Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 13, Appendix, pages 6-7

JOHN COTTON SMITH

BORN at Sharon, Feb. 12th, 1765; educated at Yale-College and graduated there in 1783; read law with John Canfield, Esq., of Sharon; admitted to the bar in Litchfield county, March 1786, and settled in the practice of law in Sharon. In 1793, he was first elected a representative of the town of Sharon to the General Assembly. He was afterwards a representative in both sessions of the General Assembly, in the years 1796, 1797, 1798, and 1799, being chosen at the latter session Clerk of the House. In May 1800, he was chosen Speaker. In Sept. 1800, he was elected a representative of the second session of the sixth Congress, being the first session held at the city of Washington. He was re-elected to the 7th, 8th and 9th Congress; resigned in July 1806, after the first session of the ninth Congress. In October 1806, he was elected a representative to the State Legislature and chosen Speaker; also in 1807 and 1808. In May 1809, he was elected a member of the Council. In October 1809, he was appointed an associate Judge of the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors. In May 1811, and again in 1812, he was chosen Lieutenant Governor, and officiated as Chief Magistrate from the death of Governor Griswold, in October 1812, the residue of the term. In May 1813, he was chosen Governor, and continued in that office four years.

In Sept. 1814, he received from the corporation of Yale-College, the honorary degree of LL.D. In April 1813, he was elected a member of the Historical Society of Massachusetts; and in July 1836, a member of the Royal Society of Northern Antiquarians, in Copenhagen in Denmark. In 1826, he was chosen President of the A, B. C. F. M.; and in 1831, President of the American Bible Society.