JONATHAN TRUMBULL JR., son of colonial Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (1769-1784) and uncle to Connecticut Governor Joseph Trumbull (1849-1850), was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, on March 26, 1740. He graduated from Harvard University in 1759, and gave the valedictory address when he received his master’s degree in 1762. In 1775 Trumbull was appointed to serve as postmaster general for the New York Continental Army department, and in 1788 he was appointed the first comptroller of the U.S. Treasury. From June 1781 to August 1783, Trumbull served under General George Washington as his military secretary, becoming his close confidante and friend. Trumbull served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1774 to 1775, 1779 to 1780, and again in 1788 when he served as speaker. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1795, serving as speaker from 1791 to 1793, was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1795 to 1796, and was Connecticut’s lieutenant governor from 1796 to 1797. On December 1, 1797, Governor Oliver Wolcott died in office and Trumbull, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the governor’s office. Trumbull served as governor for the next 12 years. His administration supported moderate principles, and advocated ultra-conservative Federalist policies. Trumbull also served as chief judge of the Supreme Court of Errors during his tenure, and denied an appeal by the U.S. Secretary of War for the service of the Connecticut militia in instituting the Embargo Act. Governor Jonathan Trumbull Jr. died in office on August 7, 1809, and he is buried at the Old Cemetery, Lebanon, 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.