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SMITH, John Cotton

1765–1845

Biography

SMITH, John Cotton, a Representative from Connecticut; born in Sharon, Conn., on February 12, 1765; completed preparatory studies; was graduated from Yale College in 1783; studied law; was admitted to the bar and began practice in Sharon, Conn., in 1787; member of the State house of representatives in 1793, 1796, and 1800, and served as speaker in 1800; elected as a Federalist to the Sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Jonathan Brace; reelected to the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Congresses and served from November 17, 1800, until his resignation in August 1806; chairman, Committee on Claims (Seventh through Ninth Congresses); judge of the supreme court of Connecticut in 1809; Lieutenant Governor in 1810; Governor 1813-1818; unsuccessful candidate for Governor on the Federalist ticket in 1817; president of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; president of the Connecticut Bible Society; retired to his estate near Sharon, Litchfield County, Conn., where he died December 7, 1845; interment in Hillside Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Connecticut Historical Society

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1760-1860. 4 feet (2,500 items). Legal and official correspondence, diaries kept as a student, legal papers, and business records.

Connecticut State Library

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1772-1814. 18 items. Concern militia, legal papers, and accounts. Index in repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1805-1864. 6 letters.

Litchfield Historical Society

Litchfield, CT
Papers: 1794-1827. 25 cards. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence. Finding aid in repository.
Papers: In the John Wright collection, 1715-1892, 2 boxes. Correspondents include John Cotton Smith.

Yale University Library

New Haven, CT
Papers: 1768-1924. 2 1/2 feet (1 box, 1 folio). Chiefly 1781-1865. Correspondence, diary, papers, and miscellaneous material. Unpublished finding aid in repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Smith, John Cotton. Correspondence and Miscellanies of the Hon. John Cotton Smith, LL.D., formerly Governor of Connecticut, with an Eulogy pronounced before the Connecticut Historical Society at New Haven, May 27th, 1846, by the Rev. William W. Andrews. New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1847.

------. John Cotton Smith papers; papers of John Cotton Smith while Lieutenant Governor, Acting Governor, and Governor of the State of Connecticut. Hartford, Conn.: Historical Society, 1948-1967.

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