Jonathan Carpenter

(Jonathan's son Chester Carpenter)  (Jonathan's grandson Ora Carpenter)

Jonathan Carpenter Jr. was born at Rehoboth, Mass. June 19, 1757, a son of Jonathan (1732-1808/9) and Abigail (Walker) Carpenter. After receiving a common education, he worked at farming until, in December of 1774, he was apprenticed to his uncle, Nathaniel Carpenter, to learn the joiner trade. Young Carpenter supported colonial resistance to British rule. When fighting began and his uncle Nathaniel--who later became a captain and major--formed a company of volunteer soldiers in 1775, Carpenter said "nothing would do but I must go." Between then and October of 1777 he was in five volunteer companies, serving for a total of about 11 months, including action in the New York campaign of 1776. In December of 1777, he decided to try his luck as a privateersman, joining the crew of the 10 brig Reprisal. His luck was bad--the Reprisal was captured the following February. He spent the next year and a half as a British prisoner. In July of 1779, he was exchanged to France and came back on the privateer General Miflin. The return cruise was profitable--he received at least 150 pounds in prize money. He then decided to seek his fortune in Vermont, but 1780 found him and his Vermont neighbors battling Indians led by Tories.

Finally, in November of 1780, after fighting for his nation for most of five years, Jonathan Carpenter was able to lay down his arms. In 1782, he married Olive Sessions of Pomfret, Conn. He devoted the fall and winter of 1783 to preparing a home for his family at Randolph, Vermont. In March of 1784, he returned to "civilization" for his family, but could only bring them via conveyance to the home of Esquire Blodgett, where the road ended. With the assistance of Blodgett's son, he drew his wife and child on a hand-sled over the snow and across the fields two miles to the home he had prepared. He later moved to a farm about two miles north of Randolph, where he kept a hotel, or tavern, for many years. He served as town clerk of Randolph from March, 1786 to March, 1788, and died there at age 80 in 1837.

Jonathan Carpenter Jr. was a grandson of Ephraim Carpenter and his wife, Zerviah Carpenter, who were wed May 21, 1731. Ephraim was the son of an Ephraim S Carpenter, grandson of William Carpenter and great-grandson of William Carpenter who settled at Rehoboth. Zerviah was the daughter of a Jonathan Carpenter, granddaughter of Samuel Carpenter and great-granddaughter of William of Rehoboth.

Jonathan and Olive Carpenter of Randolph, Vermont had seven children. Their eldest daughter, Fanny, married Serena Wright, publisher of the first newspaper at Randolph and later engaged in publication of the Freeman's Press at Montpelier; the Wrights later moved to Ohio, where she died. The younger daughter, Orinda, married and settled in Illinois. Their son, Danford Carpenter, went to Grand Rapids, Mich. Son Elias was born at Randolph, Vt. in 1792, wed Orinda Blodgett in 1818 and raised several children who remained in Randolph. Son Chester Carpenter was born at Randolph in 1786, married Hannah Kendall and was one of the early settlers of Derby, Vermont, where he was for many years justice of the peace; Mrs. Vogel descends from him. There were also sons Marshall and George.

From the Carpenter Family News-Journal Volume 5, No. 3 December 1975 (This is source of information provided above)

The following material provided above was furnished by Mrs. Alene Vogel, P. 0. Box 1151, Bozeman, Montana 59715. Mrs. Vogel is a Jonathan Carpenter descendant. She and husband Rudy C. Vogel have 3 children, Douglas Rudy, SheryZ Ann and Linda Kay, wife of David Seiler.

The original Jonathan Carpenter diary is in the possession of the Vermont Historical Society at Montpelier. There is some question as to its authenticity since a diary authored by another American prisoner in England contains identical entries. It also is apparent that Carpenter wrote many of his entries much later than they were dated. There is no doubt that this is his diary--the question is whether he copied some of the material. Discussion of the controversy and a transcript of diary entries appear in Vol.XXXVI, No.2 of "Vermont History," publication of the Vermont Historical Society.

Click on the picture below to see entries in Jonathan's Diary:



Jonathan Carpenter's Diary