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Jacob Eliot family papers

Call Number: MS 193

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a wealth of information about the Eliot Family of Lebanon, Guilford, and New Haven, Connecticut. The members of the family trace their lineage back to John Eliot, "the Apostle to the Indians". The descendants of John Eliot refer to themselves as the "South End Eliots" to distinguish them from the "North End Eliots" associated with Harvard College and science in the nineteenth century. The chief figure in this collection is the Reverend Jacob Eliot, 1700-1766, Harvard College, class of 1720, and after 1730 the minister of the Third or Goshen Society of Lehanon, Connecticut. Eliot distinguished himself as an "Old Light" during the Great Awakening.

The second major figure in this collection is the second Doctor Ellsworth Eliot, 1864-1945, Yale College, class of 1884, who practiced medicine in New York City. Aside from his medical duties he was the author of The Patriotism of Joseph Reed, West Point in the Confederacy, and Yale in the Civil War.Part of this collection is material Dr. Eliot collected for these works.

Also represented are many brothers named Eliot during the nineteenth century, the sons of the Reverend Jacob Eliot II, 1734-1785, also of Lebanon, Connecticut.

There are also some letters from Roger Sherman, S.F.B. Morse, Eli Whitney, and Fitz Greene Halleck to various people, as well as a number of legal documents relating to Nathan and Sarah Camp, who probably were Dr. Ellsworth Eliot's parents-in-law and the parents of Walter Camp, the Yale football coach.

The first box in the collection contains the correspondence of the people mentioned above from 1700 to 1870. It is followed by various by legal papers relating to the estate of Jacob Eliot I his wife, and his son, 1734-1814. The legal papers relating to Nathan and Sarah Camp follow, filling the years, 1870-1885, and the last items in the box are papers collected by Dr. Ellsworth Eliot, including photographs of Jacob Eliot's Diary and congratulatory letters Dr. Eliot received from the people to whom he had sent complimentary copies of The Patriotism of Joseph Reed.

Also in box one is a scrap book kept by Whitney Elliott, 1823-1909, from 1875 to 1882. The book contains genalogical notes on the Eliot family especially in relation to the gathering in 1875 of the descendants of "Apostle" John Eliot at Guilford, Connecticut. The items are mainly newspaper clippings and poems.

Box 2 contains three bound books. The earliest two comprise the diary of the Reverend Jacob Eliot written in almanacs for the years 1716, 1721, 1723, 1724, 1726, 1737, 1741, 1742 and in the second volume 1745, 1746, 1747, 1749, 1752, 1754, 1757, and 1764. The daily entries are weather reports, but at the bottom of the pages and in the margins are notices of people in Boston and Lebanon, most every preacher of note in the eighteenth century, as well as information on books, sermons, and meetings of the General Association of Ministers in Connecticut. A great many notes refer to the Trumbull and Williams families. The most interesting entries concern the Great Awakening, the excesses of which Eliot strongly opposed. The most important entries have already been published in the Historical Magazine of America, 2d Series, volume V, 1891, pages 33-35.

Also in this second box is account book kept by Jacob Eliot I from 1754 to 1766 and continued by his son from 1768 to 1783. Besides financial matters the book contains notes of family marriages, lists of townspeople, and other minor items.

The third box contains a typed manuscript of Dr. Ellsworth Eliot's unpublished book on West Point graduates in the Union Army during the Civil War, a sequel to his West Point In the Confederacy, published by Yale in 1943.

Members of the Eliot Family Who Appear in this Collection:

  1. Eliot, Abigail Ward, 1803-1838
  2. Eliot, Alexander McGilvrae, 1802-1861
  3. Eliot, Dr. Ellsworth. I, Yale 1849, Corn. Vanderbilt's doctor
  4. Eliot, Dr. Ellsworth II, Yale 1884, 1864-1945
  5. Eliot, Frederick Tyler, a brother of John H. Eliot
  6. Eliot, Gustavus Rose, 1822-1869, a cousin of Alexander M. Eliot
  7. Eliot, Henry, 1782-1864
  8. Eliot, Jacob I, 1700-1766
  9. Eliot, Jacob II, 1734-1785
  10. Eliot, Jared Lay, 1805-1811
  11. Eliot, John E., 1811-1880
  12. Eliot, John Harvey, M.D., Yale 1805, 1784-1824
  13. Eliot, Margaret, grand-daughter of Whitney Eliot
  14. Eliot, Mary, mother of Fitz Greene and Maria Halleck
  15. Eliot, Thomas, 1736-1809
  16. Eliot, Timothy, 1772-1848,
  17. Eliot, Whitney, 1823-1909
  18. Eliot, William Horace, Jr., 1824-1852, Yale 1844
  19. Eliot, Wyllys, 1779-1856

Other People of Note in the Eliot Family Collection:

  1. Alexander, William, called Lord Stirling, 1726-1783
  2. Banister, John, 1734-1788, member of Continentell Congress
  3. Bartlett, Marietta M., amateur poet
  4. Camp, Nathan S [underline] 1884
  5. Camp, Sarah M. [underline] 1877
  6. Clinton, George, 1739-1812, Governor of New York
  7. Halleck, Fitz Greene, 1790-1867, poet and satirist
  8. Halleck, Maria, sister of F.G.H.
  9. Howe, William, 5th Viscount Howe, 1729-1814
  10. Huntington, Samuel, 1731-1796
  11. Morse, Samuel Finley, Breese, 1791-1872, painter and inventor
  12. Pettit, Charles, 1736-1806, Revolutionary colonel
  13. Reed, Joseph, 1741-1785, patriot
  14. Sherman, Roger, 1721-1793, patriot
  15. Tallmadge, Benjamin, 1754-1835, Revolutionary general
  16. Wadsworth, Decius, 1768-1821
  17. Whitney, Eli, 1765-1825, inventor
  18. Williams, Alpheus Starkey, 1810-1878
  19. Williams, Colonel William, 1731-1811, patriot
  20. Trumbull, Jonathan, 1710-1785, patriot

This collection contains approximately 200 items in three boxes, including diaries, letters, and legal papers by and about Jacob Eliot, 1700-1766, of Lebanon, Connecticut, and his descendants, spanning the years 1916-1945 and including Revolutionary and Civil War material gathered by Dr. Ellsworth Eliot, 1864-1945.

The gift of Dr. Ellsworth Eliot and William Inglis Morse, 1942-1946.


  • 1716-1945


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dr. Ellsworth Eliot and William Inglis Morse in 1942.


1 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Diaries of Jacob Eliot with marginal notes relating to people in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lebanon, Connecticut, 18th century preachers, books, sermons, a meeting of the General Association of Connecticut, the Great Awakening, and the Trumbull and Williams families. Includes papers of Ellsworth Eliot (1864-1945), physician, of New York City, with material he collected in writing books; letters from Fitz Greene Halleck, S. F. B. Morse, Robert Sherman, and Eli Whitney; and legal documents relating to Nathan and Sarah Camp.

Biographical / Historical


Born June 6, 1864, in New York City. Died November 2, 1945, in New York City.

Father, Ellsworth Eliot (B.A. 1849, M.A. 1852; M.D. Columbia 1852), a physician in New York City; son of Wyllys and Lucy (Camp) Elliot of North Guilford, Conn.

Mother, Anna (Stone) Eliot; daughter of Joshua and Ruth Shaw (Sumner) Stone of Boston. Yale relatives include: Jared Eliot (B.A. 1706) (great-great-great-uncle); Harvey Elliot (B.A. 1805) (great-uncle).

Dr. Calliser's School, New York City. Dissertation appointment junior year; first dispute appointment Senior year; member Delta Kappa.

Attended College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 1884-1887 (M.D. 1887); on surgical staff New York Hospital 1887-1889; studied in Vienna and Berlin 1889-1890; surgeon in New York City 1890-1945; lecturer in clinical surgery College of Physicians and Surgeons and gave course called "Eliot's Quiz" to medical students 1890-1913; visiting surgeon Presbyterian, Gouveneur, Lawrence, Bronxville, and White Plains hospitals, and Northeastern Dispensary, New York City, 1896-1936; surgical director Knickerbocker Hospital 1930-1936; attended Medical Officers Training Camp, Fort Riley and Camp Crane, 1917-1918; commissioned Major April 7, 1917; went overseas August 15, 1918; surgical director Evacuation Hospital No. 11, American Expeditionary Forces, in Château-Thierry, St. Mihicl, and Argonne-Meuse campaigns; consulting surgeon Tours and Orleans section; returned to the United States January 23, and discharged January 25, 1919; author: Yale in the Civil War (1932), Letters and Palters of Ezra Stiles (1933), Theodore Winthrop (1938), West Point in the Confederacy (1941), and The Patriotism of Joseph Reed (1943); contributed many articles on surgery to medical journals; chairman surgical section New York Academy of Medicine 1909-1910; president New York Surgical Society 1909-1911 and American Surgical Association 1928; member Century Association, The Pilgrims, Grolier Club, and New York Genealogical and Biographical, and Historical societies.

Married June 15, 1904, in New York City, Lucy Carter, daughter of George Harrison and Lucy Carter (Wickham) Byrd. Children: Evelyn Byrd (B.A. Vassar 1928), the wife of Dexter Clarkson Hawkins (B.A. Harvard 1920; LL.B. Columbia 1922); and Lucy Carter (B.A. Vassar 1935).

Death due to lymphosarcoma. Buried in Alder Brook Cemetery, Guilford, Conn, Survived by wife, daughters, and there grandchildren.

Dr. Eliot presented to the University Library many books and other gifts, especially manuscripts of importance in the history of Yale and the United States. In 1927 he established in memory of his father the Ellsworth Eliot fund for research and publication.

Guide to the Jacob Eliot Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Gerard B. Warden
August 1963
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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