Henry W. Ellsworth

Henry William Ellsworth (May 14, 1814 – August 14, 1864) was an American attorney, author, poet and diplomat who served as Minister to Sweden.

Life and careerEdit

The grandson of Oliver Ellsworth and son of Henry L. Ellsworth, Henry William Ellsworth was born in Windsor, Connecticut on May 14, 1814.[1] He graduated from Yale University in 1834,[2] graduated from the New Haven Law School,[3] and became an attorney in Lafayette, Indiana.[4]

In 1844 he was a Democratic Presidential elector from Indiana.[5] In 1845 he was appointed by President James K. Polk as Minister to Sweden and Norway, and he remained until 1849.[6]

Upon returning to the United States, Ellsworth resumed practicing law, and was retained by Samuel F. B. Morse to handle several lawsuits concerning the validity of Morse's telegraph patents.[7]

Ellsworth was a poet and frequent contributor to The Knickerbocker magazine.[8] His best known poems include "Lines to an Absent Wife" and "The Cholera King".[9] He was also an author of historical and other works, including 1838's "Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana".[10]

Ellsworth died in New Haven, Connecticut on August 14, 1864.[11] He was buried in Lafayette's Greenbush Cemetery.[12]


  1. ^ Arthur Wesley Shumaker, A History of Indiana Literature, 1962, page 51
  2. ^ William Turner Coggeshall, The Poets and Poetry of the West, 1864, page 316
  3. ^ Yale University, Obituary Record of Graduates, 1870, pages 172 to 173
  4. ^ Kate Milner Rabb, A Tour Through Indiana in 1840: The Diary of John Parsons of Petersburg, Virginia, 1920, page 241
  5. ^ Yale University, Obituary Record of Graduates, 1870, pages 172 to 173
  6. ^ Joel Myerson, Studies in the American Renaissance, 1991, page 148
  7. ^ Don Lago, On the Viking Trail: Travels in Scandinavian America, 2004, page 33
  8. ^ McBride's Magazine, Literary Men as Diplomatistes, Volume 62, 1898, page 143
  9. ^ Oliver Hampton Smith, Early Indiana Trials and Sketches, 1858, pages 223 to 224
  10. ^ Henry William Ellsworth, Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana, 1838, title page
  11. ^ Yale University, Yale Literary Magazine, 1864, page 184
  12. ^ Gravestone photo, Henry W. Ellsworth at Find A Grave, accessed March 6, 2013