March 2: L.Q.C. Elmer

He Pretty Much Lived Up to His Name

Born on this day, March 2nd in 1793, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Elmer was one of the most distinguished citizens of New Jersey. He was the only son of General Ebenezer Elmer, a Revolutionary patriot.  L.Q.C. Elmer saw duty in the New Jersey state militia during the War of 1812, serving as a lieutenant of artillery. Following the war, he had by 1815 earned a law degree and in 1820 was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly, where he served until 1823. In the last year of his term there, he was elected to the post of Speaker for the Assembly. The next year, Elmer was appointed by President James Monroe to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and he served in that office from 1824 to 1829. In later political service, he was a member of the U.S. Congress from 1843 to 1845, and up until the time of his death was believed to be the oldest living ex-member of Congress. He was also a distinguished jurist. Besides his term as U.S. District Attorney, he was for many years a member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, retiring from the Bench in 1870, on account of advancing years.

Judge Elmer was the author of Elmer’s Digest of the Laws of New Jersey, and also Elmer’s Book of Law Forms, Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of New Jersey—a very valuable and entertaining bookand a History of Cumberland County, as well as various other historical collections. At the time of his decease he was President of the New Jersey Society of the Cincinnati, the nation’s oldest patriotic organization. His father had also served as President of this Society up until the time of his own death, in 1843, and was the last survivor of the original members. Judge Elmer was for forty years a Trustee of Princeton College, and upon his resignation was succeeded by his son-in-law, Judge John T. Nixon, of the United States District Court. L. Q. C. Elmer was a devout Christian, and was for many years a member and a ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeton, New Jersey, and President of the Cumberland County Bible Society. He died at his home in Bridgeton on March 11, 1883, at the age of ninety years.

Words to Live By: Christians can serve in any honorable employment. Whatever our calling in life, the Scriptures teach us to do all as unto the Lord, to do all to the glory of God.  “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” (Col. 3:23).

For Further Study:
Here are links to two of L.Q.C. Elmer’s published works, plus another which includes his eulogy for his pastor :
The Constitution and Government of the Province and State of New Jersey : with biographical sketches of the governors from 1776 to 1845 and reminiscences of the bench and bar during more than half a century. (1872).

History of the Early Settlement and Progress of Cumberland County, New Jersey : and of the currency of this and adjoining colonies. (1869).

The Pastor of the Old Stone Church. Including (1) Mr. Hotchkin’s memorial; (2) Judge L.Q.C. Elmer’s eulogy; and (3) Mr. Burt’s address. (1858)

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