Saturday, February 23, 2013

William Pitkin IV

  • Name: William Pitkin IV
  • Born: About 1664 East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Died: April 5, 1723, East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Related through: Dan's grandfather Lynn Crookston

William Pitkin was educated by his father in his profession of the law. He was judge of the county and probate courts and court of the assistants from 1702 to 1711. Upon the establishment of the Superior Court in 1711, he was appointed judge of that court, and in 1713 he was made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He represented Hartford in the General Assembly in 1696. In 1697 he was elected one of the Council of the Colony, and was annually reelected for 26 years till his death (see Trumbull's History of Conn., ''. 425, 469, 477).

He was one of the commissioners to receive the Earl of Belmont on his arrival in New York. He was Commissioner of War in 1706 and 1707 (Col. Rec., p. 535). He was one of the committee to prepare the manuscript laws of the colony in 1709; also was on the committee for the revision of said laws (Col. Rec., Vol. V. p. 479). In 1718 he was appointed on of a committee of three, by the General Assembly to build the first State House in the Colony at Hartford (Col. Rec., Vol. VI, pp. 157 and 197).

He was also one of a committee to procure a map of the course of the Connecticut River from the "mouth of it to the north bounds of this Colony, to be inserted in the plan of the Colony now ordered to be drawn." He was a military officer in the company of his brother Roger.

He is said to have been no less able in repartee than in argument.  Being once opposed in a case by Mr. Eels, a brother lawyer, who in summing up the case, thinking he had the better of Mr. Pitkin, said "The Court will perceive that the pipkin is cracked." His instant reply was, "Not so much cracked, your honor, but he will find it will do to stew eels in yet."

Although so much engaged in his professional business, he had previous to 1706 built two mills at Pitkin Falls in connection with which he carried on a large business in clothings and woolens. These mills were bequeathed to his sons, William and Joseph, who succeeded him in the business. His son William went on to become the Governor of Connecticut.

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