Charles Morris received an M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1845 and went on to read law with an attorney in Hanover County. In 1857 he was elected the Commonwealth's Attorney for Hanover County and in 1859 he was appointed professor of law at the College of William and Mary, filling the vacancy left by Lucian Minor’s death the year before. After Morris moved to Williamsburg, the College experienced a destructive fire that forced the College to cancel classes for the academic year 1859-1860. Morris taught law courses the following year until the College experienced another, more lasting, interruption with the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. The onset of the hostilities forced the College to close in 1861, and Morris shortly joined the Confederate army, eventually rising to the rank of major. Although the College reopened after the War, a course of study in law was not offered until many decades later.
Law Professor and Preparatory Department of Wm. & Mary
Virginia Gazette (July 11, 1860)