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Vernon, Thomas 

The diary of Thomas 





HiSTOEiCAL Tracts 

NO. Vi. 






Presented to the 


by the 




Historical Tracts 

NO. 13. 



188 1. 


Copyright by 
















SIDNEY S . R I D K It . 


^4 'if 

Copyright by 






At the breaking out of the war of the KevoUition, the Colouy 
of Rhode Island found many of its inhabitants loyal to the Crown 
of Great Britain. This was particularly the case with the inhab- 
itants of Newport. In that town resided many of those persons 
holding office under the Crown. A great majority of these per- 
sons remained loyal to the Crown, and thereby became obnox- 
ious to the friends of the Colonies. Among those specially 
obnoxious, were the officers of the "Vice Admiralty Court, and 
the Customs' officers. These antipathies broke out into absolute 
riot in 1765 at Newport, and in 1772, resulted in the destruction 
of the Gaspee, and the shooting of Lieut. Dudingstou, her com- 

For the purpose of finding out who were her friends, and who 
her enemies, the Assembly passed an act at its June session, 
1776, which became known as the Test Act. This extraordinary 
piece of legislation empowered any member of the Assembly who 
suspected his neighbor of being unfriendly to the cause of the 
United American Colonies, to summon such neighbor before 
him, and demand that he should subscribe to the Declaration, or 
Test. This Declaration, or Test, is in the following words: 




"I, the siibscri1)er, do solen.. ly iuid sincerely declare, that I 
believe the War, Resistance, and Opposition, in which the 
United American Colonies are now engaged against the Fleets 
and Armies of Great Britain, is on the part of said Colonies just 
and necessary; and that I will not directly, nor indirectly, afford 
assistance of any sort or kind whatever to the said Fleets and 
Armies during the continuance of the present war; but I will 
heartily assist in the defence of the United Colonies."* There 
were eighty-two members of the Assembly, and as every one of 
these members could order his neighbors before him, there was 
thus erected in the State eighty-two petty courts of inquiry 
capable of becoming a source of the greatest annoyance to many 

Upon the refusal of the suspected persons, so summoned to 
appear, and subscribe to the Test, the member of the Assembly 
was authorized to enquire into his reasons for not subscribing. 
If these reasons were unsatisfactory to the member, he was 
authorized and directed to issue a warrant directing the sheriff, 
or his deputy, to institute a search of the dwelling of the sus- 
pected pei'sons, for arms or munitions of war. Thereupon the 
member was to make return of his proceedings to the next 
Assembly. Among the lirst persons arrested under this act were 
the five gentlemen whose story is told in the following Diary : 
Messrs. Thomas Vernon, Richard Beale, John Nicoll, Nicholas 
Lechmere, and Walter Chaloner. These five men are the only- 
ones mentioneil by Arnold in his History of Rhode Island, as 
having been arrested and exiled ; but in truth there were many 
more. In July, eleven were exiled, besides whom there were 

* Acts and Resolves, R. I. General Assembly, .Tune, l77Ct, p. lOit. 





four Scotch oftlcers, whose uames uic lost, and doubtless many 

Notwithstanding there is nothing coutainetl in the act pre- 
5>c"ibiug banisliment, or punishment of any kind, yet these men 
were immediately banislied from Newport. The proceedings 
were summary. The Assembly met on the 10th of June. The 
act probably passed about the I5th, and on the 20th, four of the 
men were taken by the sherift" from Newport. The Test is on the 
109th page of the Schedule, the banishment is on the 112tli page 
of the same Schedule. It will thus be seen that the sentence was 
almost simultaneous with the passage of the Test. A more arbi- 
trary proceeding it would be difficult to conceive. It was 
entirely without the sanction of law, the law being, as before 
stated, without penalty. Several weeks after these proceedings, 
these men having in the meantime been confined, the Assembly 
passed another act whereby certain pecuniary burdens were 
imposed. This law was clearly retro-active in its operation, 
and ought to have l)een of no ett'ect. Among the first acts of the 
first Assembly in 1(547, was one declaring that no citizen should 
be punished, •' except by some known law." Nevertheless, these 
men were so punished. In October following, the Asseml)ly 
passed an act giving permission to all banished persons to return 
to their homes, upon the payment by them of such expenses as 
the State had incurred. Thus for four months these unhappy 
men were kept wandering about the northerly towns of the State 
to the great discomfort of themselves, and of everybody with 
whom they came in contact. 

The Diary of Mr. Vernon was recently privately printed, fifty 
copies only, by Thomas Vernon, Esq., of New York city; and it 




is by his permission that it here again appears. The former 
edition was entirely without notes, and many passages were 
omitted. Many of these passages were trivial repetitions, not- 
withstanding which they have all been restored, for thev ^^ ^o^^t 
show the method and care of the Diarist. In the present edition 
such laws as were connected with the events have been inserted 
in their proper places, and such illusti-ative notes as were 
required have been added. Extended biographical notices of 
Henry Ward, Secretary, Gov. Jabez Bowen, Gov. William West, 
and others, have been introduced. These notices contain mate- 
rials not heretofore gathered in their proper connections. 
Advantage has been taken of a reference to the Trial of the 
Pirates, to introduce an account of that transaction, because 
heretofore every account which has been given, from Arnold 
back, has incorrectly stated the number of pirates hanged. 
There were twenty-eight, instead of twenty-six, as is usually 

The Diary gives us a picture of life in one of the inland towns 
of the State during the Revolutionary period ; the families, the 
men, and the opinions are more or less referred to, and thus a 
unique, curious, and hitherto unwritten chapter of Rhode Island 
history is presented. 

Following the Diary has been reprinted from the New England 
Historical and Genealogical Register for July, 1879, a communi- 
cation on the Vernon Family and Arms, by Harrison EUery, of 
Boston, with additions and corrections by Thomas Vernon, of 
New York city. Taking advantage of a note concerning Richard 
Greene, of Potowomut, the editor has introduced the Genealogy 
of that family, for which he is indebted to Gen. George Sears 
Greene, of Coweset. 



Thiirsdjiy, ,Tune 20, 1776. Pursuant to the order 
of the General Assembly, i at four o'clock p. m., John 

1. WiiKKKAS, Messieurs Richard Beale, John Nicoll, Nicholas Lechraere, 
Thomas Vernon and Walter Clialoncr having been examined before this 
Assembly, and refused to subscribe the Test (see introduction) ordered by this 
Assembly to be tendered to suspected persons; and it appearing that while 
they continue in the principles by them avowed before this Assembly, they are 
justly to be deemed unfriendly to the United Colonies; it is therefore 

Voted and Resolved, That the Sheriff of the County of Newport forth- 
with remove the said Richard Bealc, John Nicoll, Nicholas Lechmere and 
Thomas Vernon to the town of Glocester in this Colony, where they shall be 
permitted to go at large within the limits of the town, they giving their parole 
of honor to continue there until further orders from this Assembly. That if 
either of them shall forfeit his parole, he shall, upon being apprehended, be 
committed to Gaol and kept closely confined until further orders from this 
Assembly;— and that in case either of them shall refuse to give liis parole 
as aforesaid, he shall be confined to such House in the said town of Glocester as 
the said Sheriff shall think fit, with liberty of the farm whereon the House 
stands; and 

Wheubas, The said Sheriff hath in his hands several Executions against 
the said Walter Chaloner, which are soon returnable, and upon which he is 
now in the custody of the said Sheriff; it is therefore further 

Voted and Resolved, That as soon as the said Walter Chaloner shall be 


Nicoll,! Nicholas Lechmere,^ Eichnrd Beale,3 and 
Thomas Vernon^ were escorted by the Sheriff of the 

discharged from the said Executions the said Sheriff immediately remove him 
to the said town of Glocester, ia manner as the said Kichard Beale and others 
are ordered to be removed, and under the like conditions and restrictions. 
(Acts and Resolves, R. I. Gen. Assem., June, 1776, p. l'l2.) 
Mr. Chaloner never joined the party. 

1. John Nicoll was Comptroller of Customs at Newport, under the Crown, 
from (at least) 17C4 to 1775. At the time of the Stamp Act Riot in August, 
1765, he, together with two other Customs officers, fled the town and took 
refuge on board the Cygnet man-of-war, then lying in the Harbor. From this 
ship they addressed Governor Ward a letter demanding protection. The 
Governor at once assured them of protection, and they returned to their duties. 
On the 16th September, 1776, Mr. Vernon parted company with Mr. Nicoll, 
leaving him confined in the Jail at Providence. This is the last we learn 
of him. 

2. Nicholas Lochmere was technically known as Searcher, in the Customs 
at Newport; he was on board the Cygnet with Mr. Nicoll, as mentioned in the 
preceding note. There appear to have been several brothers by this name 
living in Newport, all of whom became more or less involved in the troubles of 
the times. In 1780 Mr. Lechmere removed to Bristol, England. 

3. Richard Beale had long been a resident of Nevrport, having been admitted 
a freeman in 1757. He was a brother-in-law of Mr. Vernon, having married 
Miss Mary Brown, daughter of John Brown, Esq., of Newport. 

4. Mr. Thomas Vernon, the author of the following Diary, was the son of 
Samuel Vernon, Esq., of Newport. He was born May .31, 1718, married Septem- 
berO, 1741, to Jane, daughter of John Biown, a merchant ofNewport. She died 
April 28, 1765. Mr. Vernon next married, May 20, 1766, Mrs Mary Mears. She 
died August, 1787. Mr. Vernon was postmaster of Newport under the British 
Government from 1745 to 1775. He was register of the Court of Admiralty for 
twenty years; was secretary of the Redwood Library eighteen years, and was 
senior warden of Trinity Church; h(( died in Newport May 1, 1784. 




County of Newport^ and his deputy, to the wharf of 
Colonel Wanton, at the Point, where we embarked 
on board of one William Greene's boat for the town 
of East Greenwieh, about twenty miles distant, 
where we arrived about seven o'elock the same 
evening, and were conducted to the house of one 
Mr. Arnold, where we continued in custody of the 
said Sheriff that night. 

Friday, June 21, 1776. We arose early in the 
morninsr in order to attend the Sheriff's further or- 
ders. We soon found that he met with much diffi- 
culty in providing horses, etc. However, about ten 
o'clock A. M., was brought to the door an old, crazy 
chaise with a very bad horse, and two led horses 
quite as indifferent, Mr. Beale was placed in the 
chaise, and Mr. Nicoll and Mr. Lechmere on horse- 
back. [In this way] we proceeded on our journey 
with the Sheriff and his deputy. The weather being 
very sultry, we made no stop until we arrived at 
Brown's Furnace,^ about twelve or fourteen miles 

1. Jabez Champlin was Sheriff of Newport County. 

2. There was at this time, and for several years previously there had been 
mined, at a locality subsequently and to this day, known as the Ore Bed in 
Cranston, a considerable quantity of iron ore. Another mine was on the north 



dLslant, where got some refreshment. The people 
of the house treated us with civility. We tarried 
here about one hour. After shifting our horses we 
proceeded on our journey through a very rocky 
country and were much fatigued. We arrived at 
the town of Glocester^ about eleven o'clock at night 
and lodged at the house of one Mr. Willmut (Wil- 
marth"), a publick inn. 

bank of the Tawtuxet river. It had been discovered in the spring of 1765. A 
company was formed comprised of Stephen and Rufus Hopkins, Jabez Bourn, 
and Nicholas, Joseph, John and Moses Brown, for the purpose of operating 
the mine. Tliey wished to maintain a permanent dam without providing (as 
by law they were required to do) a fish way. They petitioned the Assembly (a 
simihir petition by James Greene and others on the south bank of the Paw- 
tuxet had been granted in 1741) and obtained permission. This petition 
represents that the petitioners had, at vast expense, purchased a bank of ore, 
erected a large furnace, purchased great tracts of woodland, laid out roads, 
and been at great expense in various ways for the purpose of carrying on the 
business of smelting the ore and making it into pigs. So many of the Browns 
being interested in the enterprise, that it was doubtless known as Brown's 
Furnace. It was subsequently the Hope Furnace. 

1. The town of Glocester as originally laid out was twelve miles square. 
It extended from the seven mile line on the east to the Connecticut line on the 
west. It was the most northerly town in the Stale. It was taken from Provi- 
dinee in 17:!0-1. At the ])»ri(i(l of .Air. Vernon's banishment it was the third 
town in the State, in point of population, ranking next Providence. In 1806 
the town was divided in the centre by a line running east and west, making 
two towns. The northerly one was called Burrillville and the southerly one 
retaining the name of Glocester. 

'.;. Stephen Wilmarth here referred to was the son of Captain Timothy 


Saturda}^ June 22, 1776. We tarried at this 
house all da}^ and were much pleased with the con- 
versation of the landlord. He appears to be a very 
sensible, intelligent man and very moderate in his 
sentiments, which afforded us much pleasure. He 
has sustained many public offices, in this town, and 
we are told to satisfaction. We tarried at this 
house until about six o'clock in the evening, when 
the Sheriff and his deputy conducted us to the house 
of one Mr. Stephen Keetchi (Keach), about two 
miles distant, where we are detained till further 
orders, having refused to give our Parole to the 
Sheriff for liberty of ye town. The man of the 

Wilmarth, a prominent tavern keeper (in these days tavern keepers were very 
important men) on the higliway from Providence to Hartford, about six miles 
from the former town. Stephen married Nancy, daughter of James Aldrich, 

1. Stephen Keach was a respectable farmer, living on a farm a little south 
of the center of the town of Glocester as it was then laid out. Mr. Keach's 
farm comprised about five hundred acres of land. The family consisted of 
seven persons— Mr. and Mrs. Keach, three sons, Stephen (the eldest), Christo- 
pher and Jeremiah, and two .daughters, Freelove and Patty. There was a 
third daughter, probably older, and married; she is mentioned in the Diary 
under the date of July 21, and in other places as their daughter Winsor. 
Besides these people the famOy comprised two hired men, Christopher and 
Nicholas, and a hired boy, Joseph. The distances given to various points in 
the Diary, are to the Chepachet river two miles, to Chestnut Hill meeting- 
house nine miles, to Providence twelve miles. 


house and his family received us kindly. They 
appear to be very plain, quiet, inoffensive people, 
and willing to oblige us. We supped on bread and 
milk, and retired to bed after nine. The lodging is 
as good as this country affords. 

Sunday, June 23, 1776. Arose about five o'clock. 
The breakfast prepared being coffee. But I chose 
some whey. Afterwards walked out about two 
miles to view the river or stream w'here is a saw 
mill. The farm contains about five hundred acres 
of land, four-fifths of which appears to be unculti- 
vated. One of our company having a fcAv limes, 
we made a drink of punch. Our dinner prepared 
was salt pork and dried beans and corn. We diverted 
ourselves in reading and chatting until eveninjr. 
Drank some milk and retired to bed about nine 

Monday, June 24, 1776. I arose about five o'clock, 
and the compan}^ about six o'clock. Amused our- 
selves in chatting till breakfast, which w^as coffee, but 
I chose milk. Mr. Nicoll, one of our company, pre- 
pared a small piece of ground and sowed some let- 
tuce, spinuach, and other seeds. The land I find is 


much parched for want of rsuii. Our dinner, salt 
pork and a small piece of salt beef, with dried beans 
and corn boiled, but one of our company picked 
some wild herbs which, when boiled, made the salt 
meat relish much better. We do not find any vege- 
tables in the country of any kind, neither do we 
apprehend we shall meet with any, which is a cir- 
cumstance very disagreeable to us. However, the 
civility of the family makes ample amends for every 
deficiency of that kind. The weather being very 
warm, would not admit of walking. We regaled 
the family with a dish of tea at five o'clock. Took 
a walk in the cool of the evening to the river. Re- 
freshed ourselves with a porringer of pudding and 
milk. Turned in between nine and ten, very sober. 
Tuesday, June 25, 1776. I turned out at quarter 
after four ; cool, pleasant morning ; being the first 
up, saving our landlord and his son, who set out for 
Providence early this morning, and by whom we 
sent for some necessaries. I amused mj'self in walk- 
ing about the farm until breakfast, which was cofiee. 
The weather growing very warm, we tarried in and 
about the house during the heat of the day. Our 


dinner consisted of stilt pork and beef, and greens. 
In the afternoon our landlady had a neighbor, a 
woman, visiting. Drank tea, and towards evening 
planted one hundred and twenty hills of beans, 
which I brought from Newport. Mr. Nicoll set his 
traps for squirrels, but without success, chatted until 
after nine, drank our milk and retired to bed. 

Wednesday, June 2(j, 1776. Turned out forty 
minutes after four; pleasant morning; found our 
landlord returned from Providence, but brings no 
news ; he brought us a loaf of sugar, a gallon of 
rum, a few lemons, and some crackers ; prices per 
margin,^ which is a specimen of the times. Our 
breakfast, coffee. After breakfast Mr. Lechmere 
and m3^self took a walk to the river, where Mr. 
Nicoll was a fishing ; he caught a few small fish. 
It being \ery warm, we returned home at twelve 
and had a bowl of punch. Our dinner provided was 
fried pork and veal ; we napped and chatted until 
five o'clock, when we had a dish of green tea for the 
first time, which was very agreeable ; we diverted 

1. In a marginal note in the manuscript Mr. Vernon gives the following 
prices for these articles: Sugar per loaf, £2; rum per gallon, nine shillings; 
lemons, nine pence each ; crackers, one shilling per pound. 


ourselves until evening, opened our bottle of olives, 
Avhich was very good, and thanked the donor. Our 
landlord inclined much to talk of liberty and the 
times. We endeavored to waive the conversation. 
It is amazing what false and erroneous opinions and 
ideas these people have entertained, and what is 
worse, is that it is impossible for the human mind 
to undeceive them, such is their prejudice. We 
turned in about ten o'clock in good nature and 

Thursday, June 27, 177(3. Arose at five; plea- 
sant, clear morning ; wind at northeast. This day 
has been spent much like all the rest since we have 
been here, chiefly at home in idle chat, and now and 
then reading a page. Have not heard from home 
since we left ; have been in great expectation of 
seeing Mr. A. Lechmere this day, but wc are dis- 
appointed. We breakfasted on tea, and dined on 
veal and pork, cut small and put in the pot. The 
fields afforded us a fine sorrel for a salad, and Provi- 
dence a good bowl of lemon punch. Nothing mate- 
rial this afternoon has happened, but I have the 
satisfaction in saying that a perfect harmony subsists 


between us iind the family, but no neighbors' visits. 
Mr. Lcchmcre and I had three eggs each of us for 
our sui)pcr, which we procured from the neighbors. 
Turned in at ten ; a very cool night. 

Friday, June 28, 1776. Arose half after five; 
fine, clear, pleasant morning, Avhich has been spent 
in chatting and cleaning ourselves, and delivering 
our foul linen to the house for washing. Our break- 
fast, coffee. Mr. NicoU has been amusing himself 
this day in making a vane. Our seeds, before sown, 
are coming up, but the weather continues very dry 
as yet. Our landlord is preparing to go to a town 
meeting. I proposed to him that he would motion 
that we be sent for in order to give an account of 
ourselves, and that we be obliged to give security 
that we do not become a town charge, agreeably to a 
law of the Colony, i and in failure thereof to be or- 
dered out of town. This conversation afforded us 
some amusement. Our dinner, pork, veal and 
greens, and a boAvl of punch before dinner, after 
which we had a fine nap, and a dish of green tea 

1. Acts and Laws of the English Colony of Rhode Island, Digest of 3767, 
p. 229. 


at five p. M. We walked and talked until eiirht in 
the evening, when Mr. A. Lechmere made his ap- 
pearance, a very welcome visitor, not having before 
the agreeable news of hearing from home. A bowl 
of punch being soon made, we remembered our 
Newport friends, chatted until after ten, and retired 
to bed quietly. 

Saturday, June 29, 1776. Arose at ten minutes 
after five ; pleasant morning, fresh breeze at about 
. west. We chatted till breakfast, which was tea, 
after which we walked to the river, and A. Lech- 
mere tried for trout but caught none, Mr. NicoU 
took some pouts or toad fish ; we returned at twelve, 
it being very warm. ^Nlade a cool bowl of punch, which 
Avas very refreshing. Dined upon a baked line of 
veal, part of a calf which was killed in the morning, 
with some sorrel for a sahid. Took a nap after 
dinner and drank tea at five, watered our garden, 
etc., walked till our retirement. About eight o'clock 
Mr. Jabez Bowen.J of Providence, joined us. He 

1. Jabez Bowen was born in Providence June 2, 1~39. He was the son of 
Ephraim and JIary [Fenner] Bowen. He married Sarali, daughter of Obadiah 
Brown, December 19, 17G2; second, Peddy Leonard, May 21, 1801. The first 
mention of Mr. Bowen in connection with Colonial business is with the 


was very civil and entered on a conversation 
[concerning] our banishment, and the cruel hard- 
ship we sustained in consequence of the late act 
of the Assembly. He pitied our fate, and offered 
his services in assisting us all that lay in his power. 
He is to sec us again before he leaves the town. 
We returned to the house about nine o'clock, drank 
a porringer and turned in at ten, very sober. 

development of the iron mine, discovered in 1765 on the north bank of the 
Pawtuxet river. lie was one of the founders of the Benevolent Congrega- 
tional Society in 1771, and was for thirty years President of tlie Society. He 
was a major and afterwards a colonel in the militia. An inspector of gun- 
powder in 1775. Engaged in supplying cannon to the State in 1776. An 
Associate Judge of the Superior Court from 1776 to 1779, and Chief Justice 
of the same Court in 1781. A member of the Council of War in 1777-8, in 
whicli body he did efficient service. In December, 1777, the Assembly, under 
a recommendation of Congress, sent Mr. Bowen as one of her Commissioners 
to attend a convention at New Haven. The business to be considered was the 
regulation of the prices for labor, manufactures. Internal produce and imported 
goods (military stores excepted), and also the charges of Inn Holders. The 
Commissioners were to report to the State Legislatures who were to pass laws. 
Similar conventions were held on the same day at Fredericksburg, Va., and 
Charleston, S. C. In 1778 Governor Bowen, in company with President James 
Manning, were sent to Connecticut to obtain the repeal of the Land Embargo 
Act. This act prevented the importation of grain into Rhode Island from that 
State. The poor victims of tlie war were much in need of grain, and these 
gentlemen were to obtain it. At the spring election of 1778 Mr. Bowen was 
elected Deputy Governor, which office he held for three years. The British 
were tlien in the possession of a large portion of Rhode Island. In all the 
operations of the (,'ontinental forces, Governor Bowen was continually con- 


Sunday, June 30, 177(3. The bed being no longer 
agreeable I got up at half-past four. A ver}^ cloudy, 
disagreeable morning, but the sun soon dispelled the 
foir. Our landlord set out to visit his son at Kin- 
nersly (Killingiy), I amused myself in reading until 
breakfast, which was tea. It being very warm, we 
tarried in and about the house all the morning; 
made some punch at twelve, and dined upon part 

suited by Generals Spencer, Sullivan and Gates, successively. From 1781 to 
1786 he was continued in the office of Deputy Governor. In the latter year the 
triumph of the Paper Money party overthrew the entire State government, and 
Governor Bowen with his party went out of power. The Tenth Bank, with all 
its infamous legislation, followed. In 1786 a convention was assembled at 
Annapolis to adopt some uniform system of commercial regulations. Out of 
this convention grew the Constitution of the United States. Governor Bowen 
was a delegate from Rhode Island, as he was also a member of the Rhode 
Island convention which adopted the Constitution, and voted for its adoption. 
He was appointed Loan Officer by Washington, and retained .the office until 
the election of Jefferson. He was President of the Rhode Island Bible 
Society, and also President of the Rhode Island Agricultural Society. He 
assisted Benjamin West and Stephen Hopkins in their observations of the 
Transit of Venus in 1769, and he was a member of the first School Committee 
of the town of Providence in 1800. Governor Bowen was a graduate of Yale 
College. The degree of LL. U. was given him by Dartmouth. In 1785, upon 
the death of Stephen Hopkins, Governor Bowen was elected Chancellor of 
Rhode Island College, which office he retained until his death. This institution 
gave him tlie honorary degree of Master of Arts. He died at Providence, 3Iay 
8, 1815, possessing to the last day of his life the highest respect and esteem of 
his fellow-men, and leaving a character of unsullied integrity. 



of the calf's head, with a piece of pork and some 
greens from the fields. The house aflfords us good 
cider and good nature, two excellent ingredients for 
the stomach and the mind. The latter being much 
composed, Ave inclined to a nap. A very great ap- 
pearance for rain in the afternoon, with some thunder, 
but we are not blessed with any, which we greatly 
lament. A dish of green tea pleased us much, and 
in the cool of the evening took a walk. When we 
returned, our girls were joined by a neighbor's daugh- 
ter, which afforded us some innocent chat. At nine 
I supped upon three eggs, and turned in before ten, 
in tolerable good spirits. 

Monday, July 1, 1776. Ten minutes before five 
o'clock I turned out. This morning is very foggy 
and disagreeable, which makes our people incline 
for sleep. We amused ourselves in innocent chat 
until breakfast, being coffee. We are much at a 
loss, as the weather is bad, how to divert ourselves 
this forenoon in the house. Mr. Nicoll, who is in- 
defatigably industrious, is always proposing some- 
thing to divert the mind, kept us constantly em- 
ployed • until dinner in some trifling matters. I 


made some punch, after which we dined upon some 
stewed veal and pork. Soon after, Colonel Jabez 
Boweu called upon us to receive our commands, we 
commissioned him to procure us some necessaries 
from Providence. Mr. Nicoll and A. Lechmere 
tried for pickerel at King's Bridge,^ but without 
success. Eegaled ourselves and the family with a 
dish of tea, after which we assisted our friend Nicoll 
in putting up the vane at JS'icoll Hall, 2 which we 
expect will be a matter of great speculation in the 
town. After we effected this business we returned 
to our lodginijs, ate our milk and bread, and retired 
to bed between nine and ten. 

Tuesday, July 2, 1776. Being the first up, as 
usual, just before five. Notwithstanding the weather 
is misty and wet, A. Lechmere mounted his horse 
about four o'clock for Newport. AVe each of us 
gave him a line to our wives for the first time. This 
day has been spent chiefly in the house on account 
of the badness of the weather. Our breakfast was 

1. There were two briilges near Mr. Keach's house, both crossing the 
Chepachet river. It was probably one of these, then known by the name of 
King's Bridge, possibly the one nearest the pond now called Keach's Pond. 

2. A nickname they had given to the barn. 


coffee. Nothing very material occurred this fore- 
uoou. I made some punch at twelve. Dined 
upon stewed veal and pork and greens. A little 
after two o'clock it began to thunder and rain, and 
so continued by showers till almost dark, when I 
pulled from our garden some lettuce and radishes, 
and some pepper grass, etc. Our supper was eggs 
and a drink of cyder. Turned in at half after nine. 
Wednesday, »Tuly 3, 1776. Got up at a quarter 
after five. A very pleasant, clear, agreeable morn- 
ing. The wind about northwest. The rain, yester- 
day, has nourished the earth finely, and everything 
looks smiling and cheerful, which invited me to 
walk out before breakfast. Breakfast being coffee, 
after which Mr. Nicoll and myself went to work 
and put some green sods in the chimney in the hall, 
and gathered flowers from the fields and ornamented 
the same in the best manner we could, the first of 
the kind, I believe, were ever in this town. The 
heavejis allbrded us another small shower about 
eleven o'clock, which nourished the plants set out 
the day before. Treated ourselves with some punch, 
which whetted our appetites for the salt pork and 


greens. Afterwards we had a nap, and then played 
a game or two at whist, for want of a better employ- 
ment. I then proposed a walk but they declined, 
saving Mr. Beale. We visited the mowers, our 
landlord and his two eldest sons having began this 
day — and very ordinary grass it is. This evening 
is the most remarkable cool that I ever knew in 
Julv. The wind continuino^ at northwest. I was 
very fearful there would be a frost in the night. 
Supped upon bread and milk, and turned in at a 
quarter-past nine. 

Thursday, July 4, 1776. I arose at ten minutes 
after five o'clock. A very clear, cool morning. The 
wind still continuing at northwest. We tarried 
chiefly in the house this forenoon in shaving and 
cleaning ourselves. Our diversion was chiefly in 
innocent chat. We daily experience the good nature 
and civility of this family, which I cannot pass un- 
noticed. Our breakfast was coffee. We dined upon 
salt pork and greens, and a nap as usual ; after we 
had drank a dish of tea, we w^ilked out and assisted 
our landlord and his sons in raking hay until evening. 
Having purchased a lamb of Mr. Keetch (Keach) 


for our table, Mr. Beale saw it dressed. It is a 
tolerably good one. Our supper was a few eggs, 
boiled, and milk. Went to bed at half after nine. 

Friday, July 5, 1776. Being more sleepy than 
usual I did not get up until ten minutes before six. 
The wind at southwest, cloudy, and almost calm, 
but as the sun grew higher the wind increased. We 
spent this day in and about the house. I amused 
myself in whittling a walking stick. At twelve 
o'clock we used the last lemon, and were not forget- 
ful of our Newport friends. Dined half after twelve 
upon the forequarter of the lamb purchased yester- 
day, roasted, and the head pry'd with mint, and a 
sorrel salad. At two o'clock a small shower of rain. 
The wind still continuing very windy and cloudy. 
Half after five very considerable (to use the term of 
the country) showers of rain until almost sun set- 
ting, attended with thunder and sharp lightning and 
some hail. In the evening we all took a walk out, 
it being very pleasant, and soon after returned. 
Joseph, the boy of the house, by some accident cut 
his foot with the drawing knife, very badly ; it bled 


much. Mr. Lechmere's Turlingtoui was very useful 
on this occasion. Our supper consisted of liread 
and milk. Turned in at half after nine. 

Saturday, July 6, 177G, I arose at ten minutes 
before five. A clear, calm morning. The wind 
about northwest. The weather, I think, very cool 
for the season; it continued s_o all the forenoon. 
Our time before breakfast (being coffee) was em- 
ployed in cleaning our shoes, shaving, etc. The 
whole forenoon has been spent chiefly in the house 
in chatting with the girls. We lament greatly the 
want of books to amuse us, which we have neglected. 
Stephen, our landlord's eldest son, told us that he is 
a member of a company at Scituate, who some time 
past, have collected some money which they have 
laid out in books, to be loaned out to the company. 
It is called the Scituate Library. ^ Our landlord 

1. This word is probably a corruption of Tourniquet, brought about by an 
error in transcribing or misspelling. 

2. Mr. Wilkinson, in his "Genealogy of the Wilkinson Family, relates of 
this Library that it was established at a very early period at, or near the resi- 
dence of Captain Samuel Wilkinson, the grandfather of Stephen Hopkins. 
The residence of Mr. Wilkinson is given as having been in that part of Provi- 
dence since called Smithfleld. Mr. Wilkinson does notT say near the residence 
of the late Captain Samuel Wilkinson, or that the former residence, etc., — but 
it is near his residence, —this leads to the inference that Captain Wilkinson 

j^NVr ..... 



attended the funeral of a young man who died sud- 
denly. The procession passed b^^ our house at one 
o'clock to the Baptist meeting-house, where is to be 
a sermon on the occasion. Esquire Wilmut (Wil- 
marth) called in to see us for the first time, with 
whom we had conversation respecting our sufferings ; 
he tarried with us about half an hour, and promised to 
see us again soon. I made a bowl of currant punch. 
Dined ujion stewed veal and pork, with a sorrel 
salad. The Aveather growing very warm induced 
me to take a nap in the chair, which was very re- 
freshing. We received a small keg of biscuit from 
Colonel Bowen. Took a walk in-4he fields at six to 
visit the haymakers. The wind all this day con- 
was still living and that the Library was established before August, 1727, which 
was the time of Captain Wilkinson's death. But Scituate was not known at 
that period. In 1730-1 the three towns of Scituate, Smithfleld and Glocester 
were incorporated, so that it is not probable that the Library was established 
before the latter date. It may, however, be considered certain that this Public 
Library was among the earliest, if not the earliest, in Rhode Island. In these 
early years there came from this region very well educated, and very able men ; 
may we not reasonably infer that it was from this source that their learning 
came? They had not schools, they must have read these books, and thinking 
did the rest. 

The house of the late Elisha Mathewson in Scituate, where this library 
remained, was recently burned and the old library was thus destroyed. 


tinues northerly ; our supper, milk and bread, and 
as usual went to bed at half after nine. 

Sunday, July 7, 1776. Arose just at five o'clock ; 
cloudy morning, little wind, easterly but got to the 
southwest about noon ; a clear sky the middle of the 
afternoon. At six o'clock our landlord's two daujrh- 
ters, with Jeremiah, set out for Kiuersly (Killingly) 
meeting and returned in the evening. We tarried 
in the house all day, till towards sun setting. At 
twelve Mr. Nicoll made some small toddy. Dined 
upon boiled lamb, pork and greens. Took a small 
nap in the chair, and diverted myself with a book 
until half after four, when our landlord returned 
from meeting and brought with him Esquires Brown 
and Wilmut (Wilmarth), the latter with his lady, 
whom we received kindly ; they tarried after six ; 
we took a walk in the fields after tea. Upon our 
return, just before the setting of the sun, we dis- 
covered six men on horseback, and soon after nine 
or ten more horses. The first division rode very 
fierce up to the house and alighted from their horses, 
came into the house where Mr. Keetch (Keach) was 
and aske,d some questions respecting us. The others 


continued on horseback. Three ladies were on single 
horses and two double, that is to say, a man and 
woman. We desired them to light and walk in, but 
they refused excepting one young man, who came 
into our room, but said nothing. After they had 
satisfied their curiosity by looking and staring at the 
Tories, they paraded about on their horses for some 
time before the house and went off. In some places 
they would be called young bricks ; they were very 
wild and awkward in their behavior. We supped 
on a few eggs boiled, and chatted till almost ten 
when we went to bed. 

Monday, July 8, 1776. Arose before five ; a 
very clear morning ; the wind northwest. This fore- 
noon has been spent in and about the house, having 
shaved and cleaned ourselves. Breakfast, cofiee, but 
Mr. Beale alwaj's prefers milk. Made a little weak 
toddy before dinner, which was a roasted quarter of 
lamb, with sorrel for a salad. The afternoon growing 
very warm, inclined to a nap in the chair. Took a 
small walk in the evening, eat our bread and milk, 
and retired to bed a quarter before ten. 

Tuesday, July i), 1770. Arose a quarter before 


six ; a very clear, calm morning ; what little air 
there is seems to be northerly. I find that our vane, 
which was put up some days ago upon the barn, is 
taken down by some person or persons, which I am 
sorry for, as it deprives us of the pleasure of know- 
ing where tiie wind blows, but if it gives umbrage 
am content. Our breakfast was coffee, soon after 
which, about fifteen or twenty rods northwest from the 
house, we discovered a fox. The dog pursued him 
in the woods for some time, but without success. 
We sauntered about the house until twelve o'clock 
when we had a drink of toddy. Our dinner was a 
cold lamb pie, had a short nap afterwards; chatted 
a while and then adjourned to the hall, where we 
had a pool at quadrille. Took a walk in the cool of 
the evening. Our supper was a few boiled eggs. 
Retired to bed before ten. 

Wednesday, July 10, 1776. Arose about five; 
cloudy, calm morning. Our landlord set out for 
Providence ; we desired the favor of him that he 
would take a letter from us to Secretary Henry 
Ward, unsealed, which we read to him. He abso- 
lutely refused taking it. So that we are deprived 


of the l)cnefit of remonstrating our unhappy situa- 
tion. About seven discovered, we think, the same 
red fox chasing the fowls, about ten or fifteen rods 
north from the house, but he soon made to the 
woods. Our breakfost, coffee. We stayed in the 
house this forenoon. A drink of toddy at twelve. 
Our dinner consisted of the remainder of the cold 
lamb pie, boiled pork, beef and greens. About two 
o'clock it began to thunder and rain, which con- 
tinued for an hour and a half, when it cleared away 
finely. We had a pool at quadrille at the hall, and 
a walk to Prospect Hill in the evening. Our sup- 
per, bread and milk. Between nine and ten our 
landlord returned from Providence. He showed us 
an order from Governor Cooke, directed to the 
Sherifl:' of the County of Providence, to remove us 
to some other house in the town of Glocester. He 
saw my brother Will at Secretary Ward's office, but 
he did not think it proper to ask after me. We 
turned in about ten o'clock. 

Thursday, July 11, 1776. Arose a few minutes 
after five ; a very pleasant, clear, calm morning ; 
before seven it bectmie cloudy and thick, the wind 


easterly, so that it was necessary for us to keep the 
house. We diverted ourselves with the ffirls and 
the family. They are very chatty respecting our 
departure and destination. Before twelve o'clock it 
began to rain, and continued till two. Our dinner 
consisted of cold lamb pie, bread and cheese. Be- 
fore three it cleared up finely, between five and six 
were very agreeable showers, and before sun setting 
it cleared up again, with a fine rainbow in the south- 
east and the wind southwest. In the evening: it was 
remarkably cool, walked to Prospect Plill. The 
Avind changed before bed-time to northwest. The 
Count and myself supped upon eggs, and chatted 
till between nine and ten, and went to bed. 

Friday, July 12, 1776. Arose a few minutes be- 
fore five ; a very fine, clear, calm morning. I should 
imagine by the coolness of the air that there must 
have been a frost in the neio:hborhood in the night. 
Landlord and his wife set out at seven for Chestnut 
HilU to meeting, about nine miles distant, where 
was a baptizing of four persons. The religion of 

1. Chestnut Hill is a village in the town of Killingly, Connecticut, situated 
but a sliort distance from the line which separates the two States. 


the people of this town consists entirely of New 
Light Baptists. The enstom of Dipping is much in 
voofue in this and the neiijjhborino- towns. Our 
breakfast was coffee, as usual. We diverted our- 
selves in the house this forenoon. Our dinner con- 
sisted of a boiled cheek and greens, with an Indian 
pudding ; had a short nap in the chair. Mr. Nicoll 
took a long walk, and visited some of the neighbors. 
The others of our company assisted in getting up 
the hay, after which we walked to Prospect Hill. 
The weather is still very cool, the wind about west. 
Our supper, milk and bread ; turned in between 
nine and ten. 

Saturday, July 13, 1776. Got up a few minutes 
before five ; cloud}' morning, and still very cool, 
wind easterly. The last night was taken down by 
some persons the staffs on the barn which our vane 
was fixed upon. Reynard made his appearance 
again about seven o'clock within a hundred yards of 
the door after the fowls ; the dog pursued him but 
in vain. Our breakfast, coffee. Mr. Nicoll ventured 
to take a long walk westward ; we diverted ourselves 
in the best manner we could in the house, the females 


especially being very sociable and ol)liging to us. 
Our dinner, pork, beef and greens. Tlie weather 
being dull and cloudy we courted a nap in the chair. 
About live o'clock a walk was proposed to the river, 
where we washed our feet. On our way home we 
spied a striped squirrel which we chased from one 
stone heap to another and at last lost him, which 
much grieved Mr. Nicoll, as he has a fondness for 
getting one of these animals. On our return to the 
house we found Miss Fenner,i a very likely, tall, 
agreeable young lady, about seventeen or eighteen. 
She brought us a packet of letters from our 
families, long wished for. You may think it was 
a cordial to us, not having heard from home for two 
weeks. Miss Fenner tarried with us an hour, and 
promised to see us again soon and drink tea. The 
letters were delivered to her by Mr. Callender at 
Smithfield. Our supper, pudding and milk. Went to 
bed before ten, in good humor and spirits. I forgot 
to mention that General West passed by the house 
this mornins: about eijiht o'clock and saluted us. I 

1. Frequent mention is made in the Diary of Mr. Fenner, and of his daugh- 
ter. John Fenner, a prominent citizen of the town, is doubtless meant. There 
were many families in the adjoining town of Johnston by this name. 


proposed to l)ring him to, and require of him the 
countersign ; if refused, to detain him at headquar- 

Sunday, July 14, 1776. Arose eight minutes be- 
fore five; very calm, dull, cloudy morning. It 
began to rain moderately at seven o'clock. Our 
breakfiist, coffee with Jonny^ cake buttered. The 
family not being disposed for meeting, saving the 
landlord and Christopher, we spent the day in read- 
ing and innocent chat, our two young ladies con- 
tributing much to our happiness. Dinner, salt pork, 
Avith dried corn and beans. The Count ^ — am fearful 
is not ver}' well, as he cannot eat his allowance, 
though he generally takes his share of cider and 
a quart to three pints of milk morning and evening. 
A nap was agreeable this dull day. Christopher 
informs us that a Liberty Pole is erected nigh Elder 
Winsor's^ meeting house, with a weather vane and 

1. The spelling liere of tlic word Jonny is the same which Mr. Thomas R. 
Hazard (Shepherd Tom) contended in his recent papers, publislied in the 
Providence Journal, was tlie only correct way. It seems to be an authority for 
Mr. Hazard. 

2. A nickname given to Mr. Lechmere. 

3. Elder Samuel Winsor's Meeting House was in the town of Johnston. It 
was built in 1774. The congregation were Six Principle Baptists. They 


our staff and spindle. It ceased raining before sun- 
setting, and we had a small walk. Our supper was 
pudding and milk. Turned in half after nine, as 
usual . 

Monday, July 15, 1776. Arose at twenty minutes 
before six. Thick, cloudy morning, with small rain, 
cleared up before eleven o'clock ; a fine day. Our 
breakfast, coflce. We diverted ourselves in the 
house till dinner, it being the remainder of the cold 
pork and beans of yesterday, warmed up. A small 
nap in the chair ; at five a pool at Quadrille^ in the 
hall, and a walk upon the hill, where we met with 
Mr. Burr,-^ the Deputy Sheriff of Providence, who 
informed us that the Governor had called the As- 
sembly to meet on Thursday next at Newport. 

separated from the church in Providence on a question of Doctrine, "some 
holding to commune with those that were not under hands, and others not." 
Elder Winsor died in January, 1802. (Knight's Hist. Six Prin. Bup., p. 282.) 

1. Quadrille is a game at cards played by four persons. The four tens, 
nines and eights are discarded from the pack. There is a pool in which the 
players deposit or withdraw whatever stake is played for. When three persons 
play the game, it was known as Ombre; both terms are used in the Diary, see 
July 20. It is the ^ame celebrated by Pope in the Rape of the Lock, Canto iii. 

2. David Burr was keeper of His Majesty's Jail in Providence in 1705; at a 
later period he was a Deputy from North Providence. He was doubtless the 

person here referred to. 



.* ?' 


Whereupon we held a consultation on the subject 
of applying for our relief. Our supper, milk and 
bread ; retired to bed at ten. 

Tuesday, July 16, 1776. Arose half after four; 
a clear morning but very cold ; wrote letters to 
Henry Ward' and James Honyman,^ Esquires, to 

1. This gentleman was the son of Governor Richard Ward, and a brother of 
Samuel and Thomas Ward. He was Secretary of State for thirty-seven years, 
from 1700 to 1797. This latter year the period of his death. His father had 
been Secretary, as also his brother Thomas, who, dying in 17C0, while in office, 
was succeeded by Henry. These three members of one family had held the 
office of Secretary of State upwards of seventy years. A sister of Mr. Ward's, 
Miss Amey, married Samuel Vernon, a brother of our Diarist, and a very 
prominent merchant of Newport. Mr. Ward was an earnest supporter of the 
Revolution, and was entrusted by his contemporaries with every species of 
public trust. Upon the passage of the act suspending Governor Wanton from 
performing the functions of his office, and until the Deputy Governor, Cooke, 
was formally Invested with authority, the entire Executive authority was 
devolved by the Assembly upon Mr. Ward. He died November 25, 1797. 

2. James Honyman, Esq., was the son of the Rev. James Honyman, rector 
of Trinity Church, Newport, and Missionary sent from England by the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Little is known of the 
birth or education of the son. He was made Attorney General of the Colony 
in 1732, and held the office until 1741. He was a member of the commission to 
settle the boundary dispute between Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1741. 
In 1756 he was elected Senator and annually until 1764. In 1755 he was one of 
a commission appointed to attend the Congress called by the Earl of Loudoun. 
He received from the Crown the appointment of Advocate General to the Court 
of Vice Admiralty in the Colony. This office he held until 1776, when the 
rupture between the Colonies and the Mother Country rendered his position 


solicit our removal, by way of Petition to the Gene- 
ral Assembly. Also wrote letter to Captain Han- 
dy,^ which our landlord was kind enough to carry to 
Providence, for which place he started at half after 
eleven. Our breakfast, coffee. We tarried in and 
about the house this forenoon, and spread some hay 
which was in the barn. Our dinner consisted of 
salt pork, beef and greens. Soon after turned the 
hay. A small pool at Quadrille, then put the above 

a most uncomfortable one to occupy. Thereupon he went to the Assembly 
and stated his wish to resign his commission if desired by the Assembly. The 
Assembly passed a vote stating that his holding it was disagreeable to them, 
and requesting him to surrender it into the possession of the Sheriff— to be by 
him deposited witli the Secretary. Sir. Honyman died (January or February) 
15, 1778, aged sixty-seven years, a most worthy gentleman. Mr. Updike 
relates that most of the daughters and grand-daughters of Mr. Honyman 
married British officers or Americans adhering to the Crown, and departed 
with the enemy, leaving no lineal descendents here. 

1. Possibly Charles Handy, one of Mr. Vernon's subscribers to the Boston 
Chronicle. The Boston Chronicle, a newspaper published under the auspices 
of the English authorities, was bitterly hostile to the Colonists. So exasper- 
ating to them was this paper that in 1770 John Mein, one of its editors, was 
obliged to leave the country and return to England. Mr. Vernon, in his 
capacity as Postmaster, acted as agent for this paper and obtained in Newport 
many subscribers. The list of his subscribers for 1767 has recently been printed 
in the Newport Historical Magazine, with a note from James E. JIauran, Esq., 
from which the preceding facts are taken. This list discloses the names as 
subscribers of the party banished with Mr. Vernon, and also several of those 
subsequently banished or otherwise dealt with by the Assembly. 


hay into cocks. Drank tea. About seven o'clock 
A. Lechmere' and Silas Cooke^ arrived from New- 
port, chatted some time, eat our milk and bread, 
and went to bed at ten o'clock. This afternoon a 
very fresh breeze at the southwest, but little sun, 
l)e£:an to rain at nine o'clock. 

Wednesday, July 17, 177G. Arose eight minutes 
before five; tine morning, little wind ; our landlord 
arrived [last evening] from Providence after we 
Avere in bed. He brought a letter from Mr. Ward, 
but no encouragement for our release. He brought 
us a gallon of rum. Our breakfast, coiFee. Messrs. 
Lechmere and Cooke left us to go home at twenty 
minutes after nine. We walked up the hills south- 
ward, and then returned home where we tarried till 

1. Anthony Lechmere was probably a brother of Nicholas. By the act of 
July, 1776, banishing eleven persons, Anthony Lechmere was banished to 
Glocester, where his brother then was. When, at the next Assembly, the 
Sheriff made his return, it appears that Mr. Lechmere was not to be found, he 
having embarked on board a vessel belonging to William Vernon and sailed 
for the West Indies. 

2. Silas Cooke, Jun., was one of the eleven persons banished by the act of 
July, 1776. Mr. Cooke was sent to South Kingstown. At the September session 
the Assembly voted that Mr. Cooke be allowed to remove himself into the 
town of Sliddletown, on Rhode Island, he confining himself to said town until 
further orders. 


dinner, which .consisted of stewed veal and pork. 
The weather being very pleasant and warm induced 
us to take a nap. Mr. Nicoll's son Charles came to 
us while at dinner, having walked from Providence. 
We spent our time for the most part in the house 
until tea, when we took a walk to the southward. 
Mr. NicoU and Charles went a fishing, and caught a 
few toad fish.i Our ijirls have been a visitin": their 
sister all day. Freelove, only, returned in the even- 
ing. Our people from mowing brought home a 
black snake upwards of four feet long, which they 
had killed. Our supper, milk and bread. Turned 
in at half after nine. Wind this day north, north- 
west and northwest. 

Thursday, July 18, 1776. Arose twenty minutes 
after five ; calm, pleasant morning, but the sun soon 
shot in. Mr. Lechmere turned out of bed about six, 
which I can't help noticing. We generally breakfast 
at seven or before, and that upon coffee, saving Mr. 
Beale, who chooses milk. Mr. Beale and I walked 

1. There is a fish called properly a Toad Fish, but it is not that which is here 
referred to. In another entry, June L"J, 3Ir. Vernon speaks of Toad Fish or 
pouts. Doubtless he meant the fish known now as horned pouts or bull- 


to the northward this forenoon, where we saw four 
females pulling flax, a circumstance we can't help 
remarkino:, as it is the first of the kind we have 
seen.' This we imagine is owing to the scarcity of 
hands at this time [of the year]. Our dinner con- 
sisted of baked veal, with a small piece of pork, and 
that commonly at twelve, and a small nap afterwards. 
We kept in and about the house till about four, when 
we had a pool at Quadrille at NicoU Hall, afterwards 
took a walk, although it looked much like rain. 
The wind being at the southeast, about right. Our 
Patty got home from her visit. Our supper, milk 
and bread. Turned in at nine o'clock. 

Friday, July 19, 1776. Arose twenty-five minutes 
after five o'clock. In the night it thundered and 
lightened, with rain. This morning a very fresh 
breeze, about south. The weather squally and un- 
settled. We gathered a mess of peas, the first and 
the last that we are likely to have this season. We 

1. The meaning is here ambiguous. Rut by tlic term scarcity of hands the 
inference is tliat these were tlie first women laboring in the fields which they 
had seen, and tliey noted the fact. The pulling of flax must have been com- 
mon to them, for tlie State had for many years paid heavy bounties, and large 
amounts of it had been raised. Khode Island had at this time five regiments 
in service. Hence the scarcity of men. 


picked also some beans, both of which we had for 
dinner, with a boiled leg of veal and pork, and wg 
eat heartily. The weather cleared up very finely 
between twelve and one o'clock, and was quite 
warm, which invited us to take a nap. The whole 
family being pleasant and good natured, we treated 
them to a dish of tea, the first trial of that which 
was sent to me by Mrs. Vernon. It was much liked. 
Mr. Beale and myself took a long walk. The even- 
ing being vastly agreeable, we had the pleasure of 
seeing the moon, being the first time since her 
change. Our supper, milk and' bread ; retired to 
bed before ten. 

Saturday, July 20, 1776. Arose twenty minutes 
after five ; a very fine, calm, serene, pleasant morn- 
ing. A very great dew in the night. Our break- 
fast, coffee. Took a walk out and amused mvself in 
the house the remainder of the forenoon. Mr. 
Fenner sent our landlord a hind quarter of good 
veal, part of the leg w^e had fried for dinner, with 
some pork, and a short nap afterwards. We tarried 
till four o'clock in and about the house, when we 


played a while at Ombrei in the hall, and then Mr. 
Beale and I took a walk south and north of our dis- 
trict ; in our ramble I killed a Thract (Thrush) with 
a stone. I brought it home. There has been little 
wind all day from west to west northwest. Our 
supper, milk and bread. \\'cnt to bed at a quarter 
after nine. 

Sunday, July 21, 1776. Arose twenty minutes 
before five. This morning little wand, cloudy, ap- 
pearance of rain. Our breakfast, coffee. This fore- 
noon w^e shaved and cleaned ourselves. Most of the 
family are preparing for meeting. Our dinner, baked 
line of veal, with sorrel salad and peppergrass of our 
sowing. A nap ensued. Our family brought home 
their daughter, Winsor, after meeting, and we all 
drank tea together; an agreeable, sociable woman 
she is, a virtue the other sex does not seem to be 
endued with. We had a long walk after tea. Our 
supper, bread and milk. It began to rain between 
eight and nine o'clock, and continued until half-past 
nine, when we went to bed. 

Monday, July 22, 1776. Arose five minutes after 

1. Sec note concerning Quadiille on page 29. 


five. Pleasant, fine morning. Breakfast, coffee. 
We spent the forepart of this day chiefly in the 
house in making- a snuff mill, our snuff being al- 
most expended. Dinner, boiled leg of veal and 
pork, with some greens. After chatting u while had 
a small nap, and a pool at Quadrille in the hall, a 
dish of tea, and a walk this afternoon ; small wind, 
southerly, and most remarkably warm. We pulled 
some radishes from our own seed, which were tolera- 
bly good. I can't help observing that not one of the 
family ever tasted or saw one before, but they liked 
them much. Milk and bread for supper, and to bed 
half after nine. 

Tuesday, July 23, 1776. Arose half after five; 
cloudy morning, with a little wind, easterly; break- 
fast, coffee. The Count is something better this day. 
Yesterday he complained of a fever, but we observed 
that he ate his allowance very well. His disorder, 
upon examination, proved to be the Turkey Fever, i 
the effects of good cider. Rain began to fall at half 
after nine, showers all the forepart of the day. Our 

1. What this means is incomprehensible to the editor. 


dinner a gammon,' with peas and beans from our 
garden, and a nap. Cleared up in the afternoon. 
Played a hand at quadrille. Before tea took a long 
walk with Mr. Beale. Our supper, pudding and 
milk ; retired to bed at a quarter after nine. 

Wednesday, July 24, 1776. Arose at a quarter 
after five. A very thick, foggy morning, but cleared 
away before breakfast. For breakfast we had coiFee. 
One of our neighbors sent us a side of pretty good 

lamb at 30 . Fried the loin with some pork for 

dinner, and after it a nap. We tarried in the house 
all the afternoon, the weather being thick and not 
agreeable. Drank a dish of tea with the family, and 
afterwards took a very consi4erable walk with Mr. 
Beale. The wind southerly. Supped upon milk 
and bread, and went to bed at half after nine. 

Thursday, July 25, 177(i. Arose at a quarter 
before six. The morning being very thick and 
cloudy. The wind northwest. The sun appeared 
before breakfast. For breakfast we had cotfee. We 
amused ourselves in making snufi' with the new mill 
until dinner. For dinner we had a leg of lamb, with 

1. A gammon is a smoked ham. 


pork boiled with greens, and young turnips. At one 
o'clock Mr. T. Wyatt' came to visit us from New- 
port. He brought some necessaries and the pleasing 
news that our families were well. He tarried with 
us till nigh six o'clock, when he started on his re- 
turn. This is called a very warm day. We visited 
the Hall, 2 and assisted our landlord in getting up his 
hay till after dark. Supped on milk and bread. A 
remarkably fine, bright evening. Retired to bed at 
a quarter before ten o'clock. 

Friday, July 26, 1776. Arose at a quarter after 
five o'clock ; a very fine, clear morning. Our break- 
fast, cofiee, with radishes, after which the wind began 
to breeze up, though light, at about northwest. The 
weather now becomes warm, which obliges us to keep 
house more than we would choose. We had a fore- 
quarter of lamb roasted for dinner, and a boiled 

1. This may possibly be an error in transcribing; the T may have been 
intended for J. James Wyatt was a royalist. He left Rhode Island and fled 
to New York, where, in 1780, his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Wyatt, joined him, 
having first sought and obtained permission of the Assembly. She carried her 
two children, a servant, and her household furniture. In the entry of August 
25, and subsequent dates, the name of Mr. Wyatt is clearly written out James. 
These were without doubt the same individual. 
. 2. NicoU Hall, otherwise the barn. 


smoked cheek, with beans of two kinds, and peas, 
the fruits of Newport. Our landlady and the two 
young ladies dined with us for the first time, in the 
parlor. Mr. Beale exerted himself in the cooking 
with great applause, and we dined heartily. Deliv- 
ered a shirt or two to the house for washing, and 
adjourned to the easterly part of the house for cool- 
Dess. About four o'clock we were agreeably sur- 
prised by the arrival of W. Bardini and Mrs. 
"Wright.^ We enjoyed their company and drank 
tea, till about six o'clock when they took leave of 
us for Esquire Williams's,^ though we walked about 
a mile [with them]»and am in hopes of seeing them 
again before they leave the town. Mrs. Vernon was 
so kind as to compliment me with a new shirt, and 
the Count's lady was not unmindful of him, which 
we thankfully partake of. Oh the excellency of 

1. William Bardin, a resident of Newport, was tlie father-in-law of Mr. 
Vernon. Mrs. Mary Mears, a widow, and a daughter of Mr. Bardin, became 
Mr. Thomas Vernon's second wife. 

2. Possibly the wife of Benjamin Wright, one of Mr. Vernon's subscribers 
to the Boston Clironicle. 

3. Silas Williams, Esq., at that time one of the Kepresentatives from the 
town of Glocester to the Assembly. His house was three-quarters of an hour's 
walk from Mr. Reach's house. See entry, August 24. 


bread and milk, the effect of which is agreeable 
sleep and pleasing dreams. We retired at half after 

Saturday, July 27, 1770. Arose twenty minutes 
before five. The morning is clear and pleasant. 
Our breakfast, coffee. About half after nine W. 
Bardin made us a visit from p]squire Williams's, and 
dined with us on a shoulder of lamb and boiled pork 
with beans. He tarried with us till after three 
o'clock. We walked with him [on his return] as 
far as was convenient, when we returned and played 
at Quadrille. Took a small walk to the northward. 
Eat our bread and milk, and went to bed at a quar- 
ter after nine. The wind easterly the whole day. 
N. B. — No bedbugs, and the first flea saw this morn- 
ing since we have been here. 

Sunday, July 28, 1776. Arose ten minutes before 
six. Mr. Beale was first up. His second time since 
we left Newport. The weather cloudy and little 
wind. The wind breezed up at about nine o'clock 
from the southeast. Shirted, shaved, and cleaned 
ourselves ; spent some time in reading both before 
and after dinner. For dinner we had a boiled 


tongue from Newport, a piece of pork, some French 
turnips and some carrots. Drank tea, with radishes, 
after our people returned from meeting. Took a 
walk in a circle of three miles. Eat our milk and 
bread. After supper our landlord informed us that 
the town was very uneasy at our stay here, and 
expressed his desire of our being removed to some 
other house, for it was no longer convenient for his 
family to entertain us, and that he must think of 
some method for our removal. Our conversation 
lasted till eleven o'clock, Avhen we went to bed. 

Monday, July 29, 177G. Arose at six o'clock; a 
very rainy morning. The wind about south. Break- 
fast, coffee, with radishes. We had some conver- 
sation with our landlord relative to our removal, but 
nothing decisive. Mr. Charles Nicoll went off to 
Newport at eleven o'clock. Our dinner was a small 
piece of our cold tongue, and pork with dried corn 
and beans. This has been a very dull, melancholy 
day. The weather squallj' with showers of raiu. 
The wind from southeast to south. A man of the 
town brought a hind quarter of veal to the house, 
which we purchased at six shillings, old tenor, per 


pound. The badness of the weather confined us to 
the house all day, which is tedious. Our supper, 
milk and bread. Went to bed half after nine. 

Tuesday, July 30, 1776. Arose exactly at six 
o'clock. The wind northerly, and an appearance of 
fair weather. It rained very hard in the night, at- 
tended with heavy thunder and sharp lightning. 
Our breakfast, tea, with Jonny cake and radishes. 
By leave of our landlady, we picked some beans and 
the remainder of the peas in the garden, which we 
had for dinner, with a loin of veal, baked. We have 
discovered for some da3's past a very great coolness 
and indifferency towards us in the family. This be- 
havior gives us great uneasiness, as we are conscious 
that we have given no just cause for their being of- 
fended. We tarried in the house till after three 
o'clock. It being very warm, we adjourned to the 
Hall, it being a cool situation, and diverted our- 
selves with a pool at Quadrille. Afterwards Mr. 
Nicoll, Mr. Beale and myself, took a walk and killed 
a snake in the way. The sky being very clear, we 
had an opportunity of viewing the eclipse of the 


mooiii verydistiuctly. As usual, our supper of aiilk 
and bread ; retired to bed half after nine. 

Wednesday, July 31, 1776. Arose ten minutes 
before five. A very clear, calm, fine morning. A 
great dew last night. We had radishes with our 
tea for breakfast. Afterwards walked down to the 
river. Delivered our foul linen to S. Keach's wife 
to be washed. Washed our feet and returned home 
to dinner; it consisted of fried veal, pork and 
cucumbers. Tarried at home till after three, and 
then went to the Hall, played at Quadrille a while. 
Went in the woods and gathered some . Af- 
terwards we all took a walk to the northward. 
Can't help noticing that the farmers in the town are 
much backward in their work. The grass and grain 
suffer greatly for not being cut in season, and the 
corn for not being hoed. The reason is plain that 
there are not people left to do the necessary work. 2 

1. Benjamin West, the Rhode Island astronomer, gives, in his Almanac for 
1776, a minute account of this total eclipse of the moon. The duration of 
the eclipse was 3 h. 30 m. 48 sec. The duration of total darkness was 
1 h. 32 m. 38 sec. 

2. The exigencies of the military service had drawn heavily upon Rhode 
Island. She had at this time five regiments in the field. Three in the Conti- 
nental service and two within the State. • 


Eat»our pudding aud milk. Mr. Beale always turns 
in at nine o'clock. Mr. Nicoll uncertain, and the 
Count and I generally at half after nine. The wind 
before sunset got to southeast and breezed up. This 
may be called a warm day. 

Thursday, August 1, 1776. This morning I arose 
just at six o'clock. The weather somewhat cloudy ; 
little wind, southerly. The sun appeared about 
eight. Our breakfast, tea, with radishes. It is re- 
markable that we had this veo^etable larjje in size in 
three weeks after sowing the seed. This forenoon 
has been spent in the house, being attentive to our 
little affairs, shaving, shirting, etc. Our dinner was 
the remainder of the leg of veal, with pork, French 
turnips aud cucumbers. The weather for the most 
part of the day was cloudy, windy, and sultry. A 
short nap in the chair was agreeable. About three 
o'clock Mr. Beale and myself took a walk in the 
woods, and picked some W. [whortle] Berries. Mr. 
Nicoll and the Count walked separately, but missed 
of us. But we all met at the Hall at five, and played 
at Quadrille till seven, when'we all took a small walk 
southerly. My supper, W. Berries [whortleberries] 


and milk. Chatted till half after nine and retired to 
bed. N. B. — A meeting was to have been at neigh- 
bor Johnson's this afternoon, but as no person was 
there but Mr. Nicoll, the man of the house prayed 
and he was dismissed. The religious people of this 
town call themselves New Light^ Baptists. Preach- 
ers and exhorters are innumerable. Any one gifted 
in this way commands their respect, and are styled 

Friday, August 2, 1776. I arose twenty-five min- 
utes after five. The morning is cloudy, with little 
wind, westerly. It continued so all the morning, 
which induced us to keep in the house. By leave of 
our. landlady we gathered some beans, which we had 
for dinner, with salt pork, a piece of salt beef, and 
a W. Berry pudding. In the afternoon the sun ap- 

1. The New Light Baptists arose from the revival which succeeded the 
advent of Whitefield in Kew England in 1740. The movement was in derision 
called tlie New Light stir. The work began among the Pedobaptists (or those 
who believe in infant baptism), — where there was opposition a separation 
took place— hence the term Separates, as applied to some churches. These 
people were highly evangelical, and held clear and consistent views of religious 
discipline. Tlieir creed was the Bible. They did not consider education to be 
a necessary qualification for a clergyman, but they permitted anyone who felt 
moved by the Spirit to become an exhorter. Few, if any, of these Separate 
cliurches remain distinct from the Baptist denomination at the present time. 


pcjircd, and it was warm. We played a pool at 
Quadrille in the Hall. About live the wind shifted 
to the northwest, which made the air much cooler. 
At six Mr. Beale and myself took a walk of three 
miles circle. The other gentlemen chose to keep at 
home, where we joined them in the evening; eat 
our milk and bread, chatted till half after nine, and 
went to bed. 

Saturday, August 3, 1776. Arose after five. The 
weather is clear and pleasant, but rather cool ; a 
small air of wind, northerly. Mr. Beale usually rises 
about six, Mr. Nicoll about seven, Mr. Lechmere 
at eight, sometimes before and sometimes after. 
Our breakfest, tea, Avith radishes. I diverted my- 
self this day in finishing a powder horn for Mr. 
Nicoll. Our dinner, a Gammon, boiled, with cucum- 
bers and a sorrel salad. I must remark that there 
lives about a quarter of a mile from our house an 
old man of eighty years of age. He says his name 

is Johnson ; he was born in Loudon and came 

a passenger with above sixty others (I imagine 
for the better peopling of that country). His mind 
is much poisoned with the disorder of the country. 


He is a very great Politician, and he walks to our 
house (though very poorly) almost every clay, and 
sometimes twice a day, in order to read the Provi- 
dence newspaper and paraphrase upon it. He says 
he was on board of Captain Elliott's [sloop] in the 
famous engagement with the Pirate nigh Block 
Island. He gave us a particular^ account of the 

1. This memorandum concerning tlie capture and trial of the Pirates is 
so confused that it is impossible to understand it. It is here given, it is true, 
as the random recollection of a man upwards of eighty years of age, and 
related upwards of a half century after the event. Mr. Henry Bull, in his 
Memoirs of Rhode Island, has given a concise history of the aflair. His note 
has been reproduced by Mr. Updike in his Memoirs of the Rhode Island Bar. 
Mr. Updike also reprinted in this book the very rare account of the Trial, 
which was printed at the time. Mr. Ball's note runs thus: "Two Pirate 
sloops, the Ranger and the Fortune, which had committed various piracies on 
the high seas, being in company, on the 8th of May, 1723, captured the ship 
' Amsterdam Merchant,' John Welland, master, the day after which capture 
they plundered and sunk the ship. On the 6th of June, in latitude 39 (Block 
Island is in latitude 42) they took a Virginia sloop, rifled her, and let her go. 
The following day this A^irginia sloop fell in with His Majesty's ship Grey 
Hound, twenty guns. Captain Solgard, commander, and related the circum- 
stances of their capture and release. Captain Solgard sailed immediately 
in pursuit, and on the lOtli came up with the Pirate sloops about fourteen leagues 
south of the eastern end of Long Island. They, mistaking the Grey Hound for 
a merchant ship, gave chase and soon commenced firing on her, under a black 
flag; they soon hauled down the black flag and hoisted a red flag. The Grey 
Hound succeeded in capturing one of the sloops, after having seven men 
wounded. The other sloop escaped. The Grey Hound came with the prize 
into the harbor of Newport, and the pirates, thirty-six in number, were 


battle, and of the conduct of the commanders of 
the two sloops. Elliott was the greatest pol- 
troon and coward that he ever saw or heard 
of. Captain Clarke behaved something better. 
In short, in describing the behavior and manner 

committed for trial. The trial followed on' the 10th of July and the following 
days. Twenty-six were sentenced to be hanged. The execution took place on 
Gravelly Beach, on the 19th July, 1723. The bodies were buried on Goat or 
Fort Island, between high and low water mark." Some additional notes are 
needed to render this account quite complete. There is a discrepancy between 
the number of men convicted and sentenced to be hanged as stated in the 
Trial, and the list of names of the men actually hanged. The first account 
numbers twenty-eight, and the last twenty-six. The names of two men who were 
convicted and sentenced, viz., John Brown and Patrick Cunningham. There 
were two men named John Brown ; they were denominated " the shortest " and 
" the tallest"; both were sentenced to be hanged. Thus it appears twenty-eight 
were hanged instead of twenty-six. This error in numbers has crept into all 
Rhode Island histories. The sloop captured was the Ranger, commanded by 
Captain Edward Low. The sloop which escaped was the " Fortune," com- 
manded by Captain Lowther. Captain Low had the good fortune to be at the 
time of the action on board of the " Fortune " and thus escaped capture. From 
one of the old Colony cash books may be gathered some curious memoranda 
connected with this event : 

Sheriff Brenton, for Executing the Pyrates, - - £1.38 2 

Richard Clark, for Account of the Pyrates, - - - 64 1 1 

John Harris, for looking after ye wounded Pyrates, - 30 

James Jackson, for dinners for ye Judges of ye Pyrates, - 22 8 

John Valentine, for order of ye Pyrates, - - 10 

Daniel Updike, for order of ye Pyrates, - - - 6 

This Court was composed of the Governor of Massachusetts, the Governor 
of Rhode Island, four Members of the Massachusetts Council, and the Sur- 


of the Mhcr, he pictured the son in very lively 
colors.^ We tarried in the house till after tea, 
when we all went to the river at Sil Reach's^ for our 
clean linen. The people are poor, with many chil- 
dren, and the woman is thankful for this job. We 
returned home in the evening, eat our supper of 
milk and bread, and to bed at twenty minutes after 
nine. The weather is cool in the evening. 

Sunday, August 4, 1776. Arose a minute before 

veyor-General of North America. This singular composition leads the editor 
to reproduce a portion of the Act of Parliament under which the Court was 
convened. It directs that the Court shall consist of seven members, to be 
appointed by the King's Commission or under the Great Seal of England, 
or the seal of the Admiralty of England, directed to all or any of the Admirals, 
Vice- Admirals, Rear-Admirals, Judges of Vice Admiralty, or Commanders of 
any of His Majesty's ships of war, and also to all or any such person or 
persons, officer or officers by name, or for the time being, as His Majesty 
should think fit to appoint. Which said Commission shall have full power to 
commit, and to call and assemble a Court of Admiralty, which Court sliall 
consist of seven persons. If so many of the persons aforesaid cannot con- 
veniently be assembled, that any three of the aforesaid persons (whereof the 
President or Chief of Some English Factory, or the Governor or Lieutenant 
Governor, or Member of His Majesty's Councils in any of the Plantations or 
Colonies aforesaid, or Commander of one of His Majesty's ships is always to be 
one) shall have full power and authority to call and assemble any other persons 
to make up the number, provided only known Merchants, Factors, Planters, 
etc., etc., be taken. (Statutcs-at-Large, 11, 12; AVilliam 3, c. 7, p. 9, 14, 15). 

1. This reference is quite incomprehensible. 

2. Sylvanus Keach was a brother of Stephen Kcacli, with whom the exiles 
were iniartered. 


six. Clear, cool morning, little wind, northerly. 
The Count treated me with chocolate for breakfast. 
This morning we spent in shaving and cleaning our- 
selves, and went through the service of the day.i 
Some of the family went to meeting. Our dinner 
was some of the gammon left yesterday, fried, with 
cucumbers, and a cold turn-over pie made with dried 
apples and martil berries,'- a very great curiosity. 
I had a nap after dinner, and a bad hcadack 
[ache]. The weather being warm. Our family 
seems to be a little more good natured. The cool- 
ness seems to wear oil' gradually, though it's my 
opinion there never can be a perfect harmony again. 
We drank coliee with the family, and afterwards R. 
Beale and I took a walk in the woods and upon the 
Hill ; returned, ate our bread and milk, chatted till 
a quarter before ten, and went to bed. 

Monday, August 5, 1776. Arose at twenty min- 
utes after five. A fine, clear morning, little air of 

1. Mr. Vernon was the senior warden of Trinity Church, Newport, and 
doubtless read the Episcopal service for the day. 

2. This word iu tlie manuscript is clearly written as here printed. It is 
probably a corruption of whortleberry; subseciueutly Mr. Veruou writes 
W. Berries in some places. 


wind, southerly. The mornings cand evenings are 
grown much cooler than they were. The wind breezed 
up before breakfast. For breakfast we had choco- 
late. We tarried in the house all the forenoon. Our 
landlady gave us leave to gather some beans, which 
we had for dinner, with salt pork. We prepared 
them for the pot, which we always have done. The 
weather is warm, and a small nap in the chair was 
agreeable. We tarried in the house till between 
five and six o'clock, and very dull it is to me, not 
having heard from home this ten days. Besides we 
have neither books nor company to divert our minds, 
which renders this life the more disagreeable. Mr. 
Beale, Mr. Lechmere and I took a walk to the river 
and gave Mrs. Keach what foul linen we had to 
wash. Returned in the evening. Eat baked apples 
and milk for supper, and went to bed at a quarter 
after nine. N. B. — We killed a snake in the woods 
on our way home. 

Tuesday, August 6, 1776. The bed being no 
longer agreeable, I turned out at five minutes be- 
fore five. The Avind is fair, southerly, and the morn- 
ing pleasant and clear, but it soon became very 


warm and continued so all day. About ten o'clock 
Mr. Thomas Leclnncrci paid us a visit from New- 
port, and brought Mr. Lechmero some necessaries 
and informed us that our families were well. He also 
informed us that he was searched about eight o'clock 
at the Widow Waterman's^ by some person unknown 
to him, who called himself a Deputy, who opened 
and read some letters from our wives, and took one 
letter from him directed to his father. He dined 
■with us upon salt pork, fried, it being the remainder 
"we had yesterday for dinner, with sliced cucumbers. 
Ho tarried with us till between three and four 
o'clock, and returned to Providence with a letter 
from us to Governor Cooke complaining of our great 
unhappiness, and the uneasiness of the people of the 

). At the trial of the pirates in 1723, Tliomas Lechmere, Esq., was in some 
way connected with the Court. His official title as then given is Surveyor 
General of North America. He was doubtless from Boston. He was probably 
the father of Nicholas, Anthony, Thomas (here noted) and Kichard, all at the 
Revolutionary period resident of Newport, or in some way connected with that 
town. All royalists, and all left the Colony, and two at least went to Bristol, 
England, from whence they probably came. None of them ever appear to 
have been admitted freemen of Rhode Island. 

2. This must have been a tavern keeper on the road to Providence from 
Newport, and probably not far from the latter. Nevertheless tlic name of the 
Widow Waterman is not to be found in tlie Road Lists which are attached 
to the Almanacs of the period. 


town, uiid desired thut he would send us a Pass for 
our safe travelling, that we might deliver ourselves 
up to the oiiicer for our eommitment either to New- 
port or Providence Gaol, rather than be in this very 
disairreeable situation. A dish of tea this afternoon 
afforded us a good deal of refreshment. Mr. Nicoll 
complains greatly of being very much indisposed. 
Took a walk (all of us) to Prospect Hill and re- 
turned in the evening. The weather became cloudy, 
it looks like rain. Much lightning in the uorthwest. 
We ate our bread and mitk, and turned in before ten 

Wednesday, August 7, 177G. Arose ten minutes 
after five. The wind southwest ; cloudy, hazy morn- 
ing. Mr. Nicoll got up soon after me, and complains 
still of being very unwell ; is gone out in pursuit of 
something to take for his disorder in the bowels. 
The sun appeared before seven o'clock, and the wind 
breezed up. Our breakfast, coffee. We gathered 
some beans and prepared them. Thomas Lechmere 
returned from Providence at a quarter before eleven 
o'clock, but brought us no written answer from the 
Governor, but only a verbal one, that something 


would be done for us at the setting of the Assembly. 
We hud a small toddy before dinner. Our dinner 
consisted of one of our tongues boiled, and a small 
piece of pork, with carrots from Newport, and the 
aforesaid beans. T. Lechmere informed us that the 
persons that robbed and searched him were Corporals 
Chad Browni and Resolved Waterman^ ; they called 
themselves Deputies, but showed no authority for 
their doings. He returned to Newport at three 
o'clock. We wrote a billet by him to Henry Ward, 
Esq., requesting of him that he would wait on the 
Governor for an answer to our letter.'^ It being 
very warm we tarried in the house till after tea, 
when Mr. Beale, Mr. Lechmere and myself took 
a walk southward. The evening was warm and 
pleasant, but there was lightning in the westward. 
We ate our milk and bread, and went to bed at half 
after nine. 

Thursday, August 8, 1776. Arose at twenty min- 
utes after five. A cloudy morning ; a fresh breeze 
at S. W. ; an appearance of rain. The last night was 

1. Chad Brown was a Deputy from Glocestcr, see note p. 59. Resolved 
Waterman was not a Deputy. 

2. Diligent search of the State archives fails to reveal this letter. 




warmer than it has been in the night for some time 
past. Our breakfast was. tea. The radishes begin to 
grow very hard and sticky. It began to rain between 
eight and nine o'clock, and continued raining till 
four P. M., Avith some thunder. One Elder Wil- 
liams^ and Doctor Hearnton^ [Harrington] put into 
our house for shelter. The former of whom was 
sulky and did not choose to speak to us, but the 
Doctor came into our room, a«d was very civil and 
sociable. Our dinner was a piece of salt pork and a 
small piece of salt beef, but the latter not eatable ; we 
also had some beans, squashes, and a pudding. Half 
a tongue left yesterday did not appear at table, 
which is a disappointment, especially to Mr. >iicoll, 
who did not taste of it yesterday. It ceased rain- 
ing about four o'clock, and the sun appeared but 

1. Elder John Williams was connected with the Baptist (Six Principle) 
Church in Foster, near Hopkins' Mills. 

2. This name as now spelled is Harrington. In the Rhode Island Records 
and other early writings it is spelled in many ways, thus : Herrington, Herren- 
deen, Herrinden, Herndeen, Hernden, Herington, Herrenden, Herenden. The 
families were very numerous in the northerly towns ; at this time there were 
eleven families in Glocester, tifteen families in Smithfield, fourteen families in 
Scituate, and scattering families in the adjoining towns. There was a physician 
by the name living in Smithfield at this period. He practiced there subsequent 
to the Revolution. 


soon shut in again. The wind at S. E. Mr. Nicoll 
being upon the hill to the southward, heard the re- 
ports of five or six cannon very distinctly, and half 
an hour afterwards as many more. Mr. Lechmere 
(also) heard the last reports. The family drank tea 
with us ; between five and six o'clock it began to 
rain again very hard, and continued till eight o'clock. 
Our supper, milk and bread ; chatted till half after 
nine and went to bed. 

Friday, August 9, 1776. Arose at half after five ; 
a very thick, foggy morning, with very little wind ; 
our breakfast, tea. It began to rain between nine 
and ten, and continued till almost twelve, when the 
sun appeared. Our dinner was what they call fry'd 
Iamb, and a very small piece of pork, with some 
beans and cucumbers. The weather is very warm 
after the rain (which invited a nap in the chair), 
and continued so until after five o'clock, when ap- 
peared a very sudden gust of wind, with rain, which 
continued until sun setting, j;his cooled the air very 
much. Mr. Nicoll, Mr. Beale and myself took a 
walk in the evening, when we returned Mr. Lech- 
mere was not at home. He v/cnt out soon after we 


(lid, Mild did not get home till some time after we 
were gone to bed (being a quarter after nine) which 
gave us some uneasiness. 

Saturday, August 10, 1776. Arose seven minutes 
before six. Little wind, but very foggy, disagree- 
able morning. M}' company not rising very early, 
I generally spend my time until nigh breakfast with 
a book, especially when the weather is not agreeable. 
Our breakfast was tea. The remainder of the fore- 
noon has been employed in the house (by all) except 
Mr. Nicoll, who always, if he possibly can, takes a 
walk both before and after dinner. He generally 
chooses to be alone. About twelve o'clock the sun 
began to appear, though faintly, and by one o'clock 
it shined brightly. Very little air of wind, which 
caused it to be very warm ; our dinner was a fore- 
quarter of lamb roasted, with a cheek of pork boiled, 
with squashes and cucumbers. We dined in the kitchen 
with the family for the first time. I must observe 
that our landlord informed us (as he has frequently 
something that is disagreeable with which to alarm 
us) that his wife was this day at Neighbor Johnson's 


wife's groaning, 1 and that the old Granne acqnainted 
the company that the inhabitants of the town were 
extremely angry with Mr. Keach and his family for 
entertaining those Tories from Newport, and that 
they yvere determined to destroy his house and estate 
if he persisted in keeping them. At this informa- 
tion Mrs. Keach was much afraid, it gave her much 
uneasiness. Mr. Nicoll visited Esquire Brown^ this 
afternoon, and got the loan of a volume called the 
Brittanic Constitution, by Roger Acherley.^ It af- 
forded us much amusement. We drank tea, and 
afterwards a walk to the river for our linen. Re- 
turned in the evening, which was pleasant. Eat our 

1. What kind of an entertainment tliis was the editor has been unable to 
learn. The term "groaning" was sometimes given to a child-birth, but the 
"Old Granne" and Neighbor Johnson's recollection of the capture of the 
Pirates half a century before throws some doubt ou that construction. 

2. Colonel Chad Brown derives his military title from his connection with the 
militia. He was a member of the Assembly from Glocester in May, 177G. But 
he appears to have held the office for six months only. Mr. Brown was a near 
neighbor, his house being within a quarter of an hour's walk. Sec Diary, 
August 26. 

3. Roger Acherley, an English lawyer, living in the early part of the eight- 
eenth century, was the author of the work here mentioned on the British 
Constitution, London, 1727, and of another on Free Parliaments, London, 
1731. He published a supplement to his work on the Brittanic Constitution, 
London, 1780, under the title. Reasons for Uniformity in a State. 


milk and bread, chatted till almost ten and went to 

Sunday, August 11, 1776. Arose at half after 
five ; a very cloudy, misty morning it is. Breakfast 
was coffee. Our landlord this morning early sent 
his youngest son (as he always does on Sundays), 
about a mile for the Providence newspaper, ^ and the 
whole forenoon is generally spent in perusing it, and 
this afternoon in hearing Mr. Johnson read it — such- is 
the fondness of the people for news. This'forenoon 
has been taken up partly in shaving and cleaning our- 
selves, and each of us a book. Our dinner consisted 
of a boiled leg of lamb, with pork, squashes and 
cucumbers ; a nap in the chair was not disagreeable 
this dull, cloudy day. No one of our family (ex- 
cepting Nicholas, a hired servant,) attended meet- 
ing, notwithstanding their great pretention to re- 
ligion. We tarried in the house all the afternoon, 
till almost sun setting, when we all took a walk of a 
circle of three or four miles, notwithstanding the 
unpleasantness of the weather. Wind about S. E. 

1. This newspaper was the Providence Gazette, the only newspaper then 
publislicd in Providence. Saturday was its day of issue. The Newport 
Mercury was the only other newspaper then published in Rhode Island. 


Pudding mid milk was given us for supper ; went to 
bed at a quarter after nine. 

Mondav, August 12, 177G. This morninof is wet 
and cloudy. I did not rise till twenty minutes after 
six. The wind southerly. Our breakfast, tea. "We 
have been in the house this forenoon ; gathered some 
beans, and prepared them for the pot. Our dinner was 
a gammon, sent to INlr. Beale from Newport, which 
our landlady boiled without his or our knowledge, 
which we could not help remarking as something 
very extraordinary, as the property was not in her. 
The forepart of the day was cloudy, flattering weather ; 
in the afternoon showers of rain, at six o'clock a 
smart one. Cadowza^ has made two trips this day 
to read the news, as he usually does. Tea in the 
afternoon, after which, about half after six, we had 
the pleasure of seeing Mr. T. VVyatt,^ from New- 
port, who brought us some necessaries, and informed 
us that our families were well. It rained all the 

1. This is probably a nickname applied to Neiglibor Johnson, so frequently 
mentioned. Whether the word is a variation of the slang word "catouse," 
or how it arose, the editor has been unable to discover. 

a. Believed to be James Wyatt; see note on page 39. 


eveninff. We chatted till ten o'clock and went to 

Tuesday, August 13, 1776. Arose at half after 
six. A cloudy morning, with little wind; the sun 
soon expelled the thick air, and it became very 
warm. We breakfasted, all of us, on chocolate; 
afterwards took a walk with Mr. Wyatt in the 
woods ; picked whortleberries. Our rum being all 
expended, this two days past, borrowed a gill of our 
landlady to make some punch Mr. Wyatt having 
brought a few limes from Providence, a drink of 
punch (not having tasted any for some time) was a 
very great comfort to us. Our dinner was a cold rump 
of beef roasted, a boiled pickled tongue, and the 
remainder of the cold gammon, with cabbage, the 
whole of which was sent to us by our friends at 
Newport, and to "crown all, they sent a bottle of 
Madeira to make our hearts glad. Mr. Wyatt hav- 
ing come in a sulky, and the weather being warm, 
he was obliged to travel slow^ly ; for these reasons 
he thought proper to take his leave of us at a quar- 
ter after three o'clock ; we walked some distance 
with him ; returned and spent the afternoon in the 


house till evening, when Mr. Beale ;uid I took a 
walk to the southward, and Mr. Nicoll and Mr. 
Lechmere went to the river to bathe. Our sup- 
per was milk and bread, turned in at a quarter after 

Wednesday, August 14, 1776. Arose at a quarter 
after five. A very thick, fogg}' morning it is, and 
cahn. It cleared away a good deal before breakfast. 
Our breakfast was chocolate. . We diverted our- 
selves in the house in the best manner we could all 
the forenoon. Our dinner was a line of lamb fried, 
and a piece of salt beef, with squashes, being the 
bounty of our friends at Newport, with some cherry 
punch before dinner ; a nap was not amiss that 
cloudy afternoon, which we spent in the house till a 
quarter after six, when the sun appeared, and we had 
an as^reeable walk. The wind S. E. The evenino^ was 
starlight. Our supper was milk and bread ; went 
to bed at a quarter before ten. 

Thursday, August 15, 1770. Arose at twenty 
minutes before six. A very wet morning it is, and 
continued so all the forepart of the day, w^hich gave 
us an opportunity to settle our accounts with the 


l;inclIonl,i who took occasion to inform ns that being 
at Cepngijet [Chepachet] on Monday last, in com- 
pany with one Jonathan Mitchell,^ who told him that 
he had thirty or forty men at his command who 
would enlist and were ready, willing and deter- 
mined, as soon as he had finished mowing, to come 
to his house and carry off those Newport people. 
Our dinner was some of the cold remnants of meat, 
a piece of pork boiled, with some cabbage and some 
cucumbers, and a pudding. The afternoon was very 
thick, cloudy and wet, which caused us to keep in 
the house. Our supper was pudding and milk. 
Turned in at twenty minutes after nine. 

Friday, August 16, 1776. Arose at twenty min- 
utes after five. The morning is very thick and 
cloudy, notwithstanding which I Avalked out about 
half a mile. Our breakfast was tea. Mr. Beale 
and I gathered some beans and prepared them for 

1. Mr. Kcach sent a bill for board of these gentlemen to the Assembly, and 
was allowed by that body £19 IGs. The settlement here mentioned must have 
been .for some extra matters. Blr. Reach's account was for eleven weeks' 
board of the four persons, or nine shillings each per week. 

2. There was a person by this name at this time resident of Glocester, but 
his name is not to be found connected in any way with the civil or military 
government of the State ; he must have been a man of no prominence. 


the pot. We had them for dinner, with some 
squashes, and a piece of smoked beef sent by our 
friends at Newport. It was very good. I can't help 
remarking that our hindlady cooked this beef with- 
out our knowledge, a repetition of this kind we 
think somewhat singular, especially as they took 
the liberty of cutting off, and retaining the better 
part before sending it to us. I took a book in my 
hand after dinner, w^hich induced me to take a short 
nap iu the chair. The wind for the most part of the 
day has beeu southerly, but very flattering, uncer- 
tain weather. We all took a walk at five o'clock, 
and in our way we called in at one Mr. Eddy's. i 
This is the first house I have been in (saving our 
washerwoman's) since we came to this place. The 
man of the house was not at home, his wife treated 
us civilly ; she is a weaver, and we talked with her 
about w'eaving us some handkerchiefs ; she expressed 
a desire to oblige us, but feared that if the people of 
the town knew it, the consequences might be injuri- 
ous to her and her family, whereupon the subject 

1. There were at this time fifteen families by this name resident in the 
town of Glocester. 


was dropped and we returned home, eat our pudding 
and milk, and went to bed at ten minutes after nine. 
Saturday, August 17, 1776. I arose about five 
o'clock. The Aveather is very cloudy, notwithstand- 
ing which I found our landlord preparing to set out 
for Providence with his daughter Winsor. They took 
their leave of us at twenty minutes after six. Mr. 
Beale sent a billet unsealed to Mr. Checkleyi to de- 
sire his interest and that of his friends with the 
members of the Assembly, to get us removed to 
some town further south, for the convenience of our 
families. It is true he took the paper after our read- 
ing it to him, but we thought very unwillingly. Our 
breakfast was chocolate. Mr. Beale and I gathered 
some beans and prepared them for the pot. We had 
them for dinner, with the remains of a piece of our 

1. Mr. William Clieckley was a resident of Providence. The Assembly was 
to be in session at Newport on the following Monday, possibly Mr. Checkley 
had business there. In 1772 Lieutenant Dudingston, commander of the Gaspee, 
was lying at Pawtuxet, wounded by a musket ball in the abdomen, received 
by him during the attack on his vessel. While in this condition he was 
arrested by the sheriff on a writ, at the suit of Jacob Greene & Co., of East 
Greenwich. Mr. Checkley hearing of this and knowing the condition of the 
wounded officer, hurried to Pawtuxet and humanely offered bail to the officers, 
which was declined; he then apprized the Commissioners of Customs of the 
fact. (R. I. Col. Rec, vol. vii, p. 87). 


smoked beef, and a small pudding. We kept the 
house all the afternoon till after four o'clock, when we 
all took a walk to the river for our clean linen. The 
washerwoman roasted us some ears of corn, for which 
we paid her. When we got home, it being after sun- 
set we found our landlord and his daughter returned 
from Providence. He brought us half a gallon of 
rum, which we paid him for. He told us that he 
saw the Governor [Cooke], Mr. Henry "Ward, and 
some other gentlemen, but they gave him but little 
encouragement for our removal. We eat our pud- 
ding and milk for supper, and went to bed at a quar- 
ter after nine. 

Sunday, August 18, 1776. Arose at half after 
five o'clock. It continues very cloudy weather, with 
showers in the forepart of the day. The wind about N. 
E. Our breakfast, tea. After breakfast we skirted and 
shaved ourselves. Three-quarters after ten o'clock 
our landlord mounted his horse to wait on Judge 
Steere,^ who, he tells us, is going to Newport to- 

1. Richard Steere was elected a member of the Assembly from Glocester in 
August, 1776. He served on some of the committees in 1777, and was, during 
that year, made one of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas for Provi- 
dence County. He held this position until 1781, when he was elected Chief 
Justice of the same Court, which position he occupied until 1785. 


morrow to attend the Assembly. Our landlord will 
give his account^ for our board to Judge Stecre, to be 
by him laid before the House. Our landlord further 
informed us that he should request of Judge Steere to 
move that we be ordered to some other place. That 
it was not convenient for him to keep us any longer. 
Our dinner was one of oiir landlady's gammons, with 
squashes. No person from this house attended meet- 
ing but poor, honest Christopher. 2 The afternoon 
was wet and drizzly till four o'clock, when the sun 
appeared, though faintly ; we were glad to see it. I 
must observe (saving this day) that the whole family 
have almost lived upon our provisions for eight or 
nine days past. It seems they can digest Tories' victuals 
very well, though they pretend that they can't their 
company nor conversation. Miss Polly Fenner 
drank tea with us; she was very sociable, and we 
in return treated her as politely as was in our power. 
Three of us took a walk, leaving the Count at home ; 
when we returned we found three or four other young 
women had taken possession of our room. I must 
observe that in our walk we saw a blacksmith and 

1. Already referred to in note on page 64. 2. One of Mr. Reach's hired men. 


his assistants hard at work in their shop, which they 
tell us is very common. Indeed the people will, in 
their houses, do any kind of work, and even without 
of doors, if necessary. We had the pleasure of 
seeing the moon this evening, it being the first time 
since the change ; we ate our milk and bread, chatted 
till almost ten, and turned in. 

Monday, August 19, 1776. Arose exactly at six, 
and found it a very cloudy, rainy morning, with but 
little wind at N. E. Our breakfast was tea. Spent 
the forepart of the day in assisting the Count in 
fitting his tobacco for snufl', and in other matters 
of my own for ray amusement. Our dinner was the 
cold gammon remains of yesterday, with some 
stringed beans, and some boiled (green) corn. The 
sun appeared, though faintly, at twelve o'clock ; the 
afternoon was pleasant and the evening bright. 
About three o'clock a woman from Windham in 
Connecticut (being a stranger) called in. She had 
thread, etc., to sell. The Count traded with her; 
she afforded us a good deal of diversion ; she tarried 
about an hour, and went away well pleased with her 
traffic. We all took a walk in the cool of the even- 


ing ; returned, ate our pudding and milk, and went 
to bed at a quarter before ten. 

Tuesday, August 20, 1776. Arose at a quarter 
after five. The wind is southerly, though light. 
It is a very thick, foggy, disagreeable morning. I 
amused myself with a book until the gentlemen rise, 
"which I generally practice. Our breakfast, tea, 
after which I employed m^'self in making snufl' till 
dinner. Dinner was a hog's cheek smoked, with 
beans and squashes. The sun appeared about twelve 
o'clock, and the weather continued pleasant until 
towards sun setting, when it became cloudy, not- 
withstanding which we were not deprived of our 
walk. Supper, milk and bread ; retired at half after 

Wednesday, August 21, 1776. Arose at tive min- 
utes after five. Cloudy morning, small wind, south- 
erly. Breakfast, cofiee. After which we all walked 
to the river, and delivered our dirty linen to Mrs. 
Keach. On our way home we killed a snake. Mr. 
Beale and I gathered beans and prepared them for 
the pot. We had them for dinner, and with them 
some roasted corn, and the remainder of the cheek, 


and also a small piece of pork boiled ; this was un- 
touched by us. After dinner I had a short nap in 
the chair, and amused myself with a book until live. 
This day has been very flattering, uncertain weather, 
although the sun appeared at twelve, wliicli Tias been 
the case many cloudy daj's since our stay here. A 
fresh wind in the afternoon, southeasterly. We had 
a walk in the evening S. and N. Our supper, pud- 
dins' and milk. Turned in soon after nine. 

Thursday, August 22, 1776. Turned out at half 
after five. A fine, clear morning ; wind W. N. W. ; 
it breezed up before breakfast. Breakfast was cho- 
colate. We shirted and shaved, and delivered each 
of us a shirt to the house to be washed. Prepared 
some beans which we had for dinner with corn ; we 
also had one of our tongues and a piece of pork, 
to2:ether with some cabbage and some carrots from 
Newport. Mrs. Keach and the two girls dined with 
us in our room. Had a small nap in the chair while 
the Count was makinir snufF. We diverted ourselves 
in the house in the best manner we could till tea 
• time, and afterwards walked to the river to get our 
linen. This has been the pleasantest day we have 


had for three weeks past. Our supper, pudding and 
milk. Chatted till about half after nine, and went 
to bed. 

Friday, August 23, 1776. I got up twenty min- 
utes before six. The wind, though small, is about 
N. W. A cool morning. I amused myself with a 
book until my company appeared. Our breakfast 
was chocolate. Afterwards assisted the Count in 
making his snuff and preparing some beans, which 
we had for dinner, together with some squashes and 
also a small piece of pork and a small piece of beef. 
I assisted the Count in making snuff until tea. Mr. 
NicoU walked out this morning, and visited Esquire 
Williams who was not at home, but the family re- 
ceived him kindly. This afternoon he strolled again, 
and diverted us with a story of his narrow escape 
from being caught in a bird net. The net sprung 
and two men started out from behind a bush and sur- 
prised him much. Some words ensued on the occa- 
sion, and he thought proper to leave them. We had 
a very pleasant walk this evening all together. It 
being a remarkably fine day and evening, neither too 
warm, nor much wind. My supper was baked apples 
and milk ; retired at three-quarters after nine. 


Saturday, August 24, 177G. Turned out at five 
minutes after five. A fine, pleasant morning, l)ut 
rather a cool air ; northerly. I amused myself with 
a book until our gentlemen got up. Breakfast, 
chocolate, after which I proposed a walk to Mr. 
Beale, and we set out at twenty-five minutes after 
eight. We went as far as Esquire Williams's. His 
wife told us that he was in the field at work, and 
would have sent for him but we would not sufi*er it. 
She treated us with a bowl of toddy. With much 
civility we took our leave of Mrs. Williams at a 
quarter before eleven, and got- home at twelve. Our 
dinner was a tongue from Newport, boiled, and with 
it a piece of pork with some corn and beans. It's 
not to be doubted but that we ate very heartily after 
our walk, and a nap was mighty agreeable. After- 
wards took a book in my hand. The afternoon 
being cloudy we tarried in the house till almost six 
o'clock, and then took a walk to the northward of 
two miles. Our supper, milk and bread ; chatted 
till nine and went to bed. 

Sunday, August 25, 1776. Arose at twenty-five 
minutes after five. And a fine, agreeable morning 



it is; light wind, northerly. Our landlord is pre- 
paring to go to Chestnut Hill. Our breakfast, cho- 
colate. Shaved and cleaned ourselves. Amused 
myself with a hook a great part of the morning. 
Our dinner was some very ordinary salt fish and 
some spar (sic) [Spanish] potatoes. Our two girls, 
with Stephen, for the first time (since our arrival) 
attended meeting. At half after three James 
Wyatfi came to us from Newport. He left our 
families well, and brought a copy of the act of As- 
sembly empowering the Deputy Sheriff of this town 
to remove us to some other house in the town. 2 He 

1. See note on page 39 as to the identity of James witli T. Wyatt. 

2. This act is as follows : 

" It is Voted and Resolved, Tliat Benjamin Smith, Deputy Sheriff of 
the County of Providence, be and he is hereby ordered forthwith to remove 
Richard Beale, Jolin Nicoll, Nicholas Lechmere and Thomas Vernon from the 
house and farm of Stephen Keach to some other house or houses within the 
town of Glocester, agreeable to an act of this Assembly, made and passed 
at their session, holden in June, A. i). 1776. That unless the said Richard 
Beale, John Nicoll, Nicholas Lechmere and Thomas Vernon pay the expences 
of their removal and for their board and maintenance in said town, that their 
several and respective real estates be taken into possession by the Sheriff 
for the County of Newport in behalf of this State. That the aforesaid Richard 
Beale, John Nicoll, Nicholas Lechmere and Thomas Vernon have liberty to 
reniove their families to be with them in said town, and to hire at their own 
expence any house or houses in said town to live or reside in, upon condition 
that they give their promise in writing to the Sheriff of said County of Provi- 


drank tea witli us, and afterwards we took a walk 
all together. Returned, had some bread and milk, 
chatted till almost ten, and went to bed. 

Monday, August 2(5, 17 7(). Arose at twenty min- 
utes after six. Wind at S. E. ; a very thick, cloudy 
morning. It rained very hard before daylight. The 
sun appeared before nine o'clock. Our breakfast, 
chocolate. We diverted ourselves in the house until 
dinner. Our dinner consisted of a gammon from 
ray house in Newport (which was l)oilcd without our 

dence tliat they will uot depart from said town of Gloce.ster without license 
first had and obtained from this Assembly, which said Sherift' is hereby 
empowered to take such promise accordingly. And it is further 

"Voted and Resolved, That the said Nicholas Lechmere be and he is 
hereby permitted to reside in any town in the State of Connecticut that he 
shall choose, first having liberty from the Committee of such town, and giving 
his parole to observe the restrictions he shall be laid under by such committee." 
(Acts and Resolves, R. I. Gen. Assem., August, 1776, p. 160.) 

Following this order the Assembly, at its September session, further 

"Voted and Resolved, That Mr. Daniel Owen be and he is hereby 
appointed to procure suitable and convenient places within the town of 
Glocester for Richard Beale, Thomas Vernon and John Nicoll, and that he 
immediately remove them to such places accordingly." (Acts and Resolves, R. 
I. Gen. Assem., September, 1776, p. 177.) 

The Deputy Sheriff in regard to the first order made return to the Governor 
(see this Diary, September 6,) : " That it was not in his power to provide other 
quarters for the gentlemen on account of the indisposition of the people to 
take them." There is no return to the second order. 


knowledge) and with it some corn and beans. Mr. 
Wjatt set out from the house at a quarter past two 
and we parted with him at Esquire Brown's at half 
after two. The wind about N. E. It began to rain 
at five, and. continued until we went to bed. Our 
supper, milk and bread. We turned in soon after 

Tuesday, August 27, 1776. Arose exactly at six. 
A very thick, cloudy, sour morning. Our breakfast, 
chocolate. This being the day for the choice of 
Deputies^ (members of the General Assembl}'). 
We are told that there is a very great resort of 
people of all kinds at Chepasseh,^ and that it is a day 
of great frolicking. Our landlord and his three sons 

1. Members of the Assembly and the Assistants or Senators were elected 
twice in each year, in April and in August. General officers were elected 
annually. This arrangement was continued until the adoption of the Consti- 
tution, in 1842. 

2. The name of the village of Chepachet appe.ars twice in this Diary. It is 
spelled differently each time, thus: August 15, Cejmgget; August 27, Chepasseh. 
Parsons' Indian names gives the derivation and meaning of this word Chepuck 
Devil and Chack Bnrj, and relates a legendary account of a bag or wallet's 
having been found, and as no one could tell how it came there, an Indian said 
it must have been the Devil who" dropped it. Williams, in his Key to the 
Indian Language, gives no such words. The similarity of the word Chack 
to the English word Sack seems to lead almost to the conclusion that one 
was a corruption from the other. 



.are sfoiio, havliiij liuijcd tlicinselves out in the l)cst 
manner. I must observe tlmt u man on horseback 
passed by (together with many others) with a very 
large l)ag full of cakes made by Granne West 
(mother to the General)^ which are to be sold to 

1. Gkn. William West.— The family from wliicli this gentleman descended 
seems to have dwelt in the southern portion of the Colony of Rhode Island. 
Mr. West removed from North Kingstown previously to 1758, for in that year 
ho was a licensed tavern keeper in the town of Scituate. In 1761 he was 
elected a member of the Assembly from that town, and again in 1771 and 1773. 
In 1774 meetings were held throughout the Colony for resisting the imposition 
of the Tax on tea by Parliament. Mr. West was the moderator of the meeting 
in Scituate, and was elected a member of the Committee on Correspondence. 
In 1775, in consequence of a threatened attack by the British on Newport, a 
force was sent to repel them. Mr. West was placed second in command of this 
force, Esek Hopkins being tirst. He was commissioned Brigadier General of 
Militia by tlie Committee of Safety during the recess of the General Assembly. 
AVhile in command at Middletown a dispute arose between Colonels Babcock 
and Richmond relative to rank. This affair General West referred to the 
Assembly in a letter. About the same time complaints against West were 
made on account of his arrests of persons who in his judgment conducted 
themselves inimical to the cause of the Colony. The persons so arrested wers 
Colonel Joseph W^anton, Joseph Aplin, Benjamin Brenton, Joseph Allen and 
Nathaniel Case. The Assembly, after a full hearing, dismissed the prisoners 
to return to their homes, but at the same time voted, " That it is nevertheless 
the opinion of this Assembly that the said General West hath acted therein as- 
an officer having the Love of his country at heart ; and that this Assembly will 
ever approve the conduct of tlieir Military Commanders in exerting themselves 
for the securing and bringing to all persons conducting iu a suspicious 
manner, at the same time carefully observing not to encroach upon, infringe or 
supersede the civil authority by exertions of the military." This course was 


the people. I diverted myself this forenoon in fin- 
ishing Ji horn tinder-box. Our dinner consisted of 
u small piece of cold gammon, cut from that boiled 
yesterday (the residue being eaten by the family) 
with some squashes. I dare say this gammon 
weighed twelve pounds, and that we ate not more 
than two pounds of it. The day being very cold 

unsatisfactory to General West, it being considered by him as tending to 
impair liis autliority, wliereupon he tendered liis resignation as Brigadier 
General, which was accepted by the Assembly. He was soon after appointed 
one of the State committee to procure arms and equipments. In this same 
year, 1776, he served the town of Scituate as a member of the Assembly, and 
his name is recorded as one of the signers of the famous Declaration by which 
Rhode Island severed her connection with the British Crown. He was soon 
after appointed to command the third regiment of militia, a position to which 
he was annually appointed for several years. In obedience to a request from 
the Continental Congress to number the inhabitants, so that the eft'ective 
military strength of the State might be known, General M''est was one of those 
appointed by the Assembly to obtain the facts. Later in the same year he was 
appointed, together with General Varnum, to assist Malmedy in a system of 
fortification for the State. Congress soon after superseded this commission by 
the appointment of Continental oflScers. The Assembly, after reciting the 
facts upon which their action was based, passed the following : " Wherefore 
this Assembly, retaining a very grateful sense of General West's zeal in the 
cause of his country and of his conduct as an officer ; and not doubting his 
utmost exertions in their service on any future occasion, hereby resolve that he 
be, and hereby is dismissed from the office of Brigadier General in the service 
"of the State." He was soon after appointed to distribute the bounties to the 
soldiers of Scituate, and for this purpose was supplied with upwards of two 
thousand pounds. Later in the year the freemen of Scituate becoming dis- 


and drizzly, we tarried in the house till after Hvc. 
Drank tea, having sent fur some of the aforesaid 
eakes, wliieh were pretty good. Took a small walk 
to the northward, the wind being about N. Our 
supper, l)read and milk. After eight o'clock our 
landlord came into our room and informed us that 
he had seen the Deputies of this town, and that they 

satisfied with the unequal representation under tlie Cliarter, instructed tlu'ir 
delegation in the Assembly to procure an act establishing a fbriii of govern- 
meut in which representation slioukl be upon the basis of population and 
property. The ground taken was that by the Declaration of Independence the 
Charter became void; and that the power wliicli had vested in tlie King, now 
vested in the people; and that the people had since that event authorized or 
fixed no form of government. General West was one of the committee which 
drafted these instructions. After the battle of Rhode Island General West 
received from the Assembly upwards of three thousand pounds for distribu- 
tion to his regiment for their services during that campaign. In 1779 General 
West for the third time received the commission of Brigadier General, this 
time serving under General A'arnum. In 1780 he was returned a member of 
the Assembly from his town, and soon after elected Deputy Governor, serving 
in that capacity one year. In 1784 and in 1785 he was again sent by his towns- 
men to the Assembly, which service seems to have closed his public labors, 
save only as a member of a convention held at East Greenwich in 1786, for the 
purpose of regulating the prices of merchandize in the State. Soon after his 
removal to Scituate, General West purchased the farm whereon Stephen and 
Esek Hopkins were born. Here he built in 1775 a large and excellent house, 
and carried on the business of farming upon a large scale. Tliis house is still 
occupied. The terrible depreciation of the Continental and State currency 
played sad havoc with the pecuniary fortunes of the prtriots of the Revolution, 
and General West was no exception. He died at his homestead about 1816. 


told him that the General Assembly had ordered the 
Sheriff to remove us to some other house in Gloces- 
ter, and that we were to pay the charge of our 
board, etc., and that if we paid his demands it would 
prevent our estate from being attached for that pur- 
pose. We told him in answer to what he said, that 
we thought it very extraordinary and unprecedented 
that the Assembly should pass an act to look back.^ 
Besides, that we had not had provisions provided 
since we had been at his house which were fitting 
and proper for us, and that if we had not received 
frequent supplies from Newport we should have well 
niofh starved. He beino: conscious of the truth of 

1. The act passed by the Assembly in August, sixty days after the act ban- 
ishing these gentlemen, imposed penalties which were not imposed by the first 
act. These penalties or obligations were made operative from the date of the 
first act, and were thus retroactive. There was nothing contained within the 
Charter prohibiting such laws. When Rhode Island adopted the Constitution 
of the United States, she was prohibited by the clause in the Constitution from 
the passage of such laws. Whereupon the General Assembly resolved that 
"Retrospective laws punishing offences committed before the existence of 
such laws are oppressive and unjust and ought not to be made." (This is sec- 
tion eight of the Bill of Eights, Laws of Rhode Island, Digest of 1~9S, p. 81). 
Tliat in expressing an opinion that such an action by the Assembly of Rliode 
Island was either extraordinary or unprecedented, Mr. Vernon clearly exhibits 
his ignorance concerning this distinguished body. This body not only made 
the laws, and established courts to administer justice under the laws; but it 


this assertion made us no reply, hut went out of the 
room. We sat up till after nine, and turned in. 

Wednesday, August 28, 1776. Arose' at a quar- 
ter after six. It was a very cold night, and so is the 
morning. The wind about N. W. The sun ap- 
peared, though very dull ; the Aveather not yet clear 
and settled. Our breakfast was cofl'ee. Afterwards 
shaved ourselves. I amused myself this day in 
making a powder horn. Our dinner was a small 
remnant of our cold gammon and a piece of salt 
pork boiled, which we could not eat an ounce of. 
We also had some cabbage, and some Spanish pota- 
toes and an Indian pudding, boiled. About the 
middle of the afternoon the weather cleared and it 

executed its own laws; punished tlie judges who ventured to put a construc- 
tion upon the laws different from such constructions as it wished; annulled the 
judgments of courts aud expunged their records. It wielded for two centuries 
unlicensed power. The Code of 1G47 provided that no person should be taken 
or imprisoned, or disseized of his lands or liberties, or be exiled, or any other- 
wise molested or destroyed but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by some 
known laic, and according to the letter of it, ratified and confirmed by the 
major part of the General Assembly, lawfully met and orderly managed. 
(Proceedings of the First Gen. Assem., 1647, p. 18). The phraseology of 
this act was altered in March, 1603, so that it read " but by the lawful judg- 
ment of his peers, or by the law of the Colony," and secondly, no man should 
be disseized of his lands or i)roperty, or be imprisoned or otherwise molested 
but by due course of law. 


was somewhat warmer. We all took a walk round 
Mr. Fenner's laud, a circle of three or four miles. 
After we returned, our landlady sent us in a large 
earthen pan almost full of milk. We could not help 
remarking on the extraordinary allowance. We 
imagine it proceeds jn consequence of our conversa- 
tion with the landlord the last evening. This even- 
ing was remarkably clear and bright. We chatted 
till a few minutes after nine and went to bed. 

Thursday, August 29, 1776. Arose twenty-live 
minutes after six. The wind at the N. E. A very 
cloudy, cold, sour morning, and drizzly. Our 
breakfast, chocolate. Mr. Nicol and Mr. Beale 
took a walk out. Mr. Lechmere and myself di- 
verted ourselves in the house, the weather not being 
very inviting. Our landlady this morning ordered 
two fowls to be killed, which were boiled, also a 
piece of pork, some squash, sonie carrots and some 
roast corn, for our dinners. This very extraordinary 
provision we imagine proceeds from our conversa- 
tion the evening before the last. This day has been 
very dark and showery for the most part of the time. 
We attempted to walk the latter part of the after- 


noon, but were obliged to put back for the rain. 
We had a good allowance of pudding and milk for 
our suppers. But notwithstanding, there seems to 
be a great coolness and indifference towards us. 
But from what cause it proceeds we know not. The 
moon appeared in the evening and also some stars. 
We chatted till three-quarters after nine, when we 
went to bed very quietly. 

Friday, August 30, 177(5. Arose at live u)inutes 
before six. A very thick, foggy morning, with but 
little wind. Our breakfast, tea. After breakfast 
the fog began to clear awa3^ We heard accidentally 
that our landlord had sent his son Jeremiah to Ben- 
jamin Smith, the Deputy Sheriff, respecting our 
removal, aud we hearing at the same time that 
Smith had been to Providence, and we being unable 
to obtain any information from the family, Mr. Beale 
and I, at half-past nine, set out for Mr. Smith's 
house. We saw him ; he w^as an eutire stranger to 
us; however he treated us very civilly He in- 
formed ns that he had not been to Providence but 
to Petuet.^ Neither had he received any orders 

1. Either Pawtucket or Pawtuxet. 


respecting us ; when he did receive orders he would 
acquaint us as soon as possible. In short, he gave us 
all the satisfaction we could desire from a stranger. 
On our way home we met with Esquire Brown (Mr. 
Nicol having joined us) whom we had a good deal 
of chat with. We esteem this man as our best friend 
in this town. We reached home at twelve, when 
the Count made us some grog. The day is warm 
and pleasant. Our dinner, a piece of pork and a 
small piece of smoked cheek, boiled, with some corn 
and beans, and some roasted corn. At three o'clock 
we went to the Hall, after some time Mr. Nicol 
joined us, and at five o'clock we took a walk south- 
ward, in a circle of three miles. Returned home in 
the evening, it being cloudy, though very calm all 
day. Ate our pudding and milk, and went to bed 
at a quarter before ten. 

Saturday, August 31, 1776. Arose at a quarter 
before six. Clear, pleasant morning; wind norther- 
ly. The first object that presented itself to our 
vision was our landlord; dressed in his Sabbath 
day clothes, with his horse, on which he presently 
mounted. He said nothing to^ us but rode away. 


We were told afterwards that he was gone to Provi- 
dence, I amused myself this forenoon in fiiiii?hing 
my powder horn. We had a smart shower just be- 
fore ten, which continued half an hour; our dinner 
was some salt tish and some potatoes, both of which 
were as bad of the kind as you can possibly con- 
ceive. I had a small nap after dinner. The weather 
is clear and fine. All the male kind, excepting our- 
selves, being away from home, the women, to do 
them justice, appeared to be good natured and 
obliging, I suppose with the thought of our parting 
with them soon. We all took a walk to ye north- 
ward ; when we returned we ate our milk and bread, 
and went to bed at a quarter before ten. It is a fine 

Sunday, September 1, 1776. Arose at half after 
six. A very serene, agreeable morning ; light wind, 
northerly. YA'ho should be in our room but the 
landlord reading the newspaper. He informed me 
that he had been to Providence, and that he saw 
Mrs. Vernon at N. Angell's house. ^ She came up 

1. Nicholas Angell was a butcher; he lived in Providence, and for many 
years kept a market. 



from Newport the day before with other company. 
Our landlord brought with him the orderi respecting 
our removal, which he sent to Benjamin Smith, the 
Deputy Sheriff. Our breakfast, tea. Soon after 
breakfast we all set out to see Mr. Smith, whom we 
found at home. Our treatment was kind, and he 
was very much inclined to oblige us. But he thought 
it would be very difficult to procure lodgings for us, 
for that all the people he had talked with were not 
fond of taking us in. He informed us also that he 
should go to Providence on Wednesday next. We 
parted with him after eleven o'clock and reached 
home exactly at twelve. The weather being warm, 
a drink of grog was not amiss. For our dinner we 
had one of their gammons. It was very salt and 
badly cured ; we also had some squashes and some 
boiled corn. Our landlady and her daughter Free- 
love dined with us. The landlord and his two sons 
being gone over the river to make their hay. Patty 
and the youngest son went to meeting. It became 
cloudy after twelve o'clock, and looked like rain. 
We had tea in the afternoon, after which we all took 

1. This order is given in note on page 74. 


a walk to the southward. Kcturned in the evening, 
which was pleasant and agreeable. Ate our milk 
and bread, and went to bed at half after nine. 

Monday, September 2, 177(). Got up this morn- 
ing at a quarter after six. A very fine, clear sky, 
and a lijjht air. Our breakfast, chocolate. Mr. 
Nicoll and myself took a long circular walk to the 
westward of five or six miles. The weather being; 
warm, we were much fatigued. We returned just 
at twelve, found Mr. Beale and Mr. Lechmere in 
good spirits. They gave us a drink of grog, which 
was mighty refreshing. Our dinner was some sliced 
gammon, fried, the remains from yesterday's dinner, 
with corn and beans, and some roasted 'corn. The 
walk encouraged me to" take a nap. The weather 
became cloudy in the afternoon, and the wind turned 
from S. W. to N. W., with the weather cooler. 
The Count proposed a dish of tea, at which there 
was not one negative voice. We ate our pudding 
and milk at eight, and went to bed soon after nine. 

Tuesday, September 3, 1776. Arose at ten min- 
utes before six. The weather not clear. Our land- 
lord informed us that B. Smith intended to start for 


Providence this day. We ate our breakfast, being 
chocolate, shaved, and Mr. Beale, Mr. Lechmere, 
and myself took a walk to see him. He told us that 
he should set out at one o'clock. I gave him a letter 
to Mrs. Vernon. We reached home at twelve, found 
it very warm, though not much sun. The wind S. 
W. Met Mr. Nicol on our way. A little grog was 
not amiss. Our dinner was a piece of salt pork, 
which was very fat, a small piece of beef so bad that 
we could not possibly eat it, with some squashes, so 
that we were obliged to make our dinner on a small 
piece of cheese and some bread. The weather being 
warm, we tarried in the house till after tea, which 
our landlady ordered unasked, being conscious that 
we ate very little dinner. ' We took a walk at live 
o'clock to the southward and to Prospect Hill, where 
we had the pleasure of seeing the sun set very clear. 
We tarried upon the hill till after dark. When we 
got home we ate our pudding and milk at eight, as 
usual, and went to bed at a quarter after nine, it 
being a warm, agreeable night. 

Wednesday, September 4, 1776. Arose at eight 
minutes before six ; a very tine, clear, agreeable morn- 


iiig. The wind northwesterly. Having occasion to 
go into the kitchen before breakfast (which consisted 
of chocolate) I perceived that our landlady had or- 
dered two or three chickens to be killed, we sup- 
pose to make amends for yesterday's dinner, which 
I am sure we did not eat an ounce of. I tarried 
. in the house this forenoon. Our dinner, three 
chickens, baked in the oven, with apple sauce and 
Spanish potatoes. This was a feast to us, though 
badly cooked. Th'e women are cheerful and good 
natured, I suppose with the hope of our leaving them 
soon. I amused myself in the house till after five 
o'clock, when we walked to the southward and to 
Prospect Hill. Our supper, pudding and milk; we 
turned in at a quarter after nine. A very fresh wind 
from N. W. since nine o'clock. 

Thursday, September 5, 177G. Arose at eight 
minutes before six. A very cool night and the 
morning is clear. A breeze from the northwest. 
Breakfast, tea. Our landlord bought a side of lami). 
The family are determined that we shall part good 
friends, which is our hearty wish, having done every- 
thing to promote a good harmony in our power. Mr. 


Beale and Mr. Nicol walked to B. Smith's this fore- 
noon, but they found he had not returned from Provi- 
dence. The Count and I gathered beans for dinner, 
which consisted of a part of the forequarter of lamb, 
with some pork baked, followed by a rice pudding. 
We tarried in the house till five o'clock, when we 
took a walk to the southward in expectation of meet- 
ing with a Newport friend. The wind came from 
the eastward before night, pleasant although cool. 
We ate bread, peaches and milk, and turned in at 
half after -nine. 

Friday, September 6, 1776. Arose two minutes 
before six. A very pleasant, agreeable morning; 
small wind, about N. W. We shaved ourselves 
before breakfast (which consisted of tea) and soon 
after walked to B. Smith's house, which is about 
one and three-quarters of a mile distant. He was 
not returned from Providence. We chatted with his 
wife above an hour ; she was very sociable. We 
reached home at eleven o'clock. The weather is 
warm, which gave us a relish for a drink of grog. 
Our dinner was a boiled leg of lamb and pork, with 
squashes and carrots. Had a nap in the chair. About 


three o'clock Mrs. Vcriioii and William Bardiii made 
their appearance. You may rest assured they were 
very welcome visitors. We got them dinner, and 
made some punch with limes which they brought 
with them. They also brought us some refresh- 
ments. We had a dish of tea, and 3'ou may suppose 
a good deal of chat with respect to our friends at 
Newport. We walked to the northward in the even- 
ing, and met Mr. B. Smith. He told us that our 
Petitioni Avas rejected by the Lower House of As- 
sembly by three or four votes. That he-had deliv- 
ered the last order of Asseml)!^' to the Governor 
(Cooke) in person, with a return thereon, that it 
was not in his power to procure any quarters for us 
in the town of Glocester on account of the disposi- 
tion of the people, and that had no further concern 
with us, having received no fresh instructions. 
Neither could the Governor direct him what was 
to be done with us. Upon which he took his leave 
of His Honor and came home.'^ He walked with us 

1. Careful search among the archives of the State, as preserved iu the office 
of the Secretary of State, disclose neither this petition, nor any of the letters 
which the Diary informs us were written to the Governor. Nor can any of the 
orders of the Committee of Safety with reference to these men now be found. 

2. Referred to in note on page 75. 


to our lodgings, and parted with us after eight 
o'clock with a good disposition to oblige us. Our 
supper was milk, bread and peaches. Went to bed 
before ten. 

Saturday, September 7, 1776. Arose at live min- 
utes after six. A cloudy morning, and drizzles. 
The wind about S., but small. Our landlord set 
out for Providence this morning early, to wait on 
the Assembly respecting his pay for our board.' 
Our breakfjist, tea. Soon after breakfast packed up 
our clothes and prepared to set out for Providence, 
but waited for Mr. Bardin's return from Esquire 
Williams's. It was thirty-five minutes after nine be- 
fore we took our leave of the family. We walked 
about five miles when our company had a parley, 
and came to a resolution of a separation. Mr. Lech- 
mere,2 Mr. Bardin and Mrs. Vernon proceeded to 
Providence, and Messrs. Nicol, Beale and Vernon 
took the Scituate road with a determination to pro- 
ceed to Newport. We travelled seven miles further 
without any refreshment to the house of one Joseph 
Fisk, upon the borders of Cranston. Two small 

1. Referred to in note on page 64. 2. Here we take leave of Mr. Lechmere. 


showers happened in the mean tune. This house 
could only give us some cider, brandy, grog — had 
of the kind. We tarried about half an hour, and 
at nearly one o'clock proceeded on our journey. 
The weather being very drizzly and wet. At 
Shanticut,' being obliged to stop under a large 
net to shelter us from the rain, we were joined by 
four Scotch officers who had been sent from Newport 
into exile about the time we were.- We conversed 
with them until the rain ceased. We then took our 
leave of them, and arrived at the Fulling Mill 3 about 
half after tivc, being very wet and uncomfortable. 
Some cherry rum and grog was mighty agreeable. 
A bit of cold tongue which Mr. Beale had in his 
pocket was all the food we had eaten since breakfast. 
The weather still continued very wet, notwithstand- 
ing which we persevered in our walk. Before we 
arrived at East Greenwich it became very dark; 

1. Shanticut is probably an abbreviation of the word Jloslianticut, whicli 
was the Indian name of a brook. This brook empties into the I'awtuxet river 
above the Pocasset brook. The hamlet now known as the Ore Red is doubtless 
the situation referred to. 

2. There is no mention in the Acts and Resolves of these Scotch officers. 
They may have been exiled by the Committee of Safety, or by the Council of 
War during a recess of the Assembly. 

3. The Fulling Mill is lliu present village of Apponaug. ■ 


however we procured a man to put us over the cove 
to Richard Greene's^ land, where we had about a 
mile to walk to his house. We arrived before nine 
o'clock. Our friend was gone to bed, but he soon 
made his appearance. He gave us a hearty and kind 
welcome ; provided us with dry clothing and every 
other refreshment we could wish or desire. We 
chatted till about eleven o'clock, when we went to 
bed. I was very restless and uneasy in the night 
which proceeded, I imagine, from my supper, al- 
though it consisted only of a bit of chicken. 

Sunday, September H, 1776. Arose at half after 
seven, having overslept from fatigue of the walk. 

1. Richard Greene was born October 4, 1725; he died July 17, 1779; he 
married Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Mercy [Greene] Fry; she died April 
4, 1775. For genealogy of this family, see the close of this Tract. Mr. Greene 
was afflicted witli a cancer, from which he died ; he received permission from the 
Assembly to visit Newport, while that town was in possession of the British, 
to obtain the services of an English surgeon. The remedies were unsuccessful. 
Mr. Greene was a Royalist, and at the breaking out of the Revolution espoused 
the cause of the English, and although he owned large amounts of produce, he 
declined- to dispose of it for the use of the rebels; in consequence of this 
refusal the Assembly appointed James Arnold, Jr., to purchase Mr. Greene's 
corn, oats, rye, pork and sheep for the use of the State. If Mr. Greene refused 
to sell, Mr. Arnold was directed to seize the produce, pay for it the prices 
which the Assembly had fixed, and remove it to a place of safety. *Ir. Greene, 
like many of the large farmers in the Narragansett country, lived in truly 
baronial sfvle. His estate is now known as Potoworaut. 


Though much better than I could expect to Hnd my- 
self from the badness of the weather, the badness of 
the road, and the distance of the walk. The weather 
this forenoon has been rain}', cloud}', and very un- 
certain. Mr. Greene has been kind enough to send 
out in search of a boat for us to proceed to Newport, 
but can hear of none that will sail before morning. 
We spent this day very agreeably, having an excel- 
lent dinnei; provided for us and a kindly welcome. 
Being in bed about one hour and a half. Between 
eleven and twelve (the night of Sunday) we were 
surprised in our sleep by a knocking at the door. 
Mr. Greene got up, opened his window, and was 
soon made acquainted with the ftict that a party 
had come in pursuit of us. The party numbered 
about twelve persons, some of whom were armed. 
One of whom, Richard Greene, introduced to our 
bedroom. His name was Jacob Greene '; soon 

1. Jacob Greene was the elder brotlier of General Nathanael Greene. He 
was a member of the firm of Greene & Co., -of East Greenwich. This firm was 
engaged in commercial pursuits. It was one of their vessels wliich Lieutenant 
Dudingston in the Gaspee had seized in 1772, and for which act the firm 
brought a suit in trover, and arrested Lieutenant Dudingston as he lay 
wounded at Pawtuxet. This arrest took place two days after he was shot, 
June 12, 1772. Tlie case was tried in the Court of Common Pleas in the fol- 


afterwards Stephen Mumfordi (of the party) came 
in. The}" told us that they were informed that we 
had broke the laws of the General Assembly by 
departing from the town of Glocester without leave 
of the authorities. We told them exactly our case, 
and our reasons for leaving the town we were de- 
tained in, and that we much preferred a gaol to the 
hard treatment we had received, and for that pur- 
pose took the resolution to proceed to Newport and 
there to deliver ourselves into the possession of the 
Sheritl' of that county for conmiitment. Much alter- 

lowing month. Judgment was given against Dudingston. The case was 
appealed to the Superior Court. It came on for trial in October, when, on 
account of a violent storm, the counsel for Dudingston not being able to cross 
the ferries it went by default. His counsel petitioned the Assembly for a new 
trial. The petition was granted; a new trial resulted in another judgment 
against Dudingston. A few days later the amount of the execution was paid, 
and the receipt signed by Nathanael Greene & Co., per Christopher Greene, 
notwithstanding which Arnold says General Nathanael Greene was not a 
party in the case. The vessel which Dudingston seized, belonging to Greene 
& Co., was condemned in Boston. Judgment went against Dudingston in 
Rhode Island because he sent the vessel beyond the jurisdiction of Rhode 
Island for trial. The vessel was condemned because she was engaged 
in illegal traffic. When General Greene became Quartermaster-General, 
he appointed his brother Jacob Commissary of purchases for Rhode Island. 
Mr. Greene died suddenly of apoplexy while on business at Bristol, Novem- 
ber 8, 1811, in his sixty-nhith year. 

1. Stephen Mumford was a prominent man living at East Greenwich. He 
was a member of the Committee of Safety for 1776. 



cation ensued, and finally it was determined that \vc 
should appear in the town of East Greenwich in the 
morning, after brcaklast, to confer further on the 
subject. With this arrangement we pledged our 
words of honor that we would comply, and they 
took their leave of us. 

Monday, September 9, 1776. We arose before 
six. Ate our breakfast, and prepared ourselves to 
meet the gentlemen who had waited upon us during 
the night previous. After eight o'clock Mr. Greene 
accompanied us down to the cove and then returned 
home. We passed over the said cove in a canoe, 
paddled by a boy. We went to the house of Mr. 
Arnold, a tavern, where we waited some time for 
the gentlemen. At last they appeared, viz., Major 
Mumford, Jacob Greene, Major P'd Peirce,' and 
one Runnolds. We interceded with them greatl}^ 
as we had done the night before, for our liberty to 
proceed to Newport ; we offered to give any security 

1. IMajor Preserved Peirce or Pearce was an officer in the militia; his 
daughter Mary married, November 2, 1775, Major John Singer Dexter, who 
served in the Continental army, in the Rhode Island regiment under Colonel 
Christopher Greene, and afterwards under Colonel Jeremiah Oluey. Slajor 
Peirce served his town as a Deputy at several periods. 



they desired that we would there deliver ourselves 
into the custody of the Sherift', he to do with us 
what he thought best. But all the argumeuts we 
could make use of was to no purpose. Finally they 
concluded to send an express to Providence, with a 
letter to Goveruor Cooke, asking his orders respect- 
ing us, since we would not agree upon an explanation 
of the Act of Assembly. Accordingly Major Peircc 
set off about twelve o'clock. They were so obliging 
as to consent that we should write a letter to the 
Governor, which we did. (But these gentlemen 
w^ere not so kind as to let us know by what authority 
they exercised this power over us.) We requested 
of the Governor that he would give orders for our 
release, and that we be sent to Newport, subject to 
such restrictions as the law directs. We spent the 
day at Arnold's tavern, and retired to bed at half 
after nine. 

Tuesday, September 10, 1776. Arose about six 
o'clock. After breakfast Major Preserved Peirce 
waited on us to let us know that he delivered our 
letter to the Governor, but received no answer in 
writing, the Governor giving for a reason that he 


was just going to the Small Pox Hospital, i and had 
not time to write. But the Governor told him that 
we must be ordered to Providence (by whom) Gaol 
forthwith agreeably to an act of Assembly.- An act 
of which we never before had knowledirc. Accord- 
ingly we set oif for Providence at a quarter after ten 
o'clock, on foot, having been denied the liberty of 
going by water, notwithstanding an opportunity pre- 
sented itself. Elder Gorton^ was just about leaving 
for Providence with his boat and would gladly have 
received us on board, but all the arguments and en- 

1. Siuull I'ox Hospitiils were at this time (1770) being erected under a State 
law. Persons were inoculated with small pox, the law declaring that the 
distemper taken by inoculation Is so easy and light and the method of treat- 
ment so beneficial, that persons so Inoculated are more likely to live than 
those not inoculated, and that by the introduction of the practice the greater 
portion of the male inliabitants will soon get over the disease. 

2. Nothing contained in the act directed the taking of these men to Provi- 
dence. It simply directs that if they broke their parole they were to be com- 
mitted to gaol— but to no particular county. The transaction was entirely 
without even the formality of law. 

3. Elder John Gorton, an earnest preacher of the Six Principle Baptist 
sect, was ordained pastor of the East Greenwich Church, September 6, 1753. 
He remained in this connection until his death, June 6, 1792. He was the 
servant not only of his congregation but of the wliole town. During a large 
portion of the time he was the only ordained minister in the neighborhood, 
and therefore he joined in marriage many of the neighboring people. His 
Record of Marriages, nearly three hundred, has recently been printed. 


treaties we could make use of were of no effect. 
The weather was very warm, and we were unpre- 
pared for such a tedious walk ; however, we perse- 
vered ; we stopped but once on our way, and that 
was at the house of one John Rice Arnold. This 
house was about half the distance of our walk. It 
was a private house. Mr. Arnold made us a drink 
of grog. He provided us with some fried bacon or 
pork and eggs, with some bread and cheese. For 
this he would receive no pay though strongly urged. 
We left this family and house after resting ourselves 
some time, and arrived at Providence about four 
o'clock in the afternoon ; we were then committed 
to gaol, and entered on the books by Paul Tew,^ Es- 
quire, the High Sheriff of the county. In the presence 
of one Jonathan Niles, Deputy Sheriff' of the Coun- 
ty of Kent, and who lives in West Greenwich, and 
John Stafford, of Warwick, his assistant. The two 

1. Tlie earliest mention of this person appears to be liis appointment by 
Governor Stephen Hopkins to transport prisoners to Nova Scotia in 1758. In 
these commissions one man to each ton Avas allowed on the vessels. Mr. Tew 
was Sheriff of Pi-ovidence County almost continuously from 1761 to 1778. In 
this capacity immense amounts of property captured by privateers sailing from 
Narragansett Bay in 1776 and 1777, and owned by Khode Island people, passed 
through his hands. 


persons who escorted us to this dismal, disagreeable 
place. 1 It is full of people, beiug much over- 
crowded. It has not the conveniences of bed or 
bedding. Seven of us were lodged in one small 
room. There were many other shocking circum- 
stances too tedious to mention. We questioned our 
guards above mentioned with respect to their power 
of taking us into custody, and committing us. They 
acknowledged that they had no legal process from 
any magistrate to take us into custody, nor for our 
commitment, saving a copy of the act of Assembly, 
passed at the session in July, 1776.- We made 
ourselves as easy as possible in this shocking situa- 

1. This jail was tlie fourth one built in Providence. It was built in 1753, 
and it ceased to be used as a prison in 1709. It stood near where the Central 
Police Station now stands. However willing these men were to be committed 
while they were in Glocester, it is noticeable that once having a taste of life 
there, they used every immediate effort to get back into the country, and then 
took special pains not to break their parole again. These jails were a disgrace 
to humanity. 

2. There was no act concerning these men in any way passed by the 
Assembly at its July session, 1776. The only act indirectly concerning tlicm 
was an act providing that no male person should have the right to petition the 
Assembly to set aside the judgment of a court, or stay an execution. Neither 
should he possess the right to bring a suit or action before any Court of Record 
within the State, unless he had previously signed or subscribed to the Declara- 
tion or Test Act. This Test Act may be found in the Introduction to this 
Tract. (Acts and Resolves, R. I. Gen. Assem., July, 1776, p. 138 J. 



tion, but the night was very tedious, with but little 
rest or sleep. 

Wednesday, September 11, 1776. I arose at six 
o'clock, after a very uncomfortable night. We 
breakfasted with the company belonging to the 
house, on chocolate. Henry Ward, Esquire, (the 
Secretary of State) came to see us, which we took 
very kind. He informed us of the committee^ sit- 
ting at Newport the morrow on public business 
during the recess of the General Assembly, and 
advised us by all means to prefer our petition to 
that committee for our relief or removal to some 
other town nigh Newport, for the conveniency of 
transporting our families. In consequence of this 
advice we have employed Mr. Arnold, ^ a lawyer, to 

1. The Committee of Safety for 1776 comprised Metcalf Bowler, John 
Cooke, John Smith, Daniel Tillinghast, John Northup, Joseph Stanton, Jr., 
William Bradford and Stephen Mumford. This body seems to have been first 
elected in 1775. Their powers were entirely undefined. Some such general 
power as was conferred in May, 1776. CActs and Resolves, May, 1776, p. 61). 
They were to meet during the recess of the Assembly, " transact such business 
as the exigency of public aff'airs may require," advise His Honor the Governor 
as to their doings and make report to the next session. No reports by them 
appear in any printed records. 

2. Tills was probably Jonathan Arnold, Esq., who at this time occupied a 
prominent position in Providence, and at a later period he represented Rhode 


write one for each of us. These we have forwiirdod 
to Newport. That of mine I sent per D. Tillin<^- 
hast,^ to the care of my brother William,- which I 
desired might be presented and properly enforced 
by him and his friends. We had many gentlemen 
to see us this day, which we take very kindl3\ 
Nothing very material has occurred this day. The 
house is much crowded and in great confusion, 
which renders our lives disagreeable. But we keep 
our spirits as well as can be expected. Turned 
in at half after nine. 

Thursday, September 12, 1776. Arose before 
six; w'hile we were yet in bed John Smith, Esq.,^ 

Island in the Continental Congress. He was there accused of having disclosed 
the secrets of Congress to the enemies of his country. He denied the accusa- 
tion, but immediately left Congress and soon after left the State. 

1. Daniel Tillinghast was a member of the Committee of Safety; a resident 
of Providence. 

2. William Vernon was a very prominent merchant, resident at Xevv'port. 
He there prosecuted a large mercantile business in connection with his brother 
Samuel. They were both brothers of our Diarist, Thomas. William married 
Judith, daughter of Philip Hammond; she was the great-granddaughter of 
Deputy Governor Clarke aud Governor .John Cranston. 

Samuel Vernon married Amey, daughter of Governor Kicluird Ward. He 
was thus the brother-in-law of Henry Ward, the Secretary of State. 
These men all supported the cause of the Colonies, saving Thomas. 

3. .John l^mith was very largely engaged in distilling rum in the neiglihor- 


sent his compliments, and desired to know our com- 
mands, being just going to Newport, which we take 
to be very kind. Samuel Gibbs,^ an exile, who has 
been confined to the house, signed the Test yester- 
day, and took his passage for Newport this "morning 
at ten o'clock. Nothing extraordinary has happened 
this day. We breakfast and dine at the common 
table, and make matters in every circumstance as 
agreeable as possible in this situation, hoping for 
better times soon. We keep good houses, and keep 
the house as quiet as we can. To bed at half after 

Friday, September 13, 1776. Arose at six and 
in good spirits. James Wyatt, Mrs. Beale, and 
Sally Hammett made us a visit at half after eight 
from Newport. All is well, and very good encour- 
agement that we shall be released soon on good 

hood of Providence during this period. He was a member of the Committee 
of Safety for 1776. As here stated, he offered his services to the prisoners 
wliile on his way to attend a session of the Committee, but on his return, Sep- 
tember 14, paid them not even the courtesy of an answer to their appeal. 

1. Samuel Gibbs was banished from Newport by the act of July, 1770. He 
was to be removed to Scituate and to be there confined to tlie portion of the 
town lying north of the Plainfield road. But Mr. Gibbs refusing to pay the 
sheriff the expense of his removal, lie was committed to tlie jail in Providence. 


terms. Mr. Wyatt returned to Newport. We had 
a piece of roast beef for dinner, the like I have not 
seen since I came from Newport. I dined heartil}^. 
Two or three persons have been to see us to-day, 
and Mrs. Beale, John Jenckes and his wife came 
in the evening and tarried till nine o'clock. We 
turned in before ten. 

Saturday, September 14, 1776. Arose before 
six. Cloudy morning, and rainy the forepart of 
the day. We saw Samuel Chace upon the wharf.' 
Nothing worth remarking this forenoon. John 
Smith is returned from Newport, but it seems he 
don't care to speak to us. This day is very warm 
and sultry, which makes our quarters not very 
agreeable, as we are much crowded. In the even- 
ing our landlord, Mr. Beverley, returned from New- 
port. He tells us that the Committee disposed some 
of us to different places. But how and on what 
terms we cannot 3^et be informed. Nicholas Tilling- 
hast, Mrs. Beale, Sally Hammett, Mr. Cozzens^ and 

1. The statement that one could look out of the jail windows and recognize 
persons on the wharves along tlie Cove seems difficult of realization, but in 
those days vessels of considerable draft discharged their cargoes along where 
Canal street now runs. 

2. 3Iattliew Cozzens, a citizen of Newport, was exiled by the act of July. 


many others spent the evening with us. We retired 
to bed at ten. 

Sunday, September ]5, 1776. Arose before six. 
A calm, still morning. Kothing transpires this fore- 
noon respecting us, Mr. Ward having not yet come 
to town. After dinner three or four ship captains, 
who have been captured, came to see us. This 
afternoon James Wyatt came from Newport and 
brought me letters from Mrs. Vernon and brother 
"William, advising me that the Committee had or- 
dered me to Warwick under certain restrictions. i 
Mrs. Beale and sundry other ladies and gentlemen 
spent the evening with us. To bed at ten. 

Monday, September 16, 1776. Arose about six. 
Wrote a letter to Mrs. Vernon by young Jenkins. 
Waited on Mr. Henry Ward ; he was very kind and 
genteel to me. Got my papers from his office, the 

He was sentenced to Cumberland and was there taken. He does not seem 
to have long remained there, but broke his parole and returned to Newport, 
where he was again arrested and committed to the Providence Jail. He was 
one of Mr. Vernon's subscribers to the Boston Chronicle. 

2. The editor lias been unable to find what these restrictions were, but from 
a letter to his brother it appears that one restriction was that he should not 
reside nearer to the Cove at Apponaug than a half mile. This letter is printed 
in full under the date of September 30. A further discussion of these restric- 
tions appears under the date of September 19. 


order of the Committee, <S;c. Signed my pivrolc for 
the town of Warwick, and set out for said town in 
a chaise with Sally Ilammett at four o'clock, after 
taking my leave of Mr. Bcale and Mr. Nicol, whom 
I left in gaol.i We arrived at Warwick with a dull 
horse after eight o'clock. We stopped at the house 
of Mr. Thomas Wickes, whose famil}* received me 
most joyfully. We tarried with them all night. 
They expressed a concern that I could not be with 
them until I provided myself with suitable lodgings. 
To bed after nine. 

Tuesday, September 17, 1776. Arose before sun- 
rise. The family not yet being up, I strayed up to 
Captain Warner's. He was glad to see me. I told him 
my state and circumstances. Staid to breakfast with 
him. We discussed on divers matters and things. 
Mrs. Joseph Lippitt- joined us. We tarried at this 
house to dinner ; met wMth a hearty welcome. Sally 
Hammett called at three o'clock, on her way to 

1. This is the last of Mr. Beale, but Mr. Xicol's name appears once more in 
the letter of September 30. 

2. Mrs. Joseph Lippitt was tlie daughter of Captain Thomas Brown, of 
Rehoboth. She died May 20, 1795, a lady possessing a truly amiable character, 
beloved by all who knew her. 


Providence. Cuptaiii Warner would not part with 
me. Tarried liere this night, and went to bed soon 
after nine. 

Wednesday, September 18, 1776. Arose at six. 
Pleasant morning. Walked in the fields till 
breakfast. I cannot be too thankful for this gen- 
tleman's civility. His conversation is agreeable and 
sensible, which makes me happy. Wrote a letter 
to Mrs. Vernon this afternoon per John Townsend. 

Thursday, September 19, 1776. Arose about six. 
Took a turn in the fields before breakfast. Nathaniel 
Mumford^ came to see us ; had a good deal of con- 
versation witli him in respect to my limits, ordered 
by the Committee. He is privily of the opinion, 
and so is Captain Warner, that it could not have 
been the intention of the Committee, that I should 
not so into or reside in the street of the old town of 
Warwick ; and that the cove cannot be considered 
as the seashore ; and that were they in my situation 
they should not feel themselves in the least danger 
of forfeiting their parole were they to reside in that 

1. Nathaniel Mumford was one of the Standing Committee appointed by 
the Assembly to examine accounts. He served the State in many ways, and 
seems to have possessed the confidence of his contemporaries. 


street. But notwithstantling this opinion and advice 
I prefer at present to avoid censure. My mind is 
much uneasy, being conscious that Captain \Varner's 
family is large, and that it must be a great incon- 
veniency for him, for me to be at his house. 

Friday, September 20, 177G. Arose with the 
sun. Walked in the fields. But my mind and 
thoughts are much discomposed. Mr. Mumford 
spent the day with us. Mr. Joseph Lippitt's son 
died last night. Wrote a letter to Mrs. Vernon by 
Quaco Johnston. The family treats me with all 
possible marks of respect. Nevertheless my mind 
is greatly agitated with regard to my situation. 

Saturday, September 21, 1776. Arose with the 
sun, as usual. Took an airing in the fields which 
are pleasant and agreeable, although the weather is 
drizzly, and threatens a storm. The weather clears 
up in the afternoon. I have heard no news from 
home since my arrival here. I am still in an uneas}'', 
unsettled situation, being sensible that I am an en- 
cumbrance to the family, but know not where to 
fix until I hear from Newport. 

Sunday, September 22, 1770. Arose at sunrise. 



Fine morning. I cannot say that I have been well 
since my arrival in this town ; although I am better 
this morning, having walked the fields a good deal. 
The family' are gone (at eleven o'clock) to Mr. Lip- 
pitt's funeral, which gives me leisure to write to 
Mrs. Vernon by Allen's boat, which sails for New- 
port in the morning. Mr. Graves and his brother 
called to see me this afternoon, and gave me a word 
of comfort. Sally Hammett called also. They all 
returned to Providence. 

Monday, Sej)tember 23, 1776. Arose as usual ; 
walked in the fields some miles with Captain War- 
ner and Mr. Mumford this forenoon. William Bar- 
din and his brother called on their way to Provi- 
dence. Brought a letter from Mrs. Vernon and 
some necessaries for me. 

Tuesday, September 24, 1770. Cloudy morning 
and very cold, sour day. Nothing worth remark- 
ing. Presented Mrs. Warner with a canister of 
tea and a pound of chocolate. 

Wednesday, September 25, 1776. Cool, clear 
morning; wind N. W. The forenoon, at eleven 
o'clock, I took my leave of this family, and went 


ti) tlic house of the W'M rTrconc. uhoiil liiilf ;i mile 
farther ea.slward. Lodgings, one dollar and a half 
l>ci- week. The people arc very kind. 

'riuirsday, September '2i\, 177(i. This morning is 
warmer; wind S. W. 'I'he day pleasant. At two 
o'clock I'. M., Mr. Warner'.s nephew returned from 
Newport ; he brought letters from Mrs. Vernon and 
brother ^^'ill, and other friends. I have liberty 
to o() and reside in the street if I choose. He 
brought some clothes and necessaries for my com- 
fort. Visited Captain V\'arner twice this day. 

Friday, September 27, 177i!. The weather much 
warmer; wind S. W. The family that I am at 
present with arc very kind and obliging. Nothing 
worth}' of notice this day. 

Saturday, September 28, 177(). This day is cool 
and clear. N. E. wind. Bought half a gallon of 
rum for my comfort. 

Sunday, September 29, 177(i. Cloudy, wind}' 
day ; wind S. E. Company to dine with me ; the 
two Mr. Graves came to see me after dinner, and 
some other gentlemen and ladies. 

Monday, September 30, 1776. A fresh wind at 



S. W., but pleasant towards evening. This day has 
been employed in writing to my friends at Newport, 
Mrs. Vernon, brother William' and others. In the 

"Warwick, Sept. 30th, 177fi. 

1. '• Deae BRnTHp:R:— I rec'd your kind, affectionate letter of 
the 14th at Providence and your last by Allen's boat; I should 
have answered the former in season, but being in an unsettled 
state rendered it almost impossiljle for me to compose my mind 
to write. A place offered about half a mile eastward of Captain 
Warner's. Could not possibly think of tar 171 ng there any 
longer. Accordingly, on Wednesday last, shifted my lodgings 
to the house of the widow Green's. The family, tho' small, 
are exceeding kind and obliging, and much retired, being yet, 
I am told, above half a mile from the cove. Your explanation 
of that matter corresponds with the opinion of the people here, 
and indeed it was always my sentiments ; and for this reason, if 
the Cove at Providence had been judged to be the Sea Shore, 
Messrs. Nicols & Cozzens had not been ordered to the bounds of 
the Elm Tree, which is much nearer that Cove than the street 
here is to this, besides being very publick. 

"I thank you for your care in drawing the Petition anew; it 
was not done agreeable to my directions ; I condemn'd it the 
moment I saw it, but being after Ten at night Avhen I rec'd it, 
and the Gentleman going to Newport very early in the morning, 
had not time to draw it over, or even to make remarks ; I was 
sorry afterwards that I sent it, but being in a place of much 
confusion and disorder, I hardly knew what I did. Would just 
hint that I was taken from my family (but whether with or 


afternoon drank tea with Mrs. Wickcs, and was 
very kindly received. 

without cause, is not at present the case, I am conscious that I 
have given none) at a time very unexpectedly, when you may 
suppose I left my affiiirs iu a disordered state, which makes it 
absolutely necessary for me to l)e at Newport a few days ; I 
mentioned this to Mr. Ward (whom to do justice was very gen- 
teel to me) and he made not the least doubt but this favor could 
be obtained upon proper application ; if you'll be kind eno' 
to think of this matter, it will still lay me under further obliga- 
tions. I thank you for ye Tea, it came very seasonably ; it's true 
Mrs. Vernon had before sent me a small canister, with some 
chocolate, w'ch I could not avoid presenting to Mrs. Warner, 
she is a really kind, good womau. I also thank you for every 
instance of your kindness in soliciting in my behalf in this very 
disagreeable business, and should still think myself under very 
great obligations to the Legislative authority if I could be per- 
mitted to reside with my family under certain restrictions, but it 
seems this cannot be the case consistent with the acts of Gover't ; 
must be content with my present lott, I had almost said hard, a 
word which I have not lately frequently made use of. 

"I do not know to what place our Sister Sauford is destined 
these troublesome times, but wherever she may be, if you have 
opport'y, do make my most affectionate regards and love to her, 
Brother Sam'll, Sister Esther, and every branch of our family. 
I wish you the highest degree of health and happiness with sin- 
cerity, and are Yrs. &c , 

" T. Vkrnon." 

" To Mr. William Vernon, Newport." 


Tuesday, October 1, 1776. Agreeable day for 
the season. Forwarded my letters to Newport by 
Mr. Nat Miimford. 

Wednesday, October 2, 1776. Cool morning; 
the wind northerly ; sent a letter for Mr. Anthony 
to Henry Ward, P^sq., and inclosed a petition to the 
Committee to be convened at Providence the third 
instant, desiring that I might have liberty to see my 
family a few days, and settle my affairs at Newport. 
Jeremiah Lippitt, Esq.,^ made his exit this evening, 
about nine o'clock. 

Thursday, October 3, 1776. Cool, cloudy morn- 
ing ; wind easterl}'. Visited Mrs. Mumford and 
Miss Godfrey this afternoon. Rained in the even- 

Friday, October 4, 1776. Thick, cloudy morning 
and rainy. The wind at N. E., and continued so 
during the whole day ; nothing material. 

1. Jeremiah Lippitt was a worthy citizen of Warwick, lie was born 
January 27, 1711. Died October 2, 1776. He held tlie office of Town Clerk 
thirty-three years, from 1742 to his death in 1776. He married Welthian 
Greene, daughter of Richard Greene, September 12, 1734. His daughter Anne 
married Colonel Christopher Greene, and subsequently to his death, Colonel 
.Jolin Low. 


Saturday, October 5, 1776. Cloudy, thick morn- 
ing, and cold with rain. The wind N. E., hut the 
weather cleared up very unexpectedly in the after- 
noon. At twelve o'clock attended Mr. Jeremiah 
Lippitt's tuncral. At four o'clock received a letter 
from Henry Ward, Esq., advising me that the Com- 
mittee had given me iibert}' to go to Newport for 
eight days to settle my affairs. 

Sunday, October 6, 1776. Agreeable morning; 
little wind ; northerly. Went to the south part of 
the town to inquire for a boat to go to Newport. 
But Allen was not returned from Providence. 
Wrote a letter to Mr. Ward, acknowledged the 
receipt of his letter, and thanked him for his kind- 
ness in presenting my petition. 

Monday, October 7, 1776. A very pleasant, 
agreeable morning; very little wind; northerly. 
Heard that Allen's boat is come from Providence 
and intends for Newport in the morning. Prepared 
for the passage by sending my things to the boat. 

Tuesday, October 8, 1776. A remarkably calm 
morning but cloudy. We set sail about nine o'clock 
in company with Mrs. Mumford and her son. The 


tide of ebb- being in our fav^r till eleven we got out 
of the cove, but continued calm till twelve o'clock, 
when the wind breezed up at about S. S. W. Ar- 
rived at my own house before six. Found my 
family and friends all well.i 

1776. Memorandum of Expenses in July and August. 
Paid for eggs several times, - - - £0 

One lb. tea, Mrs. Vernon (p'd), . . - 

Besides half a lb. brought with me (p'd for) 
Horse and chais to Warwick, . . - 

At Captain Warner's, . . - - - 

At Mrs. Greene's. 

1. By the following order of the Assembly, passed at the October session, 
1776, all exiles were allowed to return to their homes : 

" It is Voted and Resolved, That all those suspected persons who, by 
order of the Assembly, were removed from the town of Newport into other 
towns in this State have liberty to return to their own homes as soon as they 
please, first paying all the charges that have arisen from the time of their 
removal until their return; except Christopher IIargin,2 who, not being able 
to pay the charge at present, is to give his note therefor." (Acts and Re- 
solves, R. I. Gen. Assem., October, 1776, p. 9.) 

2. Christopher Hargill was one of those banished by the act of July. 











New England Historical and Genealogical Registkr, for 

July. 1879, 









OF SEW yORK Ciir. 


When the inscriptions and coats-of-arms on the 
tombstones in the old bnrying ground situated in the 
northern part of Newport, R. I., were copied for 
the Heraldic Journal, those bearing the arms of the 
Vernon ftimily were overlooked ; probablj' from the 
fact that the family lot is surrounded by a high arbor- 
vitae hedge. Within this enclosure are many ancient 
and modern stones to different members of the fam- 
ily ; the two oldest being to Daniel, the emigrant 
ancestor, and his wife Ann. The next in order are 
two large, broad, flat stones engraved with the Ver- 
non arms, and bearing an inscription to the Hon. 
Samuel Vernon and iiis wife Elizabeth. They are 
dated 1737 and 1721-'22, respectively. Samuel was 
the son of Daniel, who came over from England and 


founded the American family of tlie name. Daniel 
was in possession of a seal ring bearing the same 
arms as those on the tombstones mentioned, which 
he inherited from his brother, Samuel Vernon, of 
London, whose widow sent it to him from England. 
The ring is now lost — but a good impression of it, 
from which the cut used in this Tract was engraved 
— is in the possession of Thomas Vernon, Esq., of 
the firm of Vernon & Hill, attorneys and counsel- 
lors at law, New York city. Mr. Vernon, who is 
the son of the late Hon. Samuel Brown Vernon, of 
Newport, formerly General Treasurer of Rhode 
Island, has furnished, at my solicitation, most of the 
material for this genealogy, and the affidavits from 
the originals in his possession. 

It will be seen that the Vernon family is one of 
our few families who have always been able to trace 
the use of coat armor to their English ancestors. 

The following afiidavits were made to enable the 
Hon. Samuel Vernon, of Newport, son of Daniel, 
to assert his title to property in London, consisting 
of a range of warehouses on the Thames and Quay, 
which had been much injured by the fire, which, 


aftei- tlio doatli of his faLlicr and his father's sister, 
ho went over to England and diposed of. 

The Deposition of Elisha Dyre of North Kingstown 
in the Colony of Khode Ishmd, &c., who being 
Duly Sworn Testifyeth and Saith — 

That he was Personally Acquainted with Daniel 
Vernon Late of North Kingstown in the Colony 
Aforesaid, Now Deceased, and with some of his 
Sisters and his Brother Samuel Vernon's VViddow 
that Lived in the City of London, and Likewise with 
Samuel Vernon of Newj^xjrt in Khode Island, Esq''. 
Son to the S^ Daniel Vernon, which S^ Samuel Ver- 
non he Knoweth of his Ceartaine Knowledge to be 
the only and Ligitimate Son of the Afore Named 
Daniel Vernon, and Further this Deponent Saith, 
that when he w^as in London the Widdow of the first 
Named Samuel Vernon Desired him to bring her 

§ Husbands Legacy of A Gold King to his 
Brother Dnniel Vernon Afore Named, 
l)ut he Refused it by Reason he was not 
A Coming Directly to New P^ngland, and 
She Sent it by John Scott to the Said 
Daniel Vernon and he Received it Accordingly to 
this Deponant Knowledge. 

P^LisiiA Dyke. 



The above Subscriber Elisha Dyre Personally Appeared in North 
Kingstown and made Solemn Oath to the Whole Truth of the 
Above Written Evidence the 15th Day of May A. D. ITSB. 

Before CHiusTor Phillips, Justice Peace. 

The Deposition of Hannah Place of North Kings- 
town in the Colony of Ehocle-Island, &c. Who 
Being Duly Sworn Testifyeth and Saith — 

That She Avas well Acquainted with Daniel Ver- 
non Late of the Afore S*^ North Kingstown, Butt 
now Desceas*^ and his Wife Ann Vernon, And was 
Present and Saw them Married Togeather According 
to Law, and That to her Ceartaine Knowledge 
Samuel Vernon of Newport Esq*"^ is the only and 
Legitimate Son of the Afore Named Daniel Vernon 

and Ann Vernon his Wife. 

Hannah Place. 

The above Subscriber Hannah Place Personally Appeared in 
North Kingstown and made Oath to the Whole Truth of the 
Above Written Evidence the 15th Day of May A. 1). 1736. 

Before CuRiSTor Phillips, Justice Peace. 

Daniel Updike of Newport in the County of New- 
port in the Colony of Rhode Island &c.. Gentleman, 
Aged about forty two years, and being duly Sworn 
testifieth and Saith that about the Year 1715, One 
Daniel Vernon died at the Deponen*'* Fathers House 
in North Kingston after having lived for many 


Years proceeding said Time at said Place as a Tutor 
to the Deponen''* and to his Father's other Children. 
And the Dcpon* very well remenihers that by the 
Account the said Daniel Vernon gave of himself and 
Family he was the Son of One Samuel Vernon of 
London and was himself born there, and that he 
had Two Brothers Inhabitants of that City, One 
named John Vernon and the other Samuel Vernon, 
the latter of which by the Relation given by said 
Daniel Vernon was drowned, And the said Daniel 
Vernon shewed me a Seal Ring being a Cornelion 
Stone cut wilh Three Wheat Sheaves the Arms born 
by the Family of Vernon, which was (as he said) 
his said Brother Samuels. Further the Depon* tes- 
tifieth that a French Bible by him produced printed at 
Rochelle Anno 1G16 was the Bible of the said Daniel 
Vernon, and by him left at his Death, and that the 
Hand Writing on the Back Side of a Leaf in said 
Bible on the other Side of which is the Command'"'* 
(which Writing gives an Account in English of the 
Death of Samuel Vernon the said Daniel Vernon's 
Father, of John Vernon, of The said Daniel Ver- 
non's Mother, and of Samuel Vernon his Broiher,) 
the Depon* knoweth to be the Hand Writing of the 
said Daniel Vernon as perfectly as he knoweth any 
AVritins: that was not written in his Presence. And 
Further the Depon* saith he never knew or heard of 


any Person besides the aforenamed Daniel Vernon 
that bore that name Saving his Son who deceased 
without Issue ; Again the Depon* testitieth that he 
well knoweth Samuel Vernon of Newport aforesaid 
Esq""^ and that he is the Lawful Sou and Heir of the 
aforenamed Daniel Vernon (who died at the De- 
pont'® Fathers House as aforesaid) in the Accepta- 
tion of Maukind iu the Govern* where the De- 
pon* liveth, which is also the Place where the said 
Samuel Vernon liveth, is well known and Sustaineth 
the Place of a Judge of the Superior Court of Judi- 
cature. Further the Depon* Saith not. 

Daniel Updike. 

Newport Rhode Island May 28tii Anno 1736. 

The within named Daniel Updike Gentleman, Personally Ap- 
peared before me the Subscriber one of his majesties Justices 
of the Peace for the County of Newport, and made Solemn 
Oath to the Truth of the within written Deposition, to which 
had subscribed his name, and the Bible hereunto annexed is 
the very Bible to him Referred to in S^ Deposition. In Testi- 
mony whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and for the 
Annexing Sd Bible Affixed my Seal. 

Samuel Wickham. 

Katharine Updike of North Kingston in the 
County of Kings County in the Colony of Rhode 
Island, &c. Gentlewoman, being duly sworn testi- 
fieth and saith that about the Year One thousand 


seven hundred and fifteen, One Daniel Vernon died 
at the Dwelling House of the Depon^'^ Father in said 
North Kingston, at which Place the said Daniel 
Vernon had lived for man}' Years preceeding his 
Death. And the Depon' lived in the Same House 
with him for several Years, even until the Time of 
his Death, and hath often heard him give an Account 
of himself and Famil}' . That he was born in Lon- 
don and that his Fathers name was Samuel Vernon. 
That he had had two Brothers Inhabitants of that 
Cit}^ One named John Vernon and one named Sam- 
uel Vernon. That they were both dead and that the 
latter of them was drowned a fishing in the New 
River, And the Depon^ observed, a Ring Worn by 
the said Daniel Vernon set with a Cornelion Stone 
cut wMth Three Wheat Sheaves which he said was 
the Arms of his Familv and sent from Ens^land to 
him, And the Depon* saith that a French Bible 
printed at Rochelle, Anno 1(U6, was the Bible of 
the said Daniel Vernon, and by him given to the 
Depon* at his Death, And the Hand Writing on the 
Back Side of a Leaf in said Bible on the other side 
of which is the Commandments (which Writing 
gives an Account of the Death of Samuel Vernon 
the said Daniel Vernons Father, of John Vernon, of 
the said Daniel Vernon's mother, and of Samuel 
Vernon his Brother) The Depon* knoweth to be the 


Writinof of the said Daniel Vernon as well as She 

knoweth the writing of any Person, she being much 

acquainted with it. And further the Depon* saith 


Katharine Updike. 

Newport Khode Island May 28tii 1786 

Then the above named Mrs. Katharine Updike, Personally 
Appeared before me the Subscriber one of his majesties 
Justices of the Peace for the County of Newport, and made 
Solemn Oath to the Truth of the above written Deposition to 
wh She had Subscribed her name and the Bible hereunto 
Annexed is the Very Bible by her Referred to in Sd Deposi- 
tion. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto Subscribed my 
name and for the Annexing the Bible Affixed my Seal as 


Samuel Wickham. 

A certificate prefixed to these depositions, dated 
May 29, 1736, and signed by John Wanton, gov- 
ernor, and Jas. Martin, secretary of the colony of 
Khode Island, certifies that Samuel Wickham, Esq., 
was then a justice of the peace in commission for the 
town of Newport, and that Christopher Phillips, 
Esq., was justice of the peace in commission for 
North Kingstown. 

The bible of Daniel Vernon, referred to in the 
above affidavits, is now owned by Mrs. George Tal- 
bot Olyphant, of New York. It is in the Erench 


language, printed at Kochelle in 16 1(5. It also con- 
tains the whole Hook of psalms collected in English 
metre, London, 1621) ; also confession of faith, and 
so forth. 

In this l)il)lc are the following entries in Daniel 
Vernon's handwriting ; 

My Hon<^ Father Samuel Vernon Dyed the 25"' 
day of April 1681 — St. Marks day. My brother 
John Vernon Dyed April, 1682, 42 years of age, in 
Loudon, on St. Marks day. My Hon'' Mother Dyed 
April 24*'', 1701, Aged four score years the time the 
Queen was crowned. 

My brother Samuel Vernon was drowned at ye 
New River a iishing 17*'' July, 170H, Aged 42 years. 

Myself was born in London Sept P* 1643. 

My son Daniel Vernon was born the 6*'' day of 
April 1682, at one O'clock at Newport, Khode 

My son Samuel Vernon was born the 6*'^ day of 
December in the year 1683, in the day time at 8 
o'clock at Narragansett. 

I was married to my wife 22 Sept. at Narragansett 

My daughter Catharine was born the 3*^ day of 
Oct. Sabbath day, two hours before day break at 
Rhode Island in the year 1686. 


Mr. Vernon, who made the above extracts from 
the bible twelve or fifteen years ago, thinks that he 
paid no attention to the ancient mode of spelling or 
use of capitals at that time. 

1. Samuel^ Vernon, had children : 

i. John, b. about 1640; d. April, 1682, a. 42. 
2. ii. Daniel, b. Sept. 1, 1643. 

iii. Samuel, b. about 16G1 ; d. July 17, 1703, a. 42. 

2. Daniel^ Vernon (SamueP), born in London, 
Eng., Sept. 1, 1643, is said to have come to this 
country about the year 1666. His emigration is 
thought to have been in part determined from the 
losses his father sustained in the great fire of that 
year in London ; a range of his warehouses on the 
Thames and Quay having been burned in that disas- 
trous fire. Mr. Vernon had received a very superior 
education ; spoke several languages, and was long a 
tutor in the family of Lodowick Updike, of North 
Kingstown, R. L In 1683 he was clerk of Kings- 
ton ; also constable. In 1686 he was appointed 
marshal of Kings province and keeper of the prison ; 
in 1687, with Henry Tibbets, he was appointed to 
lay out certain highways in Rochester. In 1687, he 
was also a selectman- of Rochester.* On his arrival 

* In .Tune, 1686, Edmund Randolph came into the King's Province under a 


from England ho appears to have first resided at 
Newport, hut shortly removed to Narragaiisett, 
where at Tower Hill, Sept. 22, 1()71», he married 
Ann Dyre, a widow, daughter of Capt. Edward 
Hutchinson, Jr., and granddaughter of the cele- 
brated Anne Hutchinson, and grand neice of John 
Dryden. She died Jan. 10, 171() ; her gravestone 
is still standing in the family lot at Newport, beside 
that of her husband. He died Oct. 28, 1715. Chil- 
dren : 

i. Danikl, b. April 6, UJ82 ; d. young, probably iu 
3. ii. Samufx, b. Dec. 6, 1683. 

iii. Catiiekink, b. Oct. 3, 1686; d. unm. March, 1769. 

3. Samuel^ Vernon {Daniel,'^ Samuel^), born 
Dec. 6, 1683; m. April 10, 1707, by Nathaniel 
Coddington, Esq., to Elizabeth Fleet, of Long 
Island. He became a distinguished citizen of New- 
port ; was an assistant from 1729 till his death in 
1737, and a judge of the superior court of judica- 
ture. In 1737, he was one of the commissioners 
appointed to fix the disputed boundary line between 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His constant 

cotiinii.«r-ion from the Kinj;, held ii court, and amongst other things, changed 
the names of the three towns which the Province contained — Kingstown was 
called Rochester, Westerly was called Haversham, and Greenwich was called 
Dedford. The former names were restored in 1689. 


election to office shows that he was highly esteemed 
ill the community, and he doubtless would have at- 
tained still further distinction had not his useful 
career been arrested by his death, Dec. 5, 1737, 
while still in the prime of life. Mrs. Vernon died 
March 5, 1721-2, se. 37 years. Their gravestones, 
bearing the family arms, are still in the JS^ewport 
cemetery. Children : 

i. Ann, b. Jan. 23, 1707-8; d. Sept. 23, 1782; m. Mr. 
Sanford ; had one son Samuel, secretary of the 
» Newport Insurance Co. 

ii. Elizabeth, b, Aug. 4, 1709; m. Capt. Elnathan 
Hammond, of Newport, merchant; had a still- 
born son July 21, 1753. 
4. iii. Samuel, b. Sept. 6, 1711, 

iv. Esther, b. Aug. 20, 1713; spinster. 

V. Daniel, b. Aug. 20,1716; freeman 1738. lie lived 
and died a bachelor. 

vi. Thomas, b. May 31, 1718; m. Sept. 9, 1741, Jane, 
dau. of John Brown, merchant, of Newport. 
She d. April 28, 1765, as. 43 yrs. He next m. May 
20, 1766, Mary Mears, who d. Aug. 1787. He was 
a merchant of the firm of Grant & Vernon; was 
royal postmaster at Newport from 1745 to 1775; 
register of the court of vice-admiralty twenty 
years ; secretary of the Redwood Library, and 
senior warden of Trinity Church. He was a tory, 
the only one of the family, and suffered about four 
months imprisonment on account of his tory prin- 
ciples. He wrote a journal of his captivity, now 
in possession of the Newport Historical Society. 


His house was on the west side of Division 
Street, He died May I, 1784, without issue. 
5. vii. Wii.UAM, b. Jan. 17, 1719. 

viii. Maky, b. Dec. 23, 1721; d. May 17, 1770, a spinster. 

4. Samuel"* Veknon (Samuel,-^ Daniel,- Sam- 
uel^), born Sept. 0, 1711; m. Amey, dau^liter of 
Governor Richard Ward. She d. Jan. 17, 1792, iu 
her 75th year. He was a prominent Newport mer- 
chant ; long a member of the house of S. & W. 
Vernon. He was one of the original applicants for 
the charter of the Redwood Library ; and, in 1750, 
was one of the petitioners to the King to restrain 
the Leeislature from issuing bills of credit. His 
house was the old Olyphant house on Church Street, 
still owned by his descendant, Mrs. E. De W. 
Tha^'er. He died July (5, 17i»2. Their gravestones 
are standing. Children : 

i. Elizabeth, b. April 24, 1738; ni. Capt. Valentine 
Whightuian; liad one child, Mary, d. May, 1840. 

ii. William, b. Aug. 3, 1739; died the following Satur- 
day night. 

iii. Samukl, b. July 12, 1740; died Aug. 23, 1741. 

iv. Amey, b. Sept. 12, 1741; d. Aug. 28, 1742. 
V. Mary, b. Feb. 17, 1742-3; in. Nov. 26, 1760, Chris- 
topher Ellerj', an eminent inercliant of Newport 
and a revolutionary patriot. He was a son of 
Deputy (}ov. William Ellery, and brother of Wil- 
liam Ellery, one of the signers of the Declaration 
of Independence. He was Deputy in the Colonial 


Assembly, a Judge of the County Court, and an 
Assistant of the Colony. He was chairman of the 
committee of arrangement appointed by the town 
of Newport to receive Washington on the occa- 
sion of his first visit to Newport, and entertained 
the distinguished guest at his residence. Chil- 
dren : — 1. Elizabeth Almifi Ellery, b. March 24, 
1764. 2. Benjamin^ Ellery. 3. Christophei"^ El- 
lery,* b. Nov. 1, 1768. 4. Samuel^ Ellery, b. 
Sept. 29, 1770. .">. 3IaryQ Ellery, h. May 15, 1772; 
married Asher Bobbins, U. S. Senator for R. I., 
1825-1839. 6. Maryaret^ Ellery, b. June 17, 1775; 
d, Dec, 1775. 
6. vi. Samuel, b. Feb. 17, 1744-5; d. Dec. 1, 1809. 
vii. Amey, b. July 19, 1746; d. Aug. 18, 1746. 
viii. Amey, b. Nov. 19,1747; m. Samuel King, portrait 
painter; iustructorof Allston and Malbone. Chil- 
dren : — 1. Samuel^ King, an eminent merchant, of 
New York, who as early as 1803, and probably 
earlier, was head of the house of King & Talbot. 

*Mr. Ellery served Rhode Island as one of her Senators in Congress from 
1801 to 1805. In connection with his political life there is a curious anecdote 
which very v('ell Illustrates the spirit of the time. It was in May, 1788, while 
both houses of the R. I. General Assembly were joined in Grand Committee, 
as is usual every year for the election of minor State officers, tliat Mr. Ellery, 
not then a member, made some ill-natured, perhaps intemperate, remark 
which reached the ears of this august body, and which they deemed deroga- 
tory to their dignity, whereupon they passed the following resolution : 

" Whereas, Christopher Ellery, Jun., of Newport, did ou the seventh day 
of this current month of May, when both houses of this Assembly were in 
session in a Grand Committee, openly insult the Authority of this State; 
and a warrant having been issued against him, and he brought before this 
Assembly, and having pleaded guilty; 

"It is Voted and Resolved, That the Sheriff of the County of Newport 
take his body into custody, and him safely secure in close confinement in the 
common Gaol in Newport, without bail or mainprize, until the further orders 
of this Assembly." (Acts and Resolves, May, 1788, p. 4.) 


Ik' 111. his cousin IlanieL, duu. of Saiimel Vcruoii. 
2. Willium ]\'nuiu^^ A7«[/, bachelor, lawyer, grad- 
uate of Brown University. 

ix. WiM.iAM, b. July 21, 1749; d. September, 1749. 
X. William Wakd, b. March 7, 1751.'; d. in Jamaica, 
W. I., April 10, 1774. 

xi. .A XX, one of the sprightliest wits of Newport 
colonial society; b. Sept. 29, 1754; m. Oct. 
23, 178G, Dr. David Oly pliant, a Scottish gentle- 
man whose devotion to the Stuart cause, sealed 
at CuUoden, compelled his emigration to America. 
He went Hrst to Charleston, S. C. On the break- 
ing out of the Revolution he espoused the patri- 
otic cause, and became medical director of the 
armies of the Carolinas, under Generals Gates and 
Greene. He was a member of the Rhode Island 
branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. Chil- 
dren:—!. Ann*^ Ohjphant, b. Oct. 27, 1787; spins- 
ter, who died in 1861 or 2 at Salem, N. C. 2. 
David \V. C.6 Ohjphdnt, born March 7, 1789; an 
eminent merchant of New York, head of the great 

At a little later period during the same session the Assembly passed the 
followuig resolution of forgiveness : 

"Whkkeas, Mr. Christopher Ellcry, Jun., wlio was committed to Gaol for 
a contempt ofl'ered to this Assembly, and he being here brought, confesseth his 
fault, and puts himself upon mercy, and himself intreats pardon and forgive- 
ness ; 

"It is TiiEKKKonE Voted and Resolved, That the said Christopher 
EUery, .Jun., be forgiven; and that he be discharged upon his paying all 
costs." CActs and Resolves, May, 1788, p. 16.) 

By a turn in political affairs this same Grand Committee sent the man whom 
they sent to prison to the United States Senate. If auy argument was needed 
to show that a political body like the Rhode Island Assembly was untit to be 
entrusted with judicial power it can readily be found in this anecdote, never- 
theless for two centuries they exercised it. If the Assembly sent every one to 
the prison, who, in these days denounced it, there would be few men left at 



house of Olyphant & Co., China, and of Talbot, 
Olyphant & Co., of New York. His grandson, 
Talbot Olyphant, son of his son David, is now a 
member of this house, and resides in New York, 
having lately returned from China. Mr. Olyphant 
m. Mrs. Archer, a widow; he died at Cairo, 
Egypt, iu June, 1851. 
xii. Thomas, b. June 6, 1753; d. April 6, 1755. 

5. William^ Vernon {Samuel,^ Daniel,'^ 8am- 
ueP), born J.'in. 17, 1719; iii. Judith, daii. of Philip 
Harwood, and great-granddaughter of Gov. Walter 
Clarke and Gov. John Cranston, of Rhode Island. 
She died Aug. 29, 1762, a5. 38 years. He died Dec. 
22, 180G, Their graves are marked in the family 
lot ; his by a marble monument, hers by a stone. 
Mr. Vernon's house was at the corner of Clarke and 
Mary streets, and is still standing, a fine specimen 
of colonial architecture. It has an historical inter- 
est, Mr. Vernon having given the gratuitous use of 
it to the Count de Rochambeau during the Revolu- 
tion, and hither Gen. Washington repaired on his 
first visit to Newport. Mr. Vernon was one of the 
most distinguished of the Newport merchants, and 
one of the most self-sacrificing patriots of the Revo- 
lution. His trade extended to all the maritime 
nations of Europe, the West Indies and Africa. He 
lost eight vessels by capture in or abont the year 
1758. So conspicuous was he as a merchant, that 


ill 1778 a Ficiicli hou-se in Boidetuix .-iolicitcd his 
l)ntr()n:ige, aiul spoke of him as "uiiiversally known 
all over the continent of America." He contributed 
a vessel to the expedition against Louishurg. In 
1773 the Colonial Assembly of Khodc Island ap- 
pointed him one of a committee of three to prepare 
a letter to "his Majestie's Secretary of State" upon 
"the endangerment by a bill then pending in the 
House of Commons, of the tisheries prosecuted by 
K. I. merchants in and near the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence." He early espoused the patriot cause, and 
became a most unllinchin<>- "Son of Liberty." His 
great abilities as a merchant, and extensive acquaint- 
ance with marine aft'airs, enabled him at a very early 
period to assist Congress by his counsel. In 1774 
he was a|)pointed one of the committee of corre- 
spondence of the town of Newport, with the town of 
Boston. In 1775 he was appointed by the General 
Assemi)ly, with \\^illiam Ellery and others, a com- 
mittee to collect statistics in regard t(j losses inflicted 
upon Rhode Island by the ministerial forces. Tii 
this year one of his vessels, the 1)rig Koyal Char- 
lotte, was seized by Wallace in Newport harbor, 
taken to Boston and confiscated with its cargo. In 
1776, when the British occupied Newport, he was 
forced to leave the place. May 0, 1777, he was 
elected by Congress one of the Continental Navy 


Board, established at Boston, and was the president 
of the board from its organization to its dissokition. 
He not only gave his services withont charge to his 
country, but advanced large sums to the government, 
which were only in part paid. His two colleagues 
in the navy board were James Warren and John 
Deshon, of Massachusetts. Of his losses he thus 
speaks under date of Oct. 10, 1778, in a letter to 
Josiah Hewcs ; "Mammon is no idol of mine. If 
we establish our rights and liberties upon a firm and 
lasting basis on the winding up of this bloody con- 
test, I am content; altho' I own, if I could come at 
the property our enemies are possessed of, belonging 
to me, it would increase the pleasure. I do assure 
you it is no less a sum than twelve thousand pounds 
sterling at least, besides my real estate at Newport ; 
yet I can with truth say it never broke my rest a 
moment." At the close of the war he reentered 
upon commercial pursuits, and was one of the foun- 
ders of the Newport Bank, of which institution his 
son Samuel and his grandson William were succes- 
sively presidents. He was also one of the founders 
of the Newport Artillery Compan}^ in 1741. He 
was a great friend of learning, and assisted Dr. 
Witherspoon in raising funds for Princeton College. 
On the death of Abraham Redwood, he was elected 
the second president of the Redwood Library. He 


was on terms of attcctionate intimacy witii La 
Fayette, Dr. Stiles, Adams and Franklin ; and was 
intimate with Jctt'erson, Viscount de Noailles, and 
other prominent men too numerons to mention. 

His correspondence during colonial, revolutionary 
and post-revolutionary times, which is very large 
and well preserved, is in possession of Thomas Ver- 
non, Esq., of New York, who contemplates printing 
it at some future day. He has also a large family 
correspondence of the Wards, Ellerys and Vernons 
of the same periods, which throws a good deal of 
light upon colonial times and life, and upon the 
feelings which permeated the men and women imme- 
diately before, during and after the Revolution. 

i\Ir. George C. Mason, of Newport, in 1853, con- 
tributed a serial sketch of Mr. Vernou to the New- 
port Mercury. 

William Vernon was a man of very imposing pres- 
ence and courtly manners. Children : 

7. i. Samuel, b. May 2!), 1757. 

ii. WiLMAM, b. March 6, 175t); d. uuin. in 1833. He 
was afterwards kuown as William H. Vernon; 
was for many years secretarj' of the Redwood 
Library. He was a man of elegant and courtly 
manners, and was known m Newport as " Count 
Vernon." He graduated at Princeton College in 
1776. He is famous as the owner of a celebrated 
collection of paintings of great merit, which he 


made in France; an account of them is given in 
the Galaxj' of December, 1876. It is thonght that 
he may have inherited the seal ring referred to in 
the affidavits, vphich may have been lost by him, 
as while in France he went through many vicissi- 
tudes. He w\is a constant and favored guest at 
the court circles of Louis XVI., and a favorite of 
the Queen. 

At one time during the French Revolution he 
was recognized as a courtier by the mob, dragged 
to a lamp-post, and was only rescued from being 
hanged by a Frenchman who knew him and as- 
sured the mob that he was an American citizen, 
iii. PHiLir Harw^ood, b. April 3, 1761 ; d. Aug. 26, 

(j. Samuel^ Vernon {Samuel,'^ Samuel,'^ Dan- 
iel,'^ SamueP), b. Feb. 17, 1744-5; d. Dec. 1, 
1809. He had two children: 

i. Harriet, m. her cousin Samuel King, 
ii. William S., of Louisville, Ky.-, who m. A-merica 
Fontaine, and had : — 1. George Talbot,'^ m. Mary 
Ross. 2. Charles Fontaine,'^ dead. 3. Mary 
An7i,'^ m. Natlianiel Wolfe, a distinguished lawyer 
of Louisville. 4. A7in 31.'^ 5. Harriet King. 7 6. 
Daniel Smith.'! 7. William S- ,7 dead. 8. Edward 
IIarwood.7 9. Grace," m. Francis L. B. Noad, of 
Montreal, Can. 

7. Samuel^ Vernon ( William,'^ Samuel,'^ Dan- 
iel,^ SamueP), b. May 29, 1757 ; m. Dec. 31, 17^4, 
his cousin Elizabeth Almy, daughter of Christopher 


and Mary (Vernon) Ellery. She was born March 
24, 17(34; died Feb. 21, 1857, x. 93. Mr. Vernon 
was an eminent Newport merchant, and at one time 
its wealthiest citizen ; was the first president of the 
Newport Bank, and president of the Rh(Kle Ishmd 
lusnrance C()mi)anv. Dnrins: the Revohition he 
carried on business at Boston, wliere his father was 
discharffinor his official duties. He fou2fht as a vol- 
unteer under Gen. Sullivan at the battle of Rhode 
Island, August, 1778, and his tomb was decorated 
with flowers on the centennial celebration of that 
battle. He died Nov. 22, 1834. Children: 

i. Mary, b. .July 21, 1786; tl. Feb. U, 1787, num. 

ii. Catherixk, b. .July 7, 1787 ; d. May 20, 1871 ; ni. Rev. 
Joel Maun. 

iii. William, b. Sept. 4, 1788; d. Dec. 18, 1867; m. 
lirst, Eliza D'Wolf, of Bristol, R. I. ; ni. second, 
Elizabeth Bryan, of Charleston, S. C. 

iv. Daughter, b. Sept. 15, 1789; d. Sept. 22, 1789. 

V. Mary, b. .Tan. 3, 1792; d. July 16, 1811, unm. 

vi. Edward, b. Sept. 8, 1793 ; d. Feb. 12, 1861 ; m. Anna, 
dau. of Hon. Jabez Clark, Judge of Windham 
County, Conn. 

vii. Elizabeth Almy, b. April 28, 1795; d. Feb., 1816. 
viii. Philip Harwood, b. Dec. 4, 1796: d. Sept 16, 1834, 

ix. Thomas, b. Dec. 20, 1797; d. May, 1876; m.- Ade- 
laide Augusta, dau. of John Winthrop, of Boston. 
X. Daughter, b. 1799; d. next day. 


xi. Samuel Brown, b. April 27, 1802 ; d. May 29, 1858 ; 
m. Oct. 26, 1830, Sophia, daughter of Joseph 
Peace, lawyer of Philadelphia. 

The arms borne by the American family corre- 
spond with those of the noble family of Vernon in 
England, viz. : Or on a fesse az. three garbs of the 
field. Crest, A demi Ceres affrontee ppr. vested 
vert holding three ears of wheat over her left shoul- 
der or, and in her right hand a sickle ppr., handle 
or. These arms are accorded by Burke to repre- 
sentatives of Richard de Vernon, who accompanied 
William the Conqueror to P^ngland, and was created, 
by Hugh Lupus, baron of Shipbrook, county of 

Genealogical research in England may possibly 
connect Samuel of London, the ancestor of our Ver- 
nons, with this family. 












John Greene, surgeon, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, 
England; d. in Warwick, Jan., 1658-9; m. Joanne 
Tattershall, Nov. 4, 1619, Fourth child, Thomas 


Thomas Greene, of Stone Castle, Old Warwick, 
R. I. Baptized in St. Thomas's Church, Salisbury, 
England, June 4, 1628; d. 5 June, 1717; buried 
at Stone Castle, Old Warwick ; m. Elizabeth, dau. 
of Rufus Barton, June 30, 1659. Thomas, d. June 
5, 1717. Second child, Thomas Greene. 


Thomas Greene, of Potowomut, born Aug. 14, 
1662, at Stone Castle; m. Anne, dau. of Major 


John Greene, of Occupessnatuxet ;* Ma}' 27, 1686. 
Anne, born March 19, 1662-3 ; died 1713. Thomas 
was drowned in going from Newport to Warwick, 
1698-9 His father gave him the farm at Potowo- 
mnt. Third child, John Greene. 


John Greene, of Potowomut, born April 14, 
1691 ; d. 8 Dec, 1757 ; m. Deborah, dau. of Caleb 
Carr, of Jamestown, Dec. 6, 1721. Deborah d. May 
6,1729 ; m. second, Almy, dau. of Richard Greene, 
of Occupessnatuxet, Jan. 28, 1730-1. Seventh 
child. Richard Greene. 


Richard Greene, born October 4, 1725; d. 
19 June, 1779; m. Sarah, dau. of Thomas and Mary 
[Greene] Fry. Richard died July 17, 1779. Sarah 
died April 4, 1775. 

Their children were : 


i. .John, b. March 22, 1746-7; d. Oct. 14, 1778; m. 
Barbara, dau. of Randall Holden, Sept. 30, 1770. 

* Occupessnatuxet, this farm now occupied by the lieirs of Gov. John Brown 
Francis, was purchased of Miantonomey, the Indian Chief, in Nov., 1642, by 
John Greene, surgeon, whose descendants occupied it till 6 Oct., 1782, when it 
was sold to Jolin Brown, of Providence, whose descendents, the heirs of Gov. 
John Brown Francis, now occupy it. Like most Indian names, there seems to 
be several ways of spelling this one. Parsons gives it Occupasspatucket. On 
Walling's map it is Occu Pas Pawtuxet. The name appears to Iiave been given 
to a cove. 


ii. Natiianikl, b. 31 July, 1748; in. Elizabeth, dan. of 

Henry Qninccy, of Boston (_in ITfiO) ; she d. 1781. 
iii. Wkmhyax, b. Nov. 17, 174U; d. Jan. 6, 1753. 
iv. Thomas, b. Jan. 10, 1750; d. March 19, 175G. 
V. S.vMUEL, b. Aug. 8, 1752; d. Aug 10, 1761. 
\i. WiM.iAM, b. July 9, 1754; m. Dorothy Carlton, of 

South Carolina; d. 1786, without issue, 
vii. Mahy, b. Oct. 4, 1756; ni. 2L'0ct., 1787, Samuel Brown, 
viii. Annk, b. Aug. 17, 1758; d. May 4, 1759. 
ix. Sauaii, b. May 10, 1760; d. Nov. 11, 1820; m. Daniel 

Rowland, Jr., Aug. 7, 1793. 
X. Elizaueth, b. Dec. 23, 17Gi ; d. .March 16, 1815; ni. 
Sylvester G. llassard, son of Robert, of South 
Kingstown and Coventry, March 5, 1786. 
xi. Bexj.\min, b. Sept. 28, 1763. 

xii. Job, b. Nov. 22, 1765; d. at sea, 1810; m. Hcw- 

inson; no issue. 

xiii. Calkh, b. Sept. 15, 1767; d. about 1832; m. 

Robinson, of Alexandria, Va. ; issue, two sons and a 
daughter. The latter m. Rev. Gills, a clergy- 
man of the Episcopal Church, 
xiv. Samukl, b. Dec. 12, 1769; d. 1827; m. Henrietta 
Daniels, of Newport, Sept. 30, 1790; she d. 26 
Sept., 1854. 


John and Barbara [Holden] Greene. 

i. Richard, d. in infancy, 
ii. Thomas, b. 20 July, 1772; d. 9 Nov., 1778. 
iii. John M.vlbone, b. 3 May, 1774; d. Oct., 1817; m. 14 
Feb., 1795, Anne, dau. William and AVaitc [Lock- 
Avood] Greene, of Old Warwick. 


iv. Sarah, b. 4 July, 177G; d. G July, 1837; mini. 
V. Maky, b. 22 May, 177!); unm., living in Providence in 
1881, aged 102 years 

children of 
Nathanikl and Elizabeth [Quincy] Greene. 

i. Mary, b. Dec. 18, 1769; d. unm. 

ii. Richard, b. Feb. 29, 1772; d. unm. Removed to 
Marietta, Ohio, with General Varnum. 

iii. Henry, b. May 20, 1773; m. Deborah Kell. He was a 
ship master, and died while in command of his ves- 
sel, buried in Trinity Church Yard, Dublin Ireland. 

iv. Salter, d. unm. 

V. Sarah Fry, b. 15 Aug., 1778; d. 6 Jan., 1861; m. 21 
Dec, 1797, Thomas Cotterell, son of Thomas, of 
Newport, who was b. 1 Sept., 1772; died 3 Sept., 

children of 
Samuel and Mary [Greene] Bkown. 

i. Jon, b. 28 June, 1789; died 11 Sept., 1829. 
ii. Lypia Greene, b. 24 July, 1791; m. James Le Barron, 

of Bristol; no surviving issue. 
iii. Susan, b. 28 June, 1789; d. 9 Nov., 1843. 
iv. Sarah, b. 27 Feb., 1795; d. unm. 

children of 
Daniel and Sarah [Greene] Rowland. 

i. Deborah, b. July 8, 1795. 

ii. David, b. Jan. 2, 1797. 

iii. Richard, b. April 20, 1799. 

iv. Anne, b. Feb. 20, 1801. 

the family of richard greene. 147 

children of 
Sylvester and Elizabeth [Greene] Hassard. 










Robert, d. yonna:, 











children of 
Samuel and Henrietta [Daniels] Greene. 

i. Benjamin, b. Nov. 14, 1793; d. April 9, 1858; m. Lucy 
Beemis, of Pawtuxet; she d. Feb. 5, 1865. 

ii. Caleb, b. Feb. 19, 1795; ra. Mary Gray, of Tiverton, 
R. I. ; m. secoud, Sarah Westcott. 

iii. Job, b. July 9, 1796; went to Java, East Indies, and 
married there. 

iv. Richard, b. Aug. 23, 1798; d. Sept. 2, 1798. 

V. Mary Henrietta, b June 21, 1799; m. John Taber. 

vi. Peter, b. Feb. 11, 1801; m. Lydia Kent, 
vii. Joifx Daniels, b. April 30, 1805; ni. Eliza Kent. 



children of 
John Malbone and Ann [Greene] Greene. 

i. Sarah Ann, b. 22 Aug., 179 — ; d. num. 
ii. Celia, b. 18 Oct., 1800; in. Thomas Metcalf, of Macon, 

Ga. ; his dau., Eliza Rogers, m. Robert Kerr, of 

iii. A CHILD, b. 2, and d. 3 Sept., 1803. 
iv. William Amos. b. 1 March, 1807; m. Maria Louisa, 

dau. of Thomas Jacobs; his dau. Annie m. William 

Henry Owen, son of George Owen, of Providence, 

Oct. 22, 1872. 

children of 
Henry and Deborah [Kell] Greene. 

i. Henry Quincy, b. 13 May, 1800; d. 10 July, 1830; m. 
Maria, dau. of Joel Herbert Bedell; she d. 12 Oct., 
187G; issue 1, Angelina; 2, Maria Louisa; 3, Henry. 

children of 
Thomas and Sarah [Greene] Cotterell. 

i. Anna Elizabeth ; m. first, Bailey; m. second, Payne; 

issue by second marriage, Eloise Elizabeth; m. Rev. 

LeaLuquer; issue I, Eloise Payne; 2, LeaMcIlvane; 

3, Thatcher Taylor Payne, 
ii. Thomas Benj.\min; d. unm. 
iii. Joseph Swinburn ; m. ; no issue, 
iv. Hannah Hopkins ; d. in infancy. 

the family of riciiakd greene. 149 

children of 
Benjamin and Lucy [Bkemis] Greene. 

I. Mauy HExniKTTA, b. Aug. 27, 181G; m. Sept. 2, 1840, 

to Orville Coe. 
ii. Bau.vab.vs (Rev.), b. Aug. 31, 1818; in. May 17, 

1841, to Naucy Caldwell Valandigham. 
iii. Samuel Curtis, b. July 2, 1822; m. June IG, 1847, 

to Eliza Hurd. 
iv. Elizabktii Barrows, b. May 20, 1824 ; m. May 30, 

1844, to Simou Lowderslayer. 
V. Bexjamin Daniels, b. June 11, 1827; m. Sept. 30, 

1846, to Laura Leavitt. 

children of 
Caleb and Mary [Gray] Greene. 

i. Mary Eliza; in. Ebeu Joy. 
Caleb Greene ra. second, Sarah Westcott. 


ii. Richard; ra. Elizabeth Hatch, 

iii. Reuben. 

iv. William; m. Belle Collins. 

V. Lloyd. 

vi. S.uiAii ; ra. Limerick Harthmau. 

vii. Martha. 

150 historical tract. 

children of 
John and Mary [Greene] Taber. 

i. Mary. 

ii. John. 

iii. James. 

iv. Ann. 

children of 
Peter and Lydia [Kent] Greene. 
i. Adeline; m. Charles Earl Carpenter, of Providence. 

children of 
John Daniels and Eliza [Kent] Greene. 

i. Elizabeth; ra. Charles Dickerraore. 
ii. Walter.