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ELLIOTT, ROBERT WOODWARD BARNWELL (1840–1887). Robert Elliott, Episcopal bishop, the son of Stephen and Charlotte Bull (Barnwell) Elliott, was born at Beaufort, South Carolina, on August 16, 1840. After graduating from South Carolina College in 1861, he entered the Confederate Army and became aide to Gen. A. R. Lawton. Elliott was wounded at the second battle of Manassas and was with Joseph E. Johnston at the time of the general's surrender in May 1865. After the war Elliott entered a seminary to train for the Episcopal ministry and was ordained in 1868. He was rector at St. Philip's Church, Atlanta, Georgia, when he was elected by the House of Bishops to be the first missionary bishop of Western Texas; he was consecrated on November 15, 1874 and arrived in Texas the next month. He held his first service at Luling in a passenger coach of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway. He found in his diocese six church buildings, three of which were unfinished and two without services; he left twenty-four churches, nine rectories, St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio, and Montgomery Institute in Seguin. Elliott married his third cousin, Caroline Elliott, on January 7, 1864, and they had five children. He had served as bishop for thirteen years when he died, on August 26, 1887, at Sewanee, Tennessee.


Clara Childs MacKenzie, Sarah Barnwell Elliott (Boston: Twayne, 1980). National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 13. William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

Seymour V. Connor


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Seymour V. Connor, "ELLIOTT, ROBERT WOODWARD BARNWELL," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.