Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 51 , page(s) 602-603


Old Lyme, quietly resting between the tides of Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, is far from being a type of New England activity. It nourishes neither factories nor universities. But it is typical of another kind of New England life, brought from the older England. Its quiet landscapes, pure water scenes and lovely sunsets, have attracted and developed peaceful homes and domestic refinement.

Notable have been the gifts which this unpretentious town has made to the legal profession. Here lived and died Chief Justice Henry M. Waite, of our highest bench. Here were born his sons Morrison R. and Richard C., the former the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the latter a prominent lawyer at Toledo. Here lived the Griswolds, Roger and Matthew, the former one of the ablest of our governors, and both lawyers of high rank. Here lives, in the serenity of a ripe old age, with intellectual powers as keen as the edge of Damascus steel, another, who retired from our supreme bench, superannuated only by the terms of law. And the Seldens, and Parsons, Noyes, and Marvin, might be added to the list of the lawyers of Lyme. And here on the 24th day of last November, in the full vigor of mature intellectual power, when he seemed best equipped for usefulness, DANIEL CHADWICK died. Here he was born, January 8th, 1825; and for nearly two centuries his family have made Old Lyme their home. He was a nephew of Chief Justice Henry M. Waite. He prepared for college at Middletown, where he formed a friendship with his classmate, Rutherford B. Hayes, which continued while his companion was the recipient of the highest honors of his state and nation. He graduated at Yale in 1845, a classmate of A. P. Hyde, Esq., of the Hartford Bar, and their intimacy continued until it was interrupted by death. He studied law with Judge Waite and Judge Foster, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He was a member of the State Senate in 1858 and again in 1864, where he was a successful chairman of the judiciary committee. In 1859 he was a member of the House of Representatives. In 1866 he was appointed State's Attorney for New London County, which office he filled until 1876. In 1880 he became United States' Attorney for the district of Connecticut, which office he held until his death. He was a government director of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, a member of the Republican National Committee, and a delegate to the Chicago Convention of 1880. In 1875 a joint caucus of the members of both political parties in the General Assembly tendered to him the nomination for judge of the Superior Court, which honor he declined. In 1848 he married Miss Ellen Noyes of Lyme, who, with their two sons and a daughter, survives him.

Mr. Chadwick's acquirements were manifold and his character and mind were symmetrical. He was always the soul of good sense and good judgment - and praise of the human intellect can go little further than that. His intuitions of men and things were penetrating and sound. What a commentary upon the insufficiency of the recompense which we award to our judges! Chadwick, who seemed born for the bench, by the decrees of predestination, was compelled to decline its honors, tendered to him in a way of exceptional unanimity and compliment, because his practice gave him so much larger opportunities to make reasonable provision for the domestic circle which he loved.

As a public prosecutor he had no thought of justice except as flavored with kindness. He was faithful to his trust, as representing the protection which society must have against the assaults of crime, with the fidelity of conscience, but he never forgot himself, Daniel Chadwick, man of decencies, sympathies and tenderness, in the temptations of advocacy. Ambition for professional success and the prospect of an increased bank account were powerless to induce him to seek conviction of the probably innocent, or to burden his docket with indictments against trivial offences. It is a perilous way wherein the public prosecutor walks. He is counselor and advocate for an orderly community; but he is more. His treatment of the wayward, disorderly and wicked is almost judicial. He speaks to the jury for the commonwealth, earnestly and fairly, but never with zeal for personal triumphs. In these straits Chadwick moved, a model attorney for the State and the Federal Government. To the long list of our eminent attorneys for the public, as Toucey, Ingersoll, Perkins, Hubbard, Ferry and the rest, we may add the name of Daniel Chadwick.

As a private counselor he was wise and discreet. He composed many quarrels, he fostered no single one. As an advocate he was singularly successful in measuring the taste and capacity of his forum. Simple and clear, he was often strong and profound, and was always effective. He addressed the Supreme Court, the jury, the legislative committee and the public, appropriately and wisely. He was a loving husband, an affectionate father, a delightful companion, and no man was a truer friend. He was of the pure in heart, and their benediction was his, and will be forever.