As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 75, pages 732 - 734
CHARLES ROBERTS INGERSOLL, a former Governor of this State, one of its most eminent citizens, and long an honored leader of the Connecticut bar, died at his residence in New Haven, on January 25th, 1903.
Born in that city- on the 16th of September, 1821, he received his preliminary training at the Hopkins Grammar School, and was graduated from Yale in the class of 1840. After a two years' cruise, in the Mediterranean on the United States' sloop of war "Preble," he returned to New Haven, pursued his legal studies in the Yale Law School and in the office of his father, the late Hon. Ralph I. Ingersoll, was admitted to the bar of New Haven county in 1845, and continued in the active and successful practice of his profession up to within a few months of his death.
Governor Ingersoll was preëminently a lawyer in the broadest and best sense of the word; descended from a family of lawyers, with a father, grandfather and uncle all members of the Connecticut bar, and each of them eminent in the law, emulous of the ancestral example he made it his one ambition to succeed in the profession of his choice. What measure of success he attained, the reports of cases decided in the Connecticut and Federal courts, and the universal voice of the profession, bear witness.
Gifted by nature with a vigorous and logical intellect, so trained that all its resources were completely at his command, with a keen perspicacity in the apprehension and comprehension of legal questions and distinctions, - a profound knowledge of legal principles, and a subtle skill in their application, his industry was untiring and his devotion to the interests of his clients unbounded. With a rare gift of expression, a curious felicity of illustration, and an acute and far-reaching knowledge of human nature, all tempered with the saving gift of common sense, he brought to the discussion of his cases a cogency peculiarly his own, which, superadded to the charm of his voice and the magnetism of his manner, made his arguments masterpieces of forensic eloquence
Nor was it only as an advocate that he excelled. Slow to reach a conclusion, when once his opinion was formed, it was founded upon a rock, as the result of patient and painstaking thought in which no phase of the matter had escaped his notice. Born and educated in Connecticut. associated by tradition, study and observation with the legal institutions of his native State, no man better understood and interpreted the peculiarities of the law of this Commonwealth.
Thus equipped, it is small wonder that he towered so far above his fellows that it may well be questioned whether the State of Connecticut in the whole course of its history ever produced a greater lawyer.
Governor Ingersoll's abilities were only equaled by his modesty. No man ever bore his honors more blushingly. A self-centered, self-contained man, pretension and display were so alien to his nature that he looked upon them with a contempt that was almost intolerance.
No estimate of Governor Ingersoll's professional character would be complete which failed to do justice to his absolute integrity. Bred in the traditions of his race, he loathed hypocrisy, deceit and chicanery of every sort, was honest with his clients, honest with his opponents, honest with the courts, and above all, honest with himself.
This is not the place to dwell upon Governor Ingersoll's public services. Suffice it to say that as chief magistrate of the Commonwealth he so administered that office as to command the admiration of even his political opponents.
Any sketch of Governor Ingersoll would be sadly imperfect which omitted to note the attractiveness of his personality and the unfailing courtesy that was but the reflection of the innate kindliness of the man. A born aristocrat, fine to his finger's ends, courtly in his manners, he was, nevertheless, affable, approachable, tactful, considerate of the feelings of others, uniformly kind to his inferiors and dependents, and gave to every man his just meed of appreciation and recognition.
"His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, - `This was a man.' "
*Prepared by Louis H. Bristol, Esq., of New Haven, at the request of the Reporter.
As Printed in Day's Reports, volume 5, page 1
Appointed [Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors] May session, 1811, in the place of Hon. John C. Smith, appointed Lieutenant-Governor.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 39, pages 596 - 601
RALPH I. INGERSOLL was born in New Haven, February 8th, 1789. His father, Jonathan INGERSOLL, a gentleman of great moral worth, and "among the foremost in his profession," was successively State Attorney, a Judge of the Superior Court, and Lieutenant Governor of the state. Jared INGERSOLL, the famous stamp-master, one of the ablest lawyers of his time, and the ancestor of those of the name in Philadelphia, was his grand-uncle. A junior brother, also distinguished, was the late Judge Charles A. INGERSOLL. His fourth son, his successor in practice, is now Governor of Connecticut.
After his graduation at Yale College in 1808, Mr. INGERSOLL read law two years with Seth P. Staples, and then opened an office in New Haven. The period was an interesting one. Pierpoint Edwards, able and eloquent, had recently been transferred to the bench of the District Court of the United States, leaving at the bar, as its most prominent members, David Daggett, Nathan Smith and S. P. Staples, each pre-eminent in his way. The last will be remembered as the founder of the law school of New Haven. Of the two others, the first had the advantage in early education, scientific training, and compact and powerful argument. The last was distinguished for native shrewdness, practical knowledge of character in every phase and station of life, marvelous and matchless skill in finding his way to the minds and hearts of juries. They long lived side by side, and were on excellent terms. Perhaps equal in natural gifts, equally adroit in combat, they usually pitted against each other. Gentlemen of the old school, their exalted reputations, dignified and portly forms and courtly manners, the white tap-boots, ruffled shirts and powdered hair, made them note-worthy personages in every circle.
It is the best evidence of Mr. INGERSOLL'S energy and talent that he was able, in the presence and by the side of these strong men, first to stand erect, than to attain eminence. Doubtless the models he had before him awakened ambition, and thus contributed to his success.
While still young, Mr. INGERSOLL became interested in politics. Though by birth a federalist, when the question was presented whether Connecticut should longer have a state religion, and congregationalists be a privileged sect, he, with his father and other influential churchman, took the side of equal rights, and in 1817 became "tolerationist." As a member of the new party, he was chosen, two years later, to represent New Haven (previously a strong federal town) in the legislature. The session which followed, on account of the new constitution and the laws it made it necessary, was an important one. Mr. INGERSOLL was made second clerk, (the clerks were then members,) assumed the second place on the judiciary committee, and immediately took a high position among the leaders in debate. He was a working member, faithful to his trust, and probably the ablest man on his side. So well satisfied with him were his townsmen that they kept him in the house till wanted for a higher service. In 1820 and 1821, he was chairman of the finance committee, and in 1824, speaker. In 1825 he was elected a representative to Congress, which election vacated his seat in the state legislature to which he had been again chosen.
Continuously for eight years, Mr. INGERSOLL represented his state in Congress. In accordance with the views of the largest wing of the democratic party at home, he for the first four years supported the administration of Mr. Adams, and afterward acted with the national republicans, led by that master spirit, Henry Clay. For three years he served on the committee of the District of Columbia, but in 1829 was placed in that of ways and means, the most important committee of the house. Here he remained four years, holding during his last term the second place. Among his distinguished associates were McDuffie, Verplank, Gilmore, and, at the close, Polk. While yet a new member he spoke rarely, but at a later period not unfrequently, always with energy and effect. Steadily to the end he rose in estimation of his fellow-members and the public. Able, incorruptible, industrious, and vigilant, he appears to have given his time to the nation's business as he would have done to his own. Very clearly he was not afraid of responsibility, and when the yeas and nays were called was nearly always in his place. While still a representative in Congress, he served one year (1830) as mayor of New Haven.
Space does not permit the writer to state in detail how, in consequence of new developments and the progress of events in Washington and elsewhere, Mr. INGERSOLL and his friends in Connecticut, after four years' opposition, came in 1834 to support Gen. Jackson's administration. Suffice it to say that whatever he then did was the result of his discovering the general excellence of President Jackson's measures somewhat earlier than did his political censors - for not many years had elapsed before all parties admitted that these measures were for the most part wise and patriotic. During the bank panic, in the spring of 1834, while the "new departure" in Connecticut was still in progress, and before discordant elements had become quite harmonized, Mr. INGERSOLL was nominated for state representative, and defeated by the whigs, so called.
On his return from Congress in the spring of 1833, Mr. INGERSOLL found that his professional business was broken up, and at the age of forty-four was obliged to begin, as it were, anew. But the industry and talent which had once achieved the victory soon enabled him to wear off the rust of eight years, and to regain all he had lost. In the meantime he became State Attorney, which office he filled with his usual fidelity and ability about twelve years. In 1835 Gov. Edwards selected him to fill a vacancy in the Senate of the United States, a position to which the legislature soon to meet would undoubtedly have elected him, but he peremptorily declined. Often when his party was in power was he requested to take the nomination for Governor; and it is undoubtedly true that on many occasions he might have had any office in the gift of the people. In only one instance did he depart from his settled purpose on leaving Congress not to accept honors which interfered with his profession, and that was in 1846, when his friend, President Polk, appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary to the Russian court. It is strictly true, as those who knew the man will readily believe, that the compliment was unsought and unexpected. After an absence of two years, having served his government faithfully and ably, he gladly returned to his profession, and with unabated vigor practiced it twenty years, never with greater success.
Though long in political life, and sometimes active as a party manager, Mr. INGERSOLL's native dignity, his innate manhood, preserved him from contamination - from the vices of those unclean spirits which are the scourges of every political organization. Disreputable practices he discouraged as unprofitable and immoral. Though he did not escape detraction and even abuse, so few were his vulnerable points, so strong was he in character and the hearts of the people, that his opponents found profit in forbearance and discretion.
Mr. INGERSOLL loved his profession, and with unfaltering resolution through a long life, devoted himself to it. Believing it a noble calling, having the first claim on his time and talents, he denied himself the pleasures and diversions in which others indulged. The few years he spent in different but allied pursuits, he grudged as comparatively unprofitable. With enthusiasm enough to give tension to the faculties, and make labor easy and productive, he fixed his mind irrevocably on the end. He desired to attain excellence and eminence as a lawyer; and on that objective point were brought to bear the convergent forces of his whole nature. Having noble endowments - an intellect vigorous and well balanced, obedient to the will, and equipped with every needful adornment, toiling on as if in the belief that genius, so called, confers nothing but the power to work effectively, his success was assured. He was a hard student but not of books alone. Profoundly did he study human nature, and thus gained the practical knowledge and skill which so distinguished him.
Mr. INGERSOLL was noted for proportionate and harmonious development of all the powers - powers which would have secured distinction in any walk of intellectual life. That he was an able lawyer, a close thinker, adequately learned, and familiar with the whole field of practice, all admit. His voice, pleasant, almost musical, and of unusual compass, could be heard distinctly in its lowest tones. The ready, fluent speech, graceful delivery, and active but natural gesticulation; the energetic, earnest manner, and the countenance which mirrored every thought; all contributed to his power as an advocate. While his language was select, his argument was clear, logical, compact and complete. Eminently persuasive, forgetting nothing and digressing rarely, he touched lightly on the weaker points and knew where to place the strain. If the chain broke the fault was not his.
Though speaking well with little premeditation, Mr. INGERSOLL was accustomed to prepare his cases thoroughly; looked at both sides and weighed opposing considerations. Well fortified himself, he was quick to see and expose an unguarded point in the enemy, dexterously driving home his advantage. Though when speaking to the court or a deliberative body, he addressed himself wholly to intellect, using little ornament; when standing before a jury or popular assembly, he gave himself more liberty; was sometimes impetuous, often eloquent. On these occasions he would show his power over the common mind, putting himself in contact with those primitive sentiments, convictions and instincts which lie at the foundation of human nature, and which are older than reason. With his hand on these hidden springs of action, he shaped and directed the cerebral movements, awakened emotion, or quickened the sense of right, carrying his auditors whither he would. Says one of the large experience: "He was the best public speaker I ever knew." In a notable degree he possessed that personal magnetism by the aid of which the orator sways and sets on fire the sympathetic multitude. At one time he was humorous and witty, at another serious and pathetic, and could be sarcastic. Oppression of the weak by the strong he would vehemently denounce; a prevaricating witness flay, if he could.
Unlike most lawyers, Mr. INGERSOLL was an experienced and accomplished writer. That he might keep up with the flow of thought, he wrote rapidly, but corrected with great care. If a sentence or a word did not suit him; if it were capable of a meaning different from the one intended, or did not express with sufficient fullness or precision the finished thought of his mind; it was discarded and another sought. Concerning his facts he was conscientiously scrupulous, and would state nothing which was not wholly and exactly true. Though often writing under provocation, and on exciting political questions, he was thoughtful of character, and never offensively personal. Said he to an impulsive young editor: "Never speak or write ill of a political opponent." His compositions, like his published speeches and addresses, were perspicuous and packed with thought. They were not long and never dreary.
No man ever lived a purer or more exemplary life than he. His character was adorned by all the public and private virtues. Honorable, manly and just, it is believed he was never guilty of a deed of meanness or conscious wrong. Governed himself by a delicate sense of duty and honor, he marveled at the low morality and mercenary instincts of many of our public men; marveled at the sudden growth and overshadowing power of the lobby. "When I was in Congress," he used to say, "nothing like it was known." An honest man and a patriot, the corruption and depravity everywhere visible distressed and alarmed him. He loved the government our fathers founded, feared the day of trial had come, and trembled for its safety.
In the best sense, Mr. INGERSOLL was a prudent man. Very properly he was reluctant to take a risk; would not give an opinion or advocate a measure unless there were solid grounds for it; would not put to hazard a good reputation, or butt his head against a wall, because pressed to do so. Not in the least fanatical, and opposed to radicalism and violence, he would go no further and no faster than seemed to him wise. Others were more enterprising, more adventurous, more aggressive, and sometimes without deserving it got more reputation. On account of his habitual caution, some impatient people thought he lacked courage, but he was not afraid to do his duty. When the way was clear and the right apparent, he was ready to go forward, and if the case were urgent was fleet as the fleetest.
Mr. INGERSOLL was delicately organized, of moderate stature, slender, straight, and of a healthy constitution. For his size his head was large, full in the frontal region and prominent at the angles. He had finely-cut features, thin lips, and dark eyes well protected by jutting brows. Till nearly eighty, with unclouded intellect, he continued his practice, and till the last went daily to his office when health permitted. There he would sit, reading and writing, giving a cordial welcome to any friend who might call. His intimate acquaintance with political life and character, taken in connection with his urbanity, kindness, candor, and simple dignity, made his conversation extremely interesting. His opponents, in their helplessness, sometimes called him aristocratic; but he was the reverse of that in dress, manners, and mode of life, and apparently in thought and feeling. In everything he was the farthest possible from ostentation or pretension. A slave to no appetite, neat in person and attire, refined in his tastes, and a thorough gentleman, he was a model of republican simplicity.
Six months before his decease Mr. INGERSOLL fell and broke his arm. The shock was too severe for him, and hastened his death. He died, without a known enemy, August 26th, 1872. In his last years he was a communicant of Trinity church. His widow, of Dutch parentage, whose maiden name was Margaret Van den Heuvel, of New York, a lady of great energy and discretion, and who was indeed a help-meet, still survives. They were married February 10th, 1814.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by Henry Bronson, M.D., of New Haven.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 48, pages 610 - 612
Although the distinguished gentleman whose name stands at the head of this article was not personally known to many of the present members of our profession in Connecticut, yet he was for many years so conspicuous a figure in the public affairs of his native state that it is eminently proper that some record of his character should be made here.
Samuel Ingham was born in Hebron, Connecticut, September 5th, 1793, and died in Essex in the same state, November 10th, 1881. All the education he received previous to his professional studies was gleaned from the common schools. He studied law in the office of Governor Mattocks at Peacham, Vermont, and with the late Judge Gilbert in Hebron, in this state. He was admitted to the bar in Tolland County, Connecticut, in 1815. He practiced his profession during the first four years in Canaan, Vermont, and Jewett City, Connecticut. In 1819 he removed to Essex (then a part of the town of Saybrook) where he continued to reside until his death.
From 1828 to 1834 Mr. Ingham represented Saybrook in the lower house of the legislature. In 1834 he was Speaker. He was re-elected in 1835 and again made Speaker. At the same election he was chosen a member of Congress, but of course, on being officially notified of his election to Congress, he vacated his seat in the state legislature. He was re-elected to Congress in 1837, and served for two years as chairman of the committee on naval affairs. In 1839 he was again a candidate for Congress, but was defeated at the polls by the late Chief Justice Storrs. His failure to be returned to Congress was a source of great regret, not only to his friends at home, but to the members of that body, over which he had repeatedly presided as chairman of the committee of the whole, with great skill and ability, during some of its most stormy and protracted sessions. Had he been re-elected he would undoubtedly have been the candidate of his party for the Speaker, the third federal office in power and dignity; a position for which he was eminently fitted.
In 1843 and 1850 Mr. Ingham was a member of the state senate. In 1851 he was returned to the lower branch of the legislature and elected Speaker.
For nine years he was State Attorney for Middlesex county, and for four Judge of the County Court. He was also tendered a seat on the bench of the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors, but declined.
From 1858 to 1861 he was Commissioner of Customs in the treasury department at Washington.
Mr. Ingham was also four times a candidate for Governor of the state, receiving the full vote of his party, but failed through the defeat of the latter.
This long career in connection with prominent public office naturally suggests enquiry touching the personal and professional character of the man who, for nearly forty years, filled so large a space in the eye of the public. It will be interesting to note some of the characteristics of the times in which he lived. Born during the first administration of Washington, and coming to the bar at the close of the second war with Great Britain, his youth and early manhood covered a period in which our political institutions were being formed, and the foundations of the federal government laid. The conduct of public affairs involved the discussion and settlement of great questions on which preceding history shed but a feeble light. But the public men of that day were distinguished by high personal qualities and eminent public virtues. Such an atmosphere was favorable to the development of sterling traits in rising and thoughtful young minds.
When Mr. Ingham came to the bar, and during the most active part of his professional life, he was brought into contact with many able and accomplished lawyers, both on the bench and in the forum. But it was an age of simple habits, small libraries, small fees and limited resources. No marked success was to be obtained except by constant, self-reliant labor and upright conduct. These habits and qualities Mr. Ingham illustrated throughout his long life, and they made him honorably conspicuous at the bar and in public station. Though he was without the advantage of a university education, though he was neither a polished orator nor an elegant writer, he rose to eminence in public affairs, and became, in one respect at least, a formidable power at the bar. It cannot be said that, in the discussion of legal questions, he exhibited what a distinguished lawyer has called "deadly precision"; for his mind was distinguished rather for its robust sense than for acute or exact reasoning. But in his best days he had few equals as an advocate before the jury; a function far more important in his time than at the present day. With a gigantic frame, an imposing presence, a powerful voice, rendered effective by deep and unaffected emotion, aroused by sympathy with and zeal for his cause and his client, he often made a powerful impression which carried conviction to the minds he was addressing.
It can be truly said of Mr. Ingham that he was, under Providence, the architect of his own fortunes, and rose to prominence by his own merits. From 1819 to the end of his life he resided in a country village, in a rural county, where there was no circle of powerful friends to accelerate his advancement in public or professional life. He sprung from an humble origin. What honors he received, therefore, did not come by gift or inheritance, but were won by manly personal effort.
Mr. Ingham's private character was without a stain. His habits were simple and unostentatious. For the last twenty years of his life he was an earnest and consistent member of the Episcopal Church, and, until his health failed, a regular and devout attendant on its ministrations and a liberal contributor to its support.
Dying at an advanced age, and after years of retirement from active life, Mr. Ingham's departure made no ripple on the stream of human affairs, whose current acts steadily towards the grave, and drops into its silence and darkness the distinguished and the obscure. But those who remember him in his full vigor, will not soon forget the massive, antique figure which has so quietly passed away.
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by Hon. William D. Shipman, now of the New York Bar.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 164, pages 711 - 712
Ernest Alexander Inglis was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on April 16, 1887. He lived in that community all his life. His lineage was Scotch, and he exhibited throughout all his days the sturdy, sound characteristics of that hardy race of men. In school he was a diligent and excellent student. He was graduated from the Middletown High School in 1904 and from Wesleyan University in 1908, where he achieved his excellent scholarship record, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He entered the Yale Law School that fall and was graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1911. While at Yale, he showed the same excellence in his studies as he had shown in his undergraduate days. This was recognized by his appointment to be chairman of the Yale Law Journal board.
Judge Inglis married Agnes Thompson of Middletown, a Wesleyan graduate in the class of 1910. They had five children: Henry Thompson lnglis, Wesleyan '37; Mrs. Marion Inglis Waring; Mrs. Jean Inglis Law; Mrs. Dorothy Inglis Pritchard; and Ernest A. Inglis, Jr., Wesleyan '49, presently a practicing attorney at the Connecticut Bar. At the time of Judge lnglis' death there were nine grandchildren.
Judge Inglis was admitted to the Bar in Middlesex County in 1911. He engaged in active practice in association with Frank D. Haines, later an Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. The practice was of the general type in a town such as Middletown. Judge Inglis was an excellent trial lawyer. This was recognized by his appointment as state's attorney for Middlesex County, an office which he discharged with courage and energy. He was a well-known figure throughout the county and earned the respect and affection of a large circle of friends and admirers, not only for his ability as a lawyer but also because of his broad humanitarian interests.
Judge Inglis was appointed to the Superior Court bench in 1930. His fellow members on the Bench and at the Bar considered him eminently qualified, as indeed he was. He presided over many important trials. He was assigned by the Chief Justice to preside over the state's longest and one of its most notorious criminal cases, the trial of several prominent Waterbury political figures accused, and subsequently convicted, of defrauding the city. His conduct during the nine months of this long and difficult trial fixed him as a jurist of stature. Wesleyan awarded him the degree of Doctor of Civil Laws in 1943, and Doctor of Laws in 1954.
In 1950 Judge Inglis became an Associate Justice on the state Supreme Court. He was appointed Chief Justice in 1953, a post he held until his retirement in 1957. His opinions while a member of the appellate court were carefully and studiously prepared. It was his custom to write them out in longhand. His final result was so perfectly written and composed that a typist was able to complete a draft to be submitted for the examination and consideration of his four associate justices. That he was a diligent student of the law is apparent also in the preparation of the many briefs of cases he argued in the Supreme Court, and of the memorandums of decision he wrote as a trial judge. His associates and the members of the Bar considered him one of the outstanding judges of all time in the state of Connecticut.
He took an active part in church and community affairs. For many years he was a Deacon of the South Congregational Church in Middletown and a regular attendant at its services. From 1932 to 1959 he was a trustee of Wesleyan University. He attended regularly meetings of the board and of the committees upon which he served. His knowledge and judgment were invaluable to the University.
Judge Inglis was a man who lived very much for his family. He and his wife, Agnes, believed that a happy and well-ordered home was a basic element in our society. Their home was an exemplification of that belief.
Judge Inglis was a friendly man, not effusive in his manner, but genuinely interested in his fellowmen and particularly in his associates on the bench and in the members of the Bar. As a trial judge, he presided with dignity. His rulings from the bench were made without hesitation. There were few appeals from his decisions because he was capable of administering justice acceptable to counsel and litigants alike. Those who had known him over many years could not recall a single instance when, in the heat of trial, in his service on the bench, or in contact with his fellowman, he ever lost his temper. He was a sound lawyer in every way, but he never pretended to exhibit the width and depth of his legal knowledge.
After his retirement as Chief Justice on April 16, 1957, he continued his judicial services for several years until declining health brought an end to his judicial activities. During his later life he was plagued with failing eyesight, and his eyesight totally failed him several years before his death. Yet he bore this tragic infirmity with great courage. Never a word of complaint passed his lips. He died in Middletown on December 9, 1972. His beloved wife and life's companion, Agnes, predeceased him on June 6, 1970. During their lifetimes they were admired and respected as outstanding leading citizens of the community and the state. They have left an example of noble living which will be long remembered by the host of friends who will miss them always. Judge Inglis' memory will be revered ever as that of a good man in the broadest sense of these two simple words.
*Prepared by Hon. Raymond E. Baldwin, of Middletown.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 136, page iii
Appointed to Supreme Court June 1, 1949, to take effect March 10, 1950.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 140, page iii
Appointed Chief Justice May 7, 1953, to take effect upon the retirement of Hon. Allyn L. Brown.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 144, page iii
Retired April 16, 1957, under constitutional limitation as to age.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 15, appendix page 36
Was born at Colchester, Westchester society, in May, 1778; was educated at Yale-College, where he graduated in 1797; studied law, one year, at New-Haven, with the Hon. David Daggett, and afterwards, at New-London, with the late Judge Brainard; was admitted to the bar in 1800; and established himself in practice in New-London.
He was much respected as a man and a lawyer. With engaging manners and a warm heart, he entered into the feelings and views of his numerous clients with such entire devotedness, that they regarded him not merely as a safe adviser and able advocate, but as a personal friend. His disposition was eminently social; but this never interfered with the severer duties of his profession. His habits were at once active and studious. While he mingled freely, and with much zest, in general society, he devoted most of the hours of every day to laborious application to business. In his elocution at the bar, he was always fluent and graceful; generally ardent; and occasionally, truly eloquent.
During the last war, he, as major-general of the militia of this state, commanded, for a time, the troops stationed at New-London and in its vicinity, for the defence of that part of the state; and those who served under him felt, that they were serving under a commander whose talent and courage they never doubted.
He held, for several years, the office of state’s attorney for New-London county; was mayor of the city of New-London; and judge of probate for the probate district of New-London.
He continued in full practice until his death, which occurred at New-London, on the 6th of October, 1842.
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 48, pages 587 - 590
Charles Ives, of the New Haven County Bar, died, December 31st, 1880, of paralysis of the brain, after an illness of only two days' duration. He went home from his office, as usual, towards the evening of December 29th, was taken sick that night, and early in the morning of the 31st was dead. Just prior to Christmas he had been engaged in the trial of causes, both to the jury and the court, and was in the midst of a full professional practice when he was so suddenly stricken down.
Mr. Ives was born September 18th, 1815. At the time of his death he had been practicing law uninterruptedly for over thirty-four years.
He represented the town of New Haven in the General Assembly of 1853, and the town of East Haven, where he resided since 1860, in the General Assemblies of 1865, 1867 and 1868. In 1867 he was chairman of the judiciary committee, and in 1868 was Speaker of the House. His long professional career was eminently successful, both to his own credit and gain, and to the benefit of his clients, whose interests he served with great zeal, tenacity and fidelity.
The physical infirmities of Mr. Ives - his bent figure - his face, refined and intellectual, yet indicating the ravages of physical suffering, courageously borne long years before - his slow and difficult walk, with the aid of the inseparable canes - all these are probably known to most lawyers throughout the state. They may not know, however, the fact that, until just after his majority, he was blessed with robust and vigorous health, and with a lithe, wiry, and perfect physical frame. A severe cold, followed by a sharp sickness, with poor and misdirected medical service, prematurely-developed the latent rheumatic tendencies of his system. Misfortunes seldom come singly. During his recovery, while riding out for the fresh air, the horse took fright, and he was thrown with great violence from the carriage and severely injured. This greatly aggravated the rheumatic trouble already rife in his system, and in consequence of it Mr. Ives was bed-ridden for nearly seven years. His chance of life was very small, and his friends often gave up all hopes of his recovery.
At length, however, a constitution, except for a rheumatic tendency, thoroughly sound, an indomitable will, a courage that never gave up, and a strong faith that he was to be and to do something worthy of note, raised him from his bed, and sent him again, though on crutches, into the world of active life. After a short period spent at Sharon Springs, White Sulphur Springs and other places, he gained sufficient strength to apply himself vigorously to work, and, for the remainder of his life, enjoyed as good health as, if not better than, most men of his age.
From boyhood to the time of his death Mr. Ives was led on by a laudable ambition to achieve something which would not soon be forgotten. He had, however, to rely entirely upon himself, for his widowed mother, so far from being able to help him, needed and received his assistance, during that part of his early life which preceded his long illness.
His first ambition, however, lay in the way of literary pursuits. For this reason, when a boy, he chose the trade of a printer, as giving him the means of a livelihood by work which, to some extent at least, he thought would assist him in the development of his literary tastes. Of course he availed himself of all the means of education, in the way of schools and debating clubs, within his reach, but of more consequence was his own zealous and vigorous study, without the aid of instructors. His long sickness did not deter him from his pursuit of literature. The rheumatic trouble did not affect the brain, and while confined to his bed he managed to prosecute his studies, and, among other things, to write various short poems, many of them of undoubted merit, which, in 1843, while still confined to his bed, he collected and published in a book entitled "Chips from the Workshop." The book had a considerable sale, and netted Mr. Ives a modest sum above the cost of publication.
Believing, however, that he was not always to be confined to his sickbed, the necessity of doing something which he could at once coin into money turned his attention, strange to say, to the law. He commenced his legal studies before he could leave his bed, and, as soon as he could, with the assistance of sympathetic and trusting friends, he entered the Yale law school, from which he graduated in 1846. In the same year he was admitted to the bar, and at once opened a law office in New Haven, where he continued to practice until his death.
His success was assured from the first, and he soon began to enjoy a comfortable income from his professional labors. As he has often told the writer, his original idea was not to apply himself entirely to the legal profession, but to acquire by it money enough to pay his debts and necessary expenses, and to devote the remainder of his time and energy to his cherished literary ambition.
In his case, however, it was inevitable that he could not serve both masters, and that, as years went by, all his strength was needed for his professional engagements, and the opportunity to gratify his literary ambition did not arise until just before his death.
The cases in which Mr. Ives was engaged in the Supreme Court, scattered through more than twenty-five volumes of the Connecticut Reports, and the public positions he held, have already made him known to the bar of the state as a man of professional ability, and but few words are needed on this point. It must go without question that no man in the legal profession can greatly succeed unless he greatly work, and Mr. Ives's success furnished no exception to this rule. It may be well, however, to notice briefly the special qualities of mind and character which largely contributed to his special success.
First should be mentioned his natural fitness for literary work. From the outset of his professional career Mr. Ives could always readily and aptly express his ideas, whether to his client at the office, or to the court or jury. Facility of expression, an easy command, of language, sometimes so difficult for others to attain, was with Mr. Ives his birthright.
In the next place he was thoroughly honest and candid in dealing with his clients. He never encouraged the litigious spirit. He was not always able to control or restrain it, but he always made a client feel that he was as truly working for him as if he had himself been the client.
Again, Mr. Ives was a very confident man in the advocacy of his opinions. He thoroughly believed his client to have the right of the cause and that the right would prevail. He could hardly argue any interlocutory motion without adverting to the merits of the case. No judge or jury was ever in doubt about the sincerity of his opinions.
He also possessed great versatility of mind. He was quick to see the answer to the arguments from the other side, quick to see the mental reservations of a reluctant witness, and to detect the inconsistencies of a swift witness. After the professional labors of the day he could readily apply his mind to other subjects, especially those of a literary character, which were his delight.
Mr. Ives was always very kind and generous to the junior members of the bar, especially to those who had been compelled to rely upon themselves for their education. No such young lawyer went to his office in vain. At the bar meeting, called to do honor to his memory, the most touching professional tribute there paid was the ready and hearty utterance, from many young lawyers, who had had occasion to appreciate his kindness, of their feeling of personal affection and gratitude.
While Mr. Ives remained in a full and laborious practice to the end, yet, in order to attain the rest required by advancing years, he spent a portion of the winters of 1879 and 1880 at Nassau, in the island of New Providence. He wrote a series of bright and sparkling letters concerning the place and its inhabitants, to a New Haven paper, and the favor with which they were received gave an additional impulse to his natural literary enthusiasm, and the result was a charmingly-written book entitled "Isles of Summer, or Nassau and the Bahamas," delayed in its issue, however, by various causes, until the day after his death.
Mr. Ives was married in 1851 to Catharine M. Osborne, of New Haven, who survives him. He left three children, two daughters, and a son, who bears his name, and is a promising young lawyer of the New Haven bar.
Mr. Ives led a consistent Christian life, and was from his early manhood and through life a communicant in the Congregational denomination.
One of the resolutions adopted by the bar in his memory is altogether too apt and fitting to be omitted from this notice:
"Resolved, That in the death of Charles Ives, Esq., the President of this Bar, the profession has to deplore the loss of one of its oldest and foremost members. A ready speaker, careful in the preparation of his cases, vigilant to protect the interests of his clients, always at his post and punctual to every engagement, his place is one which it will be difficult to fill, and his life furnishes a signal example to his younger brethren of what can be accomplished by earnest endeavor and faithful application to the duties of their calling."
*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by John W. Alling, Esq., of the New Haven Bar.
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