Elijah Howard

Date of Birth

May 30, 1787

Date of Death

July 4, 1874

Letters Authored


Letters Received


Elijah Howard was born 236 years ago.
149 years ago, Elijah Howard passed away at the age of 87.

Letters Authored in Collection


Elijah Howard writes a love letter to twenty year old Fidelia Williams on 11 June 1819.

Mr. Howard was a widower; his first wife, Susannah Guild had died 30 Sep 1818 at the age of 25 after eight years of marriage and three children. Fidelia and Elijah were married five months after this letter was penned, but tragically Fidelia, too, would die in her early twenties after a short marriage of only two and a half years. The couple had two children, Davis and Elijah Howard. Elijah Howard would marry one more time to Nancy Johnson on 18 Sep 1823 and they would live together until Elijah's death in 1874; this final union would produce another seven children.

Elijah Howard was born 30 May 1787 in Easton, Bristol County, Massachusetts. He was one of Easton's most successful businessmen, manufacturing nails when this industry was in its infancy, and later, he manufactured cotton cloth. The following is an excerpt from an 1883 edition of the “History of Bristol County Massachusetts”.

“From a time preceding the incorporation of the town until now the grist mill business has been carried on there. Not much else seems to have been done there until about 1810, when Elijah Howard & Co. started the forge business, and manufactured bar-iron, nail rods, etc. But a disastrous fire, which burned an amount of charcoal worth more than the whole capital invested in the business, brought this enterprise to a close. The same company then began the manufacture of cut nails, at that time a new invention. This continued until about 1823. In 1825 or 1826, Elijah Howard and Capt. Barzillai Dean began to make cotton cloth.” [1]

Mr. Howard served as a selectman of Easton during the mid-1820s and again in 1830. He also served in the State legislature from 1827 to 1831 and again in 1835, and he was also appointed state senator upon the death of Ebenezer Daggett. He also served as moderator of the annual town meetings of Easton for seventeen years. [2]

Parents: Elijah Howard, Sr. (b. 6 Sep 1744, d. 10 Jul 1831) and Keziah Howard (b. 12 Jul 1751). They were married 31 Mar 1768.

Wives and children:
Susannah Guild (b. 29 Aug 1793, d. 30 Sep 1818). Married 6 May 1810.
Children: Jason guild Howard (b. 4 Jan 1813), Katherine Leonard Howard (b. 31 May 1815), and Frederick W. Howard (b. Jun 1817).

Fidelia Williams (b. 1799, d. 15 Apr 1822). Married 23 Nov 1819.
Children: Davis Williams Howard (b. 23 Aug 1820) and Elijah Norman Howard (b. 20 Feb 1822).

Nancy Johnson (b. 1796, d. 16 Dec 1882). Married 18 Sep 1823.
Children: William Penn Howard (b. 24 Jul 1824), Catherine E. Howard (3 Sep 1827), Elizabeth Harris Howard (b. 9 Apr 1829), Henry Franklin Howard (29 May 1831), Ellen Janette Howard (b. 13 May 1833), George Henry Howard (b. 21 Aug 1835) and Nancy Jane Howard (b. 5 Jul 1837).

[1] “History of Bristol County, Massachusetts”, J. W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, 1883, p 419.

[2] Howard, Heman, “Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts from 1643 to 1903”, Kessinger Publishing Co., July 2007.