Jonathan Heart was born in 1748 in Kensington, Connecticut, a part of Farmington. He was the second son of Deacon Ebenezer Hart and his wife, Elizabeth Lawrence Hart. Deacon Hart was a descendant of Stephan Hart, who was among the early settlers of Hartford and Farmington.
Ebenezer and Elizabeth had five sons: Ebenezer Hart, born 29 July 1742, who removed to New Hampshire. Jonathan Hart, our subject, born in 1748. Elihu Hart, born 4 March 1751, who removed to New York where he failed in business and died in debtor’s prison at Coxsackie, New York. Doctor John Hart born 11 March 1753, who served in the army as a surgeon, and died 3 October 1798. Thomas Hart, born in 1754, never married, and died in 1832. Thomas Hart adopted Lydia Hart, the daughter of his brother Ebenezer.
Jonathan Heart, serving as a Major with the 2d United States Infantry, was killed 04 November 1791 while covering the retreat of Gen. St. Clair’s army after it was surprised and defeated near the source of the Maumee River in Ohio. A month later, his remains were identified and subsequently buried with remains of others from the battlefield. St. Clair’s army consisted of men from the militias of Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina along with a battalion of the 2d United States Infantry. Of St. Clair’s force of over 1,400 men, 632 were killed and 264 wounded in the battle.
Jonathan Heart married to Abigail Riley in 1777. On 03 August 1797, nearly six years after the death of Jonathan Heart, Abigail married the Rev. Cyprian Strong of Chatham, Connecticut.
Jonathan Heart left one child, a son, Alces Everlin Heart who was born 10 October 1782. Alces Everlin Heart was married to Charlotte Overton. They had no children.
Jonathan Heart graduated from Yale College in 1768.
Shortly after graduating from Yale, Jonathan Heart removed to New Jersey where he served as a district schoolmaster until about 1773 when he returned to Farmington, Connecticut. There he was engaged in mercantile operations. When war broke out, he turned his business over to his brother and enlisted in Putnam’s battalion of Connecticut militia. He participated in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Served as a volunteer with 2d Connecticut, May to December, 1775; Ensign 22d Continental Infantry, 1st January, 1776; 2d Lieutenant, 10th August, 1776; Adjutant 3d Connecticut, 1st January, 1777; Captain Lieutenant, 1st July 1779; Captain, 1st May, 1780; transferred to 1st Connecticut, 1st January, 1781; Brigade Major and Inspector, 2nd January, 1781 to June, 1783; retained in Swift’s Connecticut Battalion in June, 1783, and served to 3d November, 1783.
At the end of the war, Jonathan Heart returned homw to a failed business. After attempting to establish a career as a surveyor, he enlisted in the Army. He served as a Captain United States Infantry Regiment, 9th June, 1785; Captain 1st United States Infantry, 29th September, 1789; and Major 2d United States Infantry, 4th March 1791. He was shot and killed on 04 November 1791 in action with Indians during St. Clair’s defeat near Fort Recovery, Ohio.
Jonathan Heart was a original member.
Jonathan Heart’s younger brother, John Heart, also served as an officer in the Revolution. Jonathan and his brother, John, both spelled their surname as “Heart” rather than “Hart”.
Jonathan Heart was a member of one of two traveling Masonic Lodges at West Point, American Union No. 1. Among the other members were Col. Samuel Wyllys, Lt. Robert Allyn, Capt. Stephen Betts, Dr. John Simpson, Dr. Jedediah Ensworth, Col. Rufus Putnam, Lt. Isaac Tiffany and others of the Connecticut Line. Dr. Simpson was the lodge Secretary.
Edward M. Coffman. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. pp. 5, 25 & 35
Connecticut. Adjutant-General’s Office. Record of Service of Connecticut Men In the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War. Hartford: [Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.], 1889. pp. 351 & 373.
Jonathan Heart, Journal of Capt. Jonathan Heart On the March With His Company From Connecticut to Fort Pitt, In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell’s sons, 1885. pp. viii – xiii.
Gary L. Heinmiller, Membership in American Union Lodge No. 1 during the Revolutionary War. (http://www.omdhs.syracusemasons.com/sites/default/files/history/American%20Union%20Lodge%20No.%201%20-%20Membership.pdf)
Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution April, 1775, to December, 1783. Washington, D.C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, 1914. p. 283.
Francis B. Heitman. Historical Register of the United States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to September 29, 1889. Washington, D.C.: National Tribune, 1890. p. 333.
James Ripley Jacobs. The Beginning of the U.S. Army, 1782-1812. Fort Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1972. pp. 32-33 & 89,
Henry Phelps Johnston, Yale And Her Honor-roll In the American Revolution, 1775-1783: Including Original Letters, Records of Service, And Biographical Sketches. New York: Privately printed [by G.P. Putnam’s Sons], 1888. pp. 252-254.
Catherine M. North, History of Berlin, Connecticut. New Haven: Tuttle, 1916. pp. 65-66.
Wiley Sword. President Washington’s Indian War: the struggle for the Old Northwest, 1790-1795. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993. pp 82, 181 & 184.
Biographical information compiled by V. Allen Gray