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Morris Franklin Tyler papers

Call Number: MS 1135

Scope and Contents

The Morris F. Tyler Papers fill one box and contain one folder of correspondence and diaries, and fourteen folders of lectures and writings.

The collection contains just two letters, one from John J. Audubon (1785-1851), his wife's grandfather, to the Reverend Andrew Bigelow and the second from Connecticut Governor William A. Buckingham (1804-1875) to Daniel P. Tyler. Folders two and three contain diaries covering the years from 1875 to 1907. They contain a good deal of useful information about Tyler's family and activities with some discussion of national issues. In 1884, for example, Tyler writes about the nomination of Blaine by the Republicans and how he, as an independent Republican, will support Cleveland. In other entries he discusses the 1876 presidential election and the great blizzard of 1888. The rest of the collection consists of fourteen folders of lectures and writings reflecting his broad literary interests. All were probably written by Morris F. Tyler, except "Medieval Asia" which was by son Leonard S. Tyler (1881-1928).

For additional Morris F. Tyler material, see the John F. Weir Papers, Manuscript Group Number 550.


  • 1842-1907


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Largely the gift of Mrs. Leonard Tyler, 1946; additional gift from Mrs. Roger A. Connolly, 1955; and by purchase in 1956.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of diaries, lectures, and writings on various aspects of European culture, and a notebook on "Medieval Asia" kept by Morris Franklin Tyler's son, Leonard S. Tyler. The diaries (1875-1907) are largely devoted to family life in New Haven and Woodbridge, Connecticut, but also comment on current political issues, particularly the presidential elections of 1876 and 1884. Also in the papers are letters from John James Audubon to Andrew Bigelow, and from William A. Buckingham to Daniel Tyler.

Biographical / Historical

Morris Franklin Tyler, son of Hon. Morris and Mary Frisbie (Butler) Tyler, was born in New Haven, Conn., August 12, 1848. He was prepared for college in the New Haven High School. His father, a wholesale boot and shoe merchant, was Mayor of the city and Lieutenant-Governor of the state.

After graduation from the Academical Department Mr. Tyler entered the Law School. He received the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1873, also the same year that of Master of Arts in course; but, meantime, gave much time to journalism, first in connection with the Hartford Evening Post and then as associate editor of the New Haven Palladium. He practiced his profession first as a member of the firm of Tyler & Hubbard and then as head of the firm of Tyler, Ingersoll & Moran. He served the city and state for several years, from 1875 to 1878 being a member of the New Haven Board of Education, from 1878 to 1880 councilman from his ward, and in 1881-1882 Executive Secretary to Governor Hobart B. Bigelow.

In 1878 Mr. Tyler became interested in the telephone business and took an active part in the management of the New Haven Telephone Company, then of the Connecticut Telephone Company, in which were merged the local companies of the state. The name was afterward changed to the Southern New England Company, and of this Mr. Tyler was elected President February 20, 1883. He devoted himself with great success to its development, and had nearly completed twenty-five years of service. He recognized the public obligations of such corporations, and was among the first to issue new stock to stockholders at a price above its par value.

In addition to his other duties he was officially connected with the Univeristy for over ten years. During the Academic year 1893-94 he was Instructor of Jurisprudence in the Yale Law School, and the next five years was Professor of General Jurisprudence, succeeding the late Professor Johnston T. Platt (Harv. 1865), but resigned the chair on his appointment as Treasurer of the University in 1899. Mr. Tyler administered this important office over five years, but in order to devote his attention entirely to the interests of the Southern New England Telephone Company he presented his resignation as Treasurer in June, 1904, continuing, however, to serve until the following December. During his term of service, covering as it did a period of University expansion which involved the erection of the Bicentennial buildings and many new and perplexing problems, his administrative and legal experience and his broad culture were of great value to the University.

Mr. Tyler was a student all his life, and took great pleasure in his large and choice library, which was especially strong in French and Italian literature. Besides other gifts to the University Library he presented many volumes of early French literature and rare bibliographies. He was a member of the Grolier Club of New York. He edited the "Memoirs of Mme. Vigée Le Brun," and also prepared the Triennial Record of his College class.

He had not been in robust health for a long time, and during the last year had lost much in physical strength, but continued to direct the affairs of the telephone company, and was at his office the week before his death. He died December 4, 1907, at his home on College street. He was 59 years of age. He was a man of strong personality, independent in judgment, but catholic in his tastes.

He married in New York City, November 5, 1873, Della Talman, daughter of Victor Gifford Audubon, the artist, and granddaughter of John James Audubon, the famous ornithologist. They had four sons and one daughter, of whom the sons are living, but the daughter died in 1902. The eldest son graduated from the Academical Department in 1898, and the third son in 1905.

For over forty years he was a member and strong supporter of the Church of the Redeemer and its predecessor, the Chapel Street Congregational Church, of which his father was a deacon and one of the original members.

(Taken from Obituary Record of Graduates 1907-08, pp. 912-914).

Guide to the Morris Franklin Tyler Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Bruce P. Stark
November 1982
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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