Elisha was a student of John Lovell at the Boston Latin School. Some other students of John Lovell included, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine and Henry Knox. Although Lovell sided with the British at the onset of the Revolutionary War, many of his former students did not share his view.
He then went on to study medicine where he served two years with Dr. E Mather at Lyme Connecticut, and then returned to Boston to continue four years under the instruction of well known Dr. John Sprague.
Elisha married Ruth Ruddock on May 12, 1767 in Boston. They had 7 children. Ruth died in March 1778 while giving birth to their eighth child, a son who only lived a day.
Elisha married soon after on November 29, 1778 to Mehitable Pedrick and had 11 more children.
Elisha took an early and very active part in the revolutionary movements:
- He was a member of the Sons of Liberty. A secret political organization that formed in the American colonies in order to protest against British taxes and laws
- He was a participant in the Boston Tea Party. In the cover of night on December 16, 1773 a group of colonists, some disguised as Indians, boarded 3 British tea ships and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston harbor in protest of the British Parliment’s Tea Act of 1773.
- He is thought to have been one of two officers in charge of stealing two brass cannons stationed on the Common. His daughter Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ White recalls her father’s telling of the story: “I heard him say, that he marched alone from a particular spot on the Common, toward one sentinel, looking steadily at him, with his gun cocked, and when near enough to be heard, said, ‘If you make the least noise, or give the slightest alarm you are a dead man’. He never saw a man so frightened, the soldier shook from head to foot, not daring to make the least resistence or to sound an alarm; that after disarming and gagging him, he gave a loud whistle, which was the preconcerted signal to him companions, who at once came to him from their places. The party dragged away the cannon without being disturbed.”
- He marched to the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
- He fought at Bunker Hill and later remarked “I passed the night in taking care of the wounded and dying”.
- He was with General Washington during the campaign of 1777 to Long Island, White Plains, and Trenton as a surgeon.
- He was a Freemason, and joined the Marblehead Philanthropic Lodge F. & A. M. in 1778.
Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story is the first son of Elisha and Mehitable. Here he describes the physical appearace of his father:
He was not as tall as I am, and rather of a stronger and fuller build. He must have been an uncommonly handsome man in his youth, (and indeed I have always heard): for when I first recollect him with distinctness, though then quite bald, his face was still of great masculine beauty and attractiveness. His eyes were blue and of singular vivacity and sweetness, his eyebrows regularly arched, and a fine nose, and expressive mouth, gave a perfect harmony to his features.Life and Letters of Joseph Story
Elisha raised his family and continued his medical practice in Marblehead, MA. His home still stands today.
In Memory of
Doctor. Elisha Story, M.M..S.S.
Aug 27 AD
Elisha Story is buried in the Green Street Cemetery in Marblehead, MA. This simple stone marker is what he requested in his will: “I also desire that no monument beyond a middle sized stone with a simple inscription be erected.”
A simple stone for an extraordinary man…
Find me, remember me