Born in Newport, he graduated from Yale College in 1787, studied law, was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Newport.
He was clerk of the superior court of Newport County from 1794 to 1798. Ellery was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ray Greene and served from May 6, 1801, to March 4, 1805. He was defeated for reelection in 1804 by James Fenner, the son of the Governor.
He died in Middletown in 1840.
Interment was in Island Cemetery, Newport. Christopher Ellery was a nephew of William Ellery, a Continental Congressman from Rhode Island.
Member United States Senate (Democrat, filled vacancy) from Rhode Island, May 6, 1801-1805.