From The Constitution, Wednesday, July 3, 1861 (volume 24, number 1227)

The Death of Judge Storrs

The Hon. William L. Storrs, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors in this State, died in Hartford on Tuesday evening of last week. He had been sick but a few days of typhoid fever, and was not considered in danger until a few hours before he died.

Judge Storrs was born in this city, March 25, 1795, and was therefore 66 years of age. He was a son of Lemuel and Betsey [Champion] Storrs. The homestead of the family, and the house where Judge Storrs was born, is the brick building on the southeast corner of Main and Center streets. He graduated at Yale College in 1814, and afterward studied law in the office of his brother, Hon. Henry R. Storrs, at Whitestown, N. Y.

He commenced and continued the practice of law in this city until he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, when he removed to Hartford. He was several times elected to the General Assembly from this town, and in 1839 was elected a member of Congress from this district. In 1840 he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, and resigned his seat in Congress in order to accept this appointment. He was soon after chosen to the responsible position of Professor in the Law School at New Haven, but was obliged to resign this position on account of a want of time to perform the double duties which were imposed upon him. Whatever Judge Storrs did, he performed faithfully and thoroughly, and he would accept no office or position the duties of which he could not fully accomplish. In 1846 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the Western Reserve College in Ohio. He was elected Chief Judge of the Supreme Court in 1856, and was the successor of Judge Church. He remained unmarried, and resided at the City Hotel in Hartford. No relatives, we believe, are now living in this city, but in Hartford he leaves a sister, the wife of Ex-Governor Trumbull, and a brother Gustavus.

This State has probably produced no better lawyer than Judge Storrs. While at the bar, he took the first rank, and was universally acknowledged as one of the most sound, best read, and most able advocate and counselor in this or any other country. As a Judge his opinions have been considered among the most clear and authoritative of any which have ever been given from the bench of the Supreme Court. In Judge Storrs Connecticut has lost one of her best men. In private life he was remarkable for his kind and affable manners, and his former townsmen in Middletown who knew him well can bear testimony to the remarkable kindness of heart which marked all his intercourse with them.

General Assembly

May Session, A. D., 1861

Resolved, That this Legislature have received with profound regret and feeling of bereavement the intelligence of the death of William L. Storrs, Chief Justice of this State.

Resolved, That in his death we part with one endowed by nature with rare gifts, whose social qualities endeared him to all men, who has filled with distinguished ability a post in our National Councils, whose judicial mind was an ornament to the State and Nation, and whose recorded opinions are enduring monuments of his greatness.

Resolved, That when a great and good man dies it becomes those to whom his life has been a blessing, publicly to express their grief and veneration.

Resolved, That as expressive of our sorrow and respect for his memory, this Legislature do now adjourn.

Mr. Deming spoke upon the resolutions in a very eloquent manner.

Resolutions passed unanimously, and the House adjourned.

The Latest News

Baltimore has been placed under martial law by order of Gen. Banks, who has arrested the board of police commissioners. It is said that a plot has been discovered of an intended attack. There are many rumors but nothing definite is known.

Proceedings of the East Tennessee convention have been received. The consent of the Legislature is asked that East Tennessee may form a separate State. Arrangements are made for holding an election in the counties of East Tennessee to choose delegates to a general convention to be held at Kingston.

The constitution of the confederate states is unpopular in Georgia, because of the absence of the declaration making three-fifths of the blacks the basis of representation.

The Fourth Conn. regt., is now brigaded with the 1st Wisconsin, 11th Pennsylvania, a company of U. S. Infantry formerly commanded by Capt. Magruder, under Brig. Gen. Abercrombie, late Lieut. Colonel in the regular army.

The pickets of the Conn. brigade captured two mounted rebels and four splendid horses worth $400 each, near Falls Church, on the road to Fairfax Court House on the 30th.

Harvey, the minister to Portugal, has written a letter home showing strong treason sentiments.

A Strange Visitor

On Sunday evening, between 9 and 11 o’clock, a strange phenomena appeared in the northern sky. A solid body with a broad train of light extending upwards 50 or 60 degrees. It attracted some attention, and for the time being was called the “What is it.”


Counterfeit $2 bills on the Waterbury bank are in circulation.

The largest tax payers in Hartford, Sam Colt, pays this year, $5,750 ; next, James Goodwin, $3,300.

The Boston city government have passed an ordinance limiting the amount to be paid to soldiers’ families to $3 a week, no matter how great their need.

A special despatch from Charleston of the 3th [sic] to the New Orleans Picayune says that Gov. Pickens has published a notification against sending funds North, as being in conflict with the law.

The southern papers have full accounts of the constant departure of the “flower of the troops which are hastening northward.” An incorrigible fellow suggests that when there is so large an exportation of flour there must be shorts and bran left at home !

George B. Hart, of Bridgeport, killed himself by blowing his brains out, Friday.

The Davenport News of Wednesday says : “Corn was selling in town yesterday at the very small sum of 12 ½ cents per bushel. That is very low, but there is no market for the article.”


Andrew Palmer of Goshen raised a secession flag on Sunday, on the cow-house. Although it was a good place enough for the rag, he was obliged by the people to take it down. His sympathizers again hoisted it Monday morning. The friends of the Union from Goshen, Litchfield, Torrington and the adjoining towns, rallied to the number of about 100, armed with rifles and muskets, and found on reaching the place that Palmer had taken in his flag. Several knock-downs resulted from the efforts of the Unionists to secure the flag, and one man was wounded by a musket shot. The secessionists were finally arrested by the sheriff, and locked up in the Litchfield jail.


Prof. Rice, the rope walker, performed very creditably last Thursday. A rope was extended across from the post-office to S. Stearns’ block, some fifty feet high. He walked it three times, besides hanging by his feet, neck, cooking his supper, &c. He performs in Waterbury on the Fourth.


We have been shown by Mr. Bundy, pieces from the flag staff taken by Colonel Ellsworth and the stair on which he stood when shot, sent by a member of Capt. Dickerson’s company. The stairs are cut almost away.

Fourth of July

No public demonstration will be made in this city on the Fourth. The Home Guard, Capt. E. W. N. Starr, accompanied by the Griffin Band, will parade on that day.


The Fourth will be celebrated at the State Reform School. The order of exercises will be singing, reading, oration, collation, and whistling Yankee Doodle. The public are invited to attend.

The Fourth will be celebrated in New Haven, Meriden, and Waterbury.


The Providence Journal says the Connecticut officer whose gallantry proved his misfortune and made him a prisoner, is not the first man who has been caught in a similar manner, long before the Secession was thought of. If Jeff. Davis is going to send out pretty women to wage his war, we shall feel less sure of victory.


Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe is out in the Independent with hits at England for her treacherous policy. She exclaims :–“O ! England ! England !—What ! could ye not watch with us one hour?” Mrs. S’s exclamation may be but natural, but John Bull or “any other man,” must be hard pushed to watch an hour with this female Beecher.—Boston Post.


Mr. John Strange to Miss Mary Strange. Strange, indeed! The next thing may be a little stranger.


A rather amusing cowhiding affair came off on South avenue, Rochester, Thursday evening, in the grocery store of D. S. Sornberger. A man named Rollin Cramer, who occupies the shady side of fifty, was trounced with a cowhide in the hands of a young married lady named Hayes, whose husband is in New York. The offence is alleged to have consisted in the circulation of obnoxious reports concerning the lady’s character.