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History of New Canaan, (Fairfield County) Connecticut
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A Short Biography of Justus Mitchell Silliman
Justus Mitchell Silliman, mining engineer, was born at New Canaan, Conn., Jan. 25, 1842; son of Joseph and Martha (Mitchell) Silliman; grandson of Joseph and Martha (Leeds) Silliman and of Sherman and Hannah (Fitch) Mitchell, and a descendant of Daniel Silliman of Geneva, Switzerland, who settled in Fairfield, Conn., about 1650. He was educated at the New Canaan academy: served three years in the civil war in the Armies of the Potomac and of the South, and was wounded at Gettysburg. He taught in the Troy academy, Troy, N.Y., 1865?70; was graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic institute with the degree of E.M., 1870, and was professor of mining engineering and graphics in Lafayette college, 1870?96. He was married June 29, 1876, to Harriet, daughter of Ezra and Esther (Dana) Boughton of Troy, N.Y. The American Association for the Advancement of Science published his examination of the Bessemer Flame with colored glasses, and with the spectroscope. He died in Easton, Pa.. April 15, 1896.
Biography of Anthony Comstock
Anthony Comstock, reformer, was born in New Canaan, Conn., March 7, 1844; son of Thomas A. and Polly Ann (Lockwood) Comstock; grandson of Major Samuel Comstock, who was twice commissioned by Governor Trumbull; grand-nephew of Jonathan Clock of Stamford, who enlisted in the Continental army in 1775 for one year, re-enlisted in 1776 and served under General Schuyler in the expeditions of Lake George and Lake Champlain; and a descendant on his mother's side of the Rev. Thomas Hanford, the immigrant, who fled from persecution in England and died in Connecticut in 1693. He was educated at the New Britain high school and enlisted in the 17th Connecticut regiment in 1863 to fill the place of his brother Samuel, fatally wounded at Gettysburg, and served with the regiment until the close of the war. He was sent as a steward by Christopher R. Robert to help transform Lookout Mountain barracks at Chattanooga, Tenn., into a college, and in 1867 located in New York city, where he found work in a wholesale dry goods house, serving as porter, stock-keeper and salesman. In March, 1872, he determined to devote himself to the suppression of vice as affecting young men and women, and almost single handed he began a reform that extended throughout the city. In April, 1872, he interested Morris K. Jessup, William E. Dodge, Jr., Samuel Colgate, and other wealthy New York philanthropists, who secured from the legislature of New York state a charter for the New York society for the suppression of vice in May, 1873, and Mr. Comstock became its secretary and chief agent. He systematically ferreted out the haunts of evil, personally supervising the arrest of over 2270 law breakers; destroyed over seventy-three tons of indecent printed matter and contraband goods; and shut and barred the doors of hundreds of gambling rooms, including incorporated and legalized lotteries. His use of strategy to capture and conquer the enemy was at times criticised and condemned by the public press, but the higher courts invariably sustained him whenever his cases came up on appeal before them. His published works include Frauds Exposed (1880); Traps for the Young (1883); Morals versus Art (1887); Gambling Outrages, or Improving the Breed of Horses at the Expense of Public Morals (1887).
Fairfield County Facts:Seat: Bridgeport
Formed from: Original County
Additional Local History Notes:
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
NEW CANAAN, a post-township of Fairfield co., Connecticut, about 35 miles S.W. by W. from New Haven. population, 2600.
New Canaan is situated 97 meters above sea level.