Nathaniel Shaw Jr. served as Connecticut’s Naval Agent, so throughout the Revolution the lavish Shaw Mansion served as headquarters for the state’s navy as well as sixty privateers. It was one of the few buildings to survive the burning of New London by Benedict Arnold in 1781. The Mansion is now the home of the New London County Historical Society.
From fiery sermons against English rule to pleas for parishioners to send donations to the people of blockaded Boston, Lebanon’s clergy helped push local residents to support independence. The current church was designed by Revolutionary War veteran and artist John Trumbull in 1804.
Established as a beacon in the early 1700s, New London Harbor Light was formally established as a lighthouse in 1759. Benedict Arnold landed his troops here prior to burning down the city in 1781. It is the fourth lighthouse recognized by George Washington when he enacted the 1789 Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.
The Trumbull Cemetery contains many examples by Obadiah Wheeling, considered the greatest of the rural carvers in the area.
Trumbull was born in Lebanon on October 10, 1710, the younger son of Joseph and Hannah (Higley) Trumbull. He graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in 1727 and after three years of study with the Reverend Solomon Williams of Lebanon, he was licensed to preach. By 1731 he was in business as a merchant with his father and older brother who died at sea in 1732. In 1735, he married Faith Robinson (1718-1780) of Duxbury, MA with whom he had six children.
A committed public servant, Trumbull served in local government, supported the local Congregational church, and helped established both a library and a school. In 1733 Lebanon elected Trumbull as delegate to the General Assembly and in 1740 the colony appointed him as an Assistant in the upper house.
Trumbull strongly opposed the Stamp Act and, in 1765 with other Assistants, walked out of a meeting of the Governor’s Council when Governor Thomas Fitch took the oath to support the act. In 1766 Trumbull was elected deputy governor and in 1769 when William Pitkin died in office, Trumbull became governor. He served in this capacity until 1784, the only colonial governor to serve through the American Revolution.
During the War, Trumbull devoted himself to managing the state, commanding the state militia and navy, and providing support for the Continental and French armies. Having lost his wife, eldest son, and one daughter during the war years, Trumbull resigned his office in 1785 and died in Lebanon August 17, 1785.
Monument to Revolutionary War veterans from Preston