Oliver Ellsworth transferred to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) from Yale in 1762, during his second year of studies. Ellsworth studied theology and helped found the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, eventually completing a law degree and becoming a prominent lawyer and politician. He was elected to the Connecticut Assembly and the Continental Congress, was one of the first two Senators from Connecticut, and in 1796 was appointed by George Washington to the office of Chief Justice of the United States. Ellsworth played an instrumental role in both the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the Connecticut Compromise.
When it came to issues of slavery, Ellsworth most often voted with the South in order to move forward his agenda on the Connecticut Compromise; he favored the Three-Fifths Compromise. However, he once stated in an essay that “all good men wish the entire abolition of slavery.”