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Revolutionary War Pay Order signed by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Richard Law - Autograph

Inv# AU1720   Autograph
State(s): Connecticut
Years: 1780

Pay Order signed by Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Richard Law.

Oliver Wolcott Jr. (January 11, 1760 – June 1, 1833) was United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1795 to 1800 and governor of Connecticut from 1817 to 1827.

He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, son of Oliver Wolcott, Sr. and Laura Collins Wolcott. He graduated from Yale University in 1778, later studying law at Litchfield Law School and being admitted to the bar in 1781.

Wolcott was appointed in 1784 as one of the commissioners to mediate claims between the United States and the state of Connecticut. After serving as state comptroller of Connecticut from 1788-90, he was named auditor of the federal treasury, and became Comptroller of the Treasury in 1791.

He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by George Washington in 1795 to succeed Alexander Hamilton; as Secretary, he was Washington's intermediary in getting the Collector of Customs for Portsmouth, New Hampshire to ship a runaway slave-woman back to Mount Vernon if it could be done quietly; it could not be, and she remained there. He resigned in 1800 due to unpopularity, and a particularly vitriolic campaign against him in the press in which, among other things, he was falsely accused of setting fire to the State Department building.

In 1799, as Secretary of the Treasury, he designed the United States Customs Service flag.

Wolcott was one of President Adams' so-called "midnight judges", appointed to the second circuit bench on almost the eve of Jefferson's inauguration in 1801.

From 1803 to 1815 he operated in private business in New York City, afterwards retiring to Litchfield. He was elected governor in 1817 as a "Toleration Republican", following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and serving ten years in the post. His tenure was noted for the economic growth and moderate policies that attended it. Additionally, he presided over a convention that created a new state constitution in 1818.

Wolcott died in New York City and is interred at East Cemetery in Litchfield. Prior to his death, Wolcott had been the last surviving member of the Washington Cabinet.

The town of Wolcott, Connecticut was named in honor of Oliver Jr. and his father Oliver.

Richard Law (March 7, 1733 – January 26, 1806) was a delegate to the First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation. He was Mayor of New London, Connecticut and a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Born on March 7, 1733, in Milford, Connecticut Colony, British America, Law pursued classical studies, graduated from Yale University in 1751 and read law in 1755. He was admitted to the bar in January 1755, and entered private practice in Milford from 1755 to 1757. He continued private practice in New London, Connecticut Colony from 1757 to 1765. He was a Justice of the Peace for New London from 1765 to 1775. He was a member of the Connecticut General Assembly from 1765 to 1776. He was Chief Judge of the New London County Court from 1773 to 1784. He was Clerk of the Connecticut General Assembly from 1774 to 1776. He was an assistant to the Connecticut General Assembly from 1776 to 1786. He was a member of the Connecticut Council of Safety in May 1776. He was a delegate, successively to the First Continental Congress, Second Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation in 1774, in 1776, in 1777, and from 1780 to 1783. He was a Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court in New London from 1784 to 1789, serving as Chief Judge from 1786 to 1789. He was the Mayor of New London, Connecticut from 1784 to 1806.

In October 1786, Richard Law presided over the trial of twelve year old Hannah Ocuish, a half-Pequot Indian girl, for the murder of six year old Eunice Bolles. Upon the conclusion of the trial, Law sentenced the young girl to death on October 16, 1786. Ocuish was hanged for her crime on December 20, 1786, three months shy of her thirteenth birthday.

Law was nominated by President George Washington on September 24, 1789, to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, to a new seat authorized by 1 Stat. 73. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 1789, and received his commission the same day. His service terminated on January 26, 1806, due to his death in New London. He was interred in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London.

Law was the father of Lyman Law, a United States representative from Connecticut, and grandfather of John Law, a United States Representative from Indiana.

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