Rev. John Eliot

Is your surname Eliot?

Research the Eliot family

Rev. John Eliot's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

John Eliot, "The Indian Apostle"

Also Known As: "the Indian apostle"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Widford, Hertfordshire, England
Death: Died in Roxbury, Suffolk , Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Bennett Elliott and Letteye Elliot
Husband of Sarah Porter and Hannah Eliot (Mumford)
Father of Hannah Glover; Rev. John Elliot, Jr.; Reverend Joseph Elliot; Samuel Eliot; Aaron Eliot and 1 other
Brother of Sarah Curtis; Deacon Philip Bennet Eliot; Jacob Eliot; Lydia Wight; Deacon Francis Eliott and 1 other

Occupation: minister, Apostle to the Indians
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. John Eliot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Eliot_%28missionary%29

http://www.answers.com/topic/john-eliot

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Appletons%27_Cyclop%C3%A6dia_of_American_Biography/Eliot,_John

John Eliot (c. 1604 – 21 May 1690) was a Puritan missionary to the American Indians. His efforts earned him the designation “the Indian apostle.”

English education and Massachusetts ministry

John Eliot was born in Widford, Hertfordshire, England and lived at Nazeing as a boy. He attended Jesus College, Cambridge. He arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on November 3, 1631, on the ship Lyon, and became minister and "teaching elder" at the First Church in Roxbury, also studying under the charge of Thomas Hooker. In that town he founded the Roxbury Latin School in 1645. From 1649 to 1674, he was assisted in the Roxbury ministry by Samuel Danforth.

Highlights of his career

John Eliot and fellow ministers Thomas Weld (also of Roxbury) and Richard Mather of Dorchester, are credited with being the editors of the Bay Psalm Book, which was the first book published in the British North American colonies. He participated in the examination, excommunication and exile of Anne Hutchinson, whose opinions he deplored. He was instrumental in the conversion of Massachusett Indians. To help achieve this, Eliot translated the Bible into the Native language and published it in 1663. In 1666, his grammar of Massachusett, called "The Indian Grammar Begun", was published as well. As a cross-cultural missionary Eliot was best 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 14 of these towns of so-called "Praying Indians", the best documented being at Natick, Massachusetts. These towns were mostly destroyed by furious English colonists during King Philip's War (1675). Although restoration was attempted, it ultimately failed. The praying Indian towns included: Littleton (Nashoba), Lowell (Wamesit, initially incorporated as part of Chelmsford), Grafton (Hassanamessit), Marlborough (Okommakamesit), a portion of Hopkinton that is now in the Town of Ashland (Makunkokoag), Canton (Punkapoag), Mendon-Uxbridge (Wacentug), and Natick.

Eliot was also the author of The Christian Commonwealth: or, The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ, considered the first book on politics written by an American and also the first book to be banned by an American government. Written in the late 1640s, and published in England in 1659, it proposed a new model of civil government based on the system Eliot instituted among the converted Indians, which was based in turn on Exodus 18, the government instituted among the Israelites by Moses in the wilderness. Eliot asserted that "Christ is the only right Heir of the Crown of England," and called for the institution of an elected theocracy in England and throughout the world. The accession to the throne of Charles II of England made the book an embarrassment to the Massachusetts colony, and in 1661 the General Court banned the book and ordered all copies destroyed. Eliot was forced to issue a public retraction and apology.

Family

John Eliot's wife was the former Hanna Mumford. They had six children, five girls and one boy, but only one of the children lived, the boy. Their son, John Eliot, Jr., was the first pastor of First Church in Newton, while his son, Joseph Eliot, was a pastor in Guilford, Connecticut, and was himself father of Jared Eliot, a noted agriculture writer and pastor.

Eliot School

In 1689 John Eliot donated 75 acres (300,000 m2) of land in Jamaica Plain to support the Eliot School, founded in 1676. Under the donation, the school was required to accept both Negros and Indians without prejudice, a great exception for the time.The school survives near its original location to this day as The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Death

He died in 1690, aged 85, his last words being "welcome joy!" A monument to John Eliot is on the grounds of the Bacon Free Library in Natick.

Eliot is honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on May 21.

Works

The Christian Commonwealth: or, The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ

Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New England, in the Year 1670.

The Harmony of the Gospels in the holy History of the Humiliation and Sufferings of Jesus Christ, from his Incarnation to his Death and Burial.

  • __________________________

There is a strong American connection with Nazeing. In 1631 the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to New England in ‘Lyon’. Among them was John Eliot (1604-1690) "The Indian Apostle;" in Massachusetts, who lived in Nazeing as a boy. John Curtis, who also emigrated, was baptised in All Saints Church on 15th September 1577.

http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/chistory/section3.htm

  • ___________________

Laurel Logan

August 5, 2008

from http://www.sewellgenealogy.com/p153.htm

Rev. John Eliot1

M, b. 5 August 1604, d. 21 May 1690

Rev. John Eliot b. 5 Aug 1604 d. 21 May 1690

     The "Apostle to the Indians." Rev. John Eliot was baptised on 5 August 1604 at Church of St. John the Baptist, Widford, Hertfordshire.1 He was the son of Bennett Eliot and Lettice Aggar.1 Rev. John Eliot married Ann Mountford on 4 September 1632 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, This date is more likely to be sometime in October otherwise it would pre-date the bride's arrival in New England.2 Rev. John Eliot died on 21 May 1690 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, at the age of 85.1,2 

He entered Jesus College, Cambridge, March 20, 1618. He spent a part of the time between 1622 and 1631 at Little Baddow, Essex, as a school-master with Rev. Thomas Hooker, founder of Hartford, Connecticut. He embarked about the middle of August, 1631, in the ship Lion for Boston, arriving November 2, and in the absence of the pastor, Rev. John Wilson, took charge of the church at Boston. In 1632 he became teacher of the church at Roxbury, where many of his old friends and neighbours had settled. He was wanted in the Boston church as colleague for Mr. Wilson, but he had promised in England that when his friends came he would join them. In 1640 the "Bay Psalm Book," of which he was one of the compilers was printed. He began to preach to the Indians, September 14, 1646, and during the rest of his life continued earnestly his efforts to educate and Christianise them. He published "A briefe topographical description of the Severall Townes in New England with the names of our Magistrates and Ministers."In 1650 he selected Natick, Massachusetts, asa place for an Indian town, and the foundations were made there the following year. In 1653 he had so far progressed in his knowledge of the Indian language that he had translated the Book of Psalms, and in 1654 he published a catechism in the Indian language. In 1655 his translation of Genesis was published and the Book of Matthew begun. "A Late and Further Manifestation of the Progress of the Gospel Amongst the Indians in New England" was published. In 1657 he preached to the Podunk Indians at Hartford in their own tongue. In December, 1658, he had completed the translation of the Bible into the Massachusetts dialect. His "Christian Commonwealth" is said to have been published in 1659. In 1660 he was first called the "Indian Apostle," a title by which he has since been distinguished. The publication of his translation of the Bible was completed in 1663 and he began the translation of Baxter's Call. In 1664 his translation of the Psalter was published and in 1666 the Indian Grammar. In 1686, after much revision and delay, a second edition of the Indian Bible was printed and distributed among the Indians. He continued to preach from time to time to the Indians, even after he was eighty years old. The Indian church at Natick languished after he died, and in 1698 there were but seven men and three women in membership. Biographies of Eliot were written by Cotton Mather, Martin Moore, Rev. John Wilson and Rev. Converse Francis, Memorial windows to Eliot are in the Memorial Hall of Harvard University and in the Church of St. John the Baptist, Hertfordshire, England, and a panel framed in Sienna marble, representing Eliot preaching to the Indians was placed in position in the State House, Boston, in 1903. Various other sermons and pamphlets were published by Eliot, besides those mentioned. Besides the memorials already mentioned there is a monument of freestone at South Natick, the parish monument at Roxbury, a granite watering trough at Canton, an Eliot Memorial Fund and Memorial Terrace at Newton, tablets in the Congregational House, Boston, and a Memorial at Tucson, Arizona.1

Children of Rev. John Eliot and Ann Mountford

Hannah Eliot b. 17 Sep 1633, d. 9 Feb 1708/92

Rev. John Eliot Jr.+ b. 31 Aug 1636, d. 13 Oct 16681

Rev. Joseph Eliot+ b. 20 Dec 1638, d. 24 May 16941

Samuel Eliot b. 22 Jun 16411

Aaron Eliot b. 19 Feb 1643/44, d. 19 Nov 16551

Benjamin Eliot b. 29 Jan 1646/47, d. 15 Oct 16871

Citations

William Richard Cutter, New England Families.

Robert Charles Anderson and George F. Sanborn Jr. & Melinde Lutz Sanborne, The Great Migration, John Eliot.

--Laurel Logan

  • ________________________
  • The New England historical and genealogical register (1848) Vol. II.
  • https://archive.org/details/newenglandhistor002wate
  • https://archive.org/stream/newenglandhistor002wate#page/192/mode/1up
    • JOHN BOWLES, ESQ.
  • The following Obituary is copied from the Boston News Letter of April 14th, 1737.
    • Roxbury, April 8th , 1737.
  • On Monday 28th March last died, and on Saturday following was interred with great Respect, and many Tears, John Bowles, Esq. An inveterate Jaundice, with other Cronical Distempers brought him to the grave, just as he had attained the Age of Fifty-two years. [He was descended of worthy and pious Ancestors by the Father, and his Mother was Grand-daughter to the famous Mr. Eliot. His Father died when he was very Young, but happily committed him to the care of .... etc.
  • Major Bowles was twice married : First to the Daughter of Col. Checkley of Boston, by whom he hath left Five Children. His second Wife, who is his sorrowful Widow, was sister to Mr. White, Treasurer to the College at Cambridge, and Clerk of the House of Representatives ; and by her he has left issue, one son. His only Daughter is Married to Benj. Lynde, Jr., Esq., of Salem.
  • Mr. John Bowles, his grandfather, was an inhabitant of Roxbury before 1640.(*) The Apostle Eliot says that in "1649, Nov. 3, our sister, ["Mrs. Dorothy"] Bowles, the wife of John Bowles dyed."(f) .... etc.
  • .... And on the 7th of the same month he records the burial of "Elizabeth Bowles, daughter to Elder Heath." John Bowles, son of the preceding, was baptized by the Apostle Eliot, June 27, 1653, graduated at Harvard College in 1671, a classmate of Chief-Justice Samuel Sewall, and proceeded to the degree of Master of Arts. Nov. 16, 1681, he was married by the venerable Eliot to his grandchild, Sarah Eliot. His son, the Rev. John Eliot, Jr., married Sarah ___ . Their daughter Sarah was baptized "7 Moneth 21 Day 1662." Her mother "was admitted to full communion" 6th 5th mo. 1662. "24 July, 1664, a church was gathered in ye bounds of Cambridge & Mr. John Eliot, Jun. was ordained Pastor, and Mr. Thos . Wiswall Ruling Elder,"(*) and May 23, 1666, he married his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of the Honorable Daniel Gookin .... etc.
  • ______________________________
  • Rev John "Apostle to the Indians" Eliot
  • Birth: Aug. 5, 1604 Essex, England
  • Death: May 20, 1690 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Known as "Apostle to the Indians". Arrived in U.S. in 1631. Became Pastor of Roxbury MA, Church in 1641. Established Roxbury Latin School in 1645. He founded at Natick, MA, the first Indian Church in New England. Completed the Indian translation of the bible in Algonquin and it was the first BIBLE printed in America in 1663. In 1689, he gave his new John Eliot School, seventy-five acres of his own land, "for the teaching and instructing of the Children of that end of the Town (together such Negroes or Indians as may come to the said Schoole)", in Jamaica Plains, MA.
  • Family links:
  • Spouse:
  • Ann Mountford Eliot (____ - 1686)*
  • Children:
    • Hannah Eliot Glover (1633 - ____)*
    • John Eliot (1635 - 1668)*
    • John Eliot (1636 - ____)*
    • Joseph Eliot (1638 - ____)*
    • Samuel Eliot (1641 - ____)*
    • Aaron Eliot (1643 - 1655)*
    • Benjamin Eliot (1646 - ____)*
  • Inscription:
    • HERE LIE THE REMAINS OF
    • JOHN ELIOT.
    • The
    • APOSTLE TO THER INDIANS
    • Ordained over the First Church Nov 1632
    • Died May 20, 1690, Aged LXXXVI.
  • Also of .... etc.
  • Burial: Eliot Burying Ground, Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Plot: Unknown
  • From: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5838759
  • __________________________

John Prefix: Reverend Sex: M Birth: 5 Aug 1604 in Widford, Hertfordshire, England Death: 21 May 1690 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA 1 Burial: Eliot Burying Ground, Roxbury, Ma.

Baptism: 5 Aug 1604 Widford, Hertfordshire, England 2 Note:

  
   The first Bible printed in America was done in the native Algonquin Indian Language by John Eliot in 1663; nearly 120 years before the first English language Bible was printed in America by Robert Aitken in 1782. Eliot?s devotion to ministry to America?s natives earned him the title ?Apostle to the Indians?. U.S. President Thomas Jefferson also recognized the native American ?Indians? as among the most challenging of converts, when he published ?The Morals of Jesus?, featuring the Parables of Jesus in one abridged volume.
   Eliot was also the author of The Christian Commonwealth: or, The Civil Policy Of The Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ, considered the first book on politics written by an American and also the first book to be banned by an American government. Written in the late 1640s, and published in England in 1659, it proposed a new model of civil government based on the system Eliot instituted among the converted Indians, which was based in turn on Exodus 18, the government instituted among the Israelites by Moses in the wilderness. Eliot asserted that "Christ is the only right Heir of the Crown of England," and called for the institution of an elected theocracy in England and throughout the world. The accession to the throne of Charles II of England made the book an embarrassment to the Massachusetts colony, and in 1661 the General Court banned the book and ordered all copies destroyed. Eliot was forced to issue a public retraction and apology.
   John Eliot - The Early Years in England
   John Eliot (1604-1690), American colonial clergyman, was born probably at Widford, Hertfordshire, England, where he was baptized on the 5th of August 1604. He was the son of Bennett Eliot, a middleclass farmer. Little is known of his boyhood and early manhood except that he took a B.A. Degree at Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1622. It seems probable that he entered the ministry of the Established Church, but there is nothing definitely known of him until 1629-1630, when he became an assistant at the school of the Rev. Thomas Hooker, at Little Baddow, near Chelmsford. The influence of Hooker apparently determined Eliot to become a Puritan, but his connection with the school ceased in 1630, when persecutions drove Hooker into exile. The realization of the difficulties in the way of a nonconforming clergyman in England undoubtedly convinced John Eliot to emigrate to America. He arrived in Boston November 4, 1631, on the ship "Lyon", he settled first at Boston, assisting for a time at the First Church.
   He established the first "Indian" Church at Natick, MA. Eliot?s Ministry to American Indians continued and on 5 November 1632, John Eliot became a teacher at the church of Roxbury, with which his connection lasted until his death. There he married Hannah Mulford, who had been betrothed to him in England, and who became his constant helper. Soon, Eliot became inspired with the idea of converting the Indians. His first step was to learn their dialects, which he did by the assistance of a young Indian whom he received into his home. With his aid he translated the Ten Commandments and the Lord?s Prayer. John Eliot first successfully preached to the Indians in their own tongue at Newton in October 1646. At the third meeting several Indians declared themselves converted, and were soon followed by many others.
   John Eliot induced the Massachusetts General Court to set aside land for their residence. The Court did so, and also directed that two clergymen be annually elected by the clergy as preachers to the Indians. As soon as the success of Eliot?s endeavors became known, the necessary funds flowed in upon him from private sources in both Old and New England. In July 1649 parliament incorporated the ? Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England,? which supported and directed the work inaugurated by John Eliot. In 1651 the Christian Indian town founded by Eliot was removed from Nonantum to Natick, where residences, a meeting-house, and a school-house were erected, and where Eliot preached, when able, once in every two weeks as long as he lived.
   John Eliot?s missionary labors encouraged others to follow in his footsteps. A second town under his direction was established at Ponkapog (Stoughton) in 1654. His success was duplicated again in Martha?s Vineyard and Nantucket, and by 1674 the unofficial census of the ?praying Indians? numbered 4,000. At Eliot?s death, which occurred at Roxbury on the 21st of May 1690, the missions were at the height of their prosperity. He wrote the "First" book to be published in America, "Bay Psalm Book" with the following title "The Whole Booke of Psalmes" faithfully translated into English Metre.
   The Eliot Indian Language Bible
   Even wider in influence and more lasting in value than his personal labors as a missionary, was Eliot?s work as a translator of the Bible and various religious works into the Massachusetts dialect of the Algonquian language. The first work completed was the Catechism, published in 1653 at Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first book to be printed in the Indian tongue. Several years elapsed before Eliot completed his task of translating the Bible. The New Testament was at last issued in 1661, and the Old Testament followed in 1663. The New Testament was bound with it, and thus the whole Bible was completed. To it were added a Catechism and a metrical version of the Psalms. This book was printed in 1663 at Cambridge, Mass., by Samuel Green and Marmaduke Johnson, and was the first Bible printed in America. In 1685 appeared a second edition, in the preparation of which Eliot was assisted by the Rev. John Cotton (1640-1699), of Plymouth, who also had a wide knowledge of the Indian tongue.
   Many people are shocked to discover that the first Bible printed in America was not English? or any other European language. In fact, English and European language Bibles would not be printed in America until a century later! Eliot?s Bible did much more than bring the Gospel to the pagan natives who were worshiping creation rather than the Creator? it gave them literacy, as they did not have a written language of their own until this Bible was printed for them. The main reason why there were no English language Bibles printed in America until the late 1700?s, is because they were more cheaply and easily imported from England up until the embargo of the Revolutionary War.
   But the kind of Bible John Eliot needed for his missionary outreach to the native American ?Indians? was certainly not to be found in England, or anywhere else. It had to be created on the spot. Eliot recognized that one of the main reasons why the native Americans were considered "primitive" by European settlers, is that they did not have a written alphabet of their own. They communicated almost exclusively through spoken language, and what little writing they did was in very limited pictorial images, more like Egyptian hieroglyphics than that of any functional alphabetical language like those of Europe or Asia or Africa.
   Eliot Offers the Gift of Literacy
   Clearly the Word of God was something these people needed if they were to stop worshiping creation and false gods, and learn to worship the true Creator? but God?s Word could not realistically be translated effectively into their primitive pictorial drawings. So Eliot found a wonderful solution: he would give the native Americans the gift of God?s Word and also give them the gift of true literacy. He agreed to learn their spoken language, and they agreed to learn the Western world?s phonetic alphabet (how to pronounce words made up of character symbols like A, B, C, D, E, etc.) Eliot then translated the Bible into their native Algonquin tongue, phonetically using our alphabet! This way, the natives did not really even need to learn how to speak English, and they could still have a Bible that they could READ. In fact, they could go on to use their newly learned alphabet to write other books of their own, if they so desired, and build their culture as the other nations of the world had done. What a wonderful gift!
   Other Literary Works of John Eliot
   Besides his Bible, John Eliot published at Cambridge in 1664 a translation of Baxter?s Call to the Unconverted. With the assistance of his sons he completed (1664) his well-known Indian Grammar Begun, printed at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1666. The Indian Primer, comprising an exposition of the Lord?s Prayer and a translation of the Larger Catechism, was published at Cambridge in 1669. In 1671 Eliot printed in English a little volume entitled Indian Dialogues, followed in 1672 by his Logick Primer, both of which were intended for the instruction of the Indians in English. His last translation was Thomas Shepard?s Sincere Convert, completed and published by Grindal Rawson in 1689.
   John Eliot?s literary activity, however, extended into other fields than that of Indian instruction. He was, with Richard Mather, one of the editors of the Bay Psalm Book of1640, which was the first book of any kind ever printed in America.
   A few years before his death he began teaching Negro servanrs and Indians youths at his home. In his will he gave 75 acres for the construction of a school and for maintance and support for the local children to include "such Indians and Negroes which may come to the school. This area was known as "Jamaica Plain".

Father: Bennett Eliot b: 1573 in Widford, Co.,County Essex, England Mother: Letteye (Lettice) Aggar b: 22 Mar 1579 in Nazeing, Essex,England

Marriage 1 Hannah "Anna" Mumford b: 1604 in Widford, Hertfordshire, England

   Married: 4 Sep 1632 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA 1

Children

   Has Children Hannah Eliot b: 17 Sep 1633 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Ma
   Has Children John A.M. Eliot b: 31 Aug 1635 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA
   Has Children Joseph Eliot b: 20 Dec 1638 in Roxbury, Ma
   Has No Children Samuel Eliot b: 22 Jun 1641 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA c: 27 Jun 1641 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., MA
   Has No Children Aaron Eliot b: 19 Feb 1643 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA c: 3 Mar 1644
   Has No Children Benjamin Eliot b: 29 Jan 1646 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA

Sources:

   Repository:
       Name: The New England Historic & Genalogical Society
       Boston, MA 02116-3007
       USA
       101 Newbury Street~~Boston, MA, 02116-3007, USA
   Title: Genealogy Of The Eliot Family. (George B. Bassett & Co. Eliot, William H. Jr. - Revised and Enlarged by William S. Port
   Note:
   1 _SUBQ Genealogy Of The Eliot Family.
   1 _BIBL Genealogy Of The Eliot Family. Eliot, William H. Jr. - Revised and Enlarged by William S. Porter, George B. Bassett & Co. Printed by T. J. Stafford, New Haven Connecticut 1854.
   Page: Page 55
   Repository:
       Name: The New England Historic & Genalogical Society
       Boston, MA 02116-3007
       USA
       101 Newbury Street~~Boston, MA, 02116-3007, USA
   Title: NEHGS, New England Historical and Genealogical Society Register
   Volume XXXVIII - 1894 (NEHGS)
   Note:
   1 _SUBQ NEHGS, New England Historical and Genealogical Society Register
   Volume XXXVIII - 1894
   1 _BIBL NEHGS. New England Historical and Genealogical Society Register
   Volume XXXVIII - 1894. NEHGS.
   Text: July 1894, Page 80
   Genealogical Gleanings in England 

Source: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=rruth321&id=I44539

view all 24

Rev. John Eliot's Timeline

1602
February 6, 1602
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
1603
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 6, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
February 18, 1603
Nazeing, Essex, England, United Kingdom
1604
August 5, 1604
Widford, Hertfordshire, England