Elijah Paine

Elijah Paine
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
In office
March 3, 1801  April 1, 1842
Appointed by John Adams
Preceded by Samuel Hitchcock
Succeeded by Samuel Prentiss
United States Senator
from Vermont
In office
March 4, 1795  September 1, 1801
Preceded by Stephen R. Bradley
Succeeded by Stephen R. Bradley
Personal details
Born (1757-01-21)January 21, 1757
Brooklyn, Connecticut
Died April 28, 1842(1842-04-28) (aged 85)
Williamstown, Vermont
Political party Federalist
Spouse(s) Sarah Porter Paine
Children Martin Paine, Elijah Paine, George Paine, Charles Paine
Profession lawyer, politician, judge

Elijah Paine (January 21, 1757  April 28, 1842) was a United States Senator from Vermont, serving as a Federalist from 1795 to 1801, and thereafter a long-serving United States federal judge.


Born in Brooklyn, Connecticut, Paine attended the public schools. He served in Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, from 1776 to 1777, and then received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1781 before reading law to be admitted to the bar in 1784. He married Sarah Porter of Plymouth, New Hampshire. They had four sons; Martin Paine, an eminent physician; Elijah Paine Jr, a judge of the New York Supreme Court; George Paine, a prominent lawyer; and Charles Paine, who was Governor of Vermont from 1841 to 1843.[1]


Paine began practicing law from 1784 to 1787 in Windsor, Vermont while cultivating a farm. He also began a settlement at Williamstown, Orange County, Vermont, and established a cloth factory and a saw and grist mill in Northfield, Vermont on Robinson Brook running down Mill Hill.

Paine served as secretary of the State constitutional convention in 1786, and as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives from 1787 to 1790, also serving as a Vermont probate judge for the Randolph District from 1788 to 1791. He was a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1791 until he resigned in 1795, having been elected to the United States Senate in 1794 and taking office on March 4, 1795.[2] He was reelected as a Federalist in 1800, but only served until September 1, 1801, when he resigned after having taken a federal judicial position.[3]

On February 24, 1801, Paine was nominated by President John Adams to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Vermont vacated by Samuel Hitchcock. Paine was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 25, 1801, and received his commission on March 4, 1801. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1812,[4] and a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1813.[5] From 1815 to 1842, he was also the postmaster of Williamstown, Vermont. Paine's judicial service was terminated on April 1, 1842, due to resignation for health reasons.[6]


Paine died within a month of resigning, on April 28, 1842, in Williamstown, Vermont.[7] He is interred at West Hill Cemetery in Williamstown, Orange County, Vermont.[8]


  1. Elijah Paine. Encyclopedia, Vermont Biography. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  2. "Elijah Paine". Biographical Directory of Federal Judges. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  3. "Elijah Paine". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  4. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter P" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  5. American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  6. "Elijah Paine". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  7. "Elijah Paine". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  8. "Elijah Paine". Find A Grave. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elijah Paine.

United States Senate
Preceded by
Stephen R. Bradley
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Vermont
Succeeded by
Stephen R. Bradley
Legal offices
Preceded by
Samuel Hitchcock
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont
Succeeded by
Samuel Prentiss

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

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