Lt Col Jonathan Trumbull Jr 1740-1809Leave a Comment
by John Roberts Bockstoce
Birth: March 26, 1740 at Lebanon, CT. He was the second son of Governor Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785) and Faith (Robinson) Trumbull (1718-1780), daughter of the Reverend John Robinson of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
Death: August 7, 1809 at Lebanon, CT. He is buried in the East Cemetery.
Marriage: He married Eunice Backus, daughter of Ebenezer and Eunice (Dyer) Backus of Norwich, CT, on March 26, 1767.
Children: They had five children, but three daughters were the only ones to reach adulthood: Faith (b. 1769) married Daniel Wadsworth, the founder of the Wadsworth Atheneum; Harriet (b. 1783) married Benjamin Silliman, the first professor of chemistry at Yale and a founder of the Yale Medical School; and Maria (b. 1785) married Henry Hudson, son of the publisher of the Hartford Courant.
Education: He was educated at Nathan Tisdale’s School in Lebanon, CT, and Harvard College, class of 1759, where he gave the salutatory and valedictory addresses.
Military: He was Paymaster-General of the Northern Department of the Continental Army (July 1775 to July 1778), briefly served as Comptroller of the Treasury (1778-1779), and, later, as Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to General George Washington (June 1781 to August 1783). He was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s forces at Yorktown and served until after news of the Treaty of Paris had reached North America.
Cincinnati: He was an original member of the society and served as the first secretary of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut, from 1783 to 1793.
Occupation: Merchant, farmer, politician.
Discussion: Jonathan Trumbull, Junior was a Selectman in Lebanon, CT (1770-1775), Justice of the Peace in Windham County, CT (1775 to 1795), member of the lower house of the Connecticut State Legislature (1774-1775, 1779-1780, and 1788), and Speaker of the Connecticut General Assembly (1788). He was elected to the First, Second, and Third United States’ Congresses (March 1789 to March 1795) and was the second Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He then served as United States Senator (March 1795 to June 1796), Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (1796 to 1797), and Governor of the state for eleven consecutive terms, from 1797 to his death in 1809.