Pierpont Edwards

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Pierpont Edwards
Pierpont Edwards.jpg
Personal details
Born (1750-04-08)April 8, 1750
Northampton, Province of Massachusetts Bay
Died April 5, 1826(1826-04-05) (aged 75)
Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Resting place Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven
Political party Toleration Party
Alma mater Princeton College (1768)

Pierpont Edwards (April 8, 1750 – April 5, 1826) was a delegate to the American Continental Congress, and later a United States federal judge. He has been described as "a brilliant but erratic member of the Connecticut bar, tolerant in religious matters and bitterly hated by stern Calvinists, a man whose personal morality resembled greatly that of Aaron Burr"[citation needed]. Pierpont Edwards was the founder of the Toleration Party in Connecticut.

He was born in Northampton, Massachusetts as the 11th and youngest child of the Rev. Jonathan Edwards. Pierpont Edwards graduated from Princeton College in 1768, at the age of 18, and entered private practice of law in New Haven, Connecticut in 1771. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and thereafter was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1777, a Delegate from Connecticut to the Continental Congress from 1787 to 1788, and a member of the Connecticut Convention held in January 1788, a convention that ratified the Constitution of the United States. After the treason of Benedict Arnold, he became administrator of that officer's estate. Edwards was again in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1784 to 1785 and from 1787 to 1790. He was in private practice of law in New Haven, Connecticut from 1790 to 1806, also serving in that time as the United States Attorney for Connecticut.

On February 21, 1806, Edwards was nominated by President Thomas Jefferson to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut vacated by Richard Law. Edwards was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 24, 1806, and received his commission the same day, serving thereafter for twenty years, until his death.

He died in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and was interred at Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven. Pierpont Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio is named for him.[1] There is a dormitory building at UMass Amherst named after him as well.

He was the uncle of Aaron Burr, Theodore Dwight, and Timothy Dwight IV, and father of Henry W. Edwards and John Stark Edwards. He was also the father-in-law of Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin, who married his daughter Henrietta.


  1. ^ Ashtabula County, Ohio Ashtabula County, 2007. Accessed 2007-05-28.
  • Pierpont Edwards at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

External links

  • Edward's biography on U.S. Congress webage
  • Pierpont Edwards at Find a Grave
Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Law
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
Succeeded by
William Bristol
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