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Office of the House Clerk

 

Chauncey Fitch Cleveland

 

Portrait of Former Speaker of the House, Chauncey Finch Cleveland (1799-1887)

Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives
1835-1837

Born in 1799 at Hampton, Connecticut 

Republican

1849-1853 U.S. House of Representatives

1842-1844 Governor

Died in 1887 at Hampton, Connecticut

 

He was a sixth generation American whose ancestor, Moses Cleveland, arrived at Massachusetts in 1635. He never attended college, however, Cleveland studied law under Daniel Frost of Canterbury and became a lawyer in 1819 at the age of 20. He also joined the state militia rising to the rank of Brigadier-General. During Cleveland's career he served as probate judge and a State attorney.

Cleveland spent many years in the State House of Representatives as a Democrat, however, during the Civil War he became a Republican. Cleveland pushed for many social reforms. He worked to put an end to imprisonment for debt as well as a child labor law. Cleveland also helped secure funding for an insane asylum.

Cleveland was an active opponent of slavery and helped organize Connecticut's Republican Party. In 1861, he served as one of the delegates from the State to the peace Congress in Washington, an attempt to avoid war.

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