father of the Chief Justice, was born at Middletown, Jan. 1, 1784; was a classmate and intimate friend of Daniel Webster at Dartmouth College, and was originally named for his grandfather "Habijah," but his name was afterwards changed to Henry Weld. He was a sound lawyer, and for many years and at the time of his death a judge of probate in Kennebec County, Maine. He married Esther Gould, a sister of the poetess, Hannah Flagg Gould, and died Jan. 29, 1841. The volume entitled "The Courts and Lawyers of Maine" says of him:—
"His practice was extensive and profitable, and he had one of the largest dockets in the county. He was much valued for his integrity, hospitality, warmth of heart, and kindliness of manner. A man of great public spirit, and his death was a great loss to society."
He resided at Augusta, Maine, and was greatly interested in its growth.
Frederick Augustus Fuller, son of Henry W., was born at Augusta, Maine, Oct. 5, 1806; studied law at the Harvard Law School and with his father, and was a sound lawyer, and for a long time chairman of the County Commissioners of Penobscot County. He was the father of Chief Justice Fuller, and died Jan. 29, 1849. He married Catherine Weston, a daughter of Hon. Nathan Weston, an eminent judge of the Supreme Court of the State of Maine, being associate justice from 1820 to 1834, and chief justice from 1834 to 1841.
Such are some of the antecedents of our new chief justice which tend to show the general characteristics of his ancestry. We will now come to the man himself.
Melville Weston Fuller was born in Augusta, Maine, on the 11th day of February, 1833. At the age of sixteen he entered Bowdoin College, graduating in 1853. He began the study of the law in the office of his uncle, George Melville Weston, at Bangor. He also attended a course of lectures at the Harvard Law School. In 1855 he commenced to practise in Augusta, entering into partnership with his uncle, Hon. Benjamin A. G. Fuller, with whom he also at the same time edited "The Age," then one of the leading Democratic papers in the State. In 1856 he was elected to the Common Council of Augusta, and became its president, performing also the duties of City Solicitor. Although but twenty-three years of age, he had already developed remarkable qualities as a lawyer and an enviable position at the bar of his native State was assured him, when he determined to go West. He therefore resigned his position in the Council, and before the year 1856 had closed he had settled in Chicago.
There his abilities were speedily recognized, and he at once established a practice which continued to grow until he soon stood in the foremost rank of the profession. His most famous case was that which was known as the "Cheney case," in which an ecclesiastical council undertook to discipline Bishop Cheney on a charge of canonical disobedience. Mr. Fuller appeared in defence of the Bishop, and displayed such a knowledge of ecclesiastical law and such a familiarity with the writings of the Church Fathers as to astonish even the well-trained church men before whom the trial was had. His argument of this case before the Supreme Court of Illinois, to which tribunal the matter finally went, has been pronounced a masterpiece of forensic skill and eloquence.
His practice has been a general one; and a marked characteristic of his legal methods has been the thoroughness with which his cases nave been prepared. Although possessed of quick perceptive faculties and working with facility and ease, he studied his cases closely and carefully, and always went into court fully armed for the contest. As a fluent, earnest, and convincing advocate he had few equals. Always dignified and courteous, never descending to unfairness or trickery, he won alike the respect of the court and the esteem of his associates at the bar.
Of late years Mr. Fuller has had an exten-