Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Huntington, Jabez

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HUNTINGTON, Jabez, soldier, b. in Norwich, Conn., 7 Aug., 1719; d. there, 5 Oct., 1786. He was graduated at Yale in 1741, engaged in the West India trade, and amassed a fortune. After 1750 he was frequently a member of the legislature, speaker for several years, and also a member of the council. At the beginning of the Revolution he owned a large amount of shipping, and lost heavily by the capture of his vessels. During the war he was active on the committee of safety, and from September, 1776, was major-general of militia. His great exertions in the patriot cause and his heavy losses impaired his physical and mental powers, and he was thus compelled to resign his employments in 1779. — His son, Jedidiah, soldier, b. in Norwich, Conn., 4 Aug., 1743; d. in New London, Conn., 25 Sept., 1818, was graduated at Harvard in 1763. He was engaged in commercial pursuits with his father, was an active Son of Liberty, and a member of the committee of correspondence that was established at a Norwich town-meeting on 6 June, 1774. He raised a regiment in which he was made captain, joined the army at Cambridge on 26 April, 1775, and aided in repulsing the British at Danbury in April, 1776. Having been appointed brigadier-general on 12 May, 1777, he joined the main army near Philadelphia in September of that year, and in May, 1778, was ordered to Hudson river. He served in the court-martial that tried Gen. Charles Lee for misconduct at Monmouth in 1778, and in the court that was summoned to examine John André in Tappan on 29 Sept., 1780. At the close of the war he was brevetted major-general. He resumed his business, and was successively sheriff of the county, state treasurer, and delegate to the convention that adopted the constitution of the United States. He was then appointed by Washington to the post of collector of customs at New London, where he removed in 1789, and held the office for twenty-six years. He was one of the first board of foreign missions, and a zealous supporter of charitable institutions. His first wife, Faith, was a daughter of Gov. Trumbull, and his second wife was the sister of Bishop Moore of Virginia. He entertained many distinguished officers in his house, among whom were Lafayette, Steuben, and Pulaski. When Lauzun's legion was stationed at Lebanon during the winter of 1780-'1, he invited that commander and his officers to a banquet. On 10 May, 1783, at a meeting of officers, he was appointed one of a committee of four to draft a plan of organization, which resulted in their reporting on the 13th of that month the constitution of the Society of the Cincinnati. — Another son, Andrew, b. 21 June, 1745; d. 7 April, 1824, engaged in commercial pursuits, and in 1795 was a manufacturer of paper at the Falls of Norwich. He was judge of probate in his district in 1813. During the Revolution he was a commissary of brigade, and untiring in his exertions to procure supplies for the army. — Another son, Joshua, soldier, b. in Norwich, Conn., 16 Aug., 1751, began business with his father. After the battle of Lexington he commanded a hundred boys of the town, and joined Putnam's brigade. Subsequently he was ordered by the Continental congress to build a frigate of thirty-six guns, which was constructed in the Thames at Gale's Ferry in 1777. — Another son, Ebenezer, soldier, b. in Norwich, Conn., 26 Dec., 1754; d. there, 17 June, 1834, entered Yale in 1771, but left to join the army, and afterward was given his degree. He served first as a lieutenant in Col. Samuel Wyllis's regiment, and was made captain in June, 1776. Afterward he became brigade-major under Gen. Parsons, and deputy adjutant-general to Gen. Heath on the Hudson river. In 1777 he was a major in Col. Webb's regiment, which he commanded in Rhode Island in 1778. In that year he became lieutenant-colonel, and commanded a battalion of light troops at Yorktown, afterward serving as volunteer aide to Gen. Lincoln till the close of the war. He retired to private life in 1783, and in 1792 was made a general of state militia. He was named a brigadier-general by Gen. Washington in 1799 when war with France was threatened. He served in congress in 1810-'11 and in 1817-'19, and was also a member of the legislature. Gen. Huntingdon was considered one of the best disciplinarians in the army. — Jedidiah's son, Joshua, clergyman, b. in Norwich, Conn., 31 Jan., 1786; d. in Groton, Mass., 11 Sept., 1819, was graduated at Yale in 1804. He was licensed to preach by the New London association in September, 1806, and ordained pastor of the Old South church, Boston, on 18 May, 1808, which charge he held till his death. He was one of the founders of the American educational society in 1815, and was president of the Boston society for the religious and moral instruction of the poor, which was founded in 1816. He was the author of the “Life of Abigail Waters” (1817). — His wife, Susan Mansfield, author, b. 27 Jan., 1791; d. in 1823, wrote a story entitled “Little Lucy.” Her memoirs, with her letters, journal, and poetry, were published by Benjamin B. Wisner (Boston, 1829; republished in Scotland). — Jedidiah's second son, Daniel, clergyman, b. in Norwich, Conn., 17 Oct., 1788; d. in New London, Conn., 21 May, 1858, studied in Brown, but was graduated at Yale in 1807. He was pastor of the Congregational church in North Bridgewater, Mass., from 1812 till 1832. He then taught a young ladies' school in New London, but in 1841 resumed his pastoral charge in North Bridgewater. He was the author of “Religion,” a poem delivered at Brown, 31 Aug., 1819; “Triumphs of Faith,” delivered at Andover seminary, 21 Sept., 1830; and a “Memorial” of his daughter, Mary Hallam. — Jedidiah's nephew, Jabez Williams, jurist, b. in Norwich, Conn., 8 Nov., 1788; d. there, 1 Nov., 1847, was the son of Zachariah Huntingdon. He was graduated at Yale in 1806, studied in the Litchfield law-school, and practised in that town for thirty years. He was a member of the assembly in 1829, and a representative in congress from 1829 till 1834, when he removed to Norwich, became judge of the superior court the same year, and also of the supreme court of errors. He was elected to the U. S. senate as a Whig in place of Thaddeus Betts, serving from 1840 till his death.