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ELMER, Ebenezer

1752–1843

Biography

ELMER, Ebenezer, (brother of Jonathan Elmer and father of Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus Elmer), a Representative from New Jersey; born in Cedarville, Cumberland County, N.J., August 23, 1752; pursued an academic course; studied medicine and practiced in Cedarville; served in the Revolutionary Army as ensign, lieutenant, surgeon's mate, and regimental surgeon; practiced medicine in Bridgeton, N.J., 1783-1789; member of the State general assembly 1789-1795, serving as speaker in 1791 and 1795; elected as a Republican to the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Congresses (March 4, 1801-March 3, 1807); was not a candidate for renomination in 1806; member of the State council in 1807, and was chosen vice president of that body; collector of customs of Bridgeton from 1808 until 1817, when he resigned; reappointed in 1822 and served until 1832, when he again resigned; served in the War of 1812; adjutant general of the New Jersey Militia and brigadier general of the Cumberland brigade; vice president of Burlington College 1808-1817 and 1822-1832; retired from public life; died in Bridgeton, N.J., on October 18, 1843; interment in the Presbyterian Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

New Jersey Historical Society

Newark, NJ
Papers: 1776-1785, 17 volumes. The papers of Ebenezer Elmer contain journals (1776-1779) record military orders, medical accounts, some speeches, and personal observations about military conflicts and activities, including: the Battles of Saratoga and Fort Ticonderoga; an expedition to Canada (1776); Colonel Elias Dayton's Battalion (1776); and Major General John Sullivan's expedition (1779). Included are references to the care and transport of the wounded, cases of smallpox and gangrene among the troops, and the lack of medicine and supplies, as well as notes about troop movements, encounters with Native Americans, treaties, officers' leisure activities, and. Religious services. Details are provided about Native Americans, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca groups: their war instruments, child rearing and education practices, systems of trade, and dance. Also, a notebook of writings on his political philosophy, and an account book (1782-1785) with additional notes on his miliary life. Includes a journal kept during the Revolution, accounts, and commonplace entries. Portions of the journal have been published.
Papers: In the Edwin A. Ely Autograph Collection, ca. 1663-1890, 250 items. Persons represented include Ebenezer Elmer.
Papers: In the Jonathan Dayton Papers, 1788-1821, 69 items. Persons represented include Ebenezer Elmer. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1779-1781, 1 volume. A commonplace book containing notes kept by Ebenezer Elmer while serving as Surgeon of the Second New Jersey Infantry include: a parody on the British crown and government; a "cursory history" of the Revolution to 1778; poems, many on love and marriage; medical notes; and some memoranda on military action.
Papers: 1790-1802, 2 volumes. Daybooks kept by Ebenezer Elmer.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1801-1803, 3 letters. Letters of Ebenezer Elmer, 1801-1803.

Rutgers University
Special Collections and Archives

New Brunswick, NJ
Papers: 1774-1814, 2 volumes and 4 items. The papers of Ebenezer Elmer contain notes, 1774-1775, and syllabus of medical lecturers given by Jonathan Elmer; medical commonplace book ("Praxis Medica"); letters received, 1806-1807, concerning New Jersey politics; and receipt, 1814, for ordnance supplies picked up at Philadelphia for delivery to Elmer at Bridgeton. According to Elmer's note, the "Praxis Medica" was "Extracted chiefly from the most eminent practitioners in Europe, interspersed with the practice of the principal physicians in the city of Philadelphia, particularly of Drs. Redman(?) Bond ? the only dated entry is a transcription of an address given by Benjamin Rush in 1786. The letters concerning New Jersey politics were written by Joseph Bloomfield (New Jersey governor) and James J. Wilson (New Jersey Council clerk).
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