James Hillhouse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
James Hillhouse
James Hillhouse of New Haven Connecticut.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
February 28, 1801 – March 4, 1801
Preceded by John E. Howard
Succeeded by Abraham Baldwin
United States Senator
from Connecticut
In office
December 6, 1796 – June 10, 1810
Preceded by Oliver Ellsworth
Succeeded by Samuel W. Dana
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1791 – December 5, 1796
Preceded by Benjamin Huntington
Succeeded by James Davenport
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born October 20, 1754
Montville, Connecticut
Died December 29, 1832(1832-12-29) (aged 78)
New Haven, Connecticut
Resting place Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut
Political party Federalist
Alma mater Yale University
Profession lawyer



James Hillhouse (October 20, 1754 – December 29, 1832) was an American lawyer, real estate developer, and politician from New Haven, Connecticut. He represented the state in both chambers of the US Congress.

Early life

Hillhouse was born in Montville, Connecticut, the son of William Hillhouse and Sarah (Griswold) Hillhouse.[1] At the age of seven, he was adopted by his childless uncle and aunt, James Abraham and Mary Lucas Hillhouse. He attended the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut and graduated from Yale College in 1773. At Yale he was a member of the Linonian Society. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1775 and practiced law in New Haven.

Commission for James Hillhouse in the Governor's Foot Guards, June, 1779

Revolutionary War

During the Revolutionary War, Hillhouse served as captain of the Second Company of the Governor's Foot Guard. During the successful British invasion of New Haven on July 5, 1779, he commanded troops alongside Aaron Burr, with Yale student volunteers.[2]


Hillhouse was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1780 to 1785. He was a member of the Connecticut council of Assistants from 1789 to 1790 and was elected as a US representative from Connecticut at large for the Second, Third, and Fourth Congresses and served from March 4, 1791 to his resignation, in the fall of 1796.[2]

Elected as a US senator on May 12, 1796, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Oliver Ellsworth, Hillhouse was re-elected in 1797, 1803, and 1809, and he served from December 1796 to June 10, 1810, when he resigned. During the Sixth Congress he was President pro tempore of the Senate.[3]

In 1803, Hillhouse and several other New England politicians proposed secession of New England from the union because of the growing influence of Jeffersonian Democrats, especially after the Louisiana Purchase, which would further diminish Northern and Federalist influence.

Hillhouse was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1813.[4]

In 1814, he was a Connecticut delegate to the Hartford Convention, and he was treasurer of Yale College from 1782 to 1832.[5]

He died in 1832 in New Haven and is interred at the city's Grove Street Cemetery.[6]


Hillhouse made major contributions to the beautification of New Haven.[5] He was active in the drive to plant the elm trees, which gave New Haven the nickname of "Elm City." Hillhouse Avenue and James Hillhouse High School, in New Haven, are named after him.

He was a nephew of Matthew Griswold and an uncle of Thomas Hillhouse.


  1. ^ "James Hillhouse". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b "James Hillhouse". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  3. ^ "James Hillhouse". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  4. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  5. ^ a b "James Hillhouse" (PDF). Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  6. ^ "James Hillhouse". Find A Grave. Retrieved 29 December 2012.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Benjamin Huntington
U.S. Representative from Connecticut
(at large)

March 4, 1791 – December 5, 1796
Succeeded by
James Davenport
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Oliver Ellsworth
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
Served alongside: Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., Uriah Tracy, Chauncey Goodrich
Succeeded by
Samuel W. Dana
Political offices
Preceded by
John E. Howard
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
February 28, 1801 – March 4, 1801
Succeeded by
Abraham Baldwin
Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=James_Hillhouse&oldid=898005425"
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hillhouse
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "James Hillhouse"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA