About Lot Myrick Morrill
Lot Myrick Morrill (May 3, 1813 – January 10, 1883) was an American statesman who served as the 28th Governor of Maine, in the United States Senate and as Secretary of the Treasury.
He was born in Belgrade, Maine, to Peaslee and Nancy (Macomber) Morrill, and studied law at Waterville College, now Colby College. His older brother Anson P. Morrill was also a prominent U.S. statesman.
A member of the Republican party, he served in the Maine State Senate from 1854 until 1856, and was elected Governor of Maine in 1858. (His brother Anson P. Morrill also served as Maine's governor.) He served in that office until 1861 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate to replace Hannibal Hamlin, who had left his seat to become Abraham Lincoln's running mate. He served in the Senate from 1861 until 1869 and then appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Pitt Fessenden and re-elected to the post, for another stint of service from 1869 to 1876. In the Senate he was the first chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. He was also chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expense (38th and 39th Congresses), U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia (39th Congress), the Committee on Appropriations (40th, 41st, 43rd and 44th Congresses) and the U.S. Senate Committee on the Library (41st and 42nd Congresses).
Morrill came into the U.S. Senate at a pivotal moment in history. In 1861, shortly after the outbreak of hostility, he argued strongly against compromise on the principles of slavery (via Constitutional Amendments) in order to restore the peace. By the end of the war, he argued against punishing the southern states for the rebellion, and in favor of higher education for people of all races.
He was then appointed Treasury Secretary and served from 1876 to 1877 under President Grant and for five days under Rutherford B. Hayes. Following his term in the Grant Administration, he returned to Maine and became Collector of Customs for the Port of Portland, Maine.
He died in Augusta, Maine, leaving his wife Charlotte and four daughters, and is interred at Forest Grove Cemetery in that city.
Famous Quotes by Senator Morrill
Speech in Congress, February 1, 1866:
"I admit that this species of legislation Civil Rights Act of 1866 is absolutely revolutionary. But are we not in the midst of a revolution? Is the Senator from Kentucky utterly oblivious to the grand results of four years of war? Are we not in the midst of a civil and political revolution which has changed the fundamental principles of our government in some respects? ... There was a civilization based on servitude.... Where is that? ... Gone forever.... We have revolutionized this Constitution of ours to that extent and every substantial change in the fundamental constitution of a country is a revolution.