James Thomas Elliott (Arkansas Politician)

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United States Representative from Arkansas James Thomas Elliott.
U.S. Representative James Thomas Elliott's Son, William Sells Elliott. William ran the Elliott Grocery Store from Elliott land located outside of Camden. The Elliott family lost three of their four children.

James Thomas Elliott (April 22, 1823 – July 28, 1875) was a U.S. Representative from Arkansas.

Early education and marriage[edit]

Elliott was born in Columbus, Georgia. He attended the common schools and studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 and commenced practice in Camden, Arkansas. He was chosen President of the Mississippi, Ouachita & Red River Railroad in 1858. Married Guglielma Sells Elliott (1830-1876) on April 4, 1844. They had four children.

The Elliott House[edit]

House built by U.S. Representative James Thomas Elliott. Requisition by Union General Salomon and housed, simultaneously, Elliott's own Confederate family and Mathew Brady

Elliott House is located on west Washington Street in Camden, Arkansas; built in 1857 by James Thomas Elliott. The Union General Frederick Salomon occupied the home in 1864 during a stay in Camden. The family lived upstairs during the occupation; their son Milton Arteles Elliott was a 13-year-old Private in the Confederate Army. Mathew Brady photographed their younger son, William Sells Elliott, on the front porch of the house.

The Battle of Poison Springs[edit]

The battle was the last significant fight the Confederate States won in the South. The Battle of Poison Spring took place on April 18, 1864, during the Arkansas phase of the Red River Campaign.

Later life and politics[edit]

Elliott became a Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas from October 2, 1865, serving until September 15, 1866. He established and edited the South Arkansas Journal in 1867. In this time period, the family lost 2 daughters, Belle and Emmaline Elliott to yellow fever on the same day.

Daughters of Augusta and James Thomas Elliott, Belle and Emmaline, died the same day of yellow fever

Reconstruction, KKK murder, call to Congress[edit]

During Reconstruction, the U.S. Representative James M. Hinds on October 22, 1868 was assassinated by George A. Clark, a member of the Ku Klux Klan and the Secretary of the Democratic Committee of Monroe County, who was drunk at the time.

James Thomas Elliott chose to run for the empty seat in a turbulent historical time. He was elected as a Republican to the Fortieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of James Hinds, and served from January 13, 1869, to March 3, 1869.

Career summary[edit]

United States Representative James Thomas Elliott April 22, 1823 – July 28, 1875

  • Admitted to the Bar in 1854
  • President of the Mississippi, Ouachita & Red River Railroad in 1858.
  • Housed Union General Frederick Salomon and Mathew Brady during the Battle of Poison Springs, in 1864.
  • Circuit Judge of the Sixth Judicial District of Arkansas from October 2, 1865, serving until September 15, 1866.
  • Republican Party, United States Representative, from Arkansas to the 40th United States Congress, served from January 13, 1869, to March 4, 1869.
  • Elected to the State Senate 1870.
  • Judge of the Ninth Judicial District 1872-1874, when the State Constitution was adopted.
  • Died in Camden, Arkansas, on July 28, 1875 and is interred with his family in Oakland Cemetery.

Historical references[edit]

His daughter-in-law, Mrs. Milton Arteles Elliott, edited, and the ladies in Ouachita County, Arkansas Historical Society published a book, now held in the Library of Congress, called Garden of Memories.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District inactive
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district

January 13, 1869 – March 3, 1869
Succeeded by
Anthony A. C. Rogers