The only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame who enlisted for the US Civil War, Morgan Bulkeley lived a colorful and meaningful life. Bulkeley lived in Hartford, Connecticut during baseball’s infancy. In 1874, he founded the Hartford Dark Blues of the National Association, the world’s first professional baseball league.
When William Hulbert founded the National Leagued in 1876, the Dark Blues joined as one of the charter members. Needing a chief for the league, Hulbert turned to the respected Bulkeley who became the NL’s first president.
Bulkeley held the post for just one season before returning full time to the business world as the president of Aetna Insurance – a post he held for more than four decades. Active in politics, Bulkeley held the position of mayor of Hartford and was later elected governor then senator of Connecticut.
When the American League’s first president Ban Johnson was elected to Cooperstown, there was strong sentiment that Bulkeley should join him to represent the National League. In 1937 Johnson, who spent 27 years as the AL head, went into the Hall of Fame along with Bulkeley whose term as the NL boss lasted all of one year.
Shown here is the letter written in his capacity of US Senator. In it Bulkeley writes, “I enclose to you…a copy of Private Act 34, approved but the president on March 23rd, 1906, being an Act grating pensions and increase of pensions to certain soldiers and sailors of the Civil War…”
One must imagine it was a cause near and dear to Bulkeley’s heart.