Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 19, page(s) 509-510


He was the youngest son of Asa Bacon, Esq., an eminent lawyer, whose name often appears as counsel in the earlier volumes of these reports, and is one of the few counsellors of that day, who are still living. FRANCIS, the subject of this notice, was born at Litchfield, Conn., in January 1820, and graduated at Yale-College, in 1838. His legal studies, preparatory to his admission to the bar, he pursued, in his native village, under the direction of Origen S. Seymour, Esq. In 1840, he was admitted to the bar. Two years afterwards, he removed to Lancaster, Penn., and there established himself in the practice of the law, in partnership with Thaddeus Steven, Esq., a distinguished advocate of that place. There, a fair prospect of success in his profession, opened upon him at once, which was regularly widening and brightening, when, in 1844, the lamented death of his elder brother, Epaphroditus C. Bacon, Esq., at Seville, in Spain, induced him to return to his native place, that he might more advantageously aid in solacing the grief of his bereaved parents. Here he renewed, with increased success, the practice of his profession. "His highly honourable deportment," says Ch. J. Church, "his amiable and courteous manners and promising talents at the bar, soon bore him on toward the highest rank in his profession, and made him a favourite with his professional brethren, with the courts and with the public."

In 1847, and again in 1848, he was first clerk of the house of representatives in the General Assembly of this state. On the reorganization of the military system, in 1847, he was placed at the head of the militia, with the rank and title of major-general; -an office which he sustained with great credit to himself and to the state. In the spring of 1849, he was elected a senator in the legislature of this state, from the 15th district. The duties which devolved upon him in this situation, inexperienced as he was, he discharged with promptness, tact and ability. Firm in the principles he professed, he was courteous to his opponents, and enjoyed the respect and kind regards of all.

He died, at Litchfield, September 16th, 1849, in the 30th year of his age, after a sickness of about three weeks. The severity of his disorder, during its progress, occasioned some mental alienation; but his last hours were unclouded and calm; and he departed this life a professing christian.

Here, at the close of this brief sketch, the inquisitive reader may inquire, what were the peculiar traits of his mind and character, which gave him such distinction, at so early an age? Was he profoundly learned; was he imaginative and brilliant; was he sententious and forcible; was he perspicacious and acute; was he vehement and overpowering; was he, indeed, conspicuous for any particular characteristic of mind or manner? His best friend will answer-Not so, in any remarkable degree; and yet it may be safely added, that he possessed what was of more value-a well balanced mind. This gave him entire self-possession, and secured the confidence of others. His moral qualities, also were symmetrical. His manliness, frankness, social feeling and high sense of honour, harmonized with his intellectual endowments, and, all combined, made him what he was.