Gideon Tomlinson Edit Profile
Born in Stratford, Tomlinson completed preparatory studies and graduated from Yale College in 1802.
He went to Virginia for a year to be a private tutor and to study law. When he returned to Fairfield he continued his studies and was admitted to the bar in 1807. He received a Master of Arts, in 1808 from Yale.
Mrs. Tomlinson died in 1842. In 1846, Gideon married Mrs. Lydia Ann Wells Wright, widow of William Wright of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Tomlinson entered politics in 1817, as clerk of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and was reelected again in 1818, when he served as speaker. He was Delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1818. Elected to the Sixteenth and to the three succeeding United States Congresses, Tomlinson served as a Representative from March 4, 1819 to March 3, 1827, and was chairman of the Committee on Commerce (Nineteenth Congress).
Winning the 1826 gubernatorial nomination, Tomlinson was elected Connecticut's eighth governor. He was reelected to the governor's office in 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1830. His administration advocated educational improvements and fiscal support to the public school system.
On March 2, 1831, Tomlinson resigned from office to accept an appointment to the U.S. Senate. Tomlinson served in the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1831, to March 3, 1837. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Pensions (Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses).
In 1837, he left the Senate and became the first President of the newly chartered Housatonic Railroad Company. He was a trustee of Trinity College, then retired to private life. Tomlinson died in Fairfield on October 8, 1854.
He is interred at the Old Congregational Cemetery, Stratford, Fairfield County, Connecticut. The Tomlinson Bridge (built 1796-98) of Fair Haven (part of New Haven) Connecticut is named after him. The Tomlinson Middle School in Fairfield is named in his honor.
Member and speaker, 1818. Member United States Ho. Member United States Senate from Conn.