A collection of professional and
personal material related to John Arnold Rockwell, American lawyer, author, and
John Arnold Rockwell (1803-1861) was an American jurist, Whig politician, and businessman.
A native of Norwich, Connecticut and a graduate of Yale University, class of 1822; he
married Mary Watkinson Perkins on September 28, 1831. Rockwell was a member of the
Connecticut State Senate in 1839, and the judge of the New London County Court in 1840. He
represented the state, as a Whig, in the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth United States
Congresses. Rockwell served as the chairman of the Committee on Claims in the Thirtieth
Congress, and was the Chief Founder of the Court of Claims in Washington (established 1855).
Having lost his re-election bid in 1848, Rockwell practiced law before the Court of Claims
of the United States until his death in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1861. Rockwell and
his brother Charles William Rockwell were actively involved in various enterprises having to
do with the westward expansion, including land development, railroads, transportation, and
banking. In 1836 they founded the Rockwell Land Company with the purpose of land development
in La Salle County, Illinois.
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