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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DAYTON, Elias, Revolutionary officer, born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in July 1787; died there, 17 July 1807. He began his military career by joining the British forces, and fought in the "Jersey blues" under Wolfe at Quebec. Subsequently he commanded a company of militia, with which he marched on an expedition against the northern Indians. He was a member of the committee of safety at the beginning of the Revolutionary war, and in conjunction with William Alexander, Lord Stirling, commanded a party, which captured a British transport off Elizabethtown (July 1775). About 1777 he served as colonel of the 3d New Jersey regiment, and aided in suppressing the mutiny of the New Jersey line in 1781. He was made brigadier general in 1783, and was in active service during the entire war, taking a prominent part in the battles of Springfield, Monmouth, Brandywine, and Yorktown. He had three horses shot under him; one at Germantown, one at Springfield, and one at Crosswiek's Bridge. After the war he served several terms in the legislature of his native state, and was made major general of militia, and member of the Continental congress from 1787 till 1788. Upon the formation of the New Jersey Society of the Cincinnati, General Dayton was elected president, which office he held until his death.
His son, Jonathan Dayton, statesman, born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, 16 October 1760; died there, 9 October 1824, was graduated at Princeton in 1776. studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He entered the Continental army, and was appointed paymaster of his father's regiment, 26 August 1776. He held other commissions during the war, was in many battles, and at Yorktown had command under Lafayette. He was for a few years a member of the New Jersey House of Representatives, and its speaker in 1790. He was a delegate from New Jersey to the convention that framed the Federal constitution in 1787. He was elected to congress from New Jersey in 1791, and reelected for three consecutive terms, being speaker during the two last congresses, and serving till 3 March 1799. He was elected U. S. senator from New Jersey, and served from 2 December 1799, till 3 March 1805. He was arrested for alleged conspiracy with Aaron Burr, but was not tried. He received the degree of LL.D. from Princeton in 1798.
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