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Source:  National Intelligencer - Washington D. C.
Dated: July 12, 1831

BENEDICT, Noah B., age 60, a member of the bar at Litchfield, Co., Conn., died July 3, in Woodbury, Conn.
Source:  Springfield Republican - Massachusetts
Dated: April 22, 1905
End came at His Country Home in Washington, Ct., Where he Was Born - A Pen Picture of the Man.
     The death of Senator Orville H. Platt of Connecticut at his country home in Washington, the beautiful little Connecticut hill town in which he was born nearly 78 years ago, takes from public life and the Senate chamber a commanding figure that can ill be spared.  The chief fact which his passing brings into strong relief is that never in his public service, despite its length and the age to which he lived, was he held in such regard nor were his opinions of so great influence as at the day of his death.  The fact is significant because it suggests the character of the man and indicates the predominant feature of his career - the steady growth and broadening self-development which made of this hard-headed "Yankee" lawyer, who retained his ancestral traits to the last, one of the few leading figures of the Senate.  He has died thus in the fullness of his powers, as a man might wish to die, spared the pain that has come to his smaller-calibered colleague and namesake, Senator Plat of New York, of seeing his hold and influence decay.  But the public loss is great.  There seems no one in the Senate to quite fill the place he had made for himself, no one to exercise the restraining and deliberative influence, almost authority, which he had come unofficially to exercise.  Much less does there appear any one in Connecticut who can even measurably take his place in the national councils.  He was a partisan, the republican stamp and seal were as much to him as to any man, but his principles were high, and he held them high; he was cautious with all the caution and shrewdness of the native Yankee, and he grew in breadth with the years.
     Senator Platt's death was not unexpected by his friends.  The strain of the winter in Washington had told upon him.  During all of the Swayne trial he conscientiously insisted on presiding, although much of the time he was not well and should have spared himself.  The visitors in the galleries who were critical because they could not near each word that he uttered had little idea of what at times it cost him physically to perform his office.  And finally the exposure and fatigue he suffered at the funeral of his friend and colleague, the late Gen. Hawley, whose eulogy he delivered, was more than his age and weakened health could withstand.  From the first of his attack of pneumonia his friends have feared that it would end as it now has.
    Orville Hitchcock Platt was born in Washington, Litchfield county, Ct., July 19, 1827, so that he would have been 78 on his next birthday.  He was the son of a farmer, Daniel G. Platt, and worked upon his father's farm until he was 20 years old.  His education was gained in the common schools of Washington and in the academy where of Frederick W. Gunn, the still famous "Gunnery," from which were graduated so many men who afterward made their mark in the world.  It is "The Gunnery" which appears in J. G. Holland's novel.  "Arthur Bonnicastle,"  as "The Bird's Nest,"  Mr. and Mrs. Gunn appearing as "Mr. and Mrs. Bird."  Mr. Platt studied law at near-by Litchfield, in the office of Gideon H. Hollister, the Connecticut historian, and was admitted to the bar in 1849.  After spending six months in law practice in Pennsylvania he returned to Connecticut in 1851 and located as a lawyer in Meriden, where he retained his city residence to the time of his death.  In 1855-6 he was clerk of the Connecticut Senate, and was elected secretary of state in 1857.  In 1861-2 he was a member of the state Senate, and in 1864 and 1869 was elected to the House - the latter year serving as speakerIn 1877 he was chosen state attorney for New Haven county, and held that place until elected in 1879 to the United States Senate to succeed William H. Barnum, democrat.
     Mr. Platt was the first candidate for the Senate in 1868, when a sharp contest occurred in the Connecticut Legislature between the supporters of ex-Gov. William A. Buckingham and the late Gen. Joseph R. Hawley.  He had conducted no canvass, but steadily received the votes of a minority of the republicans, who finally ended the contest by voting for Gov. Buckingham.  In the contest of 1879 the chief candidates at the start were Gen. Hawley again and Gov. JewellMr. Plat coming in once more with a strong balance of power., but with a larger prestige and greater influence than before.  At one time Gen. Hawley came within two votes of the necessary majority, while Mr. Platt on the same ballot had only three votes, and on three other ballots only five votes.  But Mr. Platt's strength grew from that low ebb and he was finally made the party nominee, equivalent to election, after a memorable contest.  He was re-elected in 1885, 1890, 1897 and 1903, and his term of service would have expired March 3, 1909.  He had thus actually served 26 years in the Senate, and had been elected for five full terms, or for 30 years.
     During his long term in the Senate Senator Platt served on various different committees and did a large service.  In his earlier years he was a narrow partisan, albeit, an always honest one, but while  he was never moved to independence of action, as was Senator Hoar, he took an increasingly broader view.  He was for 10 years and more a member of the committee on territories.  During that time the western states of North and South Dakota, Idaho and Wyoming among others were admitted to the Union.  For whatever part, he may have had in this Senator Platt was assailed on the grounds that these states had insufficient population to warrant their admission, and that they were admitted from purely partisan motives in the expectation that they would add to the republican strength in Congress.
    Senator Platt served for a considerable period and with much value as a member of the judiciary committee of the Senate, and after Senator Hoar's death succeeded him as chairman of that committee.  But the single act in Senator Platt's career that will be longest remembered and with which his name will be longest associated, was his introduction in 1901 of the famous "Platt" amendment.  Through it the clear independence, which we stood morally obligated by the Teller resolution adopted at the opening of the Spanish war to grant to Cuba when the war came to an end, was essentially qualified.  The controversy over the "Platt amendment" is too fresh in memory to call for detailed reference.  But the fact remains, however successfully Cuba may have existed under the constitution into which the amendment was injected by overawing force, that the amendment was a breath of our word as given to the world in the Teller resolution.  While the amendment was introduced by Senator Platt, was defended by him, doubtless somehow with full conviction o fits justice, and bears his name; there is reason to attribute its original authorship to Elihu Root, then secretary of war, who had embodied provisions similar to, though not exactly coextensive with the amendment, in an official letter to Gen. Leonard Wood outlining what the Cuban constitutional convention "should" do in regard to relations with the United States.
     Second in historic important to the introduction of the "Platt amendment" is the duty performed by Senator Platt  in presiding over the Senate when convened as a court in the recent impeachment trial of Judge Swayne  of Florida.  This was the first impeachment trial to come before Senate in 29 years, and for the reason that the ponderous machinery of impeachment is so seldom put in motion, rather than for any noteworthy features of the trial itself, Senator Platt's position as presiding officer of the court is lent a permanent distinction.  His conduct of the proceedings was characteristically simple and businesslike, betraying no effort to lend unnecessary impressiveness to the trial and by so much was a disappointment to the mere spectators. 
     Physically Senator Platt was no less noteworthy than mentally.  In his later years he used to be likened to a Hebrew Prophet.  Once suggested that thought was never forgotten as one looked at him.  There was a rugged strength in the sharp cut features, strong and individual as though chiseled in hard gray stone, and austerity in the molding of the mouth, in the outline of the jaw beneath the short gray beard, in the whole pose of the man - he must have stood six feet two inches tall that stamped him a ruler.  He was slender and graceful, too, in his carriage, despite the slight bend that came with the years, and his head was ever erect.  His attitude as he addressed the Senate was always the same - with one foot slightly advanced and with one hand pressed on the desk beside him so that he leaned with his head thrown back and speak slowly and briefly, entirely without gesture, speaking distinctly but in a quiet tone, looking upward rather than at his listeners, and weighing each word as he uttered it, as if he had fused all the factors of the problem in the crucible of his mind and were but reporting in the minimum of words the conscientious result.  There was no borrowed effect of impressiveness; he was naturally impressive or austere in the severe simplicity of his manner.  He often or commonly qualified his statements with a slow "It seems to me" that added rather than subtracted weight.
     Beneath the outward austerity of the man there was a kindly warmth on which those who learned its existence could always count.  As a source of information for newspaper men, he was one of the best in their capitol; not because he would talk freely, but because whatever he said could be absolutely depended upon as fact and not as belief or hope.  What he forecasted when he did forecast, which was seldom, and he never allowed his name to be used, was used exactly as he said it, even though sometimes it seemed improbable.  Events turned out invariably as he had predicted.  But while he did not like "those modern things called interviews," did not care for publicity, he would willingly talk at length, explaining knotty points of constitutional law or other problems, when he had confidence in the man who questioned him.  Even during the Swayne trial he would further tax his strength in this way, and one often found it harder to leave his committee-room than to get in.
     When asked one day what position he had taken on an issue soon to some to decision, he answered characteristically that he never took a position until the time came to vote.  A moment later he began an elucidation of the points under question that few men in the Senate could have approached for comprehensiveness or clarity.  A younger man was sitting in his room one day when a deputation of congressmen called on Senator Platt to learn how he stood on an important issues.  He questioned them quite as much as they questioned him, and they went away evidently rather dissatisfied. "I suppose they're hot against me," said Senator Platt, turning to the younger man who had witnessed the proceedings, "because they think I'm against them.  Well, the fact is, I'm with them, but I've got to make sure about this thing,"  The incident illustrates why Senator Platt's word stood for what it did in big things and little.
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