Morrill, Justin Smith, 1810–98, American politician, b. Strafford, Vt. A prosperous merchant, he helped organize (1855) the Republican party in Vermont. First elected to Congress in 1854, he served in the House of Representatives until 1867 and then in the Senate until 1898. He is best known for the Morrill Act, a bill first introduced in 1857 and finally passed in 1862, which provided for the granting of public lands for the establishment of educational institutions; these came to be known as land-grant colleges (see land-grant colleges and universities).
See biography by W. B. Parker (1924, repr. 1971).
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