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Ellsworth, Oliver,1745–1807, American political leader, 3d chief justice of the United States (1796–1800), b. Windsor, Conn. A Hartford lawyer, he was (1778–83) a member of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. His great service was at the U.S. Constitutional ConventionConstitutional Convention,
in U.S. history, the 1787 meeting in which the Constitution of the United States was drawn up. The Road to the Convention
The government adopted by the Thirteen Colonies in America (see Confederation, Articles of, and Continental
..... Click the link for more information. , where he and Roger Sherman advanced the "Connecticut compromise," ending the struggle between large and small states over representation. He also served on the five-member committee that prepared the first draft of the Constitution, and was responsible for the use of the term "United States" in the document. In Connecticut, he played (1788) an important role in the state ratifying convention. As U.S. senator (1789–96), he was a leader of the FederalistsFederalist party,
in U.S. history, the political faction that favored a strong federal government. Origins and Members
In the later years of the Articles of Confederation there was much agitation for a stronger federal union, which was crowned with success when the
..... Click the link for more information. and largely drafted the bill that set up the federal judiciary and gave the U.S. Supreme Court the authority to review state supreme court decisions. Ellsworth later served (1799–1800) as a commissioner to negotiate with the French government concerning the restrictions put on American vessels.
See biography by W. G. Brown (1905).