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Eliot, John

Born: 1604 AD
Died: 1690 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Clergymen, Pastors

1604 – Eliot was born in Hertfordshire, England, and was baptised at St. John the Baptist Church in Widford, around twenty miles from London.

1631 – When Eliot arrived in Massachusetts Bay he took up the position of minister to the Puritan Congregationalist church at Roxbury.

         – Eliot sailed to the New World on board the Lyon, following other first-generation ministers to New England.

1632 – Married Hannah or Anna Mumford and together they had six children, several of whom died in infancy or early adulthood.

1643-1646 – His duties as a minister at Roxbury, Eliot began preaching to Algonquian tribes in their own language.

         – A series of eleven missionary tracts, which contain many of his letters and narratives, were sent to England and were published by the Corporation for the Propagation of the Gospel.

1650 – Eliot had acquired land for Praying Indians (Indians who had converted to Christianity) to establish their own town at Natick.

1671 – Natick was the first of eleven Praying Towns for which Eliot was responsible, and these are detailed in one of Eliot’s missionary tracts, which was titled "A Brief Narrative of the Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in New England".

1640 – Eliot’s translations are his best-known publications, beginning with a collaborative translation called "The Bay Psalm Book".

1663 – With the assistance of skilled Algonquian translators, including Cockenoe, John Sassomon, Job Nesutan, James Printer, and Monequasson, Eliot published the complete Algonquian Bible, "Mamvsse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God", which was reprinted.

1670 – One of Eliot’s later and most unusual publications was "Indian Dialogues". In this publication Eliot constructs four dialogues between Algonquian speakers; some of the characters are fictional and some are fictionalised representations of seventeenth-century Algonquian Indians, and each dialogue is dedicated to the furtherance of Christianity among Algonquian tribes.

1685 – Eliot’s final publication, "Dying Speeches of Several Indians", continues to demonstrate his interest in recording the Algonquian voice

1690 – He died as the pastor of the church in Roxbury.