Jonathan Trumbull Jr.
2nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
October 24, 1791 – March 3, 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
June 14, 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)
SpouseEunice Backus
Alma materHarvard College (AB, AM)
OccupationPaymaster, comptroller

Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (March 26, 1740 – August 7, 1809) was an American politician and military officer who served as the governor of Connecticut, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and lieutenant governor of Connecticut. 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 life

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 office

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 War

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 Congress

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 Connecticut

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] He also served as a member of the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors from 1796 to 1807, serving as chief justice while he was governor.[9]

Personal life

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:

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1804.[11]

Trumbull died August 7, 1809, aged 69 years and 134 days. He is interred at Trumbull Cemetery, Lebanon, Connecticut.[12] He was one of the original members of the board of trustees of Bacon Academy.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull Jr". National Governors Association. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". Connecticut (CT) Sons of the American Revolution. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved January 11, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  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. ^ Day, Thomas (1809). Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Errors, of the State of Connecticut, in the years 1805, 1806, and 1807. Vol. 2. p. xii-xiii.
  10. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "Jonathan Trumbull, Jr". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  13. ^ The Connecticut quarterly. Connecticut Quarterly Co. 1896. pp. 125–.

Party political offices Preceded byOliver Wolcott Federalist nominee for Governor of Connecticut 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808, 1809 Succeeded byJohn Treadwell 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 byRoger Griswold Political offices Preceded byFrederick Muhlenberg Speaker of the United States House of Representatives October 24, 1791 – March 4, 1793 Succeeded byFrederick Muhlenberg Preceded byOliver Wolcott Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut 1796 – December 1797 Succeeded byJohn Treadwell Governor of Connecticut December 1797 – August 7, 1809 U.S. Senate Preceded byStephen Mix Mitchell U.S. senator (Class 3) from Connecticut March 4, 1795 – June 10, 1796 Served alongside: Oliver Ellsworth, James Hillhouse Succeeded byUriah Tracy