Person:Amos Collins (2)

Amos Morris Collins
m. 10 Feb 1783
  1. Amos Morris Collins1788 - 1858
  • HAmos Morris Collins1788 - 1858
  • WMary Lyman1787 - 1870
m. 30 Apr 1811
  1. William Lyman Collins1812 - 1865
  2. Morris Collins1813 - 1873
  3. Erastus Collins1815 - 1880
  4. Charles Collins1817 - 1891
  5. Edward Collins1820 - 1822
  6. Maria Elizabeth Collins1822 - 1905
  7. Henry Collins1827 - 1828
  8. Mary Frances Collins1829 - 1911
Facts and Events
Name Amos Morris Collins
Gender Male
Birth[1] 30 Mar 1788 Litchfield, Connecticut
Marriage 30 Apr 1811 Goshen, Connecticutto Mary Lyman
Death[1] 10 Nov 1858 Litchfield, Connecticut
Burial? Hartford, ConnecticutCedar Hill Cemetery
Amos Morris Collins plot

He was an active and successful businessman and civic leader. He began a dry goods business in Blanford, Massachusetts in 1810, but becoming ill, sold the business in 1818 and removed to Hartford, Connecticut with his family. There he resumed business as A.M. Collins & Sons. He was a member of the Hartford Common Council for several years and Mayor from 1843-1847.

He was the third child of William Collins & Esther Morris. His father, a deacon in Dr. Lyman Beecher's Church, was a man of recognized Puritan stamp. His mother was a descendant in a direct line from Thomas Morris of the County of Essex, England. The Morris Families of Connecticut and Massachusetts are without doubt descended from the Morris family of Roydon Parish, County of Essex, England. In 1810 Mr. Collins established himself in mercantile business in Blandford, Massachusetts. In a few years he had turned into new channels the industry of that town and large portions of the surrounding towns. The impulse which he gave was felt long after his death.

In 1819 Collins removed with his family to Hartford, Connecticut. He and his wife united at once, by letter, with the First Church of Hartford, then under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Hawes. Collins was one of the founders of the historic North Church. He was chosen one of the deacons at the time of its organization in 1824, and retained the office until his death.

In 1827 Collins erected the building which at the time of his death was occupied by Collins Brothers & Co., in Asylum street. It is a scarcely credible fact that the idea of going so far out of the way was generally considered ridiculous, and sagacious men who survived Collins acknowledge that they thought he had surely made a very great mistake. He retired from the mercantile business in 1842, leaving it in charge of his sons.

Collins' benevolence was systematic, as well as bountiful. For about 20 years before his death he had taken a resolve not to lay-up property. "All the great societies of Christian beneficence were aided by his bounty. In this manner he took the rewards of his beneficence into his own life and grew by the Christly measures of his charities". He had always been to a marked degree actively interested in the general welfare of Hartford, and vigorously aided plans for its improvement and prosperity. At the time of the proposed extension into the Farmington Valley of the Hartford and Providence railroad he was chairman of the committee on subscriptions. He himself became a large stockholder as his means would permit, and personally superintended many of the labors incidental to the extension of the road.

Collins was a member of the common council for several years; was elected mayor in 1843, re-elected in 1845, and declined the third term which was pressed upon him. At the proposed election of the Hartford High School he was appointed chairman of the building committee, and with a few others contributed liberally. At its formation he became in great measure personally responsible for its success. Mr. Collins was a zealous and working friend of the Temperance cause, known as such from 1826. In its behalf he made excellent speeches in very nearly every neighborhood in a large circuit around Hartford. He was early an anti-slavery man, the unpopularity of a good cause seeming to him a very good reason for helping it. The Free-Soilers once or twice ran him for Congress.

In religious matters Mr. Collins had decided views, and he could clearly and strongly express them. He was firm, enthusiastic, and also well-balanced and just. After his death, his pastor the Rev. Dr. Bushnell said of him "Deacon A.M. Collins was one of the few men or Christians who require to be noted as specialties. He was among the landmark characters of our city, and a man so positive in every sphere of action or counsel that the void which is made by his death will be deeply felt, and for long time to come."

"There is almost nothing here that has not somehow felt his power, nothing good which has not somehow profited by his beneficence. Banks, savings institutions, railroads, the singular anomaly of the large wholesale dry goods trade which distinguishes Hartford as an inland city, the city councils and improvements, the city Missions and Sunday schools, the Asylum for the Dumb, the Retreat for the Insane, the High School, the Almshouse, three at least of the churches, almost everything public, in fact, has his counsel, impulse, character, beneficence, and what is more, if possible, his real work, incorporated in it. Whole sections of the city are changed by him."

"But the Church was dearest to him of all. There was never a better man to support and steady a Christian pastor. I loved him as a friend, and what brother did not? I took him for my best counsel, I leaned upon him as a prop. Who can estimate the value of such a man?" In the troubles that later befell the Church, arising from the charges of heresy concerning its pastor, Collins with two others of its members were among the first to foresee the course to be pursued. In a paper addressed by him to the Hartford Central Association, Collins said "We think it necessary to take the position of an independent Church and have therefore withdrawn from our connection with the association with which we united in our infancy."

The following extract is from the tribute paid to Mr. Collins by the Honorable Joseph R. Hawley in the Hartford Evening Press, of which he was editor at that time: "Positively, it is precisely true, and no unmeaning eulogy, if we say that the symmetry and strength of his physical man harmonized with his fine proportions as a Christian merchant, citizen, friend neighbor. He was such an outgrowth of New England hills, schools and churches as we can point to with pride."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Collens, Clarence Lyman. Collins Memorial. (Hartford, CT: (self published), 1959)
    p. 168.