Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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Born at Harwinton, Nov. 12th, 1754; educated at Yale College, graduated in 1779; studied law, under the direction of Oliver Ellsworth, Esq. (afterwards Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States) then of Hartford; admitted to the bar, at Bennington, in Vermont, in November 1779;* settled immediately in the practice of the law, at Pawlet; removed, in April 1782, to Manchester; practised in the counties of Bennington and Rutland, and occasionally attended Court in the State of New-York, about five years; during a part of which period, he held the office of State's Attorney for the county of Bennington, and was chosen, by the Freeman of the State, a member of the Council of Censors to revise the Constitution of the State. In January 1786, he removed back to Connecticut, and settled in Glastenbury; practiced there until August, 1794, when he was removed to Hartford; and was appointed State's Attorney for the County of Hartford, in December 1807; appointed Judge of the County Court for the County of Hartford, and Judge of Probate, for the district of Hartford, in May 1809, when he resigned the office of State's Attorney and relinquished practice; held the former office until 1821, and then resigned it, and the latter office, until 1824, when he declined a re-appointment.
He represented the town of Glastenbury in the General Assembly of this state, in May of 1788, May 1791, Oct. 1791, May 1792, May 1793, May 1794; was chosen Assistant, in May 1798; elected a representative from this State in the Congress of the United States, in 1799; resigned in May 1801; was re-chosen Assistant, in May 1802, and annually thereafter, until the adoption of the Constitution of the State, in 1818; chosen Senator under the Constitution, in 1819 and 1820, when he declined a further election.
As one of the two senior Aldermen of the city of Hartford, he became a Judge of the City Court, in 1797, in which situation he continued, with the exception of two years, until September 1815, when he was elected Mayor of the city, and, in that capacity, presiding Judge of the City Court; held that office until November 1824, when he resigned, having become legally disqualified by age. He died at Hartford, August 26th, 1837.
*The members of College having been dispersed, by the war, and deprived of the means of pursuing their academic studies to advantage, Mr. B., with many others, employed a part of his time, during his college course, in preparation for his profession, in consequence of which, he was enabled to sustain an examination for admission to the Bar, so soon after his graduation.