Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of North and South Americans >> Jonathan Parsons

The Seven Flags of the New Orleans Tri-Centennial 1718-2018

For more information go to New Orleans 300th Birthday


Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor

Virtual American Biographies

Over 30,000 personalities with thousands of 19th Century illustrations, signatures, and exceptional life stories. welcomes editing and additions to the biographies. To become this site's editor or a contributor Click Here or e-mail Virtualology here.



Samuel Holden Parsons - A Klos Family Project - Revolutionary War General

Jonathan Parsons


PARSONS, Jonathan, clergyman, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, 30 November, 1705; died in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 19 July, 1776. He worked at a trade for several years, was graduated at Yale in 1729, and was pastor of the Congregational church in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1731-'45. In 1731 he married Phoebe, sister of Governor Matthew Griswold. At the time of his ordination Mr. Parsons was an Arminian, but about 1740 he adopted the views of George Whitefield, held revival meetings, and went on a preaching tour, which so scandalized a part of his congregation that, when he offered to resign, his proposition was almost unanimously accepted, although 150 persons had been added to his church in one year. He then became pastor of the newly organized church in Newburyport, in which he continued until his death. Whitefield died in his house, and Mr. Parsons preached his funeral sermon.

He was a man of strong intellect and accurate scholarship, although of violent passions. His publications include numerous letters in Prince's " Christian History" and " Lectures on Justification" (Boston, 1748) ; "Good News from a Far Country," said to have been the first book printed in New Hampshire (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1756); a "Funeral Sermon on the Death of Mr. Ebenezer Little " (Salem, Massachusetts, 1768): " Freedom from Ecclesiastical and Civil Slavery the Purchase of Christ " (Newburyport, 1774); and "Sixty Sermons," to which is affixed his funeral sermon by Reverend John Searle (2 vols., 1779).--

Samuel Holden Parsons, soldier, born in Lyme, Connecticut, 14 May, 1737; drowned in Big Beaver river, in either Pennsylvania or Ohio, 17 November, 1789, was graduated at Harvard in 1756, studied law under his uncle, Governor Matthew Griswold, was admitted to the bar in 1759, and settled in Lyme, Connecticut He was in the state assembly for eighteen consecutive sessions, and among other important services settled the boundary of the Connecticut claims on the border of Pennsylvania. He was one of the standing committee of inquiry with the sister colonies in 1773, and originated the plan of forming the first congress, which subsequently met in New York city, and was the forerunner of the Continental congress. He was appointed king's attorney the same year, removed to New London, Connecticut, and was a member of the committee of correspondence. Since 1770 he had been major of the 14th militia regiment, and on 26 April, 1775, he was appointed colonel of the 6th regiment, stationed at Roxbury, Massachusetts, until the British evacuated Boston, and then ordered to New York. While on a journey to Hartford he met Benedict Arnold, who was on his way to Massachusetts and obtained from him an account of the condition of Ticonderoga mid the number of its cannon.

Taking as his advisers Samuel Wyllys, Silas Deane, and three others, on 27 April, 1775, Parsons projected a plan to capture the fort, and, without formally consulting the assembly, the governor, or the council, obtained money from the public treasury with his companions on his own receipt. An express messenger was sent to General Ethan Allen (q. v.) disclosing the plan, and urging him to raise a force in the New Hampshire grants. Allen met the Connecticut party at Bennington, Vermont, and took command. It had been re-enforced by volunteers from Berkshire, Massachusetts, and subsequently captured the fortress. The fifty British soldiers that were taken prisoners were sent to Connecticut in recognition of Parsons's services.

He participated in the battle of Long Island in August, 1776, was commissioned brigadier-general the same month, served at Harlem Heights and White Plains, and subsequently was stationed at Peekskill, New York, to protect the important posts on North river. He planned the expedition to Sag Harbor, and re-enforced Washington in New Jersey. He was in command of the troops that were stationed at the New York Highlands in 1778-'9, and in charge of the construction of the fortifications at West Point. In July of the latter year he attacked the British at Norwalk, Connecticut, and, although his force was too weak to prevent the destruction of the fort, he harassed the enemy until they retired for re-enforcements, and finally were compelled to abandon the attempt to penetrate the state any farther.

He was one of the board that tried Major John Andre. General Parsons was commissioned major-general in 1780, and succeeded General Israel Putnam in command of the Connecticut line, serving until the close of the war. He then resumed the practice of law in Middletown, Connecticut, was appointed by congress a commissioner to treat with the Miami Indians in 1785, and was an active member of the State constitutional convention in 1778, and the same year was appointed by Washington the first judge of the Northwest territory. He removed to the west, settled near Marietta, Ohio, and in 1789 was appointed by the state of Connecticut a commissioner to treat with the Wyandottes and other Indian tribes on Lake Erie, for the purpose of extinguishing the aboriginal title to the Connecticut western reserve. On his return to his home from this service his boat overturned in descending the rapids of Big Beaver river, and he was drowned.

It has recently been discovered, in a letter that is preserved in the manuscript volume of Sir Henry Clinton's original record of daily intelligence, now in the library of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, of New York city, that General Parsons was in secret communication with Sir Henry Clinton, and that one William Heron, a representative from Fairfield in the Connecticut legislature, was the intermediary to whom Parsons wrote letters which, with the knowledge of their author, were sent to the enemy's headquarters. Under date of 8 July, 1781, he wrote :

"The five regiments of our states are more than 1,200 men deficient of their complement; the other states (except Rhode Island and New York, who are fuller) are nearly in the same condition. Our magazines are few in number. Your fears for them are groundless. They are principally at West Point, Fishkill, Wapping Creek, and Newburg, which puts them out of the enemy's power, except they attempt their destruction by a force sufficient to secure the Highlands, which they cannot do, our guards being sufficient to secure them from small parties. The French troops yesterday encamped on our left, near the Tuckeyhoe road. Their number I have not had the opportunity to ascertain. Other matters of information I shall be able to give you in a few days."

This letter was sent by Heron to Major Oliver De Lancey, to whom Heron wrote that he had concerted measures with Parsons by which he would receive every material article of intelligence from the American camp. Parsons's treason is also corroborated by Revolutionary  papers of Major John Kissam, of the British army. General Parsons published a valuable and interesting paper on the "Antiquities of Western States," in the 2d volume of the "Transactions". of the American academy, and left a manuscript history of the Tully family in Saybrook, including an account of their first settlement in America (Boston, 1845).

Samuel Holden's son, Enoch Parsons, financier, born in Lyme, Connecticut, 5 November, 1769; died in Middletown, Connecticut, 9 July, 1846, received a mercantile education, and became a noted accountant. He was appointed by General Arthur St. Clair register and first clerk of the first probate office in Washington county, Ohio, in 1789, but returned to Connecticut the next year, and, settling in Middletown, was high sheriff of Middlesex county for twenty-eight years. In 1817 he was appointed by Governor Oliver Wolcott to arrange for an adjustment of the Revolutionary claims of Connecticut with the United States government. For many years he was president of the Middlesex national bank.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Start your search on Jonathan Parsons.




Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy


About Us



Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here


Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights


Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II


Is it Real?

Declaration of

Digital Authentication
Click Here


America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock


Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington


Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin


Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party

Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party

Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party

Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society

U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos





Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum