Fitch, James, Jr., 1647 - 1727

James Fitch was the son of Rev. James Fitch and Abigail Whitfield of Norwich, Connecticut.  His first wife was Elizabeth Mason, daughter of Major John Mason.  After Elizabeth’s death, his second wife was Alice Bradford, daughter of Major William Bradford (1624-1703) of Plymouth Colony.  Fitch was a magistrate, assistant from New London County to the Connecticut General Court, and a major in the colonial militia. He rose to be leader of the Lower House of the legislature became one of the most successful land speculators in the colony.  In 1681, Fitch was appointed administrator for Attawanhood’s estate and a legatee of the sachem’s will.  Owaneco deeded most of his land to him, making Fitch the largest landowner of the colony. He obtained land rights to Quinebaug Country, selling Pomfret to men from Roxbury (1680) and Woodstock to Massachusetts (1686), generating much controversy.  As one historian of the Connecticut colonial period has characterized him, “James Fitch was at the center of most of the [land] controversies.  The size and position of his holdings and, even more, his truculent nature involved him in endless lawsuits and political struggles.”  Richard L. Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee: Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), 86-96.

August 2, 1647
November 10, 1727