Library of Congress
ELLSWORTH, Oliver (1745-1807)
Senate Years of Service: 1789-1796

ELLSWORTH, OLIVER, (father of William Wolcott Ellsworth), a Delegate and a Senator from Connecticut; born in Windsor, Conn., April 29, 1745; pursued preparatory studies; attended Yale College and graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1766; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1771 and commenced practice in Windsor; moved to Hartford, Conn., in 1775; member, State general assembly 1773-1776; appointed State attorney in 1777; Member of the Continental Congress 1778-1783; from 1780 to 1785 was a member of the Governor's council; judge of the Connecticut Superior Court 1785-1789; delegate to the convention that framed the federal Constitution in 1787; elected to the United States Senate; reelected and served from March 4, 1789, to March 8, 1796, when he resigned to accept a judicial appointment; appointed Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 1796 and served until 1800 when he retired; appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France to negotiate a treaty 1799; returned to the United States in 1801; again a member of the Governor's council 1801-1807; died in Windsor, Conn., November 26, 1807; interment in the Old Cemetery.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 5 items.

Connecticut Historical Society
Hartford, CT
Papers: Small Ellsworth collection, prints, and several letters in various collections.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections
Ithaca, NY
Papers: In Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume XIV, Miscellany, 1784-1860.

Duke University
Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: February 15, 1790. 1 item.

Hagley Museum and Library
Greenville, DE
Papers: In Victor Marie du Pont papers, 1785-1822.

Henry E. Huntington Library
San Marino, CA
Papers: August 20, 1789. 1 item.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 item (October 29, 1790) in Dreer collection; and 1 item (December 29, 1788) in Gratz collection.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1 financial account book (1777-17812); correspondence in Parsons family papers, 1769-1878; in John Kilham autograph collection, 1600-1882; and 1 item (February 2, 1790) in George Washington papers.

Maine Historical Society
Portland, ME
Papers: 1 item (January 9, 1794) in J.S.H. Fogg autograph collection.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 22 items (1778-1806) in various collections. Finding aid.

New London County Historical Society
New London, CT
Papers: 1 item (October 4, 1790) in Thomas Shaw papers.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1 item (August 4, 1789) in Emmet collection; 1 item (June 15, 1789) in Lee-Kohns collection; and 1 volume of handwritten transcripts (1880) of letters (1783-1801), extracts from an unpublished memoir by his son-in-law, Joseph Wood, and correspondence of George Bancroft and Oliver E. Wood relating to the papers in Oliver Ellsworth collection.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 4 items (1783-1789); and 5 documents (1775-1776) and 2 letters (1789-1801) in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Rosenbach Museum and Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: July 1, 1783. 1 item. Continental Congress committee report given by Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, and Richard Peters.

Rutgers University Libraries
Special Collections and University Archives
New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: In William Paterson papers, 1766-1898 and 1689-1841.

Trinity College
Hartford, CT
Papers: March 29, 1789; May 10, 1789. 2 items.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: 1 item (June 5, 1789); items in Chauncey family papers, 1675-1928; and Roger Sherman collection, 1749-1904.

  • Brown, William Garrott. The Life of Oliver Ellsworth. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1905.
  • Casto, William R. Oliver Ellsworth and the Creation of the Federal Republic. New York: Second Circuit Committee on History and Commemorative Events, 1997.
  • ___. The Supreme Court in the Early Republic: The Chief Justiceships of John Jay and Oliver Ellsworth. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
  • Lettieri, Ronald John. Connecticut's Young Man of the Revolution: Oliver Ellsworth. Hartford: American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1978.
  • Toth, Michael C. Founding Federalist: The Life of Oliver Ellsworth. Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books, 2011.