Thomas Seymour

Date of Birth

March 17, 1735

Date of Death

July 30, 1829

Letters Authored


Letters Received


Thomas Seymour was born 288 years ago.
194 years ago, Thomas Seymour passed away at the age of 94.


This letter is not only historically significant because it is written by the first mayor of Hartford Connecticut and former Revolutionary War soldier Thomas Seymour, but its contents touch upon multiple momentous political events that were transpiring as the fledgling U. S. struggled to find its way from the eighteenth to nineteenth century. Writing on day one of 1801, Thomas explains in detail to his son, Ledyard, a merchant in Havana, how the U. S. election should play out if the current reports of a tie between Jefferson and Burr are true, but on that date, Thomas could not have guessed the drama that would ensue and cause the election of 1800 to forever carry the moniker the “Revolution of 1800,” or that it would set off a feud that would lead a Vice President to kill a Founding Father in what we know as the Burr-Hamilton duel. With a hint of skepticism, Thomas writes about the Treaty of Mortefontaine which brings an end to the Quasi-War, the undeclared war where U. S. merchant ships such as the ones owned and operated by Thomas and his son are attacked by French privateers. He also expresses his opinions on the Spaniards’ “priest-craft” and on Zephaniah Swift, who was appointed by President Adams as secretary to the French mission negotiating the Treaty. Below you will find biographies of Thomas and his son.

Thomas Seymour biography

The following biography was taken from “A History of the Seymour Family”
by George Dudley Seymour and Donald Lines Jacobus 1939

This impressive work can be found at the following link:

“COL. THOMAS SEYMOUR born at Hartford, Conn., 17 Mar. 1735, died there 30 July 1829 aged 94, for three years the oldest living graduate of Yale; married MARY LEDYARD, baptized at Groton, Conn., 15 June 1735, died at Hartford, 27 Aug. 1807, daughter of John and Deborah (Youngs).
He was graduated from Yale College in 1755, and became one of the most prominent citizens of his time. He represented Hartford in the General Assembly at eighteen sessions between 1774 and 1793, being Speaker five times, and from 1793 to 1803 was annually elected a member of the Connecticut Senate, then called the House of Assistants. He was King's Attorney, 1767, and after the Revolution, State's Attorney. He was commissioned Captain in the militia in 1773, and was promoted to Lieut.-Colonel, Oct. 1774.

During the Revolution (from Apr. 1775), he was head of the Committee of Pay Table, the labors of which fell mostly upon him, and Paymaster. As Lieut.- Colonel of the 1st Regiment of Horse, he marched in command of three regiments of light horse in the summer of 1776, to aid the Continental Army in New York.

He was Chief Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Hartford County, 1798 to 1803; first Mayor of Hartford, from its incorporation as a city, June 1784, until his resignation, at the age of seventy-seven, May 1812.

He was one of the Trustees of the Grammar School. He was a member of the Second, or South, Church, as was also his wife, and in 1767 he was appointed to read the Psalm. He served this church as Deacon from 1794 until his resignation in 1809. He lived on Arch Street on the banks of the Little River; the house was pulled down in 1870, and the site was more recently occupied by apart of George S. Lincoln's iron foundry. General LaFayette stopped at his house when he was in Hartford in 1824. During the War of 1812, he was Commissary General.

“At the bar he is said to have been a smooth, persuasive, and engaging advocate; and in the various social and domestic relations he was as happy as his conduct was kind and exemplary.”
Col. William Ledyard, referred to above,–“the gallant Ledyard” as he is often called,–was the “Hero of Fort Griswold,” which he defended with incomparable gallantry at the time of Benedict Arnold's Invasion of New London in 1781. The British overpowered the little garrison and swarmed into the Fort. When the British officer in command called out, “Who commands this Fort?”, the “gallant Ledyard” came forward, and saying, “I did once but you do now,” offered his sword to the officer, who took it from his hand but to run it through his heart,–an atrocity perhaps unparalleled in the history of civilized warfare– if there is any such thing. –G.D.S.]”
Mary Ledyard: born 1 June 1735; died 27 Aug 1807

Thomas Youngs Seymour: born 19 June 1757; died 16 May 1811
William Seymour: born 28 Dec 1759: died 20 Dec 1843
Edward Seymour: born 14 Feb 1762; died 31 Oct 1822
Henry Seymour: born 25 Dec 1764; died 20 May 1853
Mary Juliana Seymour: born 6 Feb 1769 married Captain John Chenevard 20 Nov 1794; died 8 Jun 1843
Ledyard Seymour: born 2 Aug 1773; died 9 Mar 1848
Samuel Seymour: born 30 Aug 1776; died 9 Oct 1776.