The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Ellsworth, Oliver
ELLSWORTH, Oliver, American jurist: b. Windsor, Conn., 29 April 1745; d. there, 26 Nov. 1807. He was graduated at the College of New Jersey in 1766, and soon after commenced the practice of law. In 1777 he was chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress, and in 1780 was elected a member of the council of Connecticut, in which body he continued till 1784, when he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court. In 1787 he was elected to the convention which framed the Federal Constitution, and was afterward a member of the State convention, where he earnestly advocated the ratification of that important instrument, which his exertions had essentially aided in producing. In 1789 he was chosen a Senator of the United States, which station he filled till 1796, when he was nominated by Washington Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1799 he was appointed envoy extraordinary to paris, and with his associates successfully negotiated a treaty with the French. He resigned his office of chief justice in 1800. In 1803 he was made a member of the governor's council of Connecticut, andin 1807, chief justice of that State. His biography was written by W. G. Brown (New York 1905).