Edward Sylvester Ellis (April 11, 1840 – June 20, 1916) was an American author who was born in Ohio and died at Cliff Island, Maine.
Ellis was a teacher, school administrator, journalist, and the author of hundreds of books and magazine articles that he produced by his name and by a number of noms de plume. Notable fiction stories by Ellis include The Huge Hunter, or the Steam Man of the Prairies and Seth Jones, or the Captives of the Frontier. Internationally, Edward S. Ellis is probably known best for his Deerhunter novels read widely by young boys until the 1950s.
During the mid-1880s, after a fiction-writing career of some thirty years, Ellis eventually began composing more serious works of biography, history, and persuasive writing. Of note was "The Life of Colonel David Crockett", which had the story of Davy Crockett giving a speech usually called "Not Yours To Give". It was a speech in opposition to awarding money to a Navy widow on the grounds that Congress had no Constitutional mandate to give charity. It was said to have been inspired by Crockett's meeting with a Horatio Bunce, a much quoted man in Libertarian circles, but one for whom historical evidence of is non-existent.
In the valley of the Rio Pecos, years ago, an attempt at founding a settlement was made by a number of hardy and daring New Englanders, whose leader was a sort of Don Quixote, who traveled hundreds of miles, passing by the richest land, the most balmy climate, where all were protected by the strong arm of law, for the sake of locating where the soil was only moderate, the climate no better, and where, it may be said, the great American government was as powerless to protect its citizens as was a child itself. The Rio Pecos, running through New Mexico and Texas, drains a territory which at that time was one of the most dangerous in the whole Indian country; and why these score or more of families should have hit upon this spot of all others, was a problem which could never be clearly solved.
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