Henry Hallet was born in Groton, Connecticut on July 24, 1799, the son of Thomas and Sarah Daniels Hallet. By March of 1823 he had married. Tragically, within two short years, his wife, Deborah, passed away, at the age of 26, leaving him a widower with at least one young child.
Hallet served in the Connecticut militia, 2nd Division, 3rd Brigade, Eighth Regiment formed by men from Groton, Stonington, North Stonington, and Voluntown. By 1826 Henry Hallet had achieved the rank of Captain in the Rifle Company.
As early as 1825 Henry Hallet appears in the records of the state appointed overseer to the Mashantucket Pequot Indians as providing goods and services to members of the tribe, much as his father, Thomas, did. The frequency with which Henry appears in the historical record increases beginning about 1830, just as his father’s presence in the records begins to diminish. Henry billed the tribe’s overseer for plowing gardens, carting firewood, and providing food and clothing to various members of the Pequot community. The enumeration of the Thomas Hallet’s household in the 1830 US Federal Census suggests that this may have been Henry’s home as well.
This was around the same time that Henry assumed the lease of a portion of the reservation lands, in particular, a parcel of land commonly referred to as, the Sunsamon Pasture. This lot was described as east of the swamp or brook and adjacent to the Avery Lot. Hallet offset the expense of renting this land in several ways. 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. The following year (1831-1832) Hallet added to the size of the farm by leasing an additional piece of Indian land. He and neighbor, John Wilkcox, each rented half of the Sampson Poquiantup Place, which had been for many years leased by Charles Chester. Later in 1837 and 1838 he would rent the same with another neighbor Mark Daniels. Over the next quarter century Hallet would continue to lease some combination of these two parcels of land.
On April 23, 1833, nearly 8 years after the death of his first wife, Henry Hallet remarried to Julia Ann Bailey in Groton. Their family would soon grow with the addition of several more children.
Along with his increasing agrarian responsibilities, Henry Hallet became involved in civic affairs. At the incorporation of the Town of Ledyard in June of 1836, Capt. Henry Hallet along with Capt. Anson Avery and Noah Davis were voted as selectmen. The next two years, 1838 and 1839, hallet served as a representive from Ledyard in the Connecticut Legislature.
With the death of his father in 1838, Henry became head of household and was enumerated as such in the 1840 Federal Census for Ledyard, CT. By this time there were 8 members of family living in the home, three of whom were engaged in work on the farm. By 1850 the family size grew to eleven.
It seems the Hallet farm was prospering, such that when the opportunity arose to purchase land and add to the size of his farm, he was able to do so. In 1855, despite the remonstrations of the tribe, the Connecticut General Assembly passed an act authorizing the sale of a large portion of the Mashantucket Pequot lands at public auction. The auction was held at the home of Mark Daniels, Hallet’s neighbor. Hallet purchased 2 of the 20 lots for sale. Lot 1 in the upper northwestern portion of the reservation contained 5 acres and five rods and Lot 13 in the southern part of the reservation contained 20 acres and 9 rods. It is unclear as to whether these two lots of land were the same pieces the Hallet family had leased for over 40 years.
Although no longer a leasee, Hallet continued to provide goods and services to members of the Pequot community for a number of years. He assumed the important role of taking depositions in December of 1859, when Jabez Niles sued for his right to live on the reservation as a member of the tribe.
Henry Hallet died on November 16, 1865 at the age of 66, and was buried in the Latham/Hallet Cemetery in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Connecticut, Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, 1629-1934 for Capt. Henry Hallet, Connecticut Headstone Inscriptions Vol 24, Ancestry.com; Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Ancestry.com; Green, Samuel. The Annual Connecticut Register, And United States' Calendar, ... New-London, Conn.: Samuel Green, 1823-1827; Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of New London County, Connecticut (Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co. 1882), p. 532; Avery, History of the Town of Ledyard, p.20; CSL, RG3, NLCC: PbS, Indians, Mashantucket Pequot; US Federal Census, 1840 Ledyard, Ct, Ancestry.com; US Federal Census, 1850 Ledyard, CT, Ancestry.com; findagrave.com
Sources for this biography also come from the Related Digital Heritage Items listed below.