Dr. Daniel Elliot
Birth: 01 Oct. 1792 in Dublin New Hampshire Death: 1868.
Daniel Elliot was the youngest son of David Elliot and his wife Lucy. This David Elliot and his brother joined the army of the revolution and were engaged in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Both parents had been previously married and their children were children of each marriage. His father died in the early infancy of Daniel. Lucy Elliot, his mother, was a “woman of sterling worth, of great force of character, faithful, clear headed, following “The Master”, far seeing, consistent, persevering, noble in breadth, and her charity for human infirmity, knowing no compromise with conscience, genial, cheery, and possessed of a fund of varied anecdote and story. She lived to four score years and ten”.(1) Daniel was a clerk in the store of Aaron Appleton at Dublin from 1806 to 1809; then entered classical studies. He entered sophomore classes at Dartmouth College, and graduated in 1813. Elliot graduated at the head of his class, and delivered the valedictory address; he was described at that time as “six feet in height, broad of chest, and large of limb, clear-eyed, active, and fearless; the best football player of the region.” . In the fall of 1815, following two years of medical study undertaken at Dartmouth with Drs. Cyrus Perkins and Amos Twitchell, he removed to New York City at the urging of his friend, classmate and future brother-in-law Augustus Greele. In 1818 he married Abigail (Abby) Greele. Lucy A. Elliot was born in Massachusetts in 1819, Augustus Greele Elliot in July 1821, and and Caroline C. Elliot, born in Woodstock, New York 1826; Augustus Greele Elliot went on to enjoy a distinguished career in the medical profession.
In 1827 Elliot joined his brother-in-law in the commission business, chiefly concerned with paper products. Following Greele’s retirement, this company was known as Elliot, Burnap & Babcock and later yet Campbell & Smith. From 1827 until 1843 he resided in New York City. There the men entered into partnership in operating a female seminary based in Harlem, the first of several joint enterprises which later included a Woodstock, Ulster County based window glass manufacturing interest where Elliot served for a time as superintendent. While at the academy Elliot offered lectures and instruction as part of the curriculum.
In 1843 he purchased a farm on the Hudson River near Newburgh, built a house (the Elliot-Buckley House), and in the following year took possession. (2)
Daniel Elliot contracted for the construction of the house in the early 1840s on lands purchased from the Carpenter family. Fifty-eight acres in extent, the property was mapped that year by , a well-known surveyor who worked in Newburgh and was active throughout the greater region. At the time of the 1850 Federal census Daniel Elliot was residing at “Riverview” with his wife Abby, a 25-year old Irish-born domestic and a 65-year old native of San Domingo, presumably also a house servant. His profession was listed at that time as farmer and his real estate valued at $10,000. In 1860 the household consisted of Daniel and Abby Elliot; Mary Campbell, 30, an Irish-born domestic; Mary Dooly, 16, a New York-born domestic; and William Rafferty, 15, a New York-born day laborer who presumably assisted with Elliot’s agricultural endeavors. By that time Elliot’s real estate value had grown to $15,000 and his personal estate was valued at $2,000; his profession was again noted as farmer. Elliot was clearly engaged in cultivation at this time, presumably fruit, which could be conveniently shipped by the river or railroad to distant urban markets.
Daniel Elliot’s Dartmouth College education, experience and business successes suggest a person of considerable cultural and intellectual attainment. His interest in progressive architectural ideas then being promoted by Downing should be viewed in this context. As will be seen Elliot’s interest in architecture was well-established well before the construction of his house. His close friend, brother-in-law and business associate Augustus Greele was, like Elliot, also a man of refined taste interested in cultural pursuits. A graduate of Yale University, Greele was on the Committee of Management of the American Art-Union in New York, chartered 1840, which counted among its mission the task of elevating American art among the middling classes. This mission was in many ways akin to Downing’s desire to heighten taste in architectural and domestic matters in the United States, given that the impetus of the American Art-Union was to promote and sustain an original art responsive to American customs and culture. Greele and Elliot were naturally inclined to the new architectural concepts which Downing sought to advance during the 1840s, and which had particular resonance in the Hudson Valley. As for Daniel Elliot, he was a member of the Apollo Art Association in New York, described as “a wholesome spur to the energies of the Academy of Design,” and counted among his friends and associates the artists Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Samuel F.B. Morse. Sometime after 1860, following his own retirement and sale of the Marlboro estate, Elliot resided in Westchester County. He died in March 1868.
Eliot Family 57-58; 59.
“Map of Land belonging to Daniel Elliott, Esq., Surveyed 1843 by Stephen C. Parmentier,”
Walter G. Eliot, A Sketch of the Eliot Family (New York: Press of Livingston Middleditch, 1887), 53.
Wealth and Pedigree of the Wealthy citizens of New York:
Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University (New Haven: 1915), 3-4.