Who Was Jonathan Trumbull?


Who was Jonathan Trumbull? Information on Jonathan Trumbull biography, life story, works and political career.

Jonathan TrumbullJonathan Trumbull;(1710-1785), American businessman and Connecticut political leader, who was the only colonial governor to remain in office throughout the Revolutionary War. He was born in Lebanon, Conn., on Oct. 12, 1710. He was graduated from Harvard College in 1727 and briefly taught school and studied theology before joining his father, Joseph, in business in 1730.

The firm of Trumbull and Son prospered as gatherers of Connecticut agricultural products and distributors of European manufactured goods on a wholesale level. When his father retired from trade in the mid-1730’s, Jonathan joined with well-known Connecticut merchants in successive partnerships for transoceanic trade with Britain. During the French and Indian War (1756-1763) he organized a syndicate to supply provisions for the Connecticut troops stationed around Lake George, N. Y. None of these partnerships was successful, and in 1769 Trumbull retired from business, virtually bankrupt.

In contrast to his rather inglorious business career, Trumbull’s record of public service was perhaps without equal in Connecticut history. First elected to the lower house of the Connecticut General Assembly in 1733, he occupied various legislative and judicial posts, including that of chief justice of the superior court of the colony, and was deputy governor from 1767 to 1769 and governor from 1769 to 1784.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Trumbull was the only colonial governor to espouse the revolutionary cause. His experience in trade, particularly in gathering foodstuffs and in military supply, was put to good use. His shop in Lebanon became the “Connecticut War Office.” From there the Connecticut Council of Safety directed home defense, and Trumbull supervised the collection of military supplies for the northern Continental Army, which were sent from Connecticut as far away as Valley Forge, Pa.

Trumbull was regarded as a model governor. He retired in 1784 and died in Lebanon on August 17, 1785.

Jonathan Trumbull;(1740-1809) , American political leader. He was born in Lebanon, Conn., on March 26, 1740, the son of the colonial statesman Jonathan Trumbull. He graduated from Harvard College in 1759, served in the Connecticut legislature, was the first comptroller of the U.S. treasury (1778-1779), and secretary to Gen. George Washington (1780-1783).

Trumbull served as U. S. representative (1789-1795), speaker of the House (1791-1794), and U. S. senator (1795-1796). He was a staunch Federalist and strongly opposed the national policies of Thomas Jefferson’s administration. Trumbull was deputy governor of Connecticut in 1796 and 1797 and governor from 1797 until his death in Lebanon, on Aug. 7, 1809.

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