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Editor in Chief 





The Publishing Society of Connecticut 



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SEP 21 1904 

Oonvrfirhf tntrv 

CLASS A yxo. No 


Copyright, 1904, Bv 
The Publishing Society of Connecticut 

A/l Rights Reserved 

nOSTON, MASS., U. S. A. 









The Royal Charter the Constitution of the State— Dissen- 
sions of PoUtical Parties — Reason why Connecticut had not 
adopted a New Constitution— Reaffirming of the Royal 
Charter — Leaders of the Democrat-Republican Party — 
Gideon Granger selected for Post-Master General— Con- 
necticut's Representatives in Congress — Jefiferson's Remov- 
al of the "Midnight Appointees"— Collectorship of New 
Haven— Extract from the Oration of Theodore Dwight — 
The "Connecticut Policy"— Population in i8oa— Mississippi 
River closed to American Trade — Opposition of Mr. Hill- 
house to Administration Measures — Roger Griswold opposes 
the purchase of Louisiana — His unsuccessful attempt to cast 
suspicion on the Management of the United States Treasury 
— Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution adopted — Repub- 
lican Convention held at New Haven— General Assembly re- 
voke Justice of Peace Commissions— Presidential Electoral 
College of 1804. 



Gradual decline of the Federalist Party— Great Britain's 
unwarrantable acts on the High Seas— The Barbary Pirates 
—William Eaton in Tripoli— His Capture of Derne— Ea- 
ton's return to America — His untimely death — Ninth Con- 
gress Anti-Federalist— Jefferson's Embargo Act— Its Disas- 
trous effect on Connecticut's Commerce and Manufactures 
—Presidential Electors in 1808— Repeal of the Embargo Act 
encourages the Shipping Interests— Theodore Dwight's illus- 
tration of the Political Views of Connecticut— Death of Jon- 
athan Trumbull— John Treadwell elected Governor. 



Causes underlying the Second Struggle with England— 
Equally good Causes for a War with France— Assembling 



of the Twelfth Congress — Active Leaders in Congress — ^John 
C. Calhoun's famous speech — A Native of Connecticut pre- 
sents a report to Congress declaring War — Connecticut's 
delegation opposed to the War — Press and Pulpit denounce 
any open rupture with the Mother Country — Roger Gris- 
wold elected Governor — President issues his first Levy for 
Troops — Governor Griswold refuses to allow Militia to leave 
the State — Special session of Legislature convened — Gover- 
nor's action approved — Assembly recognizes the right of 
Congress to declare War — Purchase of Military Supplies 
authorized — Death of Governor Griswold — His successor 
John Cotton Smith — Presidential Electors of 1812. 



Determination to capture Canada — Lack of developed Mili- 
tary Talent — William Hull Governor of Michigan Territory 
— His appointment as Brigadier-General — Placed in command 
of the Northwestern Army — His surrender of Detroit — His 
Court Martial, resulting in his discharge from the United 
States Army — His Vindication — Isaac Hull's Victory with 
the Constitution — Captain Israel Chauncey's Defense of the 
Great Lakes — Connecticut's State Militia — A British fleet 
under Sir Thomas Hardy establishes a blockade of Long 
Island Sound — Commodore Decatur's Squadron chased 
into New London Harbor — Blockade of that city by the 
British — Blue Light Federalists — The American Squadron 
dismantled — British Sailors and Marines ascend Connecticut 
River — Landing made at Pettepaug Point — Estimate of 
Damages — The Liverpool Packet — Commodore Lewis' gal- 
lant defense — Bombardment of Stonington — Sir Thomas 
Hardy the British Commander — The brave defense made by 
Volunteers — Captain Jeremiah Holmes in Command — Brit- 
ish Fleet forced to retire — Naval victories of Commodore Mc 
Donough — Decatur returns to New London — Return Jon- 
athan Meigs, Jr.. appointed Post-Master General — Drafts 
favored by Secretary of War Monroe — Officers and Men 
furnished by Connecticut during the War of 1812 — Major 
General Peter B. Porter — Brigadier General Daniel Bissell — 
Colonel Henry Leavenworth — Brigadier Generals Samuel 
Perkins and William Wadsworth. 



Dissatisfactionwith Madison's Administration — People of New 
England opposed to the National Government — Legislature 



of Massachusetts advocates a Convention to safe-guard New 
England interests — Connecticut and Rhode Island appoint 
Delegates — Convention assembles at Hartford — Two Coun- 
ties in New Hampshire represented — A Permanent Organ- 
ization effected — Members of the Massachusetts delegation — 
Connecticut's Representatives — Delegation from Rhode 
Island — William Hull, Jr., the sole Delegate from Vermont — 
Rumors that the proceedings of the Convention were of a 
Treasonable nature — Regiment of United States Troops or- 
dered to Hartford — Convention proposes amendments tc 
United States Constitution — An adjournment taken — Signing 
of the Treaty of Peace obliterates all Grievances. 



Revival of the Commerce of the State — Depression of the 
Manufacturing Industries — Republican-Democratic party op- 
posed to the Royal Charter as an instrument of Government 
— Meeting favoring Toleration and Reform held at New 
Haven — Formation of a new Political Party — Oliver Wolcott 
nominated for Governor — His Defeat — Presidential elec- 
tion of 1816 carried by the Federalists — Legislative disburse- 
ment of the funds received from the General Government — 
Repeal of the "Stand-up Law" — Tolerationists secure con- 
trol of both Houses of the General Assembly — Resolution 
adopted authorizing the calling of a Constitutional Conven- 
tion — Biographical sketch of Oliver Wolcott. 



Constitutional Convention assembles at Hartford — Members 
of all Creeds and from all Walks in Life — Seven were mem- 
bers of the Convention that ratified the Constitution of the 
United States — Federalists well represented — Tolerationists 
elect their Candidate for Secretary — Oliver Wolcott chosen 
to preside over the Assembly — Committee appointed to draft 
a Constitution — Their report considered by Sections — The 
final adoption of the Constitution — Its ratification by a ma- 
jority of the electors of the State — Amendments made to the 
original Constitution. 



THE MONEY PANICS OF 1819-37 123-135 

The Bank Capital of Connecticut — Comparison with that of 
Massachusetts — Law of 1802 — State invests Surplus in Bank 
Stock — Comptroller of Public Accounts authorized to de- 
mand Financial Statements from Banks — Banks incorporated 
at Bridgeport and New London — Derby Fishing Company — 
Eagle Bank of New Haven — Connecticut's subscription to 
the War Loan — The Phoenix Bank of Hartford organized — 
Specie at a Premium — Establishment of the Second United 
States Bank — Middletown selected for the Connecticut 
Branch — Importation of Specie by the General Government 
— Money Crisis of 1819 — Incorporation of Savings Banks — 
Connecticut Branch of The Bank of the United States re- 
moved to Hartford — Suffolk Bank of Boston becomes a 
Clearing House — Financial Crash in England — Failure of 
the Eagle and Derby Banks — New York Bank Wreckers — 
President Jackson's opposition to the Bank of the United 
States — United, States Depositories — Public confidence in 
Monetary affairs shaken — Confidence restored in the Sum- 
mer of 1834 — Four new Banks chartered — Money Panic of 
1837 — Appointment of State Bank Commissioners. 




New Haven as a Commercial Port — New Haven's South Sea 
Fleet — The New Haven Green — Ports of Sandwich Islands 
and China visited — Seal Fishing — Passage of the Embargo 
Act destroys Foreign Commercial interests — Resumption of 
Business — New York gradually absorbs the Commerce — 
Foreign Trade of Hartford — Exchange of Products with 
Foreign Nations — Commerce of Hartford at the present Day 
— New London as a Ship Building Mart — Mould's Vessels — 
Jeffrey's Great Ship — Bald-headed Schooners — Whaling 
Voyages made from New London — Ship Commerce first to 
engage in the Trade — The Pioneer Vessels — The Carrier 
makes a Voyage for Sperm Whale — New London only ex- 
ceeded by New Bedford in Whale Fishing tonnage — Re- 
verses of 1847 caused by Competition and California Gold 
Craze — Temporary revival — Unsuccessful ventures of New 
Haven Merchants in Whale Fishing — E^rly enlistment of 
Stonington Citizens in the Trade — Gradual changes in the 
County Capitals. 




Connecticut receives a visit from President Monroe— Feder- 
alists take no part in his Reception— New Haven his first 
stopping place in New England— Tour resumed— Middle- 
town and Hartford visited— Also New London and bton- 
ington— Agitation of the Extension of Slavery— The Mis- 
souri Question— Slavery in the North— Missouri Compro- 
mise—Ninth Presidential election— National Repubhcans and 
Whigs—Six prominent candidates to succeed Monroe- 
John Quincy Adams the favorite in New England— Andrew 
Jackson the idol of the Democracy— Henry Clay the spokes- 
man of the Border States— Crawford. Lowndes and Calhoun 
sectional candidates— Strict and Loose Constructionists— 
Connecticut elects Federalist Electors— The Tarift gues- 
tion— Connecticut in favor of Protection for American In- 
dustries—Convention of Woolen Manufacturers assembles at 
Harrisburg Pennsylvania— Twentieth Congress pass the Tar- 
iff Act of 1828— General Peter B. Porter Secretary of War- 
Defeat of Governor Oliver Wolcott— Election of Gideon 
Tomlinson to the Executive Office— Electoral College of the 
Eleventh Presidential election— Prominence of Moses Aus- 
tin in the settlement of Texas— Captain Samuel Chester Reed 
the designer of the American Flag— Ambrose Spencer Lhiet 
Justice of New York— Newgate Prison abandoned— Retreat 
for the Insane incorporated— Connecticut General Hospita 
Chartered at New Haven— Organization of Yale Medical 




Inauguration of President Jackson— His slogan cry "To the 
Victor belongs the Spoils"— Wholesale dismissal of Othce- 
holder"?- Hayne and Webster debates— Gradual decline and 
fall of Federalism— Governor Tomlinson succeeded by Dr. 
John S. Peters— New element in the Political Field— Anti- 
Masonic Party— Biographical sketch of Dr. Peters--State 
Electoral College of 1832— Henry W. Edwards elected Gov- 
ernor by the Legislature— His Political Services— Candidate 
of the National Party chosen by Legislature for Governor- 
First appearance of Whig Party in State Politics— Biogra- 
phy of Samuel Foot— Temperance Movement and Abolition 
of Slavery important Political factors. 




ir the Thirteenth Presidential- 
— - -iis tKT&sear 2. Xorthem Pres- 

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.^.JTZ?: THE MEXICAN WAR 193-335 

C^rrtroreiTr OTcT Extrc^i:- oi Si^Tery — Wisconsin becomes 

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dsle C:— ?3-j— Pi<KJieer Ccrr o- So^sr o: Y£^i=2nri£— 

Ma^f eld Slk CompanV — Frark =nd Ril?- Cre-ej 2X S^ori 

Munches Kr — The PIsnt jf tie Cheney _3rc«ci:er^— The ~ i~ ~- 




the 5eth Thosis Clock CtKiipii^ j — ^^ =rerbrrj r-eco-^as 



known as "The Brass City" — The Button Industry — Brass and 
German Silver manufactured — Aggregate Capital invested — 
Connecticut's rank in amount of her Annual Products — 
Formation of the Benedict and Burnham Manufacturing 
Company — Scovill Manufacturing Company — Brass Kettles 
made by Battery process — Foundation of the City of Ansonia 
— Manufacture of Brass and Copper at other Points — Con- 
necticut first in the production of Machine-Screws — Third 
in Metal Working Machinery — The Industries of Hartford — 
— New Haven — Derby and New Britain — Bell-Making in 
Connecticut — Introduction of Lock-Making — Yale and 
Towne Manufacturing Company — The Works of The Brad- 
ley and Hubbard Manufacturing Company — Axes and Edge 
Tools — Pins and Needles — Silver Spoons and Hollow Ware 
— Connecticut first in the manufacture of Plated and Britan- 
nia Ware — E^rly attempts at Watch-Making — The Water- 
bury Watch. 



The Inventive Genius of the Citizens of Connecticut — 
Charles Goodyear's discovery — Establishment of the Hay- 
ward Rubber Company — Other Rubber Industries — Process 
of solidifying Rubber — Two Novel Rubber Industries — Man- 
ufacture of Fire-arms — Samuel Colt's patents — The Hotch- 
kiss' Gun — American Ordnance Company — Invention of the 
Sewing Machine — Wheeler & Wilson, and Weed Sewing 
Machine Companies — Columbia Bicycle — The Smyth Man- 
ufacturing Company — Paper Making Industries — Manufac- 
ture of Hats and Corsets — New Haven's Carriage Works — 
Connecticut's output of Pianos and Typewriting Machines — 
Comb Industries — Chemicals and allied Products — Manufac- 
ture of Leather Belting — Cigars and Tobacco — Mosquito 
Netting Factory — Invention of Machine for cutting Corks — 
Lincrusta-Walton — Connecticut as a Manufacturing State 
in 1810 — Her Population, Manufacturing and Agricultural 
positions in 1900. 



Improvement of primitive Highways — Construction of Turn- 
pikes — Stage Coach Lines established — Hartford at the head 
of Sloop Navigation — First Bridge to cross the Connecticut 
River constructed — Steam Navigation on Long Island 
Sound — First Steam Vessel to cross the Atlantic, command- 



ed by a native of Connecticut — The Steamboat King — Es- 
tablishment of Steamship Lines between Hartford and New 
York — Charters granted to the Farmington and Ousatonic 
Canal Companies — Connecticut's rapid progress in the con- 
centration of Commercial Capital, and Inter-State Inter- 



Opposition to the introduction of Railroads — Legislature 
grants first Charter — Incorporators of the Hartford and New 
Haven Railroad Company — Hartford and Springfield Rail- 
way Company organized — Danbury & Norwalk and Hou- 
satonic Railroad Companies — Number of Miles of Completed 
Railroads in New England in 1840 — The Railroad Era — The 
Shore Line — Boston and New York Air Line — Boston Hart- 
ford and Erie Railroad Company — "Consolidated Road" — 
Board of Railroad Commissioners — Comparison of their re- 
port of 1855-56 with that of 1900. 



TOWNS 301-308 

Twelve new Towns organized in the first decade of the Nine- 
teenth Century — Griswold and Salem in New London Coun- 
ty granted Town Privileges — Darien taken from Stamford — 
Bridgeport becomes a Town — Milford formed from Orange 
— Chaplin and Manchester incorporated — Monroe, Madison 
and Prospect organized — Nine new Towns added to Connec- 
ticut's complement from 1830-1839 — Western part ofSaybrook 
becomes Westbrook — Portland taken from Chatham — Rocky 
Hill from Wethersfield — Naugatuck granted Town Privileges 
: — Two new Towns created by Legislature in 1845 — Eastford 
and Andover incorporated — Fifteen Towns organized be- 
tween 1850-60 — Morris formed from Litchfield — Sprague 
taken from Lisbon — Southwest corner of Middletown be- 
comes Middlefield — Western part of Wethersfield named 
Newington — Beacon Falls incorporated — Ansonia taken 
from Derby — Boroughs become a Civil Division — Present 
Boroughs — Bridgeport and Waterbury become Cities — Mer- 
iden given Civic Honors — New Britain and South Norwalk 
incorporated — Danbury and Rockville made Municipalities — 
The Banner Year for creating Cities — Putnam the last reci- 
pient of Civic Rights — Civil Divisions of Connecticut. 




The First Patent — Passage of a New Patent Law — Cotton Gin 
invented — Lee's Windham and New London Pills — Metallic 
Tractors — Modification of the Patent Law — Elliptical Main- 
spring for Carriages patented by Jonathan Mix — Statement 
of Ezra L'Hommedieu to the Secretary of the Treasury — Pat- 
ent issued for propelling Carriages by Steam — Brewster's 
inventions in Cotton and Woolen machinery — Goodyear's 
First Patent — Important inventions of machinery for man- 
ufacture of Axes and Pins — Automatic machine for Comb- 
dressing — Number of Patents issued from 1840 to 1850 — Con- 
necticut's rank for Patents issued to her Citizens — Total 
number of Patents issued in United States — In France — In 
Great Britain — In Germany — The First Industrial Exhibition 
— Connecticut's Manufacturers represented — Exhibition of 
1862 — Connecticut represented by three Manufacturers. 




Connecticut first in the foundation of Schools and Churches 
— Noah Webster's early studies — Eliphalet Nott's ability cer- 
tified to as a Teacher, by the Selectmen of the Town of 
Franklin — The Code of 1750 — Subdivision of Towns into 
School Districts — School Societies — School Visitor — Board 
of Commissioners of Common Schools — Connecticut School 
Fund — School Tax — Town Deposit Fund — Free Text Books 
— Establishment of Higher Grade Schools — The First Acad- 
emy — State Normal Schools — Episcopal Academy incorpor- 
ated at Cheshire — Legislature incorporates Washington Col- 
lege — Purchase of College Hill — Bishop Brownell first Pres- 
ident — Jarvis and Seabury Halls — Members of the First Fac- 
ulty — Reverend Nathaniel S. Wheaton becomes President — 
His successor Reverend Silas Totten — Brownell Hall built — 
Name of College changed to Trinity — Board of Fellows or- 
ganized — House of Convocation formed — Reverend John 
Williams succeeds Dr. Totten — Berkeley Divinity School in- 
corporated — The administrations of Reverend Doctors 
Goodwin, Eliot, Kerfoot and Jackson — Sale of College 
grounds — Purchase of new Site — Reverend Thomas R. Pyn- 
chon elected President — Erection of Northam Hal! — Doctor 
Pynchon's successor Reverend George W. Smith — Reverend 
Flavel S. Luther elected President — Third College estab- 
lished in Connecticut — Located at Middletown — Wesleyan 
University — Reverend William Fisk its first President — His 
successors— -The Orange Judd Hall of Natural Science con- 
structed — Gifts from George I. Seney, Isaac Rich and oth- 



ers — Dt. Bradford P. Raymond chosen President — The Con- 
vention at East Windsor — Pastoral Union of Connecticut — 
Theological Institute of Connecticut — Its removal to Hart- 
ford — Name changed to Hartford Theological Seminary — 
Gifts of James B. Hosmer and Newton Case — Dr. Chester 
Hartranft elected its First President — Origin of the Deaf and 
Dumb Asylum — Work of Reverend Thomas Gallaudet — His 
successors — Change of name — Attempt to establish a negro 
college at New Haven — Prudence Crandall's school at Can- 


TION 345-353 

Kansas Troubles — Kansas-Nebraska Bill and the Dred 
Scott decision — Enactment of the Retaliation Law by the 
New York Legislature — Organizing of Colonization Socie- 
ties — The Silliman Letters — Spring election of 1858 — William 
A. Buckingham the Republican nominee elected — His first 
two Administrations — His re-nomination — Exciting Political 
Campaign of i860 — Abraham Lincoln visits the State to make 
Campaign speeches — Biographical sketch of William A. 



Names and Brief Sketches of Members who have repre- 
sented the State — Record of Members who represented other 
States but were natives of Connecticut. 


GRESS 3-9-409 

Names and brief sketches of Members who represented the 
State — Changes in the manner of electing Members of the 
House — ^Natives of the State who represented other States. 




Names and brief sketches of members who represented the 
State — Natives of the State who represented other States. 





Webster. Noah Frontispiece. 

Baldwin, Roger S F-cing p. i86 

Brown, John Placing p. 174 

Brownell, Thomas Church Facing p. 330 

Capture of the Guerriere by the Constitution Facing p. 74 

Colt, Samuel Facing p. 262 

Gallaudet. Thomas H Facing p. 340 

Goodyear, Charles Facing p. 260 

Hartford in 1856 Facing p. 282 

Hull, Isaac Facing p. 72 

New Haven in 1858 Facing p. 2^ 

Phelps, Anson G Facing p. 244 

Seymour, Thomas H Facing p. 198 

Tallmadge, Benjamin Facing p. 386 

Terry, Nathaniel Facing p. 114 

Toucey, Isaac Facing p. 188 

Treadwell, John Facing p. 54 

Trumbull, Joseph Facing p. 406 

Trumbull, Lyman Facing p. 374 

Wheeler, Nathaniel Facing p. 266 

Whitney, Eli Facing p. 312 

Wolcott, Oliver Facing p. 108 



The Political Status at the Opening of the Nine- 
teenth Century 

THE opening of the nineteenth century found 
the conservative commonwealth still recogniz- 
ing, as the norm of existence, the Royal Char- 
ter. The other members of the American 
Union, with the exception of Rhode Island, 
had adopted new constitutions. The Federalist party had 
never commanded a majority of the people. It was essen- 
tially an upper-class and therefore minority party; but in 
its earlier years it was reinforced by a great number of per- 
sons who were Democrats at heart, because it was the only 
organization bent on forming the strong government indis- 
pensible for national security and order, just as in 1896 a 
vast number of Democrats reinforced the Republican party 
as the only method of saving sound finances. In both cases 
the temporary alliance fell apart as soon as the immediate 
peril was over. The classes headed by Jefferson had joined 
that headed by Hamilton with great reluctance; and by 1794 
it was evident that they were fast melting away into their nat- 
ural party. The dissensions between the Federalist leaders 
after 1796 are usually credited with ruining the party and 
bringing in Jefferson in 1800; but in fact, if Hamilton and 
Adams had loved each other like brothers, the result in all 
probability would have been just the same. 

The Federalists used the obviously judicious plan of bal- 
ancing their New England candidate for President, Adams, 
with a South Carolina candidate for Vice-President, Pinck- 
ney; but most of the growth in the country had been in sec- 
tions and of elements opposed to them, and they went out of 
power not to return. The slovenly provision of the Con- 
stitution for electoral voting very nearly enabled them, how- 
ever, to come back by intrigue, putting Burr in as President 
over Jefferson, Perhaps it was not so indefensible a measure 



as usually represented. The Connecticut electors clung to 
Burr up to the last; and they were men of character, not act- 
ing for mere spite or partisanship. The plain fact was, that 
they regarded Burr, from his being a Northern man, as safe 
to intrust with the interests of New England commerce ; and 
Jefferson as a Southerner as likely to be hostile to them. And 
the crowning argument in their favor is, that they were right. 
Jefferson did nearly destroy New England commerce : it is 
very unlikely that Burr would have forced through an 
Embargo Act. 

To return to the State constitutions : — The reason Connec- 
ticut and Rhode Island did not adopt new instruments of 
government was because their own represented their own 
wishes and gave them the fullest powers. These instruments 
were not forced upon them from without, but framed from 
within as entirely as new constitutions could have been; it 
would be time to make a change when one was called for. 
The only alteration needed was the transfer of allegiance 
from the British Crown to the new independent nation. This 
was done by the declaration "that the form of Civil Gov- 
ernment in this State shall continue to be as established by 
charter received from Charles the Second, King of Eng- 
land, so far as an adherence to the same will be con- 
sistent with an absolute Independence of this State from the 
Crown of Great Britain," etc. 

The Royal Charter was reaffirmed in the revision of the 
laws in 1784; prior to this, a number of the legal minds of 
the State had attacked the validity of the document on the 
ground that as the charter had been vacated by King, Lords, 
and Commons, and independence declared by Congress, and 
ratified by the Legislature of the State, therefore, strictly 
speaking, the commonwealth was destitute of any civil con- 



stitution. These ultra views gained but few adherents until 
about 1800; when a considerable minority of the people, 
adopting the principles of the Democratic-Republicans, be- 
came strong enough in numbers and Influence to seriously 
embarrass the party which two years previously was abso- 
lutely dominant In the State. Among the leaders of this 
opposition were William Williams of Lebanon (a signer of 
the Declaration of Independence), General James Wads- 
worth of Durham, General Erastus Wolcott of East Wind- 
sor, Dr. Benjamin Gale of KlUIngworth, Joseph Hopkins of 
Waterbury, Colonel Peter Bulkley of Colchester, Colonel 
William Worthlngton of Saybrook, and Captain Abraham 
Granger of Suffield. 

In the organization of the first Democratic presidential 
administration, Connecticut was honored by the selection of 
native sons, representing sister States, to preside as Presi- 
dents pro tempore over the Senate of the seventh Congress. 

The President called to his aid, to fill the position of Post- 
master-General, Gideon Granger, a native of Suffield, who 
had served in the State Legislature ; and also gained celebrity 
through his efforts to promote education by the establish- 
ment of a school fund. 

Though in the National Senate the Democrats were largely 
in the ascendency, there w^as a distinguished and conservative 
minority. Connecticut's adherence to her early political 
affiliations was ably defended by Uriah Tracy and James 
Hlllhouse, who led the opposition in connection with Gouver- 
neur Morris of New York, Jeremiah Mason of Massachu- 
setts (a native of Lebanon, Connecticut), and James Ross of 
Pennsylvania. At the head of the State delegation In the 
lower house were Roger Griswold, Samuel W. Dana, Calvin 
Goddard, and John Cotton Smith; all aggressive opponents 



of any governmental measures not emanating from their own 
political party. 

One of the first acts of President Jefferson was the removal 
of the so-called "midnight appointees," made by his prede- 
cessor. Adams did not devise this scheme for retaining the 
control of the administration with the Federalists after the 
electors had ousted them, nor did he approve it; but as he let 
himself be made the instrument of it, he must share the 
responsibility. Among the appointments was that of Elizur 
Goodrich to the collectorship of New Haven. This gentle- 
man was a member of Congress and a strong Federalist par- 
tisan; he resigned his seat for the residue of his term, to 
secure a permanent position. His qualifications for the office 
v/ere indisputable; but Jefferson naturally treated all these 
appointments as nullities, and removed Mr. Goodrich from 
office, naming as his successor Judge Samuel Bishop. This 
aroused great Federalist indignation throughout Connecti- 
cut; the combined press of the State asserted that the Hberties 
of the people were being endangered, and they assailed the 
principles of the administration. Technically, Jefferson had 
In truth violated the law as to appointments, and the Federal- 
ists had kept to its letter; but their indecent violation of good 
faith had Itself to thank for their enemies' disregard of law. 
A memorial was addressed to the President, by a committee 
consisting of merchants of New Haven, in which they alleged 
that Judge Bishop was incompetent to perform the duties of 
the office, and unfitted for the position on account of his age ; 
lamenting that a change of administration should interfere 
with subordinate offices under the government, and alleging 
that the President's action was a negation of the tolerant 
views professed by him in his inaugural address. This was ah 
unwise step for the memorallsts, as it gave the President the 



opportunity to contrast his toleration with that of his prede- 

In justification of the qualifications of Judge Bishop, he 
referred them to the action of their Legislature at the pre- 
vious May session, when the judge was chosen chief judge 
of the Court of Common Pleas of New Haven County, also 
as sole judge of the Court of Probate. This seems to have 
settled the particular contro\ ersy, but the general tone of 
Connecticut's influential classes towards the new Democratic 
regime was incredibly bitter. As a climax and a curiosity, we 
give the following, said to be a passage from an oration 
delivered by Theodore Dwight before the Connecticut Society 
of the Cincinnati. The authority is Randall's "Life of Jef- 
ferson." Randall admits that he cannot prove its authen- 
ticity, but is positive of its genuineness; possibly he was more 
positive than if he had not been a Democrat. Mr. Dwight 
said: "We have now reached the consummation of Demo- 
cratic blessedness. We have a country governed by block- 
heads and knaves; the ties of marriage, with all its felicities, 
are severed and destroyed : our wives and daughters are 
thrown into the stews; our children are cast into the world, 
from the breast, forgotten; filial piety is extinguished, and 
our surnames, the only mark of distinction among families, 
are abolished. Can the imagination paint anything more 
dreadful this side of hell? Some parts of the subject are 
indeed fit only for horrid contemplation." 

The national defeat of the Federalist party in the fall of 
1800 solidified the ranks of the Connecticut section; but even 
in New England, the growth of population tended to weaken 
the Federalists. Apart from defections caused by ambition 
and selfishness, "old families" did not increase nearly so fast 
as the new-comers whom the Democracy represented. The 



Federalists had done a good and indispensable work; but 
they were opposed to the spirit of the vast emancipated mul- 
titude. For the present, however, Connecticut's Federalist 
basis was broad enough to withstand their influences; her 
interests still needed the Federalist policy. 

The "Connecticut policy" was stigmatized by the Demo- 
cratic-Republican press as pure stagnation. It was asserted 
that in the stubborn conservatism of her tenets the State bid 
defiance to truths flowing from the revolution in political 
science, which had caused no alteration either in her constitu- 
tion or the thoughts of her citizens ; the latter being the dupes 
and victims of a pampered anti-christian priesthood, to whom 
they were subservient through superstition, which resulted in 
their own debasement and the personal exaltation of their 

Connecticut's representation in the national legislative halls 
was not changed by the census of 1800. Her population of 
251,002 gave her the rank of eighth among the States, and 
on the basis of one representativ^e for every 33,000 inhab- 
itants entitled her to seven members. 

The second session of the Seventh and the first session of 
the Eighth Congress were enlivened by measures pertaining 
to the maintenance of navigation on the Mississippi and Ohio 
rivers, and the purchase of Louisiana. The latter, though 
resulting immediately from Napoleon's needs and bad faith, 
was the natural sequel to a long history of Southwestern dis- 
content, for years threatening outright secession or even 
annexation to Spain, and breeding some active traitors like 
Wilkinson, besides more than once coming close to war with 
Spain. It was only a question of time when the United 
States would have it; though had not the English barred the 
way to Napoleon's colonizing it, years more would have 



elapsed and possibly much larger French settlement would 
have been found there. 

The issuing of a proclamation by the Spanish intendant, 
forbidding Americans the use of New Orleans as a port of 
entry, was one of the later complications; and on President 
Jefferson's notification to Congress that the Mississippi was 
virtually closed to American trade, he was empowered to 
call out the militia for the purpose of occupying New 

These administration measures were met with opposition 
by Connecticut's representatives in the Senate. Mr. Hillhouse, 
while in favor of maintaining American rights in the Mis- 
sissippi valley, deemed it proper that the President should 
confine his call for troops to the States west of the Potomac 
or Hudson ; the others being considered too far distant from 
the contemplated field of battle. In the lower house, Roger 
Griswold, as an opposer of the purchase of Louisiana with- 
out the unanimous consent of the States, was ably combated 
by John Randolph, the leader of the administration forces. 
Griswold's resolution for the production of all papers cov- 
ering the transactions was bitterly opposed by the supporters 
of the government; and the purchase of the province, and its 
erection into a territory, were consummated by a large major- 

Mr. Griswold made an unsuccessful party movement to 
bring suspicion on the management of the United States 
Treasury, alleging that appropriations for discharging the 
public debt had not been devoted to that purpose. This 
charge was proved so unworthy of credence that it reacted on 
its proposers, and was a triumph for the administration. 

The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, relating to 
balloting for President and Vice-President, was ratified In 



1804 by the required three-tourths of the States; Massachu- 
setts, Connecticut, and Delaware refused their assent. The 
opposition is not creditable to the Federalists of these States: 
the Jefferson-Burr imbroglio had proved the grave and 
immediate necessity for some such amendment, whose neglect 
might result in a civil Vv'ar or the usurpation of the Presi- 
dency by virtual fraud. 

Leading Republicans from time to time urged the neces- 
sity and importance of forming a new constitution to be rati- 
fied by the people. No concerted action was taken until 
Aug. 29, 1804, when delegates from ninety-seven towns 
assembled at the State House in New Haven, for the purpose 
of formulating a plan for a new constitution, "which shall 
separate the legislative, executive, and judicial powers; shall 
define the qualifications of freemen, so that legislators shall 
not tamper with election lavvs; and shall district the State so 
that freemen may judge of the candidates for their suffrages." 

This was a direct blow to Connecticut's Federalism; as it 
was believed by Republicans and by some of the Federalist 
leaders that a new constitution, in connection with the loss 
of Hamilton as a national leader, would remove all causes of 
hostility to the general government. On the assembling of 
the Republican delegates. Major William Judd of Farming- 
ton, was chosen chairman. The meeting was held with closed 
doors; an address to the people was formulated, advising 
preparatory measures for a new constitution. This was fol- 
lowed by a pamphlet war. In one pamphlet the address of the 
New Haven Convention was burlesqued ; another, under the 
pseudonym of Jonathan Steadfast, was entitled "Count the 
Cost." These, in connection with denunciations from the 
Federalists, to the purport that the acts of the convention 
were revolutionary toward the law, order, and steady habits 



of the State, resulted in an increased Federalist majority at 
the October election ; thus showing that the popular mind 
was not yet prepared for any radical change in the Charter 
as a constitution. 

The venom of political strife was exhibited in the action 
taken by the Federalists, at the convening of the next General 
Assembly. Five justices of the peace, who had attended 
the Republican convention at New Haven, were cited to 
appear before that body, "to show reasons why their com- 
missions should not be revoked," since "it is improper," as 
the preamble of the resolutions set forth, "to trust the 
administration of the laws to persons who hold and teach that 
the government is an usurpation." The culprits had but 
slight show for justice, before their predisposed judges; the 
Governor and Council, after a hearing, unanimously passed 
a bill revoking their commissions. The House concurred by 
a large majority. 

The question of a new constitution was one of the main 
issues in the spring election of 1805 ; but although it held a 
prominent place in the Republican platform for several suc- 
ceeding years, there was no probability of its attainment, and 
the introduction of more weighty and immediate matters 
caused it gradually to be lost sight of during the next decade. 

The presidential election of 1804 was void of any exciting 
interest. The electoral college of Connecticut consisted of 
Jonathan Trumbull, Lewis B. Sturges, John Treadwell, 
David Smith, Oliv-er Ellsworth, Asher Miller, David Dag- 
gett, Sylvester Gilbert, and Joshua Huntington, who cast the 
vote of the State for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for Presi- 
dent and Rufus King for Vice-President. This, with three 
votes from Delaware and two from Maryland, was the total 
received for the Federalist nominees. 



Connecticut Under the Embargo 

WITH the growing prosperity of the country 
in the first part of Jefferson's second 
administration, there seemed every prob- 
abihty of the Federahst party even in New 
England being soon extinguished. New 
lands were being rapidly taken up by the swelling tide of stal- 
wart sons of the Eastern settlers, which was already surging 
impatiently against the vast Indian holdings in the South. In 
commerce, the great European war was throwing nearly all 
the carrying trade of the world into the hands of America, the 
one civilized neutral nation. But this very fact bred its own 
counteraction : the administration which had begun so favor- 
ably closed in disgrace and wild apprehension, and the dying 
Federalist party gained a new lease of life. Great Britain 
would not allow America to sit in quiet and reap all the har- 
vest, while she was draining her life-blood to save Europe 
from a huge Napoleonic monarchy; especially she would not 
see her seamen desert her naval service to enter the safe and 
lucrative American merchant marine. America must bear 
her share of the common burdens and perils of civilization. 
Hence impressments, the bloody affair of the Leopard and 
the Chesapeake, and the Embargo. Hence also the kidnap- 
ping of hundreds of native Americans into the English navy: 
while impressments were going on, English officers were not 
disposed to be too particular. 

Hence too the secret hounding on of the Barbary pirates 
against us. Connecticut's most intimate share in this branch 
of the Federal warfare was through one of her ablest and 
most picturesque sons, William Eaton of Woodstock. Eaton 
was a high-spirited, keen-witted, clear-sighted man, full of 
a passionate patriotism, and stung to the soul by the insults to 
his country, and the manner In which Christendom allowed 



itself to be ravaged by the wretched Barbary corsair states, or 
buy them oft by blackmail which even so secured nothing. 
Why this was so, is outside our province : enough to say that 
the larger Christian powers, to their shame, subsidized them 
for the very purpose of having them ravage the smaller ones. 
The United States paid blackmail like the rest: up to 1800 
it had paid about $2,000,000, largely in the shape of armed 
vessels to ravage its own commerce. Eaton was made dip- 
lomatic agent at Tunis; and by a mixture of iron firmness 
and judicious coloring of the truth, succeeded in greatly 
reducing the American payments. But he was deeply 
incensed at the whole degrading business, and urged on the 
government the plan of supporting the cause of the rightful 
sovereign of Tripoli, Hamet Caramelli (who had been 
deposed by his brother Joseph) , on consideration of his agree- 
ing to release this country from all future payments. 

Jefferson gave Eaton a vague commission to undertake the 
plan, but privately instructed Commodore Barron of the 
Mediterranean fleet to use it only as a club to extract a treaty 
from Joseph, and drop Eaton and Hamet as soon as this was 
done. Eaton, by one of the most marvelous feats of daring, 
generalship, and management of men, recorded in American 
history, released Hamet from great danger, collected in Alex- 
andria a motley rabble of some five hundred men of various 
nationalities, marched them six hundred miles across the 
desert to the seaport of Derne, the head of the richest prov- 
ince of Tripoli, captured it, and with Barron's help could 
easily have carried out his plan. But Barron was sick, and 
even when in health was not a man to go beyond his instruc- 
tions or sympathize with audacious policies; and those instruc- 
tions we hav^e just noted. Joseph, threatened with this revolt 
in his rear and bombardment from other United States ves- 



sels in front, hastily consented to a treaty by which he relin- 
quished claim on this country for tribute (till he saw fit to 
break it), but still held a mass of American prisoners to ran- 
som. The agent of the United States, Tobias Lear, paid him 
$60,000 for them, on the excuse that he feared Joseph would 
murder them otherwise. More disgracefully, Hamet's wife 
and children were left in Joseph's hands by a secret article. 
Hamet had to fly; some years later the United States pro- 
cured him a position in Tripoli. 

Eaton was furious. He came home to be feted and 
lauded as a hero, which he was, and a great general, which 
in our sober judgment he might have been on broader fields; 
and denounced the government's policy to all who would lis- 
ten. But the political issues of the country were too extended 
to have this minor one affect the general public action. Eaton 
only succeeded in cutting himself off from further public 
employment and spoiling a more enduring career which lay 
before him. Burr attempted to enlist him in his Southwestern 
conspiracy, thinking his sore and inflamed state of mind was 
a favorable one on which to operate. But Eaton was a 
patriot before all else : he informed the government of Burr's 
proposition, and testified at his trial. He finally located at 
Brimfield, Massachusetts, and there fretted and drank him- 
self into an early grave, in 181 1, only a year before the war 
which would have given him a new opportunity to win lau- 
rels, and might have had a different course had he been given 
an important command. It was one of the great opportu- 
nities lost by impatience and lack of balance. So far, Eaton 
earned his semi-oblivion with posterity; yet he had a spark 
of true genius, and that is too rare and precious not to regret 
its waste. And he was not the mere adventurer he is com- 
monly and half-sneeringly represented in history. It would 



be easy to show that his Impetuosity had more genuine states- 
manship than the truckling tameness of those who suppressed 
him ; and he was a true patriot. 

The Ninth Congress was decidedly Democratic. The 
majority, however, was divided In Its choice for Speaker; 
this encouraged a hope among the Federalists that they could 
secure the position for John Cotton Smith, but on the third 
ballot Nathaniel Macon was elected. 

The larger Issues of the Embargo which began in 1 806, and 
which with some mitigations practically continued until It was 
merged In the stoppage of commerce involved In the War of 
18 1 2, cannot be discussed here. The general outline of 
English policy we have already given. The American coun- 
ter-policy might be one of three things. One was to fight. But 
this both parties were agreed was impossible, until the scheme 
of Canadian invasion was broached some years later than the 
time we are now considering. The speculatively and tempera- 
mentally unwarlike Jefferson, the coldly philosophic Madison, 
were not more convinced on this point than the fiery Eaton. 
It was taken for granted that the Immediate result of such a 
move would be to have our entire navy "Copenhagenized," 
as the phrase went; in other words, seized and confiscated 
bodily by the British and added to their own. The second 
alternative was to submit to the English claims. This the 
Federalists as a body were willing to do, asserting that 
they were essentially righteous. The Democrats would 
not hear of this; but they proposed no remedy any 
more than the Federalists. At length Jefferson evolved one 
which must have given him peculiar pleasure, as a hater 
of war, as a member of a purely agricultural community, and 
as a Southerner. This was to cease commerce altogether till 
we could resume it without getting into International trouble 



by it. If It was going to call for military protection, it should 
simply be withdrawn. This country should live on its own 
products until the rest of the world stopped cutting each oth- 
er's throats. The man of peace found this solution in har- 
mony with his principles; the farmers' representative was in 
no fear of losing favor with his own district; and the South- 
erner could bear up with great fortitude under the necessity 
of crippling New E'ngland. The Federalist vote for Burr, 
mentioned in the last chapter, will be significantly remem- 
bered. It would be unfair not to add that as a statesman, 
Jefferson sincerely believed that it would bring England to 
her knees, by raising the prices of her necessaries of life so 
high that she would abandon her policy. 

The measure, nevertheless, was futile and a boomerang. It 
half ruined New England and made it relentlessly hostile to 
the Democratic administrations, and finally to the war they 
brought on; but it badly injured the South also, to the 
aggrieved surprise of those sections, for all parts of the coun- 
try were tied by common Interests, and the farmer could not 
sell his surplus if there were no commercial sections to buy. 
England, on the other hand, simply bought her goods else- 
where, and suffered little. 

The cutting off of the European markets made most of our 
grain, rice, cotton, and tobacco unsalable. While every 
imported article rose in price, wheat dropped from two dol- 
lars a bushel to seventy-five cents, artisans ceased work, labor- 
ers dropped their tools, and wages stopped. 

Connecticut's population was largely composed of com- 
mercial and manufacturing people, and the depression was 
most vitally felt. Her ports were filled with dismantled ship- 
ping; her wharves, on which the grass had begun to sprout, 
were destitute of merchandise, the counting-houses of the 



shippers were placarded with "to let," while their former 
employees walked the streets with their hands in their pock- 
ets. Thus, on the eve of the presidential election of 1808, the 
signs indicated a return of the Federalists to power if the 
North could affect it. But as before observed, the new sec- 
tions held the balance, and they were Democratic. 

Jefferson would not accept a renomination for a third term, 
ostensibly because Washington had declined it, or because his 
party was not unanimous. In fact, he would not have taken it 
on any terms. The presidency had become a nightmare he was 
anxious to lay down the soonest possible. All the glory, all 
the credit, all the satisfaction, all the good-will had passed, 
and only thickening difficulties and the utter failure of his 
cherished policy rose up before him. The one salvage from 
the wreck which he could make, he did : he was able to trans- 
fer the reins to his favorite lieutenant and fellow Virginian, 
James Madison, who would continue his policy and bear the 
curses for it instead of himself. Connecticut voted for her 
principles and her interests as of old : her electors — Jonathan 
Trumbull, John Cotton Smith, John Treadwell, Stephen F. 
Hosmer, David Daggett, Jesse Root, Roger Griswold, Fred- 
erick Wolcott, and Samuel W. Johnson — cast their votes for 
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for President, and Rufus King 
for Vice-President. In the selection of his advisers, Madison 
still retained Gideon Granger as postmaster-general, though 
the office had not yet been raised to Cabinet dignity. 

Madison's heritage, left him by his predecessor, was not 
one to be envied by any incumbent of the office. The ruin 
which the Embargo had wrought upon the commercial and 
manufacturing interests of the North was duplicated in the 
South, where the planters were obliged to support their four 



hundred thousand slaves whilst the products raised by their 
labors were a drug in the market. 

Less than two months before his inauguration, Jefferson's 
expiring government, furious at the fierce resistance with 
which New England fought for her life, and the armies of 
smugglers she was sending overland to Canada, passed an 
enforcing act far more savage than Great Britain had ever 
dared to do even in her own country; immense fines and for- 
feitures were to scourge the rebellious section into obedience, 
heavy bonds were exacted, and the revenue collectors were 
made a set of little czars. The result appalled the authors of 
the measures. The collectors nearly met the fate of those 
who tried to collect the stamp duties before the Revolution; 
some were sued in the State courts, and some resigned; the 
courts would give no findings against smugglers ; and at last 
the New England States openly threatened nullification, and 
acording to John Quincy Adams, provisional secession (until 
the laws were repealed), and even opened negotiations with 
Great Britain. Less than four weeks after the Democrats 
passed this last act, they repealed the Embargo, the repeal to 
take effect with the outgoing of Jefferson's administration 
on the 4th of March. 

But this joyful prospect was almost immediately overcast 
again. All the shipping interests had hailed the removal of 
restrictions with delight and begun to hurry forward their 
vessels and merchandise. Disappointment soon followed. 
The Democrats regained courage. Negotiations of the Brit- 
ish minister at Washington were repudiated by the British 
government, and the American government seized the 
chance to relmpose the Embargo in the shape of a "non-Inter- 
course act." 

The Federalists of Connecticut had rejoiced at the prospect 



of a renewal of trade intercourse with England. On the sud- 
den change in international relations, they accused the admin- 
istration of insincerity and unwillingness to adjust the existing 
difficulties between the two nations. The political views of 
the majority in the State are most fitly illustrated by the fol- 
lowing, from the able pen of Mr. Dwight, one of the most 
prominent of Federalist spokesmen : 

"Mr. Madison had just entered upon the office of Presi- 
dent of the United States ; Mr. Jefferson had left the govern- 
ment surrounded with difficulties and embarrassments. The 
foreign commerce of the country, under the system of em- 
bargo and non-intercourse, was destroyed, and all the various 
branches of domestic industry — agricultural, mercantile, and 
mechanical — were in a state of deep depression or stagnation ; 
and the community were becoming very uneasy under priva- 
tions which were not only unnecessary, but extremely injuri- 
ous and oppressive. 

"Under such circumstances, it was a stroke of good policy 
in him, at his entrance upon the duties of chief magistrate, to 
excite popular feeling in favor of his administration. Noth- 
ing would be more likely to produce such an effect, than the 
adoption of measures which would relieve the nation from 
the multiplied evils of the restrictive policy; and it required 
no extraordinary degree of foresight to discern, that if such 
an arrangement as was contemplated with the resident Brit- 
ish minister should be accomplished, it would be cor- 
dially welcomed throughout the country, and render the 
new chief magistrates universally popular. At the same 
time, if the arrangement should be rejected by the 
British government, whatever the cause for refusing to ratify 
it might be, it could hardly fail to raise a spirit of resentment 




in the United States, of a proportionate extent with the grati- 
fication which the adjustment had excited." 

During these troublesome times of pohtical differences 
occurred the death of Connecticut's chief executive officer, 
Jonathan Trumbull. His colleague was appointed by the 
General Assembly to HU the vacancy ; at the following Spring 
election he was chosen by the freemen for their Governor. 

John Treadwell was born at Farmington, Nov. 23, 1745 ; 
after graduating in 1767 from Yale College, he acquired a 
complete knowledge of legal lore, although he never offered 
himself as an applicant for examination to the bar. In his 
early life he became identified with the political affairs of his 
native State; from 1776 to 1785, with the exception of one 
session, he represented the town of his birth in the General 
Assembly. In the latter year he was elected a member of the 
upper house of the Legislature, which position he resigned 
on his election in 1798 to the Deputy-Governorship. Gov- 
ernor Treadwell for a number of years presided over the dif- 
ferent courts of the commonwealth. No civilian of his time 
was better acquainted with the internal policy of the State. 
He was not a man of brilliant genius, or extended erudition; 
nor was he endowed with commanding eloquence. Having 
been deprived of the advantages of birth, personal attrac- 
tions, and courtly address, he was not of a social turn of 
mind; nor, in the common import of the word, was he a 
popular man. At the end of his gubernatorial term he retired 
to private life. He died in his native town, Aug. 18, 1823. 


The Brink of War 

IN the preceding chapter, the causes underlying the sec- 
ond struggle with England have been outlined. It is 
true that there were just as good causes for a war 
with France, where Napoleon seized enormous 
amounts of American shipping, and intensified his 
outrages even while professing to have abandoned his Con- 
tinental blockade. This Vv'as a characteristic performance of 
his — to abandon injuries in words at the moment of exer- 
cising them in deeds, and while never making reparation. 
But it served his purpose of giving a pretext to the Democrats 
for concentrating their hostility on England. This incensed 
the Federalists, who thought it unfair to fight one of an 
equally guilty pair and not the other. A modern reader 
hardly sees the force of the argument. If tvv^o burglars are 
breaking into your house, the fact that you have only strength 
to fight one is hardly a reason for letting both carry oii the 
silver; and at least Napoleon did not crimp American sailors. 
But the Federalists had the stronger ground that England was 
fighting the battle of the United States as well as her own, and 
this was true. Had Napoleon won before 1803, our whole 
West would have remained in the hands of France, and when 
or how it would have become English is not easy to see; and 
even in 18 12, little as it seemed likely, the mastery of Europe 
by Napoleon would have been of evil omen for America. 
But it did not follow that America should submit to every 
humiliation on this account. As a fact, the rights of search 
and impressment contributed nothing to English success. 

Thus, on the assembling in 1 8 1 1 of the Twelfth Con- 
gress, a month earlier than usual, while the President and 
his advisers were aiming to settle the differences by diplo- 
matic measures rather than an open rupture, the people of 
both nations were filled with a bitter mutual animosity. The 



fall elections had resulted favorably to the administration, 
thus causing members of the Democratic party to be more 
in unison in demanding an open declaration of war. 

The active leaders In Congress were well under forty 
years of age, and the most active were under thirty. They 
were bent on "creating a nation," as they expressed It, by car- 
rying the American flag north to Canada and south to Key 
West. To the speakership of this Congress was elected a 
young Kentucklan, who thus made his first appearance In the 
national halls of legislation, and who was to prove an Impor- 
tant factor in the affairs of the government. It was on the 
1 2th of December that John C. Calhoun made his famous 
speech, which is acknowledged the best made In the long 
debates on the advisability of war; in which he said, "Protec- 
tion [of the citizen] and patriotism are reciprocal, and are 
the road that all great nations have trod." 

It was the historic duty of a native of Connecticut, Peter B. 
Porter, In his oflliclal capacity as chairman of the Committee 
on Foreign Relations, to present their report of the action to 
be taken by Congress to prepare for the inevitable conflict. 
After a long and acrimonious debate with closed doors, the 
act declaring a state of war against Great Britain and the 
dependencies thereof to exist, was signed by the President on 
June 1 8, 1 8 1 2. Madison had been very averse to the measure ; 
he had shown in the negotiations with the Barbary pirates 
that he was willing to have the nation grovel In the very dirt 
to avoid a pretext for hostilities ; he resigned It as the price of 
his renominatlon. His excuse was, that England In the stress 
of her Napoleonic struggle could well afford to pay the price 
of a relinquishment of her useless rights of search for our 
good-will, and that a war just at this time could extort them 



from her. As a matter of fact, war had been going on for 
some time before the declaration was made. 

With the sole exception of Vermont (the one New Eng- 
land State which had no seaboard and no commerce), New 
England was bitterly opposed to any proceedings that would 
cause a suspension of peaceful relations between the two coun- 
tries. The entire Congressional delegation of Connecticut 
were unanimously opposed to the declaration, and voiced the 
opinions and sentiments of their constituents. The press of 
the Commonwealth was united in denouncing the measures 
taken to promote the conflict, and censured their political 
opponents for thus committing the country to warlike demon- 
strations against the only English-speaking Protestant power 
of the European continent. From the pulpit came denuncia- 
tions that the war was not sanctioned by Christianity; deplor- 
ing the necessity of any open rupture with the parent country, 
and advising that every means be used to settle existing diffi- 
culties amicably. In the prospects of war, those interested in 
commercial, mercantile, and agricultural pursuits saw no rem- 
edy for the stagnation of trade, from which they had suffered 
for a decade. The mechanic's wages would not be bettered, 
nor would the cost of living be in any way lessened; while 
imported articles would increase in value. To the people of 
Connecticut the outlook was in itself discouraging: there was 
no hesitancy in openly avowing their dissatisfaction with the 
warlike steps taken by the administration. 

The Federalists in the Spring of 1811 placed in nomina- 
tion for Governor and Deputy-Governor two of their staunch- 
est members ; both had been opposed to the feeble and fumb- 
ling foreign policy, irritating but ineffectual, of Jefferson and 
Madison. The candidate for Governor, Roger Griswold, 
had for five terms represented the State in the lower house 



of Congress; had been a bitter opponent of all administra- 
tion measures, and exhibited his pugnacity by becoming 
inv^olved in the first personal altercation that took place on the 
national legislative floor. His associate on the ticket, John 
Cotton Smith, had been his colleague in Congress; they were 
both advocates of peace, and were fully in accord with Con- 
necticut's attitude towards the general government. The 
Federalist nominees were elected by an overwhelming major- 
ity ; a Legislature was chosen in which those of the same polit- 
ical affiliations largely predominated. 

Roger Griswold, the newly-elected Governor, was born in 
Lyme, May 21, 1762. After graduating from Yale in the 
class of 1780, he studied law. Three years later he began the 
practice of his profession at Norwich, where he soon acquired 
distinction as an able advocate and vigilant public official. He 
returned to the place of his nativity in 1794, and the follow- 
ing year became a member of the lower house of Congress, 
serving five terms. Esquire Griswold then became a judge of 
the Connecticut Supreme Court, but resigned In 1809 on 
being appointed by the General Assembly to fill a vacancy in 
the Deputy-Governorship. He was elected Governor in 
181 1, and held the office by re-election until his death at Nor- 
wich, Oct. 25, 1 8 12. Lie had removed to that city to try the 
effect of change of air for an affection of the heart, which at 
times caused him great suffering. Governor Griswold was 
a noted Federalist leader and strong partisan. On account 
of his political knowledge, eloquence, and legal ability, he 
was recognized as a national leader as well. 

There are plenty of excuses for the Federalists as a whole, 
and the New England Federalists In particular, fighting the 
declaration of war, or the policy which led to It, to the last 
gasp ; we have outlined these before. For their frantic 



attempts to tie the hands of the government when it was 
once engaged, the commercial excuse can no longer avail: the 
more vigorously the war was prosecuted the sooner their com- 
merce would be restored, the larger salvage would be made 
from the wreck and probably the more favorable terms of 
peace obtained. Their one excuse must be, that they believed 
crushing or crippling England to be equivalent to enthroning 

This was the status of affairs when the President issued 
his first levy for troops, to take part in an expedition against 
Canada; it having been decided by the administration that 
the war should be inaugurated with aggressive rather than 
defensive methods. In fact, it was the thought of this inva- 
sion that heartened the Southern braves to declare the war at 
all. In response to the President's requisition. Governor Gris- 
wold refused to allow the militia to leave the State to be 
placed under the command of General Dearborn, the com- 
mander-in-chief of the United States army; nor would he 
acquiesce in the substitution of regular for the regiment's own 
line officers. 

This position may have been unpatriotic and was certainly 
fortified by party feeling; but It was sound constitutional law 
beyond dispute. The Constitution of the United States spe- 
cifically states that the control of the militia is lodged in the 
State government, excepting in the suppression of insurrec- 
tions and to repel invasions. Furthermore, it is to be under 
the command of their own officers, the sole proviso being the 
personal conducting of campaigns in the field by the Presi- 
dent. ( It was on precisely this rock that the first attempt at a 
draft in 1863 was wrecked, and the government had to pro- 
ceed by another method) . The Governor contended that there 
was no insurrection to suppress, neither was the country 



invaded by a foreign foe ; therefore the call of the President 
for the militia, to take part in any aggressive military expedi- 
tion, was unconstitutional. 

A special session of the Legislature was held in August 
1812, and the action of the Governor was approved; and 
while resolutions were adopted condemning the act of the 
administration in declaring war, they expressed the deep love 
borne by the people of the State for the Union. The admin- 
istration was censured for the selection of England as a com- 
batant rather than France, as the former was in condition to 
inflict the greater injuries. It was also feared that it would 
entangle the nation in an alliance with a power that had sub- 
verted every European republic, and which was also fatal to 
civil liberty. The resolutions cited the folly of the United 
States, without either navy or army, with an impoverished 
treasury, a frontier of sea and land thousand of miles in extent 
and feebly defended, engaging in a war without first "count- 
ing the cost." 

The Assembly recognized the right of Congress to declare 
war, but regretted that occasion required it ; tb ;y pledged 
themselves to support all the obligations resulting from the 
act, in the defense of the commonwealth and its sister States, 
in compliance with the federal Constitution. They authorized 
the purchase of three thousand muskets, three thousand car- 
touch boxes, eight pieces of artillery of six pounds calibre, six 
hundred pounds of powder, and five tons of musket balls. A 
military force to consist of two regiments of infantry, four 
companies of cavalry, and four companies of artillery, was 
ordered to be raised, "to hold themselves in readiness for the 
defense of the State, to enforce the laws of the Union, to sup- 
press insurrections and repel invasions during the present 



war; subject only to the order of the commander-in-chief of 
the State." 

It was during the regular session of the General Assembly 
that the death of Governor Griswold occurred. John Cotton 
Smith became the acting Governor ad interim. He was born 
at Sharon, Feb. 12, 1765. At the age of fifteen he entered 
Yale College, where he soon attained high rank as a scholar. 
Graduating at the termination of the Revolutionary War, he 
began the study of law, and rapidly attained distinction. 
Governor Smith began his political life in 1793, representing 
his native town in the State Legislature. He resigned this 
position seven years later, on being chosen to fill a vacancy 
in the congressional delegation. Though a F'ederalist, which 
party was then in the minority, he was highly respected for 
sound judgment, and often called upon to preside over the 
committee of the whole, especially on those questions where 
the debates were liable to awaken party animosities. Prompt, 
energetic, and an indefatigable worker, his national career 
was unspotted; no insinuations were ever cast on his polit- 
ical integrity, nor was the finger of suspicion ever pointed 
at any of his official acts. 

He resigned his seat in Congress in 1806, and devoted 
himself to agricultural and literary pursuits; but his fellow 
townsmen were unwilling to release him from his political 
labors. In the fall of the same year, he was again chosen 
their representative to the General Assembly, serving until 
1809, when he became a member of the council. The same 
year saw his elevation to the Supreme Bench of the State, 
which position he resigned, to become the associate of Roger 
Griswold on the Federalist ticket. His first election by the 
people to the office of Governor was in 18 13. He filled the 
position for four consecutive terms. Governor Smith adorned 



all stations in life with consummate grace and dignity. His 
public duties were most faithfully performed; his State 
papers were distinguished for perspicuity and classic ele- 
gance; he was noted for always being equal to the occasion. 
His death occurred at Sharon, Dec. 7, 1845. 

In the Presidential election in 18 12, the freemen of Con- 
necticut joined with the wing of the Democratic party that 
was opposed to Madison's war policy, and supported DeWitt 
Clinton and Jared IngersoU for President and Vice-Presi- 
dent. The electoral college of the State was composed of 
Nathaniel Terry, Daniel Putnam, Theodore Dwight, James 
Gould, David Daggett, Stephen F. Hosmer, Calvin God- 
dard, Jonathan Barnes, and S. B. Sherwood. 



The Second War with England 

WE have already said that the tempting prox- 
imity of Canada to the United States was 
the cause of the War of 1 8 12. It was not 
the cause of the desire for the war, but it 
was the reason why the war was thought 
possible to bring to a successful issue. A naval war was 
looked on as utterly hopeless. Up to the time of the victory 
of "Old Ironsides," even the stoutest patriots and the most 
daring fighters considered speedy and crushing naval defeat 
as inevitable. William Eaton and James Madison were 
nearly as unlike as any two human beings ever made; but 
the fiery hero of Derne was at one with the cold and timid 
protagonist of peace at almost any price in regarding naval 
contest against England as insane. But it was thought certain 
by the Southern and Western youth that Canada could be 
carried with a rush, and this belief induced the selection of 
England as an antagonist. 

Unfortunately they did little in the field to justify their 
dauntless courage on the floor. No preparations had been 
made, no plans of campaign devised, even the distribution of 
commands and definition of authorities had not been drawn 
out. Supplies had to be gathered, armies to be formed and 
trained. There was little developed military talent in any 
conspicuous position: Eaton was dead; Winfield Scott was 
a young subordinate; Henry Dearborn, the commander-in- 
chief, was utterly incompetent, and was alone suflSicient to 
guarantee a failure; James Wilkinson, the most noted man 
in the Southwest, was a cunning, slippery, selfish intriguer, 
without military or executive abilities; Jackson, the hero of 
the Southwest, was as innocent of strategy as he was full of 
courage and energy. All things not only portended but 
assured disaster; and when it came, the disillusioned public 



was sure to demand a scapegoat, and equally sure to find him 
in some subordinate left by his superiors to destruction. The 
luckless person whom fate had destined for this role was a 
Connecticut man, William Hull, then Governor of Michigan 
Territory — the northernmost part of the Northwest Terri- 
tory, separated in 1805 and named from the great Lake, with 
its seat of government the village and fortress of Detroit. 
Hull was born in Derby, June 24, 1753. He studied law, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1775, but at the outbreak of the 
Revolution joined the army. He was made a captain, and 
served around Boston and in the New Jersey campaign, and 
ultimately at Yorktown, becoming colonel and reputed a 
brave and skillful officer. Locating at Newton, Massachusetts, 
he practiced law, entered politics, and become major-general 
in the State militia. He was engaged in suppressing Shays' 
Rebellion, and was appointed a commissioner to treat with 
the Canadian Indians. When the War of 18 12 was officially 
declared, and the regular army was reorganized. President 
Madison appointed him one of the four brigadier-generals, 
and he was placed in command of what was termed the 
Northwestern Army. This force consisted nominally of about 
one thousand regulars, with three regiments of Ohio militia, 
numbering over two thousand ; they were to co-operate with 
the army of the centre, whose numerical strength was rated at 
four thousand, and who were to rendezvous in the vicinity of 
Niagara Falls. It was confidently expected that these two 
armies would be able to plant the Stars and Stripes on the 
walls of Montreal. 

The figures were paper, and the co-operation never came to 
pass. Hull, by the incapacity of the commander-in-chief 
Dearborn, plus that of the civil administration supposed to be 
directing the war, was left at Detroit with less than a thou- 



sand men, without supplies, hundreds of miles from possible 
help, with the command of Lake Erie in the hands of the 
British, and Hull's communication with the rest of the army 
in their hands also. To remain there inactive was to be 
starved out; to abandon the place and try to fight his way to 
the main army was to give up the very post he was commis- 
sioned to maintain ; to leave part of it there and try to open 
communications with the rest was to fail with the latter (as 
he did) and imperil the former. The government, in a word, 
had left him cooped up in a trap, from which escape was ab- 
solutely impossible, and lifted not a finger to make it no trap 
or help him out of it. 

The inevitable result occurred. Isaac Brock, a resolute 
and unscrupulous English officer of high military abilities, 
came down upon his victim with nearly double his forces, 
including a mass of Indians. This assault was made possible 
by Dearborn, with incredible meanness, cowardice, and folly, 
having made an armistice with Brock not to include Hull's 
army! Brock now demanded Hull's surrender; threatening, 
if it was refused and a fight was made, the letting loose of 
Indian massacre on the whole Territory far and wide, and 
the butchery of the inhabitants of Detroit when captured. 
The history of English use of Indians in the Revolution 
proved this no idle threat. If Hull could by any possi- 
bility have won not a single engagement or a dozen of them, 
but the campaign — if he could have even faintly hoped to 
hold the place and avoid ultimate surrender — it would have 
been his duty to fight to the last gasp; and we believe he 
would have done so. But that was simply out of all hope: 
Napoleon himself could not have done it. It was in fact a 
year before the one thing took place, that might have saved 
him, the control of Lake Erie by the United States; and 



when It did, the British commandant of Detroit evacuated it 
at once without even waiting for the approach of the United 
States forces. 

Hull, then, had an alternative worse than death to a brave 
man with a reputation to lose. He could save that reputation 
by making an absolutely hopeless fight; at the cost of wan- 
tonly sacrificing many good soldiers' lives, and bringing the 
unspeakable horrors of Indian butchery and torture on many 
hundreds of Michigan families. A meaner man would have 
chosen this part. Or he could save all this useless bloodshed, 
anguish, and desolation, by doing at once what he must do in 
a few weeks in any event; but ruining his career and repute. 
He chose the better part, with a courage incomparably higher 
than that of a mere fighter: and to his last day, shamed and 
cursed as a coward and sometimes as a traitor, he never 
regretted it, and declared that in the same situation he would 
do the same again. Sometime, the moral elevation of a man 
who cared more for mercy and the welfare of others than for 
his own good name in the mouths of the unthinking, will be 
appreciated, and the Brock stamp of man will not shine quite 
so brightly. With the fall of Detroit, the whole Northwest 
lapsed to the British. That was the price paid for going to 
war In a reckless hurry, under a peace administration, with 
nothing ready, with incompetent civil and military heads. 
But It was easier and more satisfactory to blame the victim 
of their own laches than themselves, and of course the heads 
of the administration would shift their own derelictions on 
the minor scape-goat. 

There was a roar of wrath, and Hull was court-martialed 
for treason. The court-martial was a disgrace to decency. 
The president of It was that very Dearborn whose incapacity 
and sluggishness, to say nothing worse, had not only left Hull 


.From a painting b_v (iilbert Stuart. 

'^^^i^-^^ A^^^UA^ 


to his fate but let an overwhelming force down upon him; 
whose own character and conduct were the things really on 
trial before it, and who would be condemned by Hull's acquit- 
tal. Hull was acquitted of treason, but found guilty of cow- 
ardice and sentenced to be shot, in place of Dearborn who 
should have been shot if any one was to be. Madison remit- 
ted the sentence, but ordered his name to be stricken from the 
rolls of the army. 

The old hero retired to Newton and spent the rest of his 
life there, uncomplaining, serene, justified of his own con- 
science and trusting that future generations would justify him 
likewise. With all who have any right to judge, they have 
done so. His famous grandson, James Freeman Clarke, has 
done it thoroughly in a volume not of sophistry, but of unan- 
swerable demonstration; and even Henry Adams in his his- 
tory practically admits the facts. 

The fortunes of war, which had proven so disastrous to 
the Americans on land, were to be recompensed by their vic- 
tories upon the seas; in the supplanting of the acknowledged 
mistress of the oceanic area, the sons of Connecticut were to 
play an important part. 

It was only three days after the surrender of Detroit that 
the nephew of the unfortunate commander covered the name 
with a glory more than equal to its unjust disgrace, and dis- 
pelled once for all the cloud of terror which paralyzed the 
energies of American administrators. The real service which 
the Southern hot-heads did was the last thing they intended, 
and in some ways the very reverse. They did not glorify 
themselves on land; they did not conquer Canada; they dis- 
credited and injured the country by the imbecile conduct of 
the operations they had initiated. But they did an immense 
service unwillingly by unlocking the energies of the American 



Navy, and proving it the superior, ship for ship and man for 
man, of any on earth. So far was this from being in their 
thoughts that Isaac Hull with the Constitution fought the 
Guerriere in disobedience of orders, and if he had been beaten 
would probably have been shot. 

The result of this victory, and of others which followed, 
was actually to make American seamen contemptuous of Brit- 
ish seamanship, fighting power, and even courage; and it 
needed some sharp lessons to tame down their over-confi- 
dence. But it was a good and valuable change from the 
ancient cringing terror. It first raised America from subordi- 
nation to full manhood, and the American national character 
to full self-reliance. The nation justly felt itself a sharer in 
the credit; for it was not alone Hull's superb seamanship, but 
the superior intellectual alertness, skill, training, and energy 
of the American seamen and gunners which won the victory. 
But, as said, in one respect the South did the rev^erse of 
what it meant. The whole vitality of the navy was predom- 
inantly of the North. The embargo had been an attempted 
crushing of the commercial section for the sake of the agri- 
cultural, of New England and New York for the South and 
West. The war was against New England's wish, and was 
to glorify the Southern land forces. In fact nearly all the 
glory was won by the arm which they disliked, and largely 
the section which opposed the war; and the war would have 
ended in irreparable loss but for the work of the very States 
whose political magnates were fighting it tooth and nail. 

A hardy son of Connecticut, Captain Israel Chauncey, who 
had spent his early life in the merchant service, became the 
pioneer in the defense of the Great Lakes. By the gallantry 
of the force under his command, the Americans were enabled 
to retard the enemy's progress on Lake Ontario, also to cap- 



ture a schooner having on board twelve thousand dollars 
in specie. 

The serenity and peace of Connecticut was undisturbed 
at the opening of the second year of the war. The territory 
within her boundaries had not been ravaged by the enemy, 
nor had any damage been done on her seacoast. Her com- 
mercial intercourse with foreign nations had suffered, how- 
ever; there was also an accumulated surplus of her manu- 
factured products. 

In accordance with the act passed by her General Assembly, 
a State corps was organized, under the command of Na- 
thaniel Terry as brigadier-general. In consisted of two reg- 
iments of infantry, with ten companies each, the colonels of 
which were Timothy Shepard and Elihu Sanford; one regi- 
ment of cavalry with four companies, under Major David 
Deming; and four companies of artillery, of which Major 
William Stanley was the ranking officer. 

The State militia, besides the two independent compa- 
nies of the Governor's foot-guards, was composed of four 
divisions. The first of these comprised the first and second 
brigades, under Major-General Solomon Cowles. The first 
brigade, composed of the first, eighteenth, nineteenth, and 
twenty-second regiments of infantry, with the first regiment 
of cavalry, was commanded by Brigadier-General Moses 
Tryon, Jr. The sixth, fifteenth, twenty-third, and twenty- 
fourth regiments of infantry, with the seventh regiment of 
cavalry, constituted the seventh brigade, under Brigadier- 
General Levi Lusk. 

The second division, commanded by Major-General 
John Hubbard, was formed of the second and fourth 
brigades. The second brigade consisted of the second, sev- 
enth, tenth, twenty-seventh, and thirty-second regiments of 



infantry, the second regiment of cavalry, and the first bat- 
talion of artillery; and had for its commander Brigadier- 
General James Merriman, who was afterwards superseded 
by Hezekiah Howe. The fourth, ninth, and twenty-eighth 
regiments of infantry, with the fourth regiment of cavalry, 
made the fourth brigade ; and its brigadier-general was 
Matthias Nicoll. On his retirement, Enoch Foote was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy. 

The major-general of the third division was William 
Williams. It included the third and fifth brigades. The 
third, under Brigadier-General Jirah Isham, had for 
its subordinate organizations the third, eighth, twentieth, 
thirtieth, and thirty-third regiments of infantry, and the third 
regiment of cavalry. The fifth brigade embraced the fifth, 
eleventh, twelfth, and twenty-first regiments of infantry, and 
the fifth regiment of cavalry, and was under the command of 
Brigadier-General David Holmes. 

The fourth division, commanded by Major-General Au- 
gustine Taylor, consisted of the sixth and eighth brigades. 
The brigadier-general of the sixth was David Thompson. 
It included the fourteenth, seventeenth, twenty-fifth, and 
thirty-fifth regiments of infantry, also the sixth regiment of 
cavalry. The commander of the eighth, Brigadier-General 
Ephraim Hinman, was succeeded by Gerrit Smith. It was 
composed of the eighth, thirteenth, sixteenth, twenty-sixth, 
and twenty-ninth regiments of infantry, with the eighth reg- 
iment of cavalry. 

The position maintained by Governor Griswold in ref- 
erence to the militia was adopted in a modified form by his 
successor. Connecticut, however, had at her command a 
force of about fifteen thousand men, fully equipped and of- 
ficered, to resist any invasion of her territory. 



In the spring of 1813, a formidable British fleet, under 
the command of Sir Thomas Hardy, passed through Long 
Island Sound. They raised their flag on Block Island, 
cruised along the coast, and established a blockade. On the 
first day of June, Commodore Decatur's squadron, con- 
sisting of the frigates United States and Macedonian with 
the sloop-of-war Hornet, on arriving at the entrance of Long 
Island Sound, was chased by the enemy into New London 
harbor. The British fleet was strengthened by the arrival of 
reinforcements. In anticipation of an attack on New London, 
six hundred of the Connecticut militia were summoned to 
the neighborhood to protect the coast. The threatened at- 
tack was deferred, but was the cause of great consternation 
among the inhabitants of the city.; the bank's specie, also 
the non-combatants, being removed to Norwich. The British 
blockade of New London was so effectual that Decatur was 
obliged to lighten his ships; removing them as far as possible 
up the Thames, out of reach of the enemy, he erected land 
intrenchments, from which he could observe the manoeuvres 
of his opponent in the harbor. 

In the fall of 18 13 an American schooner was fitted out 
as a torpedo vessel. On being sent into the Sound, she was 
captured by the British, her crew effecting their escape. 
She was In the possession of the enemy about three hours, 
when she exploded, causing great alarm in their ranks. One 
lieutenant and ten men were killed, while many others were 
badly wounded. This caused the blockade to be more vig- 
orously enforced. 

Commodore Decatur, restless under this inactivity, made 
several unsuccessful attempts to effect his escape. He selected 
the night of Dec. 12 for a final effort, keeping his plans 
secret. It was dark and dreary; the outlook was favorable 



for the success of the enterprise; but at the mouth of the 
harbor blue lights made their appearance, thus notifying the 
enemy. Decatur was forced to relinquish the undertaking. 
He then made a complaint to Congress, claiming that resident 
Federalists were the offenders. Though no evidence was pro- 
duced to substantiate the charges, the party was stigmatized 
with the opprobrious epithet of "blue-light" Federalists. 

The frigates of the American squadron were dismantled, 
and left at the head of navigation on the Thames, the sloop- 
of-war remained in New London harbor. Decatur and his 
men, in April 1814, proceeded overland to New York. The 
fleet was not released until November, 18 14, when It ran 
the blockade. 

There were several spirited adventures at different times 
during the year 1 8 13. A sloop or schooner would be pursued 
Into one of the many harbors; but the attacking British ves- 
sels or barges would be repulsed by a hasty gathering of lands- 

In April 1 8 14, a body of British sailors and marines num- 
bering about two hundred ascended the Connecticut, landing 
first at Pettepaug Point, about six miles above Saybrook. 
After destroying the shipping they proceeded later to Brock- 
way's Ferry, and demolished the vessels gathered at that 
point. After thus amusing themselves for about twenty- 
four hours, they retreated, being unsuccessfully pursued by 
the militia, aided by a detachment of marines from the Amer- 
iican squadron. The amount of damage committed by these 
raiders approximated $200,000. 

The coast trade of the State suffered serious loss from the 
operations of a British privateer named the Liverpool Packet, 
which cruised through the Sound. Her victorious career was 
brought to an end by a flotilla of thirteen gunboats, com- 



manded by Commodore Lewis, who convoyed over fifty ves- 
sels that were detained at Saybrook harbor. Owing to his 
gallant defense, they were able to proceed on their eastern 
journey, making a successful escape to New London. 

The citizens of Stonington were kept in constant alarm 
by the nearness of the enemy's fleet; though Governor Smith 
was petitioned over and over again for help, only a small 
guard of militia was sent to their aid. On Aug. 9, 18 14, 
the Ramlllies, seventy-four guns, Pactolus, forty-four guns, 
brig Dispatch, twenty-two guns, and the bomb-ship Terror, 
with several barges and launches, commanded by Sir Thomas 
Hardy, entered the harbor. Anchoring his little squadron 
within two miles of the town, he displayed a flag of truce. 
Thereupon several of the residents were deputized to open 
communication with the enemy. Acting under instructions 
from his superior officer, Commodore Hardy in a nonchalant 
manner informed them it was his intention to destroy the 
town, giving them one hour to remove their women and 
children before he began firing. The citizens were horri- 
fied at this message. The situation was appalling, for the 
town was in a defenseless condition; but, nowise daunted, 
preparations were begun to give battle to the enemy. The 
bombardment was begun at eight o'clock in the evening. 
The bomb-ship Terror and the barges rained shells and rock- 
ets upon the village, to ignite the buildings. The Stoning- 
ton volunteers took possession of the extremity of the penin- 
sula on which the borough now stands. Erecting a sort 
of redoubt, they placed within it two cannons, a six and an 
eighteen pounder. With these they hurled solid balls at their 
assailants, sinking one of the barges and compelling the re- 
treat of the bomb-ship with her remaining consorts to the 
flag-ship, which was unable, on account of insufficient depth 



of water, to approach within less than a mile and a half of 
the town. 

The British war vessels, at sunrise on Aug. lo, again 
bombarded the town. The Stonington volunteers were joined 
by a number of their neighbors from Mystic, under com- 
mand of Captain Jeremiah Holmes; who being a good gun- 
ner handled the elghteen-pounder with such effect that the 
brlg-of-war Dispatch was obliged to cut her cables, to avoid 
being sunk. At this critical moment the ammunition gave 
out. The town seemed at the mercy of the invaders; some of 
the timid citizens advocated a surrender, but the redoubtable 
captain thundered "No." Pointing to the ensign, he shouted, 
"That flag shall never come down while I am alive." To 
prevent some coward hauling It down, he nailed it to the staff. 
The timely arrival of a supply of ammunition from New 
London gave the valiant captain an opportunity to double- 
shot his cannon ; he was thus able to keep the British at bay 
until the arrival of a competent force of militia under General 
Isham. The British fleet continued to bombard the town 
until noon of Aug. 12, when it departed, having but little 
success to boast of from the expedition. Not a single life was 
lost in the village. One person was severely wounded, be- 
tween fifty and sixty slightly disabled, and about forty build- 
ings more or less Injured. It was not, however, until the 
dawn of peace that the Connecticut coast was freed from Its 
hostile neighbors. On March 11, 1815, the British fleet, 
saluting the colors at Fort Trumbull, left Long Island Sound, 
having maintained a successful blockade for over two years. 

The naval victories of Commodore Chauncey on Lake 
Ontario, with those of Commodore McDonough on Lake 
Champlain, were important factors In the military events of 
the war. The latter officer, though a native of Delaware, 



was an adopted son of Connecticut, having married a fair 
daughter of one of the influential families of Middletown, 
in consequence of this he made that city his place of res- 
idence; his death occurred at sea. 

Commodore Decatur was not a native citizen, but de- 
scended from a Rhode Island family, and was held in high 
admiration by his many friends in Connecticut. After his 
disastrous battle, while in command of the frigate President, 
he returned to New London, where he received a warm and 
hearty welcome. He subsequently made his residence in the 
suburbs of Washington, occupying the sumptuous mansion 
erected by Connecticut's most noted diplomat and litterateur, 
Joel Barlow. From here Decatur started, on the morning of 
that lamentable day in which his life was sacrificed in a duel. 

In the middle of March, 1814, President Madison ap- 
pointed Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr., to succeed Gideon 
Granger as Postmaster-General. By this act, the office was 
held continuously from January, 1802, to December, 1823, 
by sons of Connecticut. The new appointee was born in 
Middletown, in November 1765. His grandfather's ro- 
mance has already been told. Graduating from Yale Col- 
lege before he was twenty, he became a lawyer. With his 
father he emigrated to Ohio; they were among the first set- 
tlers at Marietta. Young Meigs soon became conspicuous 
in public affairs. He also engaged in the Indian warfare 
of the day. On the organization of the new State he became 
chief justice, and also received a brevet as colonel in the 
United States army. He was a United States district judge 
in Michigan Territory, and Senator from Ohio 1808-10; in 
the latter year he was elected Governor of that State, which 
position he held four years. The services performed by him 



during the war of 1 8 1 2 were of incalculable value. Colonel 
Meigs died at Marietta, March 29, 1825. 

The British burning of the capital, with the emergencies 
that had arisen in public affairs, caused President Madison to 
convene a special session of Congress on the 19th of Sep- 
tember, 1 8 14. A strong necessity existed for filling the ranks 
of the regular army, and employing the militia of the differ- 
ent States in a more efficient service. The appointment of 
James Monroe as Secretary of War, and his advocacy of an 
increase in the army, caused the United States Senate to pass 
a bill authorizing the President to call for eighty thousand 
militia, to be divided in equal quotas between the States, ac- 
cording to population. Connecticut's allotment was 3,720 
men. The House bill, giving the President authority to 
call out the militia of any State if the Governor refused to 
do so, was defeated in the Senate. There can be little doubt 
that it was unconstitutional. 

These new measures of the Secretary of War, favoring 
a draft if the States failed to fill their quotas, were received 
with great excitement in Connecticut. They were denounced 
as a scheme of conscription rivaling the daring of Napoleon 
at the height of his power. The General Assembly, at its 
October session in 18 14, while it authorized extensive pur- 
chases of munitions of war, empowered the Governor in 
the event of a conscription to call a special session of that 
body. The military draft bill was subjected to amendments 
in both houses of Congress; conference committees were ap- 
pointed, but finally, four days after the treaty of peace at 
Ghent, the Senate by a majority of one indefinitely laid the 
bill on the table. 

Some historians have asserted that this bare majority of 
one saved the country from a dissolution of the Union; that 



the Eastern portion, rather than submit to a draft, would 
have seceded. As the news of the treaty would have been 
received before the draft could have gone into operation, or 
rather as the administration would not have put it in force 
with negotiations pending, the question would not have 
arisen. As to secession, it was much more easily talked of 
than executed. There was a great deal of heady talk, but 
any official measures to carry it into effect would have made 
an immense change in the atmosphere. 

Connecticut, according to a letter of the Secretary of War 
transmitted to the third auditor of the Treasury, relating to 
militia In service during the War of 1812 (State papers, 
2d Session, sixteenth Congress), was credited with having 
furnished, at various times in the years 18 13-14, four gen- 
erals, nine general staff officers, 70 field officers, 21 regimental 
staff officers, 72 non-commissioned staff officers, 195 captains, 
395 subalterns, 1,438 non-commissioned officers, 363 mu- 
sicians, and 7,363 privates. Connecticut received from the 
general government, for the services of these men, the sum 
of $102,756.07. 

The State also furnished nearly 1,600 native citizens for 
the rank and file of the regular army, besides 156 officers. 
Prominent among the latter, we may mention Major-General 
Peter B. Porter, a native of Salisbury. In 1795 he removed 
to New York State. He resigned his seat in Congress at 
the beginning of the war; declining a general commission, he 
afterwards accepted the command of a division composed of 
New York and Pennsylvania volunteers. He took part in 
the battles of Chlppawa, the most creditable land battle 
of the war, and Lundy's Lane. At the siege of Fort Erie 
he led a brilliant sortie. General Porter received a gold 
medal from Congress, also a sword from the New York 



Legislature, for military services. Though appointed by 
President Madison in 1815 commander-in-chief of the army, 
he declined the honor. 

Brigadier-General Daniel Bissell, accredited from Con- 
necticut as a West Point cadet, commanded at a successful 
affair which took place at Lyons Creek, Upper Canada. 
Henry Leavenworth, a native of New Haven, a lawyer 
by profession, became a regular army officer, and was brevet- 
ted lieutenant-colonel for gallantry displayed at the battle of 
Chippawa; was wounded, and brevetted colonel for merito- 
rious services, at Lundy's Lane. After ten years of faithful 
service in one grade, he was commissioned brigadier-general. 
Samuel Perkins, son of a Revolutionary captain, was born 
in Norwich. Early in the nineteenth century he removed 
to the Western Reserve. After General Hull's disaster at 
Detroit, Brigadier-General Perkins of the Ohio militia was 
assigned the duty of protecting the northwestern frontier. 

A native of Durham, William Wadsworth, ranking as 
a brigadier-general in the New York militia, was in command 
of the American forces at the assault on Queenstown Heights. 

The country's second difficulty with England, which the 
far-seeing Franklin had predicted would be our war of in- 
dependence, established the United States as a first-class naval 
maritime power. Since that day, no foreign nation has block- 
aded our coast, nor have hostile fleets invaded our harbors; 
our commercial relations abroad have not been interrupted; 
the American seaman has been protected in all climes, his 
rights respected on all seas and in all foreign lands. 



The Hartford Convention 

THE growing dissatisfaction with Madison's ad- 
ministration, in carrying on the second war 
with Enj^dand; the refusal of several of the 
governors of the New England States to 
order out the militia on receipt of the Pres- 
ident's proclamation asking for troops; and the general gov- 
ernment's declining to pay these soldiers, when called out by 
the State executives, basing their refusal on the ground that 
the forces haci not been placed under the command of the 
United States general in charge of that department, — gave 
rise to the feeling that New England was given over to the 
enemy by the national government. This feeling became 
universal, and was strengthened by the differences between 
the people of New England and those of the South, on the 
question of slave representation in Congress. The admin- 
istration in power was largely dominated by Southern influ- 
ences, and engendered in the inhabitants of the Eastern 
States a revolutionary spirit against a government which they 
felt would rather sacrifice their interests than not. New 
England was the manufacturing centre of the country. The 
embargo laid on shipping by Congress had diminished her 
wealth and prostrated the business community; her people 
were largely adherents of the doctrines of Washington and 
Hamilton; and as Federalists were opponents of France, the 
opening of the nineteenth century had placed the control 
of the national government in the hands of their opponents, 
whose tendencies and sympathies were in accord with the 
supporters of the French Revolution, and antagonistic to 
England's dictatorial acts, especially on the sea. 

It is not likely that the anti-war spirit would have gained 
such headway had the war been waged with decent energy 
and skill. Great victories would perhaps not have been 



needed; but there should have been some evidence of a com- 
petent directing brain, of a coherent plan and the preparation 
of means for it, and of common-sense precautions. So far 
from this, there was evidence of little but incapacity, resulting 
in disaster and threatening worse. New England could have 
borne with the annihilation of her business life, had there 
been a prospect of a speedy and honorable end; but it seemed 
likely to be a long agony ending in loss of half the country's 
future. It is fair to say that part of this was the fault of 
New England herself in tying the hands of the administra- 

Massachusetts through her legislature took the initiatory 
steps toward a convention to safeguard New England inter- 
ests. She made overtures to her sister States to join with her 
in remonstrance against the rule and the usurpations of the 
general government. A committee of her legislature made 
a report which contained a covert threat of independent 
action on the part of her people, and recommended the 
appropriation of the national revenue derived from her con- 
stituency for her own defense. 

The primary object of the resolution was to adopt some 
mode of defense suited to the emergencies of the New Eng- 
land States; the ultimate one was to advise with each other 
for radical reforms of the Constitution. The opponents of 
the report denounced it as a preparation for a dissolution of 
the Union. Their efforts to defeat the measure were unavail- 
ing, owing to the cessation of hostilities on the Continent of 
Europe, and the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty to the 
throne of France; leaving England in position to blockade 
more effectually the ports of our Atlantic coast, while her land 
forces occupied a large area of the territory of Maine, thus 



completing the demolition of New England shipping inter- 
ests, and menacing the safety of the Northwest. 

A rumor spread that plans were on foot to restore New 
England to the British. Like much other nonsense in a 
heated time, this was widely credited. It was actually 
believed that the section which opened the Revolu- 
tion, which was foremost in fighting British authority and 
had to drag the South into the fray, and foremost in advo- 
cating entire independence, was about to relinquish that inde- 
pendence out of party spite, and go back to colonial subjec- 

Some of her people, it was said, had declared for neutral- 
ity, and placed themselves under the protection of that 
nation. If so it was a move to force the hand of the govern- 
ment. In response to a communication from the executive of 
Massachusetts, the authorities of Connecticut and Rhode 
Island appointed delegates to the convention. Their coasts 
had been ravaged by the enemy; the majority of their citi- 
zens were in bitter opposition to the war. The situation was 
different in New Hampshire, with but a few miles of sea- 
coast. That State itself as a sovereignty took no action, 
though delegates were selected from some of her minor divis- 

The people of Vermont were purely agriculturalists, and 
strong partisans of the national government. That State 
had been the only one which did not support Burr in the 
Imbroglio of 1800. The previous year they censured their 
Governor, a candidate for re-election, and his defeat was due 
to his refusal to obey the requisitions of the President calling 
for the services of the State militia. Therefore the com- 
monwealth did not act as a unit in sending delegates; one 



of the counties adjoining Massachusetts chose a representa- 
tive to the convention. 

On Dec. 15, 18 14, the convention assembled at Hartford; 
its meetings were held in the alderman's chamber of the pres- 
ent City Hall; the public were excluded. The roll being 
called, there were found to be present twelve delegates from 
Massachusetts, seven from Connecticut, three from Rhode 
Island, and two representing counties in New Hampshire. 

A permanent organization was effected by the choice of 
George Cabot of Boston as president, and Theodore Dwight 
of Hartford as secretary. The latter was not an accredited 
delegate; he was a ready and brilliant writer, connected with 
the editorial staff of the Connecticut Mirror, a newspaper 
thoroughly opposeci to the Democratic policy of war. At 
the head of the Massachusetts delegation was George Cabot, 
the gentleman to whom was given by his colleagues the 
honor of presiding over their deliberations. He had been 
a confidential co-laborer of Washington and Hamilton in the 
councils of the Federalist party; he had represented his native 
State in the upper house, and by his strenuous advocacy of the 
adoption of the Constitution, was instrumental in securing 
its ratification by Massachusetts. A pure-hearted, lofty- 
minded citizen, a sound statesmen, and universally beloved, 
his presidency of the convention was his last political act. 

President Cabot and one of his associates were engaged 
in mercantile trade. The others of the Massachusetts dele- 
gation were members of the legal fraternity of that State. 
Nathan Dane had served as a member of the Continental 
Congress, and during his term of office ardently advocated 
the exclusion of slavery from the Northwest Territory. He 
was highly esteemed for his wisdom and rectitude. William 
Prescott, a son of the commander of the American forces at 



Bunker Hill, had represented his fellow-citizens in both 
houses of the Massachusetts legislature. Harrison Gray 
Otis, a noted debater and eloquent orator, had served in Con- 
gress from the Suffolk district, through President Adams' 
administration. Timothy Bigelow had presided over the 
Massachusetts House of Representatives; John Thomas was 
the presiding judge of probate of Plymouth County; Joseph 
Lyman was elected for several years sheriff of his residence 

George Bliss, endowed with learning, industry, and integ- 
rity, was noted for his eminence as a lawyer, and for several 
terms was a member of the legislature. David Waldo, a 
merchant of Worcester, repeatedly refused political honors, 
but was a member of the State Senate. Samuel Sumner 
Wilde, in recognition of his legal ability, was raised to a seat 
on the bench of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. Hodi- 
jah Bayliss served as an officer in the Continental Army, and 
for many years was probate judge of his native county; he 
was distinguished for sound understanding, fine talents, and 
unimpeachable probity. Stephen Longfellow, Jr.. was at the 
head of the bar of Portland, his residential city; he was a 
leading politician, and afterwards represented that district in 
Congress. He was the father of the poet Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow. At the time of his death in 1849, he was the 
only surviving member of the Massachusetts delegation to 
the Hartford Convention. 

Connecticut's representatives compared favorably with 
their Massachusetts confreres, in legal acumen and scholarly 
abilities. They were lawyers who reflected credit on them- 
selves and the commonwealth. 

Chauncey Goodrich, Deputy-Governor of the State, 
serv^ed in both branches of Congress. He was noted 



for the purity of his statesmanship, and his useful- 
ness as a public citizen. John Treadwell had filled the 
executive chair of the State. He was a politician of 
the Washington school, and since attaining his major- 
ity had been prominent in public life. The best known 
member of the delegation was James Hillhouse, a Rev- 
olutionary soldier, who for a score of years was identi- 
fied with Congress; his ability and worth received universal 
commendation. Zephaniah Swift, Chief Justice of the Con- 
necticut Supreme Court, was the recipient of Congressional 
honors. He was a deep and thorough legal scholar. The prom- 
inence of Nathaniel Smith in the Connecticut bar is indisput- 
able; he was a member of the Supreme Bench. His life was 
marked by chastity of morals and love of country. Calvin 
Goddard, the only one of the delegation not a native of the 
State, had held judicial and legislative positions, and also 
risen to great eminence in his profession. Roger Minot Sher- 
man was the possessor of qualities of the highest order, both 
as a lawyer and citizen. 

The most prominent one of the Rhode Island delegation 
was Daniel Lyman, a major In the Continental Army. At 
the close of the war he distinguished himself as a lawyer, and 
became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Samuel Ward, 
son of Governor Samuel, was not present at the first roll-call, 
but the following day took his seat in the body. The age of 
eighteen found him a captain In the American army. He was 
taken prisoner of war while sharing in Arnold's expedition 
against Quebec. At the close of the war he retired from 
military service with the rank of colonel, and became a mer- 
chant In New York City. Benjamin Hazard and Edward 
Manton were natives of the State. The former was eminent 
as a lawyer and legislator; the latter, though of sterling 



worth, had never become identified with the political discus- 
sions of the day. 

Cheshire, a New Hampshire county contiguous to Mas- 
sachusetts, sent as a delegate Benjamin West, who bore a 
good reputation as a lawyer. His colleague. Miles Olcott, a 
member of the legal fraternity, represented several towns in 
Grafton and Coos, the northwest counties of the State. 

It was not until the 28th of December that Vermont took 
any part in the deliberations of the convention; William 
Hall, Jr., having presented credentials from towns in Wind- 
ham County, was introduced and took his seat as a member of 
the body. He had frequently been elected to the State Legis- 
lature, and was a merchant universally esteemed and re- 
spected by his fellow-citizens. 

The convention was in session, with closed doors, twenty 
days. Wild rumors were circulated that the proceedings 
were of a treasonable nature. The excitement was aug- 
mented by the fact that the Massachusetts legislature, about 
this time, appropriated one million dollars towards the sup- 
port and equipment of ten thousand men, who were to be 
under the direct control of the State, to relieve their militia. 

The United States government, disturbed by the prevailing 
reports, ordered a regiment of soldiers under the command 
of Major Thomas S. Jessup to Hartford. Their ostensible 
duty was to recruit it for the regular army, but their senior 
officer was cautioned to keep a watchful eye on what the 
administration considered an unpatriotic conclave. The 
military demonstrations, however, were limited to a squad 
of idlers occasionally marching around the building, their 
fifers playing the "Rogue's March." 

The convention, undisturbed by these outside influences, 
proceeded on the even tenor of its way. The delegates con- 



vened twice a day, with a few exceptions. The meetings were 
opened with prayer, the clergy of Hartford generally officiat- 
ing; one Episcopalian rector, however, declined the honor, 
stating as his reason that he knew of no form of prayer for 
rebellion. Plenty of them were found forty years before. A 
committee submitted on Dec. 20 a general project of such 
measures as it might be proper for the convention to deliber- 
ate upon. Their report was adopted, and another commit- 
tee was appointed to prepare a statement of the unconstitu- 
tional infringement by the executive government of the 
United States upon the rights of individual States, for pre- 
sentation to the legislatures represented in the assembly. 

It was not until the 30th of December that this committee 
reported to the convention. After an extended debate, last- 
ing until Jan. 4, it was voted that two copies of the resolu- 
tions, in connection with a printed copy pertaining to the 
militia, with an appendix to contain any documents and 
articles deemed proper, should be delivered by the Massachu- 
setts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut delegations to their 
Governors. Copies also were authorized by the president to 
be forwarded by mail to the executives of New Hampshire 
and Vermont, to be laid before the legislatures of their 
respective States. 

The substance of the proposed amendments to the Con- 
stitution of the United States was, that representation and 
taxation should be based on the number of free persons. This 
was aimed at the Southern States, whose slaves counted In 
three-fifth ratio as representative people. The power of 
Congress was to be limited; a vote of two-thirds of its mem- 
bers being required to admit a new State, to declare war, or 
to Interdict commerce, except in case of an actual invasion. 
The nativism of the convention was exhibited by their debar- 



ring any but already naturalized citizens from eligibility to 
Congress, or from holding any civil office under the authority 
of the United States. They recommended that the presiden- 
tial office should be restricted to one term, and that no State 
should furnish two Presidents in succession. This was an 
attack on Virginia, whose citizens had filled the executive 
chair of the nation for six out of seven administrations 
since the formation of the federal government. 7 here were 
other minor propositions: the delegates were opposed to 
drafts and conscriptions by the general government, and 
wished the States to be empowered to defend their own terri- 
tory from a foreign foe. 

The convention adjourned sine die Jan. 5, 18 15. The 
unpublished journals, consisting of twenty-seven written 
pages, accompanied by the printed reports, was placed in the 
custody of the president, and by him some four years later 
deposited in the secretary's office of the commonwealth of 
Massachusetts, as permanent testimony to the world that the 
convention meditated no treason. 

It was suggested by the convention, in the event of peace 
not being concluded between England and the United States, 
and the defenses of the Eastern States being neglected, that 
the legislatures again appoint delegates to another con- 
clave, to be held at Boston on the third Thursday of the fol- 
lowing June. The president, Chauncey Goodrich, and Daniel 
Lyman, or any two of them, were empowered to reassemble 
the delegates, if in their judgment the situation of the country 
demanded it, previous to that time. The resolutions, after 
being discussed by the legislatures of Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut, were made the subject of communications to Con- 
gress, by commissioners appointed by these States; but the 
consideration of the matter was retarded, and eventually 



closed, by the signing of a treaty of peace at Ghent, which 
v/as concluded before the adjournment of the conv^ention. 

By the treaty, the two nations were left essentially in the 
same position as before the beginning of hostilities. Henry 
Clay, one of the commissioners, on the day before the final 
signing, remarked " 'Tis a damned bad treaty and I don't 
know whether I will sign it or not." But it was surprisingly 
good when considered in the light of the actual position of 
the United States at the time. The very sections which had 
forced on the war were sick of it, and making no serious 
exertions to carry it on, and the military operations were 
dropping into sheer nothingness. Had the British gov^ern- 
ment persevered a few months, it would have left us in a 
dreadful position; had it even stuck to its original demands 
for the treaty, it is hard to see what we could have done. 

That the treaty was in fact a very beneficial one, despite 
the fact that it settled not one of the grievances for which the 
war was undertaken, is shown by the outburst of joy with 
which it was received all through the country. New Eng- 
land was of course the most relieved, for life could now go 
on again. After eight years of business prostration and wide- 
spread bankruptcy and distress, a new prosperity was to set in. 
But this ver>^ fact caused the Hartford Convention to be 
the political ruin of its members. Had the war continued, 
they would have been locally held as patriots and saviours; 
with the war ended, they were cast aside even by their own 
section as treason-mongers who had deserted their country in 
its sorest need. The worst interpretation was put upon their 
motives ; and the very classes whose spokesmen they had been, 
would not or dared not honor them. As to the purpose of the 
convention, the one possible authority is its action. If any 
political body were judged by the wild proposals or foolish 



speeches made by its extremist members, none would have 
any reputation left, and most of them would seem only lit for 
a mad-house. The convention voiced a real grievance, which 
had brought its section to the brink of permanent industrial 
impoverishment — unfortunately the predominance of the un- 
commercial sections; it was one w^hich could only be cured 
by dissolving the Union. That in its view a contingency was 
not far off when that step might be the one salvation from 
entire ruin, is evident enough; equally so, that it was still 
some distance oft and things might change, and no hasty 
action was to be taken. That the members were as good 
patriots and as good citizens as those who rushed into the war 
and had not resolution to keep it up, is no very extravagant 
proposition. That the life of New England had come to 
seem incompatible with the life of the Union was not its 
fault; on the contrary, it was the fault of the very sections 
which were fighting it, and whose members in the early years 
of the Union fought and defeated its attempts to build up a 
strong navy, and so make the United States able to hold its 
own ao-ainst the world. 



The Political Revolution of 1817 


THE cessation of hostilities brought to Connecti- 
cut trials as well as blessings, while her finan- 
cial condition was comparatively superior to 
that of some of her sister States. To some 
classes of her community peace brought 
speedy ruin; with others, disaster was changed to prospective 
wealth. The commerce of the State sprang into active life; 
on the ocean appeared the white sails of her mercantile 
marine service. Foreign commodities during the last year of 
the war had become scarce, and consequently dear; agricul- 
tural products, however, had reached a low point of value. 

The manufacturing industries of the State, which at this 
period largely consisted of cotton goods, had benefited by 
the war, this article attracting capital on account of its remu- 
nerative returns ; by the declaration of peace, however, they 
were brought into competition with English products, which 
was thought ruinous to these industries unless they received 
protection from the general government. The staple agricul- 
tural products on which Connecticut's prosperity largely 
depended were cotton and tobacco. The former rapidly 
advanced from ten to twenty cents a pound, thus debarring 
her manufacturers from competing with their foreign rivals. 
The latter commodity partly counteracted this misfortune, by 
advancing from two or three dollars to as high as twenty- 
five dollars per hundredweight; this increased the value of 
her landed property, and also advanced wages. A flow of 
wealth into the State, which engendered luxurious and indul- 
gent habits, was a resultant. Gold, silk, and wine took the 
place of silver, cotton, and common spirits. A desire was 
created for more elaborate homes, both in architecture and 
interior decoration and furnishings. Personal and social 
enjoyments become more numerous and expensive. 



In this era of prosperity, the attention of the people was 
recalled, by the leaders of the Republican or Democratic 
party to its political status. The commonwealth was desti- 
tute of a constitution adopted by the people. The Demo- 
crats, in their attack on the validity of the Royal Charter as an 
instrument of government, were to receive the support of a 
number of disaffected Federalists, who complained that the 
party they formerly affiliated with was dominated by leaders 
of the Congregational church. One of the causes of this 
disloyalty was the appropriating of a bonus of $50,000, 
received by the State for the granting of a charter to a bank 
in Hartford, The obtaining of the act of incorporation for 
this second financial institution in the capital city was bitterly 
opposed by the directorship of the Hartford Bank, which had 
enjoyed the sole privilege of carrying on the banking business 
in that locality for twenty-two years. 

Among the petitioners for the new bank charter were some 
Episcopalians. The majority of the General Assembly being 
of the Congregationalist faith, in order to circumvent their 
opponents they proposed that $20,000 of the bonus should 
be devoted to the medical institution connected with Yale 
College. Of the balance, a portion was to be appropriated to 
the Bishop's Fund of the Episcopal Church, or used for 
any other purpose the General Assembly deemed best. The 
"Bishop's Fund" here alluded to was created in 1799, 
for the purpose of obtaining private subscriptions for the sup- 
port of the Bishop, the State having refused to appropriate 
any of the public funds for this purpose. 

The same Assembly which granted the bank charter in 
1 8 14, while it set aside the $20,000 for Yale College, refused 
to make any disposition of the balance of the moneys. This 
enraged the Episcopalians, who claimed their portion of the 



bonus, basing this claim on the wording of the petition. 
These demands were disregarded by the Legislature, which 
did not recognize the right of petitioners to dictate the distri- 
bution of appropriations. 

The Episcopalians, since the establishment of their 
academy in Cheshire, had at various times requested the 
Legislature to endow it; but they had been only partially suc- 
cessful. In 1802 a license was granted to raise $15,000 by 
lottery; they also desired that it should receive a charter as 
an Episcopal college. The General Assembly, with its Fed- 
eralist majority, most of whom were of the Congregational 
faith, with strong attachments for the institution at New 
Haven, did not wish to create an Episcopal rival for Yale, 
nor did they deem it just that money should be appropriated 
from the State Treasury for the maintenance of a Bishop. 
Thus vainly petitioning the legislature for that which they 
contended was their legal right, the members of the Episco- 
pal Church proposed to unite with the minority political 
party. They were joined by the Baptists and Methodists, 
whose numerous legislative applications for relief from the 
compulsory religious taxes had remained unanswered. They 
demanded that "legal religion" should be abolished, and "the 
adulterous union of Church and State forever dissolved." 

A meeting was held at New Haven for the purpose of 
cementing an alliance between the Democrats and such of 
the Federalists as were opposed to the "standing order" and 
"were friends of toleration and reform." The Democrats, 
recognizing the utter impossibility of obtaining supremacy in 
State politics, by their past efforts, welcomed these new 
adherents to their ranks with open arms and with perfect 
unanimity accepted as the standard-bearers of the new polit- 



ical party, Oliver Wolcott for Governor, and Jonathan In- 
gersoU as Deputy-Governor. 

Wolcott was a Federalist of the Federalists. He even 
opposed the renomination of John Adams, because he be- 
lieved "We should never find ourselves in the straight road 
of Federalism while Mr. Adams is president." The Anti- 
Federalists, at the time of his resignation as Secretary of the 
Treasury, had not only accused him of maladministration, 
but with downright crime. By his retirement from public 
life, and an absence of fourteen years from Connecticut, he 
had lived down the old-time resentment. Mr. Wolcott was 
opposed to the Hartford Convention ; he was a friend to the 
Union, a foe to rebellion, and an active supporter of the late 
war; he resisted bigotry and favored toleration: all of 
which made him an available candidate for the coalition. His 
associate on the ticket was an eminent lawyer of New Haven 
and a prominent member of the Episcopal Church, being 
senior trustee of the "Bishop's Fund." 

The new political party, first called "American," and after- 
wards "American and Toleration," was beaten at the spring 
election in 1816. Mr. Wolcott received 10,170 votes out of 
21,759; Judg^ IngersoU, with the help of Federalists, was 
elected by a majority of 1,453. The diminished majority of 
the Federalist candidate foreshadowed a coming political 
revolution in the State ; although at the presidential election 
held in the fall of 18 16, they were again successful. The 
electoral college, consisting of Jonathan IngersoU, William 
Perkins, Nathaniel Terry, Elisha Sterling, Seth P. Staples, 
Elijah Hubbard, Jirah Isham, Asa Wiley, and S. W. John- 
son, cast nine votes for Rufus King for President. There 
being no regular nominee for the office of Vice-President, 
five votes were cast for James Ross and four for John Mar- 



shall. In this election the Federalist candidate for President 
received only the votes of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 

At the session of the Legislature in October, 1 8 i6, the Fed- 
eralists adopted conciliatory and compromising measures, to 
strengthen their position in the State. There was a balance 
due the commonwealth from the general government, for 
disbursements expended in general defense during the war. 
The Assembly passed "an act for the support of Literature 
and Religion," in which one-third of the amount was appro- 
priated to Congregationalist societies, to be divided among 
them for the support of the Gospel ; one-seventh to the trus- 
tees of the "Bishop's Fund," for the use and benefit of the 
Episcopalian denomination of Christians; one-eighth to the 
Baptist trustees; one-twelfth to the Methodist trustees for 
the use of their denominations, and one-seventh to Yale Col- 
lege. The balance, a little more than one-sixth, was to 
remain in the State Treasury. 

The amount received from the United States, before No- 
vember, 1817, was $61,500. As miight have been expected, 
these concessions rather promoted than diminished the op- 
position to the established order of State and Church. The 
Federalists and Congregationalists thought too much had 
been conceded, while the minor sects deemed the division 
unjust. In fact, the Methodists at first refused to receive 
their share; but finally in 18 18, thinking it wrong to leave 
such a sum remaining idle in the State Treasury, they 
accepted the amount. The Baptist trustees were still more 
obstinate, but finally succumbed to the inevitable, in June, 
1820, and received their portion of the appropriation. 

The next year the same nominations were made by the 
Toleration party. Oliver Wolcott was elected Gover- 



nor, the Federalist candidate being the incumbent of the 
office, John Cotton Smith. The legal returns gave Wol- 
cott 13,655 in a total vote of 26,976. By corrections 
afterwards made and conceded by the Federalists, his major- 
ity was about six hundred. 

Never had such a political cyclone swept over the "land of 
steady habits." Only four years previous, John Cotton 
Smith, the Federalist candidate, received 9,415 votes for 
Governor, and Elijah Boardman, his Democratic competitor, 

At the October session of the General Assembly in 18 16, 
the success of the Toleration party was assured by their plac- 
ing in nomination their ticket for Assistants. The " Stand-up 
Law," which had been on the statute-book since 1801, was 
repealed at this session. This obnoxious law deprived the 
freemen of a secret ballot; it was not only condemned by the 
Democrats and their Toleration allies, but was also very 
unpopular among the Federalists; it was one of the few 
grievances the freemen had to complain of, and was instru- 
mental in consummating the political revolution that began in 

One of the first acts passed by the Assembly in this year 
was that "securing equal rights, powers, and privileges to 
Christians of every denomination in this State." The law 
was not explicit enough to satisfy the minor sects, as it con- 
tained no declaration that would enable them to have 
recourse to the same measures that were enjoyed by the 
StandingOrder. The following year another bill was adopted, 
which more effectually secured equal rights and privileges to 
all denominations. The Toleration party, in the spring of 
1 8 18, appeared under the name of "Constitution and Re- 
form." The political revolution was completed by the 



re-election of Wolcott and Ingersoll, also of eight new Assist- 
ants, and a majority against the Federalists in the House of 

While the success of the Democrats and Tolerationists 
was due to their unanimity of feeling In favor of a new con- 
stitution, the Federalists were by no means united In opposing 
It. In several towns, prominent members of that party con- 
curred in the vote Instructing their representatives to favor 
the change. 

There was also the old rivalry between New Haven and 
Hartford, which dated from the union of the colonies. The 
Tolerationists advocated a political equality, by having only 
annual meetings of the Legislature, held alternately In each 
city; thus many Federalists of New Haven and vicinity 
favored "Constitution and Reform." The Democratic press, 
by able editorials. Indorsed the change; these were supple- 
mented by a liberal distribution of pamphlets throughout the 

The most serious defect in the existing form of govern- 
ment was the omission of defining "the supreme power and 
authority of the State." This was vested In the General 
Assembly, without reservation of the judicial authority to the 
proper courts of law. This body was the court of ultimate 
resort In all matters, civil and criminal. It also, for a long 
time, reserved to Itself the sole jurisdiction in equity; nor had 
it as yet delegated to the courts the power of granting relief, 
if the amount In controversy exceeded $5,335, which had 
been fixed as the equivalent of £1,600. 

The power to call to account any court or magistrate for 
cause found, and to punish, fine, or displace, was vested In 
this body; also Its right to grant pardons, suspensions, and 
reprieves. In capital or criminal cases, was unquestioned. 



Therefore many leading members of the bench and bar 
wished to have the legal status of the courts more specifically 
defined ; they also desired a separation of the executive, legis- 
lative, and judicial branches of the State government. 

The election of 1818 was to change not only the policy, 
but the frame of government. At the convening of the As- 
sembly in May 18 18, it was well understood that its prin- 
cipal business would be to provide for the calling of a con- 
stitutional convention. The Governor, in his address before 
the two houses, presented the subject with fairness, caution, 
and good sense. The House of Representatives appointed 
Orange Merwin of New Milford, David Plant of Stratford, 
Shubael Grisvvold of East Hartford, Nathan Pendleton of 
North Stonington, and Nathaniel Griffing of Guilford, a 
committee to report on that portion of the governor's mes- 
sage which related to the revision of the form of civil gov- 
ernment. The council appointed Elijah Boardman and Wil- 
liam Bristol members of a joint committee. 

A resolution was adopted June 2, 18 18, calling for town 
meetings to be held on the following fourth day of July, to 
enable the freemen to elect as many delegates to a Constitu- 
tional Convention, to be held the fourth Wednesday in 
August, as they had representatives in the lower house of the 
General Assembly. The result of the two elections assured 
a majority for the Tolerationists, though both parties had 
put in nomination their strongest men. 

Oliver Wolcott, the Father of the Constitution of 18 18, 
and the first Governor elected under it, was the third mem- 
ber of the Wolcott family called upon to fill this office. He 
was born in Litchfield, Jan. 11, 1760; at the age of four- 
teen he entered Yale College; two years later he joined the 
volunteer militia, which interrupted his studies. He took 




From a ciavun sketch bv Rembrandt Peale. 



part In repelling Tryon's invasion; he afterwards returned 
to college, graduated, and began the study of law. 

During the summer of 1779 he acted as aide-de-camp to 
his father, who commanded on the western borders of the 
State; he wms attached to the quartermaster's department of 
the Continental Army, but after declining a commission as 
ensign, he left military life to resume his legal studies. Leav- 
ing his native town in 178 1, he proceeded to Hartford, where 
he accepted a clerkship in the office of the Commissioners of 
the Pay Table. The following year he was appointed one of 
the board. In May 1784 he was selected one of the commis- 
sioners to adjust the claims of Connecticut against the United 
States; his colleagues were Oliver Ellsworth and William 
Samuel Johnson. 

The abolishment of the Commissioners of the Pay Table 
caused him to be appointed in 1788 Comptroller of Public 
Accounts; this office he resigned to become Auditor of the 
United States Treasury. He was afterwards made Comp- 
troller, and in the spring of 1791 he declined the presidency 
of the United States Bank. On the resignation of Alexander 
Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795, Governor 
Wolcott succeeded him, holding the office until Nov. 8, 
1800. Two years later he removed to New York City., 
engaged in mercantile pursuits, amassed a fortune, and 
became the first president of the Bank of North America. 
After the close of the second war with England, he returned 
to his native town, where in company with his brother he 
founded large woolen mills near Torrington. For ten con- 
secutive years he was elected to the gubernatorial chair; on 
his retirement from this office, he returned to Nev/ York 
City, where he died June i, 1833. Governor Wolcott was 
the last survivor of Washington's Cabinet, and the last link 



in the chain that represented the principles of the founders of 
the repubHc. 



The Constitutional Convention of i8i8 

IT was an auspicious day historically for Connecticut, 
that saw the assembling of the Constitutional Con- 
vention in the Hall of Representatives at Hartford, 
on Aug. 26, 18 18. The royal gift, which had been 
received with enthusiasm by the colonial fathers, was 
to be dispossessed of its governmental powers, and become a 
relic of antiquity. The Royal Charter, while it contained 
no royal prerogatives, was tinged with the spirit of aristoc- 
racy. The artisans who were to advance the prosperity and 
importance of the State were not, under its government, 
co-ordinate with the landed proprietors. The mechanic was 
prima facie vulgar; his ability was exercised not in increas- 
ing his wealth, but in a determination to desert his vocation, 
to become a member of the professional or agricultural class. 
The abolishment of an established church caused all men to 
enjoy the same political status. For the first time, the 
mechanic was on an equality with the Congregationalist farm- 
owner. This laid the foundation for a distinct mechanical 
commonwealth, and undoubtedly stimulated inventive genius. 
The convention embraced members of all creeds, and 
from all walks in life; but there was a large predominance 
of those who had attained honorable distinction in profes- 
sional or public positions. Seven of the delegates — namely, 
Pierrepont Edwards, Amasa Learned, Jessse Root, John 
Treadwell, Stephen Mix Mitchell, Aaron Austin, and Lem- 
uel Sanford — were members of the convention which ratified 
the Constitution of the United States. Amasa Learned and 
Timothy Pitkin had been representatives in Congress, while 
Pierrepont Edwards was a member of the Continental Con- 
gres and the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Elisha 
Phelps, James Stevens, Gideon Tomlinson, Orange Merwin, 
and Daniel Burrows afterwards represented Connecticut in 



the lower house of Congress; while to the upper house, James 
Lanman, Nathan Smith, and Gideon Tomlinson were sent. 
The latter, and also Dr. John S. Peters, became Governors of 
the State. 

The Federalists were well represented. In their ranks 
were honored chiefs and pillars of their established order. 
Three of them were venerable members of the judicial bench : 
Jesse Root, in his eighty-second year, Stephen Mix Mitchell, 
in his seventy-fifth, and ex-Governor John Treadwell, in his 
seventy-third. The leadership of the minority was divided 
between General Nathaniel Terry and Governor Treadwell. 

There were many other Federalists having a State rather 
than a national reputation, who were members of the body. 
Among them we name Aaron Austin of New Hartford, who 
had for nearly a quarter of a century sat with the Assistants 
at the council board; William Perkins of Ashford, Colonel 
Shubael Griswold of East Hartford, General Levi Lusk of 
Wethersfield, Rev. Aaron Church of Hartford, Henry Terry 
of Enfield, Colonel John McClellan of Woodstock, Dr. Bela 
Farnham of East Haven, and Dr. Solomon Everett of Can- 
ton. These gentlemen were leaders in the political party of 
their forefathers, and earnest advocates of the established 
order of the Congregationalist church. 

They refrained from a hopeless opposition to the coming 
constitution; but their efforts were directed towards preserv- 
ing, as far as possible, the established institutions of Connec- 
ticut, and a distinction of powers under a new form of gov- 
ernment. These principles were voiced by their political 
organ, the Connecticut Courant, in its issue of June 21, 
18 18: "Federalists are far enough from being opposed to a 
Constitution, and instead of being enemies to it, will be 
heartily glad to co-operate with all honest Republicans to 


/.J7^ Z/^TT^ 


form such a constitution of civil government as will secure 
to the freemen of Connecticut equal rights and a continuance 
of those numerous privileges which have so long distin- 
guished the people of the State." 

The new political party, whose battle cry was "Toleration 
and Reform," when its age is taken into consideration, pre- 
sented an array of leaders unprecedented in the history of the 
State. Prominent among these was Pierrepont Edwards, the 
venerable founder of the party. He was the youngest son 
of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, and possessed a fund of legal 
lore. He was appointed by President Jefferson as United 
States Judge for Connecticut, and early identified himself 
with the organization of Freemasonry in the State. He was 
chosen the first Grand Master of that order. Among the 
other recognized leaders were Alexander Wolcott of Middle- 
town, the founder and father of the Jefferson school of poli- 
tics in the State, the Baptist divine Rev. Asabel Morse of 
Suffield, the sometime Methodist preacher Rev. Daniel 
Burrows of Hebron, Joshua Stow of Middletown, General 
Joshua King of Ridgefield, Daniel Tomlinson of Oxford, and 
Christopher Manwarlng of New London. 

There were also at least a dozen of the medical fraternity 
selected as delegates, nearly all of whom were advocates for 
Toleration. Prominent among these were Drs. Sylvester 
Wells of Hartford, John S. Peters of Hebron, William Shel- 
ton of Huntington, Nathaniel Perry of Woodbury, John 
Turner of Norwich, Noah A. Lacey of Brookfield, and Jehial 
Williams of New Milford. 

On the assembling of the delegates, the body was called to 
order by Jesse Root of Coventry. This honor was conferred 
on him in consequence of his seniority of age. The first test 
of party strength was manifested in the selection of a clerk 



for the convention. The Federalists presented as their candi- 
date Thomas Day, Secretary of State; on the third ballot, 
howev-er, James Lanman of Norwich was chosen to fill the 
position. His Excellency Olivier Wolcott, one of the dele- 
gates from Litchfield, was elected to preside over the assem- 

The convention being formally organized, and prayers 
offered, a committee of five was appointed, to frame a sys- 
tem of rules for the order and government of the body. It 
was not until the 27th of August, however, that definite 
action was taken to further the business for which the con- 
vention was called together. 

A committee consisting of three members from each 
county was balloted for, to draft a constitution to submit to 
the convention. One-half of this committee of twenty-four 
members, notwithstanding the hostility to Yale that had been 
manifested by some of the Republicans, and also that the 
Institution was viewed with jealousy by dissenters from the 
established order on account of its relations to the State, 
were of the alumni of that college. Only five of the com- 
mittee were from the Federalist party. On the 28th of the 
month, rules and orders were adopted; though a Preamble 
and Bill of Rights were presented, no action was taken until 
the first of the following month, when it was considered by 

The adoption of a Bill of Rights was opposed by the lead- 
ers of both parties. Governor Treadwell for the Federalists 
contended that, as the people of the State had not to deal 
with any tyrant or aristocracy, It was superfluous. Mr. Wol- 
cott, for the Democrats, thought it circumscribed the powers 
of the General Assembly; he also offered objection to several 
of Its clauses. The Declaration of Rights, however, which 



became Article I. of the constitution, embodied those princi- 
ples of personal liberty and self-government which the people 
of the State inherited from their progenitors; every line 
breathed true democracy. As originally reported by the com- 
mittee, this Declaration consisted of twenty-three clauses; 
several of these were amended, and two entirely eliminated. 

The second article provided for the distribution of the 
powers of the government, the defining of which was one of 
the primary causes of calling the convention. The Judiciary 
was, for the first time in Connecticut's history, separated from 
the General Assembly, which, like its predecessor the General 
Court had been omnipotent. 

The third article related to the Legislature and elections. 
The former was to consist of two branches : the upper house 
to be known as the Senate, and to consist of twelve members 
elected by the people; the lower house was to be called the 
House of Representatives. The towns, being the unit of 
State organization, retained their former representation, irre- 
spective of wealth or population. The power of the General 
Assembly to reduce the number of representatives from each 
tov^'n, providing that at least one was credited to a town, 
was reported on favorably by the drafting committee. So 
also was an attempt to base the representation on population : 
providing that a town should have four thousand inhabitants 
to entitle it to more than one representative, although as low 
as two thousand was advocated. These resolutions were 
decided in the negative, and the original representation 
enjoyed by the towns was maintained. In regard to the meet- 
ings of the General Assembly, the committee were in favor of 
holding annual sessions alternately in Hartford and New 
Haven; but on this being presented to the convention by the 
vote of the presiding officer, a resolution was passed amend- 



ing it so that semi-annual sessions were to be held. This was 
afterwards reconsidered, and the original report of the com- 
mittee was adopted. 

The membership of the upper house of the Legislature was 
a mooted question. Various attempts were made to raise the 
committee's report of twelve, to twenty. These failing, six- 
teen was substituted ; finally fourteen was adopted. 

Articles fourth, fifth, and sixth, pertaining to the executive 
and judicial departments of the government, also to the qual- 
ifications of electors, were considered by sections, and adopted 
after a few minor amendments were made. 

The presentation on Sept. 1 1 of the seventh article of the 
constitution, which dealt with religion, led to an acrimoni- 
ous and protracted debate. The Federalists, though in a 
hopeless minority, still opposed the severance of Church and 
State ; they could not, however, prevent the absolute equality 
before the law of all Christian denominations, though they 
were able to secure to the old ecclesiastical societies their legal 
rights and privileges as corporate bodies. 

The remaining articles of the constitution, pertaining to 
education, impeachments, general provisions, and amend- 
ments, after slight changes, were adopted as reported by the 

It was on Sept. 15 that the draft of the constitution, as 
amended and approved, was adopted by the convention by a 
vote of yeas 134, nays 61. A resolution that the constitu- 
tion should be ratified "by a majority of the qualified voters 
present on the first Monday in October next," was, after 
various unsuccessful attempts to substitute for majority, three- 
fifths, four-sevenths, and five-ninths of the number of votes 
given, finally passed. 

In a resume of a vote of the convention for the adoption of 



the constitution, we find that while many of the prominent 
Federalists voted in the affirmative, the ultra-Jeffersonian 
Democrats were arrayed in opposition. This was for the best 
interests of the State, as the constitution thus submitted to the 
people was not such as either party wished for, but a com- 
promise between radical Democracy and conservative Fed- 
eralism. The Republicans gained a triumph in the overthrow 
of the charter government; the Toleration party, by the 
guarantee of perfect religious liberty and the enjoyment of 
equal powers, rights, and privileges to all denominations of 
Christians, had achieved the victory for which they had con- 

The ratification of the constitution by the people was for a 
time deemed doubtful; but the influence of the Democrats at 
the town meetings was counteracted by the Federalist dele- 
gates who had voted for it in the convention, advocating it in 
good faith, which brought many Federalist votes to its sup- 
port. It is asserted on good authority that a Federalist 
leader, by his personal and political influence, did more to 
secure a majority for ratification than any one else; whereas 
if he had opposed the constitution, it could not have escaped 

The electors of the State, by a majority of 1,554 in a 
total vote of 26,282, ratified the constitution on the 5th of 
October. While the five southern counties gave a majority of 
2,843 ^^^ ratification, the northern counties gave 1,289 
against it. New London was the banner county for ratifica- 
tion, giving a majority of 948 in a total vote of 2,532. The 
town of Groton cast its entire vote, 283, for the constitu- 
tion, Vv'hile in Waterford there were only three, and in Pres- 
ton eight, Vv'ho were opposed to it. The constitution was 
engrossed on parchment, and enrolled, with the State seal 



affixed, then deposited in the office of the Secretary of State. 

There have been thirty-one amendments to the constitu- 
tion. The first three of these, adopted in November 1828, 
related to an increase in the membership of the Senate to 
not less than eighteen nor more than twenty-four members, 
and also gave the General Assembly the power to district the 
State accordingly. 

The next four amendments pertained to the duties and 
election of different State officials. In October 1845 the 
property qualifications for electors were dispensed with, and 
every white male citizen of the United States, with cer- 
tain restrictions of residence, became a legalized voter. This 
was amended in 1855, and the requisition added that every 
person, before being qualified, should read an article of the 
constitution. In 1876, the word "white" preceding "male" 
was erased. In 1897, every person was required to read a 
section of the statutes of the State, in the English language, 
In order to be entitled to suffrage. 

By an amendment passed in 1856, the term of office of the 
judges of the Supreme Court of Errors, and of the Superior 
Court, was fixed at eight years; they were debarred from 
holding this position after reaching the age of seventy. In 
1880 the constitution was further amended to the effect that 
the said judges were to be nominated by the Governor and 
appointed by the General Assembly. 

An amendment adopted In 1864 gave the right of suf- 
frage to all drafted persons or volunteers then in the service 
of the United States, who were absent from the State. In 
1873 Hartford was made the sole capital. The following 
year the membership of the House of Representatives was 
modified, allowing every town the representation it then had, 
but a new town had to contain a population of five thousand 



to entitle it to two representatives. This was further 
amended in 1876, so that a new town must have at least 
twenty-five hundred inhabitants to be entitled to any repre- 

The time for election of State officers was changed in 1875 
to the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, the 
election to be held annually; this in 1884 was changed to 
"biennially," and the term of office made two years. 

An amendment was adopted in 1901, which provided that 
the election of the State officials should be determined, not by 
majority, but plurality of votes. This ended the greatest 
political scandal of the State, under which for many years 
a minority of voters regularly put their candidate in office, 
and the majority as regularly went to the polls on a fool's 
errand. The Senate was also increased, so that it was to 
consist of not more than thirty-six members nor less than 
twenty-four. The General Assembly was empowered to 
redlstrict the State, but the act was not to go into effect until 
the Wednesday after the first Monday of January 1905. 



The Money Panics of 1819-37 

THE commencement of the nineteenth century 
found Connecticut with five chartered banks, 
representing a united capital of $595,000. 
The contiguous State of Massachusetts at this 
time had twenty-two banking institutions; 
these possessed, collectively, capital amounting to $8,024,562. 
The population of Connecticut, compared to that of Massa- 
chusetts, was forty-three as to one hundred, while her bank- 
ing capital was but as seven to one hundred. This was due 
to the fact that the people of Connecticut were more largely 
engaged in agricultural pursuits than the inhabitants of the 
Bay State. Also, from 1790 to 18 10, her population did not 
increase in the same ratio as that of the other States in the 
Union ; the cause of this was the liberal contributions of her 
inhabitants made to forward the development of the West- 
ern frontiers, which hindered her commercial and industrial 
progress. It was also a fact that Rhode Island, New Hamp- 
shire, and New York extended their banking facilities in 
greater proportion to their population than did Connecticut. 
The Legislature in 1802 passed the first general law in ref- 
erence to banks, prohibiting them from issuing bills in frac- 
tional denominations of a dollar, and forbidding the circula- 
tion of bills for these amounts in the State. 

The following year, the State having a surplus of $400,- 
000, the General Assembly authorized subscriptions to be 
made to the capital stock of the five banks then in existence; 
the State retained the right, however, to withdraw such invest- 
ments on giving six months' notice. The stock thus created 
was non-transferable, but was entitled to all profits and divi- 
dends, the same as stock of other holders. It conferred no 
right to vote at the general meetings; but if the amount in 
any bank exceeded $5,000, the State might appoint a director 



on the managing board of that institution. The Comptroller 
of Public Accounts had the right to demand financial state- 
ments, and to inspect the books of any bank. This was the 
first act passed by the Legislature of the State providing for 
an inspection of moneyed institutions by a State official, and 
was not for the protection of stockholders and depositors, but 
as a measure of security for State investments. 

The quintette of State banks was increased in 1807 by the 
incorporation of a bank at Bridgeport, which place seven 
years previously had been raised to the dignity of a borough. 
The capital stock was $200,000, divided into one thousand 
shares of two hundred dollars each, of which the State was 
not allowed to hold more than one-fifth without the consent 
of the directors. The following year a charter was granted 
for the establishment of a bank at New London. 

Owing to the Embargo and Non-intercourse acts passed by 
Congress in 1807, a depreciation had occurred in the com- 
mercial interests of the State. As a preliminary measure of 
relief, the banks were authorized to issue post notes. 

The Derby Fishing Company was Incorporated in 1807, to 
engage in fisheries; two years later It was granted the privi- 
lege of writing marine Insurance. On account of the Inter- 
ruption of Its industries by the Embargo act. It was allowed to 
loan its capital. The directors of the company, considering 
this sufficient authorization, began the business of banking, 
Issuing notes of circulation. This was considered by the 
General Assembly an abuse of privileges granted, and the 
company was summoned to appear before them. The fol- 
lowing year a charter was granted for the establishment of a 
bank at Derby, but with the provisoes that the fishing com- 
pany should hold no stock, nor should any one of its officials 
act as a director of the financial Institution. The bank was 



required to furnish an annual statement to the General As- 
sembly ; this was the first time in the history of the State that 
such a demand had been made. These restrictions, however, 
were repealed two years later. The Eagle Bank of New 
Haven was chartered in 1 8 1 1 with a capital of $500,000. 

The agitation by Congress of the renewal of the charter of 
the Bank of the United States, coupled with the declaration 
of war with England, tended to unsettle the financial affairs 
of the country. That the war was unpopular in Connecticut 
is evidenced by the fact that in 18 12, out of a loan of $13,- 
100,200 obtained by the general government, she is credited 
with only $6,200. The war party gained in strength, how- 
ever, as two years later, to a loan of $25,000,000, several 
individual citizens each subscriber more than four times this 

For twenty-two years the Hartford Bank had enjoyed a 
monopoly of the financial business of that city and the sur- 
rounding country. In 18 14 a petition was presented to the 
Legislature for the incorporation of a new bank, with a cap- 
ital of $1,000,000, a portion of which was to be devoted to 
the establishment of a branch at Litchfield. The petitioners 
for the new bank offered for the privilege of incorporation, a 
bonus of $60,000; to be used, in such proportion as the Gen- 
eral Assembly might deem expedient, for the support of the 
medical department of Yale College, also for the Bishop's 
Fund of the Episcopal Church, or be otherwise disposed of if 
that body deemed it necessary. 

The foremost movers for the new bank were Episcopalians, 
who hoped, through favoring a donation to Yale, to further 
the granting of a charter for a college of their own religious 
belief, for which they had repeatedly petitioned the Legis- 
lature without success. The branch at Litchfield was to 



influence the legislative votes in the western part of the 
State. The directors of the Hartford Bank presented to the 
Legislature a memorial, offering to increase their capital 
stock $1,000,000, for which privilege they would pay the 
State a bonus of $50,000; but notwithstanding this opposi- 
tion, a charter was granted to the Phoenix Bank, compelling 
them to pay into the State treasury a bonus of $50,000. This 
was the first instance in Connecticut of a bonus being made 
a condition for granting a bank charter. Such a requirement 
is not justifiable, as it takes in bulk what should be distributed 
annually in the shape of taxation. 

That Hartford at this time must have contained manv 
moneyed men, is shown by the fact that on the books of sub- 
scription for the new bank being opened, stock was taken 
amounting to $7,000,000. The establishment of the Phoenix 
Bank made the total amount of the banking capital of the 
State $4,000,000. 

The liquidation of the first Bank of the United States, 
which had conducted a successful business, created a desire on 
the part of its stockholders to continue the banking business; 
this caused throughout the Middle States a mania for the 
organization of financial institutions. The opinion soon 
became universal that the establishment of a bank would 
create the necessary capital, and that a promise to pay money 
was money itself. 

During the war, the exportation of specie was prohibited. 
This, in connection with the British blockade, operated as a 
check against the expansion which was taking place all over 
the country. Foreign goods realized a large profit, which 
also added to the show of prosperity. 

In October 18 14, specie was at a premium of eleven per 
cent. ; when peace was declared, it was thought the currency 



of the country would return to a healthy condition. Suspended 
banks were expected to resume ; and though specie fell to 
three or four per cent, premium, in July 1815 it advanced 
to fifteen per cent. This was due to various causes, among 
which were the excessive amount of foreign goods imported, 
also the unequal depreciation of the suspended bank notes in 
different localities, and the repeal of the act allowing banks 
to issue post notes. 

The fever of speculation, like the bank and war fever, did 
not take a strong hold in Connecticut and the other New 
England States. The conservative conduct of Connecticut's 
bankers and merchants, in resisting expansion, attracted spe- 
cie ; and while some of the banks in New England suspended, 
those of Connecticut never refused to pay their demand notes 
in gold and silver. They were obliged, however, on account 
of the suspension of so many banks throughout the country, 
to replace these notes with others payable two years after the 
close of the war. 

The circulatory currency had no universal basis of redemp- 
tion, which caused great inconvenience in making remittances 
from one part of the country to the other. This produced a 
state of affairs unsatisfactory to every one except the money 
brokers. Congress in 18 16 sanctioned the establishment of 
a second United States Bank, to be prohibited from suspend- 
ing specie payment; branches could be established in every 
State; Middletown was selected for the Connecticut branch. 

Congress could only legislate indirectly for the State 
banks; but its requirement that all dues to the United States 
should be collected in gold and silver, or notes payable in 
such coin, caused the nominal resumption of specie payment. 
The currency of the country, however, was far from being on 
a sound basis during 18 17-18; the general government im- 



ported $7,000,000 worth of specie, and it was deemed im- 
practicable to maintain an adequate supply in the country un- 
less the Bank of the United States would curtail its discounts. 
This policy was adopted; the parent bank and its branches 
also declined to receive on deposit any bills but those of their 
own issue. This, in connection with the contraction of the cir- 
culating medium, could lead to only one result, for a people 
heavily burdened with debt. 

The money crisis of 18 19 was felt to a less degree in New 
England than any other part of the country : but trade became 
stagnant and real estate rapidly depreciated; many were 
made bankrupt by a refusal of their customary bank accom- 
modations ; employment was sought by thousands of idle per- 
sons. The recovery from the panic of 18 19 was slow in Con- 
necticut. Owing to the scarcity of work, and low wages, the 
population of the cities drifted into the country; the price of 
land and living commodities in 1820-21 ruled at less than 
one-half the price of a year before the crisis. The General 
Assembly, watchful of the financial safety of her citizens, in 
1 8 12 required the cashiers of banks to make annual sworn 
statements of their capital stock to the State Comptroller; 
also of debts due them, money on deposit, and notes in circu- 
lation. No provision, however, was made for personal in- 
spection, or for publication of the reports. 

It was during this depression of finances that the first steps 
were taken, at Hartford, to incorporate a society for the sav- 
ing of small amounts of money. The success of similar Insti- 
tutions in Massachusetts influenced several gentlemen to peti- 
tion the Legislature, and in 18 19 forty-one persons were 
incorporated under the name and style of The Society for 
Savings. The first six months' deposits amounted to $4,352.- 
77. The following year the Savings Bank of New Haven 



was incorporated. Other charters were granted as follows: 
The Norwich Savings Bank in 1824; the Middletown Sav- 
ings Bank in 1825; and the Savings Bank of New London 
in 1827. 

The Legislature in 1822 chartered the Stonington Bank 
at Stonington, and the Windham Bank at Brooklyn; two 
years later the Fairfield County Bank at Norwalk, with a 
branch at Danbury, also the Mechanics' Bank of New Haven, 
received articles of incorporation. The Connecticut branch 
of the Bank of the United States was removed to Hartford 
in 1824; the next year the Thames Bank of Norwich was 
granted a charter. 

Bank notes at this time were redeemable only at the places 
where they were issued. This retarded business with distant 
points, as money exchanges depended on the credit of the 
banks of issue or the discount attendant on their redemption 
into current funds. The Suffolk Bank of Boston, in 18 19, 
began to deal in uncurrent money, and offered to allow coun- 
try banks, on their depositing $5,000 and such further sums 
as might be necessary, to redeem their bills, and allow them 
the discount at which they might be purchased. This plan 
was put in full operation in 1824, when seven Boston banks 
formed a combination, and designated the Suffolk Bank as a 
clearing-house for the clearance of their bills; thus forcing 
the country banks to provide also an agent of redemption. 
The permanent deposit was reduced to $2,000, and the Con- 
necticut banks joined the Suffolk system, thus providing a 
depository for redemption of their bills without discount, 
which brought them to par where Boston funds were redeem- 

A financial crash occurred in England in 1825, owing to a 
speculative fever that raged during the preceding year. This 



commercial disturbance was soon felt in the United States, 
and indirectly caused the failure of two banks in Connecticut; 
the first disaster of the kind in her history. The Eagle Bank 
of New Haven was the first to succumb; this failure was due 
to unwise and reckless management. The other was the Derby 
Bank, whose charter was repealed by the Legislature in 1826, 
the management having fallen into the hands of a party of 
New York bank-wreckers. These financial disturbances 
retarded for a time the chartering of new banks; it was not 
until 1828 that the Tolland County Bank of Tolland was 
incorporated. Three years previous to this, the Legislature^ 
had empowered the Quinnebaug Canal Bank to transact busi- 
ness, but Its charter was vacated in 1832. 

The Connecticut River Banking Company had been Incor- 
porated as a financial Institution, to further the operations of 
the Connecticut River Company; but the bank did not com- 
mence business until October 1829. The following year the 
Middlesex County Bank was authorized to do business at 
MIddletown. The General Assembly, at Its session In May 
1 83 1, chartered the City Bank at New Haven, the Connecti- 
cut Bank at Bridgeport, also a bank in East Haddam and In 
Jewett City. At the session held In 1832, the Quinnebaug 
Bank of Norwich, and the Windham Bank to be located In the 
town of Windham, were granted articles of Incorporation. 
The Legislature at Its May session In 1833 granted char- 
ters to six banks : the Farmers' and Mechanics' of Hartford, 
the Merchants' of Norwich, the Whaling of New London, 
the Thompson located at Centre Village, the Mystic of Ston- 
Ington, and the Merlden In the town of that name. 

The determined opposition to the Bank of the United 
States made by President Jackson, when he vetoed the bill 
for the renewal of Its charter, and his subsequent re-election 



in opposition to all the inHuences of the banking interests of 
the country, had a tendency to depreciate monetary affairs. 
The cessation of depositing the government funds in the 
Bank of the United States, in the fall of 1833, and the depos- 
iting of them in State banks designated by the Secretary of 
the Treasury, were the forerunners of a money panic. The 
United States depositories in Connecticut were the Mechan- 
ics' Bank of New Haven, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank 
of Hartford, and the New London Bank at New London. 

The confidence of the public was taken by these monetary 
changes; business became paralyzed, manufactories shut 
down, and many of their owners failed. Though the Presi- 
dent was repeatedly petitioned to recharter the Bank of the 
United States, he was imperious to all demands, and obsti- 
nate in his refusals. This created in the country a disturbed 
state of affairs. The people considered it an abuse of power, 
that the monetary system of the country should be subject to 
the caprice of one man ; the banks exaggerated the evil, and 
demanded payment of loans, refusing further business accom- 

Though the period of disturbance was not of long dura- 
tion, it unsettled the commerce of the country; but in the 
summer of 1834 confidence was restored, and the financial 
dangers were over. In that year four banks were chartered : 
the Exchange at Hartford, the New Haven County at New 
Haven, the Manufacturers' at Farmington, which however 
never went into operation, and the Stamford in the town of 
that name. For the first time in the history of the State, the 
shares of capital stock in these institutions were placed at 
fifty dollars each, and in one instance at twenty-five dollars, 
in order to give the poor man, if he so desired, an opportunity 
to invest his savings. Thus at the close of the year 1834 



there were thirty-one banks in Connecticut. Of these, fifteen 
were chartered in the years 1831 to 1834 inclusive. 

This increase in banking enterprises was proportionate 
throughout the country ; and coupled with the transfer of the 
public funds from the Bank of the United States to the 
smaller State banks, managed by financiers possessed of no 
practical knowledge of banking, engendered a speculative 
fever. Cotton, the acknowledged king of products, advanced 
twenty-five per cent., owing to the demand from England, 
where credits were also expanding. This caused the people 
to make extravagant purchases of Western and Southern 
lands. The times were in a chaotic state, when in July 1836 
the famous specie circular was issued by the general govern- 
ment; which demanded payment for all lands, except from 
actual settlers and residents of the State, to be made in gold 
and silver. 

Congress legislated in favor of rescinding the specie circu- 
lar, but it received a "pocket veto" by the President; this was 
the cause of the returning of the bills to the banks of issue, 
for redemption in specie. The government depositories be- 
ing also obliged to provide on Jan. i, 1837, for the payment 
of one-quarter of the surplus of the government to the States, 
in proportion to their respective representation in Congress, 
the whole brought the financial unsettlement of the country to 
a climax. 

General contraction was unavoidable, the rates for money 
steadily advanced ; cotton fell in price to seven cents a pound, 
and more than half the cotton mills shut down. Merchants 
became bankrupt, and on the suspension of the New York 
and Boston banks in May 1837, those of Connecticut (with 
the exception of the City Bank of New Haven, the Union 
Bank of New London, and the Mystic and Stonington Banks 



of Stonington) refused to liquidate their obligations in specie. 
The losses of Connecticut banks were chiefly through loans 
made in Western New York, and through the failure of E. 
M. Morgan & Co. of New York, who were the agents in that 
city for at least six banks of the State. No bank in the State 
failed, however, and they were all prepared to resume specie 
payment in May 1838. 

The money panic had demonstrated that unsecured bank 
notes were dangerous to the public welfare; for every dollar 
that was hastened home for redemption, it was necessary to 
call in a corresponding dollar that was loaned, and no new 
accommodations could be extended to bank patrons. Another 
serious objection was, that in the hands of unprincipled men, 
a bank circulation could be extended to its utmost limits in 
periods of expansion. 

The State had obliged banks, under the law of 1821, to 
lodge annual statements in the office of the Comptroller; no 
regular forms were provided, and each bank prepared a state- 
ment in accordance with the personal views of its officers. At 
the May session of the Legislature in 1836, a committee was 
appointed with the power to inspect and examine, under oath, 
all officers, agents, and servants of the banks. This was the 
first step taken by the State to examine all of its banks, and it 
resulted the following year in the appointment of John C. 
Palmer and Chauncey F. Cleveland as bank commissioners. 
From that time this has been a permanent office of the State 



Industries of Cities and Towns in the First Quar- 
ter OF the Nineteenth Century 

AT the opening of the nineteenth century, New 
Haven, as a commercial port, had not recov- 
ered from the disastrous effect to her com- 
merce received during the French Revolu- 
tion. Her export trade was largely with the 
West Indies; her maritime enterprises were the prey of 
English and French cruisers stationed in the waters about 
those islands, and she suffered in consequence large pecuniary 
losses to both vessels and cargoes. Nevertheless, in 1800 we 
find registered in the district eleven thousand tons of shipping. 
At her w^harves vessels were frequently anchored during the 
early part of the first decade of the new century, laden with 
wines and brandy from Marseilles, wines and silks from 
Bordeaux, myriads of articles of British manufacture from 
London, wines, oils, and opium from Cadiz; in fact, at that 
time there was imported into the city nearly everything 
required for the use of her citizens. 

The equipment of the "New Haven South Sea Fleet" 
was a commercial venture that will, in all probability, never 
be rivaled in that city. The fleet consisted of no less than 
twenty ships, commanded by ofllicers the peers of any naviga- 
tors, and manned by American seamen, largely from New 
Haven and vicinity. The crew of each numbered about forty 
men, besides a mechanical force ; their armament was from 
ten to twenty-six pound guns, muskets, cutlasses, boarding- 
pikes, etc. The object of the adventure was to visit the 
Pacific Ocean, in the neighborhood of the St. Felix group of 
islands, for the purpose of seal-fishing. The voyages were 
from twenty to thirty months in duration. The skins were 
sold at Canton, where the ships were laden with silks and teas 
for the homeward course. 

There was on the coast of Patagonia a tract of land nearly 



two miles in length on which the captains of the New Haven 
vessels used to dry the skins of the captured seals; it was 
known in those early days of seal fishing, by the name of 
"the New Haven Green." Before the close of 1804, New 
Haven ships had visited the Sandwich Islands and a number 
of the ports of China ; valuable cargoes of spices had also 
been imported from the Spice Islands in the Indian Ocean. 
These extensive undertakings were not confined to the citi- 
zens of New Haven; merchants of the other large towns of 
the State were also interested in the enterprises, both In 
ships and cargoes. 

Seal-fishing as a type of commerce was maintained with 
greater vigor until 1806, when, owing to the competition of 
vessels sailing from other New England seaports, and the 
wholesale destruction of the seals, the market became so 
overstocked that the venture was unprofitable. Still, under 
all these reverses, we find New Haven in 1807 with a popula- 
tion of six thousand inhabitants, paying annual customs duties 
amounting to $150,000, with fully one hundred foreign- 
bound vessels leaving her port each year. 

The Embargo Act, passed in that year, destroyed the 
foreign commercial interests of New Haven : in July 1 808 
there were seventy-eight ships lying embargoed in her port. 
Month after month passed away, and there was no relief for 
the stagnation of business; merchandise was valueless, ship- 
wrights and seamen were listless wanderers; an indignation 
meeting was held jand the President was petitioned to imme- 
diately suspend the act. The ship-owners in the fall of 1808, 
seeing no indications of the removal of the embargo, dis- 
mantled their ships to await the advent of more propitious 
times. Early in 1 809 the President issued his proclamation 
declaring the Embargo Act at an end ; the New Haven ship- 



owners speedily resumed business. In less than a month 
thirty-three vessels were refitted and on their way to foreign 
ports; commerce steadily increased. Many new vessels were 
built, and the old-time impetus revived; but the outbreak of 
the war of 1812, liis.e its predecessor, was to prove disastrous 
to ail maritime enterprises. At the termination of the war, 
there were one hundred sea-going vessels owned in New 
Haven. Commercial relations were again formed with 
distant ports in Europe and South America, and valuable 
cargoes were brought to the city. But gradually New York 
absorbed the commerce, though many New Hav^en citizens 
are still interested in ship tonnage. 

The foreign trade of Hartford prior to the Revolution 
was almost entirely with the West Indies; at a later period a 
few vessels were sent to Lisbon and the Mediterranean with 
fish, and to Ireland with lumber. After the declaration of 
peace, a thriving business sprung up with the Barbadoes, 
Cuba, and San Domingo, The cargoes from these foreign 
ports generally consisted of rum, molasses, and sugar. The 
exports to them were corn, corn meal, oats, alewives, hay, red 
and white oak hogshead staves, boards, shingles, and horses. 
The vessels employed in the trade were thoroughly built, but 
slow sailers, with low deck and high waist, and of from one 
to two hundred tons burden. The smaller ones were sloop-rig- 
ged, the larger either topsailed schooners or full-rigged brigs. 
When a voyage was determined upon, notes were given for the 
cargo, payable in rum, molasses, or salt, on the return of the 
vessel. This necessitated but a small amount of money to 
carry on the trade. Ventures were made of exporting flax- 
seed, potatoes, and staves to Ireland, and corn, pipe-staves, 
and horses to Madeira, Spain, and Portugal. Occasionally 



a voyage was made to the coast of Africa for cargoes of 
ebony, wool, and ivory. 

The constant warfare in which the European nations 
were involved from 1792 to 18 15 acted as a stimulant to the 
commerce of the United States, owing to the fact that the 
colonies of these countries were obliged to obtain their sup- 
plies from her domains, exchanging their products for the 
bread-stulis and live cattle of the New England States. One 
of the greatest articles of export was kiln-dried corn meal, 
which was used in feeding their slaves. 

A number of Hartford merchants were actively engaged in 
these commercial operations; and to further their business, 
they established an agency at New London, and their vessels 
were despatched from this place, as they could not ascend 
the Connecticut except in times of freshets, on account of 
insufficiency of water. In the first three decades of the last 
century, the river bank adjacent to Hartford was lined with 
wharves that bustled with traffic; vessels were lying in the 
stream, often three or four abreast; warehouses and packing 
houses teemed with life; the wharves were filled with hogs- 
heads of sugar, rum, and molasses, waiting transportation 
"up river" by scows or flat-boats. To-day, Hartford's prom- 
inence as a port of entry for foreign importations is a thing 
of the past. In that section of the city formerly devoted to 
the transactions of this trade, a lone steamboat leaves her 
wharf for a daily trip to New York; while on the river, in 
place of foreign-laden vessels, a few pleasure yachts are 
anchored. Her citizens, instead of being interested in ocean 
transportation, are engaged in banking, insurance, and manu- 
facturing. But immense amounts of railroad stock are 
owned by them, and the freight cars far outnumber the 
schooners they have displaced. 



Situated at the eastern end of the State, with a magnificent 
harbor of five fathoms in depth, spacious and accessible at 
all seasons, the port of New London, for nearly one hundred 
and fifty years previous to the opening of the nineteenth 
century, had been the ship-building mart for the colony. 
Shallops and pinnaces of from twelve to twenty tons were 
built here as early as 1660. Towards the latter part of the 
seventeenth century, ships of a larger pattern were con- 
structed; they were known by the name of Moulds' vessels, 
after their master builder Hugh Moulds. 

As early as 1723, ship yards were started at Groton. Here, 
two years later, was launched what was named "Jeffrey's 
Great Ship." Her burden was seven hundred tons, and she 
was the largest ship that had been constructed on this side 
of the Atlantic. Other ships were soon built, and in 1733 New 
London had acquired a reputation for the production of large 
vessels which she has maintained even to the present day; as 
Is evidenced by the fact that the largest steamboats now 
afloat are the products of her ship-yards. At Mystic, a near 
neighbor to her, was built the Quinebaug, the first "bald- 
headed" schooner on the Atlantic coast. Previous to 1800, 
New London was the most important port of entry in the 
commonwealth. A decade and a half later, with only a popu- 
lation of 3,330, her tonnage was 14,685 tons, that of the 
entire State being 60,091 tons. New Haven and Hartford, 
with nearly twice the population each, had respectively 
12,439 and about 9,000 tons. 

Though there were whaling voyages made from New 
London previous to 1794, they were confined to a near-by 
catch in Long Island Sound, or to the Newfoundland Banks 
as the most distant point. The first vessel to sail from Con- 
necticut on a whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean was the 



ship Commerce; she was owned and fitted out at East Had- 
dam, but cleared from New London. An attempt was made 
the following year to form a whaling company at New Lon- 
don ; but the honor of being second in Connecticut in the 
whaling enterprise is credited to Norwich. A small new 
ship, the Miantonimoh, was epuiqped here, and set sail from 
New London in 1800; but her cruise was terminated in two 
years, as she was seized by the Spanish authorities. The Des- 
patch from New London made a voyage around Cape Horn 
in 1 802 for whales, but as it did not prove remunerative, the 
venture was not repeated. 

The year 1805 marks the date when whale-fishing may 
be said to have actually begun in New London. The pioneer 
in the trade was the ship Dauphin ; the Leonidas and Lydia 
were afterwards added to the fleet, and were sent to the 
Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Patagonia. There was only 
time for a few successful voyages, when the embargo and 
non-intercourse acts were passed by Congress; this, in con- 
nection with the outbreak of the war of 18 12, entirely broke 
up this species of commerce. 

When the treaty of peace was signed at Ghent, the West 
India trade of New London, which in former days had been 
a source of much wealth and prosperity, was not extensively 
revived; but In 18 19 whaling was again taken up with 
renewed vigor. The first fleet sent out consisted of the brigs 
Mary, and Mary Ann, and the ship Carrier; from time to 
time the brigs Plzarro and Thames, the ships Commodore 
Perry, Stonlngton, Connecticut, Ann Maria, and Jones, were 
added. The Carrier was the first vessel from New London 
to make a voyage for sperm whale; she was absent nearly 
two years and a half, and returned with 2,074 barrels of oil. 
The Commodore Perry was the first copper-bottomed whal- 



ing vessel despatched from New London. The four brigs 
and the ship Carrier were withdrawn from the fleet after 
making three or four voyages. Of the five ships then in com- 
mission, two were right-whale and three sperm cruisers. Of 
these, the Commodore Perry after making seventeen voyages, 
and the Stonington after making thirteen, were broken up in 
1848. The Connecticut and Jones were condemned, and the 
Maria Ann was run down by a French whaler in 1842 in 
the Indian Ocean. 

The prosperity of New London is largely due to the suc- 
cessful prosecution of the whale fisheries. In 1827 the 
staunch-built ships Neptune and Superior were added to the 
fleet. The maximum, however, was reached in 1845, 
when seven vessels were newly commissioned. This, with the 
purchase of the McClellan in the following year, made seven- 
ty-eight vessels sailing from New London, engaged in the 
whaling industry. The city at this time was only exceeded by 
New Bedford in tonnage engaged in pursuit of whales. In 
1820 there were three brigs and one ship, with a tonnage 
amounting to 950 tons; in 1846 there were seventy-one ships 
and barks, one brig, and six schooners, aggregating 26,200 
tons, having an invested capital of nearly $2,000,000, and 
employing three thousand seamen. Reverses came the next 
year, due to the extension of the trade beyond what it could 
bear, a depressed market, scarcity of whales, and the out- 
break of the gold craze, when nineteen vessels were with- 
drawn for voyages to California. During the years 1849- 
50 there were but thirty- four arrivals of whalers at the port 
of New London ; but the next year brought revival instead 
of retrogression, and the fleet was increased to fifty vessels. 
But the general introduction first of camphene and then of 



petroleum as illuminants caused whale fishing to become 

A number of New Haven merchants In 1823 equipped 
two ships to engage In the capture of whales In the North 
Pacific Ocean. While the vessels returned heavily laden, the 
low prices of oil and bones, coupled with the fear that the 
competition would destroy all the whales, caused the enter- 
prise to be abandoned and the ships sold. 

The town of Stonlngton had been In Its early days engaged 
In the West India trade, also In the attempts to obtain whales 
in Long Island Sound. About 1820 a number of vessels were 
fitted out for seal-fishing; this was at first successful, but ten 
years later It was discontinued for whale-fishing. There were 
at one time sixty-three vessels, with a tonnage of from 
eighty-two to four hundred and eighty tons each, engaged In 
the business. Thus have been briefly outlined the seaports 
of Connecticut In the first quarter of the nineteenth century. 

The other county capitals of the State, as well as those set- 
tlements dignified by the name of city or village, were more 
or less Interested in manufacturing enterprises. In 1820, 
while eighteen and four-tenths per cent, of Connecticut's 
population were engaged In agricultural pursuits, only one 
and three-tenths followed commerce for a livelihood, while 
six and four-tenths were connected with manufacturing. 
There had been a gradual evolution, from the purely manual 
methods of manufacturing to primitive machinery; the cap- 
tains of industry and the specialists had made their appear- 
ance, and In a State as conservative as Connecticut, the 
changes thus effected were noticeable. The gravitation from 
the farm to the growing cities of the rising generation was 
to destroy the picturesqueness of colonial times ; the 
supremacy of steam, coal, and iron, with municipal progress, 



and the advent of foreign immigration, were to change the 
daily doings of the people. 



The Death of the Federalist Party 

THE prominent Democratic-Republican who pre- 
dicted in 1804 that the Constitution was the 
death-blow of Connecticut federalism, was a 
faithful prognosticator of future events. In 
the summer previous to the assembling of the 
Constitutional Convention, the State received a visit from 
the newly-elected President. President Monroe was wel- 
comed by the citizens of the State, not on account of his 
personality, but as the Chief Magistrate of the nation. It 
was the end of sixteen years of bitter political strife, but the 
era of ''good feeling" was now inaugurated. 

The Federalist party, while on the whole it contained the 
best educated, most high-minded, and most solvent part of 
the nation, had been wrecked by its own want of faith. The 
eminent Connecticut Federalists took no part in the recep- 
tion ceremonies tendered the President : but he was met by 
cavalcades of mounted citizens, groups of school children, 
and the roar of cannon; triumphal arches were erected. 
The President was not attended by any member of his Cab- 
inet; his suite consisted only of a private secretary, and Gen- 
eral Joseph G. Swift, the Chief Engineer of the War 
Department. The ostensible object of the tour was the 
inspection of the national defenses. 

The Presidential party sailed from New York June 20, 
1 8 17, on the steamboat Connecticut; arriving on the after- 
noon of the same day at New Haven, which was the first stop- 
ping-place in New England. The shipping in the harbor 
displayed their colors, and salutes were fired from a revenue 
cutter. Fort Hale, and from an artillery company stationed on 
shore. The country and city dignitaries extended the presi- 
dential party welcome on board the steamboat; they were 
received on landing by the Governor's Horse Guards, who 



formed the military escort. The following day, being Sat- 
urday, the president visited Eli Whitney's gun manufactory 
and Yale College; and, attended by the Governor and Dep- 
uty-Governor, received the military. 

On Monday the tour was resumed. The party was met 
at Durham by a large concourse of citizens from Middle- 
town, accompanied by a company of cavalry; arriving at the 
limits of the city, the President was mounted on a white 
charger, and escorted by several companies of infantry to the 
principal tavern, where he breakfasted. The morning was 
spent in visiting North's pistol factory, the Starrs' sword 
works, and Johnson's rifle manufactories. After partaking 
of dinner, the journey was resumed for Hartford, by the way 
of Wethersfield, where the party was met by the military 
from that city. Hartford was approached by the city bridge, 
which was ornamented with three lofty evergreen and laurel 
arches. A large concourse of citizens were assembled at the 
South Green, and the President was escorted to Morgan's 
Coffee-House, where he was tendered an address of welcome. 
After replying in an elegant and impressive manner, he 
reviewed the military. The President, during his stay in 
Hartford, visited the Deaf and Dumb Asylum and the State 
Arsenal, besides other points of interest. 

Continuing his tour, the country on the west bank of the 
Connecticut River, through the towns of Windsor and Suf- 
field, was traversed; and Springfield, Massachusetts, was 
reached. Leaving that city and returning southward through 
the towns of Enfield and East Windsor, the night was spent 
at East Hartford. On the afternoon of the 25th, New Lon- 
don was reached. The following morning Forts Trumbull 
and Griswold were visited, and the Thames River was exam- 
ined to judge of its accommodations for a navy yard. 



The presidential party left New London, on the morning 
of the 27th, in the sloop-of-war Enterprise, accompanied 
by other United States vessels. After visiting Gardiner's 
Bay, sail was set for Stonington harbor, which was reached 
at three o'clock. The President received a committee from 
that town on board the revenue cutter Active, and prepara- 
tions were made to go ashore. He visited the redoubt made 
memorable by the bombardment of the town in 18 14, also 
the United States Arsenal. A public reception was held in 
the evening, and the next day the Presidential party, on board 
of the sloop-of-war Enterprise, departed for Rhode Island. 

The disintegration of the old Federalist principles had 
been going on for some years in Connecticut. The more 
advanced element of the party had amalgamated with the 
cause of toleration and reform, the standard-bearers of this 
new school of politics being taken from their ranks. 

At the close of the Fifteenth Congress, the subject that was 
to agitate the country for the next half-century was mooted; 
it arose on the question of the admission to the Union of the 
Territory of Missouri as a slave or free State. 

The Sixteenth Congress had an overwhelming administra- 
tion majority. The style of the delegates from Connecticut 
had entirely changed; those war-horses of the Federalists 
who had represented the State at preceding sessions, with 
the sole exception of Jonathan C. Moseley, were succeeded by 
younger men, of whom Gideon Tomlinson, Henry W. Ed- 
wards, and Samuel A. Foot were afterwards to fill the execu- 
tive chair of the State. 

The Missouri Question was the engrossing theme of the 
session. There were at the time ten slave States, while the 
free were twelve in number. Slavery had been thoroughly 
eradicated in New England; in 1820 there were forty-eight 



slaves in Rhode Island and ninety-seven in Connecticut, all of 
whom in time would become free. In New York, New Jer- 
sey, and Delaware, the free black population predominated 
over the slaves, but there were thousands of negroes still in a 
state of bondage. Pennsylvania had only a little over two 
hundred slaves, who were to be emancipated on arriving at a 
legal age. In the new and undeveloped West, the States of 
Ohio and Michigan were entirely free from the evil, while 
Indiana and Illinois had but a few hundred each. 

Missouri, which asked recognition as a slave State, had 
over ten thousand slaves. 7 he question of slave extension was 
of vital importance to the advocates of human bondage. Mis- 
souri as a Territory at this time consisted of the country 
lying west of the Mississippi River, extending to the Pacific 
Ocean, and north from the boundary line of Louisiana to that 
dividing the United States from Canada, excepting the terri- 
tory claimed by Mexico. The admission of Missouri as a 
slave State would open in the future this vast area of terri- 
tory to the rapacious grasp of the Southern slave-owners. 
The members of Congress from that portion of the country 
were persistent in their demands for the retention of slavery 
in the territory, for the reason that by the new distribution 
of Representatives in accordance with the census of 1820, the 
North would increase her representation ; therefore to 
equalize the balance of power, it was necessary that as many 
new States as possible should be made slave-holding States. 

Every device was resorted to by those favoring slave exten- 
sion. The admission of Maine as a State was placed as a 
rider on the bill for the admission of Missouri. This was 
strongly objected to by those interested in Maine: they 
claimed, and rightfully, that there was no justice in making 
her admission as a State contingent on that of another with 



which she had naturally no connection. All pending differ- 
ences were settled, however, by the passage of the Missouri 
Compromise, which after being passed to give slavery one 
extension, was repealed to give it another. 

At the ninth Presidential election, party lines were entirely 
eliminated, James Monroe receiving all the votes for Presi- 
dent excepting one from New Hampshire. Connecticut's 
vote for Vice-President was cast for David D. Tompkins. 
The electoral college of the State consisted of Henry Sey- 
mour, Isaiah Loomis, Samuel Welles, William Cogswell, 
William Moseley, John Alsop, Ebenezer Brockway, S. W. 
Crawford, and Samuel H. Phillips. 

At the close of the first year of Monroe's second admin- 
istration, it became evident that new political combinations 
were gradually forming in the country. Federalist princi- 
ples and temper had not died with the party; but the classes 
which had formed it w^ere forced to decide on new issues. 
They had only voted with the Democrats from self-interest 
or apathy; they now reconstituted themselves as a party to 
strengthen and nationalize the Union by a great system of 
internal improvements, protection to home industries, and 
the like. The National Republicans and the Whigs were 
only Federalists rebaptized. 

There were no less than six prominent candidates for the 
succession to Monroe. New England presented the most Dem- 
ocratic of Federalists, John Quincy Adams, who had upheld 
the Embargo as at least showing some spirit of resentment 
for insult, and supported the war of 1812. Andrew Jack- 
son, partly owing to his triumph at New Orleans, was the 
idol of Democracy, especially in the new West, though his 
candidacy was ridiculed by the politicians. Henry Clay's 
passion for compromise, which had brought him national 



fame, made him the natural spokesman of the Border States. 
The other candidates, William H. Crawford of Georgia, 
William Lowndes (who died in 1822), and John C. Cal- 
houn of South Carolina, represented sectional rather than 
party preferences, though Calhoun won his section by 
representing the extremists of the whole South. Adams, 
as the ablest and most highly trained professional pub- 
lic man in the country, and heir of the best tradi- 
tions of Nationalism, and Clay, by reason of his course in 
the Missouri Compromise, received the support of those who 
had been Federalists in the North and Border States respec- 
tively. The Presidential campaign of 1824 was carried on 
with activity during the summer and autumn, though the 
feeling prevailed that there would be no choice by the peo- 
ple, and consequently the election would devolve upon the 
House of Representatives. 

A new dividing line was introduced into politics in Con- 
necticut during this campaign, called the "strict-construction- 
ist" and "loose-constructionist." To the first belonged the 
former members of the Anti-Federalist party, and their chil- 
dren and pupils. They were advocates of a strict construc- 
tion of the provisions of the Constitution of the United 
States, with special reference to the rights of individual 
States, of which they were special champions. Their oppo- 
nents, who were for the most part originally Federalists, or of 
Federalist families, were in favor of the supremacy of the 
nation's rights, making each unit subservient and secondary 
to the United States sovereignty. 

Connecticut, still strongly imbued with the Federalist 
spirit, and also having a natural desire to support the New 
England candidate, authorized her electoral college — con- 
sisting of Calvin Willey, David Keys, Oliver Wolcott, John 



Swathel, Rufus Hitchcock, Lemuel White, David Hill, and 
Moses Warren — to cast their votes for John Quincy Adams 
for President, and Andrew Jackson for Vice-President. She 
was the only State in the Union to give her entire vote for 
the latter for that office. Jackson also received one vote from 
Maryland, one from New Hampshire, and three from Mis- 

On the assembling of Congress, there being no choice by 
the people for President, John Quincy Adams was elected by 
a vote of the States in the House of Representatives. 

The tariff question, which was of vital interest to Connec- 
ticut, was to agitate the country, and to be the rock of conten- 
tion on which the Democratic-Republican party was to split 
and form antagonistic combinations. The South, awakening 
to the fact that cotton was not yet the king product of the 
country; also realizing that with the rapid settlement of the 
Western States, which adv^ocated free labor, her legislative 
influence in Congress was diminishing, — sought an alliance 
with the commercial and mercantile interests of the East to 
oppose protection. It had grasped the fact that slavery pre- 
vented the growth of manufactures in the South, and would 
enhance the value of European and Northern products. 

The home of protection was in the Middle States, although 
it also had the support of the West. The latter was fast 
developing into an agricultural country, which demanded not 
only protection for her wool and other raw materials, but 
also for the cereals raised for bread-stuffs. New England 
was divided on the question, deeming it detrimental to her 
Importing and shipping. Connecticut where manufacturing 
predominated, as early as 1820 gave evidence of future 
Increasing values, was firmly in favor of protection. The 
distinctive protection policy is generally conceded to have 



begun with the act of 1816, but it rather belongs to the acts 
that preceded than to those passed at later dates. The panic 
of 18 19 caused the principles of protection to be backed by a 
stronger popular feeling than hitherto. The cause of this 
was the great collapse In land and agricultural products; 
owing to the close of the Napoleonic era, the foreign markets 
were no longer purchasers, while the manufacturing indus- 
tries were still in the early stages of their growth. 

The first step taken in this new movement was in 1 820, when 
an attempt to increase duties on importations was defeated by 
a single vote in the Senate; while bills for increased duties 
were regularly presented during the next two years, they 
were not pressed, as the gradual disappearance of the indus- 
trial and commercial depression tended to let the matter lie 

On the eve of the Presidential election in 1824, this matter 
was again agitated, causing the passage of the tariff bill of 
that year. This was the first and most direct fruit of the early 
protective movement. The bill was not a party measure ; it 
was carried mainly by votes of the Western and Middle 
States, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Important changes 
were made ; by laying increased duties on products raised in 
agricultural districts; while there was an ad valorem duty on 
cotton goods. The minimum valuation was twenty-five cents 
a yard, which by the introduction of machinery prohibited 
foreign importations, thereby greatly enhancing the profits 
for Connecticut manufacturers of cotton fabrics. The com- 
mittee that framed the bill tried to insert a minimum valua- 
tion on woolen fabrics, of eighty cents a yard, but their 
recommendation was defeated by a scant majority of three. 

Trade became buoyant in 1825, particularly in woolen 
goods; but the following year a reaction took place, owing 



to a panic in England which caused wool to drop to a penny a 
pound, and the English manufacturers flooded the American 
market. An attempt to increase the duties on woolen impor- 
tations was in 1827 defeated in the Senate, by the vote of the 

The defeat of this bill caused the assembhng of a conven- 
tion at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which was largely attended 
by the woolen manufacturers of New England; and a memo- 
rial was prepared, asking relief from Congress by the estab- 
lishment of an ad valorem rate of forty per cent, on woolen 
goods, to be gradually increased, with a minimum valua- 
tion of fifty cents on two dollars and a half, four dollars, 
and six dollars a yard. It was asked that the duty on wool 
be placed at twenty cents a pound, and raised annually two 
and a half cents a pound until it reached fifty cents. These 
discussions and conventions occasioned the formation of polit- 
ical organizations, which were first known as Adams and 
Jackson parties, afterwards as National Republicans and 

On the assembling of the Twentieth Congress, the polit- 
ical trend of the House of Representatives was doubtful; but 
the election of a Democratic Speaker placed that party In 
control of the management of the bodv. The presiding 
officer placed five supporters of Jackson and two of Adams 
on the committee for the tariff revision. A bill was reported 
which was thought an Ingenious solution of existing difficul- 
ties between the different sections of the country; but whde 
the Southern members of the committee favored it, their 
intention was on the passage of the bill to vote In the nega- 
tive, thus throwing the obloquy of defeat on the Adams wing 
of the party, and enabling themselves to pose as the "true 
friends of domestic Industry." To the great surprise of the 



authors, the bill passed both houses and became the tariff 
act of 1828. The New England Representatives voted In 
the negative, 23 to 39 ; her Senators, six ayes to five nays. Of 
the Connecticut delegation in the House, there was but one 
member in favor of the bills; both the Senators, however, 
supported the measure. 

In the last year of Adams' administration, he honored Con- 
necticut by selecting one of her sons. General Peter Buel Por- 
ter, for the portfolio of Secretary of War. General Porter 
was born in Salisbury, Aug. 14, 1773. After studying law, 
he settled at Canandaigua, New York, for the practice of his 
profession. He subsequently removed to the neighborhood 
of Buffalo, where he made extensive land purchases along the 
Niagara River. During the war of 18 12, General Porter 
was offered the position of Commander-in-Chief of the army, 
but he declined. He shared, however, in the best victory of 
the war, that of Chippawa. He was one of the early pro- 
jectors and members of the first Board of Commissioners of 
the Erie Canal. He died at Niagara Falls, March 20, 1844. 

The standard-bearer of the Toleration party had filled the 
executive chair of the State for a decade of years; having 
nearly reached man's allotment of life, threescore years and 
ten, he was defeated for re-election. His successor, 
Gideon Tomllnson, was born In Stratford on the last day of 
the year 1780; graduating from Yale In 1798, he secured a 
position as tutor, but later he turned his attention to the 
study of law, and was admitted to the bar In 1807. His 
political career was Inaugurated ten years later, when he was 
elected Representative to the General Assembly from the 
town of Fairfield; he afterwards became a Member of Con- 
gress. Mr. Tomllnson was first elected to the gubernatorial 
chair In 1827; he served four years, but resigned before the 



expiration of his last term of office, to accept the position 
of United States Senator. After serving one term in that 
body, he retired from public life, and passed his remaining 
days in the practice of his profession. He died Oct. 8, 


The electoral college of the eleventh Presidential election 
was composed of Sylvester Norton, Roger Taintor, Rufus 
Hitchcock, Homer Boardman, Moses Warren, George Pratt, 
Charles Hawley, and W. R. Kibbee. The vote of the State 
was cast for John Quincy Adams for President and Benja- 
min Rush for Vice-President. 

Among the historical events that occurred in the decade 
between 18 10 and 1820, in which Connecticut was either 
directly or indirectly interested, the following are worthy of 
mention. One of her sons, Moses Austin, headed the move- 
ment which made Texas ultimately an integral part of the 
United States. He was born about 1764, in the town of 
Durham. In the latter part of the eighteenth century he 
emigrated to what is now West Virginia, locating near the 
present town of Lewisburg, having in view the prospecting 
for lead mines. After spending three years in this part of the 
country, in the summer of 1796 he descended the Great 
Kanawha River, also the Ohio; on reaching the Mississippi 
he ascended it, and landed in New Spain near the present 
village of St. Genevieve, Missouri. Three months was con- 
sumed in the trip. 

Austin obtained a grant of land about sixty miles south of 
the present city of St. Louis. This was located in the iron 
and lead district, not far from the present city of Potosi, 
Washington County. Here he accumulated wealth, but 
reverses caused by the panic of 18 19 turned his attention to 
the country lying south of his location. The following year 



he obtained from the Mexican government a grant of land, 
with the privilege of colonizing three hundred American 
families. He returned to Missouri for emigrants, and some 
authorities say he was waylaid and robbed, experiencing such 
hardships as to cause his death. Others say he arrived home 
safely, and while making arrangements to remove his fam- 
ily, was taken ill, and died June lo, 1821. 

The enterprise thus started was taken up by his son, Ste- 
phen Fuller Austin, who obtained a confirmation of his 
father's grant; in 1833 the American settlers were so power- 
ful that they became uneasy under the Mexican government. 
Stephen F. did not live to see the independence of Texas, 
which was mainly due to his labors; the capital city of the 
State was named in honor of this pioneer family. 

The designer of the present American flag was Captain 
Samuel Chester Reid, who was born at Norwich Aug. 25, 
1783. During the war of 18 12 he commanded the privateer 
General Armstrong. A Congressional committee was 
appointed to revise the national flag, and they invited Cap- 
tain Reid to make a design. The flag originally had thirteen 
stripes; these had been increased to fifteen. Reid restored 
the original number, and placed in the blue field a star for 
every State then in the Union. This has been the device ever 

The ermine of the Chief Justice of New York State from 
1 8 10 to 1823 was worn by Ambrose Spencer, a native of 
Salisbury. He was born Dec. 13, 1765, and graduated from 
Harvard University in 17 S3; studied law, and settled in the 
State of New York. 

Connecticut abandoned her Newgate prison at Simsbury 
in 1827, when the new prison at Wethersfield took its place. 

Two philanthropic enterprises that were inaugurated at 



this period are deserving of mention. The establishment of an 
asylum for the insane was agitated in 1812, at this time there 
were only three institutions of the kind in the United States. 
It was ten years, however, before the Retreat for the Insane 
at Hartford was incorporated. A few years later, the Con- 
necticut General Hospital at New Haven was chartered; it is 
the oldest hospital in the State. The establishment of these 
monuments of philanthropy, with the organization of the 
Yale Medical College, form a triplicate for the benefit of the 
State, for which her citizens are indebted to the Connecticut 
Medical Society. 



The Political Status of Connecticut During Jack- 
son's Two Terms 

THE inauguration of Andrew Jackson as Presi- 
dent of the United States marked an epoch in 
national history. Self-willed and aggressive, 
he was the one great dominant figure in the 
Presidential succession between Thomas Jef- 
ferson and Abraham Lincoln. In a masterful way he asserted 
those principles that unquestionably represent a self-assertive 
democracy. As with his Irish forefathers, a gathering word 
was adopted for his clan; though not he but W. L. Marcy 
invented it; the slogan cry of this American Napoleon, "to 
the victor belongs the spoils," has been indelibly stamped on 
his administrations. 

On President Jackson's accession to office, a wholesale dis- 
missal of officeholders commenced, over seven hundred 
changes taking place in the first administrative year. The six 
Presidents preceding Jackson only made seventy-four remov- 
als, and most of these for sufficient cause; even this small 
number including Jefferson's removal of the "midnight" 

It is a noticeable fact that General Jackson, during the first 
session of Congress held in his presidential term, used his 
veto power four times, which exceeded, save in one instance, 
his predecessors' use of the privilege during their entire term 
of office. This amply evidenced that the executive power in 
Jackson's hands meant his own will ; but it was the will of his 
party also. This policy in public life was the same as his 
counsel to President Monroe, to discard party lines and prin- 
ciples, and to act in all respects as the President of the 
United States. Perhaps it was not so very unlike the spirit 
of George III.'s mother to her son, "George, be King." 

The 1 wenty-first Congress was made historic by the ora- 
torical debates in the upper house, between Senators Hayne 



and Webster; in one of which the latter uttered the never- 
to-be-forgotten sentence, "Liberty and Union, now and for- 
ever, one and inseparable," which struck a responsive chord 
in the hearts of millions of his countrymen. The debates 
were occasioned by Mr. Foot of Connecticut presenting to 
the Senate a resolution on the expediency of limiting the sale 
of public lands. 

The decline and fall of Federalism as such, and the 
upbuilding of the essentially similar doctrine of the Whigs, 
naturally caused but slight changes in political parties in 
Connecticut. The Toleration party, with its intermingling 
of the former adherents of Federalist and Democratic prin- 
ciples since the adoption of the Constitution, elected its 
nominee for governor; while the Presidential vote was cast, 
with only one exception, for those who were believers in the 
precepts of the first organized political party of the country, 
and were closely linked with it. That there was an apathy 
among the citizens, is shown by the vote given for Governor 
at the first election after the adoption of the new State Con- 
stitution. There was no organized opposition to Oliver Wol- 
cott, who out of a total vote of 25,975, received 22,539. For 
the five succeeding elections, Governor Wolcott was still the 
successful competitor, but the total vote steadily diminished, 
and in 1824 he received 6,892 out of 7,777. 

The following year a Federalist ticket appeared, with 
David Daggett as the nominee; also in 1826 with the same 
candidate, which was the last appearance of the Federalists as 
a party in a political campaign. They polled 4,310 votes, 
while Wolcott received 6,780. 

The two candidates for the position of Governor in 1827 
were original members of the Toleration party : Oliver Wol- 
cott, under whose leadership for ten successive years the 



party (which in public use had gradually dropped its last 
name and adopted that of Democrat, though still officially 
entitled Democratic-Republican) had marshalled its forces, 
met with opposition in the folds of the party of which he had 
been one of the organizers. In opposition to his re-election 
Gideon Tomlinson was placed in nomination; he had been 
for eight years a Member of Congress. During "the era 
of good feeling," when party lines were entirely obliterated, 
he was a firm supporter of the adrrfinistration, and had at 
various times, in the absence of the Speaker of the House, 
been called upon to perform the duties of that office. 

The campaign was conducted with more spirit than any 
previous one for a decade: out of a total vote of 13,857, 
Tomlinson received 7,626. For the next three years there 
was but little opposition to Governor Tomlinson's re-election; 
upon his tendering his resignation in March 1831, in order to 
accept the position of United States Senator, the office was 
filled in the interim by Dr. John S. Peters, who had been 
Lieutenant-Governor during Tomlinson's entire gubernato- 
rial term. 

In 1 83 1 a new element presented itself in the political field. 
There had been a rapid growth of the Masonic order in the 
State from the time of the mysterious disappearance of Wil- 
liam Morgan, after his announcement of a forthcoming 
book purporting to reveal the secrets of that organization. 
Not only in Connecticut, but throughout the New England 
and Middle States, a decided opposition had arisen against 
(to use a term of the day) these "organized aristocrats." So 
universal was the feeling that in 1831 a national convention 
was held, and Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates 
were nominated. In this year the Democratic State ticket 
was headed by Dr. John S. Peters, who received 12,819 out 



of 18,866 votes cast; the nominee of the Anti-Masonic party 
polled 4,778 votes. The paternal ancestors of the successful 
candidate were Englishmen of note, and of whom some had 
acquired fame ; among these were Hugh Peters the Cromwel- 
lian, and Rev. Dr. Samuel Peters the Royalist historian. 

John S. Peters was born in Hebron Sept. 21, 1772. His 
early days were spent in agricultural pursuits, but on attaining 
the age of eighteen he decided to become a school-teacher. 
While engaged in this occupation he studied medicine, and 
in 1796 completed his education at Philadelphia. The fol- 
lowing year he returned to Connecticut, and after traveling 
throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, to find a town in 
which to locate for the practice of his profession, he returned 
disheartened, and finally settled in his native town. 

Here he quickly found a use for his abilities, and became 
one of the most skillful and successful members of the medical 
fraternity in the State. Early in life. Dr. Peters became inter- 
ested in politics, and served his townsmen both in a legislative 
and judiciary capacity. After his retirement from the guber- 
natorial chair he never practiced his profession. He lived 
to be eighty-five years of age, and died in his native town, 
March 30, 1858. 

Governor Peters was re-elected in 1832; in the fall of 
that year occurred the Presidential election. Andrew Jack- 
son was a candidate for re-election ; his opponent was Henry 
Clay; and notwithstanding that Connecticut for almost a 
score of years had elected for her State officials those who 
were opposed to Federalist principles, her citizens were still 
opposed to General Jackson, whose self-will and self-asser- 
tiveness constituted a one-man power which was foreign to 
her conservatism. 

The State electoral college, consisting of Morris Woodruff, 



John D. Reynolds, John Baldwin, Chester Smith, Eli Todd, 
Oliver H. King, Erastus Sturges, and E. Jackson, Jr., cast 
the vote of the State for Henry Clay for President and John 
Sergeant for Vice-President. 

In the spring election of 1833, Governor Peters identified 
himself with the wing of the Democratic party that was 
opposed to President Jackson, which styled itself the National 
Party. He was opposed by Henry W. Edwards, who was 
the nominee of the Jackson party. Though Governor Peters 
received a plurality of the votes cast, he lacked fifty-three of 
a majority; according to the Constitution (for the first time 
since its adoption) the choice devolved on the Legislature, 
and his competitor Henry W. Edwards was selected to fill the 

The newly chosen governor was a grandson of the famous 
metaphysician Jonathan Edwards, and a son of Pierrepont 
Edwards the founder of the Toleration party. Henry W. 
was born in New Haven, October — , 1779; he was a mem- 
ber of Princeton's class of 1797. After studying law at the 
Litchfield Law School, he began to practice in his native city; 
eminently successful in his profession, he obtained the confi- 
dence of his fellow townsmen. At the age of forty he was 
elected as a Democrat to the National House of Representa- 
tives; he resigned this position to accept an appointment to 
the Senate. He was afterwards elected for the unexpired 
term. Retiring from national politics, he became interested 
in those of the State, serving in both houses of the Legisla- 
ture. Governor Edwards was a candidate for re-election, 
but did not receive the full Democratic vote, on account of 
their being an anti-Masonic ticket in the field. Neither of the 
nominees receiving a majority of the popular vote, the Legis- 
lature was again called upon to make the selection, and the 



National Party candidate, Samuel A. Foot, was chosen to fill 
the office of Governor. 

The first appearance of the Whig party in State politics 
was in 1835, when their standard-bearer, the occupant of the 
gubernatorial chair, in a total vote of 42,788, was defeated 
by Mr. Edwards, the Democratic nominee. 

The elections of 1836 and 1837 were but repetitions of 
that of 1835 ; though the Whig party placed in nomination 
their strongest candidate, Mr. Edwards maintained his usual 
majority. While Governor, he suggested that a thorough 
geological survey of the State should be made, which was 
done in accordance with his desire. After his retirement 
from public life, Governor Edwards spent the remainder of 
his days in the city of New Haven, where he died July 22, 


Samuel Foot, the second Governor to be chosen by the 

Legislature, was born at Cheshire, Nov. 8, 1780. His pre- 
cocity was such that he entered Yale College at the age of 
thirteen. He was of delicate constitution, which proved a 
hindrance in his collegiate course; but defying all obstacles, 
he graduated with honors at the age of seventeen. Young 
Foot attended the famous Litchfield Law School ; but owing 
to illness he was obliged to relinquish his chosen profession 
for one that would provide him with more active occupation. 
He engaged in the shipping trade at New Haven, and made 
several voyages to the West Indies ; suffering heavy financial 
losses during the War of 18 12, he turned his attention to 
agricultural pursuits. Mr. Foot settled in his native town, 
occupying his time in farming and the politics of the day. 
His Democratic opinions being in accord with those of a 
majority of his townsmen, he was elected to the State Legis- 



lature, subsequently to both houses of Congress, and was 
Governor for one year, 1834-5. 

After his retirement from this office, he was never again 
actively engaged in politics; his domestic and private affairs 
engrossed his attention the remaining years of his life. He 
died in Cheshire Sept. 15, 1846. Governor Foot's natural 
characteristics were integrity, industry, perseverance, and 

Two important factors at this period were adjuncts in 
shaping the political status of the State. The use of alcoholic 
stimulants was universal. Following the customs that were 
transmitted to them, the people of the State indulged in these 
beverages very generally. In all walks of life the use of 
liquors was habitual; in the minister's accounts with the 
country store, the charge for a gallon of rum often appears; 
in the harvest field, a jug of liquor was a constant companion; 
while at the numerous hostelries which had sprung up along 
the different stage routes, the landlord's flowing bowl always 
awaited the tired traveler. 

That Connecticut should be a leader in an organized 
attempt to mitigate this evil, was to be expected, as her rec- 
ord teems with pioneer efforts in all reform movements. The 
first modern temperance society was founded in 1789 by two 
hundred farmers of Litchfield County, who agreed not to 
use "any distilled liquor during their farm work, the ensuing 

The progress of the temperance movement was slow; it 
was not until 1826 that the first public society was organ- 
ized. Three years later, an association for the promotion 
of temperance was started in the town of Brooklyn ; the fol- 
lowing year a State temperance society was formed, which 
soon had subordinate organizations in each county; but grad- 



ually the endeavor became united in one State association. 
While the movement in Connecticut did not predominate in 
politics to as great an extent as in some of the other New Eng- 
land States, it had its influence upon the trend of affairs both. 
in State and local government. 

The abolition of slavery — the other important factor — was 
favored by the founders of the nation, both on economic and 
moral grounds. The invention of the cotton gin, however, 
had solved the mooted question for the Southern people, as to 
the successful raising of cotton as a staple product; the plant- 
ers considered slave labor essential for its successful pro- 
duction. Congress in 1807 prohibited, under heavy penal- 
ties, the further importation of slaves into the United States; 
this in a measure enhanced the value of those already held in 
bondage, and the people of the South were ever ready to 
defend their human property from any interference of their 
Northern neighbors. 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century, societies were 
formed advocating the abolition of the evil; the first effectual 
attempt towards that end, however, was made In 18 15 by a 
zealous citizen of Ohio, who issued the first abolitionist news- 
paper, called The Appeal Devoted to the Cause. Nearly a 
score of years later, the subject was vehemently revived, by 
the publication of the Liberator in Boston. The movement 
rapidly gained adherents throughout the Northern section of 
the United States; societies were formed in cities and vil- 
lages, having their accessories of "underground railways" for 
the rescue of fugitive slaves. This, coupled with the deci- 
sions of the Supreme Court, in favor of slave owners, aug- 
mented opposition, until it became not only a part of national 
but of State and local politics. 

The Abolitionists, seeking to unite against the dominant 




Democratic party, which was the advocate of pro-slavery 
doctrines, joined the then nearly organized Whigs. Con- 
necticut, as a State whose sons had been instrumental in 
forming colonization societies, with refuges for the negro in 
the land of their nativity, early placed herself on record as 
opposed to slaveholding, and welcomed the general uprising 
to wipe out the blot on the escutcheon of a free country. 

The doctrines of anti-slavery were universally promul- 
gated by her eloquent sons and daughters ; and she offered 
as a martyr to the cause, one whose "body lies moldering in 
the grave," and whose natal day is honored by the citizens 
of his native town of Torrington. 



A Decade of National and State Politics 

THE thirteenth Presidential election found the 
country on the verge of a commercial panic. 
Jackson's transfer of the national moneys 
from the United States Bank to a number of 
private banks, with no requirement of sound- 
ness or guaranty of management, had started a whirlwind of 
speculation, "wild-cat" banking, and unsecured "rag" money; 
then his discovery of his mistake and requirement of specie 
payments suddenly brought down the whole fabric with a 
crash, which however did not come till he was out of office 
and his successor got the blame. Professor Sumner's remark 
that "he regulated the finances as a monkey regulates a 
watch: he simply smashed things and left his successor to 
repair the damages," though much criticised, does not seem 
too severe. No more ignorant and reckless hand ever under- 
took the dictation of a people's financial methods, and con- 
sequently its livelihood. Jackson's qualifications for this deli- 
cate task were those of any other backwoods Indian fighter. 
That he should have understood it would have been a mira- 
cle ; but he should not have undertaken it. The main respon- 
sibility, however, belongs to those who put him there. The 
Democratic party presented as its candidate Martin \ an 
Buren, who had been Secretary of State during Jackson's first 
administration. Though his appointment as the representa- 
tive of the United States to the Court of St. James was not 
confirmed by the Senate, he was afterwards elected to pre- 
side over the latter body. It was the first time the Demo- 
cratic party had selected a candidate from a northern State 
for the head of their ticket. 

There were other issues at stake besides the financial con- 
dition of the country. Since the last Presidential election, two 
new States had been admitted to the Union, Arkansas and 



Michigan; one a slave, the other a free State. This did 
not change the poHtical status of the upper house of Con- 
gress. Nevertheless, in the North, West, and East, some 
determined advocates of anti-slavery principles gathered 
around them devoted followers, and the rumblings of that 
mighty movement that was to draw the line between the peo- 
ple of the North and South, were thus early developing. 

The leading Southern Democrats, wishing to placate the 
members of that party in the North, deemed it wise to resign 
what they had so far during the life of the nation strongly 
insisted upon, — that the candidate for President should be 
from a slaveholding State; and therefore favored Martin 
Van Buren as the successor of President Jackson. Van Buren 
was an astute politician, one of the chief creators of the 
efficient political "machine" in New York State and the coun- 
try at large. Unlike his successors in its operation he had 
genuine political principles, and is entitled to the name of 
statesman, though also a supple and not too scrupulous poli- 
tician. He combined some of the broader views of the old 
school with the crafty self-seeking of the new; he was the 
political heir of Jefferson, as well as the pliant supporter of 
Jackson and the dominating figure of the Albany Regency, — 
a group of New York political managers who for many years 
distributed offices among themselves and their adherents. 

Van Buren, not being of pronounced pro-slavery views, was 
not obnoxious to a majority of the freemen of Connecticut. 
They also saw danger in the financial condition of the country, 
and feared that a change of administration would hasten mat- 
ters. They chose an electoral college consisting of Lorain 
T. Pease, Luther W^arren, Alfred Bassett, Seth P. Beers, 
Julius Clark, R. P. Williams, Moses Gregory, and Carlos 
Chapman, who cast the vote of the State for the Democratic 



nominee for President. The eight votes for Vice-President 
were given for Richard M. Johnson. There being no choice 
for Vice-President, the election went to the United States 
Senate. Of the sitting members from Connecticut, John M. 
Niles cast his ballot for Richard M. Johnson, while Gideon 
Tomlinson supported Francis Granger, the Whig nominee. 

The spring election in 1837 for Governor, like its two pre- 
decessors, yielded a majority for the Democratic nominee; 
but the money panic in the fall of that year, and the conse- 
quent hard times, was to prove in the spring of 1838 disas- 
trous to the party then in power. The Whig party presented 
as their nominee their defeated candidate of the previous 
year, the descendant of one of Connecticut's immortal names. 
His Democratic opponent was Seth P. Beers, a citizen of 
Litchfield, the incumbent of the office of Commissioner 
of the Public School Fund, which by his untiring zeal and 
energy had been largely augmented. 

But the wave of financial distress was to the Democratic 
party a herald of defeat. They deserved it, for they had put 
its chief cause where he could do most mischief. In a total 
vote of 50,101, William W. Ellsworth received 27,1 15. The 
newly elected Governor was the third son, and one of boy 
twins, of Oliver Ellsworth. He was born at Windsor, Nov. 
10, 1791 ; graduating from Yale College in 18 10, he entered 
the Litchfield Law School, where he was a close student, 
ambitious to become master of his chosen profession. He was 
admitted to the bar in 18 13, and soon afterwards married the 
eldest daughter of the lexicographer Noah Webster. Young 
Ellsworth removed to Hartford, which became his home, and 
at the age of twenty-six we find him a partner of his brother- 
in-law Thomas S. Williams. On the election of the latter to 
Congress, he assumed the entire management of what was 



then the largest law practice in the State. His fame as a legal 
authority' was recognized at home and abroad. In 1827 he 
was appointed professor of law at Washington — now Trinit}' 
— College, which position he held until his death. 

Mr. Ellsworth was a member of the twenty-second and 
twenty-third Congresses, serving on the committee that car- 
ried into effect Jackson's proclamation against nullification 
by South Carolina. He also helped to investigate the affairs 
of the United States Bank at Philadelphia. After his Congres- 
sional career, he returned to his law practice. It was with 
unwillingness that he accepted the nomination for Governor, 
in which office he served for four terms. On retiring from 
the gubernatorial chair, Governor Ellsworth again began the 
active practice of law, and from 1847 ^o 1861 — when he was 
retired on account of his age limit — was a member of the 
State judiciary. The last years of his life were spent at Hart- 
ford, where he passed away Jan. 15, 1868. The encomiums 
of Rufus Choate, the leader of the American bar, are the best 
evidences of Governor Ellsworth's worth and character. 
That eloquent pleader said "he was a man of hereditary 
capacity, purit}', learning, and love of law. If the land of 
Shermans, Griswolds, Daggetts, and Williamses, rich as she 
Is in learning and virtue, has a sounder lawyer, a more 
upright magistrate, or an honester man in her public service, 
I know not his name." 

The Democratic opponent of Governor Ellsworth in 1839- 
40 was John M. Niles, a native of the same town. His natal 
day was Aug. 20, 1787. Mr. Niles established in 18 17 the 
Hartford Times, and was for several years its exclusive 
editor. In May 1840 he accepted the appointment from 
President Van Buren as a member of his Cabinet, and served 
as Postmaster-General, resigning the office March i, 1841. 



Mr, Niles was elected to the United States Senate in 1842, 
having previously served in that body from 1835 ^^ ^839, 
when he was chosen to fill a vacancy. At the completion of 
his term of office he retired from the Senate, and devoted 
himself to literary pursuits. Besides contributing to the peri- 
odical press, he edited a Gazetteer of Connecticut and Rhode 
Island, and wrote a history of South America. On the organ- 
ization of the new Republican Party in 1856, Mr. Niks be- 
came identified with it, and in the interest of its prinicples he 
established the Hartford Press. His death occurred in the 
city of his adoption. May 3, 1857. He bequeathed the bulk 
of his property to the poor of Hartford, and his library to 
the Connecticut Historical Society. 

At the Presidential election in the fall of 1840, the Demo- 
crats presented as their candidate the occupant of the execu- 
tive chair. The Whigs, with a ticket consisting of General 
William Henry Harrison and John Tyler, carried on a cam- 
paign indignantly characterized by the Democrats as one of 
"Noise, Numbers, and Nonsense," or in other words the same 
tactics by which the Democrats had "whooped it up" for Jack- 
son. But they carried them much futher. This campaign was 
the real birth of "hurrah" political argument; of the trans- 
parency and the campaign song as the chief methods of con- 
vincing an intelligent electorate; of spouting, screaming, 
drinking, "buncombe," and appeals to everything but reason. 
There was no end to mass-meetings and processions, log-cab- 
ins, barrels of hard cider, and coon-skins. The use of these 
primitive articles, not obviously connected with qualifications 
for the highest executive office of a great country, was sup- 
posed to indicate Harrison's sympathy with "plain men" and 
"sturdy American citizens," as distinguished from the "aris- 
tocrats" who had always lived in clapboarded dwellings, 



worn broadcloth, and sometimes drunk unrepublican wine. 
These methods, so honorable to the rationality and intelli- 
gence of American citizens, combined with the opprobrium 
heaped on the Democratic party for the hard times, were 
successful. Van Buren had come into office with a very 
large electoral vote, but the people denied him a re-election 
by an equally large adverse vote. 

Connecticut joined the tidal wave of her sister States in 
giving a large majority for the Whig candidates, and elect- 
ing Hezekiah Spencer, Reuben Booth, James Brewster, Philip 
Pearl, Adam Larabee, Peter Bierce, Timothy Green, and 
John S. Peters as Presidential electors. These cast the vote 
of the State for William Henry Harrison for President, and 
John Tyler for Vice-President. 

General Harrison extended to Francis Granger an invita- 
tion to become a member of his Cabinet; he was appointed 
Postmaster-General March 6, 1841. He was the fourth 
out of the ten incumbents who had filled the position since the 
inauguration of the national government, that claimed Con- 
necticut as the place of their nativity. He was the son of 
Gideon Granger, who was Postmaster-General from 1802 
to 1 8 14. Born at Suffield, Dec. i, 1792, he graduated from 
Yale in 181 1 ; in 18 14 he removed to Canandaigua, New 
York, where he practiced law. Mr. Granger was a prom- 
inent leader in the Anti-Masonic movement, and on the 
organization of the Whig party he took an active part In 
politics, being their candidate for Vice-President in 1836. 
He was a member of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth Con- 
gresses, but resigned from the latter to accept the Cabinet 
appointment tendered him. He resigned this office, however, 
shortly after the death of President Harrison. His last 
appearance in political life was as a member of the "silver- 



gray" Whigs, who were opposed to active opposition against 
slavery. He died at Canandaigua, Aug, 28, 1868. 

In the spring election of 1841 the Whigs were triumphant, 
and Governor Ellsworth was again elected, receiving 26,078 
votes to 20,458 cast for his Democratic opponent. Middlesex 
was the only county in the State which did not give a Whig 
majority. The following year, however, though the Whigs 
still headed their ticket with the incumbent of the guberna- 
torial chair, they were subjected to a crushing defeat, every 
county with the exception of Hartford (which gave a plural- 
ity of but forty for the Whig nominee) being carried by the 
Democrats. There had been four tickets in the field. 

The candidate of the latter party was Chauncey F. Cleve- 
land, Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives 
in 1835-6. He was one of the most popular men in the 
eastern part of the State; this locality had not had a repre- 
sentative in the executive chair for nearly a score of years. 
Mr. Cleveland was born at Canterbury, Feb. 16, 1799; he 
received only a district-school education, but in 18 19 was 
admitted a member of the Windham County bar. He was 
eminently successful in his chosen profession, but early in life 
became Identified with politics, and was an acknowledged 
leader of the State Democracy. He served two terms as 
Governor, and in 1849 was elected Member of Congress, 
filling that position with ability and distinction for four years. 
Foreseeing that the attitude of the South would engender a 
civil war, he finally severed his sixty-years' connection with 
the Democratic party and became an unflinching supporter 
of the Union. He was a Presidential elector on the Republi- 
can ticket; and afterwards a member of the Peace Congress. 
This was practically his last appearance In public life; he 
afterwards quietly practiced his profession In his native town 



until his death, June 6, 1887. Governor Cleveland's personal 
appearance was of a commanding nature, though he was 
of gentle and courteous manner. He was better known in 
political than professional life, his ambitions tending in that 

The Whigs in the spring of 1843 presented as their candi- 
date, the most talented man of his day in Connecticut. There 
were three tickets in the field : the Democratic, headed by 
Governor Cleveland; the Whig, by Roger Sherman Bald- 
win; and the Liberty, by Francis Gillette. The contest was 
exciting and close: in a total vote of 54,738, Cleveland 
received 27,416, which gave him a majority of 94. The 
election would have been carried to the Legislature, but for 
the fact that 196 votes cast in the town of Salisbury for 
Roger Baldwin were thrown out as defective. None of the 
nominees for State officials on the Democratic ticket were 
elected but the Governor; and the Legislature chose those 
whose names appeared on the Whig ticket. 

In the spring of the following year, the political parties 
presented the same nominees. The Whig ticket did not 
receive a majority of the votes, but the Legislature chose 
Roger Sherman Baldwin for Governor. The successful can- 
didate was born in New Haven Jan. 4, 1793. On his father's 
side he was descended from one of the original founders of 
his native city; his mother was a daughter of Roger Sher- 
man. Young Baldwin's precocity is shown by the fact that 
at the age of ten, he had read a large portion of Virgil. 
Entering Yale before reaching his fourteenth year, he gradu- 
ated in 1 8 1 1 . He then attended the famous Litchfield Law 
School, and became a member of tre New Haven County bar. 
He was chosen to fill civic positions in New Haven; in 1837 
was elected to the State Senate, where he became an early 



member of the Whig party, also an advocate of anti-slavery 

In 1839 he was counsel for the "Amistad Captives." 
Associated with Mr. Baldwin in the case was the vener- 
able ex-President John Quincy Adams. The plea of the 
former, however, was so profound that Chancellor Kent has 
rated the pleader "with the leading jurists of the day." Gov- 
ernor Baldwin served with distinction as chief magistrate for 
two terms, having received in the spring of 1845 ^ majority 
of over 1,000 votes. In 1847 he was appointed United 
States Senator, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of 
Jabez W. Huntington. On the expiration of his term the 
Democratic party was in power in the State, which debarred 
him from re-election. Governor Baldwin returned to the 
practice of his profession, declining all further political hon- 
ors. His last public service was as a member of the Peace 
Congress. His death occurred Feb. 19, 1863. 

The fifteenth Presidential election was in the fall of 1 844. 
The national issues are familiar. Harrison had died after a 
month's occupancy of his position; and Vice-President Tyler, 
who had been put on the ticket to catch Southern votes with 
no idea that he would have any power, promptly locked 
horns with Congress, creating an administrative deadlock 
for the remainder of the term. Neither party cared to con- 
tinue his service. The issue of 1844 was the annexation of 
Texas, to enable the South to gain an enormous accession of 
territory, the very object with which it had been colonized 
and revolutionized. Henry Clay was put forward by the 
Whigs, but was too ambiguous in his promises to please the 
Southerners, who preferred the ardent annexationist James 
K. Polk of Tennessee. Clay nevertheless would have had a 
majority but for the anti-slavery party, which nominated 



James G. Birney and diverted enough votes from Clay in 
New York and Michigan to. give those States to Polk. It 
has since been discovered that this party acted with great 
sagacity and utility; but neither they nor others thought so 
at the time, and they never nominated another President. 

Connecticut's popular vote was for Henry Clay 32,832, 
James K. Polk 29,841, James G. Birney 1,943. Her Presi- 
dential electors, Clark Bissell, N. O. Kellogg, Charles W. 
Rockwell, Joseph L. Gladding, Samuel A. Foot, and Free- 
man Smith, cast the six votes of the State for Henry Clay for 
President, and Theodore Frelinghuysen for Vice-President. 

The retiring President left to his successor a legal state of 
war. This status belli was produced by the admission of 
Texas, whose independence had never been conceded by 

The people of Connecticut were utterly opposed to any 
open hostilities, resulting from the admission of a slavehold- 
ing State as a member of the Union. The General Assembly 
passed resolutions deploring the necessity of war, and recom- 
mending philanthropic efforts to secure peace instead. They 
also censured their State delegation in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, as well as John M. Niles, one of their Senators, 
for voting for the admission of Texas as a slave State, it 
being in opposition to the wishes of the majority of the free- 
men of the commonwealth. The body was specially severe 
in passing judgment on their delinquent Senator, claiming 
that his vote was the deciding one in the admission of Texas. 
The yeas and nays were 27 to 25. Had he cast his vote 
against the bill, he would have voiced the wishes of his con- 
stituents and it would have tied the ballot. 

At the spring election in 1846, though the Whig nominee, 
Clark Bissell, had a plurality of the votes, the Legislature 



chose Isaac Toucey for chief magistrate. He was born at 
Newtown, Nov. 5, 1796; studied law, and was admitted 
to the bar in 1818. He removed about this time to Hart- 
ford. By an untiring interest in his clients' affairs, he secured 
a large and lucrative practice. Mr. Toucey was from 1835 
to 1839 a member of the lower house of Congress. Retir- 
ing from the gubernatorial chair at the end of his term of 
office. Governor Toucey was appointed by President Polk, on 
June 21, 1848, Attorney-General of the United States; he 
served until March 3, 1849, and during a portion of this 
period he was acting Secretary of State. In 1851 he was 
elected to the United States Senate; on the completion of his 
full term he accepted the portfolio of Secretary of the Navy 
in President Buchanan's Cabinet, serving until the close of 
his administration, and sharing in the discredit with which 
the latter as a whole was loaded by the party which suc- 
ceeded it. 

Returning to Hartford, Governor Toucey resumed the 
practice of his profession. He declined several official posi- 
tions tendered him, among which was a place on the bench 
of the United States Supreme Court. It has been justly said 
that Governer Toucey was one of the most able lawyers in 
Connecticut; his fame reached beyond the limits of the 
State. He was tall in person, with fine features, and of com- 
manding presence. He was firm in his convictions, possessing 
strength and tenacity of will. His private character was 
without stain, and on all occasions he exhibited the bearing 
of a high-toned gentleman. He died July 13, 1869. 

It was on May 20, 1846, that Governor Toucey notified 
the General Assembly that war with Mexico had begun; 
also that the President had called for 50,000 volunteers. The 
Governor's message was referred to a joint select committee, 



and on the 29th of May a resolution was unanimously passed, 
upholding the general government in their preparation for 
war, also authorizing the enrollment of three regiments of 

At the election held in the spring of 1847, though there 
were three tickets in the field, the Whigs elected their nom- 
inee by a majority of six hundred votes. Clark Bissell, the 
newly-elected chief executive, was born in Lebanon, Sept. 7, 
1782. His father was a man of very limited means, who 
was able to give his boy only the advantages of a district- 
school education. Young Bissell in his leisure moments 
studied his Latin and Greek grammars, and was prepared 
for college by a resident clergyman. He entered Yale Col- 
lege in 1802, and supported himself during his collegiate 
course by teaching in the public schools of New Haven. 
Graduating in 1806, he became tutor in a private family in 
Maryland. Afterwards returning to his native State, he 
taught a public school for one year at Saugatuck (now 
Westport). He then studied law, and after his admittance 
to the bar in 1809, removed to Norwalk. The next twenty 
years were spent in building up an extensive law practice. He 
was elected in 1829 to the General Assembly, and was after- 
wards chosen on the judicial bench, where his fame as an able 
lawyer and noted jurist was universally acknowledged. 
Resigning from the bench in 1839, he became a member of 
the State Senate, and when elected Governor was recog- 
nized as one of the ablest men in the State. Governor Bis- 
sell was re-elected, and at the expiration of his second term 
of office retired from public life, with the exception of serving 
one term in the Legislature. His death occurred at Nor- 
walk, Sept. 15, 1857. 

A treaty of peace was signed with Mexico on Feb. 2, 1848. 



Although the people of Connecticut were greatly adverse to 
the war during its continuance, the national government was 
supported with loyalty and patriotism. The commonwealth 
furnished over seven hundred officers and enlisted men for 
the regular army. Among the former, who afterwards 
gained honor and renown in the Civil War, were Joseph K. 
F. Mansfield, John Sedgwick, Nathaniel Lyon, Horatio G. 
Wright, Alfred H. Terry, Henry W. Wessells, Henry W. 
Benham, and others. 

Connecticut had two other sons in the Mexican War 
whose services were of incalculable value. Joseph Gilbert 
Totten and George Talcott. The former was born at New 
Haven, Aug. 23, 1788. He spent his childhood in the home 
of his maternal uncle, General Jared Mansfield. He entered 
West Point as a cadet in 1805, and served with distinction 
in the engineer corps during the war of 18 12. When hostili- 
ties began with Mexico, General Totten was assigned the 
engineering operations of General Scott's army of invasion; 
in that capacity he directed the siege of Vera Cruz. At the 
close of the war he returned to his official duties at Wash- 
ington. On the breaking out of the Civil War he was com- 
missioned brigadier-general, and afterwards brevetted major- 
general. He died at Washington, D. C, April 22, 1864. 

George Talcott was born at Glastonbury Dec. 6, 1786. 
He served during the War of 18 12 as deputy commissioner 
of ordinance, ranking as captain. He was brevetted briga- 
dier-general May 30, 1848, for faithful performance of his 
duties during the Mexican War. Through some misconstruc- 
tion of an order for a large amount of shot and shells, given by 
a subordinate officer, for which General Talcott did not have 
the ratification of the War Department, he was court-mar- 
tialed July 8, 185 I, and dismissed from the army. Though 



General Talcott's honesty was not Impeached, his faithful 
disbursements of millions of government moneys during his 
thirty-eight years of official life did not weigh in the judg- 
ment of the court. A misunderstanding that might have been 
amicably settled without loss of honor, ended in a public dis- 
grace. General Talcott died at Albany, New York, April 
25, 1862. 


After the Mexican War 

THE close of the Mexican War caused a vehe- 
ment agitation of that sectional topic of con- 
troversy, the restriction of the extension of 
slavery. The slaveholding States, after the 
admission of Texas to the Union, with an area 
sufficient for the formation of four or five new States, were 
counterbalanced by the great Northwest, which was rapidly 
being populated by settlers who demanded recognition as 
members of an integral Union. The admission of Wisconsin 
in 1848 as the thirtieth State, equalized the representation of 
the free and slave States in the upper house of Congress. 
The Southern politicians, regarding the Great West as a field 
for the creating of new States, sought to extend the line of 
division established by the Missouri Compromise to the 
Pacific Ocean; this was in direct violation of the privileges 
granted to the inhabitants of that country by the Mexican 
government, from whom it was acquired. 

The passage of compromise measures in 1850, while it 
admitted California as a free State, left the question of 
slavery in the territories of New Mexico and Utah for future 
decision. A fugitive-slave law was established, while slave 
traffic was suppressed in the District of Columbia. Connec- 
ticut in her own conservative way awaited the development 
of events; in 1847, by a vote of 19,495 to 5,616, she refused 
to amend her constitution by eliminating the word "white" 
before the words "male citizen," in the article relating to the 
qualifications of electors. 

Nevertheless, a strong anti-slavery feeling was gradually 
growing among her citizens, as it became evident that the 
slavocracy would not remain content with anything short of 
permission to hold slaves in every newly admitted State of the 
Union. Among her sons were Henry B. Stanton, John Pier- 



pont, and others, co-laborers with William Lloyd Garrison, 
Wendell Phillips, and Theodore Parker, for the emancipation 
of the slaves, primarily because the Union must be all slave 
or all free, as Lincoln afterwards said. 

The Whig nominating convention which met in the sum- 
mer of 1848, setting aside, in favor of the military popularity 
of Buena Vista, Monterey, Palo Alto, and Resaca de la 
Palma, the claims of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, 
selected as their candidate General Zachary Taylor. 

At a convention held by the Democratic party two sets of 
delegates appeared from New York, The opponents of the 
old "Albany Regency," which had so long held the reins 
of power In the State, had turned its own guns against it and 
ousted it; but the Regency sent a contesting delegation. The 
convention dared not take sides with either faction, and 
excluded both ; whereupon the Regency party held a conven- 
tion of Its own and nominated Martin Van Buren for Presi- 
dent. To gain popular sympathy and strengthen their moral 
claim, as well as to furnish a basis for future bargains, they 
adopted the principles of the Liberty Party, which had twice 
nominated James G. BIrney for President, and controlled 
some 20,000 votes in New York State; favored the Wllmot 
Proviso; and established as their watchwords "Free Soil" — 
"Free Speech"— "Free Labor"— "Free Men." The new 
combination was called the Free Soil Party, and polled about 
a quarter of a million votes In the next election ; whereupon 
the Regency made terms with the opposing New York fac- 
tion and dropped its anti-slavery allies overboard. 

The popular vote of Connecticut In the sixteenth Presi- 
dential election was for Zachary Taylor 30,314, for Lewis 
Cass 27,046, and for Martin Van Buren 5,005. In accord- 
ance with this decision of her freemen, the Presidential elec- 



tors — T. W. Williams, Solomon Olmstead, E. Jackson, J. 
McClellan, J. B. Ferris — cast the six votes of the State for 
Zachary Taylor for President and Millard Fillmore for 

At the spring election in 1849, the Whigs presented as 
their candidate a grandson of Connecticut's Revolutionary 
War Governor; the Democratic candidate was Thomas H. 
Seymour, who had gained honor and distinction in the Mexi- 
can War by his successful leading of the assault on Chapul- 
tepcc, the Gibraltar of Mexico, and scaling its heights. The 
Democratic party was weakened by disaffection in its ranks; 
and a third ticket, with John M. Niles as nominee, receiving 
3,520 votes, caused the Whig candidate to receive a plu- 
rality. The Legislature, by a vote of 122 to no, chose 
Jonathan Trumbull for chief magistrate. 

The successful candidate was born at Lebanon, Dec. 7, 
1782. Entering Yale in 1797, he graduated four years 
later. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1 803, but the fol- 
lowing year he removed to Hartford, where he spent the 
remainder of his life. Governor Trumbull, after serving in 
the General Assembly, was selected to fill an unexpired term 
in the National House of Representatives, serving through 
the session of 1834-5. He was elected to the Twenty-sixth 
and Twenty-seventh Congresses. Besides attending to his 
legal practice, he was engaged in various business enterprises, 
and was also connected with the directory board of several 
charitable institutions. He died Aug. 4, 1861. 

At the next election, the Democratic party presented their 
defeated candidate of the previous year. The Whig ticket 
was headed by Lafayette S. Foster. Though the former had 
a plurality of the more than seven hundred votes, the elec- 
tion devolved on the Legislature, where Seymour received 



122 votes to io8 for his opponent. Thomas H. Seymour was 
born at Hartford in 1 808 ; in his youth he displayed the traits 
of leadership that he afterwards exemplified. After obtain- 
ing a public school education in his native city, he attended 
Captain Alden Partridge's institution in Middletown, where 
he pursued a military course of study, graduating in 1837. 
On his return to Hartford he was elected commanding officer 
of the Light Guards of that city. He studied law and was 
admitted to the bar; but before he gained a lucrative practice 
he became interested in politics, and became editor of The 
Jeffersonian, a democratic organ. This, coupled with an 
attractive and pleasing address, soon made him the acknow- 
ledged leader of the Hartford Democracy. Governor Sey- 
mour was elected member of Congress in 1843 ' ^^ the expir- 
ation of his term he declined a renomination. On the break- 
ing out of the Mexican War he was commissioned major; at 
the close of hostilities he returned to Hartford, and again 
interested himself in political affairs. 

At the election for Governor in 185 i, no candidate received 
a majority of the votes; the Legislature after an exciting 
contest declared Seymour elected, the ballot being Seymour 
122; Foster 121. The nominee on the Whig ticket, Green 
Kendrick, was chosen Lieutenant-Governor by a vote of 124 
to 120. The following year Seymour's opponent was the 
successful occupant of the second position in the executive 
department of the State; for the first time Seymour received 
a majority of the votes, and the following year he was again 
elected by an increased majority. He was elected four guber- 
natorial terms; but in April 1853, having received the 
appointment of United States Minister to Russia, he resigned 
his position as Governor. Governor Seymour was the Amer- 
ican representative at the Court of Russia for four years; he 




then spent a year in European travel before returning to 
Hartford. During the Civil War he was the leader of the 
Connecticut Peace Democracy. Among the old-time Demo- 
crats he still retained his popularity, but on his re-entrance into 
political life in 1863, as the nominee of that party for Gov- 
ernor, he was defeated after an exciting canvass. At the 
Democratic National Convention held in 1864, Governor 
Seymour received thirty-eight votes on the first ballot for 
candidate for President. His latter years were passed peace- 
fully at Hartford, where he died Sept. 3, 1868. 

The retirement of Governor Seymour from the executive 
chair, a month after the beginning of his fourth term of office, 
called to the position the then Lieutenant-Governor, Charles 
H. Pond, who was born in Milford April 26, 1781. At the 
age of seventeen he entered Yale College, where he became 
noted for an inexhaustible vein of wit, also for unusual mus- 
cular strength. Graduating in 1802, he studied law under 
the guidance of Roger Minot Sherman; he continued his 
legal studies two years, and was admitted to Fairfield County 
bar, but he never practiced his profession. This was partially 
owing to the failure of his health; for several years he fol- 
lowed the sea, but in 18 19 again took up his residence on 
land. Governor Pond filled judicial positions in New Haven 
County, and was its sheriff for fifteen years. He was Gov- 
ernor Seymour's associate in 1850; the following year he 
was defeated by the Legislature, but was re-elected to the 
same office in 1852-3. On his retirement from the Gover- 
nor's chair, he never again entered public life. He died April 
28, 1861. 

President Fillmore in 1852 called to his Cabinet Samuel 
D. Hubbard, to take the portfolio of Postmaster-General. 
The new Cabinet official was born in Middletown, Aug. 10, 



1799. Graduating from Yale College at the age of twenty, 
he studied law, but abandoned its practice to engage in manu- 
facturing. Mr. Hubbard was a member of the Twenty- 
ninth and Thirtieth Congresses; at the close of Fillmore's 
administration he retired to private life. He died in his 
native town Oct. 8, 1855. 

The one absorbing question before the country now was 
whether the Compromise of 1850, fugitive-slave law and all, 
should be carried out in good faith. Despite the shock, which 
that law had given to the moral sense of the North, and 
which ultimately killed the Whig Party, the great majority 
even of Northerners wished it. On business grounds alone, 
the North, which annually sold a thousand million dollars' 
worth of goods to the South, shrank from a disturbance which 
would imperil that trade. Lovers of the Union were willing 
to make large sacrifices to prevent its continuance being men- 
aced. It is fair to say, also, that great numbers thought the 
South had much right on its side, and could not do otherwise 
than protect its great vested interest at all hazards. For 
all these reasons, conventions of both parties professed the 
utmost sincerity in upholding the Compromise, and the ques- 
tion of success would be largely determined by the candidates. 
In this light, It seems grotesque that the successful one was 
a Northern man and the vanquished a Southerner. But the 
matter is less strange than it appears. 

The Democratic conv^entlon of June 1852, unable to decide 
among the conflicting claims of first-rate leaders — Douglas, 
Marcy, Cass, etc. — and not daring to nominate a slave- 
holder, chose on the forty-ninth ballot a representative of the 
pro-slavery Northerners, afterwards contemptously nick- 
named "dough-faces," and who were "more Southern than 
the Southerners." This was Franklin Pierce, a New Hamp- 



shire lawyer and public man, of good repute from the Mexi- 
can War and service in Congress, an excellent speaker and of 
captivating manners. He aroused no animosities, and not 
even the Southern fire-eaters doubted that he would do every- 
thing they asked; as he proved afterwards by his course 
regarding Kansas. 

The Whigs had still greater leaders to choose from, but 
equally turned them down for a "dark horse." The mighty 
Webster had in vain turned his coat (as the Northern anti- 
slavery men considered) in his seventh of March speech: the 
South remembered his lifelong contest against its aggressions 
and not his late recantation. So the Whigs played the aged 
(and in general most discreditably successful) military card. 
On the forty-eighth ballot they nominated Winfield Scott, 
certainly one of the greatest soldiers America has ever pro- 
duced, but of no civil experience. For some reason he was 
thought to be much influenced by Seward; it was believed 
that this would insure him votes in the North, and his Vir- 
ginian birth and residence votes in the South. It worked 
exactly the other way: the South was set against any taint of 
abolitionism, and the North preferred its own conservative 
if it were to have any. Pierce was elected by a heavy major- 
ity, which fairly represented the anguished resolve of the 
majority of people to stop agitation; but the Whig party 
instantly perished, because the settlement was against natural 
possibility of maintenance. Connecticut's vote, for a con- 
servative community, was so close in itself as to presage a 
speedy revolution. Its vote was Pierce 33,249, Scott 30,359, 
John P. Hale (Free Soil candidate) 3,161 : a slight major- 
ity against Pierce; but as plurality ruled, the Presidential 
electors — Thomas H. Seymour, N. Belcher, A. P. Hyde, 
Charles Parker, S. Bingham, and William F. Taylor — cast 



their votes for Franklin Pierce for President, and William 
R. King for Vice-President. 

At the spring election for State officials in 1854, the Dem- 
ocrats presented as their candidate Samuel Ingham. The 
disintegration of the Whig party placed three opposing tick- 
ets in the field; and though Ingham had a plurality of almost 
9,000, the Legislature by 140 to 93 chose Henry Dutton for 
chief magistrate. The successful competitor was born in 
Watertown, Feb. 12, 1796. In early life he was engaged in 
agricultural pursuits; but through the assistance and advice 
of a kinsman he was enabled to enter Yale College. Young 
Dutton graduated in 18 18, and became a law student with 
Roger M. Sherman, supplementing his studies by teaching in 
the public schools. After acting as tutor for two years and 
a half at his Alma Mater, he began the practice of law In 
Newtown. In 1837 he removed to Bridgeport, wishing a 
larger field for his professional career. Governor Dutton 
was called upon to fill legislative and judicial positions. Upon 
his retiring after his one term as Governor, he was appointed 
In 1 86 1 to the bench of the Supreme Court of Errors, from 
which he resigned upon reaching the age of seventy. He then 
devoted himself to his law practice, also to his work as Kent 
professor of law at Yale, continuing these duties until his 
death at New Haven, April 28, 1869. 

At the spring election in 1855 the candidate of the "Know- 
Nothing" (American) party for Governor, William T. 
Minor, obtained a plurality over the Democratic nominee, 
Samuel Ingham, and the choice of the Whigs, Henry Dutton; 
there being no majority by the popular vote, by a union of the 
Know-Nothing and Whig members of the Legislature Minor 
received 177 to 70 for Ingham. William T. Minor was born 
in Stamford Oct. 31, 18 15. At the age of fifteen he entered. 



Yale College; afterwards studying law with his father, he 
was admitted in 1841 to the bar of Fairfield County. Gov- 
ernor Minor represented his native town eight times in the 
General Assembly, and was also a State Senator, besides hold- 
ing several judicial positions. After serving two terms as 
Governor he continued his law practice. 

At the spring election in 1856, Governor Minor's Demo- 
cratic opponent, Samuel Ingham, received a plurality of nearly 
6,700, and lacked only about 1,300 votes of having a major- 
ity, there being four tickets. The Legislature, however, gave 
Governor Minor 135, to 116 votes for Samuel Ingham, and 
the former thereby became Governor for the ensuing year. 
At the breaking out of the Civil War, Governor Minor was 
an outspoken adherent of the Federal cause. In 1 864 he was 
appointed by President Lincoln Consul General to Havana, 
Cuba; he resigned this office in the spring of 1867, and 
resumed the practice of law at Stamford. He was later 
elected Judge of the Superior Court; but after serving five 
years he resigned. His latter years were spent at Stamford, 
where he died Oct. 13, 1889. 

The Whig party — which never had much of definite prin- 
ciples, except a general preference for a powerful and liber- 
ally spending government, and a dislike of the swelling mob 
of ignorance poured in and naturalized from foreign shores — 
was killed by the election of 1852, which showed that the 
Northern and Southern wings could no longer act together. 
But the members still shrank from arraying them against each 
other in a open fight on the slavery question; and tried to 
dodge the issue by making one on restricting the naturaliza- 
tion of foreigners. There was much temporary warrant for 
this, and for a while the perplexed ex-Whigs took refuge 
under that banner and gave the American ("Know-Noth- 



ing") party many notable State victories; but It could not In 
any event have become the basis of a national part>% and 
shortly the Kansas-Nebraska Bill sent Northern feeling in 
one mighty surge Into the anti-slavery ranks. 

It was evident that a new party must be formed on the 
issue of resisting Southern attempts to slaverylze all free ter- 
ritory; and the Republican Party came into being. It was 
practically a spontaneous generation from a vast and obvious 
necessity; sprang Into life in many quarters almost at once, 
and the scattered branches coalesced. The bulk of the mem- 
bers were from the Whigs, a large section from the Free-Soil 
Democrats, and a highly Important element from the Aboli- 
tion party. 

Connecticut was among the foremost in the movement. It 
had been one of the earliest seats of resistance to slavery — 
of course by a small minority, as in all reforms. There one of 
the first Northern negro schools was taught; there fugitive- 
slave cases had been obstinately fought In the courts and 
won ; thence John Brown and the Beechers sprung, and from 
its greatest daughter "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had emanated to 
set the world on fire. There the colonization movement 
had been strongly supported, when it was still thought a 
scheme in good faith to benefit the negroes. Thence went 
forth colonization companies to balk the Southern scheme 
for making Kansas a slave State. The time had come for 
its majority to range themselves openly on the side of free- 
dom, and they did so. 

At the Presidential election in 1856, Connecticut's popular 
vote was for Fremont 42,715, Buchanan 34,495, Fillmore 
2,615. The Presidential electors were Henry Dutton, Julius 
Catlln, Thomas Clark, E. Spencer, William A. Buckingham, 
and S. W. Gold ; they cast the vote of the State for John C. 



Fremont for President, and William L. Dayton for Vice- 

The Republican candidates in the election secured the entire 
electoral vote of New England. This had not occurred since 
1824, when there was no majority obtained for any candidate 
in the Electoral College, and John Quincy Adams was elected 
by the House. 

At the election for State officials held in the spring of 1857, 
there were but two political parties represented. The Demo- 
crats presented as their candidate for Governor the many 
times defeated Samuel Ingham, who was opposed on the 
Republican ticket by Alexander H. Holley, the Lieutenant- 
Governor of 1854-5, that being his first public office. The 
latter was elected by a majority of 550, in a total vote of 

Alexander H. Holley was born in Salisbury, Aug. 12, 
1804. His education was limited to that received at public 
and private schools; for although he fitted for college, he was 
obliged to abandon his studies owing to ill health. Governor 
Holley started in a business career at sixteen, and later in life 
became identified with the manufacture of cutlery at Salis- 
bury. His one-term administration was uneventful. On his 
retirement from public life, he spent his time in European 
travel when not in his native town. He died in the latter 
place Oct. 2, 1887. 



The Financial Panic of 1857 

THE unsettled financial condition of the country 
prior to the panic of 1837 precluded the 
incorporation of any new moneyed institu- 
tions. The General Assembly from 1834 to 
1 847 granted no bank charters, excepting that 
in 1 844 the Danbury Bank was created by dividing the Fair- 
field County Bank into two equal parts, making each a sep- 
arate corporation. The restoration of the people's confidence 
in the business prosperity of the country was the signal for the 
formation of new financial institutions. The Iron Bank of 
Canaan received a charter from the Legislature of 1847 '■> ^^e 
following year articles of incorporation were granted to the 
Manufactures' Bank at Derby, the Saybrook Bank at Essex, 
the Waterbury Bank at Waterbury, and the Winsted Bank 
at Winsted. There were five banks chartered in 1849: 
the State at Hartford, the Citizens' at Norwich, the Farmers' 
at Bridgeport, and the Pawcatuck and Deep River in the vil- 
lages of the same names. 

The bank fever about this time reached a period of stag- 
nation, as no charters were granted by the Legislature of 
1850, The following year, however, it broke out with 
renewed vigor, and the following banks were incorporated: 
the Hatters' at Bethel, the Pequonock at Bridgeport, the 
Eastern at Killingly, the Bank of North America at Seymour, 
the Central at Middletown, the Merchants' at New Haven, 
the Mystic River at Mystic, the Ocean at Stonington, the 
City at Hartford, and the Woodbury at Woodbury, Besides 
these, the capital stock of the Connecticut Bank at Bridge- 
port was divided, and one-third of it was taken to organize 
the Southport Bank, which heretofore had been a branch of 
the Bridgeport institution. 

The extension of the banking interests of the State turned 



the attention of the Legislature to the passing of laws for the 
protection, not only of the private Interests of their own citi- 
zens, but also those of the country. This caused in 1852 the 
passage of the Free General Banking Law. The Important 
specific provisions of this law were, that it required at least 
twenty-four persons to form a bank; also one-half of the cap- 
ital stock subscribed must be paid into the State treasury 
before business could be commenced, and the balance within 
one year. The funds thus arising were to be invested in bonds 
of indebtedness of the United States, or any one of the New 
England States, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
and Kentucky, or of any of the cities of New York and Bos- 
ton, or any incorporated city in Connecticut. On the deposit- 
ing of these bonds with the State Treasurer, he was empow- 
ered to issue circulating notes of equal amount, stamped 
across the face with the words "Secured by the pledge of Pub- 
lic Stocks"; a failure on the part of the bank to Kquidate 
these notes rendered them liable to protest, when the securities 
were to be sold and payment made pro rata to the holders of 
the same. 

The main object of this law was to establish a circulating 
medium equal to gold and silver, and the issuing of bills 
acceptable for their face value throughout the United States. 
The difference of incorporating banks under the old and new 
law was, that by the former, one-fifth of the capital stock was 
taken to pay the expenses attendant on organization and to 
retain the legal amount of reserve specie; they were also 
authorized to issue In circulating currency one and one-half 
times the amount of their capital stock. Under the new law 
the bank's Issue of bills was confined to an equal amount of 
public securities, deposited with the State Treasurer, and an 
organization could not be effected unless one-half of the pro- 



posed capital stock was paid into the State's financial deposi- 

The following banks were organized under the Free Bank- 
ing Law from 1852 to 1855 inclusive : the Bank of Commerce 
of New London, the Bank of Hartford County, the Charter 
Oak and Mercantile at Hartford, Bank of Litchfield County 
at New Milford, Bank of New England at East Haddam, 
the Bridgeport City at Bridgeport, the Citizens' at Water- 
bury, the Hurlburt at West Winsted, the Pahquioque at Dan- 
bury, the Quinnipiac at New Haven, the Saugatuck at West- 
port, and the Shetucket and Uncas at Norwich. 

This new system, which in some respects was not unlike 
that adopted in after years by the United States government 
in the National Currency Act, did not secure abiding favor; 
the statute was repealed in 1S55, the institutions chartered 
under it being allowed to take charters In the old form by 
paying a bonus of ten per cent, upon their capital stock into 
the State treasury. Under the old law the Legislature in 
1854 incorporated the Elm City and Tradesmens' Banks at 
New Haven, the Home at Meriden, the Mattatuck at Water- 
hury, and the Stafford at Stafford. In 1855 the Rockville 
Bank was chartered by the General Assembly to carry on busi- 
ness at that place. 

The following banks were incorporated by the Legislature 
of 1856: the Clinton, Colchester, Norfolk, and Litchfield in 
the towns of the same name, and the Merchants' Exchange 
at Bridgeport. The latter, owing to the financial disturbance 
of the country, was never organized. The Colchester Bank, 
the year after its incorporation, had its charter repealed for 
an unwarrantable issue of bills. 

The Legislature, in the year in which was to occur the great- 
est money crisis that the United States had as yet experienced, 



granted charters to nine banks: of these the Pequot of Nor- 
wich, the Putnam of Putnam, the Clifton of North Stoning- 
ton, the Old Lyme of Old Lyme, and the Mohegan of Paw- 
catuck, were organized. The others were the Merchants' 
and Manufacturers' and the Aetna of Hartford, the Norwalk 
of Norwalk, and the Granite of Voluntown. 

The latter institution was a fair example of the wild-cat 
banking system prevalent in the country at this period. Six 
days after the payment into the State treasury of the first ten 
per cent, of its capital stock, its officials began issuing circu- 
lating bills, while the balance of its subscriptions required by 
law was deposited in bills of insolvent banks and worthless 
checks drawn on banks outside of the State. Upon investiga- 
tion by the bank commissioners, no evidence of a fixed place 
of business was found, nor did the bank have a vault or safe, 
or even books. It was undoubtedly a most deliberate attempt 
by non-residents to perpetrate a fraud, and would have had 
a most disastrous effect, if it had not been overthrown in its 
incipiency by the vigilance and energy of the State officials. 
The location was enough to excite suspicion : a bank in one 
of the smallest country towns in the State, with no trade 
establishments and very little manufacturing, was almost 
prima facie a fraud. 

There were other cases of a like nature in the State, less 
obvious on their face. The Mattatuck Bank of Waterbury 
was chartered with a capital of $500,000; this was reduced 
to $150,000; on payment of the stipulated ten per cent, 
the bank was organized. Owing to suspicious circumstances, 
the bank commissioners were led to believe that a large por- 
tion of the stock subscriptions were not bona fide, nor were the 
directors chosen in conformity with the law. An examination 
was made, and it was found that New York parties had fur- 



nished the cash for the first payment on the capital stock; and 
that certain well-known citizens of the State had been Induced 
through the blandishments of a resident agent to allow the 
use of their names as stockholders. Of the board of direc- 
tors elected, only one was a legitimate stockholder; the resi- 
dent agent, a Hartford citizen, was chosen president, and as 
the managing official he did not deposit In a State bank the 
moneys collected, but turned them over at once to the Inter- 
ested New York parties, taking simply their receipt. After 
holding his office a few weeks he resigned, receiving $2,500 
for effecting the organization of the bank. The courts 
declared the bank insolvent and appointed a receiver. 

There were three other banks organized in the State by 
New York bank conspirators, who subscribed for stock under 
fictitious names, issuing a large amount of circulating bills, 
which they placed on the money market. Of these the Easton 
and Litchfield were short-lived : in less than a year from the 
time of their organization they were in the hands of receivers. 
The Woodbury Bank had an existence of a number of years, 
but Its charter was finally repealed by the Legislature In 1859. 
The Bank of North America was dissolved by an injunction 
obtained by the bank commissioners, but was afterwards 
reorganized and known as the Ansonia Bank. 

The financial panic of 1857, while it was short, was very 
destructive. The cause of it was directly due to the exces- 
sive railway building throughout the country, accompanied 
by undue expansion of currency. The banking institutions 
had made large loans on collaterals, which during the sum- 
mer of 1857 declined rapidly In value. The collapse in August 
of a prominent New York life and trust company, coupled 
with the suspension of Western banks, precipitated matters; 



the prices of stocks went down with a rush, manufactories 
were closed, and laborers thrown out of employment. 

The failure of the Illinois Central Railroad Company to 
meet its pending obligations was the final blow that caused 
the money panic to be universal. The general suspension of 
specie payment by the Connecticut banks took place Oct. 14; 
the circulation of their bills was reduced in six months from 
over ten million dollars to about four million; most of this 
took place between Aug. 16 and Nov. i. Specie payment 
was resumed, however, on Dec. 14. While the financial panic 
had been a trying ordeal to the Connecticut banks, only six- 
teen were obliged to pass their usual dividends. Their stand- 
ing for soundness and stability had been severely tested, but 
with few exceptions they had been able to maintain the par 
value of their notes on the money exchanges of New York 
and Boston, which placed them high in the confidence of the 
citizens of their own and neighboring States. 

The Legislature in i860 chartered the New Britain Bank 
to transact business in the town of New Britain; this made 
seventy-three banks of discount in the State, having an aggre- 
gate capital of $21,626,167. 

The savings institutions had a slow growth during the first 
half of the nineteenth century. In 1 847 they numbered nine, 
having deposits amounting to $3,22 1,591.33. A little over a 
decade later, in i860, there were thirty-seven, with deposits 
of $18,132,820. In this amount was figured $1,567,536 
invested in savings and building associations. The organiza- 
tion of these depositories for the people's moneys was author- 
ized by the Legislature of 1850. Within four years there- 
after, thirty-four associations had begun operations under the 
law; two years later they numbered nearly fifty; the financial 



panic of 1857 reduced their number to twenty-seven, and in 
i860 all but five of these were In process of liquidation. 



The Textile Industries 

THROUGH the efforts of General David Hum- 
phrey, the primitive woolen industries of Con- 
necticut were largely extended and placed 
upon a substantial basis. While a resident at 
the Spanish court, he improved the breed of 
native sheep by the introduction of Merino rams. This 
caused a craze among the New England farmers: fine fleeces 
commanded as high as two dollars and fifty cents a pound; 
Merino sheep were sold at from one thousand to fifteen hun- 
dred dollars a head; but on the declaration of peace in 1815, 
the falling prices of wool caused them to be sold as low as one 
dollar apiece. The stagnation in the wool market continued 
for nine years ; the blooded flocks of sheep were either broken 
up, or interbred with native stock. 

Notwithstanding the fact is disputed by some antiquarians, 
to Connecticut belongs the credit of establishing the first 
woolen mill in the United States; her industrial experiment at 
Hartford, mentioned in a previous volume, was not only 
unique in national history, but antedates any other enterprise 
of similar character. A century previous to the establish- 
ment of this mill, the records state that Gabriel Harris of 
New London left by will four looms with their tacklings, also 
a silk loom; it is only fair to infer that his business consisted 
of custom-work. 

The foundation of the factory villages which now dot the 
surface of New England, utilizing her streams and peopling 
her villages, was laid in 1803 by General Humphrey; he pur- 
chased in that year a mill privilege on the Naugatuck River, 
now located within the limits of the town of Seymour, and 
here he erected buildings. Owing to a residence in England, 
he was cognizant of the demoralizing influences of factory 
industry; also, being of a far-sighted and broad-minded char- 



acter, regarding manufacturing largely in the sense of a phil- 
anthropic enterprise, he intended as the manufactures grew 
that there should be no decadence in the character and quality 
of the citizens engaged in them. To further these views, he 
was instrumental in having the Connecticut Legislature pass 
an act constituting the selectment of the towns visitors to the 
manufacturing establishments within their jurisdictions; they 
were empowered to enforce measures for the proper care and 
moral well-being of the employees. This, in connection with 
the building of schoolhouses, and modern tenements with 
market gardens attached, caused Humphreysville even from 
its start, and for many years afterwards, to be known as an 
Industrial paradise. 

The Humphreysville Manufacturing Company was incor- 
porated in 1810; at the opening of the War of 18 12 it was 
the best equipped mill in the United States. The production 
was chiefly broadcloths, which sold at four dollars and a half 
a yard; cotton goods were also manufactured. Employment 
was furnished to about one hundred and fifty persons. Ac- 
cording to President Dwight in his "Travels," there were in 
181 1 "sev^eral buildings equipped with four breakers and 
finisher cards, two jennies, a billy with forty spindles, a picker, 
four fulling mills, two shearing machines, four broad looms, 
eight narrow looms, and eighteen stocking frames. There 
were three churches, fifty or sixty dwellings, and three mer- 
cantile stores" in this first model factory village of New Eng- 

The fathers of American woolen mills were Arthur and 
John Scholfield, who arrived in this country in 1793 from 
Yorkshire, England, their entire capital being the plans for 
models of parts of textile machinery, which information they 
carried in their heads. After operating in Massachusetts, the 



two brother in 1798 leased a water privilege at the mouth of 
what is now the Oxoboxo River ( Montville ) , this name being 
a perversion of the original Indian name Opsobosket. This 
was a historic spot, as it was the site of a saw-mill erected in 
1653 by John Winthrop, who afterwards utilized it as a 
bloomery which became known as the "Old Forge." 

The Scholfields improved the shop located on the property, 
and put in operation the first woolen machinery in Connecti- 
cut for the manufacture of cloth by water power. Three years 
later, Arthur removed to Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 
brother operated the mill until 18 12, when his lease expired; 
the woolen business was carried on at this location for a num- 
ber of years, but it eventually became an oil mill. John Schol- 
field, whose death occurred in 1820, seems to have possessed 
a passion for erecting new mills; in 1806 he purchased a 
water privilege at Stonington, also in 18 14 one at Waterford, 
where mills were built; the same year, higher up on the Oxo- 
boxo stream, he purchased the site of the oldest woolen estab- 
lishment in that part of the country, a clothing mill having 
been operated there by Joseph Otis in 1790. Scholfield 
enlarged the building and equipped it with machinery. It was 
at this mill that his son Thomas manufactured the first piece 
of satinet made in the State; this fabric become widely 
known as the "Scholfield satinet," and its manufacture was 
continued a number of years by his descendants. This textile 
was also manufactured by Delano Abbott, at an early date, in 

During the War of 1 8 1 2, the price of broadcloth advanced 
to eighteen dollars a yard, and a woolen mill became a verit- 
able gold mine; but peace had hardly been declared when 
the market collapsed, on account of the inferiority of Ameri- 
can cloth as compared with that of English manufacture, 



which could now be imported. The Legislature, in four years 
beginning with 1812, chartered twenty-six companies, whose 
united capitals amounted to $4,210,000, for the production 
of woolen and cotton fabrics; the manufacturers importuned 
Congress for protection, and the tariff act of 18 16 was the 
result. The statement was made by Andrew W. Magill and 
William Young, two Connecticut woolen manufacturers, in 
a letter to the Congressional Ways and Means committee, that 
there were in the State twenty-five establishments engaged in 
the manufacture of woolens, and these gave employment to 
twelve hundred persons; that $450,000 capital was invested, 
and the production amounted to 75,000 yards of narrow and 
25,000 yards of broad cloths. 

Among the early woolen manufacturers was the Middle- 
town Woolen Manufacturing Company, organized by Isaac 
Sanford and others previous to our second war with Eng- 
land. It produced from thirty to forty yards of the choicest 
broadcloth daily, using only the finest of merino wool. The 
machinery was run by a twenty-four horse-power engine, and 
it was the first mill in Connecticut to utilize steam for man- 
ufacturing purposes. There were at this time mills in Litch- 
field County, one at Wolcottville (now Torrington), two at 
Goshen, and one at Winsted. The former was established by 
James Wolcott in 18 13, and manufactured a fine quality of 
goods ; after running a score of years under this management, 
it changed hands and became known as the Wolcottville Man- 
ufacturing Company. The mill was destroyed by fire in 
1844, but was rebuilt, and the name of the company was 
changed to the Torrington Manufacturing Company. A 
change of owners in 1853 caused it to become known as the 
Wolcottville Knitting Company. The Winsted venture was 
started in 18 13 by the Rockwell brothers; a line of broad- 



cloths and satinets was manufactured, but the enterprise was 
not a success, and the buildings being destroyed by fire in 
1835, the project was abandoned. 

Elisha Pitkin in 1770 established, on a water privilege on 
the Hockanum River, the first wool-carding machine run 
by water power in the State, and probably the first in the 
country, under a patent for making "cloth without yarn." 
Felt was first made there in 1807 by Joseph Pitkin, a son of 
Elisha. A privilege was purchased on this river in 18 14, and 
a manufactory for satinets was started. In 1836 the present 
Hockanum Company was organized. In 1869 the manufac- 
ture of fine worsteds for men's wear was begun ; a near neigh- 
bor to this plant is the Rock Manufacturing Company, which 
was estabhshed in 1824 by Colonel Francis McLean. 

Seven years later saw the erection of a mill by the Frank 
Company; and by a division of the Rock Company, the 
Leeds Company came into existence. On the site of the 
Springville mill in 18 19 stood a full one-set mill; the Leeds 
Company was afterwards consolidated with the Rock, and the 
Springville with the Hockanum Company. The New Eng- 
land mill commenced business in 1837, manufacturing sat- 
inet; four years later It was burned; on Its being rebuilt 
fancy casslmeres were made, which was an innovation in 
Rockville manufacturing, as it required a new and better class 
of skilled workmen. 

In 1836, the Saxony, now Snipsic, mill was built; the 
Panola, American, and New Frank also went into operation 
in that year. The Rockville Warp Mill, at which cotton 
warp Is spun and colored for the use of satinet and cassimere 
manufacturers, was started In 1853 by Joseph Selden. 

There has been for over half a century at Talcottvllle a 
.mill manufacturing union casslmeres. The manufacture of 



satinets in the decade between 1840 and 1850 was extensively 
carried on in the town of Stafford; the success of the enter- 
prise was due to Eliot A. Converse. The largest woolen 
industry in the township is located at Stafford Springs, and is 
known as the Warren Woolen Mills; fine worsted coatings 
are here produced. 

In the northeastern part of the State, a woolen factory was 
started at Mechanicsville in 1827; it was operated by differ- 
ent lessees, and finally destroyed by fire in 1843. It was not 
until 1858 that another attempt was made; the Mechanics- 
ville Company then began the manufacture of fancy cassi- 

A mill was erected in 1826 for making woolens, by the 
Pomfret Manufacturing Company, at what is now Putnam. 
A year later the Rhodesville enterprise was started, and 
although its early success was retarded through losses by fire, 
it eventually became prosperous and formed the nucleus of 
the present Morse Mill, of which the Powhatan Mill erected 
in 1872 is a part. 

The Connecticut woolen manufacturers, in competition 
with foreign countries, labored under the disadvantage of 
possessing only primitive machinery. The introduction in 
1824 of Goulding's carding machine marked the first per- 
ceptible step towards progress; but it was not until 1870 
that the American manufacturers, by the adoption of a self- 
operating mule, were enabled to successfully compete with 
their English brethren. They were also largely aided by the 
protective tariffs granted by the general government. As 
will be seen, the woolen industries were largely centred in 
Tolland County, with Rockville as the natural centre; there 
are however various isolated plants scattered throughout 
the State, many of which are of recent date. At the outbreak 



of the Civii War there were ninety-three estabhshments in 
Connecticut engaged in the manufacture of satinets, cassi- 
meres, stocking yarn, hosiery, blankets, flannels, carpets, and 
felting. The most prominent of these was the Hartford Car- 
pet Company, established at Thompsonville in 1828, and 
it has gained a reputation for its products second to none in 
the country. 

Connecticut in 1900 ranked seventh in the United States, 
in the amount of her woolen manufactured goods; at the 
beginning of the last decade she was fifth, but was passed by 
Maine and New Jersey. She ranks fourth in woolen goods 
proper, and sixth in worsteds, her combined productions 
amounting to $12,637,032. 

The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney — who, 
though a resident of Connecticut, was a son of a sister 
State — coupled with that by Hargreaves of the spinning 
jenny and Arkwright of the spinning frame, gave an 
impetus to cotton manufactures. These inventions were 
the primary causes for the successful advancement of 
the modern cotton manufacturing interests of the country. 
The arrival of Samuel Slater in Rhode Island in 1790 was 
the initiatory step towards placing the American cotton man- 
ufactures on a similar basis with those of England; though 
Bagnall asserts that before this date there were six cotton 
mills in Connecticut, located at Norwich, New Haven, Beth- 
lehem, East Hartford, Suffield, and what is now Vernon. 
They had produced cotton cloth, and were still carrying on 
the manufacture prior to 1805. This year marks an era in 
the history of the country; for our foreign relations gave 
rise to a condition of affairs favorable to domestic manufac- 



tures, and the cotton industries received an impetus from 
which they have never receded. 

These industries in their infancy were established in the 
eastern portion of the State; this was due to the fact that 
the first promoters were Rhode Island manufacturers. The 
streams that unite with the tidal waters of the Thames River 
at Norwich, also the banks of the Quinebaug, Shetucket, and 
Moosup Rivers with their tributaries, which nature, aided by 
man's handiwork, had endowed with valuable water privi- 
leges, were eagerly sought by the pioneers. This resulted 
in more than seven-tenths of the cotton spindles in the State 
being located in New London and Windham Counties. 

Samuel Slater, the generator of the Rhode Island cotton 
industries, with his father-in-law Ozias Wilkinson, erected in 
1806 the first cotton mill in eastern Connecticut; it was called 
the Pomfret Manufacturing Company, and Smith Wilkinson, 
a brother-in-law of Slater, was made resident agent. The 
frame of the building was raised on the fourth of July in the 
presence of two thousand persons, who were regaled with 
free punch in honor of the occasion. 

The next decade witnessed the erection of numberless cot- 
ton mills : wherever the streams afforded sufficient water 
power, a site was selected, and building commenced; the hills 
and valleys resounded with the buzz of the saw and blows 
from the hammer. 

At Jewett City (named in honor of Eleazer Jewett, a 
pioneer in milling interests) John Wilson in 181 1 conveyed 
the real estate and water privileges to the Jewett City Cotton 
Manufacturing Company, in which the Slaters afterwards 
became interested. 

The town of Sterling was a field for early cotton manufac- 
turers. The Sterling Manufacturing Company was started 



there in 1 808 ; ten years later they were running sixteen hun- 
dred spindles. Here was also the American Manufacturing 
Company on the Quanduck, and a small mill on the Moosup 
River; loss of buildings from frequent fires caused a decline in 
the industry. 

In the adjoining town of Plainfield, the Union Manufactur- 
ing Company, the Andrus Factory Company, and the Central 
Manufacturing Company were early in the field. The latter 
became the property of Norwich parties, and its name was 
changed to the Kirk Mills. Two years after the starting of 
a mill at Quinebaug Falls saw the establishment of the 
Thompson Manufacturing Company at Thompson, now 
Grosvenordale. A few years later the Masons became associ- 
ated with the management, and it became known as the Ma- 
sonville Company. Dr. William Grosvenor, a nephew of the 
Masons, undertook the active management in 1848; twenty 
years later a factory that had been started in Fisherville in 
1828 was purchased, and a consolidation was made and in- 
corporated under the name of the Grosvenordale Company, 
having a capacity of 65,000 spindles. The Connecticut Man- 
ufacturing Company was organized in Thompson in 181 1; 
after various vicissitudes, the buildings were destroyed by 
fire in 1849. 

The pioneer cotton spinner of Willimantic was Percy Rich- 
mond, who in 1822 acquired water privileges at the lower end 
of the borough. In 1826 there were four mills in successful 
operation, the most prominent of which were the Windham 
and Smithville Manufacturing Companies. The Killingly 
Manufacturing Company, organized in 18 14, and the Dan- 
ielsonville Manufacturing Company, were noted early cotton 
industries in the town of Killingly; besides these was the 
Stone Chapel Manufacturing Company, located on the site 



of the Attawaugan Company, who also operated the Ballou 
Mills in Killingly and the Pequot Mills in Montville, making 
a line of sheetings, shirtings, and cambrics. 

As early as 1790, Dr. Joshua Lathrop established at Nor- 
wich, the natural centre of the cotton industries of the State, 
a cotton factory on the town plot, having five jennies, one 
carding machine, and six looms; it is worthy of note that this 
was before the invention of the cotton gin, and the improve- 
ments in machinery by Arkwright and others. 

Samuel Slater was not successful in obtaining water privi- 
leges at Norwich Falls, but Cartwright's improvement of the 
power loom was hardly reproduced in America before several 
cotton factories were in active operation in Norwich and vi- 
cinity. In the city proper, on the Yantic River, is located the 
Falls Company; they own the water privilege where William 
Williams, Jr., & Co. began the manufacture of cotton fabrics 
in 1 8 13. The present company make a variety of cotton 
goods, such as tickings, awnings, ducks, domets, denims, and 
covert cloths; this class of goods is also manufactured by the 
Shetucket Company on the river of that name. At Greene- 
ville, another suburb of Norwich, a mill was organized in 
1837; the water privileges were purchased of the Thames 
Company. On the same stream is the Occum Company. The 
promoters of this company were instrumental in calling the 
attention of Cyrus and Edward P. Taft in 1865 to the facili- 
ties offered for the manufacture of cotton goods ; this resulted 
in the establishment of the Ponemah Mills, which is said to 
be one of the three largest cotton plants in the United States. 
This company also operates another mill four miles from 
Taftville, and its percales and fine lawns for printing have a 
reputation second to none in America. 

The Potoket Mills Company, located at Occum in the town 



of Norwich, occupies a privilege that has been in operation 
since 1866. In the towns adjoining Norwich are the Uncas- 
ville Manufacturing Company, situated on the Oxoboxo 
River in Montville; it was incorporated in 1848. The mills 
of the Bozrahville Company were formerly within the limits 
of Norwich, and are among the oldest in New England; the 
power is furnished by the Yantic River, and what is known 
to the trade as twills are manufactured. 

On the Pochaug River, near the village of Voluntown, is 
located the Griswold Cotton Mills Company. The White- 
stone Company with mills at East Killingly produce a cotton 
cloth used for flour sacks. 

There are a number of cotton mills throughout the State 
that have followed in the footsteps of the early promoters, 
but as early as 18 14 an organization was formed in what is 
now Westport. It was known as the Saugatuck Manufactur- 
ing Company, and was incorporated in that year by the Gen- 
eral Assembly; they manufactured woolen goods as well as 
cotton. In 18 18 the name was changed to the Richmondville 
Manufacturing Company. In the spring of 1844 John Lees 
and John P. Dryden became interested in this enterprise, but 
the buildings and contents were totally destroyed by fire. In 
1878 they were rebuilt and were occupied by the Lees Manu- 
facturing Company. 

The name of one of the early promoters of the cotton 
industries of New England is represented in Connecticut. A 
son of Oliver Chace, the agent of the first mill at Fall River, 
owned and operated the Moodus Mills at East Haddam, and 
it is still managed by his descendants. The Spragues also 
operated a mill at Baltic for years ; it was destroyed by fire in 
the fall of 1887. 

The modern triumph in the cotton industries is the manu- 



facture of thread. Less than forty years ago the housewife 
was persistent in using only foreign threads; in fact, the 
opposition to American products was such that to introduce 
their wares the manufacturers had to label them in imita- 
tion of imported thread, and pack them in soldered leaden 
boxes, in order to protect them against their imaginary voy- 
age across the Atlantic. The ultimate success of the industry 
is largely due to Connecticut manufacturers. In 1848 Gar- 
diner Hall began the manufacture of cotton thread in South 
Willington; his son Gardiner became interested in the enter- 
prise, and the Thread Drawing or Finishing Machine, the 
Automatic Spool Printing Press, that printed labels in four 
colors by one operation, and the Tension Regulator, which 
takes the thread from the spool without turning it, are but a 
few of his many valuable inventions. 

In 1854 The Willimantic Linen Company was organized 
by Hartford capitalists; the name soon became a misnomer, 
for they engaged in the manufacture of spool cotton. The 
abolishment of the popular prejudice against American cot- 
ton threads is due to this company. The English manufac- 
turers claimed that much depended on the state of the atmos- 
phere in the making of threads, and that a good article could 
not be produced in this country, on account of the dryness 
of our climate ; but Yankee genius devised a plan by which 
moisture was imparted to the air, making it preferable to the 
natural humidity of the English atmosphere, as it could be 

The labor and ingenuity attendant on thread making can- 
not be better illustrated than by the statement, that to make 
a perfect six-cord cotton thread, from the time the raw 
material is taken from the bale until a finished article is 
produced, the fibres by sundry operations are doubled (as the 



technical phrase is) or intercombined over twenty milhons 
of times. 

The success attained by the Willimantic Linen Company, 
coupled with the protection given the industry by the general 
government, caused the foreign manufacturers to establish 
branch factories in this country. Owing to the great superi- 
ority of the Willimantic six-corded thread, however, it enjoys 
the patronage of the leading sewing-machine manufacturers, 
and is also used by the manufacturers of straw goods, knit 
goods, clothing, and hats, throughout the country. 

There are scattered throughout the State, kindred cotton 
industries producing hosiery, underwear, cotton yarn, shade 
cord, twines, etc. In the manufacture of cotton goods Con- 
necticut ranks third in New England, having fifty-five of the 
three hundred and thirty-two establishments located in the 
Eastern States; her factories are equipped with 1,001,474 
active spindles and 19,545 looms. 

The experiments of Dr. Nathaniel Aspinwall in the culti- 
vation of the silk-worm in Connecticut, although confined 
largely to Mansfield, laid the foundation for one of the great 
industries of the State: previous to 1788, thirty-two persons 
had petitioned the Legislature for incorporation to manufac- 
ture silk thread in that town. Among the early pioneers was 
Colonel Elderkin, who owned an extensive mulberry orchard 
in the adjoining town of Windham. He produced about ten 
thousand pounds of silk annually, which was manufactured 
into the fashionable long stockings of the day; handkerchiefs 
and vest patterns were also successfully fabricated; and sev- 
eral pieces of dress silk were produced, with which the daugh- 
ters of the proprietor adorned themselves. 



After the death of Colonel Elderkin, the property passed 
into the hands of Rodney Hanks and his nephew Horatio of 
Mansfield, who in 1810 invented and built a machine for 
spinning silk by water power. It was several years, however, 
before a silk factory was established, and the early attempts 
were not profitable. The Mansfield Silk Company was char- 
tered and began business in 1829, equipped with machinery 
made by Edmund Golding, who was familiar with the Eng- 
lish method of construction ; this was the first practical success 
in manufacturing sewing silk, except by hand power. The 
company became involved in the mulberry speculation about 
1839, and dissolved, though some of the members became 
interested in other silk enterprises. 

Frank and Ralph Cheney in 1S36 laid the foundation for 
the largest silk textile industry in the State. They began to 
manufacture at South Manchester, in a small way, silk thread 
from imported raw material, and since that time the busi- 
ness has continued in the hands of members of the Cheney 
family. The business was incorporated in 1854. The plant 
of the Cheney Brothers is of extensive area, employment 
being given to over one thousand persons, to whom every 
encouragement has been extended by their employers, for the 
improvement of their health and welfare. 

For a number of years, only reeled-silk and silk fibre were 
used; but in 1865 the company experimented in spun silk, 
which led to great developments in the industry. Silk at one 
time was recognized as a luxury; but through the endeavors 
of manufacturers, largely attributable to Cheney Brothers, 
it has been placed within the reach of a majority of the pop- 
ulation of the country. The introduction of spun silk caused 
the production of pongees and florentines, plain, figured, and 
printed, for dress goods and decorations; satins, twills, and 



armures in printed patterns and solid colors, black and col- 
ored grosgrains, velvet plush and upholsterers' materials, 
drapery fabrics and curtains, handkerchiefs, mufflers, and 
flags; ribbons in grosgrain and satin, plain and fancy edges. 
The American products became standard, rivaling those of 
Europe and the Orient, thereby obtaining the monopoly of 
home consumption. The Cheney Brothers perfected the pro- 
duction of printed silk by machinery. By their method, as 
many as a dozen different colors can be put on the same piece 
of goods by one process; in foreign countries this was done 
by hand, thus rendering the finished article much more 

The manufacture of silk was introduced into Rockville in 
1857 by E. K. Rose; but it received no impetus until some 
six years afterwards, when the founder associated with him- 
self in the business the three Belding brothers. This part- 
nership remained in force three years; Mr. Rose then with- 
drew and started the Rose Silk Manufacturing Company, 
which, however, was short-lived. The Beldings' interests at 
Rockville remained inactive; but they established sole agen- 
cies in the large cities of the United States, and added mill 
after mill to their manufacturing resources. In 1870 opera- 
tions were recommenced; In 1876 the works at Northamp- 
ton, Massachusetts, were started, and subsequently those at 
Montreal, Canada, and San Francisco, California, all of 
which are outgrowths from the Rockville enterprise. 

Wlllimantic Village, being contiguous to Mansfield, where 
at an early day silk mills were started by Joseph Conant, 
naturally attracted the attention of silk manufacturers. 
The Holland Silk Manufacturing Company was established 
there in 1865. In 1872 O. S. Chaffee & Co. removed from 
Mansfield to this place the mills o'rlglnally started by Conant; 



silk and mohair braids, sewing silk and buttonhole twist, are 
their principal products. The Natchaug Silk Company, an 
outgrowth of this industry, was incorporated in 1887, ^o^ ^he 
manufacture of silk dress goods, serges, and satins. 

The silk industry has been carried on at South Coventry 
since 1866; and for over half a century the L. D. Brown & 
Son Company have manufactured a line of machine twist, 
sewing silk, floss, dress silk, linings, fish lines, etc., at Middle- 
town. The pride of the factory enterprises of New London 
is the Brainerd and Armstrong Silk Company, whose special- 
ties are sewing silk, machine twist, knitting silks, floss and 
embroidery silk, in all colors and shades. The New London 
Wash Silk Company are pioneers in the production of wash 
silks in this country; they manufacture a line of the finest 
kind of filo, floss, twist, etc., placed on the market. 

The Owaneco Silk Company of Norwich is a reorganiza- 
tion of a stock company that was engaged In the silk industry 
In the adjoining town of Preston. The Oneida Community 
established a silk mill in Walllngford In 1868; but on removal 
of its branch some twelve years later, it was discontinued. In 
1878 the manufacture of silk dress goods was introduced at 
Putnam. The Globe Silk Works at New Haven manufacture 
a peculiar silk twist, used by boot, shoe, and clothing manu- 
facturers, besides a regular line of embroidery and sewing 
silks, braid, and spun silk. 

There are a few scattered silk manufactories located in the 
western part of the State. The Eagle Silk Company of Sey- 
mour was established in 1850, and after continuing a score 
of years, was disbanded; the plant however was utilized In 
1880 by the TIngue Manufacturing Company, who manu- 
facture silk and mohair plushes for dress goods and uphol- 
stery. The WInsted Silk Company was established at Wln- 



sted in 1874; they manufacture silk twist. Other silk fac- 
tories are scattered throughout the State, several being located 
in the parent town of the industry. In 1900 Connecticut 
ranked fourth in the United States in silk products; her $12,- 
166,775 worth of productions represented thirty-eight estab- 
lishments, and gave employment to 6,514 of her people. 

The combined textile industries of the State in 1900 com- 
prised one hundred and ninety establishments, whose capital 
amounted to $66,340,241, and which employed 32,469 of 
her inhabitants, paying them wages to the amount of $11,- 
539,771. The salaried officers were 963 in number, whose 
compensations amounted to $1,423,307; raw material was 
used to the value of $26,910,550; and the productions aggre- 
gated $48,728,019. This has not varied over two million 
dollars in the last twenty years. 



Metal Industries 

THE centralization of the metal industries in the 
western part of the State is largely due to the 
fact that the early endeavors of the colonists 
in iron manufactures were more successful In 
that section of the country. The valuable 
water privileges of the Naugatuck Valley, with its accessi- 
bility to the New York market, attracted the capitalists of 
that metropolis, which was instrumental in promoting the 
progress of the work; but these advantages were secondary 
in the ultimate success of these enterprises. It is to the inven- 
tive genius of her citizens that Connecticut is indebted for the 
accumulated wealth which she has derived from these indus- 

The manufacture of tinware at Berlin before the Revolu- 
tionary War was the forerunner of the production of Yankee 
notions, with which the name of Connecticut is so closely 
associated. The first tin pail thus produced, formed the basis 
of a development in metal manufacturing that has placed the 
productions of the State in the markets of all foreign nations. 
The lack of coal among her mineral resources impaired the 
value of Connecticut's iron mines; this resulted in the 
industry becoming most prominent in those localities where 
these two important factors in its production were accessible 
to each other. The manufacture of pig iron and steel was 
however, never abandonedo In 1900 Connecticut was the 
eighteenth State in the Union in the amount of her Iron 
products, which amounted to 54,365 tons annually, showing 
an Increase of 31,771 tons over that of 1870. Though she 
takes so low a rank in productions of the manufactured raw 
material, she ranks fifth in forging, fourth in nails and spikes, 
and eighth in architectural and ornamental work. 

The manufacture of clocks was the source of those various 



adjuncts and derivations that have become a part of the vital 
interests of the State. When Eli Terry came from Windsor 
to what is now Thomaston, he had been thoroughly educated 
by the best of English clockmakers ; the improvements and 
inventions made by him in this wonderful piece of mechanism, 
also the introduction in 1821 of the small mantel clock, cre- 
ated such a demand that other artificers were stimulated. This 
resulted in 1841 in the perfecting of the one-day brass clock 
by Chauncey Jerome, which completely revolutionized clock- 

The application of machinery in the cutting from brass of 
interchangeable parts, also the division of labor so that one 
workman could produce each part, made it possible for three 
men to take the brass in sheets, press it out, level it under 
the drop, cut the teeth, and make all the wheels, for five hun- 
dred clocks a day. This so cheapened the manufacturing 
that clocks were brought within the reach of the masses, and 
from being luxuries became articles of necessity. The demand 
in this country being supplied, in 1842 Mr. Jerome shipped a 
consignment to England. On their arrival in that country 
they were promptly confiscated at their invoice prices by the 
authorities, who suspected a case of undervaluation. On 
receipt of this agreeable information, which supplied them 
with a cash buyer on the spot at full price, the exporters 
shipped another cargo, which shared the same fate; but on 
the arrival of a third consignment, the English authorities 
decided to retire from the clock business. 

The exports soon extended to the European Continent, 
Asia, South America, Australia, and China; in fact, Connec- 
ticut supplies the world with clocks. She manufactured in 
1900 nearly three-fifths of the entire production of the 
United States, which gave employment to nearly four thou- 



sand of her people. The Jerome Clock Company was 
absorbed In 1856 by the New Haven Clock Company, which 
dates its existence from 1853. The pioneer of this industry in 
Connecticut had three sons; in 1809 Seth Thomas became 
asociated with one of the younger Terrys, and in 1853 the 
Seth Thomas Clock Company of Thomaston was organized. 
They manufacture annually about four hundred thousand 
clocks, furnishing employment for nearly one thousand per- 
sons. Other notable industries in this line are the Water- 
bury Clock Company, located in the city of that name, which 
dates its incorporation from 1857, and the Parker Clock 
Company of Meriden, organized in 1893. 

The old high-pattern wooden clock was manufactured in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century at Waterbury. But 
the initiatory enterprise which has culminated in her being 
the centre of the brass industries of the country, and earned 
for her the title of "The Brass City," was laid about 1800. 
At this time Henry, Samuel, and Silas Grilley began to make 
buttons from block tin or pewter, casting them in iron moulds. 
Even previous to this, about 1760, a silversmith named 
Joseph Hopkins had covered iron buttons with silver. An 
improvement having been made in attaching the shanks and 
eyes of the metal button, a company was organized in 1802, 
under the firm name of Abel Porter & Co. Eighteen 
months were consumed in preliminary efforts, and employ- 
ment was finally given to thirteen men. The copper was 
obtained by melting old stills, tea-kettles, etc., into ingots, 
which were rolled into sheets on a pair of two-Inch rollers 
operated by horse power. 

The capital of the concern becoming exhausted by experi- 
ments. It was not until 1 820 that any Impetus was given to the 
business. Then James Croft, an Englishman with a thor- 



ough knowledge of button-making, was engaged. But it could 
not be considered as on a substantial basis until about 1830, 
when Joel Hayden perfected a machine for covering buttons. 
Though since its earliest days Waterbury has not been with- 
out a button factory, there has been only one, the Waterbury 
Button Company, that has been engaged distinctly in this 
line of manufacture. 

One of the largest button companies in the United States 
is located at Shelton. The firm was established in 1846 at 
Botsford, by John Griffin, the father of the present members 
of the firm, and the inventor of the first cam machine for 
turning horn buttons. The manufacture of paper buttons 
was carried on for over forty years at Wallingford. In the 
value of her productions in this industry in 1900, Connec- 
ticut was only exceeded by New York. 

One of the early pioneers in the button industry was Aaron 
Benedict, who started in 1 8 1 2 to manufacture horn and ivory 
buttons. Eleven years later gilt buttons were made, but it 
was not until 1829 that any attempt was made to roll the 
brass consumed. Then Benedict & Coe, an outgrowth of the 
pioneer establishment, manufactured their own brass, and a 
few years later german-silver, which has become the great- 
est industry of Waterbury. 

The aggregate capital invested in the brass industry in 
1830 was less than $100,000; the growth has been so phe- 
nomenal, that in 1900 Connecticut ranked first in the United 
States in her annual products. In brass rolling she manufac- 
tures three-fourths, in castings one-third, and in brassware 
one-half, of the total products of the country. These com- 
bined interests employ about twelve hundred of her citizens, 
and represent a capital of over $20,000,000. 

The oldest joint-stock corporation in Waterbury, the Ben- 



edict & Burnham Manufacturing Company, was organized in 
1843. There were other incorporated companies in existence 
at this locality previous to that date, among which was the 
Waterbury Manufacturing Company, which by a special act 
of Legislature in 1 8 14 was made a corporation for the manu- 
facture of wool and cotton fabrics. In 1833, by special char- 
ter the Naugatuck Manufacturing Company was created for 
the production of fine broadcloths. The members of the 
Benedict & Burnham Manufacturing Company have been the 
originators of other concerns, which have materially benefited 
the city. Their productions consist of copper and all its 
alloys, and german-silver ; they also make seamless tubings, 
lamp burners and trimmings, safety pins, and wire of all 

Among other prominent brass industries in Waterbury is 
the Scovill Manufacturing Company, an outgrowth of one 
of the early metal button enterprises. In 1842 they began 
the manufacture of plated metal for daguerreotype plates, 
and subsequently engaged in the manufacturing of cameras 
and other materials for daguerreotyping. In 1889 they 
formed an independent corporation for their photographic 
business, and removed the industry to New Haven and New 

Brown & Eaton were also pioneers; they were organized 
in 1830 by Israel Holmes, an employee of the Scovills. After 
various changes the firm was dissolved in 1856, the business 
being divided equally between Brown Brothers, who became 
financially embarrassed, and Holmes, Booth & Hayden. The 
latter formed a corporation in 1853, and are among the 
largest producers of brass, german-silver, and copper in 
sheets, from which they manufacture a diversified line of use- 
ful articles. From the former concern sprung the firm of 



Randolph & Clowes. The Plume & Atwood Manufacturing 
Company was incorporated in 1869; the Waterbury Brass 
Company was established in 1845 ^Y Timothy Porter. 

The first attempt to make brass kettles by battery process 
in the United States was in 1834, when Israel Coe, Anson G. 
Phelps, and John Hungerford established this industry in 
Wolcottville, now Torrington. The panic of 1837 caused a 
suspension of the business. It was revived in 1841, however, 
in connection with a rolling mill, and the Wolcottville Brass 
Company was organized. For a decade the business 
prospered, but then went into a decline until 1863, when the 
Coe Brass Company was formed. Brass wire and german- 
silver were manufactured. About 1873 brass for small arms, 
cartridges, etc, was made; this specialty resulted in the com- 
pany securing a large foreign trade. About this time they 
purchased the plant of Wallace & Sons at Ansonia, where 
braziers, copper sheathings, cornices, wire, etc, were manu- 

The foundation of the city of Ansonia was laid by Anson 
G. Phelps in 1844, in the establishment of the Ansonia Manu- 
facturing Company. This pioneer copper industry, through 
the efforts of its founder, consolidated with the Birmingham 
Copper Mills; a reorganization took place in 1869, when 
the name of the Ansonia Brass and Copper Company was 
adopted. The plant covers over sixteen acres, and is divided 
into four sections, which are known as the copper, wire, brass 
and lamp fixtures, and insulating mills. 

The New Haven Copper Company of Seymour was first 
established under the title of the Humphreysville Manufac- 
turing Company; it operates a branch mill at East New 
Haven, and braziers, sheeting copper, polished copper, etc, 
are among its productions. The Birmingham Brass Com- 



pany, of Shelton borough, is an outgrowth of the Osborne & 
Cheeseman Company, which for half a century was one of the 
best known concerns in the brass trade. 

The firm of James Graham was organized in New Haven 
in 1861 ; their output consists of all kinds of brass and com- 
position castings and all grades of Babbitt metal. The 
Andrew B. Hendrix Company of the same city manufacture 
nearly three-fifths of the bird cages made in the United States, 
their capacity being one hundred and fifty dozen a day. They 
are also large producers of fishing-reels, chains, and picture 
wire, for which a market is found in every part of the world. 

One of the most important industries of Bridgeport is the 
Bridgeport Brass Company, founded in 1865, manufacturing 
brass and copper goods of every description. They employ 
about eight hundred workmen, and in every country on the 
globe where illuminating oil is used, this concern is known. 
The Bridgeport Copper Company produces electrotypic cop- 
per, in the shape of wire bars, cakes, and ingots. 

The manufacture of metals in their primitive state engen- 
dered kindred industries, and iron and steel were made into a 
variety of articles. In the production of machine screws, Con- 
necticut ranks first in the United States; her four establish- 
ments engaged in the work have an annual output of over 
$2,000,000. Prominent among these is the Hartford Ma- 
chine Screw Company, organized in 1876. They manufac- 
ture all sizes of screws, from those for the heaviest engine to 
the kind that enter into the construction of the smallest part 
of a watch. They receive royalties on their patents from 
many of the largest manufacturers in this country and 
Europe. They have established a branch at Elyria, Ohio, for 
the accommodation of their Western trade. 

In metal-working machinery, Connecticut is third in the 



amount of her products. Her forty-eight establishments, 
from a total aggregate of three hundred and ninety-seven in 
the United States, have an invested capital of $8,000,000, 
and employ over 4,000 persons. 

The Farrell Foundry and Machine Company plant is the 
second largest in Ansonia, covering several acres of ground; 
heavy castings, for iron, brass, copper, and india-rubber 
machinery, are made. This industry was established in 1848 
by Almon Farrell, and Sylvester and Sullivan M. Colburn, 
twin brothers. In 1836 they inaugurated large works at 
Derby, with a branch at Shelton ; they had previously carried 
on a small foundry at Westville. This concern was incor- 
porated in 1850, under the name of the Birmingham Iron 
Foundry; in addition to rubber and rolling-mill machinery, 
all kinds of iron and brass castings were produced. The Wa- 
terbury branch of the Farrell Foundry and Machine Com- 
pany was purchased in 1880 by E. C. Lewis, who organized 
a joint-stock company; power presses, lathes, rolling-mill 
machinery, shafting, etc., are produced. 

The Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company of Southington is a 
consolidation of three companies into a joint-stock company. 
All in their early careers were engaged in the manufacture 
of tinners' machinery and tools; they now rank among the 
largest producers of mechanics' tools, housekeeping imple- 
ments, and shelf hardware. The Meriden Machine Com- 
pany, incorporated in 1889, are manufacturers of forming 
lathes, for turning ornamental shapes in metals and wood. 

The Bridgeport Malleable Iron Company, established in 
1878, occupy a plant covering five acres, and employ over five 
hundred hands ; malleable and gray iron castings of the lar- 
gest kind are made. The Bridgeport Forge Company, incor- 



porated in 1883, make a specialty of wrought and steel forg- 
ings for marine work. 

Hartford produces engines, boilers, textile machinery, 
tools of various kinds and descriptions, chucks, horseshoe 
nails, returning steam traps, swaying check valves, and drop 
forging. The latter from its first introduction has so 
advanced that bars of iron, steel, or copper, can be trans- 
formed by the use of dies into any required shape and size 
with rapidity and precision. 

New Haven has manufactures of brass faucets and plumb- 
ers' materials; the Bigelow steam boilers; the firm of Sar- 
gent & Company, who undoubtedly rank at the head of the 
manufacturing hardware line in the country, employing 
about two thousand operatives; and the Star brand of scis- 
sors and shears. 

Derby has a razor factory, also one of the largest metalHc 
bedstead works in the Union. Torrington's skate manufac- 
turing establishment has an output of 750,000 pairs of skates 
a year. 

New Britain is the centre of the hardware manufacturing 
of New England; her pioneer being James North, a black- 
smith, who made brass buckles, andirons, etc., for home con- 
sumption. His five sons were taught different mechanical 
trades; the eldest, his namesake, became proficient in the 
manufacture of bells, andirons, clocks, spoons, harness and 
shoe buckles. Such quantities were produced that a market 
was sought at Albany and other points, the goods being trans- 
ported in saddle-bags. These industries were the forerunners 
of the drawing of silver-plated copper wire into hooks and 
rings for men's overcoats, hooks and eyes for women's use, 
aud curb chains for bridles; they laid the foundation of the 
present extensive manufactures in the city. 



There are scattered throughout the State various establish- 
ments that have aided In making Connecticut in 1900 the first 
State in the Union, in the hardware manufacturing line; pro- 
ducing nearly one-half of the total products of the United 
States. She is, however, exceeded In metal house-furnishing 
goods by New York. In saddlery hardware she again ranks 
first; her eight establishments in this line, employing over 
seven hundred hands, manufacture one-fourth of the total 
amount produced In the country. This industry was founded 
at Hartford in 1794 by Norman Smith, and for over a cen- 
tury his descendants have been engaged in the same enter- 
prise. The cutlery and edge-tool industry gives employment 
to over four thousand wage-earners, and Its productions 
equal one-third of the aggregate output of the country, mak- 
ing the State rank first in the Union. 

Bell making In Connecticut began late in the eighteenth 
century; a notion prevailed that their silvery tones were due 
to the generous contributions of silver in the composition of 
bell metal, hence a Spanish fourpence halfpenny was dropped 
into the molten mass. It has become an Important Industry 
in the State, furnishing more than two-thirds of the total 
production of the United States in 1900. There are seven 
establishments engaged in the manufactureof bells, principally 
located In the towns of Chatham and East Haddam. In the 
former the Industry dates back to an early date, when sleigh, 
hand, house, cow, sheep, door, and ship bells were made in 
limited quantities. One of the special features of the Centen- 
nial Exhibition was the exhibit of the Gong Bell Manufac- 
turing Company of East Haddam. Bicycle bells are made at 
Bristol and MIddletown, and clock bells at Thomaston. 

The introduction of lock-making In Connecticut is credited 
to Stephen C. Bucknell, an Englishman, who In 1832 settled 



in Watertown, and made locks for cabinets by the English 
method of hand labor. His progress was necessarily slow, 
and he disposed of his interests to those engaged in clock- 
making, but their machinery was not adapted to manufacture 
locks in competition with foreign labor. The Mallory 
Wheeler Company of New Haven, established in 1834, com- 
bine lock manufacturing with that of hardware; door locks 
and latches, knobs, padlocks, and bronze door furniture are 
made in numberless designs. 

The William Wilcox Manufacturing Company was estab- 
lished at Middletown in 1845. Plate locks, padlocks, wood 
hames, etc., are among its products. 

One of the earliest industries of South Norwalk was the 
Norwalk Lock Company, who made locks and builders' hard- 
ware in endless variety. The Smith & Egge Company of 
Bridgeport furnish the post-office mail locks that are used by 
the national government. 

The company that has given Connecticut a world-wide rep- 
utation in this industry is the Yale & Towne Manufacturing 
Company, which located at Stamford in the spring of 1869. 
The flat keyed lock which is known as the "Yale lock" is 
the invention of Linus Yale, Jr. He and his father were 
known as manufacturers of bank locks of superior construc- 
tion. This invention marked an era in lock manufacturing, 
— the substitution for the heavy lock and cumbersome key of 
a small flat key and a light-weight lock that can be applied 
to the heaviest door. Additional security from burglars is 
also obtained, as the key openings are much smaller than in 
the old-style locks. The company's vault door, with its time 
and combination locks and its automatic bolts, challenges the 
admiration of the world, though it fills the criminal operator 
with despair. The manufacture of fine locks suggested to 



the company fine hardware; and all sorts of door and cabinet 
hardware in bronze and iron, are among its productions. 
Their buildings, which are models of factory construction, 
extend over twenty acres; and when running in full capacity, 
employment is given to fourteen hundred hands. 

While in gas and lamp fixtures Connecticut only ranked 
fourth in 1900, in the total production of the United States 
in lamps and reflectors she stands first; her nine establish- 
ments in this line furnish one-fourth of the total amount man- 

One of the most important factors in the State in this line 
of industry is the Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Com- 
pany of Meriden. A half-century ago marks the inception 
of this great enterprise, when with a capital of only $5,000, 
a joint-stock company entitled Bradley, Hatch & Co. was 
organized. Various changes were made in the personnel 
of the company, from this time until 1875, when a new joint- 
stock company was formed under the present name. Their 
various styles of lamps, with the celebrated "B. & H." 
burner, are sold throughout the United States and foreign 

In addition to this line, oil stoves, gas fixtures, combina- 
tion gas and electric fixtures, bronze statuary, bronzes, brass 
tablets with onyx tops, and a great variety of other articles 
in brass and bronze, are manufactured. From a small wooden 
building, and a working force of less than a dozen hands, has 
arisen a hive of industry consisting of substantial brick build- 
ings, in which about one thousand five hundred operatives are 
employed. Among the other important industries in this 
line in Meriden are the Miller Lamp and Parker Lamp. 

That the early colonists of Connecticut were artisans and 
artificers in iron and steel, is fully evidenced by the fact that 



scattered throughout her limits are manufacturers of edge 
tools, which by their superiority have not only gained a repu- 
tation in this country but also in foreign lands. The imperial 
armories and private-gun factories of Germany, after the 
close of the Franco-German War, were equipped with tools 
and machinery of Hartford make. This, however, was only 
the beginning of a trade which has developed untd shipments 
are made to most of the European nations. 

Axes and edge tools were manufactured about 1812 by 
Wakeman Bradley in the town of Weston. About the same 
time gimlets were made in Chester by Ezra and Joseph 
L'Hommedieu; and three years later the former invented his 
ship auger. It was not until 1826 that any attempts were 
made by the manufacturers to sharpen the dull edges of the 
hand-made axes; these required several hours' work from 
the purchasers to fit them for use. In that year Samuel W. 
and David C. Collins, clerks in a hardware store, decided to 
undertake the manufacture of axes, ready ground and pol- 
ished, for the market. They established their first shop at 
Hartford, and made eight axes a day. They subsequently 
moved some fifteen miles west of that city, on the Farmington 
River, and a village sprung up around their works which was 
named Collinsville. The company's wares, on account of 
their superior quality, have large sales in foreign countries. 
Not only axes are manufactured, but adzes, machetes, sugar- 
cane knives, railway tools, cast-iron ploughs, agricultural and 
mining Implements, and many other iron and steel tools. 

The pins manufactured before the Revolutionary War 
were very crude. They were drawn from wire by hand, and 
the head made by twisting fine wire around the top of the 
body of the pin. About 1824 a machine was invented that 
made solid heads to the pins, by a process on the same prln- 



ciple as that used for making nail heads, by driving a portion 
of the pin itself into a countersunk hole. In 1831 Dr. J. S. 
Howe succeeded in perfecting a machine that made a pin by 
one operation; this was afterwards improved so that a solid- 
headed pin was produced. This was soon followed by the 
pin-sticking and paper-crimping machines, which so facili- 
tated matters that the business steadily increased to its present 
large proportions. 

That Connecticut is the largest producer of needles and 
pins of any State in the Union, is due to the fact that the man- 
ufacturers of these articles were attracted to the State on 
account of her metal industries and the ingenuity of her citi- 
zens. In 1900 her productions in this line were not exceeded 
by any other State; in fact, she manufactured sixty-five per 
cent, of the entire output of the United States. One of the 
largest pin manufactories in the country is located at Winsted, 
where it was established in 1854; three years afterwards It 
was incorporated under the name of the New England Pin 
Company. The American Pin Company of Waterbury was 
organized in 1846, and was an outgrowth of an industry 
started at Poughkeepsie, New York. The company after- 
wards purchased the Fowler Pin Machine. 

The making of needles by the cold-swaging process, which 
reduces the wire without heating, annealing, or grinding, is 
successfully carried on by the Excelsior Needle Company at 

The largest concern in the world for manufacturing eyelets 
is the Schneller, Osborne & Cheeseman Company of Ansonia; 
a specialty is made of eyelets for corsets and shoes. 

The Union Thimble Company of Naugatuck enjoys the 
distinction of having the only manufactory of steel thimbles 



in the country; there are but few concerns making thim- 
bles of any kind. 

In the manufacture of stamped ware, Connecticut ranked 
fourth in 1900, and in electrical apparatus and supplies 
eighth, in the total amount produced in the United States. 

In the insulation of electric wires, the manufacturers of the 
"Kerite" at Seymour, and the New York Insulating Wire 
Company at Wallingford, are important factors. 

The manufacture of silver spoons and other articles of lux- 
ury was carried on before the Revolutionary War, by John 
Austin, at Hartford. The next party to engage in this indus- 
try was Jacob Sargent, who manufactured silverware on a 
more extensive scale. He included gold beads, ear-drops, sil- 
ver spoons, ladles, sword trimmings, and old fashioned tall 
clocks among his productions. Mr. Sargent was the leading 
merchant in this line in Connecticut. He was succeeded by 
Job Q. and Walter Pitkin, who, besides carrying on the jew- 
elry business, operated an outside shop where solid silver 
spoons, forks, and spectacle frames were made. 

The tinware industries of the State having become largely 
extended by peddling in the South and West, a demand was 
created for a better class of goods. This caused the introduc- 
tion of pewter, which was composed of four parts lead to one 
of English block tin; from this combination of metals both 
flat and hollow tableware were made. Among the pioneers of 
this industry were Ashbel Griswold at Meriden, and Charles 
and Hiram Yale at Wallingford. The business of the latter 
firm steadily increased, which caused them to import from 
England skilled workmen, who in that country had used a 
compound where a metal of harder and finer texture had been 
substituted for lead, making the articles manufactured from 
it susceptible of a more durable polish. This composite metal 



was known as britannia, and by the adoption of its use the 
Yales became the largest manufacturers in the country of a 
large line of hollow ware, such as tea sets, communion ser- 
vices, etc. 

The pioneer in Meriden carried on the business for a num- 
ber of years ; eventually other firms became interested, and in 
1850 there were four important manufacturers of britannia 
ware in Meriden, whose merchandise was all marketed by one 
of their number. To facilitate the management of affairs and 
curtail expenses, they were organized under one head as the 
Meriden Britannia Company. At the time of the organiza- 
tion of this company, all articles were cast in moulds. Four 
years later the rolling of metals was begun and the formation 
was by spinning and stamping; electroplating was introduced 
in 1856. In the early sixties, metal or nickel silver was sub- 
stituted for britannia as a base metal. In late years sterling 
silverware has also been produced. 

The discovery of electro silverplating at Hartford in 1846, 
by Asa H. William and Simeon S. Rogers, marks an era in the 
manufacture of silver-plated articles. The business began in 
a small way, in a cellar in Hartford. In 1857 a factory was 
built; in 1858, WiUiam Rogers having retired from the firm, 
the other two brothers removed to Waterbury and started a 
rival concern. In 1862 the three brothers again united In 
business at Meriden; they adopted as a trademark "1847 
Rogers Brothers." This was sold to the Meriden Britannia 
Company, who still retain it. 

William Rogers resumed business at Hartford in 1865, un- 
der the firm name of William Rogers Manufacturing Com- 
pany. In 1 87 1 Asa H. Rogers and his nephew began manu- 
facturing in the same city under the name of Rogers Cutlery 
Company; eight years later the two firms were consolidated 



as the William Rogers Manufacturing Company. They 
use all the steel blanks manufactured by the Norwich Cutlery 
Company, in which they are interested. The Industry at Wa- 
terbury, after the withdrawal of the Rogers brothers, was en- 
larged and improved from time to time, and their "The 
Olive" was among the first fancy patterns in electro-silver 
plate made In America. Their trade-mark "(Star) Rogers & 
Bro. Ai" has become celebrated. 

The Yates factory at Walllngford was purchased by Sam- 
uel Simpson, who in 1847 sold it to John Munson, and it af- 
terwards became consolidated with the Meriden Britannia 
Company. Mr. Simpson re-engaged in business, adopting 
the electro-plating process, but In 1854 sold his two factories 
to the Meriden Britannia Company. The following year he 
formed a partnership with Robert Wallace, who In 1834 
compounded the first german-silver ever made in America. 
As Wallace had no means, he entered the employ of Hall, 
Elton & Co., who utilized the new method, and thereby 
became the pioneers In the manufacture of german-silver tea 
and table spoons in America. 

The manufacture of flat and hollow silver ware Is one of 
the largest Industries In Walllngford; this Is largely due to 
the enterprise of Samuel Simpson, Robert Wallace, Aimer 
Hall, William Elton, G. I. Mix, and others. Meriden, 
which has acquired the soubriquet of "The Silver City," is 
replete with manufactures of every description of plated 
silver ware, and to some extent of the sterling article. 

At Derby there is a factory which makes a specialty of 
novelties for hotel use : clocks, table, and sideboard plate. At 
Shelton borough, a full line of silver-plated forged-steel 
table cutlery is produced. MIddletown also has a silver- 
plated ware industry. The Holmes & Edwards Silver Com- 



pany of Bridgeport, are the owners of a process of inlaying 
with sterling silver. 

The combined productions of the twenty-six establishments 
engaged in manufacturing plated and britannia ware, in Con- 
necticut, is equal to over three-fourths of the aggregate pro- 
duced in the United States, which in 1900 amounted to 
$12,000,000. Nearly forty-five hundred of her citizens are 
wage-earners in this industry. 

During the early part of the nineteenth century there were 
spasmodic attempts to manufacture watches. In 1838 Pitkin 
Brothers established a plant at Hartford, and after produc- 
ing eight hundred movements by machinery were compelled 
to abandon the project. Nelson P. Stratton, who was con- 
nected with them, afterwards became identified with the 
Waltham Watch Company. 

The low-priced watch that is not a sham dates from the 
experimenting of Charles Benedict, who in the fall of 1879 
placed upon the market a watch which attracted public atten- 
tion on account of its astounding cheapness. This was due 
to an invention that dispensed with about three-fourths of the 
wheels and small parts. The Waterbury Watch Company 
was organized in 1880, and has established agencies in every 
quarter of the globe. Although the production was at first 
confined to the cheap "Waterbury watch," today expensive 
and handsome designs, as well as a variety of movements of 
various sizes, are manufactured. 



The Diversified Industries 

NOT only in textile and metal industries has Con- 
necticut taken an important place in the man- 
ufacturing world: from 1870 to 1900, in pro- 
portion to her population, she led all other 
States in the number of patents granted her 
citizens, with the exception of four years when she was sec- 
ond. Prior to 1870 the Patent Commissioner's reports are 
incomplete, there being no record of patents taken out by 
States. This inventive genius led to the establishment of 
numerous varied industries, which have tended to make Con- 
necticut the home of a diversity of manufactured articles, 
both novel and unique in their designs. 

The success of the rubber industry is due to the inventive 
genius of one of her sons. Native rubber had been used for 
a number of years for waterproof wearing apparel, also for 
cloth for carriage tops; but it was only in 1832 that a Ger- 
man chemist discovered that sulphur would deprive rubber, 
dissolved in oil of turpentine, of its lack of pliability. About 
this time Nathaniel Hayward, a citizen of Massachusetts, 
noticed that flowers of sulphur scattered upon leaves of rub- 
ber weakened their adhesive powers. It remained, however, 
for Charles Goodyear to discover in 1839 the method by 
which rubber could be put to practical use. While experi- 
menting with rubber and sulphur, he accidentally overturned 
a small quantity of the composition upon a hot stove; this 
proved that heat was the one thing necessary to vulcanize rub- 
ber. Previous to this, shoes made of this material, even 
when partially sulphurized by oil of vitriol, melted in summer 
and were stiff and odorous in winter. Goodyear was deco- 
rated with the Cross of the Legion of Honor by the French 
Emperor. He inherited his inventive genius from his father, 



who resided at Naugatuck, and was the author of several 

Hayward,who was an associate of Goodyear, was visited at 
his works in Woburn, Massachusetts, by Leverett Candee, a 
manufacturer of elastic suspenders at Hampden in that State; 
he requested Hayward to make him a rubber shoe ; on receipt 
of samples he established in 1842 a factory at New Hav-en. 
Shortly after this, Mr. Hayward removed to Connecticut, and 
in 1844 established himself at Lisbon, where he commenced 
the manufacture of rubber shoes. Three years later he organ- 
ized the Hayward Rubber Company at Colchester, with a 
second factory at Bozrah for the preparation of the crude rub- 

Identified with the promoter in this plant was William A. 
Buckingham, afterwards vvar Governor of the State; he had 
charge of its financial management from its inception until 
his death. The plant was the largest of the kind in the coun- 
try, having a capacity of 10,000 pair a day. The Hayward 
Rubber Company closed its works in 1885 ; three years after- 
wards it was succeeded by the Colchester Rubber Company, 
which was finally absorbed by the United States Rubber 
Company, which closed the plant and removed the machinery. 

Goodyear, after perfecting his patents in 1845, granted 
a license for manufacturing purposes to the Naugatuck Rub- 
ber Company. They immediately began to make shoes, drug- 
gists' sundries, army and navy equipments, etc. The outbreak 
of the California fever gave them the opportunity to furnish 
pioneers' outfits; and during the Civil War, millions of 
blankets were made. The business was then conducted under 
the name of the Phoenix Rubber Company. The name of the 
corporation was changed in 1848 to the Union India Rubber 
Company, and a factory was opened at Middletown for the 




manufacture of rubber clothing. It afterwards became known 
as the Goodyear Rubber Company, and the production was 
changed to a high grade of foot-wear. 

The Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Company was started 
at Naugatuck in 1843; '^ ^'^^ the first concern to introduce 
the popular Arctic shoe. The next year saw the organization 
of the Goodyear India Rubber Glove Manufacturing Com- 
pany, which located at Litchfield, but three years afterwards 
removed to Naugatuck. At this time they employed seven 
hands, and gloves, mittens, and finger-cots were manufac- 
tured. Gradually their line was extended, until clothing, 
boots and shoes, surgical and druggists' sundries were pro- 
duced. In 1 88 1 the plant of the Phoenix Rubber Company 
was purchased. 

The infant industry at New Haven had had a phenomenal 
growth. In 1850 Mr. Candee organized a trust known as the 
Goodyear Shoe Association for making shoes under Good- 
year's patents; he also incorporated the business at New 
Haven, and interested the Hotchkiss brothers in the new 

There are now five establishments in Connecticut engaged 
in the rubber boot and shoe industry; this is an increase of 
three in the last decade. Employment is given to over 
5,000 hands, and in 1900 they furnished one-fourth of the 
total production of the United States, Connecticut being 
exceeded only by Massachusetts in the aggregate amount 

The process of solidifying rubber, making it susceptible of 
polish and also of being moulded into any desired form, the 
product of which is designated as v^ulcanite or hard rubber, 
was patented in 1851 by Nelson Goodyear, a brother of 
Charles. This discovery, which was simply using an increased 



amount of sulphur and subjecting the compound to a higher 
temperature, was developed at a factory in Newtown. Among 
the first licenses issued for its use was that to the Beaver 
Dam Company at Beaver Dam; they were succeeded by the 
American Hard Rubber Company, which was afterwards con- 
solidated with New York interests of a like nature. 

The principal manufacturers of hard rubber in Connect- 
icut are H. P. & E. Day of Seymour, who make fountain 
pens, and the Johns-Pratt Company of Hartford, who pro- 
duce a compound called "Vulcabeston." The Seamless Rub- 
ber Company of New Haven, organized 1879, manufacture 
an extensive line of druggists' sundries. The Metropolitan 
Rubber Company located at Wallingford in 1890, for the 
manufacture of rubber clothing. 

There are two novel rubber industries in Bridgeport. One 
of these, the Canfield Rubber Company, does an annual busi- 
ness of over a million dollars in dress shields; another estab- 
lishment produces bath-tub plugs, closet flanges, plumbers' 
rings, and various other articles used for mechanical and 
sanitary purposes. 

The practical use of the bicycle caused a rapid growth of 
the pneumatic rubber-tire industry. The earliest manufac- 
turers were John S. Gray & Co. of Hartford, who made solid 
and cushion tires for the pioneer bicycles. These works were 
afterwards purchased by Colonel Albert A. Pope, who 
enlarged them, and incorporated the Hartford Rubber Com- 

The reclaiming of rubber from worn-out goods dates 
from the time that the success of vulcanization was demon- 
strated. The factory at Naugatuck operated by the United 
States Rubber Company is the largest and most complete in 
the world. Connecticut had in 1900 twenty-five establish- 






ments engaged in the production of rubber and elastic goods; 
about 3,000 hands were employed, and she ranked third in the 
Union in her productions. 

The introduction of the manufacture of firearms by Eli 
Whitney at Whitneyville made it one of the permanent indus- 
tries of the State. The parent company, the Whitney Arms 
Company, was absorbed in 1858 by the Winchester Arms 
Company, of which the Winchester Repeating Arms Com- 
pany is an outgrowth. About 18 10 the manufacture of fire- 
arms was begun by Oliver Bidwell at Middletown, and four 
years later Colonel North started a pistol factory in that city. 
The government placed large orders with him, and also for 
swords manufactured by parties in that locality. 

An impetus was given to the manufacture of firearms, when 
in 1835-36 Samuel Colt perfected his patents in Great Britain 
and the United States, for a pistol having a rotary cylinder 
containing several chambers, to be discharged through a 
single barrel. The United States government refused to 
adopt the weapon, and this caused the failure of a New Jer- 
sey company formed for its manufacture. At the outbreak of 
the Mexican war, through the solicitations of General Zach- 
ary Taylor, the government ordered one thousand pistols, 
their efficiency having been demonstrated in the battle for 
Texan independence and in the Seminole War. 

The government contract, for lack of facilities, was 
assigned to Eli Whitney ; but in 1 848 a plant was provided in 
Hartford, and business came in ceaseless and swelling 
streams, due to the Mexican war and California gold craze. 
Orders were received from foreign countries, also from the 
remote outposts of civilization. Ten years afterward sixty 
thousand revolvers were made in a single year; these were 
largely used by the English in the Crimean War, and by Gari- 



baldi in Italy. The Colt Patent Fire Arms Company was 
incorporated in 1856, and in addition to pistols, has from 
time to time added the manufacture of gun machinery, rifles, 
shot-guns, Catling guns, and the Colt automatic machine gun, 
besides other articles. 

The Sharp's Rifle Manufacturing Company had at one 
time a factory at Hartford. The Hotchkiss gun, which is 
used mostly to form the secondary batteries for war vessels, is 
also manufactured at Hartford. The Marlin Firearms Com- 
pany is a feature of New Haven's industrial world. The 
American Ordnance Company was incorporated in 1896; it 
is located at Bridgeport, and manufactures heavy ordnance 
for the United States government. The Parker breech-load- 
ing shot gun, made at Meriden, has gained a world-wide rep- 
utation. Connecticut ranks third in the Union in the produc- 
tion of firearms. 

Late in the eigheenth century a powder mill was established 
at Middletown, and since that time the manufacture of ammu- 
nition has been one of the leading industries of the State. In 
1900 she ranked first in the Union in this manufacture, pro- 
ducing three-quarters of the total output, and employing more 
than 4,500 wage earners. 

The first manufacture of friction matches under an Ameri- 
can patent was begun in 1836 at Hartford. The Diamond 
Match Company, which dates its birth from 1854, is among 
the important industries of the world; its headquarters are at 

One of the most important inventions of the nineteenth 
century was the sewing-machine. For the ingenuity of its 
construction the public is indebted to a poor mechanic, who, 
though not a native of Connecticut, served during the War of 
the Rebellion as a common soldier in one of her volunteer reg- 



Iments. Elias Howe perfected his patent in 1 846 ; but receiv- 
ing no encouragement in this country, went to England, where 
he disposed of the rights to that country. On his return to 
America, he found that others had utiHzed the foundations 
he had laid, and had made many valuable improvements. 

A journeyman cabinet-maker, while working in Michigan, 
without ever having seen a sewing-machine, conceived the idea 
of one; and in 1849, while a resident of Massachusetts, com- 
pleted its construction. Its peculiar features were a two- 
pointed shuttle and two-motion feed, which made a stitch at 
each forward and backward motion of the shuttle, while the 
feed motion enabled the machine to sew continuous seams of 
any length, straight, or at any angle or curvature. The Howe 
patent made a lock stitch, and by use of the shuttle interlocked 
the two threads; these improvements made a loop or double 
chain stitch, and while more thread was consumed, the seam 
was more durable. 

Allen B. Wilson, the inventor of this new machine, received 
a patent in 1850; but not being satisfied with his shuttle, he 
sought a more efficient device, and finally invented a rotary 
hook and stationary bobbin, which with a four-motion feed 
completed the fundamental principles of a rotary hook lock- 
stitching machine, rendering it practical for family use. Mr. 
Nathaniel Wheeler, a member of a firm that manufactured 
buckles, buttons, and other small metallic wares at Water- 
town, while on a business trip to New York City in 1850, 
saw on exhibition one of Wilson's sewing-machines, and con- 
tracted with the patentee (engaging him as superintendent) 
to build five hundred of them at his factory. This contract 
was not carried out; but in its place a copartnership was 
formed under the name of Wheeler, Wilson & Co. for 
exploiting Wilson's inventions. This was succeeded in 1853 



by the joint-stock company of the Wheeler & Wilson Manu- 
facturing Company, and three years later the factory was 
removed to Bridgeport. The works in that city cover eight 
acres of ground, and employment is usually given to 1,200 

In the production of sewing machines the State is only 
exceeded by New Jersey; her seven establishments in 1900 
gave employment to about 2,100 hands. 

The Weed Sewing Machine Company was organized in 
1863 at West Winsted; their object was to manufacture an 
original sewing-machine, patented by T. E. Weed. They 
removed to Hartford two years later ; the business was pros- 
perous until competition between the different manufacturers 
brought it to the verge of ruin. In 1878 the company was 
visited by Colonel Albert A. Pope of Boston, who submitted 
to them a proposition to manufacture for him the Columbia 
Bicycle. To this they agreed, and the work of their skilled 
mechanics, and their high reputation as sewing-machine man- 
ufacturers, were devoted to the perfecting of the bicycle. 
The result was so successful that in 1890 Colonel Pope, ta 
facilitate manufacturing, was confronted with the alternative 
of either purchasing the stock of the Weed Manufacturing 
Company, or building elsewhere. A liberal proposition was 
made by Colonel Pope and his associates to the stockholders 
of the company, which resulted in their acquiring the entire 
property, and the company was absorbed by the Pope Man- 
ufacturing Company. 

Thus, in fourteen years from the time Colonel Pope exhib- 
ited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia the first 
modern bicycle, which he had imported from England, a 
chain of factories have developed in Hartford, which at times 
employ 5,000 hands, and placed Connecticut in 1900 fourth 




in a rank in the United States in the manufacture of bicycles. 
The business was for a time merged in the great trust, the 
American Bicycle Company, and its head office removed to 
New York, Colonel Pope retiring from the management. 
But without his ability and experience it ran down, and he 
resumed the management and restored the headquarters to 

There was organized in Hartford in 1879 the Smyth 
Manufacturing Company, for the development of a ma- 
chine for sewing books with thread; after overcoming 
manv difficulties, the company has succeeded in introducing 
these machines into the leading binderies of this and foreign 
countries. They have also placed upon the market a book- 
case machine which operates automatically, except that one 
person feeds the cut cloth. 

The first paper-making industry in the State was started 
at Norwich in 1766 by Christopher Leffingwell, under a 
promise from the Legislature to pay a bounty of twopence a 
quire on writing paper, and one penny a quire on all printing 
and common paper. This was discontinued, however, at the 
end of two years. Mr. Leffingwell in 1777 associated with 
him as a partner his son-in-law Thomas Hubbard, and the 
ownership of the mills has ever since remained in the family. 
The present company, the A. H. Hubbard Company, is sit- 
uated on the Yantic River, where colored paper is manu- 

Here the first Fourdrinier machine made in America was 
in 1829 placed and put in operation; previous to this, paper 
was made by hand, a sheet at a time. This machine was man- 
ufactured at Stafford by Phelps & Spofford; the drying cylin- 
ders were not added until 1 83 1 . 

Previous to 1776 there were seven paper mills in New Eng- 



land, only one of which was located in Connecticut. The 
daily output not being over one thousand pounds, which was 
not enough to supply home consumption, and the Revolution- 
ary War preventing shipments from foreign markets, new 
mills were started. 

Watson & Ledyard erected in 1776 at East Hartford one 
of the first paper mills in the Connecticut valley. This mill 
supplied paper for a weekly issue of eight thousand papers 
from the Hartford press, in addition to the greater part of 
the writing paper used in Connecticut and by the Conti- 
nental Army. 

The manufacture of paper has been continuous in the State 
since its inauguration at Norwich. The Chelsea Mills, 
located at Greeneville on the Shetucket River, and the Pacific 
Mills at Windsor Locks, were in i860 among the largest of 
the kind in the world. High-grade book, writing and col- 
ored lithograph papers were made in large quantities. The 
Uncas Paper Mills, located at Thamesville in the city of 
Norwich, manufacture about ten tons of paper daily, which 
is largely used in making boxes. 

The manufacture of paper has been since 1852 a leading 
industry in the town of Montville, The mills are located on 
the Oxoboxo River; at the outset book and newspaper were 
made, but they have given place to manilas. A plant in Sey- 
mour covering many acres is the outgrowth of a paper indus- 
try started in 1805 by General Humphrey; in 1857 Sharon 
Y. Beach and others became interested in it, and in 1880 the 
S. Y. Beach Company was formed. They make a specialty of 
colored papers. 

Connecticut had in 1900 forty-nine establishments, rep- 
resenting $4,000,000 of capital engaged in the manufacture 



of paper; in book, wrapping, and straw board her annual 
production was 59,807 tons. 

This production gave rise to kindred industries. The State 
ranked fifth in her manufacture of fancy paper boxes, and 
1,632 wage-earners were employed in this branch. The most 
notable factory is located at Meriden, where it was estab- 
lished in 1862 by Edgar J. Doolittle. Here every descrip- 
tion of paper boxes is produced, from the cheapest cartons to 
the finest boxes lined with silk, satin, or plush. 

Connecticut in 1900 ranked second in the manufacture of 
envelopes, making more than one-quarter of the total produc- 
tion of the United States. The Plimpton Manufacturing 
Company of Hartford dates its incipiency from 1865, and 
has one of the most perfectly equipped plants in the country, 
with a capacity of three million envelopes a day. The com- 
pany has since 1874, with the exception of one year, had the 
government contract for the manufacture of stamped enve- 

The manufacture of hats has always held a prominent 
position among the industries of America. The abrogation 
by the Revolution of the acts of Parliament restricting their 
manufacture, stimulated the industry in a greater or less 
degree in almost every State of the Union. By the old pro- 
cess of hand labor, a man could make in a day four or five 
hat bodies, which was the first stage of preparation. As 
early as 1799 inventions Vvcre patented to cheapen the cost of 

Though other industries had priority in the city of Dan- 
bury, the manufacture of hats has been the dominating fea- 
ture in its growth and prosperity. In a little red building 
at the northern edge of the village, Zadoc Bennett in 1780 
started this industry, and he is rightly named the father of 



hatting In Danbury. The work was all done by hand, one 
journeyman and two apprentices being employed; three hats 
were made each day. 

In 1810 there were fifty-six hat shops In operation In the 
township of Danbury, but no shop employed over five hands; 
the hats were finished in the rough, then sent to New York 
City to be made ready for sale. The shops were small plank 
rooms, heated by a wood fire, where men gathered about a 
kettle, and pulled and hauled the bodies of coarse fur which 
had been formed by their own hands, at the rate of one a 
minute. These shops gradually increased their capacity, 
which tended to cause a diminution in their number, and the 
inauguration of larger factories was hastened by the introduc- 
tion of machinery. 

In 1820 a machine was invented for forming hat bodies; 
Stephen Hurlburt of Glastonbury a decade later secured a 
patent for the hardening of hats upon a cone, thereby cheap- 
ening the production of the stiff or Derby hat. This was 
followed by a machine for coloring, which hitherto had been 
a slow and tedious process; then in 1849 ^ fur-hat forming 
machine was patented, which revolutionized the trade. 

The name of Mallory has been identified with hatting In 
Danbury since the early part of the nineteenth century. The 
pioneer Ezra Mallory established a hat-shop on a small scale 
at Great Plain in 18 13, employing from six to twelve hands, 
and turning out from three to six dozen hats a week. The 
present firm of E. A. Mallory & Sons, who are descendants 
of the founder, possess one of the largest and best equipped 
hat factories in the country. They employ from 350 to 450 
hands, and 48,000 dozen hats are made annually. 

Women's straw hats of fine quality were made In New Eng- 
land during the eighteenth century; the material used being 



field and meadow grasses, also oat straw, which was bleached 
in the vapor of burning sulphur and then braided. Miss 
Sophia Woodhouse, a resident of Wethersfield, in 1821 sent 
to the Society of Arts in London, England, samples of a new 
material for making straw hats in imitation of Leghorn; 
this was a meadow grass known as tickle-moth, which grew 
abundantly in that section of the country. The London deal- 
ers pronounced the bonnet sent for inspection superior in 
fineness and color to the best Leghorn, and the Society voted 
Miss Woodhouse a large silver medal and twenty guineas, 
on the condition that she would furnish them with seed, a 
description of the bleaching process, and the treatment of 
the grass, with evidence that she was the original discoverer 
of the process. The same year a patent was granted by the 
United States government to Gardiner and Sophia Wells 
(nee Woodhouse) for a process of making bonnets and hats 
of grass. 

The manufacture of fur and straw hats forms an important 
feature in the industrial enterprises of Norwalk, South Nor- 
walk, and Stamford. In 1900 Connecticut ranked first in the 
production of hats, making one-third of the aggregate num- 
ber manufactured in the United States, and furnishing 
employment to about 5,000 persons. 

There is another article of wearing apparel in the manufac- 
ture of which she ranks first, viz., corsets. Her twenty-four 
establishments in this line represent a capital of over three mil- 
lions of dollars, and produce over twice that amount in man- 
ufactured merchandise, which is nearly fifty per cent, of the 
total production of the country. Nearly 6,000 operatives 
are employed. The city of Bridgeport is the centre of this 
industry. The Warner Brothers Company organized in 
1874, employs nearly 2,000 hands. Langdon Batcheller & 



Co. is the oldest firm manufacturing hand-made corsets in this 
country. Their wares were formerly made in Paris and 
London; they erected their present factory in 1876, and their 
full force comprises 1,000 operatives. The Bridgeport Cor- 
set Company dates its organization from 1865; there is a 
branch establishment at Birmingham. 

In the manufacture of carriages, the State in 1900 ranked 
tenth; though her one hundred and seventeen establishments 
are widely scattered, a large proportion of them are located 
in New Haven and its immediate vicinity. 

The ten manufacturers of pianos in Connecticut produce 
annually 7,500 instruments, valued at $1,000,000, which 
causes the State to rank sixth in the L^nion in this line of 
industry. Organs are also made; in 1890 the self-playing 
organ, "The Symphony," was placed upon the market; in 
1897 the "Angelus," the pioneer cabinet piano-playing attach- 
ment, was introduced; this was followed a year later by a 
competitor called "Pianola." All of these are manufactured 
in the city of Meriden. 

The manufacture of graphophones and supplies for the 
same was commenced in Bridgeport in 1887. 

In the number of typewriting machines produced, Con- 
necticut is only exceeded by New York; her three incorpo- 
rated companies, located respectively at Hartford, Derby, 
and Bridgeport, have an annual output of about $800,000. 

The machine for the cutting of teeth in combs was invented 
by Phineas and Abel Pratt, residents of what is now Essex; 
its introduction stimulated the industry, and was the fore- 
runner of the present plant at Irvington, which manufactures 
all kinds of ivory goods, making a specialty of keyboards for 
musical instruments. The success of this establishment has 



encouraged similar manufactures at Deep River and other 

In chemical and allied products, Connecticut had in 1900 
thirty-one establishments engaged in the manufacture of fer- 
tilizer, dye-stuff extracts, paints, varnishes, explosives, oils, 

The Stamford Manufacturing Company, located on the 
site of the original town grant to William Fitch, in connection 
with the grinding of corn and wheat, undertook that of spices 
and dyewoods. The property was purchased in 1832 by 
Henry J. and John C. Sanford. The former became a pio- 
neer in the successful production of dyewood extracts, par- 
ticularly of logwood; the name of Sanford on a package 
of extracts was sufficient evidence of its high standard. In 
later years the extract of licorice was added, and it has become 
the leading product of the establishment. The company was 
incorporated under its present name in 1 844. Its business so 
expanded that larger facilities became necessary, and mills 
were started at different points in Connecticut, as well as in 
Westchester County in New York State. The export trade 
in the decade between 1850 and i860 was phenomenal. Until 
1870 the company was practically without a rival ; since then, 
though it has had competition, it has more than quadrupled 
its output. The company owns a large tract of land in Asia 
Minor where the licorice root is gathered and cured. 

In Stamford there is a chemical laboratory for the manu- 
facture of vegetable extracts; and two miles from the centre 
of the city, at Glenwood, are works for the refining of cam- 
phor and wax. 

That Connecticut ranks third in the manufacture of leather 
belting is largely due to the Jewell Belting Company of Hart- 
ford. The foundation of this enterprise was laid by Pliny 



Jewell in 1845, when he established a tan-yard on what is 
now Bushnell Park; his ancestors had been tanners for sev- 
eral generations. Three years after making Hartford his 
place of residence, he opened a shop for making leather belts. 
He was the third person in America to engage in that special 

Manufacturers of the United States, and indirectly of 
Europe, were educated by Pliney Jewell and his sons to sub- 
stitute leather belting for their costly and cumbersome sys- 
tem of gearing, for the conveyance of their power. Tan- 
neries were established at different points in the United States, 
where materials for belting were exclusively made. The pres- 
ent company was organized in 1883, and they have long held 
the record for large belts. 

The Norwich Belt Manufacturing Company was started 
in 1845 by C. N. Farnum. A specialty is made of dynamo 
and other high-speed belting, and a great number of straps 
for various purposes are produced. 

The year 18 10 saw the establishment at East Windsor and 
Suffield of the first cigar manufactories in the United States. 
The first cigars made in the United States were rolled by hand 
in the former town, and peddled by the women. There were 
in 1870 two hundred and thirty-five factories in Connecticut, 
but the census of 1900 gives only two hundred and sixteen, 
making the State rank tenth in the Union. 

Tobacco was grown in New England in the decade ending 
with 1650; the cultivation, however, was abandoned until the 
beginning of the nineteenth century, when it gradually 
revived. In 1825 the crop was of such magnitude as to war- 
rant the establishment of a warehouse at Warehouse Point. 
Eight years later it was ascertained that Connecticut tobacco 
possessed the firmness of texture, strength of tissue, and 



smoothness of surface so desirable for cigar wrappers; these 
facts tended to make the raising of the plant one of the most 
profitable industries of the State. 

There are scattered throughout Connecticut manufactories 
embodying usefulness and uniqueness in their productions, 
which hav^e all materially aided in advancing the reputation of 
the State as a hive of industrial wonders. In a work of this 
character, it is impossible to cite all; a few are appended, 
however, to give the reader some idea of the diversity of 
manufactured articles produced. 

Nearly a half-century ago, a factory was established in 
Middletown on Little River, a tributary of the Connecticut, 
and named by the Indians Chawana; the concern was called 
by the people of Middletown "The Mosquito-Netting Fac- 
tory," as bed canopies and netting for protection from mos- 
quitoes were manufactured. The introduction of wire screens 
for windows necessitated a change in productions, and the 
manufacture of dress linings and hammocks was added; the 
latter being made of jute, cotton, silk, in fact any material 
that could be woven, and in all colors. The city can boast of 
another unique industry, viz., ship chandlery, of which Wil- 
cox, Crittenden & Co. are the largest manufacturers in the 

A machine was invented in 1852 to cut corks; previous to 
this time they were made by hand, and were ill fitting and 
very unsatisfactory. In that year John D. Crocker, an artist, 
while calling at a drug-store in Norwich, heard the druggist 
complain of the corks then in use. After experimenting, 
Crocker patented a machine to manufacture round and taper- 
ing corks; it cut from twenty to thirty corks a minute. A 
copartnership was formed to manufacture the article, and the 



enterprise was a success from the start. The business is still 
carried on at Norwich. 

The manufacture of Lincrusta-Walton, which is used 
extensively for decorative wall coverings, and ornamentation 
in other ways, was begun in 1882 at Stamford. The town of 
Westport numbers among its industries a morocco factory, 
the production of "The Utopia Embalming Fluid" and other 
disinfecting and antiseptic preparations, also a satchel manu- 

The only place in Connecticut where Eli Whitney's great 
invention is manufactured is New London, where it was estab- 
lished in 1846. The gins made here are very popular with 
the planters throughout the cotton belt. In this city is the 
largest industry of bed comfortables in the world; horse 
blankets, carpet linings, and quilted fabrics are also among its 
standard productions. On an old mill site on the Oxoboxo 
River, the Palmer Brothers manufacture cotton and down 
bedquilts and comfortables. 

The well-advertised "Packer's Tar Soap" made at Mystic, 
and the Williams Shaving Soap made at Glastonbury, are 
among the manufactured products of Connecticut. 

The growth of manufacturing in Connecticut cannot be 
more fully illustrated than by comparing the statistics at the 
opening of the nineteenth century with those of the end. The 
former mark the era when the infant industries of the State 
had gained a respectable footing in the commercial interests 
of the commonwealth. 

There were in 18 10 fifteen States in the Union, and Con- 
necticut, with a population of 261,492, represented about one 
twenty-seventh of the entire number of inhabitants of the 
country. Of these 1 8.4 per cent, were engaged in agricultural 
pursuits, 6.4 per cent, in manufacturing, and 1.3 per cent, in 



commerce. Her manufactured products in 1810 amounted 
to $7,771,928, which in proportion to her population equaled 
that of Massachusetts, and was only exceeded by Rhode 
Island. As an agricultural State she was seventh. The value 
of her landed property and improvements was $88,534,971, 
in which she was exceeded by Massachusetts, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Connecticut gave 
evidence thus early that manufacturing was to be her pre- 
dominant interest. 

In 1900 she ranked as the twenty-ninth State, numbering 
908,420 persons, representing about one eighty-third of the 
entire population of the forty-five States; nearly 21 per cent, 
of these were engaged in her 9,128 manufacturing establish- 
ments, which had an invested capital of $314,696,736, plac- 
ing her seventh in manufactures and in the amount of her 
products eighth in the Union, The increase in her agricul- 
tural interests has not been so conspicuous: in 1900 she had 
26,948 farms, averaging eighty-five acres; her landed prop- 
erties and improvements were valued at $97,325,068 ; in the 
value of her lands she was the thirty-fourth, and in the 
amount of her improvements the twenty-fourth State; less 
than five per cent, of her inhabitants were engaged in this 



The Advancement of Internal Intercourse 

IT was not until the latter part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury that any efforts were made on the part of Con- 
necticut to improve her primitive highways. How 
little progress had been made in road construction is 
illustrated by the fact that for a period of one hun- 
dred and forty-four years the colonial authorities had 
ordered only one new highway to be built. The transporta- 
tion of troops and supplies for the Revolutionary army had 
shown the vital necessity for perfecting these arteries of inter- 
nal intercourse, in order to further the commercial relations 
between the citizens of contiguous States. 

The era of the construction of turnpikes was Inaugurated 
in 1792, by the chartering of the Mohegan Turnpike Com- 
pany to build a roadway from Norwich to New London. In 
1808 there were thirty-nine turnpike companies in operation, 
with seven hundred and seventy miles of highways, the cost 
of construction being from $550 to $2,280 per mile; the 
most expensive one was that between Hartford and New 
Haven. From this time until 1839 one or more companies 
were incorporated annually, until over one hundred were In 
operation, intersecting the State In every direction, diverging 
from common centres to outlying districts. 

These turnpikes were under the supervision of commis- 
sioners, and were strictly regulated by law. The toll-gates 
were placed at Intervals of ten miles; the charges ranged 
from one cent for a single animal to tw^enty-five cents for a 
stage-coach and horses. The charters of the pioneer com- 
panies terminated soon after the last ones were granted; the 
introduction of railroads made them unprofitable as Invest- 
ments, and eventually they all became free. 

The construction of turnpikes encouraged stage-coach 
lines, and in 1802 there was a daily route established between 



New York and Boston, A little over three days were con- 
sumed in transit; the stopping-places for the night were at 
Worcester, Hartford, and Stamford; the coaches arrived at 
these points about eight o'clock each evening, and resumed 
the journey the following morning at three. As late as 1842 
there were twenty-two stage routes centering at Hartford; the 
longest of these ran to Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Brat- 
tleboro, Vermont. These daily coaches brought to the 
merchants of the commercial centers, orders from customers 
throughout the western part of Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut, and also from the eastern part of the State; for the 
inland transportation, regular lines of freight wagons were 

The citizens interested in forming commercial relations 
with that vast territory lying north of the boundary line of 
the State, urged that the Legislature should take some action 
to utilize for freighting purposes those extensive water- 
courses which crossed the country in a northerly direction 
from tidewater. Attempts were made to dredge and form a 
channel in the Housatonic River; but its bed was of such a 
rocky foundation that little progress was made. The Nor- 
wich Channel Company was incorporated in 1805, for 
improving the Thames River; if they succeeded in making 
it navigable for vessels drawing eight and a half feet of 
water, they were to be empowered to demand certain tolls. 
The company made but slight headway, and about twenty 
years after its incorporation it was merged with the Thames 
Bank of Norwich. 

To encourage internal commerce in the Connecticut River, 
the Legislature in 1824 incorporated the Connecticut River 
Company for the purpose of removing sand-bars, building 
canals, and making all improvements necessary for the bet- 



terment of river navigation, as far north as Barnet, \ ermont. 
providing the company should receive the approval of the 
Legislatures of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Ver- 
mont. The latter was the only one that ratified the company's 
charter; they therefore confined their efforts exclusively to 
that section of the river lying in Connecticut. The company 
was composed mostly of Hartford citizens, who were desir- 
ous of establishing a through transportation line to the north- 
ern country, in advance of one contemplated by New Haven 
parties, who proposed building a canal from tidewater at 
that citv to Northampton, Massachusetts, intersecting the 
Connecticut River at that point. 

Hartford was at this time the head of sloop navigation on 
the Connecticut River, and held the key to the northern trade 
as far as the Canadian borders. The building of canals around 
the falls in Massachusetts and Vermont, the completion of 
the locks at Windsor Locks, and the canal at Enfield Falls, 
permitted sixty-ton flat-bottomed steam craft to navigate the 
river to its junction with the Wells River in Vermont. Pre- 
vious to this the freighting business was done entirelv by 
sailing vessels, and boats of six or eight tons capacity. The 
northern territory thus reached sent lumber for domestic use 
and export, surplus agricultural products, pot and pearl ashes: 
the boats returned loaded with rum. molasses, groceries, and 
other supplies. Though ferries were early established cross- 
ing the Connecticut, it was at Enfield in iSoS that the lirst 
bridge was built connecting the shores of that stream: in the 
next year one was constructed in Hartford. 

The waters of Long Island Sound, forming the entire 
southern boundary of the State, encouraged maritime enter- 
prises of ever^' description. The coasting sea-trips, as well as 
those to foreign lands, for the transportation of passengers 



and freight, were among the important industries of the early 
settlers; it was not until 1816 that steam as a motive power 
was introduced. In October of that year a regular line of 
steamboats was established between New London and New 
York. Two trips were made a week, the Connecticut plying 
between New London and New Haven, and the Fulton run- 
ning from New Haven to New York. The fare was five dol- 
lars between the two former places, and four dollars between 
the latter. On a trial trip made by the steamboat Connecti- 
cut, Sept. 28, 1 8 16, the voyage to New York was accom- 
plished in twenty-one hours. The era of steam navigation 
was inaugurated on the Thames River Oct. 15, 18 16, when 
the Connecticut ascended to Norwich. 

The following year a regular line of steam communication 
was established between Norwich and New York. The trips 
were made weekly by the Connecticut and the Fulton ; stops 
were made for passengers and freight at New London and 
New Haven. This was an improvement over uncertain packet 
lines, as the voyages were made with comparative certainty. 
Captain Moses Rogers, a native of New London, com- 
manded the Savannah, which was the first steam vessel to 
cross the Atlantic Ocean ; he thus gave to Connecticut a prom- 
inent position in the records of early steam navigation. An- 
other native of the State, but a resident of Detroit, Michigan 
— Oliver Newbury — was popularly known as "the steamboat 
king," on account of his splendid steamboats, and the large 
number of lines he established on the great lakes. 

The introduction of steamship navigation between Hart- 
ford and New York did not take place until 1824. The first 
steamboat to make a regular trip was the Oliver Ellsworth; 
she was of two hundred and twenty-eight tons burden, and 
one hundred and twelve feet in length, having berths for six- 



ty passengers. The following year the McDonough, a larger 
vessel, was added, and trips were made on alternate days. It 
was not until 1838, when the Charter Oak was placed on the 
route, that a boat was equipped with state-rooms. On the es- 
tablishment of a competing line in 1830, the fare was reduced 
to one dollar and found to New York. Three years later the 
original company added the steamboat Chief Justice Marshall 
to their number. A day line was also instituted by placing in 
commission the Water Witch, commanded by a brother of 
Cornelius Vanderbilt; she made three trips a week, leaving 
Hartford at six o'clock in the morning. In the fall the Van- 
derbilt line was changed to a night run, and the fare was ad- 
vanced to two dollars; but it was withdrawn after running 
four seasons. 

Daily passenger steamboats plied on the Connecticut River 
from 1826 to 1842, between Hartford and Springfield; they 
were mostly stern-wheelers. At different intervals during this 
time competing lines were operated. Steamboats were used 
on the Connecticut above Hartford, to tow loaded barges, 
even as late as 1884; propellers were also run between that 
city and New York, Philadelphia, Albany, Boston, Baltimore, 
Norfolk, Richmond, and various other points. 

The development of the railroad system produced compe- 
tition; steamboats and propellers were gradually disused, tugs 
being substituted for towing purposes. In 1824-25, regular 
day-lines of steamboats were established between New York 
and New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Stamford, two 
days being consumed in the round trip. Competition was so 
brisk that the fare from Norwalk to New York was reduced 
as low as twelve and a half cents. 

The building of the Erie Canal stimulated like projects in 
adjoining States. In 1822 charters were granted to the Farm- 



ington and Ousatonic canal companies. The Farmington 
Canal was to start from tidewater in the harbor of the city of 
New Haven, and to extend through the town of Southwick, 
Massachusetts located in close proximity to the northern 
boundary line of Connecticut; to the Connecticut River. The 
canal, passing through the town of Farmington, proceeded 
up the riv'er of that name to the furthermost boundary line 
of the town of Colbrook; It was an attempt In a small way 
to bring the Connecticut back to its original path. The eleva- 
tion of one hundred and eighty-six feet between New Haven 
and what is now Plainvllle (formerly known as Bristol 
Basin) was overcome by the building of twenty locks. The 
opening of the canal In 1826 gave such an Impetus to busi- 
ness at this point, that a dozen mercantile establishments 
located there, and prophecies were made that Hartford would 
have a rival as a business centre. The canal, however, suf- 
fered from the porous nature of the soil, wash-outs were fre- 
quent, and It was doomed even before the advent of rail- 

The proposed route of the Ousatonic Canal was along the 
valley of the Housatonic River, from tidewater at Long 
Island Sound to the State line in the town of Canaan, being 
an elevation of about 612 feet, with a proposed extension as 
far as Stockbrldge, Massachusetts. The estimated cost, exclu- 
sive of locks, was $5,900 a mile, the contemplated length 
sixty-six miles. Passing as it did through a mountainous sec- 
tion of the country, sixty locks were required, at a cost of 
$3,500 each. The attempt to capitalize the company for 
$500,000 proved fruitless, and the project was abandoned. 

The Quinebaug Canal Company, with a proposed route 
for a canal running parallel with the river of that name, and 
the Sharon Canal Company, with a proposed route beginning 



In the town of Sharon, and proceeding from there west to the 
New York State boundary line, were incorporated by the 
Legislature. The companies, however, did not prosecute the 
work, and their charters expired by their own limitations. 
The General Assembly in May, 1829, incorporated a com- 
pany to build a canal from tidewater at the Saugatuck River 
to the village of New Milford. The New Haven and North- 
ampton Company was incorporated in 1836, for the purpose 
of consolidating the Hampshire and Hampden and the 
Farmington Canal companies into one company. 

Through these channels of interstate intercourse, even 
before the coming of railroads, Connecticut made rapid 
progress towards the concentration of her commercial capi- 
tal. Her citizens were speedily informed of national events 
through the medium of the daily press; business and social 
relations were to add to the sagacity and enterprise which 
had ever been prominent characteristics of her people. Her 
manufactured wares, also her surplus agricultural products, 
were to find markets beyond her compass, even in the uncivi- 
lized portions of the globe. Thus with conservatism she 
waited for the evolutions of progress, ready at all times to 
take advantage of all improvements conducive to her advance- 
ment and prosperity. 


Early Railroads 

IN the introduction of railroads, Connecticut was behind 
her neighboring sister States. In Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island, in the latter part of the second decade 
of the nineteenth century, railway legislation pre- 
dominated over all other matters. 
There was a decided opposition to this new method of 
locomotion and freight handling. The farmers thought 
it boded the disuse of horses, and saw a decreasing demand 
for hay and oats; the landlords of the taverns that dotted 
the stage routes justly feared bankruptcy; while men 
engaged in navigation and inland freighting saw a compe- 
tition that would cause a diminution of their profits. The 
revenue from travel, Instead of being deposited at the toll- 
gates of the turnpikes, would fill the coffers of the railroad 

The people of the eastern section of the State, being 
largely interested in manufacturing, and having the practica- 
bility of the use of railroads demonstrated in the adjoining 
States, petitioned the General Assembly for the incorporation 
of a company, to build a railroad from Norwich to New Lon- 
don; also one in a northerly direction from the first men- 
tioned city towards the cit}'^ of Boston. 

The Legislature, at its May session in 1832, granted a 
charter to the Boston, Norwich & New London Railroad 
Company, authorizing a capital stock of ten thousand shares, 
payable by assessments not to exceed one hundred dollars a 
share. This company effected a consolidation in 1836 with 
the Norwich & Worcester Railroad Company; traffic was 
opened on Dec. 14, 1839, between Norwich and New Lon- 
don, and with Worcester in the following March. 

At the same session of the Legislature, articles of incorpo- 
ration were granted for a railroad to begin at the western 



border line of the town of Sharon, from thence to run north- 
erly through the town of Salisbury, to the northern boundary 
line of the State. Privilege was also granted to make an 
extension in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to intersect 
other railroads. The capital stock of the company was to be 
$500,000, divided into shares of one hundred dollars each. 

Several parties were given a franchise to build a railroad 
from Stonington to the eastern boundary of the State, under 
the corporation name of the New York & Stonington Rail- 
road Company; its capital stock consisted of one thousand 
shares to be raised by assessment, which was not to exceed one 
hundred dollars a share. In 1833 this road was consolidated 
with the New York, Providence & Boston Railroad Com- 
pany, a corporation chartered by Rhode Island. The road 
was completed and opened for passenger traffic to Providence, 
Nov. 10, 1837; connections were made with New York by 

The Legislature in 1835 granted James Brewster, John 
Babcock, John S. Mitchell, Joel Root, Alexander Harrison, 
Obadiah Pease, Richard Hubbard, and Elisha A. Cowles, 
articles of incorporation to form a company, with an author- 
ized capital of $1,000,000, to build a railroad between the 
two capitals of the State, to be known as the Hartford and 
New Haven Railroad Company. The road was opened 
between New Haven and Meriden in 1838, and the following 
year to Hartford. Two trains of short coaches, similar to 
those used on English and Continental roads, were run daily 
between the two points. The schedule time was one hour and 
a half, and connection was made at New Haven with a steam- 
boat for New York. Through passengers were conveyed 
from Hartford to Springfield by stage-coaches, there to con- 



nect with the Western Railroad (now the Boston & Albany) 
road for Boston. 

The Legislature at the same session chartered the Hart- 
ford & Springfield Railway Company with a capital stock of 
$500,000, to construct a road between the two cities; but it 
was not opened for the conveyance of passengers until 1844, 
when the two roads were consolidated under the name of the 
New Haven, Hartford & Springfield Railroad. 

A million-dollar corporation was incorporated by the 
Legislature of 1835, to construct a railroad from Hartford 
to the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, by the most feasible 
route; it was to be known as the Hartford & Worcester Rail- 
road Company. There was, however, a proviso in their char- 
ter, that a certain amount of money was to be expended 
inside of four years; this was never complied with, and all 
rights and privileges under the charter thereby became null 
and void. 

At the same session the Fairfield County Railroad Com- 
pany, with a capital stock of $200,000, divided into shares 
of forty dollars, received a franchise to construct a railroad 
from a suitable point in the town of Danbury to a point at 
tide-water, either in the town of Fairfield or Norwalk. The 
charter of the company was renewed in 1846, and four years 
later the capital stock was increased to $400,000, and its 
name changed to the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Com- 

The Saugatuck & New Milford Canal Company, which 
obtained incorporation papers in 1829, had the privilege in 
their charter, with the sanction of the Legislature, to use for 
the construction of a railroad the funds subscribed to their 
capital stock for the building of a canal. That body, at their 
May session in 1836, having given the required consent, a 



charter was obtained for the Oiisatonic (Housatonic) Rail- 
road Company to build, in the valley of the river of that 
name, a railroad to start at tide-water in the city of Bridge- 
port, and extend northerly to the southern boundary of the 
town of Sheffield, in Massachusetts. The road was partially 
opened on Feb. lo, 1840, and from Bridgeport to the Mas- 
sachusetts line on Dec. i, 1842. 

At the beginning of the year 1840 there were 462 1-2 miles 
of completed railroads in New England, of which Connecti- 
cut had 117 miles, being exceeded only by Massachusetts with 
236 miles. 

In the decade 1840-50, known as the railroad era, a vast 
new impetus was given to that industry. In Connecticut 
alone, the mileage reached 551 miles, while in the New Eng- 
land States, 2,845 iTiiles were in operation, besides several 
hundred miles under construction. The cost of building was 
from $35,000 to $40,000 a mile, and no pecuniary aid had 
been given towards their construction, except that in a few 
instances the companies had been relieved of taxation for a 
stated period. 

One of the important projects of this epoch was the com- 
pletion of the New York & New Haven Railroad, which 
was opened to the public Dec. 19, 1848 ; thereby completing 
an all-rail connection between New York and Boston, the 
Western Railroad having been built from Worcester to 
Springfield. Three trains were run daily between New 
Haven and New York. 

A railroad was opened on July 22, 1852, between New 
London and New Haven. It was not until 1858 that a road 
was completed from Stonington to New London; this made 
a second continuous rail route from New York to Boston, 
which had already been connected with Providence, and that 



with Stonington. It ran along the shore of the Sound, whence 
It took its popular name the "Shore Line." 

Charters were granted to several companies during the 
fever of speculation in railroad construction; prominent 
among these were the Naugatuck Railroad Company, organ- 
ized to build a railroad from the city of Bridgeport, running 
in a northerly direction to the town of Plymouth. It was 
opened for traffic in 1849, '^"d has since been extended to 

The New Haven & Northampton Railroad Company 
received a charter in 1846. They followed the line of the 
Farmington Canal, and completed a road from New Haven 
to Plainville in 1848, which was later continued to North- 
ampton, Massachusetts, more recently to Williamsburg, and 
finally to Shelburne Falls. 

The New London, Willimantic & Palmer Railroad Com- 
pany was chartered in 1847. It was afterwards extended 
north to Grout's Corner, Massachusetts, to connect with 
lines into Vermont and to Montreal, and its name changed 
to the New London Northern Railroad. For many years it 
has been operated by the Central Vermont Railroad Com- 
pany, forming its tide-water terminal at New London. 

The Middletown Railroad Company was incorporated by 
the Legislature, at its session in May 1844; its charter was 
renewed some years later, and it was open for business in 
185 I. The road was ten miles in length, its terminals being 
Middletown and Berlin; soon after its completion it was 
operated by the Hartford and New Haven Railroad Com- 

The Middlesex & Hartford County Railroad Company 
was also incorporated in 1852; it was to construct a road 
from a suitable point in Saybrook to the citj' of Hartford. 



Its charter was extended in 1855 ; afterwards it was reorgan- 
ized under the name of the Hartford and Connecticut Val- 
ley Railroad Company; the road was not opened to Say- 
brook until 1871 ; the following year it was extended to Fen- 

The Boston & New York Air Line was projected to build a 
railroad between New Haven and Willimantic; thereby mak- 
ing a third all-rail connection between New York and Bos- 
ton. It was completed from New Haven to Middletown in 
1870, and to Willimantic in 1873, 

In the history of railroad construction in Connecticut, the 
franchise which had the most varied experience had for its 
foundation one of the earliest grants made by the Legisla- 
ture. The General Assembly in May 1833 incorporated the 
Manchester Railroad Company to build, a road from the city 
of Hartford to a notch in the mountains in the town of Bol- 
ton, or somewhere near the stone pits in Bolton and Vernon. 
The charter lay dormant until 1847, when it was revived by 
the Hartford & Providence Railroad Company, with all the 
privileges granted to the parent company, and the additional 
one of building roads to Rockville and Willimantic. Two 
years previous to this, a company was formed to construct a 
road from Hartford to Danbury, to be known as the New 
York & Hartford Railroad Company. In 1848 this corpora- 
tion was merged with the Hartford & Providence Railroad 
Company, and the latter name was changed to the Hartford, 
Providence & Fishkill Railroad Company. They received 
the further privilege of extending the road westerly towards 
the Hudson River. The road was opened for traffic between 
Hartford and Willimantic in 1849; the next year between 
Hartford and Bristol; in 1854 through trains were run 
from Providence to Hartford, and the following year to 



Waterbury. In 1858 the road was surrendered to trustees, 
to be operated in the interest of the bondholders. These 
were in possession for several years; during this time sur- 
veys were made as far west as F^ishkill, New York. 

The Boston, Hartford & Erie Railroad Company was 
incorporated in 1863, for the purpose of building a through 
line from Boston to the Hudson River. This corporation 
in 1866 purchased the rights of the stockholders of the 
Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad Company; they 
then issued the famous Berdell bonds named (from John H. 
Berdell, president of the Erie Railroad) ; but on failure to 
pay the interest, the property was foreclosed under the mort- 
gage, and the bondholders took possession ; claiming the right 
to redeem the original indebtedness of the Hartford, Provi- 
dence & Fishkill Railroad Company. The road having been 
built a dozen miles southwest from Boston, had Iain idle for 
many years, was then completed to Putnam, and in 1872 to 
Willimantic, thus completing the line from Waterbury to 
Boston. A reorganization was effected in 1873, when the 
New York & New England Railroad Company was incor- 
porated. They purchased all the rights of the bondholders 
of the Boston, Hartford & Erie Railroad Company, also 
those of the Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad Com- 
pany, and completed the road from Waterbury to Brewster, 
New York, in July 188 i. In December of the same year it 
was finished to Fishkill on the Hudson; but failing to pay 
running expenses, it was on Dec. 31, 1883, placed in the 
hands of a receiver. 

The consolidation in 1872 of the New York & New 
Haven and the New Haven, Hartford & Springfield Rail- 
road Companies, under the name of the New York, New 
Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, commonly known 



as the "Consolidated Road," created a railroad octopus 
that operates nearly the entire railroad mileage of the State. 
It has absorbed the Shore Line and the Providence & 
Stonington along the coast; the New York & New England, 
which itself had previously absorbed the Norwich & Worces- 
ter; the Air Line; and the old Connecticut Western with 
its new Springfield & Tariffville branch — thus controlling 
all the lines to Boston. It has also taken in every north-and- 
south line with the single exception of the New London 
Northern, — the Housatonic, Danbury & Norwalk, Nauga- 
tuck, New Haven & Northampton, and Connecticut Valley. 
All the small lines and branches also belong to it except the 
2 1-2 miles of the South Manchester road: the Meriden, 
Waterbury & Connecticut River, the lines from East Hart- 
ford and Rockville to Springfield, the Shepaug Valley from 
Litchfield south, the Derby from New Haven to Ansonia, 
the Stamford & New Canaan, the branches from Berlin to 
Middletown and New Britain, from Rockville to Vernon, 
from Farmington to Collinsville and to New Hartford, from 
Windsor Locks to Suffield, from Turnerville to Colchester. 
In a word, all the business of Southern New England to New 
York passes through it as through the spout of a tunnel. 

The Hartford- & Connecticut Western Railroad Company 
was chartered in 1868, opened to the public in 1871, and 
reorganized ten years later as the Hartford & Connecticut 
Western. By the purchase of the Rhinebeck Railroad, it 
owned a continuous line from Hartford to the Hudson River. 
Passing first under the control of the Reading system as the 
Philadelphia, Reading & New England, it became the Cen- 
tral New England & Western, and has lately been bought by 
the "Consolidated," shortly after building a branch from 



Tariffville to Springfield which it was vainly hoped would 
enrich it with a great through business. 

The General Assembly in 1850 created a board of three 
commissioners, to be known as Railroad Commissioners, 
whose duty it was to examine twice a year or oftener the 
railroad system of the State. They were authorized to 
require corporations to make all repairs necessary for the 
safety of the public. The act was further amended in 1853, 
and the duties of the commissioners more fully specified: 
they were empowered to oblige the companies to use all 
safeguards to prevent injuries and destruction of life. Blanks 
were to be furnished the railroad corporations, on which full 
returns and statistics were required, under the oath of the 
president. The officials of the corporations were required 
to notify the commissioners, within twenty-four hours, of all 
accidents attended with serious personal injuries. 

The commissioners were to make an annual report to the 
General Assembly. In their report of 1855-56, not quite a 
quarter of a century from the time the first railroad charter 
was granted, they stated that the capital stock of the corpo- 
rations operating railroads in Connecticut was $23,675,838, 
of which amount $18,702,248 was paid in; there was, how- 
ever, an outstanding indebtedness of $12,165,356.68. The 
companies operated 772 miles of road, of which 590 were 
within the limits of the State. The cost of construction and 
equipment had been $29,505,662.75 ; this varied among the 
different railroads, from the New York & New Haven at 
$81,401.50 per mile, to the Danbury & Norwalk at $15,- 
691.62. While the rolling stock of the New York & New 
Haven Railroad consisted of 26 locomotives, 73 passenger 
cars, and 329 freight cars, the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad 
had only 3 locomotives, 4 passenger cars, and 24 freight 



cars. The former gave employment to 533 men, while the 
latter had 42 employed. The total equipment of all the rail- 
roads in the State was 118 locomotives, 208 passenger cars, 
and 1,615 freight cars, with a clerical and operating force of 
2,088 persons. 

For the sake of comparison, and to show the growth of 
the railroad business in the State, we append statistics from 
the Railroad Commissioners' forty-eighth report. 

On June 30, 1900, the capital stock of the railroad corpo- 
rations in the State was $103,343,268.38. They had a 
funded debt of $39,444,000. Their gross earnings for the 
fiscal year were $42,024,951.36, while their operating 
expenses were $29,517,485.39. The length of the main lines 
and branches in the State was i. 01 3. 3 5 miles; by adding 
the double tracks and sidings, the aggregate mileage was 
1,821.87 miles. Including officials and clerical help, employ- 
ment was given to 27,456 persons. 



The Organizations of Cities, Boroughs, and Town& 

THE increase of population in Connecticut, with 
the desire of her citizens for easier facilities 
for the conducting of their town affairs, caused 
in the first decade of the nineteenth century, 
the formation of twelve new towns. 
Waterford, formerly a part of New London, was incor- 
porated in 1801; as was New Canaan, originally a parish, 
and taken from Norwalk and Stamford. The following year 
Wilton, named after the old Saxon town situated at the junc- 
tion of the Hadder and Wily rivers in Wiltshire, England, 
was taken from Norwalk; and Sherman, named in honor of 
Connecticut's foremost statesman, was taken from Fairfield; 
and both were invested with town privileges. Marlborough, 
by the union of portions of Colchester, Glastenbury, and 
Hebron, became an organized town in 1803. The next year 
a part of Lebanon was set aside, and incorporated as a town 
under the name of Columbia so called from the poetical 
name of the United States. 

The Legislature in 1806 created two towns in Hartford 
County, and one in New Haven County. Burlington was 
taken from Bristol, Canton from Simsbury, and Meriden 
from Wallingford. The next year, by taking portions of the 
towns of Waterbury, Woodbury, and Southbury, Middlebury 
was organized; it was also enacted that the northern part of 
the town of Stonington should become a town under the name 
of North Stonington. In 1808 Vernon, formerly a part of 
Bolton, was invested with town privileges. 

The organization of new towns during the second decade 
was confined to New London County. Griswold was 
formed in 18 15 from Preston, and named in honor of Gover- 
nor Griswold, a native of that county. Salem, which name 
in the Hebrew language means peace, was taken from the 



towns of Colchester, Lyme, and Montville, in 1819. The 
Legislature in 1820 incorporated a town from a portion of 
Stamford, and it was given the name of Darien. The fol- 
lowing year Bridgeport was taken from Stratford; and in 
1822 from Milford was formed Orange, named in reminis- 
cence of the powers of that house. 

The General Assembly in the year 1822 incorporated 
Chaplin, from the towns of Mansfield and Hampton; the 
new town was named for a prominent citizen, Deacon Benja- 
min Chaplin. Manchester, while it cannot be called a pro- 
totype of its English namesake, is likewise engaged in silk 
manufacturing; it was formerly a part of the town of East 
Hartford, and was granted town privileges in 1823. The 
Legislature in the same year incorporated from a portion of 
Huntington the town of Monroe, named in honor of the 
President. The eastern portion of Guilford in 1826 was 
erected into a separate township, and named for ex-Presi- 
dent Madison. Prospect was organized in 1827 from por- 
tions of the towns of Cheshire and Waterbury, 

From 1830 to 1839, nine new towns were added to Con- 
necticut's complement. The northern part of Farmington, 
which is watered by the river of the same name, was formed 
in 1830 into the town of Avon, from Shakespeare's river. 
The Legislature at its May session in 1831 granted town 
privileges to the inhabitants of the northern part of Branford, 
and the town was named North Branford. The next year 
Bethany, a parish — which name in the Hebrew language 
means "house of dates" (fruit) — was formed from Wood- 
bridge. It was in 1835 that the western part of Windsor was 
incorporated into a township, and called Bloomfield, from an 
old Hartford family. Westport was organized the same 
year from portions of Fairfield, Norwalk, and Weston. Ches- 



ter, a parish of Saybrook, was incorporated in 1836; its 
name was obtained from an ancient English episcopal city, 
situated on the river Dee. The Legislature at the same 
session passed an act organizing from Groton the town of 
Ledyard, named in honor of the brave defender of Fort 
Griswold. That section of country lying on the west bank of 
the Connecticut River, between Haddam on the north and 
Saybrook on the south, being a part of Killingworth, was in 
1838 organized into the town of Clinton, probably from the 
great promoter of the Erie Canal. The same year East 
Lyme was incorporated; it was originally portions of Lyme 
and Waterford. 

The town of Westbrook was formed from the western 
part of Saybrook, hence the name; it was organized in 1840. 
The succeeding year Portland (from the EngHsh town of the 
name) was taken from Chatham; in 1843 Rocky Hill was 
organized from Wethersfield. Territory was taken from 
Waterbury, Bethany, and Oxford in 1 844, and granted town 
privileges; it was called Naugatuck, an Indian name mean- 
ing forks of a river. Two new towns were created by the 
Legislature in 1845 : South Windsor was taken from Wind- 
sor, and Easton from Weston. The eastern part of Ashford 
was named Eastford, and incorporated into a township m 
1847. The number of towns in Tolland County was 
increased in 1847, by taking portions of Hebron and Coven- 
try and organizing Andover, which was formerly a parish. 
Its name was taken from the market town in Hampshire, 

In the decade between 1850-60, fifteen towns were incor- 
porated. In 1850 New Britain was taken from Berlin; and 
Seymour, named in honor of the Governor of the common- 
wealth, was formed from Derby. The next year, Cromwell, 



named for the Lord Protector, was organized from Middle- 
town. Old Saybrook was organized from Saybrook in 1852, 
Three towns were incorporated in 1854: West Hartford 
from Hartford; Windsor Locks (from its canal locks) from 
Windsor; and Essex, a parish (named from the maritime 
county in the southeastern part of England), from Old Say- 
brook. The Legislature granted town privileges to three 
towns in 1855 : Bethel, formerly a part of Danbury, derived 
its name from the Hebrew, meaning "house of God"; Put- 
nam named for the Revolutionary hero, was taken from 
the towns of Pomfret, Thompson, and Killingly; Old 
Lyme, incorporated from Lyme under the name of South 
Lyme, received its present name two years later. The south- 
eastern part of New Milford was organized in 1851 into the 
town of Bridgewater; its name is that of an English town, 
but is pertinent from a bridge that crosses the Housatonic, 
which forms a portion of its boundary line. Scotland per- 
petuates the name of the native land of some of its settlers; 
it was taken from Windham and organized in 1857 into a 
township. North Canaan taken from Canaan, and East 
Granby from Granby and Windsor Locks, were in 1858 
incorporated as towns. 

The next year Morris was formed from Litchfield. The 
eastern part of Franklin and the western part of Lisbon were 
formed in 1861 into the town of Sprague, named from the 
"War Governor" of Rhode Island, who owned the great 
cotton mills at Baltic. In 1866 Middlefield was formed by 
taking the southwest corner of Middletown. Plainville, for- 
merly known as Great Plains, was taken from the southern 
part of Farmington and erected into a township in 1809. 

The western part of Wethersfield was incorporated in 
187 1, and named Newington. The same year the towns of 



Bethany, Oxford, Seymour, and Naugatuck each contributed 
a portion of territory to form Beacon Falls; the name is 
descriptive. The western part of Plymouth was organized 
as a town in 1875, ^^^ named Thomaston, after the noted 
clock inventor, Seth Thomas. 

The last town incorporated in Connecticut was in 1889; 
it was taken from Derby, and the old Greek termination for 
"place" added to the name of the founder, thus forming 
Ansonia. The village had received the name many years 

The centralization of population at points within the limits 
of different towns occasioned the need of a distinct local 
government short of the full administration of a city. This 
resulted in the incorporation by the General Assembly, at the 
commencement of the nineteenth century, of what were desig- 
nated boroughs. The name was taken from a civic division in 
England, applied to municipalities that had been granted spe- 
cial privileges by a royal charter. There are four States 
in the Union which use the word in their local government. In 
Minnesota and Pennsylvania its boundaries are identical with 
those of one of the primary divisions of the county ; in Con- 
necticut and New Jersey, it includes the space occupied by 
houses adjoining or nearly so. The five subdivisions of 
Greater New York are designated as boroughs. 

At the October session of the General Assembly in 1800, 
Bridgeport was the first borough incorporated ; like many of 
its successors, it afterwards became a city. The present bor- 
oughs, and dates of their incorporation, are Stonington 1801, 
Guilford 1 8 15, Newtown 1824, Colchester 1846, Bethel 
1847, Wallingford 1853, Danielson 1854, Greenwich 1854, 
Winsted 1858, Fair Haven 1872, West Haven 1873, Staf- 
ford Springs 1873, Litchfield 1879, Shelton 1882, Torrington 



1887, New Canaan 1889, Southington 1889, Branford 1893, 
Bristol 1893, Naugatuck 1893, Jewett City 1895, Fenwick 
1899, Farmington 1901, Ridgefield 1901, Groton 1903, and 
Woodmont 1903. 

It was over half a century before any additions were made 
to the quintette of cities incorporated by the General Assem- 
bly in 1784. The Legislature in 1836 conferred civic hon- 
ors on Bridgeport, which thus early manifested signs of its 
present importance as a banking and manufacturing centre. 
Nearly a score of years rolled away before another city was 
added to the list. Waterbury, which had passed the five 
thousand mark in population, was granted the rights of incor- 
poration by the Legislature of 1853. In the same county 
in 1867, Meriden was created a city; the influx of foreign 
labor had greatly augmented its population. At the May 
session of the Legislature in 1870, New Britain and South 
Norwalk, both manufacturing centres, were incorporated 
as cities. This complement of Connecticut's cities remained 
unchanged for nearly a score of years, when the growth of the 
hat industry in Danbury, and the woolen industry in Rock- 
ville, so populated these centres that they were entitled to all 
the privileges of municipal incorporation. The banner year 
was 1893, when Ansonia, Derby, Norwalk, Stamford, and 
Willimantic were created cities. This, with the incorporation 
of Putnam two years later, divides Connecticut by civil divi- 
sions into eight counties, eighteen cities, twenty-six boroughs, 
and one hundred and sixty-eight towns. 



Age of Invention 

IN the earlier volumes of this work, mention has been 
made of noted Connecticut Inventions; previous to 
the formation of the federal government, patents had 
been Issued by some of the colonies. Upon Its organ- 
ization, immediate steps were taken to put In opera- 
tion the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, 
which provided that inventors of new machines or processes 
should receive letters patent for the sole and exclusive use 
of their inventions, for a period of fourteen years. 

The first Board for the issuing of patents consisted of the 
Secretaries of State and War, and the Attorney-General ; the 
first patent was granted on July 31, 1790, to Samuel Hop- 
kins, for an Improvement In pot and pearl ashes; the total 
number issued In that year was three. The early records of 
the United States patent office are deficient in not stating the 
residence of patentees ; this renders It impossible to credit any 
section of the country with these early endeavors. The orig- 
inal patent law was repealed In 1793, and a new act passed 
in which the formalities necessary to obtain letters patent were 
prescribed; also the rights of Inventors, with the fees to be 
paid, were more definitely stated. 

The next year the cotton gin was patented; and though 
originating in the brain of a borrowed citizen, It was mainly 
through the exertions of Phlneas Miller and his wife of 
Connecticut, patrons of Eli Whitney, that it was brought 
to the notice of those Interested in the production of cotton. 
Mr. Miller became a partner of the inventor. Through 
the instant and wholesale infringement of the patent by the 
citizens of the cotton States, and the defiant refusal of their 
governments to have it respected or to pay for It, the partners 
made almost nothing from it. One Southern representative 
openly justified his State's denial of justice on perhaps the 



most impudent ground of robbery every alleged, — that the 
invention was of such enormous value to the public that no 
private person had any right to monopolize it. 

The machine itself revolutionized the political, social, and 
industrial interests, not only of the United States but the 
whole world. The exports of cotton from this country in 
1793 were 187,600 pounds; two years later they reached 
6,276,300 pounds. 

There were forty-three patents granted in 1796, eleven of 
which applied to improvements in the manufacture of nails 
and brads; among these was one to Daniel French of Con- 
necticut for both cut and wrought nails. Apollos Kinsley of 
Hartford received a patent for an improvement in printing 
machines. Samuel Lee, Jr., on April 30, 1796, was granted 
a patent for the composition of bilious pills the first of that 
class of inventions; Lee's Windham pills, and Lee's New 
London pills were the subjects of numerous patents. On 
Feb. 19 of the same year, Elisha Perkins obtained a patent 
for his Metallic Tractors, of which mention has already been 
made. We find on Nov. 27, 1797, that Eli Terry received 
letters patent for improvements in clocks, time-keepert, and 

The patent law was modified in 1800, so that two years' 
resident aliens could enjoy the same rights and privileges as 
native-born citizens. Eighty-three patents were issued in 
1804, which exceeded in number any previous year; the next 
year the residence of the patentees appears on the records. 
Among the most important granted that year were to Robert 
Crane, Jr., Waterbury (May 4), for iron wheels; Asahel 
A. Kersey, Hartford (Aug. 28), shingle machine; William 
Wing, Hartford (Aug. 28), casting type; William King and 
H. Salisbury, Hartford, for carriage springs. Connecticut 




was represented In 1806 by George Richards of Stonington; 
he was granted a patent February 14 for a dough machine. 

Among the important patents of 1808 were those to Jon- 
athan Mix of New Haven (Feb. 19) for an elliptical main- 
spring to be applied to carriages, and placed parallel with the 
axle, to which it was screwed in the centre; Ebenezer Jenks 
of Canaan (April 18) for a fire-brick machine, Simon Glover 
and D. Parmalee, Newtown (June 8), for a mortising ma- 
chine, and Abel Brewster, Hartford (July 11), for a vitriolic 
test for bank bills. 

Four patents were granted in 1 809 for the manufacture of 
combs; of these three are credited to Connecticut, Moses 
Moss of Farmington (Jan. 10), and Timothy Stanley of 
Southington (July 6), for manufacturing hair combs, and 
Nat. Jones of Southington (May 9), for making wooden 
combs. In the same year Samuel Green, of New London 
( Feb. 15), received a patent for making paper from seaweed, 
Mary Kies of Killingly (May 5) for weaving straw with 
silk or thread, Ira Ives of Bristol (June 24) for the striking 
part of clocks, Simeon Jocelyn of New Haven (July 13) , for 
pruning shears. The latter were operated by means of a pole 
and cord for lopping the outer and upper branches, and were 
similar to the kind now in general use; it is claimed, however, 
that previous to their being patented in this country they were 
in general use in Germany. 

One of the most important patents of the year was for a 
double-rodded screw auger by Ezra L'Hommedieu of Say- 
brook (July 31 ) ; the patentee informed the Secretary of the 
Treasury that with only a man and two boys, he manufac- 
tured his own wire and produced daily three hundred weight 
of assorted screws, which were superior to those imported. 
The inventors of combs seem to have flourished in the earlier 



days; on May 28, 18 10, David Williams, 3d, of Hartford, 
was granted letters patent for ivory combs; on Aug. 16 of 
the same year Eli Parsons of Bristol received a patent for 
pocket hair combs. 

A patent was issued in 181 1 to Charles Reynolds of East 
Windsor, for his invention for propelling carriages by steam. 
The year 1 8 1 2 marked an era in patenting apparatus for spin- 
ning, weaving, and other processes for the manufacture of 
wool, cotton, flax, and hemp; there were a dozen inventions 
for spinning machinery and eight or ten for looms. Of the 
latter, J. Roxanna Sizer, of New London received a patent 
Oct. 2 1 for a loom for weaving feathered cloth. In the same 
year, May 23, Robert O. Richards of Norfolk was granted 
letters patent for manufacturing boots and shoes with wooden 
pegs, screws, etc. This was the means of greater relief to 
those engaged in that trade ; it was generally used throughout 
the State, and enabled the workmen to complete their handi- 
work with increased dispatch, durability, and neatness. 

Of the five patents issued in 18 13 for cutting and making 
screws, one was obtained by A. Burnham and T. S. Barnum of 
Sharon. There were four patents obtained in this year for 
printing presses; one of these by Zachary Mills of Hartford, 
who also obtained a patent for an ink distributor. Of the one 
hundred and sixty-six patents issued in 18 15, nine were to citi- 
zens of Connecticut for button making; viz., L. Merien, New 
Haven (Jan. 4), turning and polishing; William Lawrence, 
Meriden (April 12), a lathe-pin for turning wire-eyed but- 
tons; John B. Collins, Meriden (April 12), single-jointed 
pewter molds for wire-eyed buttons; Anson Matthews, 
Southington (April 26), wooden molds; Ira Ives, Bristol 
(Aug. 7), three patents — viz., for a holdfast while polish- 
ing for setting eyes of metals in the molds, and for smoothing 



and rending the eye of metal; Herman Matthews, Southing- 
ton (Sep. 12), two patents, for a machine for finishing, and 
one for making wire neck buttons. 

The thirty-hour wooden clocks were patented June 12, 
1816, by Eli Terry of Litchfield; the first printing press in 
which the long lever was introduced with success was patented 
Feb. 8, 1 8 19, by John L. Welles of Hartford. 

In the annals of cotton and woolen manufactures from 
1820 to 1830, the inventions of Gilbert Brewster of Norwich 
came into extensive use. For his improvement on the wool- 
spinning wheel, he received a patent Feb. 27, 1824; this was 
followed by three patents issued March 13 of the same year, 
for a spinning machine and method of receiving rolls from 
the machine, for an improvement on wool spinning, and for 
a spindle for throstle spinning. These, with his later improve- 
ments in cotton and wool spinning machinery, were manufac- 
tured in large quantities at Poughkeepsie, New York, by the 
inventor. A power loom for weaving checks and plaids, the 
first American loom of that kind, was invented by Rev. E. 
Burt of Manchester, who in connection with O. D. and A. 
H. Boyd, received a patent Aug. 19, 1828. 

Among the important patents issued in 1829 were those to 
John Arnold, Norwich (July 15), for forming the web of 
cloth, without spinning or weaving; William Delit, East 
Hartford (Jan. 13), for a machine for cleansing rags for 
paper; and R. Fairchild of Trumbull (May 4), an agitator 
in paper-making. There were 554 patents issued in 1830. 
Of the 146 credited to New England, Connecticut had 52; 
the most important was that of Festus Hayden, Waterbury 
(Oct. I ) , for American wire-eyed buttons. 

The succeeding year, Charles Goodyear, who later gained 
renown for the vulcanizing of caoutchouc, patented a "safe- 



eye button," also a steel spring fork. On March 28, 1831, 
Asa G. Bill and George Spalding of Middletown received a 
patent for a loom for weaving webbing, tape, etc. One of the 
most unique machines for which a patent was issued in 1833 
was to Edward M. Converse of Southington, for a wiring 
machine for tin-plate ware. We find in 1835 that Charles 
Goodyear, on Sept. 9, was granted a patent for a gum- 
elastic cement. It was on Feb. 25, 1836, that a patent for 
revolving firearms was issued to Samuel Colt of Hartford; 
and on Oct. 26 of the same year J. Arnold and G. G. Bishop 
of Norwalk received a patent for forming a web of wool and 
hair without spinning. 

Prior to 1836 there was no critical examination of the state 
of an article, preliminary to the allowance of a patent appli- 
cation. In its salient features, the patent system of to-day is 
that of the law of 1836, though there have been various 
enactments modifying and improving it in matters of detail. 

The most important patent issued in 1837 was to Charles 
Goodyear on June 17, for divesting caoutchouc of its adhesive 
properties. The next year he received a patent for an 
improvement in the manufacture of gum-elastic shoes wholly 
from india-rubber, they having been previously made by 
simply applying a thin coating of the gum. The same year, 
Elisha K. Root of Collinsville was granted a patent for a 
machine for punching and forming the eyes of axes, hat- 
chets, etc. 

Among the important patents granted in the early part of 
the fifth decade were two to John J. Howe of Derby: the 
first in 1 84 1, for improvements on a machine for making 
pins, and two years later for a machine for sticking pins in 
rows, in sheets of paper. To Ethan Allen of Norwich was 
issued in 1845 ^ patent for improvements in the locks of 



pistols and other firearms. In the same year Charles Good- 
year of New Haven patented a waterproof manufactured of 
two elastic substances; and Charles Turner of Norwich, a 
writing machine called the Chirographer. 

Calvin B. Rogers of Saybrook obtained in 1845 ^ patent 
for an improvement in machinery for making dressing combs. 
The invention of Mr. Rogers was the first for a self-acting 
machine for comb-dressing. Prior to this, the blanks were 
fashioned by hand from bits of ivory, six hundred being a 
good workman's daily stint; by means of this new machine, 
five times this amount could be finished in the same time. 

We find that of 572 patents issued in 1847, o"^ ^^r 
improved machinery for dressing staves was granted to Isaac 
Judson of New Haven, and it is mentioned among the ten 
most important ones of that year. The next year Col- 
lins & Co., as assignees of Elisha K. Root of Collinsville, 
patented an improvement in machinery for dressing axes. 

There were 5,516 patents issued from 1840 to 1850. 
Prior to the former date the total amount was 11,421. 
Among those classed as important, we make mention in 1850 
of those of Samuel Colt and Jesse Carpenter of Hartford, 
the former receiving one for improvements in repeating fire- 
arms, the latter for improvements in machinery for spin- 
ning yarn and making ropes. 

The following year Sheldon Northrop was granted a pat- 
ent for an improved loom for weaving seamless bags; Allen 
B. Wilson of Watertown, one of his numerous patents 
for improvements in sewing machines; and Nelson Goodyear 
for a combination called hard rubber, of which mention has 
been previously made. In 1852 Benjamin S. Stedman of 
West Meriden was granted a patent for an improved machine 



for manufacturing pocket-books, and C. Sharpe of Hart- 
ford for an improved method of priming firearms. 

Among the eighteen important patents of 1853 were those 
of Halvor Halvorson of Hartford, for an improvement in 
looms for weaving haircloth; and Chauncey O. Crosby of 
New Haven, for improvements in machinery for sticking 
pins.. The next year Eli Whitney of Whitneyville received 
a patent for an improvement in firearms. 

The following citizens of Hartford were granted patents 
in 1855: E. K. Root for an improved compound rifling 
machine; Rollin White for improvements in repeating fire- 
arms; and J. B. Terry, improvement in pin-sticking machines. 
The same year, patents were issued to William V. Gee of 
New Haven for improvements in looms for weaving suspen- 
der webbing; Thaddeus Selleck of Winchester, for a process 
of reducing Franklinite ore to obtain iron and the white 
oxide of zinc; John H. Doolittle, assignee to American 
Hosiery Company, Waterbury, for knitting machines; De- 
Grass and Fowler, Wallingford, for a press for punching 
metal; and Andrew Hotchkiss of Sharon, projectiles for 
rifle cannons. 

The patents worthy of mention obtained by Connecticut 
citizens in 1856 were those to Horace Smith and Daniel P. 
Wesson of New Haven, for improved primers for cartridges; 
John J. Howe and Inman Piper of Derby, for improvement 
in japanning pins; James S. Taylor of Danbury, for an 
improvement in machinery for forming hat bodies; and 
Blakesley, Piatt & Jordan of Waterbury, for machinery to 
make brass kettles. 

Among the thirty important patents granted in 1857 were, 
to George and David Cook of New Haven, for improved 
adjustable seats for carriages; and Charles Hicks, assignor to 



American Flask and Cap Company of Waterbury, for an 
improvement in machine for varnishing percussion caps. 

The notable ones granted to Connecticut citizens in 1859 
were to Samuel Colt, Hartford, for a gunstock that was also 
a canteen, and coupling gun stocks with pistols; L. S. White 
of Waterbury, for a burnishing machine; Milo Peck & Co. 
of New Haven, for an improved tool holder; John A. Evarts, 
West Meriden, for an improvement in the mode of manufac- 
turing pulleys; Wallace & Sons of Ansonia, for improved 
clasps for skirt-hoops ; and Thaddeus Selleck of Winchester, 
for coating the surfaces of iron with Franklinite metal. 

Thus briefly have been sketched a few of the most valuable 
patents that have tended to make Connecticut one of the 
foremost manufacturing States of the Union. From this 
time, the multiplicity of patents granted her citizens renders 
it impossible, in a work of this character, to make specific 
mention of them. So ingenious were her citizens in the last 
four decades of the nineteenth century, that to give an item- 
ized account of even the important inventions patented, which 
have advanced her progress, is a subject to be dealt with by 
itself. To show the increase made, we state the number of 
patents issued in the first year of each decade, beginning with 
1840, when Connecticut had 24 in a total of 449: in 1850, 
57 out of 973; i860, 237 out of 4,510; 1870, 739 in 12,- 
677; 1880, 610 in 12,655 ; 1890, 937 out of 24, 103; 1900, 
755 out of 22,935. 

According to the ratio of population, Connecticut in 1900 
was second of the fifty-two States and Territories of the 
United States ; two years later she was first, there having been 
issued to her citizens one patent for every 1,198 of her popu- 
lation. By comparative tables it is shown, that the United 
States issues one-third of the patents of the world. She had 



a grand total to Dec. 31, 1901, of 579,768 ; the next country 
was France with 330,977; Great Britain third, with 294,- 
758; and Germany fourth, with 144,239. 

The first industrial exhibition that could rightly be called a 
"World's Fair" was held at London in 1851, at the "Crystal 
Palace"; it attracted exhibitors from all over the world. The 
manufacturers who represented Connecticut were J. A. Fay & 
Co., of Norwich, planing and molding machinery; Samuel 
Colt of Hartford, repeating firearms; Whiting Hayden, of 
Willimantic, drawing frame for cotton; Ashmead & Hurl- 
burt, of Hartford, machine-made gold foil; and Julius Pratt 
& Co., of Meridcn, ivory veneer cut by machinery. A much 
more important exhibition was held in 1862 in the same city. 
Owing to the Civil War, there were only seventy exhibiters 
from the United States, three of whom were from Connect- 
icut: viz., Blake Brothers, New Haven, stone-breaking ma- 
chine; W. H. Green, Meriden, revolving caster; and Colt's 
Patent Firearms Company, Hartford, guns and pistols. 



Public-School System and Institutions of Higher 


CONNECTICUT has always been among the first 
States in the Union to secure to her citizens the 
advantages of a public education; the founda- 
tions of the schools, as well as of the churches, 
were laid by the early colonists. The old meth- 
ods, which have previously been stated, were perpetuated, and 
there were no radical changes made in school government be- 
fore the latter part of the eighteenth century. 

One can form some idea of the primitiveness of the facili- 
ties for obtaining an early education, by what the lexicogra- 
pher, Noah Webster, wrote in 1 840. He states that when he 
was young, the books used were Dilworth's Spelling Book, 
the Psalter, and the Bible. A small book on geography was 
first published in 1789 by Jedidiah Morse; the study of his- 
tory was unknown at this period. Until 1785 the books men- 
tioned were the only ones used for reading ; at that time Web- 
ster published the Third Part of his "Institute," which con- 
tained short notices of the geography and history of the 
United States. Three years later he wrote about twenty 
pages in reference to the transactions of the country after the 
Revolution; this appeared in the first edition of Morse's 
American Geography. Slates were not used until some years 
after the Revolution; the teachers wrote copies and sums in 
arithmetic, which were copied on paper by the scholars with- 
out the use of text-books. The introduction of Webster's 
Spelling Book in 1783 laid the foundation of more care and 
accuracy in that study; English grammar was not generally 


That the adoption of these needed reforms must have 
caused a revolution in the acquiring of knowledge, is evi- 
denced by the fact that in 1793 the selectmen of the town of 
Franklin certified as to the ability of Eliphalet Nott (who 



was afterwards for sixty-two years president of Union Col- 
lege), that "he had taught reading, writing, English gram- 
mar, geography, arithmetic, and several branches of mathe- 
matics, with uncommon success." 

While the code of 1750 provided that every town or par- 
ish should maintain one school, there had been as early as 
1724 towns which were divided into two school districts. In 
1766 these districts were recognized as merely subdivisions 
of towns and parishes; but in 1794 they became by law 
quasi bodies corporate, having the power to vote the repairs 
for their own building, to elect their officials, and to levy and 
collect taxes. It was not until 1839 that they were empow- 
ered to choose their own committees, to purchase and con- 
vey school properties, to make arrangements and regulations 
for the management of schools, employ teachers, arrange 
school terms, and be parties to actions in legal proceedings. 
There has been no practical change made in the powers thus 
granted to school districts and their officers; in 1866, how- 
ever, it was enacted that towns could abolish their districts, 
and constitute a union district. This privilege has been exer- 
cised by many towns, and there is a growing tendency to 
return to the town system of school government. 

The school societies, which were the offsprings of the par- 
ishes, were not recognized by law until 1798, when the care 
of the schools was entirely transferred from the towns to these 
societies; this remained the usage until 1856. Since this 
date the care of funds, the formation and arrangements of 
school districts, the appointment of committees, and what- 
ever was formerly done by these societies, is transacted by the 
towns. The schools previous to 17 14 were independent cor- 
porate bodies; but in that year a law was passed giving the 
towns and societies supervision of them; this was the begin- 



ning of the official visiting of schools, and in 1798 the office 
of School Visitor was created. 

While the question of State supervision was agitated in 
1826, it was not until 1837 that a law was enacted estab- 
lishing a "Board of Commissioners of Common Schools." 
This consisted of the Governor and School Fund Commis- 
sioner, ex-officio, and one person from each county; the 
board had the power of choosing their own Secretary, who 
became in fact, if not in name. State Superintendent of Pub- 
lic Schools. The first to fill this position was Henry Barnard, 
whose devotion to the interests of the public schools of his 
native State will always cause his name to be associated with 
educational matters. 

The Board of Commissioners was abolished in 1842 ; three 
years later the "Commissioner of the School Fund" was 
appointed "Superintendent of Common Schools," which posi- 
tion he held until 1849, when with the establishment of the 
State Normal School at New Britain, the principal of that 
institution performed the duties of both offices. The present 
State Board of Education, consisting of the Governor and 
Lieutenant-Governor as ex officio members, and one from 
each congressional district was established in 1865, with 
authority to select their own secretary, who was to devote his 
time to the duties appropriate for a State Superintendent of 
Schools. Since 1895 ^^^ latter official has been an ex officio 
member of the board. 

In the maintenance of her schools, Connecticut can point 
with pride to that stable monument which was created in 
1795 by an act of her Legislature. The Connecticut School 
Fund owes its foundation to the sale of the lands on the 
"Western reserve"; its first dividend was made in March 
1799, and for thirteen succeeding years an average annual 



dividend of $35,135.19 was paid to the school societies. The 
board of managers up to this time had consisted of four indi- 
viduals; owing to the facts that a large amount of interest 
was unpaid, and many of the securities of uncertain value, the 
Legislature decided to change the system, and intrust the 
funds to one man, with the title of the "Commissioner of the 
School Fund." 

James Hillhouse, who for sixteen years had represented 
the State in the upper house of Congress, was selected for the 
position. He resigned his Senatorship, and served fifteen 
years in his new office. He so disentangled embarrassing 
affairs, that during his charge of the funds not only was the 
capital increased, but the annual dividend was some $17,000 
larger. Mr. Hillhouse was succeeded by Seth P. Beers, who 
had been his assistant for two years previous to his retirement. 
Mr. Beers' administration continued until 1849, ^"d by his 
wise and judicious management the original capital was 
nearly doubled. 

The dividends to the school societies, until 1820, were 
determined by the amount of their grand list, therefore the 
wealthier ones received the greater proportion. This was 
changed in that year, when the number of children between 
four and sixteen years of age in each society was made the 
basis of distribution. The rate for each child varied from 
eighty-five cents in 1826 to one dollar and a half In 1849-50; 
but since that time, owing to Increasing population, it has 
gradually diminished, until It was enacted by the Legislature 
that interest on the fund should be transferred to the State 
Treasurer. This has been done since 1897. 

In 1760 the school tax was fixed at forty shillings on each 
£1,000 assessment; this was continued until it was abolished 
in 1820. From that time to 1854, town or society school tax 



was unknown in Connecticut; the tuition or rate bills, and 
interest in funds and dividends from the School Fund, being 
the only source of income. The State tax was restored in 
1854, but was again abolished, the last payment being made 
in 1890. By an act of the Legislature, the State in 1871 
agreed to make an annual appropriation of fifty cents for each 
child between four and sixteen years of age resident of the 
towns; this the following year was increased to one dollar 
and a half. Upon receiving the interest of the School Fund, 
the rate was made two dollars and a half, which is the pay- 
ment now made by the State for the support of public 

In the winter of 1836, the Legislature created what was 
known as the "Town Deposit Fund." This was occasioned 
by the division of the surplus revenue accumulated in the 
United States Treasury, which was to be distributed pro rata 
among the States. Connecticut's apportionment was a little 
over $1,000,000, which was to be paid during 1837 in four 
equal payments. Three of these were received, but owing to 
the financial panic of 1837 the other was postponed, and has 
never been liquidated. 

The actual amount received was $764,670.60; and while 
this was nominally a deposit made by the general govern- 
ment, with the privilege of its recall to the national treasury, 
this right has never been exercised, and probably never will 
be; therefore it was really a gift to the State. The General 
Assembly, on receiving the deposit, apportioned it among 
the towns according to their population in 1830; though 
towns formed since that date received their share from what 
was originally apportioned to those from which they were 

At first, only one-half of the income derived from the 



deposit was devoted to school purposes; but in 1855 ^^is was 
modified so that the entire income was to be expended for the 
maintenance of public schools. 

The pioneer town in the introduction of free text-books 
was Killingworth; the example thus inaugurated was fol- 
lowed previous to 1903 by thirty-nine towns. That Connec- 
ticut should (as many of her sister States have done) intro- 
duce this system, is a wide-spread opinion in the State; but the 
contrary idea is by no means lacking supporters. 

The early colonists evinced a desire for the establishment 
of schools of a higher grade than the ordinary common 
school. According to the code of 1650, towns containing one 
hundred families were required to maintain a grammar 
school; in 1672 this was amended, to the effect that one 
should be established in each of the four country towns. 
Hartford and New Haven already had such schools, but 
Fairfield and New London did not comply with the law for 
many years. The school law of 1700 made a permanent 
income for the grammar schools, and the system thus adopted 
continued unchanged until 1798. 

When school societies had charge of school affairs, they 
were empowered by a two-thirds vote "to institute a school 
of higher order." It was under this law that the High 
School in Hartford was established in 1847. The school dis- 
tricts in 1839 were authorized to establish schools of dif- 
ferent grades ; this power was taken from them a few years 
later, but was restored in 1856, and at the same time towns 
were given the right to maintain high schools. For the 
advancement of education, and as a preparatory school for a 
college course of study, academies were instituted. The first 
one appeared in 1781, and was known as the Staples Free 



School; it was located in what is now the town of Easton. 
Two years later the Plainfield Academy was founded. 

The famous law school of Judge Reeves, a brother-in-law 
of Aaron Burr, was established in 1784 at Litchfield, where it 
was continued until 1833. A female seminary was also 
started in that county seat in 1792, and was in existence nearly 
forty years. 

The Episcopal Academy at Cheshire was established in 
1796, and from this time the Legislature was frequently 
petitioned to incorporate academies; in 1838 a general law 
was passed, authorizing citizens under certain conditions to 
form a corporation for the maintenance of these schools. 

Mention has already been made of the act authorizing the 
institution of a normal school for teachers. The State Nor- 
mal School was opened at New Britain in 1850, and with the 
exception of two years has continued in active operation to 
the present time. Since 1865 it has been under the charge of 
the Board of Education. A similar school was started at 
Willimantic in 1889, and one at New Haven in 1893. 

Trinity College, like many similar educational institutions 
in the country, owes its existence to the efforts of a particular 
religious denomination to have a college under its auspices. 
Soon after the consecration of Bishop Seabury, steps were 
taken to organize an educational institution under the control 
of the Episcopal Church. At a convocation held at East 
Haddam, the initiatory movement was made that resulted in 
the incorporation in 1801 of the academy at Cheshire; this 
was sometimes called Seabury College. The Legislature 
granted but limited privileges to this institution ; it was not 
empowered to confer degrees, thereby it could not become a 



rival of, or even reach the same educational standard as, the 
college then in existence under the controlling influences of 

Though repeated efforts were made to obtain an enlarge- 
ment of its charter, and petition after petition was drawn up 
and presented to the General Assembly, the ascendancy of 
Congregationalism, and the strong feeling existing against 
Episcopacy, created a violent opposition. Though in 1810 
the House of Representatives favored the memorial, It was 
not concurred in by the Council (Senate). Another strenu- 
ous effort was made five years later. The time had not yet 
arrived, however, for the establishment of a second college : 
the State was undergoing great political changes, and this, 
with the establishing of a General Theological Seminary, 
together with a vacancy in the episcopate, led the Churchmen 
to defer the project. 

The endeavors of those who had so zealously labored for 
the accomplishment of the undertaking, were however to 
meet with success; the adoption of a new State constitution 
in 1 8 18, coupled with the consecration the following year of 
Rev. Thomas Church Brownell as Bishop of Connecticut, 
were, after more than a quarter of a century of earnest exer- 
tions, to accomplish the incorporation of a second college in 

A meeting of eighteen clergymen was held in 1822, at the 
residence of the newly-elected Bishop in New Haven, where 
it was decided that a petition should be circulated through- 
out the State, for the purpose of obtaining signatures of the 
citizens favoring the organization of the college. This 
petition was presented to the Legislature on May 30, 1823; 
three days later, the act incorporating Washington College 
was passed by the lower house ; it received the concurrence of 





the upper house, and was duly signed by the Governor. The 
citizens of Hartford, to testify their appreciation, celebrated 
the event by the firing of cannon and the lighting of bon- 

The charter provided that before the Trustees could organ- 
ize, $30,000 should be secured; they had the authority to 
locate the college in any town in the State which they might 
deem expedient. The same plan was adopted that was used 
to secure the permanent establishment of the first college; 
competition was opened, $50,000 was pledged within a year, 
and as Hartford had generously subscribed three-fourths of 
this amount, it was selected for the home of the institution. 

As a historical fact, it is worthy to record that the day 
before the presentation of the memorial for the chartering of 
Washington College, the corporation repealed the old so- 
called "test-law" of Yale College. 

The Trustees selected a beautiful site, consisting of four- 
teen acres, half a mile west of the public square at Hartford; 
it was dignified by the name of College Hill. Thick forests 
were near neighbors, in which, to the student with hunting 
proclivities, the click of a gun would often be as music to his 
ear; while those inclined to aquatic sports could indulge in 
boating or fishing on the small river that bounded the campus. 

Bishop Brownell was elected president of the college on 
May 16, 1824; the following month the erection of build- 
ings was begun. These were two : Jarvis Hall, from plans of 
a noted Boston architect, which was designed for the accom- 
modation of the students; the other, Seabury Hall, which 
contained the chapel, library, and other public apartments, 
was from a drawing by Samuel F, B. Morse, the inventor of 
the electric telegraph. 

The Faculty was chosen the following August; among its 



members were Rev. George W. Doane, who became Bishop 
of New Jersey, and Mr. Hector Humphrey, the first tutor, 
who was afterwards elected President of St. John's College 
of Maryland. The Rev. Horatio Potter was chosen pro- 
fessor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 1828; in 
1854 he was elected provisional Bishop, and in i86i he 
became Bishop, of the Diocese of New York, which position 
he held until his death in 1887. 

The college was opened on Sept. 23, 1824, with nine under- 
graduates, which number was increased before the close of 
the year to twenty-eight. An innovation was inaugurated that 
was a new feature in American college education : students 
were taken for a partial course, allowing them to pursue 
such particular studies as were suited to their circumstances. 
After a two-years' attendance, an English diploma was 
received by them. 

The attacks against the establishment of a Church college, 
although its doors had been thrown open to the public, had 
not yet ended. An anonymous pamphlet war was begun; 
but in spite of sectarian opposition, and lack of support by 
the State, Washington College maintained its position, and 
was encouraged by donations from abroad. The first Com- 
mencement was held in August 1827, when ten graduates 
received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 

The cares and labors of the Diocese became so arduous that 
Bishop Brownell in 1831 was obliged to resign his duties as 
president, and Rev. Nathaniel S. Wheaton, one of the orig- 
inators of the plan, was chosen to fill the position. Previous 
to this he had visited England to solicit contributions, espe- 
cially for the library, and met with much success. Dr. 
Wheaton during his occupancy of the office, which he resigned 
in 1837, was instrumental in laying the foundation for a sys- 



tern of endowments, which with his own benefactions placed 
the college on a firm financial basis. 

The vacancy he left in the presidency was filled by the elec- 
tion of Rev. Silas Totten, who had been for four years profes- 
sor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Under Dr. 
Totten's administration of eleven years, considerable addi- 
tions were made to the funds of the college, especially for the 
establishment of scholarships; a second dormitory building 
was built in 1845, ^^^ named Brownell Hall; the same year 
the name of the college was changed to Trinity. 

A Board of Fellows was organized for the superintendence 
of the course of study and discipline. The Alumni and other 
graduates, not members of the corporation, were formed into 
the House of Convocation, which name was changed in 1883 
to the Association of the Alumni. The successor of Dr. Tot- 
ten was Rev. John Williams, a graduate of the class of 
1835 ; under his administration the funds of the library were 
considerably increased. A theological department was estab- 
lished, which was the foundation of the Berkeley Divinity 
School, incorporated in 1854, and afterwards removed to 
Middletown, where it has been encouraged by the generous 
help of the citizens of that city. The charter was amended 
in 1849, making the Bishop of Connecticut ex officio Chan- 
cellor of the college, and president of the Board of Trustees. 
Dr. Williams in 1851 was elected Bishop of Connecticut. 
Two years later his episcopal duties had so increased that he 
resigned the presidency of the college. 

Bishop Williams was succeeded by Rev. Daniel R. Good- 
win ,who resigned in i860; and Dr. Samuel Eliot, his succes- 
sor, filled the position until 1864. It was during his term of 
office that the foundation was laid for an addition of $100,- 



ooo to the general fund of the college, which project was ulti- 
mately successful. 

The next president was Rev. John B. Kerfoot, whose 
administration was brief. He resigned in January 1866 to 
accept the bishopric of Pittsburg. The vacancy was not filled 
until June, 1867, when Rev. Abner Jackson, a graduate of 
the class of 1837, was elected to the presidency of his Alma 
Mater. Under Dr. Jackson's administration, the number of 
students Increased; the colossal bronze statue of the first pres- 
ident was presented to the college; the largest gift from any 
Individual donor was received; and the city of Hartford, 
desirous of obtaining a site for a new capital, purchased the 
college campus for $600,000. A new college site of seventy- 
eight acres was secured, a mile south of the old campus, and 
Dr. Jackson visited England twice to perfect plans for the 
new buildings. But before the work was begun, he died, 
after a short illness, on April 19, 1874. 

On the 7th of November in the same year, the Trustees 
elected Rev. Thomas R. Pynchon, of the class of 1841, to 
the presidency. Ground was broken for the new buildings, 
with appropriate ceremonies, on July i, 1875, ^^^ ^^o large 
blocks of buildings were ready for occupancy in 1878. The 
erection of Northam Hall in 1881 completed the western 
range of the quadrangle. It was named for its munificent 
donor, Mr. Charles H. Northam, of Hartford, whose total 
gifts, In connection with a legacy left by his widow, do not 
fall far short of a quarter of a million of dollars. 

Dr. Pynchon retired from the presidency in 1883. His 
successor. Rev. George Williamson Smith, made desirable 
changes in the curriculum of studies. A fine and well-fur- 
nished gymnasium, with an alumni hall, has been built out- 
side the space assigned to the quadrangle on the north 



campus. At a corresponding situation on the south side is the 
handsome laboratory. Besides these, there is a modest obser- 
vator>' on the south campus. Near by are the residences of the 
faculty, and chapter halls of societies; but the extensive 
plans outlined by the late President Jackson must be left for 
future generations to complete. 

The resignation of President Smith, occurred in the latter 
part of 1903. His successor. Rev. Flavel S. Luther, ap- 
pointed in May 1904, had long been Professor of Mathe- 
matics in the college, and recognized as not only one of the 
most learned and clear-headed mathematicians in the country, 
and a stimulating teacher, but a man of wide interests, orig- 
inal thought and great charm of style in presenting his ideas. 
The incorporation of the third college in Connecticut was 
not attended with any sectarian opposition. In the first 
quarter of the nineteenth century, the seminaries under the 
auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church being in a nour- 
ishing condition, the leading minds of the church advocated 
the need of a university of collegiate rank, to be located either 
in New England or New York. 

At this critical period, a seeming accident directed the 
attention of the officials of the Church to Middletown : in 
1825 Captain Alden Partridge, a former superintendent of 
the United States Military Academy at West Point, opened in 
that city the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Acad- 
emy. The citizens, to encourage the school, erected two sub- 
stantial stone buildings. While at first prosperity attended it, 
this soon waned, and a failure to obtain a charter from the 
Legislature caused its removal in 1829 to Norwich, Vermont. 
The vacant buildings attracted the attention of Rev. Laban 
Clark, presiding elder of the New Haven district. Learn- 
ing that they were for sale, he promptly notified the proper 



parties that he would be one of ten to purchase the property. 
The matter was taken under serious consideration at a ses- 
sion of the New York Conference; they appointed a com- 
mittee, who, in conjunction with a similar committee chosen 
by the New England Conference, issued proposals inviting 
several towns to compete for the location of a college. While 
liberal offers were received from several towns, that of Mid- 
dletown was considered most advantageous. 

The entire real estate, valued at about $30,000, was offered 
with only two conditions: first, that it should be perpetually 
used for a college or university; second, that the college 
should be endowed with $40,000. Of this sum the citizens 
of Middletown raised $18,000. The necessary amount was 
soon obtained; trustees were chosen, and the college organ- 
ized under the name of Wesleyan University. It is the oldest 
college now extant that was founded, and has remained, under 
the patronage of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The 
first president was Rev. Wilbur Fisk. In May 1831 a 
charter was granted to the university, and in September of 
that year its doors were opened to students. 

The peculiar views introduced by the first president, that 
the proficiency of the student in each department should be 
the only basis of classification, and that any student able to 
pass the requisite examination was to receive a diploma with- 
out regard to the time spent in college, were abandoned; and 
the usual system of classification was adopted. Wesleyan was 
among the first colleges to establish a scientific course, to meet 
the wants of those whose tastes or financial conditions 
debarred them from taking the ordinary classical course. 

The death of Dr. Fisk occurred in 1839. Dr. Stephen 
Olin was elected president, but feeling himself too feeble to 
assume the duties, he resigned early in 1841, and Dr. Nathan 



Bangs was chosen to fill the vacancy. He accepted the posi- 
tion reluctantly, and in July 1842 resigned in favor of Dr. 
Olin, whose health had improved. While the latter gentle- 
man never devoted himself closely to the work of instruction, 
he strengthened the financial condition of the college, and 
extended its reputation. His commanding character was an 
inspiration to the students. He died in 185 i. 

After a year's interval Dr. Augustus W. Smith, one of the 
original faculty, was elected president; it was during his 
administration that the permanent existence and prosperity 
of the university was assured, by the raising of an endowment 
fund of $100,000. Dr. Smith resigned in 1857, and was 
succeeded by Rev. Joseph Cummings. This was the first 
time that an alumnus of Wesleyan was chosen to preside 
over the college. The work accomplished by his predeces- 
sor was augmented by the new president; a library fund 
of $27,000 was raised by the alumni, and a new and tasteful 
library building, with a capacity for 100,000 volumes, was 
erected at a cost of $40,000 by Isaac Rich of Boston, a large 
contributor to the support of the university. The Boarding 
Hall was remodeled into an Observatory Hall, a Memorial 
Chapel was built, and the Orange Judd Hall of Natural 
Science was constructed at a cost of $100,000, by the munifi- 
cence of Orange Judd of New York, the famous founder of 
the "American Agriculturist," a member of the class of 1847. 
Dr. Cummings resigned the presidency in 1875, and Rev. 
Cyrus D. Foss, of the class of 1854, was unanimously elected 
his successor. Notwithstanding the large gifts the college 
had received. Dr. Foss found its finances in a deplorable con- 
dition, which was partially due to the money panic of 1873. 
The expenditures were $46,000 annually, while the income 
was only $20,000. During the five years of President Foss' 



administration, the current expenses were provided for, the 
debt paid, and nearly $250,000 added to the endowment. 
Being elected In 1880 a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, Dr. Foss tendered his resignation. The vacancy 
was filled by the election of Dr. John W. Beach; during his 
term of office, the endowment fund was further Increased by 
the princely gifts of George I. Seney. The retirement of 
President Beach occurred In 1887, This was followed by 
an Interregnum of two years; then the present Incumbent, 
Dr. Bradford P. Raymond, was chosen president. His 
administration has been signalized by a gift from Dr. Daniel 
Ayres of $275,000. A new gymnasium has been erected, and 
the number of students and Instructors Increased. Wesleyan 
ranks among the strongest of the sectarian colleges ; the 
grounds, buildings, apparatus, and endowment, aggregate 
nearly $2,000,000. She Is fifth In size of those under the 
control of the Methodist persuasion, having In 1902 thirty- 
six instructors and 320 students, with a total Income of 
$113,811. There have been graduated since the organiza- 
tion of the college 2,333 students. 

The Hartford Theological Seminary owes Its foundation 
to a convention of thirty-six Congregational ministers held at 
East (now South) Windsor, Sept. 10, 1833, for the purpose 
of devising measures for the defense and promotion of evan- 
gelical principles. Ceretain speculations and dogmas had 
been advanced, which were viewed with suspicion, as being 
at variance with the teachings of the Holy Scripture; these 
new doctrines had also been advocated by certain newspapers 
devoted to Congregational literature. 

Many members of that persuasion were antagonistic to 
these new ideas, respecting Divine government and human 
depravity and regeneration. Therefore at the East Windsor 



Convention, the Pastoral Union of Connecticut was organ- 
ized on the basis of a Calvinistic creed. The constitution 
adopted, provided for the establishment of a Theological 
Seminary, to guard against the perversion of consecrated 
funds and other misdemeanors. It was deemed advisable 
that the control of the college should be placed in the hands 
of a Board of 7>ustees elected annually by the Pastoral 
Union, rather than lodged in a corporation. 

The Theological Institute of Connecticut was incorporated 
in May 1834, and formally opened the following Septem- 
ber; the institution was located at East Windsor, with sixteen 
students in attendance, and a faculty of three professors. For 
several years the finances of the seminary were in a precarious 
condition, the current expenses being defrayed by contribu- 
tions from persons of moderate means. In 1839 a legacy 
of $11,000 was received from Miss Rachel Waldo of Wor- 
cester, Massachusetts. During the next decade there were 
a number of donations, of from one to seven thousand dol- 
lars each. A second professorship was endowed by Mr. 
Chester Buckley and wife of Wethersfield; later a third by 
Dr. Asahel Nettleton. The disadvantages of the location of 
the seminary at East Windsor had been embarrassing from 
the first; after a score of years, from a lack of social and 
church life and an intellectual and literary atmosphere, they 
became depressing. The trustees wished to improve the 
location ; also the number of students was decreasing, and 
their finances were not adequate to a proper prosecution of 
the work. Hence they made overtures to Yale College to 
unite the two seminaries. While the conference held was at 
one on nearly all the proposed conditions of the union, those 
who represented Yale asked for a delay before coming to a 



final decision. No action was taken at this time, but in 1864 
the negotiations were resumed by Yale. 

Important changes, however, had taken place with the 
struggling seminary at East Windsor: liberal gifts had been 
received from several parties, the most munificent being that 
from James B. Hosmer of Hartford, who also founded a 
professorship, and gave $100,000 for the erection of the 
edifice on Broad Street in that city. The seminary was trans- 
ferred to Hartford in September 1865, and for fourteen 
years occupied dwelling-houses on Prospect Street, when they 
removed to their present location. The Faculty at this time 
consisted of only two professors. The largest number of 
students belonging to the seminary in any one year, before 
its removal to Hartford, was thirty-four, the Faculty being 
three professors. According to the catalogue of 1902, there 
were eighty students and sixteen professors. It was through 
the liberality of Newton Case of Hartford that the present 
library building was constructed, with a capacity of 200,- 
000 volumes. The name of the seminary was changed to its 
present title on its removal, and later a reorganization was 
effected to conform with modern institutions of like character. 
Dr. Chester D. Hartranft was elected first President, which 
office he filled until 1903, when he resigned in order to con- 
tinue literary work in Germany. 

The Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Hartford owes its origin 
to the endeavors of Dr. Mason F. Cogswell, whose infant 
daughter, while suffering from an attack of spotted fever in 
1807, became totally deaf, and afterward practically a mute. 
On the child reaching the age of ten years, the father 
desired to procure for her an education, and sought the co-op- 
eration of his friends and neighbors to establish a school for 
deaf mutes. There had been several unsuccessful attempts 


c::^. /7^ '^^:c^^^:z^p. 


to start institutions of this character in the United States, 
although they were in active operation in Great Britain and 
France. At a meeting held April 12, 1 8 1 5, at the residence of 
Dr. Cogswell, steps were taken to perfect a permanent organ- 
ization; also to obtain subscriptions to defray the expenses 
of a competent person, to visit Europe for the purpose of 
acquiring the art of instructing deaf-mutes. 

The funds were readily secured, and Rev. Thomas Gallau- 
det was the universal choice; but he was very unwilling to 
relinquish the sacred calling, for which he had fitted himself 
at the Andover Theological Seminary. He was at length 
persuaded, however, and sailed for Liverpool on May 25. 
In Great Britain Mr. Gallaudet encountered insurmountable 
obstacles in his efforts to obtain instruction. He then pro- 
ceeded to Paris, where Abbe Sicard was in charge of the 
Institution for Deaf Mutes, founded in 1760 by Abbe de 
I'Epee. This worthy cleric accorded the American educator 
every facility. After a year's instruction, in August 18 16, 
Mr. Gallaudet returned home, accompanied by Laurent 
Clerc, one of Abbe Sicard's pupils, and an instructor in the 
Paris institution. 

On his arrival at Hartford, he found little had been accom- 
plished besides obtaining an act of incorporation, in May 
1 8 16, as "The Connecticut Asylum for the Education and 
Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons." Over $2,300 had 
been contributed by various persons, but this had been 
expended in defraying the expensese of the European trip; 
therefore his first energies were devoted to obtaining a per- 
manent fund, which was finally secured, — private benevo- 
lence yielding $12,000, and the State Legislature appropri- 
ating $5,000. 

These sums insured the permanency of the institution ; and 



on April 15, 18 17, the school was opened in a building on 
Main Street, Hartford. At the end of a week there were 
seven pupils, and by the first of June the number had been 
increased to twenty-one. The following year the attendance 
had so increased that the directors thought the work should 
become national, and decided to ask a grant from Congress. 
Through the efforts of the Connecticut congressional dele- 
gation, aided by other influential and philanthropic members 
of both houses, a township comprising 23,000 acres of wild 
land was appropriated for the use of the institution. On 
account of this gift, and the probability that the work of the 
institution would be largely national, it was deemed advisable 
to change the name to the American Asylum for the Deaf 
and Dumb. The buildings now occupied were completed 
and opened in 1821; numerous additions have since been 
made, however. Four years later, arrangements were made 
with the other New England States to educated their deaf- 

Mr. Gallaudet in 1830, owing to failing health, resigned 
his position as executive oflScer. Mr, Clerc, after completing 
a service of forty-seven years, was in 1857 retired on a pen- 
sion. The successors of Mr. Gallaudet have been Lewis 
Weld, 1830-53; Rev. William W. Turner, 1854-63; Col- 
lins Stone, 1863-79; Edward C. Stone, 1870-8; and Job 
Williams, 1878. Changes of the first importance have taken 
place in the character of the instruction given. Through the 
devices of visible speech, in which Alexander Graham Bell 
and others have been so active, muteness has been virtually 
abolished; nearly all can be taught in some measure to speak. 
This also has greatly increased their capacity to earn liv- 
ings for themselves. Hence it has become not an "Asylum" 
but a school, and the "dumb" are no longer admitted to exist; 



hence the name has been changed to the American School at 
Hartford for the Deaf. 

There have been two Instances in the history of the State 
where town supremacy retarded public education. The first 
of these occurred at the outset of the anti-slavery struggle in 
1 83 1, when the free negroes of the United States were desir- 
ous of establishing a college for their young men, to which 
a mechanical department was to be attached. Connecticut 
offered superior advantages for mechanical education; New 
Haven was the home of advanced education in the State : for 
these reasons that city was selected for the site of the proposed 
college. This raised an outburst of opposition in New 
Haven; public meetings were held denouncing the project, 
and every means taken to defeat the success of the enterprise; 
and it was abandoned. 

The other instance was of the same character. Prudence 
Crandall, a young Quakeress, conducted a private school at 
Canterbury; becoming imbued with anti-slavery principles, 
she corresponded with William Lloyd Garrison, the father of 
Abolitionism, stating that she proposed to offer the advan- 
tages of her school to colored children. In an attempt to 
carry out this project, a storm of indignation was raised in 
that quiet and peaceful Connecticut town. A town meeting 
declared the school a nuisance, the colored people were 
insulted in the streets, and an unsuccessful attempt was made 
to arrest them under the vagrant act. Failing in these 
attempts to close the school, the General Assembly was 
appealed to, and an act was passed forbidding the introduc- 
tion into the State of negroes from another State for the 
purpose of instruction, without the written consent of the 
selectmen of the town. 

Her opponents being armed with this legal weapon, Miss 



Crandall was arrested, and for a night was Incarcerated in 
jail. Trial after trial failed to convict her, and what is now 
termed boycotting, In its most aggravated form, was used 
against her. She in attendance with her pupils was excluded 
from church services; and as a final resort, mob law was 
instituted. Her house was broken into at midnight, the 
Inmates turned into the streets, and the house with its con- 
tents ruined. Miss Crandall succumbed to the Inevitable, and 
abandoned her enterprise. 

While the people of the commonwealth as a whole should 
not be held responsible for these persecutions, they grew out 
of Connecticut's peculiar legal system, which recognizes the 
town as the unit of government, and therefore responsible for 
its own acts. The fears of the Canterburians are those of 
millions to-day; as to their validity, that is another ques- 
tion. The greatest coeducational Institutions for whites and 
blacks In the whole country, Oberlin and Berea colleges, have 
never been responsible for a single intermarriage; and "social 
equality" is the emptiest of bogles. It rests with every one 
whether he shall invite people of any color to his home or 
elect them to his club. 



Connecticut under Buchanan's Administration 

AFTER the inauguration of President Buchanan, 
the Kansas troubles continued to be the all- 
absorbing topic of the administration, as 
Pierce had left them. The determination of 
the Southern members of Congress to allow 
the admission of Kansas only as a slave State, and to force it 
by open and bloody violence to become such, kept the issue 
clearly before the people, where the Kansas-Nebraska bill 
had brought it. The Dred Scott decision, which threw open 
the whole Union, free and slave, to slavery, aroused still 
fiercer wrath. These occurrences divided even the Demo- 
cratic part}', and caused it to lose control of the general gov- 
ernment, which it had dominated, with the exception of a few 
years, ever since the inauguration of Jefferson. 

This decision of 1857, by a majority of the justices of the 
United States Supreme Court, the case having been before the 
tribunal for over three years, is well known. In essence it was 
that slaves were personal chattels, and therefore could not 
become citizens of the United States; also that a residence in 
a free State did not in any way release them from bondage; 
it even went farther, and declared that slavery was not a local 
institution, and therefore not amenable to local laws, — that it 
should have protection in the national domain, the sam.e as 
any other property. 

The New York Legislature, in retaliation, enacted a law 
that neither color nor African descent disqualified a resident 
of that State for citizenship, and that a slave brought within 
its limits became free; any attempt to retain such a person as 
a slave was punishable with imprisonment, not to exceed ten 
years. In the North, especially in New England, vigorous 
measures had been and were taken to form colonization socie- 
ties, to settle the disputed territory in Kansas with citizens 



who would employ only free labor; also to counteract the 
temporary settlement of armed bands of Missourians, who 
were endeavoring to have the new State adopt a constitution 
establishing slavery within its limits. 

Connecticut was foremost among her sister States, in pro- 
moting and equipping colonization societies. At a meeting 
held in New Haven in April, 1856, when a leader of one of 
these newly organized societies stated that they were unable 
to provide themselves with rifles, or any other species of fire- 
arms, Professor Benjamin Silliman, then in his seventy-sev- 
enth year, offered to head a subscription list for the purchase 
of the desired articles. The necessary sum was quickly raised, 
and the party thoroughly equipped. This action of the citi- 
zens of New Haven was the cause of indecent vituperation 
by the pro-slavery newspapers, throughout the country ; also 
by the champions of the Southern gangs who were upholding 
a minority usurpation by using rifles at every turn. It was 
brought before the United States Senate, where Professor 
Silliman and his fellow subscribers were ably defended by 
Senator Lafayette S. Foster. 

In July of the same year, a letter signed by Professor Sil- 
liman and forty-two other citizens, mostly residents of New 
Haven, was addressed to President Buchanan, remonstrating 
against the use of United States troops in Kansas to enforce 
the fraudulent Lecompton constitution, and other laws that 
had been passed by Invaders from Missouri, which were 
opposed by the actual settlers. The President in a plausible 
way attempted to shirk all responsibility in the matter, and 
stigmatized the inhabitants of Kansas as a lawless and sedi- 
tious people. Several meetings of the signers to the remon- 
strance was held, and letters written by Dr. Leonard Bacon, 
Alexander C. Twinning (the author of the original protest), 



and Dr. N. W. Taylor, were fonvarded to the President. 
They became known as the Silliman letters, and were the 
means of causing the President and his Cabinet to avow 
openly their pro-slavery views and plans. 

It is unnecessary to review in detail the various phases of 
the struggle: the outrageous attacks on the legitimate colon- 
ists who were determined that Kansas should become a mem- 
ber of the Union as a free State; the iniquitous Lecompton 
constitution; the sack of Lawrence, the headquarters of the 
anti-slavery party; the affairs at Black Jack and Ossawa- 
tomie, linked with the name of one of Connecticut's most 
famous sons. These were early events that presaged the 
Civil War; and the final failure of the South made her lead- 
ers turn to that war as the only resource left. 

As the time for the spring election of 1858 approached in 
Connecticut, the political outlook of the country was most 
threatening. This, in connection with the disturbed state of 
financial affairs, caused the leaders of the Republican party to 
select as their candidate for Governor one whose previous 
record showed an adaptability for the management of mone- 
tary affairs. At a convention of bankers and business men 
held in Connecticut during the panic of the preceding year, 
William A. Buckingham of Norwich was a member. His 
knowledge of finance so impressed that body that he was 
deemed the most acceptable candidate to represent the busi- 
ness interests of the State. The political parties were evenly 
divided, but the Republican candidate was elected by a major- 
ity of 2,449, h'S plurality being 2,753, which was a larger 
plurality and majority than had been concentrated on any 
one candidate in opposition to the Democratic party for 
nearly a decade. The Legislature also by this election became 
largely Republican in both branches. 



Governor Buckingham was re-elected in 1859 by a reduced 
majority. The cities and larger towns, with the exception 
of Norwich and New London, gave majorities for the Dem- 
ocratic candidate ; but this was counterbalanced by the agri- 
cultural districts of New London, Windham, and Litchfield 
counties, contributing handsome Republican majorities. While 
the nominal Republican supremacy in the State government 
was not as great as in the preceding year, the closeness of the 
struggle had consolidated the party, and eradicated the free- 
lances and factions, placing it on a firmer vantage ground than 
it had before occupied. 

The first two administrations of Governor Buckingham 
were during a period of intense excitement and earnest debate 
throughout the country. Public men were breaking away 
from old political parties, and joining newer organizations; 
the air was rife with threats of unheard-of measures that 
would be resorted to if the opposition party was successful 
at the polls. The chief executive of the country had not only 
lost the control of a Democratic Congress, but also had alien- 
ated members of his Cabinet, who condemned his pro-slavery 
policy. The President had scarcely finished half his term of 
office, before his administration had completely broken down. 
Its unpopularity steadily increased, and the House of Repre- 
sentatives became Republican. This, with the determined 
opposition of Stephen A. Douglass in the Senate, caused 
Buchanan to become one of the most pathetic figures in Amer- 
ican history. The self-styled "Old Public Functionary" had 
been confronted by an irremediable disruption of his party 
on the slavery question, and forced to choose a side; consist- 
ency to his whole life policy and utterances left him no 
alternative but to side with the wrong, yet without heart or 
vigor, and he had the fate of being execrated as a tool of 



unrighteousness by one side, and despised as a spineless weak- 
ling by both. 

That the administration had lost control of the country was 
evidenced in the spring of 1859, when New Hampshire, Con- 
necticut, and Rhode Island elected Republican candidates. 
The former, Pierce's State, had always been reliably Demo- 
cratic, while Connecticut was as likely to vote one way as the 
other. The death-blow to Democratic supremacy in national 
affairs was struck at the State elections held in the fall of 
1859. Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania went 
Republican ; this foreboded the carrying of the coming Pres- 
idential election by the Republicans, and a complete revolu- 
tion on the slavery question. 

Then occurred those long, bitter, and treasonable Congres- 
sional debates ; the John Brown raid and execution ; the pub- 
lication of Helper's "The Impending Crisis." Under these 
circumstances, the political canvass of Connecticut in i860 
became the most vigorous that has ever been known. 

In January the Republican convention renominated Gover- 
nor Buckingham; the next month, Thomas H. Seymour was 
nominated as the opposing candidate. This election was 
regarded by the country as a Presidential election in minia- 
ture; the State was selected by the Democratic leaders as the 
most likely of the Northern States in which to restore their 
prestige of victory. Prominent speakers visited the State 
to make campaign speeches, among whom was Abraham Lin- 
coln, who had gained national fame by his debates in Illinois 
with Senator Douglass; but at that time he was hardly 
thought of as a Presidential candidate. Mr. Lincoln made 
half a dozen speeches, was the guest of Governor Bucking- 
ham, and laid at this time the foundation of that friendship 



and confidence which were ultimately of so much benefit In 
the troublous times of the country. 

The small plurality received by Governor Buckingham 
only illustrates the strenuous efforts made by the opposition, 
who resorted to every known political device to secure a vic- 
tory: the venal use of money in buying votes, the importa- 
tion of voters from New York, etc. In fact, that the State 
remained Republican was due to the popularity of the candi- 
date, and the education, intelligence, and Christian morality 
of its citizens. The early returns from the near-by cities 
showed good majorities for Mr. Seymour; but later, the 
eastern part of the State telegraphed that their honored son 
had received their support, which, added to the returns from 
the smaller and inland towns, changed the result. "The Land 
of Steady Habits" had by a small plurality, ranged itself on 
the side of "Liberty and Union" ; and it was to pave the way 
to the election of a Republican to the Presidency of the 
United States. 

William A. Buckingham, who by the decision of his fel- 
low citizens was to guide the State through the dark days of 
the Rebellion, was born at Lebanon, May 28, 1804. His 
early education was obtained In his native town, supplemented 
with an academical course at Bacon Academy, located at Col- 
chester. Having a taste for mathematics, he first undertook 
the profession of land surveyor; after trying it for a while 
he became a school-teacher, but finally returned home, and for 
three years was engaged In agricultural pursuits. 

Upon reaching manhood he decided to devote himself to 
mercantile business, and entered the employ of his uncle, who 
carried on a dry-goods store at Norwich. Here he remained 
two years; after spending a short time In a wholesale store In 
New York City, he began business for himself In 1826 at 



Norwich. In addition to his dry-goods business, he began in 
I 830 the manufacture of ingrain carpets, and in 1 848 became 
interested in the manufacture of rubber boots and shoes. The 
latter proving remunerative, Mr. Buckingham retired from 
his other business, and devoted his entire time to this new 
industry, in which he amassed a large fortune. He was mayor 
of Norwich in 1849-50, also 1856-57, and the following year 
was nominated for Governor. 

Governor Buckingham was chief executive of the State 
for eight years, and was one of the most prominent war Gov- 
ernors of the North; he declined a renomination at the end 
of his eight years of service, and spent the next two years 
enjoying the pleasures of private life. 

In 1868 he was elected United States Senator, taking his 
seat in that body March 4, 1869, and immediately busied 
himself in considering the great question of reconstruction. 
He was not destined to serve out his term of office : his death 
occurred at Norwich Feb. 5, 1875. The finest epitaph that can 
be inscribed to his memory is the tribute paid him by the 
Norwich Bulletin; that he was "a man of honor and a Chris- 
tian gentleman." 




Connecticut in the U. S. Senate 

IN the First Congress, Oliver Ellsworth and William 
Samuel Johnson were Senators from Connecticut. 
They had been prominently identified with the con- 
vention that formed the Constitution of the United 
States; their legal education, combined with their 
natural gifts as pleaders and orators, made them leaders 
in that body. Mr. Johnson was appointed chairman of the 
committee to revise the language of the Constitution; the 
corrections in the original copy are in his handwriting. At 
the convening of the Second Congress, Senator Johnson hav- 
ing accepted the presidency of Columbia College, Roger 
Sherman was chosen his successor. 

To this Congress Vermont sent as one of her first Senators 
Stephen R. Bradley, born in Wallingford, Connecticut, Feb. 
20, 1754, and a member of the Yale class of 1775. He was 
a lawyer, and also commanded a volunteer company during 
the Revolution, being on General Wooster's staff at the tim.e 
of the death of that illustrious officer. Senator Bradley had 
been a co-worker with his intimate friend, General Ethan 
Allen, in the organization of Vermont as a State; he was a 
man of great ability but eccentric habits. 

The death of Roger Sherman occurred before the conven- 
ing of the Third Congress, and Stephen Mix Mitchell was 
appointed to fill the vacancy. He was born at Wethersfield, 
Dec. 9, 1743 ; he graduated from Yale at the age of twenty, 
and soon afterwards began the practice of law. It was 
mainly through the endeavors of Senator Mitchell that Con- 
necticut established her title to the Western Reserve. Mr. 
Mitchell resigned from the Senate at the close of the Third 
Congress, to accept the appointment of Judge of the Supe- 
rior Court of Connecticut. Noted for his Christian dignity 
and purity of patriotism, he was a faithful public servant. 



He was a member of the Continental Congress, and also 
held judicial offices. He died in his native town Sept. 30, 


The successor of Senator Mitchell, Jonathan Trumbull 

entered the Fourth Congress with a complete knowledge of 
parliamentary rules, and wide experience as a legislator: he 
had been a member of the House of Representatives since 
the formation of the government, and had filled the Speak- 
er's chair. He resigned after a year's service in the Senate, to 
accept the position of Deputy-Governor. The same year 
Senator Ellsworth tendered his resignation, to accept the 
office of Chief Justice of the Superior Court of the United 

The next two Senators from Connecticut were like their 
predecessors. Federalists. Uriah Tracy, who was chosen 
for the unexpired term of Jonathan Trumbull, was born in 
Franklin, Feb. 2, 1755; a graduate of Yale, he read law at 
Litchfield, where he became a resident. He had served as a 
Representative in Congress since 1793; he was of com- 
manding presence, universally respected, and enjoyed the 
friendship of the leading men of his time. Senator Tracy 
was President pro tern, during part of the Sixth Congress. 
He died at Washington, D. C, July 19, 1807, and was the 
first person buried in the Congressional burying-ground. 

His colleague, James Hillhouse was first chosen for the 
unexpired term of Senator Ellsworth. He was born at Mont- 
ville, Oct. 21, 1754; graduating from Yale in 1773, he took 
an active part in the Revolutionary struggle, and commanded 
the Governor's Guards when New Haven was invaded by 
the British. Senator Hillhouse served as Representative in 
Congress for 1791, until he was promoted to the Senate; he 
was President pro tern, during a portion of the Sixth Con- 



gress, and during his sixteen years service as Senator he was 
recognized as among its most valuable and useful mem- 
bers. His resignation took place in 1810, when he became 
Commissioner of the School Fund; his fifteen years man- 
agement of this fund, coupled with his service of half a cen- 
tury as Treasurer of Yale College, are living monuments 
of his financial ability and fidelity. He died at New Haven, 
Dec. 29, 1832. 

One of the Senators from Massachusetts to the Fourth 
Congress was Theodore Sedgwick, born at West Hartford, 
May 9, 1746, After leaving Yale he studied theology, but 
finally relinquished it, and was admitted to the bar before 
he was twenty-one. Fie began practice in Berkshire County, 
finally settling at Stockbridge. He was a zealous patriot, 
and had been a member of the House of Representatives 
since its organization. His term as Senator expired in 1798 ; 
he was President pro tern, during one session of the Fifth 
Congress. In 1799 he was again elected as Representative, 
and was chosen Speaker; in 1802 he was made Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Massachusetts, which position he held 
until his death at Boston Jan. 24, 18 13. 

The successor of Senator Bradley of Vermont, though a 
native of the same State, did not belong to the same polit- 
ical party. Elijah Paine was a prominent Federalist. He 
was born at Brooklyn, Jan. 21, 1757, and was a member of 
the legal fraternity. He was the first president of the Phi 
Beta Kappa Society of Harvard, and delivered the first ora- 
tion before that association. An early pioneer of Vermont, 
he was secretary of the convention that framed her first con- 
stitution. Senator Paine had held both legislative and 
judicial positions, and on his retirement from the Senate he 
was appointed by President Adams judge of the District 



Court of Vermont an office he held at the time of his death, 
April 28, 1842, at Williamstown. 

To the Fifth Congress Vermont again sent as one of her 
Senators another son of Connecticut, Nathaniel Chipman 
was born in Salisbury, Nov. 15, 1752; he settled as a lawyer 
in Tinmouth, Vermont, and was professor of law for twenty 
eight years in Middlebury College. He had been Chief Jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, also judge of the 
United States District Court. Judge Chipman was the 
author of "Sketches of the Principles of Government" and 
"Reports and Dissertations." He died at Tinmouth, Feb. 
15. 1843. 

The resignation of Philip Schuyler as Senator from New 
York caused the appointment of John Sloss Herbert to fill 
the vacancy. He was born at Fairfield in 1738, graduated 
from Yale in 1757, and began the practice of law in New 
York. Though he was senator-elect from January 1798 to 
May 5, 1799, he resigned without qualifying for the posi- 
tion, to become judge of the United States District Court of 
New York. He died Feb. 4, 1805. 

At the opening of the Sixth Congress, Abraham Baldwin 
presented his credentials as Senator from Georgia. He was 
born in Guilford, Nov. 6, 1754. He was a chaplain in the 
Revolutionary army after his graduation from Yale. Mr. 
Baldwin at the close of the war removed to Georgia, where 
he affiliated with the Democrats. He was a member of the 
House of Representatives from the time of its organization. 
He removed in 1804 to Savannah, where he was admitted 
to the bar. It was through his exertions that the University 
of Georgia was organized, and he became its first president. 
He was President pro tern, during a session of the Seventh 



Congress. He died before the expiration of his term as Sen- 
ator, in Washington, D. C, March 4, 1807. 

The Federalist Senators from Vermont were succeeded in 
the Seventh Congress by two Democrats. Israel Smith was 
born in Connecticut, April 4, 1759. After graduating from 
Yale, he studied law and settled at Rupert, \'erm(;nt, but 
subsequently removed to Rutland. He was a member of the 
House of Representatives from 1791 to 1797, and again in 
1800; he resigned from the Senate in 1807 to become Gov- 
ernor of Vermont. He died Dec. 21, 18 10. His colleague 
was Stephen R. Bradley, who served two senatorial terms, 
and was President pro tern, of a portion of the Seventh and 
Tenth Congresses. He died at Walpole, New Hampshire, 
Dec. 16, 1830. 

The resignation of Senator Livermore of New Hampshire 
caused the election of Simeon Olcott. He was born in Con- 
necticut, Oct. I, 1735; graduated from Yale in 1761, and 
began the practice of law at Charlestown, New Hampshire. 
He had filled the positions of Chief Justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas and of the Superior Court. After the expira- 
tion of his senatorial term, he lived in retirement at Charles- 
town until his death, on Feb. 22, 18 15. 

At the opening of the Tenth Congress, Chauncey Good- 
rich, who had been elected to fill a vacancy caused by the 
death of Senator Tracy, took his seat. Mr. Goodrich was 
born in Durham, Oct. 20, 1759; he graduated from Yale 
College at the age of seventeen, having gained a high repu- 
tation for genius and acquirements. Five years later he 
established himself in Hartford as a lawyer, in which pro- 
fession he became eminent. He was a member of the House 
of Representatives from 1795 to 1803. He resigned as Sen- 



ator in 1813 to accept the position of Deputy-Governor. He 
died at Hartford Aug. 18, 18 15. 

From the new State of Ohio came Return J. Meigs, second 
of the name; a Democrat in politics. He was a lawyer, and 
began practice at Marietta. He was Senator from 1808 to 
1 8 10, resigning to become Governor of Ohio. 

The resignation of Senator Hillhouse occurred during the 
recess of Congress; Samuel W. Dana was elected to fill the 
vacancy. He was born at Wallingford, Feb. 13, 1760. A 
Federalist in politics, he was a member of the House of Rep- 
resentatives from 1797 until his promotion to the United 
States Senate. Senator Dana was a distinguished lawyer, and 
his appearance at the bar was much admired. If he had 
devoted himself to his profession, he would have secured a 
large practice; but from his early days he was more engaged 
in the counsels of the nation than in pursuit of legal practice. 
His long Congressional career terminated in 1821, when he 
retired to his adopted residential city, Middletown, of which 
he became mayor, and where he died July 21, 1830. 

Ohio sent to the Eleventh Congress a son of Connecticut, 
to fill a vacancy caused by resignation. Stanley Griswold was 
born at Torrington in November 1763; graduating from 
Yale in 1786, he became a clergyman. In politics he was an 
avowed admirer of Thomas Jefferson. He edited a Demo- 
cratic paper in Walpole, New Hampshire, in 1804; and was 
afterwards appointed Secretary of the Territory of Mich- 
igan. He was Senator from June 2, 1809, to Jan 12, 18 10, 
when he resigned to become United States Judge for the 
Northwestern Territory. He died at Shawneetown, Illinois^ 
Aug. 21, 1 8 15. 

The successor of Senator Goodrich was David Daggett 
born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, Dec. 31, 1764; he gradu- 



ated from Yale College in 1783, and was professor of law in 
that institution. He practiced law in New Haven, presided 
over the Connecticut House of Representatives, ami was 
also mayor of his residential city. Mr. Daggett was Sena- 
tor from 1 8 13 to 18 19, and after^vards was judge of the 
Supreme Court; also Chief Justice, from which office he was 
retired on attaining the age of seventy. He died at New 
Haven, April 12, 1851. 

To the same Congress came Jeremiah Mason born at 
Lebanon, April 27, 1768. Graduating from Yale in 1781, 
he was destined for a professional life; he studied law, and 
acquired the reputation of being profoundly learned in com- 
mon law. Emigrating to Vermont, he was admitted to the 
bar of that State; but afterwards removed to Portsmouth, 
New Hampshire, where he became the friend of Daniel 
Webster, who always spoke of him in extravagant terms of 
praise. Senator Mason was appointed Attorney-General of 
New Hampshire, and from 1813 to 1817 was Senator from 
that State. He was a Federalist in politics, and resigned his 
seat in Congress to devote himself to his profession; he 
removed to Boston where he retired from active practice at 
the age of seventy, but was consulted as chamber-counsel 
until his death, Nov. 14, 1848. 

Ohio again sent a son of Connecticut to represent her in 
the uppper house of Congress: Benjamin Ruggles, who 
gained the sobriquet of "The Wheel-horse of the Senate," 
on account of his well-known habits of industry, and con- 
stant devotion to the interests of his constituents, during his 
three terms of office. He was born in Windham County in 
1783; received a classical education, and taught school m 
the winter; studied law, and was admitted to practice at 
Marietta, Ohio. He finally settled at St. Clairsville in the 



same state. He was Senator from 1815 to 1833, serving on 
many important committees. Though a Democrat in politics, 
he was presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1836. He 
died at St. Clairsville, Sept. 2, 1857. 

To fill a vacancy, Vermont sent to the Fifteenth Congress 
William A. Palmer. He was born in Hebron, Sept. 12, 
1 79 1, studied law, and began practice at Danville, Vermont. 
Judge Palmer had served on the Supreme Bench; he was a 
member of the Senate from Oct. 18, 18 18, to March 3, 
1823, and was Governor of Vermont from 1831 to 1835. 
He died at Danville, Dec. 3, i860. 

The change of politics in Connecticut which resulted in the 
adoption of a new constitution placed the Democrat party 
in power. James Lanman was elected to the Sixteenth Con- 
gress, and was the first Democrat from Connecticut to take 
a seat in the Senate. He was born in Norwich, June 14, 
1769. He graduated from Yale in 1788, studied law, and 
began practice in his native city. Senator Lanman had been 
a member of both houses of the Connecticut Legislature, and 
was secretary of the convention that formed the new Con- 
stitution. During his term in the Senate he was a member 
of several important committees ; he voted with the Southern 
members on the Missouri Compromise. Though he was 
appointed by the Governor during the recess of the Legisla- 
ture to a second term, before the vacancy occurred the Senate 
refused to give him his seat on the ground that the appoint- 
ment was without authority of law. Senator Lanman sub- 
sequently became judge of the Supreme and Superior Courts 
of Connecticut, and was also mayor of Norwich, where he 
died Aug. 7, 1841. 

The two Senators from Connecticut to the Seventeenth 
Congress were James Lanman and Elijah Boardman. The 



latter was born at New Milford, March 7, 1760. I k- was a 
successful merchant, and was larj^eiy interested in the- town 
of Boardman, Ohio, where he died Oct. 8, 1823. 

To this Congress came as a representative of Vermont, 
Horatio Seymour, born in Litchfield, May 31, 1778. He 
graduated from Yale College in 1797, studied law at the 
Litchfield Law School, and in 1800 began practice at Middle- 
bury, Vermont. Senator Seymour was an uncle of ex-Gover- 
nor Horatio Seymour of New York. While nominally a 
Democrat, he was the Whig candidate for Governor in 
1836. For the greater part of his two terms in the Senate, 
he was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture. He died 
at Middlebury, Vermont, Nov. 21, 1857. 

The Ohio Senator Ruggles' colleague in the Seventeenth 
Congress was another son of Connecticut, Ethan Allen 
Brown, who had been elected to fill a vacancy caused by the 
death of Senator Trimble. He was born in Darien, July 4, 
1776; he received a liberal education, and studied law under 
Alexander Hamilton. In 1804 he removed to Cincinnati, 
where he began the practice of his profession. He was judge 
of the Supreme Court of the state from 18 10 to 18 18, and 
elected by the Democrats as Governor, holding the office 
from 181 8 to 1822. His term as Senator ended March 3, 
1825; he was afterwards United States representative to 
Brazil. He died at Indianapolis, Feb. 24, 1852. 

The vacancy caused by the death of Senator Boardman 
was filled by the election of Henry W. Edwards, who served 
for the balance of the term ; he was a pronounced Democrat, 
and his legal knowledge made him an active and useful mem- 
ber of the Senate. 

A native of Connecticut was sent to the Senate from Louis- 
iana. Josiah S. Johnston born in Salisbury Nov. 25, 1784, 



was In his infancy taken by his father to Kentucky. Gradu- 
ating from Transylvania College, he studied law, and in 
1805 removed to Alexandria, Louisiana. In politics a Clay 
Democrat, he served from 182 1 to 1823 in the House of 
Representatives. In 1824 he was elected to fill a vacancy in 
the Senate. He retained this position until his untimely death, 
May 19, 1833, caused by the explosion of gunpowder on 
board the steamboat Lioness on the Red River. 

Senator Lanman was succeeded in the Nineteenth Con- 
gress by Calvin Willey. He was born at East Haddam, Sept. 
15? 1776; read law, and began practice at Stafford, but in 
1808 removed to Tolland. Senator Willey served one term; 
he died at Stafford, Aug. 23, 1858. To this Congress came 
Asher Robbins, born in Wethersfield, Oct. 26, 1757; a mem- 
ber of Yale class of 1782, he became tutor in Providence 
College, now Brown University. After studying law, he 
began practice at Providence, but In 1795 removed to New- 
port. Mr. Robbins was a leading Senator of Congress from 
1825 to 1839; he was first elected from Rhode Island to fill 
a vacancy. He was a Whig in politics; an accomplished 
scholar and orator. His death occurred at Newport, Feb. 
25, 1845. 

Owing to political changes, Senator Edwards was defeated 
for a re-election ; his successor, Samuel A. Foot, had been 
twice a member of the House of Representatives, and during 
his senatorial term served as chairman of the Committee on 

To fill a v^acancy, Oliver H. Prince, born In Connecticut 
In 1787, a lawyer from Macon, represented Georgia in the 
Senate, from Dec. i, 1828, to March 3, 1829. 

In the Twenty-first Congress was David Jewett Baker, 
elected to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Senator John 



McLean of Illinois. Mr. Baker was horn at l',ast 1 la.Klani, 
Sept. 7, 1792; with his parents he emigrated to (Ontario 
County, New York. He was a graduate of Hamilton Col- 
lege, studied law, and began practice in Illinois; he attained 
a high position in his profession. Though politically a Dem- 
ocrat, he was strenuously opposed to slavery. Senator Baker 
was the author of the act to sell public lands to actual set- 
tlers In tracts of forty acres. He died at Alton, Illinois, 
Aug. 6, 1869. 

There was a change in the Connecticut Senators in the 
Twenty-second Congress. Gideon Tomlinson resigned as 
Governor of the State to take his seat in the Senate. He had 
served for nearly four terms in the House of Representatives; 
during his one term in the Senate he took an active part in 
national affairs. 

To this Congress came Samuel Prentiss, who was for two 
senatorial terms to represent Vermont. Senator Prentiss 
was born in Stonington, March 31, 1782; he removed with 
his father to Worcester, Massachusetts, and subsequently to 
Northfield, where he studied law. He began practice in 
1803 at Montpelier, Vermont, where he acquired a reputation 
for eloquence and Integrity. Judge Prentiss was Chief Jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court of his adopted State, and a promi- 
nent member of the Whig party. On his retirement from the 
Senate he was appointed Judge of the Federal District Court 
of Vermont, which ofHce he held until his death, Jan. 15, 


Senator Foot was succeeded by Nathan Smith, who was 
acknowledged one of the most distinguished advocates of 
New England. He was born at Woodbury, Jan. 8, 1 769, and 
received his professional education at the Litchfield Law 
School. Senator Smith located at New Haven, and was 



State Attorney for New Haven Count}-, also United States 
District Attorney. His demise at Washington, D. C, Dec. 
6. 183;. deprived the Whig party of one of its prominent 
and influential members. 

The vacancy thus created was filled by the election of John 
M. Niles. a supporter of State Rights principles and a Dem- 
ocrat. Mr. Niles served as Senator from 1835 ^^ ^839' ^^d 
was again elected in 1843, serving until 1849. 

Judah Dana was bom in Pomfret. April 25, 1772, gradu- 
ated from Dartmouth College in 1795 : studied law. and be- 
gan practice in 1798 at Fr\'eburg. Massachusetts (now 
Maine) . He was elected to fill a vacancy, serving from Dec. 
31. 1836. to March 31, 1837. Senator Dana had filled sev- 
eral legislative and judicial positions: was a delegate to the 
convention to frame a Constitution for Maine. He died at 
Fneburg, Dec. 27, 1845. 

Senator Tomlinson was succeeded by Perr}- Smith, a Dem- 
ocrat. Mr. Smith was bom in Woodbur}-, May 12, 1783; 
attended the Litchfield Law School, and in 1807 settled at 
New Milford. He was a sound and stable lawyer, and dur- 
ing his one term in the Senate was a member of several im- 
portant committees. He died at New Milford, June 8, 1852. 
Thaddeus Betts. a native of Non^alk, and a member of Yale 
class of 1807, was elected as a Whig to the twent\-sixth Con- 
gress. He had acquired distinction as a law>'er, was greatly 
respected for his talents and character, and was destined to 
be an influential member of the Senate ; but he died during 
the first session of the Twent\^-sixth Congress, at Washington, 
D. C. April 8, 1840. 

Senator Betts' successor was Jabez W. Huntington, bom 
in Non^ich, Nov. 8, 1788. He graduated from Yale in 
1806, and studied law at Litchfield, where he practiced thirt\' 



years; was a member of the State Legislature, also a Rep- 
resentative in Congress from 1S29 to 1834. In the latter 
year he removed to his native city; became a judge in the 
Supreme Court of Errors, also of the Superior Court. Judge 
Huntington prolitically was a Whig; he remained a member 
of the Senate until his death, Nov. i i, i S47, at Norwich. 

To fill a vacancy, Rhode Island elected Nathan F. Dixon 
Senator. Mr. Dixon was bom in Plaintield in 1774; gradu- 
ated from Brown University, and began the practice of law in 
1802 at Westerly, Rhode Island. He died at Washington, 
D. C, Jan. 29, 1842, before the termination of his senatorial 

A majority of the early favorite sons of Vermont were of 
Connecticut birth. Samuel S. Phelps, who represented that 
State for two terms, was born in Litchfield, May 13, 1793- 
He graduated from Yale College in 181 1. While studying 
law, he entered the American army during the war of 1812; 
before the close of his military career he received the appoint- 
ment of paymaster. Settling at Middlebury, Vermont, Sen- 
ator Phelps practiced law, and held both legislative and 
judicial offices. While Senator he displayed abilities of a high 
order. He was politically a Whig. In January 1853 he was 
again appointed to fill a vacancy, serving until October 1854, 
when the Senate decided that he could not hold his seat by 
appointment. He died at Middlebur>', March 25, 1855. 

Among the new members of the Twenty-seventh Congress 
was W^illiam Woodbridge. He was bom at Norwich, Aug. 
^o, 1780, but removed when eleven years of age, with his 
father, to Marietta, Ohio. Senator Woodbridge returned 
to his native State for his early education, studied law at 
Litchfield, and was admitted in 1806 to the Ohio bar. He 
was appointed Secretary of the Northwest Territor^•, which 



caused his removal to Detroit in 1 8 19 ; he was elected the first 
Congressional delegate from that Territory. Besides holding 
judicial positions, he was a member of the convention that 
framed the constitution for that State; was Governor from 
1839 to 1 841, and in the latter year was elected Senator, 
which office he filled for one term. Judge Woodbridge, while 
in the Senate, was a working member on many important com- 
mittees, his reports and speeches were numerous; he was 
noted as an eminent jurist and constitutional lawyer, a faith- 
ful and honored public servant. His latter years were passed 
In retirement at Detroit, where he died Oct. 20, 1861. 

To the Twenty-seventh Congress also came Samuel C. 
Crafts, born in Woodstock, and a member of Harvard's class 
of 1790. He was the youngest delegate to Vermont's first 
Constitutional Convention ; was a member of the lower house 
of Congress from 1817 to 1825, Governor from 1829 to 
1832 ; In fact, it is said that he filled every office in the gift of 
the citizens of Vermont. He was appointed to fill a vacancy, 
and afterwards elected for the unexpired term. He died at 
Craftsbury, Vermont, Nov. 19, 1853. 

The Empire State sent two natives of Connecticut to fill 
vacancies In the Twenty-eighth Congress. Daniel S. Dickin- 
son was born in Goshen, Sept. 1 1, 1800; in his childhood his 
parents removed to Chenango County, New York. Here he 
obtained a common-school education, studied law, and began 
practice in 1828. Three years later he removed to Blngham- 
ton, New York. A Democrat In politics, he became a leader 
In his party; he held many local and State offices, and In 1844 
was appointed Senator by the Governor, and afterwards 
elected for the full term by the Legislature. He was chair- 
man of the Senate Committee on Finances, besides being a 
member of other equally important committees; he was also 



the originator and supporter of many popular nicasurcs. At 
the breaking out of the Civil War he hccatiic a Republican. 
He died in New York City, April 12, 1866. 

The other Senator was Henry A. Foster, born at \ lartford, 
May 7, 1800. He removed to Cazenovia, New York, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1822. He was a member of the 
New York State Senate, elected Representative to the Twen- 
ty-fifth Congress as a Democrat; upon the resignation of Sen- 
ator Silas Wright, Jr., to accept the Governorship of New 
York, Mr. Foster was elected for the unexpired term, serving 
from Dec. 9, 1844, to Jan. 27, 1847. After his retirement 
from Congress, he was a member of the Supreme Court of 
New York, He died at Rome, New York, May 12, 1889. 

Among the new members of the first session of the Thir- 
tieth Congress was Roger S. Baldwin. He had been elected 
to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Senator Huntington. 
Mr. Baldwin was named after his illustrious grandfather, 
Roger Sherman, and was an admirable example of all that 
was best in the intellectual and moral life of New England. 
He had developed a mastery of the principles of law that was 
considered remarkable in a man of his years. Senator Bald- 
win had been Governor of the State; he served in his new 
position until 185 i. 

Senator Niles was succeeded by Truman Smith, a member 
of the Whig party. Mr. Smith was born at Woodbury, Nov. 
27, 1791 ; he was a member of Yale, class of 18 15, studied 
law, and was admitted to the bar in 18 18. He had repre- 
sented the town of Litchfield in the State Legislature, and was 
a Representative in Congress for eight years. Senator 
Smith was remarkable for his wide though silent influence in 
national politics. Being wearied of public life, he resigned 
from the Senate in 1854- He removed to New York City, 



where he devoted himself to the practice of his profession. 
He died at Stamford, May 3, 1884. 

John Wales was elected to fill an unexpired term from 
1849 ^^ 185 I, caused by the resignation of J. M. Clayton, 
Senator from Delaware. He was born in New Haven, July 
31, 1783, and died at Wilmington, Delaware, Dec. 3, 1863. 

The political changes in 1852 caused the election of Isaac 
Toucey as Senator from Connecticut. Mr. Toucey had been 
a member of the House of Representatives from 1835 to 
1839, also Governor of the State; he served throughout his 
term, afterwards becoming Buchanan's Secretary of the Navy. 

The resignation of Senator Smith caused the election of 
Francis Gillett for the unexpired term, by a coalition of 
Whig, Temperance, and Free-Soiler members of the State 
Legislature. He was born in Windsor (now Bloomfield), 
Dec. 14, 1807; graduating from Yale College in 1829, he 
became a farmer. He was a strong temperance and anti-sla- 
very advocate, and for a number of years received the nom- 
ination for Governor from those parties. He served in the 
Senate from May 25, 1854, to March 31, 1855; he died at 
Hartford, Sept. 30, 1879. 

To fill a vacancy in the Massachusetts senatorial represen- 
tation, Julius Rockwell, a member of the House of Represen- 
tatives from 1847 to 1 85 I, was elected June 15, 1854, serv- 
ing to Feb. 10, 1855. Mr. Rockwell was born at Colebrook 
April 26, 1805, graduated from Yale in 1826, and was 
admitted to the bar in Litchfield County in 1829. The fol- 
lowing year he began practice at Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 
He died at Lenox in the same State, May 19, 1888. 

Jared W. Williams was born at West Woodstock, Dec. 
22, 1796. He studied law, and began practice at Lancaster, 
New Hampshire. He had been a member of both houses of 



the State Legislature, was Representative in the Iwcnty-httd 
and Twenty-sixth Congresses, and (Jovernor of New Hamp- 
shire from 1847 to 1849. He was appointed in 1S53 to till 
a vacancy in the Senate, and served until the close of the 
Thirty-third Congress; politically he was a Democrat. He 
died at Lancaster, New Hampshire, Sept. 29, i 864. 

To the Thirty-fourth Congress, as a new member, came 
Lafayette S. Foster; he was born in Franklin, Nov. 22, 1806, 
and was a direct descendant of Miles Standish, the Plymouth 
Pilgrim. His collegiate education was obtained at Brown 
University, from which institution he graduated in 1828. 
Admitted to the practice of law in Maryland, he later became 
a member of the Connecticut bar. Mr. Foster had been three 
times Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, 
and the unsuccessful candidate of the Whig party for Gover- 
nor at several elections. He was elected May 19, 1854, by 
the combine vote of Whigs and Free-Soilers, to the United 
States Senate. He served from 1855 to 186 1 on the commit- 
tee on Public Lands, Pensions, and Judiciary. On the organi- 
zation of the Republican party, he became one of its active 
members. Senator Foster was re-elected for a second term ; 
during the exciting times attendant on the Civil War he took 
an important part in national politics. He was chosen Pres- 
ident pro tern, of the Senate; therefore when Andrew John- 
son became President he was the acting Vice-President of the 
United States. During his last term in the Senate he served 
on the committee on Indian Affairs, Private Land Claims, and 
Revolutionary Claims, and was chairman of the committee 
on Pensions. During the Civil War he was chairman of the 
committee on Foreign Affairs. Senator Foster died at Nor- 
wich, Sept. 19, 1880. 

Another son of Connecticut began his senatorial career in 



this same Congress, and It extended to long after the close 
of the Civil War. Lyman Trumbull was born at Colchester, 
Oct. 12, 1 8 13; studied law, and began practice at Belleville, 
Illinois. Senator Trumbull served in the State Legislature of 
Illinois, was Secretary of State 1841-42, and Justice of the 
Supreme Court from 1848 to 1853. He was elected to the 
House of Representatives In 1854, but resigned his seat on his 
promotion to the Senate; he served until March 3, 1873. 
During the war he was a leading Republican, but in the lat- 
ter part of his life became one of the chief independent lead- 
ers. He died at Chicago, June 25, 1896. 

Senator Toucey was succeeded by James Dixon. He was 
born in Enfield, Aug. 5, 18 14; attended Williams College, 
graduating in 1834; studied law, and was admitted to the 
bar. Mr. Dixon was originally a Whig, but subsequently 
became a Republican. He was elected to the House of Rep- 
resentatives for two terms, where he distinguished himself for 
his powers as a debator. During his first term In the Senate, 
he participated In all of the parliamentary debates preceding 
the Civil War. He was re-elected in 1863, with a unanimity 
that had no precedent In the annals of Connecticut. He was a 
member of the committee on Manufactures, and during his 
last term was chairman of three Important committees. He 
died March 27, 1873. 

To this Congress there came to fill a vacancy, Martin W. 
Bates, born In Salisbury, Feb. 24, 1787. He was educated 
for a physician, but after teaching school for a time, took up 
the practice of law. Senator Bates had served In the State 
Legislature of Delaware; upon the death of John M. Clay- 
ton, Senator from that State, he was elected as a Democrat 
to fill the unexpired term, serving from Dec. 6, 1858, to 
March 3, 1859. He died at Dover, Jan. 1 1, 1869. 





From an K;ngraving by I.iiiton 



At the opening of the first session of the Fortieth Congress, 
Orris S. Ferry presented his credentials as Senator from Con- 
necticut; after taking the oath of office, he became a member 
of that body. He was born in Bethel, Aug. 15, 1823, was a 
member of Yale, class of 1 844, and admitted to the bar three 
years later. Senator Ferry was defeated for Representative 
to the Thirty-fifth Congress, but was elected as a Republican 
to the next Congress. Declining a re-election, he became 
colonel of the Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, who were 
attached to General Bank's command. Colonel Ferry served 
in the army until the close of the war, and was promoted to 
the rank of brigadier-general. He was a member of several 
important committees during his first term as Senator, in 1 872 
his re-election was effected by a coalition of Independent Re- 
publicans and Democrats, though he opposed the former 
organization. Senator Ferry voted against the Civil Rights 
Bill, on the ground that it would be prejudicial to the cause of 
public education. His death occurred at Norwalk Nov. 21, 


Connecticut sent to the Senate of the F'orty-first Congress 
her famous War Governor, William A. Buckingham, already 
mentioned. The vacancy caused by Senator Buckingham's 
death was filled by the appointment of William W. Eaton, 
for the unexpired term ending March 3, 1875. Senator 
Eaton was elected for the next full term. He was born 
in Tolland, Oct. 11, 1 8 1 6 ; educated in the public schools, he 
studied law and was admitted to practice. He had filled 
judicial and legislative positions, and was twice Speaker of 
Connecticut's House of Representatives. He was a pro- 
nounced Peace Democrat during the Civil War. After his 
retirement from the Senate, he was elected as a representative 



to the Fort}'-eighth Congress. He died at Hartford, Sep. 21, 

From the reconstructed State of Mississippi came Henr\' 
R. Pease. He was bom in Connecticut, Februan.- 19, 1835; 
he was admitted to the bar in 1859. He enlisted as a private 
in the Union army, and was promoted to a captaincy. He 
edited and published the Mississippi Educational Journal, the 
first magazine ever devoted to public education in the South. 
Senator Pease was elected to fill a vacancy and served from 
Feb. 12, 1874. to March 3, 1875; he was a member of the 
committees on Education. Labor and Enrolled Bills. 

The death of Senator Ferry occasioned the appointment of 
James E. English, a War Democrat. Mr. English had been a 
member of the House of Representatives. During the Civil 
War period he had voted and acted with the Republicans, he 
also had been Governor of the State. 

For the unexpired term of Senator Ferry% William H. Bar- 
num, a Democrat, who was serv-ing his fifth term as a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives, was elected. Mr. Bar- 
num was born at Boston Corners, Columbia Count\% New 
York, Sept. 17, 181 8, he received only a common school edu- 
cation. In 1836 he began the manufacture of car wheels, also 
the production of iron from the ore. This led to his taking 
up his residence in Salisbury-. Senator Barnum gained a 
national prominence as chairman of the National Demo- 
cratic Committee in the Presidential campaign of 1884. He 
died at Lime Rock, April 30, 1889. 

From the re-constructed State of Florida, a cosmopolitan 
citizen of the United States, Adonijah S. Welch, was sent to 
the Fort}--fourth Congress. Senator Welch was born in East 
Hampton, April 12, 182 1. He removed to Michigan in 
1 839, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He 



went to California during the gold excitement in 1S49. hut 
returned to Michigan two years later; he resided in that 
State until 1865, when he removed to Jacksonville, Florida, 
and helped to reconstruct that State. He was chosen United 
States Senator, serving from July 2, 1878, to March 3, 1879. 
He removed to Iowa, and from 1879 to 1883 was President 
of the Iowa State Agricultural College. He died at Pasadena, 
California, March 15, 1889. 

The present Connecticut Senators are Orville H. Piatt and 
Joseph R. Hawley. Senator Piatt was born in Washington, 
July 19, 1827; he received an academical education, studied 
law, and in 1849 was admitted to practice. He was elected as 
a Republican, for his first term as Senator in 1879; he has 
been an earnest advocate for the abolishing of secret executive 
sessions of the Senate. 

Senator Hawley is descended from an old Connecticut fam- 
ily. He was born at Stewartsville, North Carolina, Oct. 31, 
1826. His father was a minister, and the family were tem- 
porarily in the South at the time of the Senator's birth. He 
graduated from Hamilton College in 1847, and three years 
later was admitted to the bar in Hartford ; he abandoned the 
legal profession to become editor of the Hartford Courant. 
General Hawley's war record has been dealt with in another 
portion of this work. He was first elected to the Forty-second 
Congress as a Republican, to fill a vacancy caused by the death 
of Julis S. Strong. He was a member of the Forty-third and 
Forty-sixth Congresses, leaving the latter to take his seat in 
the Senate. 



Connecticut in the House of Representative: 
From the First to the Thirtii:th Congress 

THE prominent position that Connecticut has 
always held in the proceedings of the lower 
house of Congress, is directly attributable to 
the greater advantages of cultivation naturally 
inherited by the older States, as well as to the 
sturdy worth of the character of her representatives. 

At the first election held after the ratification of the Feder- 
al Constitution, there were five Represenatives elected by the 
people at large; of these Roger Sherman, whom Thomas Jef- 
ferson declared "never said a foolish thing in his life," was 
most universally known. 

The member from Hartford was Jeremiah Wadsworth, 
born in that city July 12, 1743; in his early life he followed 
the sea, and at the age of thirty settled in Hartford as a mer- 
chant. During the Revolutionary War he was attached to the 
Commissary Department of the army, and shared largely in 
the confidence of Washington ; the latter's first interview with 
the French officers took place at Colonel Wadsworth's resi- 
dence. He was a pronounced Federalist, and served through 
four Congresses. He died April 30, 1804. 

The third member was Jonathan Trumbull, who was at- 
tached to Washington's family as secretary and first aide dur- 
ing the war. He was Representative until 1795, when he was 
transferred to the Senate. 

The fourth member was Benjamin Huntington, born in 
Norwich April 19, 1736; graduated from Yale College in 
1 76 1, and practiced law in his native town. He had held ju- 
dicial positions; was a member of the Continental Congress; 
served one term, and was for twelve years Mayor of Norwich, 
where he died Oct. 16, 1800. 

The other member was Jonathan Sturges, born at Fairfield, 
Aug. 23, 1740. A member of Yale, class of 1759, he became 



a lawyer, Mr. Sturges was re-elected to the Second Congress, 
also was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Con- 
necticut. He died in his native town, Oct. 4, 1 8 1 9. 

Two natives of Connecticut, Theodore Sedgewick and 
Abraham Baldwin mentioned in the preceding chapter, began 
their Congressional careers in the First Congress. The new 
members of the Connecticut delegation to the Second Con- 
gress were Amasa Learned, who served two terms, and James 
Hillhouse, who was re-elected twice; but before the termina- 
tion of his last term, was transferred to the Senate. Mr. 
Learned was born at Killingly, Nov. 15, 1750; he graduated 
from Yale College in 1772, studied theology, but preached 
only a short time. He died at New London, May 4, 1825. 

In the Second Congress Israel Smith, of Vermont (see pre- 
ceding chapter) first took his seat. 

In acordance with the apportionment based on the cen- 
sus of 1790, Connecticut's representation in the House of 
Representatives was changed from five to seven. The new 
members to the Third Congress were Joshua Coit, Zepha- 
niah Swift, and Uriah Tracy; the latter gentleman remained 
a member of the House until 1796, when he was promoted to 
the Senate. 

Joshua Coit was born in New London, Oct. 7, 1758 ; grad- 
uated from Harvard College in 1776, and began the practice 
of law in his native city. He was twice re-elected, but died 
at New London of yellow fever, Sept. 5, 1798, before the 
termination of his last term. 

Zephaniah Swift was born at Wareham, Massachusetts, in 
February 1759; graduated at Yale College in 1778, and 
established himself as a lawyer at Windham. He served two 
terms in the House. He was a judge of the Superior Court 
of Connecticut for eighteen years, during the last five of 



which he was Chief Justice. Judge Swift was the author of 
several law works, among which was a "Digest of the Luws 
of Connecticut," on the model of Blackstone. I Ic died at 
Warren, Ohio, Sept. 27, 1823. 

To this Congress came Ezekiel Gilbert, born at Middle- 
town In 1755. He studied law and began practice at Hud- 
son, New York; served through the Third and was re-elected 
to the Fourth Congress. 

The new faces in the Connecticut delegation to the Fourth 
Congress were : Roger Griswold, who served five terms, 
Samuel W. Dana elected to fill a vacancy caused by the trans- 
fer of Uriah Tracy to the Senate; he remained a member of 
the House until 18 10, when he too became a Senator. Chaun- 
cey Goodrich, who was re-elected twice, and afterwards 
chosen to the Senate; James Davenport, elected to fill the 
vacancy caused by transfer of James Hillhouse to the Sen- 
ate. He was born in Stamford Oct. 12, 1758. Graduating 
from Yale College in 1777, he served in the Commissary 
Department during the Revolution. He was re-elected, but 
died during the first session of the Fifth Congress, at Stam- 
ford, Aug. 3, 1797. Last was Nathaniel Smith born at 
Woodbury, Jan. 6, 1762. Though his education was limited, 
he acquired distinction by the energy of his talents. He had 
been a member of the State Legislature, where he took an 
active part in the abolishing of slavens founding the public- 
school system, and disposing of the public lands of the State. 
He was re-elected, but declined any further renominations. 
He died in his native town March 9, 1822. 

The new Connecticut members to the Fifth Congress were 
John Allen, William Edmond, and Jonathan Brace. The 
latter was elected to fill a vacancy caused by the death of 
Representative Coit. 



John Allen was born in Great Barrlngton, Massachusetts, 
in 1763; admitted to the bar, and settled in 1785 at Litch- 
field. He was a man of great intellect, and of giant stature, 
measuring six and a half feet in height, and weighing over 
three hundred pounds. He was a Federalist in politics. He 
died at Litchfield, July 31, 1 8 1 2. 

William Edmond, elected to fill the vacancy caused by the 
death of James Davenport, was of Irish parentage; born 
Sept. 28, 1755, he graduated from Yale In 1773. He was a 
volunteer during Tryon's invasion, and received a wound that 
lamed him for life. He began the practice of law at New- 
town; held legislative and judicial positions; was a man of 
powerful frame and superior intellectual endowments. He 
was re-elected, and after his retirement from Congress was 
appointed to the bench of the Superior Court. He died at 
Newtown Aug. i, 1838. 

Jonathan Brace was born in Harwinton, Nov. 12, 1754. 
He began his legal studies in the office of Chief Justice Ells- 
worth, and was admitted to the bar in Vermont. After a resi- 
dence of eight years in that State, he settled at Hartford. Mr. 
Brace was re-elected, but resigned in May 1800. He was 
mayor of Hartford for nine years, and died in that city Aug. 
26, 1837. 

To the Sixth Congress, which was the first held at Washing- 
ton, the retirement of John Allen and Nathaniel Smith from 
the Connecticut delegation caused the election of John Daven- 
port and Elizur Goodrich. 

The former (a brother of James Davenport) began a long 
Congressional career, which did not end until 18 15, when he 
declined a re-nomination. Mr. Davenport was born in Stam- 
ford, Jan. 16, 1752; graduated from Yale College in 1773, 
and was a member of the legal profession. He took an 



important part among the Revolutionary patriots, rankin^r as 
major in the Commissary Department. He was, like his 
brother, a Federalist in politics. He died in his native town, 
Nov. 28, 1830. 

Elizur Goodrich was born in Durham, March 24, 1761. 
He belonged to the Washington and the elder Adams school 
of Federalists. He was honored with various offices of trust 
and responsibility; was professor of Law in Yale College, 
mayor of New Haven nineteen years, and judge of the 
County and Probate Courts of New Haven County. Mr. 
Goodrich served only one term in the House. He died at 
New Haven Nov. i, 1849. 

To fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Representa- 
tive Brace, John Cotton Smith was elected, and he remained 
a member of the House until his resignation in 1806. 

Two States sent natives of Connecticut to the Sixth Con- 
gress. From New York came John Bird born in Litchfield; 
a lawyer of Troy, New York. Abraham Nott born in 
Saybrook in 1767, went to South Carolina, where in 1791 
he was admitted to the bar. Besides being a Representative 
from that State, he was elected to the Supreme Bench. 

The new Connecticut members to the Seventh Congress 
were Benjamin Talmadge, Calvin Goddard, and Elias Per- 

Mr. Perkins was born in Norwich April 5, 1767, and grad- 
uated from Yale College in 1786. He studied law, but after 
practicing a few years relinquished the profession. He died 
at New London, Sept. 27, 1845. 

Calvin Goddard, a noted jurist and a student under Chief 
Justice Ellsworth, was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, 
July 17, 1768; he began the practice of law at Plainhcld, 
which town he represented nine times in the Connecticut 



House of Representatives; and was three times elected 
Speaker of that body. He was re-elected, and in 1807 
removed to Norwich, of which city he was mayor for seven- 
teen years. He died there May 2, 1842. 

Benjamin Talmadge's Congressional career was of six- 
teen years' duration. He was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., Feb. 
25, 1754. During the Revolutionary War his military ser- 
vices were invaluable. He took an active part in the capture 
of Andre ; was the leader of an expedition that resulted in the 
surrender of Fort George and the destruction of the British 
stores on Long Island; he was also a member of Washing- 
ton's military family, attaining the rank of general. After 
the war he engaged in mercantile business at Litchfield, and 
acquired a large fortune. He died there March 17, 1835. 

Two of the delegation from Massachusetts to the Seventh 
Congress were natives of Connecticut. 

John Bacon, born in Canterbury in 1737 graduated from 
the College of New Jersey in 1765; studied theology, and 
was settled over the Old South Church at Boston. Owing to 
a difference of opinion between him and his congregation, 
he was dismissed in 1775, and removed to Stockbridge, where 
he died Oct. 25, 1820. 

Manasseh Cutler was admitted to the practice of law in 
Massachusetts in 1767; this being uncongenial to him, he 
studied theology, and became a licensed Congregationalist 
preacher. During the Revolutionary War he served as a 
chaplain; after its close he studied medicine, and soon mas- 
tered the science sufficiently to practice, and was thus enabled 
to minister to both the spiritual and physical needs of his con- 
gregation. He was a Federalist in politics; was re-elected, 
but refused all further re-nominations. 

The new member of the Connecticut delegation, to the 



Eighth Congress was Simeon Baldwin born in Norwich Dec. 
14, 1 761; hewasadmittedtothebarat New Haven in 1786. 
having graduated from Yale College Hve years earlier. I \c 
declined a re-election. His death occurred at New 1 laven 
May 26, 185 I. 

Simeon Lamed, born at Thompson Aug. 13, 171;^ ; after- 
wards removed to Berkshire County, Mass., where he was 
for several years sheriff; he was elected to fill a vacancy in 
the Massachusetts representation. From Vermont came Mat- 
thew Chittenden, who received four re-elections to the House, 
and resigned in 18 13 to become governor of Vermont. He 
was born in Salisbury, March 12, 1769, and removed with 
his parents to the Green Mountain State. Though a college 
graduate, owing to feeble health he devoted himself to agri- 
cultural pursuits. He died at Williston, Sept. 5, 1841. 

The Empire State sent to the Eighth Congress Gaylord 
Griswold, a native of Connecticut, who had removed to 
Herkimer County; also Oliver Phelps, a native of Windsor, 
who resided at Canandaigua, New York. From Delhi, New 
York, came Erastus Root, a Democrat, born in Hebron, 
March 16, 1773; he graduated from Dartmouth College in 
1793, taught school, studied law and settled in Delaware 
County, New York. Possessed of highly cultivated intellect 
and tastes, he became prominent in politics, was a representa- 
tive in the State Assembly for eleven years, three of which he 
was Speaker. He was State Senator for eight years, and a 
Representative in the Eighth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fourteenth, 
and Twenty-second Congresses. He was Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor of New York in 1822, and died in New York City. Dec. 
24, 1846. 

At the opening of the Ninth Congress, three new members 
of the Connecticut delegation were by re-elections to ser\'e— 



Lewis B. Sturgis six, Timothy Pitkin seven, and Jonathan O. 
Mosely eight terms. 

Mr. Sturgis was born In Fairfield In 1762; he was 
a lawyer, and subsequently emigrated to Ohio; he died 
at Norwalk In that State March 30, 1844. Mr. Mosely 
was also a member of the legal fraternity; he was 
born at East Haddam In 1762, emigrated to Michi- 
gan, and died at Saginaw Sept. 9, 1839. Timothy Pit- 
kin was born In Farmington, Jan. 21, 1766; after graduat- 
ing from Yale College he studied law with Oliver Ellsworth, 
and began practice at Hartford. He was for twenty-two 
terms a member of the State Legislature, six of which he was 
Speaker. Mr. Pitkin was the author of a "Statistical View 
of the Commerce of the United States," also a "Political and 
Civil History of the United States from 1763 to 1797." He 
died at New Haven, Dec. 18, 1847. 

To fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of John Cotton 
Smith, Theodore Dwight was elected to the Ninth Congress. 
He was born In Northampton, Massachusetts, Dec. 15, 1764, 
studied law, and began practice at Haddam, but finally 
removed to Hartford, where he became interested in literary 
work. Mr. Dwight was tall and fine-looking, of command- 
ing presence, fitted by education and experience to become a 
valuable member of the House; but he declined a re-nomina- 
tion. He died In New York City, June 12, 1846. 

To this same Congress came two New York Democrats, 
natives of Connecticut : Uri Tracy, born In Franklin and set- 
tled In Oxford, New York; he was Representative 1805-7, 
again 1809-13. He died In the latter year. His Democratic 
colleague, Joslah Masters, numbered among his personal 
friends Jefferson, Randolph, Madison, Clay, and other great 
men, and was a co-operator and adviser of Governor DeWitt 



Clinton in the system of internal improvements which ^ave to 
New York the rank of the Empire State. He was horn in 
Woodbury, Oct. 22, 1763, graduated from Yale CoUejre in 
1784, and soon afterw^ards removed to Schaghticokc, New 
York. Mr. Masters held legislative and judicial positions, 
and was twice elected to Congress. He died June 30, 1822. 

There was but one change in the Connecticut delegation to 
the Tenth Congress; the new member was Epaphroditus 
Champion, who was re-elected for the four succeeding terms. 
Mr. Champion was born at East Haddam, and was greatly 
respected for his public and private character. A near neigh- 
bor of his colleague, Colonel Jonathan O. Mosely, their resi- 
dences being only a mile apart, and both being officers in the 
State Militia, they naturally held numerous conferences on 
military and civil affairs during the exciting times of the 
War of 18 12. Mr. Champion died at East Haddam, Nov. 
22, 1835. 

The transferring of Samuel W. Dana to the Senate in 1 8 10 
caused the election of Ebenezer Huntington to till the 
vacancy. Peter B. Porter, a native of Salisbury, was Rep- 
resentative from New York i8o9-'i3, and 18 15-16, and 
Ebenezer Sage born in Connecticut, and settled at Sag Har- 
bor, New York, held the same position 1809-'! 5. 

The new Connecticut member to the Twelfth Congress 
was Lyman Law; the delegation remained unbroken during 
the two succeeding Congresses, which was during the period 
of our second war with England. Mr. Law was born in New 
London, Aug. 19, 1770; he graduated from Yale College 
in 1 79 1, and studied law with his father, Richard Law, who 
was a member of the Continental Congress. He was a mem- 
ber of the Federalist party, and died at New London, Feb. 
3, 1842. 



A native of New London, Edward Hempstead, born June 
13, 1780, was the first delegate to Congress from west of the 
Mississippi River; he represented Missiouri Territory 181 1- 
14; was a lawyer, and resided at St. Louis; a man of ability, 
pure and without reproach. He died Aug. 10, 1 8 1 7. 

To fill a vacancy In the New York representation, Thomas 
P. Grosvenor, born In Pomfret In 1780, and a lawyer at Hud- 
son, was elected to the Twelfth Congress; he was re-elected 
to the Thirtenth and Fourteenth. He died April 25, 18 17. 

William Strong, a Democrat, native of Windham County, 
was Representative from Vermont 1 8 1 1 -' 1 5 , and again 1 8 1 9- 

Two sons of Connecticut, Richard Skinner and Ezra But- 
ler, took their seats in the Thirteenth Congress as Represen- 
tatives from Vermont. The former was born at Litchfield, 
May 30, 1788; received his education at the famous law 
school in that town, was admitted to the bar, and removed 
to Manchester, Vermont. On his retirement from Congress 
after serving one term, he was Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Vermont, also governor from i820-'22. He died, 
much respected for his public services and private worth, at 
Manchester, May 23, 1833. Ezra Butler was born In Con- 
necticut In 1762; began the practice of law at Waterbury, 
Vermont. He was a member of the State Assembly for 
eleven years, and of the executive council fifteen years. After 
serving one term in Congress, he became governor of Ver- 
mont i826-'28. He died at Waterbury in that State, July 
19, 1838. 

From New York came John Lovett, a native of Norwich, 
who served two terms and died in Ohio In 18 18; also 
Samuel M. Hopkins born In Salem May 9, 1772, studied law 
and became an eminent lawyer. 



A man of versatile ability was James Kilbournc born in 
what is now New Britain, Oct. 19, 1770. He was appren- 
ticed as a farmer's boy; the son of his employer jrave him 
lessons in Latin, Greek, and mathematics. He next became a 
mechanic, then a merchant, afterwards a manufacturer, and 
finally studied theology and became a clergyman of the Epis- 
copal Church. In the early part of the nineteenth century, he 
was instrumental in forming an emigrating colony to locate in 
Central Ohio, where he organized the town of Worthington. 
Mr, Kilbourne was elected to the Thirteenth Congress from 
Ohio as a Democrat, and was re-elected; the legislative act 
that the United States should grant land, to actual settlers in 
the Northwestern territory originated with him. He died at 
Worthington, April 24, 1850. 

Of the six members of the Vermont delegation at the open- 
ing of the Fourteenth Congress, four were natives of Connec- 
cut, all of whom were to serve one term. Asa Lyon was born 
in Pomfret, Charles Marsh in Lebanon, Daniel Chipman in 
Salisbury, and Luther Jewett in Canterbury; before the close 
of that Congress they were joined by Samuel C. Crafts, a 
native of Windham County, who served i8i6-'23. Micah 
Brooks, born in Cheshire in 1775, and removed in his child- 
hood to western New York, was also a member of the Four- 
teenth Congress. 

There were five new members in the Connecticut delegation 
to the Fifteenth Congress: Ebenezer Huntington, who had 
served in the Eleventh Congress, Uriel Holmes, Sanuicl B. 
Sherwood, Nathaniel Terry, and Thomas S. Williams. 

Uriel Holmes was born in Hartland in 1765 : was a mem- 
ber of Yale, class of 1784; he practiced law at Litchfield. He 
resigned before the expiration of his term and was succeeded 
by Sylvester Gilbert. The latter was born in Hebron m 1 7 5 6, 

• 391 


graduated from Dartmouth College in 1775, and two years 
later began the practice of law in his native town. In 1780 
he was elected to the General Assembly, being the youngest 
member in the House he was re-elected thirty times to that 
body, and in 1826 was the oldest member. He died Jan. 
16, 1846. Samuel B. Sherwood was born in Connecticut in 
1767; a graduate of Yale College in 1786, he studied law 
and finally settled at Saugatuck, where he died April 27, 
1833. From 1 8 10 to 18 15 no man in Connecticut wielded 
greater political influence. 

Nathaniel Terry was a classmate of Mr. Sherwood. He 
was born in Enfield, Jan. 30, 1768 ; was admitted to the bar 
in 1789. After his retirement from Congress, he was mayor 
of Hartford from 1824 to 1831. He died at New Haven, 
June 14, 1844. Thomas S. Williams was born at Wethers- 
field, June 26, 1777; a member of Yale class of 1794, he 
studied law at Litchfield, began practice at Mansfield, and in 
1803 removed to Hartford. In his new home he was to fill 
many positions of honor and trust; besides representing the 
town in the General Assembly for seven terms, he was mayor 
of the city 1 831 -'3 5, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of 
Errors i834-'47; he was also an official in many charitable 
institutions, and was noted for his benevolence. He died at 
Hartford, Dec. 15, 1861. 

To the Fifteenth Congress, from Ohio, came Levi Barber, 
Philemon Beecher, and Peter Hitchcock. The former was 
born in Litchfield County; he was defeated as a candidate 
for the Sixteenth Congress, but elected to the Seventeenth. 
Philemon Beecher, an able lawyer was born in New Haven 
in 1775; he was re-elected, and was again a Representative 
i823-'29. He died at Lancaster, Ohio, Nov. 30, 1839. 
Peter Hitchcock was born at Cheshire, Oct. 19, 1780; gradu- 



ated from Yale College in 1801; three years later he was 
admitted to the bar, practiced in his native town, hut in i 8(j6 
removed to Geauza County, Ohio. Here he was a member 
of both houses of the State Legislature; after his term in 
Congress, he served twenty-eight years on the Supreme Court 
Bench of Ohio. He died at Painesville, Ohio, May 11, i S5 v 
Two of the New York Representatives were natives of 
Connecticut, Thomas H. Hubbard and John Paine Cush- 
man. The latter had gained eminence among the legal fra- 
ternity, and had discharged with ability the duties of the 
various offices, with which he had been intrusted. lie was 
born in Pomfret in 1784, and after graduating from Yale in 
1807, settled at Troy, New York, where he died Sept. i6, 
1848. Thomas H. Hubbard was born in New Haven in 
1780, and settled at Hamilton, New York, where he was 
surrogate of the county for ten years. He w^as Representative 
in Congress from 18 17 to 18 19, and again 1821-23; he 
removed to Utica, New York, in the latter year, where he 
died May 22, 1857. From Vermont came Mark Richards, 
a Democrat, a native of New Haven; he was re-elected. Joel 
Abbott born in Fairfield, March 17, 1796; studied medicine 
with his father, and emigrated to Georgia, where he estab- 
lished himself at Washington. He was a member of the 
Fifteenth Congress, and was three times re-elected. He died 
at Washington, Georgia, Nov. 19, 1826. 

One of the members of the delegation, from the old Key- 
stone State was Henry Baldwin born in New Haven, Jan. 
14,1780; graduated from Yale at the age of seventeen. He 
began the practice of law at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; was 
elected as a Federalist and twice re-elected: he however 
resigned before the completion of his third term. He was 
appointed in 1830 justice of the Supreme Court ol the L nited 



States, serving until his death at Philadelphia, Aug. 21,1 844. 
Justice Baldwin was the author of "A General View of the 
Origin and Nature of the Constitution and Government of 
the United States," 1837. 

The success of the Toleration party in State politics caused 
a complete change (with the exception of Colonel Mosely) 
in the Connecticut delegation to the Sixteenth Congress. 
Among the new members were Samuel A. Foot, Henry W. 
Edvrards. and Gideon Tomlinson, who were afterwards to 
become Senators. Mr, Edwards was re-elected, and Mr. 
Tomlinson served from 1819 to 1827. The other members 
were John Ross, James Stevens, and Elisha Phelps, who were 
members of the Democratic party. Mr. Ross served two 
terms. He was born at Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1764; 
removed to Hartford, where he died June 22, 1832. Mr. 
Stevens was born at Stamford; a man of considerable native 
talent, a politician of sterling integrity, but an inflexible adher- 
ent of the Democratic party; he voted with the South on the 
Missouri Compromise. He served one term in Congress, and 
died April 16, 1835. 

Elisha Phelps was born at Simsbur\', Nov. 7, 1779; a 
graduate of Yale College in 1800, he studied law at Litch- 
field, and began practice in his native town. He was a mem- 
ber of both houses of the State Legislature; he was elected 
to the Nineteenth and Twentieth Congresses. From 1830 
to 1 834 he was State Comptroller, and the following year was. 
appointed one of the Commissioners to revise the statutes of 
the State. He died at Simsbury, April 18, 1847. 

The New York delegation to the Sixteenth Congress con- 
tained a number of Connecticut's sons : George Hall, a native 
of New Haven, came from the central part of the State; 
Aaron Hackley, also born in New Haven resided in Her- 



kimer; Ebenezer Sage, a former Representative, took his 
seat, but there being a contest, the House gave it to his 
opponent, and he served only from Dec. 6, 1819, to Ian. 
14, 1820. Henry Meigs, born in New Haven, Oct. 28, 
1782, and educated as a lawyer, removed to New York City, 
where he died May 20, 1861. James Strong, born in Wind- 
ham in 1783, located at Hudson, was Representative in Con- 
gress i8i9-'2i and again i823-'3i. He died in Chester, 
New Jersey, Aug, 8, 1847. Nathaniel Pitcher, born at 
Litchfield in 1777, removed to Sandy Hill; he was Represen- 
tative in Congress i8i9-'23, again i83i-'33. He died at 
Sandy Hill, May 25, 1836. John D. Dickinson, born In 
Middlesex County in 1767; studied law and began practice 
at Troy. He was a member of Congress i8i9-'23, again 
i827-'3i. He died at Troy, Jan. 28, 1841. 

Henry R. Storrs was born in Middletown, Sept. 3. 1787; 
he graduated from Yale in 1804, and practiced law some 
years at Utica, New Y'ork, where he was elected to Con- 
gress i8i9-'2i,and i823-'3i. After this he established him- 
self in New York City, became an eminent legal practitioner, 
and was distinguished for uncommon powers of discrmina- 
tion, and great logical exactness; he was a ready and pow- 
erful elocutionist, and attained the first rank while in Con- 
gress, as a debater. He died at New Haven, July 29, i 837. 

Albert H. Tracy, born in Norwich June 17, 1793- studied 
medicine with his father, but at the age of eighteen years emi- 
grated to State of New York, studied law and began practice 
at Buffalo. He served three terms in Congress, representmg 
the district west of Seneca Lake. Mr. Tracy declined Cab- 
inet appointments from two Presidents; was defeated as a 
Whig candidate for United States Senator in 1 839. He died 
at Buffalo, Sept. 12, 1859. 



Two of Vermont's new members were natives of Connec- 

Ezra Meech was born in New London, July 26, 1773; 
he was associated in early life with John Jacob Astor, in the 
fur trade, and was also interested in ship timber contracts; 
he finally settled in Vermont, and was elected a Representa- 
tive to Congress i8i9-'2i again i825-'27. In the latter part 
of his life he devoted himself to agricultural pursuits, hav- 
ing at one time a farm of over 3,000 acres stocked with 3,000 
sheep and 800 head of cattle. Mr. Meech was noted for his 
intelligence and hospitality; he was six feet five inches in 
height, and weighed 370 pounds, and was one of the most 
expert trout fishers in the country. He died at Shelbume, 
Vermont, Sept. 23, 1856. 

Rollin C. Mallary successfully contested his election to the 
Sixteenth Congress, and was seated Jan. 14, 1820; he was 
re-elected to the four succeeding terms. He was born at 
Cheshire, May 27, 1784, and removed to Poultney, Vermont. 
As a member of Congress he took an active part in all mat- 
ters appertaining to commerce, and was held in highest esti- 
mation for both his public acts and private virtues. He died 
at Baltimore, Maryland, April 16, 183 i. 

William Woodbridge mentioned in a previous chapter, 
began his Congressional career in the Sixteenth Congress. 

The new members elected to the Seventeenth Congress 
from Connecticut were Daniel Burrows, Ebenezer Stoddard, 
Ansel Sterling, and Noyes Barber. 

Mr. Burrows was born in Groton in 1766. He was a 
business man and preacher. His opinion of his brother mem- 
bers derived from his one term in Congress, was expressed, 
as follows, in a letter to his brother: That a majority of 
Congress consisted of second-rate lawyers, who spouted by 



the hour to no purpose only to be heard; and he thought 
there was no more wicked place than Washington. He also 
deplored the lack of integrity in men acting in high stations. 
Mr. Burrows died at Mystic, Jan. 23, 1858. 

Mr. Sterling was born in New London County Feb. ^j, 
1782; admitted to the bar in 1805; he was re-elected, and 
died Nov. 6, 1853. Mr. Stoddard, Representative from 
1 82 1 to '25, was born in West Woodstock May 6, 1786; he 
practiced law extensively in his native town. He was Lieu- 
tenant-Governor i833-'34; and died at Woodstock Aug. 1 1, 
1848. Noyes Barber, born in Groton April 28, 1781, was in 
early life a merchant, but afterwards became a lawyer. He 
was a man of ability, universally respected. His vote, during 
his long Congressional career of fourteen years, was always 
recorded in the interest of an economical administration of 
the government. He died at Groton, Jan. 3, 1845. 

To the Seventeenth Congress, New York sent six new 
members natives of Connecticut: Joseph Kirkland, Charles 
H. Ruggles, Micah Sterling, Samuel Campbell, Reuben H. 
W^alworth and Elisha Littlefield; the latter was re-elected. 
Of these, Mr. Ruggles was afterwards to become a judge of 
the Supreme Court of New York. Mr. Kirkland was the 
first mayor of Utica, and Mr. Walworth was appointed in 
1828 Chancellor of the State of New York, which position he 
held twenty years, when the office was abolished. Chancellor 
Walworth was pronounced by eminent authorities "the great- 
est equity jurist living;" his published opinions as Chancellor 
fill fourteen volumes, while his other opinions occupy as nianv 


Elias Hayes, a native of Ashford, and John Mattocks, 
were Representatives from Vermont. The latter was born in 
Hartford, March 4, i??^. He became a successful lawyer, 



and settled at Peacham, Vermont. He was a brigadier-gen- 
eral during the war of 1812, Judge of the Supreme Court of 
Vermont, Representative i82i-'25 and i84i-'43, also gov- 
ernor for one year, declining a re-election. He died at Pea- 
cham, Aug. 14, 1847. 

To the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Congresses Pennsyl- 
vania sent John Todd, a native of Hartford, and Walter 
Forward born in Connecticut in 1786. The latter became a 
lawyer and settled at Pittsburg; he was originally a Demo- 
crat, but afterwards became identified with the Whig party. 
Mr. Forward was appointed by President Harrison First 
Comptroller of the Treasury, and was made a member of 
President Tyler's Cabinet, receiving the portfolio of Secre- 
tary of Treasury. On his retirement from the Cabinet he 
was appointed by President Tyler charge d'alifairs to Den- 
mark, but returned to this country to accept the office of judge 
of the Alleghany County Court. He died at Pittsburg Nov. 
24, 1852. 

From Maine came William D. Williamson, born in Can- 
terbury, July 31, 1779. He began the practice of law at 
Bangor, and was president of Maine's first Senate, and by 
the resignation of Governor King he became Acting Gover- 
nor. Mr. Williams was the author of a History of Maine. 
He died at Bangor May 27, 1846. 

Josiah S. Johnston, mentioned in a preceding chapter, 
began his Congressional career as a Representative from 
Louisiana, in the Seventeenth Congress. 

By the apportionment in accordance with the Census of 
1820, Connecticut's representation in the House of Represen- 
tatives was reduced to six; there was only one new member 
to the Eighteenth Congress, — Lemuel Whitman, a graduate 



of Yale College in 1800; he served one term, and died at 
Farmington Nov. 18, 1841. 

From Central New York came Ela Collins of Lowville. 
born at Meriden, Feb. 14, 1786. He became a lawyer, and 
afterwards commanded a regiment of militia at Sackett's 
Harbor, in the war of 1812. He served as Representative 
one term, and died at Lowville Nov. 12, 1848. i'armenio 
Adams, a native of Hartford, removed to Batavia, New 
York; was a paymaster during the war of 18 12. He was a 
Federalist, and served as Representative from i823-'27. 

Dudley Marvin, born at Lyme in 1787, removed to Can- 
andaigua, and in 181 1 began the practice of law, soon attain- 
ing eminence in his profession. He was an Adams Democrat, 
and afterwards became a member of the Whig party. He 
was Representative i823-'29, and was a member of the Com- 
mittee for Modification and Revision of the Tariff; in absence 
of the chairman he made an elaborate report, which was the 
basis of the measure known as the "Woolen Bill." In 1844 
he removed to Ripley, New York, where he was again elected 
to Congress, serving i847-'49. In a speech on the Presi- 
dent's Message, referring to the Mexican war, his remarks 
on the extension of slavery in the Territories were almost 
prophetic in their character. Mr. Marvin's distingushing 
characteristics w^ere unusual gifts as an orator, and an extreme 
subtlety of observation, that rendered his powers of cross- 
examination exceptional. He died at Ripley June 25. 1S52. 

To fill a vacancy in Pennsylvania's representation, Chaun- 
cey, a younger brother of Walter Forward, was elected. I le 
was re-elected for the two succeeding terms. Mr. P^irward 
was born at Old Granby, and in 1800 removed with his 
father to Ohio; studied law, and was admitted to practice 
at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He took special interest .n the 



Baptist Church, and became a successful and popular 
preacher, but did not leave politics or cease to practice as a 
lawyer. He died in 1839. 

For four Congresses Louisiana sent Henry H. Gurley, 
born in Lebanon in 1787. He studied law and began practice 
at Baton Rouge, where he died in 1832. 

The Ohio delegation to the Eighteenth Congress was 
strengthened by the election of Elisha Whittlesey. He was 
born at Washington, Oct. 19, 1783; removed in 1806 to the 
Western Reserve, and served as a Representative in Con- 
gress from 1823 to July 9, 1838, when he resigned. Mr. 
Whittlesey was one of the founders of the Whig party, and 
held several government positions. He was appointed by 
President Taylor First Comptroller of the Treasury, and held 
the office until the accession of President Buchanan ; he was 
reappointed by President Lincoln in 1 86 1 . He died at Wash- 
ington, D. C, Jan. 7, 1863. 

The new members of the Connecticut delegation to the 
Nineteenth Congress were Elisha Phelps, a member of the 
Sixteenth Congress, John Baldwin, Orange Merwin, and 
Ralph J. Ingersoll. They were all re-elected to the Twen- 
tieth, and Mr. Ingersoll served through the Twenty-first and 
Twenty-second Congresses. He was born in New Haven, 
Feb. 8 J 1788; and admitted to the bar in 181 1. He was 
conspicuous as a debater, and was styled the Young Hotspur. 
He was a Democrat in politics, and was appointed by Presi- 
dent Polk minister plenipotentiary to Russia. He died at 
New Haven, Aug. 26, 1872. 

To this Congress came from New York Timothy H. Por- 
ter, a native of New Haven ; a lawyer who located at Olean, 
also Nicoll Fosdick, a native of New London, who located 
at Norway. 



From Ohio for two terms came John C. Wright, born in 
Wethersiield in 1783; studied law, began practice at Stcu- 
benville, and became judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio. 
He afterwards removed to Cincinnati where he became pro- 
prietor of the Cincinnati Gazette. He was a member of the 
Peace Congress. He died at Washington, D. C, I'eb. 13, 

To fill a vacancy, Pennsylvania sent Thomas 11. Sill, a 
native of Connecticut; he was a lawyer by profession, and 
settled in practice at Erie. He was also a member of the 
Twenty-first Congress. From the same State came Charles 
Miner, born in Norwich, Feb. i, 1780. When a youth of 
nineteen he removed with his father to Wilkesbarre, Penn- 
sylvania ; he subsequently settled in Westchester. He was a 
Representative in Congress i825-'29, and declined a re- 
election on account of deafness. He was author of a His- 
tory of Wyoming, still a classic in its way and an authority of 
the first water; also wrote upon the silk-growing business. 
Mr. Miner was universally respected for his high character 
and ability. He died at Wilkesbarre, Oct. 26, 1865. 

The new Connecticut member to the Twentieth Congress 
was David Plant a native of Stratford. He had been Speaker 
of the Connecticut House of Representatives, a member of 
the State Senate, and Lieutenant-Governor i823-'27. Mr. 
Plant died in his native town, Oct. 18, 185 1. 

New York sent two Democrats, natives of Connecticut, to 
this Congress. John C. Clark was again Representative 
i837-'43. Phineas Tracy, twice re-elected, was born in Nor- 
wich Dec. 25, 1786; w^as admitted to the bar, and settled in 
Batavia ; he was first elected to Congress on an Anti-Masonic 


There w^ere four new members in the Connecticut delega- 



tion to the Twenty-first Congress : Jabez Huntington was to 
serve until 1834, when he was transferred to the Senate. 
William W. Ellsworth served until 1 833 ; as a member of the 
judiciary committee he prepared and reported the present 
copyright law, Ebenezer Young born at Killingly in 1784. 
He was Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives 
two years, and serv^ed for three Congressionl terms. His 
death occurred at West Killingly, Aug. 18, 185 i. William 
L. Storrs was born at Middletown March 25, 1791, and 
admitted to the bar in 18 17. Mr. Storrs had been Speaker 
of the Connecticut House of Representatives; he was 
re-elected to the Twenty-second Congress, also to the Twenty- 
sixth Congress. He resigned from the latter in June 1840, 
to accept a place on the Connecticut Bench, which position he 
filled until his death at Hartford, June 25, 1861. 

Two natives of Connecticut were new members for New 
York to the Twenty-first Congress. Henry B. Cowles born 
at Hartford; removed to Dutchess County and began the 
practice of law in the adjoining county. Ambrose Spencer, 
born in Salisbury Dec. 13, 1765, settled at Hudson, where 
he became a lawyer; in 18 10 he became Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court of New York, retiring from the Bench in 
1823. Originally a Democrat, in 1844 he was President of 
the National Whig Convention at Baltimore. He died at 
Lyons, New York, March 13, 1848. 

To fill a vacancy, Humphrey H. Leavitt was elected Rep- 
resentative from Ohio, and was twice re-elected. He was 
born at Suffield, June 18, 1796; removed in an early day with 
his brother to the Western Reserve. He began the practice 
of law at Steubenville, Ohio, and in 1834 resigned from Con- 
gress to become judge of the District Court of Ohio, filling 
the position until his death at Springfield, Ohio, in 1873. 



Judge Leavitt decided the Vallandigham case during the 
Civil War, and President Lincoln is credited with the remark 
"that it was worth three victories to him." 

Frederic Whittlesey born in Washington, June 12, 1799; 
studied law, and was admitted to the bar at Utica, New York ; 
afterwards settled at Rochester. He was a member of the 
Morgan committee, and conducted an Anti-Masonic political 
paper. He was re-elected to the Twenty-third Congress, and 
was afterwards Vice-Chancellor and Judge of the Supreme 
Court of New York. He died at Rochester, Sept. 12, 1 8 5 i . 

At the opening of the Twenty-third Congress, Samuel 
Tweedy was the only new member in the Connecticut delega- 
tion; before the expiration of that Congress, Joseph Trum- 
bull was elected to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of 
W. W. Ellsworth. Representative Foot having been elected 
Governor, Ebenezer Jackson, Jr., was elected for the unex- 
pired term. Phineas Miner, an eminent lawyer, a resident 
of Litchfield, was elected to the unexpired term made by the 
transfer of Jabez Huntington to the Senate. 

Among the new members of the New York delegation to 
this Congress were four Democrats, natives of Connecticut: 
Henry Mitchell was a physician of Norwich. Sherman Page, 
who was re-elected, was a lawyer of Unadilla, Abel Hunting- 
ton, a native of Norwich, who at an early age removed to 
East Hampton, Long Island, where he practiced medicine for 
sixty years, — was a Representative in Congress from 1833- 
'37. William Taylor, who removed with his parents to Onon- 
daga County, had been president of the New York Medical 
Society, and practiced his profession for fifty years. He 
was a Representative in Congress i833-'39- 

At the opening of the Twenty-fourth Congress, six Demo- 



crats constituted the Connecticut delegation, all of whom 
made their first appearance as national legislators. 

At the head of the delegation was Isaac Toucey, who was 
to become prominently identified with both national and state 

Another important member was Samuel Ingham born in 
Hebron, Sept. 5, 1793, admitted to the bar in 18 15; two 
years later he settled in Saybrook. During his Congressional 
career he was chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, 
also a member of the Committee on Commerce; he was often 
called upon to preside over the committee of the whole, and 
discharged the duties with great skill and ability, during some 
of the stormy and protracted sessions of the House. Mr. 
Ingham died at Essex, Nov. 10, 1881. 

Andrew T. Judson was born in what is now Eastford, Nov- 
29, 1784; he obtained only a common-school education, but 
studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1806. Soon after 
this he removed to Vermont, but three years later returned to 
Canterbury, which he made his permanent home. He was 
Representative in Congress 1 835-'37 ; he was appointed judge 
of the District Court, and continued in that position until his 
death, March 17, 1853. Among the cases brought before 
him for abjudication was the libel of the Amistad and the 
Africans on board. 

Elisha Haley was bom at Groton, Jan. 21, 1776; was by 
occupation a farmer, but was an active leader in politics. Zal- 
mon Wildman was a native of Danbury; he died at Wash- 
ington, D. C, Dec. 10, 1835, ^^^ was succeeded by Thomas 
T. Whittlesey, a member of Yale class of 18 17, a lawyer by 
profession. The other member of the delegation was Launce- 
lot Phelps. 

From New York to the Twenty-fourth Congress, of Con-^ 



necticut birth, came William Mason, who located in Che- 
nango County; William Seymour who resided at Bin^rham- 
ton; Graham H. Chapin, who settled at Mount Morris, and 
Francis Granger, a native of Suffield, who has already been 
mentioned in this work. Mr. Granger was defeated for the 
Twenty-fifth Congress, was re-elected to the iwenty-sixth 
and Twenty-seventh, but declined all further re-nominations. 

Isaac E. Crary a native of Preston, a lawyer by profession, 
was a delegate to Congress from the Territory of Michigan, 
and on Its admission as a State in 1836 was elected Represen- 
tative, filling the office until 1841. 

There was one change in Connecticut's delegation to the 
Twenty-fifth Congress: Orrin Holt, a lawyer, took the seat 
made vacant by the retirement of Andrew T. Judson. 

The new members to the Twenty-fifth Congress from New 
York State, of Connecticut birth, were Luther C. Peck, from 
the western part of the State, who was re-elected; James B. 
Spencer, a Democrat, native of Salisbury and a resident of 
Fort Covington; Arphaxad Loomis, born in Winchester, and 
located at Little Falls; Bennet Bicknell, a native of Mans- 
field, who settled at Morrisville; and Amasa J. Parker. The 
latter was born in Sharon in 1807; admitted to the bar at 
Delhi, New York, in the fall of 1828. He was a Democrat 
in politics, and became judge of the Supreme Court of New 
York. He died at Albany, May 13, 1890. 

Ohio sent as one of her Representatives John W. Allen, a 
son of John Allen who represented Connecticut in the Fifth 
Congress. Mr. Allen was born in Litchfield in 1802 ; removed 
in 1 8 2 5 to Cleveland, Ohio, of which city he was mayor. He 
was a member of the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Con- 
gresses, and served on the Committee on Militia and Military 



The six Democratic Connecticut Representatives gave place 
in the Twenty-sixth Congress, to six members of the Whig 
party; of these William L. Storrs and Joseph Trumbull were 
members of earlier Congresses. The others were Truman 
Smith, who was afterwards to become a Senator, Thomas B. 
Osborn, Thomas W. Williams, and John H. Brockway. 

Mr. Osborne was born in Weston, July 8, 1798; gradu- 
ated from Yale College in 18 17, and began practice as a law- 
yer in his native town. After his retirement from Congress, 
he was for ten years professor of Law at Yale ; though a man 
of retiring disposition, he was a model in private and social 
life. He died Sept. 2, 1869. 

Mr. Williams was born in Stonington, Sept. 28, 1789, and 
was engaged in the mercantile business at New London. Mr. 
Brockway was born in Ellington, Jan. 31, 1801 ; was a law- 
yer, and had served in both houses of the Connecticut Legis- 
lature. He died July 29, 1870. 

From New York State came to the Twenty-sixth Congress 
five new members who were natives of Connecticut : Judson 
Allen, John Ely, Meredith Mallory of Hammondsport, 
Charles Johnston, a lawyer of Poughkeepsie, and Theron R. 
Strong, born in Salisbury Nov. 7, 1802. The latter opened a 
law office at Palmyra, and was a judge of the Supreme Court 
of New York. He died at New York City, May 15, 1873. 

From Ohio also came two natives of Connecticut to this 
Congress : Jonathan Taylor of Newark, and David A. Stark- 
weather a lawyer of Canton, who was afterwards a member 
of the Twenty-ninth Congress, and from 1854 to 1857 min- 
ister Plenipotentiary to Chili. 

The only change in the Connecticut delegation to the Twen- 
ty-seventh Congress was the election of William W. Board- 
man in place of William L. Storrs. Mr. Boardman was 



^J^ Jru/yy^^^ru^ 


born in New Milford, Oct. lo, 1794; was a lawyer, a,ul had 
held judicial and legislative positions. 

To fill a vacancy in the Maine delegation, David Hronson, 
a lawyer, native of Suffield, was elected. 

Sherlock J. Andrews, born in WalJingford Nov. 17,1801,3 
graduate of Union College, removed in 1825 to Cleveland, 
Ohio, where he began the practice of law ; his wit, cloqiR-ncc! 
sympathy, good sense, and integrity, gave him great power 
before a jury, or the public. He shared with Thomas Cor- 
win, at one time, the leadership of the Whig party in Ohio. 
He served one term in the House of Representatives, but was 
afterwards judge of the Superior Court of Ohio. He died 
at Cleveland, Feb. 1 1, 1880. 

By the new apportionment, based on the Census of 1840, 
Connecticut's representation in the lower house of Congress 
was four. Since 1837 the State had been divided into six 
Congressional districts, a Representative being elected from 
each district. In 1842, by an act of the General Assembly, 
four districts were established as follows: District No. i, 
consisting of the counties of Hartford and Tolland; district 
No. 2, the counties of New Haven and Middlesex; district 
No. 3, the counties of New London and Windham; district 
No. 4, the counties of Fairfield and Litchfield. 

The first election in these new districts resulted in the choice 
of four Democrats ; the most prominent of these was Thomas 
H. Seymour. The member from the third district was George 
S. Catlin, born in Harwinton, Aug. 7, 1809. He began the 
practice of law at Windham, where he died Dec. 26, 1851. 
Samuel Simon was a native of Bridgeport, where he died Jan. 
135 1847. John Stewart born in Chatham in 1795, was a 
farmer by occupation; he died in his native town Sept. 16, 



Four Democrats, natives of Connecticut, were sent as new 
members from New York, to the Twenty-eighth Congress: 
Edward Rogers, a lawyer from Madison County; Moses G. 
Leonard, from New York City; OrvIUe Hungerford, from 
Watertown, who was Representative i843-'47; and David 
L. Seymour. The latter was born In Wethersfield, Dec. 2, 
1803, began the practice of law at Troy; was also Repre- 
sentative i85i-'52. 

David R. Tllden of Ravenna, Ohio, a native of Connec- 
ticut, was a Representative to Congress i843-'47. 

There was a complete change in the political complexion of 
the members of the Connecticut delegation to the Twenty- 
ninth Congress. Truman Smith was again to become a mem- 
ber of the lower house of Congress ; James Dixon was to com- 
mence his eventful Congressional career. From the second 
district came Samuel D. Hubbard, John A. Rockwell repre- 
sented the third district. He was born in Norwich, Aug. 27, 
1803, and studied law, which he practiced with ability and 
success. During his terms in Congress he was chairman of 
the Committee on Claims. He subsequently practiced in the 
Court of Claims, and was the author of a work on Spanish 
law. He died of apoplexy at Washington, D. C, Feb. 10, 

The New York delegation to the Twenty-ninth Congress 
numbered among its new members three natives of Connec- 
ticut: Stephen Strong from Owego; Bradford R. Wood, 
a native of Westport, a lawyer at Albany, afterwards United 
States Representative to the Court of Denmark, and William 
W. Woodworth of Hyde Park. 

A noted philanthropist, who had given bountifully to 
churches of all denominations, public schools, city parks, and 
charitable institutions, was Dudley S. Gregory Representative 



from New Jersey to the Twenty-ninth Congress. I Ic was 
born In Redding Feb. 5, 1800; removed to Albany in 1808; 
finally engaged in the iron business in the Adirondacks. He 
died at Jersey City, Dec. 8, 1874. 

From Missouri came a son of Connecticut to this Congress, 
who was destined to have a long Congressional career; he 
was eight times re-elected. John S. Phelps was a son of 
Elisha Phelps, three times a Representative from Connecticut. 
John S. was born in Simsbury, Dec. 22, 18 14; graduated 
from Washington (now Trinity) College, and studied law 
with his father, emigrating to Missouri in 1843, ^^ settled at 
Springfield. He was a member of the Select Committee of 
Thirty-three on the Rebellious States. Mr. Phelps served 
as a colonel of volunteers in 1861, and the following year was 
appointed by President Lincoln Military Governor of Arkan- 
sas. He was Governor of Missouri iSyj-'Si, and died at St. 
Louis, Nov. 20, 1886. 



Connecticut in the House of Representatives from 
THE Thirtieth to the Fifty-seventh Congress 

THERE were no changes in the Connecticut ilelc- 
gation to the Thirtieth Congress. From New 
York State came as new members of Connec- 
ticut birth, Harmon S. Conger of Corthind, 
who was re-elected; George A. Starkweather 
of Cooperstown; John M. Holly, a lawyer from Lyons, who 
died before the expiration of his term of office; Daniel Gott, 
who was re-elected; Daniel B. St. John, a native of Sharon, 
engaged in mercantile business, who was re-elected, and was 
afterwards State Bank Commissioner of New York; Fred- 
erick W. Lord, born in Lyme, a practicing physician at Sag 
Harbor; and Frederick A., a son of Benjamin Talmadge, a 
Representative from Connecticut for eighteen years. Freder- 
ick A. was born in Litchfield, Aug. 29, 1792 ; graduated from 
Yale College in 181 1, and three years later began the practice 
of law in New York City. He had been alderman of the city, 
president of the State Senate, and city Recorder for five years. 
After his Congressional term, he was again Recorder for 
three years, and in 1857 was appointed General Superinten- 
dent of the Metropolitan police; subsequently clerk of the 
Court of Appeals. He died at Litchfield, Sept. 1 7, 1 869. 

In the Pennsylvania delegation to the Thirtieth Congress 
was Samuel Bridges born in Colchester, Jan. 27, 1802; 
admitted to the bar, and began practice at AUentown. He 
was also a member of the Thirty-third and Fortieth Con- 
gresses. From the same State, William Strong born in Som- 
ers, May 6, 1808, was elected Representative. He studied 
law and was admitted to the bar at Philadelphia, and began 
practice at Reading. He was re-elected; upon retiring from 
Congress he continued the practice of his profession until 
1857, when he was elected a judge of the Superior Court of 
Pennsylvania. In 1870 he was appointed justice of the Su- 



preme Court of the United States, serving until his resignation 
in 1880. He died Aug. 19, 1895. John Crowell of Warren 
was a native of Connecticut, and a Representative from Ohio 

John H. Tweedy, born in Connecticut, removed to Wis- 
consin in 1837 and began the practice of law at Milwaukee. 
He was a member of the first constitutional convention of that 
Territory, and in 1847 was a delegate to Congress. He died 
at Milwaukee, Nov. 12, 1891. 

To the Thirty-first Congress, Connecticut sent a new dele- 
gation. From the first district, Loren P. Waldo, a Democrat, 
was elected. He was born in Canterbury, Feb. 2, 1802, read 
law, and was admitted to practice locating at Tolland. He 
was afterwards judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut. 
The second district sent Walter Booth, a Free-Soiler born in 
Woodbrldge, Dec. 8, 1791; he settled at Meriden, and be- 
came a merchant, manufacturer, and banker. The member of 
Congress from the third district was Chauncey F. Cleveland; 
he was re-elected. Thomas B. Butler a member of the Whig 
party represented the fourth district; he was born in Weth- 
ersfield, Aug. 22, 1806, practiced medicine for eight years, 
then studied law, and in 1837 became a member of the bar. 
Judge Butler was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of 
Errors of Connecticut; he was a careful student of the law, 
and his strict ideas of equity gave his decisions a high reputa- 
tion. He died at Norwalk, June 8, 1873. 

Among the new members from New York were three sons 
of Connecticut: Lorenzo Burrows, a resident of Albion, who 
was re-elected, and in 1855 was State Comptroller; Elijah 
Risley, who had emigrated to Chautauqua County, and 
died at Fredonia, aged ninety years, and Herman D. Gould 
from Delhi. 



Orrin Fowler, born in Lebanon, July 29, 1791, jrradu- 
ated from Yale College in 1815, and then made a mission- 
ary tour in the Mississippi valley; he was afterwards set- 
tled over a Congregationalist church in PlainHeld, but finally 
removed to Fall River, Massachusetts. He was elected as a 
Free Soil Whig to the Thirty-first Congress, and was 
re-elected, but died at Washington, Sept. 3, 1852. Mr. 
Fowler was an advocate of temperance and a strong oppon- 
ent of slavery. 

From Vermont came William Hebard, born in Connecti- 
cut; he settled at Chelsea, where he became a lawyer. He 
was Representative from 1849-53. 

One of Ohio's members of Congress was William A. 
Whittlesey, a native of Connecticut; he setded at Marietta, 
where he practiced law. 

Prominent among the Illinois Representatives was Thomas 
L. Harris, born in Norwich, Oct. 29, 18 16. He studied law 
and began the practice of his profession in Petersburg, Illi- 
nois. He commanded a company in the Mexican War; was 
elected major, and at Cerro Gordo commanded a regiment. 
He was re-elected to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Con- 
gresses, but his death occurred at Springfield, Illinois, Nov. 
24, 1858, mainly due to his efforts at the polls in the election 
of that year. 

There were three new members in the Connecticut delega- 
tion to the Thirty-second Congress. 

From the first district the defeated candidate of the pre- 
vious election, Charles Chapman, a member of the Whig 
party, was elected. He was born in Newtown, June 21, 
1799; began the practice of law at New Haven, but in 
1828 removed to Hartford. As a criminal lawyer his powers 
of addressing a jury were remarkable; his wit was keen 



and ever in hand; none approached him in readiness of 
retort. He was the temperance candidate for Governor in 
1854, but afterwards became identified with the Republican 
party. He died at Hartford, Aug. 7, 1869. 

The second district elected Colin M. Ingersoll, a Demo- 
crat and a member of the legal fraternity. Mr. Ingersoll 
was Representative 1851-55. 

Origen S. Seymour, a Union Democrat, strenuously 
opposed to the Kansas and Nebraska bills, was chosen to 
represent the fourth district. Mr. Seymour was born in 
Litchfield, Feb. 9, 1804; was bred a lawyer; had been 
Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives; was 
subsequently for eight years judge of the Superior Court of 
Connecticut. He died at Litchfield, Aug. 12, 1881. 

Daniel T. Jones, native of Connecticut, but a resident of 
Baldwinsville, New York, was a member of Congress from 
that State 1851-55. 

Ebenezer Newton, a law partner of Elisha Whittlesey, 
born in Goshen, Oct. 16, 1795, represented a district in Ohio 
in the Thirty-second Congress. 

Galusha A. Grow was born in Ashford (now Eastford), 
Aug. 31, 1823; on account of the death of his father in 
1834, his mother removed to Susquehanna County, Penn- 
sylvania. Grow was educated at Amherst College, adopted 
the practice of law as a profession, was admitted to the bar 
In 1847, ^^d soon afterwards became a partner of David 
Wilmot. He was elected as a Free Soil Democrat from 
Pennsylvania to the Thirty-second Congress; his maiden 
speech was on "Man's Right to the Soil." He was Represen- 
tative In Congress from 1851-63; elected three times on a 
Free Soil Democratic ticket, and the same number of times 
on the Republican ticket, having affiliated with the latter 



party after the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. 
In 185 I, when he took his first seat in Conj^ress, he was the 
youngest member of that body; at each session he intro- 
duced a Free Homestead Bill; as Speaker of the Thirty- 
seventh Congress he signed the Homestead Bill. Mr. drow 
declined the appointment of minister to the Russian Court, 
tendered him by President Hayes. To fill a vacancy of 
Congressman at Large, Mr. Grow was elected to the Fifty- 
third Congress, and subsequently re-elected to the Fifty- 
fourth, Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, and Fifty-seventh, declining 
any further renominations. 

Two new Democratic members were elected to the Thirty- 
third Congress as Representatives from Connecticut. 1 he 
first district sent James T. Pratt, a farmer born at Middle- 
town In 1 805 ; he was a delegate to the Peace Congress of 
1 86 1. From the third district came Nathan Belcher, born 
in Grlswold, June 23, 18 13, admitted to practice as lawyer; 
he removed In 1841 to New London where he engaged in 
manufacturing. He died In that city June 31, 1891. 

John Wheeler, a New York member of Congress from 
1853 to 1857, was a native of Derby. 

William D. LIndsley, born in Connecticut, represented in 
the Thirty-third Congress the district In which Sandusky, 

Ohio, Is located. 

The Pennsylvania Congressional delegation to the Thirty- 
third Congress was strengthened by the election of Asa 
Packer. He was born at Groton, Dec. 29, 1806; in 1S21 
his parents removed to Pennsylvania, where Asa learned to 
be a tanner. He became Interested In coal and iron indus- 
tries, and removed In 1832 to Mauch Chunk. Mr. Packer 
In 1866 founded the Lehigh University, which he l.bcrally 
endowed. At the National Democratic Convention held in 



1868, he received the votes of the Pennsylvania delegates for 
President. He died Oct. 13, 1887. 

The triumph of the Republican party in Connecticut in 
the presidential election of 1856, caused a complete change 
in her Congressional delegation, members of this party and 
the American were elected to fill the seats occupied for the 
two previous Congresses by Democrats. 

Ezra Clark, Jr., Representative elect from the first district, 
was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, Sept. 12, 18 13. His par- 
ents when he was six years old, removed to Hartford, where 
he became interested in local and public enterprises. Mr. 
Clark was re-elected to the Thirty-fifth Congress. 

The second district sent John Woodruff, born in Hartford, 
Feb. 12, 1826; he was defeated for the Thirty-fifth, but 
re-elected to the Thirty-sixth Congress. He died at New 
Haven, May 20, 1868. 

The member from the third district was Sidney Dean, 
born in Glastonbury, Nov. 16, 18 18; he began life as a 
manufacturer but afterwards became a clergyman. Mr. 
Dean was re-elected and served as Chairman of the Commit- 
tee on Public Expenditures, also on other important com- 
mittees. After his retirement from Congress he became pas- 
tor of a church in Rhode Island, and was editor of the 
Providence Press. He died at Warren, Rhode Island, Oct. 
29, 1901. 

The fourth district elected William W. Welch, born in 
Norfolk, Dec. 10, 18 18, a practicing physician; he had been 
a member of both branches of the State Legislature. 

In the New York delegation were : Francis S. Edwards, 
born in Norwich, a lawyer of Fredonia. William A. Gilbert, 
a native of this State, who resided in Rochester. Abraham 
Wakeman, born in Fairfield, May 31, 1824. At the age of 



sixteen removed to New Rochelle; suhscciucntlv became a 
school-teacher, book canvasser, and manager of a sawmill. 
In 1844 he began the study of huv in Herkimer County, and 
was admitted to the bar in New York city. At the outbreak 
of the Civil War he helped raise the 8ist Pennsylvania V.)|. 
unteers, was elected its colonel, but resigned and became 
postmaster of New York city. He died June 29, 1889. From 
Central New York came Amos P. Granger, born in Suf- 
field, June 3, 1789. He emigrated in 181 i to Manlius, 
New York; was a captain in the army during the war of 
18 12, afterwards removed to Syracuse, where he became a 
merchant. He was also a member of the Thirty-fifth Con- 
gress. Mr. Granger was a liberal donor to the Episcopal 
Church, and much of the prosperity of that denomination 
in Central New York is due to his liberality. He died at Syra- 
cuse, Aug. 20, 1866. 

The delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the Thir- 
ty-fourth Congress, Bird B. Chapman, was a native of Con- 
necticut. To the same Congress came Lucien Barbour, born 
in Canton, March 4, 181 1, a practicing attorney of Indianap- 
olis. Also came Philemon Bliss, born in Canton, July 28, 
18 14; removed to Ohio, where he took a prominent part in 
the anti-slavery movement. He was re-elected to the Thirty- 
fifth Congress, and was appointed by President Lincoln 
United States judge for Dakota Territory. Judge Bliss 
afterwards removed to Columbus, Missouri, where he 
became judge of the Supreme Court of that State, also Dean 
of the State University. He died at St. Paul, Minnesota, 
Aug. 25, 1889. 

Two Connecticut Democrats succeeded the two members 
of the American party, in the Thirty-fifth Congress. Samuel 
Arnold represented the New Haven district. He was born 



in Haddam, June i, 1 806 ; he was engaged in farming, bank- 
ing, and various interests pertaining to commerce. The 
fourth district sent William D. Bishop, born in Bloomfield, 
New Jersey. He studied law, but engaged in railroad enter- 

A native of Southbury, Horace F. Clark, a lawyer prom- 
inent in financial, political, and railroad circles, was Repre- 
sentative from New York from 1857-61. Samuel G. An- 
drews, born in Derby, Oct. 16, 1799, removed with his 
father to Rochester, New York, where he became mayor 
and postmaster, was also a member of the Thirty-fifth Con- 

The Troy district in the Empire State was represented in 
the Thirty-fifth Congress by Erastus Corning, born in Nor- 
wich, Dec. 14, 1794; in his youth he came to Troy, where 
he became identified with the hardware trade of that city 
and the neighboring city of Albany. He was an iron manu- 
facturer and banker, and largely interested in the develop- 
ment of the railroad system of the State of New York. He 
was the master-spirit in the consolidation of the railroads 
that formed the New York Central, of which company he 
was president. A Democrat in politics, he was defeated for 
the Thirty-sixth and re-elected to the Thirty-seventh and 
Thirty-eighth Congresses, but resigned from the latter on 
account of failing health. He died at Albany, April 9, 1872. 

The Connecticut Republicans elected to the Thirty-sixth 
Congress were: John Woodruff, a former member of the 
House. O. S. Ferry, who afterwards became United States 
Senator. Dwight Loomis, born in Columbia, July 27, 1821. 
He was a farmer boy, studied law, and was admitted to 
practice at New Haven. Settling at Rockville, he was a 
member of both Houses of the Connecticut Legislature. He 



was re-elected, and after his retirement from Congress was 
a member of the Supreme Bench of Connecticut. Alfred A. 
Burnham was the fourth member, born in Windham, March 
8, 1 8 19; the lack of funds obliged him to relinquish his col- 
legiate course of studies. He became a lawyer; was Speaker 
of the Connecticut House of Representatives, also Lieuten- 
ant Governor. Mr. Burnham was re-elected to the Thirty- 
seventh Congress. 

Among the New York Representatives were Alfred Ely, 
born in Lyme, Feb. 18, 18 15; removed to Rochester, where 
he was admitted to the bar. He was member of Congress 
1859-63. Mr. Ely while a civilian spectator at the Battle 
of Bull Run, was captured by the enemy and confined for six 
months in Libby Prison, he was then exchanged. 

James Humphrey born in Fairfield, Oct. 9, 181 1, gradu- 
ated from Amherst College, of which institution his father, 
Rev. Heman Humphrey, was for many years president. 
Mr. Humphrey studied law, and settled in Louisville, Ken- 
tucky, to practice; but finally removed to New York City, 
where he follow^ed his profession. He was elected Repre- 
sentative to the Thirty-sixth Congress; was a member of the 
Select Committee of Thirty-three on the Rebellious States. 
He was again elected to the Thirty-ninth Congress, but died 
at Brooklyn, New York, June 16, 1866, before the expira- 
tion of his term. 

John A. Gurley, a Representative from Ohio to the Thirty- 
sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses, was born at East Hart- 
ford, Dec. 9, 1 8 13; he studied for the ministry, and was 
settled over a congregation at Methuen, Massachusetts. 
1834-37. In the latter year he removed to Cincinnati, where 
for fifteen years he edited and published a newspaper called 
The Star of the fVest. His death occurred at Cincinnati, 



Aug. 19, 1863, while en route to fill the office of Governor 
of Arizona, to which he had been appointed by President 

George W. Scranton was born in Madison, May 23, 1 8 1 1 ; 
when a youth of eighteen he removed to Belvidere, New 
Jersey. He subsequently located at Scranton, Pennsylvania, 
that city being named in honor of his brother and himself. 
Here he became largely interested in iron and coal mines, 
also in railroads; was at one time president of the Delaware, 
Lackawana & Western Railroad Company. Mr. Scranton 
was elected Representative from Pennsylvania to the Thirty- 
sixth, and was re-elected to the Thirty-seventh Congress, but 
died at Scranton, March 24, 1861. 

The new members of the Connecticut delegation to the 
Thirty-seventh Congress were, for the second district, James 
E. English, who afterwards became Senator, and from the 
fourth district George C. Woodruff. Mr. Woodruff was 
born in Litchfield, Dec. i, 1805; graduated from Yale Col- 
lege in 1825; studied law at the Litchfield School, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1827. He was re-elected to the Thirty- 
eighth Congress. 

Nehemiah Perry, born in Ridgefield, and a resident of 
Newark, New Jersey, was Congressman from that State from 

Amasa Walker, a native of Woodstock, removed to North 
Brookfield, Massachusetts, was engaged in mercantile busi- 
ness at Boston fifteen years; he was elected to fill a vacancy 
in the Massachusetts representation in the Thirty-seventh 
Congress. One of Mr. Walker's colleagues was John D. 
Baldwin, born at North Stonington, Sept. 28, 1809; he was 
a member of Yale, class of 1833, studied law and after- 
wards theology, and became a licensed preacher. Mr. Bald- 



win engaged in journalistic pursuits, was cnlitor of an anti- 
slavery paper at Hartford, edited The Connnonunilih at 
Boston, and in 1859 purchased the Worcester Sp\; he was an 
authority on archaeology, and was author of several his- 
torical works. He was re-elected to the Jhirty-ninth and 
Fortieth Congresses. He died at Worcester, July 8, 18S3. 

John Law, a descendant of one of Connecticut's early 
governors, was born in New London in 1796; he studied 
law, and in 18 17 removed to the Territory of Indiana, locat- 
ing at Vincennes. Here he filled various positions, but linally 
removed to Evansville, and from that district was sent as a 
Representative to the Thirty-seventh Congress. His father 
had been a member of Congress, and his grandfather a mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress. Mr. Law was re-elected to 
the Thirty-eighth Congress. 

The first district was represented in the Thirty-eighth 
Congress by Henry C. Deming, who was born in Middle 
Haddam in 18 15; graduating from Yale College in 1836, 
he opened a law office in New York City, but in 1 847 came to 
Hartford, where he devoted his time chiefly to literary work. 
Mr. Deming was colonel of the Twelfth Connecticut Vol- 
unteers, who were attached to Butler's expedition to New 
Orleans; on the occupation of that city by the Union Army, 
Colonel Deming was made acting mayor. Originally a Dem- 
ocrat, at the outbreak of the war he joined the Republican 
party; he was re-elected to the Thirty-ninth Congress, and 
during his term of office was a member of the Committee 
on Military Affairs, also Chairman of the Committee on 
Expenditures of the War Department. He died at Hart- 
ford, Oct. 9, 1872. 

The third district elected Augustus Brandegee, a lawyer, 
born in New London, July 15, 1828; he had been Speaker 



of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and served on 
important committees in the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth 

From the western district of the State came John H. Hub- 
bard, born in Sahsbury in 1805 ; he was educated to the prac- 
tice of law at Litchfield. Mr. Hubbard during his two Con- 
gressional terms was an indefatigable worker, and faithful 
to his political duties. 

One of the Michigan delegation to the Thirty-eighth, 
Thirty-ninth, and Fortieth Congresses was Charles Upson, 
born in Southington, March 19, 1821 ; he removed to Cold- 
water where he was admitted to the bar. Mr. Upson was 
from 1861-62 Attorney General of Michigan. 

Asahel W. Hubbard represented an Iowa district for three 
terms; he was born in Haddam, Jan. 19, 18 19, and removed 
to Indiana in 1838, where he taught school and studied law. 
In 1857 he migrated still further west to Iowa, where he 
was elected judge of a judicial district. 

The only change in the Connecticut delegation in the 
Thirty-ninth Congress was the election of Samuel L. War- 
ner, a Republican, in the second district. Mr. Warner was 
born in Wethersfield in 1829, and settled at Middletown, 
where he was admitted to the bar. 

To this same Congress Nelson Taylor and William E. 
Dodge were Representatives from New York. The former 
was born at South Norwalk, June 8, 1821 ; a lawyer by pro- 
fession, and a veteran of the Mexican War; at the close of 
hostilities he emigrated to California, where he held various 
political offices. Returning to New York City in i860, he 
resumed the practice of law, but the following year was 
mustered into military service as colonel of the 7 2d Regi- 
ment of New York Volunteers. Colonel Taylor was pro- 



moted to the rank of brigadier-general. 1 lis colleague con- 
tested the election of his Democratic opponent, and was 
seated by the House of Representatives April 6, 1866. Mr. 
Dodge was born in Hartford, Sept. 4, 1805, and removed 
with his parents to New York City when thirteen years of 
age. On attaining his majority he engaged in mercantile 
business, and for forty years was at the head of one of the 
most extensive importing and manufacturing firms in the 
country. He died in New York City, Feb. 9, 1883. 

Chester D. Hubbard was born in Hamden, Nov. 25, 
18 14; his parents removed in his childhood to Wheeling, 
Virginia ; he served in the Virginia Legislature, and in the 
Senate of West Virginia upon the organization of that State. 
He was strongly opposed to secession; was interested in 
lumber, iron, and banking enterprises. He was re-elected 
to the Fortieth Congress. He died at Wheeling, Aug. 23, 

From a district in Illinois, Abner C. Harding was elected 
to the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth Congresses. He was born 
at East Hampton, Feb. 10, 1807, receiving his education in 
Central New York, where he practiced law, and finally 
removed to Monmouth, Illinois. He was a member of the 
convention that framed the Constitution of Illinois, served in 
the Legislature, and was engaged In agricultural pursuits and 
railroad enterprises. He enlisted during the Civil War as a 
private, and for bravery displayed at Fort Donelson was 
made a brigadier-general. He died at Monmouth, July 19. 


Charles C. Langdon, born at Southington, Aug. 5. 1805, 
removed to Perry County, Alabama, was editor of the Mo- 
bile Advertiser and mayor of that city; he claimed to be 



elected to the Thirty-ninth Congress, but was denied admis- 

There was a decided change in the pohtical make up of 
Connecticut's delegation to the Fortieth Congress. The four 
Republican Representatives of the preceding Congress were 
succeeded by three Democrats and one Republican. The 
first district elected Richard D. Hubbard, born in Berlin, 
Sept. 7, 1818; a practicing attorney during the Civil War, 
and an earnest Unionist. He declined a re-nomination and 
was afterwards Governor of the State. He died at Hartford, 
Feb. 28, 1884. The Representative from the second district 
was Julius Hotchkiss, born in Waterbury, July 11, 1 8 10. He 
was in his early life a commercial traveler,, and afterwards 
engaged in manufacturing. Mr. Hotchkiss was Lieutenant- 
Governor. He died at Middletown, Dec. 23, 1878. The 
member from the third district, Henry H. Starkweather, was 
born in Preston, April 29, 1826; he was admitted to the 
bar, and practiced in his native county. Mr. Starkweather 
was re-elected four times; he died before the expiration of 
his last term, at Washington, D. C, Jan. 28, 1876. The 
other member of the delegation, William H. Barnum, served 
five terms in the House of Representatives, when he was 
transferred to the Senate. 

In the Forty-first Congress, Julius Strong, the Represen- 
tative elect from the first district, was born in Bolton, Nov. 
8, 1828; he began the practice of law in Hartford, and upon 
his election to Congress, though hardly arrived at middle 
age, had gained a prominent position at the bar. He was a 
great judge of human nature, and in his intercourse with his 
colleagues was hearty, frank, and generous. He was 
re-elected to the Forty-second Congress, but died at Hart- 
ford, Sept. 7, 1872, before the expiration of his term. The 



second district, which was strongly Democratic, elected a 
Republican, Stephen W. Kellogg, who was twice re-elected. 
He was born in Shelburne, Massachusetts, April 5, 1S22; a 
graduate of Yale College, he was admitted to the bar and 
finally settled at Waterbury. Mr. Kellogg was an important 
factor in the tariff legislation of 1870-72, and was also suc- 
cessful in obtaining the passage of bills for the improvement 
of the coast harbors of the State. 

There were five new members, sons of Connecticut, elected 
from different States, to the Forty-first Congress. Charles 
Pomeroy, born in Meriden, Sept. 8, 182^, removed 
to Iowa; he was a lawyer and banker. Eramus D. Peck, a 
resident of Ohio since 1830, a practicing physician, was 
elected to fill a vacancy, and was re-elected. John B. Hawley 
was born in Fairfield County, Feb. 9, 1831 ; his parents emi- 
grated to Illinois when he was quite young. He studied law, 
was admitted to the bar, and represented a district in his 
adopted State for three terms. Mr. Hawley was afterwards 
appointed Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Uarvvin 
Phelps, a native of East Granby, on the death of his parents 
went to reside with his grandparents in Portage County, 
Ohio; he studied law with his kinsman Walter Forward, at 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and located at Kittanning in that 
State. William T. Clark, born in Nonvich, June 29, 1S34; 
studied law in New York City and began practice in Iowa. 
At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Union 
army, and in 1866 was mustered out of the United States 
service in Texas, with the rank of major-general. General 
Clark then engaged in business at Galveston, and was elected 
to the Forty-first and Forty-second Congresses as a Republi- 
can, but his seat in the latter was successfully contested by 
his Democratic opponent. 



In the Forty-second Congress were William Williams and 
Elizur H. Prindle, Representatives from New York. The 
former was born in Bolton, Sept. 6, and located at Buffalo, 
where he became a railroad manager and president. His 
colleague was born In Newtown, May 6, 1829, and located 
at Norwich; he was a lawyer by profession. 

Pennsylvania sent as one of her Representatives Henry 
Sherwood, born in Bridgeport, Oct. 9, 18 17; he located as a 
lawyer at Wellsboro. 

James M. Pendelton, born at North Stonington, Jan. 10, 
1822, was for seven years in mercantile business at Westerly, 
Rhode Island, and afterwards became interested in banking, 
insurance, and manufacturing. He was elected as Represen- 
tative from Rhode Island to the Forty-second and Forty- 
third Congresses. 

James Monroe, born in Plainfield, July 18, 1821, gradu- 
ated from Oberlin College, and for thirteen years filled a pro- 
fessorship in that college. Professor Monroe was twice Pres- 
ident of the Ohio Senate, and was elected Representative to 
Congress from that State, but declined a renomination. 

The only change in the Connecticut delegation to the 
Forty-third Congress was the election of Joseph R. Hawley 
from the first district. 

To this Congress, South Carolina sent as one of her Rep- 
resentatives Lewis Cass Carpenter born in Putnam, Feb. 20, 
1836. He became a school-teacher in New Jersey, studied 
law, and was correspondent at Washington for several New 
York newspapers. In 1870 he established at Charleston the 
first Republican paper in South Carolina. 

Richard C. Parsons, born in New London, Oct. 10, 1826; 
twenty years later removed to Ohio. He began the practice 



of law at Cleveland, and was elected as a Republican to the 
Forty-third Congress. 

One of the New York Representatives was Samuel B. 
Chittenden, born in Guilford, March 29, 18 14; he removed 
to New York City, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, 
was also interested in banks and railroads. He was Hrst 
elected to fill a vacancy, but was three times re-elected as an 
independent candidate. Mr. Chittenden was a large donor to 
Yale College, presenting that institution with $125,000 for a 
library building. He died at Brooklyn, New York, April 
14, 1889. 

The changes in the Connecticut delegation in the Forty- 
fourth Congress were the election in the first district of 
George M. Landers, a Democrat; and James Phelps, also a 
Democrat, in the second district. Mr. Landers was born in 
Lenox, Massachusetts, Feb. 22, 18 13; removed to Hartford 
County in 1829, and was engaged in the manufacture of 
hardware at New Britain. Mr. Landers was a member of 
the Forty-fifth Congress. James Phelps was born in Cole- 
brook, Jan. 12, 1822; was a member of the legal fraternity, 
and resigned from the Connecticut Supreme Bench to accept 
the nomination for Congress. Judge Phelps was a member 
of the Committee of Ways and Means, Foreign Affairs, and 
Pensions, also to investigate election frauds in Louisiana. He 
was Representative three terms; and died Jan. 15, 1900. 

The transferring of William H. Barnum to the Senate 
caused a vacancy in the fourth district, which was filled by the 
election of Levi Warner; he was born in Wethersfield, Oct. 
10, 1830, and obtained his education while working on a 
farm. Mr. Warner attended the law schools of Harvard 
and Yale Colleges, and began the practice of law at Fairfield. 
He was re-elected to the Forty-fifth Congress. 



Richard H. Whiting, born In West Hartford, June 17, 
1826, a veteran of the Civil War, was elected Representative 
to the Forty-fourth Congress from Peoria, Illinois. 

Julius H. Seelye born at Bethel, Sept. 14, 1824; a gradu- 
ate of Amherst College, studied theology, and was ordained 
In 1853 and settled over a church in Schenectady, New York. 
Five years later he accepted a professorship in Amherst Col- 
lege. He was elected Representative from Massachusetts to 
the Forty-fourth Congress, receiving the nomination inde- 
pendent of any political party. Before the expiration of his 
Congressional term he was chosen President of Amherst Col- 
lege, and therefore declined a renomlnatlon. He died at 
Amherst, May 2, 1895. 

Stephen S. Fenn was born In Watertown, March 28, 1820; 
his parents during his childhood removed to Niagara County, 
New York. On arriving at his majority, he emigrated to 
Jackson County, Iowa, where he held several local offices. 
During the gold excitement he went to California, where he 
engaged In mining and ranching. In 1862 he removed to the 
part of Washington Territory that afterwards became Idaho; 
here he mined and practiced law. He was elected Congres- 
sional delegate to the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Con- 

Alpheus S. Williams born at Saybrook, Sept. 20, 18 10; 
graduated at Yale College In 1831, then spent two years 
In European trav^el. He settled at Detroit, Michigan, in 
1836, where he practiced law and held several judicial posi- 
tions. In the Mexican War he was a lieutenant-colonel, and 
at the outbreak of the Civil War, President Lincoln appointed 
him major general of Michigan Volunteers; he subsequently 
became a brigadier-general In the regular army. General 
Williams saw active service In the upper Potomac and Shen- 



andoah valleys, was at the battle of Cedar Mountain, on the 
Rappahannock, and at Manassas; after the battle of South 
Mountain he succeeded General Banks as corps commander, 
and at Antietam was commander of the Thirteenth corps; was 
at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and took an active part 
in the Atlanta campaign. General Williams was brevetted 
major-general for gallant and meritorious services performed 
during General Sherman's "March to the Sea." He was 
mustered out of the United States service in 1866, when he 
was appointed minister resident to the republic of San 
Salvador. General Williams returned to Detroit in 1869; 
was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor, and was elected 
on the Democratic ticket to the Forty-fourth and Forty-Hfth 
Congresses. During his second term he was chairman of the 
Committee on the District of Columbia, and was instrumental 
in furthering the new developments that have so beautiried 
the National Capital. 

The only change in the Connecticut delegation to the 
Forty-fifth Congress v,as the election in the third district 
of John T. Wait to fill the vacancy caused by the death of 
Henry H. Starkweather. Mr. Wait was born at New Lon- 
don, Aug. 27, 181 1, studied law, and began practice at Nor- 
wich. He was formerly a Democrat, but at the breaking 
out of the Civil War became a strong Union man, affilating 
with the Republicans. He had been Speaker of the Connec- 
ticut House of Representatives; he was four times re-elected 
to Congress, and gained the reputation of caring for the inter- 
ests of his constituents with untiring energy and zeal. On 
his retirement from the House of Representatives he resumed 
the practice of law. He died April 21, 1899. 

To the Forty-fifth Congress from Illinois came as a Rep- 
resentative Philip C. Hayes. He removed with his parents 



to LaSalle, enlisted as a private in the Union army, was pro- 
moted to a captaincy, and mustered out as a brevet brigadier- 
general. He was twice re-elected. 

The first and fourth Connecticut districts elected as Rep- 
resentatives to the Forty-sixth Congress, former Congress- 
men, Joseph R. Hawley and Frederick Miles. 

To fill a vacancy in the New York representation, Waldo 
Hutchins, a lawyer, born in Brooklyn in 1823, was elected 
to the Forty-sixth Congress; he was twice re-elected. 

Edward H. Gillette, born in Bloomfield, Oct. i, 1840, 
removed to DesMoines, Iowa, where he followed farming 
and manufacturing; he was also editor of The Iowa Tribune. 
His father, Francis Gillette, was a member of the United 
States Senate from Connecticut. Mr. Gillette was elected a 
Representative from Iowa to the Forty-sixth Congress, on the 
National Greenback ticket; he was also chairman of the 
National committee of that party. 

The election of Representative Hawley to the Senate was 
the cause of John R. Buck being the nominee of the Republi- 
can party in the first district, for Representative to the Forty- 
seventh Congress. Mr. Buck was born in Glastonbury, Dec. 
6, 1836; he was admitted to the bar in 1862, and though 
defeated for the Forty-eighth, was elected to the Forty-ninth 
and Fiftieth Congresses. To fill a vacancy caused by a resig- 
nation, Jonathan Scoville was elected Representative from 
New York to the Forty-seventh Congress. Mr. Scoville was 
a native of Salisbury, became interested in the iron industries 
at Canaan; he removed in i860 to Buffalo, where he manu- 
factured car wheels. 

Joseph A. Scranton, born in Madison, July 20, 1838, 
removed to Pennsylvania, and finally located in Scranton, 
where he founded in 1867 a newspaper called The Scranton 



Republican. He was a member of the Forty-seventh, lorty- 
ninth, Fifty-first, Fifty-third, and Fifty-fourth Congresses. 

The election in Connecticut for Representatives to the 
Forty-eighth Congress resulted in three districts being car- 
ried by the Democrats. William W. Eaton, elected from the 
first district, had been a member of the upper house of Con- 
gress. Charles L. Mitchell, from the second district, was 
born at New Haven, Aug. 6, 1844; he was re-elected. 

The newly-elected member from the fourth district was 
Edward W. Seymour, born In Litchfield, Aug. 30, 1832; a 
lawyer by profession, quick in preceptlon, sound in reflection, 
and pleasing and effective In speech. He was Representative 
from 1882 to 1886, after which he resumed his law practice. 
He died at Litchfield, Oct. 16, 1892. 

James B. Wakeman, born in Winsted in March, 1828, 
graduated from Trinity College, studied law at Painesville, 
Ohio, began to practice at Delhi, Indiana, and two years 
later removed to Minnesota. In his new home he was mem- 
ber of both houses of the Legislature, was Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor, and was elected Representative to Congress 1883-87. 
L. H. Weller, born in Bridgewater, Aug. 24, 1833, was 
reared In the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democratic school 
of politics. He emigrated to Iowa in 1859, locating at 
Nashua; here he tilled the soil during the day, and studied 
law, politics, and theology at night. Mr. Weller was admit- 
ted to the bar in 1868, and was elected on the National ticket 
to the Forty-eighth Congress. 

James O'Donnell was born in Norwalk, March 25, 1840; 
his parents removed to Michigan when he was eight years 
old Mr O'Donnell enjoyed no educational advantages; he 
served as a private during the Civil War, and aftenvards 
established a newspaper at Jackson, Michigan, was 



named the Daily Citizen. He was elected on the Republican 
ticket to the Forty-ninth Congress, and three times re-elected. 

Charles A. Grosvenor, a present member of Congress, was 
born in Pomfret, Sept. 20, 1833; his father removed to 
Ohio in the spring of 1838, where young Grosvenor attended 
school for a few terms, in a country log school-house. He 
studied law, and was admitted to practice in 1857, but on the 
breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Union army, 
and was mustered out as a brevet brigadier-general. General 
Grosvenor was elected to the Forty-ninth Congress, and has 
been re-elected up to the present time, with the exception of 
the Fifty-second, when he was defeated, owing to a gerryman- 
der of the Ohio Congressional districts by the Democrats of 
that State. 

The Congressional districts in Connecticut at the election in 
the fall of 1886 were carried by the Democrats, with the 
exception of the third. The newly-elected Republican for that 
district, Charles A. Russell, was to begin his Congressional 
career as a member of the Fiftieth Congress; it was termi- 
nated by his death while a member of the Fifty-seventh. Mr. 
Russell was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, March 2, 
1852; he was Secretary of State for Connecticut 1885-87, 
and was engaged in the manufacture of woolens in the town 
of Killingly. 

The first district was represented by Robert J. Vance, born 
of Scottish parentage in New York City, March 15, 1854; he 
came to New Britain in his youth, and was editor of the New 
Britain Herald. 

The Congressman from the second district, Carlos French, 
was born in Humphreysville (Seymour), Aug. 6, 1835; he 
was engaged in manufacturing. 

Miles T. Granger, elected Representative from the fourth 



district, was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, Aug. 12, 
18 17; his parents removed to Canaan, when ..ur subject was 
two years of age. In his early youth he was dependent on 
his own resources for a livelihood; he graduated from Wes- 
leyan University, and was admitted in 1845 to the bar in 
Mississippi. In the spring of that year he returned to Ca- 
naan, where he was elected to judicial and legislative posi- 
tions, and was for twenty years judge of the Superior Court 
of Connecticut. He died Oct. 21, 1895. 

At the elections in the fall of 1888 the Republicans carried 
three districts. The Representative elected from the first 
district was William E. Simonds; he was born in Canton 
Nov. 24, 1842. Mr. Simonds enlisted as a private in the 
Union army, and was promoted to a lieutenant; after the 
war he studied law, graduating In 1865 from the Yale Law 
School; he became a patent lawyer, and was a lecturer on 
patents at Yale University. While a member of Congress he 
influenced legislation in favor of an international copyright 
law, for which service France made him a chevalier of the 
Legion of Honor. The second district was represented by 
Washington F. WIllcox, born in Killingworth, Aug. 22, 
1834. He began the practice of law at Deep River. Mr. 
WIllcox was re-elected to the Fifty-second Congress. Fred- 
erick Miles, a former Representative, was elected from the 
fourth district. 

In the fall elections of 1890 the Democrats elected three 
Representatives. The new Democratic members were Lewis 
Sperry from the first district and Robert E. DeForest from 
the fourth district; they were both re-elected to the Fifty- 
third Congress. Mr. Sperry was born at Fast Windsor. Jan. 
23, 1848; a graduate of Amherst College, he was admitted 
to the bar at Hartford in 1875- He was one of the seventeen 



Democrats that voted in the Fifty-third Congress against the 
"Wilson Tariff Bill"; he was censured for this by his con- 
stituents, but upheld by the State leaders of his party. Mr. 
DeForest was a native of Guilford and a lawyer at Bridge- 
port, of which city he had been Mayor. 

Matthew Griswold, born in Lyme, June i6, 1833, removed 
to Erie, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in manufacturing; 
he was a member of the Fifty-second and Fift}'-fourth Con- 
gresses. The Connectcut delegation to the Fifty-third Con- 
gress remained the same as the preceding one, with the excep- 
tion that James P. Pigott, a lawyer of New Haven, succeeded 
Mr. Willcox in the second district. 

E. Stevens Henry from the first, Nehemiah D. Sperry from 
the second, and Ebenezer J. Hill from the fourth, all Repub- 
licans, were elected in the fall of 1894 to the Fifty-fourth 
Congress, and have been re-elected for each succeeding one. 
Mr. Henry was born in Gill, Massachusetts, Feb. 10, 1836; 
he is a resident of Rockville, and engaged in banking. Mr. 
Sperry was bom at Woodbridge, July 10, 1827; is actively 
and prominently engaged in the business interests of New 
Haven, his residence city; he is also connected with various 
railroad and manufacturing enterprises. He was Connecti- 
cut's Secretary of State for two years, and postmaster of New 
Haven over twenty-eight years. Mr. Hill, born in Redding, 
Aug. 4, 1845, is a resident of Norwalk, and a member of 
railroad and banking corporations. 

Richard C. Shannon, born in New London, Feb. 12, 1839, 
served as a volunteer in the Union army; he aftens'ards 
became a member of the L^nited States legation at Rio de 
Janeiro, and was interested in railroads in Brazil; was min- 
ister plenipotentiary to the Central American States. He was. 



elected from New York as Representative to the Fifty-fourth 
and Fifty-fifth Congresses. 

William S. Knox was born in Killingly, Sept. lo, 1 84^ ; W\% 
parents removed to Lawrence, Massachusetts, when he was 
nine years of age, where he studied law and was admitted to 
the bar. He was elected as a Representative from the fifth 
district of Massachusetts, and was re-elected three times. 

William Ledyard Stark, born in Mystic, July 29, 1853, 
received a common-school education, and in his youth fol- 
lowed the sea. Fie emigrated to Illinois in 1872, attended a 
law school, and was admitted to the bar. Mr. Stark removed 
to Nebraska in 1878, was judge of the County Court, and by 
a coalition of Populists and Democrats was elected as Repre- 
sentative to the Fifty-fifth Congress. He was twice re-elected. 



The Charter and Constituhon of Connecticui by 
Lynde Harrison 

THE independent, sclf-constitiitcd governments 
of Hartford and New I laven were hrouj^ht 
together under the charter which Charles II 
gave to (jovernor Winthrop and his associates 
in 1662. This charter continued to be the 
fundamental law of Connecticut until iSiS. Unsuccessful 
efforts to revoke it were made a few years later, and, except 
Rhode Island, it was the only one of the colonies that retained 
its English charter in lieu of a constitution after the war ior 
Independence. During that war, the other eleven colonics 
adopted State Constitutions. 

The government consisted of a governor and general 
assembly, elected by those who were qualirted under the char- 
ter and local laws to vote. All of the executive officials except 
the governor, and all the judicial officers, were appointed by 
the general assembly. The general assembly was divided into 
two branches, one a council of twelve members, who were 
elected annually on a general ticket. The lower and con- 
trolling branch of the general assembly consisted of two rep- 
resentatives from each township. 

As new towns were formed, from time to time, by the gen- 
eral assembly, each was entitled to two representatives. Dur- 
ing the latter part of the eighteenth century, however, as 
new towns were formed by the general assembly, there was a 
provision put in each act that the new town was formed upon 
the condition that it should be entitled to only one represen- 
tative in the general assembly. This reduction from two to 
one was partly a measure of economy to save the salars ot the 
extra representative, and partly because the halls at Hartford 
and New Haven, where the assembly met, were small in si/.c 
and had become somewhat crowded because of the increase 



In the number of representatives caused by the organization 
of new towns. 

When the independence of the United States was recog- 
nized, all of the States except Rhode Island and Connecticut 
had adopted constitutions; but the people of Connecticut 
were so well satisfied with their charter that they treated that 
as their fundamental law for thirty years. 

The powers of the general assembly were practically unlim- 
ited; and, after the adoption of the federal Constitution, the 
general assembly of Connecticut continued to enjoy its unlim- 
ited powers of legislation, subject only to the few restrictions 
imposed upon the States by the constitution of the United 

In nearly all the towns of Connecticut at that time, the 
members of the Congregational or standing order of the 
churches formed a majority of the voters. The representa- 
tives were generally members of that church. Special privi- 
leges were enjoyed by the societies of the Congregational 
churches. For many years all persons residing in the limits 
of the Congregational societies were obliged to contribute, 
according to their means, for the support of the Congrega- 
tional churches and societies, without regard to whether they 
were members or attendants upon that church. Gradually 
other denominations, especially the Episcopalians, Metho- 
dists, and Baptists began to increase in numbers. There was 
much agitation and bad feeling growing out of the privileges 
and preferences which the Congregational societies enjoyed. 
Finally a law was passed providing that, under certain cir- 
cumstances, residents within the limits of any Congregational 
society could, by filing a proper statement in the office of the 
society clerk, be released from contributing to the support of 
the Congregational church, if they actually were members of 



other Christian churches and contributed to the support of 
such churches. In the absence of such a statement bein^ tiled, 
all residents were obliged to continue to contribute to the sup- 
port of the Congregational church. In many other respects 
the Congregational churches and societies. Ami the settled 
ministers of that church, enjoyed special privileges. 

For more than twenty years there was nuich agitation on 
the part of the members of the Jeffersonian Republican I'artv, 
who were in a minority, in favor of a constitution for Con- 

Early in the last century a local political party was formed, 
known as the "Toleration" party, and the members of that 
party favored a constitutional convention and the adoption 
of a constitution for Connecticut. Under the leadership of 
Oliver Wolcott of Litchfield, this party finally succeeded in 
securing a call for a convention. The constitutional conven- 
tion met at Hartford in September, 1818, and prepared the 
present constitution of the State, which was submitted to the 
people and adopted. 

Many of the provisions of this constitution continued, as 
the fundamental law of Connecticut, the practices and pro- 
visions of the charter of 1662, and some of the general laws 
passed by the general assembly under that charter. 

Governor Oliver Wolcott was president of the convention 
which concluded its labors on the 15th day of September, 
18 18. The men who framed it considered that they were 
practically adopting, in many respects, the provisions of the 
famous charter. In the preamble to the constitution, thev 
stated that in order to more effectually define, secure and 
perpetuate the liberties, rights, and privileges which they had 
derived from their ancestors, they had, after a careful con- 



sideratlon and revision, ordained and established the follow- 
ing constitution and form of civil government. 

The first article contained a declaration in the nature of a 
bill of rights. In it they declared that when men form a 
social compact, all are equal in rights ; that all political power 
is inherent in the people, and that they have at all times the 
right to alter their form of government in such manner as 
they may deem expedient. 

In order to satisfy those advocates of the constitution who 
desired more freedom of religious profession, they declared, 
that the exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and 
worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all 
persons in the State, subject to the limitation that the right 
thereby declared should not be so construed so as to justify 
practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the State; 
and also that no preference shall be given by law to any 
Christian sect or mode of worship. Other provisions of the 
bil of rights protected the right of trial by jury and the well- 
understood common-law rights of persons accused of crime. 

The eleventh section of the bill of rights contained the 
important provision that the property of no person shall be 
taken for public use without just compensation therefor. The 
second article of the constitution divided the powers of gov- 
ernment into three distinct departments; to wit, the legis- 
lative, executive, and judicial. There were no limitations In 
this constitution upon the power of the general assembly, ex- 
cept to the extent they were limited by the provisions of the 
bill of rights. 

The legislature was divided into two distinct branches — 
the senate and the house of representatives. The senate con- 
sisted of twelve members, to be chosen annually by the elect- 
ors. The senate, therefore, was practically the old council, 



consisting of the same number of members, ami they were 
elected upon a general ticket by all of the electors of the 

The house of representatives continued the then practice 
under the charter. The number of representatives from each 
town was to continue the same as practiced in 1818, only the 
old towns having two representatives, and those recently cre- 
ated only one. In case a new town should thereafter he incor- 
porated, the constitution provided that such new towns should 
be entitled to one representative only; but if such new town 
should be made from one or more towns, the town or towns 
from which the same should be made should be entitled to 
the same number of representatives as are at present allowed, 
unless the number should be reduced by the consent of such 
town or towns. There were very few cases thereafter when 
the parent town lost its double representation. Soon after 
the adoption of this constitution, North Branford was cre- 
ated from Branford with one representative; but the electors 
of the old town consented to forfeit their double representa- 
tion in the general assembly. Some years later, when New 
Britain was created a new town, by seperation from Berlin, 
an arrangement was made in the general assembly by which 
Berlin retained only one representative, and New Britain 
took the two which had belonged to the old town of Berlin. 

Article fourth of the constitution provided for the execu- 
tive department. The governor, lieutenant-governor, treas- 
urer, and secretary were to be elected by the electors, and the 
provisions of the section required that if no person should 
have a majority of the whole number of votes, the general 
assembly should choose the executive officers from the names 
of the two persons having the greatest number of votes. 'I his 
provision of the constitution continued as a part of the fun- 



damental law of the State until 1901. A comptroller was 
annually appointed by the general assembly, but this pro- 
vision of the constitution is changed by article five of the 
amendments which was adopted in November, 1836. Sheriffs 
were appointed for each county by the general assembly for 
terms of three years, and in case of death or resignation, the 
governor had power to fill the v^acancy until the same should 
be filled by the general assembly. 

Article seven of the amendments adopted in 1838 pro- 
vided that sheriffs should thereafter be appointed by the 
electors in each county for terms of three years; and in 1886, 
by article twenty-eight of the amendments, sheriffs were to be 
elected thereafter for terms of four years. 

The fifth article of the constitution provided for the 
judicial power of the State, which was vested in a Supreme 
Court, a Superior Court, and such inferior courts as the gen- 
eral assembly should, from time to time establish. It was 
also provided that there should be appointed by the general 
assembly in each county a sufficient number of justices of the 
peace, with such jurisdiction as the assembly might prescribe. 
All of the judges were to be appointed by the general assem- 
bly. Judges of the Supreme and Superior Court were to hold 
their offices during good behavior, and all other judges and 
justices of the peace were to be appointed annually. No judge 
or justice of the peace, however, should be capable of holding 
his ofl'ice after arriving at the age of seventy years. 

Article sixth of the constitution provided for the qualifica- 
tions of electors, and also provided, to a certain extent, the 
provisions concerning elections. The qualifications of electors 
were prescribed in the second section, and provided that every 
white male citizen of the United States who had gained a set- 
tlement in the State, and had attained the age of twenty-one 



years, and had resided in the town at least six months preced- 
ing, could be admitted an elector if he had a freehold estate 
of a yearly value of seven dollars, or had been enrolled in the 
militia and had performed militar\ duty for the term of one 
year, or had paid a State tax within the \car next preceding, 
and had sustained a good moral character, 'ihe privileges of 
an elector were forfeited by a conviction of bribery, forgery, 
perjury, dueling, fraudulent bankruptcy, theft, or otlu-r 
offence for which an infamous punishment is inflicted. 

Section seven of this article provided that in all elections 
the votes of all electors should be by ballot, and the select- 
men and town clerk were given power to decide on the quali- 
fications of electors, at such times and in such manner as 
might be prescribed by law. 

Article seventh of the constitution contained what was then 
deemed a very important provision; to wit, the subject of 
religion and the right to worship. It was declared to be the 
duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, but that they 
had the right to render that worship in the mode most con- 
sistent with the dictates of their consciences; and that no per- 
son should by law be compelled to join or support any church 
or religious association. It was further provided, however, 
that every person then belonging to such church or association 
should remain a member thereof in the manner thereinafter 
provided, and that every society or denomination of Chris- 
tians should have the right to support their churches and min- 
isters by a tax upon the members of such society. 

The second section of the article provided that ;iMy j-c-r- 
son might separate himself from the society ot Christians to 
which he belonged, by leaving a written notice thereof with 
the clerk of such society, and he should thereupon be no 



longer liable for any future expenses which might be incur- 
red by the society. 

Article eighth of the constitution especially protected the 
charter of Yale College and the fund called the school fund. 

Article ninth provided for impeachment of any or all of 
the executive or judicial officers. 

Article tenth of the constitution provided the form of oath 
of office to be taken by all officers; and that each town should 
annually elect selectmen and other officers of local police. 
The rights and duties of all corporations were not to be 
affected in any way, except to the extent that there were 
restrictions in the constitution. 

Section four of this article provided that no judge of the 
Superior Court or the Supreme Court ! no member of Con- 
gress; no person holding the office of treasurer, secretary, or 
comptroller; and no sheriff or sheriff's deputy should be a 
member of the general assembly. 

The eleventh article provided for amendments to the con- 
stitution, which to be adopted must be first proposed by a 
majority of the house of representatives; then approved by 
two-thirds of each house at the next session of the general 
assembly; and then ratified by a majority of all the electors 
of the State at town meetings warned and held for the pur- 
pose. For nearly fifty years after the adoption of this con- 
stitution, no important amendments were adopted. In 
1828 three amendments were adopted which provided 
for a senate of not less than eighteen nor more than 
twenty-four members, to be chosen by districts. Under these 
amendments, the senate was fixed at twenty-one and con- 
tinued to be that number until 1881, when the number was 
increased to twenty-four, and the number of senators elected 
by districts continued to be twenty-four until and including 


CONNECnCL I' AS A siah: 

1903 ; at which time, under the amendment ;uk)ptetl in nyoi, 
the senate was increased to thirty-five. 

In October 1845, ^^ amendment was adopted crasin^^ the 
property and tax qualification necessary to make citi/ens elec- 

In 1855, Article eleven of the amemlments re()iiiri(i tint 
every person should be able to read any article of the consti- 
tution or any section of the statutes before bein^ made an 
elector; and in 1897, Article twenty-nine of the ameniiments 
provided that the applicant should be able to read them in the 
English language. This last amendment was adopted because 
in some of the towns, naturalized citizens who were unable to 
read in English had been presented with copies ot the con- 
stitution printed in foreign languages. 

Changes were made in the provisions concerning the 
judicial department of the State by amendments adopted in 
1850 and 1856, when it was provided that judges of probate 
and justices of the peace should be appointed by the electors 
from the several towns and districts, and that judges of the 
Supreme Court of Errors and the Superior Court, appointed 
in the year 1855 and thereafter, should hold their oflices tor 
the terms of eight years. 

In 1870, there was much discussion throughout the coun- 
try concerning changes in the constitutions ot the several 
States. Conventions after conventions were held in the 
reconstructed Southern States; and the states of Pennsyl- 
vania, Illinois, and other Northern States, adopted amended 
and improved constitutions, manv of them with special limi- 
tations upon the powers of the legislatures of such States. 
The restrictions in the constitutions of the United States were 
not deemed to be sufficient, and the older constitutions of 
the several States, like that of Connecticut, contained prac- 



tically but few limitations upon the powers of the legislative 

In 1 87 1, a so-called constitutional reform association was 
formed in Connecticut. Leading men of both parties, mostly 
residents of cities, became members of this association. Bills 
were introduced into the general assembly of 1873, providing 
for a constitutional convention, but they failed to receive 
a majority vote. Neither the senate nor the house repre- 
sented at that time the majority of the electors of the State 
in the manner that was deemed satisfactory by the electors 
of the cities. Bridgeport, Meriden, and Derby each had 
only one representative, because they were so-called new 

When the proposed bill for a constitutional convention had 
been defeated, the friends of constitutional reform pre- 
pared several amendments to the constitution, many of which 
failed; but during the next four years eleven amendments 
were adopted, having received a two-thirds vote of each 
branch of the general assembly. Two of these amendments 
referred to representation in the house of representatives. 

Article fifteen, adopted in October, 1874, provided that 
every town that then contained or thereafter should contain 
a population of five thousand should be entitled to send two 
representatives, and every other one should be entitled to its 
present representation in the general assembly. 

Article eighteen, adopted in October 1876, provided that 
if any new town should thereafter be incorporated, such new 
town should not be entitled to representation in the general 
assembly unless it had twenty-five hundred inhabitants, and 
unless the town from which the major portion of its territory 
should be taken had at least twenty-five hundred inhabitants ; 
and that until such town should have at least twenty-five hun- 



dred inhabitants, the new ,„„ „ .h„„i,|, ,,., „,, ,,„,„„^,. , , ^ 
resentat.on, be an election chstric .,nlv ,,,''" 

which it had been taken l„r ,h " '""" 

the house nf „! '"•'"' •'"^ l""-!'""- '" representation in 
the house of representatives. Prior to the adoption „f ,h„ 
amendment, ,n every decade there had been several „ 
of small population incorporated. Sinc::L:: :..;;:: 
amendment, no new town has been incorporated excep h 
Anson,a was taken from Derby and made a new to" b 


In 1875, the time of the election was changed (>,„„ April 
to Novem er and the terms of senators and .State ,ffi 
were extended from one to two years. "^ "fc^ rs 

In .884, the terms of members of the house of represen- 

of he general assembly were changed from annual ,0 bien- 

In 1876, the terms of judges of the courts of common 
picas and distnct courts were changed from one to four vears 
and those of judges of city courts and police courts were made 
two years. At the same time, the terms of the judges of 
probate were changed from one to two years. 

In 1877, two important amendments to the constitution 
were adopted. The first prohibited the general assembly 
and all counties, cities, boroughs, towns and school districts 
from grantmg extra compensation to public officers or agents 
or mcreasmg the compensation of any public officer, to take 
effect during the continuance in office of the person whose 
salary might be thereby increased; or from increasing the 
compensation of any public contractor above the amount 
specified in the contract. The other amendment then adopted 
prohibited any county or city, or other municipality, from 



becoming a subscriber to the capital stock, or becoming a 
purchaser of the bonds, of any railroad corporation, or from 
loaning its credit directly or indirectly in aid of any such 
corporation. This latter amendment was adopted because 
many cities, and some of the small towns in the State, had had 
serious losses from investments or donations for the construc- 
tion of railroads which failed to be profitable In their oper- 

Article twenty-six of the amendments, adopted in October 
1880, changed the method of the appointment of judges of 
the Supreme and Superior Courts, by requiring that they 
should be appointed upon a nomination of the governor 
rather than by the nomination of a political caucus. 

In October, 1901, article thirty of the amendments 
changed the method of electing State officers so that they may 
be elected by a plurality vote, rather than by the general 
assembly, If candidates fail to receive a majority of all the 
votes cast. 

The constitution of Connecticut, with all the amendments 
that have been adopted, especially those adopted during the 
last thirty years, Is In the main satisfactory In Its provisions 
to the electors of the State. A constitutional convention was 
authorized by a vote of the electors In October, 1901, and 
It held Its sessions for several months, beginning In January, 
1902. The constitution which they submitted to the people 
made no substantial changes in the old constitution, except in 
relation to representation In the lower branch of the general 
assembly and the method of amending the constitution itself. 
The electors, however, in both the large and small towns of 
the State, did not favor the proposed new constitution, and It 
was defeated at a special election, held in 1902, by a large 



P 21 1904 


014 111 756 7