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Benjamin Lester Rayner

September 7, 1802
November 29, 1862
Home Town:
Hartford, CT
Later Residences:
Hartford, CT
New York, NY
Nancy Merrill Rayner (May 10, 1835)
Biographical Notes:
Benjamin Rayner was the son of Rev. Menzies and Rebecca (Bontecou) Rayner. After attending the Law School, Rayner returned to Hartford, CT where he combined the practice of law with literary pursuits. He edited a local newspaper and published the "eulogistic" Life of Thomas Jefferson which was published by subscription in Hartford, CT. After his marriage to Nancy Merrill in 1835, Rayner moved to New York City, NY. He later became deaf and gave up his legal practice. Rayner died in New York City.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Attended Washington Collge (now Trinity College) in Hartford, CT.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Editor

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1848), 20.
Secondary Sources:
Morris, John E. The Bontecou Genealogy. Hartford, CT: Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1885.
Contributions to the History of Christ Church, Hartford. Hartford, CT: 1895.

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