knowledge of men, his quick wit, his rare ap- 
prehension of humor and humorous things, his abounding good 
judgment, his intellectual alacrity in emergencies, and his courage 
in a crisis gave him a fine outfit for practice. He cross-examined 
a witness always with skill, and sometimes with genius. But no 
tempation to score a point ever led him into the petty tyranny of 
abusing a witness. He wore the golden rule on his heart and re- 
membered that the man in the witness box was a brother. 

As a Judge, without being hortatory he warmed his opinions 
with wholesome morals. Such ethics, for instance, as we find in 


the Opinion in Coupland vs. Houstonic Railroad Company, in the 
61 St Conn., make good reading. His career as a lawyer and Judge, 
strengthens our attachment to our profession which he adorned. 

Judge Sej'mour is mourned by the Bar and by the bench of the 
State with a common and tender grief. Years of closest intimacy 
bound many manly hearts to him with a love which may not be told, 
but which must be undying. His grave is the toinb of hope and 
promise and of a Hfe broken when it was strongest. He was buried 
in the afternoon of a gentle October day, when the sun shone' 
through the clouds and brightened the gold and scarlet and crimson 
of fading nature, and he was buried in love. 

From Henry C. Robinson's sketch in the 62d Conn. Reports. 


Yesterday morning, at Litchfield, there passed from week-day 
toil into Sunday rest, from work so consecrated that it was worship 
into eternal peace — as pure a soul, and as gentle, as ever parted from 
earth to enter heaven. One who speaks from a torn heart because 
he loved him living, and loved him dead; one who met him in de- 
lightful social intercourse four days last week, (the last time on 
Friday), in seeming health, full of Hfe and its interests, and to whom 
the telegram announcing his sudden death came with shocking 
agony, can neither be silent or speak with i calm, dispassionate 
utterance, in such an hour. Edward W. Seymour lies dead at the 
age of sixty, in the town in which he was born, and on the street 
where he has always lived. The oldest son of the late Chief Justice, 
Origen S. Seymour, he inherited the rare judicial temperament, the 
calm, candid, impartial judgment, the love of mercy-tempered jus- 
tice, so essentially characteristic of his father. Educated at Yale 
College, a graduate of the famous class of 1853, studying law in his 
father's office, entering into partnership with him, early and fre- 
quently called to represent his town, and later his senatorial district 
in the General Assembly, a useful member of Congress for four 
years, having in the meantime, by devotion to his profession, as well 
as by natural ability, become the acknowledged leader of the Bar in 
the two counties of Litchfield and Fairfield ; certainly it was the prin- 
ciple of natural selection which three years ago led to his choice as 
a member of our highest judicial tribunal — the Supreme Court of 
Errors of this State. While of his services upon that Court this is 
neither the time, or place, to speak with fullness, it has been the 
privilege of the writer to know them somewhat thoroughly, and be- 
cause of such knowledge he can the more truly bear witness to the 
rare spirit of fidelity to duty, to justice, to law, as a living, pervading 
and beneficent rule of action, with which, whether upon the bench 
listening to, and weighing the arguments and contentions of counsel, 
in private study, in the consultation room, or in the written opinions 



of the Court, which bear his name, the high duties of that great 
office have been sacredly discharged. When Chief-Justice Seymour 
died, Governor Richard D. Hubbard, in a public address, declared : 
"I think we can all say in very truth and soberness, and with nothing 
of extravagance in eulog}-, that we have just lost the foremost, un- 
deniably the foremost lawyer, and take him for all in all, the noblest 
citizen of our State." If it be too much to say this of a son, whose 
}ears were almost a score less than those of the father, surely it is 
not too much to affirm that never did son tread more worthily in the 
footsteps of an honored parent, and never did untimely death break 
truer promise than this which has deprived our State of those years 
of ripened usefulness, which would have made the career of the 
son as fruitful in honor, and all good, and good to all, as that of the 
sire. But God knows best, and doubtless what is, is for the best. 
Certainly to him who lies crowned with the beautiude of Christ, upon 
the pure in heart, it is well. — Augustus H. Fexn. 
Picture on page 130. 

MosES Seymour, Jr. 
was born in Litchfield on 
June 30th, 1774. He held 
the office of Sheriff from 
1819 to 1825. He gave 
little personal attention to 
it, being actively engaged 
in business, — and deputiz- 
ing his brother Ozias who 
was his deputy, to attend 
to the Court duties. He 
was for a while Postmaster 
at Litchfield. He gave the 
site on which the Court 
House is now located to the 
County to be used only for 
County purposes. He was 
a large landholder, and en- 
gaged largely in the ex- 
change and sale of real 
property. He died in Litchfield, May 8, 1826. (See Sedgwick's 

Origen S. Seymour, born in Litchfield February 9, 1804, grad- 
uated from Yale College in 1824, admitted to this Bar in 1826 and 
located in his native town in which he resided untd his decease, 
August 12, 1881. He frequently represented the town of Litch- 
field in the General Assembly and was elected Speaker of the House 
in 1850. In 1 85 1 he was elected to Congress and again m 1853. 
In 1855 he was elected one of the Judges of the Superior Court, 
which office he held eight years. In 1864 and 1865 he was nomi- 


nated for Governor by the Democratic Party. In 1870 he was 
elected a Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors and m 1873 was its 
Chief Justice, which office he held until retired by the Constitutional 
limitation of age in 1874. After his retirement he was engaged 
most of the time as a referee. The new code practice adopted by 
the Legislature in 1879 was prepared by a Commission over which 
he presided. He received the degree of L. L. D. from Trinity Col- 
lege in 1866 and from Yale, 1873. 

The obituary notice and tributes to his great worth published in 
the 48 Conn. Report are but faint expressions of the feelings -of all 
of the legal fraternity and leading citizens of the State of Connecti- 
cut regarding this distinguished member of our Bar. 

The following obituary notice was published by the New .Haven 
Register at the time of Judge Seymour's death : "This distinguislied 
citizen of Connecticut died at his home in Litchfield, this morning, 
after a comparatively brief illness, in his 78th year. Possessed of a 
fondness for study, he prepared for college, and entered Yale at the 
age of sixteen, graduating in the class of 1824. His chosen pro- 
fession was the law, and by his assiduity and natural gifts he speedi- 
ly arrived at the highest rank at the Bar. Though devoted to his 
profession he engaged astivily in politics, espousing the Democratic 
cause. He was a member of the House of Representatives of Con- 
necticut in 1842, 1843, 1849 and 1850, being Speaker in the latter 
year. In 1851 he was elected to Congress from the 4th District, 
and at the expiration of his term was re-elected. In 1855 he be- 
came a Judge of the Superior Court, continuing in office until 1863. 
In 1870 he was promoted to the Supreme Bench. He was Chief 
Justice from June 5, 1873, to February 9, 1874, when he became 
disqualified by reason of having reached the age of 70 years, and 
retired from the Bench, which he had greatly adorned. Upon his 
retirement from the Bench he resumed the practice of the law, be- 
_ ing consulted in a great number of important cases. He served on 
various State Commissions, one of which was that appointed to 
settle the disputed boundaries between New York and Connecticut. 
His most important recent public duty was that upon the commis- 
sion to revise the Civil Practice in the State courts. Of this com- 
mission he was the chief part, and the report adooted by the com- 
mission, of which he is the reputed author, was ratified by the Leeis- 
lature and is now the established law of the commonwealth. The 
series of brilliant lectures delivered by him before the 'Yale Law- 
School and members of the New Haven Bar. in advocacy of the 
adoption of the revised civil practice, had much to do with its final 
adoption. Though advanced in years he was elected a member of 
the House of Representatives of Connecticut in 1880, and was a con- 
trolling spirit in that body, although his usefulness was impaired 
latterly by ill health. 

Born of a family distinguished both in law and in politics. Judge 
Seymour was one of its most brilliant scions. He was a cousin of 


if*^' ^^(^ 


' ^!^K ;<mir 


Horatio Seymour of New York, a relative of Ex-Governor Thomas 
H. Seymour of Connecticut, .and leaves behind him two sons at the 
Bar, Morris W. Seymour of Bridgeport and Edward W. Seymour 
of Litchfield; another son, Rev. Storrs O. Seymour is a prominent 
Episcopal clergyman in Litchfield. In politics Judge Seymour was 
a consistent, unflinching and earnest democrat. In religion he was 
an Episcopalian, being a devout and devoted Churchman. 

While Judge Seymour was prominent in all the walks of life, 
whether in church affairs, politically or socially, he will be chiefly 
remembered as a great lawyer and a good man. By his cjualities of 
mind and training he was specially fitted to ornament the Bar. His 
intellect was clear and cloudless ; he grasped the salient points of a 
controversy with remarkable ease and quickness ; in statement he 
was luminous, perspicacious and strong. His style of oratory was 
simple unornamental but pelluicid and most convincing. Those who 
heard him argue a case were convinced in spite of themselves that 
Judge Seymour reasoned from internal conviction of the truth of 
liis cause and they felt that the argument flowed from his intellect 
as a logical sequence of established facts. Hence he was, while 
unrhetorical, a most persuasive speaker. By his death the Bar of 
the State loses its brightest luminary, his party an able and effective, 
advocate, the church a pious and noble member, and society 
one who was amiable, gentle and affectionate, and who loved 
mankind because he recognized in them something akin to divinity. 
A'^iewed in every aspect his death must be regarded as a public 
calamity. That he will rest in peace needs ho assurance. With 
such a noble life, such lofty aspirations, such a pure purpose, and 
with such noble fulfillments of the promises of his early manhood, 
he leaves behind him a record which, while it is the honor and glory 
of his family, is also a delight and blessing to the public. Judge 
Seymour was a good and great man. He needs no further eulogy. 

His portrait is on page 210. 

OziAS Seymour was born in Litchfield July 3, 1776, was a brother 
of Moses Seymour, Jr. He held the office of Sheriff from 1825, 
when he succeeded his brother in that office, to 1834. He was the 
father of the late Chief Justice Seymour. He died in Litchfield. 
His picture is included in the Seymour group. 

Morris W. SEviiouR, son of the late Chief Justice Origen S. 
Seymour and brother of the late Supreme Court Judge, Edward W. 
Seymour, was born in Litchfield in 1842, was a member of the class 
of 1866 Yale, graduated from Columbia Law School in 1868 and was 
at once admitted to the Litchfield County Bar. Mr. Seymour be- 
gan practice in Bridgeport and was soon elected successively city 
clerk, city attorney and corporation counsel. In i88r and 1882 he 
was a member of the State Senate and was chiefly instrumental in 
establishing the State Board of Pardons of which he has been for 
many years, a valued member. He has been lecturer on law at Yale 


University and has given especial attention to admirality and patent 
cases in the highest courts of the nation. Mr. Seymour's summer 
residence is at the old homestead in Litchfield. 

Origen Storrs Sbymgur, is a son of Morris W. Seymour, gradu- 
ated from Yale College in 1894 and from Yale Law School in 1896 
and was admitted to this Bar in 1896. Is in practice in New York 

Fraxk W. Seymour, born in Colebrook in 1871, graduated from 
Yale College in 1892 from Yale Law School in 1894, admitted to 
this Bar in 1894. Resides in Winsted and is Judge of the Win- 
chester Town Court, and Judge of Probate of that district. 

James P. ShEEEEy was born in Torrington in 1859 and admitted 
to this Bar in 1889. Resides and practices at Winsted. Has a 
large practice in Pension matters and Government claims. 

George F. Si-iEETon was a native of Southbury, but was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 185 1. He located at Seymour and soon be- 
came interested in extensive manufacturing operations in that town. 
He was very active in State Military matters and at one time held 
the office of Major General. He was also very prominent in politi- 
cal affairs. He died at Seymour, October 17, 1902. 

George F. Shei.ton was born in Southbury and graduated from 
Yale College in 1877. He studied law in Woodbury, and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1880. His professional life has been in the 
Western States very much interested in railroad litigation. He is 
now in practice in Butte, Montana, and is one of the counsel for 
Senator William A. Clark in his extensive mining industries. 

Stepi-iEK Si-iELTON was admitted to this Bar in 181 1 from 

Daniel Sherman, of Woodbury, born August 14, 1721, was 
perhaps the most distinguished man that had arisen in the town 
previous to his day. He was a descendant of Samuel Sherman, of 
Stratford who emigrated to this country from England, in company 
with his brother, Rev. John Sherman, and his nephew, Capt. John 
Sherman, ancestor of Hon. Roger Sherman. He was a justice of 
the quorum for twenty-five years, a Judge of the Litchfield County 
Court for five years from 1786. For sixteen years he was Probate 
Clerk for the district of Woodbury, and Judge of that district for 
thirty-seven years. He represented his native town in the General 
Assembly sixty-five sessions, retaining the unbounded confidence 
of his fellow-citizens. This was by far the longest period of time 
any one has ever represented the town. He was a member of the 
Council of Safety from 1777 to 1781. He was a man of command- 
ing powers of mind, of sterling integrity, ^nd every way qualified 
for the various public trusts confided to his care. He died at Wood- 
bury, July 2, 1799, full of honors, and was followed by the afifec- 





7 . ^,-) »;' • 

■ S^HMfflJ fori ■■J-h<f<*rJ^ 4ki^ ^1^ 


^S'l^i^-i^'tr^^/: .^jf^^e^.W^ ^J<il,^UK-'}l/iit tf'^'^ -^H ^foL_— . 

Ly vy \j y> 

-- / 

f ^^ 


Reduced Facsimile of Layout of Land by Roger Sherman. 
Complimenls of D. C. Kilbourn. Insert in Bench and Bar Book,, 


tionate recollections of the inhabitants of the town among whom 
he had so long lived. (History of Woodbury). He was the an- 
cestor of ]Major-General William T. Sherman, and of Hon. John 
Sherman, !\I. C. 

Roger Shermax, a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 
1776, was born in Massachusetts, and came to New Milford in 1750. 
He was admitted to this Bar in 1754 and in 1761 removed to New 
Haven where he lived until his death, July 23, 1793. See article on 
Signers of the Declaration, page 172. 

Oliver Skixxer, born in Litchfield July i8, 1782, and admitted 
to this Bar in 1803. 

Richard Skixxer, LL. D. was born in Litchfield May 30th, 
1778, the son of General Timothy Skinner and Susannah Marsh, 
his wife. He was admitted to the Bar in 1800, and removed to 
Manchester, At. 

At the deidcation of the Mark Skinner Library in that town 
July 7, 1897, the following sketch of Richard Skinner was given by 
his townsman. Judge Loveland Munson : "It was in the year 1800 
that Richard Skinner, then 22 years of age, and fresh from the 
Litchfield Law School, became a resident of JManchester and com- 
menced the practice of his profession. He was appointed State's 
Attorney for Bennington County in the second year of his practice, 
was elected Judge of Probate for the District' of Manchester five 
years later, and was continued in those offices until called to more 
important fields of service. He was a member of Congress from 
1813 to 181 5, three times chosen Governor of the State, a Judge of 
the Supreme Court of the State for eight years, the first Chief Judge 
of the Court as now organized. The esteem in which he was held 
is sufficiently attested by the fact that for twenty-eight years, and 
until his voluntary retirement, he was continuously in the public 
service." His death occurred in Manchester May 23, 1833. 

Roger Skixxer was a brother of Richard Skinner, and was 
torn in Litchfield June 10, 1773, and admitted to the Bar in 1793. 
He began practice in Litchfield but removed to the State of New 
York. He was Judge of the United States Court in the Northern 
District of that State. 

Roger S. Skixxer graduate from Yale College in 1813 and was 
admitted to this Bar in 1816. 

Barzillai Slossox graduated from Yale College in 1791, was 
admitted to the Fairfield County Bar in 1793, and settled in Kent, 
where he died in 1843. (See Boardman's Sketches). 

JoHX Seosson, a son of the foregoing was admitted to this Bar 
in 1801. Resided in Kent where he was a prosperous merchant. 

William Slossox was admitted to this Bar in 1800 from Kent. 



Aaron Smith was a son of Gen. David Smith of Plymouth, grad- 
uated at Yale in 1790, studied at Reeves Law School and was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1793. In 1809 he located in Litchfield, where 
he held many official positions and died there in 1834. 

ChauncEy Smith, was a lawyer in Sharon in 1819, 1820. 
(Conn Reg.) 

Erastus Smith of Plymouth was admitted to this Bar in 1828,. 
and located in Hartford about 1833 and practiced there for forty 
years. He died in 1878. 

James W. SiiiTi-i admitted to this Bar in 1884. He went to- 
Kansas and practiced a few years and in 1895 returned to Winsted 
where he is now in practice. 

Johx Cotton Smith, born 
in Sharon February, 12, 1765,. 
graduated from Yale in 1783, 
admitted to this Bar in 1786. 
He located in his native town 
where he died December 7th, 
1845. His whole life was one 
\ ^^^^W^A, 'j^^H continual employment in pub- 

" ""••"• lie official capacity, was rep- 

pesentative in Congress four 
terms ; Judge of the Superior 
and Supreme Courts of Con- 
necticut ; Governor of Con- 
necticut 1813 to 1817. It is 
impossible in this brief state- 
ment to mention all of his other positions. A memorial biography 
of his life was published. See Boardman's Early Lights. 

John Cotton Smith, Jr., born in Tivoli, X. Y., graduated from- 
Yale in 1830, admitted to the Bar in 1832. He resided in Sharon 
and is known much better as a politician than lawyer. He held a 
very influential position in the Democratic party for many years. 
He died at Sharon, November 21, 1879, aged 68 years. 

Joseph L: Smith, born in New Britain, Conn., May 28, 1776, 
located in Litchfield about 1802, where he practiced until the war 
of 1812. He married one of Ephriam Kirby's daughters. In con- 
sequence of the active part he took in the 6th of August Festival 
1806, he lost most of his practice. He was appointed by the ad- 
ministration a Major in the war of 1812, remaining in service till 
1818, when he removed to Florida. From 1823 to 1827 he was 
a Judge of the United States District Court for Florida. He died 
at St. Augustine May 24, 1846. Gen. Ephriam Kirby Smith who- 
was the last Confederate General to surrender his command was a 
descendant of the above. 


Juxius Smith was a son of Gen. David Smith and a brother of 
Aaron Smith, born in Plymouth October 2, 1780. He graduated 
at Yale College in 1802, and then attended the Litchfield Law 
School, and was admitted to the Bar and began his practice in 
New Haven, but soon became interested in mercantile business 
which necessitated his removal in 1805 "to London, England, and 
in which he was engaged until about 1832. 

During this period Robert Fulton had demonstrated the practic- 
ability of using steam for propelling vessels and Smith conceived 
the idea that steam could be used in Ocean Navigation. It was a 
preposterous scheme at that time. The little boats would move on 
narrow rivers outside of waves and winds but on the broad bosom 
of the ocean Neptune's power could not be withstood, and Smith's 
efforts were laughed at as fancies of an idle dreamer. He per- 
severed, however, after many rebuffs both in England and America 
some of which were strangely laughable ; he succeeded in chartering 
a trial vessel but no one would take any stock in his building one. 
After six years the Sirius- a small craft of seven hundred tons 
steamed out of the harbor of Cork on April 4, 1838, bound for 
America or as the papers of the day had it for destruction, but in 
nineteen days steamed into the bay of New York. 

The arrival of this craft under steam in New York opened the 
new era of commerce and it was not long before a company' was. 
formed and a new steamship called the British Queen was built 
and soon Smith received great honors, Yale College adding an L. 
L. D. to his name. 

He subsequently bought a plantation in South Carolina and be- 
gan the culture of the tea plant which he imported from China, and 
proved the possibility of growing it successfully in the United States. 

Nathaniel Siiith was born in 1762, within the limits of the 
present town of Washington, then a part of 'Woodbury. He com- 
menced life a farmer and cattle dealer, with scarcely the advantages 
of a common education. Such, however, was the impulse of hiff 
powers, he surmounted all obstacles. Studied law with Ephraim 
Kirby and Judge Reeve, at Litchfield, and was admitted to the Bar- 
in that county in 1787. He commenced the practice of law at 
Woodbury and rose more rapidly to the highest grade of his pro- 
fession than almost any other man has done. His powers of 
thought and elocution gave him almost unlimited dominion over his 
audience. He was a member of the House of Representatives in 
the State Legislature October 1789, October 1791, May 1792, Oc- 
tober 1794 and Mav 1795. In 1797 he was elected a representative 
from this State in the Congress of the United States. Having- 
served in that capacity two terms he declined a re-election in 1801. 
In 1802, he was elected to the Council or Upper House of the 
Legislature of this State ; a situation he resigned in 1804. In 1805, 
he was appointed States Attorney for the County of Litchfield, and 


Judge of the Supreme Court, in October, 1806. In the latter of- 
fice he contmued until 1819. He died March 8th, 1822. 

NathanEl B. Smith^ born in Woodbury December 1795, gradu- 
ated from Yale College in 1815 and admitted to this Bar in 1818. 
He began practice at New Haven but soon removed to Woodbury. 
He continued in practice only a few years. He died in Woodbury. 

Col. Natitanbl Smith, a son of Nathaniel B. Smith, born in 
Woodbury in 1831, admitted to the Bar. Never engaged in the 
practice of law and during the rebellion was appointed Major of 
the 19th Conn. Infantry and was promoted to be its Lrieutenant 
Colonel, resigning therefrom for disability May 6, 1864. He died 
at Woodbury August 26, 1877. 

Nathan SiiiTii was born in Roxbury in 1770 and was admitted 
to this Bar in 1792 and located in New Haven. He became one of 
the most celebrated lawyers in the State, and had a very extensive 
business. He was United States Senator and died while holding 
that position in the City of Washington, December 6, 1835. 

Perry Smith was born in Washington, Conn., studied law at 
the Litchfield L,aw School and was admitted' to the Bar in 1807 and 
settled in New Milford, where he died in 1852. He was a United 
States Senator for six years from March 4, 1837. 

Phineas Smith, Jr. was a younger brother of Hon. Truman 
Smith, born in Roxbury, graduated from Yale College in 1816, ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 181 8 and removed to Vermont, where he died. 

Richard Smith was born in Roxbury in 1769, graduated from 
Yale College in 1797, admitted to this Bar in 1801 and died in 1805. 

Richard Smith, a native of Sharon graduated from Yale Col- 
lege in 1825, admitted to the Bar in 1830, died in Sharon, December 
21, 1878, aged 76. 

Truman Smith was a son of Phineas and Deborah Ann (Jud- 
•son) Smith and was born in Roxbury, Conn, on the 27th of Novem- 
ber, 1 79 1. 

Mr. Smith graduated at Yale College in the class of 181 5, was 
admitted to the Bar in 1818, -and located in Litchfield where he re- 
sided until 1854 when he removed to Stamford, residing there until 
bis death. May 3rd, 1885. 

Two of his uncles, Nathaniel Smith and Nathan Smith had at- 
tained fame and rank at the Bar and in public life, and it seems 
natural that Truman Smith should be a successful pTactioner and 
be honored with many political offices. He was a member of the 
State Legislature in 1831, 1832, and 1834. He was a member of 
the 26th and 27th Congress (1839-43) for the 5th District and of 
the 29th and 30th (1845 to 1849) for the 4th District. He was 


chairman of the National Committee in the Taylor campagin and 
offered a seat in the Cabinet which he declined. From 1849 to ^^54 
he was a member of the U. S. Senate. This honor he resigned and 
opened an office in the city of New York, and continued in practice 
there until the i6th day of May, 1871, when he handed over all his 
business to a younger lawyer, Cephas Brainerd, retaining in his own 
hands but two cases, known as the Lockwood and the Humaston 

President Lincoln appointed Mr. Smith Judge on the part of the 
United States of the Mixed Court at New York, established under 
the treaty of 7th of April, 1862, with Great Britain, and he held that 
position until the abrogation of the treaty in 1870. 

At the Litchfield School where he acquired the preliminary 
knowledge of his profession, he was under the instruction of Tap- 
ping Reeve and James Gould ; and among his fellow students were 
John M. Clayton of Deleware and John Y. Mason of Virginia. 

Upon entering Congress, Mr. Smith at once took a prominent 
position. He was a member of the Committee to which were finally 
referred some of the questions arising in regard to the famous New 
Jersey Election case and he drafted the minority report upon that 
case. This the majority in Congress- refused to print, but it was 
printed in New Jersey and largely circulated. His associates in the 
minority report were Millard Fillmore, John Minor Botts and Ben- 
jamin Randall. The discussion was conducted with the greatest 
acrimony and John Quincy Adams in his Diary says, "Mr. Smith 
made a speech of three hours in answer to Fisher's most disingenuous 

It was \lr. Smith's habit all through his Congressional career 
to discuss in cxfcnso some of the more important measures pending 
in the various sessions, and these speeches he always circulated 
among his constituents, his feeling being that they ought to know 
from the printed speeches as well as from the votes of their repre- 
sentatives what they were actually doing and saying in Congress. 

Mr. Smith was deeply interested in legislation looking to the 
improvement of the means of communication in the country, hence 
he was exceedingly active in regard to the construction of the Sault 
Ste. Marie canal. Perhaps it may be safely said that the initiation 
and construction of the canal was more due to him than to any other 
one person. One of his last speeches in the Senate was in advocacy 
of a railroad and telegraph line connecting the two oceans. 

Shortly before he resigned from the Senate he made his speech 
famous at that time and since, in reply to Douglas and against the 
repeal of the Missouri Compromise. 

Mr. Smith came to New York at the age of sixty-three, probably 
too late in life to attain at that Bar a success correspondent to his 
talents and learning. The most important case which he conducted 
there was Lockzvood vs. The N. Y. Central Railroad which is re- 
ported in 17 Wall. 321. The question presented was whether it 


was competent for a common carrier to secure exemption from 
liability for negligence by a stipulation in a ticket to that effect. The 
particular action was in favor of a drover who was taking cattle 
■over the road under what was called a drover's pass. The courts 
of New York had decided in favor of the exemption. Mr. Smith's 
action was brought in the United States Circuit Court and Mr. 
justice Smalley overruled the defense and the jury returned a ver- 
dict for $25,000. This verdict was set aside by Mr. Justice Nelson 
on appeal as excessive. The case came on for a second trial before 
Mr. Justice Woodruff who also overruled the defense and the jury 
found a verdict for $17,500. 

The case was then taken to the Supreme Court of the United 
States. and argued on the 15th and i6th of January, 1873. Mr. 
Smith attended upon this argument and opened the case in an ad- 
dress of an hour on behalf of the respondent. He argued the case 
upon a most elaborate brief which examined all the authorities bear- 
ing upon the question and it was most carefully reasoned. The 
Supreme Court, speaking by Mr. Justice Bradley, sustained the 
judgment below and a most elaborate opinion was written; in fact 
this is the leading case upon the subject in this country today. 

The other case which Mr. Smith retained in his hands, the 
Humaston case, was tried before a jury, beginning on November 
15th, 1871 and continuing for thirteen days. This suit was against 
the Western Union Telegraph Company. Mr. Smith had as his 
opponents John K. Porter, George Gifford, Grosvenor P. Lowry and 
Charles Francis Stone. It involved first, a very important question 
respecting the interpretation of the contract between the parties 
and, secondly, the value of the inventions under discussion over and 
above the cash which had already been paid upon them. Mr. Smith 
opened the case in an address of two hours in which he explained in 
■detail the various inventions for the transmission of messages by 
telegraph and the case proceeded. Mr. Smith was alone in the case 
save only a young assistant whose chief business was to read papers 
and extracts from authorities. 

During the progress of the case the question of the construction 
■of the instument arose and was argued at length, Mr. Smith occu- 
pying practically an entire day, under the suggestions of the pre- 
siding Justice, in developing his view of the case. The presiding 
Justice afterwards remarked that considering Mr. Smith's age, it 
was the most remarkable exhibition of physical and mental power 
he had ever witnessed. The case was closed and the jury went out 
about six o'clock on the 13th clay of the trial, Judge Porter having 
occupied the first part of the day in summing up for the defense and 
Mr. Smith the latter part in summing up for the plaintiff. The jury 
found a moderate verdict in favor of the plaintiff for '$7,500. 

The Humaston was a remarkable case in that Mr. Smith, who 
became eighty during the trial, was able to stand that amount of 
work without exhibiting any diminution of force at any time during 


the trial. That case also went to the Supreme Court of the United 
States and was argued there on the 30th of JNIarch, 1874, Mr. Smith 
closing the argument. That court however sustained the ruling of 
Judge Woodruff on the interpretation of the contract, and defeated 
i\'Ir. Smith. 

Air. Smith was very effective before juries, his commanding 
presence and voice, his great moral force, his readiness in retort, 
his wit, his courage and his capacity as an actor and his elaborate 
preparation made him a very dangerous adversary. 

Always a believer in the essential doctrines of Christianity, as 
taught in the churches of New England, late in life he became a 
communicant in the Presbyterian Church of Stamford. 

Wellixgtox B. Smith, born in New Hartford June 3, 1856, 
was admitted to practice at this Bar in 1877. He resides and prac- 
tices in Winsted, Conn. He was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention in 1902. He was for many years a prosecuting agent 
for Litchfield County engaged in the suppression of the illegal sale 
of intoxicating liquor and was the moving spirit of the liquor trials 
a brief account of which can be found on page 155. He has repre- 
sented the town of Winchester in the Legislature and was on 
Governor Chamberlain's Staff as Judge Advocate holding the rank 
of Colonel. His portrait appears on page 158. 

Samuel J. Southmayd, a native of Watertown studied in the 
Litchfield Law School and admitted to the Bar in 1795. Practiced 
in Watertown, where he died in 1813. (See Boardman's Sketches.) 

Le^iax B. SpraguE was a native of Salisbury and was admitted 
to the Bar in 1841. He soon after located in Woodbury and died 
there August, 1845. 

RuFus StaxeEy, of Litchfield, admitted in 1790. 

Seth p. Staples, graduated from Yale in 1797, admitted to this 
Bar in 1799, located in New Haven, .where he died in 1861. 

Daxiel Starr, born in New Milford, admitted to the Bar in 1800. 
Died May i, 1826. 

AxsEL Stereixg,, born in Lyme, 1782, admitted to this Bar in 
1805, located in Sharon in 1808, where he died November 6, 1853. 
(See Sedgwick's Address). 

Elisha Sterlixg, born in Lyme, graduated from Yale in 1787, 
admitted to the Bar in 1790, in the following year located in Salis- 
bury, where he lived until his death in 1836. (See Boardman's 

John M. Sterlixg, son of Gen. EHsha Sterling, born 1800, in 
Sahsbury, graduated at Yale in 1820. Admitted to the Bar in 1823. 


In 1827 he removed to Cleveland, Ohio. Was a noted anti-slavery 
reformer. He died in Philadelphia in 1880. 

Henry W. Stevens,, admitted to the Bar in 181 1 from Canaan. 

James Stevens, born in Stamford in 1768, admitted to this Bar 
in 1797, located in his native town where he held many public of- 
fices and was elected to the i6th Congress. Died April 4, 1835. 

Benjamin StilES, a native of Southbury, graduated from Yale 
in 1740. Practiced law in his native town of Southbury. 

Benjamin Stiles, Jr. was born in Southbury, August 28, 1756, 
graduated from Yale College in 1776, was admitted to this Bar in 
1781, and practiced in Woodbury, having a very large office practice. 
He died July 12, 1817. 

Eliakim S. Stoddard, Jr., admitted to the Bar in 1847 from 
Sharon. Died in Sharon May 14, 1865, aged 42 years. 

Henry Stoddard was a native of Woodbury and born in 1786. 
He was admitted to this Bar in 181 5, and began to practice in Kent. 
In 1818 he left Kent and went "west" with George B. Holt of 
Norfolk, a young member of this 'Bar who became so distinguished 
in his later years in Ohio. They journeyed on horseback till they 
reached Dayton, Ohio, then a little village of five or six hundred 
inhabitants. Here they located. Holt to become an honored Judge 
and citizen, and Stoddard a millionare. 

RoBBiNS Batteee StoEckEE of Norfolk was born in New Haven 
in 1872, fitted for college at Hopkins Grammar School, graduated 
from Yale with honors in class of 1893 and Columbia Law School 
two years later being admitted to the Litchfield Bar in 1896. Mr. 
Stoeckel resides and practices in Norfolk where he has been Judge 
of Probate for several years. 

Col. Adonijah Strong, Judge Church says, "He was unique in 
genius and manner, of large professional business, sound practical 
sense and many anecdotes of his sayings and doings are still re- 
membered and reported in the County." 

The following vote appears upon the Bar Record : "At a Bar 
meeting Deer. Term 1804 the following resolution was passed unan- 
imously viz. That Adonijah Strong, Esc|r. on account of his great 
emminence as a lawyer and eloquence as an advocate be considered 
as a member of this Bar for the purpose of instructing students, 
although he shall not continue to practice. Attest Amos Benedict, 
Clerk." (See Warner's Reminiscences.) 

John Strong, Jr., born in Woodbury December 31, 1786, gradu- 
ated from Yale College in 1806 and admitted to this Bar in 1808. 
He opened an office in Woodbury and continued in the active dis- 
charge of his professional duties till his death in November, 1834. 



Few men have occupied a higher place in the confidence and af- 
fections of the communit}-. Was Judge of Probate and represented 
the town in the General Assembly a number of years. 

JedEdiah Stroxg, born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1738, grad- 
ated from Yale College in 1761. He represented his town in the 
General Court for thirty sessions. Was a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress and Secretary of the Convention which adopted 
the Constitution of the United States. He died in Litchfield in 1802. 

;Martix Stroxg, a son of Col. Adonijah Strong, admitted to 
this .Bar in 1801 and located in Salisbury. He was Judge of the 
County Court and one of its most active magistrates, (^ee Sedg- 
wick's Address). 

TiiEROX R. Stroxg was a son of Hon. Alartin Strong, born in 
Salisbury in 1802, admitted to this Bar in 1823. He located at 
Rochester, X. Y. He was a member of Congress in 1839 and a 
Judge of the Supreme Court of New York, 185 1 to 1858, and after- 
wards a Judge of the Court of Appeals. He died in Xew York 
City, 1873. 

CvRCS SwAX was a native of Stonnington, studied in the Litch- 
field Law School and admitted to the Bar in 1798. He settled in 
Sharon and died there in 1835, aged 65. ((See Sedgwick's Ad- 

Bexjamix Swift, admitted to the Bar in 1802. 

HuiiAX Swift, admitted to the Bar in 1819 from Kent. 

iNIiLTox- H. SaviFT, a native of Kent, admitted to the Bar in 1838. 
Removed to Ottawa, Illinois. 

JabFz Swift, Judge Church says of him, "He was the first law- 
yer ever settled in Salisbury and was a native of Kent. He built 
the stone house of Town Hill. Upon the breaking out of the war 
of the Revolution he joined the army m Boston and there died." 

Georgf E. Taft, born in Sheffield, Mass. November 4th, 1854, 
admitted to this Bar in 1883 and soon after located at Unionville in 
Hartford County, where he is now in practice. Has been a member 
of the School Board there and Judge of Probate. 

Robert S. Ti-iarex was born in Lebanon in 1714 and upon the 
formation of the County in 175 1 was in practice at New Milford. 
He died January 9th, 1786. (See Boardman's Sketches). 

Joiix Q. Thayer was admitted to this Bar in 1869 and after 
practicing a short time in New Milford he removed to Meriden, 
Conn., where he is now in practice. He served four years in the 
Civil War, 1861, and in 1899 '^^^ Judge Advocate of the Depart- 
ment of Connecticut G. A. R. 


James Thompson was born in Woodbury, March 4, 1767, gradu- 
ated from Yale College, 1789, and was admitted to this Bar in 1791. 
He settled at New Durham, N. Y. About 1800 he left hii profession 
and entered the Episcopal Ministry. He died August 18, 1844. 

JuDSON B. Thompson^ admitted tothe Bar in 181 1. 

HezEkiah Thompson was born in New Haven in 1734, studied 
law in Stratford, and was admitted to the Bar in Litchfield in 1763. 
He located in Woodbury. Died May 1803. "He stood well as a 
lawyer and magistrate, and was a gentleman of the old school." 6th 
Conn. Reports. 

Martin H. Thomas, admitted to the Bar in 1808 from Salisbury. 

JuDSON B. Thomas was in 1810 in Colebrook. Admitted to the 
Bar in 1808 from Salisbury. 

F. R. TiEFANY, admitted to the Bar in 1879. 

George Tod, graduated from Yale College in 1795 and admitted 
to the Bar in 1797. 

Oliver A. G. Todd, born in Plymouth October 1812, admitted 
to the Bar in 1833, practiced law in Waterbury, Litchfield, New Mil- 
ford and Danbury in which latter city he died August 14, 1886. 

David ToLiiAX, admitted to this Bar in 1792 from Woodbury. 

Uriah Tracy, appointed States Attorney, 1794 to 1800. He 
was born in Franklin, (now Norwich), Conn., February 2, 1755, 
and graduated at Yale College in 1778, and read law with Judge 
Reeve at Litchfield, where he was admitted to the Bar in 1780, and 
settled in that town where he rose to a high eminence in his pro- 
fession. He was very largely engaged in duties of a public nature, 
and often represented his adopted town in the Legislature, and was 
Speaker of the House in 1793. Was a representative in Congress 
from 1793 to 1796, when he entered the Senate and was a member 
until his death in 1807, serving part of the time as President pro 
tciii. He died at Washington, D. C. July 19, 1807, and was the 
first person buried in the Congressional burying ground. 

Amos S. Treat, born in Bridgewater, February 5, 1816, ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1843, practiced in Fairfield County and died 
at Bridgeport April 24, 1886. 

Selah B. Treat, D. D., born in Hartford Februarv 19, 1804, 
graduated at Yale 1824, admitted to this Bar in 1826. Practiced at 
East Windsor and Penn Yan. New York. In 1835 he entered the 
ministry and was Secretary of the American Board of Commission- 
ers for Foreign Missions many vears. Died at Boston, March 28th, 



Frank H. Turkixgtox, the present Sheriff of the County, was 
born Jn Morris, then a part of Litchfield, June 11, 1854. Receiving 
a common school education, he associated with his father in an ex- 
tensive cattle and stock buying business, and butchering for the 
wholesale trade at East Alorris, carrying their meats, mostly by 
teams to Waterbury, Conn. He was very much interested in politi- 
cal affairs, and represented his town in the Legislature twice — al- 
though he was a Republican in a strong Democratic town. In 1906 
he was elected Sheriff. He is also a farmer on a large scale, owning 
more arable land which he successfully cultivates than any other 
person in Litchfield County. 

JoHX S. TuRRiLL was born February 8, 1825, attended Law 
School at Balston Springs, N. Y. and was admitted to this Bar in 
1851. Located in New Milford, enjoying a large practice until his 
death, July 19, 1889. He was one of the Committee who prepared 
the Revision of the Statutes of 1875. 

Stephen" Twining, graduated at Yale College in 1795, was ad- 
mitted to this Bar in 1797, located at Xew Haven, where he died in 
1832. He was Steward of Yale College from 1819 to 1832. 

Charles Tuttle, admitte'd to the Bar in 1856 from North Cole- 

Noah Wadi-ia3is, a native of Goshen, studied law at Litchfield 
Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 1793. Removed to 
Pennsylvania and was admitted to .the Bar of Luzerne County, Pa. 
in 1800. 

Albert WADii.viis, born in Alassachusetts June 19, 1819, gradu- 
ated at Norwich University, Vermont, and was admitted to the New 
York Bar. Removed to Goshen and began the practice of law 
about 1865. He died in Goshen, J\'Iay 1884. 

George Wadsworth, born in Litchfield, was admitted to this 
Bar in 1851. He located in Buffalo, N. Y., where he died March 19, 
1907, aged 77 . 

Frederick T. Wallace, admitted' to the Bar in 1844. 

Thomas J. Wall, born in Torrington, February 19, 1879. Grad- 
uated at Yale Law School and was admitted to this Bar, June 26, 
1906. Practices in Torrington, and he writes me that he is kept very 
busy between law-book agents and mercantile collection agencies. 

Arthur D. Warner, born in Southbury August 2, 1848, ad- 
mitted to this Bar April 1872. After eleven years practice at West 
Cornwall he removed to Woodburv, where he is now m practice. 
He was Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for this County one 
term of four rears. 


Donald J. Warner, born in Salisbury September 15, 1819, was 
admitted to this Bar in 1843, settled at Salisbury, where he de- 
ceased May 31, 1904. He was Judge of the District Court and 
Court of Common Pleas eight years, and until he was retired by 
reason of Constitutional limitation of age. His adress on the oc- 
casion of the Centenial Celebration in Litchfield 1898, was exceed- 
ingly interesting and a considerable portion of it is included in this 

Donald J. Warner, son of Donald T. Warner, and grandson of 
Judge Donald W.arner, was born in Salisbury'July 24, 1885. Grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1905, and from the Law School 1908, when 
he was admitted to this Bar. 

Donald T. Warxer, son of Judge Donald J. Warner, was born 
in Salisbury December 15, 1850. Was admitted to the Bar in 1873. 
He resides in Salisbury, and has held the office of States Attorney 
since 1896. In 1902 he was a leading member of the Constitutional 
Convention of Connecticut. He was a member of the State Senate 
in 1895 and 1897, in which latter year he was chairman of the 
Judiciary Committee. 

Lyjian F. Warner, a native of Roxbury, admitted to the Bar 
in 1848 and removed west. 

Milton J. Warner was born in Salisbury, graduated from Wil- 
liams College, was admitted to this Bar September, 1867, and located 
at Waverly, X. Y. Afterwards removed to Santa Fe, New Mexico, 
wher he died. 

Thomas G. Waterman, a native of Salisbury studied law with 
Gen. Elisha Sterling and was admitted to this Bar in 1809. He be- 
came a prominent member of the Bar in Binghamton, N Y., where 
he died in 1861. Author of Waterman's Digests. 

Douglass Watson, born May 12, 1821 at Canaan, admitted to 
the Bar in 1845. 

D.\NiEL F. Webster, born in Litchfield March 14, i8^^. gradu- 
atecl from Dartmouth College in 1874 and admitted to this Bar in 
1876. Located and practiced in Waterbury until his death in 1896. 

Frederick C. Webster, born in Litchfield October 17 i8so 
Graduated from Yale College in 1874 and was admitted to the Bar 
in 1876. Practiced law in Litchfield a short time, then removed 
to the West. He resides at Missoula, Montana, of which city he has 
been Mayor. He is now a Judge of one of the Districts of that 

Gideon H. Welch, born at East Haddam, Conn., Seotember -^^ 
1844^ Graduated at Yale College 1868, and from Yale Law School 
in 1870, and immediately located at Torrington, succeedino- the late 




Henry S. Bai-bour, Esq. He had a lucrative practice, and held 
numerous town offices and represented the town in the General As 
sembly in 1881 and the District in the State Senate in 1897. In 1897 
upon the appointment of Judge Roraback to the Superior Court 
he was appointed by the Governor, Judge of the Court of Common 
Pleas, which action the Legislature confirmed for another term of 
four years, and is now (1907) in office. Picture on page 141. 

Ralph Wells, admitted in 1813 from Hartford. 

Resides in Omaha,. 

Fraxcis W. Wessells, admitted in 1870. 

Samuel Wetjiore, admitted in 1803. 

N. Wetjiore, admitted in 1808. 

LeverETTE \\'. Wessells 
was born in Litchfield in 
1 819. Held the office of 
Sheriff for twelve years 
from 1854 to 1866, succeed- 
ing Hon. Albert Sedgwick, 
under whom he was a Dep- 
uty SheriflF for nine years. 
Was Post Master of Litch- 
field, 1850 to 1854, a repre- 
sentative in the General 
Assembly in 1879 and again 
in 1887, was Quarter ]\Ias- 
ter General of the State in 
1879 and 1880. In 1862 he 
was commissioned a Col- 
onel b}' Governor Bucking- 
ham and by his skillful 
management organized the 

i 19th Infantry Regiment, 

afterwards the 2nd Connec- 
ticut Heavy Artillery. This was a Litchfield County Regiment and 
won a leading record for its valor in the war of the Rebellion.! Col- 
onel Wessells resigned his commission by reason of ill health in 1863 
and was immediately appointed Provost Marshall of the Fourth 
District of Connecticut which office he held until the close of the 
Rebellion. "To his old friends in the Commonwealth and beyond 
its limits the thought that they are to see his face no more must 
needs be a sad one : but to him the end came as a happy release from 
the house of pain. He had lived beyond all expectation and filled 
the measure of his years, had done a man's work in the world, and 
long since assured for himself an honorable place in the remembrance 
of his town and State." He died at Dover, Del. April 4th, 1895. 


George Wheaton, of Cornwall, — The following is the notice of 
his death from a county newspaper : 

"George Wheaton, Esq., the oldest and one of the most respected 
memberi of the Litchfield County Bar, died at his residence in Corn- 
wall, on Friday evening, Nov. 24th, 1865. He was born in East 
Haven in 1790, and was, therefore, in his 76th year. He removed 
to Salisbury about 1810 where he studied law with Judge Church, 
then a practicing lawyer. He was admitted to the Bar in 1813, when 
he made Cornwall his place of residence. Mr. Wheaton was a well- 
read, exact lawyer, a prudent business man, and a close reasoner. 
He was a valuable man in town affairs, and enjoyed the respect and 
confidence of his fellow-citizens. He had long been a member of 
the Congregational Church, and he was known and beloved as a' 
consistent Christian. His funeral was attended at Cornwall last 
Sunday by a large number of people, among whom were many of 
the prominent members of the Eitchfield and Fairfield County Bars." 

Joshua Whitney, — ^He was one of the early settlers of Norfolk 
coming there from Canaan. He was a lawyer and was first King's 
Attorney of the npw County in 175 1, appointed thereto by the new 
County Court. He was very prominent in town affairs in Norfolk 
until about 1763 when it is said that he removed back to Canaan. 
1 suppose him to have been the same Joshua Whitney who served 
from Canaan all through the Revolution and was a "Eeftenant." 

Solomon Whitney, from Canaan admitted to the Bar in 1763. 

Charles Whittlesey, born in Salisbury, graduated from Wil- 
liams College in 1840, admitted to this Bar in 1844. Began practice 
in Cheshire, removed to Middletown and in 1855 to Hartford, Conn. 
Was States Attorney for Middlesex County for six years. Was 
Captain of Campany I 22nd Conn. Vols. He died in Alexandria, 
Va... in 1874. 

Elisha Whittlesey, a native of Washington, was admitted to 
this Bar in 1781 and soon removed to the Connecticut Reserve. In 
1823 he was elected member of Congress which position he held for 
eighteen years. In 1841 he was appointed Auditor of the Treasury 
for the Post Office Department and in 1849 first Comptroller of the 
Treasury of the United States. 

Roger Whittlesey, born in Newington, 1767, graduated from 
Yale m 1787; studied at the Litchfield Law School and was ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1790. He practiced at SouthirTgton and died 
there October 5, 1844. 

Tho:iias T. Whittlesey, born in 1794, graduated from Yale 
College in 1817 ; admitted to this Bar in 1820. He located in Dan- 
bury. He was representative in Congress in 1827 and 182Q ind 
died in 1868. 



Edwix a. WiiiTiv, born in Cornwall, graduated from \\'esleyan 
University ; admitted to this Bar in 1882. Removed to the State 
of Xew York and after a practice of a few years abandoned the law 
and became an Episcopal Clergyman. He is now in Bloomfield, X. J. 
He is the author of a standard v\-ork on Episcopal law and is en- 
gaged in codifying the Church laws of the State of X'ew Jersey. 

Hubert Wieliams was born in Salisbury, September 10, 1853. 
Graduated from Columbia Law School in 1873 : was admitted to the 
Bar in 1875 and resided in Lakeville, his native town. He was 
Post Master in that village a number of years. He died suddenly 
September 24, 1906. 

Frederic ]M. \\'iLEiAiis, born in Washington, Conn., X'ovember 
27, 1862. He prepared for college at the Upson School in Xew 
Preston and graduated from the Yale Law School in 1887 ; also 
studying with Hon. Simeon E. Baldwin. He was admitted to the 
X'ew Haven Bar in 1887 and later moved to Xew Milford. He has 
been very prominent in the affairs of his town and is a most efficieni 
Prosecuting Agent for Litchfield County. 

\^"ILLIAlr G. WiEEiAMS, born in Stockbridge, Mass. Admitted 
to this Bar in 1800 and located at Sharon until 1809 when he re- 
moved to X"ew Hartford, where he died in 1838, aged 59. 

Thomas \\'ilcox, admitted in 1799 from Canaan. 

AxDREw B. WiLSOx, admitted in 1865 from Cornwall. Practiced 
■ a short time at X^ewtown and removed to Bridgeport, where he en- 
gaged in manufacturing. 

Gex. Oliver Woecott was the first Sheriff of the County, hold- 
ing the office for more than twenty years. (See articles on Signers 
of the Declaration on page 174.) 

Oliver W'olcott, Jr., L. L. D. was born in Litchfield January 
II, 1760, and was the son of Oliver Wolcott, the Signer of the 
Declaration of Independence. At the age of thirteen he was pre- 
pared for and entered Yale College, but by reason of taking fre- 
c[uent vacations to go into the Revolutionary Army, did not gradu- 
ate till 1779. He was admitted to this Bar in 1781. His whole 
life was devoted to the public service and affairs. He was suc- 
cessively Comptroller of this State, Auditor and Secretary of the 
United States Treasury, Judge of the United States Circuit Court, 
President of the Bank of America, President of the Constitutional 
Convention of Connecticut, and Governor of his native State from 
1817 to 1827. He was one of the most illustrious statesmen of the 
early days of the Republic, the intimate friend and adviser of Wash- 
ington, Adams and Hamilton; and for some time previous to his 
decease in Xew York, June 2, 1833, he was the last surviving mem- 
ber of Washington's cabinet. The departure of few men from the 
world ever produced a more deep and general feeling of sorrow. 



Daniel Wood, admitted in 1799 from Sharon. 

JoHX WooDBRiDGE, Jr.. admitted in 185 1 from New Hartford. 

EzEKii-L WooDRUFJ?, a native of Farmington, graduated from 
Yale in 1779 and was admitted to tliis Bar in 1781. He located at 
Middletown and in 1789 removed from the State. 

George: C. Woodruff was born on the first day of December, 
1805 in Litchfield in that part of the town which is now the town 
of Morris. He was the eldest son of Maj. Gen. Morris Woodruff, 
who was for 11 years a Judge of the County Court. George C. 
graduated at Yale in 1825, studied law at the Litchfield Law School 
under Judge Gould and was admitted to this Bar in 1827. He soon 
located in Litchfield where he resided until his death on the 21st 
day of November, 1885. He took a leading position at the Bar of 
Litchfield County, gradually rising until he became its acknowledged 
head and was chairman of the Bar Association for many years. In 
his early life he was daily thrown into conflict with those giants of 
the profession — ^the two Churches, Huntington, Bacon, Smith and 
others of their able contemixiraries. He held almost every office of 
the town and county — justice of the peace, grand juror, postmaster, 
town treasurer, town clerk, bank director and president, clerk of the 
superior court, Colonel in the Alilitia, member and clerk of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, judge of probate, member of the Thirty-Seventh 
Congress — the duties of each in turn performed with that rigid ex- 
actness and scrupulous integrity which marks the perfect man. To 
him the state at large owes many of the best features of the revision 
of our statutes adopted in 1875. As a lawyer, Mr. Woodruff was 
prominent in those branches where certainty is possible. It was in 
the trial of questions of law, the dryer and more abstruse the better 
that his most consummate skill was shown. In the Supreme Court 
of Errors not infrequently his entire argument was written out with 
the most painstaking care. 

In whatever relation of life one looks at him as citizen, as neigh- 
bor, in private life or public station, as counsellor or judge he was 
one of the best products of our American civilization. 

(Condensed from obituary in 54, Conn. Report). 

George M. Woodruff was a son of Hon. George C. Woodruff 
of Litchfield and enjoys the distinction of being, through his father 
and mother, a member of the only two families in the county who 
have for three successive generations practiced before its courts. 
In fact it might be said for four generations as Mr. Woodruff's 
grandfather on one side was county judge and on the other sheriff. 
He was born in Litchfield, 1836 and has been extremely active in 
state as well as town affairs. He prepared for college at Phillips 
Academy, Andover, graduated at Yale in 1857, the Harvard Law 
School in 1859 and. was admitted to the Litchfield Bar in the same 
year. He was in the Legislature in 1863, 1865 and 1872, serving 



on the Judiciary Committee the first two temis. He was town treas- 
urer 1866 to 1906 and Judge of Profeate since 1868 with the ex- 
ception of one year. He was one of the state railroad commissioners 
from 1874 to 1897 and chairman of the Board from 1875. Mr. 
Woodruff was commissioner for this state to the Universal Ex- 
position at Hamburg in 1863 and a member of the State Board of 
education from 1865 to 1877. He is an active member and Deacon 
in the Congregational church and has been president of the Savings 
Society since 1885. He is also president of the First National Bank 
and Vice-President of the Colonial Trust Company of Waterbury. 

James P. Woodruff is a son of Hon. George M. Woodrufif, born 
in Litchfield October 30, 1868, graduated from Amherst College in 
i89i_and from Yale Law School in 1893 and was admitted to this 
Bar in 1893. Resides and practices at Litchfield in company with 
his father. He represented his town in the Legislature of 1899-1903. 

Hox. Lewis B. ^^'ooDRuFF, L. L. D., son of Gen. Morris Wood- 
rufif and brother of Hon. George C. Woodrufif, was born in Litch- 
field (South Farms) June 19, 1809. Preparing for College at the 
then noted ^lorris Academy, he graduated with high honors from 
Yale College in 1830. In the fall of that year he entered the Litch- 
field Law School, where under the instruction of Judge Gould, then 
at its head, he laid the foundation of the scholarly learning which 
secured his success at the Bar and so distinguished his judicial 
career. On completing his studies in that school he was admitted 
to the Bar of Connecticut in 1832. Li October of that year he re- 
moved to the city of New York, and after a successful practice at 
the Bar he was, in 1850, called to the Bench, and thereafter held 
successively the offices of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 
Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and United States Circuit Court 
for the Second Judicial Circuit, which latter position he filled at 
the time of his death. A devoted lover of his native State it was 
especially pleasing to him that Connecticut was a part of his Judi- 
cial District, maintaining a residence in Litchfield a portion of the 
year and he died at his home in that place September 10, 1875, 
esteemed, revered and beloved by all who new him. His great 
learning, his remarkable power of analysis, and his deep discern- 
ment and excellent judgment, reinforced by habits of profound 
study and indefatigable industry, and his sterling integrity insured 
his high reputation on the Bench. 

Dignified, in his bearing, he was in the family circle tender and 
afifectionate, everywhere generous, kind and helpful. Devoted to 
his home joys, genial and cordial, he was the delight of the social 
circle, and his loving welcome, hospitable board and ever open door, 
kept warm hearts constantly about him. 

It was said of him : — "He went to the very bottom of every sub- 
ject with which he undertook {o deal. He cared not for the mul- 
tiplicity of details, they never clogged his perception of a general 


bearing, and never one of them was deprived of the exact degree 
of weight to which it was relatively entitled. Law was to him what 
Music or Art is to some natures, it engrossed him, and was a prov- 
ince in which he moved a King and a Master." 

In i860, Columbia College of New York conferred upon him 
the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

He married a daughter of Chief Justice Hornblower ■ of New 
Jersey. Of his three children, the eldest, Charles H. Woodruff, 
adopted his father's profession, practicing in New York and main- 
taining as a summer home his father's country residence; and he 
also has contributed two sons, Lewis B. and Frederick S., to the 
Bar of New York. 

He purchased the Judge Tapping Reeve residence in Litchfield 
for his summer home. His portrait appears on page 206 in con- 
nection with the Law School. 

Morris Woodruff was for many years one of the Judges of the 
Count}' Court, and apparently a standing committee for the lay-out 
of highways and the transaction of matters of a similar nature. He 
was a Major General of the State Militia and held very many town 
and county public offices. His two sons, George C. and Lewis B. 
became Attorneys of the highest standing, while his only daughter 
was the esteemed wife of the late Chief Justice Seymour. He was 
born in Litchfield in 1777 and died in 1841. 

Pitkin Cowles Wright was born in Canaan May 1835. Grad- 
uated at Williams in 1852 and admitted to practice in 1855. He re- 
moved to Iowa. He was the Grand High Priest of Iowa in 1868-9. 
He died at Somerville, Tenn. September isth, 1896. 

John F. Wynnf^ born at Sandisfield, Mass., i860. Admitted 
to the Bar in 1881. Settled at Unionville in the town of Farming- 
ton which town ,he represented in the Legislature in 1886. Sub- 
sequently he removed to New Haven where he is now in practice. 

John D. Yale, SheriiT of the County from 1878 to 1881. He 
was born in Canaan in 1826. At the close of his term of office he 
resided in Winsted and was emplo_ved as a commercial traveler. He 
removed to Hartford, and retired from active business pursuits. 
He died in Hartford April 24, 1905. 






In the preparation of this vohvme the compiler has collected many 
items not exactly apropos to the general scheme of the book. They 
are, however, papers and documents of such general interest that 
they should be preserved, and I have printed them herein under an 
old lawr term, thit they may be available at some future time. I 
have not aimed at any particular arrangement, and the reader if he 
is a lawyer, may demur to them, plead in abatement, move to strike 
out, erase, or for a more particular statement, just as he pleases. 
There will be no charge beyond the price of the book whether he 
wins or loses his motion ; if he is a layman he may omit them alto- 
gether. I have included a number of pictures which ma}- add to 
the interest of the book. 

"This world is but a fleeting show, 
And soon grim death will jerk us : 

So let's be happy as we go. 
And all enjoy the circus." 


In the earlier preparation of this volume I was promised an 
original article by the late Hon. Charles B. Andrews, but his lament- 
ed decease prevented me from obtaining one in his own writing. Of 
course those who read the Connecticut Reports are familiar with his 
legal opinions as found in those Reports. Judge Andrews v/as, 
however, a writer on many other subjects besides legal opinions. 
The following is an address which he delivered, which will serve to 
show his style of thought and composition, and is also a review of 
many of the matters contained in this volume. He gave it to me 
as his contribution to one of our banquets. 



You give it, J\Ir. President, as the result of your reflections, that 
the judicial power is the highest in the trinity of the governmental 
powers. I apprehend that most thoughtful persons will agree with 
you for the reasons you have given. In every government of laws, 
the courts hold the most important place. The legislature may be 
nominally higher than the judiciary; but in the actual experience 
of life, the courts touch the citizen more frequently and more nearly, 
than the law-making power. The legislature ordinarily does no more 
than make rules in the abstract; the courts apply them to concrete 
cases. To the parties in any given case, that seems only to be the 
law, which the court decides to be law, for the reason that the court 
must pass upon the facts, as well as interpret thp rule made by the 

In one of those fervid bursts of eloquence, for which Mr. Rufus 
Choate was so v/idely knov/n, he exclaimed : "Let us repose secure 
under the shadow of a learned, impartial and trusted judiciary, and 
we need no more. Given that, and it matters little what constitution 
you have, or who makes the laws." 

Thinking only of that former time, when no one living was con- 
nected with the courts, I cherish the belief that the judiciary of Con- 
necticut has measurably fulfilled for the people of that state, such an 
high idea. To some extent, doubtless, this is due to the fact that 
there has been no great city in the state, so that the questions, vex- 
atious and dangerous, liable to rise from a vast, divergent and largely 
unlearned population have never brought disturbance into the courts. 
Perhaps, also, the cities of New York on the one side, and Boston 
on the other, have drawn from us other sources of trouble. In an- 
other degree good fortune has come from the character of its people. 
Connecticut was a Puritan colony, even more so than Massachusetts. 
It has always been a Puritan state. The Puritan, with all his wil- 
fulness, his self-assertion, his theology and his dogmatism, was a 
conservative citizen. Respect for the powers that be was a part of 
his creed. To be sure, he intended to have the powers on his side 
most of the time, and never scrupled to quarrel with them if thev 
were not ; but notwithstanding, he had the thrifty habit of economv : 
and the mone}'-making man is compelled to have a respect for law ; 
and this respect for the law has continued to this day to be a char- 
acter of the people of the state. P>ut mainly the result has come 
from the judiciary itself. In the original frame of government of 
that state all judicial power was exercised by the legislature. The 
legislature continued to hear cases on appeal until the year 1784. 


GOV. Andrew's address 311 

In that year it was enacted that the Lieutenant Governor and the 
Council should constitute the Supreme Court of Errors. In 1793 
the Governor was added to the court, and made the presiding judge. 
Eight members were necessary to form a quorum. It was soon the 
subject of complaint, that the members of this court were chosen 
with reference to their Ciualifications as legislators rather than as 
judges. In 1806 an -act was passed which transferred all the judicial 
power of the Governor and Council to the then Superior Court, and 
it was made the Supreme Coiirt of Errors. That was the origin of 
the Supreme Court of Errors as it now exists. Jesse Root was at 
that time Chief Justice. Including its then members, and all who 
have since been appointed, there have been forty-four members of 
that court. Thirteen of its deceased members have been Chief 
Justices — Jesse Root, Stephen Mix Mitchell, Tapping Reeve, Zep- 
haniah Swift, Stephen Titus Hosmer, David Daggett, Thomas Scott 
Williams, Samuel Church, Henry Matson Waite, William Lucius 
Storrs, Joel Hinman, Thomas Belden Butler and Ovigen Storrs 

These were notable men in their day, and came up to the full 
standard of being learned, impartial and trusted. The memory of 
every one of them is cherished by the people of Connecticut with 
affectionate pride and veneration. They were no more than a fair 
indication of the other members of the judges. It is little wonder, 
then, that the people of that state have reposed secure under the 
shadow of their own trusted magistracy. Nor is it a wonder that 
the court held a creditable place among other like courts in the nation. 

Of the individual character of these and other of the judges, and 
cf the later court, others can .speak much better than myself. 

Prior to 1819, all the judges were appointed annually. There 
was a statute which provided that the judges should hold office dur- 
ing the pleasure of the legislature ; but the legislature continued to 
m.anifest its pleasure by annual elections, until the adoption of the 
constitution, in 1818. By that constitution the judges of the Su- 
preme and Superior Courts were to hold office during good behavior, 
subject to impeachment and to be removed by advice of two-thirds 
of each house of the general assembly. Another clause of the con- 
stitution declared that no judge or justice of the peace should be 
capable of holding oflice after he arrived at seventy years of age. 
These two provisions of the constitution have given rise to the sus- 
picion that in Connecticut a man cannot behave well as a judicial 
officer after he is seventy years old. 

In 1855 there was a change by which the judicial term was made 
eight years. The legislature has always elected all judges. An- 
other change in 1880, has so made it that the legislature elects the 
judges upon the nomination of the Governor. 

In the general field of law, the state of Connecticut deserves at 
least a passing notice. Everv lawyer in the country has heard of 
the Litchfield Law School. ':More than to any other, and perhaps 


more than to all other agencies, it is owing to that law school, that 
the law in these United States has so much uniformity, consistency 
and symmetry as it has. That school was founded by Tapping 
Reeve in 1784. When Mr. Reeve became a judge of the Superior 
Court, in 1789, he associated with himself James Gould as a teacher. 
They continued the school together till 1820. Judge Reeve died in 
1822. Judge Gould continued it till 1833. During its existence 
there were educated nearly two thousand young men, coming from 
every one of the then states. Among the number were those who 
afterward became judges, chief justices and prominent lawyers and 
statesmen in most of the states — ^Chief Justice Baldwin, of Georgia ; 
John C. Calhoun; John M. Clayton, of Deleware ; Daniel S. Dick- 
inson, of Xew York; Levi Woodbury, of Maine; Theron Metcalf, 
of Massachusetts ; William Halstead, of Xew Jersey ; Washington 
Poe, and very many others. 

The earliest volume of reports of decided cases published in 
Aimerica was in Connecticut, by Ephraim Kirby, at Litchfield, in 
1789. It has erroneously been said, that the first volume of Dal- 
lo's reports was the earliest. Dallo's first volume was not published 
imtil 1790. 

Of Tapping Reeve I should speak a little more. He was much 
more than an ordinary man. He was born at Brookhaven, L. L, in 
1744; graduated at Princeton in 1763. He studied law with Jesse 
Root, at Hartford; settled at Litchfield in 1772, and began his law 
teaching in 1784. He was a born teacher. Every one of the pupils 
who came under his instruction became at once inspired v/ith a love 
of study, with the grandeur of the science and the dignity of the pro- 
fession. Jesse Root, who was the instructor of Judge Reeve, was 
himself a distinguished man. He was born in Coventry, Conn. ; 
graduated at Princeton, in 1756. He was a preacher until 1763, 
when he became a lawyer in Hartford. He raised a company for 
the army and became a colonel. He was a member of the Conti- 
nental Congress for four years. He was a judge of the Superior 
Court after 1788. He published two volumes of reports. Another 
Chief Justice was Zephaniah Swift, who was the author of Swift's 
Digest. The older lawyers in all those states, which founded their 
law upon the common law, have doubtless heard of this book. It 
was exceedingly valuable as an introductorv book for beginners, 
and an excellent hand-book for professional work. 

The work of the court in Connecticut is recorded in the volume 
of reports which 1 have mentioned, in five volumes of Day's Reports, 
and in fifty-seven volumes of Connecticut Reports. In them there 
are no startling cases. They record the litigated cases of a people 
usually happy, and intent on the arts of peace ; but I feel sure that 
they teach constantly the principles of that science of which Lord 
Erskine said : "They are founded in the charities of religion, in the 
philosophy of nature, in the truths of history, and in the experience 
of common life." 




Argument of Hubert Williams, Esq., in the case of Arthur Good- 
man vs. The Town of Salisbury, tried in the court of Common Pleas 
before Hon. Arthur D. Warner, Judge. 

_ The lease ran in the name of Arthur Goodman, agent for the 
Kickapoo Indian Compan)-. A plea in abatement was filed on the 
claim that the suit should have been in the naane of the real party, 
instead of the agent. To this plea in abatement the plaintiff filed a 

y[R. WiLi^iAiis: If the Court please, I appear in behalf of the 
plea in abatement and against the demurrer. This is a demurrer 
to a plea in abatement in the case nominally of Arthur Goodman 
against The Town of Salisbury, but actually of the Kickapoo Indian 
Medicine Company against said town. 

It would be a waste of words for me to tell your Honor that I 
am like necessity — that I know no 'aw. There are, however, a few 
facts in relation to this demurrer which I would like to present to 
the Court. And in passing, I would like to ask your Honor what 
you are here for ? As I understand it, I am here to give your Honor 
the facts, and \ou are here to apply the law to those facts. It 
would" be presumptions in me to attempt to instruct your Honor as to 
what the law is, because if you don't know, }ou ought not to be 
here, and I assume that because you are here, you do know the 
whole law. 

Coming back to the c]uestion at issue in this case, what are the 
real facts ? In order to obtain a proper comprehension of the case 
it will be necessary to begin our recital of facts back in the dawn 
of tradition, and I will begin at the time when the great Creator 
placed our common forefather, Adam, in a deep sleep in the Garden 
of Eden, and from his side drew forth and fashioned that which 
has ever since been the solace and joy of mankind in all ages, — 
WOMAX, but, after all. Eve was only a side issue, and that is all 
I am in this case. 

Taking up now the lease, for the breach of which this action 
is instituted, and examining it carefully, your Honor will see that 
it gives to the Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company the exclusive 
use of the town hall of Salisbury with all its appurtenances for one 
week or longer, an absolute deed in fee, at the option of the Medicine 
Company, in perpetuity, so that no longer shall we be able to trans- 
act the ordinary affairs and business which appertain to the town 
of Salisbury, for the oratory of the yeomen will be blended with the 
shrill cry of the Indian warwhoop, and the beat of the festive tom- 
tom. They can build their wigwams and campfires any where in the 
town building. Whether this lease includes the town vaults, I know 
not, for the town officials still hold the keys thereto. But any citi- 



zen getting the keys to the vaults and desiring to examine the pro- 
bate, land or town records, could only obtain access to them after 
stumbling over tall drunken chieftains, sciualling pappooses, fat 
squaws and ill-smelling dogs. 

Not only that, but your Honor will see that it includes the town 
hall and its appurtenances. Among other appurtenances we have a 
lockup. Under the language of this lease which is set forth in the 
complaint, we will no longer be able to apprehend offenders and 
keep them in close confinement in that lockup until they may be 
brought before proper authorit}-, because, forsooth, Arthur Good- 
man, representing the Kickapoo Indian Medicine Co., has the ex- 
clusive lease of our lockup. And God and your Honor know that if 
these Kickapoo Indians flock into our beautiful, peaceful town and 
get on the rampage, after filling up with their own medicine or the 
white man's fire-water, there will be immediate need for a lockup. 

Another appurtenance connected with our town hall, and dear to 
the heart of every son of Salisbury, is a cemetary immediately in 
the rear of that hall, where repose the bones and ashes of many of 
our honored dead. Under the terms of this lease, your Honor, it 
is possible that when Time shall have filled the measure of Eternity, 
and new ones shall have been born, still that hallowed ground which 
we love so much will be given over to Indians and tape-worms, and 
the graves strewn with feathers. 


REMEOy '/ 



Albert Wadhams, Esq. practiced law in Goshen, coming to this 
County from \'ermont. He never had an extensive clientage and 
held some peculiar views relative to law and particularly to railroad 
trusts, but did not live long enough to see the trusts all abolished 
according to his ideas. I found in his papers a good many queer 
things, some of which were very sensible. The following good ad- 
vice is I think, worthy of preservation. 



"Quantum Meruit" 

Always be sure, in regard to the payment of your Fees, before 
your Services are Rendered. 

This is an act of justice to your clients, as well as to yourself. 
I will suppose you do not make this provision, but render voluntary 
services, trusting to the supposed honor of your clients, after bene- 
fiting them, to remunerate you. There are times, when your chances 
are, that they will imitate "Annanias and Sapphira" partly, or in 
full, thereby treating you discreditably, and placing no proper esti- 
mate on what }'0u may have accomplished. It is equally a wrong, 
if excessive fees are received. In order to compensate yourself 
fairly in the first case, you can seldom do it, only as you give the 
delinquents a sting, "a, la mode" "Peter vs. Annanias and Sapphira,'' 
in which case you loose your client probably, and the mutual benefit 
is at an end. Doubtless your client suffers equally with yourself 
in the final result, which might have been avoided by you in the com- 
mencement, by providing for your fee. Your services are either of 
value, and should be adequately paid for, or they are of no value. 
It is said that a stone fitted for a wall, will not be left in the way, 
and in a like manner your compensation for services can be secured, 
before you are placed in a required position. If this cannot be done 
generally^ then you had better leave the undertaking, and follow 
some more appropriate calling, by which you can be maintained. 
Therefore, legal services, freely rendered, without adequate pro- 
vision for remuneration, are, as to yourself, your clients, or any one, 
both impolitic and unwise. A wise lawyer, for any services he may 
have rendered, will seldom permit a client, or any one, to define his 
"Quantum j\[cruit.'' 

This Xotice, you can post up in your office, or hang it out doors, 
h\ the side of your shingle. 

A. W. 

Albany, X. Y., Feb. ist, 1865. 


The Annual Banquets 

The one hundredth anniversary of the estabhshment of the 
Litchfield County Bar Association was observed by a Centennial 
Celebration at Winsted, on the i8th of N'ovember, 1898, at the 
Eeardsley House, then kept by George Spencer. And since that 
time theBar has held an Annual Banquet at about the same time 
of the year, they being holden in dififerent places in the county as 
accomodations could be secured. They are generally attended by 
between forty and fifty members of the Bar. The exercises con- 
sist of after-dinner speeches, with a good deal of singing inter- 
spersed, and all of them have been very enjoyable. 

It is impossible to give a full account of these yearly gatherings. 
I have, however, already included in this book some of the good 
things which have been said on these occasions, and now present 
a few more. 

The invitation to the Centennial was as follows : 

GrEETix'G : 

By authority of the Litchfield County Bar you are summoned 
to appear at Winsted on Friday evening, November 18, 1898, then 
and there to answer in a complaint wherein it is complained and said. 
First Count. 

1. The Superior Court for Litchfield County was established 
within and for Litchfield County in 1798. 

2. At a meeting of the "Barr" of said County it was voted to 
commemorate said event at Winsted, Conn. 

3. James Huntington, Wellington B. Smith, Leonard J. Xick- 
erson, and Dwight C. Kilbourn were appointed a Committee to 
carry said vote into effect. 

Secox^d Count. 

1. Such commemoration will be held at the Beardsley House. 
Winsted Conn., November 18, 1898, and consist of a Banquet and 
other exercises commencing at 8 130 p. m. 

2. Your prompt acceptance of this invitation is requested that 
the Committee may be able to guarantee the requisite accommoda- 

3. Damages are assessed at $2 per plate. 

The plaintiff is found to be of sufficient ability to provide for 
your comfort and pleasure. 

Hereof fail not but due appearance make, or immediatelv signify 
cause to the contrary. 
Winsted, Nov. 4, 1898. 

The Comjiittee, 

By James Huntington, Chairman. 
Dwight C. Kilbourn, Sec'y. 

ti-ie; banquet 317 


"Come back to your mother, ye children, for shame, 
Who have wandered Uke truants, for riches or fame, 

With a smile on her face, and a sprig in her lap. 
She calls you to feast from her bountiful lap. 

Come you of the law who can talk if you please 
Till the man in the moon will allow its a cheese, 

And leave the old lady who never tells lies 
Asleep with her handkerchief over her eyes." 


Eittle Waramaug Clams 


'"We have met the Enemy and they are Ours." — Oliver H. Perry. 1813 

Puree of Litchfield Mushrooms 

Salted Almonds Stuffed Olives 

"The Lavif : It has honored us; may we honor it." — Daniel Webster^ 1847 

Steamed Twin Lake Salmon 

"Pinch Gut Plain" Potatoes "Dibble Hill" Sauce 

"We Surgeons of the Law do desperate deeds, sir.'' — Beaumont and Fletclicr 

Supremes of Sweetbreads 

Sturges Case style 

"Oh! 'tis a blessed thing to have rich cWtnts."— Beaumont and Fletclicr 

Probate Punch 
"Protect me from the sin 
That dooms me to those dreadful words : 
'My dear, where have you been?'"— O. W. Holmes 

Mount Riga Patridges, Roasted, Stuffed with Torrington Chestnuts 

" 'Fore God, my intelligence 
Costs me more than my share oft cqmes to."— S. Jorison 

Knowles Salad, "Move to Erase" Dressing , 
"Importance is one thing and learning's another: 
But a debate's a debate, that I assert."— CoMgir^r 

Canaan Ice Cream, with original R. and R. Havor 
" 'Tis better belly burst than good food be lost." 

Crackers Cheese 


"Whilst we together jovial sit. 
Careless and crowned with mirth and wit, 
We'll think of all the friends we know 
And drink to all worth drinking to ["-Charles Cotton 



The after-dinner speaking was opened by the Hon. James Hunt- 
ington, — for many years the beloved and honored president of the 
Bar Association, and who has recently deceased, — and his speech 
shows in a measure the felicitous and happy manner of "Uncle Jim," 
as he was familiarly called by his brethren of the Bar during the 
later years of his life. 

"Brethren of the Bar of Litchfield County : We have met this 
evening to celebrate the lOO years of the existence of the Superior 
Court of Litchfield County. To you younger members of the Bar 
it may seem a great ways back to 1798, but to me, who has practiced 
at the Bar tv/o-fifths of the time (and I don't tell you now how old 
I am) it seems but a step back to the beginning. I suppose that 
some of my brethren here tonight will give something of the history 
and reminiscences of the Bar either specially or in the county gen- 
erally, but for myself, I wish to say but a few words in regard to 
this celebration. I wish to direct your attention to a few of its 
peculiarities and characteristics, and the first characteristic that I 
wish to mention after the practice of two-fifths of a century at this 
Bar, is that it has the reputation of being a fighting Bar, that the 
lawyers of Litchfield County are persistent tryers and fighters, they 
never let the ground go un-hoed in a case. As a Judge of the Court 
said to me not long ago "If a Judge comes to Litchfield County and 
expects that it will be a sort of a vacation, after he has been to Litch- 
field, and from Litchfield to Winsted and from Winsted down to 
New Milford and back again two or three times, he will go home 
thoroughly convinced that it is no vacation to come to Litchfield 
County and hold a long term." 

Another characteristic of this Bar is its good fellowship. It has 
been so for forty years and I presume it was for the sixty years 
before ; it is now and I trust it ever will be. 

It is remarked by attorneys from other counties in this State 
and from other States, that they never came to a Bar Vi^here there 
is such good fellowship as there is in this Bar. They never address 
one another by more than half of their first name. And when one 
of the boys becomes a Judge of the Superior Court they with pride 
and pleasure address him as His Honor, it is ten chances to one that 
when night comes and he comes off the Bench, that they address 
him as Tobey or Ed or Jerry or Bert or Gid. And he feels as much 
honored to come down to that fellowship ofif from the Bench as he 
is by being respectfully addressed while on it by the members of 
this Bar. 

I say it is peculiarly characterifitic of the Bar of this Count}' and 
I trust it will remain so another 100 years. 

Another characteristic is their self-reliance, we have to rely on 
ourselves and it has made self reliant lawyers. 


Another thing, they are a tough lot physicahy as well as mentally. 
And they must necessarily be so. They come up to these shire 
towns in summer's heat and winter's cold. We start out early in the 
morning and go 7 or 8 miles and try a justice case all day long and 
come home in the rain and cold at night, together singing songs and 
telling stories. \\'e are called in the night season to go miles away 
to make the wills of the dying, we are called upon day after day 
to take depositions in kitchens by the kitchen stove, and instead of 
sitti-ng down to such a fine feast as this to eat we are satisfied with 
the smell of the onions and the turnips and cabbage that are boiling 
on the stove for the family to eat. Our lives are spent in that way 
and it has made a tough lot of us physically. We are called upon 
as lawyers in the country to become all-round men and to do all 
kinds of work. A country lawyer is called upon to do everything al- 
most that can be done except writing sermons and writing Doctor's 
prescriptions although some Cornwall gentlemen can write those, 
1 am told. 

If anyone asks what kind of lawyers does it make to practice in 
that manner, my answer is if you take the Connecticut Reports 
from Kirby to the 70 Conn., you read the work of Litchfield County 
lawyers clear through the 70 volumes of those reports. Yes, further, 
it is the same kind of men that you are, gentlemen, that 13 of them 
have represented the Bench of the Superior Court of this State, 
ID of them the Supreme Court Bench and three of them as Chief- 
justices, they were men of the same experience and the same kind 
of practice; and how well they have filled their places the records 
of the Supreme Court, the opinions, that have been written by them 
through all the Connecticut Reports will tell you. So we may well 
be proud of our County and of our County Bar, and I ask, when my 
time has come to join the innumerable caravan that moves, that 
there can be nothing better said of me than that Jim Huntington 
was a respectable member of the Litchfield County Bar. 

;\Iy brethren, I said to you that 40 years practice, two-fifths 
of a century, two-fifths of the time of this Superior Court went back 
to where one could almost say it was a step back to the beginning. 
We have with us tonight a brother whose tall form and snowy hair 
are known to you all and who has practiced law in the Superior 
Court over one half its time, who is a connecting link with the be- 
ginning of this court ; who practiced law with men who were mem- 
bers of the Bar, when the Superior Court was organized, and it is 
with exceeding great pleasure, nothing could give me more pleasure, 
that I introduce to you our venerable and honored brother, Donald 
J. Warner. 

To him it may be said, as Holmes wrote to Whittier on his 80th 


Dear friend, whom thy fourscore winters leave more dear 

Than when hfe's roseate summer on thy cheek burned in the fiusli 

of manhood's earhest year, 
Lonely, how lonely ! is the snowy peak 
Thy feet have reached after many a year ! 
Close on thy foot-steps 'mid the landscape drear 
I stretch my hand thine answering grasp to seek 
\\"arm with the love no rippling rhymes can speak. 
I,ook backward ! from thy lofty height survey 
Thy years of toil, of peaceful victories won 
Of dreams made real, large hopes outrun ! 
Look forward ! brighter than earth's morning ray 
Streams the pure light of Heaven's unsetting sun, 
The unclouded dawn of Life's immortal day. 

For Judge Warner's address see his reminiscences, page loi. 

Many letters were received from the absent brethren regretting 
their inability to attend; the one from the Hon. Wm. L. Ransom, 
who for nearly thirty years was Clerk of the Courts enclosed as his 
response an excuse from the late Judge Granger for not attending 
a Banquet at the Island Hotel to which he had been invited, and is 
as follows : 

Dear Ransom, were my legs as limber 
As they were in days of yore. 
When I snared the festive sucker 
On the Whiting River shore, — ■ 
Silvery stream, — that murmers sweetly 
Through fair Wangum's peaceful vales. 
Kissed by morning's slanting sunbeams, 
Fanned by evenings pleasant gales. 

When I chased the obese woodchuck 
O'er the hills and sandy knoll 
When I snatched the sluggish bull heads 
Wriggling from their muddy holes. 
When with dog and gun by moonlight 
Through the swanirps and reedy fens 
I pursued the scented polecat 
Terror of the matron hens. 

Gladly would I climb Mount Pisgah, 

Mystic mountain of the East, 

For the fun of being with you 

At your Island Hotel feast. 

But, Oh ! Ransom, tempus edax 

Unremitting night and day 

Seventy years has gnavifecl our muscles 

Till they're in a — tad wav. 

ALOXZO 1^. unvis' LETTER 321 

\outhful hose well saved 01 ragged 
Serve but to hide our spindle shanks, 
And our shin bones sharp and jagged 
Play us now rheumatic pranks. 
Accoutered thus Dear Rans, you see, 
The feast you spread is not for me, 
\\'hatever things the Gods deny us, 
Is for the best. Good night. ' Tobias. 


Leonard ^^■. Cogswell, the Official Stenographer, offered the fol- 
lowmg original 


Oh, sacred soil of Litchfield Hills, 
Where ^^■inter's winds howl drear; 
The country's best and bravest men, 
Have found their birth-place here. 

The plain and simple life they led 
Upon these rugged hills, 
Gave vigorous health and mental strength. 
Brave hearts and sturdy wills. 

Senators, Governors, Judges Preachers, 
Found here congenial soil. 
And worked their way to high renown 
A\'ith most incessant toil. 

Then let us all fresh courage take. 
And till Death our warm blood chills, 
\\'e'll bless the Fate that gave us birth 
On these rock-ribbed Litchfield Hills. 

At one of our banquets the following interesting letter was re- 
ceived from Rev. A. X. Lewis : 

Montpelier, Vermont, Dec. 11, 1902. 
To the Members of the Litchfield County Bar, in annual reunion 
convened : 

Gentlemen : — I regret exceedingly my inability to be present at 
your festive gathering. Forty-five years ago at the September term 
of the Superior Court. Judge Seymour presiding, I was admitted 
an attorney and counsellor. F. D. Beeman, Esq., was Clerk of the 
courts, and Hollister, Graves, Hubbard, Toby Granger, George C. 
Woodruff, Judge Phelps, Sedgwick, Sanford, et al., were the lead- 
ing barristers. "There were giants in those days." The Litch- 
field Bar was second to none in the state. 

The condition of things was very different than the present. 
Litchfield was an inland town, accessable only by stage and private 
convevance. The lawyers, litigants and witnesses came to stay. 
The Alansion House, U. S. Hotel and Wheeler House were thronged 
with guests. The open hotel fires in the hotel offices were scenes 


of mirth and jollity. William Demiiig, Sr., Stephen Deming, Harry 
Bissell and other notables were usually in attendance with stories, 
jokes and repartees worth recording. 

"Uncle" Stephen Deming had been in his younger days a tavern, 
keeper. A certain deacon, professedly a temperance man, but sus- 
pected of selling "the ardent" on the sly, took up his parable and 
said, "Uncle Stephen, when you reflect upon your rum-selling days, 
the widows and orphans you have made arrd the misery you have 
caused, how do you feel?" Uncle Stephen paused a moment and 

said, "Deacon , when I think of myself, by myself, I feel 

like putting my hand upon my mouth and my mouth in the dust and 
crying unclean, unclean, God be merciful to me a sinner. But, Dea- 
con, when I compare myself with my neighbors I thank God and 
take courage." 

A Plymouth farmer had a case in Graves' hands which had been 
running for years. Term after term Graves bad charged continu- 
ance fee $7 ; and the farmer becoming discouraged had tried to get 
the case taken out of court, but all in vain. One day he was sitting 
on the piazza of the U. S. Hotel rehearsing his grievance to the 
lawyers, when Graves went past. The farmer ejaculated, "I hope 
to G — d Graves won't go to hell !" "\Vhy not," asked one of the 
listeners. "Because," answered the farmer, "Because he'd make 
trouble there." 

The writer of this talk was a student in Hollister & Beeman's 
office and was often employed in copying pleadings, etc. In one of the 
documents occurred the following- sentence : "And whereas this case 
has been brought by regular continuances to this court, etc." In 
the copy made by the writer it read thus : "And whereas this case 
has been brought by regular contrivances to this court !" The 
blunder ( ?) caused a ripple of merriment on the bench and in the 
bar. It was too true. 

A petition for a divorce was submitted to a referee or commis- 
sioner who made his report thereon to the court. It was charged 
by the petitioner that her husband on a certain occasion when she 
had returned from a drive with the co-respondent had composed and 
recited to her and her escort before the children the following lines: 

"William Johnson went to ride, 
With Sarah Wilkins for his bride, 

Returning home I heard them say. 
We've had a dam good ride to-day." 

Imagine Hollister reading with solemn face this poetical gem to 
the court ! 

A Litchfield lawyer, whose name I have forgotten, was pleading 
a case of little importance before a jury. He was very pathetic and 
solemn, so much so that when he concluded the opposing counsel 
arose and said, "May it please your Honor, hadn't we better sino- a 
hymn ?" 



The Hon. Charles Chapman of Hartford was journeving- to 
Litchfield to attend court, in the Hartford and Litchfield stage. It 
was winter. The stage was an open pung, the snow was falling 
and a northwest wind drove it directly into the faces of the pass- 
engers. Chapman and "Dick" Hubbard, la brother law\er, were 
sitting on the first seat and took the full force of the storm. No 
one had spoken for some minutes, when Chapman broke the silence 
with "I say Hubbard, I had rather facit per aliinn than facit per se !" 

Gentlemen : — -'Some of us have outlived our contemporaries. We 
are nearing the setting sun ; our places must soon be filled by an- 
other generation ; soon we shall be summoned to the court of last 
resort. ;\Iay we respond to the summons, bearing with us the record 
of a well-spent life and the hope of a blessed immortalitv. 

Yours fraternally, 

A. N. Li'.wis, 

Pastor of Christ's Church, Montpelier, Vermont. 


The late William F. Hurlbut, Clerk of the Court of Common 
Pleas, gave me considerable assistance in the preparation of this 
work. The following items are some which he thought would 
interest members of the Bar. 

One of the learned Judges of the Superior Court, after setting- 
through a long, tedious trial of a case, to charge the jury com- 
menced with the following remark: 

"Gentlemen of the Jury! If you know anything about this 
case, God knows that }'ou know more about it than I do." 

On the trial of a prisoner for shooting- a man whom he thought 
was stealing his chickens, the judge charged the jury very forcibly 
against the accused, but the jury brought in a verdict of "Not 
Guilty." The Judge continued the laborious work of sharpening 
his pencil in which he was engaged when the jury gave the verdict. 
After a considerable length of time had elapsed he suddenly ex- 
claimed, "S , you have escaped as by fire." The members 

of the Bar have never been able to understand the nature of that 

The Hon. Truman Smith closed an argument made in a little 
case appealed from a Justice of the Peace, in which the matter in 
demand was very trivial, and the action of the opposing counsel 
had been very erratic, with the following comments. "If your 
Honor please : I had prepared with considerable care a brief with 
the intention of filing it with the court. After I had finished it I 
said to myself, if I live fourteen years from the 26th day of next 
October I shall be one hundred years old ; now is it worth while 
at my time of life to come into court with an enormous bomb shell 
just to annihilate a musquito? and I said to myself it was not — 
the game was not worth the powder." 


There are a multitude of odd and funny things connected with 
our profession. I am obliged to exclude almost everyithing of that 
sort, but will save a few. Some of them I have taken from Brother 
Cogswell's brief before the "Supreme Court of Eaters" and others 
from various sources. 

Sciixi;, Criminal Court in Canaan. Alonzo B. Garfield, C. J. 
on the bench. Crime, prisoner charged with robbery of a drunken 
woman. Clint Roraback, acting State's attorney. 

Mrs. Nora Smith (complainant) sworn. 

Ex. by Mr. Roraback: 

O. Were you down in the defendant's house near Pine Grove? 

A. Yes. 

O. Did you have some money there ? 

A. Yes. 

O. Did you lose it ? 

A. Yes. It was stolen from my pocketbook which I carried in- 
side my corsets, as I lay on the bed drunk. 

O. You think the prisoner stole it? 

A. Yes, and I come up to see Hen. Roraback the next day, and 
he said he'd see I had justice done. Hen. is all right since "he 
grO'wed up." 

AIr. Roraback : — That is all the testimony we have, your Honor, 
and it is enough. Don wants him bound over. 

Garfield, C. J. — We hain't got much evidence ag'in' the prisoner, 
and I don't think he is guilty ; that is, not much ; but what Don says 
goes in this court, and so I'll bind him over. 

ScExE, Superior Court at Litchfield, October Term, 1906. Hon. 
Ralph Wheeler, J. Prisoner, Franceski Balcyss, charged with rob- 
bing a Swede of $165. 

Doxald T. Warxer, to complainant, Mr. Gustafson : Did you 
have a Hungarian at work for you ? A. I did ; he is what they call 
ii Pole, and I can do a clay's work, or yump over the moon quicker 
than I speak his name, but I have it writ down on a piece of paper, 
and you can tear off what you want and make a dictionary oi the 
rest. I had a German, and an Irishman, and a nigger to work for 
me at the same time, and at first I thought one of them took it, but 
our Xorthfield detective says this is the man. 

Don took the paper and attempted to read the following name 
• — ^but he didn't — but asked Kilbourn to : Czyrkstecheltzkoxtcheld- 

T. F. Ryax (counsel for prisoner, to prisoner on the stand) : 

Q. If you had any of your countrymen in Waterburv, who were 
they and where are they now ? 

The Prisoner (through a Waterbury interpreter) : 
Petrovsky, Oskalofifsky, and Xeverefifski, 

To Siberia were sent; 
Kitoffsky, Rubonoffsky, and Wallerefl^skv, 
In a dungeon cell were pent. 




^lilaroclovitch and Tetrovitch, 
Kostolovitch and Rostomaroff 
The_\- imprisoned or swung them ofif ; 

J kit when is gone, 

He never is missed. 

That is what it sa\s in a PoHsh letter written in Russian script. 
TuREJj Other Interpreters EiiPLOvED by the Court to 
ATCH THE First : — That is wrong, he savs what not so it. 
The Court: Keep still. 
Dox: ^^■ait. 
Ryax : Sit down. 

The Court: Mr. Stenographer, what did the witness sav? 
The Stexographer : I don't know, your Honor. 
TiH-: Court: This is the worst Babel' of a case I ever heard. 
Brother Ryan got the $165. 

(Answer to complaint for divorce between Hungarians, received 
from Hungary by Kilbourn.) 

Dr. Grosz Dezso 
S. A. UjHicucv 

High Esteemed Court : 

Janos Zsarnay, seated at Torrington, Conn., according to 'the 
writ of summon of Litchfield County, ss. dated from 1906, 12 Sep- 
tember, and being handed to me on the day of 2oktober, claims that 
the niarriag-e, bound between me and the plaintiff in the year of 1873, 
should be devorced upon the ground, that I should have wilfully 
deserted him and totally neglected all the duties of marriage. 

All this complains of the plaintiff are not true. I did not de- 
sert him but he left me 10 years since, flying secretly. Within this 
time he did not wrote a single line, nor supported me and our chil- 
dren. Therefore he is who neglected the duties of marriage and 
not I am who has deserted him. 

I being now a 55 years old women, unable to earn, do not agree, 
that our marriage should be devorced. On the contrary : I entreat 
the jury that Janos Zsarnay should be convicted to pay a 20 dollar 
monthly rate as to support myself and the children. 

I give, further, to acknowledge to the court, that a verdic of de- 
vorce returned in the L'. S. A. has no power ther in Hungary and 
even if the jury should devotee him, according- to our laws, I remain 
in links of marriage, still he can live married in the U. S. A, That 
would be very unlawful. 




"All's Well that Hnds Well,"— 

On Mt. Riga as well as in Shakespeare. 
The happy ending of St. Valembine's night, February 14th, 1908, 

of the tragical story of Lovie of Mt. Riga, deserted 

with her hahy in her arms by her husband in 1882, who was re- 
ported dead a few years later, and thereafter remained unheard of 
until August, 1907, when, like Enoch Arden, he appeared to find 

his wife happily married to Charlie with two stalwart 

children by her side, bur unlike Enoch of old did not conveniently 
sink into obscurity again. 

Divorced February 14th, 1908, from the resurrected husband 
and married the night of the same day to her true husband, accord- 
ing to the following form : — 

Both Lovie and Charlie your rig-ht hands, unite 
Before witnesses here St. Valentine's night. 
You, CHARLIE, do promise to take Lovie to wife, 
To love her and cherish her the rest of your life. 
Yon, LOVIE, do promise Charlie as husiband to take, 
And, cleaving only to him, each and all others forsake. 
Xow, each having promised the other to wed. 
To Have and to Hold, till Life's journey be sped. 
For richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, — 
Bv force of the Lav/ of our good Commonwealth, 
I PROCLAIM you to be lawful Husband and Wife. 

Ma}' your joys be many, and your sorrows be light, 
And the memories sweet of St. Valentine's night. 
And ever, as the circling years roll on. 
Keep a kindly thought of the Justice, — Don. 

Tnii AI.\KixG OF A Juror. — Judge Ralph Wheeler had had his 
patience sorely tried by lawyers who wished to talk, and by men 
who tried to evade jury service. Between hypothetical questions 
and excuses it seemed as if they never would get to the actual trial 
of the case. So when a puzzled little German, who had been ac- 
cepted by both sides as a juror, jumped up, the Judge was exas- 

"Shudg-e!" cried the German. "What is it?" demanded the 
judge. "I tink I like to go home to mein Frau," said the German. 
'^So would I, but we can't," retorted the Judge. "Sit down." "But, 
Shudge," persisted the German, "I tink I not make a good shuror." 
"You're the best in the box," said the Judge. "Sit down." "What 
box?" said the German. "The jury box," said the Judge. "Ach, 
Himmel, I thought it was ein bad box what beoples get in somedimes. 
But, Shudge," persisted the little German, "I don't speak goot Eng- 
lish alreadv vet." 


"You don't have to speak at all," said the Judge. "Sit down." 
The little German pointed to the lawyers to make his last des- 
perate plea. "Shudge, ' said he, "I can't make noddings von what 
dese fellers say." It was the Judge's chance to get even with the 
lawyers for many annoyances. ">\ either can anyone else," he said. 
"Sit down." ^^'ith a sigh, the little German sat down. 


Here is a sonnet which the Clerk received, which perhaps may be 
slightly sarcastic. ^ 

"For the love of God and humanity. 
To avoid both wrath and profanity. 
To enable the executor to pay legacies and debts. 
Send along that certificate in Selleck vs. Betts." 
Yours very truly, 
Judge ]\Iiles T. Granger was very much addicted to poetry ; one 
of his specimens has been for many years a classic. More than 
fifty years ago when Fred D. Beeman was Clerk and Mr. Granger 
was simply a practicing attorney, Sheriff Sedgwick got Beeman to 
write an epitaph on Granger, which was as follows : 

"When Toby died — dire groans were heard, 

His friends were in commcition. 
For Heaven refused to own the bird 
And Hell declined the portion." 
Taking this epitaph into another room the Sheriff folded it up 
and presently returned to the court room where Mr. Granger was 
-at the table, trying a case, and handed the note to him. Upon read- 
ing it, Mr. Granger turned it over and wrote upon the back the fol- 
lowing, upon Mr. Beemian : 

"And when the Clerk of Hell rose up 

To publish to the legions 
The reason why the bird was barred 

A place in those dark regions, 
A bright red glow about his head 

Revealed to all those poor damned souls 
The face and form of Beeman." 

Lines Composed by Judge Granger while on the Bench 
trying a Sheep-stealing case. 

Alas for Winters, all forlorn. 

He husked for Hod, the Rustling Corn 

And through the woods when night was dark, 

He raided on the sheep of Clark, 

And one small lamb out of the flock 

He slew and skinned, without a shock 

Of conscience, or a thought of wrong. 

But took the mutton right along. 


The picture of Judges evidence shows liow ';he witnesses impress 
a judicial mind. It is a reproduction of a paper left by a learned 
judge upon his desk after a tedious trial. Other similar papers arc 
in my possession, many of them utterly unintelligible. The State 
pa3's an enormus sum for Stenographers, but their notes are little 
value during a trial and the translating of them is too expensive for 
an ordinary suit. The attic of the Court House contains many 
pounds of their hieroglyphic papers, and are practically worthless, 
as different systems are used, and seldom one shorthand writer can 
read anothers notes. To make our present system of taking evi- 
dence of full use, the notes should be transcribed during the trial 
and placed in the hands of the Court and- Counsel. Umtil that is 
done lawyers and judges must take their own notes as best they can. 

THE lawyers' ways. 

■ "I've been list"nin to them lawyers 

In the court house of the street 
An' I've come to the conclusion 

That I'm most completely beat. 
First one fellow riz to argy, 

An' he boldly waded in 
As he dressed the tremblin' pris'ner 

In a coat o' deep-dyed sin. 
Why, he painted him all over 

In a hue o' blackest crime, 
An' he smeared his reputation 

With the thickest kind o' grime, 
Tell I found myself a-wond'rin. 

In a misty way and dim. 
How the Lord had come to fashion 

Such an awful man as him. 
Then the other lawyer started, 

An' with briming, tearful eyes, 
Said his client was a martyr 

That was brought to sacrifice, 
An' he gave to that same pris'ner 

Every blessed human grace, 
Till I saw the light o' virtue 

Fairly shining from his face. 
Then I own 'at I was puzzled 

How such things could rightly be ; 
And this aggrevating question 

Seems to keep a puzzling me. 
So will some one please inform me, 

An' this mystery unroll. 
How an angel an' a devil 

Can possess the self-same soul. ' 






Showing the workings of the Judicial mind 


("old grimes") 



One of the characters connected with our legal fraternity was 
William Grimes, miiversally known as "Old Grimes." It is gener- 
ally supposed that he was a mythical character but he was not. He 
was a run-away slave who came to Litchfield probably about 1808, 
and was a general servant to the students at the Law School. He 
was born in A'irginia and was the body servant of a man by the 
name of Grimes, whose name, in after years, he adopted ; by the 
fortunes of business adversities his master was obliged to. dispose 
of him and he fell into the hands of cruel masters from whose bar- 
barous treatment he ran away to the land of Liberty, which at that 
time was Litchfield. Judge Reeve had acquired quite a reputation 
for defending fugitive slaves and Litchfield was thought by them to 
be the' home of the free. Grimes was thrifty, frugal and acquired 
some little property and owned a piece of land between the present 
residence of George Kenney and the Fire Department building, to 
v/hich he moved a small building for a barber shop. Some of the 
Southern students of the Law School ascertained his status, made 
matters unpleasant for him by notifying his master who took steps 
to recover him and he was obliged to dispose of his property through 
his friends Dr. Abel Catlin and William H. Thompson, who took the 
proceeds to purchase his freedom. His last appearance on Litch- 
field Land Records was August 6, 1824. In the latter years of the 
Law School, Grimes removed to Xew Haven, where he acted in the 
same capacity as he had at Litchfield to the students at Yale College. 
He published in a little pamphlet a sketch of his life, containing the 
portrait of which a copy is here given. He died about 1850 in Xew 

His great notoriety consists in the the well-known lines "Old 
Grimes is Dead," the history of which as given to me by an old 
resident of Litchfield, and fi-om other data which I have secured 
is as follows: Albert G. Green, of Rhode Island, who afterwards 
became a distinguished man. United States Senator, etc., was a 
student of the Law School in 1812, and was very fond of making 
rhymes about all manner of things, and upon all occasions, and 
Grimes importuned him to make some poetry for him, the result be- 
ing the lines above referred to, a few stanzas of which are here 


Old Grimes is dead — that good old man. 

We ne'er shall see him more ; 
He used to wear a long black coat 

All buttoned down before. 

His heart was open as the day. 

His feelings all were true ; 
His hair was some inclined to gray — 

He wore it in a queue. 


Whene'er he heard the voice of pain 
His breast with pity burned ; 

The large round liead upon his cane 
From ivory was turned. 

Kind words he ever had for all, 
He knew no base design ; 

His eyes were dark and rather small, 
His nose was aquiline. 

He lived in peace with all mankind, 
In friendship he was true ; 

His coat had pocket-holes behind. 
His pantaloons were blue. 

But good old Grimes is now at rest. 
Nor fears misfortune's frown ; 

He wore a double-breasted vest, 
The stripes ran up and down. 

He modest merit sought to find 

And pay it its desert ; 
He had no malice in his mind. 

No ruffles on his shirt. 

His neighbors he did not abuse. 

Was sociable and gay ; 
He wore large buckles on his shoes. 

And changed them everv clay. 

Thus undisturbed by anxious cares 
His peaceful moments ran, 

And everybody said he was 
A fine old p;entleman. 



The frontisipiece in this book is from an old oil painting that he 
made of himself when he was about twenty-five years old and is 
now in the possesston of his daughter in New York city who kindly 
loaned it for reproduction. 



On the 29th of January, 1874, the Bar of Fairfield County gave 
a comphmentary chnner to Chief Justice Origen StOrrs Seymour, 
on the eve of his retirement from the Bench— under the provisions 
of the Constitution. 

2\Iany distinguished guests were present; many pleasant and 
mterestmg things were said, some relating to our Bar and though 
all are worthy of preservation we have the space for only a few. 

The President, Hon. James C. Eoomis, introduced the exercises 
by sa}'ing : 

Gexixemex : — I feel confident that nothing has transpired in the 
history of the Fairfield County Bar during my long connection with 
it, which has given more pleasure to its members than the oppor- 
tunity which this occasion affords, to express to our Chief Justice 
on the eve of his retirement, our high appreciation of those exalted 
qualities which characterize and adorn his life, and which has made 
him so eminently useful and so universally esteemed, and our deep 
regret that, in the midst of his usefulness and in the full possession 
of all his intellectual powers, he is compelled to retire from his high 
official station and discontinue his invaluable services under the stern 
provisions of our Constitution, which makes 70 years of age the 
limit of judicial life in Connecticut. 

I assure you, gentlemen, it affords me unfeigned pleasure to as- 
semble with you around this festive board and unite with our dis- 
tinguished friends, His Excellency, the Governor of the State of 
Connecticut; His Honor, the Chief Justice elect, and his honorable 
associates of the Supreme Court; the distinguished Judge of the 
Circuit Court of the United States for the district of Connecticut; 
the Judges of our Superior Court and of other courts, and other 
oflBcials who have honored us with their presence, in paying this 
well-merited tribute of respect to oaie who so emiently deserves it. 

From the time of a generation at least Judge Seymour has been 
a star of the first magnitude in the civil, political, judicial and, I may 
say, religious constellations of the State. He has deservedly won for 
himself a name that will be known, honored and loved, not only in 
his day and generation, but so long as the public records endure. 

There is no human standard by which we can measure the exact 
amount of good which results to a State from a busy, active and 
well spent life in the public service Even the great Amazon is 
swallowed up in the bosom of the fathomless deep ; nevertheless its 
influence, unmeasured and immeasurable in all its magnitude and 
power is there, and the great ships which float the treasures of the 
nations on "Old Ocean" float more or less securely, however un- 
consciously, upon the foundations, which this mighty river has con- 
tributed to establish and maintain ; so, though we cannot define with 


mathematical precision the exact quantity of good, which has re- 
sulted to our commonwealth and its citizens from the eminent ser- 
vices of our distinguished friend, yet no one will doubt but hi,s long, 
active and useful life spent in the administration of the local affairs 
of his immediate neighborhood — in the advocacy of the rights of the 
citizens at the Bar — in the promotion of the public weal in the 
councils of the State and nation^ — ^and in the maintenance of the great 
principles of justice and equity, according to established authority 
upon the Bench, have greatly contributed to the stability and pros- 
perity of our institutions and given additional security to the rights 
of person and property so eminently and so universally enjo3-ed. 

It has been my privilege to have been honored with the personal 
acquaintance and I believe friendship of eight of the predecessors 
of our Chief Justice in that high office — Hosmer, Daggett, Williams, 
Church, Waite, Storrs, Hinman, Butler — glorious names ! They 
were all high-minded, learned, impartial judges, uncorrupted — in- 
corruptible ! They have gone down to their graves crowned with 
honors, having transmitted the ermine of the judicial robes spotless 
and when that emblem of purity and incorruptibility fell upon the 
shoulders of him who now so gracefully wears it — it touched nothing 
less spotless. He will soon transmit it to his successor stainless, to 
be borne by him through his judicial life unsoiled and then trans- 
mitted in all purity to another, thence to descend from generation to 
generation, I hope to the latest generation of man, without a spot 
or blemish. 

It would afford me great pleasure to dwell for a few moments, 
did time permit, upon the many virtues which embellish and adorn 
the private life of our Chief Justice ; to speak of his devotion to the 
welfare and happiness of his family and friends — ^of his tender s3'm- 
pathies with the unfortunate and afflicted, of his gentlemanly deport- 
ment everywhere and on all occasions, of his manly practice at the 
Bar, of his patience and suavity on the Bench, of his hospitality, his 
generosity, his integrity, his incorruptibility — ^but time fails' me. 
I can only say that in all the relations of private life. Judge Seymour 
has been and is the Christian gentleman, acknowledged and appreci- 
ated as such by all who know him most, by those who know him best. 

Daniel Webster, speaking of himself at a public dinner given him 
m the city of Boston some years since, said: "If public life has its 
cares and trials, it sometimes has its consolations ; if the approbation 
of the good is fit to be pursued, it is fit to be enjoyed ; if it be, as 
it undoubtedly is, one of the most stirring and invigorating motives 
which can operate upon the mind, it is also among the richest re- 
wards which can console and gratify the heart." 

In the spirit of these sentiments of this pre-eminently distinguish- 
ed statesman — in the name of the Fairfield County" Bar— in the 
presence of this large circle of distinguished friends,' and from the 
lowest depths of my heart, let me say to you, Mr. Chief Justice, in 
conclusion, 3-ou have experienced the cares and trials of public life ; 


you have secured the approhation of the good ; you have won a 
crown; it is fit that you should enjoy it. Console and gratify your 
hqart with this rich reward and when you ascend from your present 
high position to the bosom of your family and to the circle of your 
loving and beloved friends, there to enjoy the honored evening of 
your useful life in trancjuil repose, may the soul stirring and invig- 
ating" consolation cheer and animate you to your latest breath, intensi- 
fied with the comfortable hope that beyond there is prepared an im- 
mortal crown, which neither time nor Constitution can take away. 

Chief Justice Seymour responded to the toast "Our Chief Justice" 
as follows : 

I stand here to-night on the eve of separation from pursuits to 
which during a long life I have been devoted. I have enjoyed my 
professional life at the Bar and on the Bench, and I do not and cannot 
look with indifference upon my approaching separation from these 

I, however, make no quarrel with the constitutional provision 
imder which my retirement takes place. "The days of our age are 
three score years and ten ;" when those years are accomplished, na- 
ture craves .a brief period of repose between, on the one hand, the 
active duties of life and its final close on the other. 

I submissively bow, therefore, to the law of the land, believing 
it to be in harmony with the law of nature, but at the time I cherish 
the memories of professional life, and part from it with fond regret, 
and I will occupy your time a few moments this evening in suggest- 
.ing some particulars wherein the lawyer's life among the varied 
pursuits of mankind is regarded by me as a favored one. 

I was admitted to the Bar in my native County of Litchfield^ in 
1826, and I at once found myself in possesion of a privilege which 
I then thought might be peculiar to myself, but which I afterwards 
found was common to all young lawyers, — the privilege of fellow- 
ship on free and easy terms with the elder brethren. I well remem- 
ber the pleasure of 'these associations and the help I derived from 
them. It is pleasant to recall the names of the giants in those days, 
when I was a stripling, Bacon, Miner, Huntington, Beers, Board- 
man, the Churches, Smith. When I found myself in a snarl, and that 
happened to me semi-daily, I always found relief in the ready and 
cheerfully-given counsel of these my venerable seniors. ' 

It is truth familiar. to us all that lawyers, young and old, -high 
and low, rich and poor, associate together with great freedom, not 
perhaps that we love one another more than the medical faculty, but 
our business brings us constantly into association with our brethren, 
our labors are not isolated but performed in public and in each 
other's company, whereby we become thoroughly acquamted with 
each other. No man can conduct a complicated cause in court with- 
out showing- his brethren what manner of man he is. If he has mind 
industrv. learning and culture, he shows it ; his temper and disposi- 
tion will show themselves. If he has integrity and truthfulness in 



him they will appear. If on the contrary, he is a sham, everybody 
¥,^111' see it. The practice of changing partners as associate counsel, 
brings lawvers into the most intimate relation with each other. 

It is amusing to notice gentlemen who are opposed to each other 
in the morning almost to personal altercation, in the afternoon en- 
gaged as associates, and at once as familiar and intimate with each 
other as the Siamese twins. We become, therefore, Ihoroughly 
acquainted with each other and wear no masks in each other's 

In this connection, if time allowed, I would like to describe the 
bar meetings of olden time which had a lingering existence 50 years 
ago, but those old-fashioned gatherings could not be conducted on 
temperance principles and upon the advent of the temperance re- 
formation, thev "took the chills" and died out. But the attraction 
of the profession lies in the inherent dignity of the law itself, con- 
trolling'as it does by its silent power, the moving masses in all their 
various relations and interests — in the equity, calm wisdom and dis- 
passionate justice of its precepts — in its noble history in the past 
and in the services and accomplishments of its living professors. 

The bar has always drawn to itself the best talent and highest 
culture of the country, and hence the contests of the Bar conducted 
by skillful and learned counsel, furni=:li scenes of instructive interest. 
The marvelous and varied pov/ers of the human mind are in these 
contests called for and developed in a manner and to an extent 
unequaled in any other arena. 

I readily recall many such scenes as lively and dramatic as the 
inventions of Shakespeare's genius. I would not be understood 
however, as saying that the court room is exactly paradise regained. 
The scenes are generally animated, spirited and varied ; sometimes, 
however, dull and stupid; sometimes disgusting, exhibiting human 
nature of its most revolting form and the members of the Bar have 
much thankless labor, many sleepless nights and bitter disappoint- 

But it is in his library that the true disciple of the law finds his 
highest satisfaction. He can here interrogate the masters of juris- 
prudence, ancient and modern upon the matters he has in hand, and 
will seldom fail of getting an appropriate answer. I yield no blind 
obedience to authorises and precedents. Law is a progressive 
science. When it is said that law is the perfection of reason, it is 
not to be understood that all the utterance of judges and jurists are 
such. There are mistakes and errors in the past that the present 
may correct, and there are mistakes and errors in the present which 
it is to be hoped the future will correct, but taken as a whole a law 
library is replete with sound truths applicable, more or less directly, 
to the various living issues pending before the courts, not mere ab- 
stract truths worked out in the closet, but truths upon which learned 
arguments have been heard at the Bar, and learned consultations 
had by the Bench, so that all available learning .on the subject is 


brought forward and receives its due weight. It is difficult to over- 
estimate the vahie of the weU weighed opinions of such chancellors 
as Hardwick, Eldon and Kent, and of such Judges as Mansfield, 
Ellenborough and JNlarshall. 

Among the most cherished memories of my professional life is 
the intimate acquaintance which I have enjoyed' with all the eminent 
jurists who have adorned the bench of the State during the fifty 
years. I need not recite their familiar names in this assembly, but 
}0u will permit me, occupying the position I do, to repeat the names 
of those who have filled the high oHice I am about to lay down, 
nom'uia clara each of which upon bare mention suggests all the 
virtues pertaining to their high judicial position. 

When I came to the Bar the Chief Justiceship was held by the 
learned Hosmer followed in quick succession by Daggett, Williams, 
Church, \\'aite, Storrs, and Hinman, and then by my immediate 
predecessor, the lamented Butler, companion, friend, brother. In 
this, his native county, he needs no eulogy from me. In the reports 
of his judicial opinions he has raised to himself a monument acre 
pcnmiiis. Allow me, in conclusion, to propose as a toast, "The 
memory of the honored dead of the Bench and Bar of this State." 

The toast "The Bar of Litchfield County" was responded to by 
Hon. Gideon H. Hollister, as follows : 

It is difficult to name a portion of this Continent that might with 
m.ore propriety have been called a wilderness than was Litchfield 
County at the time of its first settlement, nearly a century after 
Hartford was founded. The site of the present village of Litchfield 
was overgrown with alder. It needed an emigrant's faith to foresee 
the changes that human industry under the guidence of good prin- 
ciples could bring about in the face of wintr}- skies and in defiance 
of steep hills. 

In 1/7^, about fifty \ears after the organization of the town, 
Tapping Reeve, son of a clergyman of Brookhaven, established him- 
self in this remote and obscure place which had nothing but a Court 
House, Jail and ]\Ieeting House to form a centre for the few towns 
that clustered around it. He could not have driven to the village 
in a carriage to save his life, for two reasons there were no wheeled 
\-ehicles and had there been any, there were no roads that could have 
been safelv traversed by them. This interesting adventurer was a 
graduate of Princeton, and was then only twenty-eight years old. 
He was a delicately formed slender man of classical features, pale 
complexion and large bright eyes. With him went Sally Burr, his 
v,'ife, daughter of President Burr of Princeton, sister of Aaron Burr, 
and grand-daughter of Jonathan Edwards — one of the most beauti- 
ful and accomplished women of her time. They took up their abode 
in South Street, in a house where I spent four happy years and 
which now belongs to Judge Woodruff, who is our distinguished 
guest this evening:. Mr. Reeve established himself here as a lawyer 
and soon attained to the highest distinction in his profession. After 


continuing in it for twelve years, in 1784, when the Revohitionary 
War was scarcely over, he instituted the Litchfield Law School in 
which he was the sole instructor until 1797, a period of fourteen 
years, when he associated with him James Gould, who was after- 
wards so renowned in the history of American jurisprudence. This 
school educated young men from all parts of the Union, among 
whom were John C. Calhoun, Levi Woodbury, John M. Clayton, 
Roger S. Baldwin, Samuel S. Phelps, Nathaniel Smith, William 
Elliot, Origen S. Seymour, Lewis B. Woodruff, Truman Smith and 
other distinguished men, whose names have shed lustre upon the an- 
nals of our country. Two of these graduates have been judges of 
the Supreme Court of the United States, fifty of them members of 
Congress, forty have been judges of the highest State courts and 
several have been foreign and Cabinet ministers. 

Tapping Reeve was not a mere peyJagogue, nor was he a mere 
lawyer. He was a man of genius, and in middle age when his 
feelings were enlisted in the trial of a cause, he often exhibited 
powers of eloquence, which from the suddenness with which they 
flashed upon the minds of his audience and from his impassioned 
manner, produced an overwhelming effect. He was very unequal 
in the exhibition of his powers. He was a man of ardent temper- 
ament, tender sensibilities and of a nature deeply religious. His 
sympathies led him to espouse the cause of the oppressed and help- 
less. He was the first eminent lawyer in this countr}' Vi'ho dared to 
arraign the common law of England for its severity and refined 
cruelty in cutting ofif the natural rights of married women, and 
placing their property at the mercy of their husbands to squander 
it at pleasure. His sentiments did not at first meet with much 
favor, but he lived long enough to see them gain a foot hold in this 
and other States. His principles did not die with him, but are per- 
petuated in his "Domestic Relations," and in the jurisprudence of 
his country. He was an ardent Revolutionary patriot of the Federal 
school. His fervent piety, well-timed charities, noble impulses, 
thoroughness, simplicity of character, and disinterestedness all served 
to render him a general favorite in a widely-extended circle of 
friends and acquaintances. He died in 1823, in the 80th year of his 
age. Such was the head and founder of the Litchfield Bar. 

The next distinguished member of this Bar if we are to follow 
the order of birth, was Andrew Adams, born in 1736, who was 
successively King's Attorney, member of Congress and Chief Judge. 
He was a man of clear mind and of great learning. After him 
Major-General Uriah Tracy, born in 1755. From 1796 to 1807 he 
was a Senator from Connecticut, leader of the Federal party, an 
intimate friend of Hamilton, Fisher Ames and Morris, and was a 
man of great legal acumen and particularly famed for his wit. 

Then follows Col. Ephriam Kirby, born at Litchfield in 17S7, an 
ofHcer in the Revolutionary army who carried to his grave a frightful 
wound that he received in the struggle. He was a faithful and 

G. H. hollistur's address 337 

accurate lawyer. In 1789, he published a volume of "Reports of the 
Supreme Court of Errors." This was the first volume of law re- 
ports ever published on this continent. Upon the organization of 
Lousiana, he was appointed by President Jefferson a judge of the 
newly acquired territory of Orleans, and died on his way to his place 
of destination in the 48th year of his age. 

After him in the order of birth comes Nathaniel Smith, who was 
born about the year 1763 and who, after severe struggles with pov- 
erty and imperfect, early education, rose so rapidly in his profession 
that soon after he commenced the study of law under Judge Reeve, 
he was sitting by his master's side on the bench of the Supreme 
Court of Errors. Judge Church and Judge Williams have both 
told me that he was in their opinion the most gifted man ever born 
in the State. I will not attempt any sketch of him, but if you will 
allow me I will quote a passage from a letter written to me by David 
S. Boardman who knew Mr. Smith and how to estimate him. He 

"His voice was excellent, being both powerful and harmonious, 
and never broke under any exertion of its capacity. His manner 
was very ardent and the seeming dictate of a strong conviction of 
justice of his cause, and his gestures were the natural expression of 
such a conviction. Mr. Smith's style was pure and genuine Saxon, 
with no attempt at classic ornament or allusion. His train of 
reasoning was lucid and direct, and evincive of the fact that the 
whole of it was like a map spread out in his mind's eye from the 
beginning. His integrity was always felt and dreaded by his op- 
ponent. He spoke with much fluency but with no undue rapidity, 
he never hesitated or haggled at a word, nor did he ever tire his 
audience with undue prolixity; or omit to do justice to his case for 
fear of tiring them ; and indeed there was little danger of it." 

There is only one brief specimen of the style of this eloquent 
man handed down to us. This is a part of his argument in the case 
of Jedediah Strong and wife before the General Assembly, and 
which is to be found in a volume of our reports. In arguing 
against the theory advocated by Judge Reeve in favor of married 
women, he took the opposite or common law ground and expressed 
himself as follows : 

"But the manners have led the law and the law the manners, 
until every barrier is broken down and we seem about to bury in 
oblivion forever the rule that the wife has no separate existence." 

Last in order of birth of the truly great men who can be partic- 
ularly dwelt upon in this hurried outline, is James Gould, born at 
Branford in 1770, and one of the most elegant scholars and terse 
writers who have adorned the profession in this country. He 
studied law under Judge Reeve, and joint orofessor and delivered 
lectures to the students in this institution for thirty-five vears : at 
the end of which time, there had been educated at the Litchfield 
Law School one thousand and twenty-five lawyers from all parts 



of the United States. Gould's pleading is one of the most con- 
densed and critical pieces of composition to be found in our lan- 
guage and is of an original character. He had at first contemplated 
a more extended treatise, but while he was preparing material for it, 
the announcement of Chitty's work on the same title induced him 
to change his plan. As it was presented to the public, Gould's 
"Pleading" is therefore only a summary of the original design but 
for clearness and logical percision it is surpassed-, if at all, only 
by the Commentaries on the laws of England. 

Judge Gould carried to the Bar the same classical finish which 
appears in his writings. It would have been impossible for him 
to speak an ungrammatical sentence, use an inelegant expression 
or make an awkward gesture. His arguments were expressed in 
the most brief forms in which a speaker can convey his thoughts 
to his hearers. He seldom spoke longer than half an hour, and in 
the most complex and important cases never exceeded an hour. 
He could shoot a quiver full of shafts within the circle of the target 
with such certainty and force that they could all be found and 
counted when the contest was over. 

As a Judge, his opinions are unsurpassed by any which appear 
in our reports for clearness and that happy moulding of thought 
so peculiar to him at the Bar and in social conversation. 

The position of this eminent jurist and his venerable master 
and associate, was truly enviable. To them flocked from every 
State in the Union the youth who were to shape the jurisprudence 
of the western world. They looked upon these renowned teachers 
with as much reverence as the young men of Athens regarded the 
philosophers who prepared their minds for the strifes of the Agora, 
the debates of the council or the shades of contemplative retirement. 

As I have before said, all attempts at particular description of 
the members of the Litchfield Bar, must end here. I might speak 
of John Allen, Gov. John Cotton Smith, Holmes, Boardman, Hunt- 
ington, Benedict, Sterling, Swan, Asa Bacon, Samuel and Leman 
Church, Mills, Phelps, Minor, Strong and others — and but for 
the presence in which I stand, I might attempt some brief sketch 
of the character and career of the venerable man whose retiracy 
from public life has been the occasion of this meeting, which, though 
a festival in form, has suffused our eyes with tears. I am one of his 
oldest students here present and have known him well. You will 
all join me in the prayer that his declining years may be like his 
professional and judicial life, serene as they are pure, and that no 
clouds of sorrow may settle down between him and a better world. 

D S 

« - 

O (/^ 

fa c 












New principles of law are presented in -the case oi State vs. 
William .NlcLanghlin, who was indicted by the Grand Jury at the 
April term, 1908, for murder in tlie first degree. The facts, over 
^v•hich there was no particular contest, were as follows : 

On the morning of April 12, 1908, a few men were gathered 
uix)n the depot platform at W^atertown. Some of them were at- 
taches of .tlie railroad, but most of them were on their way to 
church. The accused, a man of forty-six years, accosted the de- 
ceased in a manner which the latter regarded as offensive. One 
word led to another, and the victim oif the tragedy, Robert Downs, 
a young man of nineteen, pushed McLaughlin over so that he fell 
on the platform, breaking a bottle of whiske}- which he had in his 
jjocket. }iIore angry words followed, and the combat, so far as the 
knowledge of those on the platform went, was over. Robert Downs 
retired to a distance on the westerly side of the depot platform from 
where the wordy dispute took place, and Mclvaughlin went around 
the opposite corner oi the building and threw out the broken glass 
from his pocket, and then, unseen by anyone, drew a pocket knife, 
and going up to Downs struck him wi*h it in the neck, severing' the 
carotid artery, from which wound Downs died within a few minutes. 

The trial before the Superior Court was at the October term 
1908, in Litchfield, before Judge Edwin B. Gager, lasting intO' the 
third week. The prisoner was defended by Thomas F. Ryan, Esq., 
assisted by Elbert P. Roherts, Esq., both of Litchfield. The State 
prosecution was by State Attorney Donald T. Warner, assisted by 
Howard F. Landon, Usq. The principal question was as to the de- 
gree of the crime, the State contending that there was time for 
premeditation and deliberation and that all the elements of murder 
in the first degree were present. The defense claimed that the 
chronic alcoholism of the accused, as shown by his previous history, 
and by the medical itestimony of the defendant's expert, Dr. John L. 
Buel, rendered the accused incapable of the deliberation and pre- 
meditation under all the circumstances of the case neces-sary tO' con- 
stitute the crime of murder in the first degree. 

The jury after long deliberation returned a verdict of murder in 
the second degree, and the prisoner was sentenced to State Prison 
for life. 

While chronic alcoholism, as a defense is known in the law, it 
has been so seldom resorted to, in cases of this character, that un- 
usual interest was manifested by the legal fraternity in this case. 

An interesting case not heretofore mentioned, is that connected 
with the successful installation of The New Milford Power Company. 



About twenty-five years ago the Hon. Nicholas Staub, of 
New Milford and a former Comptroller of the State, conceived the 
idea that the great water power of the Housatonic river oug-ht to be 
utilized. He interested a few other persons with him in the matter 
and they decided to incorporate a company for that purpose, and a 
charter was granted by the General Assembly of 1893, forming the 
New Milford Power ■Compan\^ The matter laid dormant for a 
long time. There was plenty of power in the river, but there were 
no mills or factories requiring it. The scientific development of 
electrical energy and more particularly the availibility of trans- 
mitting it without material loss over long distances to be applied 
wherever power was required, opened up the way for the Company 
to begin operations. Many hydro-electric engineers advised that 
there could not be fall enough obtained to develop sufficient ^power 
to make such a plant, considering the large expense of the trans- 
mission line, profitable. Walter S. Morton, an eminent hydraulic 
engineer, now the consulting engineer oi the New York City Water 
Supply Commission, saw at once how the power of the water at 
Bulls Bridge could be doubled, and acting under his sugges.bions the 
company proceeded to erect a small dam in the gorge at Bulls 
Bridg'e, and dug a canal over two miles long to convey the water 
to a point in the town of New Milford, where they obtained a fall 
of one hundred and fifteen feet, with an average of two thousand 
horse power. 

The incorporators employed Frederic M. Williams, Esq., of New 
IMilford to attend to the legal part of the business. The charter 
had to be amended, giving the company various powers not original- 
ly included therein. After the charter was perfected and the stock 
of $1,000,000. subscribed, the dam was built, the canal dug and the 
power house, with four immense dynamos was erected. These 
were all matters of mechanism, but the real interesting part ito us 
attorneys was the proceedings relating to the acquisition of the 
flooded territory. Lands bordering on the river suddenly rose in 
value, and but little could be purchased, consecpiently condemnation 
proceedings under the charter were instituted by Mr. Williams, to 
acquire them. Nothing like these proceedings appear upon our 
records, in number or in accuracy. Committees were appointed 
CMisisting of Hon. Geo. M. Woodrufif of Litchfield, James Alldis, 
Esq., of Torrington and Edward S. Roberts, Esq., of North Canaan, 
and long hearings were had before these gentlemen, and it is an in- 
teresting fact that no exceptions were taken during the three weeks 
of the hearings by either party. The report of the Committee was 
accepted by the Superior Court, and no appeal was carried in any 
case to the Supreme Court of Errors. Lines of wire were erected 
and power successfully transmitted to Waterbury, and other cities 
Several electric roads are run by it, and ultimately the New York 
and New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company obtained the con 
trol of the plant. 

■/v \ 


^'} , Delivered at 


,■ Oo the 2" Day of November, A. D. ijOQ. ' \fi ) 

On ihc Day of the Execution of 

An- Indian N.l^ivf, 

>^^ri K^Purfuanc to Sentence of Death pifTcd upon^ 
i^ kt iii's\ i- •f^'m by the Hon. Superior Court, I..' 

'4c :n/ 

For the Murder of 




"Preached upon (he Dcfirc of liieCrirninal.^^d 
publiflied at the requefl of fonic . jpf,^tbQ 
Hearers^ ' ■ '^jf'%ie 

By TIMOTHY PITKfN, A.'^**^;'' 
aflor of the fird Church in Fnr^tiiugtfn.b 


« Tlfov /twit not UU. Sixth CommamO^- 


Printed jay Green $f IVatfon^'^atxt 'the '|tj?ftlt§y* J^_ 
^Bridge..";:' ':,<L^SiSdr' ^'"'^ 

(Reproduction of title page of sermon). 



The compiler has in his library a cop.v of a sermon delivered at 
Litchfield, in November, 1768, on the execution of John Jacobs for 
murder of James Chockrer, both Indian natives, the title page of 
which is herewith reproduced. This is the first trial for murder in 
the county, and must have been of unusual interest to have called 
forth a sermon from so eminent a divine as Timothy Pitkin, pastor 
of the Church at Farmington. I will quote a few choice extracts 

The text was : 



THAT HE DIE) HE IS A MURDERER: The ?\Iurderer shall 


After a long sermon on the text addressed to "Men and Brethren," 
and ending with "There is no way for sinners, but to repair to 
Christ; to Christ we must go, or to hell," the learned Divine pro- 
ceeds, "My discourse now turns to the poor prisoner, under sen- 
tence of death," — with the following soothing language, "JOHX 
JACOBS. It was your request, that this last advice, by me should 
be given to 3"ou, and therefore by help of divine grace, I shall speak 
to you, with great plainess, and O ! that I may address you, with 
that warmth and faithfullness, which your present case calls for ; 
this being the last sermon you will ever hear. 

"When I see a poor criminal, under sentence of death, when I 
view your aggravated crimes, .and you standing upon the edge of 
time, and just launching into an unalterable and eternal state; O! 
prisoner what shall I say to you ! O ! my hearers, what words shall 
your preacher choose ! 

Prisoner, attend ! The great God hath made a law, that he that 
shcddcth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed. And in our 
text, if one smite another zvith an ■instrtuncut of iron, so that he die, 
he is a murderer, the murderer shall surely be put to death. GOD 
had an infinite authority to make this law, and annex this penalty ; 
and, JOHN, this is your case: you smote one of your fellow crea- 
tures in malice and rage, ivith an instrument of iron so that he died; 
therefore you are a murderer, and you stand chargable with guilt 
of blood, 'tis just that you be put to death, for by the statute of 
heaven, by the law of GOD, you ought to die. 

Prisoner, attend ! You deserve to suffer the eternal pains of 
hell, it is just in God to send you to the hopeless regions of the 
damned ; you was a sinner and have been a prayerless malicious 
creature, therefore GOD, aga.inst whom you have sinned and whose 
laws you have violated, may justly damn you." There is a consider- 
able more of this kind of consolation. 



The biographical notes on Truman Smith, which I have hereto- 
fore given, were prepared by a distinguished lawyer of New York 
City, who had been associated with Mr. Smith in his practice, and 
mostly relate to matters outside of Litchfield County. The Humas- 
ton case, however, was one in which the plaintiff, Mr. Humaston, 
was a native of Litchfield, and was in the employ of the Western 
Union Telegraph Company when he invented a process of sending 
a number of messages simultaneous upon the same wire, and the 
Telegraph Company claimed that it was their property. To prevent 
other telegraph companies from using this invention they pensioned 
Mr. Humaston during his lifetime. 

During, Mr. Smith's residence in Litchfield he was one of the 
leading, if not the leading lawyer in Litchfield County, in certain 
classes of cases, and used the forcible, brow-beating method of 
trial. He was a terror to witnesses in cross-examination, and many 
stories are told about him. Previous to the great fire in 1886 the 
compiler had in his office a massive cherry table which once be- 
longed to Mr. Smith, who frequently oame into the office, as he 
visited Litchfield, and would go up to the old table and after ex- 
amining it a little would say, "Old fellow, I have pounded you a 
great many times !" 

I well recollect the last case which Mr. Smith tried in this court, 
and probably the last one he tried in any court. R was a case which 
was brought by Mr. Cothren for some man in Woodbury against 
Mr. Nathan Smith of Roxbury, a brother of Truman Smith. It 
appeared during the trial that the plaintiff never authorized the 
bringing of the suit, which was over some very trivial dispute of 
account, nor did the party who was recognized to prosecute, enter 
into any recognizance. The case came before Judge Hovey, and 
Mr. Smith moved that it be erased from the docket, and made an 
argument of about two hours in support of his motion. He was 
then nearly eighty years old and too infirm to stand during his argu- 
ment, so he would stand part of the time, then sit for a time, and 
never did an attorney receive such a scoring as did Mr. Cothren, 
who withdrew the suit. The whole performance was the most im- 
pressive exhibition of ancient legal warfare I have ever witnessed. 

C. F. Sedgwick, Esq. of Sharon, Conn., said in an article in the 
Leavenworth Genealogy, P. 26, that "Up to Mr. Smith's time, the 
eminent men of the county were a kind of privileged class, neve.' 
mingling with the common people — ^but Mr. Smith welcomed to 
his acquaintance and sympathy good men of all conditions in societv 
no matter how humble or obscure the man might be. He never took 
advantage of his social position to obtain preferment for himself — 
never asked for a nomination — never solicited the vote of anv man — • 
his weieht of character, eminent fitness and great abilities alwavs 
marked him as the man for the place and his nominations were made 
with great unanimity." 






Mr. Smith, in the latter part of his Hfe, hved in Stamford, anJ 
for a number of years was actively engaged in the suppression of 
intoxicating hquors, writing and pubhshing several pamphlets re- 
latmg thereto and often appearing before the General Assembly 
in support of temperance legislation. 


On page 129 the method of drawing jurors is outlined. I have 
obtained the pictures of all of the Jury Commissioners since this 
way of selecting the Jury was provided and who act with the Clerk 
as the board of selection in Julv. 

George C. Harrison was appointed in 1895 and died while 
holding the office, February 25th, 1907. He was born in Cornwall, 
May 19th, 1840, and resided in his native town all his life, holding 
nearly all the honors its citizens could give him regardless of party 
in the town offices. Was Judge of Probate many years. He was 
often appointed by this Court as a Committee to lay out roads, ap- 
praise propert}-, assess damage, etc. As a Jury Commissioner he 
was very conscientious and at the sessions of the board he always 
had his list carefully marked and checked as to the fitness of each 

Byrox TcTTi.E was also appointed in 1895 and resigned soon 
after Mr. Harrison's death. He was also exceedingly careful and 
fair in the discharge of his duty. He died in Plymouth September 
25, 1908, aged 83. He was in early life an active business man and 
a noted manufacturer of carriages which industry he discontinued 
soon after the close of the civil war. He held many of the most 
important offices of the town of Plymouth ; Selectman and Judge 
of Probate. He did a good deal of law business such as conveyanc- 
ing, drawing wills, contracts and the like. He was especially fond 
of assisting attorneys in preparing a case for trial by looking up 
the evidence, witnesses and exhibits, and felt great pride saying that 
he never lost a case that he prepared as he desired. 

Andrew G. Barxes was appointed Jury Commissioner in 1907. 
He is a native of Sherman Conn., born November isth, 1838, but 
has resided in \ew Milford nearly his whole life where he is an ex- 
tensive farmer, dairyman, cattle breeder and large gro'wer of to- 
bacco. Has held many town offices and represented New Milford 
in the Legislature of 1895 and 1903, and was Senator of his dis- 
trict in 1907, and is re-elected Senator for 1909. 

Chesterfield C. Middlebrook was appointed a Jury Com- 
missioner in 1907. He has been Sheriiif of Litchfield Countv and 
possesses a large acquaintance all over the County, peculiarly 
flitting him for exercise of his present office. 



The office of County Commissioner was established more than 
half a century ago and a large variety of duties are assigned to 
them in relation to County affairs, such as providing for the care 
of the County buildings, their repair, providing for the maintenance 
of the jail, etc. Probably their most arduous duty is that relating 
to the excise, or granting of licenses for the sale of spirituous and 
intoxicating liquors. Their salaries at present are $600 a year and 
mileage. They hold their office for four years from their appoint- 
ment. The present Commissioners are as follows 

Hubert B. Case, the Chairman is a native of Barkbamsted, born 
April 3rd, 1856. He is a merchant, has been a member of the Gen- 
eral Assembly from his town, and has held many town offices. His 
term of office expires October i, 191 1. 

Howard M. Guernsey was born in Thomaston January 9, 1877. 
He has been -for several years engaged in the manufacture of lum- 
ber. His mills are now in operation in New Hampshire and Ver- 
mont. He has represented Thomaston in the Legislature. His 
term of office expires October i, 191 1. 

John J. Karl was boTn in Goshen, N. Y. March i, 1864, but has 
resided since his boyhood in Litchfield. He is a teacher, composer 
and publisher of music. Is very active in political affairs, and is 
Town Clerk of Litchfield, and Clerk of the Probate Court of Litch- 
field District. His term of office expires October i, 1913. 



One of the busy men in Court is its messengers. The duties 
are various, and not defined by statute. The theory is they are to 
regulate the temperature, lighting and ventilation of the Court 
room; to get reference books as required from the library for use 
in the Court, and attend to the multitudinous errands of the lawyers 
engaged in the trial of a cause. 

They are appointed by and hold their office during the pleasure 
of the judge. 

The present messengers are at Litchfield, Chauncey J. Buel. He 
is also the Janitor of the building. In Winsted, Dr. Willey T. Smith, 
a dentist by profession, rests his nerves in the forensic eloquence of 
the attorneys. In New Milford, Lewis W. Mosher, a veteran of the 
Civil war, enjoys the strifes and conflicts of the opposing parties. 





T I 1 

< CO 

3 ^ 







One hundred years have brought their bloom and fruit, 

Since "every one who had a cause or suit," 

Alight "come up hither" and present his claim. 

With no misgivings, that, whoever came, 

\yith a good cause, good witnesses, good men 

Upon the bench as judges, and, again, 

With twelve good honest jurors ; if he saw 

That well-feed "counsel learned in the law," 

Had courage, after half dozen fights. 

Would — stand an even chance to get his rights. 

And then at least the controversy o'er. 

The case all settled, to be tried no more. 

Those hundred years, as onward they have swept. 

Have seen how calm the litigants have slept: — 

Judge, jury, counsel, parties have withdrawn. 

And to a higher bar together gone, 

Where every right decree is ratified 

And every wrong reversed and set aside. 

John Pierpont. 

In Ri.; 
in the matter oe 
the litcheield county 
Bench and Bar. 

January i, 1909 

Be it remembered that this cause having been pending for a 
century and a half, and the parties having been duly heard, by their 
witnesses and counsel, and having examined the foregoing exhibits, 
v/hich are made a part of this record. It is considered and ordered 
that the foregoing judgment presented fifty years ago to the citizens 
of Litchfield County by John Pierpont in his Centennial poem is 
hereby accepted and approved. 





Abernethy, Elisha S. 
Adam and Church 
Adam and Eve 

J. Henry 
Adams. Andrew 

II, 56, 126, 139, 


John Q. 

John CJuincy 


Addis, John F. 
Aiken, Edmund 

Albro, John A. 
AlldiS, James 
Allen. Ethan 

Henr>' J. 

II, 28, 45, 56, 62, 

John Wm. 
Ames. Fisher 
Andrews, Charles B. 

125, 126, 129, 181, 

Charles W. 

Edward Warren 

James P. 

Samuel James 


W. H., Rev. 
Andros, Sir Edmund 
Annual banquets 
Ashley, Timothy 
Atwood, C. B. 
Austin, Aaron 11, 

Ralsamon C. 
Averill, Roger 
Ayers, Russell W. 

Babcock, Rufus, Rev. 7 
Bacon, Asa 

61, 86, 87, i.H, 222, 333, 338 

Epaphroditus C. 222 

Gen. Francis 222 

Backus. Azel, D. D. 23, 33 

Baker, Willard 124, 222 

Balcomb, Benjamin, murder 152 








































Baldwin, Birdseye 

Chief Justice 


George H. 


Isaac II, 121, 123, 

Isaac Jr. 

Roger S. 


Ball, Luther T. 
Bancroft, George 
Barbour, Henry S. 

Barker, Prof. 
Barnes, Andrew G. 

Barrett, John 
Barlow, Joel 
Bates. A, 

Robert C. 
Battell, Josiah B. 
Beach, Jesse 

John S. 

Supt., Geo. W. 
Beardsley, Ferris 
Beckwith, J, Gail 
Beebe, Zenas— trial 
Beecher, Abraham 

Henry Ward 


Rev. Lyman 


Beeman. Frederick D. 

126, 139, 226, 262, 
Beers, Frederick 

George W. 

Lewis F. 

Seth P. 

88. 92, 126, 135. 
Belden, Charles O. 
Bellamv. Joseph H. 30, 

Joseph, D. D. 
Benedict, Amos 

Noah B. 

29, 56, 57, 86, 87, I 

149, 227, 27;, 338 

Rev. Noah 
Bennet, Milo L. 
Benton. Jacob 


115. 222 
, 223 








140, 143 





27.3. 321, 

171, 226, 

95- 135. 



23, 134, 139, 








Berrj', Hemaii 
Betts, John B. 

Bidwell, William W. 
Bierce, William W. 
Billings, N. 
Bills, Henry A. 
Brighani, Judge 
Bion, Michael— trial 
Bird, Hon. John 

Bissell, Daniel 





Blackman, Ebenezer B. 
Blagden, Col. 
Blake, Louis J. 
Blakeslee, J. W. 
Blakeley, Samuel C. 
Blodgett, William H. 
Boardman, Daniel, Rev. 

David S. — Sketches 

40. 80, 86, 88, go, 123, 135, 

228, 333, 2i7, 338 


George S. 

William W. 
Booth, Walter 
Borjesson, Andrew — trial 
Bosler, William D. 
Bostwick, Bushnell 


Joseph A. 

Botchford. Nathan 
Botsford, Henry A. 
Botts, John M. 
Boughton, John O. 
Boyd, John 
Bradley, Abraham, Jr. 

Edward E. 

Bradstreet. Albert P. 
Brainard, Cephas 

Jeremiah G. 


Brewster, Nelson. 
Breen, James T. 
Brinsmade, Daniel N. 

Rev. Daniel 
Bristol, Clififord E. 

Bronson, Bennett 

Brooks, Norman 
Brown. Charles R. 


20, 97, 






7Z, 77, 8, 


123, 143, 














23 T 



44, 182, 
44, 182, 

Brownson, Samuel 

Buckingham, Gov. Wm. A 


S. McLean 
Buel, Dr. Henry W. 

Dr. John L. 

Norton J. 

Dr. William 
Bull, Epaphrus, W. 
Burke, William 
Burr, Aaron 

Burrall, Porter 

William. M. 

80, 91, 109, 112, 134, 

232, 233. 

William P. 
Burrill, Charlfs D. 
Burnham, Oliver 
Bushnell, Horace 
Butler, .Calvin 

Calvin R. 

Malcolm N. 

Col. John 
Butler, Hon. Thomas B. 

Chief Justice loi 



108, 301 

124, 233, 
129, 156 


108, 232 




, 191, 335 

I9i> 335 


142, 143 

140, 233 




90, 134, 142, 233 




151- 311 

332, 335 


Cable, Curtiss W. 
Cady, Daniel W. 
Calhoun, David S. 

John C. 

Camp, George W. 

Samuel G. 
Camden, Lord 
Canfield. Ezra 

Edward T. 

Henry J. 




Samuel to, 26, 

Col. Samuel 
Card, Albert M. 
Carpenter, Judge 
Case, Lyman W. 

Orrin S. 

Catlin, Dr. .\bel 



(icorge Smith 



Chaffee, Elmore S. 


124, 125, 
26, 53, 126, 



124, 234 

182, 312, 336 









123, 234 
123, 143, 234 

42, 121, 142, 234 

124, 235 

71, 142, 236, 235 

235, 3.30 




Chamberlain, Gov. Abiram 


Champion, Anna 


Champlin, Epaphroditus 


Lucretia * 


Judah, Rev. 

23, 261 

John D. 


Chapin, Rev. 


Chapman, Charles 

^^, 102, isi. 

152, 323 

Judge 56, 73, 76, 78 

Charles I, King 


ir, King 


Chase, Charles Y 


Cheever, Samuel W. 


Chipman, Thomas 

142, 236 

Hon. Nathaniel 


Chittenden, Frederick 

117, 237 

Choate, Rufus 

242, 310 

Chockrer, James 


Church, Aaron 


Leman 29, 50, 66, 

96, 108 

41, 282 


123, 239 


94, 134, 142, 239 


109, no, III, 116, 126, 13s, 150, 

237, 333, 338. 

Samuel 3, 66, 86, 103, 108 

126, 133, 139, 152, 168, 237, 296 

297, 302, 311, 332, 333, 335, 337 

Clark, Senator William A. 288 

S. Gregg I2S, 237 

Thomas M. 237 

Clayton, John M. 293, 312, 336 

Cleveland, Chauncey 102, 137 

Chester D. 124, 238 

Frank E. 124, 238 

General 61 

Clossey, E. M. 163 

Cobb, Lorenzo T. 152 

Coe, Mrs. Thomas M. 281 

William G. 238 

Coffing. George 156 

Churchill 238- 

Cogswell, Leonard W. 131, 321, 323 

Col. William 92, 123, 135, 238 

Cole, George W. 124, 238 

Collier, Thomas 19, 146 

Collins, Rev. Timothy 224 

Cook, Richard 238 

Roger II 

Roger W. 238 

G melius, Elias 3^ 

CMmwall, Edward A. 245 

Cothren, William 150, I5i, 1S2 

238, 254, 262, 273, 342. 
County Jail i7o 
Court Messenger 344 
County Commissioner 344 
Cowan, Stewart W. 125, 239 
Cowles. Edward P. 239 

Walter S. 239 

Samuel 239 

Cromwell, Oliver 
Gumming, Edward 
Curtiss, Eli 

Garner B. 



William E. 239 

Gushing, Caleb 137 

Cutler, George Y. 239 


Daggett, Judge 

56, 78, 139, 140, 148, 311, 332, 335 

Darling, Samuel 121 

Davis, Gov. John 137 

William C. 154 

William C, Jr. 154 

Nathan 122 

Davies, John 121 

Dawes, Senator 278 

Day, Thomas 84, 85, 98 

Dayton, Spencer 125, 239 

Dean, Gilbert 239 

Lee P. 125, 239 

Deming, Julius 20, 182, 146 

Stephen 322 

William 322 

Dempsey, E. C. 125, 240 

Dexter, Jeremiah W. 240 

Derso, Dr. Grosz 325 

Dickinson, Daniel S. 312 

William E. 240 

Dowd, Wheaton F. 143, 240 

Downs, Robert 239 

Theodore W. 240 

Dorr, Governor 137 

Drakely, Robert IS2 

Drinkwater, William 240 

Dunbar, Daniel 240 

Miles 240 

Dunning, Lyman IS9 

Dutton, Judge Thomas 103, 241 

Henry M. 241 

Dwight, Rev. Timothy Z1 

Djer, Eliphalet 170 

Eastman, Rufus 241 

Eaton, William W. 102 

Edmonds, Judge 56 

David 241 

Edwards, Rev. Jonathan 31. 335 

Pierrpont 56 

Ogden 241 

Egglcston, Frederick 241 

Eldridge, Nathaniel B. 241 

Elliott, Rev. John 64 

Elliott, William 


Ellsworth, Henry Loomis 


Oliver 170, 174. 

241, 242 

William W. 

76, III, 128, 126, 

151, 242 

Elmer, William T., Judge 


Elmore, John 108, in. 

123, 241 

John Jr. 


Col. Samuel 

15. 241 

Ely, William H. 

125, 241 

Emmons, Charles 


Ensign, James 


Etheridge, Frank W. 124, 

166, 241 

Everitt, Daniel 4i> 

123, 242 



Everson, Margaret 


Ewing, Thomas 



Fairchild, Mary 


Farnam, John R. 

125, 242 

Farnsworth, Amos H. 


Farrand, Rev. Daniel 


Fellows, Francis 


Fenn, Augustus H. 

126, 155, 243, 244 

249, 285 

Elliott J. 


Frederick J. 



123, 244 

Field, George L. 


Fillmore, Millard 


Fitch, Thos. 


Flint, Rev. Dr. 


_ Foote, Admiral 






John A. 

244, 24s 

Lucius H. 


Forbes, Samuel 

13, 20, 21 

Foreign Mission School 


Foster, Jared B. 115, 138, 143, 245, 252 

Lafayette S. 


Fox, Charles 


Franklin, Benjamin 

16, 174 





Maj. Gen. Wm. B. 




Walter S. 


Preeman, George A. 


Frisbie. Samuel 


Henry I. 

117, 246 





Fulton, Robert 


Fyler, Florimond D. 143, 246, 262 


Garfield, Alonzo B. 
Garrett, Joshua 
Gager, Judge Edwin B 
Gajlord, Frederick 
George HL, Statue 
Giddings, Ammi 

V. R. C. 
Gifford, George 
Glynn, James P. 
Gold, George R. 

Thomas R. 
Goodman, Arthur 
Goodrich, Elizur 

Lieut. Gov. 
Goodwin, Hiram 
Gould, James 

24, 28, 46, 56, S9. 

146, 149. 183. 187, 

194, 246, 293, 304. 


James Reeve 


William T. 

Dr. William 
Granger, Lyman 

Miles Toby 

no, III, 112, 114, 

320, 321, 326 
Grant, Elijah Phelps 

Graves, Henry B. 

126, 129, 151. 

254, 260, 321 

Green, Albert G. 

Dr. John 

William H. 
Griswold, Geo. W. 

Gunn, Frederick 
Guthrie, W. W. 


1 25, 246 
124, 246 
142, 247, 276 

'85, 108, 126, 
188, 192, 193, 
312, 336, 337, 


115, 126, 247, 


152, 155, 241, 248, 


47, 176 


7 25, 248 

Haddock v. Haddock 


Hadley, Richard 


Hale, Nathan 123, 



Hall, Benjamin 


Elnathan . 


Gideon 126, 138, 151, 



Robert E. 



Halsted, Mr. 


Hamilton, Alexander 


Hand, Alexander 


Hardenburg, Col. Jacob B. 




Harper, John 



Harrison, George C. 

Julius B. ii6, 

Hart, William 
Harvey, Joel Rev. 
Hathaway, Chas. R. 
Hatch, Moses 
Hawlej-, Charles 

Hayes, Charles Gordon 

John T. 
Hazelton, John 
Heacock, Philo N. 
Heminway, Louis M. 
Henshavi', Joshua 
Herman, Samuel A. 
Hickox, George A. 156, 
Hi'ggins, Bernard E. 

James R. 

Richard T. 
Hillhouse, James 
Hine, Homer 
Hinman, Chief Justice 



Charles W. 


Robinson S. 

Royal R. 

Hitchcock, John 


no, 112, 114, 126, 
Holabird, William S. 

96, no, 
Hodges, Elkanah H. 
Holcomb, Marcus H. 

Hollister, David F. 

Gideon H. 

126, 138, ISO, 151, 

321, 322, 335 

John B. 
Holly, John M. 
Holley, Horace 
Holle>- & Coffing 
Holmes, Uriel 

II, 123, 143, 
Holt, George B. 
Hopkins, Samuel Miles 
Hornblower, C. J. 
Home, Samuel B. 
Horton, F. H. 

Isaac M. 
Hosmer, Stephen Titus 
Hosford, Samuel C. 
Howe, Henry 

John D. 
Hubbard, Edward J. 


Hubbard, J. H. 71, 








138, ISO, 219, 





John T. 




Frank W. 




Richard D. 








Hungerford, Frank L. 






Humphrey, Joseph 




Van R. 



Hunt, Hiram 











1 45, 


Huntington, Edwar 

d G. 




James 124, 








250, 2S6, 316, 




Gen Zachariah 



Jabez W. 

29, 64, 76 

, 86, 





134, 183, 190. 
Hurlbut, Wm,. F. 






The County 





Health Officer 








■ Hyde, Alvin P. 







Ingersoll, Jonathan 







Ives, Aner 

Henry C. 










Jackson, President 




124, 167 

, 252 

Jacobs, George W. 



James, II. 





Jay, John , 
Jaqua, Daniel, Jr. 



Jefferson, Presideni 





Jenks, George P. 



Jenkins & Boyd 



Jessup, Ebenezer, J 
Jewell, Ezra 






Frederick A. 





Johnson, President Andrew 






Samuel N. 




Amos M. 





. 2S9 


Solon B. 
Walter W. 







Johnston, S. W. 
Josiah S. 




Jones, Rev. Isaac 




H. Roger, Jr 


, 259 











;, ZT, 











Judd, Walter S. 125, 143, i65, 259 

Judges Notes 328 

Judson, Charles A. 127, 259 

George H. 259 

S. W. 259 

Keese, James D. 

Kellogg, Ebenezer B. 

Kelsey, William 

Kent, Judge 

Kickapoo Indians 

Kilbourn, Dwight C. 
•Kingsbury, Frederick J 

King, Daniel M. 

Kirby, Ephraim 

Law Reports 
260, 290, 291, 312, 
Rejnold M. 

Kirkum, Philemon 

Knapp, William 

Koehler, Fred M. 

Kunkel, Edward A. 

Lake, Joseph 
Landon, Edgar M. 

Howard F. 

John R. 
Lanman, James 
Law, Richard 
Law School 
Lawrence, H. P. 

Wm. P. 
Leavenworth, Isaac 

Lee, Rev. Jonathan 

Bradley D. 

Rev. Chauncey 
LeRoy, James 
Lewis, Rev. Alonzo N. 

125, 262, 

Daniel W. 
Lilley, James 
Linsley, Frank D. 
Longfellow, Charles D. 
Loomis, Hon. James C. 
Lord, John J. 

Lynde 127 

Loring, Charles G. 
Lounsbury, Gov. Phineas 

W. B. 
Loveridge, George 

John P. 
Lowerj', Romeo 
Lowry, Governor P. 





261, 339 

127, 261 

1i, 75 

181, 311 


155, 262 


135. 262 




31, 262 

J 54 

321, 323 
123, 262 

125, 262 


263, 264 

Lynde, Samuel 
Lyman, Darius 


Col. David 

Ensign Moses 

Moses, Jr. 

Lyons, Benedict E. 


Maltbie, Theodore M. 
Manchester, Wilbur G. 
Mannering, Edward 
Mansfield, Judge 

Marsh, Cyrus 

Ebenezer 10, 

Frank W. 


Marshall, Judge 
Marvin, George A. 

Reynolds 11, 20, 123, 


Mason, John Y. 

Ebenezer P. 
Masters, Charles S. 

McDermott, Peter J. 
Mather, John P. C. 
Maxam, Amasa 
McCurdy, Charles J. 
McMahon, James H. 135, 

McLaughlin, William 
McMorris, William H. 
Mead, Paul E. 
Mannassah, Henrj' 
Merrill, Walter S. 
Merwin, Edward S. 



T. Dwight 
Metcalf, Theron 
Middlebrooks, C. C. 127, 225 
Miller, Joseph 91, 

Mills, Michael F. 93, 112, 

Roger 93, 114, 

Roger H. 

Samuel J. 
Minor, Gilbert S. 




Matthew J. 
Miner, Phineas 

6s, 74, 86, 89, 123, 134, 

267, 333, 338 



I2S, 265 

124, 264 





121, 142 

124, 265 




124, 265 

126, 170, 





156, 265 

124, 265 

78, lOI 
265, 206 

125, 266 

, 266, 343 

135, 267 

, 134, 266 

134, 266 






94, 135 

139, 140, 



Miner, Timothy 

William T. 
Mitchell, John G. 

Henry A. 

Stephen Mix 
Mix, John G. 


Morrill, Henry R. 
Moore, Charlfs C. 

Morris, Governeur 

T. Dwight 


Matthew M 
Morse, Jacob 

Morton, Walter S. 
Moseley, Increase 

Moses, Julius 
Mosher, Lewi's W. 
Moss, Charles E. 
Mulville, Wm. P. 
Munger, Warren 
Munn, Frank B. 
Munson, Harris B. 

Judge Loveland 
Mygatt, Fred E. 



117, 101 

106, 134, 267 


122, 311 




13, 336 

104, 267 

23, 37, 6s 



125, 268 


I2S, 268 


124, 268 


125, 268 

Nellis, Edward A. 127, 268 

Nesbit, Engenius A._ 183 

Nettleton, Charles 269 
Nickerson, Leonard J. 

123, 228, 268, 316 

Major A. 268, 269 

Nelson, Mikkel 269 

New Milford Power Co. 340 

No-rth, Theodore 95, 135, 269 

Norton, Birdseje 143 

James H. 269 

Johnathan T. 269 

Noyes, William Curtiss 239 


Obookiah, Henry 30 

O'Hara, William H. 125, 269 

Old Grimes 329 

Orr, James L. 270 

Orton, Samuel D. 270 

Otis, Harrison Gray 181 

O'Sullivan, Eugene T. 124, 270 

Osborne, Sellick 146 

Palmer, Charles A, 123, 270 

Joseph M. 270 

Solomon M. 270 

Parmaley, Jonathan E. 270 

David 270 

Park, Hon. John D. 151, 220 

Parker, Amasa 270 

Rev. Daniel 23 

Parsons, Anson V. 270 

Daniel 270 

Patterson, Walter M. 270 

Pease, Calvin 270 

Peck, 102 

William K. 112, 270 
Peet, George Washington 112, 271 

Perkins, Donald H. 245 
Perry, Nathaniel .94, 95, 134, 271 

Peters, Hugh F. 76, 271 
John T. 23, ^z, 75, 126, 271 

Pettit, Joel T. 271 

William. 192 
Pettibone, Augustus 

II, 79, 80, 123, 142, 143, 271 

Giles 271 

Samuel 26, 126, 271 

Sereno 271 

Phelps, Charles B. 

94, 134, 138, 142, ISO, 151, 238, 

262, 273, ^21 

E. Frisbie 


Ralph P. 

Pickering, Col. 
Pierce, Amos 


Pierpont, John 
Pine, Charles H. 
Pingree, T. P. 
Pitcher, John 
Pitkin, Rev. Timothy (sermon) 


Piatt, Orville H., Hon. 
Plumb, Henry B. 
Poe, Washington 
Poem, The Lawjers Ways 
Pond, E. LeRoy 
Porter, Charles J. 

John K. 

Joshua II 

Peter B. 

Potter, Joel B. 
Prentice, George D 
Prescott, Henry H. 

I2S, 273 



122, 336, 338 





139, 272, 273, 345 






122, 170 

170, 273 

124, 275 



124, 275 

127, 27s 


15, 105, 106, 142 

35, 275 

1 57 



Preston, Nathan 

William lo, 

123, 27s 
121, 142, 276 


Salisbury, Stephen 
Sanford, George A. 

124, 280 


David C. 



151, 280 

Rabello (trial) 
Ransom, William L. 


Henry S. 
Henry Seymour 
Roll in 


135. 281 

281, 321 


123, 126, 

261, 276, 320 

Scatocoke Indians 


Timothy C. 


Scott, Fred A. 

124, 282 

Randall, Benjamin 


Scoville, Daniel 


Raymond, David 


Homer R. 

124, 282 



Sedgwick, Albert 

127, 281 

Reed, Rev. Adam 


Charles F. 



126, 147 


276, 277 

151, 282, 321, 


John G. 

117, 277 

Gen, John 


Roraback, Alberto T. 



124, 126, 132, 143, 
J. Clinton 
J. Henrj' 

, 157, 278, 301 

124, 279, 323 

124, 279 

Capt. John 
Sewall, Samuel 
Seymour, E. W. 

Frank W. 





283, 284 

124, 288 

Willard A. 

124, 279 



Reeve, Aaron Burr 

183, 184, 277 

Morris W. 



287, 288 

Abner Rev. 




181, 285 

Reeve, Tapping 

Moses, Jr. 


, 37, 127 

II, 23, 24, 28, ZT, 

42, 46, 56, 59, 

Origin Storrs 


103, 125 

■ 61, 62, 85, 122, : 

[23, 126, 139, 

126, 138, ISO, 



189, 234 

182, 185, 187, 191, 

192, 193, 19s, 

283, 285, 286, 



331, 333 

217, 225, 228, 230, 

241, 244, 245, 


246, 253, 273, 277, 

290, 291, 293, 

Ozias II, 



285, 287 

298, 306, 311, 312, 

329, 335, 336, 

Rev. Storrs < 






Tapping Burr 


Shay's Rebellion 


Roberts, Elbert P, 

123, 279, 339 

Sheldon, Daniel 


Edward S. 


Col. Elisha 

15, 142 



Shelly, James P. 

124, 288 

William J. 


Shelton, George F. 

125, 288 

Robinson, Henry C. 




Richards, James 


Sherman, Daniel 


142, 288 

Richmond, Edward 




Francis X. 


Capt. John 


Richter, Clark 


Rev. John 


Robbins, Rev. Ammi 


Roger 56, 



142, 170 



173, 232, 288 

, 289 

Rockwell Bros. 







122, 173 



Gen. Wm. T. 




Sherwood, S. E. 


Rogers, Capt. Edward 


Skinner, J. B. 






Roosevelt, President 

246, 275 



Root, Jesse 122, 182, 185, igi, 311, 312 

Richard, L. 1 

L D. 

30, 289 

Rood, William H. 



. 30, 

123, 289 

Rowland, Samuel 


Roger S. 


Rugglcs, Philo 

123, 279 

Gen. Timothy 

30, 289 

Russell, Col. E. K. 


Slosson, Brazillai 


;, 47, 

123, 289 

John H. 




Ryan, Joseph 


John William 





50, 1.39 

Thomas F. 123 

;, 280, 326, 339 


40, 289 



146, 290 


27. 292, 342 
28. 55, 58 

Smith, Aaron 123, 290, 291 

Chauncey 97, 290 

Cotton Mallicr 28. 53 

David II, 143, 290, 291 

James W. 124, 290 

George W. 150 

Gen. E. Kirby 147, 290 

John Cotton 28. 53, 123, 125 
126, 290. 338. 
John Cotton, Jr. 
Joseph L. 

Nathaniel 11 
96, 123, 126, 134. 139, 148, 291 
Nathaniel B. 292, 336, :^S7 

Col. Nathaniel 292 

Perry 92. 134. 292 

Phenias J., Jr. 292 

Richard 13, 292 

Rev. Dr. 48 

Truman 56, 96, 150, 221, 237 
292, 293, 294, 323, 333, 3^, 342 
Wellington B. 

155, 157, 295, 316 
Willey T. 
William M. 

Southmayd, Samuel W 

50. 123, 139. 29s 

Spencer, George 

Spratt, William 

Sprague, Leman B. 

Stanberry, Henry 

Stanley, Rufus 

Staples, Seth P. 

Starr, Daniel 

Staub, Hon. Nicholas 

Sterling. Ansel 91, 135. 142 

Elisha II, 23, 29, 63, S6. 88 
123, 126, I ^4. 148, 149, 29t. 300, 
John M. 

Stevens, Henry W. 

Stiles, Benjamin 

Benjamin. Jr. 
David J. 

Stoddard, Eliakini S. 
]\Iai. Luther 

Stoeckel, Robbins Battell 

Stone, Charles F. 

Storrs, Judge 

76, 151, 152, 311 

Stowe, Harriett Beecher 

St. Paul's Lodge, F. & A. M 







122. 296 

123. 296 



123. 296 



Strong. Adonijah 27, 


John, Jr. 

Martin 27, 


Theron R. 


Rev. William 
Sturges, Jonathan 
Swain, Judge 
Swan, Betsey 

Cyrus 80, 

282. 297, 338 
Swift, Benjamin 

Heman, Col. 



Milton H. 


73- 80, 
Svllvman, Eb-enezer 

79, IDS, 123, 296 

55. 14^. 297, 337 

90, 13s, 296 

79. 143. 297, 338 








90. 123. 134. 143. 


15, 143, 297 

97. 134 



?3. S4. 311. 




Taft, George E. 
Talcott, Col. John 

Tallmadge, Col. Benjam 
15, 20, 
Taylor, Nathaniel, Rev. 
Teller, Senator 
Tharen, Robert S. 
Thatcher, Patridge 
Thayer, John Q. 
Thomas, John 

Judson B. 

Martin H. 
Thompson, Hezekiah 


Judson B. 

William H. 
Tiffany. P. R. 
Tracy. Uriah 

II, 18. 23, 27. ■?- 

123, 126. 139, 298. 
Treadwell, John 
Treat, Amos S. 


Selah B. 
Todd, Oliver A. G. 

Tolman, David 
Torrance, Hon. David 
Touslev, Samuel 
Trumbull, Gov. 


Tucker, Judge 
Turkington, F. H. 
Turrell, John S. 

125, 297 




37, 145. 181 




26, 41, 122 

125, 297 




26, 298 




125, 298 

, s6, 60, 80, 



152, 219, 243 


64, 102. 175 




127, 299 



Tuttle, Byron 


Judge Ralph 

326, 327 




106, 134 

Tunxis Indians 

I S3 



Twining, Stephen 


White, Aaron 

136, 138 

Tyng, Rev. Dr. 




Rev. Edwin A. 

I2S, 303 


Whitmore, Samuel 


Whitney, Joshua 


126, 302 

Wadhams, Albert 








Whittlesey, Charles 


Wadsworth, George 




Gen. James 




Capt. Joseph 


Thomas T. 


Waite, Judge 




Wilcox, Marshall 


Henrj- Matson 




Waldo, Loren P. 



Williams, Ephraim, 



Walker, Rev. 

6, 7 

Frederic M. 


303, 340 




303, 313 

Wall, Thomas J. 



John 10, 



142, ISO, 

Walton, Mr. 


220, 332, 335, 


Ward, Bennet 


Thomas Scotf 




William G. 


13s, 303 

Warner, Arthur D. 

Wilson, Andrew B. 


124, 143, 152, 24s 




Wolcott, Frederick 

Donald J., Jr. 


II, 22, 30, 37, 



123, 126, 

Donald J. 




143, 146, 176 

224, 278, 300, 319, 


Gen. Oliver 


II, I 

6, 22, 29, 



I2S, 127, 142, 




Donald T. 124, 




Gov. Oliver 


176, 303 

323, 339 



Lyman P. 




Milton J. 


Wood, Daniel 




Woods, Prof. Alva 


Washington, George 




Woodbn'dge, John, 



Watterman, Atty.-Genl. 


Woodbury, Levi 


312, 336 



Woodrufif, Ezekiel 


Watson, Douglass 


Frederick S. 


Webb, John Maj. 


George C. 



140, ISO, 

Webster, Daniel F. 


283. 304, 30S, 




George M. 



304, 340 

Frederick C. 



James P. 

123, 305 

John W. 


Lewis B. 

30s, 306 



Morris 78 

i, 80, 


304, 30s 

Welch, Gideon H 124, 




Wright, Pitkin Cow 



Hugh P. 


Wyllys, Mrs. 


John 37, 75 

1, 80, 


Wynne, John F. 

12s, 306 

Wells, John D. 





Wessells Francis 


Leveritte W. 



Yale, John D. 

127, 306 

Wetmore, Samuel 


N. / 



Wheaton, George 96, 




Wheeler, Abner (trial 



Zsarney, Janos