Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of North and South Americans >> Henry Matson Waite





American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For more information go to Historic.us

 

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor



Virtual American Biographies

Over 30,000 personalities with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life stories. Virtualology.com welcomes editing and additions to the biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor Click Here or e-mail Virtualology here.



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 





Click on an image to view full-sized

Henry Matson Waite

WAITE, Henry Matson, jurist, born in Lyme, Connecticut, 9 February, 1787: died there, 14 December, 1869. His ancestor, Thomas, who came from England to Massachusetts about 1663, is believed to have been a son of Thomas Waite, one of the judges that signed the death-warrant of Charles I. Henry was graduated at Yale in 1809, studied law with Judge Matthew Griswold and his brother, Governor Roger Griswold, was admitted to the bar in 1812, and practised law in Lyme. In 1815 he was elected to the legislature, serving several years as representative and as state senator in 1832-'3. He was appointed a judge of the supreme court of errors of Connecticut in 1834, and held that place and that of judge of the superior court for twenty years. In 1854 he was made chief justice of the state by the unanimous vote of the legislature. In 1855 Yale gave him the degree of LL. D.--His son, Morrison Remick, jurist, born in Lyme, Connecticut, 29 November, 1816; died in Washington, D. C., 23 March, 1888. He was graduated at Yale in 1837, where he was a classmate of William M. Evarts, Benjamin Silliman, and Samuel J. Tilden, and began the study of law in his father's office, but in 1838 travelled extensively, and then completed his legal education with Samuel M. Young in Maumee City, Ohio. In 1839 he was admitted to the bar, and formed a partnership with Mr. Young. He proved himself capable of grasping all the minute details of legal controversies and rose rapidly. The firm removed to Toledo in 1850, and continued until his youngest brother, Richard, came to the bar, when the two brothers formed a partnership. Mr. Waite in the mean time had become widely known for his successful management of difficult cases, and his studious habits and upright character. Opposing counsel often said that his assertion on any question of law was unanswerable. During more than three decades he was the acknowledged leader of the Ohio bar. Politically he was a Whig until the disbandment of that party, after which he was a Republican. But he took no part in political affairs, although repeatedly solicited to accept a nomination to congress, and he declined a seat on the bench of the supreme court of Ohio. In 1849 he was a member of the Ohio legislature. He first attracted national attention as counsel for the United States before the tribunal of arbitration at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1871-'2, his associates being Caleb Cushing and William M. Evarts. He assisted in the preparation of the case, and was chosen to argue the liability of the English government for permitting Confederate steamers to be supplied with coal in British ports during the civil war, the robust clearness and directness of his logic carrying conviction on all the points he raised. His argument was published (Geneva, 1872). When he returned in 1872, the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by Yale. In 1874 he was the choice of both political parties as a delegate to the Ohio constitutional convention, and on its assembling in Cincinnati he was unanimously elected its president. When the death of Chief-Justice Chase had created a vacancy in the highest judicial office of the United States, two or three eminent jurists were successively nominated for the post, but their names were withdrawn. On 19 January, 1874, the president sent to the senate the name of Mr. Waite. The nomination met with general approval, and the nominee received every vote that was cast. Mr. Waite took the oath of office on 4 March, 1874, and immediately entered upon its duties. He rigidly enforced the rules and precedents of the court in all matters of practice, watched the docket, and pushed the business rapidly. The second great period of constitutional interpretation began with his first year on the bench. The amendments were coming up for judicial exposition, and questions were to be settled as to the powers of congress, the rights of states, and the privileges of citizens. Some of the most important corporation cases that were ever argued in the United States came before him, involving the most intricate questions of interstate commerce. One of his associates on the bench says: "His administrative ability was remarkable. None of his predecessors more steadily or more wisely superintended the court or more carefully observed all that is necessary to its workings. He has written many of the most important opinions of the court--too many to be particularized." Among these opinions are the decision on the head-money-tax cases in 1876, on the polygamy cases in 1879, on the election laws in 1880, on the powers of removal by the president, and the Virginia land cases in 1881, on the civil-rights act in 1883, on the Alabama claims, the legal-tender act, and the Virginia coupon-tax cases in 1885, on the express companies and the extradition cases in 1886, and on the Kansas prohibition cases, the Virginia debt cases, the national banks, and the affair of the Chicago anarchists in 1887. A marked feature of Chief-Justice Waite's judicial career was the pronounced advocacy of the doctrine of state rights in his opinions. His conception of our novel and complex theory of government and his independence of political considerations, are clearly shown in the Ku-klux, civil rights, and other decisions, in which he did not hesitate to set aside Republican legislation if he deemed it necessary; nor was he deterred, by fear of being accused of friendliness to large corporations, from pronouncing decisions in their favor--for example, his decision on the validity of the Bell telephone patents, which was his last official action. He was assigned to the 4th circuit, which included Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the Carolinas, and also acted as circuit judge in New York in consequence of the disability of Justice Ward Hunt. He often was known to hurry away from a state dinner, to bestow conscientious labor upon some important opinion, working late into the night. It will be remembered to his honor that he never allowed any whisperings of ambition to divert his attention from his duties. He made it clear to the country in the most emphatic language in 1876 that he would not be considered a possible candidate for president. He also declined to serve on the electoral commission. Judge Waite was from 1874 till his death one of the Peabody trustees of southern education, continuously served on one of the standing committees of that body, and was also on the special committee of three that urged on congress the bestowal of national aid for the education of the southern negroes. Robert C. Winthrop, chairman of the trustees, at their annual meeting in 1888, in the course of remarks on Judge Waite's life and character, said of him: "Coming to the office without the prestige of many, or perhaps of any, of those whom he followed, he had won year by year, and every year, the increasing respect and confidence of the whole country, and the warm regard and affection of all who knew him." Services were held in the capitol by the two houses of congress before the removal of his remains to Toledo. In the United States circuit court in Charleston, South Carolina, where he had often presided, members of the bar of that city spoke in his praise, especially alluding to his kindliness of manner and impartiality during the reconstruction period. "Fortunate, indeed," said one of the speakers, "that there was a man who, amidst the furious passions which rent the country and shook the land, could hold in his steady and equal hand the balances of justice undisturbed." The degree of LL.D. was given him by Kenyon in 1874, and by the University of Ohio in 1879. Chief-Justice Waite was of medium height, broad-shouldered, compactly built, and erect. His step was light and firm, and all his movements were quick and decisive. His well-poised, classically shaped head was massive and thickly covered with handsome grayish hair. His manners were graceful and winning, but unassuming, he was one of the most genial of men, and his whole bearing commanded instant respect. His private character was singularly pure and noble. Judge Waite was a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and a regular attendant on its services. Mrs. Waite, four sons, and one daughter survive him.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Start your search on Henry Matson Waite.


 

 


 


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

 

 

Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

 

Childhood & Family

Click Here

 

Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights

 

Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II

 

Is it Real?



Declaration of
Independence

Digital Authentication
Click Here

 

America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

 
Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock

  

Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington

  

Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
[
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin

  

Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party


Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party


Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party


Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society


U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos

 

 

 

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum