Brainard, William Fowler, 1784 - 1844

Born on September 20, 1784, William Fowler Brainard was the son of New London County Court Judge Jerimiah Gates Brainard and Sarah Gardiner.  A graduate of Yale College in 1802, he became a leading lawyer and Justice of the Peace in New London, Connecticut.  
In 1824, Brainard represented the overseers of the Western Pequot tribe in a dispute over expenses due to the Town of Hartford for maintaining Sarah Meazon, a tribal member who had fallen ill and died there.  Since reimbursement would have required the dangerous precedent of selling Pequot reservation land, Brainard was able to persuade the legislature to authorize restitution through the Controller of Public Accounts.
Shortly after the resolution of the case, Brainard, known for his oratory skills, prepared an address to commemorate the forty-fourth anniversary of the Battle of Groton Heights.  In his speech, he included several remarks about society's treatment of its Native American neighbors.
After serving his term as representative to the General Assembly in 1840 from New London, he retired from service and died there on April 27, 1844.
Caulkins, History of New London, 671, 668.  Find A Grave (Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London, CT).  Hurd, History of New London County, 38, 223.  Nancy Hathaway Steenburg, Children and the Criminal Law in Connecticut, 1635-1855 (New York, NY: Routledge, 2005), 60. Editorial Note: William F. Brainard's Thoughts on Local Connecticut Indians.  Sources for this biography also come from the Related Digital Heritage Items listed below.

September 20, 1784
April 27, 1844