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Charles Gould Morris family papers

Call Number: MS 622

Scope and Contents

The Charles Gould Morris Family Papers are composed of the personal, professional, and family papers of Charles Gould Morris and document his long career as a lawyer, businessman, public servant, and civic leader. The papers also contain materials relevant to Morris' ancestors, some of whom were long time residents of Newtown, Connecticut, to Morris' father Luzon Morris, a governor of Connecticut, and Morris' wife Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris. The papers are organized in three series: I. PERSONAL PAPERS, 1825-1961; II. FAMILY PAPERS, 1742-1960; III. DAGUERROTYPES AND PHOTOGRAPHS, 1850-1915.

Series I, PERSONAL PAPERS, contains most of the material in the papers from Morris' professional career and civic interests. Morris' legal activities are not well documented and are represented only by those estate files in which he had a personal interest (folders 117-125) and by financial records of the New Haven Organ Company, for which Morris served as successor trustee when the company was declared insolvent (folders 127-134). The papers more thoroughly illustrate Morris' business concerns. There are administrative and financial records of the New Haven Dairy Company, the General Ice Cream Corporation, and the Dolbey Ice Cream Company; records of dairy producers' associations; records of government agencies concerned with dairy regulations and arbitration; and Morris' speeches and writings relating to the dairy industry (folders 45-95). Some of these writings concern Morris' profit sharing system at Eastern Dairies. Morris' fiduciary responsibilities are represented only by a few records kept as president of the Broadway Bank and Trust Company (folders 3-4).

Morris' term in the Connecticut House of Representatives is not documented in the papers, but his three unsuccessful campaigns as Democratic candidate for governor (1924, 1926, 1928) are traced in correspondence, speeches, and scrapbooks of clippings (folders 160-171). Additional political speeches can be found in folder 181. During 1926 Morris also served on a governor's committee to investigate State Treasurer G. Harold Gilpatrick, who had misappropriated state funds. Folders 32-34 contain minutes of the committee meetings and correspondence with Governor Trumbull. For Morris' views on government see his manuscript A Citizen Thinks of His. Government(folder 182).

One of Charles Gould Morris' most enduring interests was civil service reform, both nationally and in Connecticut. Folders 5-31 all document various aspects of Morris' involvement through correspondence and printed material. Morris was also active in the affairs of Newtown, Connecticut. The papers contain records of town accounts and of the school board. The school board materials relate to routine concerns such as salaries, school calendar, and building repair, but also show the debate over the movement for school consolidation and the consequent need for bussing. Of note also are records of the nearby Fairfield State Hospital, of which Morris was a trustee. Folders 101-109 encompass committee records, board minutes, and correspondence for this mental health facility.

Through the Friends of Boys organization Morris became involved in the problems of delinquent boys, both in Hartford and New Haven. Records in folders 113-114 and 137-144 are composed of correspondence, reports, and memoranda. Included are daily memoranda written by John C. Collins, detailing his contacts with newsboys, bootblacks, and other New Haven street boys, the actions he took when problems arose, and the activities he organized for the boys' leisure time.

Among the other folders in Series I are photographs of Morris' comrades in the First Division Naval Battalion of the Connecticut National Guard (folder 39), materials from an 1898 survey of New Haven area religious institutions concerning their governance (folder 43), early naturalist. diaries in which Morris recorded his observations of birds and wildflowers (folder 99), and a scrapbook of early printed writings mainly by Morris' brother, Robert T. Morris (folder 183).

Series II and III relate to the family of Charles Gould Morris. Series II is composed of correspondence, scrapbooks, account books, writings, and other papers of Morris, Bennett, Tuttle, and Woodbridge relatives and others. Series III includes photographs and daguerrotypes of family members, residences, and friends. The papers include many family letters dating from the 19th century which were found in the old family home in Newtown. Folder 185 contains letters to Morris' grandmother, Lydia Bennett Morris, from relatives who moved west, to upstate New York, and folder 237 contains letters to her from a niece who had moved with her husband as missionaries to Wisconsin. Folders 238-239 contain letters from Martha Jane Morris, Lydia Bennett Morris' daughter, to her family describing her schooling, her teaching career, and, later, the growing family of brother Luzon Morris, near whom she lived.

Series II is rich in material from Charles Gould Morris' parents, Luzon Burritt and Eugenia Laura Tuttle Morris. For Luzon Morris there are legal files and account books from his law practice letters to his parents letters of congratulation on his election as governor, photographs of the gubernatorial staff, and memorial tributes following his death (folders 218-236). The series includes transcripts of Eugenia Morris' letters to her father Lucius Tuttle following her marriage in 1856. Other Tuttle family material includes copies of letters from Lucius Tuttle to family still in Connecticut describing his pioneering in Minnesota and a transcript of a diary kept by Eugenia's brother while aboard a Union blockade ship near Galveston during the Civil War (folder 249).

Eugenia Morris kept her other family records in scrapbooks. For each of her children she compiled a "Family Chronicle" in which she recorded her memories of their growth and development and in which she pasted photographs, children's letters, and drawings (folders 215-216). Her later scrapbooks (folders 256-257) include clippings about the gubernatorial election, memorabilia from the Cleveland inaugural and the Chicago Columbian Exposition, and pictures from European travels, as well as later material on her children and son-in-law Arthur T. Hadley. Her son, Morris' brother Robert, became a surgeon and naturalist. Eugenia Morris' scrapbooks contain copies of his writings, and folders 240-241 comprise the typescript for his memoirs Fifty Years a Surgeon.

In 1899 Charles Gould Morris married Elisabeth Woodbridge, a graduate of Vassar College and one of the first women to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University. Before her marriage Elisabeth Woodbridge had taught English and history at Vassar, and she continued to write and publish even as her family grew, The papers contain some of her writings, but the greatest quantity of material dates from her work with the Industrial Relations Club of New Haven and the Consumers' League. With other educated women, many of them wives of prominent Yale faculty, she organized studies and lobbying efforts concerning the working conditions in industries primarily employing women.

The series also includes records of the Morris children, primarily the youngest son Charles Lester Morris (folders 192-193), who was a student at Yale at the time this correspondence was written. Charles Gould Morris was interested in his family history and the history of the family home. Some of his correspondence and writings concerning these subjects can be found in folders 242-244.

The Charles Gould Morris Family Papers were donated to the Yale University Library between 1940 and 1962 by Charles Gould Morris, Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris, and the estate of Charles Gould Morris.


  • 1742-1961


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for 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

Gift of Charles G. Morris, Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris, and the Charles G. Morris estate, mainly between 1940-1962. Gift of Mrs. Helen Forbes, 1991. Purchased from Mrs. Hudson's Fine Books and Paper, 2019.


Arranged in three series and two additions: I. Personal Papers, 1825-1961. II. Family Papers, 1742-1960. III. Daguerreotypes and Photographs, 1850-1915.


26.42 Linear Feet (50 boxes)

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 correspondence, writings, family papers, financial records, scrapbooks, daguerrotypes, and other material documenting the professional career of Charles Gould Morris and the personal lives of several family members. Morris's political career, his dairy business activities, and his municipal and civic concerns in Connecticut are documented. The letters and papers of family members involved in the settlement of the American frontier and in the Civil War are included, as are papers of Morris's father, Luzon Burritt Morris, a governor of Connecticut.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Gould Morris was born in Westville, Connecticut on February 4, 1871. He graduated from Yale College (B.A., 1895; LL.B., 1897) and owned and operated several ice cream and dairy businesses. Morris was active in New Haven municipal affairs and in civil service reform. He was an unsuccessful democratic candidate for governor (1924, 1926, 1928). He died in 1961.

Guide to the Charles Gould Morris Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by William E. Brown, Jr., Diane E. Kaplan and John Espy
July 1985
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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