- John Elliot was know as the “Apostle to the Indians.” Over a period of serveral years he learned Massachusetts, the language of the Algonquin Indians living in southern New England, and translated and produced many religious works to aid in the conversion of the Indians. Among these were the first Bible published in America.
Savage says: JOHN, Roxbury, the celebr. apostle of the Ind. b. at Nazing, Co. Essex, 1603, was bred at Cambridge, matric. as a pensioner in Jesus Coll. 20 Mar. 1619, where he took his A. B. 1623, came to Boston 2 Nov. 1631, in the Lion, freem. 6 Mar. 1632, in Nov. foll. was sett. in his office of teacher, with collea. Thomas Welde, wh. was made pastor in July preced. He m. Ann Mumford, or Mountfort, wh. was betroth. to him in Eng. and foll. him the next yr. This was in Octor. I think, certain. not 4 Sept. 1632, as the town rec. has it, for the ship, in wh. she came did not arr. until 12 [] days later. She d. 22 Mar. 1687, had Hannah, b. 17 Sept. 1633, wh. m. 4 May 1653, Habakuk Glover, and was liv. when Mather wrote the Life of her f.; John, 3 or 31 Aug. 1636, H. C. 1656; Joseph, 20 Dec. 1638, H. C. 1658; Samuel, 22, bapt. 27 June 1641, H. C. 1660; Aaron, 19 Feb. bapt. 3 Mar. 1644, d. 19 Nov. 1655; and Benjamin, 29 Jan. 1647, whose bapt. is not kn. as the foot of the page in ch. rec. where prob. it was writ. is cut off. This youngest s. H. C. 1665, was, it is said, a preacher, and assist. his f. many yrs.; but he was never ord. nor m. and d. 15 Oct. 1687. In the trembl. hand of the f. it is writ. that he was bur. 26, the rec. next but one above being "in this yr. my ancient dearly beloved w. d. I was sick to death, but the Lord was pleased to deliv. me." A very curious tract, proving Eliot's simplicity of heart, the Christian Commonwealth, compos. like William Aspinwall's Fifth Monarchy, under a strong persuasion of the "rising kingdom of Jesus Christ," being near at hand, may be seen in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. IX. 130. In the humble apology, extort. in May 1661, he says, it was sent to Eng. "about nine or ten yrs. since." As the more proximate reign of Oliver Cromwell was then in concoction, the work was kept back for the preposterous, but natural, anarchy after his death, and then came forth to enjoy short popular. or prob.none at all. Our peop. gladly acknowl. the gov. of Eng. in King, Lords, and Commons, for the millennium seem. premature; yet it was hardly an object of true policy to compel the auth. to profess his sorrow for the harmless mistakes. Ever honor. will be the name of Eliot for the better work, not of a statesman, but a philanthro. laborer of forty yrs. in spread. among our aborig. the sentiments and in some degree the doctr. of his relig. He had sec. collea. Danforth, and third, Walter, and d. 20 May 1690. [4, 5]