Samuel Huntington (b. 1732 – d. 1796) An industrious youth, who mastered his studies of law without the advantage of a school, a tutor, or a master, borrowing books and snatching opportunities to read and research between odd jobs, he was one of the greatest self-made men amongst the Founders.
He was also one of the greatest legal minds of the age, all the more remarkable for his disadvantages as a youth.
In 1764, in recognition of his obvious abilities and initiative, he was elected to the General Assembly of Connecticut. The next year he was chosen to serve on the Executive Council. In 1774, he was appointed Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, and, as a delegate to the Continental Congress, and was acknowledged to be a scholar of some respect. He served in Congress for 5 consecutive terms, during the last of which he was elected President.
He served in that office from September 28, 1779 until ill health forced him to resign on July 9, 1781. He returned to his home in Connecticut, and as he recuperated, he accepted more Counciliar and Bench duties. He again took his seat in Congress in 1783, but left it to become Chief Justice of his state’s Superior Court.
He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1785 and Governor in 1786.
According to John Jay, he was “the most precisely trained Christian jurists ever to serve his country.”