The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 450
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
substituted for the former titles of chief justice and associate
justice. Although the earlier members of the court did not
participate in the Rodriguez case, which was decided by the
last incumbents on this military court, the decision resulted in
the use of the term, "Semicolon Court," an appellation that
has come to be applied to the Supreme Court during the entire
period of military rule.
A glance at the colorful personnel of this court may be of
interest. The first chief justice, Amos Morrill, was a native
of Massachusetts, where he originally taught school and studied
law. He first migrated to Tennessee, where he stayed for two
years before returning to Massachusetts. He came to Texas
in 1856, located in Austin, and engaged in the practice of law
with Andrew J. Hamilton. He was possessed of all the bitterness
towards secession which prevailed in his former environment.
These sentiments, freely expressed, rendered necessary for his
personal safety a sojourn in Mexico at the beginning of the war.
Before returning to Texas after the war, he went back to
Massachusetts and later moved to New Orleans, where he was
an official in the customhouse. As soon as it was entirely
safe to do so, he again appeared in Texas and was promptly
appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in September, 1867.
Following the restoration of constitutional government and
the ousting of the military court, he was appointed to the
Federal bench for the Eastern District of Texas. He resigned
this position in 1883 and returned to Austin, where he died a
year later. Under different circumstances, Judge Morrill might
have been a distinguished and useful citizen; but, because of
his political views and his willingness to subvert his natural
and intellectual attainments to the accomplishment of the
oppressive measures imposed upon the people of the state, his
name, with those of 'the other members of the court, will,
perhaps for generations to come, be regarded in Texas history
with disfavor, if not contempt.
Associate Justice Livingston Lindsay was a native of Vir-
ginia. He was educated at the University of Virginia, practiced
law in Kentucky, and in 1860 settled at La Grange, Texas.
He had the unique experience of ascending the judicial ladder
to its top and then descending to the position of district judge
and finally to that of county attorney. He lived to be eighty-
seven years old. He was said to have been one of the ablest
members of the Semicolon Court. His opinions, owing perhaps
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/518/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.