Biography of Oliver Ellsworth


Ellsworth, Oliver. Jurist. Born in Windsor, Connecticut, April 29, 1746. He became prominent in state affairs and in the Continental Congress, and was a member of the federal convention of 1787, which prepared the constitution of the United States. It was on his motion that the words "national government" in that organic act were replaced by the definition "government of the United States." He became United States senator from Connecticut in 1789, and was chairman of the committee which organized the federal judicial system. He led the Federalist Party in the Senate, and was an earnest advocate of Jay's Treaty with England in 1794. From 1796 to 1800 he was chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, and in 1800 negotiated, with Patrick Henry and Governor Davie, a treaty with France. He afterward served on the governor's council of Connecticut, and in May, 1807, became chief justice of the State Supreme Court. Died 1807.