Paul Brigham

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Paul Brigham
Paul Brigham Vermont Governor.jpg
2nd Governor of Vermont
In office
August 25, 1797 – October 16, 1797
Lieutenant Himself
Preceded by Thomas Chittenden
Succeeded by Isaac Tichenor
2nd and 4th Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
October 14, 1815 – October 23, 1820
Governor Jonas Galusha
Preceded by William Chamberlain
Succeeded by William Cahoon
In office
October 13, 1796 – October 23, 1813
Governor Thomas Chittenden (1796-1797)
Himself (1797)
Isaac Tichenor (1797-1807)
Israel Smith (1807-1808)
Isaac Tichenor (1808-1809)
Jonas Galusha (1809-1813)
Preceded by Jonathan Hunt
Succeeded by William Chamberlain
Personal details
Born (1746-01-06)January 6, 1746
Coventry, Connecticut
Died June 15, 1824(1824-06-15) (aged 78)
Norwich, Vermont
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Lydia Sawyer
Profession Soldier / Judge / Politician

Paul Brigham (January 6, 1746 – June 15, 1824) was an American Revolutionary soldier and Democratic-Republican politician and the first Lieutenant Governor and the second Governor of the state of Vermont.


Brigham, son of Paul and Catherine (Turner) Brigham, was born January 6, 1746 in Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut.[1] He married Lydia Sawyer (of Hebron, Connecticut) on October 3, 1767, and the couple had five children.


Brigham served from January 1, 1777 to April 22, 1781, as a Captain in the Connecticut Militia during the American Revolutionary War. He was a Company Commander of Continental troops under the command of General George Washington[2] and wintered in Valley Forge during the winter of 1777.

In the spring of 1782 Brigham and his family moved to Norwich, Vermont, where he was a farmer and a land speculator.[3] He served as High Sheriff of Windsor County, Vermont, for five years and as Major General of the Vermont Militia. He was chief judge of the county court for five years, and was a presidential elector for Vermont in 1792. He was on the Governor's Council from 1792 to 1796.[4]

Brigham was annually elected lieutenant governor of Vermont for 16 consecutive years, from 1796 to 1813, only the brief Federalist resurgence removed Brigham and other Republicans from office. After conclusion to the War of 1812, which gave life to the moribund Federalist Party all across New England for their opposition, Brigham was again lieutenant governor, this time from 1815 until 1820. Upon the resignation and death of Governor Thomas Chittenden, he served for a short time as the second Governor of Vermont from August 25 to October 16, 1797, when the new Governor, Isaac Tichenor, was sworn in. Brigham then resumed his duties as Lieutenant Governor. He retired and returned to his home in Norwich in 1820.[5]

Death and legacy[edit]

Brigham died in Norwich on June 16, 1824, is interred at Fairview Cemetery, in his home town of Norwich, Vermont. The journal of his army experiences was published as "A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham, November 19, 1777-September 4, 1778."[6]

The obituary from the New-Hampshire Patriot (NH), July 12, 1824, p. 3, reads:

"In Norwich, Vt. on the 15th ult. PAUL BRIGHAM, in the 79th year of his age. Extensively known, eulogy would add nothing to the right which the virtuous actions of a good man justly claim for the deceased. For four years he served as a Captain in the war for Independence; five years was the High Sheriff of Windsor county; a Major General of Militia; five years Chief Judge of the County Court; and 22 of 24 succeeding years Lieutenant Governor of this State. In all these offices he sustained the reputation of discharging their several duties to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens; and received their almost unanimous suffrages for the latter, until admonished by the infirmities of age, that retirement was necessary, he declined any further public service. Vt. Journal."


  1. ^ "Paul Brigham". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Paul Brigham". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Paul Brigham Papers". The University of Vermont Libraries. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Paul Brigham". Find A Grave. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Paul Brigham". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Paul Brigham". Find A Grave. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jonathan Hunt
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
William Chamberlin
Preceded by
William Chamberlin
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
William Cahoon