CHIEF JUSTICE OLIVER ELLSWORTH - AUTOGRAPH DOCUMENT SIGNED 04/12/1776 CO-SIGNED BY: EZEKIEL WILLIAMS - HFSID 168350
Sale Price $722.50
OLIVER ELLSWORTH and EZEKIEL WILLIAMS
Ezekiel Williams, a member of Connecticut's Committee of the Pay Table during the American Revolutionary War, wrote and signed this document in 1776, less than three months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, to give money to the paymaster of one of Connecticut's militia regiments. Also signed by Oliver Ellsworth, one of Connecticut's first two senators.
Autograph document signed: "Ez. Williams" and "O. Ellsworth" as "Comtee". 1 page, 8¼x4¾, docketed on verso. Hartford, Connecticut,April 12, 1776. Williams and Ellsworth signed this document to pay Col. Samuel Whiting, paymaster of the 2nd Company of the 5th Connecticut Regiment 1,028 pounds, 10 shillings and 9 pence. The military finances for the colony of Connecticut were handled by the Pay-Table, also known as the Committee of Four, during the American Revolution (1775-1783). Pay-Table members rotated during the lengthy confrontation with England, and included such notables as jurist OLIVER ELLSWORTH, attorney Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (a future U.S. Secretary of the Treasury), Hezekiah Rogers (an aide de camp to General Jedediah Huntington, who was also a member), William Moseley, Fenn Wadsworth, Eleazer Wales and General Samuel Wyllys, son of Governor George Wyllys. Financing the Revolution laid a heavy burden upon each colony, especially those which balked at levying taxes. In order to meet immediate needs, such as wages, the colonies relied upon wealthy revolutionists, foreign loans, and taxes and gifts from abroad. Connecticut issued promissory notes such as this. Issuing paper money was only a temporary solution, and worthless without specie or gold and silver backing. The U. S. would establish its standard monetary system in 1791. ELLSWORTH (1745-1807, born in Windsor, Connecticut) represented Connecticut in the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1784 and was a Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court from 1785 to 1789. A delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, he helped broker the "Connecticut Compromise", which broke the impasse between large and small states over representation in Congress. He was one of Connecticut's first two U. S. Senators, serving from 1789 to March 8, 1796, when he resigned, having been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President George Washington. While in Congress, he drafted the Judiciary Act of 1789, which organized the federal judiciary system. He retired from the Court in 1799. WILLIAMS (1729-1818) was a successful Wethersfield, Connecticut merchant who served throughout the war as Commissary of Prisoners held in Connecticut. He was a member of the Committee of the Pay Table for Connecticut from 1775 and sheriff of Hartford County from 1767 to 1789. SEYMOUR (1735-1829, born in Hartford, Connecticut) was a colonel with the Volunteer Connecticut Light Horse during the Revolutionary War and was the first mayor of Hartford, Connecticut (1774-1812). Lightly toned, stained, bowed and rippled. Signatures touch. Show-through from verso and ink transference, which touch signatures. Light tear in top right corner and paper repair on verso, which touch body of document but not signatures. Light tear at left edge and light nick at right edge. Random ink stains and smears. Irregular top, right and bottom edges. Missing top right and bottom corners. Folded in half and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.
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