Samuel Hitchcock

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Samuel Hitchcock
Samuel Hitchcock (1755-1813).jpg
Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Second Circuit
In office
February 20, 1801 – July 1, 1802
Appointed byJohn Adams
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
In office
September 3, 1793 – February 20, 1801
Appointed byGeorge Washington
Preceded byNathaniel Chipman
Succeeded byElijah Paine
Attorney General of Vermont
In office
October 1790 – September 3, 1793
GovernorThomas Chittenden
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byDaniel Buck
Personal details
Born(1755-03-23)March 23, 1755
Brimfield, Massachusetts, British America
DiedNovember 30, 1813(1813-11-30) (aged 58)
Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyFederalist
EducationHarvard University (BA)

Samuel Hitchcock (March 23, 1755 – November 30, 1813) was an attorney and judge in Vermont. He was the son-in-law of Ethan Allen, and the father of Ethan Allen Hitchcock.

Early life[edit]

Samuel Hitchcock, the son of Noah and Mary Hitchcock, was born in Brimfield, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College in 1777. He studied law with Jedediah Foster in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, attained admission to the bar, and practiced in Worcester, Massachusetts.


He moved to Manchester, Vermont in 1785 and Burlington, Vermont in 1786, where he continued to practice law. He was state's attorney for Chittenden County, Vermont from 1787 to 1790, when he became the first Attorney General of Vermont, serving from 1790 to 1793. He served simultaneously, from 1789 to 1793, as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. Hitchcock also served as a Justice of the Peace and heard cases in Burlington.[1]

In 1791, Hitchcock was a delegate to the Vermont convention which ratified the United States Constitution and enabled Vermont to join the Union as the 14th state.[2]

Hitchcock drafted the charter for the University of Vermont, was an original member of its board of trustees, and was the longtime secretary of the board.[3]

In 1792, he was one of Vermont's presidential electors, casting his ballots for Washington for President and Adams for Vice President.[4]

He received a recess appointment from President George Washington on September 3, 1793, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Vermont vacated by Nathaniel Chipman. Hitchcock was formally nominated on December 27, 1793, confirmed by the United States Senate on December 30, 1793, and received his commission on January 28, 1794.

On February 18, 1801, Hitchcock was nominated by President John Adams to a seat on the newly created United States circuit court for the Second Circuit, created by 2 Stat. 89, also known as the Midnight Judges Act. Hitchcock was confirmed to this seat by the Senate on February 20, 1801, and received his commission the same day. However, his service terminated on July 1, 1802, with the repeal of the act that created the circuit courts. Hitchcock thereafter returned to private practice in Burlington, Vermont and Vergennes, Vermont until his death.

Death and burial[edit]

Hitchcock died in Burlington on November 30, 1815.[a][5][6] He was buried in Burlington's Elmwood Cemetery.[7]


Samuel Hitchcock was married to Lucy Caroline Allen (1768–1842), the daughter of Ethan Allen. Their children who lived to adulthood included Lorraine Allen Hitchcock, Henry Hitchcock, Mary Anne Hitchcock, Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Caroline P. Hitchcock, and Samuel Hitchcock.[8]


  1. ^ William S. Rann, History of Chittenden County, Vermont, 1886, page 414
  2. ^ John Davison Lawson, American State Trials, Volume 6, 1916, page 689
  3. ^ Yale University, Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University, 1910, page 135
  4. ^ Vermont Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory, 1902, page 198
  5. ^ "Death notice, Samuel Hitchcock". Boston Commercial Gazette. Boston, MA. December 16, 1813. p. 2 – via At Burlington, Ver on the 30th ult., Hon. Samuel Hitchcock, age 59.
  6. ^ James T. White & Company, The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 11, 1901, pages 195-196
  7. ^ Corley, Edward B. (November 2, 1921). "Death and Burial Record for Samuel Hitchcock in the Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908 (Copy of original)". Provo, UT: LLC. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Dwight Whitney Marsh, The Genealogy of the Hitchcock Family, 1894, pages 250-251


  1. ^ Many sources indicate November 20. November 30 is verified by the Burlington death and burial record for Samuel Hitchcock, as well as contemporary newspaper death notices, none of which appeared before December 1, 1813.


Legal offices
New office Attorney General of Vermont
Succeeded by
Daniel Buck
Preceded by
Nathaniel Chipman
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
Succeeded by
Elijah Paine
New seat Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the Second Circuit
Seat abolished