Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 12 September 1793

To Oliver Wolcott, Jr.

Sep. 12. 93.

Th: Jefferson, being obliged for form’s sake to direct the inclosed to the Secretary of the Treasury, notwithstanding his known illness, puts it, open, under cover to Mr. Wolcott with his compliments, and a desire that he will do any thing in it which under present circumstances can be done. Not acquainted with the line of division between Mr. Wolcott’s and Mr. Coxe’s offices, should he have mistaken in addressing this to the former, he begs the favor of him to send it to the other.

PrC (DLC). FC (Lb in DNA: RG 59, DL). Enclosure: TJ to Alexander Hamilton, 12 Sep. 1793.

Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1760–1833), the son of the perennial lieutenant governor of Connecticut, was educated at Yale and studied law with Tapping Reeve. A staunch Federalist for most of his political career, Wolcott served under Alexander Hamilton in the Department of the Treasury as Auditor from September 1789 to June 1791 and then as Comptroller. Upon Hamilton’s resignation in January 1795, Wolcott succeeded him as Secretary of the Treasury and held this office until he resigned in December 1800. Although Wolcott was appointed a United States Circuit Court judge by John Adams in 1801, his position was abolished by the Judiciary Act of 1802. Wolcott retired to private life for the next fifteen years, engaging in a number of commercial and banking ventures, but capped his career of public service with his election to the governorship of Connecticut in 1817 as the candidate of the Toleration Party, a victory which helped end Federalist control of the state. Annually reelected until 1826, Wolcott also presided over the convention that framed the constitution of 1818, which disestablished the Congregational church in Connecticut and introduced other reforms (DAB description begins Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography, New York, 1928–36, 20 vols. description ends ).

Index Entries