LL.D. and resident of New Haven, Ct. A member of Congress from Connecticutt, 1799; mayor of New Haven, 1803-1822; professor at Yale College; collector of the port of New Haven; chief justice of New Haven County Court for thirteen years; judge of the Probate Court for seventeen years (Browning, Charles. Americans of Royal Descent, 7th ed., Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969, pg. 71).
GOODRICH, Elizur, (brother of Chauncey Goodrich), a Representative from Connecticut; born in Durham, Middlesex County, Conn., March 24, 1761; pursued preparatory studies and was graduated from Yale College in 1779; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in New Haven in 1783; member of the State house of representatives 1795-1802, during which time he served as clerk of the house for six sessions and as speaker in two; Federalist presidential elector in 1796; elected as a Federalist to the Sixth Congress (March 4, 1799-March 3, 1801); had been reelected to the Seventh Congress, but resigned, effective March 3, 1801, having been appointed by President John Adams on February 19, 1801, collector of customs at New Haven; removed from that office by President Thomas Jefferson; elected in 1803 to the Governorís council, which office he held until the change in the State constitution in 1818; professor of law in Yale College 1801-1810; judge of the probate court 1802-1818; also chief judge of the county court 1805-1818; member of the city council and board of aldermen for several years; served as mayor of New Haven 1803-1822; member of the corporation of Yale College 1809-1818 and secretary of the same until 1846; died in New Haven, Conn., November 1, 1849; interment in Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven Ct. (www site : The Political graveyard???)
Lawyer, politician, and educator, the second son of Rev. Elizur and Catharine (Chauncey) Goodrich and brother of Chauncey Goodrich, 1759-1815 was born at Durham, Conn. He attended Yale College and on July 5, 1779, was a member of the company of students which resisted the advance of a British raiding party. He was severely wounded in this encounter. At his graduation in 1779 he was awarded the Berkeley Scholarship. Elected a tutor in the college in 1781, he taught for the next two years, studied law, and in 1783 began practise in New Haven. He was a man of wide reading and culture, became learned in the law, and also built up a considerable practise. He was in many respects an admirable representative of Federalist leadership in "the Land of Steady Habits." Office-holding was a steady habit of his own. Beginning in 1789 as a member of the city council, he was connected with the government of New Haven, in various capacities, for about twenty-five years, serving as mayor from 1803 to 1822. In May 1795 he began a period of seven years in the legislature, where served both as clerk and as speaker. In 1803 he was elected to the Council, which, composed of the ablest and most dependable party leaders, was one of the most powerful political machines in the history of state government. He remained a member until 1818. In addition to these legislative activities, he was probate judge of New Haven, 1802-1818, and chief judge of the county court, 1805-18. The constitutional convention of 1818 which reformed the old charter government of the state and substituted a more modern and democratic constitution, practically ended his political career. This same year his wife, Anne Willard Allen, whom he married in 1785, died, and for some time thereafter he lived with different members of his family in Hartford, Utica, and Washington, but returned to spend his last years in New Haven.
Goodrich had made a brief incursion into national politics as a member of the Sixth Congress, but resigned in 1801 to accept from President Adams the lucrative post of collector of the port of New Haven. President Jefferson, however, turned a cold and suspicious eye on the transaction. His prompt removal of the incumbent in favor of his own supporters, the resultant Federalist uproar, and the President's defense of the action, give the episode a unique importance in the history of American civil service (C.R. Fish, "The Civil Service and the Patronage," 1905, pp.3-58). Elizur Goodrich's connection with Yale was one of the most interesting and useful activities. He was professor of law from 1801 to 1810, ex officio member of the corporation from 1809 to 1818, and secretary from 1818 to 1846 (Dictionary of American biography, NY : Scribner's, 1958).
From Samuel G. Goodrich's (1793-1860) "Recollections of a lifetime," pp. 530-531:
Elizur Goodrich, L.L.D., the second son, was born 24th March, 1761. In the year 1775, he entered Yale College, at the age of fourteen. During his senior year, his life was brought into extreme danger at a time when New Haven was attacked by the British. On the landing of the troops, July 5th, 1779, he joined a company of about a hundred in number, who went out, under the command of James Hillhouse, to annoy and retard the march of the enemy; toward evening, when the town was taken and given up to ravage and plunder, he was stabbed near the heart by a British soldier, as he lay on his bed in a state of extreme exhaustion, and barely escaped with his life.
Having been fitted for the bar, he established himself at New Haven, and soon acquired an extensive practice. In 1795, he was elected a representative to the State legislature, and in 1799, a member of Congress. This station he resigned, and was appointed Collector of the port of New Haven, and was soon after removed by Mr. Jefferson to give place to Deacon Bishop, as elsewhere related (v.1., p. 122). He was immedately elected to the State legislature, and then to the council. His habits of mind fitted him perfectly for the duties of a legislative body. He had great industry, clearness of judgment, and accuracy of knowledge in the details of business. He was much relied on in drafting new laws, as one who had been long conversant with the subject, and had gained a perfect command of those precise and definite forms of expression which are especially important in such a case. He was, also, judge of the County Court for the county of New Haven thirteen years, and judge of Probate for the same county seventeen years, down to the change of politics in 1818. In the latter office, he endeared himself greatly to numerous families throughout the county, by his judgment and kindness in promoting the settlement of estates without litigation, and by his care in providing for the interests of widows and orphans. He was also Mayor of the city of New Haven, from September 1803, to June, 1822, being a period of nineteen years, when he declined any longer continuance in this office. For nine years he was professor of Law at Yale College, and repeatedly delivered courses of lectures on the laws of nature and nations, but resigned the office in 1810, as interfering too much with his other public duties. His interest in the college, however, remained unabated. For many years he was a leading member of the corporation, and was particularly charged with its interests as a member of the prudential committee; and was secretary of the board for the period of twenty-eight years, until he tendered his resignation in 1846. It is a striking circumstance, that from the time of his entering the college in 1775, he was uninterruptedly connected with the institution, either as a student, Berkeley scholar, tutor, assistant to the treasurer, professor, member of the corporation, or secretary of the board, for the space of seventy-one years! He received from the college the honorary degree of L.L.D., in the year 1830. His death took place in 1849.
After what has been said, it is unnecessary to give any labored delineation of Mr. Goodrich's character. He was distinguished for the clearness and strength of his judgment, the ease and accuracy with which he transacted business, and the kindness and affability which he uniformly manifested in all the relations of life. His reading was extensive and minute; and, what is not very common in public men, he kept up his acquaintance with the ancient classics to the last, being accustomed to read the writings of Cicero, Livy, Sallust, Virgil, and Horace, down to the eighty-ninth year of his age, with all the ease and interest of his early years. He professed the religion of Christ soon after leaving college, adorned his profession by a consistent life, and experienced the consolations and hopes which it affords, in the hour of dissolution.