Connecticut State Library with state seal
| RETURN TO:   CSL Research Resources > History > Connecticut State Government Page  

Governors of Connecticut

Resources and Publications

Photo of CT State Capitol

This Connecticut State Library Pathfinder leads to online and print resources about Connecticut's Governors, past and present.

Governors' Web Pages
History of the Office of the Governor

Photo of the mural "The Signing of the Fundamental Orders..."Under the Fundamental Orders of 1639, and the Royal Charter of 1662, colonial Governors had limited authority over the other magistrates and the legislative body. The Constitution of 1818 provided for a distinct "supreme executive power" balanced by the legislature and the judiciary. It was not until the twentieth century however, that the Governor became a full-time chief executive. Wilbur L. Cross was the first full-time Governor. In 1945, Raymond E. Baldwin was the first chief executive to occupy the official residence.

The State Constitution of 1965 transformed the Office of the Governor. Today, the Governor exercises powers common to chief executives: proposing legislation and reporting to the legislature; signing or vetoing bills; appointing or nominating commission and board members and higher judicial and executive branch officers; convening or adjourning the legislature during emergencies; and taking care "that the laws be faithfully executed" through budgetary powers and executive direction of state agencies under the office's jurisdiction.

The laws of Connecticut did not allow governors to serve consecutive terms until 1660. In 1875, voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution increasing the term of the governor to two years. The 1965 State Constitution increased the term from two to four years. See the Roster of Connecticut Governors with With Links to Biographical Sketches, Portraits, and Finding Aids for a complete list of Connecticut Governors.

Archival Records

Please see the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections Materials.

Related Collections:

Published Materials:

The Connecticut Historical Society published several governor's papers within the series Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, [CSL call number F 91 .C7], including George Wyllys (Volume 21), Joseph Talcott (Volumes 4 and 5), Jonathan Law (Volumes 11, 13, and 15), Roger Wolcott (Volume 16), Thomas Fitch (Volumes 17 and 18), William Pitkin (Volumes 19), and John Cotton Smith (Volumes 25 through 31).

Biographical Resources

Please see the Roster of Connecticut Governors with With Links to Biographical Sketches, Portraits, and Finding Aids.

Published Materials at the State Library:

Clipping Files:


Executive Orders are issued at the Governor's discretion and do not require prior notice or hearing. They carry the full force of law.

Official Statements are issued as broad ceremonial statements of general interest.

Press Releases

Proclamations are issued as required by Connecticut General Statutes 10-29a to proclaim certain days and weeks.

State of the State Addresses are also referred to as the Governor's Annual Message to the General Assembly; delivered in compliance with the Constitution of the State of Connecticut (Conn. Constitution art. IV ss 11).

Veto Messages

For additional publications, check the State Library catalog under the author heading "Connecticut. Governor"

Materials may be located within the Subject Files of individual governors in State Archives Record Group 005, Records of the Office of the Governor, 1630-2004

Statutory Authority
Related Topics

Prepared jointly by the Government Information Reference Services Unit and the History and Genealogy Unit, January 2009. Revised January 2011.