Historically Speaking: Roger Enos

One of the foremost leaders during the beginning years of what is now the State of Vermont was a man named Roger Enos. Roger lived in North Hartland, when it was still Hertford ,in a house on Dry Kiln Rd. The plank house was owned by Oliver Willard and then Zadock Wright but was confiscated as Wright “went over to the enemy”, a Tory. We have excerpts from a deed that Clyde unearthed.”in the Township of Windsor and Hertford in the County of Cumberland and State of Vermont for and in consideration of the Sum of Two Hundred and Seventy Pounds Lawful Money to me in hand paid before the (?) hereof by Roger Enos of Windsor in the County of Hartford and State of Connecticut and receipt whereof I do here by Acknowledge”. The deed says that it bordered property still owned by Oliver Willard and Willard’s mill dam, along both rivers and the “farm was forfeited by Zadock Wright by his Treasonable Conduct — Under the grant of the Governor of New York. In witness where of I have set my hand and seal this 20th day of October A.D. 1780 State of Vermont County of Bennington.”

One can only speculate about the reasons Roger might have decided to settle in Hartland, but I’m thinking it might have had something to do with the fine company that was already here. Enos was instrumental in the building of the North Hartland church with a Benjamin Waite of Windsor. This was an Episcopal Church that had been meeting in a barn prior to the erection of the building.

Roger was married in March 1763 to Jerusha Hayden of Windsor, Conn. and with her had five children. One was Jerusha Hayden Enos who married Gen. Ira Allen. They met at Castleton when Jerusha accompanied her father on Army business. Another daughter married Pascal Paoli who was one of the proprietors of Springfield, Ill. The Enos came to Hartland in 1779, settled Enosburgh in 1780, but there is no evidence that they ever lived there.

More glimpses of Roger : From Men of Vermont, History of Vermonters. “Enos, Gen. Roger - One of the few men in the secret of the Haldimand Correspondence, and Vermont’s military commander through that trying period, was born in Simsbury, Conn. in 1729, an adjutant in 1761, and a capt. in Col. Israel Putnam’s regiment in 1764. He also took part in the Havana Campaign of 1762. He was afterwards a member of the commission to survey lands in the Mississippi valley. He promptly took the part of the patriots at the outbreak of the Revolution and had command of the rear guard of Arnold’s expedition against Quebec. He left it, however, with a sizable detachment, in order to avoid starvation, as he claimed. He was afterwards court martialed under a charge of cowardness, in this action but was honorably acquitted.”

He had a long military career, served many terms in the General Assembly, was a trustee of the Vermont University, a member of the commission to adjust the trouble with New Hampshire and of the committee to consider resulutions of Congress for the admission of the state to the union.

After a long and illustrious life, Roger ran into money troubles and landed in debtors prison for 18 months, “disagreeably confined in the gaol in Woodstock in the County of Windsor” For most of his last 12 years he lived with his daughter, Jerusha Allen in Colchester , where he died in 1808 at the age of 79.

Pay special attention to your Hartland Tax bill. There will be a special opportunity to have your home and family recorded for the ages to come as we celebrate our 250th anniversary. CYM

Reprinted from the Vermont Standard, 2012, “Historically Speaking” by Carol Mowry.

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