In 1771 Colonel Elliott was appointed to the Governor’s Council. An ardent patriot, he resigned in 1775 to become a member of the First Provincial Congress of South Carolina. He served as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the regiment of artillery during the American Revolution, and read the Declaration of Independence to the troops and the citizens on August 5, 1776. He owned vast plantations devoted to rice in the area known today as the ACE Basin (Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers). Two of only three known three-quarter length portraits (50 x 40 inches) painted by Theus, the Elliotts are opulently depicted befitting their perceived status in Carolina lowcountry society. The handling of the drapery and costume in both paintings is Theus at his best and was intended to rival high-fashion portrait painting in Britain by such artists as Allan Ramsay and Nathaniel Hone.