Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ELLIOTT, David, educator, born in Sherman's Valley, Perry County, Pennsylvania, 6 February 1787 : died in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, 18 March 1874. He was of Scots-Irish parentage. He entered Dickinson College in the junior class, and was graduated in 1808, studied theology for three years, was a home missionary for one year, and was then settled as pastor of the Presbyterian Church at what is now Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where he remained for eighteen years. Then he was called to Washington, Pennsylvania, as pastor, and was also for nearly two years acting president of Washington College and professor of moral philosophy. He did more than any one else to revive the College when threatened with extinction, but declined the presidency of the institution, consenting, however, to act in that capacity in connection with his pastoral duties until in 1832 a permanent president was secured. In 1835 he was called to the professorship of ecclesiastical history and Church government in the Western theological seminary, at Allegheny, Pennsylvania He declined, but the following year, at the solicitation of the directors, he accepted the chair of polemic and historic theology. He held this for nearly thirty-five years, and retired in 1870 as professor emeritus. In 1837 he was moderator of the Presbyterian general assembly, which divided that year; but he lived to see the reunion of 1870'1, and took part in its exercises.
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