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War of 1812 Governor John Cotton Smith Connecticut Signed Appointment for Nathaniel Terry as "Brigadier General Commandant"
JOHN COTTON SMITH (1765-1845). 23rd Governor of Connecticut during the 7th Lieutenant Governor, War of 1812 Period, and a member of the United States House of Representatives.
October 18, 1813-Dated War of 1812 Period, Partially-Printed Vellum Document Signed, "John Cotton Smith" as Governor of Connecticut (1812-1817), Military Appointment for Nathaniel Terry, Esq. as "Brigadier General Commandant" of the Connecticut State Militia, New Haven, Choice Extremely Fine. This superbly presented, handsome Vellum Document has finely engraved text and vividly is Signed "JOHN COTTON SMITH" at bottom in bold brown ink measuring nearly 5" long, and Countersigned by "Thomas Day" as Secretary. A truly beautiful fresh appearing and highly attractive Document with Governor Cotton's name in large Calligraphy Script at the top, with a distinctive title: "To NATHANIEL TERRY, Esq." and an attached original Embossed Connecticut State Wax Seal which is upon a special suspended White Silk Ribbon on the left. The Vellum is clean and fresh, remaining crisp with four light vertical transmittal folds. Overall, quite extraordinary in its quality for any such period Document, specially of this historic importance. A treasure for anyone collecting War of 1812 or Connecticut State historical documents and signatures.
Nathaniel Terry Jr. (January 30, 1768 " June 14, 1844) was a United States Representative from Connecticut. He was born in Enfield, Connecticut. He attended the common schools, Dartmouth College, and was graduated from Yale College in 1786. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1790 and commenced practice in Enfield. He moved to Hartford, Connecticut in 1796.

Terry served as Commander of the Governor's Foot Guard of Hartford 1802-1813; and as a Judge of the Hartford County Court from 1807 to 1809, when he resigned. He was a Member of the Connecticut State House of Representatives 1804-1815. He was elected as a Federalist to the Fifteenth Congress (March 4, 1817 - March 3, 1819). He was a Member of the Connecticut State Constitutional Convention in 1818.

He served as President of the Hartford Fire Insurance Company 1810-1835 and President of the Hartford Bank 1819-1828. He was the Mayor of Hartford 1824-1831 and also served as a General in the State Militia.

He died in New Haven, Connecticut in 1844 and was buried in Old North (Spring Grove) Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.

He was also the father of Alfred Terry, who served as a Union General during the American Civil War and Gdeneral in the Indian Wars who was to support George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.


Governor John Cotton Smith (February 12, 1765 " December 7, 1845) was born in Sharon, Connecticut, the son of Cotton Mather Smith, a Puritan minister who moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut. Smith completed preparatory studies and graduated from Yale College in 1783. After graduation, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He began the practice of law in Sharon in 1787. Smith married Margaret Evertson and they had one son together.

He entered politics as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1793. He served in the State House in 1793, 1796 and 1800. In 1800 he served as speaker of that body.

Smith was elected as a Federalist candidate to the Sixth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Jonathan Brace. He was reelected to the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Congresses, serving from November 17, 1800 until his resignation in August 1806. Smith was chairman of the Committee on Claims in the Seventh through Ninth Congresses.

After serving in Congress, Smith served as an associate judge of the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors from 1809 to 1811. He served as the 7th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1811 to 1812. He was the 22nd Governor of Connecticut from October 25, 1812 to May 8, 1817. Smith was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor on the Federalist ticket in 1817. He was the last Federalist Governor of Connecticut.

Smith retired from politics but remained involved in academic and religious organizations. He was a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Connecticut Historical Society, and was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1813. He served as president of the American Bible Society from 1831 until his death in 1845. Smith died on December 7, 1845 in Sharon. He is interred in Hillside Cemetery.

Smith's home in Sharon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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