He was the son of Samuel Talcott (1740-1798, grandson of Joseph Talcott, Colonial Governor of Connecticut) and Abigail Ledyard Talcott. On May 28, 1810, he married Rachel Skinner; their son was John Ledyard Talcott (b. 1812), a justice of the New York Supreme Court.
He practiced law at New Hartford, New York. There he married in 1818 his second wife, Mary Eliza Stanley (1800-1848), and their son was Thomas Grosvenor Talcott (1819-1870).
He was a leading member of the Albany Regency, and was New York State Attorney General from 1821 to 1829 when he was forced to resign "due to irregular habits", a then used euphemism for what is now called a "drinking problem". Afterward he practiced law in New York City.
He is mentioned briefly as a character in The Witch of Blackbird Pond, written by Elizabeth George Speare in 1958.