The Pierce Family
Coventry History

Jotham Pierce Signature

Jotham Pierce and his family came to Coventry from Westmoreland, N.H. around 1801 or 1802 immediately following Samuel Cobb. One of the original "squatter sovereign" families, they pitched on lot 15, which today encompases the land between the interstate and River Rd. just south of the road to Brownington. Pierce was elected a Selectman three times in 1805, 1808 and 1810. He was also elected First Constable in 1810 and 1811 and apparently used the power of his office to engage "Shark" Thompson in a legal tussle concerning cattle and Mr. Thompson's teeth. He was appointed a captain in the state militia at the outset of the War of 1812. At some point between then and 1820 he moved with his family to Montreal, Quebec.

Jotham Pierce was a man of great energy, and became an influential citizen of the town. He was the first captain of militia, and magnified his office not a little, as it was suitable he should in those days when a captain was of more consequence than a brigadier-general now is.

Jotham Pierce once attempted to serve a process on him [Samuel Thompson] by driving away some cattle, which Thompson prevented by putting up the bars as often as Pierce could let them down. During the struggle, Thompson, having a favorable opportunity, caught one of Pierce's fingers between his teeth, and fixed them into it with a vigor and tenacity of grip, which, in the officer's estimation, fully justified the appellation of "Shark."

At the raising of Jotham Pierce's barn, young Cobb,[Samuel Jr.] then only eighteen years old, took one of the corner posts, a green beech stick, twelve feet long, fourteen inches by nine at one end and slightly tapering, which he shouldered, carried to its place, and setting the foot tenon in its mortise, raised the post to its proper position.

The first road from East to West was laid out in June 1806. It extended from the upper falls of Black River, through the Center, "to the West side of Jotham Pierce's opening,".

The first sermon in Coventry was delivered in Jotham Pierce's barn, on a week day, in June 1806, by the Rev. Asa Carpenter of Waterford, a Congregational minister.

The Rev. Barnabas Perkins preached at Jotham Pierce's on Sunday, 2 October 1808

Pliny White, History of Coventry, Vermont.

- Pliny White, History of Coventry, Vermont, 1858, Irasburgh, VT