William Pitkin

William Pitkin (April 30, 1694 – October 1, 1769) was a colonial governor of the Connecticut Colony.

William Pitkin
31st Deputy Governor Connecticut
In office
Preceded byThomas Fitch IV
Succeeded byJonathan Trumbull, Sr.
30th Governor Connecticut
In office
1766  October 1, 1769
Preceded byThomas Fitch
Succeeded byJonathan Trumbull Sr.
Personal details
Born(1694-04-30)April 30, 1694
Hartford, Connecticut
DiedOctober 1, 1769(1769-10-01) (aged 75)
Hartford, Connecticut
Spouse(s)Mary Woodbridge Pitkin
ChildrenWilliam Pitkin, IV






Pitkin was born to a politically prominent family in Hartford (Now East Hartford) in 1694. He married Mary Woodbridge on May 7, 1724, and had five children, William, Timothy, George, Epraphas, and Ashebel;[1] one of whom, William IV, was elected a member of the US Congress.


Pitkin was first elected to the colonial assembly in 1728, where he served through 1734, the last two years as speaker of the house. He was a member or the Council of Assistants from 1734 to 1754. He was Captain of the Trainband, East Society from 1730 to 1738; Major of the 1st Regiment from 1738 to 1739; and Colonel of the 1st Regiment from 1739 to 1754. He was also active in the colonial militia, raising troops in East Hartford for an expedition to the Spanish West Indies during the War of Jenkins' Ear in 1740.[2]

In 1735 Pitkin was elected county judge, and in 1741 he became a superior court judge, a post he would hold until he was elected governor in 1766. In 1754 he was also elected deputy governor, serving under Thomas Fitch, and as Chief Justice, Connecticut Superior Court, an office tied to the deputy governorship.

Fitch's attempts to implement the unpopular Stamp Act may have led to Pitkin's election ahead of Fitch in the 1766 election. Pitkin was opposed to the Stamp Act and other attempts by the British Parliament to tax the colonies, and he served as governor from 1766 to 1769.[3]

Death and legacy

Pitkin died in East Hartford (then Hartford) on October 1, 1769, while serving as governor, and is interred there at Center Cemetery.[4] He is commemorated by his town's Governor William Pitkin Elementary School.


  1. William Pitkin. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 1900. p. 327. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  2. William Pitkin. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 1900. p. 327. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  3. "William Pitkin". Connecticut State Library. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  4. "William Pitkin". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 18 January 2013.