His Early Career
Oliver Wolcott was born in the year 1726. He graduated from Yale College in 1747. Upon graduation, he received a commission as a captain in the army and served during the French-Indian War. He defended the northern frontier until the end of the war.
Wolcott returned to Connecticut. He studied medicine until the County of Litchfield appointed him as sheriff in 1751.
In 1774 he became the assistant to the council of the state. This was the start of his political career. He also served as a judge for the district of Litchfield.
His Patriotic Service
Oliver Wolcott was a strong proponent of American independence. In 1776, Connecticut appointed him as a representative to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Wolcott took part in the deliberations and signed the Declaration of Independence.
After returning to Connecticut, Wolcott commanded fourteen regiments of the state militia. He took part in several movements in the defense of New York. In the summer of 1777, he joined the northern army under General Gates. His volunteers aided in the defeat of the British army under General Burgoyne.
Between 1777 and 1786, Wolcott had to divide his time between Congress, military service, and as a commissioner of Indian affairs.
In 1786 he served as lieutenant governor for ten years. He became the chief magistrate of Connecticut in 1796.
Oliver Wolcott was a tall and muscular man. Yet, he exhibited culture and dignity. Wolcott was also very opinionated, yet he was able to change his position when evidence conflicted with his opinions.
In 1755, he married a Miss Collins, of Guilford. They enjoyed forty years of marriage. During the many and long absences of her husband, she educated her children and managed their household.
Wolcott was a voracious reader. He read science books, history, and philosophy. He had the reputation of a scholar.
Oliver Wolcott died in December 1787 at the age of 72.