ELLET, Charles, civil engineer, was born at Penn's Manor, Bucks co., Penn., Jan. 1, 1810, son of Charles and Mary (Israel) Ellet, and grandson of Charles and Hannah (Carpenter) Ellet. His father, a farmer, was a member of a well-known Quaker family and his mother, daughter of Israel Israel of Philadelphia was one of the most remarkable women of her time, being alluded to by a Philadelphia journal as the "American Cornelia." The son was brought up on his father's farm and attended school at Bristol, Pa. From his earliest years he had shown an unusual talent and fondness for mathematics and at the age of sixteen had far outgrown the scope of the school's mathematical curriculum. After a course of study at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France, he secured employment on various engineering works becoming first assistant and soon afterward chief engineer of the James river and Kanawha canal. His attention at this time was devoted chiefly to the study of methods of inland communication, more particularly suspension bridges, and in 1841-42, he constructed the wire suspension bridge across the Shuylkill river at Fairmont, the first of its kind in America.