• Maggie Meahl

Major General Jedediah Huntington Re-Visited

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

Recently, while procrastinating on my research and writing on Margaret Barrett Huntington Stoughton (MBHS), 17th century Puritan immigrant, I found some fresh on-line images connected to Jedediah "Jed" Huntington--one of Margaret's many descendants and unsung hero of the American Revolution.

I spent roughly two years researching, writing and revising the article about his wife: "Faith Trumbull Huntington: An 18th Century Woman Encounters War," (Connecticut History Review, vol. 58, No. 1, Spring 2019). She suffered a fatal depression during the beginning months of the Revolutionary War. One of the main ways I studied and interpreted Faith's life was through an impressive cache of correspondence between her husband Jed Huntington, his brothers, father, step-mother, and father-in-law, Governor Jonathan Trumbull in the late summer of 1775 (during the Siege of Boston).

Thus, I am pretty well acquainted with this generation of Huntington brothers, especially Jed. He is kind of like my hero--all 5' 4" of him. In the last few years, by watching the internet, some artifacts associated with him have been revealed mainly through auction houses. Let's take a look:

Jed and Faith's grand house on Huntington Lane in Norwich. Built in 1765, it was a fine modern house with two chimney stacks and large foyer with grand staircase. Later, General Ebenezer Huntington, Jed's younger brother, lived there after Jed and his second wife Nancy Moore (and children) moved to New London.

Jed in the simple clothes of a pious man who had just participated in the long war.
Post-War Miniature of Jed, circa 1780s. By John Trumbull, Faithy's youngest brother.

Jed's Continental Army epaulettes recently sold for $23,370 at Skinner Auction house.Two stars represent the rank of Major General, the final rank he attained.

Jed's bank portrait (circa early 19th century). Jed, like most ambitious Yankee men, held many occupations: militia leader, military leader, merchant, customs official for the port of New London, and bank president. This is reportedly a painting of him when he was president of the Union Bank of New London. I think I remember this painting being for only $700 at auction. I am not sure of the provenance of this painting.
"Mt.Vernon." Jed and Nancy Huntington's iconic mansion built in 1788 (New London) to resemble his revered friend George Washington's home. The Huntingtons moved to New London after George Washington tapped Jed to be custom's official for the port of New London. It was located in the center of New London until 1948 when it was razed in order to build an A&P. At that point, it was in disrepair and had many bad architectural additions.

Well, that's it for now! Back to Margaret's life. But, I could not pass up this opportunity to report on these fascinating images, that have re-surfaced, revealing some more clues to the VERY full life of Jed Huntington.

There is much more to learn about him (and not all is positive to a modern sensibility) but during his time, he was very important to the Continental army and winning the revolution.

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