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Ellsworth Eliot Collection

Call Number: RG 210

Scope and Contents

These materials collected by Ellsworth Eliot, Sr. provide a valuable consolidated resource of publications related to John Eliot and the Eliot family. A detailed inventory of the collection, with transcriptions of annotations and notes by Ellsworth Eliot, is available in Box 1, Folder 1. The majority of the items in the collection are published works. The materials reflect Ellsworth Eliot Sr.’s varied research interests, particularly the life and work of his ancestor, John Eliot, “Apostle to the Indians”, as well as church history and family history in the Connecticut shoreline towns of Clinton, Guilford, Madison, and North Branford, and Massachusett towns in the Boston vicinity. Nearly all of the publications contain personal notes or additional material such as newspaper clippings that were added by Ellsworth Eliot. These notes typically list references to John Eliot, “Apostle to the Indians,” or other descendants of John Eliot that appear in the publication. Some notes explain a connection between the publication’s subject matter and the Eliot family.


  • 1768-1908


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to Yale University

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Eliot D. Hawkins, Evelyn B. Patterson, and Alice Van Tuyl, 2009


  1. I. John Eliot / Eliot Family, 1833-1901
  2. II. Connecticut History / Eliot Family, 1850-1902
  3. III. Massachusetts History / Eliot Family, 1768-1908


2 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The collection consists primarily of published books, pamphlets and articles collected by Ellsworth Eliot Sr. The annotated collected documents reflect Eliot's varied research interests, particularly the life and work of his ancestor, John Eliot, “Apostle to the Indians.”

Biographical / Historical

Ellsworth Eliot, Sr., was born in North Guilford, CT on September 15, 1827. Ellsworth's great-grandfather, Abigall Eliot, was the son of Joseph Eliot, who was son of John Eliot, "The Apostle to the Indians." Ellsworth Eliot graduated from Yale College in 1849, and attended first Yale Medical School and then the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, receiving his medical degree in 1852. Ellsworth Eliot's chief hobby was collecting documentation related to the Eliot family genealogy. Fruits of that labor are evident in this collection of Eliot-related materials. Ellsworth Eliot retired from active medical practice in 1898 and died on December9, 1912. For more detailed biographical information, see Box 1, Folder 1.

Ellsworth Eliot's ancestor John Eliot is credited with being one of the editors of the Bay Psalm Book, which was the first book published in the British North American colonies. He was a missionary to native Americans in Massachusetts and translated the Bible into their native language (published 1663). In 1666, he published a "The Indian Grammar Begun." Eliot was known for attempting to preserve the culture of the Native Americans by putting them in planned towns where they could continue by their own rule as a Christian society. At one point in time, there were fourteen of these towns of so-called "Praying Indians", the best documented being at Natick, Massachusetts.

Guide to the Ellsworth Eliot Collection
Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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