Born at Failsworth in Lancashire, as a boy Jonathan Stott learned the weaving trade in his father’s silk mill. But he chose to follow the military example of his older brother Joseph, who enlisted at 17. (Joseph was killed only two years later, probably in India.) Jonathan joined the Sixth Foot Regiment, now known as the First Warwickshire Regiment of Foot. Formed in 1674, it’s one of the oldest in the British Army.
After fighting in Spain and France, his regiment was ordered to Canada to serve in the Niagara Campaign of the War of 1812. They landed in Quebec in June of 1814. By August, they were fighting the Siege of Fort Erie, the longest engagement of that campaign. For six weeks, the British battered the fort held by the Americans, suffering heavy casualties as well as illness and exposure in their rough encampment. On September 14, 1814, Jonathan Stott was captured by the Americans.
He was sent to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the site of the largest prisoner-of-war camp in the country at the time. The Pittsfield Military Cantonment held nearly 2,500 captured enlisted men and 40 officers. It covered 13 acres in the Morningside-Maplewood section of Pittsfield and got its water supply by means of an easement to Silver Lake.
Lemuel Pomeroy, a local musket manufacturer, had just taken over the Pittsfield Woolen & Cotton Company and was expanding it with English-built looms, which his local weavers did not understand how to run. He visited the POW camp in search of English weavers. Stott volunteered his services and was released on parole to train Pomeroy’s workforce.
At the end of the war, in the following spring, Stott joined his uncle William Stott, a woolen manufacturer who had recently emigrated to Hudson, New York. He worked for his uncle until the spring of 1817, when he married Julia Cooper Bennet, and went into business with his own looms in Hudson. The looms were at first operated by hand, and the mill burned down in 1826. Stott rebuilt, and then began looking for water power. In 1828, he bought the old Van Rensselaer mills at Springville, less than three miles north of Hudson. The town in now known as Stottville. By the time of his death in 1863, the Stott woolen mills were famous for their fine-quality flannels. Large contracts for military uniforms for the Union army brought real prosperity to Stottville and the family.
He is buried in the Hudson City Cemetery next to his wife and their daughter, Jane Charlotte.
Jonathan Stott is the grandfather of Kate Stott.