Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 43, page(s) 605-606

OBITUARY NOTICE OF NELSON L. WHITE

NELSON LLOYD WHITE, of Danbury, died at that place, on the 17th of November, 1876. He was born in that town on the 7th of April, 1812, in the house so long occupied by his father, Colonel E. Moss White, and which, through the generosity of a member of the family, is now the property of the Danbury Library Association. On the 5th of July, 1836, Mr. White was married to Miss Sarah Booth, daughter of David Booth, Esq., of Kent, who, with four children, survives him. He studied law under the direction of Hon. Reuben Booth, and in 1840 was admitted to the bar of Fairfield County. He was clerk of the State Senate in 1844 and 1845, and in 1847, 1848, and 1849, was Judge of Probate for the district of Danbury. In 1856 he was a delegate to the first Republican National Convention, at Philadelphia. From 1868 to 1874 he was State's Attorney for Fairfield County, and discharged the duties of the office with singular ability and faithfulness. On the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861 he joined the Wooster Guards of Danbury as a private, and drilled in the company at New Haven, but was rejected by the marshal, because his age was beyond the limit fixed by law. Governor Buckingham immediately commissioned him as a field officer in the 4th Connecticut Infantry. This regiment enlisted for three years, was called to the field in May, 1861, was sent into Virginia early in the summer of that year under General Banks, and was afterwards transferred to the 1st Connecticut Artillery, and took part in guarding the defenses at Washington. It was then joined to the siege artillery, and served gallantly in the peninsular campaign, and under General Grant in the siege of Petersburg and Richmond. Mr. White was lieutenant-colonel of his regiment and sometimes served as inspector-general. He was mustered out in 1864. His conduct in the army was uniformly that of a high-toned gentleman. His moral influence and weight of character were felt throughout the regiment, and he was universally honored and beloved by officers and soldiers. His labors in behalf of the great temperance movement, as well in the army as after his return, were rewarded by the benedictions of the wives and children of many men who had been saved from ruin by his example and warnings. He loved his profession ardently, and always stood up in defense of the right. He had peculiar power as an advocate, and sometimes spoke with a fervor that made him a dangerous antagonist before a jury. He was courteous in his demeanor, liberal and unostentatious in his charities, and public-spirited to the full extent of his means. He was fond of having pleasant little chats with his neighbors, and was very sprightly in conversation. He had a temperament eminently hopeful, which could over-ride losses and disappointments in the anticipation of something better. He was devoted to his home and friends. He was fond of books, especially those relating to history and poetry, and his love of flowers and trees amounted to a passion. He was a man of courage--moral, intellectual, and physical. He did not know what fear was in any of the relations of life. He was a man of impulses and intuitions. He never waited to hear the opinions of others in order to modulate the expression of his own and shape them to some private end, but spoke as he thought and thought as he breathed, with a spontaneity vital as his life. His intellect was moved by his sensibilities, and these were in accord with a sense of right which could hardly have forsaken him even in his sleep. Colonel White came of an old colonial family, and lived up to its record. He possessed great personal advantages and a peculiar patrician style and manner, but at the same time seemed unconscious of them. The thought of himself found little place in his sympathetic and impulsive nature, while the kindliness of his heart yielded only to his sense of justice and his fidelity to truth.