Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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LUZON BURRITT MORRIS was born in Newtown, April 16th, 1827. He was fitted for College at the Connecticut Literary Institute in Suffield, supporting himself meanwhile partly by his own industry, and was graduated from Yale University in 1854. He then entered the Yale Law School, and after pursuing his legal education there for a year, continued his studies in an office, and was admitted to the bar in 1856, establishing himself first at Seymour. He represented that town in the General Assembly in 1855 and 1856, after which he removed to New Haven, having been elected judge of probate for the district of New Haven, to which Seymour then belonged.
This office he filled to universal acceptance, and continued to hold by annual re-election, until 1863. From this time forward, for the remainder of his life, he had an extensive practice, mainly as chamber counsel, in advising clients, particularly with reference to the settlement of estates. He was frequently called upon to act as administrator, executor, guardian, or trustee, and probably filled, during thirty years, as many of these positions as any one man ever has in this State, within the same period. As a committee of the court, an appraiser of real estate, arbitrator, and referee, his services were also always in demand, and no man's judgment upon business questions was more respected throughout the State. In 1870, 1876, 1880, and 1881, he represented New Haven in the General Assembly, and in 1874 he was a member of the Senate of the State. He was one of the State Commission which settled the ancient dispute as to the boundary line between New York and Connecticut, in 1880, and four years later he was made chairman appointed to revise the probate laws. Here he rendered important service in remedying defects in the existing legislation and bringing it into orderly and systematic shape.
In 1888, 1890 and 1892, he was the candidate of the Democratic party for Governor; defeated in 1888; receiving a plurality of votes and the election being contested in 1890; and elected by a majority of votes in 1892. The history of the election in 1890, resulting in a dead-lock between the two houses of the General Assembly, and the lapse of two years without legislation on any subject, may be found in a previous volume of these reports, (State ex rel. Morris v. Buckeley, 61 Conn., 287; Brainard v. Staub, 61 Conn., 570). Party feeling ran high during these occurrences, and a man of different mould might easily have precipitated an actual conflict of arms, at the capitol. Gov. Morris exerted his influence, successfully, in the direction of moderation, and for the submission of all questions in dispute, so far as possible, to judicial determination.
His name appears in this series of reports in important causes, but more often as a party than as counsel. He had a native modesty which made him unnecessarily distrustful of his own powers as a public speaker, and seldom took part in argument at the bar. From the time of his first nomination for Governor, however, he went often upon the platform, and addressed large audiences with force and spirit.
For many years he was an officer, and for several the president, of the Connecticut Savings Bank, and he was in many ways identified with the business interests of the State. His leading qualities were sagacity, cool and clear judgment, equability of temperament, untiring industry, and absolute integrity of life and purpose.
He was struck by apoplexy at his office at New Haven on August 22d, 1895, and died a few hours later, at his home on the same day.