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Full text of "An historical sketch of the town of East Providence : delivered before the town authorities and citizens of East Providence, July 4th, 1876"

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HiSTO^cAL Sketch 




JULY 4TH, 1876, 

BY .: 


John F. Greene, Printer, 13 Market Square. 






The territory now known as East Providence, has since 
its first settlement by white men, submitted to the gov- 
ernment of two States and three towns. It was origin- 
ally a part of the old town of Rehoboth, in the State of 
Massachusetts, which at one time included within its lim- 
its the present towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk, Attlebor- 
ough, and a part of Swansey, in Massachusetts ; East 
Providence, Cumberland, and a part of the towns of Paw- 
tucket and Barrington, in Rhode Island. 

Leonard Bliss, jr., in his ''History of Rehoboth," pub- 
lished in 1836, says " The first purchase of land for the 
settlement of the town was made of Massasoit in 1641, 
and was according to the measurement of those times, "a 
tract eight miles square,"* and embraced what now con- 
stitutes the towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk and Pawtucket. 
The second purchase was the tract called by the Indians, 
(and after them by the English) Wannamoiset, and forms a 
part of Swansey and Barrington. The third and last pur- 

*Tlils tract of land measures ten miles square. 

chase was the ' North Purchase/ forming now Attlebor- 
ough, Mass., and Cumberland, R. I. The last was form- 
erly called 'Attleborough Gore.' In 1667, Wannamoiset 
was included in the town of Swansey, which was then in- 
corporated, including, besides the present town, Somer- 
sett, Mass., Barrington, and the greater part of Warren, 
R. I. The 'North Purchase,' was incorporated into a 
separate town by the name of Attleborough in 1694 ; and 
this was subdivided in 1146, the 'Gore' becoming Cumber- 
land. The rest of the ancient town continued together till 
1812, when Seekonk became a separate township assum- 
ing its original Indian name*; andinlvS28, Pawtucketf 
followed the example and was separated from Seekonk." 

The Rev. William Blackstone was the first white settler 
of Rehoboth. He was also the first white inhabitant of 
the peninsula of Shawmut, where Boston now stands. He 
sold his lands at Boston in 1634, and in the spring of 1635, 
a year before the arrival of Roger Williams, built a house 
on the banks of the Blackstone river, about three miles 
above Pawtucket, in Cumberland, R. I. Upon leaving 
his Boston friends, he said "I came from England because 
I did not like the Lord-Bishops, but I cannot join with 
you, because I would not be under the Lord-Brethren " 

About the middle of April, 1636, after a bitter winter 
voyage of fourteen weeks in an open boat, Roger Wil- 
liams landed at the mouth of Ten Mile River, a place now 

•Seekonk is composed of two Indian words: Seaki meaning black and 
konk, j/oose— black goose— tlie Indian name for tlie wild goose, which is 
partly black. The adjective senki always loses the i when combined with 
other Avords, and sometimes becomes sek.—fVilliams^ Key to the Indian Lan- 

This spot received this name, probably, from the circumstance, that great 
numbers of wild geese used frequently, in their semi-annual migrations 
to alight in Seekonk river and cove. They frequently alight there now. 

tPawtucket is an Indian name, and was applied by the Indians to sever- 
al places where there were streams or rather falls of water. 

called Manton^s Neck. Here he planted corn, and made 
other preparations for a permanent residence. In a letter 
written to Major Mason, June 22, 1610, he says, "I first 
pitched and began to build and plant at Secunk, now Re- 
hoboth ; and in a letter dated Providence, 13th of the 10th 
month, 1661, he writes ''I testify and declare in the holy 
presence of God, that when at my first coming into these 
parts, I obtained the lands of Secunk, of Osamaquin, the 
then chief Sachem on that side, the Governour of Plym- 
mouth, (Mr. Winslow) wrote to me in the name of their 
Government, their claim to Secunk to be in their jurisdic- 
tion, as also their advice to remove but over the river 
unto this side, (where now, by God^s mercifal provi- 
dence we are,) and then I should be out of their claim, 
and be as free as themselves, and loving neighbors to- 
gether. '^ In accordance with this advice Roger Wil- 
liams, with five others, William Harris, John Smith, 
Joshna Verin, Thomas Angell, and Francis Wickes, 
who had joined him at Seekonk, embarked in a canoe 
about the middle of June, 163f>, and leaving their grow- 
ing crops of corn to the spoil of the wild beasts of the 
forest, crossed the river to commence the settlement of 
the city of Providence. The boundary between the 
States of Massachusetts and Rhode Island remained in 
dispute for two hundred and twenty-six years, until in 
1862 it was finally settled by an adjustment which 
proves Roger Williams to have been in the right in first 
locating upon the East shore of the Seekonk, as Rhode 
Island soil. From the Plymouth Colonial Records, Vol. 
11, p, 61, it appears that one John Hazell was residing 
at "Seacunck'' in 1642, but the first general permanent 
settlement of the town was made in the Spring of 1644, 
by a colony of fifty-eight men with their families, from 
Weymouth and Hingham, Mass., under the leadership of 


the Eev. Samuel Newmaii, who gave the town the name 
of Rehoboth, remarking, ''the Lord hath opened a way for 
us." The houses of this colony were built in a sems-cir- 
cle around Seekonk Common, opening towards Seekonk 
River, with the church and parsonage in the centre. The 
first church stood within a few rods of the spot now occu- 
pied by the Congregational Church. This circle was 
known as "The Ring of the Town." At a town meeting 
holden June 21st, 1644, it was voted that a meeting 
should be holden by all the inhabitants on every fortieth 
day ''for the consideration and acting of such necessary 
affairs as concern the plantation." July 3d, 1644, the fol' 
compact was signed : 

"This combination, entered into by the general consent 
of all the inhabitants, after general notice given the 23d 
of the 4th month." 

We, whose names are underwritten, being, by the prov- 
idence of God, inhabitants of Seacunck, intending there 
to settle, do covenant and bind ourselves one to another, 
to subject our persons (torn offj (according to law and 
equity) to nine persons, any five of the nine which shall 
be chosen by the major part of the inhabitants of this 
plantation, and we (torn off) to be subject to all whole- 
some (torn off) by them, and to assist them, according 
to our ability and estate, and to give timely notice unto 
them of any such thing as in our conscience may prove 
dangerous unto the plantation, and this combination to 
continue until we shall subject ourselves jointly to some 
other government. 

William Cheesborough, Ephraim Hunt, 

Walter Palmer, Peter Hunt, 

Edward Smith, William Smith, 

Edward Bennett, John Peren, 

Robert Titus, Zachery Rhoodes, 

Abraham Martin, Job Lane. 

John Matthews, Alex. Winchester, 

Edward Sale, Henry Smith, 

Ealph Shepherd, Stephen Payne, 

Samuel Newman, Ralph Alin, 

Richard Wright, Thomas Bliss, 

Robert Martin, George Kendricke, 

Richard Bowen, John Allen, 

Joseph Torrey, William Sabin, 

James Clark, Thomas Cooper. 

" At a general meeting of the town of Seakunk being 
the 9th of the 10th month, (December) 1644, at law- 
ful warning given, by reason of many meetings, and oth 
er strong causes for the easing of the great trouble, anf* 
for the (illegible) and the deciding of controversies be- 
tween party and party as well as the proposing of men's 
levies to be made and paid, and for the well ordering of 
the town affairs, as may stand with future equity, ac- 
cording to our former combination, the inhabitant of said 
place have choose these men here named.'' 

Alexander Winchester, William Smith, 

Richard Wright, Stephen Payne, 

Henry Smith, Richard Bowen, 

Edward Smith, Robert Martin. 

Walter Palmer, 
These men were called " townsmen," and were the pre- 
decessors of the officials called Town Councils in these 
days; the ''townsmen," however, had greater powers. 

At a subsequent meeting of the " townsmen," " it is 
ordered that the recording of any man's land in the town 
book, shall be to him and his heirs a sufficient assurance 

In 1645, the people submitted to the jurisdiction of the 
Plymouth Court, and were incorporated under the Scrip- 
ture name of Rehoboth. 

Q the 9th of June, 

1645, lots were drawn for land 


Q the great plain, and the list gives, it is reasonable 

to suppose, the names 

of all the original settlers. The 


were drawn by the 

following persons, in the foUow- 


order : 


Stephen Payne. 


Thomas Bliss. 


Widow Walker. 


John Peram. 


Eobert Martin. 


Joseph Torrey. 


Edward Oilman. 


John Holbrooke. 


Ralph Shepherd. 


James Clarke. 


Richard Wright. 


Edward Sale. 


Abraham Martin. 


George Kendricke. 


The Teacher. 


Mr. Leonard. 


Will Carpenter. 


Richard Bo wen. 


Robert Titus. 


Edward Patteson. 


Walter Palmer. 


John Read. 


James Walker. 


John Matthews. 


Alexan'r Winchester. 


Matthew Pratt. 


Samuel .Butterwoi 



Robert Sharpe. 


William Sabin. 


Ephraim & Peter Hunt. 


Thomas Hitt. 


Zachary Roades. 


Edward Smith. 


John Meggs. 


Edward Bennett. 


John Miller. 


Thomas Clifton 


Thomas Holbrooke. 


John Cooke. 


The Schoolmaster. 


Mr. Browne. 


Mr. Peck. 


Wm. Cheeseborough 


Richard Ingram. 


Ralph Allin. 


Isaac Martin. 


James Browne. 


John Allin. 


The Governor. 


Mr. Henry Smith, 


William Smith. 


Mr. Newman. 


John Sutton. 


The Pastor. 


Job Laine. 


Obadiah Holmes. 


Thomas Cooper. 


Robert Morris. 


At a town meeting in December 1650, it was voted ''to 
have a convenient way four rods wide, (to be made by- 
Edward Smith) to be for the town's use, or any that 
shall have occasion to pass from town to Providence, or 
to Mr. Blackstone's." Peter Hunt was chosen Town 
Clerk at this meeting, which contains the first record of 
anyone being chosen for this office. 

''June 11th, 1652. It was voted, that by the assent of 
the town then present, and being lawfully warned, that 
those lots which lie beyond the lot of Goodman Mathew 
should remain to the ox-pastor, and henceforth not be 
lotted.'' This land was used for the common pasturing 
of oxen, sheep &c., and was situated north east of See- 
konk Common between the new road from Seekonk to 
Pawtucket and the Seekonk river, extending down the 
river to the mouth of Ten Mile River. 

At a town meeting holden November 20th, 165t "it 
was voted that persons neglecting to attend town-meet- 
ing should be fined 6d." 

"December 16th, 1662. A fine of 18s. 6d. was or. 
dered to be imposed on those who neglected to attend 
town-meeting." An Indian called Sam took charge of 
the cows and other cattle of the people of the town for 
many years, driving them to the "ox-pastor" in the 
morning and returning them to their several owners at 
night, in which capacity he become so popular as to se- 
cure an admission to equal rights with tnc other colo- 
nists, the only instance of such privileges being granted 
in this colony. The record is as follows. "May 22d, 
1665 Sam, the Indian that keeps the cows, was admitted 
by the town as an inhabitant, to buy or hire nouse or 
lands if he can, in case the Court allow it." 

The Indian war known by the name of "Fhilip^s War^' 
commenced in 1615 and lasted two years. In July of 


this year Philip was discovered crossing Seekouk plain 
and the Rev. Noah Newman son of and successor of the 
Rev. Samuel Newman as pastor of the Congregational 
Church led an attack against him with such success as to 
kill, one account says twelve and another thirty of Phil- 
ip's force, without any loss to the attacking party. On 
Sunday, March 26th, 1616, Captain Michael Pierce of 
Scituate, Mass., marched from Seekonk Common with a 
force of sixty-three English and twenty of the Cape In- 
dians, in search of the enemy and having fallen into an 
ambuscade of Indians near Valley Falls formed his men 
into a ring where they fought thus back to back for 
about three hours until fifty-five of the English and ten of 
the Indians had fallen dead upon ''the bed of honor.'' 
The enemy paid dearly for this success having sustained 
a loss variously estimated from one hundred and forty to 
three hundred warriors. The following letter was written 
by the Rev. Noah Newman the day after "Pierce's 
Fight" which was the name given to this engagement. 
"Rehoboth, 21 of the first, '76. 
Reverend and Dear Sir. 

I received yours dated the 20th of 
this instant wherein you gave me a doleful relation of 
what had happened with you, and what a distressing 
Sabbath you had passed. I have now, according to the 
words of your own letter, an opportunity to retaliate 
your account with a relation of what yesterday happened 
to the great saddening of our hearts, filling us with an 
awful expectation of what further evils it may be antece- 
darsous to, both respecting ourselves and you. Upon the 
25th of this instant Capt. Pierce went forth with a small 
party of his men and Indians with him, and upon discov- 
ering the enemy, fought him, without damage to himself, 
and judged that he had considerably damnified them. 


Yet he being of no great force, chose rather to retreat 
and go out the next morning with a recruit of men ; and 
accordingly he did, taking pilots from us, that were ac- 
quainted with th^ ground. But it pleased the Sovereign 
God so to order it, that they were enclosed with a great 
multitude of the enemy, which hath slain fifty-two of our 
Englishmen, and eleven Indians. The account of their 
names is as follows. From Scituate 18, of whom 15 
were slain, viz : 

Capt. Pierce, Samuel Russell, Benjamin Crittenden, 
John Lothrope, Gershom Dodson, Samuel Pratt, Thomas 
Savary, Joseph Wade, William Wilcome, Jeremiah Bars- 
tow, John Ensign, Joseph Cowen, Joseph Perry, John 
Rowse. (Rose). 

Marshfield, 9 slain — Thomas Little, John Earns, Joseph 
White, John Burrows, Joseph Philips, Samuel Bump, 
John Low, More , John Brance. 

Duxbury, 4 slain — John Sprague, Benjamin Foal, 
Thomas Hunt, Joshua Fobes. 

Sandioich, 5 slain — Benjamin Nye, Daniel Bessey, Caleb 
Blake, Job Gibbs, Stephen Wing. 

Barnstable, 6 slain — Lieut. Fuller, John Lewis, Eleazer 

G , (probably Clapp), Samuel Linnet, Samuel Childs, 

Samuel Beremau. 

Yarmouth, 5 slain — John Matthews, John Gage, Wil- 
liam Gage, Henry Gage, Henry Gold. 

JEastham, 4 slain — Joseph Nessefield, John Walker, 
John M (town officer), John Fitz, Jr., John Mil- 
ler, Jr.* 

Thomas Man is just returned with a sore wound. 

•Jolin Fits, Jr., and Jolin Miller, Jr., belongea to Reliobotli, and also 
Thomas Man. What is torn off had ou it, prolmbly, the name of one from 
Eastham, and the word Rehoboth. It will be seen that besides what Is 
torn off, there are nve names that follow Eastham. 


"Thus, sir, yon have a sad account of the continuance 
of God's displeasure against us ; yet still I desire stead 
fastly to look unto Him, who is not only able but willing" 
to save all such as are fit for His salvation. It is a day 
of the wicked's triumph, but the SQre word of God tells 
us his triumphing is brief. 0, that we may not lengthen 
it out by our sins ! The Lord help us to join issue in our 
prayers, instantly and earnestly for the healing and help- 
ing of our land ! Our extremity is God's opportunity. 

*'Thus, with our dearest respects to you and Mrs. Cot^- 
ton, and such sorrowful friends as are with you, I re- 
main, Your ever assured friend, 

Noah Newman. 

On the day after this letter was written, March 28th, 
1616, the ''Ring of the Town'' was burned by the Indians 
tinder the command of King Philip, destroying forty 
houses and thirty barns. Two houses only escaped — the 
garrison house, which stood a short distance from the 
place now occupied by the house of Phanuel Bishop, and 
another house on the south side of the Common, which 
was saved by a immber of black sticks placed in the 
ground about it so as to present at a distance the appear- 
ance of being strongly guarded. The fire was set early 
in the evening, and next morning a few smoking ash 
heaps alone remained to mark the site of the thriving 
village. All the inhabitants of the town, save one, sought 
the garrison house for safety — a strong building which 
the Indians prudently declined to attack. The one who 
did not join the others was Robert Beers, an Irishman, 
and by trade a brick-maker. He was religious, but su- 
perstitious and eccentric. When the alarm was given 
that the Indians were coming, he refused to seek safety 
In the garrison house, but sat in his own house reading 
the Bible, believing that nothing could harm him while 


reading that book. The Indians shot him through the 
window, and he fell dead with the Bible in his hand, the 
only person slain on this occasion. 

"December 4th, 1699. The selectmen agreed with Mr. 
Robert Dickson to keep school in Rehoboth for six 
months, to begin on Thursday, the seventh of this in- 
stant; he engaging to do his utmost endeavour to teach 
both sexes of boys and girls to read English and write 
and cast accounts. In consideration of said service, the 
said selectmen, in the town's behalf, do engage to pay 
him thirteen pounds, one half in silver money, and the 
other half in good merchantable boards, at the current 
and merchantable price ; the boards to be delivered at 
the landing place at Samuel Walker's and Sergeant But- 
terworth's mill. This landing place was at the cove, at 
the mouth of the ten mile river, in Seekonk. It is said 
that early in the history of the town, there were wharves 
built out into the river near the mouth of this cove ; that 
stores were erected here, and considerable trade carried 
on, and that the people of Providence frequently came 
over here to purchase their goods.''* 

Mr. John Lynn taught a school in Rehoboth during 
three months of the year 1T08, agreeing to instruct in 
reading, writing, grammar and arithmetic, for the sum of 
seven pounds in current money of New England. 

Mr John Lynn entered into another engagement with 
the town to teach school one year, from the 28 day of 
February, 1709, for the sum of twenty-nine pounds in 
current money of New England. The different divisions 
• of the town in which the school was to be kept succes- 
sively this year, and from each of which one of the school 
committee was taken, are named as follows in the re- 
cords, with the length of time allotted to each : ''The 

♦Bliss' History of Rehobotli, page 132. 



ring of the town" and ''the neighborhood on the east side 
of the ring of the town'' — 21 weeks ; "Palmer's river" — 
14 weeks; Watchemoquet* — 13 weeks; 'Capt, Enoch 
Hunt's neighborhood" and "the mile and a half — 9 
weeks. "t 

"December 23, 1*718. It was voted by the community, 
that the rules to be observed in seating the new meeting 
house for the Sabbath are as foUoweth : Firstly, to have 
regard to dignity of person, and secondly by age, and 
thirdly according to the charge they bare in respect to 
the public charges, and what charge they have been at in 
building the meeting-house." A committee was chosen 
to seat the house in accordance with these rules. 

In the war of the Revolution, the town was distin- 
guished for a faithful and untiring support of the princi- 
ples of the Declaration of Independence, which was man- 
ifested in a substantial manner by sending three hundred 
and ten of its men to the continental army (thirty-seven 
of whom served as commissioned officers), and furnishing 
large quantities of saltpetre, manufactured in a building 
erected near the mouth of Ten-mile river for that purpose. 

The following letter of instruction given by the town to 
its representative in ltt3 proves the patriotic spirit of 
the town. 

"To Capt. Joseph Barney, Representative for the town 
of Rehoboth : 

Sir : — 

"It is evident from the repeated suffrage of the free- 

*TM3 name was given to tliat part of tlie present town of East Provi- 
dence, whicli lies below the moutti of the Ten-mile river, along the See- 
konk river and Narragansett hay, as far down, probably, as the point of 
land now called "Bullock's neck," and including it. 

tBliss' History of RelMDboth, page 133. 


holders, and other inhabitants of this town, that your late 
conduct in the General Assembly of this Province has met 
with a favorable reception. With pleasing hopes and ex- 
pec^tations we trust you will, in this day of general op- 
pression and invasion of our natural and inherent rights 
and liberties, join in every salutary and constitutional 
measure to remove those unconstitutional burdens and 
grievances that this Province, and America in general 
have long and justly remoiistrated against. Nevertheless 
we think it our duty to express our sentiments in regard 
to the encroachments made on our rights and liberties, as 
stated by the worthy inhabitants of the metropolis of this 
Province, whose loyalty, vigilance and patriotic zeal, in 
this time of common danger, has not been equalled in the 
present nor exceeded in former times ; of which we have 
the highest opinion, and shall ever acknowledge with 
gratitude, the particulars of which we do not think expe- 
dient to enumerate, but refer you to a pamphlet (for 
your careful perusal) sent from Boston to this and every 
other town in the Province, which (upon the most care- 
ful and critical examination) we humbly conceive very 
justly states our rights and privileges as men, as subjects, 
as Christians, and the unparalleled encroachment made on 
them by a ministry, who, fond of arbitrary sway, in open 
violation of the most sacred contract and agreement, 
entered into with our predecessors, the patentees of this 
Province, and solemnly ratified by King William and 
Queen Mary, have hitherto, with impunity, profanely vi- 
olated the faith and promise of a king, on whose royal 
word we made the most firm and indubitable reliance, 
and have involved this province and continent in the ut- 
most distress and calamity, and in its consequences have 
deeply affected the parent State, whose prosperity and 
happiness we have ever considered as near and dear to us 


as our owij. And it now is, and ever has been, our earn- 
est desire and prayer that there may never be wanting 
one of the illustrious House of Hanover to sway the 
sceptre of Great Britain and America, in rig-hteousness, 
so long as the sun and moon shall endure. 

We, your constituents, desire and expect that you ex- 
ert yourself to the utmost of your ability, not only to 
secure our remaining privileges inviolable, but also to ob- 
tain a full redress of all those many grievances, so justly 
complained of — a full restoration and confirmation of all 
the rights and privileges we are justly entitled to by na- 
ture and the solemn compact aforesaid ; that generations 
yet unborn may know that this town has not been dor- 
mant, while the enemies thereof have been vigilant and 
active to wrest from them every privilege and blessing 
that renders life worthy of enjoyment. 

We trust you will be vigilent even among your breth- 
ren, lest some of them, through sinister views or ambi- 
tious designs, be induced to barter away and betray our 
i:^<9ar-b ought privileges and liberties, together with this, 
cur paternal inheritance, established with so much toil, 
and raised to such a height of glory, and transmitted 
down to us at no less price than the blood and treasure 
of our ancestors. Though we hope, and presume, there 
will not be found a man in that august assembly so aban- 
doned, so profane, so enthusiastic, so mad as to disturb 
the repose of the pious dead, and bring upon himself not 
only the just indignation of all the virtuous, but the ire 
of that dread Sovereign, beneath whose awful frown au- 
dacious monarchs and minions tremble. 

"We present these hints to your judicious considera- 
tion, and wish that not only you, but all true friends to 
the English constitution, may be guided in the path of 
wisdom and equity, and never be diverted from the 




steady pursuit of the true interests of yourselves, your 
king, your country and posterity. 

Ephkaim Starkweather, 

Nathan Daggett, 

Th^omas Carpenter, od, 

John Lyon, 

Joseph Bridgham, 

William Cole, 
In Bliss' History of Rehoboth may be found a long list 
of former residents of this town who became distin- 
guished for learning, civic service or in the professions 
and among them appears them appears the name of Capt. 
Thomas Willet the first English mayor of the- City of 
New York. 

On the surrender of New York to the English, under 
Col. Nichols, in August, 1664, by the Dutch governor 
Stuyvesant, Capt. Willett attended the Commissioners of 
Appeals — Nichols, Curr, Cartwright, and Maverick, — to 
that city ; and rendered them great service, by his ac- 
quaintance with the customs, usages and language of the 
Dutch, in organizing the new government. Judge Davis 
informs us [Memorial, p 311] that ''Col. Nichols, in a 
letter to Gov. Prince, written from New York the spring 
after the reduction of the Dutch settlements, requests that 
Captain Willett may have such dispensation from his offi- 
cial engagement in Plymouth colony, as to be at liberty 
to assist in the modelling and reducing the affairs, in those 
settlements, into good English. He remarks that Mr. 
Willett was more acquainted with the manners and cus- 
toms of the Dutch, than any Englishman in the country, 
and that his conversation was very acceptable to them." 
He performed his duties here to the entire satisfaction of 
all concerned ; and his services were so highly appreciated, 
and he rendered himself so popular with the people, that, 
after the organization of the government, he was elected 


the first English Mayor of the city of New York. He was 
elected a second time to the office. 

Capt. Willett returned here at the close of his official 
life in New York and died in Swansea August 4th 16 H. 
He was buried in East Providence at the head of Bul- 
lock's Cove at a place called Little Neck Burying 
Ground, where a rough stone with a rudely carved in- 
scription still marks his grave. 


A tax was made to build a meeting house in 1646 and 
in 164t it was so far completed as to be used for public 
worship. It stood where the tomb now is, south of the 
present Congregational Church. A tax for finishing the 
church was levied in 1648 ; in 1659 it was enlarged and 
then continued in use until 1718 a period of fifty-nine 
years,* when the second church was erected thirty feet 
East of the first and remained until 1814 a period of 
ninety-six years ; it was then torn down and a part of 
the lumber was used in buildirg the present Town Hall. 
The house now used by the Congregational Society was 
erected in 1810. Sylvanus Chace Newman, A. M,, in his 
historical oration, delivered in this Church July 4th, 1860, 
says : "In the absence of bells, they beat the drum to 
give notice of the time for public worship ; and seating 
the meeting according to seniority and other orders of re- 
spectability, was the delicate task of a yearly committee, 
appointed by the town." The first pastor of this Church, 
Rev. Samuel Newman, was a man of great literary ability, 
who compiled the first full Concordance of the bible in Eng- 
lish, Mr. S. C. Newman says of it : " The first edition was 

*It seems prolttalble that this church must have been burned by King 
Philip, when the town was destroyed, March 28, 16T6 : but there is no special 
record of its destruction to be found. 


printed at London in 1643 — the last year of his ministry 
at Weymouth. The second edition was prepared in this 
town and printed at London in 1650, and the third and 
last edition, still more complete, was prepared here and 
printed in London in 1658. It has been pronounced by 
Biblical scholars a monument of learning, genius, indus- 
try and skill." He left a son named Noah, who succeeded 
him as pastor of this Church, and who, as we have already 
learned, in the perilous times of Philip's war, was as ready 
with the sword as was his father with the pen. 

The first meeting, for devising means to erect a Baptist 
Church on Seekonk common, was held Dec. 17, 1793. 
The Church was organized November 27th, 1794, consist- 
ing of forty members. The first minister who preached 
to this church was the Rev. John P. Jones, a member of 
the Baptist church in Newport, R. I., and the edifice in 
which he preached has remained to this day, and is now 
known as the First Baptist Church. 

Since the addition of East Providence to the State of 
Rhode Island, a Union Chapel has been erected at Cedar 
Grove, a second Baptist Church and an Episcopal Church 
have been built at Watchemoket, while a flourishing so- 
ciety of Methodists at the latter place are expected soon 
to construct an edifice for religious worship. 

On Saturday, March 1st, 1862, a part of the old town 
of Seekonk passed under the jurisdiction of Rhode Island, 
and since that time has been known by the name of East 
Providence. The following account of the proceedings 
at the time was published in a daily newspaper printed 
in the City of Providence. 


''That part of the town of Seekonk which, on Saturday, 
became a portion of this State, has been called East Prov- 
idence, that name having been bestowed upon it by 


Governor Sprag^ue, who was requested by a vote of a 
citizens' caucus to name the town. 

The ball which we spoke of as having- been arranged for 
at the Vue de PEau Hotel, to inaugurate the new state of 
things, was largely attended, and was a most jubilant af- 
fair. Quite a number of citizens of Providence were pres- 
ent, including Gov. Sprague and Staff, the Adjutant, 
Quartermaster and Paymaster Generals, and other mili- 
tary gentlemen. 

Immediately after twelve o'clock, on Saturday morning, 
the time when the decree making the town a part of 
Rhode Island went into effect, the Governor made a brief 
speech, in which he announced the name of the town "East 
Providence." Hon. Edward D. Pearce, Senator from 
Providence, but who we understand is about to become 
a resident of the new town, also made an appropriate 

At sunrise on Saturday, a detachment of the Grenadier 
Battery, under Sergeant Major A. A.Babcock which was 
stationed at Fort Hill, fired a National salute in honor of 
the union just consummated. Another salute was fired 
at noon and a third at sunset. 

While the first salute was being fired. His Excellency, 
the Governor and Suite arrived at the Washington (India 
Point) Bridge, and proclaimed it free, in the presence of 
a large concourse of citizens, and announced the name of 
the town. The announcements were received with great 
enthusiasm on the part of those assembled. 

A general holiday followed, business being universally 
suspended, and the time given to joyful demonstrations. 
Flags and other decorations were displayed, and other 
manifestations of satisfaction at the new order of affairs 
were indulged in. 

At eleven o'clock the town meeting' was held. Mr. 


Francis Armington, one of the oldest selectmen, called to 
order, and read the proclamation of the Governor, under 
which the meeting was called. Albert K. Gerald was 
then elected Moderator, by a vote of 80 out of 148, and 
Chief Justice Ames administered to him the oath of office. 
Henry H. Ide was next elected Town Clerk, receiving 
140 out of 149 votes. 

The Moderator announced the name which had been 
given to the town by Gov. Sprague, and the name 
was formally adopted by vote of the electors, amid great 
enthusiasm, and it was further voted that the town be at- 
tached to the county of Providence. 

After an appropriate address, Dr. Thomas W. Aspin- 
wall introduced the following resolutions, which were 
adopted, and he and Tristam Burgess, Esq., were ap. 
pointed a Committee to carry them to the citizens of See- 
konk, then assembled in town meeting : 

Whereas, A new line of boundary between the States 
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island has been agreed upon 
between the said States, and assented to by the Supreme 
Court of the United States ; and whereas, this new line 
of boundary divides the territory known as the town of 
Seekonk, Mass., thus giving rise to many questions of 
mutual interest upon which there are natural grounds for 
disagreement, therefore 

Resolved, That we, here assembled as citizens of Rhode 
Island, send friendly greetings to our former fellow towns- 
men now assembled in the town of Seekonk, Mass 

Resolved, That the new boundary line shall be, so far as 
consistent with our common interest, only jiominal. 

Resolved, That we will seek that the present questions 
in dispute between ourselves and our former townsmen 
may be settled in the spirit oi kindness and equity ; that 
we will seek "to do by them as we would be done by.'' 


Besolved, That a committee be appointed to at once 
bear a copy of these resolutions to the citizens now as- 
sembled in the town of Seekonk, Mass. 

The electors then proceeded to ballot for a Senator and 

Tristam Burges, Esq., was supported for the office of 
Senator by Conservatives and Democrats, and Dr. Thom- 
as W. Aspinwall .by Democrats alone. The former was 
elected by three majority. Albert K. Gerald, Democrat, 
was elected Representative. 

The following gentlemen were elected to the other 
offices without any organized opposition, the whole num- 
ber of votes cast being 179, and the successful candidates 
receiving from 132 to 1*19 votes: 

Town Council — Francis Armington, Allen J. Brown, 
George 0. Carpenter, Daniel S. Peck, Austin Gurney 
- Ti^easurer — Francis Armington, 

Town Sergeant — Timothy A. Leonard, 

Assessors — Daniel S. Peck, Allen J. Brown, John A. 

Collector — Thomas B. Bishop. 

Constables — George H. Read, Harvey S. Kent, Nathan 
M. West. 

School Committee — Thomas B. Bishop, William S. 
Munroe, David V. Gerald. 

Justices of the Peace — Thomas G. Potter, Asa Peck, 
Robert M. Pearce. 

Overseer of the Poor — Francis Armington. 

At this meeting Christopher Dexter, Esq., presented 
the town with an elegant ballot box, for which donation 
he received a vote of thanks " 

Since this annexation the growth of East Providence 
has been rapid and healthy, increasing from a population 
of 1,250 at that time, to 2,172 in 1865 to 2,668 in 


1810, and 4,336 in 1875, thus doubling its population in 
the last ten years This new town has also erected new 
school houses — ten in number — in every district, so that 
to-day all the school houses within our limits have been 
built since 1862. For this purpose the sum of $39,820.01 
has been expended. The valuation of the town has in- 
creased from $1,354,935 in 1862, to $5,383,500, in 1875, 
an increase of nearly four fold in thirteen years.- 

Although liberal in appropriating money for public 
purposes, the town has ever kept in view the excellent 
rule, "pay as you go," and its debt at the close of the 
present financial year will not exceed $7,000, The im- 
provement most necessary now is a new bridge across the 
Seekonk at Watchemoket, with which will come horse 
cars and the Pawtuxet water, while the removal of the 
obstruction to navigation, now presented by Washington 
bridge, will open the Seekonk to its natural destiny, and 
line its shores with wharves. Until the year 1793 the 
Seekonk was crossed by ferries at Watchemoket and the 
present site of the Central Bridge. In this year bridges 
were erected at both places ; the first team crossed Cen- 
tral Bridge April 9th, 1793, and Washington Bridge 
April 12th, 1793. Both bridges were carried away by a 
freshet in 1807, and were again destroyed by the Septem- 
ber gale of 1815. A v/ooden statue of Washington stand- 
ing on the Providence side of the lower bridge was wash- 
ed away and lost in this gale. There is now in the pos- 
session of Benjamin J. Brown, Esq., a marble slab which 
stood near the statue, bearing the following inscription : 

"Washingi^on Bridge, 
Built by John Brown, Esq., 1793 this monument is erec- 
ted by the founder and proprietor of India Point as a tes- 
timony of high respect for the great illustrious Washing- 


In 1 829 the woodwork of Washington bridge was re- 
built, under the superintendance of James C. Bucklin, 
architect, who is still working at his profession in the city 
of Providence, and again in 1875 both piers and super- 
structure were thoroughly repaired, and now bid fair to 
last until the new bridge we need is constructed; a hap- 
py event which we hope may not long be delayed. 

The old Central or Red Bridge remained a toll bridge 
until 18^9, when it became impassable by reason of colli- 
sion with vessels passing through its inconvenient draw 
bridge. The present free bridge was opened for travel 
July 16th, 1872, the State of Rhode Island having con- 
tributed $20,000, East Providence $15,000, and the City 
of Providence about $40,000 for its construction. James 
C Bucklin, of Providence, Edward D. Pearce, of East 
Providence, and C B. Farnsworth, of Pawtucket, were 
appointed by the Governor as Commissioners to superin- 
tend the construction of the bridge, but Mr. Pearce sub- 
sequently resigned, and the Hon. James Y. Smith, of 
Providence, was appointed to fill the vacancy, and the 
work was performed in a manner which reflects great cre- 
dit upon all concerned. 

The addition of this free bridge, thus rendering certain 
the means of communication between the town and the 
city, gave a wonderful impetus to the growth of the town ; 
the valuation more than doubled in four years, increasing 
from $2,461,000 in 1871, to $5,383,500 in 1875, and the 
population nearly doubled in the same period. 

In the war of the rebellion the people of the town 
proved themselves true descendants of (he fearless men of 
the olden time — they were prompt in sendingbrave men to 
the battle's van, and liberal in providing for the families 
left behind. God grant that never again may war, either 
at home or abroad, vex our native land, and that hence- 


forth all our efforts may be turned to build up, instead of 

to destroy. Hasten the glad time when all may strive 

for the excellence of which the poet sings : 

"Clearer eyed the world Is learning-, tliroug-li each upward struggling year. 
He is prince whose life is nohlest, he he peasant, he he peer." 




March 1st 1862 to May 23d 1863. 
Tristam Burges. 

June 22nd 1863 to April 6th 1864. 
Thomas W. Aspinwall. 

1864 to 1866 
Francis Armington. 

1866 to 1867 
Albert K. Gerald. 

186'r to 1868 
George Carpenter. 


1868 to 1869 
Edward D, Pearce. 

1869 to 18n 
Timothy A, Leonard. 

1871 to 1873 
Edward D. Pearce. 

1873 to 1874 
William Wiiitcomb. 

1874 to 1875 
Frauds Armingtoii. 

1875 to 1876 
Timothy A. Leonard. 

1876 to 
Oliver Chaffee. 


March 1st, 1862 to April 6th, 1863, 
Albert K. Gerald. 

1863 to 1864 
Wm. A. Carpenter. 

1864 to 1865 
Henry Ide. 


1865 to 1866 
Albert K. Gerald. 

18G6 to ISOT 
George 0. Carpenter. 

1867 to 1868 
Henry H. Ide. 

1868 to 1873 
George N. Bliss, 

18t3 to 18*75 
Albert C. Howard. 

18t5 to 
Alvord 0. Miles. 


March 1st to April 2nd 1862. 

Francis Armington, Allen J. Brown, 

Daniel S. Peck, George 0. Carpenter, 

Austin Gurney. 

. 1862 to 1863 

Francis Armington, Allen J. Brown, 

Daniel S. Peck, George 0. Carpenter, 

Ephraim Ide. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

Nathaniel Cole, 


1863 to 1864 

Daniel S. Peck, 
Timothy A. Leonard. 

1864 to 1865 

John A. Wood, 
Timothy A. Leonard. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1865 to 1866 

Luther B. Peck, 
William Daggett. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1866 to 186t 

Timothy A. Leonard, 
William Daggett. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1867 to 1*68 

Timothy A. Leonard, 

William Daggett. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1868 to 1869 

Charles A. Cobb, 
Rowland G. Bassett. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1869 to 1870 

John A. Wood, 
Joseph B. Gurney. 

Nathaniel Cole, 

1870 to 1871 

Rowland G. Bassett, 
William Whitc'omb. 


ISn to 18t2 

Nathaniel Cole, William Whitcomb,. 

George H. Read. 

18*72 to IS'IS 
Nathaniel Cole, William Whitcomb, 

George H. Read. 

1813 to 18U 
Edward D. Pearce, William Whitcomb, 

George F. Wilson. 

18Uto IS'IS 
Joseph J. Luther, Andrew J. Anthony, 

Galen Pierce. 

1815 to 1876 
Andrew J. Anthony, Oliver Chaffee, 
Samuel S. Barney, Wm. A. Carpenter, 

Alfred A. White. 

1816 to 1811 

Andrew J. Anthony, Samuel S. Barney, 

Alfred A. White, Wm. G. Bliven, 

James N, Bishop, 



March 1st 1862 to August 1th 18^0 

Henry H. Ide. (died while in office) 
August 8th 1810 to September 29th 1810 
Daniel A. Hopkins. 


September 29tli 1870 to August 5th ISto. 
Charles L. Hazard. 

August 5th 1875 to April 5th 1876 
Ellery H. Wilson. 

April 5th 1876 to 

Charles E. Scott. 


March 1st 1862, to March 27th 1865. 
Francis Armington. 

1865 to 1866 
Thomas Cole. 

1866 to 1869 
Francis Armington. 

1869 to 1870 
William Armington. 

1870 to 1875 
Francis Armington. 

1875 to 
Christopher Dexter. 



March 1st 1862 to April 2iid 1862 

Thomas B. Bishop, Wm. S. Mimroe, 

David V. Gerald. 

1862 to 1863 

Thomas B. Bishop David V. Gerald, 

George M. P. King. 

April 14, 1862, Thomas W. Aspinwall was elected to fill 

vacancy ; Mr. King failing to serve. 

1863 to 1864 

Thomas B. Bishop, Seth L. Horton, 

George F. Wilson. 

1864 to 1865 

Thomas W. Aspinwall, Thomas G. Potter, 

George M. P. King. 

1865 to 1866 
David V. Gerald, Seth L. Horton, 

George F. Wilson. 

1866 to 1861 
David V. Gerald, Seth L. Horton, 

George F. Wilson. 

George F. Wilson resigned May 23, 1866, and George 

N. Bliss was elected ir his place. 

186*7 to 1868 
Thomas W. Aspinwall, Isaac Chesebrough, 

George F. Wilson 


1868 to 1869 

Isaac Chesebrough, Allen J. Brown, 

Samuel E. Evans, 

Isaac Chesebrough resigned April 14, 1868, and George 

N. Bliss was elected to fill the vacancy. 

1869 to 1870 

Isaac Chesebrough, Thomas G, Potter, 

William S. Munroe. 

1S10 to 1871 
George N. Bliss, Rowland G. Bassett, 

Thomas I. Bentley. 

1871 to 1872 

George N. Bliss, Thomas I. Bentley, 

Charles L. Hazard. 

1872 to 1873 

George N. Bliss, Charles L. Hazard, 

George E. Carpenter. 

1873 to 1874 

Albert C. Howard, George E. Carpenter, 

Ahaz Bassett. 

Albert C. Howard resigned, and Charles L. Hazard was 

elected May 1, 1873. 

1874 to 1875 

Robert H. Paine. Ahaz Bassett, 

George E. Carpenter. 
Ahaz Bassett resigned June 1, 1874, and Isaac Chese- 
brough was elected to fill the vacancy. 


1875 to 1876 

Robert H. Paine, Isaac Chesebrougli; 

George E. Carpenter. 

1876 to 1877 

Robert H. Paine, Isaac Chesebrougli, 

Hiram E. Johnson 


The following appropriations are all that have been 
made at Town Meetings since March 1st, 1862 : 


April 2nd, 1862. 

^Schools I 500. 

Highways 1.200. 

Incidentals, including State Tax 1 700. 

May 5th, 1862. 

For erection and repairs of school houses, 
and for payment of District property 

taken by the Town $ 9.500, 

August 4th, 1862. 

For Bounty for volunteers .....$ 3.000. 

" Pay of recruiting officer 100. 

" Printing, advertising, rent of offices &c 60. 

" Conimitteo 15. 

August 29th, 1862, 

For raising the Town's quota under the 
President's call for 300.000 men for nine 
months $ 6.000. 


August 29th, 1862. 

To aid the families of those who are in 

their Country's sei^vice $ 500. 

April 2nh, 1863. 

For Schools $ 1.000. 

" School House Debt 1.000. 

'' Incidentals 3.000. 

'' Roads and Bridges 1.200. 

" School Houses 1.800. 

May 20th, 1863. 

For School house in District No. 2, in ad- 
dition to what may be received from 

sale of old house $ 1.200. 

July 20th, 1863. 

For families of drafted men $ 9.000. 

April 25th, 1864. 

For Schools $ 1.200. 

'' Sinking fund for debt 1 .400. 

" Highways and Bridges ■. . . 1 200. 

" Incidentals and State tax 3.500. 

" building School house in District No 7 1 .000. 
♦' " " " '* '' '' 2 1.500. 

(( II (c (( ((' tc " Q 

together with proceeds of sale of old house 1.000. 
March 2tth, 1865. 

For Schools $ 1.200 

'' Sinking fund and Interest 1 400. 

" State Tax 5.085. 

" Incidentals 2.100. 

March 26th, 1866. 

For Schools .$ 1.400. 

" Sinking Fund and Interest 1.200, 

•' State Tax 5.085 

" Incidentals -. 2.100. 


March 25th, 186t. 

For Schools $ 1 600. 

" Sinking fund and Interest ......:... 1.300. 

" Highways. 3.000. 

" Incidentals and support of Poor 2.000. 

'' State Tax 5.084 20 

April 6th, 1868. 

For Schools $ 1.600. 

'' Sinking fund and Interest 1.300. 

^' State Tax 4.500. 

" Highways 3.000. 

'' Incidentals and Support of Poor 2.000. 

April 12th, 1869. 

For Schools $ l.SOO. 

" Sinking fund and Interest 1.300. 

^' State Tax 4 500. 

*' Highways 1..000 

" Incidentals and Support of Poor. . . . 2.800. 
December 9th, 1869. 

Towards building a bridge across Seekonk 

River at the site of Central Bridge. . . $15. 000. 
April 6th, 18t0. 

" For Schools $2,000. 

" Sinking fund and Interest 1.300. 

'' State Tax 4.500. 

^' Highways 4.000. 

^' Incidentals and Support of Poor 3.000. 

^' Roads leading to Red Bridge, to be J 
used only in case said bridge is >- 
built ) 1.000. 

April 10th, 18 U. 

For Schools $ 2.000. 

^' Sinking fund and Interest 1.500. 

'' State Tax 4.500. 


For Highways 4.000, 

'* Incidentals and Support of Poor 4.00D 

October 21 St, ISn. 

For building wing walls at the East End 

of Central Bridge $ 2.000. 

February 13th, 1812. 

For completing walls at Central Bridge. .$ 800. 
April 8th, 1872. 

For Schools $ 2.800. 

"■ Sinking fund and Interest 2.000„ 

'' State Tax 4.500. 

'' Highways 4 .000. 

'' Incidentals and Support of Poor. . . . 3.500, 

" Wing Walls at Central Bridge 1.000. 

June 29th, 1872. 

For building School house for Districts 

Nos. 2 and 8 . . $ 4.000, 

'' constructing stations for Police pur- 
poses 1 . 500. 

November 16th. 

For Police % 1.200. 

April 14th, 1S73. 

For Schools $ 5.500. 

" Evening Schools 200. 

" Sinking fund 2.500. 

'' Interest 1 500. 

" State Tax 5.500» 

'' Highways 4500. 

'' Incidentals 4.500. 

" Police 2.500. 

" Completing Grammar School & grounds 1 .000. 
April 13th, 1874. 

For Schools $ 5 500. 

'' Evening Schools 250. 


For Sinking Fund 3.000. 

" Interest 1.500. 

" State Tax 5.685. 81 

'' Highways 7.500. 

'' Incidentals and Support of Poor 4.500. 

'' Police 3.000. 

April 12th, 1875. 

For Schools % 6.750. 

" Evening Schools 250. 

'' Sinking Fund 5.000 

'' Interest 1.500. • 

" State Tax 5.685. 81 

" Highways 10.000 

" Incidentals 3.000. 

" Support of Poor 1.000. 

" School House Account 500. 

" Police 2.000. 

" Lighting Streets 400. 

June 7th, 1875. 

For lot for Grammar School $ 4.000. 

February 26th, 1876. 

For Schools $ 1.100. 

April 10th, 1876. 

For Schools, repairs &c % 9.500. 

'' Sinking Fund 6 000. 

" Interest 2 000. 

'' State Tax 5.700. 

'' Highways 11-000. 

" Incidentals 4 000. 

'' Police 3.200. 

" Support of Poor 1.000. 

" Lighting Streets 350. 

In addition to these appropriations by the town, School 


District No. 1 (Watchemoket) has raised by district tax 
for school purposes the following amounts : 

June 22d 1864 $ 500. . 

October 30th 1865 134. 

November 20th 1865 100. 

September 4th 1866 YOO. 

October 15th 186Y 150. 

August 11th 1868 900. 

November 30th 1869 1200. 

August 12th 1S10 1400. 

November 3d 18n UOO. 

November 19th 1812 $ 900.— $8,084 

Commencing in 1813 the town has since appropriated 
sufficient money for school purposes and rendered district 
taxes unnecessary. 

March 30th 1861 a tax was voted for school purposes 
in District No. 8, by which the sum of $55 was raised. 


1862 $i 121 per |ioo 

1863 61 '' 

1864 80 '' 

1865 18 '' 

1866 13 '' 

1861 15 '' 

1868 10 " 

1869 12 '' 

1810 80 " 

1811 80 '' 

1812 80 " 

1813 95 '• 


18U Y5 per $100 

18^75 10 " " 

1S1Q 80 " '' 

The following is an extract frora the report of Christo- 
pher Dexter, Esq., Town Treasurer for the year ending 
April 10th 18t6 : 

"Year. Net Receipts. Net Expenditures. Highways. Schools. 


$12,243 78 

$19,761 31 

$1,200 00 

$ 500 00 


8,706 81 

6,624 33 

1,200 00 

1,000 00 


13,173 78 

12,212 51 

1,200 00 

1,200 00 


11,660 64 

9,638 27 ] 

[Octs. per$100. 

1,200 00 


13,956 86 

12,397 69 

1,600 00 

1,400 00 


13,648 18 

16,685 42 

3,000 00 

1,600 00 


16,540 65 

13,476 87 

3,000 00 

1,600 00 


16,609 52 

18,680 18 

4,000 00 

1,800 00 


17,250 83 

19,350 93 

4,000 00 

2,000 00 


21,006 38 

29,879 77 

4,000 00 

2,000 00 


23,867 79 

22,812 88 

4,000 00 

2,800 00 


28,937 30 

27,280 30 

4,500 00 

5,700 00 


43,168 88 

39,118 97 

7.500 00 

5,750 00 


41,562 87 

52,712 02 

10,000 00 

8,100 00 

$282,334 27 |300,631 45 

Net Receipts, as above $282,334 27 

Outstanding notes 19,000 00— $301,324 27 

Deduct Net Payments, as above 300,631 45 

Balance in Treasury $702 82 

The cost of the various school houses and lots are in- 
cluded in the foregoing table as follows :— 

In 1862—3, built No's 3, 4, 8, and raised No. 1 one 
story, cost with two lots, $6,066 95. In 1864—5, built 
No's 2 and t, cost with one lot, $3,411 83. In 1867—8, 
built addition to No. 1, cost $4,188 51. In 1869—70, 


built No's 5 and 6, cost $4,661 U. In 18t2— 3, and in 
18t3— 4, built Grammar, 2 and 8, cost with lot, $5,145- 
10. In 18 1 5 — 6, built Grove street house, No. 1, cost 
with lot and superintendence, $16,345 88. 


For the following Table, except the year 1862, I am in- 
debted to Nathaniel Cole, Esq. 

The figures for 1862 may not be absolutely correct, but 
the errors, if any, will not exceed a few dollars. 

Eate of Tax, 
Years. Real Estate. Personal Estate. TotiJ. per $1000. Amount of Tax 

1862 $1,122,050 $232,885 U^" 1,354 ,935 $11 25 $15,243 02 

1863 1,085,650 245,150 l,3;i0,800 6 10 8,117 88 

1864 1,182,075 287,750 1,469,825 8 00 11,758 60 

1865 1,268,600 387,375 1,655,975 *6 80 11,260 63 

1866 1,336,800 456,625 1,793,425 7 30 13,092 00 

1867 1,403,200 433,700 1,836,900 7 50 13,776 75 

1868 1,538,700 423,500 1,962,200 7 00 13,735 40 

1869 1,629,700 459,150 2,088,850 7 20 15,039 72 

1870 1,692,900 442,500 2,135,400 8 00 17,083 20 

1871 1,885,100 575.900 2,461,000 8 00 19,688 00 

1872 2^151,475 563,325 2,714,800 8 00 21,718 40 
lb73 2,644,800 742,100 3,386,900 9 50 32,175 55 

1874 4,524,400 823,900 5,348,300 7 50 40,112 25 

1875 4i565,700 817,800 5,383,500 7 00 37,684 50 
*Also, $1 00 per $1000, highway tax in labor." 



The Commissioners who were appointed by the Gover- 
nor, in accordance with the provisions of an Act of the 
General Assembl}^, passed at their May Session, A. D 
1862, entitled, "An Act to provide for the valuation of 
the property within the territory, over which the State of 
Massachusetts, piior to the first day of March last, exer- 
cised jurisdiction for taxation, and for other purposes,'^ 


That they were severally engaged to the faithful per- 
formance of their duties ; they appointed one freeholder 
in each of said tOAvns to assist them in making said valua- 
tion, and conformed in their proceedings to the law of 
this State, passed May, A. D., 1855, under which the 
valuation of the towns in this State, in Chapter 12, Title 
III, of the Revised Statutes was made, and now present 
the following, as the valuation by them made : 

The whole value of the ratable property in the town of 
Pawtucket, according to the mode of valuation pre- 
scribed by said Act is $2, 129,000 

The value of the whole ratable property in the town of 
East Providence, according to the mode of valuation 
prescribed by said Act, is $1,130,000 

The total value of the ratable property within the terri- 
tory, over which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
hath, before the 1st day of March last, exercised juris- 



diction, and which since said 1st day of March last, has 
been deemed a part of the State of Rhode Island, com- 
prising the territory heretofore called Pawtucket, now 
the town of Pawtucket, in this state, and that part of 
the town heretofore called Seekonk, in the State of 
Massachusetts, now the town of East Providence, in 
this State, $3,259,000 

The entire valuation of the said towns, if the property 
was estimated at its full value, would be : 

Town of Pawtucket .$2,1YS,000 

Town of East Providence 1,378,000 

Total of the two towns $3,556,000 

All of which is respectfully submitted by 

(Signed,) EDWARD D. PEARCE, 


The following documents are copies of original papers 
now in the possession of Joseph Brown, Esq., of Seekonk, 
and never before published. They were kindly loaned by 
Mr. Brown for this purpose : 

Province of the | 

[l. s.] Massachusetts Bay j 

William Shirley, Esq., Captain 
General and Governour in Chief, in and over His Majes- 
tj^s Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 

To William Brown, Gentleman Greeting. 

By virtue of the Power and Authority, in and 
by His Majesty's Royal Commission to Me granted, to 


be Captain General, etc. over this His Majesty's Province 
of the Massachusetts Bay, aforesaid ; I do (by these Pres- 
ents) reposing especial Trust and Confidence in your 
Loyalty, Courage and Good Conduct, constitute and ap- 
point you the said William Brown to be Quarter- 
Master of the Fourth Troop of Horse, under the Com- 
mand of Maj'r Zephaniah Leonord in the Second Regi- 
ment of Horse in the province aforesaid whereof Samuel 
Miller Esq. is Collonall — 

You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge 

the Duty of a Quartermaster in leading, ordering 

and exercising said Troop in Arms, both inferiour 

Officers and Soldiers, and to keep them in good Order and 
Discipline ; hereby commanding them to obey you as 

their Quarter-Master and yourself to observe and 

follow such Orders and Instructions, as you shall from 
time to time receive from me, or the Commander in 
Chief for the Time being, or other your Superiour Offi- 
cers for His Majesty's Service, according to Military 
Rules and Discipline, pursuant to the Trust reposed in you. 

Given under My Hand & Seal at Arms, at Boston the 
Seventeenth Day of September. In the Sixteenth Year 
of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Second, 
Annoy Domini. 1142. 
By his Excellency's command. 

J. WiLLARD Story. W. Shirley. 

Rehoboth May ye 28th 17 "^8, 
To the Seelick men of Rehoboth plese to pay to Capt 
Nathaniel Carpenter thirty pounds for my Inlisting in to 
the Continental Sarvis for Nine Mounths after ariving at 
Camps at fish Kills. 

Pomp X Reses. 


Rehoboth May ye 28th 1118. Rec'd at Capt. Nathan 
Carpenters Ninety Pounds in full of all Bounty, and hired 
money being a soldier in the Continental Service for the 
term of Nine months — for the third Company of Militia 
in Rehoboth 

Pomp X Reans. 

Rehoboth May ye 15th HYO. Wee the Subscribers 
Do Volintarily Inlist our Selves into the Service of the 
United States untill the first Day of July Next to Do 
Duty at Tivetown under such officers as shall be appoint- 
ed for the Third company of Milistia in Rehoboth on 
consideration of the Sum of Thirty Pounds Paid by Capt 
John Perry on our Signing this Enlistment. 

Thomas Wiimarth, Jun. 

Nathaniel Chaffee. 

Rehoboth August ye 11th 1779. 
Sir) I have Rec'd orders this Day from Coll. Thomus 
Carpenter for the Porpouse of Raising two Hundred and 
twenty Eight men out of our Reg't to march to provi- 
dence, (under the command of the Contanental GenP. to 
sarve foure weeks from the time of thare arriving in 
Camp) as soon as possible and likewise three Capts. and* 
six lieuts. to command them, with one field officer from 
the reg't : you are therefore Requiered to Raise out of 
your company 33 Men : and you are Desired to mate at 
Mr. Jeremiah Wheelers to-morrow at two o'clock in the 
afternoon to consult further about this matter. Hereof 
fail not as you Regard the weelfare of these Stats and 
make Return of the men Raised as soon as ma be to the 

Co'U of the Regiment or to my Selfe 

Nathan'll Carpenter, Major. 
(To Capt John Perry) 


A list of the men under Lieutenent Brown in Oolc)nol 
Carpenter's Regiment, 1116: 


First, Samuel Brown, Second, John De . 

Amos Goff, 
Miles Shorey, 


Remember Kent, 
Stephen Burn. 

Ezra French, 
Elkanah French, 


Jacob Allen, 
William Eddy. 


Amos Handy, 
Oliver Read, 
Jabiz Carpenter, 
William Daggett, 
Jacob Shorey 
Nathan Ide, 
Daniel Carpenter, 
William Titus, 
Aaron Read, 
Charles Peck, 
Ephraim Walker, 
Nathaniel Phillips, 
Azaheel Carpenter, 
William Sabin, 
John Bo wen, 
John Shorey, 
Leverrit Cushing, 
John Robinson, 

Jonathan Carpenter, 
Training Cand, 
James French, 
John French, 
John Brown, 
Caleb Carpenter, 
Nathan Read, 
David Cooper, 
Ephraim Carpenter, 
Jedediah Carpenter, 
Job Carpenter, 
Eliphalet Carpenter, 
Comfort Chaffee, 
John Barker, 
Amos Whitaker, 
Moses Walker, 
Richard Whitaker, 
Noah Newman, 


Daniel Perrin, Abraham Ormsbee, 

Samuel Woodward, Ezekiel Carpenter, 

Nathan Peckham, Noah Fuller, 

Aaron Lyon, Benjamin Ormsbee, 

James Carpenter Samuel Bo wen, 

David Read, Samuel Allen y^ 2, 

James Bly, John Woodward, 

Simeon Read, Jabiz Perry, 

Benjamin Gage, Jonathan French, 

Samuel Lyon, Seba French, 

Ephraim Turner, Nathaniel Cooper, 

Thomas Munro, Daniel Ide Perrin, 

David Hutchins, • Jacob Carpenter, 

Penewell Carpenter, James Read, 
Samuel Butter worth Chaffee, Ebenezer Short, 

Samuel Carpenter, William Slade, 

Nathan Newman, Aza Bowen, 

Simeon Hunt, Abel Medbery, 
Josiah Chushing, Junr. 

Rehoboth September ye 3 : 1776 
then Received of Samuel Brown the sum of Six Pounds 
in cash for to go to Crown Pint I say received B}^ Me 

Lemuel Perrin. 

Rehoboth September ye 3, 1776, 
then received of Samuel Brown the sum of Six Pounds. 
In cash for ingaiging to go to Crown Pint I say Receiv- 
ed by me, James Cooper 

Rehoboth June 4th 1778. 
I the Subscriber Do acknolidge, that I Have Received of 
Capt. Natha'l Carpenter the sum of One Hundred pounds 
in full of my towns Bounty and Hier for sarving in the 


Continental sarvice at the fish Kills for Nine Month's I 
say Received By me, John Cole. 

Rehoboth June 8th I'ZtS. 
I the Subscriber Do acknoledg that I Have Received of 
Capt. Natha'l Carpenter the sum of One Hundred pounds 
it Being for my towns Bounty and Hier in full for my in- 
gageing in the Contanental army at the fish Kills for the 
term of Nine months I say Received By me, 

Bezaleel Bowen. 

Rehoboth July 1st 1119. 

Received of Capt John Perry by his Note Baring 
Even Date with this Receipt the Sum of seventy-two 
Pounds with the Bounty for Each our Servies Six months 
in the Army or till the first of January next as witness 
our hands. Job Carpenter, 

Lewis Carpenter. 

Rehoboth July 24th \11S. 
I the Subscriber Do acknlodg that I have Received of 
Capt. Natha'l Carpenter the sum of twent}^ Pounds for my 
Hier as a Soldier to Do Sarvise at Cambridg until the 
first Day of January Next as witness my Hand, 

Bradock Chaffee. 

Rehoboth July ye 23d 1*718. 
Then I the subscriber Have Received of Capt. Nathaniel 
Carpenter the Sum of ten Pounds it being a Bounty for 
him to sarve at Cambridge in the Contenental Sarvice un- 
til the first Day of January Next. I say Received By 
nie Ephraim Townes. 

Rehoboth September 24th HIS. A Inlistment. 
I the Subcriber for the considerton of forty-five pounds I 


do Inlist as a Soldier under the command of Gen'l. Sullien 
or the Gen'l Court of this State to sarve untill the first of 
Jeneray Next and to do Sarve as a Soldier for the third 
Military Companys Quoto in Rehoboth as witness my 
Hand Bradock Chaffee. 

Rehoboth June ye 26th 1779. 
We the Subscribers do Volentary Inlist into the Conten 
ental Service for the term of Nine Months to Serve under 
such officers as shall be appointed by the Commander in 
Chief by orders of the Court of the State, as witness our 
Hands, Noah Newman, 

Nathan Newman, 
Seba French, 
Samuel Carpenter. 
David Read, 2nd, 
Daniel Perrin. 

Rehoboth July ye 12th A D. Hid, 
Rec'd. of Capt John Perry in the behalfe of said town By 
his Note of hand for two thousend Dolers Bearing Even 
Date Hearwith for my Hier into the Sarvice for Nine 
mounths for said town. Daniel Read. 

I the Subcriber Do here unto Subcribed Being of clar 
mind to serve and defend our Country and Leberties have 
this day voluntarily Inlisted as Soldier in the Contanental 
Army for Nine Mounths from the Date unless Sooner Dis- 
charged and do Bind myself to conform in all Instances to 
such Rules and Regulations as Are or Shall Be Establish- 
ed for the Government of said Army witness my 
hand, his 

Pomp X Keans. 

Rehoboth May 23 : ms. 


Rehobotli June ye 1 : 1718. 
A Subscription for the Purpos of Raising men for the 
third company in Rehoboth to serve Nine months in the 
Oontanental servis after they shall Arive at the Fish kills. 

and for that Porpose we whoze Names are under 

Ritten Promis to Pay the Sums we shall Annex to our 
names to Capt. Nathaniel Carpenter for the Above Por- 
pos and to Have for the same Co. 

£ s. d. 

Timothy Titus, 3 

Wm. Daggett 9 

John Shorey 3 

Nathaniel Read 3 

Pennal Carpenter , 1 10 

Timothy Cob 3 

John Carpenter ... .8 

Elijah Kent 6 

Nathan Ide 3 

Daniel Daggett 5 

John French 6 

Elkanah French 2 2 

Nath'l. Cooper, Jun 9 

Oliver Read 18 

James Cooper 12 

Timothy Read, Jun 110 

John Lindley 5 

Thomas Read 3 

Thomas Munro 3 

Simeon Goff 12 

William Goff 3 

David Perrin 6 

Amos Goft\ 1 10 

Abel Walker 3 

Elkanah French 5 

£ s. d. 

Received of John Carpenter 2 8 

Received More 3 12 



State of 


John Avery Dolay 
Jeramiah Powell, 
Artemus Ward, 
Caleb Gushing, 
T. Gushing, 
B. White, 


F. M. Dana, 

Sam'l. Danielson, 
N. Gushing, 
JosiAH Stone, 
A. Fuller, 
Sam'l. Niles, 
Joseph Simpson, 
Aaron Wood, 
Jona'n. Pitts. 

Bay [ 

j The Major Part of the Gomicil of 
j Massachusetts Bay in New England 
j To Samuel Brown Gen'l — Greet- 
I ing. You being appointed First 
Lieutenant of the fifth Company 
Commanded by John Perr}^ in the 
first Regiment of Militia in the coun- 
ty of Bristol whereof Thomas Car- 
penter is Colonel. By virtue of the 
Power vested in me, we do by these 
presents, reposing especial Trust 
and Confidence in your Loyalty, 
Courage and Good Conduct, Com- 
mission you accordingly. You are 
therefore carefully and diligently to 
Discharge the Duty of a 1st Lieuten- 
ant in leading, ordering and exer- 
cising said Company in Arms, with 
Inferior Officers and Soldiers, and to 
keep them in good Order and Disci- 
pline : And they are hereby com- 
manded to obey you as their 1st 
Lieutenant and you are yourself to 
observe and follow such Orders and 
Listructions as you shall from time 
to time receive from the Major Part 
of the Council or your Superior Offi- 
cers. Given under our hands and 
the seal of said State at Boston the 
tenth Day of June in the year of our 
Lord it 79. 

By the Command of the ) 
Major Part of the Council, j" 


Bristol ss Rehobotb June ye 29tli 1119. The within 

Named Samuel Brown Gent' Man personally appeared and 
took the oath for the faithful! Performance of his office as 
by Law Required. Thomas Carpenter, Col , 

Before Nathan'l. Carpenter, Major. 

Rehobotb June 2d 17*78. 

A Subscription to raise the sum of money that is not 
Drafted in order to Hire the Contenental Soldiers for the 
nine months service ; For the third Company's Quota in 

We the Subscribers Do Promis to pay to Nathaniel 
Carpenter Capt. of said company the sum affixed to our 
Respective Names. As witness our hands. 

£ s. d. 

Ephraim Walker 1 

Richard Whitaker 9 

Samuel Woodward Jun 3 

Samuel Lyon .6 

Daniel Carpenter 9 

Josiah Cushing, Jun'r 6 

David Cushing 5 

Jacob Cushing 9 

Josiah Ide 6 

Caleb Carpenter, 3d . 3 

Jonathan Carpenter 3 

Samuel Woodward 6 

Asahel Carpenter, Jtin'r 6 

Eleazar Carpenter .3 

Camp at Foxbury Oct. 2Tth 1*775, an inventory of 
Lieu't. Aaron Walker's articles, warlike furniture, left in 
the Company with others who Deceased Oct. 19th 1YY5. 

£ s. d. 

One Fire Arm and Bayonett 2 14 

One Sword ^ 1 

One Cartridge Box 6 


• £ 8. d. 

Amount brought forward, 3 1 

One Flask 6 

One Blanket • • .0 8 

and the one half of one chest 1 6 

one pare shooes ...0 3 

£4 5 6 
As witness our hands, Joseph Allen, Ensign, 

Sam'l. Bliss, Capt. 
Foxbury Oct. 30th 1775. This may Certify that I the 
Subscriber have made Diligent Search, and find this to be 
a true Inventory of Lieu't. Walkers Estate left in Camp. 

Abial Mitchell, Major. 

The following letter is deemed worthy of a place here 
and is well merited by the citizens of a town which has 
made such liberal appropriations for the improvement of 
its highways at a time of universal depression in business 


State of Rhode Island, ] 
Attorney Gen'l.'s Office, j" 

Providence, July 6, 1876. 
Andrew J. Anthony, Esq., 

Pres. Town Council East Providence. 
At the request of your townsman, Geo. N. Bliss, Esq., 
I took a ride into East Providence a few days ago to look 
at certain roads, against which complaints had been made 
by certain citizens. 

Without exception, I consider them the finest country 
roads I have ever seen. They were in every respect first 
class ; and in my opinion reflect great credit upon all 
concerned. f Signed.) Very Respectfully 




jSkETCH ! 



|?IP? ?l |i|?t 





, 1876, 





John F. Greene, Printer, 13 Market S«inare. 




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