As Senator from Connecticut, Ellsworth writes to William Patterson, Governor of New Jersey. In part, “You will have the goodness to excuse my troubling you a moment in behalf of an Ensign Brissel of my vicinity who has served in the Reg't. & has an arrear of pay due to him. He has been once to Philadelphia to receive it & was there informed that it had been paid to a May Heart. Mrs. Heart is now in Connecticut & informs that the money is in the hands of Capt. Beaty at New Brunswick & has drawn an order on him as you will see to pay it. I pray you to let one of your clerks call on Capt. Beaty with the order & if the money is paid upon it to transmit the money to me or keep it till I can draw for it.” Written and signed in his large hand “Oliver Ellsworth.” Tape repairs across two horizontal margin folds, slight edge tears.
Ellsworth’s most significant contribution is considered to have been the drafting of the Judiciary Act of 1789 establishing a separate Federal judiciary. He served in the United States Senate, representing Connecticut at the time. After he served as the second governor of New Jersey, from 1790 to 1793, President Washington appointed Paterson to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1793. Paterson hoped to become the court's chief justice in 1800, after Oliver Ellsworth stepped down, but President John Adams appointed John Marshall instead. The Bill of Rights to the US Constitution was adopted in the year of our letter.