Attorney General: Isaac Toucey

John Mix Stanley
Isaac Toucey

Twentieth Attorney General 1848-1849

Isaac Toucey was born in Newtown, Connecticut, on November 15, 1796. He received a classical education, studied law and was admitted to the bar at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1818. He was appointed State’s attorney in 1822 and held that office until 1835. From 1835 to 1839 he was a Representative in Congress from Connecticut, was reappointed State’s attorney in 1842 and served until 1844, and was Governor of Connecticut from 1846 to 1847.

On June 21, 1848, President Polk appointed Toucey Attorney General of the United States and he served until March 3, 1849. Toucey was a member of the Connecticut legislature from 1850 to 1852, and United States Senator from 1852 to 1857. In March 1857 he became Secretary of the Navy and served until 1861. He died in Hartford on July 30, 1869.

About the Artist: John Mix Stanley (1814-1872)

Stanley was a portrait and landscape painter who specialized in scenes of Indian life in the West. Born in New York, he travelled extensively throughout the West and settled in Detroit in 1834 where he took up portrait painting. After 1850 he deposited his "Indian Gallery" at the Smithsonian Institution in hopes the Federal Government would purchase it. His hopes were not realized, but he remained in Washington, D.C, for the next decade. Tragically, his collection was almost totally destroyed by fire while being exhibited at the Smithsonian in 1865.

Stanley’s portrait of Attorney General Toucey was painted in 1857.

Updated July 6, 2017