Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 94, Elias Dayton (1737-1807), Revolutionary War officer Papers, 1759-1783, 0.5 linear feet / 1 volume
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 Scribnerís 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 in 1850.
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 Daytonís 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 Historical Society.
Manuscript Group 38, Ebenezer Elmer (fl. 1776-1785) Papers: Elmer was in Daytonís unit in the Revolutionary War.
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 Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society