Elizabeth Fries Lummis, daughter of Dr. William N. Lummis and his second wife, Sarah Maxwell, was born at Sodus Point, Wayne County, New York, some time in October, 1818, and died in New York City June 3, 1877. She must have been an infant prodigy, for when only fifteen years of age she had a poem in the American Ladies' Magazine, Boston, and the next year (1834), a translation of Silvio Pellico's tragedy "Euphemio of Messina." In 1835 she published "Poems, Original and Selected," and in the same year left the Auburn Female Seminary, which she was attending, to marry Dr. William H. Ellet, at that time Professor of Elementary Chemistry at Columbia College. Soon afterwards her husband accepted the position of Professor of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology in South Carolina College, and they moved to Charleston where they remained until 1849, when they returned to New York. Professor Ellet died in 1859. Mrs. Ellet continued her contributions to the periodicals, including Godey's Lady's Book, the North American Review, Gleason's Literary Companion, and the Southern Quarterly Review, but also published books on a great variety of subjects. The following is not a complete list of her publications, but is given to show her versatility. "Teresa Contarmi," a tragedy (1835), "Scenes from the Life of Joanna of Sicily" (1840), "Characters of Schiller" (1842), "The Women of the American Revolution" (1848-50), "Family Pictures from the Bible" (1849), "Evenings at Woodlawn"—a collection of German legends and traditions (1850), "Domestic History of the American Revolution" (1850), "Watching Spirits" (1851), "Pioneer Women of the West" (1852), "Novelettes of the Musicians" (1852), "Summer Rambles in the West" (1853), "The Practical Housekeeper—a Cyclopedia of Domestic Economy" (1857), "Women Artists in All Ages and Countries" (1861), "The Queens of American Society" (1867), and "Court Circles of the Republic" (1869).
REFERENCE: E. A. Poe, "Literary Criticism"; also, "A Chapter on Autography," Graham's Magazine, November, 1841; Hart, Female Prose Writers, 166—67; Allibone, Dict. Eng. Lit., and Supplement: Nat. Cyc. Amer. Biog., XI, 1909, 37-38; Scribner's Dict. Amer. Biog., VI, 1931, 88-89; R. W. Griswold, Female Tods; Drake's Dict. Amer. Biog., 301; Read, Female Poets, 131; Appletons' Cyc. Amer. Biog.; Saturday Journal, IX, No. 417, March 9, 1878; New York Tribune, June 4, 1877; New York Times, June 4, 1877.
Saturday Journal. Nos. 105, 155, 248, 281, 417
Banner Weekly. Nos. 428, 550
Special Publication. The Brides and Widows of the Bible, 1873
Belles and Beaux. No. 1
Cheap Edition of Popular Authors. No. 11
Fireside Library. Nos. 50, 52, 68, 77
Waverley Library (quarto). No. 759