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Col Return Jonathan Meigs, Sr
Birth: Dec. 19, 1740
Middletown
Middlesex County
Connecticut, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1823
Bradley County
Tennessee, USA

Revolutionary War Officer and Indian Agent. He was originally serving in the local militia as a captain, but after the Battle of Lexington he led a company of light infantry to Boston where he was made a major in the Continental Army. He was a division commander under Benedict Arnold who he accompanied on his expedition through Maine to Canada. At Quebec City he was captured by the British and imprisoned, but was released in May of 1776. He returned to Connecticut and rejoined the army in 1777 as a colonel. Likely his most important achievement during the war was an action known as "Meigs Raid" in Sag Harbor, New York where he was able to burn 12 British ships and take 90 prisoners without losing a single man. The US Congress granted him a presentation sword for his heroism. After the war Meigs was appointed surveyor of the Ohio Company of Associates which were the first white settlers in Ohio. He founded the town of Marietta and served as justice of the peace, clerk of the courts and served in the General Assembly from 1799 to 1801. In 1801 he moved to Tennessee to become the Indian Agent to the Cherokee Nation, and the military agent for the US War Department. He functioned in the dual roles until 1813 when the Federal soldiers were withdrawn and the military agent function was disbanded. He continued in his role as Indian Agent to the Cherokee people until his death. His 23 year career as agent was devoted to the Cherokee's well-being, defending their rights during treaty negotiations, and assisting them in establishing their own republican form of government. His peculiar name and how it came about is worthy of mentioning. His father, Jonathan, was in love with a delightful Connecticut lass who, when Jonathan asked for her hand she replied, "Nay, Jonathan, I respect thee much; but I cannot marry thee." As he dejectedly mounted his horse and slowly rode away the young lady had a change of heart and cried out, "Return, Jonathan! Return, Jonathan!" These being the happiest words that he ever heard he gave as a name to his first born who then passed it on to his son. (bio by: Tom Todd) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Return Meigs (1708 - 1782)
  Elizabeth Hamlin Meigs (1712 - 1762)
 
 Spouse:
  Grace Starr Meigs (1739 - 1807)*
 
 Children:
  Mary Meigs Miner (____ - 1799)*
  Timothy Meigs (____ - 1816)*
  Return Jonathan Meigs (1764 - 1825)*
 
 Siblings:
  Elisha Meigs (1733 - 1736)*
  Janna Meigs (1735 - 1736)*
  Elizabeth Meigs (1737 - 1740)*
  Elisha Meigs (1739 - 1739)*
  Return Jonathan Meigs (1740 - 1823)
  John Meigs (1742 - 1751)*
  Giles Meigs (1744 - 1824)*
  Josiah Meigs (1746 - 1751)*
  Elizabeth Meigs (1748 - 1753)*
  Timothy Meigs (1750 - 1751)*
  Hannah Meigs (1751 - 1753)*
  Josiah Meigs (1757 - 1822)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Garrison Cemetery
Dayton
Rhea County
Tennessee, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Dean Wilson
Record added: May 24, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8821946
Col Return Jonathan Meigs, Sr
Added by: Dean Wilson
 
Col Return Jonathan Meigs, Sr
Added by: Dean Wilson
 
Col Return Jonathan Meigs, Sr
Added by: Dean Wilson
 
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We honor your for your service sir!
- Descendants of Gen. John Sevier
 Added: Nov. 17, 2016

- Ricky Fellows
 Added: Jan. 28, 2016

- R I P
 Added: Dec. 19, 2014
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