Joseph Trumbull (governor)

Joseph Trumbull (December 7, 1782 – August 4, 1861) was a U.S. lawyer, banker, and politician from Connecticut. He represented Connecticut in the U.S. Congress and served as the 35th Governor of Connecticut from 1849 to 1850.

Joseph Trumbull
Joseph Trumbull Connecticut Governor.jpg
35th Governor of Connecticut
In office
May 2, 1849 – May 4, 1850
LieutenantThomas Backus
Preceded byClark Bissell
Succeeded byThomas H. Seymour
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
Preceded byIsaac Toucey
Succeeded byThomas H. Seymour
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large district
In office
December 1, 1834 – March 3, 1835
Preceded byWilliam W. Ellsworth
Succeeded byElisha Haley
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1782-12-07)December 7, 1782
Lebanon, Connecticut
DiedAugust 4, 1861(1861-08-04) (aged 78)
Hartford, Connecticut
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Harriet Champion
Eliza Storrs
ResidenceLebanon, Connecticut
Alma materYale University

Early lifeEdit

Joseph Trumbull was born in Lebanon, Connecticut on December 7, 1782. He graduated from Yale University in 1801, and studied law with his cousin William Trumbull Williams.[1] In 1802 he moved to the Connecticut Western Reserve (now Trumbull County, Ohio) and was admitted to the bar. Shortly thereafter he moved back to Connecticut, establishing a law practice in Hartford.[2]


In addition to a successful law practice, Trumbull was active in several businesses. From 1828 to 1839 he was president of the Hartford Bank, and he served as president of the Providence, Hartford & Fishkill Railroad.

Originally a national Republican, and later a Whig, Trumbull began his political career with election to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1832.

He was sent to the U.S. Congress in December 1834 to complete the term of William W. Ellsworth who had resigned, and was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843).[3]

Trumbull served as Governor of Connecticut in 1849 and 1850.

In 1849 he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Yale. In 1851 he served again in the Connecticut House of Representatives.

Death and burialEdit

He died Hartford on August 4, 1861 as the result of typhoid fever. He was buried at Old North Cemetery in Hartford.[4] Two days later, his second wife Eliza also died.

Within a year of his death ten of his close relatives died, including his sister Abigail, his wife Eliza, his brother-in-law William L. Storrs, Joseph and Eliza's daughter Eliza, their son-in-law Lucius Robinson and Lucius' father David Robinson.[5]


Joseph Trumbull was born into an influential and politically active family. His grandfather, Jonathan Trumbull, was a colonial Connecticut governor and was the first governor of the State of Connecticut, serving a total of fourteen one year terms. His uncle, Jonathan Trumbull Jr. served as governor for ten terms. Another uncle, John Trumbull, served as a personal aide to George Washington during the Revolutionary War and became a famous painter. Several of his paintings are hanging in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. His aunt Mary Trumbull married William Williams, a political activist and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

His first wife, Harriet Champion, was the daughter of Henry Champion, a general in the Revolutionary War. His second wife was the sister of William L. Storrs, a U.S. Congressman and later the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut.

Joseph Trumbull was born to David Trumbull and his wife née Sarah Backus in Lebanon, Connecticut. He lived in the family home known as Redwood, on the Lebanon green.

David and Sarah had five children. Joseph's siblings were:

  • Sarah Trumbull (1779–1839), who married William Trumbull Williams (1779–1839), her cousin
  • Abigail Trumbull (1781–1861), who married Peter Lanman (1771–1854)
  • John Trumbull (1784–1859), who married Anne Gibbons (1789–1823), Hanna Wallace Tunis (1800–1823) and Eliza Bruen (1793–1857)
  • Jonathan G. W. Trumbull (about 1790-1853), who married Jane Eliza Lathrop (1795–1843)

Harriet died in 1823 and Joseph married Eliza Storrs (1784–1861), sister of William L. Storrs, on December 1 of the following year. With his second wife he was the father of a daughter, Eliza Storrs Trumbull (1826–1862).


  1. ^ Norton, Frederick Calvin (1905). The Governors of Connecticut. Hartford: The Connecticut Magazine Company. trumbull.
  2. ^ Franklin Bowditch Dexter (1911). Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History. V. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  3. ^ Trumbull’s Congressional biography "TRUMBULL, Joseph, (1782 - 1861)" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 4 Oct 2011.
  4. ^ Thomas E. Spencer (1998). Where They're Buried: A directory Containing More Than Twenty Thousand Names of Notable Persons Buried in American Cemeteries. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. p. 406.
  5. ^ "Death of Mrs. Eliza Trumbull Robinson". The Hartford Courant. Hartford. 30 August 1862. p. 2.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Whig nominee for Governor of Connecticut
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Connecticut
Succeeded by