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About Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington was born on July 16, 1731, the fourth of ten children of Nathaniel and Mehetabel (Thurston) Huntington. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Huntingtons were a large and prominent family in this region. Samuel's great-grandfather Simon was among the original settlers of Norwich in 1660, his grandfather Joseph was one of the founders of Windham and his father Nathaniel helped to establish the Scotland area as a separate parish of Windham. Nathaniel was a prosperous and influential farmer who owned a 180-acre farm bordering Merrick's Brook in Scotland Parish.

The house where Samuel Huntington was born and raised was built for his father about 1723. It was two stories in height with one room on each floor. In the present house, the east front room on the ground floor and the chamber above it are Nathaniel Huntington's original house. In form and construction, this house reflected a conservative approach to building that was rooted deep in the seventeenth century. The house was enlarged and remodelled to its present appearance in several phases over the next 120 years.

Nathaniel Huntington sent three sons to Yale where they trained for careers in the ministry, but Samuel was not one of them. On his own, the young man pursued the study of law in the library of Reverend Ebenezer Devotion, and under the instruction of several lawyers. In 1754 Samuel received permission to practice law in the Connecticut colony. In 1760, he moved to the river port town of Norwich where greater opportunities existed for a young and ambitious attorney. It was here that he launched his illustrious political career.

From election as a Representative from Norwich to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1764, Samuel rose to King's Attorney for Connecticut and Judge and Chief Justice of the Connecticut Superior Court. Because of his patriot sympathies he was appointed a member of Governor Trumbull's Council of Safety and a delegate to the Continental Congress, where in 1776 he signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Connecticut in the Continental Congress until 1784, serving as President from 1779 through 1781. Those were some of the most difficult years in the War for Independence. Through quiet diplomacy and encouragement, Samuel was successful in encouraging the states to meet their quotas of men and provisions. It was during his term as President that the Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation and adopted the name "United States." In 1786 Samuel was elected Governor of Connecticut, an office he held until his death in 1796.He presided over the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1788 and the decision to erect a new state house in Hartford, designed by the highly regarded Boston architect Charles Bulfinch.

See also Samuel Huntington -- Biographic Information in our list of additional internet resources.

The Huntington Homestead is owned and operated by the Governor Samuel Huntington Trust, Inc., P.O. Box 231, Scotland, CT 06264. A non-profit corporation formed in 1994, the Trust is authorized by the IRS to receive tax-exempt contributions. This site has been made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati.
This page last modified on 11/11/2018.