Governors of Connecticut

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Charles Hobby Pond

From: The Governers of Connecticut
By: Frederick Calvin Norton
Published: 1905


BORN in Milford on April 26, 1781, Charles Hobby Pond was the son of Captain and Martha (Miles) Pond. As a boy he was of large physical proportion, possessing a mind of a good order, and gave every promise of a useful career. He decided to attend Yale College and was prepared by his pastor, Reverend Pinneo, and Rev. Azel Backus, afterwards president of Hamilton College. Entering college at the age of seventeen, Pond was distinguished among his fellows for his unusual muscular strength, and an inexhaustible vein of wit. He was a good scholar and while in college became the associate of several young men who later attained fame both of a local and a national character.

Graduating in 1802, Pond decided to become a lawyer, and under the guidance of the Hon. Roger Minot Sherman, of Fairfield, he prosecuted his legal studies for two years. He was afterwards admitted to the bar in Fairfield County, although he never practiced. This was probably due to a sudden failure of health, and a long sea voyage was decided upon as being beneficial.

A lengthy trip suited him so well that he took another, and the result was he followed the sea for several years, shipping first as a supercargo, then as captain. After having regained his former health he took up his residence on land again, and in 1819 was appointed a judge of the court of New Haven County. In 1820 he was elected sheriff of the same county and held the office for fifteen years. During the years of 1836 and 1837, Pond was an associate judge of the New Haven County Court. Becoming prominently identified with the political leaders of the day, he was elected lieutenant governor of Connecticut in 1850. The following year Pond was re-elected to the same office, and as Governor Seymour resigned during the year to become minister to Russia, he succeeded the latter as governor of Connecticut.

He held the office nearly a year and after his retirement never entered public life again. The remainder of his life was spent in retirement, and he died April 28, i86i, the month that witnessed the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

A prominent man who knew Governor Pond intimately said:
“ He was a man more deeply versed in the political history of the country than any other within the circle of his acquaintance. His talents were of the very first order, and his pen—whenever he wielded it—was marked by the reflection of a powerful mind, and the purest patriotism. No man was wiser in council—none more devoted to the true and lasting interests of his country. His intellectual strength, his genial and generous heart, his true and steady friendship, and ready wit, made him the favorite of every circle, whether old or young.”

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