Oliver Wolcott was a famous American patriot and soldier of the Revolutionary War, and was the youngest son of Roger Wolcott, who was the former governor of Connecticut. Wolcott fought in King George’s War, and upon his homecoming, he entered a political and public career. Wolcott held several jurisdictional posts and at one time, he was named Native American official to obtain the noninvolvement of the Iroquois in the war with Great Britain. Oliver Wolcott also served as general in the Saratoga campaign and was a prominent symbol in Connecticut politics as a representative to the Continental Congress, lieutenant governor and finally, the Governor of Connecticut, succeeding Samuel Huntington. He is best remembered as the signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which were the two important milestones in his long legal career. Oliver Wolcott was responsible to nurture several thousand troops and was allotted 14 Connecticut regiments to lead to the defense of New York, during the battle of Long Island. A rigid Federalist, Oliver Wolcott was believed to be a man of many talents, ample fortune and enterprise. Apart from being engaged in several military movements, Wolcott was one of the founding fathers in the settlement of peace with six important nations. Read on to learn more about this great personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Oliver Wolcott was born on November 20, 1726 in Windsor Connecticut. He was the youngest of the fourteen children born to Governor Roger Wolcott and his wife.
Wolcott attended Yale College and graduated in 1747.
He was commissioned to serve as Captain during the French and Indian War with King George and upon his return, he decided to study medicine.
Wolcott participated in the American Revolutionary War as Brigadier General in the Connecticut Militia. He was then promoted to Major General for the same in the following year.
He was appointed as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, where he had to sort disputes between the Iroquois tribe and Great Britain.
Wolcott was elected to the Congress in 1775 till 1778, but was absent from duty since he was on military duty as Major General. During this time, he was supposed to sign the Declaration of Independence, however, a personal ailment got in the way and he pushed the ratification to October, 1776.
In the summer of 1777, General Wolcott raised numerous military troops and strengthened General Putnam’s forces on the Hudson River. The same year, he joined General Horatio Gates and commanded a brigade of militia that took part in the overthrow of General Burgoyne, at Saratoga, in October.
He resumed his seat in the Continental Congress and remained in his position till July 1778 and once again from 1778 to 1784.
Oliver Wolcott was elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut in 1786, a position he served for ten years.
He was elected as Governor in 1796, following the death of Samuel Huntington, the former Governor. He served in this position for only one year, which was cut short, due to his demise.
He had to sort out the disputes between the Iroquois tribe and Great Britain when he was appointed as Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
He raised over thousand troops and strengthened General Putnam’s forces.
Awards & Achievements
Oliver Wolcott was promoted to Major General during the Revolutionary War in 1775.
He signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut in 1786.
He was elected as the 4th Governor of the State of Connecticut and the 19th Governor overall, in 1796.
Personal Life & Legacy
Oliver Wolcott married Lorraine (Laura) Collins of Connecticut, on January 21, 1755. They had five children, one of whom became Secretary of the United States Treasury, and two of whom died young.
He passed away on December 1, 1797 in Farmington, Connecticut. He is interred at East Cemetery in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
Today, the town of Wolcott is named after Oliver Wolcott and his son. Wolcott’s home was declared a National Historic Landmark and there is also a school in Connecticut, named after him called the Oliver Wolcott Technical High School.
It is believed that Oliver Wolcott adored poetry.
1726: Oliver Wolcott was born on November 20 in Windsor, Connecticut.
1747: He graduated from Yale College.
1755: Wolcott married Lorraine Collins.
1775: He was elected to the Congress and also promoted to Major General in the military.
1776: He signed the Declaration of Independence.
1777: He nurtured military troops and strengthened General Putnam's forces.
1778: He resumed his seat in the Continental Congress.
1786: Wolcott was elected Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, a position he served for 10 years.
1796: He was elected as Governor of Connecticut, following the death of Samuel Huntington.
1791: He passed away on December 1st.