Jonathan Trumbull Jr.

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Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (March 26, 1740 – August 7, 1809) was an American politician who served as the 20th governor of Connecticut and the second Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Jonathan Trumbull Jr.
2nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
October 24, 1791 – March 4, 1793
Preceded byFrederick Muhlenberg
Succeeded byFrederick Muhlenberg
20th Governor of Connecticut
In office
December 1, 1797 – August 7, 1809
LieutenantJohn Treadwell
Preceded byOliver Wolcott
Succeeded byJohn Treadwell
United States Senator
from Connecticut
In office
March 4, 1795 – June 10, 1796
Preceded byStephen Mix Mitchell
Succeeded byUriah Tracy
24th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
In office
January 5, 1796 – December 1, 1797
GovernorOliver Wolcott
Preceded byOliver Wolcott
Succeeded byJohn Treadwell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1795
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byRoger Griswold
Personal details
Born(1740-03-26)March 26, 1740
Lebanon, Connecticut Colony, British America
DiedAugust 7, 1809(1809-08-07) (aged 69)
Lebanon, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyFederalist (1795–1809)
Pro-Administration (before 1795)
Spouse(s)Eunice Backus
Alma materHarvard College (AB, AM)
OccupationPaymaster, comptroller

He is often confused with his younger brother, John Trumbull, a famous artist during the revolutionary war and early years of the United States.

Early lifeEdit

Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, the second son of Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (the eventual Governor of Connecticut) and his wife Faith Robinson, daughter of Rev. John Robinson. Trumbull graduated from Harvard College in 1759, and gave the valedictory address when he received his master's degree in 1762.[1] His brother John Trumbull was a noted painter of the Revolution.


State and local officeEdit

Carrying on the family's tradition of public service, Trumbull began with town and colony offices: lister, grand juror, surveyor of highways, justice of the peace, and selectman. In 1774 he was elected deputy. the first of seven terms representing Lebanon.[2] He served in the state legislature three times; from 1774 to 1775, from 1779 to 1780, and in 1788, serving as Speaker of the House in 1788.

Revolutionary WarEdit

Trumbull served in the Continental Army as paymaster general of the Northern Department from July 28, 1775 to July 29, 1778. In February 1781, he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel.[3] He was included in the general orders of June 8, 1781: "Jonathan Trumbull. Esqr., Junior, is appointed Secretary to the Commander in Chief and to be respected accordingly." He served for the duration of the war as aide-de-camp to General George Washington until December 28, 1783.[4] After the war, he became an original member of the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati.[5]

United States CongressEdit

Elected to the First, Second, and Third Congresses, Trumbull served in the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1789 to March 3, 1795.[6] He was the Speaker of the House in the Second Congress, both preceded and succeeded by Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg. He did not seek re-election for a fourth term and instead ran for the United States Senate.

When Trumbull was elected to the United States Senate, he served from March 4, 1795 to June 10, 1796.[7]

Governor of ConnecticutEdit

On June 10, 1796, he resigned from the United States Senate to become Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut. When the Governor died in December 1797, he became governor and was re-elected to eleven consecutive terms until his death in Lebanon, Connecticut.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Family portrait of Jonathan, Eunice and Faith painted by his brother, John Trumbull, 1777

Trumbull married Eunice Backus. Together, they had one son and four daughters:

  • Jonathan Trumbull (b. December 24, 1767, d. January 14, 1768), who died young
  • Faith Trumbull (b. February 1, 1769), who married Daniel Wadsworth (1771–1848), an artist and architect
  • Mary Trumbull (b. December 27, 1777)
  • Harriet Trumbull Silliman (b. September 2, 1783, d. January 1850), who married Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864), a scientist.
  • Maria Trumbull (b. February 14, 1785).[9]

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1804.[10]

Trumbull died August 7, 1809, aged 69 years and 134 days. He is interred at Trumbull Cemetery, Lebanon, Connecticut.[11] He was one of the original members of the board of trustees of Bacon Academy.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull Jr". National Governors Association. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". Connecticut (CT) Sons of the American Revolution. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  3. ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". National Park Service.
  4. ^ Lefkowitz, Arthur S.(2003). George Washington's Indispensable Men: The 32 Aides-de-Camp Who Helped Win the Revolution, Stackpole Books. Page 233.
  5. ^ "Officers Represented in the Society of the Cincinnati". The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  6. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull Jr". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  8. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull Jr". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  12. ^ The Connecticut quarterly. Connecticut Quarterly Co. 1896. pp. 125–.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Federalist nominee for Governor of Connecticut
1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1795
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
October 24, 1791 – March 4, 1793
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
1796 – December 1797
Succeeded by
Governor of Connecticut
December 1797 – August 7, 1809
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 3) from Connecticut
March 4, 1795 – June 10, 1796
Served alongside: Oliver Ellsworth, James Hillhouse
Succeeded by