Samuel Atkins Eliot II was born 24 August 1862 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts to Charles William Eliot (1834-1926) and Ellen Derby Peabody (1836-1869) and died 15 October 1950 Massachusetts of unspecified causes. He married Frances S. Hopkinson 25 March 1871 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.


Samuel Atkins Eliot II (August 24, 1862 – October 15, 1950) was an American Unitarian minister. As the first executive officer and longest-serving President of the American Unitarian Association (1900–1927), he significantly expanded the association's activities and consolidated denominational power in its administration.

A member of the wealthy Eliot family, he was he son of Harvard President Charles W. Eliot and grandson of Boston politician Samuel Atkins Eliot. His fourth cousin, Frederick May Eliot, also served as President of the American Unitarian Association (1937–1958).

Early Life

Samuel Atkins Eliot was born in Cambridge, Mass. on 1862. His father, Charles W. Eliot, a chemist, became President of Harvard University when his son was four. His mother, Ellen Derby Peabody, daughter of Unitarian minister Ephraim Peabody, died the same year. Samuel graduated from Harvard College in 1884. He enrolled at Harvard Divinity School the following year, and after briefly serving as a missionary in Seattle, Washington, graduated in 1889. He held pastorates at Unity Church in Denver, Colo. (1889–92) and the Church of the Saviour in Brooklyn, N. Y. (1892–98).

AUA Career

During and after his tenure as American Unitarian Association president, Eliot wrote and edited books on Unitarian and Massachusetts history, including two large biographical dictionaries, the Biographical History of Masachusetts (1906) and Heralds of a Liberal Faith (1910). The latter volume constituted his efforts to catalog Unitarian history and articulate Unitarianism as a discrete American tradition. Eliot also chaired an editorial committee and edited several volumes for the Centennial Edition of the works of Theodore Parker and completed a A History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630-1913 in 1913.

Later life

After twenty-nine years at the helm of the American Unitarian Association, Eliot retired to become senior minister of the Arlington Street Church, the largest Unitarian congregation in Boston, where he remained until 1935. Eliot died on October 15, 1950, and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Marriage & Family

  1. Samuel A. Eliot Jr. - famous American author and playright
  2. Rosamond Eliot (1895-)
  3. Elizabeth Eliot (1897-1991)
  4. Charles William Eliot (1899-1993)
  5. Frances Eliot (1901-)
  6. Theadore Lyman Eliot (1904-)
  7. Thomas Hopkinson Eliot (1907-1991) -


Offspring of Samuel Atkins Eliot II and Frances S. Hopkinson
Name Birth Death Joined with
Samuel Atkins Eliot (1893-1984) 14 March 1893 Colorado 3 August 1984 Ethel Augusta Cook (1890-)
Rosamond Eliot (1895-)
Elizabeth Eliot (1897-1991)
Charles William Eliot (1899-1993)
Frances Eliot (1901-)
Theadore Lyman Eliot (1904-) 1904 Massachusetts Martha B (1905-)
Thomas Hopkinson Eliot (1907-1991) 14 June 1907 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts 14 October 1991 Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts


Notable Events



Footnotes (including sources)