State Capitol Building

Governors of Connecticut

Resources and Publications

This is a guide to materials available at the Connecticut State Library (CSL) about Connecticut’s Governors, past and present. Here you will find information about Executive Orders, Official Statements, Press Releases, Proclamations, Archival Records, and Biographical Sources. See also the Museum of Connecticut History’s web page.

This guide is meant to be a starting point to help discover information across the different divisions of the agency. While detailed, it is not meant to be comprehensive.

Governors’ Web Pages
State Agency Profiles, Office of the Governor – includes a list of Connecticut governors.
Roster of Connecticut Governors

Governors of Connecticut

History of the Office of the Governor

Under the Fundamental Orders of 1639, and the Royal Charter of 1662, colonial Governors had limited authority over the other magistrates and the legislative body. The Constitution of 1818 provided for a distinct “supreme executive power” balanced by the legislature and the judiciary. It was not until the twentieth century however, that the Governor became a full-time chief executive. Wilbur L. Cross was the first full-time Governor. In 1945, Raymond E. Baldwin was the first chief executive to occupy the official residence, located at 990 Prospect Avenue in Hartford.

The State Constitution of 1965 transformed the Office of the Governor. Today, the Governor exercises powers common to chief executives: proposing legislation and reporting to the legislature; signing or vetoing bills; appointing or nominating commission and board members and higher judicial and executive branch officers; convening or adjourning the legislature during emergencies; and taking care “that the laws be faithfully executed” through budgetary powers and executive direction of state agencies under the office’s jurisdiction.

The laws of Connecticut did not allow governors to serve consecutive terms until 1660. In 1875, voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution increasing the term of the governor to two years. The 1965 State Constitution increased the term from two to four years. For a complete list of Connecticut Governors, see the Historical Section from the State Register & Manual published by the Secretary of State.


See also Archival Records and Finding Aids.

Executive Orders are issued at the Governor’s discretion and do not require prior notice or hearing. They carry the full force of law.

Official Statements are issued as broad ceremonial statements of general interest.

Press Releases

Proclamations are issued as required by Connecticut General Statutes §10-29a to proclaim certain days and weeks.

State of the State Addresses are also referred to as the Governor’s Annual Message to the General Assembly; delivered in compliance with the Constitution of the State of Connecticut (Conn. Constitution art. IV ss 11).

  • Connecticut Governor’s Messages, 1812-1959, [CSL Call Number ConnDoc G746]
  • Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Connecticut, 1846- present [CSL Call Number ConnDoc G253 jou and Law Reference]

Veto Messages

  • Connecticut Governor Veto Messages, 1943-1969 [CSL Call NumberConnDoc G746 ve]
  • Governor’s Press Releases,…Public Act Signatures, Veto messages, 1981-1998 [CSL Call Number ConnDoc G746 ppv]
  • Public and Special Acts, 1972-present  [CSL Call Number KFC 3625.A24]

For additional publications, check the State Library catalog under the author heading “Connecticut. Governor

Archival Records

Please refer to our guide Access Archives & Secured Collections for procedures and retrieval times.

Finding Aid to State Archives Record Group 005, Records of the Office of the Governor

The collection consists primarily of records after 1909 ending with the administration preceding the most current. Additional finding aids for records of Governor John H. Trumbull through Governor Lowell P. Weicker are linked below.

RG 005:025, John Harper Trumbull, 1925-1931

 RG 005:026, Wilbur L. Cross, 1931-1939

 RG 005:027, Raymond E. Baldwin, 1939-1941

 RG 005:028, Robert A. Hurley, 1941-1943

 RG 005:029, Raymond E. Baldwin, 1943-1946

 RG 005:030, James L. McConaughy, 1947-1948 and James C. Shannon, 1948-1949

 RG 005:031, Chester Bowles, 1949-1951

 RG 005:032, John Davis Lodge, 1951-1955

 RG 005:033, Abraham Ribicoff, 1955-1961

 RG 005:034, John Dempsey (1961-1971), 1955-1971

 RG 005:035, Thomas J. Meskill (1971-1975), 1967-1975

 RG 005:036, Ella Grasso (1975-1980) 1971-1982, bulk, 1975-1980

 RG 005:037, William A. O’Neill, 1980-1991

 RG 005:038, Lowell P. Weicker (1991-1995) 1977-1994, bulk 1991-1994

A specific Finding Aid for Governor’s Records from 1820-1858 is also available.

Other Historical Records

Pre-1820 governor’s records at the State Library can be found in the “Connecticut Archives.” Records can also be found in the published works:

Manuscripts & Archives Catalog. Located in the History and Genealogy Unit Reading Room, consult this catalog under the names of individual governors. For example:

Trumbull, Jonathan. Connecticut Colonial Official Papers, 1631-1784. Collected by Governor Jonathan Trumbull under the instruction of the General Assembly, 29 volumes. [CSL call number Main Vault 974.6 fT76].

RG 069, Manuscript Collections. Miscellaneous personal papers of five Connecticut Governors are located in the Manuscript Collections. Finding aids to these collections are available to researchers at the History and Genealogy Unit reference desk:

RG 069:010, Raymond E. Baldwin Papers, 1938-1965
RG 069:096, Wilbur L. Cross Papers, 1914-1949
RG 069:059, Abraham Ribicoff Newspaper Clipping Collection, 1954-1979
RG 069:062, Isaac Toucey Papers, 1831-1870
RG 069:025, John Treadwell Papers, 1706-1872

Published Materials:

The Connecticut Historical Society published several governor’s papers within the series Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, [CSL call number F 91 .C7], including George Wyllys (Volume 21), Joseph Talcott (Volumes 4 and 5), Jonathan Law (Volumes 11, 13, and 15), Roger Wolcott (Volume 16), Thomas Fitch (Volumes 17 and 18), William Pitkin (Volumes 19), and John Cotton Smith (Volumes 25 through 31).

Biographical Resources

Please see the Roster of Connecticut Governors with With Links to Portraits and Some Biographical Sketches.
Published Materials:

  • Biographical Directory of American Colonial and Revolutionary Governors, 1607-1789, by John Raimo [CSL call number E 187.5 R34].
  • Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1994, by Robert Sobel and John Raimo [CSL call number GIRS Ref E 176 .B573].
  • The Governors of Connecticut… , by Frederick Calvin Norton [CSL call number History Reference F 93 .N 88 1905]. Includes biographies, portraits, and signatures of many Connecticut governors from John Haynes (1639) to Henry Roberts (1905). Online version available through our library catalog.
  • The Register and Manual includes biographies of current elected officials.
  • Search our catalog and databases for additional sources.
  • Facts About Connecticut’s Governors


Prepared jointly by the Government Information Reference Services Unit and the History and Genealogy Unit, January 2009. Revised July 2019. Revised December 2019. Updated March 2021. Updated July 2022.