Manross soldiers in the French and Indian War

A. Samuel Manross, son of Nehemiah, served as a sergeant in the Connecticut Regiment in the successful siege in 1745 of the French Fort Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Canada. 

​B. Bishop Manross, son of Nehemiah, served as a sergeant in the Connecticut Regiment in the successful siege in 1745 of the French Fort Louisbourg, Cape Breton, Canada.​

C. Asahel Manross, son of Nehemiah, served in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment 1758-1763. 

D. John Manross, son of Nehemiah Jr., served in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment 1761-1763. 

​E. Justus Manross, son of Nehemiah Jr. served in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment 1762-1763. 

​F. William Manross, son of Samuel, served in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment 1755-1756.


Jesse was a son of Samuel Manross and Lucy Barnes.  Born in Norfolk, Connecticut on October 23, 1759, he was the youngest of seven children.  By 1769 the family abandoned the relative comforts of Connecticut and moved to New Canaan, Albany, NY.  His father, Samuel, deeded his Norfolk, CT land to Jesse.  That deed is shown on this page. 

​Jesse served in the 2nd Regiment of the NY Forces, under the command of Col. Goose Van Schaick.  At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Ft. George assumed an important role.  It was on May 12, 1775 that the Americans seized Ft. George and its stores.  For the next two years Ft. George served as a major supply depot hospital for the Northern Continental Army.  Ft. George is located north of Albany and south of the important Lake Champlain which was used by British troops to launch attacks on America from Canada. Jesse served with the 2nd Regiment in this strategic mission from May through October 1775. 

​The New York Regiments (Line) were created as a consequence of the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the Green Mountain Boys under the leadership of Ethan Allan.  (In 1765 Nehemiah's son, Elijah, left his family in Connecticut to join the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont).  Fort Ticonderoga was strategically located at the south end of Lake Champlain.  The captured cannons were transported to Boston where their deployment forced the British to abandon the city in March, 1776.  The Continental Congress understanding that the war was going to heat up in New York voted to permit the Province of New York to maintain as many as 3000 troops at Continental expense.  Both Jesse and Elijah Manross served in the Second Regiment (Albany County).  Jesse also served with the NY Levies in the battles for the Schoharie and Mohawk the valleys.

​In 1779 Jesse sold the property in Norfolk, CT that had been deeded to him ten years earlier by his father Samuel.

​In the fall of 1780 an invading force under Britain's Sir John Johnson, Joseph Brant, and Cornplanter the Chief of the Senecas, ravaged parts of the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys.  The object of the raid, like all others, was to completely destroy the houses, barns and crops of the colonists and to weaken their resistance.  News of a threatened invasion by Johnson's band soon came to the attention of the Patriot leaders along the Schoharie River.  Preparations were made to resist the attackers.  The Patriots surprised the attacking force which was then forced to make a hasty retreat.  General Van Rensselaer sent word to Fort Stanwix, ordering its commander to speed a detachment to Onondaga before Sir John arrived, to burn the British watercraft and to prevent their escape.  A force of 100 men set out on the mission, but they were sabotaged by a traitor who feigned illness and warned the British of the plan.  The Patriots, including Jesse Manross, were captured and transported to Montreal, Canada.  Jesse was captured October 23, 1780 (Jesse's birthday) by the British and Indians at Conasadago, Indian Country.  He and his fellow soldiers were held for two years and nine months.  They were released May 21, 1783.

​Unbroken, at age 24, Jesse returned home to New Canaan, NY to start a new life.  In 1786 he purchased 100 acres in Middlebury VT which was 129 miles directly north of New Canaan.   His future father in law, Jonathan Preston, also purchased land in Middlebury VT.  In 1787 Jesse married his daughter, Eleanor, and they moved to Middlebury, VT along with Jonathan's family.  The first child, Prudence Manross, was born in 1788.  They had nine children who survived childhood: Prudence 1788, William 1790, Sally 1792, Asa L 1794, Gates 1797, Dimmis 1799, George Washington 1801, Lovenia 1805 and Matilda 1809.

​Middlebury was essentially a frontier town.  The dwellings were chiefly log houses and the population was less than 400.  Areas of the village were swampy.  One of the laws of the village was that any man who got drunk was subject to the penalty of digging up a stump.  Life was tough in Middlebury and there was a serious shortage of meat and breadstuffs.  It was not the future that Jesse had looked forward to.

​Jesse decided to move his family 30 miles north to the town of Essex, VT and he is recorded in the very first US Census in 1790.  three of their children were born in Essex including William, Sally, and Asa. 
In the Essex town records Jesse Manross is shown to be the Surveyor of Highways.  In an attempt to recover his horse that had strayed or was stolen, Jesse placed an ad in the Vermont Journal in 1795.  He offered fifteen dollars to anyone who would bring the thief and horse to his home in Essex.

​In 1795 Jesse was offered the opportunity to purchase land in New Haven, VT from both his father-in-law and brother-in-law.  He purchased the land and moved his family that year.  Jesse's family lived there from 1795-1809.  The family was reported in the 1800 US Census.  Gates, Dimmis, George Washington, Lovina, and Matilda were all born in New Haven.  Jesse supported his family through ownership of a sawmill.  He also bought and sold land in New Haven as well as Lincoln, VT.  In 1803 Jesse received a judgement against Mr. Benjamin Russell.  The Justice of the Peace ordered the Sheriff of Addison County to jail Mr. Russell if he did not pay the Eight Dollars and sixteen cents he owed Jesse within sixty days.

In 1810 the Manross family made the four mile move to Bristol, VT and were reported in the 1810 US Census. Jesse and his son William appear in early Bristol town records: Jesse appointed Surveyor of Highways, William appointed Hayward (official in charge of fences), William admitted as freeman.  Jesse, after living an adventurous and rugged life for 54 years, died in Bristol, VT on March 13, 1813.  He was survived by his wife, Eleanor, and his nine children.  

Jesse Manross and the American Revolution

​Generation 4

Manross soldiers in the American Revolution
Please note the photo of Manross items in the Connecticut State Museum.

 ​​A. Nehemiah Manross, ​son of Nehemiah Jr., served in the Connecticut Line.  He participated in the battle of Germantown and defense of Fort Mifflin.  He wintered at Valley Forge with George Washington and died of exposure that winter in 1778. 

​B. William Manross, son of Samuel, served in the Connecticut Line.  He participated in the battle of Germantown and the defense of Fort Mifflin.  He wintered at Valley Forge with George Washington.  He was in the White Plains encampment and in campaigns along the Hudson River.  He was made a fifer and died from an illness during the war in 1780. 

​C. Theodore Manross, ​son of Bishop, served in the Connecticut Line.  He wintered at Valley Forge with George Washington and participated in the battle of Germantown.  He also participated at Monmouth Courthouse and the storming of Stoney Point. 

​D. Elijah Manross, ​son of Nehemiah, left his family in Connecticut in 1765 to join the Green Mountain Boys in Vermont.  The Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga in a surprise attack in 1775.  He also served in the 2nd NY Regiment along with Jesse. He died in 1810 and was survived by one son, Elijah, born in 1761 whom he left in Canterbury as a small boy. His son visited him in Vermont in 1805. 

​​E. Elijah Manross, ​son of Elijah (above), served in Connecticut Line.  He participated in the siege of Boston as a Drummer Boy of fifteen years of age and served throughout the eight years of the Revolution.  He participated in the battle of Germantown and the defense of Fort Mifflin and wintered at Valley Forge with George Washington.  He was in the White Plains encampment and battles along the Hudson River.  He was made Fife Major in 1780 and was present at the siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis.

​F. Jesse Manross (above), ​son of Samuel, served in the 2nd Regiment of the New York Line. He participated in the successful siege of Fort George NY.  He also was stationed at Fort Stanwix and participated in the battles of Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys.  He and his squadron of 100 men were captured while on a mission to burn the British watercraft and prevent them from escaping during the Battle for Schoharie Valley.  He and his fellow soldiers were taken to Montreal, Canada and held as prisoners for 2 years and 9 months.