Morrill, Justin S. (Justin Smith), 1810-1898

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1810-04-14
Death 1898-12-28
English

Biographical notes:

Justin Smith Morrill (1810-1898), merchant, U.S. Representative and Senator from Vermont, authored the Morrill Tariff Act (1861) and the Land Grant College Act (1862). He chaired the Senate Finance Committee for many years (1877-79, 1881-93, 1895-98).

From the description of Justin Smith Morrill Papers, 1825-1923. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122387635

Justin S. Morrill was a congressman and financier.

From the guide to the Justin S. Morrill papers, 1814-1937, 1982., (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library)

Congressman from Vermont.

From the description of Letters : to George W. Jonson, 1860 Sept. 30 and 1868 Apr. 6. (Buffalo History Museum). WorldCat record id: 33428776

Statesman and financier.

From the description of Papers, 1828-1898. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83565107

Justin Smith Morrill (1810-1898) was a merchant, U.S. Representative and Senator from Vermont, and author of the Morrill Tariff Act (1861) and the Land Grant College Act (1862).

From the description of Justin Smith Morrill Collection, 1851-1898, 1867-1898. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122387596

U.S. senator and representative from Vermont and merchant.

From the description of Justin S. Morrill papers, 1825-1923 (bulk 1854-1898). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981187

Congressman and financier. He drafted the Land Grant College Act.

From the description of Address at Cornell, 1883 June 12. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64038743

American legislator.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Strafford, Vt., to Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, Attorney-General, 1869 May 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270613001

United States senator.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Washington, to Tribune Publishing Co., 1880 Mar. 12. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270613066

U.S. representative and senator from Vermont, and businessman.

From the description of Papers of Justin S. Morrill, 1864-1895. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79450675

Congressman, financier.

From the description of Justin S. Morrill papers, 1814-1937, 1982. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64075141

U.S. Representative and Senator, from Strafford (Orange Co.), Vt.

From the description of Papers, 1844-1868. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 20030265

Senator and congressman from Vermont. Member of House of Representatives (1854-1866); United States Senator (1866-1898). See sketch in Dictionary of American Biography.

From the description of Papers, 1867-1897 (inclusive). (Harvard Business School). WorldCat record id: 269597336

Justin Smith Morrill was born in Strafford, Vt., April 14, 1810, the son of Nathaniel and Mary Hunt Morrill. He began his mercantile career as a clerk for Royal Hatch in Strafford Village. He then worked for the J.H. and T.J. Harris store in Strafford, and then worked in Portland, Me. In 1830 he returned to Strafford and again worked for Jedediah Harris and in 1834 became his partner in a store known as Harris and Morrill. In 1840 Harris and Morrill joined with N.S. Young to form a new partnership known as Morrill, Young, and Company. Based on evidence in this collection Morrill was also involved in businesses known as Morrill, George and Company (ca. 1845-1851), with Alonzo George (1822-1895); and Morrill, Russ, and Company (ca. 1850-1851). Although still nominally involved in several partnerships, Morrill effectively resigned from business in 1848.

At the time of his early retirement from business Morrill was preparing to build a house in Strafford in anticipation of his 1851 marriage to Ruth Barrell Swan (ca. 1820-1898). In 1855 he began a long and distinguished career in public service. From 1855 until his death in 1898 Morrill represented Vermont first as a congressman then in 1866 as a senator where he gained recognition for his Land Grant College Acts of 1862 and 1890.

From the description of Justin Smith Morrill Papers, 1830-1896. (Vermont Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 36056607

Biographical Note

  • 1810, Apr. 14: Born, Strafford, Vt.
  • 1825 - 1828 : Merchant clerk, Strafford, Vt.
  • 1828 - 1831 : Portland, Maine
  • 1831 - 1848 : Merchant clerk, Strafford, Vt.
  • 1841: Married Ruth Barrell Swan
  • 1848 - 1855 : Farmer and horticulturist,
  • 1855 - 1867 : Member, United States House of Representatives; author of Morrill Tariff Act, 1861, and Land Grant College Act, 1862
  • 1865 - 1898 : Trustee, University of Vermont
  • 1867 - 1898 : Member, United States Senate
  • 1883 - 1898 : Regent, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • 1898, Dec. 28: Died, Washington, D.C.

From the guide to the Justin S. Morrill Papers, 1825-1923, (bulk 1854-1898), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Justin Smith Morrill (1810-1898) was an American politician; he served as both Senator and Representative from Vermont.

Born in the first of ten children to Nathaniel and Mary (Hunt) Morrill, Justin attended village schools in Strafford, Vermont where both his father and grandfather had been farmers and blacksmiths since 1795. He became a partner with his friend Jedediah H. Harris in the village store in 1831 with great success, and in 1848 he was able to retire from store keeping to his farm. In 1852 he was chosen to represent the local Whig party at their national convention, and in 1854 he was elected to the House of Representatives. From that point he was continuously re-elected to either the House or the Senate for the next forty-four years.

One of his most lasting accomplishments was the Land-Grant College Act, proposed in 1857 but not signed until 1862, which led to the founding and growth of state colleges across the country. In 1890 Congress passed the Second Morrill Act which gave $25,000 in federal funds annually to each land-grant college. He was a significant contributor to the planning and execution of the terraces, fountains, and gardens of the Capitol and the completion of the Washington Monument, as well as to the founding of the Library of Congress. He is also well known in some circles for his authorship of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from the article on Morrill in the Dictionary of American Biography .]

From the guide to the Justin S. Morrill Papers, 1835-1866, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

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Subjects:

  • Architecture
  • Politics--Politics and government--1851-1898
  • Politics, government and public administration
  • State universities and colleges--Law and legislation
  • Public lands
  • Education
  • State universities and colleges
  • Scientific publications
  • Vermont--Politics and government
  • State universities and colleges--United States
  • Congress
  • Electricity
  • National Museum
  • Treasury Department
  • Education--New York (State)
  • Tariff
  • Trade regulation
  • Natural history
  • Science In America
  • Afro--Americans
  • Politics--Politics and government--1854-1898
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • Smithsonian Publications
  • Architecture, Domestic--Designs and plans
  • Oceanography
  • Light House Board
  • African Americans
  • Legislators--United States
  • Voyages and travels
  • Legislators--Correspondence
  • Surveys And Explorations, General
  • Commerce
  • Exchanges Of Publications
  • Wool industry
  • Inventors
  • Flour mills
  • Ethnology Archaeology Anthropology
  • States universities and colleges
  • Meteorology
  • Quackery Or Pseudo Science
  • Congressmen
  • Legislative drafting
  • Antislavery movements
  • City planning
  • Tariff--United States
  • Harvard
  • Whig Party (U.S.)
  • Decedents' estates
  • General stores--Accounting
  • School lands
  • Educational law and legislation
  • Physical geography
  • Freedmen
  • Geology
  • School lands--United States
  • Finance

Occupations:

  • Astronomers--England
  • Senator
  • Businessmen
  • Merchants
  • Representatives, U.S. Congress--Vermont
  • Astronomers--United States
  • Legislators--United States
  • Senators, U.S. Congress--Vermont
  • Representative

Places:

  • England (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Derby (Vt. : Town) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • China (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Vermont--Strafford (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Hawaii (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Vermont (as recorded)
  • Derby Center (Vt.) (as recorded)
  • Strafford (Vt.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Vermont (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • New York (State) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Vermont (as recorded)