Sylvanus Morris was born in Goochland County, Virginia, on October 8, 1855. His family moved to Athens in 1870; his father, Charles Morris, was a professor of English at the University of Georgia for 23 years. Sylvanus himself attended the University, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in 1874, followed by an LL.B. in 1877. After practicing law for several years, in both Athens and neighboring Jefferson, in 1893 he became a professor of law at the University. He was appointed dean of the law department in 1900 and awarded an honorary LL.D. in 1913. He died in 1929. Lucian Lamar Knight, in "A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians," Vol. 6, claims, "Sylvanus Morris is one of the best authorities on jurisprudence in Georgia." For additional information about the Morris family, please refer to that book, p. 3265.