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Thomas Tucker Whittlesey

December 8, 1798
August 20, 1868
Home Town:
Danbury, CT
Later Residences:
Danbury, CT
Madison, WI
Caroline Holley Whittlesey (November 9, 1826)
Biographical Notes:
Thomas Tucker Whittlesey was the son of prominent Danbury lawyer Elisha Whittlesey and his wife Mary (Tucker) Whittlesey. Thomas' father was a member of the state convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.

Whittlesey graduated from Yale in 1817 before attending the Litchfield Law School. He was admitted to the bar and began to practice law in Danbury, CT. Whittlesey served as a probate judge before being elected to the U.S. Congress. He served for two terms before losing in a re-election bid in 1838.

At this time, Whittlesey moved to Pheasant Branch, WI near Madison. He established a legal practice and also engaged in agricultural pursuits building several mills. From 1853 to 1854, he was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate.
Additional Notes:
Thomas Tucker Whittlesey was the first cousin of Elisha Whittlesey, a prominent U.S. Congressman from Ohio who was also the first Comptroller of the United States Treasury.

Whittlesey's former classmate James Simon Taylor committed suicide in 1820, reportedly after being rejected romantically by Litchfield Female Academy student Lucretia Swift, and the death was discussed in letters:

George Younglove Cutler noted in his "Journal" for 18 October 1820 that he had received a letter from Thomas Tucker Whittlesey (Yale 1817, LLS 1818) which stated, "Taylor has been refused by Miss Swift of Windham." On 29 December 1820, Cutler noted, "Little Taylor, you remember him — he is mentioned in orator Ogilvies book as a rare specimen has killed himself for the love of Miss Swift." ...

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Graduated from Yale College with honors in 1817.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Business; Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
Litchfield, CT in September 1820
Training with Other Lawyers:
He studied law briefly in a private firm in Albany, NY before attending the Litchfield Law School.
Political Party:
Jacksonian; Democrat
Federal Posts:
U.S. Representative (CT) 1836-1839
State Posts:
State Senator (WI) 1853-1854
Local Posts:
Judge of Probate (Danbury, CT)

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, 1849.
Secondary Sources:
Obituary Records of Graduates of Yale College, Descenced During the Academical Year Ending in July 1869. Yale College, 1869

Whittelsey, Charles Barney. Genealogy of the Whittelsey-Whittlesey Family. Hartford, CT: Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company, 1898.

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