March 23: Morrison Remick Waite (1888)

Morrison Remick Waite was the seventh Chief Justice of the United States, serving from 1874 until his death in 1888. Born and raised in Connecticut, he left his home state to make his career practicing law in northwestern Ohio. Waite ran twice unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate and spent one term in the state legislature. Waite later declined a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. He gained a measure of national attention when he represented the U.S. delegation to an international arbitration aimed at settling a dispute between the United States and Great Britain and brought Waite praise and attention. Waite was appointed to the Supreme Court by President U.S. Grant. Waite’s view of the judicial function guided thinking about judicial review well into the 20th century.

Morrison Waite was a member of Epiphany’s vestry from 1883 until his death. He was a lay delegate to the diocesan convention in 1884. Chief Justice Waite’s funeral is included in Epiphany’s register. The service was held in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Attendees included members of Congress, President and Mrs. Cleveland, the Supreme Court justices, the Cabinet, and the diplomatic corps. Due to the illness of rector Samuel Giesy, Bishop William Paret and other members of Epiphany’s clergy participated in the service.

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