Sedgwick, Theodore, 1746-1813
Theodore Sedgwick (May 9, 1746 – January 24, 1813) was an American attorney, politician and jurist, who served in elected state government and as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, a U.S. Representative, and a United States Senator from Massachusetts. He served as the fourth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1802 and served there the rest of his life.
Born in West Hartford in the Connecticut Colony, Sedgwick was the son of Benjaman Sedgwick (1716–1755). His paternal immigrant ancestor Major General Robert Sedgwick arrived in 1636 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as part of the Great Migration.
Sedgwick attended Yale College, where he studied theology and law. He did not graduate, but continued in his study of law (to read law) under the attorney Mark Hopkins of Great Barrington. Hopkins was the grandfather of the Mark Hopkins who later became president of Williams College.
Sedgwick was admitted to the bar in 1766 and commenced practice in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Among the prospective attorneys who learned the law in his office was Stephen Jacob, who later served on the Vermont Supreme Court. He moved to Sheffield. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Continental Army as a major, and took part in the expedition to Canada and the Battle of White Plains in 1776.
A Federalist, Sedgwick began his political career in 1780 as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was elected as representative to the state house, and then as state senator. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780.
In 1789 Sedgwick was elected as Representative to Congress from Massachusetts' first congressional district, and over time also represented Massachusetts' second district, serving until 1796. That year he was elected to the United States Senate, and served until 1799. In 1799 he was re-elected as a Representative, this time from the fourth district, and was elected the fifth Speaker of the House, serving until March 1801.
In 1802, Sedgwick was appointed a justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He held this position until his death.
On January 24, 1813, Sedgwick died in Boston, Massachusetts at the age of 66. He was buried in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His grave is at the center of the "Sedgwick Pie".
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|District of Columbia||DC||US|
|New York City||NY||US|
|Indians of North America--Government relations--1789-1869|
|Justices of the peace|
|Speakers of the House, U.S. Congress|
|Senators, U.S. Congress--Massachusetts|
|Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress--Massachusetts|
|Representatives U.S. Congress--Massachusetts|