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William W. Eaton

William Wallace Eaton (October 11, 1816 - September 21, 1898) was a United States Representative and United States Senator from Connecticut.

Early career

Born in Tolland, Connecticut, he was educated in the common schools and by private instruction, and moved to Columbia, South Carolina to engage in mercantile pursuits. He returned to Tolland, and studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1837 and commencing practice. Eaton was clerk of courts of Tolland County in 1846 and 1847, and a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives 1847-1848, 1853, 1863, 1868, 1870-1871 and 1873-1874. He served as speaker in 1853 and 1873, and was a member of the Connecticut Senate in 1859. In 1851, he moved to Hartford, and was clerk of courts of Hartford County in 1851 and 1854, as well as city attorney in 1857 and 1858. Eaton was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1860, and was chief judge of the city court of Hartford in 1863 and 1864, and from 1867 to 1872.

Congressional career and later life

He was appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William A. Buckingham and served from February 5, 1875, to March 3, 1875; he was also elected for the full term beginning March 4, 1875, and served until March 3, 1881. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations (Forty-sixth Congress).

Eaton was also elected as a Democratic Representative to the Forty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1883 - March 3, 1885), and was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1884. He resumed the practice of law, and died in Hartford; interment was in Spring Grove Cemetery.


United States Senate
Preceded by
William A. Buckingham
United States Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
Served alongside: Orris S. Ferry, James E. English, William H. Barnum, Orville H. Platt
Succeeded by
Joseph R. Hawley


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