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Andrew Ellicott Douglas






In the latter part of the seventeenth century, members of one branch of the Douglass family were settled in Bergen County, N. J. They were of Scotch origin, descended from the great Scottish family whose name they bore. David Douglass, the ancestor of Mr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, was a resident of Hanover Neck, where he was born about 1715 and died about 1765(?). His second wife, whom he married in 1755(?), was Esther Reed. Deacon Nathaniel Douglass, his son, was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. Born in Hanover Neck in 1760, part of his lifetime he was a resident of Pompton, N. J., and for many years was a member of the firm of Vanderpoel & Douglass, leather manufacturers, of Newark. In 1813, he removed to Caldwell, N. J., and resided there the rest of his life, dying in 1824. His wife was Sarah, daughter of David Bates. She was born in 1762 and died in 1816.

Major David Bates Douglass, son of Nathaniel Douglass and father of Mr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass, was born in Pompton, N. J., in 1790 and died in 1849. He was graduated from Yale College in 1813 and received the degree of M. A. in 1816. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Engineers in the United States Army in 1813, he was first ordered to West Point, and during the Niagara campaign of i8i4saw service at the front, being promoted to be First Lieutenant, and then Brevet Captain the same year. In 18 19, he was made Captain of Engineers. In January, 1815, he was appointed assistant professor of natural philosophy at West Point, and the same year was detailed to examine and report upon the defenses of Narragansett Bay, New London Harbor, Saybrook and New Haven. In 1817, he made a study of the eastern entrance of Long Island Sound, with a view to its fortification, and in 18 19 was United States Astronomical Surveyor. In 1820, he joined the North West Expedition as civil and military engineer and astronomer, and the same year succeeded his father-in-law, Andrew Ellicott, as professor of mathematics at West Point, becoming professor of engineering in the same institution three years after. Resigning from the Government service in 1831, Major Douglas became professor of natural philosophy and afterwards professor of architecture and engineering in New York University; from 1840 to 1844 was president of Kenyon College, and was professor of mathematics in Geneva College 1848-49. Yale College gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1841. He died in October, 1849. He married Ann Eliza Ellicott, daughter of Andrew Ellicott, the distinguished surveyor and mathematician. In 1786, Andrew Ellicott was a member of the American Philosophical Society, and made the surveys of the City of Washington as it now stands. During the latter years of his life, he was professor of mathematics at West Point, where he died in 1820.

Mr. Andrew Ellicott Douglass was born at West Point, November 18th, 1819. He was educated in private schools and graduated from Kenyon College in 1838. After a successful business career of thirty-seven years, he retired and has since devoted himself to the study of American archaeology, traveling extensively and making many original explorations, especially along the Southern coast of the United States. He is a member of the leading scientific associations in this country and in Europe, belongs to the Century Association and the Church Club, and is the author of many essays, principally on archaeological subjects. His collections relating to American archaeology are among the most valuable in their particular line that have ever been made.

In 1847, Mr. Douglass married Sarah Cortelyou Cornell, daughter of George Lecky Cornell and his wife, Isabella Woodbridge Sheldon, daughter of Charles Sheldon, of Hartford, Conn. Mr. and Mrs. Douglass have but one child, a daughter, Isabel Douglass, who in 1876 married Charles Boyd Curtis, of New York, well known as an author on art matters. They have four children, Ellicott Douglass, Charles Boyd, Isabel Woodbridge and Ronald Eliot Curtis. Mrs. Curtis is corresponding secretary of the Society of Colonial Dames of the State of New York, and president of the Woman's Auxiliary for Domestic Missions of the Diocese of New York. The Douglass and Curtis family residence in New York is in East Fifty-fourth Street, and their country home is Locustwood, on Milton Point, in Rye, Westchester County.





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