Graduated from Yale, 1758, A.M., 1763.
1 son, Jesse. Admitted to Connecticut bar, 1761. A leader Revolutionary movement in Connecticut. Member Connecticut General Assembly, 1772.
Secretary Connecticut Committee of Correspondence, 1773, delegate to 1st, 2d Continental congresses, 1774-1776. Secret agent to France to seek aid and support for American Revolution (1st American to represent united colonies abroad), 1776. Secured 8 ship loads of military supplies, commissioned several European military officers, including Lafayette, De Kalb, Von Steuben, Pulaski.
Came before Congress to give statement of transactions in Europe, 1780, Congress unsatisfied. Went to France to obtain audits of accounts, vouchers. While in Europe lost faith in American cause, as shown in letters to American urging reconciliation with England.
Publications of these letters resulted in accusation as traitor, embezzler. Vindicated by Congress, 1842. 1st person to use invisible ink in the United States diplomatic correspondence.
Member Connecticut General Assembly, 1772.
Married Mehitabel Webb, 1763. Married second, Elizabeth Saltonstall, 1767.