Tristram Dalton, U.S. Senator

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Tristram Dalton

Birthplace: Newburyport, MA, USA
Death: Died in Boston, MA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Michael Dalton and Mary Dalton
Husband of Ruth Hooper
Father of Mary White

Managed by: Edward Dalton White Jr
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Tristram Dalton, U.S. Senator

Tristram Dalton

Tristram Dalton (May 28, 1738 – May 30, 1817) was an American politician who served as a Senator from Massachusetts.

Dalton was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He attended Dummer Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard College in 1755. Afterwards, he studied law and was admitted to the bar, but did not practice, instead pursuing a career as a merchant. He later served as a delegate from Massachusetts to the convention of committees of New England provinces, which met in Providence, Rhode Island on December 25, 1776. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780.[1]

Dalton served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1782 to 1785, and served as speaker in 1784.

He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1783 and 1784, but did not attend. He served as a Massachusetts state senator from 1785 to 1788, and was appointed to the United States Senate in 1788. He served from March 4, 1789 to March 4, 1791. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1790.

He served as surveyor of the port of Boston from November 1814 until his death on May 30, 1817. He is interred in the churchyard of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newburyport.

Tristram Dalton is the namesake of Dalton, Massachusetts, Dalton, New Hampshire and Dalton, Georgia.[2]



  • Tristram Dalton
  • Birth: May 28, 1738 Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death: May 30, 1817 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • US Senator. Served in the Massachusetts Legislature just after the Revolutionary War, and was twice elected to the Continental Congress, but did not attend. He was then elected as one of the first Senators from Massachusetts to the United States Senate, serving from March 4, 1789 to March 3, 1791. (bio by: Russ Dodge)
  • Family links:
  • Spouse:
  • Ruth Dalton (____ - 1826)*
  • Children:
    • Michael Dalton (1761 - 1762)*
    • Michael Dalton (1762 - 1763)*
    • Mary Dalton (1764 - 1765)*
    • Robert Hooper Dalton (1769 - 1775)*
    • Mary Dalton (1775 - 1776)*
  • Burial: Saint Pauls Episcopal Churchyard, Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 7981832
  • From:


  • LITTLE, Mary
  • b. 17 MAR 1712/3
  • d. 10 DEC 1791
  • Parents:
  • Father: LITTLE, Tristram
  • Mother: EMERY, Ann
  • Family:
  • Spouse: TRACY, Patrick
  • Family:
  • Marriage: 5 FEB 1733/4
  • Spouse: DALTON, Michael
  • b. 22 FEB 1708/9 Hampton, Rockingham, NH.
  • d. 1 MAR 1770 Newburyport, Essex, Mass.
  • Parents:
  • Father: DALTON, Philemon
  • Mother: GOVE, Abigail
  • Children:
    • DALTON, Mary b. 2 DEC 1734 d. 18 NOV 1736
    • DALTON, Michael b. 1 NOV 1736
    • DALTON, Tristram b. 28 MAY 1738 d. Boston, Suffolk, Mass.
  • From:


  • Family History Compiled by Lucy Henderson Horton ... By Mrs. Lucy Henderson Horton
  • Pg.78
  • .... etc.
  • The head of the Daltons in Hanxwell county, York, was Colonel John Dalton, fifth in descent from John Dalton who was settled in Kingston-upon-Hull in 1458; and was a son of Sir William, who was Knighted at Whitehall April 28, 1629 (see Burke's Landed Gentry). Sir William Dalton died in 1649, and was buried in York Minster. Col. John Dalton married Hon. Dorothy, daughter of Sir Conyers Darcy, under whom Dalton was Lieutenant Colonel. He was wounded July 5, 1643, while conducting Queen Henrietta Maria from Birdlington to Oxford. He died of his wound in July, 1644, and is buried at York Minster. The elder line of his descendants became extinct in 1792 upon the death of Francis, his great-grandson, and the title reverted to one of the younger sons of Col. John Dalton.
  • We throw in, by way of parenthesis, the statement that in 1844 John Dalton of this house married a younger daughter of Sir Charles Dodsworth (see Burke's Landed Gentry).
  • The colonists, John and William Dalton, brothers, came to America between 1685 and 1690, settling first in Gloucester county, Va. Some of this family later settled in Westmoreland county Va., before 1722, and still later we find that they shared the restless spirit of the day, some of them settling in the vicinity of Goochland county, Virginia. A kinsman of these two men, Philemon Dalton by name, had come to America in 1635 and settled in New England at Dedham.
  • We have some record of Tristram Dalton, a descendant of Philemon Dalton, who came to Dedham in 1635. Philemon Dalton had four or five children, John, William, Michail, Margaret; etc. Tristam Dalton, son of Michail Dalton and his wife, Mary Little Dalton, was born at Newbury, Mass., May 28, 1738. He graduated in the class at Harvard with John Adams. He studied law in Salem; and revised the public school system in Newbury. In 1744 he was delegate to the Provincial Congress; in 1776 was elected Representative of the court. He supported Continental Government in Revolutionary war. In 1518 he was surveyor of the Port of Boston. He married in 1758 Ruth Hooper, daughter of a rich merchant of Marblehead. They had five children. He died at Boston, May 30, 1817. He had had the honor of being on the committee to receive George Washington when he was first inducted into the office as President of the United States. A son of this man, who bore his father's name, Tristram Dalton, was induced by Washington to invest in property about what in now Washington City. This did not prove for him a successful financial venture. Tristram Dalton was chosen vestryman of Fairfax Church, Fairfax Parish, Fairfax coutny, in 1789 (see page 268, Vol. I, Meade's Old Families and Churches of Virginia).
  • Old family papers prove that Samuel Dalton (1699-1802) of Mayo river, Rockingham county, North Carolina, and John Dalton (1722-
  • Pg.79
  • 1777), of the firm of Carlyle and Dalton in Alexandria, Va., were brothers. They were children of William Dalton, the colonist who came first to Glouchester county, Virginia. Another son of Wm. Dalton was Robert Dalton; and a daughter of Robert was Agatha Dalton, who married James Mitchell, Nov. 25, 1768 (see Wm. and mary Quarterly, Vol. VI, page 86; also Val. IX, page 136).
  • .... etc.






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Tristram Dalton, U.S. Senator's Timeline

May 28, 1738
Newburyport, MA, USA
July 4, 1764
Age 26
May 30, 1817
Age 79
Boston, MA, USA