James Hillhouse
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James Hillhouse
James Hillhouse
James Hillhouse of New Haven Connecticut.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate

February 28, 1801 - March 4, 1801
John E. Howard
Abraham Baldwin
United States Senator
from Connecticut

December 6, 1796 - June 10, 1810
Oliver Ellsworth
Samuel W. Dana
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's at-large district

March 4, 1791 - December 5, 1796
Benjamin Huntington
James Davenport
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives

Personal details
BornOctober 20, 1754
Montville, Connecticut
DiedDecember 29, 1832(1832-12-29) (aged 78)
New Haven, Connecticut
Resting placeGrove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut
Political partyFederalist
Alma materYale University



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

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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