Transcript:Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts:Eliot, Joseph, 1658

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Born 1638, died 1694, aged 55.

Rev. Joseph Eliot, M. A., of Guilford, Connecticut, son of John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians, and brother of the Eliots who graduated respectively in 1656, 1660, and 1665, was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, 20 December, 1638.

The leaf of the College Steward's Account-Book containing the charges against him is torn out; but among the items credited to him as "Eliatt Jeu" are several goats, "ane oxe wight neete fower quarters hid tallow — 589 pound £7," "a red oxe wight 383lb," "7 6 54 Payd by 4 bush appells at the Commencment 14Hs.," four bushels more for 10s. at Commencement the next year, and three bushels for 9s. the year following, etc., the fruit perhaps being of extra quality and wanted specially for the occasion. "The 28-11-59 payd by returne of his study and gallery ─ 3-12-00."

After graduating, Eliot began to qualify himself to instruct the Indians. Among the Acts of the Commis-

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sioners of the United Colonies in September, 1658, is the following record: "Mr Joseph Elliatt being tendered by his father to bee Imployed in the Indian worke and himselfe manifesting his Reddiness to attend the same was promised due Incurragment according; as hee shall Improue himselfe in learning of the Language." The Commissioners' accounts for September, 1660, have the item, "To Mr Josepth Elliott for his Incurragement in studdying the Indian Language these two yeares past to fitt him for the worke £20," and in September, 1661, £10 "To mr Joseph Elliot Junir for his Sallary for the yeare past ending September 6i."

November 23, 1662, the people of Northampton, Massachusetts, "unanimously expressed their desire to settle Mr. Joseph Elliot among them as a teacher" Eleazar Mather having been ordained pastor of the church, 18 June, 1661, and John Strong ruling elder soon afterwards, different duties being assigned to these three officers in the early churches. "His salary was fixed at 50 pounds." January 11, 1663, "the town voted to at 50 pounds." January 11, 1663, "the town voted to give him 80 pounds, and 60 pounds a year, and to build him a house." He "assisted Mr. Mather in the ministry for a year or two," but was not ordained. About 1664 or 1665 he was settled at Guilford, Connecticut. "The Church and Town Greatly flourished under his Successfull Ministry; and Rose to Great Fame in the Colony. After this Burning & Shineing Light had ministred to this Good people About 30 years, he Deceased May 24: 1694, to the inexpressible Grief of his beloved flock whose memory is not forgoten to this Day [1769]."

Thomas Ruggles, H. U. 1690, also from Roxbury, was ordained his successor in 1695.

Eliot's first wife, Sarah, daughter of William Brenton, Governor of Rhode Island, by his wife Martha, was

mother of, — i. Mehitable, born 6 October, 1676 ; 2. Ann, born 12 December, 1677, who married, 20 December, 1698, Jonathan Law, Governor of Connecticut, and died 16 November, 1703; 3. Jemima, born 1680, who married, 14 November, 1699, the Reverend John Woodridge, H. U. 1694; 4. Bashua, born 1681-2. She dying in the winter of 1681-2, Eliot married, about 1684, Mary, born 1656, eldest daughter of Samuel Willis, of Hartford, H. U. 1653, by his wife Ruth, daughter of John Haynes, first Governor of Connecticut, by whom he had 5. Jared, born 7 November, 1685, Y. C. 1706; 6. Abiel, 1687; 7. Mary, 1688; 8. Rebecca, 1690.

At the May session in 1698, the General Court of Connecticut ordered land to be laid out to the widow, "Mrs Marie Elliott … formerly granted to the Reverend Mr Joseph Elliott deceased." She died 11 October, 1729.

A correspondent of the New York semi-weekly Evening Post, 29 October, 1869, writes: "The homestead and farm, … owned and occupied in 1664 by Rev. Joseph Elliot, … now the residence of his immediate descendant, … has never passed out of the family. A pear tree, … planted by Rev. Mr. Elliot himself, bore fruit up to 1865, when it was blown down by a storm. It was supposed to be older than the famous Stuyvesant tree," in the city of New York. "The present occupant, Mr. Lewis R. Elliot, is a relative of the late Fitz-Greene Halleck, who was also a descendant of the Elliot family."


Letters, in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, xxxviii. 374-379.


Authorities. — Connecticut Public Records, ii. 84, 99, 389; iv. 262. Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut, 27, 29, 399. S. Dwight, Travels in New England and New York, i. 345, 346. B. B.

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Edwards, in American Quarterly Register, x. 389. Harvard College Steward's Account - Books, i. 185. E. Hazard, State Papers, ii. 395,431, 443. J. G. Holland, History of Western Massachusetts, i. 52. E. E. Law, Letter, 1863, September 7. Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections, xxxi. 13; xxxviii. 374-379, 465. C. Mather, Magnalia, iii. 173. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, v. 334. Plymouth Records, x. 207, 245, 262. Thomas Ruggles, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, iv, 188; x. 93, 94; and Historical Magazine, 2d Series, v. 230. J. Savage, Genealogical Dictionary, i. 342; ii. 111 ; iv. 577. R. H. Walworth, Hyde Genealogy, ii. 1171. S. Williams, Historical Sketch of Northampton, 16, 17.


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JOSEPH ELIOT, H. U. 1658, Vol. I. pp. 530-533.

Page 531, line 24, dele "About 1664 or 1665 he was" and substitute "In 1664 he was called and"; line 25, after " Connecticut" insert "In 1676, during the … war with King Philip, the town voted to fortify two houses, one of which was . . . Eliot's, on the south west corner of the green, and to bear in common all damage done by the enemy." — R. D. Smith, History of Guilford, 48, 94.

Page 532, add to his "Works" "The Life of Faith." See page 154.