• Oliver Ellsworth Shaped Major Parts Of U.S. Constitution, Writes About Pursuing Continental Prisoners In 1776

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    OLIVER ELLSWORTH (April 29, 1745 – November 26, 1807) was a lawyer, judge, politician and diplomat. He was a framer of the United States Constitution, a U.S. Senator from Connecticut and the third Chief Justice of the United States, appointed by George Washington.  Ellsworth received 11 electoral votes in the 1796 presidential election. Ellsworth was a delegate to the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War, and later a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, which produced the U.S. Constitution. His influence helped insure that Connecticut ratified the Constitution.  He left the convention before actually signing the Constitution, but his influence on the document was enormous. He was chief author of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which shaped the federal judiciary and established the Supreme Court’s power to overturn state supreme court decisions that were contrary to the Constitution.  Ellsworth served as envoy to France from 1799 to 1800, signing the Convention of 1800 to settle the hostilities of the Quasi-War.


    Offering a one-page, 4 ½ x 7 ½, ALS, to Connecticut State Treasurer John Lawrence (who served from 1769 – 1789), as follows, “Sir, Please to pay Mr. Gurdon Wadsworth Ten Shillings & three pence for pursing Continental prisoners on acct & charge the State – Hartford, Dec. 30, 1776.


    “O Ellsworth Committee [of the Pay Table]”


    Verso contains a receipt: “Rec’d 30, Dec. 1776 of Treasurer Lawrence Ten Shillings & three pence…Gurdon Wadsworth.”  Additional fine early docketing with the date “30 Decemr 1776 “Annotated Sept. 1, 1777 T. Treadwell”


    Three mentions of 1776, the most important year in America’s history.


    Toning, fold. One small edge tear reinforced with archival tape. Else very good and an incredible piece of American history.


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