Benedict Arnold – Stop 9

    Governor Samuel and Martha Huntington Mansion

    circa 1769, 34 East Town Street

    Samuel Huntington was born in Scotland, CT in 1731 and studied law with Reverend Ebenezer Devotion. Huntington moved to Norwich to practice law and married Devotion’s daughter, Martha, in 1761. The couple adopted their niece and nephew after Huntington’s brother and sister-in-law died. Huntington was described as “dignified…and reserved in popular intercourse,” but “in the domestic setting…pleasing and communicative.” Huntington served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

    In 1779, he was appointed the first President of the Continental Congress, and later served as a State Chief Justice. Huntington became the First President of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation in 1781. The Congress of the Confederation, or the Confederation Congress, formally referred to as the United States in Congress Assembled, was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. This government operated under the Articles of Confederation, which served as the nation’s first constitution until the Constitution was ratified in 1789. George Washington was inaugurated as the First President of the United States under the Constitution on April 30, 1789.

    Huntington died in office as Connecticut’s 18th Governor in 1796, and he is buried in the Old Burying Grounds in Norwich alongside his wife Martha. In approximately 1772, Sam Hun’ton or Huntington was elected as a Black Governor of Norwich. According to historian Frances Caulkins, he held the position longer than his enslaver held the gubernatorial seat. The home is currently the United Community and Family Services administration building. The home is in the twin-chimney, center -hall style, although several twentieth century modifications are apparent.

    Samuel Huntington’s birthplace in Scotland, CT is open to the public as a house museum. Please visit their website here for more information.

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