Born in 1844 at New Hartford, Connecticut
1893-94, State Senator, 2nd District
1902, Delegate to Connecticut State Convention
1905-1906, Member of the House of Representatives
1907-1910, Connecticut Attorney General
1910-1915, Superior Court Judge
Died in 1932 at Southington, Connecticut
Born on a farm, Marcus Hensey Holcomb would study law and became a lawyer in 1871. In addition to his service as Speaker of the House, Holcomb had a distinguished career as a Judge of Probate Court and Judge of the State Superior Court. Following his term as Speaker, Holcomb became president of Southington Savings Bank.
During his tenure as Governor, the state participated with the nation's effort in preparing for the eventual war. A Food Supply Council and a State Council of Defense were established. The state debt was reduced and a bill was enacted that regulated maximum working hours for women. Teacher retirement benefits, old-age annuities, and health insurance programs also were instituted. Holcomb left office on January 5, 1921, retiring from public service.
Born in 1821 at New Haven, Connecticut
1846, Graduate of Yale College
1854, State Senator, 4th District
1865, 1873, 1883-84, Member of the House of Representatives
Died in 1901 at New Haven, Connecticut
At Yale College, Governor Harrison had been a member of the Skull and Bones Society. Henry Baldwin Harrison's contributions included initiatives on prohibition and antislavery legislation. Issues of great concern to him were education and workers rights. He served in the Legislature at the time of the Industrial Revolution and witnessed the growing problems caused by industrialization.
During his tenure as Governor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was founded, probate laws were edited, and two mills were instituted with a state tax. Harrison's administration also endorsed antislavery laws, and he advocated for the initiation of required education for children until the age of 16 and for prohibition programs. In January 1887, Harrison left office, retiring from public service.
Born in 1840 at New York, New York
1870-1871, Connecticut Secretary of the State
1885-1889, Consul-General to London
Died in 1924 at New London, Connecticut
Thomas McDonald Waller was born in New York City to poor Irish Immigrants. His parents died before he was eight. An orphan, Waller survived his plight by selling newspapers. Under the guidance and support of Robert K. Waller of New London, young Thomas was provided a home and an education. He went on to attend law school and then used his talents to recruit volunteers to fight for the Union. In 1870 he served as Secretary of the State. He served as Mayor of New London, 1873-1879. He was elected Governor in 1883. In 1884, Waller made a speech at the Democratic National Convention where Grover Cleveland was nominated for President. From 1885 to 1889 Waller served as the U.S. Consul General in London.
Waller eventually returned to New York City to practice law while maintaining his residence in New London, Connecticut.
Born in 1799 at Hampton, Connecticut
1849-1853, U.S. House of Representatives
Died in 1887 at Hampton, Connecticut
Henry Fitch Cleveland 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.
He 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.
Born in 1779 at New Haven, Connecticut
1797, Graduate of Princeton
1819-1823, U.S. House of Representatives
1823-1827, U.S. Senate
1833-1834 & 1835-1838, Governor
Died in 1847 at New Haven, Connecticut
Henry Waggaman Edwards was the son of Pierpont Edwards who had been instrumental in forming the Democratic Party in Connecticut. Edwards married Lydia Miller in 1801 and had seven children. He studied law in Litchfield and became a lawyer in New Haven soon thereafter.
Edwards was first elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1818. In 1833, Edwards began serving as Governor of Connecticut from May 1, 1833 to May 7, 1834. Unsuccessful in his bid for the office in 1834, he was elected continuously and served again from May 6, 1835 to May 2, 1838. During his tenure, a discriminatory education law was enacted, the railroad expanded, and the state funded a geological survey in 1835. When he did not win the Democratic Party's nomination in 1838, he retired from public service.
Born in 1780 at Cheshire, Connecticut
1797, Graduate of Yale College
1819-1821, 1823-1825, 1833-1834, U.S. House of Representatives
1827-1833, U.S. Senate
Died in 1846 at Cheshire, Connecticut
Samuel Augustus Foot's father was a Congregational minister. Samuel started to study law, but poor health forced him to abandon this pursuit. In 1803 Foot married Eudocia Hull and they had six children. He was first elected to the Connecticut Legislature in 1817 as a Tolerationist.
In 1827, Samuel Foot began a six-year term as a United States Senator, before returning to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1833. He resigned from Congress the following year after launching another gubernatorial campaign in Connecticut, this one successful. He only served two years as governor, in part because of the troubles he encountered managing the state's difficult financial recession. After losing his re-election campaign, Foot settled into retirement at his home in Cheshire. He died there in 1846 and is buried in town at Hillside Cemetery.
Born in 1780 at Stratford, Connecticut
1802, Graduate of Yale College
1819-1827, U.S. House of Representatives
1831-1837, U.S. Senate
Died 1854 at Fairfield, Connecticut
Gideon Tomlinson completed preparatory studies and graduated from Yale College in 1802. He went to Virginia for a year to be a private tutor and to study law. When he returned to Fairfield he continued his studies and was admitted to the bar in 1807. That same year he married Sarah Bradley. Mrs. Tomlinson died in 1842. In 1846, Gideon married Mrs. Lydia Ann Wells Wright, widow of William Wright of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Entering politics in 1817 as Clerk of the Connecticut House of Representatives, he was reelected again in 1818, when he served as Speaker. He was Delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1818. Elected to the Sixteenth and to the three succeeding United States Congresses, Tomlinson served as a Representative from March 4, 1819 to March 4, 1827, and was chairman of the Committee on Commerce (Nineteenth Congress).
Elected as Connecticut's eighth governor in 1826, he was reelected to the governor's office again in 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830. During his tenure, prison reform was accomplished in 1827 with the opening of a more civilized penitentiary. His administration advocated educational improvements and fiscal support to the public school system. On March 2, 1831, Tomlinson resigned from office to accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate. He served in the United States Senate from March 4, 1831 to March 4, 1837. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Pensions (Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses). In 1837, he resigned and became the first President of the newly chartered Housatonic Railroad Company.
Born in 1765 at Sharon, Connecticut Colony
1783, Graduate of Yale College
1800-1806, U.S. House of Representatives
1811-1812, Lt. Governor
Died 1845 at Sharon, Connecticut
John Cotton Smith's father, Cotton Mather, was a Puritan minister who moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut. Smith was proud of his Puritan roots and allowed religion to play a role in his governing. He would become the last Federalist to serve as Governor.
Smith by profession was a lawyer. He married Margaret Evertson of New York and had one son. He was first elected to the General Assembly in 1793. In 1809, he was appointed to the Superior Court. Initially, he supported the French Revolution, but as the executions increased, he began to fear that its policies might influence politics in the U.S.
Upon leaving public service, he returned to his estate in Sharon to pursue his scholarly and religious interests. Among these were leadership roles in foreign missions, the Connecticut and American Bible Societies, temperance, and historical societies in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Born in 1740 at Lebanon, Connecticut Colony
1759, Graduate of Harvard College
1789-1795, U.S. House of Representatives
1795-1796, U.S. Senate
1796-1797, Lt. Governor
1797-1809, Governor of the State of Connecticut
Died in 1809 at Lebanon, Connecticut
Jonathan Trumbull Jr. was the son of the famous Revolutionary Era governor of the same name. He served during a time when the two party system first came into being. Trumbull married Eunice Bachus in 1766 and worked as a merchant. He held local office until being elected to the General Assembly. In 1788, he became Speaker of the House.
During the Revolutionary War, Trumbull served as paymaster for the army and then became George Washington's personal secretary. He was elected to the 1st Congress of the United States in 1789 and served on the federal level until returning to Connecticut in 1796. He succeeded Oliver Wolcott as Governor when Wolcott died in 1797.
As Governor, Jonathan Trumbull opposed the Federal government's attempt to use the States troops to enforce the Embargo Act of 1807. He succeeded at keeping State Federalists from pushing the issue of whether Connecticut should leave the union, while maintaining the States autonomy. Governor Trumbull served eleven consecutive terms until his death.
Born in 1710 at Lebanon, Connecticut Colony
1727, Graduate of Harvard College
1733-1740, Delegate to General Assembly
1766-1769, Deputy Governor
1769-1784, Governor of the State of Connecticut
1775, Received honorary degree of LL.D from Yale College
1782, Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Died in 1785 at Lebanon, Connecticut
Jonathan Trumbull Sr. married Faith Robinson in 1735 and worked as a merchant. He held local office until being elected to the General Assembly. In 1788, he became Speaker of the House.
During the Revolutionary War, Trumbull was friend and advisor to General Washington, dedicating the resources of Connecticut to the fight for independence. Washington declared him "the first of the patriots." On July 6, 1775, along with other officers, the Governor of Connecticut commissioned Nathan Hale as a First Lieutenant in the newly raised Seventh Regiment
Trumbull was one of only two colonial governors to continue in office after independence (the other was Rhode Island's Nicholas Cooke).
Born in 1694 at Hartford, Connecticut Colony
1728-1734, Deputy to General Assembly
1734-1754, Member, Council of Assistants
1754-1765, Deputy Governor and Chief Justice, Connecticut Supreme Court
1766-1769, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
Died in 1769 at East Hartford, Connecticut Colony
William Pitkin, III was born to a politically prominent family in Hartford in 1694. He married Mary Woodbridge on May 7, 1724, and had five children, William, Timothy, George, Epraphas, and Ashebel; one of whom, William IV, was elected a member of the U.S. Congress.
Pitkin was first elected to the colonial General Assembly in 1728, where he served through 1734, the last two years as Speaker of the House. He was a member or the Council of Assistants from 1734 to 1754; Captain of the Trainband, East Society from 1730 to 1738; Major of the 1st Regiment from 1738 to 1739; and Colonel of the 1st Regiment from 1739 to 1754. He was also active in the colonial militia, raising troops in East Hartford for an expedition to the Spanish West Indies during the War of Jenkins' Ear in 1740.
In 1735 Pitkin was elected County Judge, and in 1741 he became a Superior Court Judge, a post he would hold until he was elected Governor in 1766. In 1754 he was also elected Deputy Governor, serving under Thomas Fitch, and as Chief Justice, Connecticut Superior Court, an office tied to the deputy governorship. Also, in 1754, he was a member of the Albany convention, when Franklin offered a plan for the union of the colonies. Pitkin served on the committee, of which Franklin was chairman, appointed by the convention to draft a constitution.
Born in 1679 at Windsor, Connecticut Colony
1709-1714, 1718, 1719, Deputy to the General Assembly
1710-1711, Clerk of the House
1714-1718, 1720-1741, 1754-1760, Member, Council of Assistants
1723-1732, Judge of County Court, Hartford County
1732-1741, Judge of the Superior Court
1741-1750, Chief Judge of the Superior Court
1741-1750, Deputy Governor and Chief Justice, Connecticut Superior Court (1725)
1750-1754, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
Died in 1750 at Windsor, Connecticut Colony
Roger Wolcott was born to Simon and Martha (Pitkin) Wolcott in Windsor, Connecticut Colony. His formal education was severely limited by the nature of the frontier village, so at age twelve he was apprenticed to a weaver, and at the age of twenty-one entered that business on his own. He married Sarah Drake on December 3, 1702, and they had fifteen children before her death in 1748. Their son Oliver Wolcott signed the Declaration of Independence and went on to become Governor of Connecticut.
In May 1709, Wolcott was admitted to the bar and began to practice law. In 1711, during Queen Anne's War, He accompanied militia forces on an expedition to Quebec as a commissary. On his return he served as Clerk of the House, 1710-1711 and was elected Deputy to the colony's Lower House in 1709-1714, 1718, 1719, serving as Speaker in October, 1719. In 1714 he was elected to the Upper House (also called the Council) and served as Assistant, 1714-1718, 1720-1741, 1754-1760. He was Commissioner of Connecticut for the Adjustment of Colonial boundaries, 1717, 1718, 1723-1726, 1728, 1730, 1737, 1740, 1742, 1750. Captain of the Trainband of Windsor, 1722. Captain of Troops raised for active service, 1724. He was made judge of the Hartford County Court in 1723, serving through 1732, and of the colony's Superior Court in 1732, serving through 1741. Wolcott was made Colonel of the First Regiment, 1739. In 1741 Wolcott was elected Deputy Governor of the colony. As deputy governors traditionally served as the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut, he also assumed that position, which he held until 1750.
With the death of Governor Jonathan Law in 1750, Wolcott succeeded to the position of governor. He was re-elected annually to that position through 1753. Shortly after he retired as governor, his son, Roger Wolcott, Jr., attended negotiations with six other British colonies and around 200 members of various Indian nations at the Albany Congress in June and July 1754.
Born in 1674 at Milford, Connecticut Colony
1695, Graduate of Harvard College
1706-1717, Deputy to the General Assembly
1709, Justice of the Peace and member of the Quorum for New Haven County
1717-1724, Member, Council of Assistants
1724-1741, Deputy Governor and Chief Justice, Connecticut Superior Court (1725)
1741-1750, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
Died in 1750 at East Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Born in Milford, Connecticut Colony on August 6, 1674 [possibly 1672], Jonathan Law (Jr.) was the only son of Jonathan Law of Milford and Sarah Clark, born February 18, 1644 daughter of Milford founder, Deacon George Clark. His grandfather, Richard Law was an early settler of Wethersfield and Stamford. His grandfather, Richard Law, was king's attorney and emigrated to this country in 1635.
As a young man he briefly served as a minister before attending Harvard. After graduation, he set up law practice in Milford and in 1709 became Justice of the Peace and of the Quorum for New Haven County. He later was named Judge of the County Court of New Haven Count and Assistant Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. He was elected Deputy to the general Assembly in 1706 and served several terms until 1717. In the May and October 1716 sessions, he served as Speaker of the Lower House. In 1717 he was chosen an Assistant, and served that position, save for one year, until 1724. In 1724 he became Deputy Governor and in 1725 Chief Judge of the Superior Court, holding both offices simultaneously. In 1741, following the death of Governor Talcott, he became Connecticut's 27th Governor of the Colony of Connecticut, serving until his death in 1750.
In addition to being a jurist and a governor, Jonathan Law seriously attempted to develop the cultivation of silk worms on a farm in Cheshire. He received recognition from the British Parliament. He personally appeared in the first coat, hat's and stockings made of New England silk and his daughter was the first to exhibit a silk dress of domestic material. Regrettably, the silk production permit was never renewed.
Born in 1669 at Hartford, Connecticut Colony
1708-1710, Deputy to the General Assembly
1711-1723, Assistant of Connecticut
1714, Judge of the County Court of Hartford County
1721, Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut
1723-1724, Deputy Governor
1724-1741, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut
Died in 1741 at Hartford, Connecticut Colony
Joseph Talcott was born in Hartford, Connecticut Colony, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel John and Helena Wakeman Talcott. He married Abigail Clark in 1693 and the couple had three sons. Abigail died in 1704. His second wife was Eunice Howell with whom he had five more children
Descended from one of Connecticut's founding settlers, Talcott was appointed Assistant (member of the governor's council) in 1711. He held a number offices including Justice of the Peace in 1705, and beginning in 1710, he was a Major in the First Regiment of the Colony of Connecticut. His position of Major continued until 1723. He was a member of the committee to lay out the town of Coventry in 1711. In May of 1714, he was appointed Judge of the Hartford County Court and he became Judge of the Superior Court of Hartford in May 1721.
In 1723 Talcott was elected Deputy Governor upon the death of Nathan Gold; then following the sudden death of Gurdon Saltonstall, he was made Governor. He was the first Connecticut Governor to be born in the state. He was reelected annually until his death, for a total of over seventeen in office.