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Picture of William Ellery


Signer of the Declaration of Independence (Rhode Island)

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: Harvard

Occupation: lawyer

Political Affiliation:

Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason

Religious Affiliation: Congregationalist

Summary of Religious Views:

In his younger years, Ellery was not much interested in theology, and was reluctant to join any church. Despite this, one of his close friends in this period was the well-known preacher Ezra Stiles. Later in life, Ellery developed a strong interest in theology, and exchanged letters on the subject with his grandson, the Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing.

Views on Religion & Politics:


"There is but one correct system of Divinity, and that is contained in the Scriptures. What is not therein expressly declared or fairly to be inferred therefrom is human, and by consequence imperfect and incorrect." -- letter to William Ellery Channing, 10 June 1806

References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


William M. Fowler, Jr., William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of the Admiralty, Scarecrow Press, 1973


William M. Fowler, Jr., "William Ellery: Making of a Rhode Island Politician," Rhode Island History, Vol. 30, No. 4, November 1971, pp. 125-135
Susan B. Franklin, "William Ellery, Signer of the Declaration of Independence," Rhode Island History, Vol. 12, No. 4, October 1953, pp. 110-119; Vol. 13, No. 2, April 1954, pp. 44-52
Nancy Ellen Giorgi, "Letters of William Ellery Whig and Federalist," Newport History: Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society, Vol. 64, Part 3, No. 220, Summer 1991, pp. 135-146


ELLERY, William, 1727-1820 (Biographical Directory of the US Congress)
William Ellery (ushistory.org: Signers of the Declaration of Independence)
William Ellery (Redwood Library and Athenaeum)
William Ellery (Colonial Hall)
William Ellery (Signers of the Declaration of Independence -- National Park Service)

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