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John Canfield (American politician)

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John Canfield was a delegete to the American Continental Congress. He was the son of Samuel, husband of Dorcas Buell. Elected 1776 to Continental Congress from Connecticut; Adjudant Continental Dragoons, commanded by Col. Elisha Sheldon, 1776; Brigade-Major in Brigadier-General Oliver Wolcott's Detachment, Connecticut Militia, 1777, at Saratoga.

"was a son of Samuel Canfield, of New Milford, who was one of the judges of the county court, for Litchfield county, and a deacon of the church in New Milford. Mr. Canfield was born at New Milford in 1740, and graduated at Yale College in 1762. He studied law and established himself in the practice of his profession in this town, in 1765, being the first lawyer that lived here. He purchased of Parson Smith, the lot next south of Judge Sterling's, and built the old brick house owned by that gentleman. Mr. Canfield enjoyed an enviable reputation and was holden in high estimation by his fellow citizens. He represented the town in the legislature at ten different sessions. He was a professor of religion and enjoyed the reputation of a sincere and humble Christian. In 1786 he was elected a member of the Continental Congress, and had he lived to take his seat in that body, would probably have been a distinguished member. He died, however, on the 26th day of October, 1786, at the age of forty-six. The grief of the community at his death was general and deep, and the old men in after years spoke of him with unbounded confidence and attachment. He left but one son, John M. Canfield, Esq., who resided at Sacket's Harbor, N. Y., and a number of daughters. The Hon. John C. Spencer, Secretary of War, was his grandson."[1]

"His Epitaph: Sacred to the memory of the Hon. John Canfield, A member of Congress from this State, who died the 26th day of October, A. D. 1786, in the forty-sixth year of his age. 'Tis not for lifeless stone to tell thy worth, , A partner's heart the deep impression wears, Thy orphans oft, around this hallowed earth, Shall lell a father's love with speaking tears, And numerous friends who swelled the tide of grief, Thy great and generous deeds shall oft relate, Thus through revolving years thy name shall live, 'Till to immortal life, this slumbering dust shall wake."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sedgwick, Charles Frederick (1898). "General history of the town of Sharon, Litchfield, County Conn. from its first settlement". Amenia, N.Y., C. Walsh. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

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