Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FERRY, Orris Sanford, senator, born in Bethel, Fairfield County, Connecticut, 15 August 1823; died in Norwalk, Connecticut, 21 November 1875. He was graduated at Yale in 1844, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1846, and began practice in Norwalk. In 1847 he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the first division of Connecticut militia, and from 1849 till 1856 was judge of probate for the district of Norwalk. He was elected to the state senate in 1855, serving two years, and in 1857'9 was district attorney for the County of Fairfield. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for congress in 1856, but was elected two years later, serving in 1859'61, and being again defeated in 1860. When the civil war began, he zealously supported the National government, and in July 1861, became colonel of the 5th Connecticut regiment, joining G en. Banks's corps in Maryland.
He was promoted to brigadier general, 17 March 1862, and was assigned a brigade in Shields's division, from which he was transferred to Peck's division of the 4th army corps under General Keyes. He served till the close of the war, resigned his commission, 15 June 1865, and on 23 May 1866, was elected U. S. senator from Connecticut, taking his seat in March 1867. During the latter part of the reconstruction Period he opposed President Johnson, and voted guilty at his impeachment trial. In 1872 Mr. Ferry was reelected by a coalition of Independent Republicans and Democrats, but he adhered to General Grant's administration and opposed the Liberal Republican candidates at the presidential election of that year. He voted against the civil rights bill on the ground that it would prejudice the cause of public education. While in the lower house of congress General Ferry served as a member of the committee on revolutionary claims, and the special committee of thirty-three on the rebellious states. While in the senate he was a member of the committees on private land claims, public buildings, and patents, and after his reelection in 1872 was chairman of the latter committee.
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