Jenkins, John, 1728–85, American pioneer, b. probably Connecticut. In 1753, Jenkins explored the Wyoming Valley for the proposed Susquehanna Company. A settlement (1762) under his leadership was destroyed by Native Americans, and in 1769, leading another group to the region, he founded Kingston. Jenkins lived there until the Wyoming Valley massacre (1778), then fled to Orange co., N.Y.
After his retirement his son John Jenkins, 1751–1827, b. New London, Conn., took his place as leader of the Connecticut settlers. During the American Revolution he took part in Gen. John Sullivan's punitive expedition against the Iroquois who had committed the Wyoming massacre. After the war Jenkins defended the Connecticut settlers in the Pennamite Wars and against attacks by Native Americans. In 1786 he laid out the town of Athens, Pa.
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