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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CORNELIUS, Elias, physician and patriot, born on Long Island in 1758; died in Somers, New York, 13 June, 1823. He studied medicine, and at the age of nineteen obtained the appointment of surgeon's mate in the 2d Rhode Island regiment. He was captured and confined in the prison-ship "Jersey," but escaped in March, 1778, rejoined the army, and continued with it till 1781. In later years he obtained a large practice.--His son, Elias, educator, born in Somers, New York, 31 July, 1794; died in Hartford, ,Connecticut, 12 February, 1832. He was graduated at Yale in 1813, and sent to the Cherokee and Chickasaw Indians as a missionary. He was ordained an evangelist in 1817, and travelled through the south, raising funds to found Indian missions. The cause was helped by his "Little Osage Girl," widely read in Sunday-schools, which was founded on the story of a child that he rescued from the Cherokees, who had killed and scalped her mother, in 1819 he was installed as the colleague of Dr. Worcester in the Tabernacle church at Salem, Massachusetts. After Dr. Worcester's death in 1821, Mr. Cornelius remained in the pastorate until 1826, when he accepted the secretaryship of the American education society. In 1832, a month before his death, he became secretary to the Board of commissioners for foreign missions. A "Memoir" of Dr. Cornelius was published by Bela born Edwards (New York, 1833).
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