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He graduated from Yale College in 1812 and then studied law first in Cambridge for some time and then at the Litchfield Law School in 1816 and 1817, before being admitted to the bar in 1818.
He was an early graduate of Bacon Academy in Colchester, CT. He opened a law office in New Haven in 1820. His first major position was as a Judge of Probate in New Haven, Connecticut from 1825 to 1829. Boardman served as clerk of the state senate in 1820.
His first major position was as a Judge of Probate in New Haven, Connecticut from 1825 to 1829. He was a Connecticut state senator in the fourth district from 1830 to 1832. He was chosen as a Whig to the Twenty-sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William L. Storrs.
Reelected to the Twenty-seventh Congress and served from December 7, 1840, to March 3, 1843. He was chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds during the Twenty-seventh Congress. He was a trustee of Trinity College from 1832 until 1871 and acted as the president of both the Gas Light Company of New Haven and the New Haven Water Company.
William Whiting Boardman died in New Haven, Connecticut of acute bronchitis, on August 27, 1871 (age 76 years) and is interred at Grove Street Cemetery.
A member of the Connecticut state house of representatives from 1836 to 1839, in 1845, and from 1849 to 1851, he served as Speaker of the Connecticut State House of Representatives in 1836, 1839, and 1845. Boardman was a delegate to Whig National Convention from Connecticut in 1839 and was a member of the Balloting Committee, and served as speaker. As a member of the Governor's Foot Guard, Boardman rose to the rank of major.
In 1864, he was member of the Common Council of New Haven City.