William S. Holabird

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William S. Holabird (c. 1794 – May 20, 1855) was an American lawyer, politician and the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut.

Early life[edit]

William S. Holabird was born circa 1794 reportedly at Canaan, Connecticut, the son of William D. Holabird and his wife, the former Dorcas Bird. He married Adeline/Adaline Catlin, daughter of Abijah and Orinda (Williams) Catlin.


In 1831 and 1833 he was unsuccessful as a Democratic candidate for Congress and was appointed by Andrew Jackson in 1834 as U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. As such he presented the government's argument in the Amistad case.

Holabird was later elected the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut for two consecutive terms, serving from May 4, 1842 to May 1, 1844, while Chauncey Fitch Cleveland was governor. Cleveland was succeeded as governor in 1844 by Roger S. Baldwin from the Whig party. Baldwin was known for his defence in the Amistad Case, where Holabird had been the government's attorney.

William S. Holabird died at Winchester, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on May 20, 1855.

William S. Holabird in Popular Culture[edit]

A simplified version of the events regarding the Amistad case was made into a movie called Amistad in 1997 in which Pete Postlethwaite portrayed William S. Holabird.

See also[edit]