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Portrait Gallery of former Connecticut Chief Justices
Gurdon Saltonstall, Haverhill, MA, 1711-1712Jonathan Law, Milford, 1725-1741Jonathan Trumbull, Lebanon, 1766-1769Sameul Huntington, Scotland, 1784-1785Richard Law, Milford, 1785-1789Eliphalet Dyer, Windham, 1789-1793Jesse Root, Coventry, 1798-1807Stephen Mix Mitchell, Wethersfield, 1807-1814Tapping Reeve, Southold, Long Island, NY, 1814-1815
Zephaniah Swift, Wareham, MA, 1815-1819David Daggett, Attleborough, MA, 1833-1834Thomas Scott Williams, Wethersfield, 1834-1847Samuel Church, Salisbury, 1847-1854Henry Matson Waite, Lyme, 1854-1857William Lucius Storrs, Middletown, 1857-1861Joel Hinman, Southbury, 1861-1870Thomas Belden Butler, Wethersfield, 1870-1873Origen Storrs Seymour, Litchfield, 1873-1874
John Duane Park, Preston, 1874-1889Charles B. Andrews, Sunderland, MA, 1889-1901David Torrance, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1901-1907Simeone Baldwin, New Haven, 1907-1910Frederic B. Hall, Saratoga Springs, NY, 1910-1913Samuel O. Prentice, North Stonington, 1913-1920George W. Wheeler, Woodville, MS, 1920-1930William M. Maltbie, Granby, 1930-1950
Allyn L. Brown, Norwich, 1950-1953Ernest A. Inglis, Middletown, 1953-1959Patrick B. O'Sullivan, Derby, 1957-1957Kenneth Wynne, Unionville, 1957-1958
Edward J. Daly, Hartford, 1958-1959Raymond E. Baldwin, Rye, NY, 1959-1963John Hamilton King, Stafford, 1963-1970Howard Wells Alcorn, Suffield, 1970-1971
Charles S. House, Manchester, 1971-1978John P. Cotter, West Hartford, 1978-1981Joseph W. Bogdanski, New Britain, 1981-1981John A. Speziale, Winsted, 1981-1984
Ellen A. Peters, Berlin, Germany, 1984-1996Robert J. Callahan, Norwalk, 1996-1999Francis M. McDonald, Waterbury, 1999-2001Wm. J. Sullivan, 2001-2006

Click on thumbnail above to view portrait and biography or choose from dropdown menu below.
This is a work-in-progress, not all biographies are complete.
 

 

Over the course of history there have been 50 men and one woman who have held the position equivalent to the Chief Justice of Connecticut’s highest court.

Between 1711 and 1818, the highest ranked judge in the state was called Chief Judge. These men were members of the General Assembly that, until 1784, functioned as the highest court in Connecticut. Their duties were then transferred to the upper house, which, when sitting as a court was designated as the Supreme Court of Errors.

The presiding officer or Chief Judge of this court was at first Deputy Governor of the State and later the Governor.

In 1806, the political character of the Supreme Court of Errors was changed by statute, thus creating a separation of powers. In that year, the membership of the Court was changed to the nine members of the Superior Court when they were sitting together. In 1807, Stephen Mix Mitchell became the first Chief Judge of this newly created judicial body.

This customary title was retained for some years afterward, but in the Constitution of 1818 the term Chief Justice was designated and used thereafter. Consequently, judges prior to 1818 that presided over the State’s highest court were considered Chief Justices.

It has been a tradition that the State provide funds for portraits of Chief Justices after they have reached retirement age or stepped down from the office. In 1994, Public Act 94-169 officially authorized appropriations "…to procure portraits of retiring Chief Justices to hang in the Supreme Court and State Library building."

The portraits of this on-line gallery are those that are in existence today. As each Chief Justice retires, his or her portrait is painted and placed upon the walls of the Supreme Court Courtroom at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

First Chief Justice Gurdon Saltonstall >>

 

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