Maj Gen Paul Brigham was born 6 January 1746 in Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut to Paul Brigham (1718-1746) and Catherine Turner (1718-1779) and died 13 June 1824 Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont of unspecified causes. He married Lydia Sawyer (1745-1838) 6 October 1768 in Coventry, Tolland County, Connecticut.


Paul Brigham was an American Revolutionary soldier and Democratic-Republican politician. He was the first Lieutenant Governor and the second Governor of the state of Vermont after Vermont was admitted to the Union in 1791. (During the 14 years before that when Vermont was a largely unrecognized state called Vermont Republic, several others served as lieutenant governor and two persons served as governor.)

Brigham, son of Paul Brigham (1718-1746) (who died four months before Paul's birth) and Catherine Turner (1718-1779), was born January 6, 1746 in Coventry CT. He married Lydia Sawyer (1745-1838) on October 3, 1767, and the couple had five children.

Military Career

Brigham served from January 1, 1777 to April 22, 1781, as a Captain in the Connecticut Militia during the American Revolutionary War. He was a Company Commander of Continental troops under the command of General George Washington (1732-1799) and wintered in Valley Forge during the winter of 1777. He was a Captain in the Revolutionary War, serving with the Continental Army at Germantown, Monmouth, Fort Mifflin and other battles.

The journal of his Army experiences was published as "A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham, November 19, 1777-September 4, 1778."

Farm Career

In the spring of 1782 Brigham and his family moved to Norwich VT, where he was a farmer and a land speculator.

He served as High Sheriff of Windsor County, Vermont, for five years and as Major General of the Vermont Militia. He was chief judge of the county court for five years, and was a presidential elector for Vermont in 1792. He was on the Governor's Council from 1792 to 1796.

Political Career

Brigham was annually elected lieutenant governor of Vermont for 16 consecutive years, from 1796 to 1813, only the brief Federalist resurgence removed Brigham and other Republicans from office. After conclusion to the War of 1812, which gave life to the moribund Federalist Party all across New England for their opposition, Brigham was again lieutenant governor, this time from 1815 until 1820. Upon the resignation and death of Governor Thomas Chittenden, he served for a short time as the second Governor of Vermont from August 25 to October 16, 1797, when the new Governor, Isaac Tichenor, was sworn in. Brigham then resumed his duties as Lieutenant Governor. He retired and returned to his home in Norwich in 1820.

Death & Legacy

Brigham died in Norwich on June 16, 1824, is interred at Fairview Cemetery, in his home town of Norwich, Vermont. The journal of his army experiences was published as "A Revolutionary Diary of Captain Paul Brigham, November 19, 1777–September 4, 1778."[6]


The obituary from the New-Hampshire Patriot (NH), July 12, 1824, p. 3, reads:

"In Norwich, Vt. on the 15th ult. PAUL BRIGHAM, in the 79th year of his age. Extensively known, eulogy would add nothing to the right which the virtuous actions of a good man justly claim for the deceased. For four years he served as a Captain in the war for Independence; five years was the High Sheriff of Windsor county; a Major General of Militia; five years Chief Judge of the County Court; and 22 of 24 succeeding years Lieutenant Governor of this State. In all these offices he sustained the reputation of discharging their several duties to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens; and received their almost unanimous suffrages for the latter, until admonished by the infirmities of age, that retirement was necessary, he declined any further public service. Vt. Journal."


Offspring of Maj Gen Paul Brigham and Lydia Sawyer (1745-1838)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Brigham (1769-1844)
Mary Brigham (1770-1773)
Don Josephus Brigham (1774-1856)
Paul Worcester Brigham (1776-1865)
Lydia Brigham (1778-1871) 5 October 1778 Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont December 1871 Joseph Lathrop (1773-1837)



  • Joseph Lathrop 1773 Immigrant Ancestors
  • "Paul Brigham". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  • "Paul Brigham". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  • "Paul Brigham Papers". The University of Vermont Libraries. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  • "Paul Brigham". Find A Grave. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  • "Paul Brigham". National Governors Association. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  • "Paul Brigham". Find A Grave. Retrieved 25 October 2012.


Footnotes (including sources)