William ELLERY, Congress, RI (1727-1820)


ELLERY, William, (uncle of Christopher Ellery), a Delegate from Rhode Island; born in Newport, R.I., on December 22, 1727; taught by private teachers; was graduated from Harvard College in 1747; naval officer of Rhode Island in 1754; clerk of the court of common pleas of Newport County in 1768 and 1769; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1770 and commenced practice in Newport, R.I.; elected a Member of the Continental Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Samuel Ward and served from May 14, 1776, to 1785; one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; chosen to the newly constituted board of admiralty in 1779; appointed chief justice of Rhode Island in 1785; appointed by the Continental Congress commissioner of the Continental Loan Office in 1786; collector of the port of Newport from 1790 until his death in Newport, R.I., February 15, 1820; interment in the Common Cemetery.


Fowler, William M. William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1973.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present