Wolcott, Oliver

Wolcott, Oliver (1760-1833) Secretary of the Treasury: Oliver Wolcott was born on January 17, 1760, in Litchfield, Connecticut. After graduating from Yale in 1778, he served briefly in the Army in the Revolutionary War. In 1781, he was admitted tot he bar, and became a specialist in public finance. He displayed his expertise when he settled a financial dispute between Connecticut and the federal government in 1784. He served as Comptroller of Accounts for Connecticut (1788-1789), US Auditor (1791-1795) and US Comptroller (1791-95). A strong supporter of Hamilton's financial policies, he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury when Hamilton resigned in 1795. Like his predecessor, Wolcott had to defend his policies against attacks from Jefferson and his political allies. After he joined Hamilton in a plot to fight Adams' reelection in 1800, he had to resign from his position. Nevertheless, Adams appointed him a judge of the US Circuit Court in 1801, one of the "midnight judges" Adams frantically appointed right before he left office. Wolcott's position was eliminated by the Anti-Federalists in 1802, after which he became a weathy merchant in New York City. During the War of 1812, he returned to politics as a "war hawk" Federalist. He helped organize the Toleration Party, a coalition of Federalists and Anti-Federalists in Connecticut. Wolcott was elected Governor of Connecticut several times, from 1817 to 1827, and presided over the state constitutional convention in 1818. He died on June 1, 1833, in New York, New York.