Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 15, page(s) 25


Born at Durham, Ct., March 24th, 1761; educated at Yale College, where he graduated in 1779. While a student, when the British forces took and pillaged the town of New-Haven, he was wounded and taken a prisoner. From 1781 to 1783 he was a tutor in Yale College. He studied law with Charles Chauncey, Esq., afterwards a judge of the superior court; was admitted to the bar in 1783; and immediately commenced practice in New-Haven, where he has ever since resided. In May, 1795, he was a representative from that town in the General Assembly, and continued such, by semi-annual elections, until December, 1799, when, by the suffrages of the freemen of the State, he became a representative in the Congress of the United States, filling the vacancy made by the resignation of John Allen, Esq. He was also reelected a member of the succeeding Congress. He served until February, 1801, when he appointed, by President Adams, collector of the port of New-Haven, and resigned his seat in Congress. From this office he was removed, by President Jefferson, in July, 1801, on the ground of a difference in politics. In October following, he was returned, by the freemen of New-Haven, a representative from that town in the General Assembly of this state; and was reelected for both the sessions of 1802. In May and October, 1798, in October, 1799, in October, 1801, and in May, 1802, he was one of the clerks, and in May, 1799, and October, 1802, he was speaker, of the house of representatives. In May, 1803, he was elected a member of the council (or upper branch of the legislature) which situation he held, by successive annual elections, until May, 1818, when he and his associates in office were succeeded by those who were politically opposed to them. He was judge of the court of probate, for the probate district in which he resided, from June, 1802, to June, 1819; and judge of the county court, for the county of New-Haven, from June, 1805, to June, 1818. He was also mayor of the city of New-Haven from Sept. 1st, 1803, until the 4th day of June, 1822, when he resigned the office. In September, 1801, he was appointed Professor of Law in Yale-College; which office he held until 1810, and then resigned it, as interfering too much with other public duties. He has since received from the corporation of that institution the honorary degree of LL.D.