William Ellery

Born on December 22, 1727 in Newport, Rhode Island, William Ellery was a dutiful, determined and deeply religious man. At the age of 16 he was sent to study at Harvard, where he became fluent in Greek and Latin. As a highly educated young man, he was a brilliant and eloquent speaker and gained considerable attention for his elegant and neat handwriting. Upon graduating, he worked for his father’s mercantile business for 20 years, learning to trade and ship, which would later be useful when he was appointed to be U.S Collector of Customs.