Wolcott, 1831

July 31, 2020

Wolcott, 1831

Oliver Wolcott (1760-1833) was appointed by President George Washington to be the 2nd Secretary of the Treasury.  He served from February 3, 1795 to March 3, 1797.  Wolcott was retained in office by President John Adams and Served from March 4, 1797 to December 31, 1800.  When Alexander Hamilton, the 1st Secretary of the Treasury, resigned from the Cabinet, President Washington appointed Wolcott, placing in the office a man known to be a vigorous supporter of Alexander Hamilton's financial program.

Wolcott, a third generation scion of an American family prominent in Connecticut and national affairs during the colonial and early national periods, had attracted attention as a specialist in public finance for his work in settling the financial dispute between Connecticut and the Federal Government in 1784.  After serving briefly as Comptroller of Accounts for Connecticut during 1788-1789, he was named Auditor (1789-1791) and then Comptroller of the United States, where he served from 1791 until 1795.  An enthusiastic proponent of Alexander Hamilton's financial philosophy and program, Wolcott spent much of his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury defending his increasingly unpopular financial program against the attacks of the Jeffersonians.

He was retained in office as Secretary of the Treasury by President John Adams, and served through that Administration until his resignation during the election campaign of 1800, effective December 31, 1800, to accept the U.S. Judgeship of Connecticut. Oliver Wolcott died on June 1, 1833 in New York City.  He had served briefly in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.

Builder: New York

Commissioned: 1831

Decommissioned: Ordered sold 8 January 1851

Length: 71' 4"

Navigation Draft: 7'

Beam: 20' 6"

Propulsion: topsail schooner

Complement: 20-24 men

Armament: Much variation, typical was four 6 & 9 pdrs.

Cutter History:

Wolcott was one of the 13 cutters of the Morris-Taney Class.  These cutters were the backbone of the Service for more than a decade. Samuel Humphreys designed these cutters for roles as diverse as fighting pirates, privateers, combating smugglers and operating with naval forces.  He designed the vessels on a naval schooner concept.  They had Baltimore Clipper lines. The vessels built by Webb and Allen, designed by Isaac Webb, resembled Humphreys' but had one less port.

Wolcott served in Newport, RI, New Haven, CT, New London, CT, and Wilmington, DE. Ordered to Mobile in December 1844, she was driven ashore in Pensacola Bay.  After repairs, she was attached to the Navy for service during the Mexican War to carry dispatches in the Gulf. In September 1846, she was stricken from the commissioned list of the Revenue Cutter Service. In June 1849, she was laid up in Mobile, AL for repairs and on 3 July transferred to the Coast Survey.  The Government sold Wolcott at Mobile on 8 January 1851.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).