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OLIVER ELLSWORTH. Manuscript DS: "O Ellsworth" and "Ez: Williams" as members of the Committee, 2p, 8x5¾, front and verso (hinged to show both sides). Hartford, 1777 March 27. To "Jno. Laurence Esq. Treasurer". Begins: "Sir". In full: "Pay Constant Southworth Esq - or order, Fourteen pounds three Shillings, for Importing Powder, Salt Petre &c & Charge the State -". Endorsed on verso: "Recd March 28 1777 Fourteen pounds three Shillings L Money the Contents Cp Con Southworth". Docketed on verso: "No. 6606 Cont. Southworth Esq Order L14.3.0 Datd 27th March 1777 Audited Sept 1, 1777 F Greadee". As a member of the "Pay-Table" Committee, which handled all of the military finances for the colony of Connecticut, OLIVER ELLSWORTH (1745-1807) signed this order for payment for gunpowder and salt petre. The latter commodity (potassium nitrate) was a scarce and key ingredient in manufacturing gunpowder, which the colonies desperately needed for the war effort (they could not depend upon imports). Ellsworth, who was elected State's Attorney for Hartford County, Connecticut in the year he signed this document, began his service with the Continental Congress the following year. During his term (1778-1783), Ellsworth is acknowledged as the co-author (with Roger Sherman) of the Connecticut Compromise that ended the controversy regarding government delegates. The Compromise proposal allowed for the two-house system with equal state delegates in the Senate and population-proportioned representatives in the House. Two years later, Ellsworth, a U.S. Senator from Connecticut (1789-1796), drafted the Judiciary Act of 1789, which is the basis of the federal judicial system. On March 4, 1796, President George Washington appointed Ellsworth as the third Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1796-1800). EZEKIEL WILLIAMS (1729-1818) served throughout the war as Commissary of Prisoners held in Connecticut. CONSTANT SOUTHWORTH was a descendant of the first Constant Southworth, who was brought to the colonies as a child in 1623. He later settled the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts and become Assistant Governor of Plymouth. Lightly creased with folds, not at signatures. Lightly soiled, stray ink marks. Light show through of writing on verso. Overall, fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 38x22.

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Born: April 29, 1745 in Windsor, Connecticut
Died: November 26, 1807 in Windsor, Connecticut

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