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Ancestral Heroes, Your Ancestors, Fathers, Mothers, Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Uncles, Aunts, Friends, Who Served in the Civil War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Gulf War.... and defended our freedom.
MAJOR ANDREW ELLICOTT (deceased). The subject of this sketch devoted a long life to the service of his country, and illustrated in an eminent degree the valuable aid intelligence and learning can render in the settlement and civilization of a new country; he was born in Bucks Co., Penn., Jan. 24, 1754. His attainments in science soon drew public attention to him, and from the Revolution to the day of his death he was employed in the fulfillment of trusts conferred by the General or State Governments. Though belonging to the society of Friends, he commanded a battalion of Maryland Militia in the Revolution. In 1786, he was employed, on behalf of Virginia, in fixing the boundary line between that State and Penn. In 1786 he was commissioned by the Supreme Executive Council of the State to run the northern boundary line of Penn., and in 1788 he was directed to make a survey of the islands in the rivers Allegheny and Ohio within the bounds of the State. In 1789 he was commissioned by the U.S. Government to locate the western boundary of N.Y. State, and ascertain the validity of the claim of that State to the site upon which Erie now stands. He located the line, after much hardship and trouble, some 20 miles east of Presque Isle; his valuable service in this important and responsible survey seems to have been duly appreciated by Washington, for he writes in the year of its completion: "General Washington has treated me with attention. The Speaker of Congress and the Governor of the State have constantly extended to me most flattering courtesies." Thus we find that this city was laid out or originally surveyed by Maj. Andrew Ellicott. In 1790 he was employed by the U.S. Government to survey and lay out the District of Columbia and Washington City; in 1796, he was appointed by Washington commissioner to fix the boundary line between the United States and the Spanish possessions. One important trust succeeded another, and for more than 40 years, and up to the time of his death, he was constantly employed in some public capacity. His high character and superior intelligence elevated him without special effort; he had an exalted sense of duty, and a well-sustained conception of personal responsibilities. In March, 1801, he was appointed by Jefferson Surveyor General of the United States, which office he accepted upon conditions imposed by himself. Sept. 1, 1813, he was appointed Professor of Mathematics in the Military Academy at West Point, and removed the same year to that place with his family, and here died, Aug. 28,1820; he left a widow and nine children. Col. John H. Bliss, of this city, is his grandson. Pres. Hale, in his memoir of Maj. David Bates Douglass, the son-in-law of Andrew Ellicott, says: "The memoirs of the late Andrew Ellicott, when written, will form a valuable addition to the history of our country, taking us away from the beaten ground of battlefields and Senate Chambers and Cabinets to the services which science can render in the settlement of a new country in a civilized age." Extracts from a sketch of Maj. Andrew Ellicott in Stuart’s Civil and Military Engineers of America.