Manuscript Group 94, Elias Dayton (1737-1807), Revolutionary War officer Papers, 1759-1783, 0.5 linear feet / 1volume
Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 94, Elias Dayton (1737-1807), Revolutionary War officer Papers, 1759-1783, 0.5 linear feet / 1
Call Number: MG 94 (os)
Correspondence with Philip Schuyler, Baron
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, George Washington, and others; military
commissions; returns of New Jersey regiments; accounts of the battles of
Brandywine and Germantown, as well as of the siege of Yorktown; journal kept on
the expedition against the Indians near Detroit in 1764.
Gift of Aaron Ogden Dayton, 1850.
Elias Dayton (1737-1807) was a merchant in
Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1756, he became a lieutenant in the Jersey
Blues, a colonial militia that fought in the French and Indian Wars
(1754-1763). He was later present at the signing of the peace treaty with
the Native American Chief Pontiac outside Detroit, Michigan in 1764. In
1776, Dayton was appointed colonel of the Third New Jersey Regiment of Foot,
also known as the Third Battalion, New Jersey Line, in the Continental Army. His
unit was stationed at Albany in May 1776; in the fall of 1776 the unit built
Fort Schuyler (Rome, N.Y.) and Fort Dayton (Herkimer, N.Y.) and fought off
Indian raids from Johnstown and German Flats before returning to Morristown, New
Jersey in March of 1777. Dayton and his unit saw action at Bound Brook,
Staten Island, and Brandywine in 1777-1778, defended New Jersey from British
raids in 1779, and fought at the siege of Yorktown in 1781. On January 3,
1783, Dayton was promoted to Brigadier-General and on November 3, 1783 the unit
was discharged. On June 5, 1799, the State of New Jersey promoted Dayton
to Major General of the Second Division of Militia.
Elias Dayton was an alderman before the
Revolution and afterwards served as a New Jersey assemblyman from 1791-1792 and
1794-1796. He also served as recorder of Elizabeth (1794) and as mayor of
Elizabeth (1796-1797 and 1801).
Dayton married Hannah Rolfe in 1757 and
together had eight children including Jonathan (1760-1824), Elias Bailey (b.
1762), Aaron (fl.1830), John (d. 1804), Horatio, and William (1771-1842).
Elias Dayton died in Elizabeth, New Jersey on October 22, 1807.
Gerlach, Larry R. New Jersey in the
American Revolution, 1763-1783: A Documentary History (Trenton, NJ: New
Jersey Historical Commission, 1975).
Johnson, Allen and Malone, Dumas. Dictionary
of American Biography, Cushman-Eberle, Vol. 5 (New York, NY: Charles
Scribners Sons, 1930).
Stryker, William S. Official Register
of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War (Trenton, NJ:
William T. Nicholson and Co., 1872).
Aaron Ogden Dayton donated this collection
The collection consists of one volume
containing the papers of Elias Dayton dating from 1759-1783. The volume is
entitled “List of Papers Sent by A. D. Dayton to the New Jersey Historical
Society, May 8, 1850” and contains a number of Elias Daytons promotions;
a journal documenting his time with the New Jersey Blues; notes detailing the
battles of Brandywine, Germantown and the siege of Yorktown; and sketches of the
deployment of the armies at Germantown, and Yorktown. The papers also
include letters of Captain Charles Argill, George Washington, General Schuyler,
and Jeffery Amherst. These letters discuss such topics as: permission for
Argill to return to England and military orders. Most of these papers were
reprinted in Vol. 1, Nos. 5 and 9 of the Proceedings of the New Jersey
Manuscript Group 38,
Ebenezer Elmer (fl. 1776-1785) Papers: Elmer was in Daytons unit in the
Manuscript Group 227,
Jersey Brigade Orderly Book: Dayton was the commanding officer at the time
this orderly book was written.
Processed by James Lewis, April 2001 as part of the “Farm to City”
project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records