This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The recent death and burial in a pauper's grave at Cleveland, Ohio - a fate resultant from dissipated habits - should not prevent us from doing justice to the valuable services he rendered to horticulture in the earlier portion of his career. We have nothing at hand to inform us of his birth-place or parentage, but it was stated by Dr. Houghton in a speech complimentary to Mr. Elliott, before the American Pomo-logical Society in Philadephia many years since, and the statement apparently accepted by Mr. Elliott, that he was a decendent of the celebrated Elliot who more than two hundred years ago translated the Bible into the language of the Na-tick Indians; a wonderful work for that time. We can only commence with his early life, when with his brother, two young single men, they started business together in New York as importers of dry goods, in which they were remarkably successful, being at one time supposed to be worth about a quarter of a million of dollars apiece. They were burnt out, and through some misunderstanding with the insurance companies, obtained nothing and were financially ruined.
About 1836 or '37 he left New York and removed to Newburg, where he became acquainted with A. J. Downing, by whom his very ready pencil found temporary employment, and from whom he imbibed an enthusiastic love for landscape gardening and horticulture generally. The unstability of his disposition, even at this early age, led him to sacrifice his prospects here, and he suddenly took his leave, and we find him soon after working with a relative at Walnut Hills near Cincinnatti, as a market gardener, going himself with the garden products to Cincinnatti market. How long he remained here we do not know, but probably but a year or so, for in 1843 we find him at Cleveland, assisting in editing the Cleveland Herald, a paper then struggling with about 1000 copies into its present high position among the daily press. Our next special knowledge of him was in St. Louis as one of the editors of the Democrat of that city, from whence a year or two afterwards he wandered to Washington where his pencil was employed by the agricultural department of the Patent office, and some of the most beautiful representations of American fruits that have ever appeared in government publications were the work of his hands.
But his restless disposition drove him back to Cleveland, generally with some employment on the Herald which generously aided him in many an emergency. To the great public he was well known for many years as the Secretary of the American Pomological Society, till his growing social infirmities compelled a change. His usefulness lies buried from this time. He has injured many by the weaknesses of his later life, but even with this great weight against him it may be that the world owes him some balance for his having lived in it. At least we will leave this decision with his maker. We only wish to do him what justice may be fairly his.