Latham, Jonas, 1772 - 1842

Jonas Latham was born on May 20, 1772 in Groton, Connecticut, the son of Joseph, Jr. and Deborah Leeds Latham. He married Eunice Williams on April 15, 1800 in Groton and the couple had at least 6 children over the course of their marriage.
Jonas was a farmer and the family worked their land in the North Society of Groton, close to the Mashantucket Pequot Indian community.  The farm, or at least part of it, was on lands leased from Tribe.  Beginning in April of 1819, and quite possibly earlier, Jonas Latham leased, for $4 annually, a parcel of land commonly referred to as, the Northeast Corner lot.   While the exact location of this piece of land is not known, based on the rental amount it can be inferred that it was a relatively small lot of land.  As per the lease agreement with the tribe’s overseer, he received credit for improvements made to the property.  Usually these “betterments” were in the form of labor, often the building of stonewalls to serve as property boundaries or as animal enclosures or exclosures.   Records indicate that Jonas Latham rented the Northeast Corner lot nearly continuously until just prior to his death in 1842 with the last several years of the lease shared by his son Amos L Latham.  
In May of 1834 James Sunsamon, one of the headmen of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, brought a lawsuit, with the assistance of Overseer George Ayer, against various members of the Latham family.  Jonas, and two of his sons, Amos L.[1], and Robert Latham[2], had, two years earlier, been found guilty of trespassing on tribal lands and illegally extracting hundreds of dollars’ worth of timber.  The lawsuit claimed that the defendants had never fully paid the tribe for these encroachments.  Whether this trespass is associated with the Northeast Corner Lot that the Latham’s had leased for so many years is unknown.
Jonas Latham died on August 14, 1842 and was buried in the Latham Hallet Cemetery in Ledyard, Connecticut.;; CHS, Ms. 27960 Geer & Morgan Families Papers, 1717-1850, Folder 19; CSL, RG3, NLCC:PbS, Indians, Mashantucket Pequot
Sources for this biography also come from the Related Digital Heritage Items listed below.

[1] It is interesting to note that Amos L. Latham would later become one of the tribe’s overseers and after a short tenure 1854-1855, would be removed from the appointment. This was due, in no small part, to a contingent of the tribe complaining that he was in the practice of cutting and selling wood from the reservation at " small and ruinous prices" and that he was unreasonably raising the rents of those who had leased land on the reservation for decades. 
[2] This is the same Robert Latham who was contracted to build a house for Peter George and later in September of 1837 was paid for repairing Esther Dick’s and Frederick Toby’s houses.
May 20, 1772
August 14, 1842