made that the gun had been spiked. Captain Bissell had taken the
only course left for him to take and he had done the right thing at
the right time. Some of the windows in the south college were
smashed by the mob. The mayor appeared on the scene and
addressed the crowd. Toward morning the riot was over. The
body of O'Neil was taken to police headquarters. He had been a
barkeeper. There was a suituable official action taken and no
officer of the law ever found out by whom the fatal dirk thrust was
given. Very soon after the fall of O'Neil, a small party of young
men entered a basement place of refreshment, on Chapel, a few
doors below Church street. One of them had in his hand the knife
or dirk. It was seen by a number of persons there. The young
men soon left the place. They hastened to the college campus and
stuck the dirk in the ground, pushing it down out of sight. As it
was thought by the students that there might be arrests of some of
their number, they called upon Alfred Blackman, the lawyer, and
asked if he would accept a retainer from them. After he had
learned the whole story he said that he would, and directed that the
dirk should be brought to him. When, in a short time it was handed
him, he laid it on a piece of white paper and with a pencil garefully
drew an outline of its form, after which he handed it back to the
students' committee. It is said that for years Judge Blackman car-
ried that bit of paper in his vest pocket. But it was never needed
in court. A young New Havener who knew something about the
affray, was so apprehensive of being called upon to make disclosures
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THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 257
that he ran away to New York, where he remained and acquired a
large fortune. His remains are in Evergreen Cemetery. The feel-
ing between the town boys and students was much strengthened by
the quarrel bet\veen the two large political parties, with regard to
allowing students to vote at elections. Democrats generally took the
ground that the students, if allowed to vote anywhere, should vote in
the places where they lived before coming to college. Some of the
speeches of Democratic orators, were abusive of the college. On
the other hand, the friends of a liberal education believed that
the votes of the students would be intelli2:entlv cast and would
hKt in favor of good men for office. These men thought the
whig party more worthy than the other. While recalling this
tragedy, another is brought to mind, although it had nothing to
do with the New Haven Green. After two o'clock of a Saturday
morning, November 3, i860, a party of young men who had been
drinking in the " Temple," corner of Orange and Court streets,
became involved in a quarrel with three students. George S.
Stafford, aged about twenty years, was fatally stabbed by a knife
in the hands of a student. He died Sunday evening. The
three students arrested for the killins: were William H. McCullock,
held for trial in the Superior Court and released under $3,000 bail;
Nelson A. Baldwin, bailed in $2,000, and R. K. Belden, for whom
bail was at first refused. The father of the young man who was
killed did not favor pushing the prosecution against the young men,
as he felt satisfied that the murder had been without malicious intent
and connnitted in the heat of a combat. Neither of the students
were finally punished. The two first named were discharged and
Belden was allowed to forfeit his bail, amounting to $2,500. The
Sophomores and Freshmen were having a quarrel on the college
campus, Saturday evening, September 30, 1843, "^^ 'it-n tutor John B.
Dwight appeared on the scene. He and another tutor undertook to
come up with a few students who had broken windows in the north
middle colle2:e buildinir. Tutor Dwig-ht caught hold of a Philadel-
phia student named Robert Fassett, both, it was said, falling to the
258 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
ground. Fassett, with a dirk, stabbed Dwiglit in three places. The
wounds were not at first thought dangerous, but tutor Dwight took a
fever and in three weeks died. Fassett, who was at his home, came
to New Haven vohunarily and his father, a wealthy man, furnished a
bond of $5,000 for his appearance for trial. The trial was postponed
a year and in 1845 ^^^^ bond was forfeited. In fact, the matter was
settled out of court. In the State election of 1840, forty votes were
cast by students.
The State House, and particularly the steps of the building, have
been utilized by the students of Yale for many purposes. The elec-
tion of members to the Scroll and Key Society and to Skull and
Bones weie somewhat similar in method. Self-stationed outposts on
and near the State House steps were used to announce the names of
the men selected for the honor of membership. At the close of its
meetings the Scroll and Key Society used to march to the Green and
to the State House steps and thence to the college campus, singing
the song " Gaily the Troubadour touched his Guitar." The pow-
wow custom was started about the year 1850, the occasion being the
Freshmanic advance in college to Sophomoric dignity. It was always
held upon the State House steps and the exercises consisted of funny
speeches, songs and recitations. The pow-wows were attended by
the Sophomores, who by cheers and ironical shouts of admiration
endeavored to overwhehn the voices of the Freshmen. The fresh-
men were provided wdth a big banger each, a tin horn each, and they
made as much noise as they could. Sometimes the pow-wow^s lasted
until nearly daybreak. The last burial of Euclid was by the class of
1863. The students assembled on the State House steps November
16, in the evening, and with lighted torches and preceded by the
New Haven brass band, marched to a hall in orderly procession.
There the literary exercises took place, the funeral procession start-
ing for the place of interment late at night. There was a collision
on the Green between the students and police in October, 1870,
growing out of a violation of the city ordinance, which forbade kick-
ing football on the (Jreen. There was great exasperation on both
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 259
sides and policeman Owen Kelley knocked a Sophomore on the
head with his billy. The hurt was at first thought to be such that
the student would die, but he finally recovered. The students tried
to have Mr. Kelley dismissed from the police force. There was a
tie vote by the four police commissioners and as the mayor declined
to give a deciding vote, the students were foiled. But Mr. Kelley
did not remain on the force much longer. In consequence of the
row five students paid fines and costs into the city court.
The name of David Austin, which occurs elsewhere in this book,
should be gratefully remembered. His labors in setting out trees on
the Green and doing other w^ork for its improvement were performed
entirely for the benefit of his townsmen and for posterity. Mr.
Austin was born in New Haven in 1760, and he traveled in foreign
countries. As a preacher, he is said to have been earnest and elo-
quent. In a poem by Governor Livingstone in which there are lines
in honor of this pious man and public benefactor, there is one which
speaks of " his florid genius and capacious mind." He taught that
Christ would begin his temporal reign on earth on the Fourth Sun-
day of May, 1796. He built on Water, east of what was then the
foot of Meadow street, a block of wood dwellings for the accommo-
dation of the Jews, who, he fancied would soon be passing through
New Haven, on their way to Jerusalem, which, according to scrip-
ture prophecy, they were to rebuild. He died in Norwich, Conn.,
in 183 1.
About seven years ago, the skirmishers of the Salvation Army, an
English organization of which General Booth, of London, was the
commander-in-chief, arrived in New Haven for the purpose of prop-
agating religion according to a spiritually-military plan. They were
soon followed by others, and their methods of arousing the zeal of
the indifferent were novel and to pious persons of a conser\ative
mind, rather objectionable. Choosing a public place, they marched
thither, to the sound of drums and various musical instruments
badly played ; they held forth in the open air and preached to the
people in very bad grammar, warning tliem of the wrath to come.
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Their captains, majors and lieutenants were as often women as men,
and the salvation soldiers of both sexes wore a uniform. The pray-
ers and exhortations of these people were of an extravagant nature
and accompanied with shouting and gesticulation which struck their
audiences as being highly sensational. Some of their meetings were
held at Custom House square, on the corner of State street and
Water, and they also held meetings on the south steps of the State
House. They secured a headquarters or " barracks " on Union,
north of Chapel street, where meetings were held in inclement
weather. Boys and young men attended them, to have fun, and
there was much indecorous behavior among the crowds of idle per-
sons who attended their nieetings and followed the Salvationists
through the streets. Their performances were disturbing to the
public peace and Mayor Lewis was called upon to restrain them from
making a noise in the streets and on the State House steps. He
had considerable trouble to manage matters so that the disturbances
on the Green and in the streets were made to cease, as he, in com-
mon with all lovers of the state constitution and of the United
Slates, felt unwilling to do anything which might look like an arbi-
trary restriction of the freedom of religious meetings. After about
two years of bother, the mayor positively forbid the Salvationists
marching through the streets, singing their songs, pounding upon
drums or blowing into brass instruments of music. As the mayor's
orders were not respected and the city ordinances were not obeyed,
the police arrested some of the " army '' while on the Green and
locked them up at the police station. The/ gloried in what they
felt to be religious persecution and put up fervent prayers for the
mayor and police officers. One of the brightest and most persua-
sive of the officers of the Salvation Army was Mrs. Captain Dixon,
the mother of two children, who played a pair of cymbals, when on
parade, and at other times sold copies of the War Cry, an organ
devoted to the interests of the army. This woman afterw^ard, in
company with two or three other persons, conducted a mission, in a
building on Union, below Wooster street, and later a mission in a
262 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
building on Chapel street, formerly the place of business of the
New Haven Register^ which had moved into Crown street in 1884.
The Salvation Army made but little impression of a devotional char-
acter upon New Haven people, and after about two years' existence
in New Haven, the members went to New York and other places.
They made a few converts of ignorant persons. For the use of
preachers who had no other place, the State House steps were
found convenient in pleasant weather. When the famous Lorenzo
Dow was making his journeys in this part of New England, he
preached from the south steps. So did William Munson, whose son
of the same name is at present an attache of Deputy Sheriff William
B. Catlin's office in the Glebe Building.' So did John S. C. Abbott,
the historian, whose powerful address on a topic connected with the
war for the Union, was more of a political character, than a sermon.
George Mundy, of Philadelphia, the hailess prophet, harangued the
people from the south steps. In his own city he was punished for
disturbing the peace by preaching on street corners. Judge Parsons
of that city sending him to jail. Anybody who cared so to do,
preached from the State House steps. Daniel Pratt, the Great
American Traveler, occasionally paid a visit to Yale College, and his
grandiloquently absurd speeches to the students were laughed at and
paid for by money collected from his amused listeners, at the State
House steps. Pratt traveled to all cities where there were colleges.
Although a lunatic, he knew where to find profit from his eccentric
talk and behavior, and he was an exemplar of a class of half-crazy
men, found in New England villages sixty years ago, but who, owing
to improved laws and better courts of justice and an increased love of
order, have generally passed from sight. About thirty years ago, a
man of this sort, named Terrell, and generally addressed as " Pro-
fessor," lived a short distance from the east bank of Mill river, on
the road between New Haven and East Haven. His principal
hobby was of a mathematical description, but he had other fancies.
One day when the Legislature w^as in session. Professor Terrell
appeared in Representatives' hall, flourishing a sword with a curved
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 263
blade. He was ejected. Have not members of the Legislature
sometimes done things in a body, as lacking in decorum as the
conduct of the professor ? For instance, at the session of the Legis-
lature which ratified the fourteenth amendment to the United States
Constitution, the representatives on a certain forenoon commuted the
death sentence of a man named Starkweather, of Hartford County,
who had chopped his mother to death with an axe, because she
would not give him money, to imprisonment for life, and on the same
day, in the afternoon, under no apparent new influence except that
of a good dinner, they reconsidered their action and the murderer
was finally hanged. In the case of a Fairfield County murderer,
human life was recently trifled with in a still more shocking man-
ner. Professor Terrell, when not agitated with some sort of
invention or problem in mathematics, appeared sane. Once, he
was buying groceries at a store at the junction of Olive and State
streets. He was calm and sensible. Somebody asked him if he had
any new invention. Striking an attitude indicating the necessity for
caution and secrecy, he said, in a whisper : " Hush .... mum ! I
can't explain this to anybody but stockholders." Two or three
gentlemen present immediately subscribed for $100,000 of stock.
This amount, the professor said, would be satisfactory to himself and
Professor Olmsted of Yale College, who, in the mind of the pro-
fessor, was always associated with himself (Professor Terrell) as
joint owner in his inventions. Taking from his pocket a folded
paper, which the professor said was a model of his new flying
machine, in which he had just made a trip to California and back, in
precisely three minutes, he further said that Professor Olmsted was
negotiating for its sale to the government. He said that it carried
many million tons of coal and the boiler would hold one thousand
million hogsheads of water which he could draw from the clouds
with a big auger and a funnel which he always carried on these trips.
"Now," said the Professor, " suppose this nation was at war and the
enemy were twenty million strong. I can boil all the water in
thirteen seconds. Then I can sail in the air, above the enemy, pull
264 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE,
out the plug and they are all scalded, don't you see?" On another
occasion, iii? paper model represented a three-wheeled wheelbarrow.
" Hush . . . mum," he began. After a sufficient subscription to
shares of stock was obtained, the professor explained that one wheel
moved on its axis: one acted as a fulcrum and the other didn't. He
did not expect ordinary mortals to understand the working principle
but assured his hearers that this was the greatest invention that him-
self and Professor Olmsted had yet made. A steamboat boiler
explosion moved Professor Terrell to invent a boiler which could not
explode, for he showed by his paper model that no boiler could
burst, if the steam was all kept on the outside of it.
All the windows of the police lockup were kicked out by
a prisoner named Tom McCabe, when in confinement in the
State House basement. During the time when the police office
and lockup w^ere in the basement, a woman was arrested for
street-walking. Later in the night a young man was arrested
for intoxication. When he was released the next morning, he
expressed a wish to talk with the chief of police. He was granted
the desired interview, and with great heartiness thanked that gentle-
man for having afforded him an excellent opportunity for social
c^njoyment. Said he: "But for the kindness of your policemen \
should have become disgracefully drunk and I thank you much."'
Said the young man, " I had no idea of the reputation of this place."
The chief asked what he meant by the last remark and the young
man said : " Why, owing to your thoughtfulness and kindness I have
passed what would otherwise have been the weary hours of a long
night, in company with one of the handsomest and most entertaining
of women that I ever met." The chief recollected that he had in cus-
tody a female who for two days had been furnished no food. She was
discharged at once. There are hundreds of fine anecdotes having
an origin in the State House. During the warmest of the season of
controversy between the Whigs and Loco Focos, Eben Thompson, a
New Haven grocer, made a journey to Florida. He also visited
Mobile. He was a whig in politics and on his return to New Haven,
THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE. 263
was asked if he saw any whigs at Mobile. He said that he had.
He further said that having had occasion to take a horseback ride
through the country, he stopped at a hotel and asked for the land-
lord. A good looking white woman responded to the call. She said
her husband w^as in the garden. Mr. Thompson went to the
garden but found nobody but a very black man, engaged in cultivat-
ing watermelons. Mr. Thompson asked him for the landlord.
'Tm the landlord," answered the black man. Being surprised, Mr.
Thompson, on going inside the house, enquired of the woman
how she could have demeaned herself by marrying a colored man.
She replied, " I did much better than my sister ; for she married a
Admiral Andrew Hull Foote had a great funeral in New Haven,
July I, 1863. The day before, .there arrived from Bridgeport, a
battery of light artillery. At evening the steamboat Elm City,
broupht marines under command of Lieut. H. ]. Bishop, who
had been detached from the United States' ship North Carolina.
Many military organizations and distinguished men gathered in New-
Haven to pay their respects to the dead hero. At ten o'clock on
the forenoon of Wednesday, the marines bore the body of the
deceased to the State House, where it was laid upon a bier, in the
wide hnll. The coffin, partly enveloped by an American flag, was
metallic, covered with black silk-velvet, ornamented with silk tassels
and having a solid silver plate with a plain inscription giving the
name, rank and age of the deceased. The large double doors at the
north and south ends of the State House were opened and a con-
tinuous stream of people passed through the main hall until two
o'clock in the afternoon, when the remains of the Admiral were taken
to the Center Church, which had been draped in black. The six pall
bearers were Admirals Gregory, (of New Haven), Smith, Stringham.
Davis, and Stewart, and Captain Simpson. Revs. Bacon, Cleaveland,
and Harwood were in the pulpit. Rev. Dr. Bacon gave out the
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*' How blest the righteous when he dies !
When sinks his weary soul to rest ;
How mildly beam the closing eyes —
How gently heaves the expiring breast."
The funeral address was by Rev. Dr. Bacon. The hearse, drawn
by four horses, was escorted by a large body of military, under com-
mand of Gen. William H. Russell ; the civic part of the proces-
sion being under the orders of Benjamin Noyes, the chief marsiial.
The route was, out of the Green to Chapel street, to College, Crown,
Temple, Ciiapel, State, Elm, Temple and to Grove Street Cemetery,
where salutes were fired over the grave. The whole city mourned.
A trombone once served to deliver a worthy and popular fellow-
ciiizen from great jeopardy, on the Green. John H. Phoebus was a
teacher of vocal and instrumental music in this city for some years.
He was amiable, jolly, short and fat, and a fine tenor singer. All
the children liked him, and along in the " forties " he arranged for
concerts in some of the public schools. In his day there were many
blood-thirsty brindle dogs in town, of great ferocity, and unless with
their masters, were liable to attack any citizen who came in their
way. One evening Mr. Phoebus was crossing the Green, when one
of these terrible dogs advanced upon him with savage intent. Mr.
Phoebus had no weapon of defence except a trombone. With great
presence of mind he blew through it an awful sound, and the dog,
howling with fright, rapidly disappeared. The genial music teacher
was afterward much congratulated at his escape.
The last dividend paid to the depositors in the Townsend Savings
Bank was disbursed in a room at the northeast corner of the State
House, and the few dollars remaining unpaid were taken to the office
of a broker on Orange, above Chapel street. There has been a
great deal of adverse comment upon the management of the bank,
by people who were not in a position to know or judge of the facts.
There is little room for doubt that had there been no concerted
assault made upon the bank, the depositors would have been paid
every cent due them. A number of circumstances operated to pro-
268 THE HISTORY OF THE STATE HOUSE.
duce the failure, one of which was the depreciation in real estate, on
which money had been lent, within the rule requiring that no more
should be lent on any mortgage more than half the value of the
property securing the loan. It was found that property, mortgaged
for no more than half its value, at the time of the loan, oftentimes
could not be sold, to realize what in a more prosperous season had
been a reasonable investment. There were investments promising
well, but which could not be recalled by the bank in season to pre-
vent a panic among depositors after the raid on the bank had been
Luzon B. Morris was judge of probate for six terms — 1857-63.
When he entered upon his official duties, in the court room in the
basement of the State House, he found things in a sad state of dirt
and disorder. Scattered on the floor were documents of the court,
many of which were without any outside indexing, to give a hint of
their contents or value. Many papers which should have been on
file, were undoubtedly lost through carelessness. He had shelving-
made, with pigeon-holes for the proper classification of the archives,
and he was a year in getting things straight. His labors extended
back among the records and files for more than a hundred years,
and he made the first general index of papers. In 1857, when he