James Hillhouse (October 20, 1754 – December 29, 1832) was an American lawyer, real estate developer, and politician from New Haven, Connecticut. He represented the state in both chambers of the US Congress.
|President pro tempore of the United States Senate|
February 28, 1801 – March 4, 1801
|Preceded by||John E. Howard|
|Succeeded by||Abraham Baldwin|
|United States Senator|
December 6, 1796 – June 10, 1810
|Preceded by||Oliver Ellsworth|
|Succeeded by||Samuel W. Dana|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Connecticut's at-large district
March 4, 1791 – December 5, 1796
|Preceded by||Benjamin Huntington|
|Succeeded by||James Davenport|
|Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives|
|Born||October 20, 1754|
Montville, Connecticut Colony, British America
|Died||December 29, 1832 (aged 78)|
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Resting place||Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Profession||lawyer, realtor, politician|
Hillhouse was born in Montville in the Connecticut Colony, the son of William Hillhouse and Sarah (Griswold) Hillhouse. At the age of seven, he was adopted by his childless uncle and aunt, James Abraham and Mary Lucas Hillhouse. He attended the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated from Yale College in 1773. At Yale he was a member of the Linonian Society. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1775 and practiced law in New Haven.
During the Revolutionary War, Hillhouse served as captain of the Second Company of the Governor's Foot Guard. During the successful British invasion of New Haven on July 5, 1779, he commanded troops alongside Aaron Burr, with Yale student volunteers.
Hillhouse was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1780 to 1785. He was a member of the Connecticut council of Assistants from 1789 to 1790 and was elected as a US representative from Connecticut at large for the Second, Third, and Fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1791 to his resignation, in the fall of 1796.
Elected as a US senator on May 12, 1796, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Oliver Ellsworth, Hillhouse was re-elected in 1797, 1803, and 1809, and he served from December 1796 to June 10, 1810, when he resigned. During the Sixth Congress he was President pro tempore of the Senate.
In 1803, Hillhouse and several other New England politicians proposed secession of New England from the union because of the growing influence of Jeffersonian Democrats, especially after the Louisiana Purchase, which would further diminish Northern and Federalist influence.
Hillhouse made major contributions to the beautification of New Haven. He was active in the drive to plant the elm trees, which gave New Haven the nickname of "Elm City." Hillhouse Avenue and James Hillhouse High School, in New Haven, are named after him.
- "James Hillhouse". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- "James Hillhouse". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- "James Hillhouse". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
- American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
- "James Hillhouse" (PDF). Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "James Hillhouse". Find A Grave. Retrieved October 16, 2020.