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General Jonathan Hunt (August 12, 1787 – May 15, 1832) was a member of the United States House of Representatives and the prominent Hunt family of Vermont. He was born in Vernon, Windham County, Vermont, and graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1807. Afterwards, Hunt studied law and was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1812. He was first president of the Old Brattleboro Bank in 1821, the first bank established in Brattleboro, a position he held for years afterward. He also carried the rank of General in the Vermont militia, as had his uncle Arad Hunt.
Hunt's father, also named Jonathan, was born in Massachusetts, and was an early pioneer and land speculator in Vermont, where he later served as Lieutenant Governor. His son Jonathan was married to Jane Maria Leavitt of Suffield, Connecticut, from the New England Dwight family heavily involved in the shipping business and in the purchase of the Western Reserve. Congressman Hunt and his wife were parents of three preeminent figures in American art: the painter William Morris Hunt; the architect Richard Morris Hunt; and the early photographer and New York attorney Leavitt Hunt.
Hunt served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives 1811, 1816, 1817, and 1824. He was elected as an Adams candidate to the United States House of Representatives from 1827 to 1832 (the Twentieth, as an Anti-Jacksonian to the Twenty-first, and Twenty-second Congresses).
The Congressman was a lifelong friend of statesman and orator Daniel Webster. The brick home that Hunt had built in Brattleboro, later known as the Colonel Hooker home, was the first brick home built in town.
He died in Washington D.C. while still in office. At his death this son of early Vermont pioneers and land speculators left an estate valued in excess of $150,000. The Congressman was buried in the family plot in the Old Cemetery on the Hill in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Following Hunt's death, his wife Jane took their four children to Geneva, Paris and Rome for an extended Grand Tour that stretched into a dozen years. The Hunt children were able to study the arts in European academies and become part of an American expatriate community in Europe. Three of Congressman Hunt's children returned to America. The fourth, Congressman Hunt's namesake son Jonathan, remained in Paris, where he studied medicine at the University of Paris and subsequently practiced medicine until his early death, a suicide in 1874. (Jonathan Hunt's son William Morris Hunt also committed suicide, at the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire.)
- Art-Life of William Morris Hunt, Helen Mary Knowlton, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, Mass., 1899
- Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont, Henry Burnham, D. Leonard, Brattleboro, 1880
- Annals of Brattleboro, 1681-1895, Mary Rogers Cabot, E.L. Hildreth & Co., Brattleboro, Vt., 1921
- Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight (1874). The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass 1. J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders. pp. 407–408.
- Jane Maria Leavitt's father was Thaddeus Leavitt Esq. of Suffield, whose clipper ships traded with the West Indies, who invented an early cotton gin and who was one of the principal patentees of the Western Reserve lands in Ohio from the state of Connecticut.
- Vermont: The Green Mountain State, Walter Hill Crockett, New York, 1921
- The Jonathan Hunt home was located at the corner of Main and High Streets in Brattleboro.
- Picturesque Brattleboro, Frank T. Pomeroy, Rudyard Kipling, Picturesque Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass., 1894
- Congressman Hunt's uncle, Gen. Arad Hunt, donated in 1813 over 5,000 acres (20 km2) of land at Albany, Vermont, to Middlebury College. The rents from these lands were an important source of income for the then-fledgling institution.
- Catalogue of Officers and Students of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, 1800-1915, Published by the College, 1917
- Art-life of William Morris Hunt, Helen Mary Knowlton, Little Brown & Co., Cambridge, 1899
- Hunt, Jonathan, (1787–1832) at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Grave of Jonathan Hunt, Prospect Hill Cemetery, Brattleboro, Vermont, Findagrave.com
- Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons, Redfield Proctor, Brattleboro, 1894
|United States House of Representatives|
William Czar Bradley
|Member of the United States House of Representatives from Vermont's 1st district