HOME
The Info List - Oliver Wolcott


--- Advertisement ---



Oliver Wolcott
Oliver Wolcott
Sr. (November 20, 1726–December 1, 1797) was an American politician. He was a signer of the United States
United States
Declaration of Independence and also of the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
as a representative of Connecticut
Connecticut
and the nineteenth Governor of Connecticut. He was a major general for the Connecticut
Connecticut
Militia in the Revolutionary War serving under George Washington.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career

2.1 Revolutionary War Years 2.2 Post Revolutionary War

3 Death and legacy 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

Early life[edit]

Coat of Arms of Oliver Wolcott
Oliver Wolcott
Sr.

Wolcott was born in Windsor, Connecticut, the youngest of 14 children born to colonial governor Roger Wolcott and Sarah Drake Wolcott. He attended Yale College, graduating in 1747 as the top scholar in his class.[1] Upon graduation, New York governor George Clinton granted Wolcott a captain’s commission to raise a militia company to fight in the French and Indian War. Captain Wolcott served on the northern frontier defending the Canadian border against the French until the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. At the end of the war, he moved to newly settled Goshen in northwestern Connecticut
Connecticut
to practice and study medicine with his brother Alexander.[2] He then moved to Litchfield and became a merchant; he was appointed sheriff of the newly created Litchfield County, Connecticut, serving from 1751 to 1771. He married Lorraine (Laura) Collins of Guilford, Connecticut
Connecticut
on January 21, 1755.[3] Their children were: Oliver (who died young), Oliver, Jr., Laura, Mariann, and Frederick. Career[edit] Revolutionary War Years[edit] Wolcott had two careers during the war years as one of Connecticut’s principal delegates to the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
and also a militia officer.[4] He participated in the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
as brigadier general and then as major general in the Connecticut militia. As a representative in the Continental Congress, he was a strong advocate for independence. Early in the growing struggle with Great Britain, Wolcott made it clear that the colonists would not give up their rights and privileges.[5] In February 1776, he stated: "Our difference with Great Britain has become very great…. What matters will issue in, I cannot say, but perhaps in a total disseverance from Great Britain."[6] This early support for independence led him to important roles during the war, both as military leader and as member of the Continental Congress. Wolcott saw extensive militia service during the American Revolution. On August 11, 1776, Connecticut
Connecticut
officials ordered him to march the Seventeenth Regiment of militia to New York and join George Washington's army. Upon arriving at Washington’s camp, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull
Jonathan Trumbull
appointed Wolcott brigadier general in command of all the state’s militia regiments in New York. He led 300—400 volunteers from his brigade to help General Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
defeat Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga.[7] In May 1779, Wolcott was promoted to major general in command of all Connecticut
Connecticut
Militia.[8] That summer, he saw combat in protecting the coastline from Tryon’s raids.[9] He was largely unsuccessful in his combat with Major General William Tryon. Over the course of the war, he showed great disdain towards his opposition, describing the British in his memoirs as "a foe who have not only insulted every principle which governs civilized nations but by their barbarities offered the grossest indignities to human nature."[10] The Continental Congress
Continental Congress
appointed him Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and he was elected to the Congress in 1775. He became seriously ill in 1776 and did not sign the Declaration of Independence until some time later. Post Revolutionary War[edit] At the beginning of the Revolution, Congress had made Wolcott a commissioner of Indian affairs to persuade the northern Indian nations to remain neutral. His qualifications for this role came from his early experience on the northern front of the French and Indian War. Now he was asked along with Richard Butler and Arthur Lee, to negotiate a peace treaty with the Six Nations at Fort Schuyler.[9] Beyond his post war diplomatic role, Wolcott aspired to higher office. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
Governor of Connecticut
as a Federalist in 1786, and served in this position for ten years. He was reelected to the position, holding the office until his death at the age of seventy-one.[11] Death and legacy[edit] Wolcott died on December 1, 1797, in Farmington, Connecticut. He is interred at East Cemetery, in Litchfield, Connecticut. Historian Ellsworth Grant remembers Wolcott's Revolutionary war efforts in stating that, "It is doubful if any other official in Connecticut during this period carried so many public duties on his shoulders."[9]

The Grave of Oliver Wolcott
Oliver Wolcott
Sr.

Oliver Wolcott
Oliver Wolcott
Jr., his son, served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents George Washington
George Washington
and John Adams
John Adams
and as Governor of Connecticut. The town of Wolcott, Connecticut
Connecticut
was named in honor of Oliver and his son, Oliver Jr. His home in Litchfield was declared a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
in 1971. In Torrington, Connecticut
Connecticut
there is a school named after him, The Oliver Wolcott
Oliver Wolcott
Technical High School. In 1798, Fort Washington on Goat Island in Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island
was renamed Fort Wolcott. Fort Wolcott
Fort Wolcott
was an active fortification until 1836. It later became the site of the United States
United States
Naval Torpedo Station. References[edit]

^ Ellsworth S. Grant, "From Governor to Governor in Three Generations," The Connecticut
Connecticut
Historical Society Bulletin, Volume 39 no.3, Hartford, July 1974), 65—66. ^ Bruce Stark, "Signers of the Declaration of Independence, State Governors"," American National Biography Online, 1. ^ Stark, "Signers of the Declaration of Independence, State Governors," American National Biography Online, 1. ^ Stark, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, State Governors, American National Biography Online, 1. ^ Grant, “From Governor to Governor in Three Generations,” 68. ^ Edmund C. Burnett, ed., "Letters of Members of the Continental Congress," vols. 1—3, 5—7 (8 vols., 1921—1936), vol. 1, 163. ^ Grant, “From Governor to Governor in Three Generations,” 68—69. ^ Stark, "Signers of the Delectation of Independence," 1. ^ a b c Grant, “From Governor to Governor in Three Generations,” 69. ^ Wolcott Papers, vol.1, ( Connecticut
Connecticut
Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut), 240. ^ "Oliver Wolcott". National Governors Association. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

“A Guide to the Oliver Wolcott, Sr. Papers, from 1638-1834.” Connecticut
Connecticut
Historical Society, 2016. Grant, Ellsworth. "From Governor to Governor In Three Generations," (The Connecticut
Connecticut
Historical Society Bulletin, Volume 39 no.3, Hartford, July 1974), 65—77".  Jensen, Merrill (1978). The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution: Volume III Ratification of the Constitution by the States Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin.  Mahoney, Patrick. "Soldier, Patriot, and Politician: The Life of Oliver Wolcott". Connecticut
Connecticut
History.org. CThumanities. Retrieved 30 November 2016.  Stark, Bruce. "Oliver Wolcott". American National Biography Online. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oliver Wolcott.

American National Biography Online, Oliver Wolcott. Biography by Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, 1856 Litchfield Historical Society National Governors Association The Political Graveyard The Peter Force Library at the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
has an important compilations of pamphlets that were assembled by Oliver Wolcott.

Political offices

Preceded by Samuel Huntington Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut 1786—1796 Succeeded by Jonathan Trumbull
Jonathan Trumbull
Jr.

Preceded by Samuel Huntington Governor of Connecticut 1796—1797 Succeeded by Jonathan Trumbull
Jonathan Trumbull
Jr.

v t e

Signers of the United States
United States
Declaration of Independence

Physical history of the Declaration of Independence, Memorial

J. Adams S. Adams Bartlett Braxton Carroll Chase Clark Clymer Ellery Floyd Franklin Gerry Gwinnett Hall Hancock Harrison Hart Hewes Heyward Hooper Hopkins Hopkinson Huntington Jefferson F. Lee R. Lee Lewis Livingston Lynch McKean Middleton L. Morris R. Morris Morton Nelson Paca Paine Penn Read Rodney Ross Rush Rutledge Sherman Smith Stockton Stone Taylor Thornton Walton Whipple Williams Wilson Witherspoon Wolcott Wythe

v t e

Signers of the Articles of Confederation

A. Adams S. Adams T. Adams Banister Bartlett Carroll Clingan Collins Dana Dickinson Drayton Duane Duer Ellery Gerry Hancock Hanson Harnett Harvie Heyward Holten Hosmer Huntington Hutson Langworthy Laurens F. Lee R. Lee Lewis Lovell Marchant Mathews McKean G. Morris R. Morris Penn Reed Roberdeau Scudder Sherman Smith Telfair Van Dyke Walton Wentworth Williams Witherspoon Wolcott

v t e

Governors of Connecticut

Trumbull Sr. M. Griswold Huntington Wolcott Sr. Trumbull Jr. Treadwall R. Griswold Smith Wolcott Jr. Tomlinson Peters Edwards Foot Edwards Ellsworth Cleveland R. S. Baldwin Toucey Bissell J. Trumbull Seymour Pond Dutton Minor Holley Buckingham Hawley English Jewell English Jewell Ingersoll Hubbard Andrews Bigelow Waller Harrison P. Lounsbury Bulkeley Morris Coffin Cooke G. Lounsbury McLean Chamberlain Roberts Woodruff Lilley Weeks S. Baldwin Holcomb Lake Templeton Bingham J. H. Trumbull Cross R. E. Baldwin Hurley R. E. Baldwin Snow McConaughy Shannon Bowles Lodge Ribicoff Dempsey Meskill Grasso O'Neill Weicker Rowland Rell Malloy

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 33453812 LCCN: n85316966 GND: 1049169344 ULAN: 500353285 US Congress: W000

.