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Tomlinson family papers

Call Number: MS 1172

Scope and Contents

The Tomlinson Family Papers, which focus on several Tomlinsons and related families from the Stratford, Connecticut area, are housed in one box (18 folders).

Folders 1-6 contain correspondence. The two chief correspondents are Gideon Tomlinson (1780-1854) and Albert DeForest. Tomlinson was a congressman 1819-1827, governor of Connecticut 1827-1831, and senator 1831-1837. The papers contain six letters by and to him, the most important being letters from Tomlinson to Nathan Smith (1770-1835) 1826 Apr 4 discussing a political appointment and from Ingoldsby W. Crawford (1786-1867) 1835 Feb 25 refuting charges of irregularity in the building of the New London customs house. The second major correspondent, Albert DeForest, served in the 14th Connecticut Volunteers during the Civil War from 1862-1865. DeForest was not well educated but served his regiment well, beginning as a private and ending a lieutenant. He writes to his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Philo Birdseye of Stratford. Included in the correspondence are four other letters, written by Diodate Silliman in 1782, Augustus Tomlinson and his son Mark Tomlinson in 1863, and by Charles A. Hatch in 1864.

The remaining papers primarily concern three generations of Tomlinsons. The chief figures are Gideon Tomlinson (-1765) of Stratford, grandfather of the Connecticut governor; Jabez Huntington Tomlinson (1760-1849), father of the governor; Captain Joseph Tomlinson (-1774), brother of Gideon; his son Curtiss Tomlinson; and Stephen Tomlinson (1791-), son of Curtiss. Several documents and a court case relate to fishing rights for Curtiss Tomlinson. The papers also include unidentified diaries for 1793, 1800, and 1805 by a Stratford region farmer.


  • 1758-1865


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, financial records, and legal documents of the Tomlinson and related families of Connecticut. Prominent in the correspondence are six letters (1826-1853) by Gideon Tomlinson, governor of Connecticut (1826-1831) and a series of Civil War letters (1862-1865) by Albert DeForest of the 14th Connecticut Volunteers. Also a farming diary (1793-1805) kept probably by Joel Beard of Stratford, and the daybook (1805-1812) of Curtiss Tomlinson, a farmer of Huntington. Additional account books include one kept (1843-1848) by Gideon Tomlinson for the account of Mrs. Clarina Brewster, and another kept by Stephen Tomlinson, a dyer of Stratford, from 1814 to 1845.

Biographical / Historical

Gideon Tomlinson was born in Fairfield County, Connecticut on December 31, 1780. He was the son of Jabez H. and Rebecca (Lewis) Tomlinson. Jabez Huntington Tomlinson was a student at Yale and, in 1779, was captured by a party of British raiders and taken to New York. On his release he entered the army. Governor Gideon Tomlinson graduated from Yale College in 1802, then studied law, finally making his home in Fairfield. He was a member of congress between 1819-1827, and then became the eighth governor of Connecticut (1827-31). He resigned the governorship to enter the United States Senate. He was married to Sarah Bradley, and had two sons. He died October 8, 1854.

Guide to the Tomlinson Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Bruce P. Stark
May 1982
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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