Oliver Ellsworth

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Oliver Ellsworth
Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
From: March 4, 1796 – September 30, 1800
Nominator George Washington
Predecessor John Rutledge
Successor John Marshall
Spouse(s) Abigail Wolcott
Religion Congregationalist

Oliver Ellsworth ( 1745--1807) was a 18th century Connecticut lawyer, Founding Father, and the second chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.[1] He served in the Continental Congress (1777–83) and was a major figure at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.[2] Ellsworth was the author of the Judiciary Act (1789), which shaped the Supreme Court and established the federal judiciary, and the Connecticut Compromise (1789). The Connecticut Compromise has remained virtually unchanged for over two centuries, which pays tribute to Ellsworth's remarkable work.[3]

President George Washington appointed him Chief Justice (1796–1800) of the U.S. Supreme Court and in 1799, while serving, he traveled to Paris to negotiate a treaty to prevent war with France. John Adams described Ellsworth as "the firmest pillar" of the federal government during its earliest years.[4]


  1. http://www.paperadepts.com/biographies/Oliver_Ellsworth-32775.html
  2. http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9286781
  3. A History of the American People, Poul Johnson, pg. 102
  4. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/Featured_Bio_Ellsworth.htm