Oliver Wolcott

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Oliver Wolcott, 1726–97, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. South Windsor (then in Windsor), Conn.; son of Roger Wolcott. He fought in King George's War, and upon his return to Connecticut he entered a legal and public career. Wolcott held several judicial posts and in 1775 was named a Native American commissioner to obtain the neutrality of the Iroquois in the conflict with Great Britain. He was a general in the Saratoga campaign and a prominent figure in Connecticut politics as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1775–78, 1780–84), lieutenant governor (1786–96), and governor (1796–97).

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Oliver Wolcott, 1760–1833, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1795–1800), b. Litchfield, Conn; son of Oliver Wolcott. Admitted to the bar in 1781, he served as Connecticut comptroller (1788–89), auditor of the U.S. treasury (1789–91), and U.S. comptroller (1791–95). A Federalist and loyal follower of Alexander Hamilton, he succeeded Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury and was bitterly, but unfairly, attacked by Republicans for misappropriating funds. Wolcott left the Federalist party during the War of 1812, and was elected (1817) governor of Connecticut as a Republican, serving until 1827. As president of the 1818 state constitutional convention, he led the successful fight for a wider suffrage, an independent judiciary, and the disestablishment of the Congregationalist Church.