GIDEON TOMLINSON was born on December 31, 1780, in Stratford, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University in 1802, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1807. Tomlinson entered politics in 1817, as clerk of Connecticut’s House of Representatives, and was reelected again in 1818, when he served as speaker. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on March 4, 1819, and served until March 3, 1827. Tomlinson won the 1826 gubernatorial nomination and was elected Connecticut’s eighth governor. He was reelected to the governor’s office in 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830. During his tenure, prison reform was accomplished in 1827 with the opening of a more civilized penitentiary. Tomlinson’s administration advocated the need for educational improvements and for fiscal support to the public school system. On March 2, 1831, Governor Tomlinson resigned from office to accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate. He served in the senate until 1837, and then became the first president of the Housatonic Railroad Company. Governor Gideon Tomlinson died on October 8, 1854, and is buried at the Old Congregational Cemetery, Stratford, Connecticut.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.