‘Capitol Connection’ – A Little Mystery Is Always Fun

November 1, 2011

Now that Halloween is right around the corner, I think it is a good time for a mystery column. Whenever I meet with my fellow legislators to discuss upcoming bills in our caucus room at the State Capitol, I can’t help but gaze at a unique painting hung on the wall. I always wonder to myself, who was this interesting gentleman? I have recently done some of my own research and discovered his story. Now I want to see if you can figure it out, too.

Who could this be? The correct answer wins you lunch and a tour of the Capitol with me!

Who could this be? The correct answer wins you lunch and a tour of the Capitol with me!

As many of you know, the Capitol is a remarkable building filled with much history tucked away in every room. If you have stopped by for a visit, you may have seen the statue of our State Hero Nathan Hale, famous for saying “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Or maybe you got to walk through the Hall of Flags, showcasing battle flags from Connecticut regiments dating from the Civil War to today. Perhaps you have even had the opportunity to sit in the Charter Oak Chair, crafted from the original tree that is now commemorated on the back of some quarters. Seeing the Capitol is definitely worth a trip, and here is your opportunity to see it with me.

I have submitted a photograph of the painting with my column. As you can see, this former government official is wearing a blazer, a tie and an eye-patch. It is only one portrait of the many distinguished office holders that are scattered throughout the Capitol. You might imagine some of the stories that have been created by tired legislators or staff members working late into the night as the session reaches its busiest point. How did it happen? What was his story?

If you think you are up for the challenge, get your research glasses on! Whoever submits the correct name of this public figure to my office first will win a lunch and tour of the Capitol with me. When you are not out picking pumpkins or admiring the wonderful New England foliage, go online and see what you can find about the man pictured here. Be sure to read my column next week where I will reveal the unique history behind this painting.

The search for information may be slightly difficult since I have shared only this image with you. If you need a hint, I can also share that he was once a statewide office holder. Our state has a wealth of useful resources for researching the history of our government. A great place to look for more information is the Connecticut State Library, which can be accessed by visiting their website at www.cslib.org. Another useful resource for finding details on former officials is the state website, www.ct.gov. Good Luck!

Feel free to send me your guess by email at [email protected] or by calling toll free at 800-842-1421. I look forward to reading your responses and embarking on a history-filled tour of the State Capitol.