Unusual Political Names in Connecticut

James A. Bill (1817-1900) of Lyme, Connecticut, served in the Connecticut state senate in 1852 and 1853 and in the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1849 and 1867. He also happened to be a rare pro-slavery Northerner in the years before and during the Civil War. This fact is reflected in the names of the last three children:

  1. Elizabeth
  2. Phoebe
  3. Mary
  4. Rebecca
  5. Lodowick
  6. James
  7. Kansas Nebraska (born in July, 1855)
  8. Lecompton Constitution (b. October, 1857)
  9. Jefferson Davis (b. February, 1862)

Kansas Nebraska Bill was named after the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), which created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, but also allowed the territories to decide for themselves whether or not they would permit slavery (the “popular sovereignty” principle).

Lecompton Constitution Bill was named after the Lecompton Constitution (1857), a proposed pro-slavery constitution for the state of Kansas that was defeated early the next year.

And Jefferson Davis Bill was, of course, named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy throughout the Civil War.

Their older brother, Lodowick, inherited his interesting first name from James’s father. The name Lodowick — like Louis, Ludwig, and Luigi — can be traced back to the Germanic name Chlodovech, which consists of the elements hlud, meaning “famous, loud” and wig, meaning “war, battle.”

[Other notable Civil War-era baby names include Emancipation Proclamation (“Prockie”), Gettysburg (“Gettie”), Kenesaw Mountain, and Elmer Ellsworth.]

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