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Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835



Benjamin Tallmadge was born in Brookhaven, New York on February 25, 1784. His parents were Susannah and Reverend Benjamin Tallmadge. His father gave him a great education and later sent him to Yale in 1769. While at Yale, young Tallmadge met Nathan Hale, a man who later became a spy in the American Revolution.

In 1773, Tallmadge completed his studies and became a teacher in Wethersfield, Connecticut. As the American Revolution began, Tallmadge thought seriously of joining the war. Captain Chester of Wethersfield approached Tallmadge in 1776 for a Lieutenant position in one of the six-month Connecticut regiments.

In December 1776, Tallmadge was appointed as Captain in Colonel Elisha Sheldon's 2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons. A year later, he was ranked Major of the regiment. In 1778, Tallmadge was appointed Director of Military Intelligence by George Washington.

As Director of Military Intelligence, Tallmadge organized the Culper Spy Ring that included Abraham Woodhull, Caleb Brewster, Anna Strong, and Austin Roe. As a spy, Tallmadge operated under the pseudonym John Bolton and created methods to encode messages. By providing a key to translate messages and using invisible ink from George Washington, letters and messages stayed hidden from unsuspecting eyes.

Following the war, Tallmadge moved to Litchfield with his wife, Mary Floyd, and their seven children. He became involved in many business and political ventures. He served as President of the Phoenix Bank. He was also involved with the Ohio Company, purchasing and selling land in the west. Their household included several enslaved and indentured servants.

During President Washington's first term, Tallmadge was given the title of Postmaster for Litchfield. In 1800, he was elected to Congress as a Federalist and remained until 1817.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Adenaw family papers


Identifier: 00-1997-33-0

Deeds relating to the former Tallmadge Store property on North Street later owned in the twentieth century by the Adenaws. Also two wills.

Dates: translation missing: en.enumerations.date_label.created: 1915-1946; Other: Date acquired: 06/11/1997

Henry W. De Saussure letter to Benjamin Tallmadge


Identifier: 00-2024-01-0

Henry W. DeSaussure writes a letter of introduction to Benjamin Tallmadge presenting Mr. Calhoun (presumably John C. Calhoun) who was traveling to Litchfield to study law with Tapping Reeve. DeSaussure, also a federalist, expressed concern for the health of Connecticut Senator and Litchfield resident Uriah Tracy.

Dates: 1805-05-13

"Litchfield Hill" from Harper's New Monthly Magazine


Identifier: 00-2013-112-0
Scope and Contents

"Litchfield Hill," is an article from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 2013-112-0, about the town of Litchfield during the Revolutionary War and some of its most famous residents from the later 18th and early 19th centuries: Tapping Reeve, Sarah Pierce, Oliver Wolcott, James Gould, and Benjamin Tallmadge.

Dates: translation missing: en.enumerations.date_label.created: no date

Lyman Beecher Stowe speech


Identifier: 00-2010-226-0
Scope and Contents

Speech delivered by Lyman Beecher Stowe at the celebration of Litchfield's bicenennial. He remarked on his ancestors and their connection to Litchfield and his appreciation of some of the memorable citizens of Litchfield, including Sarah Pierce, Charles Loring Brace, Oliver Wolcott, Benjamin Tallmadge, Tapping Reeve, James Gould, and John Pierpont.

Dates: translation missing: en.enumerations.date_label.created: 1920 Aug 2

Benjamin Tallmadge collection


Identifier: 1933-19-0

The Benjamin Tallmadge Collection documents the personal life and professional career of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge through his correspondence as well as his legal, financial, and personal papers.  An army officer, chief intelligence officer, and organizer of the Culper spy ring during the Revolutionary War, Tallmadge became a businessman and U.S. Representative from Connecticut in Congress after the war.

Dates: translation missing: en.enumerations.date_label.created: 1777-1864; Other: Majority of material found within 1778-1833; Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1933

Benjamin Tallmadge to Richard Varrick


Identifier: 00-2022-16-0
Content Description

Last page of a letter from Benjamin Tallmadge to Richard Varrick. Cover on back indicates that Varrick is the Treasurer of the American Bible Society. An unclear notation mentions Lyman Beecher.

Dates: 1818-03-02

Additional filters:

Account books 2
Litchfield (Conn.) 2
African Americans 1
African Americans -- Connecticut -- Litchfield 1
Correspondence 1