Presentation Of The Portrait Of The Honorable Isaac P. Christiancy

JUNE 3, 1884

On Tuesday, June 3, 1884, the Honorable Otto Kirchner, formerly Attorney General of the State, speaking in behalf of the Bar presented to the Supreme Court a portrait by Ives of the Honorable Isaac Peckham Christiancy, formerly one of the Judges of the Court.

 Mr. Kirchner addressed the Court as follows:
May it please your honors! I have been requested by my brethren of the bar to present to you the portrait of Isaac P. Christiancy.

When this Court was re-organized in 1857 Mr. Christiancy was elected to a seat upon its bench. He entered upon its duties in January of the following year and adorned this Court from that time until the winter of 1875 when he resigned to enter the Senate of the United States. His opinions, scattered through thirty volumes of the official reports of this Court, are his most enduring monument. No mere words can add to its glory. His brethren of the bar, impelled by a desire to testify their high appreciation of his worth and to keep green his memory in the place where, as a judge, he achieved distinguished success, have caused his portrait to be painted and to be presented to this Court.

In obedience to their expressed wishes and in accordance with my own as well, I ask your honors to accept the picture and give it a permanent place upon the walls of this room.

The Chief Justice replied: The Court takes great pleasure in receiving the very fine portrait of their former associate so fittingly presented to them by the bar of the State. The Court responds to every word that has been said in the presentation of this picture. They remember with pride and great pleasure their former association with Mr. Justice Christiancy. They can very feelingly recall at this time, as they do at all times, the kindness and courtesy that characterized all their association with him. He was emphatically a man of kind and tender feelings. He was a man with whom it was a pleasure at all times to be associated. He was a man, as has been truly said in the address that has now been made, whose ability reflected credit to the State, and credit especially upon the Court of which he was a member.

Of his great ability the reports and opinions that were prepared by him are sufficient evidence, but the members of the Court more than the general public felt the strength and greatness of his power, because it was displayed in a great many ways so that it compelled recognition from his associates. Sometimes there was an entire modification of views, and sometimes an entire surrender of their own opinions when considered with his own clear and strong convictions. We remember these things with pleasure because we participated to a considerable extent in the credit brought to the Court by a member of the Court. We take pleasure in saying to the bar of the State that in doing this honor to Judge Christiancy, in presenting this likeness to adorn this room, they at the same time have done credit to themselves and credit to the cause of justice, of which he was so fitting and honorable a representative.