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lottin of ta0t ireemutcl) 

Adjacent Territory, 


1677 TO 1877. 


J. A. & R. A. Reid, Printers and Publishers. 


Daniel H. Greene. 



Napoleon has somewhere said that a history of an army could not be 
Avritten till the history of its regiments had been written. 

This holds equally good with the history of a Union like ours. If you 
would tell its story truthfully you must go back to its first elements. It 
IS by seeing what each town and village had done, that we arrive at a 
satisfactory narrative of what each state has done. Thus the office of 
town historian is a very important office. It gathers up with minute 
accuracy the incidents of town and village life, and prepares them for 
the hand of the historian, and what is even more important, it tells you 
the story of their great men; their "guiltless Cromwells " and their 
mute " inglorious Miltons." It is only by the means of preliminary 
labors like these, that a general history of the United States becomes pos- 
sible. The volume which we here offer to the public, is one of these ele- 
mentary volumes which requires industry, zeal, and candid criticism ; to 
all of which I venture to lay claim. I have grown enthusiastic over anec- 
dotes and details which have no place in general history, but without 
which local coloring is lost and truth disguised. 

Such as it is I offer this volume, ( the result of many laborious days), to 
the kind acceptance of my fellow townsmen. 



Town of East Greenwich, 
County Court House, 
Greenwich Academy, 


Opposite page 40. 

Opposite page 203. 




Settlement of the Town, 

Early Legislation, 




Calico Printing, 
Saltpetre Works, 
Card Manufacture, 

Cotton Manufacture, 
Woolen Manufacture, 
Print Works, 
Brass Foundry, . 
Coir Brushes, 
Machine Shop, . 





Religious Societies — Friends, . . . . .66 

Friends' Boarding School, ..... 102 


Religious Societies— Catholic Congregational Church of 

Christ, ........ m 

Jemima Wilkinson, ....... 128 

Religious Societies— Episcopalian, .... 140 


Religious Societies— Six Principle Baptist, . . . 147 


Religious Societies— Methodist Episcopal, . . . 149 

Religious Societies— Freewill Baptist, .... 151 


Religious Societies— Marlboro Street Chapel, . . 155 

Roman Catholic, ....... 156 

Lutheran, ....... 156 

Frenchtown Baptist, ...... 156 


Physicians, ........ 157 

Thomas Spencer, ....... 158 

Thomas Ahh-ich, ...... 158 

Duty Jeraukl, ....... 1.50 

Joseph Josl yn , . . . . . . . iqo 

Peter Turner, •-..... 1(51 

Charles Eldridge, ...... 16.3 




Archibald Campbell, 
Jacob Campbell, 
James ]Mitchell Varuum, 
Joseph L, Tillinghast, 
Albert C. Greene, 
Nathan Whiting, 
William G. Bowen, 
Joseph Winsor, 
W^illiam E. Peck, 

. 166 

. 167 

. 176 

. 177 

. 177 


Kentish Guards, 



Kent Academy, 




The Rebellion— The Ladies' Soldiers' Aid Society, 


The Rebellion— The Ladies' Freedmen's Aid Society, 



Miscellaneous, ..... 

Extract from the Diary of Daniel Howland, 

Founding of King Solomon's Lodge of Masons, 

Commerce and the Fisheries, . 

Stonington Railroad, 

Fire Engine, .... 

Free Library, .... 

Rope-Walk, .... 

General Barton's Expedition, 

Newspapers, .... 

Lodges and Societies, 

Mineral Spring, 

New England Normal Institute of Music, 

Centennial Hymn, 




The Town of East Greenwich dates from 1677, having 
been incori)orated October 31st of that year. In June, 
1678, the name of the town was changed to that of Bed- 
ford, but the former name was restored in 1689. 

The boundaries of the township were nearly the same 
as at present, with the exception of the western Une, which 
extended furtlier than the present line runs. ^ The settle- 
ment of the village was begun at an early period after the 
incori)oration of the township. The excellence and safety 
of the harbor was a strong inducement for men of energy 
and business habits to settle on its shores. 

At the General Assembly held for the Colony at New- 
port, May, 1667, it was 

" Ordered that a certain tract of land in some conven- 
ient place in the Narragansett country, shall be laid forth 
into one hundred acre shares, with the house lots, for the 
accommodation of so many of the inhabitants of this Colony 
as stand in need of land, and the General Assembly shall 
judge fit to be supplied. 

""in pursuance of said act of the General Assembly, this 
present court do enact and declare, that the said tract of 
land be forthwith laid forth to contain five thousand acres, 
which shall be divided as follows : Five hundred acres to 
be laid in some place near the sea, as commodious as 
may be for a town, which said five hundred acres shall be 
divided into fifty house lots, and the renminder of said five 
tliousand acres, being four thousand five hundred acres, 
shall be divided into^fifty equal shares or great divisions, 
and that each person hereafter named and admitted by 
this Assembly, to land in the said tract, shall have and enjoy 
to hiui and his heirs and assigns forever, in manner and 
form and under the conditions hereafter expressed, one of 


tlie said house lots, and one great division, containing iii 
the whole one hundred acres. 

" And further this Assend)ly do enact, order and declare^ 
for the services rendered during King Philip's war, the 
]>ersons here named that is to say : John Spencer, Thomas 
Nichols, Clement Weaver, Henry Brightman, George 
Yaughn, John Weaver, Charles IMacarty, Thomas Wood, 
Thomas Frye, Benjamin Griffin, Daniel Yaughn, Thomas 
Dungin, John Pearce, Ste])hen Peckham, John Crandal, 
Preserved Pearce, Henry Lilly, John Albro, Samuel Albro, 
Philip Lomx, Richard Kniglit, John Peckham, Tliomas 
Peckhain, William Clarke,^ Edward Day, Edward Rich^ 
mond, Edward Calvery, John Heath, Robert Havens, John 
Strainge, Jolm Parker, George Browne, Richard Barnes, 
Samson Balloo, John Remington, Jonathan Devell, Benja- 
min Mowrey, Joseph Mowrey,William Wilbore, James Eyles 
Pearce, James Battey, Benjamin Gorton, Henry Dyre, John 
Knowles, Stephen Ai-nold, John Sanford, William Hawkins 
and John Houlden, arc the persons nnto whom the said 
tract of land is granted, and who sliall possess tlie same, 
their heirs and assigns according to the true intent and 
meaning of this present grant. 

" And to the end, that the said ]>ersons, and their succes- 
sors, the proprietors of the said land, from time to time 
may be in the better capacity to manage their public affairs, 
this Assendjly do enact and declare that the said ]»lantation 
shall be a town, by the name and title of East Gi-eenwich, 
in liis Majesty's Colony of Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations, with all the rights, lLl)erties, and privileges 
whatsoever, unto a town appertaining; and that the said 
persons above mentioned, unto Avhom tlie said grant is 
made are ])y this ])resent Assembly and the authority 
thereof, made and admitted the freenien of the said town, 
and they, and so many of them as shall be then jiresent, 
not being fewer than twelve on the said land, recpiired and 
empowered to meet together npon the second Wednesday 
next, and constitute a town meeting, by electing a Mod- 
erator and a ToA\'n Clerk, with such Constables jis to them 
shall seem requisite ; and also to choose two persons their 
Deputies to sit in General Assembly, and two persons, one 
to serve on the Grand Jury, and one onthe Jury of Trials in 
the General Coui-t of Trials, and so the like nuiuber and 
for the said Court. 

" And to the end that the said Plantation may be speedily 


settled and improved according to tlie end of this present 
in the granting thereof ; be it enacted and ordained that 
each person mentioned in tliis ])resent grant, shall, Avithin 
one year after the publication thereof, make on his house 
lot, by building a house fit and suitable for habitation ; and 
in case any person who hath any of the said house lots shall 
neo'lect or refuse, by hhnself or assignee to build accord- 
ingly, he shall forfeit both the house lot and greater divis- 
ion, to be disposed of by any succeeding Assembly as they 
shall see cause. 

" And further, this Assembly do enact and declare, that 
if any person unto whom the said land is granted, by this 
present act, shall, at any time witliin one and twenty years 
after this hereof, sell, grant, make over, or otherwise dis- 
pose of any land or lands hereby granted unto him, or unto 
any other person or persons interested in the said planta- 
tion, that then the said person or persons wdiatsoever, without 
liberty had been obtained from the General Assembly, that 
then the said person or jjcrsons so selling or disposing of 
the said land shall lose all other lands whatever, that he is 
])Ossessed of in the said i)lantation, and also the lands so 
disposed of, to be and remain to this Colony. 

" And further, it is enacted by this Assembly, that the 
freemen of said town shall make, and lay out convenient 
highways from the bay u}) into the country throughout the 
whole township, as shall be convenient for the settlement of 
the country above and about the said township." 

The original settlers expected from the advantageous 
situation of their town, in the centre of the Colony, as well 
as from the excellence and safety of its l)eautiful harbor, 
that the place Avas destined to become large and nourishing, 
and perhaps ultimately the colonial emporium and seat of 
tlie government. So impressed were they with this idea 
that'they provided for its realization when planning and 
laying out the village by making the principal streets wide 
and straight, and giving them lofty and high-sounding 

Main street, running north and south through the cen- 
tre of the village is sixty feet wide ; as are also King street. 
Queen street, and London street, running at right angles 
from Main street to the harbor ; while Marlboro, Duke and 
other short streets are only half as wide. The village is 
situated on a small bay, which is a portion of Narragansett 
Bay. The harbor is completely landlocked, so as to be per- 



fectly secure from all heavy winds ; no rocks or sand bars 
impede its entrance, or render its navigation unsafe in any 
direction. Its shores are remarkably bold, so that vessels 
of all kinds can approach very near, and the water deep 
enough for almost any craft which navigates Narragansett 
Bay. Formerly it was celebrated for its menhaden fishery, 
but of late years these fish have become very scarce. One 
hundred years ago oysters were so abundant in our bay, 
the inhabitants were in the habit of laying in an hundred 
bushels each for winter consumption, although they are so 
scarce here now. East Greenwich up to the present lime has 
always been celebrated for the excellence and abundance of 
its clams and quahaugs, but now these cheap and wholesome 
shell-fish, the chief deijendence of the j^oor, have become as 
scarce as oysters. 

The numerous establishments for summer resort in our 
vicinity, have made such great calls on our clam-banks to 
supply the wants of the vast number of visitors to those 
places, Avhere the principal food served u]) consists of baked 
clams and chowder, that, the supply is failing. Escalo])s 
are very al)undant, and at the j)resent time they furnish 
(in the season) tlie ]u-incipal food of a large portion of 
the j)eoi>le of our village. Abundance of the very finest 
fish are caught in our harbor during the spring and summer 
months; scup, tautog, mackerel, fiatfisli, bluefish, sucker- 
tearg, and a nun^jer of other kinds of fish afford an abund- 
ance of cheap, and wholesome food. During the winter, 
when the 'ce is sufiiciently thick and strong, immense 
quantities' of eels are caught with spears through holes cut 
in the ice. Vast flocks of water-fowl frequent our harbor 
during the months of 8ej)tember and October, affording fine 
s])ort to the lovers of foAvling and fishing. 

Very few places in New England possess advantages 
equal to East Greenwich. Its climate is mild and remark- 
ably healthy, owing to its location, the village being built on 
the side of a lofty hill, facing the southeast, protected from 
the cold north and west winds by still more high grounds in 
the interior, and is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to re- 
ceivi the benefit of the warm air from the Gulf stream 
brought by the southeast wind, before it has become cooled by 
passing over a large tract of snow. A number of delicate 
plants and shrubs live through the winter in the open air in 
East Greenwich, which in other places in the same latitude 
can be preserved through the Avinter season only in green- 


It is evident tliat the early settlers of tlie village gave 
their attention to the business of ship buiUling, as it a])pears 
that when laying out the original ])lan of the town, tliey 
set apart two locations for shij)-yards, to belong exclusively 
to the town ; and of course under the control and direction' 
of the pro]n*ietors' committee. One of these yards Avas 
located at the foot of Queen street, and the other near the 
railroad station, now owned and occupied by Mr. Benjamin 
Crompton as a coal wharf. At this latter place large brigs 
and schooners were built and launched; at which period tlie 
tide flowed far above where the de])ot now stands, but from 
natural causes the valley has since been filled up, and what 
was then a salt marsh, covered with thatch and overflowed 
twice in every twenty-four hours, is now covered with 
houses or laid out in streets. After laying out the requisite 
number of streets to accommodate the house lots, certain 
portions of land were reserved for public use. The 
triangular piece of ground at the junction of Duke and 
King streets, now occu])ied by the Steam Grist Mill and a 
few dwelling houses, was originally intended for a market, 
and was to become the property of any person who should 
erect upon it a building of certain specified dimensions, 
containing a certain number of stalls and cho])ping blocks. 

Another piece of land near the railroad station, on the 
first plat is called the Exchange. What idea our foi'efathers 
had of an Exchange, Avhether a building o that name was 
to be erected there, or the square itself wao ^o called, is 
now uncertain ; however, it has long since beei juilt u])on 
and occupied for other pur])oses. 

In the year 17U9 the boundaries of East Greenwich were 
enlarged by an addition of thirty-five thousand acres of 
land on our western border, which this old deed will show 
was acquired by purchase : 

"Know all men by these presents, that we Weston Clarke 
and Randal Holden, Jlichard Greene and Philip Tillinghast 
being a Committee appointed and fully empowered by the 
Governor and Company of this her Majesties Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to dispose ^ and 
make Saile of the vacant lands in the ISTarragansett country 
belonging to said Colony, have for and in consideration of 
the sum of One Thousand and one hundred pounds Current 
Money of New England in hand already well and truly 
paid to us who have Received the same, in behalf and for 
the use of the Governor and Company aforesaid of and at 


tilt' liniids of Bcii jaiiiin liartoii, Tlioinas Fry, James Carder, 
Joliii Spencer, Beiijaiiiiii (Greene, Pardon Tillinghast, Jolni 
AYaterinan, Tlionias Nieliols, John Nielnds, ]\[alachy 
lloades, James (h-eene and Simon Smith, all inhabitants of 
Warwick and East Greenwich in the Colony above said, 
have barjTjained, sold, conferred, made and passed over from 
the Governor and Company aforesaid, and their snccessors 
forever a certain tract or parcel 1 of hind being part of the 
A^^cant lands belonii'ing to this C\)lony, lying in the Narra- 
gansett C\)untry, within the Jurisdiction of this Colony, 
westward of East Greenwich, butted and bounded on the 
north by Warwick's south bounds ; l)ounded on the East 
by East Greenwich Ixnuids, and Jones his purchase bounded 
on the South beginning at the Southwest corner of Jones 
liis ])urchase and so to run due West, ])arallel with War- 
Avick's South l)ounds aforementioned until it comes to the 
Colony line that divides this Colony from Connecticut Col- 
ony, and bounded on the West by the said dividing line 
between said Colonys, containing by Estimation, thirty-iive 
thousand acres, be the same more or less, all which together 
with the priviliges and appertanences Avithin the bounds 
abovesaid avc have sold as abovesaid unto the afore named 
])ersons, to them and every of them, their and every of 
their heirs. Executors and Administrators, and assigns for- 
ever jointly and severally to have and to hold forever the 
Avhich we Avill Avarrant forever against the Governor and 
Com])any of the Colony above said and their successors or 
any other person or persons Avhatsoever lawfully laying 
claim to the above l)ai'gained premises or any ])art or ])ar- 
cel thereof, by, through or under them the said Governor 
and Comi)any or their successors under Avhat i)retencc 
soever, in Avitness Avhereof Ave ha\^e hereunto set our hands 
and scales this thirtieth day of June, in the eighth year of 
her Majesties reign Ann by the grace of God queen of 
Great Bi-ittain, Ireland and France, Anno que Domini 
Nostri, 17UD. 

Weston Clarke,o 


11 1 v h a u d ( j h k k x e , ^ 
Philip Tillinghast.'^ 
" Siiiiied, sealed and d(divercd 
in the i)vc.sence of us, 

Joseph Smith, 
Samuel Sweet. 

'• The day and year above Aviitteu the Committee acknowledged this to 
hp their act and deed before me, 

John Eldred, ClerJc," 



Acconliii'j; to this old (UhmI, tliirtcoii individuals owned 
what is now the Town of West Greenwich. 

Division of the Town. 

In the year 1740 the township was divided into the 
towns of East and West (ireenwieh, as the following en- 
try on the town records will show : 

"Propositions for setting-off the westerly part of said 
town into a townshi]) by itself, as set forth in a ])etition 
now lying before the General Assembly. The Moderator 
]>ut it to Vote whether they would give consent for the set- 
ting oit' the westerly ])art of said town, as aforesaid, or not, 
and the vote was in the aHirinative l)y a very great 

It a|>pears that the inhabitants residing in the easterly 
l)art of the township wei'e very willing to get i-id of their 
western neighl)ors, by the exultant manner in which they 
recorded their vote. 

I>y an entry bearing date 1741, it a])pears that every 
town in the Golony was entitled to draw a certain sum out 
of the General Treasury of the Colony. It api)ears that 
Kast and West Greenwich at that time belonged to the 
Gounty of l*rovidence. 

From the town records Ave make the following ex- 
tracts : 

"We, the subscribers, being Gommittees a])pointed 
by the Towns of East and West Greenwich, in the 
County of Providence, to ]»roi»oi-tion the Interest money 
to be drawn out of the (4eneral Treasury of the Colony, 
by the aforesaid two Towns ; we, having considered 
the ])remises, do mutually and unanimously agree and 
or(b'r that out of each and every one hunclred and 
fifty i)ounds, to l)e draAvn as aforesaid out of the said Gen- 
eral Treasury, the Town of Kast Greenwich draws Eighty 
Five pounds and seven shillings, and that the Town(d' West 
i Greenwich draws Sixty Four pounds and thirteen shillings, 
and so ])ropoi-tionally for greater or lesser smns, in confir- 
mation of v.hich we have hereunto set our hands, in said 
East Greeiuyich, the Tliirty First day of July, A. I). 1741. 

John Spencku, | Committee 

John Greene, ! for 

Benj'n Sweet, \ East Greenvnch. 

Thomas Spencer, 
John Jenkens, 
Thomas Fry, Jr., 



West Greenivieh.'^ 


"We, the subscribers, being the eoiiiiiiittee n}ij»oiiite«l 
by East and West Greenwich, in the County of Providence, 
do proportion the money now in the Town Treasury of 
said East Greenwicli, and tlie poor in said Towns between 
the aforesaid Towns, now order and agree tliat West Green- 
wich shall draw one Hundred and Eighty Nine ])ounds and 
three shillings out of the Town Treasury, including Caj)- 
tain Spink's bond for their whole pro])ortion of the money 
now in the Treasury of said East Greenwich, and that 
West Greenwich be at one half of the chai-ge in keeping 
and maintaining the widow Elizabeth Low, in meat, drink 
and lodging and washing and ap]>arel for the future, and 
to take effect at the division of said Towns. As witness, 
our hands at East Greenwich aforesaid, this Thirty First 
day of July, A. D. 1741. 

John Spp:xcer, ) Committee 

John Greene, / for 

Benj'n Sweet, j EoU (ireeinvirh. 

Thomas Spencer, \ Committee 

John Jenken.s, \ for 

Thomas Fry, Jr., ) Wc^t Ci-ecmrich.^' 

In tlie year 174*2 is the following entry relating to the 
loaning out the money in the town treasury. Money 
must have been more abundant in the ti'casury at that pe- 
riod than at present, for the greatest trouble now is to 
collect sufficient to defray the current expenses of the 
town : 

"Voted, That the Clerk ])ut in the notification that no- 
tifies the next Quarter meeting, that there is a proposition 
for letting out the money in the Treasury if any to spare." 

In the year 1745 is the following entry : 

"An act for drawing money out of the Town Treasury, 
for j)urcliasing tickets in the Lottei-y ordered by act of 
Assembly, for the building of a bridge at Weybosset in 

"Voted, — That there shall be Ninety pounds in money 
forthwith drawn out of the Town Treasury, for the pur- 
chase of Thirty tickets in said Lottery, «'ind that Jonathan 
Price and John Pearce, shall be, and are hereby empowei-ed 
a Committee to draw said sum and purchase said tickets, 
and the said Committee upon drawing said money, shall 
give their receipt to the Treasurer for the same, and the 
said Treasurer is hereby ordered to deliver the said money, 
to the said Committee ; and be it further empowered, that 


tlie said Coniinittee arc lierol)y ordered to manai^e tlie whole 
artair, for, and in belialf, and for the best benefit and l)ehoof 
of said Town, and that the said Committee, shall lodge the 
nnnd)ers of the said tickets with the Town Treasurer, 
Avhich they shall j)urchase with said money." 

Only imagine such wholesale gambling with the ])eo})le's 
money ! We presume, however, they were satisfied with 
one operation of this kind, as the following entry will show 
there was a loss instead of a, gain : 

" Voted, That the return of the Committee that man- 
aged at the Lottery at Providence, for said To.Avn Bridge, 
be received; and that the said Committee deliver the 
Twenty Nine pounds and five shillings drawn in said Lot- 
tery, for said Town, to the Town Treasurer, and that the 
Town Treasurer deliver them the receii)t for the money, 
they drawed for that use, and that the said Committee 
deliver the return accepted by said ToAvn to the Treasurer." 

The County of Kent was set off from the County of 
Providence, and East Greenwich selected for the county 
town June the 15th, 1750, according to the record which 
says : 

" The General Assjembly passed an act Incorporating 
East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Warwick and Coventry 
into a County By the Name of Kent, and East Greenwich 
Chosen for the County town through Great Oj)position, as a 
])art of Warwick, and Providence in general doing their 
utmost endeavour to stop their proceedings." 

The " great opposition " of Wai-wick was owing to the 
local jealousy of the two ToAvns, as Warwick wished to 
be the county town, and have the court house and jail located 
at Old Warwick, Avhich was then considered the capital of 
Warwick, and ought to be now. The citizens of East Green- 
wich agreed to furnish a lot and build a court house and 
jail, upon the condition that the General Assembly and the 
courts should be held here. 

The first court house and jail were both small and incon- 
venient, and in 1805 were so much out of repair that the 
Legislature appropriated a sum sufficient to build the pre- 
sent court house and jail. The old jail building is now 
a dwelling house, standing on the corner of Marlboro 
and Queen streets, and owned by Mr. William N. Sher- 
man. The present court house stands on the site of 
the old one, and is a large and handsome structure. It 


formerly contained the most beantiful court room in the 
State, hut it lias heen altered and changed so often that 
it now has no resenihlance to its former a|>])earance. 

The following entry shows that the first allusion to the 
court house is an abstract from the town records in 1750 : 

"At a quarterly meeting at the County House in the 
County of Kent November^the 27th 1750. — 

" Voted, That the Quarter meeting, and aH other quar- 
ter meetings, shall be held in the County House in said 
East Greenwich. 

"Drawed for the Grand Jurors to attend the first Supe- 
rior Court of Common Pleas, and General Sessions of Law, 
to be held in East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, 
Avithin and for said County, on the second Tuesday of Jan- 
uary next, Wm. Sweet, Silas James, Thomas Madison and 
Colonel Peter Mawney." 

On the town records of January the 10th, 1732, is this 
entry : 

"Voted and Ordered, That there shall be a good j^air of 
stocks and a Whipping Post, made at the Town's Cost, aiul 
]uit up at or near the House of Capt. John Drake in said 
Town and ordered that Robert Easter is appointed to build 
and put up the above said Stocks and Whi]q)ing Post, and 
to make return of his doings therein to the said Town 
Council at their next meeting, and the said Council to agree 
with said Robert, for making the same, and to be paid for 
the same out of the Town Treasury." 

It api)ears that the crime of stealing at that time, Avas 
punished by confining in the stocks, or whipi)ing, according 
to the value of the article stolen. How strange it sounds 
in the present time to hear of men l)eing tied up to a post 
and whipped publicly in the open streets ! Yet there are 
many i)eople now living who have often seen it done in 
tliis Village, with the still more revolting spectacle of stand- 
ing men on the pillory and mutilating their ears, and brand- 
ing their faces with red-hot irons. 

The penalty for counterfeiting the currency was cropping 
and branding, and standing on the pillory. Before this 
l)arbarous punislnnent was abolished by the Legislature our 
village was frequently the scene of this outrage on human- 
ity. The pillory was usually erected near the court house, 
sometimes at the foot of the steps leading to the court house 
yard, and sometimes at the head of King street fronting 


tlio county jnil. Tt consistcMl of a strong frame work, sup- 
jHjrting a'])iatt'oi-ni eight or ten feet from tlie ground, and 
on tliis ])latforni two upriglit })ieces of timber held aloft 
two ])ieces of hoard with their edges jdaced ])erpendicnlar, 
so that the criminal could not stand erect, hut was com- 
])elled to remain in a stooping posture, witli his head bent 
down Mil the time he was standing on the pillory. Holes of 
a sutlicient size to admit the neck and wrists of a person 
Avere cut out of the boards, and then the two pieces of 
boai-d were fastened togethei- with iron clamps. 

Whenever a i>unis]nnent of this kind was to be can-ied 
into effect, a great festival Avas made of the occasion. 
Hundreds flocked in from the neighboring towns as they 
would to a military review. The pillory was erected the 
evening -previous, to the great terror of all the little boys 
who were obliged to be out in the streets after dark, and 
the })unishnient usually took place about noon, the criminals 
remaining on the pillory about an hour. When the time 
arrived, the criminal, followed by a long procession of men 
and boys, was led by the sheriff from the jail, usually sur- 
rounded by a guard of soldiers. After aiding the sheriff 
and criminal to the ])latform of the pillory, to which they 
mounted by a ladder in not a very dignified manner, the 
soldiers surrounded the pillory, the officers with their swords 
drawn and the privates with fixed bayonets, for the osten- 
sible purjjose of keeping off the crowd. Xoav all this Avas 
merely for effect, as there was not the least possible danger 
of a rescue or even of a riot. But the Kentish Guards Avere 
always fond of parading themselves, and seized every op- 
portunity for display. "When the sheriff and the criminal 
had reached the i)latform, tlie former Avould lift the upper 
piece of board and the latter Avould jJace his neck and 
Avrists in the grooves of the lower piece, and then the u])per 
piece Avith its corresponding grooves Avould be fastened to 
the loAver by the iron clami)S. After the criminal had 
remained in this situation the specified time, Avith the 
])randing-iron heating in full view, placed in a brazier of 
charcoal on the jdatform, the sheriff cut off a small jneceof 
the lower ])art of the ear, and Avith tlie hot branding-iron 
just touclied the cheek so that the letter C (counterfeiter) 
i-eniained in the form of a slight scar. This scar Avas always 
on the cheek Avhere it might be concealed by a heavy beard. 
But my readers Avill hardly care for any further recital of 
these barbarous punishments, and Ave Avill not describe the 
scenes at the Avhipping post. 


Previous to 1790 that part of King street wliere tlie 
county jail now stands was an open clock. Here the tide 
ebl)ed and flowed, reaching a point now marked by tlie 
beautiful railroad bridge which crosses that street. Such 
is the situation of our village that nearly all the water 
Aviiich runs from tlie neighboring hills finds its way into the 
liarbor through tliis street. The consequence was that such 
a vast quantity of sand was washed down during the heavy 
rains, that serious apprehensions were felt that the harbor 
would soon be rendered useless. The Town Council to pre- 
vent such a calamity granted to some individuals residing 
in East Greenwich the ])rivilege of filling u]> the dock and 
building a Avliarf for their own use and benefit, as the fol- 
lowing entry sets forth : 

" Whereas it has been re])resented to this meeting, by 
sundry inhabitants of this Town, that the Cove in said 
Town is gradually filling up, occasioned by the sand that 
washed out of the street formerly called King Street, and 
that erecting a wharf at the foot of said street u])on a cer- 
tain piece of land called the Town Dock, belonging to said 
Town, Avould greatly tend to prevent the filling ii]) of said 
Cove, and whereas Jeremiah Baily and Benjamin Howland, 
yeomen. Inhabitants of said Town, are desirous of building 
a wharf on the same, 

"And ui)on mature consideration it is Voted and Re- 
solved by this Town Meeting that the said Jeremiah Baily 
and Benjamin Ilowland, together with such others as may 
be admitted by them as partners, their heirs and assigns 
have full and exclusive right to build a wharf and erect a 
Store or Stores on said Dock, now called the Town Dock, 
belonging to said Town, and enjoy the same forever here- 
after as an estate of Inheritance in fee simple, they or their 
heirs or assigns of either of them, and ]>aying into the Town 
Treasury of East Greenwich, Six ShilUngs per year, for 
each and every year forever hereafter. 

" Provided, nevertheless, it is the true meaning and intent 
of this Town Meeting, notwithstanding Avhat is heretofore 
written that to themselves, the exclusive right, at any time 
after the expiration of Twenty Years, to take said Avharf 
and Stores standing on the Dock aforesaid, into their pos- 
session, to and for their own improvement only, paying the 
then owners of said Wharf and Stores that may be then 
and there standing, and in good repair, the sum or sums 
the erecting and building cost, exclusive of interest." 


Tliis wliurf and oilier itr()])orly now l)(.'l(mL!;s to Mr. 
Tliom.'is J. Hill, and avc should like to know if lie ]»ays six 
shillings rental per year, according to the terms of the orig- 
inal grant. It a})i)ears, however, that Jeremiah ]>ai]y and 
Benjamin Ilowland did not fultill their agreement, as the 
following entry will show : 

"May 2Gth, 1792. Voted and enacted by this present* 
Town Meeting and by the authority thereof, it is hereby 
enacted, that the ToAvn Dock ( in said Town,) be disposed of 
to the highest bidder, of one hundred feet in length, at the 
East end of King Street, the wdiole width of said Street ; 
and the highest bidder or bidders thereof to build a good 
wharf thei-eon forty feet wide, and the aforesaid one hun- 
dred feet in length; and to leave twenty six feet to the 
South side of said Avharf clear of all Incumbrances for a 
Dock forever for the ToAvn's use, and also to leave eighteen 
feet upon the South side of said Wharf clear of any build- 
ings for People to ])ass and re])ass thereon ; and the highest 
bidder or bidders thereof to give a good sufficient bond to 
the ToAvn Treasurer of said Town, in two Aveeks after the 
date hereof to pei-form the same in tAVO years after the i)ur- 
chase is made ( one Thousand Pounds, Current money of 
NcAV England,) and to ])ay the purchase money doAvn, to 
and for the use of said Town, and if the said Avharf is not. 
completed at the end and expiration of tAVO years; and 
n]ion the non-comi)letion of the same, to deliver up the same 
Avith all that is done thereon, peaceably and quietly to the 
said Town of East GreenAvich again; and the purchaser or 
pnrchasers so com]>leting and building the Avharf aforesaid 
according to the true intent and meaning of this aforesaid 
act, and when so completed it shall create in said ])urchaser 
or pnrchasers a good and perfect estate of Inheritance in 
fee simple to them and their heirs and assigns forever. 

" Voted, that the ToAvn Clerk sell the same to the highest 
bidder immediately, and the same Avas sold accordingly at 
Public Vendue, and Charles AndrcAV Avas the highest bid- 
der for the same and to comply Avith the aforesaid act, 
Avhich bid Avas Thirty Pounds (old Tenor) and the money 
Avas paid down by the said Charles Andro^\" 


The first Surveyor of the port of East GreeuAvich Avas 
Captain Thomas Arnold, Avho Avas appointed to the office 


I)y Ge'iicrnl Wnsluiintoii ; lie was an officer in the Revolu- 
tionary Army, and held a command at the battle of JMon- 
mouth, in Avhich action he was wounded, and in consequence 
lost his riglit les;. A rather curious incident occurred at 
tlie time when the limb was amputated. The wound was 
caused by a musket ball, which the surgeon Avas unable to 
extract. After the leg was cut off the ball Avas found and 
sent home to his Avife, Avho had a string of beads made of 
the leaden bullet, Avhich she ahvays Avore afterward as a 

The office of Surveyor Avas a more difficult and im])or- 
tant one than it is at present. The Surveyor Avas not only 
oblisred to attend to the duties of the custom house, but had 
the additional duty of coUectnig the taxes on carriages, i)late 
and Avatches. It Avas also his duty to sell the stamps issued 
by the general gOA-ernment. At that time no business 
transaction Avas legal unless done Avitli stam])ed i)aper. Tlie 
price of the stam})S varied from four cents to ten dollars. 

In the year 1794 Congress made a law imposing a tax on 
carriages, the collection of which Avas a part of the duty of 
the Surveyor. It appears that the owners of carriages 
Avere obliged to make returns to the Collector every quarter. 
Here is a. copy of one of the returns : 

"No. 40. I, Paul Greene, of the Township of Warwick, 
in the County of Kent, do hereby make entry with Thomas 
Arnold, Collector of the revenue of said County, of one 
Hiding Chaise to be draAVii l)y one Horse, Avitli a Top, and 
having two Wheels, agreeably to an Act of Congress of 
the United States, passed on the 5th day of June, 1794. 

Paul Greexe." 

" Dated at East Greenwich the 30th Day of September, 

The taxes on coaches Avas $15 ; on chariots, ^12 ; on 
phaetons, $9 ; on curricles, $6 ; on chaises, |3 ; and ^2 on all 
carriages on four Avheels without springs. It ap})ears from an 
abstract of returns made in 1797 that there were no coaches 
in the county at that time, and but one sulky, Avhich be- 
longed to Dr. Peter Turjier ; and of chaises owned in the 
Town of East Greenwich there Avere only nine. 

Another source of revenue to the general goAernment 
Avas the license hiAV for the sale of s})irituous li(]Uors. At 
that tune the Collector had the right to grant licenses, 
Avhich noAV belongs to the Town Council alone, and Avitli 


the diffcrciK'c, that the revenue arising therefrom Avas 
.':ij)]>ropriated to the general government, instead of the 
town. The i)eoi)le of those days were not very strong ad- 
vocates of temjierance as is evident from the number of 
licenses granted during the year 171)4. In this year the 
number of licenses taken 'out amounted to eleven. Only 
imagine it, eleven places where rum was retailed in one 
small village of about eighteen hundred inhabitants. It 
Avould seem, however, that the business of selling rum Avas 
not considered A^ery immoral or disgraceful in those days, 
or at least public oi)inion had not set its face against it, for 
out of eleven licenses granted that year, three of them Avere 
for Avomen. Tlie folloAving document is a coi)y of an ap- 
2ilication : 

"I, Anna Cozzens, WidoAV Woman, of the Township of 
East GreenAvich, in the County of Kent, in the District of 
Ivliode Island, Retailer of foreign distilled spirits hereby 
make Application at the otKce of Ins}>ection, of Thomas 
Arnold, in the fourth Division of the first survey of Rhode 
Island, for a License to retail foreign distilled s}>irits, fol- 
lowing the oOtli day of September 1749, at my store in 
King Street. Anna Cozzens. 

Captain Thomas Arnold Avhile Collector, did not find the 
office ahvays an easy one. East Greenwich at that time 
cai'ried on an extensive trade with the Dutch Colony of 
Surinam. The officers of the vessels engaged in the trade, 
always managed to arrive in the harbor during the night, 
and no small amount of smuggling Avas i)racticed, as the 
Collector's infirmity (the loss of a leg) kept him Avithin the 
house at that hour. A brig once arrived so late in the 
night in consequence of a fog doAvn the bay, that it Avas 
broad daylight before the vessel reached her moorings. 
XoAv Cai)tain Arnold had a son named Isaac, Avho Avas brim- 
full of mischief, and the very jjcrson for such an emergency. 
He of course Avas consulted to know Avhat could be done. 
His advice Avas that the old gentleman should be kept at 
home until the articles subject to duties Avere removed, 
adding that he kncAV hoAv it could be done. In the morn- 
ing Avhen the captain arose his Avooden leg Avas missing, 
and could not be found until the brig Avas in perfect order 
for the Collector's A^sit. 

Captain Arnold lived to extreme old age, and held the 
office of Surveyor until the infirmities of increasing age 
prcA'ented him from performing the duties required. 


lie left a lar<>e iniiuber of descend ants, among whom is 
Tliomas Arnold Pearce, Jr., the popular station agent of the 
Stoningtoii llailioad at P]ast Greenwich. 

There is no place in llhode Island Avhere ])eople in mod- 
erate circumstances can live so well and easily a« in East 
"Greenwich. Those who have learned to save money, can 
build a house and receive the profits of a good investment 
that pays from ten to twelve per cent, interest. It is to this 
we owe, in a great measure, the comfortaljle circumstances 
of our middle classes, and that unexceptionably prosperous 
condition of our poor men. Indeed, we claim that liere, as 
in few other villages, small tradesmen and mechanics, fac- 
tory oj)eratives, street laborers, and even small market gar- 
deners, by exercising economy for a few years, are able to 
live in their own houses, and finally gather small compe- 

To this enumeration of some of the advantages of East 
Greenwich as a place of residence, Ave may add fitly two 
attractions which we have ahvays offered, but which hiWQ 
come of late to be of es])ecial prominence and importance ; 
these are our healthful situation and our cheaj) and good 
markets. Our fish and clams cannot be equalled. We are 
also fortunate in another particular ; among other natural 
advantages of our town may be mentioned our enjoyment 
of the purest water. 

We are in the midst of a small fruit-growing region. 
Some growers scarcely A\'itliout our borders furnishing the 
best for the summer market. Farmers come daily into our 
A'illage with their products. Consumers are thus brought 
face to face Avitli them, and are enabled to secure fresh vege- 
tables and fruits. No steamer running three or four times 
per day to NcAvport carries off the best of these jiroducts, 
to be sold at higher prices than those that prevail in our 
home market. 

These are our attractions for the multitudes Avho are 
seeking an escai)e from the crowded city and hea^y taxes : 
salubrity, j^ure Avater, sui)erior markets in point of Aariety, 
freshness, quality and cheapness ; excellent railroads and 
cheap communication, and beautiful suburbs ; loAver taxes 
than are paid in other towns in the State ; institutions of 
academic, musical and common school education, for each 
sex, and all of established reputation. 

With all these pressing invitations for accession of popu- 
lation, Avhat Ave need is a comprehensive vicAV of our future 


needs, and a resolute deterinination to meet tliein. Tlie 
im])r<)ving our streets and otiier ])ul)lic work must be 
])r()m}itly and t'aitlifully done. Our ])lans must be such as 
will meet the demands, of the future. Small houses at 
chea}) rents will be required l)y new po]>ulation. Then they 
who own land on well graded and attractive streets will 
hold a fortune. 

A few years more must bring us an o])))ortunity which 
should not be neglected. Our raih'oad facilities at present 
are all we can ask for, but will in a few years be vastly 
improved, and made the very best possible. These will 
bring to our village a population worth having. AVe need 
only welcome them to retain tlieni, and make them inter- 
ested in common Avitli us. Our point, then, is that here is a 
cliance for real estate operators, and here is the best i)lace 
for people who wish for ])leasant summer residences of 
easy communication with the city ; for people of small capi- 
tal to invest in land ; for people Avho wisli to become 
traders, and for poor people who wish soon to get into 
comfortable circumstances. 

Neither is all this incompatible with our other promise 
foi- tlie future. We are to be a manufacturing town. Our 
village is so situated that we shall not become a murky, 
dirty jdace of factories. AYe have ample room and verge 
enough for factories in the lower part of the village, while 
leaving room for business places enough to satisfy our local 
demands. Beautiful for situation as is our village in the 
vicAV of the suburban resident, its advantages as a manu- 
facturing town are to the man of business equally conspic- 

We enter the lists, then, in the close contest which is 
coming for population, growth and wealth, Avith full confi- 
dence.' We have the actual advantages of beautiful situa- 
tion, fine suburbs, and healthy climate. Our station is one 
of the most imi)oi-tant on the Stonington Kailroad. Our 
conmiunication with Providence is more direct and frequent 
than any other place on the line. We have no expensive 
bridges to keep in re])air. Our town taxes are as low as 
any other toAvn in Rhode Island, and we have a leading 
claim to the vast numbers who are to settle down within a 
circle whose centre is the City of Providence, and whose 
radius is twenty miles. 

Fifty years ago East Greenwich was only a small collec- 
tion of houses, generally unp;unted, and not half a dozen 


shade trees adorned our streets. It contained no nianu- 
facturini;- interests beyond tlie useful trades of carj)enter 
and blacksmitli, to wliicli might be added tlie indisi)ensable 
vocations of cobbler, hatter and tailor. A few grocers 
eked out a meagre trafHc l)y retailing gin, West India rum, 
or the New England " sta])le," to thirsty customers, for 
Avhicli jn'ocess no license Avas required in those halcyon 
days. Its limited commerce was confined to shipping once 
in a year horses, mules and dried fish to Surinam and the 
West Indian ports for a return cargo of sugar and molasses. 
If there was any excitement in the village at that time it 
Avas about the wharves, Avhen a few coasting sloops plied to 
Providence, Newport and Nantucket ; or fishermen, then 
as now, went across the bay to Jarvis's Rocks, or the muscle 
bed, in pursuit of shelly or hnny prey, and usually return- 
ing with the proverbial luck of tliat uncertain calling the 
world over. 

A tri-weekly mail su])}>lied all the demands of con-esjiond- 
cnce. One physician introduced youthful strangers when 
they came to town, or ]»rescribed for unlucky ]>atients when 
they left it, without being harrassed by the jealously of ill- 
natured rivals. One lawyer espoused the cause of the 
l)arty that earliest sought his advice, leaving the other 
party to almost cei'tain defeat before the tribunal of the 
scales of justice. Fifty years ago no peremptory bell called 
the early toilers to their monotonous tasks among the hum- 
ming s])indles. No iron horse careered through our village, 
or Avakened with its shrill whistle the drowsy echoes of the 

Fifty years ago the com]>act part of the town did not ex- 
tend south wai-d beyond the junction of Elm and Main 
streets, and along the entire length of Elm street. There was 
only one house on the eastern side of the street. The hill be- 
tween the railroad and the cove, crowned by the ancient rope- 
Avalk, Avas destitute of a single dwelling, Avhile now, more 
than hfty houses stand there. Since 1840 the nundjer of 
houses in the villiage has more than doubled, and the poj^u- 
lation has increased in a similar pro])ortion. Tlie construc- 
tion of the Providence and Stonington Pailroad, Avith its 
beautiful and costly granite bridge, the erection of the 
Orion Steam Mill, the Bay mill, the Woolen Mill, and a 
Bleachery Avhere the Narragansett Pj-int Works now are, 
gave an activity Avhich increased the growth of the village 
in a Avonderful manner. 


Fifty years ago the mail service Av^as performed l)y a 
stage coacli, wliich carried passengers from Kingston to 
Providence one day, and returned the next. A public scliool 
house wliich would accommodate about eighty ])uj)ils, who 
were governed by a single teacher, su])plied all the de- 
mands for free education. It was situated on the " heater " 
piece of land, near the corner of Duke and King streets, 
and at the periods of violent rain and consequent flood the 
nufoi-tunate ]>edagogue was obliged to convey the scholars 
to dry land on his back. On sucli occasions the school was 
susj^ended sometimes for a week or more, as there Avas no 
regular ferry. Now, more than two hundred pupils receive 
instruction at a graded scliool, from five teachers in a school 
house of four departments. Four mails are noAv received 
and made uj) at the })ost-oflice daily, and eighteen trains of 
■cars arrive at the depot and depart during the twenty-four 

An academic institution of learning, second to none of 
its class in New England, Avith an accomplished faculty, has 
the best of accommodations for over two hundred students. 
Spacious dwellings tastefully adorned have sprung u}) here 
and there, and no village in New England is protected and 
adorned by finer shade trees. 

Formerly, if the ]ieo])le Avere devoutly inclined, they Avor- 
shiped either Avith the Friends or Presbyterians ; but now 
the religious devotee must be able to find among the con- 
gregations of the IMethodists, Baptists, Friends, and E])is- 
copalians, at the Marlboro Street Chapel, or beneath the 
cross of the Roman Catholic Church of " Our Sister of 
Mercy," or Avithin the plain Lutheran Church on Si)ring 
street, some form of worship that will meet the require- 
ments of his creed. 

Fifty years ago the rural districts sup])lied the village 
Avith fuel from their forests, and no mineral coal Avas used ; 
now more than ten thousand tons of coal are landed an- 
nually u])on our Avharves. The manufactories of cotton 
cloth and calico alone furnishes employment and support 
to more than one thousand persons. 

The natural beauty and local advantages of East Green- 
Avicli have already been noticed. No town is better sit- 
uated for the pursuit of any domestic manufacture, for 
freight can always be forwarded either by water or by rail. 
It may be safely predicted that the next fifty years will 
shoAV far greater changes than those that have marked the 



])ast ; wlicMi the crowded denizens of our overflowing city 
shall enjoy its salubrious air, and its delightful hill-sides 
shall be dotted with the mansions of wealth, or with the 
neat cottages of industry. 

The entire population of East Greenwich in 1774 was 
1,663, divided as follows: Whites, 1,563; Indians, 31 ; 
Blacks, 69. AVe a])})end as an item of interest the i)Oi»ula- 
tion of the town at the dates from 1708 to 1870 : 


.... 240 

1748 1,044 

1755 1,167 

1772 1,609 

1774 1,663 

1776 1,664 



1830 1,591 

1840 1,509 

1850 2,358 

1860 2,8S2 

1865. . ....2,400 

1870 2,661 

1876 4,000 



The following document is the agreement subscribed by 
the early settlers in East Greenwich : 

" Know all men by these presents, tliat we the subscribers, 
whose hands and seals are liereunto affixed, being inhabi- 
tants of Warwick and East Greenwich, in the Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, having purchased 
a tract of land in the Narragansett country, being i)art of 
the vacant lands belonging to this Colony, and the com- 
mittee appointed by said Colony to dispose of said vacant 
lands, a Kefference* being had to the deed of saile bearing 
date eaven the same with these presents, said land being 
butted and boimded as follows : 

" We, the subscribers, do covenant and agree upon the 
following : First, — that we will take in as many i)artners 
as will make the number of fifty or sixty ])artners including 
ourselves in said number ; And the said land shall be 
divided into as many parts or shares, and if one man will 
not take a whole share, there may be so many taken in as 
will represent a whole share, in behalf of that share for the 
rest that are taken in said share. 

" Secondly, — that in all matters that relate to the well 
management and ordering of said land aforesaid, the major 
part of the partners i)resent votes shall be valid and bind- 
ing to all the partners, to stand to both to them that are in 
the Deed as well as them that are taken in for partners, who 
are to be equal with those who are in the Deed, in all respects 
with ourselves. 

" Thirdly, — none are to be taken in as partners without 
the consent of the major part of the purchasing partners, 
and not to take in more than to make as many shares 


" Fourtlily, — that any man shall have more than one share, 
yet lie shall have but one vote about anything relating to 
said land. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our 
hands and seals this 30th of June Anno Domini 1677. 
" Signed, Sealed, and Delivered in presence of us, 

Benjamin Barton, John Waterman, 

Thomas Fry, Thomas Nichols, 

James Carder, Malachi Rhodes, 

John Spencer, James Greene, 

Benjamin Greene, Simeon Smith, 

Pardon Tillinghast, Joseph Smith." 

The earliest records of the Town of East Greenwich are 
contained in Book No. 1, noAv in the toAvn clerk's offic.e, 
and dated April 13th, 1677. For the first half century the 
records are limited, and the writing so unintelligible and 
contains so many abbreviations that little of interest can 
be obtained from them. It appears that John Heath was 
the first toAvn clerk. 

" Proprietors' Meetixg, June 6tii, 1700. 

" Ordered, That Peter Lee shall have twenty acres of 
land where he now dwells and is bounded as it is now set 
out upon the plat for and in consideration of forty three 
shillings and sixpence already ]»aid into the hands of our 
Treasurer for the use of all the proi)rietors toAvards defray- 
ing charges that hath or shall accrue on our purchase. 

"Ordered, That Thomas Eldridge shall have a corner of 
land adjoining to his first division, and that the surveyor 
draw it upon the plat accordingly, and that he hath paid 
forty five shillings into the hands of our Treasurer in con- 
sideration thereof. 

" Ordered, That Benjamin Greene, of East Greenwich 
shall have a small tract of land to his first division of land 
between that and the river, and that the surveyor draw it 
accordingly upon the plat and that he shall pay fifty shillings 
in money in consideration thereof into the hands of the 

" Ordered, That there be fifty lots made and numbered 
according to the numbers of the farms as they are numbered 
upon the plat, in the second division, and that they be put 
into a hat, and that Mr. William S. Church give to each 
proprietor, one of said lots according as his name is called, 
and that each proju-ietor pay thirteen shillings into the 
hands of our Treasurer, before he receives his lot, the which 
money is to defray the charges of surveying that hath 



'arisen, or .any other expenses that liath or shall arise upon 
our said grant, all which was accordingly done, and here 
followeth the names of the persons that drew the lots, and 
the nundjer of the lot : 




Michael Spencer No. 1 . 

Antlionv Lone; " 2. 

David Vaughi/ " T.. 

Kicliard Greene " 

Tlionias Eldredg " 

Henry Kenolds " 

Weston Clarke " 

Matliew Grinnall " 

Thomas Stafford " 

Benjamin Barton " 

Capt. James Bowen " 

Robert Spencer " 12. 

William Wanton " .1.3. 

John Spencer " U. 

William Knowles " 15. 

Clement Weaver " 1(5. 

Left. James Greene " 17. 

Maj . Randal Holden " IS. 

John Waterman " 19. 

Job Greene " 20. 

Thomas Nichols " 21. 

Thomas Spencer " 22. 

Daniel Sweet 
^ Malachi Rhodes 


Benjamin Smith No. 2(). 

Capt. James Greene " 27. 

Oliver Carpenter "28. 

Nath. Shettield " 29. 

Philip Tillinghast " liO. 

Joseph Dolliver " ol . 

Benjamin Greene " 32. 

Jabez Greene "33. 

Peleg Spencer "34. 

Charles Holden "35. 

Eljen, Slocnm " 3G. 

Simeon Smith " 37. 

Thomas Fry "38. 

Ishmael Spink " 39. 

Capt. Ben. Greene " 40. 

Samnel Greene "41. 

Capt. James Carder "42. 

Thomas Wicks " 43. 

Jolm Wicks "44. 

John Nichols "45, 

Gen. Samnel Cranston " 4(). 

Maj. Jo. Jenks "47. 

John Mumford "48. 

Pardon Tilliiig " 4(). 

Amos Stafford "25. Francis Bates' " 50. 

" Ordered, That whereas there is some timber now under 
seizure, that is not yet disposed of, we order that those per- 
sons that seized said timber, with John S])encer, Thomas 
Nichols and John Nichols, or the major part of them, shall 
or may agree with the persons that })retended to the right 
of said timber, and if they refuse to agree upon reasonable 
terms, then the i)ersons above empowered shall sell the 
said timber for the best advantage, and make returns to the 
projn-ietors of their doings therein, and whereas there are 
some swamps and other land not yet divided, we order that 
the pei'sons above named, are still continued to proceed to 
seize any timber cut upon said land according to former 
orders, and they to make their return to the next meeting 
of the proprietors, and this meeting is adjourned to the 
lirst Wednesday in June next." 

" East GuEEXAvirn, July 23d, 1711. Voted, that whereas, 
the town of East Greenwich hath made several grants of 
some small parcels of land by way of exchange or otherwise, 
this meeting doth confirm the same. 

"Voted, that there shall be two hundred house lots laid 
at or near the landing place, and to begin at Warwick 


south line and to extend southward to Mr. Heath's North- 
east corner, and to the eastward of the country. road, and 
down to the sea, and Lay out convenient highways or 
streets, and each ten acre lot, and each ninety acre farm, 
shall liaA^e one of said lots, and the other hundred lots to 
be disposed of by a committee hereafter named to such 
persons as Avill build a dwelling house in such time as the 
committee shall appoint, and upon neglect of building, the 
said lot to return to the i^roprietors, to be disposed of to 
other such i)ersons as will build upon said lots, and that no 
person in taking up any of said lots shall sell his lot to any 
person, to be approi)riated to any other use but only for 
building dwelling houses, and promoting a town, and that 
each one that liath a lot in said town shall pay the charge 
of the survey of said lot, and this division not to be drawn 
unto a ])recedent for any division of our land in this our 
Town of East Greenwich, and the committee a])])ointed for 
such work are John S])encer, Thomas Nichols, William 
IJennett, Peleg Spencer and David Vaughn ; they or the 
major part of them, and Avhen such lots are laid out the 
owners of the ten acre lots, and the owners of the ninety 
acre farms, shall go to lot for their lots, and the committee 
to ])roceed forthwith on said work, and this meeting is ad- 
journed to the first Mondy in October, at eight of tlie 
clock in the morning in order for drawing said lots." 

"East Greexwicii October, 1711. Voted, whereas 
Benjamin Spencer, Henry Sweet, Henry Mattison, Tliomas 
Mattison, Henry Straight Jr., John Carpenter, being freemen 
of this town of East Greenwich, and being settled u])on 
])art of several farms, and not having a Avliole ])r()priety, 
the proprietors do hereby allow, each of the said ])ersons 
to draw each of them a lot in our new town ecpial as if they 
were pro]»rietors. 

" Voted, That each person that draws his lot in said 
Town shall pay nine pence towards the charge of survey- 
ing said town the lots being made and put into the cap in 
order for draught. 

" Voted, That no person having a lot adjoining the sea, 
shall improve any further than the line drawn ui>on tlie 
]dat, but that they shall leave twenty feet for a street or 
highway for the convenience and benefit of all the rest of 
inhabitants of said town," 

These committee lots, as they were called, were all on llie 
east side of Main street, commencing at the old IMiode 


Island Central Bank Building, at the north end of the vil- 
lage, and extending south to London street, at the house 
then belonging to John Heath, now belonging to Manly 
Batenian. All the land within that square, extending to the 
harl)or, was divided alternately into town lots and committee 
lots, each lot containing one-fifth of an acre. 

" Voted, That whereas several proprietors have not yet 
drawn their lots, we do order that, if the proprietors do not 
come to the quarter meeting next in this toAvn, on the 10th 
instant, or to the clerk of tlie proprietors, and draw their 
said lots, that then the committee shall proceed to dispose 
of tlie lots, to such persons as will ])uild according to former 
order ; that is to say, the committee may proceed as above 
expressed after the first of November next. 

" Tlie bill of charge for laying out of the lots adjoining 
to the water side is as follows*^; 

£ s d 
"To Malaclii Rhodes, Surveyor 4 1-2 days at G shillings per day. 1, 7.0 

'' Tliomas Nichols, 4 1-2 days at three shillings ,13.(j 

'• John Spencer, 4 1-2 days at three shillings and for enter- 
taining the surveyors ,15.(5 

" William Bennett, 3 Vi days at three shillings ,10.6 

" Peleg S])encer, 3 1-2 days 'at three shillings and for calling 

the surveyors ,10.0 

" David Vaughn, 4 1-2 days at three shillings ,13.G 


" We, the committee, do order that whosoever shall take 
one of the above said lots, shall jiay the Committee one 
shilling for the laying out one lot, and shall build a dwell- 
ing house, on said lot, of fourteen foot square, with a stone 
or brick cliimney to said house, the house to be nine foot 
l)etween joints, and to be no less, and as much higlier as 
they Avho l)uild on said lot see cause, and said house to be 
finished within two years and six months from taking up 
said lot or lots, and if any person shall neglect or refuse to 
build as above expressed they shall forfeit said lots to the 
proprietors of said town." 

" East Greenwich, June 27th, 1715. Voted and ordered 
that the committee proceed to procure a surveyor to draw 
a i)lat and perfect the work that Mr. Malachi Bliodes hath 
begun, and to lay down all the divisions upon the same, and 
that the committee and surveyor proceed to run Warwick 
south line and notify tlie proprietors of Warwick to joine 
with them if they see fit, so that we may proceed to lay out 
the rest of our i>urchase according to our next meeting; and 


this meeting is adjourned until the hast meeting in June 
next to thehouse of Mrs. Mary Carder's in Warwick. 

" Ordered, tliat John Maslioon, sliall have forty-five acres 
of land tliat is laid out upon the plat, provided he pay unto 
Thomas Fry, three pounds, seven shillings and sixpence, for 
the use of tlie ])roprietors, and his receipt shall be a good 
title to the said Mashoon ; his heirs and assigns forever." 

"East Greenwich, June 24th, 1717. Voted that Par- 
don Tillinghast, John Nicliols, and Tliomas Spencer are a 
Committee, to treat and agree with a Committee of the 
proprietors of Warwick, purchasers if possible, relating to > 
the dividing line between Warwick purchase and ours, and I 
what they or the major part shall do, shall be as binding as^ 
if done by the whole proprietors, and when they have 
agreed, they shall give advice to the otlier committee audi 
surveyor, to lay out the rest of our purchase. 

"Ordered, Tliat the committee and surveyor shall ]»ro- 
ceed to divide our line, Avhether they ngree or not with the 
Warwick committee. 

"Ordered, That Thomas Fry shall pay to Mr. William 
Hall for what service he hath ])erformed for ye proprietors,, 
upon his bringing his account and giving his receipt for the 

"Ordered, That the committee layed out our land 
shall have the rest of the money that is in Thomas Fry's^ 
liands towards their labor, so far as it will extend; audi 
also that Thomas Fry pay Mrs. Carder five shillings. 

"Ordered, That the committee and surveyor proceed to 
lay out the rest of our grant according to former orders. 
And whereas we are informed that there is several ])arcels 
of pitch-pine knots gathered upon ourgrantAvithout orders, 
Ave do hereby order our committee, either to make seizure 
of Avhat is gathered up, or shall be gathered, or agi-ee Avith 
those persons that have gatliered them, upon reasonable 
terms for the Avliole proprietors in trust, and that there be 
no more knots gatliered either l)y ourselves, or any others 
until the land be layed out, that every man may knoAV his 
OAvn and imjiroA^e it at his pleasure." 

"East Greenavich, December 15tli, 1718. Ordered, 
That our committee that Avas appointed to treat Avith a 
committee of WarAvick jn-oprietors concerning the dividing 
line between us, is hereby continued and em})OAvered to 
meet and agree, (if possible) Avith the WarAvick committee. 
But in case they make no agreement betAveen tliis day and 


the first of Marcli next, then onr coilimittee and surA eyor 
proceed to divide tlie rest of onr grant and lay it so far 
north nntill it shall meet with a dne west line that shall be 
extended from East Greenwich northwest corner (whicli is 
deemed to be seven degrees of the magnall west) to the 
bead of our said grant; and our committee that meets the 
Warwick committee shall have five shillings each man, eacli 
day that they meet and attend the said service, and onr 
committee shall have hereby as full power and authority, 
lliein or the major part of them as they had in any of our 
former orders. 

" Voted and ordered tliat our committee that is empow- 
ered to divide our grant, "have full power and authority, 
that if they find any timber cut u])on our grant, or any 
waste made by any persons, they may make seizure of the 
same, and when recovered, to dispose of the same, for the 
interest of the whole proprietors." 

"East Greenwich, July 19th, 1720. A jn-oprietors 
meeting called by a warrant from under the hand and 
seal of Thomas Fry, Justice, and held at the house of An- 
thony Saddler. Ordered, that Major Greene, Major Brown 
and Tliomas Spencer, be a committee to inspect into the 
accounts of the proprietors, as well as what is done to or 
from the said pro]>rietors, and to sell any small bits of land 
as they think may be best for their interest. 

" Ordered, That whereas there is a certain tract of land 
lying in our above mentioned grant, containing sixty acres 
more or less adjoining to the land of William Cass, as it 
lyeth in the plat drawn by AVilliam Hall, and the said pro- 
])rietors liaving sold the said tract of land unto the above 
mentioned William Cass, for and in consideration of twenty 
])Ounds in hand received by said j^roprietors ; 

" Ordered, Tliat whereas there is a small tract of land 
containing twenty-four acres, lying westward and adjoining 
to the farm No. 18, on the first division, which said twenty- 
four acres of land the proprietors have sold in considera- 
tion of forty shillings in hand to Mr. Pardon Tillinghast, 
his heirs and assigns forever. 

" Ordered, That wdiereas there was a warrant granted, 
and cedar and other things seized, and our committee hav- 
ing agreed with several j)ersons that have trespassed upon 
our })roperty, the i)roi)rietors do hereby authorize the said 
committee to take all lawful means, to receive the money 
that they have agreed for with said persons, and all other 


persons that liatli tresspassed uj^on tlie said proprietors, to 
sue and imj)lead in as full and ample manner as if the 
Avliole i)roprietors were present." 

From the Council Records, February 14th, 1721 : 

"Whereas the town council hath been informed that 
several persons residins; within our jurisdiction doth give i 
themselves so great a latitude to drinking, to tliat degree 
that it is likely that they may bring themselves and their 
families to poverty and so become cliargeable to the town ; 
for the preventing whereof it was thouglit good to give out 
this admonition, that if there should be any such persons 
witliin this town that they take warning, and let the time 
past suthce, and refrain from all evil practices for the future, 
as they Avill expect to answer the contrary at the utmost pen 
alty of the law shall inflict, and that all retailers take no- 
tice herel)y to square tliemselves by tlie laws of this colony 
relating to their duty in selling and keeping good order 
tlierein, and that all housekeepers and heads of families do 
order tlieir chihlren and servants uj)on tlie first day of tlie 
week to repair to some place for the worship of God, or 
otherwise to kee]) in their own houses, and that the Clarke 
of the council transcribe copies thereof and sign them as 
Clarke of the council and i>ost them up in the taverns and 
alehouses in the town." 

Here is the first hint of a temperance movement, and 
according to the above record, East Greenwich was among 
the first towns in the Colony to suppress the evils of intem- 

At a " Quarter meeting " held at the house of Thomas 
Nichols, January 12th, 1725, John S])encer was elected 
Moderator, James Reynolds was chosen grand Juryman to 
attend the next general court of tryals to be held for ye 
colony the following March, in the Colony House at New- 
])ort, within and for said colony; and William Spencer and 
John Nichols j^etty Jurymen at the same court. 

It was voted at this meeting that two j^ounds should be 
set up in the town ; one to be set in the place where tlie 
old one stood, and the other in some convenient place at or 
near Jose]»h Hopkins'. Each pound was ordered to be 
built thirty feet square. Thomas Nichols was to build one 
and Ishmael S]>ink the other, for which each was to receive 
three pounds ten shillings. At the same meeting it wasj 


ordered that a pair of stocks and wlii]>))Uig post he set up 
in the town, at or near Thomas Nichols' house. That Par- 
don Tillinghast buikl them in workmanlike manner, and set 
them up hy the next quarter meeting. 

A petition was presented to the meeting from committees 
in North Kingstown and South Kingstown relative to the 
building of an almshouse for the Colony, on which a com- 
mittee of conference, consisting of Thomas Fry, John 
Spencer and Pardon Tillinghast, was appointed to re])()rt 
at the next meeting of the town. The committees of the 
three toAvns met, and with what success may be learned 
from the East Greenwich committee at the next meeting. 
Their report read as follows : 

" That the said petition is disallowed off." 

" November Gth, 17'25. We the committee a])i)ointed 
for the laying out the small lots adjoining the water side, 
have u}»on consideration left a piece of laiul for luiilding 
vessels, and said land lieth to the southward of the lots 
numbered 124 and 125, and eastward down to the sea, and 
southwestwardly bounded by a highway ; and said land by 
estimation is one quarter and one half quarter of an acre 
of land, and Robert Estes, of the tow^n of Portsmouth, 
ship carjjenter, presents to improAC said land, and we the 
committee do grant the said land to the said Robert Estes, 
always provided the said Robert Estes, his heirs and assigns 
shall at any time hereafter neglect or refuse to improve 
said land, as is above ex2)ressed, then said land is to return 
to the Proprietors. 

" Ordered by the committee that henceforw\ard, wlioso- 
ever shall take up any of the lots, shall pay five shillings 
for said lots, and build on the lot in one year and eight 
months, and upon neglect to build on said lot according to 
order, shall forfeit said lot." 

" East Greenwich, March lltli, 1726. Clement Weaver 
a}>peared at said meeting and desired of the committee a 
lot for a meeting house to be built upon, and the said 
Weaver is allowed to take lot No. 54." 

At a quarter meeting, July 13th, 1726, John Spencer 
proposed that he have thirty shillings out of the toAvni 
treasury to pay for the making of a i)lat of the city lots 
in this town, which proposition was granted. At the same 
time William Hall was appointed to draw plats of all the 
land in Old Greenwich and the new jnircliase, and the 
charge to be paid out of the town treasury. 


" Sept. 2d, 1727, Whereas it hatb been the custom for all 
persons that did take up lots in said toAvn, that they sliould 
buihl a house of fourteen feet square, and nine foot i)osts, 
with a stone or brick chimney to said house, and we* the 
committee, do find a great inconvenience in the proportion 
of said houses, it is therefore ordered, that whosoever sliall 
from this time forward take any one or more of said lots 
in this town of East Greenwich, sluill build a house of 
eighteen foot square, and fifteen foot between joints with 
a stone or brick chimney to the house, on each lot within 
twenty months from the taking up of each lot." 

" East GiiEExwirn, Feb. 17th, 1729, Wliereas the com- 
mittee having made their return of the sale of several par- 
cels of ovn- undivided land and tlie ])roprietors will accept 
of what tliey have done in the ])remises, and continue tlien 
to nuike sale of the rest of our undivided land in said ])ur- 
cliase, and that they ]>ay the reasonable charge that hath 
accrued thereon out of the money they have received, and 
to make their return at our next meeting." 

"East Gheenwicii, May 29th, 1729, Voted and ordered 
the committee's grant to Robert Estcs, and his heirs and 
assigns forever, concerning the ship buihling yard in this 
town we order that the word fore^ er be erased, and the 
rest of the grant is hereby confirmed until the proprietors 
shall take further orders concerning said shii) building 

" Voted and ordered. That the persons hereafter named 
be a committee to make a division of all of our land in our 
l)urchase westward of East Greenwich, above said that is 
not yet divided, and to em])loy a surveyor if need require, 
or if they, the said committee think it w^ill be most to the 
l)i'o]n-ietors' advantage, to sell all or any part of the said 
land, it is their election to do which they i)lease. 

" Ordered, That whereas there are several small swamp 
lots tliat doth not yet extend to the colony line, the pro- 
prietors do order that the said lots shall extend to the said 
line, they paying to the committee for the same five shil- 
lings per acre for the addition." 

" East Greenwich, March 24th, 1730, Voted and 
ordered, that Ca])t. Benjamin Greene of Warwick, and 
Thomas Fry and Thomas Spencer, both of East Greenwich, 
are appointed to api)ear at the next General Assembly to be 
held at Newport, in May next, then and there to defend the 
proprietors' interests, in a certain tract of land mentioned 


in one deed made by the Colony to several persons in East 
(ueenwieh and to eni])loy one attorney or more if need re- 
• (iiire, and to act, and do any matter or thing that they may 
( onsider shall he most for the proprietors' interest or to the 
settling of peace and nnity in the Colony, and a co])y of this 
order under the proi)rietors' clerk's hand shall be their suffi- 
cient warrant for so doing." 

"JMay 29th, 1730. That whereas Thomas Fry having 
taken uj) the lot No. 27, and having erected a wharf and 
wherehouse thereon, which is the condition that the said 
lot was granted u])on, therefore the ])roprietors do hereby 
.make the said lot a good estate in fee simple unto the said 
Thomas Fry and to his heirs and assigns forever. 

"Voted, That tlie proprietors and inhabitants of the 
town are granted liberty to build a school house u])on the 
southeast part of the land that Avas allowed for a Town 
House, which said land lyetli between John Coggeshall's lot 
and John Nichols' lot as it ai)i)ears on the plat." 

" March 25th, 1734. Voted, that whereas the proprietors 
are desirous to exchange six lots that are laid out for room 
for a burying place, and in lieu thereof to lay out several 
water lots in the room of them, and whereas one of the lots 
])roposed to be exchanged, belongs to Thomas Fry, and in 
lieu he shall have the liberty to take the choice of the lots 
that shall be laid out, and the present committee to proceed 
to exchange the said lots upon the shore according to their 
discretion for the best conveniency, for the accommodation, 
and for the promotion of our town; and the lots so ex- 
changed Avith the other land that they decide for a burial 
place, shall be and shall remain a burial place forever; and 
whereas there is a piece of land where the schoolhouse 
stands that was left for the building of a town house for- 
ever, Ave order and grant that the said land shall be and 
remain for no other use, but for building a ToAvn House." 

At a meeting July, 1734, an act Avas made, allowing a 
bounty of two pence on the killing of all kinds of squirrels, 
excei>ting the tiying squirrels : 

"August 28th, 1741, Whereas Ave, Pardon Tillinghast, 
Thomas Fry, and Thomas Spencer, Avei'c a})i)ointed a com- 
mittee for the proprietors at a meeting held in East Green- 
Avich July 29th, 1741, as may appear by the records of said 
meeting, to examine the records of said meeting of the i)ro- 
prietors and the proceedings of the standing committees 


persons qualified to take ii[> lots in tliat part of the town, 
tliat were a]»)M)inte(l to manage the said affairs in kitting 
and hdd out into liouse h)ts in order for making, biukling 
and erecting a compact town or village; and also to see 
what power or authority the said standing committee had 
relating to the premises, and to exannne the mismanage- 
ment and illegal proceedings of said committee, and to lay 
hefore the said proprietors at their next meeting u])on 
adjournment, an act or order for the amendation of the 
said illegal proceedings of the committee and also how and 
in Avhat manner the said standing comnuttee may proceed 
for the future : We the ahove named ]»ersons, having ex- 
amined the above mentioned proceedings, and we, by the 
records of the proprietors, find that the said committee had 
no power to do any thing with said lots but to license quali- 
fied persons to take up said lots to build one house on of 
such dimensions and witliin such a time as may ap])ear by 
said records, and the said committee never had any power 
to sell or exchange or otherwise dis])ose of said lots, only 
to give leave for the taking uj) to build a dwelling house 
uj)on as aforesaid; we find that at a meeting of the said 
])roprietors committee June 24th, 1738, the said committee 
did then take upon themselves to exchange the lot No. 101 
for tlie lot Xo. 21o, with James Reynolds, Jr., hath set a 
stable on the said lot No. 99, notwithstanding he was for- 
bid by Jeremiah Pearce, one of the said committee from 
setting up the said stable before he had set it ui)he was fore- 
Avarned by said Peirce not to do it, for remedy whereof we, 
the said proprietors of said land, do hereby order, and em- 
power our said committee to warn the said James Reynolds 
to remove what buildings he hath on said lot, off from said 
lot, within two months from the date hereof, and in case 
he, the said lleynolds, shall neglect or refuse so to do, tlien 
the said committee are hereby empowered to take all lawful 
means to recover said lands oft' his hands." 

Deed of the Court House Lot. 

As a bill has been introduced into the Legislature to 
annex the County of Kent to the County of Pi'ovidence, 
and remove the courts from East Greenwich, some of our 
readers will feel an interest in seeing a copy of the original 
deed from John Pierce to the State. The plan is, in case 
of rewo^'al to present the State |)roperty to the Town of 



Erected in 1805. 


East Greenwicli, wliicli Avill ha very accL'i)taLle to East 
Groeiiwicli, 1)ut it is doubtful if the rest of the county will 
agree to it. According to a clause in the deed it a))])ears 
that the lot with the valuable and ex) tensive l)uilding upon 
it, will revert to the heirs of the original grantor : 

"To all peo])le to whom these preseuts shall come, I, 
John Peirce of East Greenwich in the County of Provi- 
dence, Colony of IMiode Island Yeoman, send Greeting: 

" Know ye, that I, the said John Peirce, for and in con- 
sideration of the love, good Avill and affection that I have 
and do bear unto the Colony of Rhode Island and l*rovi- 
dencc Plantations, in New England but now especially for 
and unto the free inhabitants of the County of Kent now 
erecting in said Colony, have given, granted and confirmed 
unto the free inhabitants of the County of Kent aforesaid 
and tlieir heirs and successors forever, one small house lot of 
land, in East Greenwich aforesaid, and is the lot No. 8 on 
the plat ; for to build and setup a County House theron, 
for tlie use, l)enefit and behoof of tlie County of Kent 
aforesaid, and is butted and bounded as follows : East on 
Main Street, South and W(!st on land of the Grantor, and 
North on Court Street. To have and to hold all the above 
granted land and premises, to the only jn-oper use aiul 
benefit of the inhabitants of the County of Kent, ami I 
the sai<l John Pierce do further grant and agree that at the 
time of this Grant, Bargain and Gift, until the ensealing 
and executing of the same, I am the true, sole, and lawful 
owner of tlie above given and granted premises. 

" Eurthermore, I, the said John Pierce, for myself, my 
heirs, executors and administrators, do promise and engage 
the above granted land and premises unto them the free 
inhabitants of the County of Kent, and tlieir heirs and 
successors and survivors, against the claims, calling and de- 
mands of any i)erson or persons whatsoever, forever to 
warrant, secure and defend by these presents. 

" And Alice Peirce, the wdfe of the said John Pearce, 
doth by these presents freely, Avillingiy, give, yield up and 
surrender all her right of Dower and power of thirds, of, 
in and unto the above demised premises. 

"In Avitness whereof we, the above named John Pearce 
and Alice Pearce, have hereunto set our hands and seals 
the Thirty First day of August in the TAventy Fourth year 
of his Majesties Reign, George the Second, King of Great 
Britain, Anno que Domini, Seventeen Hundred and Fifty. 


" Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of, 

Joseph Rhodes, John Peirce, 

Thomas Spencer, Alice Peircje, 

" Personally appeai'ed the above subscriber, John Pearce, and acknowl- 
edged the above deed to be his act, hand and seal thereunto atlixed before 
me. John Olin, Justice of Peace." 

"East Greexwich, March 30th, 1751. Voted, that the 
proprietors' committee liave power to grant a convenient 
lot for buikling a distill house on, and to be under the same 
rej^ulations as for buildino; dwellinixs." 

This distillery was on the lot now owned by Kobert 
Champlin, and stood just east of his residence, and near 
the jail. The remains of the building were there u]) to 
about 1807. New England rum and gin were distilled 
there from molasses and rye. 

" Voted, That the vacant land in East Greenwich upon the 
shore, that tlie town council of said town, had agreed to 
sell to Jonathan Nichols of New])ort,-Inli()lder, be not sold 
to the said Nichols, nor to any other person, for the i)ro- 
])rietors are of the opinion it is not a higliway, and that 
the same shall not be sold. 

"Voted, That Jolm Spencer, John Langford, and John 
Olin, are chosen a committee to examine into the propri- 
etors acts and to draw up any amendments or alteration in 
any of the proprietors acts as they shall think j^roper, and 
present the same to the adjournment of this meeting which 
is the thirteenth of irext Ai)ril. And we the said com- 
mittee having examined the records of tlie ])roprietors, and 
the records of the small town lots, and we do not find any 
provision in said acts for wharfing into the sea or salt 
Avater, and we have examined also the plat of the tract of 
land southward from the said town lots, and taken some 
measure of the same, and we find some vacant lots adjoin- 
ing the sea shore, that acce]it belongs to the proprietors ; 
be it therefore enacted by this present, and by the authority 
of the same it is enacted, that all the small lots lying and 
being in East Greenwich in the county of Kent is laid out 
for a town next adjoining to the sea shore, shall and may 
have liberty as privilege to wharf into the sea as far as the 
channel, the same width as the said lots are upon plat next 
to the shore, and that they shall have the same course into 
the sea as the dividing line between the towns of East 
GreeuAvich and WarAvick as far as the burying place and 
then have their course into the sea as is drawn on the jilat, 


l>rovided always, that there be a way of twenty feet next 
to said shore left and ke])t open aronnd or along said shore 
as far as water lots do obtain, for a privilege for the inhabi- 
tants to pass and repass forever. 

" And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that all the vacant lands southward and Avestward as it lietli 
along the sea shore from the aforesaid toAvn lots to a ])lace 
called Mascochugg river, together with all tlie jirivileges 
and apj)urtenances thereunto belonging on said shore be 
and shall from time to time forever hereafter be ke})t open 
to and for the use and beuetit of all the free inhabitants of 
the town of East Greenwich aforesaid to pass and rejiass 
to them and to their assigns forever ; and be it further 
enacted that the wood standing on the aforesaid vacant 
lotts shall not be cut off by any ]iersons forever." 

" November 25tli, 1752, William Baily, of said town 
made aj^plication to this Town Council that he might have 
Liberty to Retail Strong Liquor in less quantities than a 
Gallon, for the space of two days and no more ; which is 
for two Muster Days for the second com})any or Train 
Band belono-ino- to East Greenwich there being no house in 
said Company suitable for that purpose. 

" liesolved that the said William Baily have the liberty 
to retail Strong Liquor in less quantity than a Gallon for 
the space of two days as above said he keeping good order 
and being under the same regulation as the other licensed 

The next quotation from the records shows the care 
manifested in cases of contagious diseases : 

" January 2d, 1753, Whereas it manifestly api)ears to 
this Town Council that Elijah Johnson, Mariner, lately 
arrived from the City of Philadeljjhia into this toAvn, and 
is now a breaking out with the Small Pox in the compact 
part of said town, in the House of Thomas Casey and 
might be the means of spreading the same in this town if 
not in other of the neighboring towns; and for the prevent- 
ing of the the spreading of the same, Ilesolved, that 
Thomas Nichols, Caleb Spencer, Peleg Rice, Samuel 
Vaughn and all other proper assistance that tliey can get, 
are. ordered to take the aforesaid Elijah Johnson out of the 
aforesaid Thomas Casey's house in as careful a manner as 
they can, and convey him on board of the Schooner that 
he came from the aforesaid City of Philadelphia in, and 
then to convey the said Schooner to an Island not far 


from hence known by tlie name of Clicpinoxet and there 
on board of tlie aforesaid Scliooner to be kept and nursed 
and tended by FelegRiee, Samuel Vanghn, and a certain 
l)assenger that came'from tlie aforesaid City of PhihideliJiia, 
with the aforesaid Elijah Johnson, as the law directs. 

" And it is further resolved that Thomas Casey's Family 
together with Deborah Johnson be confined to the aforesaid 
Thomas Casey's house, and not to go about the town from 
house to house in said town, upon the j^enalty of the ex- 
tremity of the Law in that case made and provided, for the 
space of twenty days from and after the date hereof, with- 
out License from this Town Council hrsthad and obtained ; 
excei)ting any of the aforesaid Thomas Casey's family, or 
the aforesaid Deborah Johnson shall be likely or sus])ected 
to be likely to brake out Avith the Small Pox (he, she, or 
them) then to be removed to some proi)er place at the dis- 
cretion of this Town Council; and it is resolved thatCai)t. 
William Wall is a]>pointed to take a particular care that 
none of the aforesaid Tliomas Casey's Family do, nor the 
aforesaid Deborah Johnson do not pass about the town for 
the time aforesaid." 

It appears by this record that "Chepinoxet" was then 
an island ; it can scarcely be called so now, exce2)t at a 
very high tide, when it is surrounded by water. 

Not having finished the business, the council met the day 
following and made the following record : 

"Whereas it is very probable that some of Thomas 
Casey's family or the widow Deborah Johnson, will l)reak 
out Avith the Small Pox insomuch that Elijah Johnson lately 
broke out Avith it in Tliomas Casey's house and that Debo- 
rah Johnson is Elijah's mother, and attended him Avhen he 
Avas breaking out with the Small Pox ; Therefore, Resolved, 
that Thomas Si)encer (son of Benjamin) go as soon as 
])OSsible and air all the clothing and other things in 
Thomas Casey's house that he shall think is necessary, that 
is likely to be infected Avitli the Small Pox, and to cleanse 
the Chamber Avherein the said Elijah broke out Avitli the 
same, if he shall think need requires ; and also to_ go twice 
a day to the said Thomas Casey's house to see if any of 
them are likely to brake out Avitli Small Pox or Deborah 
Johnson, and if he can discover that they or any of them 
are, to give notice Immediately to some one or more of the 
Town Council of said Town ; that they give proper orders 
according to law about the same ; all of Avhich is to be 


done at tlie cost and charge of Thomas Casey and Deborah 

One week ehii»sed and the council calle<l up the sul)ject 
again : 

" Wliereas it is j^robable (or likely) that some of Thomas 
Casey's family (or Deborah Johnson) is infected with the 
Small Pox, and is likely to brake out Avitli the same, in a 
short time in said town, and whereas it is Resolved the said 
Thomas Casey is allowed and i)erniitted to remove himself 
or any of his family, or Deborah Jolmson, to the House 
wherein Abner Spencer now lives in tlie town (which house 
belongs to Thomas Aldrich of the town aforesaid) wlien 
any or either of tliem shall be likely to brake out witli the 
aforesaid Enfectious Destroyer of the Small Pox, all of 
Avhich is to be at the cost and charge of the aforesaid 
Thomas Casey." 

How different are the modern provisions against this 
terril)le " enfectious " disease. Scarcely more care is now 
taken when the small pox appears than if it were the 

In 1754 there were nine licenses granted in East Green- 
w^ich for the sale of strong li([uors. Tliere has been but 
little improvement since, only that the liquor used a century 
ago was a long time, (com])arative]y,) in i)oisoning its vic- 
tims to death. The unfortunate consumer of "patent 
liquors " is noAV hastened through his course with fearful 

In those days, persons in order to remove from town 
according to law, were obliged first to obtain a certificate 
of permission. We find that during the year 1756 there 
were several removals to North Kingstown and Exeter. 

September 13th, 1759, a man formerly of North Kings- 
tow^n was complained of by one of the overseers of the 
poor of East Greenwich, that he, the said man, would, by 
his ill conduct and bad behaviour, probably become chai-ge- 
able to the town, Avhereupon he, witli his seven small child- 
ren was ordered back to North KingstoAvn forthAvith, and 
the order was carried out by the proper officer. In Novem- 
ber the man returned, in "contenij»t of authority." He 
was then ordered to pay the sum of forty shillings, and i)ay 
costs of prosecution, taxed at <£7, 6 and 4 pence, and that lie 
remain in custody of the officer until the cost be paid, and 
thenceforth leave the tOAvn. Cases like this are often found 
upon the records. 


At a council meeting held August 25tli, 1756, Captain 
Sylvester Sweet appeared and informed the council that 
Abigail Sweet, one of the poor of the town, wanted some 
clothing, such as " shifts and a gound," and whereupon it was 
resolved by the council that the said Sylvester Sweet pro- 
vide for her two good tOAV cloth shifts and a good flannel 
"gownd," and exhibit his account of the same before the 

On the 29th of December following, C^ai)tain S^veet ex- 
hibited his account for the said articles of ap])arel, amount- 
ing to nine shillings, Avhich account being duly examined 
was allowed and ordered to be paid out of the town 

On the 28th of June, 1771, Thomas Casey, Esq., appeared 
in council and hired the highway and vacant land around 
the shore, from Mascachugg to Kocky Hollow, until the 
28th of March following, for which he agreed to \mj 
thirteen shillings and sixpence. 

June 27th, 1772, John Glazier had liberty granted him by 
the council to build a vessel on the driftway around the 
shore by paying into the town treasury the sum of two- 
pence, lawful money, for the use of the same one year. 

February 27th, 1774, Thomas Baily agreed Avith the 
council to board Elizabeth Havens for one shilling and 
ten pence a week. 

July 14tli, 1777, the town council appointed one of tlieir 
number to hire persons to do military duty in the places of 
those persons called Quakers, that refused to do military 
duty. The council ordered the treasurer to provide a (piire 
of paper and deliver it to the clerk for the use of the town. 

It was resolved by the council, January, 1777, that a civil 
watch shall be kept in the town, of two suitable persons, 
every night until the 20th of May from six o'clock in the 
evening until sunrise, and that they receive two shillings 
each for every night ; and if a Avatchman should be found 
asleep he shall forfeit and pay a fine of three shillings. 

Extracts from the Council Itecords of^ June 14th, 1877 : 

" Whereas, the General Assembly of this State by a late 
Act, thereof ordered the town councils or committees that 
should be a])pointed in the several towns in said State, to 
settle and afhx in the respective towns the prices of sundi-y 
articles, in this State — it is, therefore, resolved by this 


town council, and by the authority thereof, by sai<l Act 
given us, that the prices of the several articles and of labor 
done in this town from and after the 8th of July next to be 
as folio weth. 

" Clothier's work, for fulling cloth, five ])ence per yard, and 
for shearing cloth one penny ])er yard, for every time it is 
sheared, and for pressing cloth two ])ence per yai-d, and all 
other clothiers business in like proi)ortion. Spinning — for 
S])inning linen or worsted five or six skeins to a pound shall 
not exceed six i)ence per skein, for every fifteen knotted 
skein and all fine work in like proportion, and all card work 
of woollen shall not exceed six ])ence per skein for every 
fifteen knotted skein. Weaving — for weaving plain tlamiel 
or and tow and linen, five pence per yard ; for Aveaving 
common worsted and all linen one penny per yard, and all 
other linen in like proportion. Bark — good bark shall not 
exceed £1, 10 shillings per cord, delivered at the compact 
part of the town, and at all other places in said town in the 
like j)roportion. Tanning — for tanning hides six pence per 
pound. For making shoes for the use of the inha])itants of 
this toAvn in their houses, shall not exceed two shillings and 
six jjence per pair." 

In June, 1793, a committee consisting of Sylvester Sweet, 
Joseph Fry, Benjamin Fry and Thomas Tillinghast, met at 
the house of Thomas Aldrich in said town, and proceeded 
to examine the records in his possession belonging to the 
proprietors, and found a vote of the i)roprieto]'s at their 
meeting on March '25th, 1717, ordering that two certain 
plats made by William Hall, surveyor, on the 28th of May, 
1716, one of the farm lots and one of the town lots, be 
placed in the town clerk's office of said town, there to re- 
main for the use of said town forever, which vote hath 
never been complied with. Since the death of Dr. Spencer 
the said |>lats thereof are in the possession of Thomas Al- 
drich. We do not find that the proprietors have ever held 
a meeting since the 26th of A])ril, A. D. 1766. We find 
that the proprietors' committee for licensing the taking up 
of lots in the compact part of the town consisted of five 
meml)ers, and that at times the proprietors used to ap])()int 
others as a committee to examine the doings of their stand- 
ing committee and report thereon ; some of which doings 
they approved, and other parts thereof they nullified. 

We do not find that the standing committee ever met 
after March, 1784, since w^hich time the whole business 
seems to have been left to Thomas Aldrich. 


We Icjivn that the proprietors ordered their standing 
coniniittee to take bonds of persons licensed to take n]> 
lots as aforesaid, that on failure of building they should 
forfeit thirty shillings to and for the use of the town, which 
bonds Avere to be lodged in the town treasurer's office. 
Some of these bonds are now in the possession of Thomas 
Aldrich, although numbers have been forfeited, no payments 
having been exacted. Fifteen shillings Avere to have been 
takenby the committee in 1773 for each lot granted, and 
some lots were taken nj) a number of times — two of wliich 
were retaken by Elijah Freeborn, June, 1793, and Mr. 
Silas Casey licensed five of the i»roprietors' lots. 

"We find but two of the proprietors standing committee 
now living; wherefore we are of oi>inion that there is not, 
nor has there been for several years ])ast any |)erson or per- 
sons legally authorized to locate said lots." [ 1793.] 

"East Greenwich, 1794. Voted, That Avhereas Thomas 
Tillinghast and Josejih Fry, Avere a]>i)ointed a committee to 
receiv^' of Thomas Aldrich late proprietor's committee to 
licensing qualified peoi)le to take np lots in the comi)act 
]»art of the town of East GreenAvicli, to build u})on agreea- 
ble to the acts of the ])roi»rietors and deliver them to the 
present Clerk, said Aldrich Avhen requested, delivered but 
one book ; the latest date therein contained is the 26th of 
April, 1796, Avhichis not the Avhole of said records belonging 
to the two offices ; it is therefore voted by this meeting tliat 
Thomas Tillinghast, Josejdi Fry, Robert Vaughn, and Far- 
don Mawney, be a committee to receive of said Aldrich all 
the records and i>a])ers he noAV holds belonging to said offi- 
cers, and deliver them to the i)resent clerk, give and take 
recei]^ts for the same. 

"Whereas some of the proprietors lots in the comi)act 
part of the toAvn are taken into possession and under im- 
provement by people Avho have not taken them np agreeable 
to acts of the proprietors, it is therefore voted l)y this meet- 
ing that our committee see that they comply Avith the acts of 
the proprietors, or recover the lots out of their possession 
by any lawful means ; voted, that Avhereas Thomas Casey 
and John Ailsworth, have got some of the proi)rietor's lots 
in their possession, not taken up agreeable to the acts of 
the ])ro])rietors, it is voted by this meeting that the clerk 
notify them to appear at the adjournment of this meeting, 
to account by Avhat authority they hnprove them." 

As an interesting portion of the history of the toAvn, avo 



think the iianies of the lieads ot" families as tlie lists stood 
in 1774, will be appreciated l)y the present generation. In 
that year a eensns was taken nn(U'r the authority of the 
Ook)ny, and the following names were returned as heads of 
families : 

John Arnold, Jr., 
Charles Andrew, 
Thomas Aldrid^e, 
Matthew Aylsworth, 
Oliver Arnold, 
Pardon Allen, 
John Arnold, 
William Arnold, 
Joseph Arnold, 
Thomas Arnold, 
Richard Aylsworth, 
Anthony Aylsworth, 
Rel)ecca Andrew, 
Benoni Andrew, 
Jonathan Andrew, 
Edinond Andrew, 
Joh Alshane, 
William Baily, 
William Baily, Jr., 
Thomas Baily, 
Joseph Baily, 
George Baily, 
Daniel Bates, 
Rohert Babcock, 
Caleb Briugs, 
Clive Brings, 
Edwin Briggs, 
Job Briggs, 
Tliomas Briggs, 
Nathan Briggs, 
John Briggs, Jr., 
Richard JSriggs* sou of 

Benjamin Bennet, 
William Bentley, 
John Brightman, 
William Burlingame, 
John Bnrlinganie, 
David Brown, 
Bial Brown, 
Amos Brown, 
Clarke Brown, 
Amos Boose, 
Andrew Bayard, 
William Card, 
Job Card, 
Joseph Card, 
Charles Carr, 
Daniel Carr, 
Cornell Carpenter, 
Morgan Car so, 
Jonathan Capron, 
William Coggeshall, 

Benjamin Coggeshall, 
Thomas Coggeshall, 
Nichols Coggeshall, 
Joshua Coggeshall, 
Thomas Corey, 
John Cooke, 
Hopkins Cook, 
Steplien Cooper, 
Gideon Casey, 
Thomas Casey, 
Silas Casey, 
Archibald Crary, 
Job Comstock, 
Samuel Cahoone, 
Richard Corjiell, 
Cornelius Clarke, 
Samnel ] )avis, 
Nathan Ely, 
Jeremiah Fairbanks, 
Benjamin Fry, 
Joseph Fry, 
Lemuel Fry, 
Thomas Fry, 
Phineas Foster, 
Nathaniel Greene, 
Nathan Greene, 
Joseph Greene, 
Elisha Greene, 
Sylvester Greene, 
Stephen Greene, 
Rufus Greene, 
Jonathan Greene, 
Daniel Greene, 
Benjamin Greene, 
John Greene, 
Grilhn Greene, 
Henry Greene, 
Christopher Greene, 
AVilliam Greene, 
Augustus Greene, 
Matthew Greene, 
Nicholas Greene, 
George Greene, 
Samuel Greene, 
Albert Greene, 
Job Greene, 
Oliver Gardner, 
John Gardner, 
Henry Gardner, 
Job Gardner, 
Nicliolas Goddard, 
AYilliam Giles, 
John Glazier, 

John Grinnell, 
Archibald Graves, 
.loshua (iodl'ore, 
E])ene/,cr, Hath, 
Freeb<n'n Hamilton, 
AVilliam Hamilton, 
Robert Hall, 
Oliver Hazard, 
Joseph Hiuit, 
Ezekiel Ifunt, 
Ebenezer Hall, 
Anthony Holden, 
Nicholas Hyde, 
Daniel Howland, 
INIary Jennings, 
Dowry Jenks, 
Michael Jenks, 
Isaac Johnson, 
John Jolinson, 
Jonathan Johnson, 
William Johnson, 
Jabcz Jo}ies, 
Silas Jones, 
Josiali Jones, 
Abel Jones, 
Joseph Joselyn, 
Philip Jenkens, 
Remington K^cnyon 
Arthur King, 
James Luther, 
John Langford, 
John Langford, Jr., 
Joseph Mott, 
Stephen IMott, 
Stephen INLott, Jr., 
Robert jNI orris, 
Daniel Maxwell, 
Gideon INIumford, 
Stephen Mumford, 
John Matterson, 
Augustus ISIumford, 
Caleb Mathew, 
Isaac Moore, 
Richard Mathewson, 
Pardon Morney, 
John Nichols, son of 

Jonathan Nichols, 
George Nich<jls, 
Richard Nichols, 
John Nichols, son of 

Freelove Nichols, 



Thomas Nichols, 
Alexandre Nichols, 
James Nichols, 
Robert Nichols, 
Biith Nichols, 
John Nichols, 
Job Pierce, 
Daniel Pierce, 
Tliomas Pierce, 
Stei)hen Pierce, 
Jolin Pierce, 
William Pierce. 
John Pierce,sonof Benj 
James Pierce, 
Jeremiah Pierce, 
Preserved Pierce, 
Ichabod Prentice, 
John Pitcher, 
Thomas Place, 
Thomas Philips, 
Aldrich Reynolds, 
Samuel Relf, 
Shippey Reynolds, 
Thomas Reynolds, 
Jonathan Rouse, 
Gardner Rouse, 
Peleji; Rice, 
John Spencer, 
^lichael Spencer, 
Gritlin Spencer, 
Tliomas Spencer, son 

of Benjamin, 
Stephen Spencer, 
Walter Spencer, 
William Spencer, 

Wilson Spencer, 
Henry Spencer, 
Nathan Spencer, 
Caleb Spencer, 
Benjamin Spencer, 
Jeremiah Spencer, 
George Spencer, 
Ebenezer Spencer, 
Silas Spencer, 
Susannah Spencer, 
Rufus Spencer, 
John Shaw, 
, Merrit Smith, 
Ichabod Smith, 
Samuel Smith, 
Thomas Slocum, 
Andrew Smart, 
Caleb Sheffield, 
William SAveet, 
Ann Sweet, 
Sylvester Sweet, 
Stephen Shippee, 
Thomas Shippee, 
Rowland Sprague, 
Jeremiah Sweet, 
James Stafford, 
Joseph Stafft)rd, 
James Sweet, 
Benjamin Sweet, 
Samuel Sweet, 
Henry Sweet, 
Jonathan Tibbitts, 
Henry Tibbitts, 
Benjamin Tibbitts, 
Robert Talt, 

Thomas Tillinghast, 
Philip Tillinghast, 
George Tillinghast, 
Benjamin Tillinghast, 
Joseph Tillinghast, 
Samxiel Tar box, 
Isaac Upton, 
Samuel Upton, 
Jas. Mitchell, Varnum, 
Daniel Vaughn, 
David Vaughn, 
Robert Vaughn, 
Christopher Vaughn, 
Caleb Wee den, 
John Whitman, 
Samuel AVhitman, 
James Whitman, 
Smith Wilcocks, 
Ephraim Ware, 
Roi)ert Whitford, 
Caleb Whitford, 
Peleg Weaver, 
Benjamin Weaver, 
George Weaver, 
Jonathan AVeavcr, 
Timothy Weaver, 
Clement Weaver, 
Thomas Wells, 
Peter Wells, 
Ezekiel Warner, 
Joseph Winslow, 
Job Winslow, 
Joseph Whitmarsh, 
Hannah Wall, 
Benjamin Wall. 

How few of these naiiies are heard in East Greenwich 
now? The names of Alsbane, Bently, Brightman, Boose, 
Bayard, Carso, Ayrault, Crary, Ely, Fairliaiiks, Godchird, 
Giles, Glazier, Grinnell, Graves, Godfore, Hamilton, Hyde, 
Jennings, Joselyn, Jcnkens, King, Luther, Langford, Mor- 
ris, Maxwell, Mumford, Mathew, IMoore, Prentice, Belf, 
Konse, Smart, Shelheld, Upton, Varniini, Ware, Whit- 
marsh, and many others apj^ear to be extinct. 



At the commencement of tlie Revolutionary War, a 
man by tlie name of IT]>ton came from Nantucket to East 
Green wicli, and manufactured eartliern ware for a number 
of years. The pottery where the articles were made, and 
the kiln where tliey were baked, stood on the lot now occu- 
])ied by the dwelliug iiouse of John Weeden, on the corner 
of King and Marlboro streets. The articles made there 
consisted of pans, bowls, plates, cups and saucers. As 
there were no jK^rcelain manufactories in America at that 
time, and tlie Avar prevented the importation of such arti- 
cles from Euroi)e, many of the people here were obliged 
to use these coarse clumsy plates, cups and saucers for 
Avant of better. They Avere made of the coarse red eartli- 
ern Avare, Avhich Ave see at the i)resent day in the form of 
milk-i)ans, jars and jugs. A table set out Avith such rough 
looking specimens of crockery Avould look very strange at 
this day, but Ave presume that many a good dish of tea Avas 
drunk out of those thick, heavy cu])s and saucers, and many 
excellent dinners were eaten off of those red eartliern 
plates. The clay for making those articles Avas brought 
from Quidnesett at a place called Gould's Mount, on the 
farm noAv belonging to Henry Waterman, and Avhere great 
quantities of the same kind of clay still remains. Shortly 
after the termination of the Revolutionary War Mr. Up- 
ton returned to Nantucket, and no earthern Avare has been 
made here since. 

The Narragan setts, or some other race Avho inhabited 
this country previous to the Indians, manufactured articles 
of earthern Avare from this same deposit of clay. Directly 
opposite the village of East GreenAvich is a tract of land 
called Potowomut, and at the north end of this tract are 


vast quantities of (|iialiaiig sliells. It is evident that these 
sliells were carried to tliis sj)ot by the former inhabitants 
of this continent, as they still bear the marks of hre. 
Among these shells are fonnd great numbers of stone ar- 
row heads and fragments of ancient pottery. These ])ieces 
of pottery contain the same coarse gravel Avhich is found 
in the clay from Gould's Mount, showing that the peojde 
who made this earthern ware, Avere not possessed of the 
conveniences for sifting and grinding the clay, as the moderns 
do when prejiai-ing it for use. The articles thus made were 
unglazed, and evidently made from the clay in the same 
state as Avhen dug from tlie deposits. The writer of this 
history has a number of fragments of this pottery in his 
possession, and once had a comj)lete jar or vase found 
in an Indinn grave, which is now in the possession of Dr. 
Parsons. The late Dr. Usher Parsons said it was made by 
covering a crookneck squash with a coating of clay and 
then baking in a Avood fire until it was sufficiently hard to 
retain its sha])e. In this deposit of shells are found quanti- 
ties of arrow and s})ear heads of stone. These arroAVS and 
spears are made of a kind of Hint called horn-stone, Avhich 
is not found in Rhode Island, and Ave belicAe noAvhere 
south of Xew nami>shire or Maine — Avhere it is very abun- 
dant. The race, therefore, Avhich used them, must have had 
some traffic Avith those Avho inhabited these northern regions, 
or otherAvise they must have traveled a great distance to 
j)rocure them. One great mystery is to knoAV how they 
Avere able to cut such hard stones into such thin sliarj)-pointed 
arroAv heads, as they certainly did not possess those fine 
steel hammers such as Avcre used to make gun flints. 

Calico Printing. 

Extract from Judge Staples's " Annals of Providence : " 
"About the year 1788, John Fullam Avorked a stocking 
loom in Providence, and in 1794 Messrs. Schaub, Tissot 
and Dubosque, Avere engaged in ])rinting calicoes ; they 
used cotton cloth imported from the East Indies and Avooden 
blocks to impart the desired figures and colors. Pi-evious 
to this hoAvever, by several years, calico i)rinting in the 
same manner Avas carried on at East Greenwich ; this it is 
supposed Avas the first calico i)rinting done in America. 
The Rhode Island Historical Society have, in their cabinet 
in Providence some of the calico first printed, and some of 
the blocks first used." 


It appears, tlicn, that our village has the credit of estab- 
lishing the first calico printing works on this continent. A 
man by the name of Dawson first set up the business of 
printing calico in East Greenwich, and the print works Avere 
in an old building which formerly stood on the lot now be- 
longing to ]\[rs. Pliebe Davis and Mrs. Ruth Brown, at the 
north end of the village, and which was torn down within 
a few years. The ])rinting was done on linen cloth, wdiich 
was s])un, woven and bleached by the women of our village 
and its vicinity. The linen thread of which this cloth was 
made, was spun by hand on the small linen Avheel operated 
by the foot, then woven into clotli on the common hand- 
loom, and then bleached in the sunshine. This bleaching 
was a long and tedious process, and entirely different from 
the chemical bleaching of the present day. The long -web 
of linen cloth was laid on the grass, stretched out and 
fastened to the ground by wooden pegs, and then constantly 
S])rinkled with water, until the sun's rays, acting on the 
cloth, changed the brown tow-cloth into pure white linen, 
ready for the calico printer. A calico, or as it was then 
called a chintz dress, was at that time a rare and costly 
article, and ranked as liigli in the scale of fashion as the 
silks and velvets do now. As there was little or none of 
the calico in the sliops for sale, every family made their 
own cloth and then carried it to the printing establishment 
to be printed, each person selecting their own pattern and 
colors. The ]»atterns were very neat and pretty, and the 
colors remarkably brilliant, much more so than the calico 
of the present day ; but those brilliant tints were owing to 
the material on which they Avere printed, as linen will take 
color better than cotton. There are a nmnber of s])ecimens 
of this linen calico printed here more than ninety years 
ago, in this village at the present time. 

An old lady,who was living here until within a few years, 
and who spim, wove, and had printed a number of pieces 
of this calico, gave me an animated description of the man- 
ners and customs of the people of those times, their a]nuse- 
ments and social pleasures. She said that when a family 
had a piece of cloth printed it would lie kept for a long 
time before it was made up into dresses, so that they could 
exhibit it to their friends and neighbors, and it was made 
the excuse for man}- an afternoon visit, to drink tea, and to 
talk over and admire. 

Afternoon and evening parties were not then so formal 


and exclusive as now. Our village was not divided into so 
many different circles as at j)resent, but consisted of only 
tAvo divisions — those who behaved with propriety and those 
Avho did not. It was unnecessary also to send out cards of 
invitation, as manners and fashions were very plain. 

Tlie dress of the men consisted generally of cloth man- 
ufactured in their own houses. Laborers of almost every 
description wore leather aprons, but the best suit of the 
opulent nvas of English manufacture made in a plain style. 
Some who were a little flashy would wear a cocked liat 
and have their hair powdered, with their hair clubbed or 
queued. Sometimes they would buy extra hair for the pur- 
pose of giving the club or queue the better effect. Women 
of the same neigldjorhood would visit each other wearing 
a checked apron, a stri])ed loose-gown, somewhat resembling 
the modern sacques, a handkerchief over the shoulders, and 
a sun-bonnet. Then they would divert themselves over 
a cup of Boliea tea, with those delicious short biscuits and 
cakes. A few wlio considered themselves a little superior 
would wear a silk or calico gown, with a long ruflie cuff, a 
lawn ai)ron, a little roll of wool something like a pin-cusli- 
ion on the head, Avith the liair smoothly combed over it, 
Avhich they called a " commode." 

On the infrequent holidays the young men amused them- 
selves in the lots, playing ball, shooting at poultry, or at a 
target, or uoav and then at Avrestling and jumping for a Ava- 
ger. But the liighest frolics Avere the large (piilting parties. 
After the quilt Avas finislied and rolled uj) out of tlie way, a 
dance Avas next in order. Tlie music Avas sui)plied by the 
A'iolin of an old negro named Pi-ince Greene, one of the 
servants of General Greene. Reels, contra-dances, and a 
dance called " fore and after," Avere popular at that period. 
Quadrilles, polkas, and Avaltzes Avere then unknoAvn. At 
harvest time, the young men Avould gladly travel the long- 
miles to a husking i)arty on a i)leasant evening, as the 
farmers generally made a great feast on such occasions. 

Among the curiosities to be seen in the State Genealog- 
ical Rooms at Newport is an antique spinning-Avheel, tliat 
Avas made and used more than a century prior to the inven- 
tion of the spinning-jenny, Avliich noAV Avhirls so busily in 
our great factories, performing so speedily and so Avell the 
work of hundreds of hands. In its construction the old 
Avheel tells of its antiquity. It is made of oak and niajde, 
and it is finished Avitli so much care as to indicate that it 


was not made l)y machinery, but carefully and laboriously 
wrought out by hand. Its early history is unknown. It 
was no doubt made either in England or Ireland. Some 
time ago it came into the ])ossession of E. H. Pease, Esq., 
being a gift from its former owner, Miss Eleanor Fry, a lady 
of East Greenwich. In a letter addressed to Mr. Pease, 
she gives the later history of the old wheel : 

"In 1754, it came to my father's house in East Green- 
wich, from Nai'ragansett ; it had been in America nearly 
one hundred years when it was brought here ; in 1777, I 
spun on it linen yarn enough to weave one piece of lawn 
handkerchiefs, twelve in number, as good as those imported 
from England ; the ladies here were emulous to excel, and 
were so patriotic that they chose the fabrics of their own 
country, and toiled with their own hands to spin lawn for 
their own dresses ; the wheel was given me by my father, 
Samuel Fry." 

In a subsequent letter. Miss Fry, who was more than 
eighty years old when she wrote it, says, in relation to a 
S])inning party: "It was done in 1789, to celebrate the 
adoption of the Federal Constitution, and to encourage 
manufacturing in Rhode Island. On that occasion forty- 
eight i)atriotic ladies assembled at the "Court-House in East 
Greenwich, with their OAvn wheels, their own flax, and for 
their own use spun one hundred and seventy-three skeins 
of linen yarn, in one day, from sunrise to sunset. One lady 
spun seven skeins and one knot — that being the most spun 
by any one of the company. 

" The young lady who spun the most yarn on that day was 
Miss Lydia Arnold, afterwards Mrs. Lydia Greene, wife of 
Dr. Jeremiah Greene; there were several Avho sjuin six 
skeins in the same time ; the usual amount was two skeins 
in a day for each to sjun." 

How interesting is this reminisence of a custom in vogue 
in the early times of our country, and patriotically observed 
in the midst of the stirring scenes and important events of 
the Revolution. These "spinning matches" were of an- 
cient date and of long continued observance throughout 
New England, and annually attracted much attention. 
Doubtless they aroused the deepest kind of excitement 
among our grandmothers. And how ]>atriotic they were ! 
They preferred fabrics of home-growth to foreign manufac- 
tures. Even the simple finery in which they choose to in- 


dulge must be of native production, and in their publia 
trials of skill and activity they forget not their beloved 
country. That " good old time," as well as nearly all of 
those noble souls who stamped upon it the imperishable 
impress of their characters, lias passed away forever, and 
all is chano-ed. 

In gazing upon this old spinning-wheel — this curious 
and venerable relic of almost two hundred years — our im- 
agination reverts to the match spoken of by Miss Fry, 
Avhen forty-eight young ladies of East Greenwich assembled 
in the Court House, and, in the presence of an excited mul- 
titude, all day long plied their quick and nimble fingers 
in the old-fashioned accomplishment of spinning. From 
the rising of the sun to its setting their wheels revolved 
merrily ; and what a buzzing there must have been in that 
room, and how^ interesting to witness such a scene under 
such circumstances. 

The Miss Eleanor Fry mentioned above was well known 
and affectionately remembered by many people of this vil- 
lage as Cousin Ellen Fry, who Avas in her later years a 
rigid Quaker, and a strict observer of the discipline and 
customs of that society; always known as a kind friend 
and comforter in times of illness and affliction. In her 
earlier years she Avas a gay young lady in the high-toned 
society which then existed in East Greenwich, mingling in 
festivities of the day, and dancing with grace the stately 
minuet. Music was then a rare accom})lishnient, though 
two pianos w^ere owned in this village previous to the year 
1800 — one belonging to Mrs. Ray Greene, mother of the 
])resent Governor William Greene, and the other to Mrs. 
Anne Greene, widow of Nathaniel, son of General Greene. 

Cousin Ellen, in conversation, mentioned that she once 

drank tea at General Varnum's house on Pearce street, 

with Lafayette and other French and Americali officers, at 

the time of Sullivan's expedition to Rhode Island, and that 

one of these officers j^aid her a very delicate compliment. 

A yellow slip of paper in faded ink Avas found carefully 

folded away in an old receipt book, Avhich came into the 

possession of one Avho valued it for tlie sake of its former 

owner. These lines Avere Avritten upon it, and it is quite 

])r()bable that Ave noAv read the delicate compliment to 

which she alluded : 

" For man to bow to man below 
Is called Idolatiy I know, 
But wlien Angelic forms appear 
Like tliiue, 'tis diitj- to revere." 


The ancient dame who, in her gray age had become the 
universal Cousin Ellen of her quiet village, had not for- 
gotten the time of her brilliant youth, when as the beauti- 
ful Miss Eleanor slie shone in the polished society that as- 
sembled in the congenial centre afforded by the spirited 
little town, so deepl}' stirred in sympathy with tlie changes 
and chances of Revolutionary fortunes. The homely lines 
Avith their well-worn compliment, were perhaps penned and 
presented by some lionest provincial volunteer, and glorified 
to girlish imagination by the halo of patriotic devotion. 
This scrap of crumbling paper, with its faintly traced lines, 
was a magical link which still bound lier to the lingering- 
past. It was the potent talisman which called up about 
her, as she sat, lonely in the shadows of age, shining vis- 
ions of the power, the triumj^hs and the glories of youth. 

Saltpetee Works. 

During the Revolutionary War, saltpetre became a very 
scarce article. Previously all the nitre used in this coun- 
try was imported from Europe ; but at the beginning of 
hostilities the supply from this source was cut off. Nitre 
being an essential ingredient in the composition of gunpow- 
der, the general government gave its attention to the encour- 
agement of the manufacture of saltpetre. Richard Math- 
ewson united with otliers in the undertaking of manufact- 
uring it. The saltpetre works were erected near the old 
windmill grounds on Division street, on a lot still called the 
saltpetre lot. The earth which produced the nitre was col- 
lected from cellars and from the dirt under the foundations 
of the old buildings in the tillage. 

Card Manufacture. 

About the time of the erection of the saltpetre works, 
Richard Mathewson began the business of making wire. 
The war preventing the importation of the article, wire 
was very scarce and expensive. Mr. Mathewson used horse- 
])ower for drawing the wire, and the building occupied by 
him for this purpose, stood on the lot at the corner of Main 
and Meeting streets. 

About the year 1790, Richard Mathewson and Earl 
Mowry commenced the manufacture of Avoolen cards in 
East Greenwich, and this was the first establishment of the 
kind in this country. 


Earl Mowry inyented and constructed all the different 
machines necessary for the business ; those for puncturing 
the holes in the leather and those for cutting and shaping 
the teeth. Although at the present time machines are used 
for this purpose, Avhicli puncture the leather, cut, shape and 
insert the teeth in the curd, yet at that time a number of 
different processes were required to produce a card. First, 
the leather, after being cut into suitable dimensions, for the 
cards of different sizes, was put into the machine which 
made the holes for the reception of the teeth. These teeth 
Avere made by another separate machine, which cut, bent 
and shaped the wire into the proper form of card-teeth. 
The wire, which was of different sizes, suitable for cards 
Avhich were to be used for fine or coarse wool, came in the 
form of skeins like skeins of yarn. It was placed on a 
reel, whence it was wound off by the machine as it made 
the teeth. The machine itself was a very complicated and 
curious alfair, and five or six of this description were re- 
quired in the business of card making, Avliich Avas then a 
tedious process, Av^hile at present the requisite apparatus 
occupies a space of only tAvo or three feet. Tlien, after 
the leather Avas prepared, ca ery cai"d-tooth Avas inserted 
separately, by the fingers of Avomen and cliildren. This 
card factory at that time furnished employment for a num- 
ber of jjersons in the A'illage and Aicinity, and many 
families depended on it as their only means of sui)port. 
They Avere paid by the dozen cards for inserting the teeth 
into the leather, or, as it Avas called " setting cards." 

So common Avas this employment then, that Avhen tlie 
Avomen Avent out to " spend the afternoon," or evening Avitli 
their neighbors, instead of their scAving, embroidery or 
knitting, they carried their cards and tin-jjan of teeth. A 
number of young girls also found constant employment at 
the factory, occujiied in examining the teeth, pulling out 
all that Avere crooked and defective, and inserting perfect 
ones in their places. 

When Messrs. Mathewson and MoAvry commenced the 
business of card making they made Avhat Avere called "hand 
cards," used principally by the farmers' families for straight- 
ening the fibres of Avool, and forming it into rolls, ready 
for spinning. But Avhen the carding machines, driven by 
Avater poAver Avent into oj^eration, and still later when the 
business of carding and spinning cotton Avas begun in this 
country, they turned their attention to making the larger 

MANUl'ACTiJitES. 69 

and more expensive kind of cards required for tliis purpose. 
They furnished all the cards used in this country for a 
nund)er of years after the cotton manufacture was intro- 
duced, and indeed until the machine which does all the 
work itself Avas invented. 

Tlie card manufactory was in the dAvelling house now 
owned by Mrs. LeBaron, nearly opposite the IJpdike House. 


As early as 1780 a number of tanneries were established 
in East Greenwich. The earliest one Avas by Nathan 
Greene, on the lot now OAvned and occupied by Dr. James 
H. Eldridge ; another, OAvned and Avorked by Caleb Greene, 
Avas located a short distance above the Oiion Mill, on the 
stream Avhich supplies the fountains for the use of the mill ; 
another on Queen street, betAveen Marlboro and Duke 
streets, Avas owned by Martin Miller, and another at the 
north end of the villaoe on Main street belono;ed to Robin- 
son Pearce, The process of tanning at tliat period Avas 
entirely different from the present method. It is noAV done 
in a short time by the use of chemicals and machinery ; 
then it required several months by hand labor to complete 
the process. Most of the bark used in tanning Avas brought 
from Maine and sold by the cord like fire-Avood. The man- 
ner of grinding the bark, Avas a A^ery clumsy and inefhcient 
one. A circular platform Avitli a deep grooAC on its outer 
edge Avas laid down, then a large lieaA^y stone shaped like a 
grindstone Avas made to revolve on its axis, Avith its edge 
in the groove, until the bark Avas crushed sufHciently for 
use. AfterAvards a bark mill Avas iuAented similar in its 
operation to the old-fashioned coffee mill, Avhich ground it 
much finer, Avith less time and labor. The tan-vats Avere 
Avooden tanks sunk into the earth level Avith its surface, 
filled Avith alternate layers of bark and hides, and left to 
soak until the salts of tannin had converted the skins into 
leather. The process Avas completed by saturating the 
leather Avith a horrible smelling oil, called gurry, the same 
Avhich is noAV used for medicine, under the name of cod 
liver oil. These tanneries supplied the surrounding country 
with all the leather then used. 


There Avere three extensive hat manufactories in East 
GreeuAvich prior to 1800. The princi])al one was owned 


by John Casey, who employed a number of workmen, and 
the building was located on the lot now occupied by the 
large brick block belonging to the firm of BroAvning & Fitz. 
Another hat shop owned by Daniel Davis was on the lot 
where the Greenwich Bank Building now stands, and the 
other, owned and managed by Ezra Simmons & Sons, was 
in the house on the corner of Main and Queen streets, now 
owned by Miss Lydia Simmons, the only remaining descend- 
ant of the once large family of Ezra Simmons. This family 
will be remembered by the people of this village for their 
talent and eccentricity. Chaloner Simmons possessed a 
taste for painting and a genius for cai-icature, which had 
it been cultivated, would have made him celebrated ; l)ut 
intemperance, that bane of genius, killed him at middle age. 
The other two brothers, Caleb and Harry, were steady, in- 
dustrious men, and assisted their father in the hat business, 
until the invention of machines for making hats destroyed 
their trade. The old man and his tAvo sons would make up 
a quantity of hats, (all of the same shape), and then with as 
large l)undles as they could possil)ly carry in their hands, 
they would trudge off (single tile, one behind the other) 
among the factories on the Pawtuxet, until the hats were 
all sold. 

Tlie method of making hats at that ])eriod was a long 
and difficult process. The hat body as it was then called 
was formed in this manner : a block of wood in the form of 
a cone, wet, was placed on a large table, then the workman, 
holding a long bow suspended from the ceiling, in one hand, 
would sna]» the string of the bow among the wool on the 
table, until the wet block was covered witli the til)res of the 
wool of a sufficient thickness to form a hat. The block 
with its covering of avooI was then placed in boiling water, 
until the wooly fibres became felted sufficiently to remove 
it from the block. A large copper kettle set in brick with 
a furnace beneath for heating water was jdaced in the 
centre of the room with a Avooden frame around the kettle 
similar in shape to the hopper of a grist mill, only octagon, in- 
stead of square. The workmen, standing around with the 
palms of their hands covered with sole leather to protect 
them from the hot water, would roll and squeeze the hats until 
they Avere firmly felted. The hats Avere then shaped on 
blocks until they assumed the desired form ; then lined, 
bound and trimmed, they were ready for sale. Among 
other eccentricities, Avhenever Mr. Simmons saAv a stranger 


ill the street wearing a liat Avliose sliape was new to liim, 
he wouhl take it from his head, and after examining it 
thoronglily, would rephxce it on the man's liead, as if it was 
nothinti" sinii'uhir. 

Cotton MxVxifacture. 

TJie first eotton mill in the Town of East Greenwich 
was in the western part of the township, about three miles 
from the village. It was built, I have been informed, by 
Dr. Tillinghast, and was called the Tillinghast Factory. It 
was on a small stream at the liead of Hunt's River, and is 
still there altliough enlarged. It was built as early as 1812 
or lf^l4, and the cotton yarn s})un there Avas woven into 
cloth by the farmers' wives and daughters, Avho resided in 
the vicinity, on hand-looms. The mill is now owned, I 
believe, by a Mr. Moon. 

In the year 18'27 a company under the name of "-The 
East Greenwich Manufacturing Co.," built a steam mill at 
the foot of King street near the Jail. It was a stone 
building four stories in height, and in size about fifty by a 
hundred feet. The company consisted of Daniel Harris, 
Agent ; Ezra Pollard, Superintendent ; and Dr. Charles 
Etdridge, Albert C. Greene, Fones and Wicks Hill, C. W. 
and Daniel Greene and James P. Austin. The mill contained 
about seven thousand spindles and one hundred and twenty 
looms. The enterprise was not a success, and in a few 
years the company became l)ankrupt. Previous to the 
failure of the concern, Ezra Pollard left it, and built a 
Avoolen mill on Duke street. The cotton mill was destroyed 
by fire February, 1839. The ruins, with the site, were pur- 
chased by J. C. Sanford, of North Kingstown, and 
Waterman & Arnold, of Providence. After laying the 
foundation for the present mill, they abandoned the con- 
cern and sold it to the firm of Pierce, Salisbury & Co., 
who erected the mill now standing there. The present mill 
when lirst built, was about the same size as the first one, 
but it stands in a reversed ])osition. In 1845, Pierce, Salis- 
bury & Co. sold the mill with the other property connected 
with it, to J. C. Peckham, of Providence, who filled it 
Avith machinery and Avorked it about four years, and then, 
after removing the machinery to Olneyville, sold the Avhole 
concern to Thomas J. Hill, avIio is the oAvner at this present 
time. Mr. Hill afterwards Iniilt an addition on the south 


side nearly as large as the original buildino;, and named the 
factory " The Bav Mill." 

In 1836 C. Wl and D. Greene, AYm. P. Salisbury, and 
others in New York, built a large brick mill on Main street, 
at the south end of the village — then outside of the com- 
pact part — it was lilled with machinery for the manfacture 
of fine broadcloths and called " The Union Mill." The 
company, being unable to compete Avith foreign produc- 
tion, soon failed, and after removing the machinery the 
mill was closed for a number of years, when it was pur- 
chased by Benjamin Cozzens. Mr. Cozzens built a large 
addition on the west end of the mill, and importing ma- 
chinery from England put it in operation as a cotton mill. 
After Mr. Cozzens failed in lousiness, the ])roperty was 
])urchased by Adams & Butterworth, who now operate it 
for the manufacture of print cloths. The mill is now 
called "The Orion :Mill," and runs about 15,000 spindles. 

A serious accident happened to this mill al)out two 
months since. One of the six large boilers exploded with 
terrific force, killing the fireman instantly, and injuring the 

WooLEX Maxufacture. 

During the year 1836 Ezra Pollard built a woolen mill 
on Duke street and manufactured Kentucky jeans. It was 
a two-story Avooden structure, standing at the north end of 
the village, and operated two sets of machinery. It after- 
wards passed into the possession of Richard Ilowland. In 

the year it was destroyed by fire and the next year 

Mr. Rowland built a larger brick mill on the site of the 
old one. The second mill contained three sets of ma- 
chinery, and was operated by Mr. James Waterhouse until 
the year 1868, when it was again destroyed by fire. In the 

year it was rebuilt by Mr. Rowland on a still larger 

scale, but was never put in oi:)eration, and still remains 


The " Green's Dale Bleachery " was built by the East 
Greenwich Manufacturing Co., Moses Pearce and otliers. It 
was on a small stream at the south end of the village, called 
the Maskerchugg, but was operated by steam power. It 
was used as a bleachery for a time by a Mr. Thornly, and 
soon after came into the possession of George J. Adams, 
who converted it into a " print-works " for printing mouslin 
delaines, where was printed the first goods of this kind in 


the United States. These delaines, were a rich and beautiful 
article, and were sold in Boston, New York and other cities 
as of French manufacture, very few people believing such 
elegant fabrics could be jiroduced in this country. Mr. 
Adams taking the hint, had tickets ])rinted in the French 
language attached to the ])rints, and many peoi)le wore 
dresses which were printed in East Greenwich, supposing 
they Avere of foreign production. The ]»i-inting was done 
with wooden blocks, by Scotch and English workmen, some 
of whom were fine artists in arranging and combining various 
rich tints. Soon afterwards ]\fr. .Vdams was induced to re- 
move to Taunton, Massachusetts, with his same workmen 
and manager, (Mr. Monocli), but there the business was a 
complete failure. For some reason, (perha})S want of purity 
in the Avater used), he could not bring out those clear and 
beautiful colors he was able to produce at East GreeuAvich, 
and the result Avas he abandoned the Avorks at Taunton and 
returned to Maskerchugg. After his return the " calico 
printing machine" coming into use, he turned his attention 
to calico printing, Avliich he prosecuted Avith success until 
the year 1850, Avhen the whole establishment, Avitli the excep- 
tion of the dry sheds, Avas burned to the ground. The 
Avorks Avere soon rebuilt, and o])erated bv George J. Adams 
for "Blue Printing" until 1858; from 1853 to 1856 
tliey Avere operated by Adams tt; Butterworth in " bladder 
Printing;" from 1856 to 1858 they Avere operated by 
James C. Butterworth alone, Avlien they Avere again de- 
stroyed by lire. Undismayed by these calamities, the 
OAvners rebuilt the Avorks on a still larger scale, and leased 
them to Mr. Theodore Schroeder, AAdio operated them until 
August 2d, 1862. Mr. Schroeder, Avho Avas a native of 
Co]ienhagen, Demnark, continued to reside on the premises 
until his death, in the year 1867. Since 1862 the print- 
Avorks have been operated by Adams & Butterworth. 

Brass Fouxdey. 

About sixty years ago CroniAvell Salisbury operated a 
foundry for making brass andirons, shovels, tongs, and sup- 
porters, on Marlboro street. He was a Aery ingenious 
mechanic, man\ifacturing his OAvn metal, inventing his own 
patterns, and making the iron portion of his articles at his 
OAvn forge and anvil. These articles were very rare at that 
time, and he supplied the country around for a number of 
years. His patterns Avere Aery beautiful ; many of them are 
still in existence and highly valued. Some of our readers, 


perhaps, may not know what su})porters are. They are small 
pieces of brass in a semi-circular form, and fastened each 
side of a fire-place to su])port the shovel and tongs in an 
npright position. Mr. Salisbnry made many other nseful 
articles, which, at that time could only be procured by im- 

Com Brush Maxufactory. 

In the year 1873 Mr. John EarnshaAv commenced 
making coir mats and brushes, on Duke street. He in- 
vented and patented his own machines, and at present he is 
the only manufacturer of coir brushes in the United States. 
Coir is made from the fibrous portion of the husk which 
covers the cocoanut. It is principally imported from Cal- 
cutta, although large quantities are made by the natives on 
the coast of Africa. 

The fibrous portion of the husk after being separated 
from the nut, is macerated in water, until by fermentation 
all the gelatinous portion is dissolved, leaving the fibres in 
a state to be spun into a coarse kind of yarn. The natives 
sphi the fibre by rolling it on the knee with the hand until 
there is twist enough to form it into a coarse thread, Avhich 
is then made up into skeins ready for export. It is im- 
ported in bales, each weighing about two hundred and fifty 
pounds, in the form of small skeins, very tightly packed, 
and will make four brushes to the pound. 

The first process in manufacturing the l)rush consists in 
reeling tlie skeins on spools. These are placed on a frame in 
front of a folding machine, then a boy with this machine 
folds the yarn into layers for two brushes, then compresses 
them and cuts them ajtart at the i-ate of four hundred 
brushes per day. The next process consists in binding 
around the brush and stitching it on, and it recpiires two 
binders to one folder. The brush is then finished by shear- 
ing and trimming. They are used mostly for scrubbing 
floors, and are called the "coir scrubbing brush." Mr. 
Earnshaw makes them for a firm in Boston, called the 
" National Manufacturers' Co." 

Mr. Earnshaw is also the inventor of the flour sifter, on 
which he receives a royalty on every one sold, and a ma- 
chine called the " Earn!?haw needle loom," for weaving 
ribbons and other narrow fabrics, which he sold to a firm 
in New London, Connecticut, 


MAciiiisrE Shop. 

In tlie year 1845 n lAvo-story wooden l)nil(lin<^ was 
erected at the corner of Division and JMarlboro streets, by 
Asa Arnold, for a macliine slio]). Mr. Arnold was a de- 
scendant of the Smithfield Arnolds and the Greenes of 
Potowomut. He was well known throughout New En"-- 
land by the past generation, for his invention of the com- 
l)Ound motion, or differential wheels, applied to the cotton 
s])eeder. This invention has been in use on all speeders 
throughout the world for over fifty years, and has never 
been su])erseded or ini])roved u])on. 

Tlie machine shop was used for the first four or five 
years, for the building of cotton machinery, mechanics' 
tools, machines for making ])ressed brick, and doing repairs 
for the mills and i)rint-AVorks. Since 1850 to the present 
time it has been occupied by his son, Mr. Benjamin Arnold, 
for building machinery invented by him for knitting seines 
and fishing nets. 



The following liistory of the Society of Friends, or, as 
tliey are sometimes styled, Quakers, is probably the most 
full and reliable account of that Society now extant. 

The Avriter of this paper, Mr. Daniel Kenyon, in giving 
an account of the Friends of Rhode Island, has judiciously 
adhered to the original j^hraseology of his sect. His people 
may have outgroAvn their need for these forms of expres- 
sion, but they are eminently curious, valuable, and worthy 
of preservation, as remains illustrating a period in the his- 
tory of the j^ast. Language is the fluid amber which hard- 
ens in the lapse of time, and shows us extinct forms of life 
im])risoned in its substance. 

Fifty years hence the speech peculiar to the Friends 
will scarcely possess a single interpreter. Few folloAvers of 
Fox will then remain to enlighten the " AvorhVs i)eople " con- 
cerning such enigmatical i)hrases as "a meeting for suf- 
ferings," or " a renewed engagement," or " a testimony of 
denial," to " appear in supplication," or to be " bound by 
convincement," expressions descriptive of inward states, 
which the world knows by less formal names. Yet these 
quaint words were the signs employed by moral teachers 
whose deeds and names the world will not willingly let die. 

This curious sectarian dialect, as used within the narrow 
boundaries of our State, was drawn from the teachings 
and experiences of men Avho inculcated the broadest free- 
dom in church and state. Their ideas have been devel- 
oped in that A^ery education Avhich enables their successors 
to smile or sneer at the language of the old Avorthies. The 
modern liberal, before condemning his predecessors, should 
pause to inquire Avhether his liberality be not a legacy from 


tliein. The ]»resent owes more to llie past tliaii can be es- 
timated or aekiH)wle(li>-ed. 

Religious " cant " is to the sectarian the speech of lieaven. 
To the man of tlie world it bears the inAariable stani]) of 
hypocrisy or imbecility. JMore careful thinkers will look 
deeper for the causes of a phenomenon recnrring amono- all 
professed religionists. Doubtless there is a pliilosophical 
iiecessity for the new arrangement of languao-e ap})ertain- 
ing to eacli new manifestation of religious intnltion. There 
must be an outwai-d and yisible sign, howeyer imperfect, 
to indicate the presence of the inward and spiritual grace. 
In dealing with subjects aboye mortal ken, as the wisest 
are the first to acknowledge, Ayho shall be the judge of the 
nianner in which an " inward light " may be made known V 
This striying after new forms of expression in which to set 
forth the truths felt to be new, iinds its most uotable mod- 
ern illustration in the strange " gift of tongues " possessed 
by the disciples of Edward Irying. It wa^s the last effort 
of human utterence to conyey the inexpressible, and it re- 
sulted in a literally incomprehensible jargon. But so long- 
as the seekers after the spiritual truth continue to belieyc 
that its reyelations can be formulated in human language, 
it will remain no more strange that they should craye the 
use of a mystical phraseology than that the author of dis- 
coyeries in physical science should in recounting them 
require the use of a terminology unintelligible to the un- 

Eyery man who honestly belieyes that he has let in new 
light upon our dim consciousness of that vast spiritual 
region which encompasses us, has an undoubted right to l)e 
heard, and liis chosen mode of expression ceases to com- 
mand resi)ect only when it becomes the yehicle of hypoc- 
risy. Before it was an accredited speech, now indeed it is 
a " cant." Each new system of thought in science, philoso- 
phy, or religion, must create its outward forms and build 
up its especial phraseology by the active energy of its in- - 
ward life; just as the growing mollusk shapes his slowly 
hardening shell. But the creature within is free. Nature 
plans no prisons, and the expounders of a theory received 
to-day have no right to ask that it shall be ])erpetuated in 
similar forms of expression thi'ough the to-morrow of the 

Among such religionists as announced a new spiritual 
illumination, yet did not endeavor to make the human mind 


a chattel by handing down the fetters of the present to be 
the bnrden of tlie fnt\ire, Init ratlier believed Avith the 
noble Puritan, that " God had yet more light and truth to 
break forth out of His holy word." Among these few a 
])laee of honor must be reserved for witnesses to "truth's 
testimony," the Friends. 

The Society of Friends has been identified Avith East 
Greenwicli and its vicinity from the very earliest period of 
its settlement. Some families of this sect Avere the first to 
seek an asylum from persecution in the ncAV Colony of 
Khode Island, where liberty to Avorship God according to 
conscience Avas granted by its founder, Avho Avas himself a 
fugitive from religious tyranny. They located upon the 
beautiful island Avhence the State takes its name ; set the 
jtloughshare into the once fertile plains of Old WarAvick, 
and their herds cropped the grassy hill-sides of CoAveset. 
They erected the first house for public Avorship in this 
vicinity. A resident once remarked, " The people of East 
GreenAvich Avere either Quakers or nothing." Perhaps too 
many of them belonged to the latter class. 

As the history of East GreeiiAvich Avould be incomplete 
Avithout tracing the ju-ogress and decay of this denomina- 
tion, Ave will give an account of their ]»rominent members 
and ministers, together Avith such anecdotes and personal 
reminiscences as may seem interesting to the present gen- 
eration. As much ignorance prevails respecting the rise, 
doctrines and church government of this Christian sect, it 
is proposed to preface these annals Avith some account 

The sixteenth century Avas a period of great agitation. 
Various religious subjects, modes of faith, and forms of 
Avorship began to be freely discussed. The reformation of 
Luther swept aAvay the ecclesiastical barriers Avhich had 
been erected in the interests of bigotry and superstition. 
The sunlight of truth and knoAvledge Avas beginning to 
daAvn upon the dark age of ignorance Avhen the mystic 
circle of Popery Avas broken. But the progress of religious 
truth was ahvays sIoav, and another century elapsed before 
it daAvned upon the minds of men, that neither popes, nor 
kings, nor synods, nor clergy, Avere the keepers of conscience. 
The Church of England, "established by that august mon- 
arch, ui>on Avhom Pope Leo conferred the title of " De- 
fender of the Faith," had become only a shade less corruj^t 
than the ancient hierarchy Avhich it had displaced. The 


people saw tliat tlie Pope promulgated bulls and hurled 
anathemas in vain, and began to entertain and e.\i»ress ()]»in- 
ions of their own upon religious subjects. Numerous dis-- 
senting sects sprang into existence, all of whom suffered 
more or less persecution fi-om those who su])2)orted the 
established church. 

At this day it seems strange that it should have taken 
mankind so long to grope their way to com])lete freedom of 
thought and opinion. The principle of proselytism, either 
by persuasion or force, seems to be im])lanted in the human 
breast, and although doubtless intended for a good purpose, 
its office has been frequently abused. Even now it takes but 
little opposition to arouse the spirit of persecution ; not as 
in those days with prison, scourge and torch, but with the 
harsh epithets of controversy, or the sharp tongue of slander. 
None suffered more at the hands of civil or ecclesiastical 
tyranny than the Friends, or as they were first styled in 
derision, Quakers^ who had George Fox as their founder, 
together wxXh. his coadjutors, William Penn, Thomas El- 
Avood, George AVhitehead and Robert Barclay, who began 
to hold and establish meetino-s about the vear 1650. 

Commg out from the Episcopal Church of England, 
whose forms and ceremonies, authority and i)ractices they 
discarded, the fundamental doctrines which they promul- 
gated did not differ materially from the tenets held by that 
body. Their belief in the Trinity, in the efficacy of the 
Saviour, in faith, in repentance, in justification, in purifica- 
tion and sanctification, in eternal rewards and punishment, 
and in the inspiration of the Scrii)tures are the same; but 
they rejected the sacraments as mere outward forms. 
Agreeably to the commands of Christ's sei-nu:>n on the 
mount, they disapproved of war and fighting, and declined 
to swear before a civil magistrate. They disapproved of 
music as an auxiliary of divine worship, and thought some- 
thing beyond a mei-e literary education Avas required as a 
qualification for the ministry. A spotless life, a degree of 
religious expei'ience together with the immediate operation 
of tlie diA'ine si)irit upon the heart, were deemed requisite 
for the person Avho undertook the oftice of a religious 
teacher, Avhile all Avere enjoined to honesty, sobriety, tem- 
perance and industry, Avitliout neglecting love and broth- 
erly kindness. 

An accession of members Avas never made by what are 
knoAvn as revivals, and they had little faith in rapid and 


exciting conversions. Like Moses, they have not found 
God in the wilderness, or in the fire, Ijut in the still, small 
voice. They preached the light of Christ Avithin, as God's 
gift for man's salvation, whence followed repentance, obe- 
dience and amendment of life. They did not consider 
vocal sounds always essential to the j)romotion of divine 
and acceptable worshij), "for as God was a spirit, worship 
must be in spirit and in truth." They considered it profit- 
able to sometimes sit together in silence for refiection and 
self-examination, that the mind might turn itself iuAvard 
and listen to the " still, small voice " that whispers approval 
or condemnation in the cpiiet recesses of every heart. They 
considered the Bible in its proper interpretation as the rule 
of faith and practice by Avhich the pious Christian should 
be governed, acknowledged in their original purity the 
evangelical doctrines of the New Testament, made man a 
free and responsible agent, but avoided the nseless discus- 
sion of those mysterious dogmas of foreknoAvledge aud 
foreordination which had vexed the brains of theologians 
and distracted the church. 

The form of church government which now prevails was 
established at an early date in the history of the Society, as 
were also se])arate business meetings for Avomen Friends, 
whose coequal rights, not only in conducting the affairs of 
the Church, but "in the office of the ministry, Avere fully 
recognized. The highest ecclesiastical body known in the 
Society is a yearly meeting, and each yearly meeting is an 
independent coordinate organization, composed of several 
quarterly meetings. These comprise sundry monthly meet- 
ings, Avhich are made up of subordinate pre]»arative meet- 
ings, the loAvest form of church organization. There are 
several yearly meetings in America, each comprising its 
OAvn section, as indicated by its name, as New England, 
NcAV York, Philadelphia, and Ohio Yearly Meetings. 

New England Yearly Meeting is composed of the quar- 
terly meetings of Rhode Island, New Bedford, Falmouth, 
Dover and "others. Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting is 
made up of the monthly meetings of East Greenwich, South 
Kingstown, Providence, Newport, and Swansea. East 
GreenAvich Monthly Meeting includes the preparative meet- 
ings of East GreeuAvich and Coventry, and the meeting is 
held at these places alternately. There Avere formerly ])re- 
parative meetings at Wickford and Cranston, but they have 
been long since suspended, and the meeting-houses sold. 


Each yearly mcetins: has its book of discipline, or church 
rules and advices, Avhich differ slightly, although their main 
])oints conform to each other. Certain queries respecting 
the purity and consistency of the members are required to 
be answered periodically by all the subordinate ineetings, 
and a summary of the answers is prepared at the yearly 
meeting, which shall indicate the condition oft he Society. 

Exemplary members are appointed as overseers in each 
monthly meeting to report all breaches of morality, deco- 
rum or discii)line. Any persons, whether male or female, 
whose public appearance in speaking is favorably regarded 
and whose remarks are profitable and edifjdng, are recom- 
mended or approved by the monthly, quarterly and yearly 
meetings to which they belong, and thereafter they can 
travel in the ministry and appoint meetings if they deem 
it their duty, after being provided with a certificate of 
the ai)proval of the particular meeting to Avhich they be- 
long. " Weighty " members of the society, of deep relig- 
ious experience, Avho have never been called to the min- 
istry, are recommended and approved as elders, and such 
P'riends often accompany ministers in their journeys to 
preach the Gospel as companions. They claim all child- 
ren as members whose parents belong to the Society, but 
they are disowned if, when having reached the years of re 
ligious understanding, they fail to be consistent, and it not 
unfrequently ha])pens that youths are led astray by the 
charms of pleasure, the vanity of fashion, or the temptation 
of vice. 

Each monthly meeting is required to support its own 
poor, and never permit them to become a burden to the au- 
thorities ; and it is enjoined that the children of the poor 
shall be educated at the expense of the Society. Funds 
for necessary expenses are raised by contributions from 
the members of each meeting according to their ability. 

All members are advised against the use of all spirit- 
uous liquors and tobacco, except for medicine ; to abstain 
from vain amusements ; to avoid places of public resort, 
and to keep in true moderation and temperance on all occa- 

Their marriages are solemnized at a public meeting, 
the parties having previously declared their intentions and 
obtained 25ermission of the monthly meeting, by rising in 
the presence of the audience and taking each other by the 
hand, the bridegroom saying, " In the presence of this as- 


sembly I take this my friend, Rachel Penii, to be my wife, 
promising through divine assistance to be unto her a kind 
and affectionate husband, until it shall please the Lord by 
death to separate us," or words of similar import. The 
bride repeats the same with the names reversed. A cer- 
tificate is read and signed by the parties, and Avitnessed by 
those present, when the ceremony is completed. A wed^ 
ding with invited guests, a reception or a tour follows, at 
the pleasure or caprice of the contractors. The laws of 
England, as well as those of the United States, recognize 
this form of marriage, and divorces are never known among 
the Friends. The laws also have legalized the form of 
affirmation by which the oath is avoided, but Friends en- 
dured much persecution, and a long time elapsed before it 
was conceded. 

In conversation they use the pronouns thee and tliou in- 
stead of you in speaking to one person, as being both scrij)- 
tural and grammatical ; and avoid addressing either equals 
or superiors by magnificent titles. They recommend plain- 
ness of apparel, and discard all useless personal adornment, 
as well as the chano-es of fashion. In the coat and hat of 
2-)lain Friends of the present day we discern the court dress 
of the seventeeth century, Avithout its lace, and even the 
drab silk bonnet which covers, but does not adorn the face 
of a modern Quakeress, was once a fashionable .head gear, 
and doubtless excited the admiration and envy of the court 
belles of the period. 

AVilliam Penn, Avho Avas both a scholar and statesman, as 
Avell as a consistent Friend, thus discourses upon the vani- 
ties of his day : 

" What rich embroideries, silks, feathers, lace bands, and 
tlie like, had Abel, Enoch, and good old Abraham ? Did 
Eve, Sarah, Susannah, Mary, and Elizabeth curl and poAv- 
der, patch, paint, Avear false locks of strange colors, rich 
points, trimmings, laced gOAvns, shoes Avith slipslaps, laced 
Avith silk and ruffled like pigeons' feet? Hoav many plays 
did Jesus Christ and his apostles recreate themselves at? 
What poems, romances, comedies and the like, did the 
apostles and saints make, or use to pass aAvay their time 
Avithall? I knoAV they bid all redeem their time, to avoid 
foolish talking, A\ain jesting, profane bablings and fabulous 
stories ; to Avork out their salvation Avith fear and trembling, 
to flee foolish and youthful lusts, and to folloAV righteous- 
ness, peace, goodness, loA^e and charity." 


Tlic Friends li:ivo iievor l)ocii activo in makinu* ]>rosel ytos, 
l>iit no society looks closer after the cliaraetei- and welfare 
of its members. Wolves in the garb of the flock will a))- 
j)ear in every fold ; bnt gross delin(]uency is ]>rom])tly dealt 
Avith, and the subject thrust incontinently without the ]»ale 
of membership. The Society, almost from its origin, has 
suffered various schisms and divisions, Avhich have rent it 
seriously and reduced its members. A ]>urely si)iritual re- 
ligion, whose modes of worship avoid all extravagant dis- 
play does not readily address itself to the senses of the 
neophyte, and therefore gains but slowly. As the profes- 
sion Avhich they make was exalted, so when they permitted 
their high spiritual standard to trail in the dust they became 
dry, Avithered as a worthless branch. Xo society ought to 
be clearer from the taint of bigotry and superstition, yet 
they have sometimes fallen into the lines of letter and 
form, Avhile dull repetition and lifeless ceremony has taken 
the place of spirit and power. 

In every yearly meeting of the Society a committee con- 
sisting of from twenty-hve to fifty members of worthy 
character, sound judgment and exemplary life, are ai)pointed 
from time to time to constitute what is termed a ''meeting 
for sufferings," and they meet whenever any matters re- 
quire their attention. It is their province to revicAv all 
wi'itings or manuscripts proposed to be published by any of 
the members which relate to the religious principles or 
testimonies of the Society ; to correspond with other yearly 
meetings, and in general to represent the Society in all 
cases where its reputation and interests are concerned. 

In New England this meeting originated at a very early 
l»eriod, on account of the sufferings of Friends who were 
])ersecuted for their faith or distrained to do military duty. 
It was desired to take cognizance of all grievances where 
any Friends might be affected in either person or property, 
or in regard to their C'hi-istian testimony, to advise, counsel 
and assist as best wisdom miglit direct; and any aggrieved 
Friends might apply to this meeting as circumstances might 
require. Wealthy and liberal Friends gave freely of their 
substance to relieve the sufferings of their less fortunate 
brethren, as well as others who were not members of the 
Society from time to time. Friends have suffered Ijoth in 
person and property on account of their conscientious re- 
fusal to do military service. There were several instances 
in Rhode Island during the late war, and as they utterly 
refused to h'ght they were detailed for hospital duty. 


The ancient records of Greenwicli Monthly Meeting show 
an entry like the following : 

"At our monthly meeting held at East GreenAvich the 
21st 4th month, 1V03, this meeting received 80 books of 
Daniel Gould's writing, concerning Friend's sufferings in 
Boston, from Rhode Island yearly meeting, for which is to 
pay twenty shillings." 

3d Month, 1706. "Friends from Providence present 
their sufferings, which are ordered to the <piarterly meet- 
ing, and Samuel Comstock, and P^dward Boss are a})pointed 
to attend the same." 

2d Month, 1788. " South Kingston preparative meeting 
gives an account to this meeting, of the sufferings of John 
Greene and Elisha Baker, on account of their sons not ap- 
pearing on training day, to the value of ten shillings each 

9th Month, 1788. "This meeting gathered Eleven 
Pounds for Ezekiel Woodward, he having suffered loss by 

2d Month, 1740. " This meeting received a paper signed 
by John Greene, giving account of sufferings, to the value 
of fourteen shillings taken from liim by Elisha Arnold for 
his son not appearing in the quality of a soldier ; and like- 
wise received one paper signed by Ebenezer Mott giving ac- 
count of suffering to the value of Eighteen sliillings taken 
by John Maxon, clerk of a training band, for his not ap- 
pearing in the (piality of a soldier." 

It was cases like these which promoted the organization 
of a regular committee about the year 1776, since which 
tune a "meeting for sufferings " has been an auxiliary to 
each yearly meeting. 

Separate meetings, attended only by those persons who 
have been raised to the station of ministers or elders, are 
held prior to quarterly and yearly meetings, and are termed 
" select meetings." 

General meetings, or as they were afterwards called, 
yearly meetings, were held at a very early date in various 
parts of Great Britain. The iirst of which any account is 
given Avas held at Swannington, a town in Liecestershire, 
in 1654. 

Five years later, 1659, a general meeting was held on 
the island of Rhode Island, upon the 9th day of the 4th 
month, (old style), now the sixth month, and it is probable 
that a yearly meeting has been held tliere annually ever 


since. Tlie yearly meeting therefore of New England was 
the first esta])lished in America, or rather their general 
meetings grew into a yearly meeting. 

As early as 1658 there were fifteen ministers laboring in 
XcAV England and the South, and before the end of the 
year most of them Avere in prison. The folloAving years 
witnessed persecution of the severest character in the 
colonies of ISTew Eno-land, and many suffered death for 
truth's sake. 

But IJliode Island was a secure refuge from the scourge, 
the prison, the gallows and the branding-iron ; for even 
some of the early governors and ofiicers of high rank 
professed that religion which ai'oused every evil i)assion in 
the breast of the conscientious Puritan. At one of these 
great gatherings of Friends in Rhode Island the authorities 
of Boston were greatly alarmed, fearing that they Avould 
form themselves into an army and attack them. 

In the year 1672 George Fox attended the yearly meet- 
ing, and mentions in his journal that he tarried at Nicholas 
Easton's house, who at that time Avas Governor of Rhode 
Island. He also attended a marriage at a Friend'sdiouse 
Avho had formerly been Governor. He says : 

" When this general meeting in Rhode Island Avas ended it 
Avas hard for Friends to part, for the glorious poAver of the 
Lord, Avhich Avas over all, and His blessed truth and life 
fioAvino" amono^st them had so knit and united them 
together, that they spent two days in taking leave one of 

He held a meeting in Providence in a great barn, Avhich, 
he says, " Avas so thronged Avith people that I Avas exceed- 
in gly*^hot and perspired much." Tradition says that dur- 
ing this A'isit he preached under a tree in Old Warwick, 
Aviiich stood upon the land noAv oAvned by John Holden, 
Esq. He held a large meeting at Narragansett, tAventy 
miles from Rhode Island, to Avhich peojjle came from Con- 
necticut and other parts around. 

GreenAvich monthly meeting of Friends was first held at 
the house of John Briggs, Kingston, on the second day of 
the Aveek in the fifth nioiith, 1699, as appears by the follow- 
ino' extract : 

At the yearly meeting in XcAvport, on Rhode Island, 
12th of 4th month (uoav si 
the meeting, that the monthly 

the 12th of '4th month (uoav sixth) 1699, it Avas the mind of 

ly men and Avomen's meeting 


should be at the house of Johu Briggs, on the second day 
of the week in the fifth month, for business ; the meeting 
proceeded to business on the day mentioned, and it is the 
mind of this meeting that John JBriggs take the account of 
the meeting in writing." 

It was established under the name of Narragansett 
monthly meeting, and comprised the territory of Provi- 
dence, Warwick^ East Greenwich and Kingston. Rhode 
Island Quarterly Meeting was established the same year, 
composed of the montlily" uieetings of Rhode Island, Dart- 
mouth and Narragansett. 

It ap])ears that'the First day meetings were held in Kings- 
ton, prol)ably near Wickford, a\ tlie dwelling house oi Joseph 
Hull, who was a speaker in these meetings, but in conse- 
quence of a difference between Jack Turner and him, and 
some dissatisfaction expressed by Friends respecting his 
conduct, it was resolved that the weekly and First day meet- 
ings be hekl at the house of William Gardiner, until further 
order from this meeting." 

At this period men and Avomen's meetings for business 
were lield together. Tlu-ee monthly meetings Avere held at 
the house of John Briggs ; then they Avere held at the house 
of Jabez Greene, in "Warwick, probably at PotOAVomut, 
until a meeting-house Avas erected. On the 4th of March, 
1700, the place of holding meetings on First day Avas again 
clianged. It was to be held two First days at the house of 
Jolni^Watson, and two First days at Josej)!! Hull's house, 
and not at William Gardiner's for " several " reasons. 

Before the close of the year it Avas resolved to build a 
meeting-house, as appears by this ancient record : 

"At the monthly man and Avoman's meeting in the house 
of Jabez Greene, this .Oth. of 12th. month, l()Oi>, its the mind 
of this meeting that Ebenezer Slocum and Daniel Cogshall 
are chosen to appoint Avhere a meeting house shall be built 
and set up for this jjurpose, to Avait upon God in, and to 
Avorship him in spirit and in truth." 

This meeting-house Avas placed on the land of John 
Spencer, aboutluilf a mile soutlnvest of the village of East 
GreenAvich, near the four corners, and just Avest of Payne's 
grist mill. The building Avas begun and so continued, that 
at a men's and Avomen's meeting at the ucav meeting-house 
in East GreeuAvich, "Ye 2d day of ye 7th month, 1700, it 
Avas ao-reed that a meeting l>e kept there on every First 


dny, that is, at the aforesaid meeting-liouse, by all that are 
willing there to meet." The meetiiigTlioiise and lot were 
not conveyed to the Society until 1704. The quaint trans- 
fer is found upon the record book in the handwriting of 
John Heath, the town clerk : 

" This indenture, made 21st day of ye sixth month, 
called August, in the ninth year, of the reign of our sover- 
eign Lady Anne, Queen of England, and in the year of our 
Lord, one tliousand seven hundred and four, between John 
Spencer of East Greenwich, in ye colony of Khode Island 
and Providence Plantations, yeoman, on ye one part, and 
Benjamin Barton, Jabez Greene, John Greene of Warwick 
and Zachariah Jenkens, Abner Spencer of aforesaid colony, 
husbandman, of ye other part ; witnesseth that ye said John 
Spencer, for and in consideration of the sum of twenty 
shillings current money of ^ew England, do sell, by com- 
])utation sixty three and one half rods, be it more or less, 
being that part or parcel of land on which stands a certain 
meeting-house in which ye people called Quakers usually 
meet in East Greenwich." 

This ancient document further i:>rovides, that none of the 
grantees shall divide it or sue out writs of division or par- 
tition, but hold the same during their natural lives in com- 
mon, and to the survivors and survivor of their heirs and 
assigns forever. 

This spot is now enclosed by a substantial wall, and 
within its precincts, marked by rude stones, rest the re- 
mains of many of those venerable Friends who worshiped 
within the walls of the old meeting-house more tlian one 
hundred and lifty years ago. What changes have been 
wrought since they rode to meeting on saddle and pillion, 
dismounted at the old stone horse block, crowded its cpiiet 
aisles, sat in silence or listened to words of truth ! 

As we turn the time-stained pages which bear the record 
of faithful labors, we mark their zeal ; admire their forti- 
tude under persecution ; respect the patience with which 
the}' tried to reclaim false brethren ; reverence their godli- 
ness, and desire vainly to imitate their lives. 

Although the house was used for meetings, it remained 
unfinished imtil the 3d month, 1703, when Peter Greene, 
Jabez Greene and Thomas Greenall were appointed a com- 
mittee to finish it. The next month the following minute 
appears : 


" Upon further consideration of ye finishing our meeting 
house, it is seen convenient by this meeting yt those three 
Friends may omit ye finishing at ye present, yt they may 
propagate ye building a small addition to ye meeting house, 
as they may see convenient." 

The addition must have been very small, perhaps only a 
portico, as the account for its construction of one pound, 
ten shillings and three pence, was presented a few months 

A great number of families must have belonged to the 
monthly meeting at this period, and they continued to in- 
crease for half a century. Some of the prominent Friends 
were Benjamin Barton, John Briggs, Jabez Greene, Wil- 
liam Knowles, Rowland Robinson, Ebenezer Slocum, Sam- 
uel Perry, Thomas Arnold, Henry Knowles, Thomas 
Greenall, besides Joseph Hull and AYilliam Gardiner, who 
were at least conspicuous, and retained so much of the 
" Old Adam," that they received and justly deserved the 
frequent admonitions of their watchful brethren. At one 
monthlv meetino- Samuel Perrv and Edward Carter were 
appointed to speak to Daniel Abbott, to be more careful to 
attend meetings, which he promised to do, and at another, 
" Friends are advised to be careful and bring up their fami- 
lies, in ye fear of ye Lord according to truth''s testimony." 

It will be seen by the preceding sketch, that the erection 
of the first house for divine worship on the western shore 
of N^arragansett Bay, is jnstly claimed by the Society of 
Friends, seven years before the building of St. Paul's 
Church in Kino-ston — which Avas removed to Wickford in 
the year 1800, and is now standing in a very ddapidated 
condition, to the disgrace of the parish — and twenty-eight 
years before Trinity Church, first built in Newport in 1702, 
w^as removed to the shore of Coweset Bay, and placed 
midway between East Greenwich and Aj^ponaug. 

When the Rev. James McSparran, a Scotch clergyman 
of the Church of England, Avho possessed both learning 
and eloquence, was sent to the Colony by the " Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," in the 
year 1721, he found the country filled with Avhat he termed 
" Quakerism and other heresies. He says, (hnpudently) : 

" In Rhode Island no religion is established ; there a man 
may with im])unity be of any society or of none at all ; but 
Quakers are for the most i)art the people in power ; there 


Lave been two incumbents here before me; but neither of 
them had resolution enough to grapple with the difficulties 
of the mission above a year. In 1700, after Quakerism and 
other heresies had in their turn ruled and tinged all the 
inhabitants for the sj^ace of forty-six years, the Cliurch of 
England, that had been lost here through the neglect of the 
crown, entered as it were uuQbserved and unseen, and yet 
not without some success. A little church was built in 
Xewport, the metropolis of the Colony, in 1702, and that 
in wliich I officiate in Xarragansett in 1707. I entered on 
this mission in 1721, and found the people not a Tabula 
rasa^ a clean sheet of paper upon which I might make any 
impression I pleased ; but a field full of briars and thorns 
and noxious weeds, that were all to be eradicated before I 
could imj^lant in them the simplicity of truth." 

It seems the Reverend Doctor did not succeed in eradi- 
cating those Quaker thorns and briars, but on the contrary, 
being so firmly rooted in the soil, they overrun and croAvded 
him out. Dr. McSparran ceased his labors in 1757, and 
was buried beneath the communion table of the Church in 
South Kingsto\\'n, whose interests he had served so Avell. 

He was succeeded by the Kev. Samuel Fayerweather, 
who, with less talent, had less tolerance than his predeces- 
sor. He complains bitterly that Quakers, Baptists, Fanatics, 
Ranters, and Infidels, swarm in this part of the world, and 
says that " Many good books are wanted in the Narragan- 
sett country for the suppression of Deism, Infidelity and 

That the Friends did not readily embrace the discipline 
and teaching of that power which had despoiled them of 
their property, dragged them to prison, and which they had 
crossed the ocean to escape, nor listen receptively to the 
preaching of those exponents of Episcopacy who wished to 
establish in the New World the union of church and state 
cannot be denied ; but Avhether they could be classed Avith 
Infidels and Deists with any degree of propriety, the follow- 
ing " Declaration of Faith " will show, which was published 
in 1672 by one of the pioneers of the Society : 

" \Ye do own and believe in the only wise, omnipotent 
and everlasting God, the creator of all things, both in 
heaven and earth ; who is God over all, blessed forever ; to 
whom be all honor and glory, dominion, ])raise and thanks- 
giving, both now and forevermore ; and we own and be- 


lieve in Jesus Christ, liis only and beloved son, who ^vas 
conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary ; 
in whom Ave have redemption through his blood, even the 
forgiveness of sins ; and Ave OAvn and believe that he Avas 
made a sacrifice for sin avIio kncAv no sin, neither Avas guile 
found in his mouth ; that he Avas crucified for us in the 
flesh, Avithout the gates of Jerusalem, and that he Avas 
buried, and rose again the third day by the power of his 
Father, for our justification ; and that he ascended up into 
heaven, and noAV sitteth at the right liand of God. He it 
is that hath now come in the Spirit, and hath given us an 
understanding that Ave may knoAA' him that is true ; he rules 
in our hearts by his law of love and life, and makes us free 
from the law of sin and death. He is our mediator that 
makes peace and reconciliation betAveen God offended and 
us offending ; He being the oath of God, the ncAV covenant 
of light, life, and grace and ])eace, the author and finisher of 
our faitli. Concerning the Holy Scriptures, Ave do believe 
that they Avere given forth by the Holy Spirit of God, avIio, 
as the Scripture itself declares, through the Holy men of 
God, spake as they Avere moved by the Holy Ghost." 

Without entertaining extraA^agant ideas of the purity 
and ])iety of our forefathers, for human nature is the same 
in all generations, it is safe to assert that the standard of 
morality among the Friends in that day Avas Avell main- 
tained, and departures from it promply noticed. Much 
labor Avas expended to reclaim the erring ; but if, after re- 
])eated admonitions they Avalked in forbidden paths, the 
final remedy Avas excommunication. 

The manner in Avhich many members were admitted in the 
Society seems rather curious at the present time, and Avas 
called " marrying into the Society ; " that is, if one of the 
parties to a marriage Avas a Friend, tlie other, by being mar- 
ried under the auspices and according to tlie custom of 
the Society, would be afterwards recognize<l as a member, 
and their children Avould become birthright members. 
In tliis Avay many steadfast Friends came into the Society, 
and sometimes became approA-ed ministers, thus showing 
the mighty poAver of love \\\)on the heart. Doubtless many 
a Avorldling has been aa^ou from tlie base jjleasures of the 
"broad Avay " by the superior attractions of a fair face. 

The phraseology used by Friends in the marriage cere- 
mony varied considerably ])revious to the year 1710. A 
marriage recorded in Yorkshire, England, has the folloAving 
brief certificate : 


" George Musgrave loved Ann Brock, and she became 
his wife publicly in the congregation, upon the twentieth 
day of the present month, in the year 1663. (Signed by 
seventeen witnesses.)" 

East Greenwich has nothing equal to this, for either age 
or brevity, as no certificate appears to have been recorded 
prior to 1699, when the monthly meeting was regularly 
established. Marriages were frequent in the " old meeting- 
house" for half a century. It was not unusual for the 
notice of two intentions of marriage to be given at one 
meeting, and the j^arties " liberated^'''' as it was called, to 
proceed according to the devout order of truth. The book 
in which the earliest marriages were recorded is not extant. 
The follow^ing is a' copy of the certificate of one of the 
primitive marriages solemnized in the old East Greenwich 
meeting-house : 

"New England: Henry Tucker, of Dartmouth of ye 
county of Bristol, son of Abraham Tucker of ye same 
place, and Phebe Barton of Warwick in ye colony of 
Rhode Island, darter of Benjamin Barton, of ye same place, 
having declared their intentions of taking each other in 
marriage before several public meetings of ye people of 
God called Quakers, in East Greenwich, according to ye 
good order used amongst them, whose i^roceedings therein, 
after deliberate consideration thereof, were approved by 
the said meeting, they a^opearing clear of all others, and 
having consent of parents and relations concerned, now 
these are to certify to all whom it may concern, that for ye 
full accomplishing of their said intentions ; this sixth day 
of ye eighth month one thousand seven hundred and four ; 
they ye said Henry Tucker and Phebe Barton, in a public 
assembly of ye aforesaid people and others, met together 
for that end and purj^ose and according to ye example of 
ye holy men of God, recorded in ye Scriptures of truth ; 
in solemn manner he, ye said Henry Tucker taking ye said 
Phebe Barton by ye hand did openly declare as followeth : 
Friends, I desire you to take notice, that in ye i3resence of 
God and before this assembly I take this friend, Phebe 
Barton, to be my wife, promising to be a faithful friend to 
her till death doth separate ; then and there ye aforesaid 
Phebe Barton declared as follows ; Friends, I desire you to 
take notice, that in ye presence of God, and before this 
assembly I take this, Henry Tucker, to be my husband, 



promising to be a faithful wife till death make a separation. 
And ye said Henry Tucker and Phebe Barton, as a further 
confirmation thereof, did then and there to these presents 
set their hands ; and we whose names are hereunto sub- 
scribed being present amongst others at ye solemnization 
of their said marriage and subscription in manner afore- 
said, as witness thereunto have also to these presents 
subscribed our names ye day and year above written. 

Henry Tucker. 

Phebe Barton. 

(Signed by Benjamin Barton and twenty-five others.)" 

Many of the names ajipended to these old certificates are 
curious and quite as unique as some of the fancy names of 
the present day. If names enhance the qualities which 
they represent in the persons who bear them, the virtues of 
their possessors must have been conspicuous as a reward 
for wearing them through life, such as Desire Greene, Con- 
tent Richmond, Plain Wilkinson, Deliverance Reynolds, 
Increase Greene, Experience Hull. 

Sometimes the youthful members instead of bringing 
their partners into the Society by marriage, went out them- 
selves ; and when so married were deprived of the right of 
membership, unless a suitable acknowledgment was made 
for their disorderly conduct. It is an old adage that " Love 
laughs at locksmiths," and it is often disrespectful to the 
barriers of creed and sect. 

William Wanton, who came to Newport in 1704, from 
Scituate, Massachusetts, and was made Governor of the 
Colony in 1732, was a consistent Friend in early life. Both 
his father and brother were Quaker preachers, and popular 
exponents of their doctrines. Before his removal he was 
married to Ruth, the daughter of Deacon Bryant. She 
was a Congregationalist, while he was a rigid Quaker. 
So religious objections to the match were raised on both 
sides, when William said, " Friend Ruth, let us break away 
from this unreasonable bondage ; I will give up my religion 
and thou shalt give up thine, and we will both go over to 
the Church of England and go to the Devil together." 
The compromise was carried out so far as marrying and 
uniting with the Church of England, but whether it was 
fully completed the chronicle fails to inform us. 

It used to be customary for Greenwich monthly meeting 
to appoint two or three Friends to serve as visitors in each 


particular meeting, or as the ancient scribe wrote it, " wisi- 
tors," whose duties in reporting breaches of good order or 
misconduct were similar to those of the overseers now ap- 
pointed. They were expected to visit the families of 
Friends from time to time ; to settle differences, and report 
to the meeting all " disorderly walking." 

Epistles from one meeting to another were very frequent^ 
and they embraced any subject of religion or morals which 
seemed to require attention. There Avere several meetings 
held in this vicinity which were called at that time yearly 
meetings. At one of these held on the 10th of 3d month, 
1703 : 

" It is agreed by this our yearly meeting, that John 
Briggs shall write and send ye minds of this meeting to 
our friends dwelling in the Narragansett j^arts, they having 
been very slack in their coming to our monthly meeting." 

One of the earliest subjects which claimed attention was 
the support of the testimony which they had always borne 
against carnal warfare as appears by the following minute : 

" This yearly meeting being the I'ith, 13th, 14th and 15th 
of ye 5th month, 17U0, having taken into consideration the 
baits and snares that have been laid to betray the innocent, 
would revive this our ancient testimony by way of exhorta- 
tion to all Fi'iends ; and it is our desire that all Friends 
and their children stand clear in their testimonies against 
wars and fightings and learning to war; and also against 
jjaying directly or indirectly for not training or bearing 
arms, but to suffer patiently or gladly the spoiling of our 
goods, or wdiat the authority shall see fit cause to inflict 
upon our persons for the testimony of our consciences ac- 
cording to Christ's examples ; and also against the paying 
the hireling priest or towards the maintaining or repairing 
houses ; or anything contrary to the testimony of truth. 
Given forth at our yearly meeting and signed by those ap- 
pointed from ye several monthly meetings and also quar- 
terly in Newport and to be read in the monthly and quar- 
terly meetings. 

" Signed bv James Burrill, 

" Jacob Mott, 

Ebexezer Slocum, 
Edward Wanton, 
And others." 

Young men were frequently " dealt with " for going 

(with a " train band," and many instances of suffei-ing were 
reported like this : 


" Samuel Greene came to Peter Greene's house ye 6th 
month, 1700, and demanded 2 shillings for not training and 
he took a pewter platter Avhich cost 3 or 4 shillings ; again 
he came ye 25th of ye 12th month, 1700, and demanded 6 
shillings for not training ; and he took a leathern deerskin 
which cost 3 shillings ; again he came ye 25th of ye 3d 
month 1701 to Peter Greene's house, and demanded 2 shil- 
lings and 5 pence for not training, and took a pewter plat- 
ter which cost 12 shillings." 

While they could bear and suffer for the sake of con- 
science, they sometimes descended from the lofty ground of 
s]:)iritual liberty to modify personal freedom. In 1720 
Greenwich monthly meeting considered the matter relating 
to " perewigs," with this order : 

" Friends here think, if any one wants one, yt he shall 
acquaint the monthly meeting of it, and they are to judge 
whether he wants one or what sort of one he shall wear." 

It has been truly said that there is but one step from the 
sublime to the ridiculous and it certainly brings a smile to 
the face of reverence, to see how gravely our forefathers 
discussed this trivial subject. 

The following advice resi)ecting marriages was received 
and read at Greenwich meeting from the quarterly meet- 
ing at Newport, held on the First day of the 7th month, 
1702 : 

"In a Aveighty sense it being projiosed and agreed to, 
that our ancient friend and brother, advised ; be revived 
and continued by and amongst Friends ; that is that all 
Friends in their second marriage ; not any Friend, man or 
woman, let their mind out to another wife or husband, 
within a year, which shall be decent, comely, and of good 
report, and will answer ye Avitness of God in all people. 
And if any Friend or Friends are found to let out their 
minds contrary to ye above advice and agreement, such 
proceedings by this meeting will be accounted forward and 
out of unity of ye body of Friends." 

The Kingston Friends were not so constant in attending 
meetings, nor so consistent in all things as their exemplary 
brethren at East Greenwich desired, so an epistle was pre- 
pared and sent to them as follows : 

" This is to be read in ye meeting of Kingstown Friends 
as followeth : — At our monthly man and woman's meeting 
in our meeting house in East Greenwich ye 20th of 7th 
month 1703, this meeting being somewhat disturbed with a 


sense of ye love of God towards our souls in revealing ye 
invisible sjjirit of his blessed grace and truth in us, and in 
ye sensible feeling of the same ; we send this epistle to 
you, our well beloved friends in Kingstown meeting, who 
have sometimes met with, in sense and feeling of ye great 
love of God unto us ; neither let us forsake ye assembling 
of us together as ye manner of some of us haye been, and 
were destroyed by ye Destroyer; neither neglect weekly 
meetings; and wliy should our distance of jJace hinder 
our monthly meetings of you with us, and us with you, and 
especially meetings of business which is of great concern,, 
for dear friends we desire and it is ye salutation of our 
love to you that all our meetings may be kept up and in 
good season; and that ye plain language, and plainness of 
apparel may be upheld in our families ; and that ye blessed 
everlasting truth of God may be witnessed to grow in and 
amongst us ; and that current running which ye God of 
heavenly love hath opened in us, that may not be stopped 
with earth as ye Philistines stop])ed the outAvard wells of 
our ancient faithful fathers ; and in that love we advise 
you may always grow, and us also, that in it we all may 
fare well in love and faithful obedience in ye requirings of 
ye everlasting truth of God, and where have been a negli- 
gence there may be amendment. — By agreement of ye 

. Respecting the yearly meetings alluded to above, we 
find this notice : 

" At the monthly man and woman's meeting this 22d 4th 
month, 1702, it has been seen expedient to alter the second 
first day's yearly meeting that was kept each in ye third 
month at Benjamin Barton's, hereafter to be kept in East 
Greenwich meeting house, and ye next day being ye second 
day of ye week, and to be ye men and women's meeting 
yearly hereafter ; and the last first day in ye fifth month, 
ye yearly meeting in Providence ; and ye seventh day of 
ye week before a yearly meeting, is to be kept in Warwick 
at Benjamin Barton's house." 

These meetings were well attended, many people coming 
from a distance for that purpose. Frequently, traveling 
Friends were present. Thomas Story, an eminent minister 
from England, says in his journal : 

" On the 28th of the fifth month, 1704, we went to War- 
wick to a yearly meeting, which was to begin there the day 


following, at the house of Benjamin Barton, and continued 
by adjournment to the meeting house at Providence, the 
next day being the first day of the week." 

It would seem that the Greenwich j^eople of that day were 
not a little puffed uj) with their own righteousness, and 
scarcely qualified to advise or rebuke their Kingston breth- 
ren. Like the Athenians they probably passed much time 
in hearing and telling something new, for he adds : 

" On the 31st I was at East Greenwich at another meet- 
ing where I was concerned to speak against divers enormi- 
ties, especially whisi^ering, backbiting, traducing and 
villifying as the works of the evil one and of the flesh ; 
and after the meeting several persons went to Ebenezer 
Slocum, an honorable and able minister of truth, and made 
confession of things they had unjustly repeated against 
him and asking his forgiveness." 

There were several able ministers who resided within the 
limits of Greenwich monthly meeting at this time, who 
occasionally traveled to other parts of the country to 
preach the Gospel. Among these were Samuel Comstock, 
Peter Davis, Silas Carpenter, Henry Knowles, William 
Hall and Mary Hall his wife, and James Scriven, or as he 
has usually been called, " Scribbens." 

The first half of the eighteenth century may be consid- 
ered as the most prosperous period of the Society in this 
vicinity, and yet it received but few additions of adult 
members by request or by convincement ; and we have 
already shown how rapidly after this period its members 
were diminished by the death of the aged, and the tendency 
of the young to stray from the fold. 

The James Scriven previously mentioned, who belonged 
to Greenwich monthly meeting, was quite a character in 
his day, and many anecdotes are related of him. He came 
to reside in South Kingstown, from Long Island, probably 
about the beginning of the year 173:2, near which time he 
was married to Hannah, daughter of Jonathan Shearman, of 
North Kingstown, and thereafter made Xarragansett his 
home. His natural abilities were very poor. He had hardly 
sense enough to eat and drink with propriety, and could 
not earn his own living, so that the expression " as weak 
as Scriven — or Scribbens " has j^assed into a proverb ; yet 
he was a most wonderful j^reacher. The Society was obliged 
to render him assistance, as appears by a minute of Green- 


wich montlily meeting, held at Soutli Kingstown, 4th month, 

" This meeting orders the treasurer to deliver twenty 
shillings to our friend James Scriven, to buy corn for his 
present necessity." 

He used sometimes to travel as a minister, and on these 
occasions was generally accompanied by Peter Davis, who 
found it particularly necessary to watch over him. It was 
customary to place cider on the table in those days, and 
when James took up the tankard Peter would say, " Take 
care James, that is very strong cider." He generally at- 
tended the yearly meeting at Newj^ort, and on his return 
to his lodgings, after being engaged in public testimony, 
boasted, before a roomfuU of people, that he preached, and 
preached excellently, too. "No, James," said a Friend 
who was present, " Thou art greatly mistaken ; thou hast 
not preached this day, it was thy gift that preached." 

On one occasion of his being at Newport, it so happened 
that while walking on the street alone, he was met by a 
minister of some other denomination who was aware of his 
proverbial weakness, and who challenged him to a public 
discussion in relation to Friends' principles and doctrines, 
which he very readily accepted. Time and place were de- 
cided on, when James went back to his lodgings and re- 
ported it to his friends, who were not a little alarmed at 
the intelligence, and told him it would never do, for the 
minister was a man of sense and learning, and would cer- 
tainly get the advantage ; that he must consider his own 
infirmities, and the cause of truth. But James continuing 
inflexible, and confident of success, said that he had ac- 
cepted the challenge, and it would be very dishonorable to 
flinch — not only so, but "his good master would stand by 
hiro. and support His own cause." The Friends finally 
yielded and bore him company, and were greatly relieved 
when he came off entirely A'ictorious. 

He lived near Dr. McSparran, the Episcojialian mission- 
ary, and he was usually employed in some way tliat re- 
quired little thought or skill. At one time he was building 
a stone wall by the roadside. The learned Reverend 
Doctor, who entertained a most contemptible opinion of 
the Quakers in general, and of James Scriven in particular, 
(and which was certainly reciprocated), in passing by on 
horseback, reined up his steed and thus accosted him, "Well 
James, how many barrels of j^udding and milk will it take 


to make forty rods of stone Avail ? " Whereupon James 
dro]»ped the stone which he held in his hand, and looking 
at the self-sufficient Doctor, said, " Just as many as it will 
take of hireling priests to make a Gospel minister." 

It is related that a laAvyer of some eminence attended a 
meeting in which James Scri^^en preached, and Avas so 
much affected by Avhat he heard, that at the close of the 
meeting he requested some Friend with Avhom he Avas 
acquainted to introduce him to the speaker, commending 
the serAdce in strong terms, and remarking that so great a 
preacher must be a A'ery sensible and learned man. The 
Friend did not encourage this, but endeaA^ored to diA^ert 
him from his p.urjjose by informing him that there Avould 
be a meeting at another place, the next day, Avliere the man 
Avho was so much interested followed him, and was even 
more affected than before by his testimony, and again de- 
sired to meet him to couA^erse on religious subjects. The 
Friend, AAdio Avas finally unable to resist his importunities, 
introduced them to each other ; but, on attempting to con- 
Averse, his disappointment Avas so great that he exclaimed 
forcibly to the Friend, AAdio had done his best to prcA^ent 
the meeting, " Why he is a fool." 

Although brevity is not alAA^ays a peculiarity of the dis- 
courses of Friends, their sermons haA^e sometimes been 
quite remarkable in this Avay. In the meeting at Avhich 
Robert Barclay, the Apologist, Avas convinced of the truth 
of the ]irinciples of the Friends, we are told that but three 
sentences AA^ere spoken, thus : "In stillness there is fullness; 
In fullness there is nothingness ; In nothingness all things." 

Samuel Atkinson, of Ncav Jersey, once deliA^ered the 
following short but pithy discourse : " Sheperds and shep- 
erdesses take care of the lambs ; Avoh^es are A^ery hungry in 
snoAv time." At another time the comment was even 
shorter than the text : " Put off the old man Avdth his 
deeds ; a long job for some of us." 

Our aged neighbor. Captain Joseph Spencer, has a dis- 
tinct recollection of attending meetings in the old East 
GreenAvich meeting-house, when a boy, and relates an anec- 
dote of a brief sermon. A traveling Friend had aj^pointed 
a meeting there, and according to the usual custom general 
notice had been giA^en. The people of the neighborhood 
and from a distance came in crowds to the meeting, and 
the house was filled AA^th an anxious audience, all eager to 
listen to the noted preacher, w^hose reputation had gone 


before him. After sitting some time in silence, he arose 
and said, " Friends, I think it is best for every one to mind 
their own business," and then sat down. In due time the 
meeting closed, and the audience dispersed, some of them 
exj^ressing dissatisfaction and others disappointment. Al- 
though this discourse was given a great while since, nearly 
fourscore years of observation and reflection only confirm 
the value of it for when relating the incident, Captain 
Spencer adds, " It was the greatest sermon that I ever 
heard in my life." 

In the 4th month, 1718, Providence monthly meeting 
was set off from Greenwich and established as a separate 
monthly meeting ; and about three years later, in 1721, a 
meeting for worship on the third First day of every month 
was settled in Warwick, and it was recommended that : 
" Some minister or ministers belonging to our monthly 
meeting should attend ye same." Greenwich monthly 
meeting was then composed of the preparative meetings of 
East Greenwich, South Kingstown and Westerly, and the 
meeting was held alternately at East Greenwich and South 
Kingstown, until the latter was established in the 3d month, 

Soon after this the monthly meeting was held alternately 
at East Greenwich and I^eshanticut, now Cranston ; and 
this arrangement was continued until a meeting-house was 
erected in Coventry. 

A very prominent name Avhich appears frequently in the 
minutes of Greenwich monthly meeting is that of Nathan- 
ael Greene, the father of General Nathanael Greene, of 
Revolutionary fame. 

He w^as born on the 4th of the 9th month, 1707. He be- 
came a preacher in the Society, and was often used in the 
service of the church. He married Phebe, the daughter of 
Benjamin Greene, of Providence, on the 13th day of the 
9th month, 1733, in the Friends meeting-house at Neshanti- 
cut. She lived but a few years, and he was again married 
in 1739, to Mary Mott, of Newport. This estimable woman 
became the mother of the future General, who was destined 
to render his country such material service, and make the 
name he bore as imperishable as the history of his native 
land. In his youth General Greene was always in the habit 
of attending Friends' meeting, but the peaceful precepts of 
Quakerism could not restrain the promptings of an adven- 
turous spirit, and against the wishes of his exemplary j^a- 


rents he assumed the responsibility and danger of a mili- 
tary life. It is related of his excellent mother, although 
we do not vouch for the truth of it, that, after having failed 
to persuade her son from entering the Continental army, 
she said to him " Well, Xathanael, if thee must engage in 
this carnal warfare, never let me hear of thy being wounded 
or killed with thy back to the enemy." 

Our late townsman, Rowland Greene, used to say that 
he distinctly remembered seeing General Greene mount his 
horse from the ancient stone horse-block which stood near 
the old meeting-house, and which continued to stand there 
as an interesting relic of a former age and custom, until a 
vandal hand was raised to destroy it within the last twenty 

It has already been mentioned how careful Friends have 
always been to preserve the moral purity of their members, 
and to notice promptly all "disorderly walking." In 1740 
we find where a young man was overcome with strong 
drink, that a committee was appointed to visit him, and as 
he expressed sorrow and contrition for his fault, and more- 
over signed a paper of condemnation to be read in a jjublic 
meeting, he was forgiven. 

In 17-43 Greenwich monthly meeting accepts a paper of 
condemnation, drawn against one John Potter, for "his 
vile disorder of passing counterfeit Bills in imitation of the 
Bills of Public Credit of this Colony." In the same year, 
with a modest distrust of his own ability. Job Jenkins de- 
sires the advice of Friends how to manage in his temporal 
affairs, and the meeting accordingly appoints three Friends 
" to visit him and give him such advice as they think most 
to his advantage and the honor of truth, and make return 
to the next monthly meeting." The advice which was given 
him was to lessen his family by placing out his children as 
apprentices, and it appears that he accepted this prudent 

When Friends remove from one monthly meeting to 
another, it is customary to state if they are free from all 
marriageable engagements. 

When Silas Carpenter, who was a minister of the 
Society, was about to remove to North Carolina, in 1745> 
the meeting appointed two Friends to inquire into his 
circumstances and conversation and how he had left pro- 
vision for his ancient mother. They moved slowly in that 
day, for after three months the committee rejDorted that 


they had made strict inquiry into his circumstances and 
clearness as to marriage, and that they find his business 
well settled, conversation good, and clear from any entan- 
glement with any one in marriage. 

It was customary in the early days of the Society of 
Friends for them to consider all persons as members who 
regularly attended their meetings, and the care of the 
"visitors" was extended to all families who were measura- 
bly consistent in their life and conversation ; and when- 
ever any went astray, a " testimony of denial," would be 
prepared and read in a public meeting, like this : "Whereas 
Daniel Comstock hath beat and abused a man, with other 
disorderly walking, for which this meeting do deny him to 
be of our profession till he repent and amend his ways. 
Signed by order of our monthly meeting, held at East 
Greenwich ye 20th of ye 10th niontli, 1708, by Benjamin 
Barton and ten others." It was towards the close of the 
eighteenth century before members came into the Society 
by formal api>lication and request. 

John Briggs, the first recorded clerk of Greenwich 
monthly meeting, being removed by death in the year 
1708, Jacob Greene was appointed in his stead, who served 
the meeting until 1721, when he was released and Jeremiah 
Gould received the appointment. He was an excellent 
scribe, according to the testimony of his penmanship, and 
the records were neatly kept and plainly written during 
eighteen years, until bodily infirmities compelled him to 
ask the appointment of some other person. His request 
was reluctantly granted, and John Greene, of Potowomut, 
assumed the duties of clerk. He filled the office for twelve 
years, until 1751, until his failing sight rendered him inca- 
pable of writing, and Thomas Aldrich was then appointed. 

Soon after the middle of the eighteenth century the 
Society began to decline gradually. The general meetings 
were given up, not because they were not well attended, 
but because they drew together a crowd of disorderly 
pleasure seekers, who talked trade and swapped horses, 
with occasional scenes of riot. Various other denomina- 
tions, whose meeting-houses sj^rang up here and there, pre- 
sented modes of worship in more alluring forms, and when 
death made a vacancy there were none to fill it. 

Having noticed most of the peculiarities of the Society 
in the olden time, with their manner of conducting the 
affairs of the church, we will pass lightly over a period of 


fifty years, until the nineteenth century opened a new era, 
pregnant with change, and sowing broadcast the seeds of 
decay. The abolition of negro slavery in Rhode Island, 
and the recognition of the United Colonies as an independ- 
ent nation at the close of a severe and protracted revolu- 
tionary struggle, had materially changed their social and 
political relations. This period is the broad moat which 
separated the modern from the ancient ; the living, breath- 
ing, acting present from the misty character of the ])ast, 
where shadow and substance are often blended. This 
period brought much persecution and suffering to the So- 
ciety of Friends, who faithfully maintained their traditions 
and testimonies against the sinfuhiess of war, at a time 
when the refusal to bear arms aroused a suspicion of dis- 
loyalty. The loss of property, and sometimes the loss of 
liberty were the penalties which our ancestors cheerfully 
paid for their devotion to principle. 

The era of 1800 introduces another generation, and their 
family names are connected with the present day. The 
ancient order had passed away, and " slept with their 
fathers." They worshiped no longer in the old meeting- 
house, which Avas never defaced (in their opinion) by either 
paint or plaster ; or dismounted from .saddle or pillion at 
the stone horse-block. A more imposing house of worship 
had been erected, and the affluent had thrown aside the 
saddle for the ease and luxury of a two-wheeled chaise, 
while less wealth or greater parsimony jolted to meeting in 
a s]>ringless wagon with a "grasshopper" seat. 

The clerk of Greenwich monthly meeting was Beriah 
Collins, and it was composed, as it had been for sixty years, 
of the preparative meetings of East Greenwich and 

The lot of land on which the new meeting-house was 
built was purchased of Ethan Clarke by Sylvester Wicks, 
who was a committee for that purpose in 1804, and the 
house was erected by John Smith the same year. The site 
is the most eligible that could be selected, and commands a 
prospect of great extent and beauty. The meeting-house, 
which is still standing, and occupied by a small remnant 
who profess the faith and follow the forms of worship of 
this once highly favored Society, was first located with its 
gable end to the street, and was very near to it, fronting 
towards the south. It was placed in this awkward position 
by a whim of Sylvester Wicks, who was a prominent mem- 


ber, as well as an elder, and considered wealthy in that 
day — and a very reasonable whim it was, as every public 
building should front the south if possible, so as to get all the 
sunlight during the time it is usually occupied. The 
Friends' meeting-house is not so well arranged for health at 
the present as it was formerly, as the building now fronts 
to the east instead of the south, and the windows are cov- 
ered with blinds, shutting out the glorious sun, and giving 
it a dismal, prison-like aspect. Sylvester Wicks built and 
resided in the house now owned by Christopher Hawkins, 
just south of the meeting-house, and he also owned some 
thirty acres of land in the vicinity of his house. This land 
is now laid out into streets and is covered with dwelling 
houses, a public school-house, and the Lutheran Church. 
Benjamin Rowland, who supported well his family reputa- 
tion for apt and pithy forms of expression, once said that 
" Sylvester Wicks ought to have been disowned for placing 
the meeting-house so awkwardly." It was removed farther 
from the street, and turned around in the year 1850, nearly 
fifty years after it was erected, when it receiA^ed the addi- 
tion of a jet, and other repairs. It was not adorned by 
paint, either without or within, until about the year 1845, 
when it was painted on the outside ; nor were the grounds 
beautified until recently ; but the general appearance of the 
house was that of an agreeable simplicity. The lot on 
which the house stands was a gift from Sylvester Wicks, 
upon the condition that it should ahvays be used for a 
Friends' meeting-house, otherwise it should revert to his 

The modes of transacting the affairs of the Society after 
the beginning of the present century assume more formal- 
ity and exactness. On the admission of members a com- 
mittee is appointed to visit the applicant, and if they 
believe the desire of membership originated in the persua- 
sions of truth, and their religious principles are found to 
be in accordance with the faith of the Society the com- 
mittee report favorably, and the candidate is accepted. On 
the removal of members from the limits of one meeting to 
another, certificates of their standing were always sent, 
even though the person was only a youth or minor. 

"To Geeexwich Moxthlt Meetixg — Dear Friends, 

Aza Arnold, son of Benjamin Arnold, is now serving an 

apprenticeship, within the verge of your monthly meeting, 

and his father requesting for him our certificate ; we there- 



fore certify that he is a member of our monthly meeting, 
and was, when with us, an orderly lad ; as such we recom- 
mend him to your Christian care and oversight, with desires 
for his preservation and growth in the truth. 

" Signed by order of a monthly meeting, held at Provi- 
dence, '26th of 2d month, 1806, by Obadiah Brown, Clerk." 

Some of the ])rominent members of that day were Syl- 
vester Wicks, Paul Greene, John Langford, John Casey, 
Robert Hall, while some of the younger men were much 
used in the affairs of the Society, as Thomas Anthony, and 
Daniel, Benjamin and Thomas Rowland. John Smith re- 
sided in Wickford, Avhere a meeting-house had been built, 
and Warwick and Cranston were represented by Elisha 
Harris, John Greene, Isaac Fiske, Rowland Greene, Jona- 
than Knowles and Lloyd Greene. Ann Smith was an 
approved minister who attended Wickford meeting, and 
often visited distant parts of the country in that service ; 
Sylvester Wicks was an elder, but preached occasionally. 
John Casey, Daniel Howland, Thonuis Anthony and Row- 
land Greene, were all ap])roved ministers. 

We will give a few salient ])oints in the life and charac- 
ter of these men who have already passed from the stage 
of life, but are well remembered by persons of the present 
generation. John Casey was one of the most attractive 
and poAverful preachers that ever belonged to Greenwich 
monthly meeting. Of scarcely medium height, and rather 
inclined to corjnilency, his form was always arrayed in a 
well fitting suit of drab, while a broad-brimmed hat of the 
same color, shaded a face that was both handsome and intel- 
lectual. It was usual at that day to have two meetings on 
the Sabbath, both morning and afternoon, and such was 
the desire to hear him that the house would generally be 
filled, and sometimes extra seats were placed along the 
aisles. He was the son of John Casey, of iSTewport, and 
was married in the year 1797, to Rebecca Proud, the 
daughter of John Proud, formerly of Newport. She was 
the grand-daughter of John Proud, Jr., of Newport, who 
in the year 1738 was married in the old meeting-house to 
Ann Greene, of Potowomut. The father of this John 
Proud, Jr., emigrated from England and settled in New- 
port, where he followed the business of chair making, a 
trade in which other members of the family have been pro- 
ficient at a later date. John Casey was a hatter by trade, 
and had many apprentices to whom he taught the business. 


He owned and occupied the house next north of tlie Court 
House on Main street, in the basement of which was a drug 
store, then styled an apothecary sho}), which was conducted 
mostly by his niece, Amey Proud. 

The crowds who flocked to hear John Casey preach and 
wondered at his power, little thought that he was moved 
by a spiritual influence so objectionable. Occupying an ex- 
alted position in the Society, and peculiarly gifted in the 
service of the ministry, often extending his gospel labors to 
quarterly meetings in other states, an insidious appetite for 
the stimulating influence of intoxicating fluids obtained 
such power over him, that he sacrificed everything to its 
gratification. People were amazed, but that did not change 
the fact. Friends persuaded, and committees admonished, 
but Avithout effect. He was invited to silence, but paid no 
attention, and finally giving no hope of improvement or 
reformation, he was disowned by the Society, and a testi- 
mony of denial read against him at a public meeting. 

The members of the Society of Friends used to be very 
free and social in their intercourse with each other, and the 
hospitality of their houses was generously j^roffered. On 
the occasion of monthly and quarterly meetings it has 
always been customary for those residing near the place of 
meeting to provide entertainment for all who came from 
a distance, and as East Greenwich was no exception to this 
custom, most of the resident families made extensive pre- 
parations for these occasions, even if they were not mem- 
bers. It was not uncommon, forty years ago, for the meet- 
ing-house to be completely filled on the day that the Rhode 
Island Quarterly Meeting was held here, and there would be 
as many as an hundred horses and carriages within the 
yard. But that is all changed, and the limited numbers that 
now assemble here come mostly by steam and rail. 

The quarterly meeting is held during the first week in 
May, one of the pleasantest months in the year, and as a 
steamer from Fall River and another from Newport is 
chartered for the day to bring the Friends here in the 
morning and take them away at night, a number of others 
who liave relations and friends residing here, take that op- 
portunity to make a visit for the day, so that quite a festi- 
val is made of the occasion. 

Daniel Howland was an approved minister, who was 
contemporary with John Casey. He was the son of Daniel 
and Philadelphia Howland, and was married in 1793 to 


Sarah Greene, daughter of Richard Greene, of Potowomut. 
He was a man of large stature, and inclmed to corpulency, 
but was very lively in conversation, with the heartiest and 
most mirthful laugh ever heard, and his genial nature en- 
deared him to. a large circle of friends. He traveled fre- 
quently in the service of the ministry, visiting different 
parts of New England, and sometimes extending his jour- 
neys to the more distant meetings of New York and Penn- 
sylvania. His sermon was never long, but some thought it 
a trifle prosy, and he always preached the same one. It is 
said that William Almy, whose wealth and position gave 
him the self-constituted right to snub and reju-imand whoso- 
ever he pleased, Avas once dining with Daniel Howland and 
others at a Friend's house, when William said, " Daniel, why 
does thee preach the same sermon over and over again?" 
Daniel quickly replied, " When thee and my other hearers 
pay heed to my advice, then perhaps my Divine Master 
will give me something more to say." He never coveted 
either the wealth or honors of the world, but cultivated a 
small farm for his support. If wanting in worldly wealthy 
he Avas rich in faith, and in the assurance of a treasure laid 
up Avhere '' Neither moth nor rust can corrui>t, nor thieves 
break through and steal." 

Another minister of this period was RoAvland Greene, 
Avho resided in Cranston, Avhence he removed to Plaintield, 
Connecticut, where a meeting-house was built and a prepara- 
tive meeting held, which formed a part of Greenwich monthly 
meeting. He returned to Cranston about the year 1835, 
where he continued to reside until his death. He was a 
physician by profession, but his frequent journeys in the 
ministry pr'evented his acquirino- a regular or lucratiAe 
practice. He was of medium height, and dressed in a suit 
of light drab Avith knee-breeches, u]i to a late period, Avhen 
the small-clothes gave place to pantaloons, and the drab 
was discarded for brown, the two only colors then Avorn by 
Friends. With a pleasant and pensive face, he pos- 
sessed a voice that Avas musical and persuasive, although 
his sermons were not remarkable for depth or eloquence ; 
but they ahvays pleased his hearers, and frequent visits to 
to the meetings of Friends all over Ncav England and else- 
where, rendered his name familiar Avherever the Society 
was knoAvn. 

Thomas HoAvland Avas raised to the station of an elder 
in the Society of Friends at an early period, and through- 


out a life which terminated at an advanced age, he was an 
active member and thoroughly identified with the affairs of 
the Society. He owned a farm in East Greenwich, adjoin- 
ing that of his brother Daniel, about two miles from the 
village, where he chiefly resided. When the Friends' 
Boarding School was established in Providence, he was a 
teacher in that institution for some time. His personal 
appearance was attractive. Being about six feet in height, 
but sparely built, he possessed a countenance whose expres- 
sion was at once astute and benignant, as his manner was 
both authoritative and kind. Perhaps no person in New 
England Yearly Meeting had greater influence, and none 
whose counsel was more frequently sought than Thomas 
Rowland's. His suavity of manneVs and equanimity of 
mind secured the love of his friends, while his keen wit 
and sound judgment, expressed in choice language, made 
him formidable in controversy. Without being strained, his 
politeness and affability seemed born of courts, and included 
all in its range ; rich and poor, young and old, were greeted 
alike, and always with an air of interest and condescen- 
sion. In the business meetings of the Society his remarks 
were always pertinent, and if he spoke amidst the tumult 
and confusion of town-meeting, the people at once became 
tranquil and listened with respectful attention. He was a 
valetudinarian for many years, and the number of coats and 
wrappers in which he was enveloped when attending meet- 
ing in inclement weather was truly wonderful. He man- 
aged to withstand all the blandishments of feminality dur- 
ing a long life, and died in the summer of 1845, as he had 
lived, a bachelor, in the eighty-second year of his age. 
Always deeply interested in the welfare of the Society, 
and especially solicitous for the guarded education of its 
youth, he fulfilled more than fourscore years, and passed* 
from " works to reward." 

Lloyd Greene was a character whose uneventful life and 
sorrowful death might well " point a moral." He was a 
brother of Dr. Rowland Greene, resided at Old Warwick, 
and was a consistent Friend and preacher, though his gift was 
not sufiiciently extensive to merit the recommendation of 
the monthly meeting. The first meeting-house built at 
Warwick was partially destroyed in the severe gale of Sep- 
tember 23d, 1815, and Sylvester Wicks, who had removed 
from East Greenwich to Cranston, was appointed a com- 
mittee to rebuild it, which was done, and the result was 


the house which is still standing near the head of Old War- 
wick Cove, and which bears the marks and scars of an- 
tiquity. A meeting was held there once a month, and was 
called Lloyd's meeting. We attended that meeting when 
young, and remember very distinctly the ride down there 
on a pleasant First day morning in June. It was the only 
meeting held in the vicinity, and the well-to-do farmers, 
with matrons and maidens in holiday attire, filled the meet- 
ing-house. Lloyd preached as usual, and his peculiar face 
and manner made an impression which has never been 
effaced. His form was slight but very straight, and a bright 
complexion subdued the expression of a countenance whose 
cast of features was seldom seen outside of the " Celestial 
Empire." A head, entirely destitute of hair, except a nar- 
row rim around the base of the crown, was covered with a 
broad-brimmed white hat, and his dress was drab of the 
plainest shade. A voice both weak and flat fell harshly on 
the ear, but the audience listened attentively, and Lloyd 
seemed anxious to relieve his mind. Without brilliant 
mental power, he had considerable aptness in conversation. 

Nicholas Congdon, of Cranston, a worthy Friend, whose 
lAain bluntness was sometimes rather disconcerting, was 
conversing on the subject of pride, when Lloyd said he 
thought "every person should have some necessary pride." 
" What kind o'f pride is that ? " said Nicholas. Lloyd re- 
plied, " It is that pride which leads to amiability." He 
was married rather late in life, to Freelove, the daughter of 
Simeon Arnold, and the small gambrel-roofed house where 
he lived and the farm he cultivated Avere a paternal inheri- 

The history of the life of Lloyd Greene is rendered re- 
markable by its tragical end. The part of Warwick where 
he lived was rather isolated, until the raging fashion for 
summer resorts and sea-air turned the shores of our beauti- 
ful bay all topsy-turvey. But the same green fields and 
sloping hill- sides, the vista of blue ocean and the heights of 
Coweset, lighted up by the golden sunset, which have de- 
lighted the eye of artist and stranger, possessed a charm 
for the prosaic spirit of the quiet Friend, whose power he 
little knew. 

For more than half a century he had quietly jogged on 
in the same round of duties, to meeting, to mill, and to 
market, when, in the spring of 1842, by the advice and 
persuasion of friends, and prompted by his own inclination 


to lessen the cares of life, he was induced to sell his home 
and remove to East Greenwich, where he could live at ease. 
But the ex]>eriment was unfortunate, for he missed the 
usual round of cares and duties, which had seemed a bur- 
den, but were really a pleasure. He missed the friends of 
boyhood and middle age, and he missed the monthly gath- 
ering of the rural neighbors in the ancient tabernacle, 
where he had held forth for their instruction. His [)eculiar 
temperament rendered liim very susce])tible to that terrible 
malady, home-sickness, which attacked his mind and com- 
pletely destroyed its balance. A negotiation for the re- 
purchase of his farm failed, and he grew melancholy and 
then inconsolable. Even the consolations of the religion 
he professed, were unable to restore and tranquilize his mind. 
He visited his old home one ])leasant afternoon, and instead 
of returning to East Greenwich as expected, he looked for 
the last time upon the scenes he had loved so well, and go- 
ing to a barn near his paradise, died by his own hand, pre- 
ferring death there to life elsewhere. 

Among the modes of faith which have rendered the 
Society of Friends a pecidiar people, tlie |)ractice of silent 
worship, to which reference has heretofore been made, is 
one which has often subjected them to the scorn, as well as 
the derision of the world. Even those who claim a Chris- 
tian experience and religious life, but confound action with 
adoration, think the time utterly wasted that is passed in 
silent meditation, ignoring the declaration of Christ himself, 
that " God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must 
worship Him in spirit and in truth." If the object of di- 
vine worship is to j)lease the ear and gratify the senses, 
then there is efficacy in vocal and instrumental sounds. 
The pealing organ, the singer's tuneful voice, and the 
preacher's w^ords may be means of inspiration, but He 
who formed the " temple," and placed within it a living 
witness, loves a " contrite heart and a broken spirit," better 
than " sounding brass or tinkling cpiibals." If true and 
acceptable worship is an act of the lips and not of the mind, 
of the hand and not of the heart, then there may be a sav- 
ing virtue in long prayers, tithes and fasting. 

'* As if the pomp of rituals and the savor 

Of gxims and spices, could Jehovah please, 
As if His ear could bend with childish favor. 
To the poor flattery of the organ keys." 

But meetings of absolute silence were not common at 
East Greenwich on the First day of the week, until within 

100 HISTORY of" east GREENWICH. 

tlie i)ast twenty years. The meeting at Wickford had no 
speaker for many years, and for a long time before it was 
given up it was attended by only two persons, Beriah 
Brown and Rowland Vaughn, who sat together in silence 
the usual time, and then sT^iaking hands, as the usual man- 
ner is of closing the meeting, went to their homes. Some- 
times inclement weather prevented moi'e than one from at- 

At the period when the eloquent sermons of John Casey 
were tilling the meeting-house with hearers, and the mild 
tones of Daniel Rowland fell soothingly upon the ear, 
another voice was sometimes heard, which from small begin- 
nings was increased in compass and power until the gospel 
2:ift possessed by Thomas Anthony expanded far beyond 
mediocrity. His form and face are well remembered by 
adults of the present generation, for less than a score of 
years have passed since he was summoned from the field by 
death. The eventful year that gave birth to a nation, 
1776, contained the birth-day of Thomas Anthony, whose 
father, Joseph Anthony, lived in North Providence, and 
who was a member and preacher among Friends. 

Thomas was married in 1803 to Anna Knowles, of 
Cranston, and removed within the limits of Greenwich 
monthly meeting about the year 1806. He owned a farm 
at Pojack, in North Kingstown, and was engaged in the 
manufacture of salt. 

The process of making salt would be quite a novelty at 
the ])resent time. The water was pumped from the bay by 
windmills into large vats, whence it was evaporated by the 
sun, until only salt remained. The works were abandoned 
about the year 1840. 

The ride from Pojack was tedious in the extreme. The 
road, like all others in Quidnesett at that time, was barred 
by numerous gates, but Thomas was always punctual in the 
attendance of meetings twice a week, and his resolution de- 
fied alike the heat of summer and the drifting snows of 
winter. His first public communication was at a First day 
meeting, and his remarks were prefaced by these words, 
" Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not ; a body hast thou 
prepared me — in the volume of the Book it is written, Lo, I 
come to do thy will, O Lord ! " His ministry was approved 
or recommended by the monthly meeting in the year 1817, 
and thereafter he occasionally, though not frequently, 
visited Friends and appointed meetings in other states. It 


may be remembered as a j^eculiarity of his gospel labors^ 
that he rarely ever preached at a mid-week meeting, and 
was never silent on First day. He was a man of short 
stature and stoutly l)uilt ; had a pleasant countenance, and 
a vigorous organization. The regular attendance of meet- 
ings did not prevent a close attention to business, for such 
is the frailty of human nature that the germs of selfishness 
almost defy the power of religion ; nor did the softening- 
influence of heavenly grace altogether subdue the occasional 
ebullition of a temper which was naturally irascible, for it is 
not always possible for the " new birth " to change com- 
pletely the rank growth of the "old Adam." He was no 
lukewarm disciple, but he rated prevailing sins in " good 
set terms," and fearlessly assaulted the strongholds of Satan 
with the mighty battle-axe of truth. A ready flow of lan- 
guage was })romoted by a pleasant voice and agreeable de- 
Uvery, so that the stolid hearer, if not moved by argument, 
was melted by exhortation. He skillfully traced the devious 
ways of transgression, warned his hearers against the in- 
sidious wiles of the " unwearied adversary," and then with 
glowing language described the benign influences of heav- 
enly love, and the glorious fruition of a godly life. He was 
often called upon to attend funerals among those who were 
not of his Society, and the country folks always spoke with 
reverence of "Elder" Anthony, as they res])ectfully 
termed him. 

The process of decay which the hand of time has written 
upon all things terrestrial, was gradually going on, and the 
power of preaching could not arrest it. The members who 
had attended meetings were dwindling away, and the seats 
remained unfilled. 

After having passed the allotted years of threescore and 
ten, Thomas Anthony sold his farm at Pojack and removed 
to East Greenwich, where he could be near the meeting 
and medical attendance, as the infirmities of age crept on. 
He had lost his wife in 1819, and in 1823 was married to 
Lois Chase, of Swansea, who died in 1843. Both left 
children and were buried in the meeting-house yard at East 
Greenwich, and in 1854, when towards the close of his 
seventy-eighth year, he passed from the scenes of labor and 
life, and was laid beside them. 

Like the ancient prophet of Syi'ia, his mantle descended 
upon successors, and two of his daughters possess the gift 
of prophecy ; one of whom, Mrs. Macomber preaches regu- 


larly in the meeting-house in East Greenwich, and her man- 
ner and tones bring vividly to remembrance the voice 
which so often resounded within its walls. 

Friends' Boarding School. 

The Friends' Boarding School at Providence, Rhode 
Island, is an institution of learning which has attained 
considerable eminence, and as many of the youth of East 
Greenwich monthly meeting were educated there, some 
account of its early establishment may be interesting. 

The subject of a yearly meeting school had been agi- 
tated throughout the Society for some time, and finally 
Moses Brown, a wealthy Friend of Providence, was induced 
to offer an eligible lot of land for the purpose of erecting 
a suitable building. For several years previous subscrip- 
tions had been made by members of almost every monthly 
meeting in New England to effect this object. The money 
had been placed at interest, a fund was slowly accumulat- 
ing, and in 1803 we find the following extract from the 
minutes of the yearly meeting : 

" This meeting feeling a renewed concern that the object 
of establishing a school for the promotion of a guarded 
education, may still be kept in view, and put in execution 
as soon as it can be fully effected, do recommend to the 
several quarterly and monthly meetings to encourage 
Friends to a liberal subscription." 

Accordingly Greenwich monthly meeting appointed Syl- 
vester Wicks, Thomas Howland and John Greene to pro- 
mote and receive subscriptions for the purpose of a yearly 
meeting school. In the year 1814 the following extract 
from the minutes of the yearly meeting was sent to the 
several subordinate meetings : 

" This meeting having obtained information, by the read- 
ing of the minutes of the meeting for sufferings, that a suita- 
ble lot for the erection of buildings to accommodate a 
Yearly Meeting School, containing about forty-three acres 
in the vicinity of Providence, had been offered for that pur- 
pose, by our friend Moses Brown, to this yearly meeting ; 
and the meeting for sufferings having satisfied themselves, 
through the report of a committee of their appointment 
that the lot affords a pleasant and healthful situation 
to erect suitable buildings upon, for tliis desirable object, 
which has for many years occasionally occupied the serious 


attention of this meeting, and having at this time a renewed 
engagement for the guarded education of our youth, and a 
very general agreement being manifested that the time has 
arrived wherein it may be entered upon with a better 
pros])ect of accom})lishing the benevolent design than has 
been heretofore presented to our view, the present amount 
of the fund subscribed for this ])ur})ose, A\'it]i its interest, 
being upwards of |9,U(HI, and, although inadequate to the 
expense wdiich Avill attend the erection of suitable buildings 
and other necessary outlays ; we therefore recommend to 
Friends to aid the jjresent fund by subscriptions in their 
freedom, and forward to the meeting for sufferings an ac- 
count of the sums, that they may be qualified to act 
therein ; we tenderly exhort Friends to be liberal in their 
subscriptions, according to the means afforded them, re- 
membering that we are only stewards of the goods we pos- 
sess, that we hold them by a a ery uncertain tenure, and that 
a righteous and benevolent disposition of a part of them 
may produce a blessing upon the remainder." 

A substantial brick building was erected and completed 
in the year 1818, upon the land given by Moses Brown, on 
the hill northeast of the City of Providence. This land has 
become very valuable, and is now worth as many thousands 
of dollars per acre as it was hundreds at that time. 

The following circular Avas issued on the 12th month, 2d 
day, 1818 : 

"It is concluded that the Yearly Meeting Boarding 
School at Providence shall be opened to receive children 
the first of the next year — 6th of the week. As the funds 
already raised for this institution have nearly all been ap- 
plied in building and furnishing the house, the pi'ice for 
board, tuition, books and stationery, washing and mending, 
is at present fixed at |100 per annum ; and it is expected 
that for each scholar |25 be paid in advance, at the begin- 
ning of each quarter ; should this estimate prove higher 
than to meet necessary expenses, the price will be propor- 
tionally lessened. No child can be admitted for a less 
term than one quarter; nor in any other than a plain 
dress. Until a boarding house may be established in the 
neighborhood of the school, Friends or guardians that ac- 
company^ the children, may be accommodated with board 
and lodging at a moderate expense, with the superinten- 
dents, who are Mathew Purington and his Avife. It is con- 
cluded that no child under eight years of age, except 


orphans, or such as are under the care of the monthly- 
meetings, or in some s})ecial cases at the direction of the 
acting committee, shall be admitted. No boys are to re- 
main, or to be received, at the school, after they attain the 
age of fourteen years, without the liberty of said com- 

" ^= All letters written to the children while at school, if 
sent by mail, must have the postage paid, or it will be 
charged to them. 

" Signed by order of the School Committee. 

Samuel Rodman, Clerk." 

In 18*20 it became necessary to raise |2,000 more, in aid 
of the institution, and notice was sent to the quarterly and 
monthly meetings, requesting Friends to subscribe to this 
object. It is a rule among Friends not to accept of any 
funds, either by will, donation or subscription from any 
persons except from members of the Society. 

A circular issued in 1821, reports the average number of 
children for that year about seventy-five, and gives the 
names of the instructors as Thomas Rowland, Stephen A. 
Chace and Abigail Pierce. 

In 1823 Greenwich monthly meeting comprised the pre- 
parative meetings of Greenwich, Cranston, Foster and 
Plainfield, while First day and mid-week meetings were 
held at Wickford and Coventry. Meeting-houses had been 
built at each of these places. The small body of Friends 
in Plainfield, Connecticut, was increased by the influence of 
Rowland Greene, who resided there for many years, and 
they were joined to the monthly meeting of East Green- 
wich because they were nearer than any other similar body. 
The air of Connecticut has never been favorable to the 
growth of Quakerism, for there has always been something 
peculiarly antagonistic between the " blue letter " laws of 
Presbyterianism — the religion which mostly prevailed there 
— and the spiritual liberty of the gospel as promulgated by 
the successors of George Fox. Of tlie meetings named above, 
only two are now maintained, those at Greenwich and Cov- 
entry The others were gradually reduced by death and 
removal until not a standard was left, and the houses 
remained closed until sold by order of the meeting. 

It has been previously mentioned, that the clerk of the 
Greenwich monthly meeting in 1806, was Beriah Collins, 
who retained the ofiice until 1815, when Thomas Rowland 
was appointed. He performed the duties but a few years 


and resigned in 1818, when William Reynolds, who became 
a member of the Society in 1815, was chosen and held the 
office for about thirty years, until politic measures required 
a change ; so he resigned the ])lace which he had impartially 
filled, with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of 
Friends. Perez Peck held the office of clerk during the 
stormy period of discord and se])aration in the Society, 
which has greatly reduced its numbers, and the causes of 
which it is so difficidt for professing Christians of other de- 
nominations to understand. He was continued until the 
appointment of Solomon R. Knowles, who is the present 

Beriah Collins, who Avas clerk of Greenwich monthly 
meeting in the early part of the present century, resided in 
Foster, and was an elder in the Society. He was a very 
worthy man, and very regular in the attendance of meet- 
ings, from most of which he lived very remote. He carried 
on in a limited way the business of tanning leather, and 
from its profits, together with the productions of a small 
farm, he contrived to maintain a large family. This re- 
quired the inculcation of lessons of economy, as well as the 
practice of industry. He was once visiting at the house of 
Nicholas Congdon, of Cranston, whose bluntness we have 
before had occasion to illustrate, when some very fine 
apples were passed around for their entertainment. 
Beriah observed that he always told his family to select the 
specked ones first, and advised that Nicholas should do 
likewise. " I never serve my friends with rotten apples," 
said Nicholas in his sturdy way, and Beriah of course 

Beriah Collins died in the summer of 1864, at the ad- 
vanced age of ninety-two years and four months. Of all 
the Friends who attended the Greenwich monthly meeting 
fifty years ago, none are now living. The last survivors 
were Perez Peck and Deborah Howland. 

In addition to the members of the Society at Greenwich 
meeting, there was usually the constant attendance on 
First day, of certain people who professed no religion out- 
wardly, nor did their daily lives and conversation always 
bear evidence of the work of inward grace. One of this 
class was followed to meeting one day by the horse he 
usually rode, where he frisked about the yard, making mis- 
chief among the sedate and decorus steeds who were stand- 
ing around harnessed to the carriages. His owner apolo- 


gized to Thomas Anthony for tlie unbecoming conduct of 
his favorite horse, by saying that " he loved to go to meet- 
ing as well as his master." " Yes," replied Thomas, " and 
it does him about as much good." 

One of the characters wlio used to be the diversion of 
unstable boyhood was Spencer Hall, who was an attendant 
at First day meetings. A small sized man, with twinkling 
eyes, deep set in a rubicund face, he talked loud and gave 
positive opinions with much assurance. He was always 
clad in the ancient styles that prevailed prior to the Revo- 
lution, and made the current coin, (quarters and ninepences), 
serve as buttons upon his coat and vest. His trousers 
without suspenders, required an occasional hitch to keej) 
them in place, and in cold weather an overcoat, with a 
mountain of capes, almost concealed his head! A carriage 
whip was always carried into the meeting-house for safety, 
and a refreshing nap prepared the mind for the reception of 
the sermon. His ancestors were Friends, but the faith 
which Spencer professed was in the efficacy of Jemima 
Wilkinson as the Christ and Saviour of mankind, and he 
was never better pleased than when talking of the so-called 
miracles of this imposter, and until his death continued to 
believe in her supernatural power. 

It is very seldom that persons of color have ever become 
members of the Society. The absence of music as an ele- 
ment of worship, together with silent meetings, fail to 
accord with the uneasy spirit of i)ure African devotion. 
Only two or three instances are upon record, and of these 
Greenwich meeting claims only one, Phillis Ripton, who 
was admitted by request or convincement, and continued a 
consistent member until her death, about the year 1835. 

This history of the Society of Friends would be incom- 
plete without some account of the separation which took 
place in nearly all of the meetings in New England, in 1844, 
and which has a tendency not only to greatly lessen the 
ranks of those who bear the name, but the discussion and 
controversy provoked have embittered and unsettled the 
minds of members of both parties, and prevented the 
youth, who must always be depended upon to fill the places 
of the aged, from entertaining that love for the faith of 
their ancestors, and that respect for its forms, which would 
induce them to follow in their footsteps. It is not within 
the province of this history to discuss this controversy be- 
yond what is necessary to a correct understanding of its 


In 1829 a division occurred in most of the yearly meet- 
ings of America, except New England, in consequence of the 
preaching and views of Elias Hicks. Both parties claimed 
then to be Friends and have ever since, although generally 
known by the names of Orthodox and Hicksite. 

About the year 1838 Joseph John Gurney, a member 
and minister of the London Yearly Meeting, visited Amer- 
ica, where he traveled and preached extensively. His pen 
was prolific, and many books had emanated from it upon 
religious subjects. It was claimed that these writings con- 
tained many points of doctrine which differed essentially 
from the established creed of the Society, and those who 
were concerned for the promotion of its ancient principles, 
wrote and talke-d of these innovations. A controversy 
thus arose, based upon doctrinal issues, but finally merged 
into personal jealousies and animosities, with attempts to 
enforce rules of government contrary to the long established 
customs of the Society. One party claimed that the ortho- 
dox traditions of the Society had been invaded, which 
would in time destroy its identity, and that as faithful 
w^atchmen on the tower of Zion, it was their duty to expose 
these new lights and give warning of the api)roach of an 
enemy. The other party afiirmed that all was well, and 
commanded these sentinels to hold their peace. That 
there were steadfast Friends in both parties, deeply con- 
cerned for the preservation of their doctrines and testimo- 
nies there can be no doubt. But prominent and influential 
members, carried away by the spirit of domination, were 
determined to Ijend every thing to tlieir will, and there 
was doubtless some stubbornness in the j^ersistency with 
which the charges of unsoundness were pressed. Had a 
more conciliatory spirit prevailed — a little forbearance and 
charity on one side, greater toleration and freedom of 
0]>inion on the other, with less disposition to cavil at 
faults — they might have continued to worship together. So 
it has been in all ages of the Christian church, that intoler- 
ance and even persecution have been born of religious zeal ; 
but it was for the present age to show, that Friends, not- 
withstanding their profession of high spiritual guidance, 
are only finite beings, liable to error, and that there is no 
security without the exercise of constant watchfulness. 

In 1844 these dissensions had become so extensive, that 
they culminated in a division, and New England Yearly 
Meeting became two distinct bodies, each claiming to be 


the original Society. The division extended to most of 
the subordinate meetings, and the " world's people " Avere 
astonished to learn that a body of Christians, so quiet and 
peaceful, so patient and forgiving as the Friends, had as- 
sumed such a belligerent attitude towards their brethren as 
to attempt their forcible exclusion from houses of public 

One party claiming to be the Rliode Island Quarterly 
Meeting, held its sittings in the meeting-house at East 
Greenwich, and the othei- claiming the same name and 
authority, occupied the Methodist liouse of worship, until 
it was removed to Westerly to accommodate a larger num- 
ber of Friends. The First day meetings of the same body 
at East Greenwich were held at a private house for some 
years, until removed to Warwick for the same reason which 
prompted the renioval of the quarterly meeting. The fact 
that both bodies have continued to decline in numbers is 
sufficient evidence that they were wanting in those elements 
of grace and truth which were the bulwark of the Society 
in its primitive days. 

Whether owing to neglect, perverseness, or disobedience, 
it is evident that the spirit and power which were once its 
life and glory have departed. Rather than wear the badge 
and maintain the rank of true soldiers of the cross, they 
have reclined like Samson, in the lap of Delilah, until com- 
pletely shorn of their S])iritual strength. 

It is doubtful whether the innovations which are gradu- 
ally creeping into the Society of Friends, are the subject 
generally of most approval or censure. To those who love 
the forms and traditions of their fathers, and who love and 
regard the distinctive traits of the sect, or their peculiar 
form of worship with reverence, these new ideas must bring 
unqualified sorrow ; but those who are weary of these 
restrictions and peculiarities, hail with delight the changes 
which must practically destroy the individuality of the 
Society. When the doors are thrown wide open, it is not 
easy to predict when or where the new departure will end. 

A convention of delegates from the several yearly meet- 
ings of America, met in Lynn, Massachusetts, to discuss the 
subject of First day schools, and the method of conducting 
them. The meeting continued three days and drew together 
a large concourse of people. The propriety of the introduc- 
tion of singing was considered, and much curiosity was 
manifested to learn the views of the speakers upon this 


delicate subject, a majority of whom seemed to favor the 

A reporter of tlie Boston (xlohe says : " If there has been 
any one point which the Friends have adhered to more 
than another, it is their great aversion to all musical adorn- 
ments in their worship. Although many a Quaker of 
modernized views may have his piano and violin in his own 
house, yet, when he goes to meeting, he does not want to 
hear the sweet sounds which may have pleased him at home. 
There has been for some time a tendency to break down 
this prejudice against singing, and for this reason the ques- 
tion was put on the programme for discussion." 

William F. Mitchell, of New York, approves of singing, 
and said " it should be introduced into our school at Provi- 
dence ; it is necessary at all our places of learning to reco- 
cile our children to our worship. They now go to places 
of worship of otlier denominations. In spite of all that can 
be done, the children are going to sing, and if there cannot 
be something arranged for their practice, they will sing 
something which will not be agreeable to Quakers to hear."^ 

Eli Jones, of Maine, said that " singing was expedient in 
our Friends' day school." He thought there was a desire 
and tendency to depart from the position which the old 
fathers of the Quakers held. Some people think that they 
ought to be left out in the cold, but he would stick to the 
old worthies as long as he lived ; he admired the old form 
of worship of the Quakers ; he had tried it on the red man 
and the black man, both in this country and in Africa ; he 
had tried it with Arab and Turk, and Greek, and it worked 
well. In the "Bible-class I am willing to accept singing 
Avithout hesitation, but as to introducing it into our meet- 
ings, I decidedly say no." 

Dr. Hartshorn, of Havorford College, believed that " sing- 
ing was innocent and laudable ; it is as natural for some 
people as for the birds in the fields, for the children espec- 
ially ; it is not only harmless but necessary in the boarding 
school, the college, and the First day school, but when we 
come to consider its introduction into our worship, then he 
would say it was not necessary, and whether it will be ex- 
pedient or not, is yet to be decided." 

Several others, among whom was Sarah F. Smiley, of 
Saratoga, approved of singing, while a few opposed it. 
Should singing and music generally be introduced into the 
First day schools conducted by Friends, they might just as 


well prepare for its introduction into the meetings for wor- 
ship, for this would follow as a natural sequence. Then a 
regularly educated ministry, with written sermons and a 
fixed salary. But it is hoped that before this takes place, 
in justice to themselves and the world, the Society will sur- 
render all claim to being the followers of Fox, Penn and 

The " Quaker of the olden time," if not already gone, 
will soon cease to exist. Probably before the end of the 
present century a Friends' meeting will be among the 
things that were, and the only evidence of this Society and 
its members, which were once so numerous, will be found 
in the memories of age, or on the plain stones which mark 
the places where their ashes rej)ose. 



The first information connected with this Church, is 
found in the schedule of the doings of the General Assem- 
bly, October, 177'2 : 

" Whereas a Number of the Inhabitants of East Green- 
wich, of the Denomination of Christians, called Presbyte- 
rians or Congregationalists, preferred a Petition, and 
represented unlo this Assembly, That they liaAC, for a long 
time, labored under the Disadvantage of having no House 
to meet in for the public Worship of God ; And that they 
are unable, of themselves, to build one; but have great 
Encouragement from their Brethren, in the neighboring- 
Governments, that they will assist, in Case they, the Peti- 
tioners can obtain the Grant of a Lottery for that Purpose. 
And therefore prayed this Assembly to grant them a 
Lottery, for raising the Sum of Fifteen Hundred Dollars, 
for building a Presbyterian or Congregational Meeting- 
House in said Town, knd that Messrs. William Johnson, 
Gideon Mumford, James Searle, and Archibald Crary, may 
be appointed Managers or Directors of the same : On Con- 
sideration whereof, 

" It is Voted and Resolved, That the aforesaid Petition 
be, and the same is hereby, granted, under the usual restric- 
tions : Provided that the said Lottery do not take place 
until the First Day of May, A. D. 1773 : And that the 
Colony incur no Expence thereby." 

In the schedule of the doings of the General Assembly 
in 1774, is found the following entry : 


" A/i Act incorporatmg a religious Society and Congre- 
gation^ by the Name of the Congregational Church in 
East Greenvyich. 

" The Governor and Company of the English Colony of 
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New-England^ 
in America, convened in General Assembly, and sitting, by 
Adjournment, at East-Greenwich, in the County of Kent 
in the Colony aforesaid, on the Fourth Monday of August 
in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand, Seven Hundred 
and Seventy-four, and in the Fourteenth Year of the Reign 
of His Majesty George the Third, King of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland : 
" To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. 

" Whereas a Number of Persons of the Presbyterian and 
Cono-reo-ational Denominations, Inhabitants of East Green- 
wich in the County of Kent, and the Towns in the Vicinity 
thereof, within this Colony, have, for about Four Years 
past, occasionally assembled together for public Worship 
after the Congregational Way and JManner : And whereas 
AYilliam Johnson, Gideon Mumford, James Searle, Augustus 
Mumford, Andrew Boyd, Thomas Hubbard, John Shaw, 
Ichabod Smith, Archibald Crarey, Joseph Joslyn, Comfort 
Searle, Robert Taft, and James Murry, Inhabitants of East 
GreeuAvich, aforesaid, liaA^e voluntarily united and formed 
themselves into a. religious Society, and Congregation, by 
signing an Instrument, dated the Thirtieth Day of June 
last past, declaratory of their religious Sentiments, as be- 
ing agreeable to the Principles, Doctrines, and mode of 
Worship in the Presbyterian or Congregational Churches, 
and therein aoreeino; that the Church hereafter to be o-ath- 
ered, and the Ministry hereafter to be settled in said Con- 
gregation, shall be of the Denomination commonly called 
Congregational or Presbyterian : And whereas the said 
Society are now building a House for the public Worship 
of God, in Pearce Street, in East-Greenwich aforesaid, and 
are desirous that the said House, and the Lot of Land on 
which the same shall be erected, together with all other 
Estates with which they may be hereafter invested, should 
be legally held to the use, and for the upholding that Mode 
of Worship, and for the other religious and charitable Pur- 
poses, for which the same is, or shall be designed, intended, 
and appropriated. And thereupon they have petitioned 
this Assembly to grant to them a Charter of Incorporation, 


with the ])riviledges and Powers hereafter mentioned ; 
Now therefore, Know Ye that we, the said Governor and 
Coni])any in General Assembly convened, do for ourselves 
and Successors, Enact, Grant, Ordain, Constitute, and De- 
clare, and by the Authority thereof, it is hereby Enacted, 
Granted, Ordained and Declared, that the said William 
Johnston, Gideon Mumford, James Searle, Augustus Mum- 
ford, Andrew Boyd, Thomas Hubbard, John Shaw, Ichabod 
Smith, Archibald Crary, Joseph Joslyn, Comfort Searle, 
and Robert Taft, and all sucli, their Associates, as shall at 
any and all Times hereafter usually assemble together with 
them for public Worship, in East Greenwich aforesaid, to- 
gether with the Church, which may hereafter be gathered 
within the said Society and Congregation, shall be a body Cor- 
porate and Politic, with perpetual Succession, to be known in 
the Law by the Name of the Congregational Church in 
East-Greenwich in the County of Kent^ in the Colony of 
Rhode- Island^ and Providence Plant (it ions. And the same 
Body Corporate is hereby empowered to hold, and stand 
and seized of all such Estate, as they may be possessed of ; 
and also to take, receive, acquire, and hold. Donations Leg- 
acies, and Grants of Estates both real and personal; and 
the same to use, occupy, and improve, towards the support 
of the Pastors, relief of the Poor, or other religious Uses 
in said Congregation, according to the Will of the Donors, 
and to the purposes for which the same shall have been 
designed and appropriated ; All which estates said Congre- 
gational Church may, and shall take, hold, and stand seized 
of, and improve, notwithstanding any Misnomer of this 
Corporation ; and by Whatever Name, or however imper- 
fectly the same may be decribed in Donations, Legacies or- 
Assignments and Grants, ])rovided the true Intent and mean- 
ing of the Assignor or Benefactor be evident. And the 
said Congregational Church is hereby empowered to lease 
the real Estate, and also the same to grant, aliene, or hold 
in Perpetuity, according to the Tenor of the Property 
therein; and to let moneys, on Bonds, Mortgages or other 
Securities, and shall and may be. Persons capable in the Law, 
as a Body Corporate, in all Courts and Places, to sue and be 
sued, to defend and pursue to final Judgement and Execu- 
tion thereon, in all Causes whatsoever, by and in the Names 
of such Persons, as are hereby declared to be the present 
Committee of said Body Corporate and Politic, or by, and 
in, the Names of their Successors in said Office. 


" And it is furthe)' Enacted^ ordained and declared^ 
That those who for the Time being, and at any and all Times 
hereafter, shall usually assemble together for public Wor- 
ship in the Meeting-House now about to be erected in 
Pearce Street, in East Greenwich, aforesaid, belonging to 
the said Congregational or Presbyterian Church, shall be 
deemed, and they are hereby declared, the true and lawful 
Successors in this Corporation. 

" And furthermore^ at the Request of the said Society and 
Congregation, it is declared, That the Ministry to whose 
use this Corporation is, by this Act, empowered to hold 
Estates, shall be Congregational, or Presbyterian and Pedo- 
baptist, and no other : And that when a Church shall be 
once gathered in this Congregation, the Pastors, in all 
Successions, be mutually chosen, or dismissed, by the 
Brethren of the Church, being Communicants in regular 
Standing in the same, and by the Congregation, that is, by 
the Concurrence of the respective majorities of those pres- 
ent at public Meetings, duly notified for that purpose ; the 
Deacons, or any Three Brethren, to notify the Church- 
Meeting, in this case, and the Committee to notify the 
Meeting of the Cono-resation. 

" And he it further Enacted, That in Case any Grants or 
Donations, shall be made to the Pastors, Elders, Deacons, 
or Brethren, so that a Limitation thereof to the Church, 
as distinct from the Congregation, shall be evident, then 
the same shall vest, and remain in, and be at the Manage- 
ment and Disposal of the Church and its Successors, in 
their distinct and sei)arate capacity : And that the Church 
may lease its Estates, improve its Moneys at Interest by 
bond or otherwise, and sue for, and recover the same at 
Law. And all their Transactions respecting the same shall 
be of full Force, and Legal Validity, without being joined 
by the Congregation. 

" A7id be it further Enacted, That the secular meetings 
of this Society shall be called and notified, as usual, by the 
Committee thereof. And the said Cono-re2:ation are era- 
powered, at any such meeting, to chuse a Moderator, elect 
Committee-men, such, and so many, as they shall from time 
to time think proper ; and appoint a Secretary, Treasurer and 
other Officers as they shall judge necessary, and the same at 
any time to remove, and others to chuse and ap])oint in 
their Stead ; And to make such Laws, Rules and Orders, 
for the necessary Repairs of the Meeting-House, and such 


other By-Laws, and Reo'ulatioiis about the Secular affairs 
of the said Congregation, as they sliall see lit, not contrary 
to the Laws of this Government : And it is hereby De- 
dared^ That William Johnson, Gideon Mumford, James 
Searle, Augustus Mumford, Jolni Shaw, Archibald Crary, 
and Andrew Boyd, be, and remain the ])resent Committee, 
so long as said Congregation shall continue them, and until 
they are removed and others chosen in their places. 

" And he it further Enacted^ That whatever Estate is, 
or shall be, held by said Congregational Church, either by 
Purchase or Donation, the same shall never be alienated 
from the uses and j^urposes thereof, nor applied towards 
the su])port of any other Ministry, or Mode of Worship, 
than w^hat hath already been described in this Act. And 
in Case at any Time hereafter any persons of said Con- 
gregation shall alter, and change their Principles res])ect- 
ing Presbyterian Ordination, the Mode of Worship, and 
other religious Usages practiced or acknowledged in the 
same ; the Individuals, so changing, shall cease to have 
part in the Management or Apjjropriation of the Incomes 
and Profits of the Estate ; but the same shall be, and re- 
main to those, and those only, who shall remain and abide 
by the original Principles of this Church, who are hereby 
declared to be the true, and only Successors of this Cor- 
poration. And they, and such their Successors, shall con- 
tinue to hold, improve, and enjoy, the Estate to the uses 
prescribed, and particularly, what shall be appropriated to 
the Ministry shall be held to the use of such Congrega- 
tional, or Presbyterian Ministry in said Congregational 
Church, as is hereinbefore defined, and for no other for- 

"In full Testimony of which Grant, the said Governor 
and Company do hereby Order, that this Act of Incorpor- 
ation, on an Exemplification thereof, be authenticated by 
the Signature of the Governor and Secretary, and the 
Public Seal of this Colony : And the same being delivered 
to the said Congregational Church, shall be a sufiicient 
Warrant to them, to hold, use, exercise, and enjoy all the 
Privileges and Powers herein contained." 

The church edifice was erected in 1774, the sum sufiicient 
for this purpose being procured from the proceeds of a lot- 
tery. I cannot find any record of a church organization 
until October 15th, 1815. 


Extract from the Church Records : 

" The Congregational Church of Christ in East Green- 
wich was organized the fifteenth day of October Anno 
Domini, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen by the 
Rev. Daniel Waldo, a missionary from the Massachusetts 
Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. The j^ersons 
who entered into covenant were : — Mrs. Mary Coggswell 
from the first Church in Newport, Mrs. Ann M. Greene 
from the Second Church in Newport, Mrs. Mahala Salisbury 
from the first Church in Little Compton. Captain Silas 
Holmes and his Wife made a profession of religion, and all 
of them united in giving their assent to the following 
confession of Faith : 

" We believe that there is only one living and true God 
existing in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy 

" That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments 
are the word of God and the only rule of faith and practice. 

" That our first Parents by partaking of the forbidden 
fruit, brought themselves and all their posterity into a state 
of Sin and Misery. 

" That God after the fall, through the Mediator entered 
into a covenant of grace with man, on condition of re])ent- 
ance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ. 

" That the Lord Jesus Christ hath appointed the Ordi- 
nances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper to be observed in 
his Church until his second coming ; the former to be ad- 
ministered to visible believers and their children only, and 
the latter to none but visible believers. 

" That God hath appointed a day in which he will Judge 
the world by Jesus Christ ; and that he will reward every 
one according to his works, when the wicked shall go away 
into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eter- 

And then the following Covenant was adopted by them : 

" You ( and each of you respectively ) do in everlasting 
Covenant give up yourselves to God in Jesus Christ. 

" You do humbly ask of God forgiveness, through the 
blood of Jesus Christ for all your sins of heart and life. 

" You do likewise (each of you) solemnly promise before 
God, his holy Angels, and in the presence of this assembly, 
that by the help of the Holy Spirit you will forsake the vani- 
ties of this world, and will approve yourselves the true dis- 
ciples of Jesus Christ, promising to submit to the discipline 


of Jesus Christ, in his Church, and in this Church in partic- 
ular, (Matthew 18 and 15) ; and by his grace to live devoted 
to him all your days, in a faithful obedience to all of his 

There is nothing on the church records to indicate how 
long the Rev. Daniel Waldo continued as Pastor over the 
church, but in the year 1829 ajDpears the following entry 
on the record : 

"August 29th, 1829. Church Meeting called and met at 
my house for the purpose of giving a call to Mr. Michael 
Burdett to settle over us as our Pastor ; adjourned to meet 
the first Saturday of next September." 

" At a Church Meeting held tit my house (agreeable to ad- 
journment) the meeting opened by Prayer' by the Rev. 
Daniel Waldo." 

" Voted, That we give Michael Burdett a call to settle 
with us as our Pastor. 

"Witness, Joh:n^ Beoavn." 

" The Society having held a meeting, unanimously con- 
curred in the call of Mr. Burdett, — of which Mr. Burdett 
being informed, accepted of the call. Wednesday the 
twenty third of September was aj^pointed for the ordina- 

" Pursuant to letters missive, an Ecclesiastical Council 
was held in this place on the 23d of September, 1829. 
Present from the Church at Little Rest, South Kingstown, 
Rev. Oliver Brown, Pastor ; Deligate Brother Thomas 
Wales. From the Church in Bristol, Rev. Mr. Lewis, 
Pastor ; Deligate Henry Wright, D. D. From the Church 
in Rehoboth, Rev. Thomas Vernon, Pastor; Deligate 
Brother James Bliss. From the Church in Barrington, 
Rev. Joseph Patrick, Minister of the Place ; Deligate Dea. 
Joshua Bicknell. From the Church in West Taunton, Rev. 
Alvan Cobb, Pastor ; Brother Lorenzo Lincoln, Deligate. 
From the Church in Pawtucket, Rev. Asa Hopkins, Pastor ; 
Deligate Dea. Remember Carpenter. 

" After an examination of Mr. Burdett by the council they 
proceeded to his ordination. The Introductory jirayer was 
made by the Rev. Mr. Patrick ; Sermon by the Rev. Mr. 
Cobb ; Ordaining prayer by the Rev. Mr. Brown ; Charge 
to the Pastor by the Rev. Mr. Lewis ; Right hand of fel- 
lowship by the Rev. Mr. Vernon ; Concluding prayer by 


the Rev. Mr. Hopkins. The services were very impressive 
and interesting." 

Mr. Burdett remained as pastor until July 10th, 1833. 
The next entry is the following : 

" The Monthly Church meeting on the Saturday before 
the first Monday in August, A. D. 1833, was held at my 
house. Present Sisters Mary Coggeshall, Mary Mowry, 
Mary Thurston and Mary Brown. This being the first 
Church Meeting since the Rev. Mr. Burdett left, it was 
thought best to continue the Church Meetings as an earnest 
cultivation of Personal Piety, Christian Love, and Har- 
mony with each other." 

Witness, Johx Browx, Deacon." 

" On the 6th of October, 1836. An unanimous Call was 
Given to the Rev. William G. Johnson, of Washington 
Village Church which was accepted ; from that time he 
regularly dispensed the Communion in this Church, and re- 
moved here on the 24th March, 1837. 

" A Sunday School was commenced by the Pastor on the 
7th of May, 1837. A Sunday School Society was also 
formed and a Library commenced." 

This was the first Sunday School in East Greenwich. 

"May 14th, 1837. Moses and Harriet Pierce were re- 
ceived members into this Church by letter from Fall River 
Church, it being understood that they had difficulties on 
Infant baptism, and Slavery but waited for more light upon 
these subjects, therefore the Church agreed to admit them 
upon these terms, provided they did not agitate these sub- 

iects in the Church." -nr r^ r t»t- • ^ 

•' vVm. (Jr. Johnson, Minister. 

It appears that Mr. Johnson changed the name from the 
Congregational Church of Christ to that of the Catholic 
Congregational Church, of East Greenwich, as the new 
name now appears for the first time : 

"At a meeting of the Catholic Congregational Church, of 
East Greenwich, held at the house of the Rev. Mr. Johnston, 
June 7th, 1837, the committee appointed to draw up arti- 
cles of discipline, not being prepared to report, it was 

" Voted, That in all our Church meetings four Members 
shall make a quorum for business. 

" Voted, That John Brown be a Delegate to attend the 
Consociation to be holden at Bristol. 



" Voted^ That we intend to purchase a lot and build a 
House for Worship, as soon as funds can be acquired by 
our own exertions and the assistance of Friends. 

" Vbtecl^ That our delegate lay the above vote before the 
Consociation, requesting their advice and assistance. 

" Voted^ That our delegate enquire of the Ladies Benev- 
olent Society, in Bristol, whether, they ever voted, or re- 
mitted assistance in money to the C. C. Church in East 
GreeiiAvich ; and how much, by whom sent, and to whom 

" Voted, That Avhereas our present Minister came to his 
labours with us, without any prospect or expectation of 
sufficient maintainance from us, our Delegate will lay this 
case before the Missionary Society, soliciting their advice, 
assistance, and prayers. 

" Voted, That the Treasurer call on all the members of 
of the Church, and as many of the Society as he shall think 
Judicious to solicite Subscriptions, for the Support of Our 

"At a Church meeting on January 22d, 1838, it was 
agreed that if funds could be secured we would build a 
Church, and that a circular letter should be sent to all the 
Churches in our State, of our Denomination requesting 
their aid ; and to try every means in our power to raise the 

" February 1st, 1838. At a Church meeting it was re- 
solved to forward the Circular letter. Mr. Whiting, Esq. 
was chosen Treasurer to receive any money that might be 
paid for building, and also to prepare us a Charter when 
required, and to do such other business for us as was 

About this time it appears that the old meeting-house 
was demolished in order to erect a new structure on its site, 
but the Society, when they discovered that they were un- 
able to build, for lack of funds, concluded to sell the lot and 
materials of the old house to the Episcopalians : 

" February 12th, 1838. At a meeting of the members of 
the C. C. Church, proposals were made by them to the 
Corporation of St. Luke's Church to give them a good 
deed of the place for $300, or for an equivalent in land 
equal to said sum. General ]N"athaniel Greene and Mr. 
Thomas Rhodes, acted as delegates for the Church to pre- 
sent our proposals to St. Luke's Corporation which they 


did on February 15th and were to receive an answer at the 
annual meeting in ]March next." 

"March loth, 1838. The Catholic Congregational Church 
sold their Lot of land, to St. Luke's Corporation, for $250, 
and the agent was empowered by the C. C. Church to de- 
bate that sum to $244.46. This day the Deed was signed 
by the Church." 

"March 16th, 1838. At a Church meeting held at the 
Court House a vote of thanks was passed by the majority 
of the Church, to be given to General Xathaniel Greene 
and Xathan Whiting, Esq., for their kind services in assist- 
ing this Church in recovering her rights." 

" March 20th, 1838. A Xote for ^244.46 was delivered to 
Xathan Whiting, Esq., Treasurer, to the C. C. Church in 
East Greenwich to assist the Church in purchasing a lot of 
land, or for building." 

Here commenced the difficulties and misunderstandino-s 
which finally ended in the dissolution of the Society. The 
trouble began at the adoption of the new government, 
articles of faith and covenant. 

" June 2d, 1838. A Church meeting was held at Capt. 
Andros's where ten were present.' The new articles for re- 
organizing were read and approved of along with the cove- 
nant. The Articles and the Covenant were agreed to by 
all present as true and good, and some of the Articles of 
the old constitution were considered erroneous ; but it was 
agreed that we would appoint another meeting, and exam- 
ine the articles one by one, Avhich meeting was held and 
the articles and covenant were approved of, but some ob- 
jections were made to the Church rule 4th, therefore they 
were not unanimously approved of." 

" June 27th, 1838. A meeting of the Church was held at 
Capt. Jonathan Andros's at 3 P. M. when the Catholic Con- 
gregational Church was reorganized by the Rev. Wm. G. 
Johnson, Missionary of the Rhode Island Home Mission- 
ary Society and Member of the General Assembly of the 
Church of Scotland." 

Foe:m or Reorganization, June 27th, 1838. 

" We, the Catholic Congregational Church of East Green- 
wich and members of said Church organized by the Rev. 
Daniel AYaldo, in October 15th, 1815, Missionary from the 
Massachusetts Society for promoting Christian Knowl- 


edge — Do now voluntarily recognize ourselves as the same 
Catholic Congregational Church, under the Pastoral care 
of the Rev. Wm. G. Johnson Missionary of the Home 
Missionary Society of R. Island, and member of the Estab- 
lished Church of Scotland with all our temj)oral immuni- 
ties, property possessions, rights and privileges of every 
kind, temporal and spiritual Avhich belong to us as said Cath- 
olic Congregational Society of East Greenwich, and for the 
better promoting the spiritual interests of the Church, we 
now renew and amend, our confession of faith, covenant 
and government and discipline, and reorganize said Church 
and are members of said C. C. Church by giving our assent 
to its Confession of Faith, Covenant, Discipline and Gov- 
ernment as thus amended and reorganized." 

" Being fully understood that this is the same Catholic 
Congregational Church, on Congregational principles alone, 
with its spiritual Constitution altered and amended, and 
should any of its members not unite with us, then we may 
become an Indejoendent Church." 

" Reasons for He-organizing the Church. 

" 1. Our Confession of Faith and Covenant have always 
been defective and erroneous, and at present our articles 
are so deficient, that an Antinomian can fully assent to 
them, and also an Armenian become one of our members. 

" 2. This Church has no discipline, and no government, 
w^e cannot call one member to account, however flagrant 
any of his crimes may be, and we have no government to 
regulate any of our proceedings, which makes our Church 
in a state of anarchy, and confusion, and should one have 
reason to complain of another, we have no remedy in our 
present state to offer. 

" 3. Many of our members are dead, others removed, 
and no proper account has been kept of the proceedings of 
the Church from the beginning. 

" 4. In view of building a meeting-house, it is necessary 
to have our Confession of Faith, Discipline and Govern- 
ment ready before we incorporate as a Church, or appoint 
Trustees over our proi3erty, to hand down to posterity the 
truth, and to fix the possession of the property of this 
Church, to them alone that believe the same truths and fol- 
low the same discipline and government which we main- 
tain — and by doing our duty now, we may insure the 
preaching of a pure gospel to future generations." 


" Confession of Faith. 

" The following is our Confession of Faith and Covenant, 
to which we have given our assent, and require the assent 
of all who may become in future, members of this Church. 

" Beloved Friends — You have presented yourselves before 
God, and his people, and the world, to make solemn pro- 
fession of your religious faith, and publicly, to take upon 
you the bonds of the Everlasting Covenant. We trust you 
have well considered the nature of this transaction, the 
most solemn and momentous, in which you can ever engage, 
and that you are prepared by divine grace, to give your- 
selves away, as a living sacrifice, holy and acce^^table to 
God, through Jesus Christ. 

" Having examined and assented to the articles of faith 
and covenant, adopted by this Church, you will now i3ro- 
fess the same before these Witnesses. 

" Article 1st. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old 
and New Testament, are the word of God, and the only 
perfect rule of Christian faith. 

" 2d. We believe that there is only one living and true 
God, who is a Spirit uncreated and unchangeable, that He 
is essential love, everywhere present, and possessed of in- 
finite knowledge, power, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, 
justice, goodness and truth. 

"3d. We believe in the unity of the Godhead, there is 
a Trinity of persons. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that 
these persons are one in essence, and that the Son and the 
Holy Ghost, are equal and coeternal, with the Father. 

" 4th. We believe that God made all things for himself, 
and that he governs all his works, that he will overrule all 
things, so, as to display his own glorious nature, and pro- 
duce the greatest good, and this will be effected in a way, 
perfectly consistent with the moral agency and liberty of 
his creatures. 

"5th. We believe that Adam was created holy, and 
happy, that he was constituted the moral root of his posterity, 
that he apostatized from God, in consequence of which, all 
of his posterity come into the world with natures wholy 
depraved and alienatedfrom God. 

" 6th. We believe that God in his sovereign mercy and 
rich grace, has provided a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
who being in his original nature one with the Father, did 
take the human nature, into personal union with the divine, 


and humbled himself to death, even the death of the cross, 
and thereby made a full atonement for sm, that whosoever 
believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. 

" 7th. We believe that all who receive Christ, were from 
the beginning chosen to salvation, through sanctification of 
the Spirit, and belief of the truth, (2 Tliessalonians, 2, 13), 
and will be kept by the power of God, through faith and 

" 8th. We believe that a cordial acceptance of Christ, 
in his true character, and in all his offices^ as our Prophet, 
Priest and King, by a faith charatjterized by repentance of 
sin and a holy life, constitute a true Christian. 

" 9th. We believe that we are saved by grace through 
faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, and 
that a true chanoje of heart is effected by the Holy Spirit 
of God. 

" 10th. We believe that Christ has a Church in the 
world, and that none in the sight of God, but real believers, 
and none in the sight of man, but visible believers, have a 
right to be admitted into it. 

"11th. We believe that Christ has instituted baptism, 
and the Lord's Supper, as ordinances to be observed in the 
Church to the end of the world ; that baj^tism, is to be ad- 
ministered to believers, and their children, and the Lord's 
Supper to such visible saints, as are able to examine for 
themselves, and discern the Lord's body. 

" 12th. We believe that Christ has instituted a discipline 
to be observed in the true Church, which is to be strictly 
maintained, according to his directions, in Matthew 18 : 15, 
16, 17. 

" 13th. We believe that at the end of the world, Christ 
will appear in his glory, as the universal Judge, that the 
bodies of the dead will then be raised, and those then liv- 
ing, will be changed into an immortal state that brought to 
the judgment seat of Christ, all will be judged and sen- 
tenced, according to their works and that the reward be- 
stowed upon the righteous, and the punishment inflicted 
upon the wicked, will be alike eternal. 

" Covenant. 

" Humbly hoping that you have been savingly united to 
Christ by faith, and esteeming it a delightful privilege to 
serve the Lord, and regarding your obligations to Him as 
perfect freedom, you do now in the j^resence of God, his 


holy Angels, and this assembly with sincerity of soul avouch 
the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be your 
God, the object of your supreme affections, and your por- 
tion forever; you cordially acknowledge the Lord Jesus 
Christ in all his mediatorial offices. Prophet, Priest, and 
King, as your only Saviour, and the Holy Spirit as your 
sanctifier, comforter and Judge. 

" You humbly and cheerfully devote yourselves to God, 
in the everlasting covenant of his grace, you consecrate all 
your powers and faculties to his service and glory, and you 
promise through the assistance of his Spirit, you will cleave 
to him as your chief good, that you will give diligent at- 
tendance to his word, and ordinances, that you will seek 
the honor and interest of his kingdom, and henceforth 
denying all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, you will 
live soberly, righteously and godly in the world. 

" You who are parents do not only give up yourselves 
unto the Lord but also devote the children under your care 
to his fear and service promising by divine assistance to 
bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord — 
to instruct and counsel them, to set a good and holy exam- 
ple before them, and all your household, and to maintain 
religious worship in your families. 

" You likewise acknowledge this to be a true Church of 
Christ, and do now cordially join yourselves to it as such, 
promising to submit to the rules of government and disci- 
pline which it has adopted, and to strive earnestly for its 
peace, edification and purity, and to walk Avith its members 
in love, faithfulness, circumspection, meekness and sobriety, 
as long as you live, unless your relation to it be regularly 

" Thus you solemnly covenant and promise. (The ordin- 
ance of baptism will noAv be administered). 

" We therefore the members of this Church, (here the 
members of the Church rise), affectionately receive you, to 
our communion, and in the name of Christ, declare you 
entitled, to all the privileges, and immunities of this Church, 
and promise to watch over you, with christian affection 
and faithfulness according to our covenant and rules of 
discipline. And now Beloved in the Lord, let it be im- 
pressed on your mind, that you have voluntarily and unal- 
terably committed yourselves to God, and that henceforth 
you Avill be regarded as his servants, — hereafter the eyes of 
the world will be upon you, and as you demean yourselves, 


SO religion will be honored or dishonored : — if you walk 
worthy of your profession, you will be a credit, and a com- 
fort to us, but if it be otherwise, it will be an occasion of 
reproach. But beloved we are persuaded better things of 
you, and things which accompany salvation, though we 
thus speak. 

" May the Lord guide and preserve you until death, and 
at last receive you, and us, to that blessed world, where our 
love and joy shall be forever perfect and where every tear 
shall be wiped from our eyes." 

" October 12th, 1838. This day a Mortgage was laid upon 
the Episcopal Church and lot by the Treasurer on behalf of 
this Church for 1^253.46 as Trustee and Treasurer of said 

" December 10th, 1838. We unanimously protest against 
the advice of the Ecclesiastical Council of the 13th of 
November of which the following is a Copy : 

" The mutual Ecclesiastical Council, that met at East 
Greenwich on the 13th of Nov. 1838, to deliberate and ad- 
vise upon the grievances, trials and Church affairs of the 
C. C. Church, — resolved that we should go as far back as the 
10th of May 1837, and that all the proceedings of the 
Church, should be null and void from that date. 

"We the C. C. Church of East Greenwich, do protest 
against the division, and dissent from the advice of said 
Council for the following important reasons : 

" 1. The Council did not inform themselves properly of 
our Church affairs, and therefore were totally unqualified 
to give a proper decision. 

" 2. The Church records would require to be mutilated 
or destroyed from May 10th 1837, until Nov. 13th 1838, 
which would deprive posterity of all confidence in our 
records, and besides we have no power or right to alter, 
mutilate or destroy the public records of this Church, nor 
yet expunge them contrary to the mind of the Church. 

" 3. This decision deprives Mr. Whiting of being the 
Treasurer of this Church for building. 

" 4. If we should consent to the decision of this Council 
then we must adopt articles, that are confessed to be erro- 
neous by every member of this Church. 

" 5. As we have reorganized and adopted sound articles 
of faith and entered into covenant with God, we would be 
forced to renounce the truth and break covenant with God, 
if we adopted the old articles and covenant. 


" 6. We as a Church have sold our Church property to 
the Corporation of St. Luke's Church on March 15th, 1838, 
and if we assent to the decision of the Council, then we 
nullify the deed which we gave the Corporation of St. 
Luke's Church — and also nullify the Mortgage which we 
have upon said Church, neither of which we can do. Though 
the Council through ignorance of our affairs, and want of 
due inquiry and deliberation — have virtually recommended 
us to sacrifice truth, embrace error — sin against conscience — 
break covenant with God — and break our legal voluntary 
deed with St. Luke's Church and deprive them of that prop- 
erty which we sold them by the unanimous consent and in- 
dividual signature of each member of this Church." 

This church was a very large and convenient structure, 
two stories in height, with two rows of windows one above 
another, like a dwelling-house, the side of the building 
fronting on Pearce street, a square tower projecting from 
the north end of the building, with a door opening on a 
small court, (there was no street there then). The tower 
contained a winding stair-case leading to a gallery, which 
occupied three sides of the second story, with its rows of 
seats rising one above another like those of an amphithea- 
tre. This part of the church might be termed the Court 
of the Gentiles, as it would seem to be intended for the 
use and convenience of those who did not choose to remain 
through the long and tedious sermons of those days. Such 
persons could pass in and out without disturbing the con- 
gregation below. The builders of churches in those days 
were certainly more accommodating to the public than at 
the present time. 

The lower part of the church was furnished with slips in 
the centre of the floors with square pews at the sides ; 
there Avere seats around the inside of these pews, so that a 
portion of the occupants sat with their backs to the j^ulpit 
which was also of curious construction. It was a circular 
structure, elevated high in the air with a long, winding 
flight of stairs leading up to it. There were two beautiful 
silver candle-sticks at the sides of the pulpit, which once 
adorned a dwelling-house in Portugal. 

The church was never painted inside, and the awkward 
tower at the end of the building Avas left unfinished until 
about the year 1820, when a small, odd-looking spire, 
shaped like an old-fashioned extinguisher, was placed on its 
summit, while four strange looking objects called urns were 
fastened to the corners of the tower. 


Up to this time no bell had ever rung out its solemn peal 
from this old tower. The only bell in the village at that 
time hung in the belfry of the old Kent Academy, which 
then stood very near the old church. The congregation, 
like the man who borrowed his neighbor's knocker, had 
long depended upon the ringing of the academy bell to 
call them to meeting; but on the completion of this steeple, 
the citizens of the village raised by subscription a sum to 
purchase a small bell, which is now in the possession of the 
Episcopal Church. 

The old meeting-house, as it was then called, continued 
to be used by all denominations who wished to occupy it, 
until the year 1836, when the building, and the lot on which 
it stood were purchased by the Episcopalians, who, after 
pulling down the old structure, built on its site the first St. 

For a long time after the old meeting-house was built 
BO clergyman preached regularly there, but old printed ser- 
mons were read there by different persons from the village. 
The good people of those days evidently supposed that 
rsince they possessed a church, they ought to use it, and 
that sermons read by the laity were better than no preach- 
ing. Among those who often filled the pulpit was an old 
revolutionary officer. Captain Thomas Arnold, who was not 
particularly pious, and was very much addicted to using 
strong language. One very warm day, after reading a ser- 
mon, he remarked on coming out of the church, while wip- 
ing his forehead, that it was " hard work to preach." 



Among the number of persons who have claimed for 
themselves supernatural jDowers, and by the zeal of fanati- 
cism, or the craftiness of deceit, have imposed alike upon 
the credulity of the superstitious, or the simplicity of the 
ignorant of every age and country, few have ever done a 
larger business on smaller capital than Jemima Wilkinson, 
who is the only individual of her class whose absurd frauds 
and fancies have ever germinated and flourished on the 
sterile, spiritual soil of Rhode Island, or borne fruit within 
its limited territory. 

Jemima was born about 1751, in the Town of Cumber- 
land, in this State, and was the eighth of twelve children. 
This might be called a numerous family even for those days, 
in which " the head of a household " meant something 
more than an empty name. Her mother died when she was 
eight years old, and Jemima grew up a neglected, indolent, 
willful girl. The i30pular impression, that she was a mem- 
ber of the Society of Friends is erroneous. Neither herself 
nor family, with the exception of her mother, were ever 
members of that Society. Her father possessed and culti- 
vated a farm, which with economy afforded a moderate 
suj^port for his family. Jemima became an adept at shirk- 
ing her share of household duties, and early showed some- 
thing of that craftiness, deceit, and love of authority, which 
characterized her in after life. 

Her education was very limited, but she possessed more 
than ordinary personal beauty, and the attractions of a fine 
form v/ere enhanced by the lustre of bright eyes, dark hair, 
and clear complexion. She was sprightly in manner, and 
fond of dress, amusement and pleasure. She attracted 


many admirers by her sharp wit and ripening beauty. Her 
time was spent either in idleness at home, or in visiting, or 
other amusements until the year 1774, when her mind 
seemed to be turned to religious subjects. She became 
serious and tlioughtful, passing much of her time in read- 
ing the Bible. She remained at home, took less pride in 
dress, and no longer essayed to emulate the rival beauties 
of the neighborhood. She continued in retirement until 
1776, when she pretended illness and confining herself alto- 
gether to bed, excited the solicitude of her family, so that 
nightly watchers Avere procured. These she entertained 
with accounts of strange visitations and visions ; pretending 
to point out white figures and celestial forms at her bedside. 

One night she told her attendants that a great change in 
her condition was soon to take place, and that she was 
about to be called to act some great part in this wicked 
world for the benefit of mankind. She soon after lay for 
several days motionless and apparently lifeless, except for 
a respiration so soft and silent as to be almost impercep- 
tible. Suddenly she awakened, and in a tone of authority 
demanded her clothes, declaring that she had passed the 
gates of death and Avas now risen from the dead. Her ap- 
parel Avas then jn-ocured, and she immediately arose, dressed 
herself and Avent around in perfect health. 

When she Avas congratulated by her neighbors u]ion her re- 
covery, she denied that it Avas Jemima to Avhom they Avere 
s]>eaking, and Avith affected solemnity informed them that 
the body of Jemima Wilkinson had been dead ; that her 
soul Avas then in heaven, and that the tabernacle Avhich Je- 
mima had left behind, Avas noAV animated by the poAver and 
si)irit of Jesus Christ. She told them she had been se- 
lected to reign a thousand years, and Avould never die but 
Avould be taken up into heaven bodily at the end of that 
period. Her friends and relatives Avere not less astonished 
at her arrogant assum[»tion than they Avere A^exed at her ob- 
stinacy, but Avere intimidated by the intensity of her keen 
eye, tlie firmness of her Aoice and the immobility of her 
countenance. On the next Sabbath she attended the usual 
public meeting in the neighborhood, and at the intermission 
began to address the peo})le in the o|)en air. 

She soon collected a croAvd, to Avhom she spoke Avith 
fluency and Avithout embarrassment. In persuasive lan- 
guage, enfoi-ced by A'ery graceful gestures, she talked of 
the depravity of sin and the beauty of holiness, and aston- 


islied all who heard her by her knowlege of the Scriptures 
and by familiarity Avith religious subjects. Her fine eyes and 
expressive countenance were lighted up Avith fervor, and 
her masculine hearers hardly knew which to admire most, 
the doctrine preached or the fair preacher. 

A retentive memory enabled her to repeat much that she 
had read, and a year previous had been spent witli her 
Bible and other religious books. She did not immediately 
offer herself to her hearers as their saviour, but never after- 
wards acknowledged the relationship of brothers and sisters, 
and addressed her father as Jeremiah. Her fame soon 
spread, and many persons called at her father's house to 
converse ui)on religious subjects. After a fcAV months she 
began to make periodical journeys, visiting Newport, Provi- 
dence, Seaconet, East Greenwich, North and South Kings- 
town, and also some places in Connecticut and Massachu- 

It seemed to be her purpose to establish a new religion, 
and to become the head and founder of a sect whicli should 
avoid the beaten track of other denominations, and reject 
all the usual forms of church government. Dissenters and 
backsliders from other societies became her disciples, a few 
weak men, a still greater number of silly women and chil- 
dren. She managed, hoAvever, occasionally to entrap per- 
sons of intelligence and Avealth. Three or four meeting- 
houses Avere built for her use. One of them Avas in this 
toAvn, and Avas standing fifty years ago, on the FrenchtOAvn 
road, just south of the residence of Josej)h Fry, and oppo- 
site the farm of John Pitcher. It Avas a plain structure of 
modest dimensions, and Avas ahvays called the "Jemima 

After her pretended resurrection, Jemima always called 
herself the " Universal Friend," Avhich she said Avas " a 
ncAv name Avliich the mouth of the Lord had named." Her 
proselytes and folloAvers Avere ncA'er numerous, but Avhat 
Avas Avanting in numbers Avas made uj) in dcA^otion. 

Many of the accounts given of Jemima retlect rather 
severely upon her moral character, and though these as- 
persions may be unjust, it is evident that she Avas reck- 
less and defiant, ncAcr giA'ing up a selfish project, and en- 
tirely unscruj^ulous respecting the means employed to effect 
her purposes. While the British forces occupied NcAVport 
during the RcAolution she remained there for a time, and 
preached to the officers, avIio Avere pleased as Avell as amused. 


One of tliem, a major, pretended to l)e greatly enamored, 
and his devotions ai>pear to liave been acceptable to the 
fair jii-eacher, who was ready to sacrifice her religion npon 
the altar of love ; while the son of Mars professed himself 
willing to abandon tlie service of his sovereign, and enlist 
nnder tlie banner of a mistress in whose service tliere was 
more ease and less danger. But like fickle man tlie \\'orhl 
over, lie proved only a " gny deceiver." The fieet sailed 
away and with it licr soldier-lover. Jemima waited and 
watclied in vain for his return, and a few months after Avent 
into retirement, from whence she emerged to ])romulgate 
an edict prohibiting matrimony among her followers as un- 
lawful and an " abomination unto the Lord." Her own 
disa]»poiiitment had evidently engendered a resentment 
Avliich she was unable to conceal. 

Judge William Potter, of South Kingstown, was one of 
her most enthusiastic and devoted adherents in this State. 
He possessed a fine estate about a mile north of Kingston 
Hill, and built a large addition to his mansion for the ac- 
commodation of Jemima and her followers, who made it 
their headquarters for nearly six years. Here was the 
scene of some of her preteuded miracles. A daughter of 
the judge having died, she attempted to restore her to life. 
A great concourse of people assembled to witness the mira- 
cle, but the impious prayers of Jemima availed nothing, and 
she attributed her failure to the want of faitli among the spec- 
tators. Penelope, the wife of Judge Potter, did not share 
in her husband's infatuation, and the artful insinuations of 
Jemima that they Avere the chosen lanil)s of God were too 
transparent to convince her of their perfect innocence. 
Judge Potter was one of the agents for the removal of 
Jemima and her followers to the State of New York, Avliere 
he afterwards followed her, having become greatly enibar- 
rased in his affairs, in consequence of his devotion to this 
crafty adventuress. 

One of her proselytes in this neighborhood was George 
Spencer, a member of the Society of Friends, who owned a 
farm in Frenchtown, opposite tlie 'residence of the late 
Nicholas Fry. In consequence of liis faith, and to distin- 
guish him from others of the same name, he was always 
called "Jemima George." There was another Spencer in 
that day whose faith was wanting, and he used to say that 
he would as " soon Avorship a Wooden God, as a Woman 


The dwellina:-house about one mile and a half west of the 


village, now the residence of William L. Holden, was one 
of her usual stopping-places, and she sometimes held meet- 
ings there. According to Spencer Hall, who delighted to 
talk about Jemima, this place was the scene of the fulfill- 
ment of one of her remarkable prophecies. She was ad- 
dressing a large number of people, who were assembled 
there, when she stopped abruptly, and declared that there 
was one within the hearing of her voice Avho would never 
see the light of another day. The announcenient created 
great alarm and amazement among the audience. One 
said, " is it I ?" another, " is it I ? " and a third, " is it I ? " 
but she resimied and finished her discourse. The young 
women of the family who were going to accompany Jemima 
and her retinue the next day on her journey, were up very 
late that night, and passing the door of the room occupied 
by a colored man who livexl in the family, heard groans, as 
if some one was ill, and on entering his room found him 
dying. This wonderful premonition increased her fame 
greatly in some quarters. Sceptics said " poison." 

In establishing a new system of religion, Jemima bor- 
rowed its forms of worshi]) from the Friends. Her capri- 
cious mind could establish many rules, and if any one com- 
])lained of her tyranny he was answered that "it was the 
will of the Universal Friend," and from this law there was 
no appeal. The following description of Jemima has been 
given by one who knew her Avell : 

" She was tailor than middle stature, fine form, fair com- 
plexion, Avith florid cheeks, dark and very brilliant eyes, 
and beautiful white teeth. Her hair, dark auburn, or 
black, was combed from the seam on the top of her head, 
and fell on her shoulders in three full ringlets. In her pub- 
lic addresses she w^ould rise up and stand perfectly still 
for a minute or more, then proceed with a slow^ and dis- 
tinct enunciation. She spoke with great ease, and with 
increasing fluency; her voice clear and harmonious, and 
manner persuasive and emphatic ; her dress rich in ma- 
terial, but plain in make, and in a style entirely her own ; 
a broad-brimmed white beaver hat with a low crown, and 
the sides, Avhen she rode, turned down and tied under the 
chin ; a full, light drab cloak or mantle, with a unique 
underdress, and cravat around her neck, with square ends 
that fell to her waist in front. On horseback her ap- 
pearance w^as imposing. On her religious peregrinations 
Jud^e Potter usuallv rode beside Jemima, and then her f ol- 


lowers, two by two, on horseback, constituted a solemn and 
inijiressi ve procession ." 

After having ]>reached in Khode Island, with occasional 
visits to adjoining states, for seven or eiglit years, Jemima, 
with a few followers, made a journey toPennsylvania, and 
being favorably received by the 'honest Init credulous 
Germans of Worcester, about twenty miles from Philadel- 
phia, she made the latter place her headquarters for two or 
three years. 

After one of her visits to Rhode Island, a robbery of 
the general treasurer of the State of the sum of two 
thousand dollars Avas ingeniously effected, and as one of 
Jeinima's satelites had been staying in the family, suspicion 
pointed at Jemima. She was pursued to Pennsylvania and 
her trunks being seized and searched, there was found the 
sum of eight hundred dollars, a part of the stolen money. 

It was just after this that Jemima set on foot the project 
to remove herself and adherents to the new and fertile 
lands in the State of New York, where she had concluded 
the jnirchase of a large tract in Ontario County, near 
Crooked Lake. Tliis retreat called the " New Jerusalem," 
the " land of promise floAving with milk and honey," where 
the faithful could enjoy themselves without molestation 
by the scoffs, the sneers and ridicule of the " servants of 
the devil," as she termed the people of the world who had 
no faith in her mission. She removed there in the month 
of April, 1779, with her trusty cabinet, council, followers 
and baggage. Here she continued to reside until her death 
in 1819, at the age of sixty-eight years, and managed the 
affairs of her community with such shrewdness and skill 
that considerable property was accumulated. 

We have referred to her tyranny and the devotion of 
her followers. Both qualities were strikingly exemplified 
in her rules and penalties, and in the manner of their recep- 
tion by the faithful. A member of her society for attempt- 
ing to gratify what she regarded as impertinent curiosity, 
was sentenced to wear for three weeks, a small bell, sus- 
pended from his neck by a rope. One of her punishments 
for noisy and garrulous women was to order a " silent fast." 
A weak sister, who had been accustomed all her life to talk 
and laugh with impunity was constantly in the habit of 
breaking her fast, until Jemima finally ordered her mouth 
to be sealed up with wafers and linen rags. She was able 
to endure this but for a short time, and abruptly burst the 


bands of her slavery with a loud laugh, declaring that 
Jemima must l)e a fool to think of stopping any Avoman 
from laughing and talking for three consecutive days. 

Her immediate followers were in the habit of assuming 
Scriptural titles. One was called the " Proi)het Elijah," 
and Sarah Richards — who was her prime minister — was 
called the " Prophet Daniel." They both did a good busi- 
ness for a time, in dreams and visions, in cooperation with 
Jemima, but the " Prophet Elijah " tried to set up for him- 
self, and was in the habit of receiving loving messages for 
some of the weak sisters, which Jemima thought he Avas 
too fond of delivering i)rivately. She therefore degraded 
him from his dignity as a prophet, and thrust him out of 
the society. One of the sisters was called "John, the be- 
loved," and another "Enoch of old." Her followers not 
only avoided calling her by name, but shunned the use of 
the possessive ]U'onoun, indicating sex, and spoke of "the 
Friend's house," the " Friend's carriage," whenever they in- 
dicated her property. 

About thirty families removed with Jemima to the new 
settlement near Crooked and Seneca Lakes. These w^ere 
increased by the final addition of twenty more, although 
she had expected three or four hundred, whose zeal proba- 
bly abated with the absence of their beloved prophetess. 

Three tracts of land, comjirising several thousand acres, 
liad been purchased, and Avere rather thinly settled by these 
deluded people, Avho thought that their chances of salvation 
depended upon their obedience to this deceit er. 

The Duke de Laincourt, a peer of France, paid a visit to 
Jemima, and attended her meeting, Avhich Avas held in her 
own house. " This " he says, " was extremely pretty and 
commodious, though built of the trunks of trees. Her room 
is exquisitely neat, resembling more the boudoir of a line 
lady than the cell of a nun. It contained a looking 
glass, a clock and an arm chair, a good bed, a Avarming-pan 
and a silver saucer. Her garden Avas kept in good order; 
her spring-house Avas full of milk, cheese and butter, meat 
and game. Six or seven girls of different ages, but all of 
them young and handsome, Avaited ui)on her Avith surpris- 
ing emulation to enjoy the peculiar satisfaction of being 
permitted to aj^proach this celestial (?) being. Her 
fields and her gardens are ploughed and dug by her friends, 
Avho neglect their OAvn business to care for hers ; and the 
' All Friend ' is so condescending as not to refuse their 


services. She knows liow to keep her votaries at a respecta- 
ble distance, and has tlie art of effectually captivating their 
affections." After inviting the duke to dine Avith her, she 
sat down to an excellent dinner with her female friends, and 
after they had dined a dinner was served for the guests 
who had l)een invited. 

Although Jemima possessed considerable tact and shrewd- 
ness, her miracles were ahvays failures, and a modern Spir- 
itualist would far excel her in the develojiment of the super- 
natural. She once circulated extensively the information 
that she would on a certain day walk on the water. A 
great crowd of ])eo])le assembled in Swansea, Massachusetts, 
to Avitness this wonderful phenomenon in nature, and waited 
as patiently as possible for the appearance of Jemima and 
her retinue. She finally came, and began addressing the 
people ui)on the important subject of faith, artfully ]»roving 
that it would be owing to their sinful doubts if she failed 
to perform Iier promise, citing the case of the a])()stle who 
walked on the water until the faith of himself and brethren 
had departed. At the conclusion of her address slie a])- 
proached the margin of the water, but it refused to u])hold 
her weight, when she turned indignantly to the multitude 
and rated them soundly for their Avant of faith. 

She attempted at different times to ])erform the miracle 
of raising the dead. On one of these occasions a favorite 
apostle had been ill for some days, and his death being an- 
nounced, Jemima informed the people that she should only 
suffer him to sleep four days in death, and then raise him 
again. There was an immense concourse to Avitness this 
solemn performance. When they arrived at the place of 
interment, Jemima commenced the ceremonies by a short 
discourse upon death and the resurrection, and assured 
them that as it Avas in the days of her prototype, so it was 
even noAV, and concluded by ])romising to ])erform such a 
miracle in their presence that day as Avould convince them 
of her divine mission. A military ofhcer happened to be 
present in full uniform, and just as Jemima Avas about to 
issue the magical command, he stepped forAvard, and draAV- 
ing his sword, said, " Stoj) a moment, just allow me to run 
my sword through the coffin so as to be sure the man is 
really dead," and suiting the action to the Avord, raised his 
arm, Avhen the cover Avas quickly throAvn from the coffin, 
and its ghostly tenant lied in hot haste, to the astonishment 
of some, and the great amusement of others. The declar- 

her Aeaet - _ zit- 

'^-VL LJi£ ■•'•^;»nrter - ~ ' -sHHeii- S%i& emtimrei. due stdr 

z-zTTss ^ Iks* fise^. ~ - j'^poBBHs i<:<«nirDde;, :^kl merer 

I m^st siiin dcf&j .1 ksre yomj' a^i 

: iB^ iMMJiM g. If ^^ ionre %«» a ^tar- 

ZiZ lalfeid ia smnr . '« sake, ^e <!•£- 

A vi«U levnE^ lee:^ i _jDe W ber 1^:'- 

t5-^ -^ "hH" feSicircrs w«w5- T»~^ li«£T _ - - ^^ -vr^ fhUt 

-•i 4enE)d ^die ^cr . a§ aa int^ ^aas^ts 

her l w)4i - rpawTi 1 1 r:^.^^ Vat tin?-^ v i^'-^^ ^ tiib. Deatk iri^ 
nfjfgiCid e'i -^. S; : nfee fan* «#ea^Te 

«if lie^ aRitr^Bpoffitcr; tat bar ieSovecs asaizL- 
'araiMl a «sc^^ ^iridD. i& ncdiie!^ ier aksinr j«9k& Si : 
a <eaEiinB vM, -vioeiL i§ ^q^ -nS as ^ 

•dpT^aber jifi her fr«f*e^ _^4 Ifa^., 

Halwu m trust iknr tiie Vesne^ aeEs^ ia£n&«T« c^f the 

TW career «f Ak eslracH^Barr Vns fcms an iateres^ 
iisr dofter ia IJbe "^ utnral hast^^ *A cndnsaaa.^ She 
^v^a§ f^ litat €3aw «f fiB2' -JSgss^ nwiiia. te aB tjae 

and «(«iiitin«- '- V*. T - , . _ J5WI matase 4er'cii3(yei to 

^dnsalaiei W die iaAaneef o€ 
W a ii0ot««§ wiH, 
Wtkefae arte cif 
f «sr«iiafB«K. Tlie - itif a nev fnifcrstitiaii. Bbe Ae 

kaiir ' . ^ in$ ^ovane «f aetkw 

vid a . :' «f bn ■aaafiou B«t 

^i^«a 2 i«fiHC^ ti» a i ay t ^e tmdbE tba§ 

latec y totfcearte of the 
3i£r::i:r!e ta« «ftaa bcco—ca 
r fae t i wi , Tbetiifr- 
t«aa4^ Sts^ii:: .-^aetaJlT 



the means of controlling the minds and shaping the desti- 
nies of their followers, react upon their own natures, ren- 
dering them far more pitial)le than are the helpless victims 
of their arts. A mind naturally formed for rule which 
consents to govern by the aid of treachery and deceit, has 
yielded to a destructive influence which blasts all elements 
of original good in the character, leaving it a dehumanized 

The curious traditions of the Cumberland zealots show 
us an indigenous ])roduct of superstition, as rajtid and luxu- 
riant in its fungus-like growth as though it had been nur- 
tured in the congenial soil of the troi)ics, rather than 
among the sterile hills of New England. The handsome, 
self-Avilled girl, began her public life with an address to her 
neiglil)ors u]X)n religious subjects — no very strange or dar- 
ing act in Rhode Island, where Quakerism had familiarized 
the people with the preaching of gifted women. Her am- 
bition expanded so rapidly that her next step was to claim 
divine honors, and even had her lot been cast in other 
countries she could hardly have commanded a deeper devo- 
tion from the credulity of Hindoo devotees than was 
accorded her by the sober descendants of the Puritans. 
The follies of our forefathers find a ])artial explanation in 
the strength and exaltation of a character certainly set 
apart from the ordinary temptations of youth. 

Her worst qualities were such as drew about her spirits 
as daring and as aml)itious as herself ; while to more sincere 
and humble religionists she exhibited quite another phase 
of her varied character, and attracted their sympathies by 
such legends as that of her answer to a call of help from a 
perishing world, and her departure from I*aradise to relieve 
the sin and suffering of earth. This recital, so touching 
from the li})S of the divine being who offered herself as a 
saviour, was eagerly accepted by the many of that day to 
whom the idea of an atonement was still cherished with 
JeW'ish literalness. A present redeemer, a living dispenser 
of the blessings of absolution, was realization of their 
present faith, the crowning fulfillment of their dearest 

But the Cumberland prophetess would perhaps have 
shown more consummate art had she courted persecution 
in some colony less liberal than Rhode Island. She would 
then have counted more converts, though it may still be 
doubted wdiether she did not live in an age too late for the 


full dovelo]>nient of lier genius. Could the expiring em- 
Lers of religious hatred h;ive been fanned into flame in tlie 
closing years of the last century? The air of Rhode Island 
has always proved unfavorable to spiritual pretension. 
This remains a truth in spite of the many sects who found 
a home here in colonial days. In tliis garden of the Lord, 
seed might be freely scattered, and not only by priestly 
hands. Tlie fathers of the Colony made no election be- 
tween the wheat and the tares. Xo spiritual plants were 
forced into unnatural vigor by the heat of persecution. 
None were stimulated l)y tlie nurture of patronage. In the 
l^rocess of natural selection, all sects were left to their in- 
evitable course of rise, maturity and decline. To-day we 
may lookback on the undisturbed growth of such forms of 
belief as took deepest root in our territory. 

Brief as is the history of Rhode Island, it is the oldest of 
records, permitting us to study the free development of 
religious instinct. Only for the two short centuries that 
have passed since the signing of our charter, the Magna 
Charta of religious freedom, has the state left man abso- 
lutely free to follow the dictates of his conscience. The 
hardy settlers of Rhode Island were the only really fearless 
men of their time. The colony that was founded by a 
banished man quietly received the banished Ann Hutchin- 
son and her followers, and the sjuritual infection of her 
"heresies" proved strangely harmless in an atmosphere of 
tolerance. Samuel Gorton, the Professor of the Mysteries 
of Christ, was the Savenarola of New England, of whom 
his last disciple living in 1771, at the age of eighty, said, 
" his master wrote in Heaven, and that none can under- 
stand his writings but those who live in Heaven while on 
earth." His tenets, so dreaded by the rulers of a neighbor- 
ing commonwealth, were here allowed full ex]>ression, and 
Gorton became a valued member of the Colony. There 
was indeed much of the wisdom of the serpent, as w^ell as 
the innocence of the dove, in the statesmansliip of Roger 
Williams. A man of the world, Avho should be unable to 
comiu'ehend the Christian charity of his motives, would 
yet admire the worldly wisdom of his acts. 

New England is not devoid of monuments of superstition. 
The readers of Colonel Higginson remember that abode 
which he describes as built on the hill near Worcester, 
where a solitary devotee had fixed his place of worship. 
The houses built for the use of the inspired woman of Cum- 


berland are of older date ; but the tumults of the cauij)- 
meetiug- and the "ascension-day" of the Millerites, call at- 
tention to the elements of fanatical zeal and credulity still 
lingering among us. Were Jemima Wilkinson living in 
our day we should doubtless hear of her as a successful 
"s])irit-medium." Yet how distant seems the time when 
claims such as hers, or such as advanced by Ann Lee, or 
still later, by Joanna Southcote, were heard and received. 
How great a change has been effected in the popular habits 
of thought by the agencies of the free press and the com- 
mon school. A great revolution is silently going on, of 
which we can only foretell that it will, in the end, promote 
the interests of the race, and remove forever the last rem- 
nant of religious superstition and fanaticism. 



There was an Episcopal Church in tlie vicinity of East 
Greenwich, Avhere many of our villagers worshiped, as long 
ago as 1728. It was on a lot at Coweset, near the railroad 
station. The ground on which it stood is now owned by 
Mr. Jonathan Pearce. The lot Avas conveyed by the Rev. 
George Pigot " to the Society in London for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," for " erecting a church 
according to the establishment of churches by law in En- 
gland." When the congregation of Trinity Cliurch, in 
Newport, built their new church in 1726, "they gave their 
old church to the people of WarAvick wlio had no church 
of their own." It was taken down and carried on sloops 
to Coweset, (the Indian name of that part of Warwick,) 
where it was rebuilt. It Avas tAvo stories in height, Avith a 
steeple or spire fronting the post-road. After remaining 
unoccupied a long time in a ruined state, it was taken down 
a second time, about the year 1764, and removed to Old 
WarAvick. Before the materials could be removed from 
the shore a violent storm arose, during Avhicli they Avere 
scattered and lost. 

A number of graves, probably of individuals connected 
with the church, are still to be seen upon the lot. The 
Rev. George Pigot resided in Warwick a number of years, 
and owned a large tract of land near East Greenwich. He 
probably furnished the means of erecting the church. The 
Rev. Dr. McSparran, Mr. Fayerweather and others offi- 
ciated once in a month. It appears that the church Avas 
never in a very llourisliing condition, as Dr. McSparran 
says in his diary, " Ei)iscopacy never seemed to succeed in 


the north \mrt of the State, as the Quakers and otlier her- 
etics are the dominant class." 

The ])arish of St. Luke's, East Greenwicli, was organized 
" according to the doctrine and disci])line of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in tlie State of Ivhode Island," on the 
tenth day of August, A. D. 1833, at a meeting of sundry 
of the citizens at the Kent Academy, the Rev. Sylvester 
Nash, being chairman, and John P. Roberts, secretary. 
Charles Eldridge and Jose]di J. Tillinghast were chosen 
Avardens; Daniel Greene, Howland Greene, Wicks Hill, 
Silas Weaver, Kingsly Bullock, John G. Ladd, Emery 
Fiske, Wanton Casey and W^illiam G. Spencer, vestrymen. 
Augustus Greene was chosen treasurer, and John P. 
Roberts was chosen secretary. 

Services had been held in tlie upper hall of the academy 
for some weeks previous, and they were continued there 
regularly until the consecration of the new church, in 
April of the following year. 

The act of incorporation was |>assed at the January 
session of the Assembly in 1834. This charter gives 
power to assess the ])ews for necessary repairs, and for in- 
surance on the building, but for no other purpose. This 
ju-ovision or iccoit of provision, has led to much embarrass- 
ment in the support of the services, the contributions for 
this purpose being entirely voluntary. 

On the twenty-seventh of August the same year, it was 
voted, ^ " That Daniel Greene "and John P. Roberts be 
authorized to take proper measures to procure a lot for the 
purpose of erecting a house of Public Worshiji, and to 
take a deed in trust for this Society." It was also voted 
" that John P. Roberts, Kingsly Bullock and Daniel Greene 
be a committee to erect an Episcopal Churcli, on the lot 
which may be procured for that purpose." Also voted, 
" That the wardens and vestry be a committee to solicit 
donations to carry the same resolution into effect." 

Early in the year 1833, some time before the first named 
meeting, the old meeting-house belonging to the Catholic 
Cono-regational Society had been taken down Avith the in- 
tention of building a more commodious house upon the 
same lot. But in consequence of some difficulty or dissen- 
sion the plan was interrupted, and the lot with the materials 
of the old structure were sold to the new organization. 
The building committee set about their work with earnest- 
ness, and the new church was finished and ready for conse- 


cratioii on the thirteenth of April, 1834. For this satisfac- 
tory result we are indebted very much to the diligent labor 
and lil)eral contributions of our late townsman, John P. 

The Rev. Sylvester Nash was tlie first rector. His term 
of service began with the organization of the parish and 
continued until the spring of 1840. Before leaving he 
raised by solicitation from abroad, a sufficient sum to pay 
off the ind elatedness of the corporation, and thus cleared 
the property from incumbrance. Mr. Nash was an earnest 
worker in the church, had many firm friends here, and re- 
tained a warm interest in the affairs of the ])arish as long 
as he lived. His death took place in Wisconsin, in 1863. 

The Rev. William H. Moore was called to the rectorship 
in May, 1840. He first officiated on the second Sunday in 
July. After a residence here of a little more .than a year 
he resigned the charge. He now holds a prominent posi- 
tion in the Diocese of Long Island. 

In December, 1840, the Rev. Silas A. Crane made an en- 
gagement to supply the church for the winter, not contem- 
plating a ]>ermanent settlement, but remained from that 
time until his death, on the I'itli of July, 1872. Thus for 
more than thirty years he dwelt among us as a much loved 
and faithful minister. 

" The death of Dr. Crane leaves a broken link in our 
community that causes universal sympathy and regret. 
A good man has fallen. Dr. Crane was emphatically a 
man of good words and good works. For more than thirty 
years he was the highly esteemed rector of St. Luke's Par- 
ish, and very few rectors have left a better record. As a 
public Christian man he discharged his duties faithfully, 
always doing his work strictly in accordance Avitli a tender 
conscience and with the Wo7'd. As a neighbor and friend, 
Ave esteemed him as one of our choicest, and this was the 
general feeling of our community toward him. He died 
as he lived, strong in the faith, and ready to depart and be 
with Christ. He adopted and received strong consolation 
from St. Paul's words, ' To live is Christ and to die is 
gain.' He has gained the victory over death, gained a 
bright, immortal crown of glory, to be his forever. 

'^ The funeral service was read in St. Luke's Church, Thurs- 
day evening, at 5 o'clock. The Church was draped in 
mourning, and over the chancel there appeared in bright 
letters, ' Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.' 


BLsho]) Clarke accompanied the services with some brief 
and e\C('e<lin<»;ly a|)i)r<)])riate remarks. The lionse was 
lilled witli attentive listeners, and a large delegation of 
clergy from abroad. 

"The Doctor rests jteacefnlly in the ehnrcli-yard near the 
place where he so faithfully and for so numy years pro- 
claimed the peace of God which passeth all understanding." 
— East Greeiuoich Penduhun. 

" In Memokia^i of Rev. Dr. Ckane. 

" At a special meeting of the East Greenwich Free Library 
Association, on the 17th of July, the following preamble 
and resolutions were adoj)ted : 

" Whereas, in the lamented death of the Rev. Silas A. 
Crane, D. D., this Association is called upon to mourn the 
loss of one of its original founders and one of its most 
faithful and useful members ; and in common with this 
whole community, Avhere he has resided for more than a 
quarter of a century — always a shining example of Chris- 
tian excellence in the performance of the duties, as Avell of 
the citizen as of the pastor — would do honor to his mem- 
ory by approjtriate expressions of affection and respect. 

" J^e it there/ore Jiesolved, by this Association, that this 
event of Providence is an occasion of profound grief to its 
surviving members, who would leave in its permanent 
archives, this record of their exalted respect for his person, 
and of their high estimation of his services and character. 

" liesolved, That the members of this Association will 
attend the funeral of their departed friend in a body ; and 
that a copy of this imperfect tribute of their attachment 
and respect be communicated by the Secretary to the be- 
reaved family of the deceased, with assurance of the Asso- 
ciation's unfeigned condolence and sympathy." 

At a meeting of the wardens and vestry of St. Luke's 
Church, East Greenwich, on Wednesday evening, July 17th, 
1872, the following jDreamble and resolutions were unani- 
mously adopted : 

" Whereas, Almighty God in His infinite Avisdom, has 
taken from us our beloved pastor and friend, the Rev. Silas 
Axtell Crane, D. D., rector of this parish for more than 
thirty years, and while with deep humiliation and un- 
worthiness, acknowledging this decree of Divine Provi- 
dence, we give expression to our sorrow in this great 


bereavement wliicli has fallen on this cluirch, this community 
and this diocese, by the death of this most exemplary 
Christian minister who has had charge over us, and cared 
for our spiritual wants for so many years ; and offer our 
heartfelt symj)athy to his afllicted family. It is therefore, 

'-'- lie solved, By the wardens and vestry of St. Luke's 
Church, that we will cherish in memory the many excellen- 
cies of this good man ; that we will endeavour to profit by 
the precept and example which he has set before us in his; 
public teachings and in his daily life ; and more especially 
by the calm and peaceful manner of his death in tlie full 
hope of immortal life through the merits of the Blessed 
Redeemer ; that we offer to his bereaved family our tender- 
est sympathy in their great affliction. 

" liesolved. That these resolutions be placed upon the 
permanent records of the church, and that a coi)y of them 
be sent to his family. And it is also further 

'•''Voted, That the expenses of his burial be defrayed from 
the treasury of the vestry. 

"James II. Eldridge, Clerk of" the Vestry." 

At a meeting of the bishop and clergy of the diocese of 
Rhode Island, convened in the lecture-room of St. Luke's 
Church, immediately after the interment of the remains of 
the late Dr. Crane, a committee w^as appointed to draft the 
following resolutions : 

" Whei^eas, It has ]»leased Almighty God in His wise 
Providence to remove from this world the late Rev. Silas 
Axtell Crane, D. D., who during thirty years was a presby- 
ter of this diocese, and rector of St. Luke's Church in this 
village, therefore it is 

^'•Ilesolved, That we, his fellow-laborers in the ministry 
of our beloved church, Avould record our high estimation of 
the moral worth of our departed friend ; of his eminent 
position as a scholar of varied learning, and of his. unwea- 
ried diligence, and long continued faithfulness as a pastor 
of the Church of Christ, and would pray for divine grace 
to enable us so to live, that wdien we come to die, we may 
be sustained by those consolations which rendered so calm 
and peaceful the closing scenes of his earthly existence. 

'•'• Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented 

to the family and parish of our departed friend, with the 

assurance of our heartfelt symjiathy in this sad bereavement. 

*' S. Brenton Shaav, D. D., For the Committee." 


" Fro))i the Promdoice Journal. 

" Tlie Rev. Silas A. Crane, D. D., Rector of St. Luke's 
Churcli at East Greenwich, died yesterday niorning. Dr. 
Crane was a gentleman of large culture, of eminent piety, 
and enjoyed, in an unusual degree, the respect and con- 
fidence of the church of which he was a presbyter. lie was 
educated at Brown University, where he graduated in 
1823, in the class of the late Chief-Justice Samuel Ames, 
William R. Watson, Dr. George D. Prentice, and Jose])h 
W. Fearing, M. D. He Avas a])pointed Tutor in the Col- 
lege, and was aftei'ward President of Kemper College." 

''''From the Christian Witness and Church Advocate, 

Jpril, 1853. 

"At a meeting of the wardens and vestry and other mem- 
bers of St. Luke's Parish, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, 
the following resolutions, reported by a committee on the 
l!2th of April, 1853, Avere unanimously adopted : 

" Whereas, the Rev. Silas A. Crane has for the last 
twelve years continued to be the Rector of this Church, 

" Hesolved, That this is a fitting occasion to express to 
him our heartfelt thanks for the ability and devotion to the 
best interests of the Church Avhicli have marked his minis- 
terial labors among us, and that the ])resent position and 
j^rospects of the parish are tokens of the Divine blessing 
upon the fidelity of his pastoral career; that during his 
connection Avith us, the kindest feelings and most perfect 
confidence in his Christian zeal and piety, have been enter- 
tained toward him by his people ; that the effect of his 
labors has been shoAvn in the increased attendance upon 
the public services of the Church — in the number of the 
communicants at her altar, and the general interest and 
good Avill manifested toAvard her by all classes ; that by 
his firm, dignified course and kind, gentle manner, both in 
precept and example, he has exercised the happiest influence 
over the affairs of the parish, and established and main- 
tained for the church that high standing and consideration 
in Avhich she should ever be held in all Christian communi- 

" Resolved, That we are not unmindful of that devotion 
to the interests of the whole church in this diocese, Avhich 
prompted him, six years ago, Aoluntarily to relinquish all 
claim upon the missionary fund of the Convocation, and 
rely AvhoUy for support ui>on his OAvn efforts and the effoi'ts 


of this parish, then comparatively feeble ; and that his 
salary be now increased to five hundred dollars. 

" David Pinniger, Chairman. 
"James H. Eldridge, Secretary." 
" To David Pmniger^ Chairinan of the meeting of the 
JVarde?is, Vestry, and other members of ^St. Luke''s 
Parish, East Greenwich, held Ajyril 12^A, 1853 : 
" Dear Sir : — Permit me, through you, to make known to 
that meeting the very great pleasure which their letter 
afforded me. The terms in which they Avere pleased to ex- 
press their api)robation of my services as rector of the 
parish, are exceedingly gratifying, being all and more than 
all which I could conceive myself entitled to expect, and 
wdll ever be cherished by me as a rich reward for the efforts 
which I have felt it my duty to make. 

" The addition to my salary, made, too, without solicita- 
tion, is also ti'uly Avelcome, both as a timely help and en- 
couragement in my exertions to meet the wants of my 
family, and as an evidence of the earnestness and sincei-ity, 
of the esteem and approbation exju*essed in the resolutions 
of the meeting. It only remains for me to endeavor, by 
increased efforts, more justly to deserve the kindness and 
confidence so generously shown me. May God, who has 
given the Parish the disposition, give them also the ability 
to do more in his service, by enlarging their ])rosperity as 
individuals and their prosperity as a Cluirch. May he 
build us up together in the unity of the spirit, that our 
hearts may be filled with the hopes of the Gospel here and 
its eternal rewards hereafter. 

" Your faithful friend and Pastor, 

" S. A. Craxe, D. D." 

For some time after Dr. Crane's decease there was no 
settled rector. The Pev. William S. Cliild, of Newport, 
officiated in the autumn of 1872, until the communication 
by way of Wickford was interrupted. The IJev. Jose])h 
M. Turner, of Philadelphia, had the charge for a time, and 
then left to fill a previous engagement, under Bishop 
Tuttle, in Utah. 

The Rev. George P. Allen has had charge from 1874 to 
the present time. In 1875 the old church was removed, 
and an elegant stone structure erected on its site. The 
Society now holds its services in the Court House, as is 
usual here with all denominations deprived of a church 



The early history of this denomination in this country is 
involved in obscurity, as the hrst records of the oldest 
churches are no longer in existence. 

There existed a body of this order in the Town of East 
Greenwich as early as the year 1700, but the first account 
which we can glean of them begins with the year 1743, 
Avhen Daniel Fiske was their pastor, and the number of 
their members was fifty-three. 

Somewhere about the year 1700 this old Society built a 
meeting-house on the hill in the northeast part of the vil- 
lage, near the present railroad line. It was a plain struc- 
ture, two stories in height, the dimensions about thirty by 
forty feet, fronting to the south, on a short street un- 
named. It contained a row of square pews on the west 
side of the house, a double row of plain seats in the centre, 
occu})ied by the members, and a row of short seats along 
the east side, where the people who were not members Avere 
usually seated. The square pews on the west side of the 
meeting-house were owned by those people, with their 
descendants, who had contributed most towards the erec- 
tion of the meeting-house. In the double row of seats in 
the centre of the house, the men occupied one roAV and the 
Avomen the other, in the manner of the Quakers, from whom 
they probably copied the custom. The building was 
destitute of a steeple, Avas never painted, inside or out, and 
it gradually Avent to decay. It Avas so much injured by 
the great gale of 1815 as to bo unfit for further use, and in 
the year 1825, during a high Avind, it fell into a heaj^ of 
ruins. The site is still called " Meeting-House Hill," 


Daniel Fiske died in 1753, when John Gorton was called 
to the pastoral office, and was ordained the same year. He 
continued to sustain this relation to the church until his 
decease in 179l2. After his death, Thomas Manchester met 
with them, and administered the ordinances of the Gosj^el 
among them, as late as the year 1834. 

After the society abandoned the old meeting-house, Elder 
Manchester (as he was called) held services monthly in the 
Court House, and was remarkable for the length of his 
sermons, and for his power of endurance, as he would 
sometimes preach from two o'clock in the afternoon until 

In the year 1827, after having passed through a variety 
of changes, and received between two and three hundred 
persons into fellowship, the Society was reduced to the 
original number of fifty-three. 

From 1834 to 1844, Elder Thomas Tillinghast officiated 
monthly, but for a number of years past there have been no 
regular services. After the year 1834, they worshij^ed in 
the school-house which stood near the junction of Duke and 
King streets. They had contributed to its erection on con- 
dition that they should be permitted to occupy it. The 
church, at the last yearly conference, numbered only fifteen 



DuRi^^G the year 1831 the Society of Methodists erected 
their lioiise of worship on the corner of Main and Queen 
streets. Previous to this time they hekl their services in 
the Court House, that asyhnn for all societies who have no 
church of their own. For a long time they struggled hard 
for existence, but are now in a flourishing state. In 1846 
they built a handsome and convenient parsonage in the 
rear of their church. During the year 1850 they found 
their church was too small to accommodate all who wished 
to attend the services, and that an enlargement Avas abso- 
lutely necessary. The building w^as therefore sawed into 
two parts, the east end moved off, and a portion inserted 
large enough to contain twenty-four additional pews. An 
excellent organ, (for the time), the gift of the Power Street 
Church, Providence, was placed in the organ loft. 

That organ was afterwards removed to the vestry, and 
another magnificent instrument was procured, purchased by 
the financial efforts of Dr. Eben Tourjee, now Director of 
the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. 

Dr. Tourjee, was formerly a resident of East Greenwich, 
and for a long time the efticient Superintendent of the 
Sunday School in this church. 

The first Methodist sermon preached in Rhode Island 
was in Charlestown, by the Rev. Jesse Lee, then on a mis- 
sionary tour from New York to Boston, and was delivered 
on the third of September, 1789. 

East Greenwich first appears in the list of appointments 
in 1792. Up to 1807 it formed a part of the circuit con- 



nected with Warren, Warwick and Providence at different 

^ Since 1807 the following persons have been the succes- 
sive pastors at East Greenwich : 

1807. Pliny Brett. 
1808-9, Theophilus Smith. 

1810. A. Stebbiiis. 

1811. Elisha Streeter. 

1812. Warren Bannister. 

1813. Daniel Went worth. 

1814. Joel Steele. 

1815. Edward Hyde. 
1810. Elisha Streeter. 

1817. Daniel Dorchester. 

1818. Jason Walker. 

1819. Isaac Stoddard, Solomon Sias 

and Benjamin Sab in. 

1820. Hezekiah Thatcher. 

1821. P'rancis Dane. 

1822. Lewis Bates. 

1823. Elislia Frink and Caleb 


1824. Elisha Frink and Ephraim 

K. Avery. 

1825. B. Hazleton and M. Wilbor. 

1826. B. Hazleton and O. Bobbins. 
1827-8. Francis Dane. 

1829. Amasa Taylor and John D. 


1830. Amasa Taylor. 

1831. Charles Vir.oiu. 

1832. Robert Gould and Jonathan 


1833. Robert Gould and Hiram 

1834-5. James Porter. 

183G-7. Nathan Paine. 
1338. B. K. Bannister. 

1839. Francis Dane. 

1840. Joseph McReading. 

1841. Benjamin F. TefL 

1842. George F. Poole. 
184;i-5. Samuel C. Brown. 
184(5. L. W. Blood. 
1847-8. H. W. Houghton. 
1849. J. M. Worcester. 
1850-1. Richard Livsey. 
1852-3. William Cone. 
1854-5. N. Bemis. 

185(). W. H. Stetson. 
1857. William Livsey, 
1858-9. R. Donkersley. 
1860. Sanniel W. Coggeshall 
James A. Dean. 

James A. Dean. 

C. S. Sandford. 
A. P. Aikin. 

E. S. Stanley. 

A. A. Wright and J. T. 

J. T. Benton. 

S. A. Winsor. 
1SG9-72. J. F. Sheffield. 
1873. James Mather. 



J. O. Benton, 









who is the 

present rector, 

The "church music" at the Methodist Church here is 
now prohably the best in the State. Professor Hastings, 
who stands at the head of his profession as a music teaclier, 
for the past two years has been occupied in training a choir 
and chorus class, whicli is now able to execute some of the 
most difficult music. The singing gallery had become so 
crowded, that last year the Board of Trustees concluded to 
enlage the church by building an annex on the east end of 
the building in the rear of the clergyman's desk, to be occu- 
pied by the organ and choir. 



The principles and practices of the Freewill Baptist 
Church were known to the people of this town, and had 
been embraced by some of them, many years before the 
foundation of the Baptist Church in this village. This is 
evident from the fact that meetings were occasionally held 
in the Court House and in school-houses, under the direc- 
tion of Messrs. Curtis, Niles and other Baptist preachers, 
as the result of which quite a number embraced Baptist 
princii)les, and were baptized in our branch of the Narra- 
gansett Bay, by the Rev. Dr. Gano, of Providence. 

The history of the church as an organized body dates 
from the year 1839. On the 30th of January of that year, 
an ecclesiastical council met at the house of the Rev. 
Thomas Tew to take into consideration the propriety of 
forming a Baptist Church in this village. Delegates were 
present from two churches in Providence, and from the 
churches in Westerly, Richmond, Pawtucket, Arkwright 
Fiskeville, Warwick and East Greenwich. 

The council was organized by the choice of the Rev. John 
Dowling, D. D., as Moderator, and the Rev. E. K. Fuller, 
as Clerk. 

Seventeen members of regular Baptist churches presented 
their letters to the council, together with the articles of 
faith and covenant adoj^ted by them, and were duly recog- 
nized and constituted as an independent church. The pub- 
lic services of recomiition were held in the Methodist meet- 
ing-house, which was kindly offered for the purpose by the 
members of that Society. Rev. A. G. Palmer offered the 
opening jjrayer. Rev. Jolin Dowling preached the sermon ; 


B. C. Grafton gave the prayer of recognition ; B. Johnson 
the charge to the church, and J. W. Allen offered the con- 
cluding prayer. 

In a few weeks after its formation, the church received 
an interesting and encouraging letter from Mrs. Pardon 
Miller, of the First Providence Church, accompanied Avith 
a communion service which she presented to the infant 
body as a token of her interest in its welfare. 

The meetings of the church, for a number of years, were 
held in a school-house, or in the Court House, and the ser- 
vices were conducted by the Rev. Thomas Tew and other 
ministers, until November, 1845, when the Rev. O. C. 
Wheeler was called to the pastorate. 

A council consisting of delegates from fifteen churches 
assembled on the 12th of November, examined and ordained 
him. Deacon James Tilley was at the same time set apart 
to his office by " the laying on of hands." 

During Mr. Wheeler's ministry, in April, 184G, the church 
a])pointed a committee of six to inquire into the expediency 
of taking immediate measures for the erection of a house of 
worship. Tliat committee subsequently reported in favor 
of building a house, and recommended the appointment of 
another committee to present a })lan, procure a site, and re- 
port on the i)robable expense. Such a committee was ap- 
})ointed, and, in accordance with their recommendation the 
church voted, on the 25th of April, to build a house forty 
by fifty feet, at an expense of not less than |3,000, including 
the site. The pastor was appointed agent to solicit 
funds for the object, and Messrs. A. Wall and W. J. Shel- 
don were appointed a building committee. 

The house was built and dedicated in January, 1847, the 
Rev. T. E. Jameson, of Providence, preaching the sermon. 
The pews were rented in the afternoon of the day of dedi- 

The first committee recommended the free-seat system, 
and the church adoi)ted their recommendation, but subse- 
quently rescinded the motion. 

In (Jctober, 1846, the church appointed a committee to 
procure a charter from the General Assem]>ly. Accordingly 
an act Avas drawn up, and a Society incorj)orated, under tlie 
name of the " First Baptist Society of East Greenwich." 
Messrs. Wm. J. Sheldon, James Tilley, Albert G. Little- 
field, John II. ];aker, Ashbel Wall, O. C. Wheeler, John D. 
Higgins, William Bodfish, Bowen Vaughn and William 


Hoklen, were appointed to represent the Society in the 

Mr. Wheeler continued in the pastoral office until No- 
vember, 1847, when he resigned. In February of the fol- 
lowing year the church extended an invitation to the Rev. 

B. F. Hedden to become its pastor, Avliich invitation he ac- 
cepted, laboring with so much success that the little church 
nearly doubled in numbers under his ministry, which 
terminated in July, 1851. Their house of worship was en- 
larged during Mr. Hedden's pastorate by the addition of 
twenty-four pews. The belfry was erected, a bell of line 
tone was placed in it, and Mr. Jabez Gorham, of Provi- 
dence, presented a clock for the interior. 

Mr. Hedden was followed in the pastoral office by the 
Rev. F. A. Archibald, he being unanimously elected pastor 
in November, 1851. He was a remarkably eloquent and 
talented preacher, and labored with the church until Aprils 
1853, when he tend^i-ed his resignation. 

The Rev. E. Warren was the next pastor, acting in that 
capacity only one year, from October, 1853, to October, 

From December, 1854, to May, 1855, the Rev. Mr. 
Gilbert supplied the pulpit, when he was released from his 
engagement, and the Rev. S. G. Smith was invited to sup- 
ply the place for four months, at the end of which time the 
church called him to ordination. 

A council was convened September 6th, 1855, of which 
the Rev. J. C. Welch was moderator, and the Rev. C. 
Rhodes, clerk. The sermon was preached by the Rev. W. 

C. Richards ; the ordaining prayer made by the Rev. J. 
Welch; the hand of fellowship given by the Rev. W. 
Randolph ; the address to the church was delivered by the 
Rev. J. F. Baker, and the concluding prayer made by the 
Rev. N. F. Allen. Mr. Smith filled the pastoral relation 
about five years, his letter of resignation being read March 
3d, 1860. During his ministry a season of spiritual refresh- 
ing was enjoyed, and a goodly number was added to the 
church. The meeting-house w^as frescoed, carpeted, and 
much improved in other respects. 

In October, 1860, J. E. Wood, of Groton Centre, Con- 
necticut, was called to the pastorate, but served in that 
capacity only a few months. The next pastor was the Rev. 
George Howell. He had been ordained in Nantucket, and 
came to this church on trial for three months, commencing 


June 1st, 1861. At the expiration of that time he was 
called as pastor, and was recognized as such by a council 
held on the 12th of November, of which the Rev. S. Adlam 
was moderator, and the Rev. William P'itts, clerk. The 
Rev. Henry Jackson, D. D., preached on the occasion. In 
the evening of the same day Mr. Bowen Vaughn was or- 
dained deacon, the Rev. William Fitts preaching an ap- 
propriate sermon. While Mr. Howell was pastor the War- 
ren Association, having become very large, was divided 
and a new association formed, called the Narragansett As- 
sociation, and the church in East Greenwich (intiuenced 
greatly by Dr. Jackson) became one of its constituent mem- 
bers, the vote to that effect being dated June 16th, 1861. 

On the 28th of May, 1862, Mr. Howell sent in his resig- 
nation, which was accepted. Rev. I. Cheseborough was the 
next pastor, commencing his official work on the first Sab- 
bath in November, 1862, and continuing in the faithful dis- 
charge of it until January, 1866, when he retired from the 

He was followed by the Rev. C. W. Ray, who was called 
to the i^astoral care of the church in March, 1866, and at his 
request was dismissed in February, 1868. In the last year 
of Mr. Ray's ministry an excellent organ was placed in the 
church through the enter|)rise of the women of the Society. 

The present paster. Rev. Gilbert Robbins, was unan- 
imously invited to the position he occupies, in October, 
1868, and has continued up to this time, 1877. 




The ]V[arlboro Street Chaj^el was erected in 1872, at the 
sole expense of William N, Sherman, Esq. The dimensions 
are twenty-eight by fifty feet, and the edifice was built of 
the best materials the market afforded, high between joints, 
beautifully arched, and will seat about three hundred per- 
sons, and cost about $5,000. There are no pews, but settees 
enough to seat all who choose to attend, and the room is 
often crowded to its utmost caj^acity. It contains a pipe 
and a reed organ. 

The desk has been regularly supplied by various ministers 
of evangelical denominations, and the Sunday School and 
Library are supported almost entirely at the expense of 
Mr. Sherman. The sittings are free. Many persons in this 
village are unable to purchase a pew or hire a seat in any of 
the churches here, but at the Friends' Meeting-House or at 
the Marlboro Street Chapel, they can worship whenever 
they choose, free of expense. The opening notice at the 
dedication, closed with " whosoever will, may come." 

The mission has been successful. Introductory services 
were held in the chapel at its opening, November 10th, 1872. 

A church, which is an Independent Baptist, of liberal 
communion, was formed June 13th, 1874, consisting of more 
than sixty members. In the belfry at the north end of the 
building, hangs the finest toned bell in the village, the 
sound of which can be heard more distinctly than the 
others, on account of its clearness and sweetness. 

There are two other churches in East Greenwich, but as 
I have been unable to obtain any particulars in reference to 


them, (even dates), I will only mention their names and 
locations : 

About twenty-five years ago the Roman Catholic denom- 
ination built a small chapel on Main street, at the south end 
of the village, and afterwards erected the present handsome 
church edifice on the same site. The name of the church 
is, " Our Lady of Mercy." 

In 1874 a Swedish church (Lutheran) was erected on 
Spring street, near the public school-house, where the ser- 
vices are conducted in the Swedish lans-uao-e. 

At ttie western part of the town, at a place called French- 
town, a small church edifice was erected more than fifty 
years since, called " the Seminary." I have not been able 
to obtain any information concerning it other than that it 
is a Baptist church. 



This interesting history of the deceased physicians of 
East Greenwich, who have practiced here from its earliest 
settlement to the year 1888, was written by Dr. James H. 
Eldridge. The paper was found to be so full and exhaust- 
ive, that it is used entire. 

From the settlement of the town to the year 1700, 
there is nothing in the records to show that any practitioner 
of medicine resided here or in the vicinity. The intimate 
business relations and frequent intercourse with Newport, 
made it convenient to procure assistance from that town in 
pressing emergencies of sickness or injury ; while the more 
ordinary minor maladies were managed by loomen of ex- 
perience and good judgment. A scrap from the records 
will show how difficult and delicate affairs were disposed of 
by the authorities in those days. 

"At a Town Council called and held at the house of 
Susannah Spencer, widow, February 24th, 1684, after hear- 
ing complaint and taking the testimony, the Council see 
cause to empanel a jury of twelve women of the neigh- 
borhood. Thereupon eleven of them appeared. The names 
of the women who appeared are as follows : Hannah Ben- 
nett, widow, Hannah Long, Sarah Knight, widow, 
Elizabeth Heath, Elizabeth Pearce, Elsa Wood, Catherine 
Weaver, Nancy Nichols, Mandy Snell, and Anna Knight. 
Beino; eno-ao-ed accordino- to law, and receiving their 
charge, the women did immediately withdraw, and withm 
an hour's time return accordingly, having fully agreed upon 
a verdict." 

This shows how these wise women were relied upon to 
decide difficult affairs which would have been referred to a 


pliysician, if there had been one in the village, or in the 
vicinity. It is sufficient proof that up to this date, there 
was no professed medical practitioner in the town. 

Thomas S])encer, son of John and Susannah S]^encer, 
born on the '2'2d day of July, 1679, was the first English 
child born in East Greenwich. He was also the first i)hy- 
sician who practiced here. As he was a seventh son, he 
may have been indebted to this fact for his title, as it was 
the custom of his time to attribute wonderful pOAvers to 
the seventh son in the healing art, and to call him doctor. 

However this may have been, he Avas CAddently a man 
of respectable attainments, as the records of the town 
abundantly shoAv. He Avas toAA'n clerk for thirty-nine 
years, from 1713 to 1752 ; scA^eral times deputy to the 
General Assembly, a magistrate and large proprietor, a 
member of the Society of Friends, and for some years be- 
fore his death a recognized minister of that respectable 
body of Christians. 

Dr. Spencer built the house in Avhich he resided on the 
hill near the bluff, the southern termination of that beauti- 
ful ridge Avhich extends from the Drum-Rock near Ap- 
j)onaug, to this i)oint. The house has been removed within 
the last fifteen years, and is noAv re])laced by one of modern 
construction, OAvned by Mr. Henry P. Eldridge. The old 
house Avas more recently known as the Benjamin HoAvland 
place, and before that as the Thomas Aldrich house. Dr. 
Spencer's house was a generous mansion of the olden time, 
Avith its huge stone chimney and hip})ed roof, small AvindoAvs 
— some- of them Avith diamond-sha])ed panes — set in leaden 
sash ; one great room, Avith the guest chamber OA^er it, of 
the same liberal dimensions, to be used on occasions of 
festiA'ity and hospitality, for Avhich it Avas always noted. 

Dr. Spencer's reputation as a physician does not appear 
to haA^e been confined to this immediate neighborhood, but 
reached other tOAvns. 

Thomas Aldrich came from Smithfield to reside in his 
(Dr. Spencer's) family as a student of medicine, and re- 
mained there, marrying his only daughter, and succeeding 
him in the possession of his estate and reputation as a man 
of note, and as a member of the Society of Friends, al- 
though it does not ap])ear that he ever practiced medicine. 
Perhaps his Avife inherited jn-operty sufficient to saA^e him 
from the laborious life of a country physician. Lucky man, 
and how much he is to be enA'ied I 


At a town meeting held for the choice of officers early 
in April, 1752, Giles Pearce was chosen clerk for the day': 
*'In ye room of Thomas Spencer of his impaired action and 
nonability of body, he not being able to ])erform ye duties 
of ye same." A few days later a meeting was called to 
choose a clerk in place of Thomas Spencer, deceased. A 
manifestation of respect and tender regard not often shown 
for our most honored public officials in these days. 

Dr. Spencer nearly com|)leted his seventy-fifth year. He 
was buried in the Old Friends' Meeting-House yard, near 
Payne's Mill, but there is no stone with an inscription to 
mark the precise s])ot. He was twice married, his first wife 
dying in 1742, and his second one in 1747. By his first 
wife he had two children, a son who died in early life, and 
a daughter who married Thomas Aldrich. Mrs. Aldrich 
left no children. 

In the year 1742, Doctor Duty Jerauld, came from Med- 
field, in Massachusetts, to settle in East Greenwich as a 
physician. His parents were French Huguenot refugees. 
But the doctor was born in this country, a fact he often 
mentioned with pride, that he was a native American, and 
probably might be President of the United States. His 
father was a physician, and it is probable that the son re- 
ceived his medical instruction from him. He was about 
thirty years of ao-e Avhen he came here, and soon after his 
settlement he married the daughter of Edward Gorton, of 
Warwick, near Gorton's Pond. When he first came to 
East Greenwich he resided at the corner of Duke and 
Queen streets, in a house formerly known as the Goddard 
house, but more recently as the Richard Edward's house. 
The house has been torn down since and a new one built on 
its site. 

After remaining here some twenty years, he removed to 
a small farm on the Ap])onaug road, jjrobably for the con- 
venience of his practice, it being situated midway between 
the villages of Apponaug and East Greenwich. The house 
is now standing, having been altered and used for a time as 
the asylum for the poor of the town of Warwick. Dr. 
Jerauld had a family of five sons and four daughters. 
His eldest son, Gorton Jerauld, was a physician, and at one 
time had a hosj^ital for the inoculation and treatment of 
small-pox, in the western portion of the Town of Warwick. 
He afterwards removed from the State, and died at the 
West. James Jerauld, another son, was for many years 


town clerk of Warwick. One of his daughters married 
Samuel Pearce, of Prudence Island, and was the mother of 
the late celebrated Hon. Dutee Jerauld Pearce. 

Thirty years ago the name of Dr. Jerauld was often 
heard. His memory was very dear to many of the old 
peo])le in this part of the State. He was unusually kind and 
gentle in his manners, and especially so in his intercourse 
with the sick. He always wore the plain garb of the 
Friends, and in his latter years connected himself informally 
with that sect, probably by couA-incement. 

There are a few persons even now who remember him as 
a very old man, riding in a gig, or dismantled chaise, calling 
at the houses of his friends and patients, giving them greet- 
ings and advice without leaving his carriage, which lame- 
ness prevented, and receiving from them such refreshments 
as it was customary at that time to offer, and which his age 
and many infirmities required. His skillful treatment and 
kind care of the sick is not yet forgotten, and many of his 
prescriptions and wise hygenic injunctions, have been 
handed down to the present day. Dr. Jerauld was of short 
stature, rather stout in form and of a dark complexion. 
His countenance was marked by bright black eyes, of pe- 
culiarly pleasant expression, which is plainly to be seen now 
in his descendants of the fifth generation. 

When about eighty years old he was thrown from his 
carriage and received a severe injury from which he never 
recovered, but ever afterwards walked with difticulty and 
with the aid of a crutch. He died in July, 1813, in the 
ninety-first year of his age. 

Joseph Joslyn, an accomplished physician from Scotland, 
came to East Greenwich in 1770, having been induced to 
settle here through the infiuence of Governor Greene and 
other gentlemen of the neighborhood. He was esteemed 
not only as a skillful i)hysician but as an accomplished 
gentleman, and a great acquisition to the social circle. Soon 
after he came here he married the widow of Archibald 
Campbell, and lived in the house she owned on the west 
side of Main street, the third house north from the Court 
House and now owned by Mr. Duty J. Babcock. Dr. Joslyn 
devoted himself especially to the treatment of small-pox, 
and had a hospital here and elsewhere, to which great num- 
bers came from remote parts of the neighboring country to 
be inoculated and pass through the disease under his care. 
The old rambling gambrel-roofed house known as the Fry 


place was used for one of these hospitals. The house was 
■ burned within the last three or four j^ears, and a more 
modern structure has replaced it, owned by our j^ostmaster, 
Christopher Shippee, Esq. 

Dr. Joslyn gave himself up to habits of intemperance and 
died at the early age of forty-four, in the year 1780, and 
was buried in the cemetery on what is called the Old Baptist 
Hill. Our late, much honored townsman, Joseph J. Tilling- 
hast, was named, as he told me, for Dr. Joslyn. 

At tlie close of the war in 1782, Dr. Peter Turner estab- 
lished himself here as a physician and surgeon. Dr. Turner 
was the son of William Turner, of Newark, New Jersey, 
and grandson of Captain William Turner, of Newport, Rhode 
Island. He was born September 2d-, 1751, and married in 
1776, Martha, daughter of Cromwell Childs, in Warren, 
Rhode Island, and died in East Greenwich in the month 
of February, 1822. His father died when he was very 
young and left him in the care of Dr. Canfield, his half-, 
brother, with whom he studied medicine. At the com- 
mencement of the Revolutionary War he joined the army, 
and was attached to one of the Rhode Island regiments, 
commanded by Colonel Greene, as the surgeon, and served 
until the close of the war. 

He was inclined to settle in this town because he had 
formed many acquaintances and strong friendships for many 
persons from here while in the army, and also from the fact 
that General Varnum, who was his brother-in-law, resided 
here at that time. Dr. Turner was the first medical man in 
this part of the State who had any experience in surgery, 
and coming so recently from the army as he did, the good 
people of the country around felt no little api)rehension in 
placing themselves under the care of one who might, before 
they were aware of it, take off an arm or a leg, without so 
much as saying by your leave. This fear, however, soon wore 
off, and he found himself engaged in an extensive practice, ex- 
tending ten miles or more in every direction. He was a 
skillful surgeon, a bold and successful oi>erater, and much 
preferred this branch of his profession. He was, as stated, 
the surgeon of Colonel Greene's regiment, and his services 
and kind care, were gratefully remembered by the old sol- 
diers, as long as they lived. 

Captain Jonatlian Andros, who was in the battle of Red 
Bank, while relating the particulars of that memorable 
action, and it was always his pleasure to do it, ever spoke 


of the tender care of the wounded shown by Dr. Turner, in 
contrast to the harsh treatment of the Hessian surgeon 
whom it would have been his pleasure to have shot dead on 
the spot, if he could only had the word of command to war- 
rant it. In this battle Count Don op was mortally wounded 
and left on the field. Dr. Turner attended and ministered 
to him in his last moments, securing his spurs and sword, 
the only substantial gifts he could bestow. These relics are 
still preserved and cherished in the family as of great value. 
His manner was at times severe, and when occasion seemed 
to require it, he could use strong language — a habit which 
he had probably acquired in early life in the army. " They 
swore terribly in Flanders," as Uncle Toby said, and this is 
not unusual in armies elsewhere, A habit of this kind, once 
contracted, is not easily controlled. If at times, in his inter- 
course with the people of a town like this he manifested 
this harsh temper, it was abundantly shown that he i30S- 
sessed tender feelings and refined and cultivated tastes. 

His house, on the corner of Court House lane and 
Pearce street, was in his time an attractive feature of the 
village. The front door, with its porcli shaded by a grape 
vine planted there over one hundred years ago, is still living 
and bearing fruit ; the curiously paved yard on the west 
side of the house, with the specimens of minerals and 
antiquities collected in the neighborhood ; the garden on 
the east filled with rare flowers and choice fruit, the low 
fence on the lane allowing every one passing to have the 
full enjoyment of all this beauty and not reserving it for 
himself alone. The first syringa, the first white lilac, and 
the first crown imperial ever seen in East Greenwich were 
in Dr. Turner's famous garden. This love of flowers was 
characteristic of every member of Dr. Turner's family, and 
has descended and remained with them to this day. 

Dr. Turner was one of the founders of the Social 
Library, a valuable collection of English literature, (stand- 
ard works), preserved with care and much read by the 
then young people, more than half a century ago. Dr. 
Turner had at different times many students — the late Dr. 
William Turner, of Newport, who was his nephew and his 
son-in-law ; the late Dr. Tibbitts, of Apponaug ; Dr. 
Thomas Tillinghast, who resided in the southwest part of 
the town, that is now called Frenchtown ; Dr. King, who 
was a nephew of his, and who lived and died in Exeter, 
and also his sons Daniel, who removed to St. Mary's, Georgia, 


and died of yellow fever ; Henry, who abandoned the pro- 
fession of medicine and removed to the West, and after- 
ward to the South, where he died within the last twenty 
years ; and the late James Yarnum Turner, of Newport. 

In his figure and personal appearance Dr. Turner was 
short and rather stout, very erect, and active in his move- 
ments. He had lost the sight of one eye, over which he 
wore a green shade, or shaded it with his hand when he 
walked in the street. It was his custom to ride on horse- 
back to visit his patients, always on the canter, with his 
cane pointed forward between the horse's ears. He was 
very sociable in his habits, fond of conversation, and no 
man it is said could tell a story with better effect than he. 
For a number of years he was confined to his room, and 
for a long time to his bed, entirely helpless from paralysis. 
He died, as previously stated, February 14th, 1822, and 
was buried with masonic honors in the Grove, a beautiful 
spot which he owned, and which was then covered with 
splendid oak trees, one or two of which are still remaining 
near the house of Mr. Henry A. Thomas. After lying there 
many years his remains were removed to Newport and 
placed in the family burying-ground of his descendants. ' 

Dr. Charles Eldridge came to East Greenwich on 
October 10th, 1810, to supply for a time a vacancy made 
by the removal of Dr. Tibbitts. It was not his intention 
at the time to make a permanent settlement, but to em])loy 
himself with such work in his profession, as he might find, 
for a year or two. He intended to enjoy as he could a 
residence by the sea-side, (a novelty then), with the privi- 
lege of sailing and fishing for a time, and seek a permanent 
home in some more prosperous town. He soon found him- 
self actively engaged in his practice, and never, with very 
rare exceptions, left the town, and never availed himself 
for a day, of the promised pleasures of sailing and fishing. 

Dr. Eldridge was born in Brookline, Connecticut, July 
31st, 1784. He studied medicine with Dr. Thomas Hub- 
bard, in Pomfret, attended medical lectures at the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania, and was for one year a resident 
student at the Pennsylvania Hospital. He soon became 
interested in the welfare of East Greenwich, its business, 
its institutions of religion and learning, and was a liberal 
contributor to its interests. He was very fond of agricul- 
ture, and did much by his example in this way, to introduce 
improvements in the cultivation of its soil. To the unfor- 


tnnate and afflicted he was ever ready with his sympathy 
and substantial aid ; a terror to the truant boys and vaga- 
bond men, he often took upon himself their guardianship, 
and succeeded in improving and sometimes in j^ermanently 
reforming them. 

Although he could find time to interest himself in the 
affairs of the town, by far the largest share of his time and 
thoughts Avere absorbed in professional duties. Commenc- 
ing business w^hen a malignant ej^idemic was raging over 
Xew England, he was soon engaged in an arduous practice, 
with all of its cares and responsibilities. A disciple of Dr. 
Rush, his treatment of disease was marked by the peculiar- 
ities which distinguished the teachings of that wonderful 
man, and he was subjected to the severe criticisms of the 
physicians, and severe remarks from some of the intelligent 
people. He soon, however, gained the respect of one and 
the confidence and esteem of the other. The character of 
Dr. Rush he always held in the highest esteem, and pro- 
fessed himself a follower of his school of medicine ; but he 
was not a blind follower of any school or theory. His habits 
and poAvers of observation enabled him to notice and to 
appreciate every variety which disease assumed. The epi- 
demic tendency and influence of the season, the peculiar 
constitution and habits of the patient were always his care- 
ful study, and his prescriptions and treatment were adapted 
to their condition, never hesitating to use potent means 
when the necessity of the case seemed to require it. It 
was not his custom to give medicine to satisfy a caprice of 
the patient, or to keep up appearances among the friends. 
He kept himself well informed in the progress of medical 
science, and every thing new in the way of improvement 
which his jiidgment and his experience could approve, he 
readily adopted. For the practice of surgery he was physi- 
cally and and mentally fitted, and although he did not de- 
vote himself to it specially, his reputation and extensive 
acquaintance called him to all critical cases within a circuit 
of many miles. It was his pride rather to avoid than per- 
form heroic operations, and he would speak with pride and 
satisfaction of the limbs he had saved after those frightful 
injuries which so often occur in the cotton mills. Dr. El- 
dridge was one of the petitioners for the charter of the 
Rhode Island Medical Society, and was among its first mem- 
bers. In 1834 he was chosen President, and continued to 
hold the office for three years. He was an honorary mem- 


ber of the Connecticut Medical Society, and in 1835 re- 
ceived the degree of M. D., from Yale College. 

In the winter of 1837-8 he became involved in his pecun- 
iary affairs, having taken stock in a manufacturing company 
which had become bankrupt. Harassed by this unexpected 
change in his condition, a latent organic disease of the 
heart began to manifest itself. His hitherto robust consti- 
tution, which had withstood the wear and tear of thirty 
years of hard labor, began to show signs of decay. He 
soon became aware of the fatal tendency of his disease and 
submitted with Christian resignation to the will of Provi- 
dence. At times his sufferings were severe, but he contin- 
ued to visit patients until a few weeks before his death. He 
was comforted in his days of illness by the kind attentions 
of his professional brethren. His death occurred on the 
15th day of September, 1838, in the fifty-fifth year of his. 
age, after a residence in this town of twenty-eight years. 




Archibald Campbell. 

The earliest lawyer of whom we have any account in 
East Greenwich was Archibald Camjjbell. He settled here 
about the year 1750, and commenced the practice of law in 
Kent County. Whether Mr. Campbell was liberally 
educated or regularly studied law, is unknown. He con- 
tinued in his profession at East Greenwich until his death. 
His practice was large in the county, and not inconsider- 
able on the circuits. He was pojiular and greatly esteemed 
by the public. The Town of East Greenwich, in 1768, 
elected him its representative to the General Assembly of 
the Colony. Mr. Campbell was a valuable member of the 
Legislature, and was apjjointed on various important com- 
mittees. He was reelected to the same honorable office as 
long as his health ])ermitted, but his constituents were 
shortly deprived of the benefits of his talents and useful- 
ness. Mr. Campbell died in 1769, leaving one son, named 
Jacob, and three daughters. In the Baptist cemetery in 
East Greenwich a handsome grave-stone is erected to his 
memory. More information is transmitted to us respecting 
him from the following inscription upon it than from any 
other source now extant : 

" In Memory of 
Sou of Archibald, and Grandson of the 
Rev. Daniel Campbell, and nephew of the Rev. John Campbell 
Late President of the 
College of Glasgow, 
who departed this life October 16th, 1769. 
in the 
41st year of His Age. 
Viator ecce patria columen 
Juris pressium benigniim genitorum 
Et indulgentissimus maritum." 
[Englished thvs : 
Traveler, behold the patriot, the lawyer. 
The kind father, and the most indulgent husband.] 


Jacob Campbell 

was the only son of Archibald Campbell, Esq., and was 
born in East Greenwich in 1760, and graduated from Rhode 
Island College in September, 1783, with the reputation of a 
fine scholar. After lie graduated he was preceptor of a 
classical school in East Greenwich for a short period, and 
then entered the office of General Varnum as a student of 
law. Daniel Updike, William Greene, Ray Greene, John 
Bowman and George Tillinghast were his fellow students. 
Jacob Campbell was admitted to the bar, opened an office 
in East Greenwich, and had some success in his profession. 
His talents and acquirements entitled him to a full share of 
practice, but General Varnum, who resided in the same 
town, overshadowed all his brother lawyers. 

Mr. Campbell devoted many of his leisure hours to classic 
literature and poetry. In his nervous temperament he was 
very unfortunate, for he was proud and yet often dejected, 
was early and deeply imbued with jealousy. With a mind 
sensitive and nervous, he was borne down by fancied in- 
juries and neglect. The ostentatious manner of Mr. Ray 
Greene filled him with an unbearable antipathy. If they 
met in the social circle, Campbell felt that any solitary re- 
treat would be more soothing to his sensitive nature. 

The Legislature, after the peace of 1783, ordered the 
sheriffs to read the treaty between England and America 
at the court houses of their respective counties. At this 
time Mr. Campbell, by request, delivered to the inhabitants 
of East Greenwich an address. 

The oration was considered a wonderful production, and 
Mr. Updike in his " Memoirs of tlie Rhode Island Bar," 
publishes the whole speech, from which we introduce a 
single extract showing its general tenor : 

" Under the auspices of your illustrious chief, you have 
suffered the vicissitudes of war, borne its fatigues, braved 
its dangers, have fought, bled and conquered. Through every 
stage of its progress. East Greenwich has stood unrivalled. 
When we consider the early and decisive j^art she took, the 
unanimity and exertions of her inhabitants, the number and 
abilities of her officers, we shall conceive her entitled to a 
splendid page in the annals of the Revolution ; and should 
she now pursue her advantages in commerce with that 
spirit and perseverance with which she has followed freedom 
her eminence in retirement will equal her glory in the field." 


Mr. Campbell, having but little practice in his profession, 
indulged his innate taste for the muses. He published a 
small volume entitled " Poetical Essays." To what extent 
and with what success this talent was cultivated, the selec- 
tions which found a place in a well known school-book, 
"The Speaker," will demonstrate. Besides the small 
volume of " Poetical Essays," Mr. Campbell was the author 
of a number of essays in prose. Some letters of his were a 
fcAV years since in the possession of a relative. Upon en- 
quiry he told the same repeated story, that upon his fre- 
quent removals these papers were so troublesome, that to 
relieve himself of the burden, he had burned them. Elegies 
written upon the death of .Campbell, and of his fiancee^ 
Miss Russell, had shared the same fate. 

When relieved from the influence of his accustomed mel- 
ancholy, Campbell enraptured every circle with the spright- 
liness of his fancy and the fascination of his genius. His 
conversation was rich, his language vivid, his style lofty, 
accompanied by a captivating sweetness that went directly 
to the heart ; but when mentally depressed, he was silent 
and retiring, or disposed to pour into the bosom of some 
intimate friend the murmurino-s of his fancied o-riefs. 

JDurmg his residence in college he became attached to 
Miss Eliza Russell, daughter of Joseph Russell. Their love, 
growing out of a long friendship, was mutual. He was of 
a feeble constitution, and was inclined to consumption. 
During his lingering illness she was constantly with him, 
and with her own hand ministered to the object of her 
plighted love, and her delicate attentions and watchfulness 
were unceasing. His sickness was dubious and flattering 
for a long period, and she continued her affectionate efforts 
for his restoration with unremitted devotion, sometimes 
hoping for the joys of a speedy recovery, at others despair- 
ing of a hopeful termination. If she could not arrest dis- 
ease, she could relieve its pains, and with a holy affection 
smooth the pillow of death, pluck out its thorns, and deal 
out the consolations of the gospel. After his death and 
funeral she retired to her room, and darkening it to her feel- 
ings, admitted only a few select friends, and particularly 
those who could discourse of Mm^ and like heroi old^ refusing 
to be comforted, she remained there until her death. A 
lady of East Greenwich, who had been intimate with them 
both, called to see her, and was admitted to her chamber 
with scarcely light enough to distinguish an object. Her 



whole conversation was of tbe sickness, suffering and death 
of Jacob Campbell. She was waiting, with patient resigna- 
tion, the arrival of the wished for hour, when she should 
join him in heaven. She caused a very handsome tomb- 
stone, as the last tribute of affection, to be erected at his 
grave in the old Baptist cemetery in East Greenwich, next 
to his fathers, with this inscription : 

In Memory of 

Son of Archibald Camijbell, 


Who departed this life March 5th, 1788, in the 

28th year of his age. 
" Oh faithful memory may thy lamp illume, 
The sacred sepulchre with radiance clear, 
Soft plighted love shall rest upon his tomb, 
And friendship o'er it shed the fragrant tear." 

The suicidical course adoj)ted by this devoted woman upon 
this eventful occasion should not be allowed to pass without 
reproof. The dispensations of Heaven, however severe, are 
to be met and borne with Christian resignation. The in- 
fliction of self-injury or immolation, proceeds upon a princi- 
ple of retaliation or revenge utterly at variance with every 
feature of the Christian character, and must impress the con- 
viction that its doctrines have been defectively inculcated or 
grossly misunderstood. That she should have bitterly wept 
to be bereaved of the object of her tenderest affections ; 
that her wounded heart should have heaved with the deei3est 
emotions upon their earthly separation, is what all would 
expect, and in which all would sympathize. But to in- 
carcerate her person, and prematurely terminate her exist- 
ence, because the Deity, in his visitations, had disappointed 
her hopes, all must equally condemn. 

James Mitchell Varnum. 

James Mitchell Yarnum was born in Dracut, Massachu- 
setts, in 1749. He entered Rhode Island College — now 
Brown University — (then located in Warren), and was in 
the first class that graduated from that institution, in 1769, 
at the age of twenty. Soon after his college course he en- 
tered the office of Oliver Arnold, in Providence, then at- 
torney-general of the Colony. William Channing, Thomas 
Arnold, John S. Dexter, and himself, were fellow students 
at the time of Mr. Arnold's death, in 1770, and in the suc- 
ceeding year Mr. Varnum was admitted to the bar. He 


settled in East Greenwich, where his talents acquired for 
him an extensive practice, and he traveled the circuits of 
the State, reaping the honors and emoluments of his profes- 

Mr. Varnum had a great taste for military life, and early 
joined the " Kentish Guards," and in 1774 was appointed 
commander of that company, which, from their superior 
acquirements in military tactics, became the nursery of so 
many distinguished officers during the Revolutionary War — 
General Greene, General Varnum, Colonel Greene, Colonel 
Crary, Colonel Whitmarsh, Major Dexter, Captain Arnold, 
and others making thirty-two in all, who entered the patriot 
army, as commissioned officers from this company. The 
prominent part General Varnum took in the colonial con- 
troversy, inspired him with an ambition to enter the mili- 
tary service of his country. 

The venerable John Rowland, President of the Histori- 
cal Society in this State, in a communication, says, that 
" when the news of the battle of Lexington reached East 
Greenwich, General Varnum's company mustered and 
marched to Providence on their way to the scene of action. 
I recollect seeing them on their arrival, ISTathanael Greene, 
afterwards the famous general, was a private with a musket 
on his shoulder, and Christo] )her Greene, afterwards Colonel 
Greene, who defended Red Bank, was also there, a private 
in the same company. They marched beyond Pawtucket, 
and hearing that the enemy had returned to Boston, they 
returned to East Greenwich. The following week the Gen- 
eral Assembly convened, and resolved to raise three regi- 
ments of infantry and a comj^any of artillery. Mr. Nathan- 
ael Greene, then a member of the House of Representatives, 
was ajjpointed brigadier-general, and James Varnum, col- 
onel of the regiment to be raised in the counties of Kent 
and Kings, Daniel Hitchcock to be colonel of the regiment 
to be raised in Providence, and Church to be colonel of the 
regiment to be raised in the counties of Newport and Bris- 
tol. Varnum took rank over Hitchcock and Church from 
having comanded in the ' Kentish Guards,' with the rank 
of colonel. 

" The time for which these troops were called out expired 
December 31st, 1775. The State raised two regiments for 
the year 1776. Varnum commanded the first, and Hitch- 
cock the second. 

" The officers of these troops afterwards received com- 


missions from the President of Congress, when General 
Washington was appointed commander-in-cliief. They 
were then styled Continental troops. In January, 1776, 
the State raised a regiment called State troops, to be sta- 
tioned at Newj>ort. They remained there until the disas- 
trous battle on Long Island. General Varnum then suc- 
ceeded to the command of the brigade ; but the necessity 
of the case, and the perilous situation of the country, in- 
duced General Washington soon after to send General Var- 
num to the Assembly of Rhode Island for the same pur- 
pose, selecting for this all-important mission those officers 
for their well-known influence with their respective legisla- 
tures." " You may ask," continues Mr. Rowland, " why 
I have recited this long piece of old history, when the sub- 
ject on which I am engaged is merely a notice of Varnum, 
as a Rhode Island lawyer, to which I reply, that his military 
history is so intimately connected with his civil pursuits, 
that they cannot be properly separated ; and in this detail 
Varnum and Hitchcock, as two Rhode Island lawyers, re- 
flect no small honor on the Rhode Island bar." 

The Legislature of this State, in consideration of General 
Varnum's national services, and effectually to secure them 
in defence of the State, in May, 1779, elected him major- 
general of the militia of the State, to which office he was 
unanimously reelected during the remainder of his life. In 
April, 1780, the people of the State, in grateful recollection 
of his eminent services in the cause of public liberty, and 
desirous to throw into the national councils those distin- 
guished talents which could be spared from the field, elected 
him their delegate to the confederated Congress of that 
year. As that body sat with closed doors, his voice could 
not be heard by the public, but his name appears oftener on 
the published journals than many others of that body. 

After the war. General Varnum recommenced the prac- 
tice of law at East Greenwich with increased reputation, 
and was promptly engaged in all the important cases in 
the State. At that period great and important cases arose, 
growing out of the new position in which the State and 
Nation were placed. 

Congress, by the ordinance of 1787, established the 
Northwestern Territory. General St. Clair was appointed 
Governor, September 5th, 1787, and General Varnum and 
Samuel Parsons, judges, in October following. General 
Varnum left this State to assume his official duties in the 
spring of 1788, and arrived at Marietta, the established 


seat of government, in May or June. St, Clair did not ar- 
rive until the middle of July, and the Governor and judges 
being empowered conjointly to adopt laws for the govern- 
ment of the Territory, no duties were performed by the 
judges until his arrival. 

Marietta was selected by General Rufus Putnam, agent 
of the New England Land Company, for the site of a great 
city. The settlers of Ohio congregated there. It was built 
at the confluence of the Muskingum with the Ohio rivers, 
and was named after the unfortunate Marie Antoinette. It 
was projected on a magnificent scale. They had their 
Campus Martins^ Sacra Via, Capitolenum, inscribed 
upon the plat. But it was an unfortunate location, uj^on a 
sterile soil, and it remains to this day an inferior village. 

General Yarnum was in feeble health on his arrival, and 
continued to decline during the autumn and winter season, 
until some time in the month of March, 1789. During the 
winter he was under the care of Mrs. Cushing, wife of 
Colonel Nathaniel Cushing, until his death at Campus 
JIartius, a stockade built by the first settlers under 
Putnam. His funeral was attended by the military officers 
of the Revolution, (Colonel Harmer's ofticers), and an 
escort from his regiment in military form, and he was 
buried on the ridge northeast of the mound. Whether 
there Avas, or is now, any monument erected at the place, 
is very doubtful. 

It might have been gratifying to his vanity, but General 
Yarnum committed an unfortunate error in accepting the 
oflSce to which he was ai)i)ointed. He had impaired his 
constitution by a free and liberal life, and with an en- 
feebled physical system, to leave his family, his circle of 
friends and the comforts of an old State, and a delightful 
mansion, erected in accordance with his own taste and 
ornamented to his fancy, to become a kind of pioneer in a 
new and unsettled country, among strangers, and in a 
society uncongenial to his habits, was delusive — fatally de- 
lusive. Professional pursuits in our populous cities are 
both more reputable and profitable than any of our national 
appointments. Yet the overpowering charm of being pre- 
distinguished from among the people, as capable, or being 
selected from among our associates, as entitled to public 
honor, is too alluring to individual vanity. But the 
abandonment of our country, our friends, our firesides, and 
the endearing connections of home, is a sacrifice too dear 
for it all ; and so the unfortunate Yarnum found it. On 



horseback, and attended by a solitary comi)anion (Griffin 
Greene) he left a country which honored him and an 
idolizing people, and traversed eight hundred miles of 
Avilderness, mostly devoid of the comforts of life, and at 
his journey's end wns tabernacled in a rude stockade, and 
surrounded by excitements, his disorders aggravated for 
the want of retirement and repose, breathing the deadly 
exhalations of a great and sluggish river, and protected by 
military array from the incursions of the western savage. 
The issue proved that he had no chance for life, and with 
a constitution too much impaired to return, he there lin- 
gered and expired. 

The career of General Varnum was active and brief. 
He graduated at twenty ; was admitted to the bar at twenty- 
two ; resigned his commission at thii'ty-two ; was member 
of Congress the same year ; resumed his practice at thirty- 
three, continued his practice four years ; was elected to 
Congress again at thirty-seven ; emigrated to the West at 
thirty-nine, and died at the early age of forty. From the 
time of his admission to the bar, to his departure from the 
State, was seventeen years. Deducting the four years he 
was in the military service and three years he was in Con- 
gress, his actual professional life was only ten years. He 
died in the year 1788. 

Early in life General Varnum married Martha, the eldest 
daughter of Cromwell Childs, of Warren, Rhode Island, a 
family of considerable distinction. Mrs. Yarnum w^as an 
amiable and high-minded woman, and one of the most 
cheerful, sociable, and best of wives. She surviA'ed her 
husband forty-eight years, and died at Bristol, October 10th, 
1837, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. General 
Yarnum was represented to be a kind and affectionate hus- 
band, a steady and useful friend, highly esteemed and 
respected by his professional brethren, and a gentleman of 
very courteous manners. 

He built the large and elegant house on Pearce street, 
opposite the Court House, in East Greenwich, now owned 
and occupied by George A. Brayton, Ex-Judge of the Su- 
preme Court, of Rhode Island. It is a very handsome 
structure even at the present time, and when it was erected, 
more than a century since, was considered one of the hand- 
somest houses in the Colony. The magnificent elm trees 
now standing in the front yard, were set there by the gen- 
eral's direction, before the Revolutionary War. 

Since the preceding sketch was written, the following in 


relation to General Varnum has been discovered in the 
" Memoirs of Elkanah Watson " : 

"James Mitchell Varnum was appointed a brigadier- 
general in the Rhode Island line at an early period of the 
Revolution. He resided in East Greenwich, and was one 
of the most eminent lawyers, and distinguished orators in 
the colonies. I first saw this learned and amiable man in 
1774, when I heard him deliver a Masonic oration. Until 
that moment I had formed no conception of the power 
and charms of oratory. I was so deeply impressed, that 
the effect of his splendid exhibition has remained for forty- 
eight years indelibly fixed on my mind. I then compared 
his mind to a he^mtiiul paterre, from which he was enabled 
to pluck the most gorgeous and fanciful flowers, in his 
progress to enrich and embellish his subject. 

" He marched into Providence, with his company on the 
evening of the 20th of April, on his way to Lexington. 
General Nathaniel Greene marched into Providence with 
General Varnum on that occasion, although it was as a 
private, and while he still held his connection with the 
Quaker Society. Greene and Varnum were soon after ap- 
pointed brigadiers and attached to the army besieging 
Boston. Varnum continued some years in the army, and 
saw some service ; he was a good discij^linarian, and invalu- 
able in council. He held an excellent pen, commanding a 
rich flow of language and eloquence, embellished by all the 
ornaments and graces of rhetoric. 

" While in command at Taunton, he addressed an admir- 
able letter to the commanding oflicer of the Hessians, on 
Rhode Island, and sent it in by a flag of truce. The letter 
was a transcript of his views of the great controversy with 
England, and was considered an able argument on the sub- 
ject. It was subsequently published in England, and 
reflected very much credit on the author. At the close of 
his military career, he resumed his professional attitude, 
and often came into conflict with Henry Goodwin, his great 
rival in eloquence, but of a totally distinct school. While 
Varnum's oratory was mild and conciliatory, and flowing in 
majestic and persuasive eloquence, Goodwin's Avas wrapt in 
fire and energy, mingled with the most burning sarcasm. 

" In the year 1785, General Varnum formed the project 
of establishing a colony on the north branch of the Ohio 
River, and erecting a city at the mouth of the Muskingum. 
He urged me to unite with him in the adventure. He car- 
ried out his design and founded Marietta, which he named 


in honor of the Queen of France. After my return from 
North Carolina in 1788, 1 was i)resent when his wife received 
a letter from him full of pathos and sensibility, and higlily 
impressive in some of its aspects. She allowed me as the 
intimate friend of her husband, to read it ; it subsequently 
found its way into the newspapers. The following is 
worthy of preservation : 

" ' Marietta, 18th December, 1788. 
*' * My Dearest Friend: 

" ' I now write you from my sick chamber— perhaps it will be the last 
letter you will ever receive from me. I expect to leave this, on Sunday 
next, for the Falls of the Ohio ; thence to New Orleans, and the West Indies, 
to seek a warmer climate, the only chance of my recovery. My physician 
thinks the chance of recovery is in my favor; I am neither elevated or 
depressed by the force of this opinion, and will indulge a hope that I shall 
once more embrace my lovely friend in this world; and that we may glide 
smoothly down the tide of time, for a few years more, and mutually enjoy 
the more substantial happiness, as we have already the desirable pleasures 
of this life. 

" • But my lovely friend, the gloomy moment, will arrive, when we 
must part: should it happen during our present separation my last and 
only reluctant thought will be employed about you; life is but a bubble; 
it soon bursts, and is remitted to eternity; when we look back to the 
earliest recollections of our youthful hours, it seems but the last period 
of our rest, and we appear to emerge from a night of slumber, to look 
forward to real existence. 

'"When we look forward, time appears as interminable as eternity, 
and we have no idea of its termination, but by the period of our dissolu- 
tion; what particular connection it bears to a future state, our general 
notions of religion cannot point out; we feel something constantly active 
within us, which is evidently beyond the reach of mortality; whether it 
"be a part of ourselves, or an emanation from the Great >'<ource of all ex- 
istence, or reabsorbed when death shall have finished his work, human 
wisdom cannot determine. Whether the demolition of our body intro- 
duces only a change in the manner of our being, and leaves us to progress 
infinitely, alternately elevated or depressed, according to the propriety of 
our conduct, or whether we return to the mass of unthinking matter, 
philosophy hesitates to decide. 

'"I know, therefore, but one source from whence can be derived com- 
plete consolation in a dying hour; and that is the divine system contained 
in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There life and immortality are brought 
to light: there we are taught that our existence is to be eternal; and 
secure of an interest in the atoning mercies of a bleeding Saviour, that 
we shall be inconceivably happy. A firm, unshaken faith in this doc- 
trine must raise us above the doubts and fears that hang upon every 
other system, and enable us to view with calm serenity the approach of 
the King of terrors, and behold Him as a kind, indulgent friend, spend- 
ing his shafts, only to carry us sooner to our everlasting home. 

^" Should there*^ yet be a more extensive religion beyond the vail, the 
Christian religion is by no means shaken thereby, as it is not opposed to 
any principle that admits the perfect benevolence of the Deity. I hope 
and pray the Divine Spirit will give me such assurance of an acceptation 
of God, through the death and suffering of His Son, as to brighten the 
way to immediate happiness. 

"'Dry up your tears, my charming mourner, nor suffer this letter to 
give you any inquietude; consider the facts at present, as in theory, but 
the sentiments such as will apply, whenever the f/reat cham/e shall come. 
Give my sincere love to all those you hold dear. Adieu! my dearest 


friend; and while I fervently devote in one iindivided prayer, our im- 
mortal sonls to the care, forgiveness, mercy, and all-prevailing grace of 
Heaven, in time and through all eternity, 1 feel as if I must now bid you 
—a long— long — long farewell. James M. Varnum.' 

" General Varnum died a few days after the date of this 
letter, at the Falls of the Ohio. I knew that General 
Varnum had indulged to a great extent in skeptical and 
philoso])hical opinions, hence the very great and additional 
value of this mature effusion of his most secret soul, on his 
dying bed. For this reason I have introduced his senti- 
ments. They exerted a benign influence upon my own 
mind, and I earnestly hope they may be equally useful to 

Joseph L. Tillinghast. 

Joseph L. Tillinghast was born in Taunton, Massachu- 
setts, in 1791, and removed to Rhode Island in his boy- 
hood. He graduated at Brown University in 1809, and 
soon after took charge of Kent Academy, at East Green- 
wich, as teacher and principal. He studied law and de- 
voted himself to its practice in Providence with marked 
success for thirty years, and was a Representative in Con- 
gress from Rhode Island from 1837 to 1843. In 1833 he 
was elected a member of the Board of Trustees of Brown 
University. He was also for many years a member of the 
State Legislature, and was elected Speaker on several oc- 
casions. To him was awarded the authorship of the free 
schools, and of the improved judiciary systems of this State. 
He died in Providence December 30th, 1844. 

Although Mr. Tillinghast never resided in East Green- 
wich while practicing law, yet as he was j^rincipal of Kent 
Academy for many years, he is in a degree identified with 
those havino' an interest in our town. 


Albert C. Greene. 

Albert Collins Greene was born in East Greenwich in 
1792. He was a son of Perry Greene, a brother of General 
Nathanael Greene. He read law in New York, returned to 
his native town and State, and here commenced the prac- 
tice of his profession. He Avas not a graduate of any col- 
lege, but was considered the most eminent lawyer in Rhode 
Island. In 1815 he was elected to the General Assembly 
of this State. In 1816 he was elected a brigadier-general 
of the militia, then of more importance than now, and sub- 
sequently became a major-general. From 1822 to 1825 he 


served again in the Legislature of the State, and was 
chosen Speaker. From 1825 to 1843 he was Attorney- 
General of Rhode Island. From 1845 to 1851 he was a 
Senator from Rhode Island in Congress ; and having again 
served a term in each of the two Houses of the State 
Legislature, he retired from public life in 1857, and died at 
Providence, January 8th, 1863. 

Nathax Whiting. 

Nathan Whiting, characterized in his obituary as a 
"lawyer of deep judgment and erudition," was long a 
prominent resident of this town. Born in Franklin, Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1774, he entered Brown University in 1793, 
and graduated in due course. He was admitted to the bar 
in 1800, and came directly to East Greenwich. Immediately 
after his arrival he delivered an oration on the death of 
Washington, by the invitation of a joint committee of 
East Greenwich and Warwick. It still remains in the pos- 
session of his descendants to testify to his unusual powers. 
He continued to reside in East Greenwich during his life- 
time, and was devoted to the practice of the law and ta 
teaching. He died September 24th, 1842. 

William G. Bowen. 

William Gorton Bowen, a good and reliable lawyer and 
a man of unblemished reputation, was born in Coventry, 
Rhode Island, May 14th, 1799. He studied law with 
General Albert C. Greene, in East Greenwich, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar about the year 1824. From that time 
until his death, which occurred March 4th, 1854, he con- 
tinued to practice law with good success at East Green- 
wich. During this time he was elected to the General As- 
sembly, and received other tokens of public confidence. He 
married a Miss Susan Packard, of South Kingstown, and 
left one son, William S. Bowen, M. D., who is now a suc- 
cessful oculist and aurist at Hartford, Connecticut. 

Joseph Winsor. 

Joseph Winsor was born in Glocester, Rhode Island, 

January 15th, 1821. He graduated at Brown University 

in 1840. After teaching two years in Prince George's 

County, Maryland, he returned to Rhode Island in 1842^ 



and studied law with Samuel Y. Atwell, in Providence. 
When admitted to the bar he immediately removed to East 
Greenwich, and began practice with an office in a building 
at the north end of Main street. Soon after he lost his 
library and some other valuables by fire. To prevent the 
recurrence of a similar disaster, he built a fire-proof office 
of stone, with iron roof, iron door, and iron shutters. This 
building is now standing on the lot in the rear of Mr. 
Sheffield Arnold's house on Main street. 

Possessing a great business capacity, he seemed more 
fitted for a financier than for a lawyer, and by his shrewd- 
ness and foresight in purchasing land, laying out streets, 
building dwelling-houses, and selling them to good advan- 
tage, he gave the first impulse to the growth of East 
Greenwich, which has increased so wonderfully since. If he 
could have lived to man's usual age, he would have been 
the most successful business man in our community ; but as 
he overtasked his power of endurance, he brought on pre- 
mature decay, and died from consumption in East Green- 
wich, December 20th, 1853, and was buried in St. Luke's 
Cemetery, by the side of his wife, who was a Miss Louisa 
McClellan, an aunt of General George B. McClellan. 

Mr. Winsor took great interest in various projects, be- 
side building, for extending the business relations of East 
Greenwich, and was, among other things, the founder and 
first secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company 
of this village, which in a transformed shape, still survives 
in our own day as the Steam Boiler Insurance Company. 

William E. Peck. 

William E. Peck was born October 13th, 1815. He 
studied law with Francis E. Hoppin and Richard Ward 
Greene, was admitted to the bar in 1850, and commenced 
l^ractice in the City of Providence. In 1852 he was elected 
a Representative to the Legislature from Providence, and 
was appointed Judge of the Court of Magistrates. In 1855 
he removed to East Greenwich, but continued to practice in 
Providence. In 1857 he was elected a Senator from East 
Greenwich. In 1864 he entered as lieutenant the Third 
Rhode Island Cavalry, and accompanied his regiment to 
Louisiana. There he contracted chills and fever, and died 
from an attack of congestive chills, August 13th, 1865, 
while still in the service of his country, at Napoleonville, 



In 1774 a number of the inhabitants of East Greenwich 
petitioned the Legislature for an " Act of Incorporation " 
forming them and those who should join them, into a com- 
pany, by the name of the Kentish Guards. The following 
act is copied from an old schedule of the doings of the Gen- 
eral Assembly in the year 1774 : 

'-'-An act establishing an Independent Company by the 

name of Kentish Guards. 

" Whereas., The preservation of this Colony in time of 
war depends, under God, in the military skill and discipline 
of its inhabitants and whereas a number of inhabitants of 
the Town of East Greenwich, (to wit) : James Mitchell 
Varnum, Christopher Greene, (son of Philip), Nathanael 
Greene, Jr., Daniel Greene, Griffin Greene, Nathanael Greene, 
(son of Richard), Christopher Greene, (son of James), John 
Greene, Charles Greene, Sylvester Greene, William Greene, 
(son of Richard), Hopkins Cooke, Richard Fry, Joseph Jos- 
lyn, Micah Whitmarsh, Augustus Mumford, John Cooke, 
Richard Mathewson, John S. Dexter, John Fry, Gideon 
Mumford, William Arnold, Archibald Crary, John Glazier, 
Stephen Mumford, Andrew Boyd, Eser Wall, Abial Brown, 
Oliver Gardiner, Clark Brown, Benjamin Spencer, James 
Searle, Gideon Freeborn, Wanton Casey, Job Peirce, John 
Reynolds and Samuel Brown, have petitioned this Assembly 
for an act of Incorporation, forming them and such others 
as shall be joined unto them, (not exceeding One Hundred 
Men, Rank and file), into a Company by the name of the 
Kentish Guards ; 

" Wherefore^ This General Assembly to encourage a De- 
sign so laudable, have Ordained, Constituted and Granted, 


and hereby do Ordain, Constitute and Aj^point, that the 
said Petitioners and such others as may be joined to them, 
(not exceeding One Hundred Men, Rank and File), be and 
they are hereby declared to be an Independent Company, 
by the name of the Kentish Guards, and by that name shall 
have per])etual succession, and shall have all the Rights, 
Powers and Privileges in Grant hereafter mentioned. 

'•^First^ It is Granted unto the said Company, that they, 
or the major part of them, shall and may once in every 
year, to wit : on the last Wednesday in April, meet and 
assemble themselves together, in some convenient place by 
them appointed, then and there to choose their Officers, to 
wit : One Captain, Two Lieutenants and One Ensign, and 
all other Officers necessary for training, disciplining, and 
well ordering said Company ; at which meeting no Officer 
shall be chosen, but by the greater number of votes then 
present ; The Captain, Lieutenants and Ensign, to be ap- 
proved of by the Governor and Council for the time being ; 
and shall be commissioned in the same manner as other 
Military Officers in this Colony. 

" Secondly^ That the said Company shall have liberty to 
meet and exercise themselves ujjon such other days and as 
often as they shall think necessary and not be subject to the 
Orders or Directions of the Colonel or other Field Officers of 
the Regiment in whose District they live in such meetings and 
exercisings ; and that they be obliged to meet for exercising, 
at least four times in each year, ujjon the penalty of j^aying 
to, and for the use of the Com})any to wit : the Captain for 
each day's neglect, three pounds, lawful money, the Lieu- 
tenants and Ensign, each twenty shillings lawful money, 
the Clerk and other subaltern Officei's, each twelve shillings 
lawful money, and private Soldiers, six shillings lawful 
money, to be collected by warrant of distress, directed to 
the Clerk from the Captain or other Officer. 

" Thirdly^ That said Company or the greater number of 
them make all such laws. Rules and Orders among them- 
selves as they shall deem expedient for the well ordering 
and disciplining said Company and lay any Penalty or Fine 
for the breach of such Rules, not exceeding twelve shillings, 
lawful money, for one offence to be collected as aforesaid. 

'-'■ Fourthly^ That all those who shall be duly enlisted in 
the said Company, so long as they shall continue therein, 
shall be exempted from bearing arms, or doing other mili- 
tary duty (watching and warding only excepted) in the 


several Companies, or Train Bands, in whose District they 
respectively live, excepting such as shall be Officers in any 
of the said Company's or Train Bands. 

''Fifthly, That if any Officer or Officers of the Company 
shall be disapproved by the Governor or Council, or shall 
remove out of the said County of Kent, or shall be taken 
away by death, that then, and in such cases the Captain of 
said"^ Company, or Superior Officer, for the election of 
another, or others in their or his stead, w^ho shall be so re- 

"■Sixthly, For the further of said Company, it is 

granted that the Captain of said Company shall be of the 
rank of Colonel, and that the first Lieutenant be of the 
rank of Lieutenant Colonel, that the second Lieutenant be 
of the rank of Major, and that the Ensign be of the rank of 
Captain ; that the said Officers shall be of the Court Mar- 
tial and Council of War, in the Regiment, in whose district 
they live ; that upon all General Reviews and General 
Musters, the said Company shall rank the First Independent 
Company for the County of Kent, and that in time of 
alarm the said Company shall be under the immediate 
direction of the Commander-in-Chief in the Colony. 

''It is Voted and Resolved, that the Secretary of this 
Colony be, and he is hereby directed to make a fair copy of 
the preceding Act, establishing the Company called the 
Kentish Guards, affix the Colony Seal thereto, and transmit 
the same to the said Company. 

"And it is further Voted and Resolved, at the request 

of the said Company, that the following Officers be, and 

they are hereby appointed to command the same : 

••'James Mitchell Varnum, Captain. 
Richard Fry, First Lieutenant. 
Christopher Greene, Second Lieutenant. 
Hopkins Cooke, Ensign." 

This Company furnished more officers of importance for 
the Revolutionary army than any other in New England, 
or perhaps in the United States. It furnished one major- 
general, Nathaniel Greene; one brigadier-general, James 
M. Varnum ; two colonels, Christopher Greene and Archi- 
bald Crary; one major, John S. Dexter; and one captain, 
Thomas Arnold ; besides a large number of inferior ones. 

A few years ago I came into possession of some valuable 
papers belonging to Wanton Casey, Esq., (who was the 
first cashier of the Rhode Island Central Bank), and 
among them the following letter, very interesting as a 


record of the writer's personal experience. It was written 
to Judge Johnson, of South Carolina, Avho published a 
" Life of General Greene " : 

" I was one of the petitioners to the General Assembly to 
grant a Charter for an Independent Company called the 
Kentish Guards ; said petition was granted in October, 
1774 ; previous to the battle of Lexington in 1775. The 
Company was dressed in uniform, well armed and dis- 
ciplined, amounting to between eighty and one hundred 
men, rank and file. On the morning after the battle of 
Lexington, and in two or three hours after the news arrived, 
we were on the march with one hundred and ten men, 
rank and file, for the scene of action, several volunteers 
having joined ; we marched to Pawtucket, about twenty 
miles from East Greenwich, and there received another ex- 
press, saying that the British Troops had returned to 
Boston ; we therefore returned to East Greenwich, where 
we continued to do duty by keei)ing up a regular guard for 
a long time. 

" Captain Wallace, who commanded a British shi]), 
mounting 1)etween twenty and thirty guns, and Captain 
Ascough, mounting about twenty, with several smaller ves- 
sels as tenders, kept us constantly on the alert ; Captain 
Wallace, being the senior officer, could land, including 
marines, between two hundred and fifty or three hundred 
men ; he landed with a number of his men on Canonicut 
Island, and burnt most of the houses on the Island, and 
burnt or took away the furniture, provisions and sheep, 
shot many cattle and killed some of the inhabitants, and 
others he made prisoners. 

" East Greenwich, situated on Narragansett Bay, was 
exposed to his depredations, and I believe that nothing but 
the continued efforts of the Kentish Guards prevented their 
burning the Town, We erected a Fort at the entrance of 
the harbor, and had eight or ten cannon mounted, to pre- 
vent their Boats and Tenders getting into the harbor, and 
kept a regular guard there for a long time ; a vessel had 
been driven on shore and taken by the enemy at Warwick 
Neck by two Tenders full of men ; the Commander of the 
Kentish Guards, Colonel Richard Fry, proposed to retake 
her; we crossed the outer harbor (about four miles) in 
boats, and marched down opposite the vessel, behind a 
beach, and after occasionally firino- and receivino- the fire 
from the two Tenders for three or four hours, we drove 


them off, and retook the vessel ; during this action one of 
our men named Ned Pearce was wounded, and was obliged 
to have his arm amputated. 

" Some time afterward, Captain Wallace came up the 
Bay from Newport, and anchored between Bristol and the 
Island of Prudence, and plundered the inhabitants ; 
Colonel Fry proposed our going to prevent their landing ; 
we accordingly took boats, it being about six miles by 
water, and landed very early in the morning ; while eating 
breakfast at the north end of the Island, we received news 
Ijy a man who ran very fast, that the enemy were landing 
three or four miles below; we had already sent back the 
boats we came in, for a reinforcement, being disappointed 
in not meeting ninety men from the Island of Rhode Isl- 
and, who had engaged to meet us ; our resource was to 
I)rave the danger as well as we could, being only about 
eighty men, rank and file, when we knew that the enemy 
could land two hundred and fifty ; we immediately formed, 
witli drums beating and colors flying, which daring had the 
desired effect ; on discerning us, they returned to their ves- 
sels, and we were reinforced in the afternoon ; during the 
night following the enemy got under weigh and returned 
to Newport, while we returned to East Greenwich. 

" Some time after this, the enemy landed on Prudence 
and burnt most, if not all the houses on the Island ; our 
Company was frequently called out in the night to march 
to Quidnesitt, two or three miles below East Greenwich, to 
prevent the enemy taking off cattle, and plundering the in- 
habitants ; the British were, joined by a number of Tories, 
well acquainted with that part of the country, and until 
there were two pieces of Artillery attached to the Com- 
pany, we could not keej) their boats at a respectful dis- 
tance ; before and after the British fleet took possession of 
the Island of Rhode Island, in 1776, detachments from our 
Company were frequently called for to take up Tories and 
suspected persons, many of whom were in the Colony at 
that time, particularly in our neighborhood, and as I kept a 
fleet horse, was often called on ; I well remember going out 
one night, under the command of General Yarnum and 
Colonel Sherbourn, in search of a man named Hart, (a spy 
from the enemy), and after riding all night and taking 
some suspected persons, who informed us where to find 
him, we surrounded a house in Exeter, just at daylight, 
and after searching sometime we found where he was 


secreted ; he was tried by a Court Martial in Providence 
and convicted ; he had enlisted a number of men, some of 
whom procured boats and joined the enemy on Rhode 

" Our Company (the Kentish Guards,) was on Rhode 
Island, at what was called Sullivan's Expedition, but we 
came off before the battle, our time having expired, and 
there being no prospect of attacking the enemy ; but as soon 
as we heard the firing of the advance guard on the day of 
the action, (which we could very distinctly from East 
Greenwich) we embarked on board of a sloop with the in- 
tention of landing on the north end of the Island as a rein- 
forcement ; but after passing Prudence Island, an armed 
vessel of the enemy endeavoured to cut us off, and we were 
compelled to bear away and land on Pappoosesquaw Point, 
about two miles north of Prudence Island and directly op- 
posite the Town of Bristol ; we there learned that the 
enemy intended to retreat from the Island, and we had 
orders not to go on, but helped to take care of the wounded 
who were brought to said place. 

" During the latter part of the year 1775 and in 1776, 
thirty-five members of the Kentish Guards entered the Con- 
tinental service ; among whom were General Nathanael 
Greene, General James Mitchell Varnum, Colonel Christo- 
pher Greene, who defeated the Hessians at Red Bank — 
having under him a number of Officers from our Company — 
Major Flagg, Colonel Archibald Crary, Major John S. Dex- 
ter and others." 

The old fort at East Greenwich, alluded to by Mr. Casey, 
was erected on the bank near the entrance of our harbor, 
about midway between our village and Chipinoxet, and 
nearly opposite Long Point. After the war, the cannon 
mounted there were removed to West Point, and the em- 
bankments of the fort gradually went to decay. At the 
present time not the slightest trace of Fort Daniel is to be 

Mr. Wanton Casey was born in East Greenwich, in 1760, 
and consequently was only fourteen years old in 1774, when 
he joined the Kentish Guards, being one of the original 
petitioners for the charter, and probably was the youngest 
man in the country who took up arms during the Revolu- 
tionary War. He continued to perform duty in the Com- 
pany until 1778, at which time, in consequence of constant 
exposure, his health was so much impaired that he was 


compelled to leave the army. His physician advised a sea 
voyage and a milder climate. He therefore went to France, 
where he resided for a number of years, extensively engaged 
in business, as one of the firm of the large importing house 
of Silas Casey & Son, of East GreenwicTi. 

In Bartlett's " Colonial Records," I find the following 
paper referring to East Greenwich : 

" Subscription for the Belief of the Inhabitants of 
Boston and Charlestown^ in the Town of East Greenimch : 
" East Greexwich, August 29th, 1774. 

" We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of East 
Greenwich in the Colony of Rhode Island, taking into the 
most serious consideration the present alarming situation 
of our brethren in the towns of Boston and Charlestown, 
in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, occasioned by the 
late cruel, malignant and worse than savage acts of the 
British Parliament ; and whereas a tame submission to the 
first approaches of lawless power will undoubtedly involve 
this extensive continent in one scene of misery and servi-. 
tude, than which, a glorious death, in defence of our un- 
questionable rights is far more eligible ; convinced likewise, 
that the only true glory and unfading grandeur of the 
British Monarch consists in governing his extensive empire 
with equal and impartial laws, founded in reason and ren- 
dered sacred by the wisdom of ages ; and that every 
attempt to impair that noble constitution, which hath ever 
been the envy and terror of Europe, constitutes the blackest 
treason — from the most earnest abhorrence to the deep-laid 
schemes of his prime minister, whom we esteem the most 
determined foe to royalty ; and from our love to our coun- 
try, which nothing but death can abate, we do promise and 
engage to pay by the first day of October next, the respec- 
tive sums to our names annexed, to James Mitchell Yarnum, 
Esq., Messrs. A. Mumford, Preserved Pearce and William 
Pearce, to be laid out and expended in such articles of pro- 
visions, for our distressed brethren, as the majority of us 
shall agree upon to be sent to the committee of ways and 
means for employing the poor in Boston, by the first con- 
veyance." — Brovidence Gazette. 

It would be very interesting at this present time to know 
the names of those patriotic individuals in our village who 
so promptly contributed to relieve the suffering people of 
Boston, but Mr. Bartlett is silent on that subject. 


A somewhat important event occured at this time, at the 
raising of the Congregational Church in East Greenwich. 
After the large number of men who had assembled for the 
purpose of raising the building had finished their labor, 
they met and burned the effigy of Stephen Arnold, a man of 
some note in the county, who at that time had made him- 
self very unpopular by his violent Tory principles. On 
hearing of this insult, Stephen Arnold, who resided about 
four or five miles from the village, collected a number of 
his friends for the purpose of marching down and destroy- 
ing it. He enlisted several hundred men, exercised and 
manoeuvred them privately, until his plans were completed, 
and fixed on a time and })lace preparatory to making a de- 
scent on the village. The place of meeting was about two 
miles west of the village at the corner of the two roads, 
near the residence of the late Daniel Rowland. 

The scheme Avas so well arranged, and the secret so well 
kept, that nothing but the treachery of one of his men, to 
whom the whole plan was disclosed, saved the village from 
destruction. The jn-ime mover divulged the secret to 
Thomas Tillinghast, supposing from his well known Tory 
feelings, he would readily fall into the scheme; but Mr. 
Tillinghast, although belonging to the same political party 
with Arnold, would not join a treasonable band collected 
for the gratification of private revenge. He therefore pro- 
ceeded to put the inhabitants of East Greenwich on their 
guard. He arrived here about midnight, and after calling 
up some of the people, placed before them the whole affair. 
The story appeared so improbable that it had few believers. 
Very few could think that such men would seriously con- 
template so daring an act. However, as Mr. Tillinghast 
was well known to be perfectly trustworthy, they prepared 
themselves for the worst. 

At that time there resided in the village an old lady, 
called Peggy Pearce, who was a remarkably shrewd, observ- 
ing sort of person, and therefore one well fitted for an 
emergency. She kept a shop on Main street, and was in 
the habit of trading with the people of West Greenwich, 
where most of the rioters lived, and was therefore well situ- 
ated to fulfill the part of a spy. 

The next day after the alarm she went on horseback 
through a portion of West Greenwich and Coventry, with 
the ostensible purpose of purchasing woolen yarn and linen 
thread, tlien furnished solely by the farmers' wives and 


daughters, but her real object was to ascertain if possible 
when the attack was to be made. By dropping a few casual 
remarks, and making some apparently idle inquiries, she 
learned not only that the report was true, but also that the 
attack would be made on the following day or night. She 
returned to the village and made known the result of her 
mission. A meeting was hastily called by the inhabitants, 
and Samuel Brown was dispatched to Providence request- 
ing the Governor to send the military to their assistance. 
The Governor answered the call promptly, sending the 
Light Infantry and Cadets to their aid. 

The rioters assembled at their rendezvous, but on learn- 
ing that their intentions were discovered and that the in- 
habitants were prepared for the encounter, they sent out 
Arnold and others as scouts, who, ha])pening, in their eager- 
ness, to approach rather too near the village, were captured. 
Stephen Arnold was compelled to make an aj)ology to the 
villagers, expressing his sorrow and regret, and upon 
promising to desist from all further attempts, and dismiss 
his followers, he was released. And thus ended the famous 

Judge Staples, in his book entitled the " x4nnals of Provi- 
dence," refers to this affair in the following manner : 

" The following month, (September, 1774), the Light 
Infantry and Cadet Companys, were requested by the 
Sheriff of the County of Kent, at East Greenwich, to dis- 
perse a mob there assembled, and threatening to destroy 
the village ; an express arrived here, (Providence), about 
two in the morning, and these two companies reached their 
place of destination, at nine the same morning. 

" It seems that the people of East Greenwich had charged 
Stephen Arnold of Warwick, one of the Judges of the in- 
feriour court in that County, with propagating principles 
unfriendly to American liberty, and hung him in effigy; he 
had called together his friends to the number of some hun- 
dreds, to avenge himself for these insults ; after the arrival 
of the military, he acknowledged that he had been indis- 
creet in his proceedings, being actuated by fear and resent- 
ment ; he signed a paper confessing these facts and declaring 
himself to be a friend to the liberties of his country, and 
that he disapproved of those measures which were intended 
to impose any taxes on America Avithout her consent ; upon 
this and his promising to discourage all such unlawful as- 
semblies for the future, peace was restored in the village 
and the Military returned home." 


In the printed schedule of the doings of the General As- 
sembly, held in Providence, December, 1774, is the follow- 
ing resolution : 

" It is voted and resolved, That Preserved Pearce, and 
William Greene be, and they are hereby appointed a Com- 
mittee to enquire into the circumstances of the affair which 
caused the Cadet Company and the Light Infantry Company 
to march from Providence to the Town of East Greenwich 
and into the charges which were made thereon ; and they 
make report to this Assembly, at the next Session." 

The folloAving account is from the Providence Gazette^ 
September, 1774, in the Colony Records : 

" Declaration of Stephen Arnold of East Greenioich 
relative to certain tumultuous proceedings : 

" Providence, September, 1774. 

" At 2 o'clock in the morning, on Tuesday last, an ex- 
press arrived in this town from East Greenwich, in the 
County of Kent, with advice that a mob was raised consist- 
ing of some hundreds of people who threatened, and were 
hourly expected to come and destroy said village of East 
Greenwich, in order to show their resentment of the injury 
which they said had been offered to Stephen Arnold, of 
Warwick, Esq. ; one of the Justices of the inferior court 
of common pleas in that County, who had been charged 
with industriously propagating principles unfriendly to 
American liberty, and had been hung in effigy by some of 
the people of East Greenwich. 

" This intelligence was immediately communicated to his 
Honor the Deputy Governor, who ordered the Sheriff, with 
the Companies of Cadets and Light Infantry of this town 
and others of the Militia to arm themselves and proceed 
immediately to East Greenwich, to assist the Sheriff of said 
town, in dispersing the said mob ; the Companies of Militia, 
accordingly armed and marched immediately and arrived 
there by 9 o'clock the same morning, where a Committee 
was appointed and sent to the mob, about tAvo miles distant 
from the village to warn them of the bad consequences of 
their unlawful proceedings, and to demand some of the 
the principal persons among them, to come immediately 
into the town and settle the affair. 

" W hereupon, the said Stephen Arnold, and some others, 
came from the mob, and met the militia ; and a great num- 
ber of people convened at the Court House, Avhei*e, after 


being made acquainted with their resohite determination, 
he signed the following declaration and confession : 

" ' Whereas, I, the subscriber, having lately in this town, 
received great indignity, by being hung in effigy, by some 
evil minded persons, to me unknown, and from many reports 
which have been circulated in the country, I was led to 
think my person and family unsafe ; and being actuated by 
the motives of fear and resentment, without maturely con- 
sidering the consequences, have been concerned, by officiat- 
ing with divers people of this country, with the intention 
of repairing to this town and making a declaration of that 
right which as a subject, I apprehended, I was entitled to. 

" 'A7id whereas, the said assembly was unlawful, which 
hath occasioned much fear and distress to the inhabitants 
of this town in particular, and many others in general ; for 
all which I do hereby express my hearty sorrow, and wish 
to obtain the favorable opinion of this public assembly ; 
especially a*s I am a friend to the liberty of my country, 
and disapprove of those measures which have been calcu- 
lated to tax America without her consent. 

" ' Stephen Arnold.' 

" ' East Greenwich, Sept. 13th, 1774. 
" ' P. S. I do further declare, that I will discourage to 
the utmost of my power, all such unlawful assemblies for 
the future, and that already assembled in particular. 

" ' Stephen Arnold.' " 

The dramatic elements are not wanting in this little series 
of scenes from minor Revolutionary history. The play- 
wright would not miss any of his favorite characters. He 
would find the daring traitor, the adroit female spy, the 
wavering conspirator, who betrays his companions, these, 
with the addition of " a pair of star crossed lovers," separ- 
ated by the hard fortunes of revolutions, but haj^pily united 
in the closing scene which shows the downfall of the Tory 
villain, and -calls together the grand display of soldiers, 
officials and citizens — would satisfactorily fill the pages of a 
Rhode Island drama. 

What admirable dramatic "situations " are found in the 
manifestations of the excited feelino; of the times — the 


hanging and burning in effigy of the Tory squire, the tower- 
ing wrath of that choleric magnate, his hasty conferences 
with his friends and dependents, the maturing of the rash 
scheme, the disclosure of the whole plot, to the half-incredu- 


lous dismay of the villagers ; the shrewd counterplottings of 
the spy, with the arrival of the troops, their descent upon the 
rioters, the capture of Arnold and his scouts, and the hu- 
miliation of that unhappy Tory in his dubious and cloudy 
" confession." 

There is material for more serious reflection in specula- 
tions upon the results that would probably have followed 
the success of this traitorous scheme. Offended vanity and 
egotism have seldom exacted more heavy penalties than 
were demanded in the proposed burning and plundering of 
a peaceful town. By the aid of woman's wit. East Green- 
wich was saved from the disaster which was close at her 
doors. What a strange episode of the Revolution it would 
have been, if, while the town's people were dreading the 
attack of the British, they had suffered, instead, from the 
unnatural enmity which took j^ossession of their own 
friends and countrymen. 

Many people will wonder why the Kentish Guards, an 
independent company in East Greenwich, were not called 
out to suppress the riot, instead of sending to Providence 
for military aid ; but the Guards were on their way to 
Boston, having volunteered their services as soon as they 
heard of the battle of Lexington. Many old people, with 
whom I have conversed about the riots, spoke of the great 
numbers that assembled here and of the diflicultyof finding 
sufficient food and lodging for so many. Every family in 
the village was baking bread and cooking the meats and 
vegetables which the farmers brought in from the surround- 
ing country. The inhabitants were in daily fear of a visit 
from Wallace, commander of the British fleet stationed at 
Newport. A short time previous he had made a descent 
on Bristol and Warren, burning those towns. He had 
already attempted to land troops a few miles below East 
Greenwich, at Quidnesett. The peoj^le of East Greenwich 
had removed most of their furniture, plate and j^rovisions 
into the country for safety. 

The Kentish Guards held an important position during a 
portion of the "Dorr War," as the exciting times of 1842 
were then called. On the afternoon of the day when Mr. 
Dorr and his followers threatened an attack on the Arsenal 
on Dexter street, in Providence, Governor King sent orders 
to all the independent companies in the State to assemble 
in Providence as soon as possible. The Kentish Guards 
marched and paraded through the streets during the after- 


noon and evening, but as their services were not required 
they were dismissed to their very great satisfaction. When 
the second call for troops was made in June, it was very 
difficult to get the comj^any together. Some of them 
thought there might be danger and they had better keep 
away, and although Colonel Allen made every exertion and 
performed his duty to the utmost, he was unable to fill up 
the ranks without volunteers, although most of those who 
volunteered were already exempt from military duty. 
When all the arrangements were made the company were 
told to be ready at a minute's warning, as Colonel Allen 
w^s expecting a call at any moment. How well we remem- 
ber the anxiety of that waiting ! At length it came, on 
Sunday afternoon, during the church services. A train of 
cars arrived from Providence, with an urgent request from 
the Governor to Colonel Allen to come as soon as possible, 
for the rebels were making a serious demonstration at Paw- 
tucket. When the Court House bell rang the company 
assembled and were soon on their way to tlie seat of war. 
The following from the Promdence Journal will give us 
an idea how well the Kentish Guards performed their duty, 
and how much real danger they encountered at Pawtucket. 
Some of the members were so much injured by the stones 
and other missiles that they were comj^elled to leave the 
company and return home. 

From the Promdence Journal: 

" Having heard and seen several accounts of the encoun- 
ter at Pawtucket, on Monday night, the 27th of June, be- 
tween the military and the self-styled people, which ac- 
counts not only essentially differ, but some of which, it is 
believed, were designed to convey a false impression pre- 
judicial both to the military and the well-disposed citizens 
of that village, the following account has been carefully 
drawn up by one who witnessed the whole scene, from the 
entrance of the troops into the village until its termination : 

" On Monday afternoon the Kentish Guards, from East 
Greenwich, under the command of Colonel G. W. T. 
Allen, consisting of about fifty men, were ordered to repair 
to Pawtucket and guard the bridge over the Blackstone 
River at that village. On their arrival, multitudes were as- 
sembled in the streets, as they supposed, to witness a mili- 
tary parade ; but it was soon apparent that mere curiosity 
was not the sole object, as language of the most insolent 


and irritating character was heard amid the din of hisses, 
shouts and yells, as the troops marched down to the hotel 
on the corner of Main and Mill streets ; all of which failed, 
however, of its intended effect, as the men had positive 
orders to observe the strictest military discipline and 
decorum, let their treatment from the mob be ever so rude. 

" Arrived at the hotel, they were received by the Paw- 
tucket and Central Falls volunteers, under the command of 
Captain Potter, and conducted to their quarters in the hall, 
and immediately placed a guard at the main entrance to 
the hotel, with the intention of partaking of some refresh- 
ments before they took command of the pass across the 

" The officers had scarcely reached the hall, before a 
shout from without announced an attack upon the guard at 
the entrance on Mill street ; and on looking out, one of the 
sovereigns was seen brandishing a bayonet, which he had 
wrested from the musket of one of the guard, but which 
was soon recovered, the guard at the door strengthened, 
and a file of men placed across Main street, from the old 
market to the corner of Main and Mill streets. To this 
point as far as could be seen on the Massachusetts side, the 
streets and bridge presented one dense mass of human be- 
ings, male and female, old and young, even nursing infants 
with their mothers, and the streets around the hotel were 
fast filling up. 

" The guard maintained their position in the rain, stand- 
ing at " secure arms " or "charge bayonet" for about an 
hour, while the Pawtucket and Central Falls volunteers 
(twenty-five only of whom Avere armed) organized and 
loaded their guns from the supplies of the Kentish Guards, 
as they w^ere entirely without ammunition, organization or 
discipline ; when it was deemed necessary to strengthen it, 
and a file of men formed across Main, opposite the middle 
of Mill, at its junction with Main street, about ten or 
twelve paces in the rear of the front line, and another 
under the piazza in front of the hotel, in Main street, in 
order to keep their guns dry, in case it became necessary to 
fire on the mob. 

" These preparations for defence, instead of dispersing 
the rioters, only tended to increase the excitement which 
had risen almost to frenzy, and in a few minutes the guards 
on every line were as closely surrounded as their arms 
would allow, by friend and foe un distinguishable, and as 


some demonstrations were made to disarm them, the front 
line was now marched into the rear line, under cover of 
that on the side of the hotel and faced from the bridge two 
paces from that facing the bridge. 

" This retrograde movement, however necessary for their 
own safety, had a bad effect, as it proved ; for the mob, 
thinking that it was a signal of a retreat of the whole force, 
followed up the advantage which the movement gave them, 
and closed in on all sides, so that it was with great diffi- 
culty they could be kept from rushing between the lines at 
the short distance between them. 

" At this juncture, the mob east of the bridge receded 
right and left, until they had opened up to the front line, 
when a horse in a carriage, containing two persons in male 
and one in female attire, was driven up to the line, and the 
■driver demanded a pass through. The officer in command 
asked him to pass round the left of his line, in Mill street, 
b)ut he persisted in his right to pass through his ranks, and 
would have done so, had not his horse been seized by the 
bi'idle and wheeled off, when he passed up Main street a 
short distance, wheeled around, and drove down furiously 
upon the other line ; again he was frustrated, passed 
around the lines, and disappeared east of the bridge for a 
few minutes, when he returned to the assault ; and as it 
was now evident that he was intent on breaking the lines 
of the guard, the officer in command, ordering his men to 
stand firm, again exhorted him to desist, and pass around, 
as he had done before ; but the mob cheered him on with 
exclamations of ' Break their ranks — run down the cursed 
Algerines — maintain your rights.' At this crisis, finding 
argument and expostulation unavailing, the men were now 
ordered to rush upon the horse, rather than spill the blood 
of the driver, which so exasperated the horse that it was 
necessary to give orders to fire, which were followed by the 
"discharge of only three or four pieces, owing to the wet 
state of the priming, sufficient, however, to drive him from 
the assault. 

" This fire separated the mob from the guard sufficiently 
to allow the mob to assail them with stones, bricks, and 
hottles of glass and stone, weapons, the contents of which 
liad tended, probably, to elevate their courage to such a 
frenzied j^itch, and four of the guard were carried in 
wounded. A female among the mob fell and was carried 
off for dead ; but finding that neither she nor others were 


hurt, they conchided that blank cartridges had been fired,, 
and now commenced a scene of which an actual opening of 
the bottomless pit alone can convey an adequate idea. 

" Every exclamation that could be expected to irritate 
the men, such as, ' Where's the man that shot the cow ? ' — 
' Fire away your blank cartridges, you cursed Algerines ! ' 
with all the dismal bowlings, yells, groans, that human be- 
ings ever uttered, arose in one universal strain, until all 
distinguishable sounds were drowned in the terrific din ; as 
soon as Col. Allen could be heard, he advanced in front of 
his lines and ordered the mob to disperse at their peril, as- 
suring them that his muskets were loaded with ball cart- 
ridges, and that however reluctant to shed human blood, 
unless they dispersed, he should give orders to fire ; again 
the air was rent w4th, 'Fire away your blank cartridges^ 
you cursed Algerines I ' and the assault with stones and 
other missiles was renewed. 

" A detatchment of men reloaded and j^rimed, now ad- 
vanced to the front, and again they were ordered to dis- 
jjerse with the same effect, and unable longer to withstand 
the assault the men were ordered to fire, when some five or 
six pieces were discharged, none of Avhich took effect, as, 
owing to the reluctance of the troojis to shed blood, they 
elevated their pieces above the mob ; it had the effect, how- 
ever, to disperse them in some measure, as they receded 
back to about the middle of the bridge, where they again 
made a stand and renewed the assault, and were fired upon 
again, and one, the ringleader, fell dead or mortally 
wounded, and the rest receded back ui)on the Massachusetts 
side, and sought cover behind the buildings, from which 
they would occasionally sally and throw their missiles at the 
guard who now^ advanced to the middle of the bridge^ 
which post was maintained until the guard was relieved by 
the arrival of the R. I. Carbineers, about two o'clock, 
Tuesday morning. 

" It is due to the Kentish Guards and Pawtucket and 
Central Falls volunteers, to say, that the lawless inso- 
lence was endured and forbearance exercised, until their 
ow^n safety demanded a lawful resistance and performance 
of their military duty ; it was fortunate for the cause of 
humanity, that it was dark and rainy, for had the weather 
been dry and the night bright, hundreds of lives would in 
all probability have been sacrificed ; happily but one was 
killed, and so far as we know, but six or eight wounded on 
both sides ; thus terminated an encounter, which, while it 


quelled the violence of a lawless and desperate mob, failed 
in reaching and bringing to summary justice, the cowardly 
villians by Avhom the comparatively innocent and ignorant 
dupes of their treachery were incited to rebellion. 

" Some of the worthy sovereigns of Pawtucket having 
industriously but falsely circulated a report that Colonel 
Allen detailed a body of his men, who passed the Massa- 
chusetts line to search for men and arms contrary to orders 
and that a requisition will be made by Governor Davis on 
their commander-in-chief to have them delivered up to the 
]u-oper authorities of that State for trial, the Kentish 
Guards wish it to be distinctly understood, that should such 
requisition be made, it is their desire that it might be 
promptly granted, as they court the strictest scrutiny and 
investigation of their military conduct while stationed at 
that village, and are as ready to be tried by the laws of 
which they claim protection, as they are to support them.'* 

The following gives an interesting account of the manner 
in which their grateful fellow-citizens acknowledged the 
valuable services of the Guards in this trying period : 


Of the Citizens of East Greenvuch and Vicinity on the return of the 

Kentish Guards and Volunteers, Friday, July 1st, 1842. 

After the Suppression of the 

Late Rebellion In This State ; 

With An Address, 

By Rev. S. A. Crane. 

"East Greenwich, July, 1842. 
" To the Ben, S. A. Crane : 

" Sir, — At a meeting of the Citizens of this Town and 
vicinity on Monday, July 4tli, it was unanimously 

'-'-Mesolved^ That the thanks of the citizens be presented 
to the Rev. Silas A. Crane, for his very interesting and im- 
j^ressive address, delivered in St. Luke's Church, on the re- 
turn of the Kentish Guards and Volunteers, on Friday the 
first instant, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of 
the same for the press. 

" And it was also Hesolved^ That the undersigned be a 
committee to communicate to you the above resolution, and 
to carry the same into effect. 

" We are, dear sii-, very respectfully, 

" Your obedient servants, 

" L, Marcellus Wheeler, 


Thomas H. Rhodes, 
Joseph J. Tillinghast, 
David Pinniger," 


" East Greenwich, July 6th, 1842. 
" Gextlemex : 

" Believing that the solemn injunction of St. Paul to 
Titus, ' Put them in mind to obey magistrates,' is imper- 
atively the rule of duty for a Christian minister, in times 
like these, I readily consented to deliver the address, a copy 
of which you have requested for publication. In the same 
belief, it is now cheerfully submitted to your disi)osal. 
" I am, Gentlemen, yours, truly and respectfully, 

" S. A. Craxe." 
" Kextish Guards. 

" It is believed that the statement of a few facts drawn 
from the early history of the Kentish Guards will be found 
neither uninteresting nor ina]3])ropriate, as a preface to the 
proceedings of their fellow citizens, on their recent return 
from defence of the State. The charter of this Company was 
granted by the General Assembly in their October session, 
1774. Among the original petitioners for the charter are 
found the names of several men, who, afterwards, as officers 
in the army of the Revolution, were distinguished for their 
high rank, their courage, and their military talents. Ma- 
jor General Nathanael Greene, General James Mitchell Yar- 
num, Col. Christopher Greene, Col. Archibald Crary, and 
others of high reputation, are in this number. Of the origi- 
nal petitioners, also, one is still living in this place, Capt. 
Wanton Casey. In his advanced age he still retains the 
spirit of his early and distinguished associates ; and his love 
of country, of law and liberty, is now as fresh and vigorous as 
when he inarched with this com])any to Massachusetts, on 
the alarm raised by the battle of Lexington. It has been 
interesting to notice how keenly he felt for the honor of 
the com])any in their recent service ; and how proudly he 
now rejoices in their noble and successful effort to maintain 
the well earned and long established reputation of its orig- 
inal founders. 

" Besides those already named as signers of the petition 
for the charter many others of the company held commis- 
sions in the armies of the Revolution, in all not less than 
thirty-two. And what is even more remarkable, all these 
officers, it is said, acquitted themselves well in their respec- 
tive positions ; many rose to high distinction, and one, in 
universal estimation is placed second only to the immortal 
Washington. From this brief notice, which mio-ht be, and 


perhaps ought to be extended, it will be seen that few com- 
panies in our country can claim a more ancient and honor- 
able origin, or have inherited a larger share of well earned 
glory, than the Kentish Guards ; and of the present officers- 
and members, it is but a just and merited tribute to say 
that their recent conduct in defence of the State, in their 
trying position at Pawtucket, has abundantly shown that 
as they have succeeded to a heritage of honor, so they 
mean to transmit the same to their successors, unsullied 
and undiminished. 

" The Guards arrived home in the cars on the morning of 
the first instant; they were met by the Volunteer Company 
and others at the depot ; thence they were escorted to St. 
Luke's Church, where a large assemblage was waiting to 
receive them ; after they had taken their places in the 
Church, religious services were performed ; a hymn was 
first sung; the whole assembly then joined in solemn 
prayer and thanksgiving to God, in the use of appropriate 
Collects and other parts of the Church service appointed 
for such occasions. 

" A portion of Scripture was next read ; the following 
address was then delivered by the Rev. Mr. Crane, after 
which the Guards were escorted to their armory and dis- 
missed : 

" ' Felloic Citizens : — We are assembled in this house of 
prayer and praise, to acknowledge our dependence upon 
Almighty God, as the Sovereign Ruler of nations ; we 
come here as Christian men, to give thanks unto our God 
for the signal and merciful deliverance which he has 
wrought for our State ; and especially to pour out on this, 
his sacred altar, our tribute of gratitude, that he has de- 
fended and preserved in every danger, those our brave and 
worthy friends, members and volunteers of the Kentish 
Guards, who promptly responded to their country's call, 
and exposed their lives amid the fury of lawless mobs, and 
in the strife of blood ; the occasion demands our thanks- 
giving and our songs of praise. 

" ' On Sunday last we heard the call to arms ; we saw 
our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, mustering for the 
field of blood ; sorrowfully yet firmly did they do it ; in 
this house we then commencled them to the God of battles ; 
at home was the short but earnest prayer, — the hasty part- 
ing blessing, and they were gone. And whither ? Not to 
face an open foe ; it was to meet undefined and undefinable 


danger ; it was against the plottings of treason — dark and 
fearful conspiracy, the full design^and extent of which no 
man could tell, and which, therefore, cast suspicion be- 
tween neighbor and neighbor, and made friend look sternly 
in the face of friend. It was to meet the rage and frenzy 
of disappointed leaders and misguided men among our- 
selves, and the merciless weapons of hired ruffians, and 
murderous mobs, gathered in from neighboring states and 
cities ; in short, all the horrors of civil war wei-e reasonably 
to be apprehended, — law prostrate, violence triumphant, 
houses, villages, and our lovely city, plundered and 

" ' Such were then our dangers ; and to meet them, these 
our brave defenders hastened ; as they went on with our 
blessing, as we followed them with our prayers, so now we 
welcome them back with thanksgiving unto God ; God pre- 
served them ; God gave them victory ; and to God be the 
glory, the honor, and the praise. 

" ' But while we thus ascribe all to God, we forget not by 
whose hands he has wrought our deliverance ; it has beeii 
by the hands, with the blood, and with the peril of the 
lives of these true and generous men, and others like them ; 
to them we owe it that the noise of war, and note of dread- 
ful preparation have ceased throughout our borders, that 
peace is restored, and we are safe ; to them our lasting 
gratitude is due ; — and specially to these our fellow towns- 
men, whom we now receive to their homes with the warm- 
est welcome, and just and noble feelings of pride and 
pleasure. God, who assigns to every man his place and 
daily duty in life, saw fit to assign to you, members and 
volunteers of the Kentish Guards, the post of danger and 
trial ; he also gave you courage and skill to fulfill your duty 
with honor to yourselves, and with triumph to the laws ; 
while all was done tlrat mercy in the name of humanity 
could ask, that also was done which the laws of God and 
nian for the well-being, nay, for the very being of society 
in the name of the same humanity, approve and demand ; 
Ave lament the fatal necessity ; we thank God that your 
firmness was found equal to the awful crisis ; and now in 
the name of these, your friends and neighbors, gathered 
here to rejoice with you on your safe return, and to testify 
their approbation of *your noble conduct, I lay before you 
their united tribute of jtraise and admiration f in the hour 
of your country's need you have nobly done your duty ; for 


it we thank and honor you ; for it the grateful blessings of 
those whom you i^rotected from lawless violence and plun- 
der will descend and rest upon you. 

" ' And now, fellow-citizens, a word to you all, and I shall 
have done ; as to the result, this is a proud day for Rhode 
Island ; her government is sustained, her laws are triumph- 
ant ; her citizens have gained for her a brighter lustre 
among the sister stars upon the banner of our Union ; and 
for themselves, wreaths of honor and grateful acclamations 
from every intelligent lover of regulated liberty and social 
order and human happiness, for the promptness and una- 
nimity and patriotic sacrifice of all minor and party political 
differences with which in the hour of her peril they has- 
tened to the rescue ; this danger is now passed ; in our 
progress through it, all those virtues, which do honor alike 
to rulers and people, have been nobly displayed ; we feel a 
generous and worthy pride in the wisdom and firmness and 
patriotism, which this trying occasion has brought out and 
employed in vigorous and successful action ; we feel more 
safe, we breathe more freely, when w^e know that such 
virtues dwell in the men of our State ; and well may we 
look upon them with conscious pride, as we call them our 
husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our neighbors, our fel- 

" ' But yet there is more in our case ; we have been in a 
fearful crisis ; in our progress to it, crimes uncounted, at 
the time unthought of, and even yet, I fear, unrepented, 
have been committed; all the customary corrupting engines 
of party strife have been at work among us ; willful misrep- 
resentations, personal abuse, angry passions, revengeful feel- 
ings, have been sadly apparent ; many have allowed them- 
selves to think and speak of laAv and government w^ith con- 
tempt ; others have showm a spirit of lawless violence and 
boastful defiance ; and some have stained their hearts and 
hands with treason and open rebellion ; and last, though 
by no means least in God's account, there rests a fearful 
amount of guilt on men of education and influence who, 
while they have managed to keep out of the indignant grasp 
of human law, have counseled and encouraged others in 
doing wdiat they would not, or dared not do themselves ; 
all these things are crimes against God and man ; in whom- 
soever any of them are found, that man I solemnly call to 
repentance and amendment of life ; the overhanging clouds 
of God's righteous displeasure have rolled aw^ay ; let the 


sunshine of mercy, wliich now beams upon us, melt every 
heart to repentance and prayer. 

" ' We have been, as I said, in a fearful crisis ; that crisis 
we reached through a long and fierce struggle — a struggle 
rather social than political ; for however it may have been 
begun and led on to its present termination by political 
leaders, still it has all along derived its terrible power 
mainly from the fact that it has gone to the very heart of 
the community — has throbbed in every pulse, and quivered 
in every nerve of the social system ; by some means or 
other, the people of this State, have been brought to a 
grave discussion of fundamental questions in government ; 
in the progress of this discussion, a principle was adopted, 
false in theory, and unsafe in practice ; rash and unwise 
■counsels prevailed ; the wrong path was taken, and, as it 
might have been foreseen, it led to rebellion ; that rebellion 
is now effectually put down ; in doing it, our State has won 
laurels of lasting glory ; but she has yet a nobler victory to 
achieve ; angry passions, suspicions, mutual recriminations, 
and vindictive feelings, almost of necessity, grow out of such 
a conflict as that through which we have passed ; in tliis 
state of things, it will require great wisdom and firmness in 
the rulers, and great forbearance and respect for law in the 
people, so to temper justice with mercy, that the end of all 
government, public safety shall be attained, while at the 
same time the voice of humanity, which demands the ab- 
staining from all needless severity, shall be fully heard and 

" ' Add to this, that the questions first brought into dis- 
cussion are still unsettled ; the adjustment of them has in 
itself become more difiicult ; the cause of those who seek 
certain changes in the government has, it is true, suffered 
from the rash and reckless temper of its leaders, and from 
the extremity to which it had been pushed ; on the other 
hand, it requires to be remembered, that few only, and 
those mostly men of i)rofligate habits and ruined fortunes, 
were found willing to follow their leader in his desperate 
and bloody attempts ; of those who desire to change funda- 
mental principles in our government, the great body are 
true and noble hearted men ; they love their State ; they 
hate treason and rebellion ; they have, with a nobleness 
worthy of all praise, helped to oppose and defeat them ; 
from this their cause will eventually gain strength ; they 
still think these changes ought to be made ; their ojjinion 


must be respected ; their request must be fairly met ; if un- 
reasonable, it must be shown so ; if reasonable and just, it 
must be granted ; in tins work it is gratifying to know that 
the Legislature has already made a good beginning, and one 
which promises to be satisfactory to all ; they have done 
this, too, at a time and under circumstances, which entitle 
their wisdom and magnanimity to all confidence ; let the 
people follow in the same path of moderation, forbearance, 
and mutual concession ; already have Ave had enough, and 
far too much of public discussion, and mass meetings on the 
subject in question ; let every man now take the matter 
quietly and alone to his conscience and his Bible ; from 
these let him learn what is a Christian man's duty in respect 
to the government under which he lives ; in what manner 
he may innocently seek to change its principles or its prac- 
tices ; the times demand sober reflection ; men of all parties 
should look well to the ultimate tendences of the principles 
they have adopted ; the cause of liberty has ever been most 
in danger from the visionary measures of its ill-advised and 
over-heated advocates ; strength and stability are elements 
essential to a free government ; any political principles 
which tend to introduce perpetual change, will inevitably 
lead to misrule, anarchy, and desijotism ; these may be mere 
truisms, but many there are among us who will do well to 
give them a more serious consideration ; let something also 
be pardoned to our love of equal privileges — something to 
our free institutions — something to the intrinsic difficulties 
of the subject which has been agitated, — and more than all, 
to a generous confidence in our neighbors and fellow-citi- 
zens ; in this spirit let the people meet and act as a band of 
brothers ; in this way all will be obtained which can be 
reasonably desired, and upon a principle at once safe to the 
stability of government and the rights of the governed ; 
when this shall have been accomplished, as I doubt not it 
speedily will be, then may every Rhode Islander well be 
proud of his state, her rulers, and her people. 

" ' And, now, members and volunteers of the Kentish 
Guards, I will detain you no longer ; go to your families 
and friends ; there earnest prayers have been offered for 
your safety — glad hearts are waiting to receive you ; wives 
and children, mothers and sisters will love you better ; 
friends and neighbors will honor you more ; remember that 
God who has shielded your heads in the hour of danger ; serve 
him with the residue of your lives ; go, and may the bless- 
ing of God Almighty be with you now and forever.' " 




Ix the year 1802, a few indi\'iduals whose names will 
be found below, procured a charter of incorporation from 
the General Assembly, for the establishment of a classical 
school in East Greenwich, to be called the Kent Academy. 
This was the first successful school of a high order in the 
State. The following preamble and articles of association 
were drawn up by the late Hon. Ray Greene, and they 
certainly indicate a person of brilliant intellect and highly 
cultivated mental i>owers : 

" East Greexwich, October 8th, 1802. 
" Ethan Clark, William Arnold, Mathewson and Mowry, 
and Peter Turner, all of East Greenwich, and State of 
Rhode Island, and Ray Greene, Elihu Greene and Chris- 
topher Greene, all of Warwick, anxious to promote the 
hapi)iness of posterity, and to continue the blessings of a 
free and equal government, which this Country enjoys in 
as great a degree as any other nation, and believing that 
well conducted Seminaries of learning, in which youth may 
acquire knowledge, with the advantages of places of public 
worship, to incline their minds to morality and religion, ai*e 
the most probable means to effect their design — have as- 
sociated for this (as they consider) laudable purpose, and 
have purchased a lot of land in East Greenwich, containing 
one acre and twenty rods, upon which they intend (with 
the assistance of others that may be equally disposed to 
promote the good of mankind) to erect a building about 
sixty feet long and thirty feet wide, two stories high and 
convenient for the accommodation, and when properly 
regulated, suitable for the instruction of a considerable 
number of youth in such brandies of education as may be 



thought most for their advantage. They also please them- 
selves with the idea, that such an institution will be pro- 
ductive of the advantage to East Greenwich and its vicinity 
of introducing a settled Minister of the Gospel, to preach 
in the Meeting House, which is now so seldom improved. 

" The elevated situation upon wdiich the building is in- 
tended to be erected, its vicinity to the lot upon which the 
Catholic Congregational Society's Meeting House stands, 
the cheapness of living and ease of accommodating board- 
ers, all conspire to make this place agreeable in a town, the 
healthful air of which is thought to be exceeded by none. 
This place being central in this State and possessing so 
many advantages, w^ill induce many persons to place their 
children here for education, where they can visit them with 
convenience, and be frequent spectators of their improve- 
ment ; to complete the contemplated j^lan, very consider- 
able exjjense will be required, much more than is convenient 
or reasonable for a few to bear ; but we flatter ourselves 
that there are others, who, believing as we do, the dissemi- 
nation of Literature, information and religion is amongst 
the first duties of Society, and the most productive of 
order and good regulations in Republican governments, 
will become subscribers to this plan, and adding their 
names to those already mentioned, will lend their assist- 
ance to support the Society under the following articles of 
the association, viz. : 

" Akticle First. The cost of the land and the buildings 
to be erected thereon, shall be divided into One Hundred 
Shares at Thirty Two Dollars each share, and shall be pay- 
able Five Dollars on each share, on the first Monday in 
November, 1802. Ten Dollars on each share on the Twenty- 
Fifth day of June, 1803, and the sum remaining due on each 
share to be paid on the Twenty Fifth day of September, 
1803. But it shall be in the power of the subscribers to this 
Institution to suspend or alter the time of paying in the 
two last installments, provided it be previously done by a 
vote of a majority, at a meeting of them duly notified. 

"Second. On the first Monday of November, 1802, the 
Subscribers shall meet at the tavern of Col. Wm. Arnold in 
East Greenwich, and pay each one of his first Installments, 
on the share or shares by him subscribed, and they shall at 
said meeting appoint a person to receive the Installments, 
collect the payments, and receipt for the same when paid ; 
they shall also appoint a Committee of Seven Subscribers 
to represent and conduct the business of the association. 


" Third. The Committee shall meet from tune to tmie, 
as they may find necessary ; five shall constitute a quorum, 
the majority of whom present shall govern. 

" They shall have power to contract or direct the build- 
ing to be erected, and order the manner and style of finish- 
ing the same ; they shall call meetings of the Subscribers at 
any time they may think necessary, giving due notice 
thereof ; they shall be continued in their appointment until 
the buildings be erected and the accounts are settled ; they 
shall as soon as maybe apply to the Legislature of the State 
for a Charter of Incorporation, with such i)Owers as may be 
thought necessary for the security of the property of the 
Association and the well ordering of the Institution. 

" The following articles shall be fundamental as the Con- 
stitution thereof : 

" First. At all meetings of the Subscribers their Heirs 
or Assigns, they shall have as many votes as they may hold 
shares, and may vote by themselves or by proxy duly ap- 
pointed, by writing under the hand of the person appoint- 
ing ; Sixty shares shall constitute a quorum and the majority 
l^resent shall govern. 

" Second. The Trustees of the Academy shall belong to 
the Association, or any person subscribing and paying a 
Donation to the amount of Thirty Five Dollars, for the use 
and promotion thereof, shall be entitled to a vote and eligi- 
ble to the jjlace of a Trustee. 

" Third. The Trustees shall be appointed by the Asso- 
ciation ; they may be chosen annually, and a meeting of 
the Association shall be instituted for that as for other pur- 
poses ; but they shall hold their appointment until others 
shall be chosen in their place. 

" We the Subscribers do each one for himself, promise 
and hereby bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors and Ad- 
ministrators to i^ay or cause to be paid unto the before 
mentioned Ethan, William, Mathewson and Mowry, Peter, 
Ray, Elihu and Christopher, and their associates, or to the 
person who may be hereafter appointed agreeably to the 
aforegoing plan of association ; the sums as they shall be- 
come due on the shares by us subscribed, for the use and 
purpose of this our Association ; and on the event of failure 
of payment at the time herein stated, we hereby agree to 
forfeit for the use of the contemplated Institution, all sums 
of money by us previously paid, and moreover be liable for 
the full payment of the sums by us subscribed. 

" Xathax Whiting, Secretary." 



Names of the Subscribers. 

■William Greene, for himself and 

Ray, 10 shares. 
Elihu and Christopher Greene, 5 

William Greene, 2 shares. 
William Greene, (son of Nathanael), 

Benjamin Greene, 2 shares. 
Nathan Greene, 1 share. 
Jacob Greene, 1 share. 
James Greene, 1 share. 
Stephen Greene, 1 share. 
Jeremiah Greene, h share. 
Joseph Greene and son, ^ share. 
Stephen Greene, 5 share. 
Michael Spink, J share. 
Hopkins Cooke, ^ share. 
Jonathan Niles, Jr., h share. 
Ebenezer Williams, I share. 
Benjamin Davis, i share. 
Ethan Clark, 10 shares. 
Thomas Tillinghast, 2 shares. 
William Arnold, .3 shares. 
Mathewson and ]Mowry, 5 shares. 
Jonathan Salisbury, 2 shares. 
Clarke Brown, 1 share. 
Oliver Weeks, 1 share. 
Pardon Tillinghast, 1 share. 
Walter Spencer, 1 share. 
Jonathan Andros, 1 share. 
David Pinniger, 1 share. 
Peter and Daniel Turner, 2 shares. 
Nicholas R. Gardiner, 1 share. 
Benjamin Rowland, 1 share. 
Casey Whitford, 1 share. 

William Collins, 1 share. 
Samuel West, 1 share. 
Jonathan Niles, 1 share, 
William Sarle, 1 share. 
Stephen Arnold, 2 shares. 
Simmons Spencer, 1 share. 
Thomas Arnold, (Capt.), 1 share. 
Benjamin Tillinghast, 1 share. 
Nathan Whiting, 1 share. 
Thomas P. Ives, (Providence), 5 

John Brown, (Providence), 3 shares. 
Caleb AVheaton, (Boston), 1 share, 
entered on the Donation list,, 
this share being given and trans- 
ferred to the Corporation. 
Samuel G. Arnold and Co., (Provi- 
dence), 1 share. 
Nicholas Brown, (Providence), 3 

Jabez Bowen, (Providence), 1 share. 
George Gibbs, (Newport), 1 share. 
George Champlin, (Newport), 3 

Wm. Greene Spencer, 1 share. 
Thomas Rice, 1 share. 
Duty Arnold, 1 share. 
Henry Arnold, 1 share. 
Wanton Casey, 1 share. 
[ Samuel Wright, 1 share. 
; John Fry, 1 share. 
I William Reynolds, 1 share. 
Thomas A. Howland, 1 share. 
Whole number of shares, 99. 


Nicholas Gardiner, 1 share. 
John Cooke, Jr., 1 share. 
Nathaniel R. Greene, 1 share. 
Benjamin Tibbitts, 1 share. 

George D. Sweet, of Savannah, 2 

Caleb Wheaton, 1 share. 

Charter of Kent Academy. 

" A?i Act to Incorporate Certain Persons by the name of 

The Proprietors of the Kent Academy. 

" Whereas^ The establishment of Public Institutions for 
the promotion of Literature and general diffusion of Knowl- 
edge, is an object of the highest importance to society, by- 
affording the means to the rising generation of gaining in- 
struction in the principles and practice of virtue, and of 
acquiring that knowledge and wisdom, which is necessary 
to qualify them to fill Avith usefulness and honor the 


various stations and offices of life : And whereas an Acad- 
emy founded at East Greenwich, in the County of Kent, 
would be highly beneficial to that place, and advantageous 
to the Government ; and whereas a number of persons have 
undertaken in this design, and have by their committee pre- 
ferred a petition to this General Assembly, praying that 
full liberty and power may be granted unto them to found, 
endow, and govern said Academy, and that they may be 
incorporated into one body politic, by the name of 'Pro- 
prietors of Kent Academy,' with all the powers, privileges 
and franchises necessary for the purjioses of said Institu- 

"Section 1. Be it theri^fore enacted by the General 
Assembly^ and by the authority thereof it is enacted^ That 
William Greene and others, and their successors and assigns, 
shall be, and hereby are created a corporation and body 
politic, by the name of the proprietors of the Kent Acad- 
emy, and by that name they, and their successors and as- 
signs shall and may have perpetual succession, and are by 
that name made able and capable by law, as a body corpor- 
ate, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to an- 
swer and be answered to, to defend and be defended against, 
in all courts of record, and before all jn-oper judges what- 
ever, in all causes of whatever name, or nature ; to have a 
common seal, which it sliall be lawful for them to change 
or alter from time to time at pleasure ; And also to have, 
take, possess, purchase, acquire or otherwise receive, and 
hold lands, tenements, hereditaments, and rents in fee sim- 
ple, for term of lifes, years or otherwise, not exceeding 
twenty-five thousand dollars, in value ; and also, goods, 
chattels, and all other things of whatever nature, kind, or 
quality soever ; of all which they may stand seized, notwith- 
standing any misnomer of the corporation, or by whatever 
name, or however imperfectly the same shall be described 
in any gift, grant, devise, bequest or assignment, provided 
the true intent of the assignor or benefa'ctor shall be evi- 
dent : And also, to grant, demise, aliene, lease, use, occupy, 
manage and improve according to the tenor of the donations 
and to the purposes, uses and trusts, to which they shall be 
seized thereof. 

" Section 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall 
be a meeting of said corporation, at tlie Academy in East 
Greenwich, on the third Wednesday of August, 1803, and 
annually on the said third Wednesday of August forever 


thereafter ; at which time and place for the better ordering 
and managing the affairs of said corporation, they shall 
elect out of their body politic, a President, a Treasurer 
a Secretary, and a number of Trustees, not less than five, 
nor more than fifteen; a majority of whom, so elected, 
shall constitute a quorum, and such other officers as shall 
be necessary to conduct the business of said corporation. 
And the President of said corporation shall be ex-officio, 
a Trustee and President of the board. And the said Trus- 
tees shall have power to appoint, from their own body a 
committee of three, or more if necessary, to whom they 
may delegate so much of their power as expressed in said 
charter, as to them shall seem expedient, for the more 
convenient superintending and managing the affairs of said 
Academy. And it shall be the duty of the said Trustees 
to keep a record of their proceedings, which they shall 
from time to time, cause to be laid before the corporation 
whenever required. And the officers aforesaid, shall hold 
and execute their respective offices until others shall be 
chosen in their stead. 

"Section 3. A^id be it further enacted^ That the 
Trustees of said corporation shall have power and author- 
ity to elect and appoint the Principal and other Instructors 
in their various branches of literature ; to ascertain and fix 
their respective salaries, and the price of tuition and inci- 
dental expenses ; and to remove any Instructor from his or 
her office for misdemeanor, incapacity or unfaithfulness, 
and others to elect and appoint in their stead. And the 
said Trustees, shall have the superintendence and direction 
of said Academy ; and shall have power to make such laws, 
regulations, and*^ ordinances, with penalties, as to them shall 
seem meet for the successful instruction and government 
thereof, not contrary to the laws of this State or the United 
States ; and shall repair the Academy when needful, and 
may average the expense of said repairs in proportion to 
the shares, that each proprietor shall possess ; and in case 
any of the proprietors shall refuse or neglect to pay his or her 
part of such assessments, his or her shares shall be put up 
at public vendue and sold to the highest bidder, and if any 
overplus remains, it shall be paid over to each such delin- 
quent or delinquents, who shall thereafter cease to be mem- 
bers of said corporation. 

"Section 4. And he it further enacted^ That the jDro- 
prietors of Sixty Shares shall constitute a quorum of said 


Corporation ; and that each Proprietor shall be entitled to 
as many votes as the number of shares he possesses, and 
may vote by himself or proxy, duly aj^pointed under the 
hand of the person appointing. 

"Section 5. And he it further enacted^ That if at any 
time of a regular meeting of said Corporation, there should 
not be a quorum of the members present, the President or 
in his absence the Secretary shall have power to adjourn 
said meeting, and shall give at least three days' notice of 
said adjournment to said Corporation ; and at the meeting 
adjourned, eight Proprietors, whereof the President, Treas- 
urer, or Secretary to be one, shall constitute a quorum to 
transact the business. 

" Section 6. And he it further enacted^ That the said 
Corporation shall and may receive into their body politic, 
any person being a Proprietor of one or more shares, or 
who shall make a donation to the use of said Academy to 
that amount. And that the said Corporation shall have, and 
there is hereby granted unto them full power to make and 
ordain such rules, regulations and by-laws, as they shall 
judge needful, for the better government of the Corpora- 
tion, and alter and repeal the same ; provided such rules, 
regulations and by-laws be not repugnant to the laws of the 
State, or the design of the Institution. 

" Section 7. And he it further enacted^ That for the 
greater encouragement of this Institution of Learning, the 
estate of this Academy lying and being within this State, 
shall be exempted from all taxes ; and the person of the 
Principal and other Instructors, during their connection 
with said Academy, shall be exempted from serving on 
juries, and from military duty, or impressment. 

" Section 8. And furthermore^ For the establishment 
of the perpetuity of this Corporation, and in case that any 
time hereafter any law should be enacted, or any matters 
done and transacted by this Corporation contrary to law 
or the tenor of this Charter, it is hereby enacted, ordained 
and declared that all such laws, acts and doings shall be in 
themselves null and void ; yet the same shall not, in any 
court of law, or by this Assembly, be adjudged in de- 
feasance or forfeiture of this Charter, but the same shall be 
and remain inviolate and entire unto the said Corporation 
in perpetual succession ; which said Corporation may at all 
times forever hereafter, proceed and continue to act, and 
all their acts conformable to the powers, tenor, true intent 



and meaning of this Charter, shall 1)e and remain in full 
force and validity, the nullity and avoidance of any such 
illegal acts to the' contrary in any wise notwithstanding. 

'''Sectiox 9. And be it further enacted, That the 
Trustees of said Academy shall have power to call special 
meetings of the Corporation, whenever they shall think 
necessary, giving due notice thereof." 

The whole charter is copied for the express purpose of 
showing how liberal the Legislature was at that early 
period, in grantino- a charter so legally strong, and also the 
wonderful ability^of the Hon. Ray Greene, displayed in 
framing it. 

FiEST Extract feom the Corpokation Records of 
THE Kent Academy, dated December 7th, 1803. 

" Voted, That the sum of one hundred and thirty eight 
dollars be paid out of the Treasury to Messrs. Ethan Clark, 
"William Arnold, Richard Mathewson, Earl Mowry, Peter 
Turner, Ray Greene, Elilni Greene and Christopher Greene 
upon their executing a conveyance of the lot of land upon 
which the Academy stands, to the Corporation, in full for 
the consideration of the deed of conveyance." 

Extract from the Records, August 31st, 1804. 

" At a meeting of the Proprietors of Kent Academy, on 
the 15th of August, 1804, the subscribers were appointed to 
examine the accounts and bills of the Committee, author- 
ized to superintend the erection of said building, and pro- 
cure the materials for the same, whereof Richard Mathew- 
son and Stephen Arnold were chosen by them the principal 
agents— report, that they have carefully examined the ac- 
counts and bills, and find no material error in any of them, 
not sufficient in their opinion to make an alteration. 

« That the building has cost up to the 14th of August, 1804, 
the sum of $3,733.55. The subscriptions received and ma- 
terials up to said date, amount to 83,702.6,5 mills; balance 
due Richard Mathewson at same time 831.49,5 mills, refer- 
ence had to their statement on pages four and five, all of 
which we submit to the Proprietors. 

" William Greene, 
Wanton Casey. 
William Greene Spencer." 

210 history of east geeexwich. 

Extract from the Records October 6th, 1804. 

" It is voted and resolved, That the Trustees shall have 
full power and authority, to control and apj^ropriate the 
funds of this Corporation for the use, benefit, and improve- 
ment of the Academy ; and principally to the following 
purposes, namely — for the fencing of the Academy grounds, 
and setting out trees thereon, procuring step-stones for the 
the doors, and necessary and suitable furniture and finish- 
ing for all parts of the Academy. And they shall also 
have power to apply the funds of the Corporation to the 
purchase of a bell. Maps, a pair of Globes, and such useful 
Books as they may judge proper for establishing a Library, 
which shall be under the regulations hereafter to be made 
by the Corporation." 

The maps and globes were S23lendid articles, and were 
imported from Euro])e. The maps were on a large scale, 
four by five feet and elegantly mounted, and the twenty- 
four inch globes were the best that could be procured. The 
bell, then the only one in the village was a very fine toned 
one, and remained in the belfry until the Academy became 
the property of the Providence Conference, when, being 
cracked, it was replaced by the one now in the south tower 
of the GreeuAvich Academy. 

The first person who had charge of the Academy as 
principal Avas Abner Alden, A. M. He Avas a man of supe- 
rior qualifications as a teacher, and succeeded in establish- 
ing an excellent school. After conducting the school for 
scA^eral years, Avith unusual success, he suddenly left the 
charge of the Academy, and conducted another school at 
Bristol. 'Mr. Alden was a man of high literary attainments, 
and was the author of a spelling book and a reader, both 
standard Avorks, and used in all the schools in Rhode Island 
for a number of years. 

Mr. Alden's assistant was Mr. Jeremiah Chadsey, of 
Wickford, who Avas one of the best mathematicians at that 
time, and Avas employed to make the calculations for a 
nautical almanac. 

Joseph L. Tillinghast succeeded Mr. Alden and continued 
as principal until 1811, Avdien Aaron Putnam took charge of 
the Academy. Mr. Putnam left the school in the year 1812, 
and Avas succeeded by the Rev. Ezekiel Rich. 

Mr. Rich continued the school until July, 1814, as it ap- 
pears from the Trustees' records in the folloAving extract : 


" Ethan Clark, Esq., agreeable to his appointment at the 
last meeting, made his report verbally — that he had called 
on the Rev. Mr. Rich at two several times and requested to 
know his wishes respecting his continuing as preceptor in 
Kent Academy and how long ; to which Mr. Rich had given 
him his ideas and observations in writing, which is ]>re- 
sented to this meeting directed to the Trustees of the Kent 
Academy under cover of seal, which on perusal, it appeared 
that Mr. Rich intended leaving the Academy on the first 
day of July next." 

" Voted, That, that part of Mr. Rich's letter above re- 
ferred to, wherein he states his intention to leave Kent 
Academy on the first day of July next, is very acceptable 
to this board." 

The next who took charge of the Academy was Mr. Jonas 
Underwood, in the year 1816. 

Extract from the Records of the Year 1816. 

" Voted and Be solved, That Samuel King and Franklin 
Greene be, and they are hereby appointed and empowered 
a Committee to obtain and agree with a Preceptor for said 
Academy on such terms and conditions as they may think 
proper, not involving said Institution or the Proprietors in 
any expense unless they send to school. 

" And it is hereby recommended to said Committee, not 

to engage any one for a longer time than until unless 

he should be fully approved of by the Board of Trustees, but 
that they advertise for a Preceptor, to take charge of said 
Academy at the expiration of the term which they may 
agree, and that a man with a family will be preferred." 

Who was Mr. Underwood's successor does not appear 
from the records, but we presume, from the following ex- 
tract of the year 1818, that it was a Mr. ISTorthup : 

" Voted and Hesolved, That a Committee of three, con- 
sisting of the following jiersons, be appointed : Samuel 
King, Wanton Casey, and Franklin Greene. 

" Resolved, That to the Committee our authority for the 
following purposes be delegated, and that they be author- 
ized and requested to act to the following effect : 

" First, That the said Committee instruct the Treasurer, 
and unite with him their exertions, that the Academy be 
kept in good repair, and that in case of injury the same be 
repaired at the expense of the person causing the injury. 


" Second^ That the Committee, collectively and individu- 
ally attend at least once in the week at the Academy, and 
if necessary give the Preceptor the friendly and candid 
advice respecting the government and instruction of the 

" Thirds That the said Committee arrange without de- 
lay for a successor to Mr. Northup, on any terms which 
they may think beneficial to the Institution, and not involv- 
ing the Academy in expense, and the said Committee regu- 
late if necessary, the rates of tuition. 

'•'-Resolved^ That the Rev. Daniel Waldo be requested to 
call occasionally at the Academy, to afford to the scholars 
of the Institution such advice and instruction as his duty 
as a Clergyman, and parental kindness may dictate. 

" Resolved^ That whereas, in the year 1815, the Trustees 
of the Academy placed that Institution under the care of 
the Rev. Mr. Waldo, subject to a yearly rent, and it was 
soon after discovered that Mr. Waldo could not consist- 
ently with his arrangements with the Missionary Society, 
preside over the same, and that he ceased to i^reside over 
the Academy, we agree that all claim on Mr. Waldo for 
the rent of the Academy be cancelled, and the same be 
rendered null and void. 

" Resolved^ That the Treasurer be requested to discon- 
tinue his application to Mr. Jonas Underwood for rent of 
the Academy and that all claims for rent of the same since 
1815, be cancelled and relinquished." 

Thus far it appears that the institution has not been of 
any pecuniary benefit to the Proprietors, but rather a con- 
stant bill of expense in the form of taxes on the shares for 
repairs, although it seems from the following extract in 
the year 1820, the officers' salaries could not have been very 
large : 

" Resolved^ That the Secretary's account for the sum of 
Three Dollars be paid to him for recording the proceedings 
of the Trustees from the founding of the Institution to 


Only three dollars for eighteen years of service. 

When I first examined the Trustees' records, several 
leaves of the book were absent. Afterwards they were 
found, which will account for the discrepancy of the dates. 

kent academy. 213 

Extract from Old Record of 1805. 

" Yoted^ (upon application of sundry persons), That Mr. 
Harrington have liberty to teach a Singing School in the 
Academy every Saturday evening, Sunday and Sunday 
evening, for the term of one Quarter, commencing at this 
time, and that the Hall upon the lower floor be assigned 
for that purpose, to be under the particular care and super- 
intendence of the Preceptor, Mr. Alden. 

" Voted^ That Mr. Richard MathewsoTi, the Treasurer, 
be requested to procure immediately a tin stove pipe of 
suflicient length for an iron stove, to be placed in the 
middle of the Northwest room, upon the lower floor of the 
Academy, and to lead into the Chimney in the same room, 
and that he charge the amount thereof to the Academy, 
and that he also be requested to attend to the placing of 
the stove, as above, as soon as may be, and that he call 
upon Mr. William Greene for the stove, having borrowed it 
of him, for this winter, for that purpose." 

April 15th, 1805. " Voted, That William Greene be 
directed to purchase a set of twenty four inch globes, for 
the use of the Academy, and that he call upon the Treasurer 
for the amount of the same." 

August 24th, 1805. " Voted, That Mr. Alden be re- 
quested to open the upper Hall in the Academy, to be used 
by Mr. Carpentier, for the purpose of a dancing school, to 
be kept on Saturdays only, he the said Carpentier paying 
to the Treasurer of the Corporation fifty cents a quarter, 
for each scholar for the use of the Hall." 

It appears that the Trustees were very willing that the 
Academy should be used for a dancing school, but not for 
religious meetings, as the following entry will show : 

December 26th, 1805. "Application having been made 
to this meeting by Mr. Barney Greene for liberty to as- 
semble in the Academy, during the cold weather of the 
present winter for the purpose of Public Worship, 

" Voted, That in the opinion of the board they are not 
authorized by the Charter of the Institution to give such 

This shows how far bigotry will carry some people. 
Here was a request from a religious society for permission 
to hold meetings in the Academy on days when it was not 
used for any other purpose, yet the application was rejected 



under the pretext that the charter of the institution would 
not allow it. 

" Application also having been made by Mr. Nathan 
Whiting (at the same meeting of the Trustees) in behalf of 
Mr. Charles Miller that he have liberty to teach a Singing- 
School in the Academy for one Quarter. 

" Voted, That Mr. Charles Miller have liberty to teach a 
Singing School during said term in the Academy, provided 
such school shall not interfere with Mr. Alden's school hours, 
and also provided that Mr. Alden will superintend the said 
school as respects the building, to see that order be observed 
and that no damage be done to the House, and in case of 
any damage being done, that Mr. Miller be accountable." 

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of Kent Academy, 
convened on the oOth day of October, 1807, by order of the 
President of the Board, in consequence of a letter from Mr. 
Abner Alden dated the 24th of October, 1807, directed to 
the Trustees of Kent Academy, intimating his intention to 
leave the Academy and relinquish his place as preceptor 
thereof, it was 

" Resolved, That Ethan Clark, Esq., Mr. Stephen Arnold 
and William Greene, be appointed a committee to take into 
consideration the subject matter of Mr. Alden's letter, and 
that they agree with Mr. Alden or such other person as 
they may think proper, to take charge of the Academy as 
Preceptor thereof, after the expiration of the present Quar- 
ter, provided that Mr. Alden shall conclude to leave the 
Academy at that time, as contemplated by his letter." 

December 4th, 1807. "The committee who were to re- 
port further upon Mr. Alden's answer, whether he would 
continue in the Academy and how long, offer the following 
report : 

" ' The committee above referred to, have received Mr. 
Alden's verbal answer, that he will continue as Preceptor 
of the Academy, until the 25th of March next, when he ex- 
pects to leave the town, and expects the Trustees to be gov- 
erned accordingly.' " 

January 22d, 1808, " Resolved, That whereas Mr. Alden's 
last communication to the Trustees (through their commit- 
tee) intimating his intention to leave this Town, and relin- 
quish his place as Preceptor of the Academy was verbal, 
and they have since had no written communication inform- 
ing his intention, therefore resolved, that the Clerk be 



requested to write to Mr. Alden, and request his final 
determination in writing by two o'clock to-morrow P. M. 

" Resolved, That the following be rates of Tuition for 

the Quarter commencing the 21st of March, 1808 : 

" Reading and Spelling .'t?2 00 , Latin and Greek Languages. . $3 00 

Reading, Writing and Spelling.2 25 Logic and Criticism 3 00 

Arithmetic with Book-Keep- The principles of Astronomy 

ing 2 50 and Geography with the use 

English Grammar 3 00 , of the Globes 3 50 

Composition and Speaking 3 00 

" And it is understood that the Fifty Cents upon each 
Scholar who shall study Astronomy and Geography, shall 
be for the use of the Globes, and shall be collected by the 
Preceptor and paid to the Society's Treasurer, and that the 
above shall be the rates of Tuition until further directions 
from the Trustees." 

April, 1822. " It having been represented to this meet- 
ing that Nathan Whiting, Esq., offers to take charge of 
Kent Academy, 

" Voted, That Nathan Whiting be, and he is hereby ap- 
pointed Preceptor of Kent Academy on the following 
terras ; said Whiting is to have the use of the Academy, 
free of rent, he keeping the same in repair, with the liberty 
of fixing his own rates of tuition, one month's Notice pre- 
vious to the expiration of a quarter shall be given in writ- 
ing by the Trustees before the removal of Mr. Whiting, 
and one month's Notice previous to the expiration of a 
quarter shall be given in writing by Mr. Whiting to the 
Trustees before he shall be at liberty to relinquish the Pre- 
ceptorship ; the Academy to be opened on Monday the 6th 
of June." 

Many of our readers in East Greenwich will remember 
this school of Mr. Whiting's. There has never been a 
school there before or since where the scholars enjoyed 
such perfect happiness as they did under the administration 
of Mr. Whiting. Although he was a fine classical scholar, 
possessing an abundance of general knowledge himself, he 
had very little faculty to communicate it to others. Being 
rather absent-minded and very unwilling to punish dis- 
obedience or neglect, unfair advantage of these failings was 
taken and enjoyed supremely. Occasionally on pleasant 
summer afternoons, pupils were allowed, (during school 
hours), to sit on the front steps of the Academy, under the 
pretence of studying in the open air, w^iere they would 
amuse themselves in composing satirical poetry on their 


teacher's eccentricities, and squibs on each other; (and 
really some of that poetry was worth preserving, for al- 
though most of it was doggerel, a great deal worse has 
been published and sold). "Yet in spite of all this, some 
learned more in certain branches of knowledge during Mr. 
Whiting's administration than ever before, partic^darly 
geography and general knowledge of the world. Previous 
to this all the information acquired was from "Morse's 
Geography ; " which was committed to memory and then 
recited, but Mr. Whiting taught by using the atlas, and 
demonstration with the " terrestrial o'lobe." 


If space would permit, I should like to dilate still further 
on Mr. Whiting's natural ability as a teacher, as he was 
always ready to answer any question with a satisfactory 
explanation. It is true our ideas did not " shoot " much, 
according to the common acceptation of the term, but we 
gained a large share of animal spirits and bodily health. 

The Rev. Charles Heni-y Alden (ne])hew of Abner Alden, 
the first preceptor) succeeded Mr. Whitney in the year 
1823. The following rates of tuition, while he was precep- 
tor, were fixed by the Trustees, per quarter : 

" Reading, Writing and Spell- 
ing 32 50 

Arithmetic, English Grammar 
and Book-Keeping 3 00 

Composition and Speaking. ... S3 50 
Mathematics, Logic, Geogra- 
phy, Astronomy 4 00 

Latin and Greek 5 00 

According to this, the price of tuition had not increased 
much during twenty years. 

From the records. May, 1824 : " The members of King 
Solomon's Lodge (Masons) made application to the Trus- 
tees for two rooms in the Academy to be by them occupied 
for the accommodation of the said' lodge, and to know the 
best terms upon which they can have it. 

" Resolved^ That (if said Lodge assent thereto) they may 
have the exclusive privilege to occupy the South-West 
Chamber in said building, and occasionally may occupy the 
Hall^ Chamber, whenever they may desire the same for their 
public Meetings, for which privileges they are to pay the 
Treasurer of this Institution the sum of Five Dollars yearly, 
so long as they shall occu])y the same, and if the Lodge 
choose to put Venetian blinds to the windows of said 
Cliamber, they shall be remunerated that expense out of the 
rents to be by them paid. Said lodge are to keep the part 
of the building they use in repair, and if those rooms shall 
hereafter be needed for the accommodations of the school, 


the lodge is to deliver up the same at any time after being 
duly notified thereof by the Trustees aforesaid, without 
charging the Academy with any expense for blinds, or re- 
pairs made farther than the same shall have been paid for 
by the rents." 

The Rev. Charles Henry Alden was preceptor until May, 
1825, when the Rev. Mr. Coleman took charge of the 
Academy for one year, and was succeeded by Christopher 
Robinson, May, 1826. 

From 1825 to 1820 there is no record, but in December, 

1831, a special meeting was called and the following min- 
utes were entered on the record book : 

" December 7th, 1831. Wanton Casey, Esq., in the Chair. 

JVJiereas, An application was made to the Trustees, by Mr. 

Penuel Corbett, of Bristol, R. I. to take the Preceptorship 

of said Academy upon such terms as might be agreed upon 

between the Trustees and the said Corbett. 

" Resolved^ That the said Penuel Corbett, be and he 
hereby is constituted and appointed Preceptor thereof, and 
that he commence his school, for the First Quarter, on 
Monday, December 12th, and it was further resolved by said 
Trustees that the said Preceptor have said Academy free of 
rent for the first Quarter, and if he should remain longer as 
Preceptor thereof, that he shall pay to the Treasurer of said 
Corporation the sum of $20.00 per year, or Five Dollars per 
Quarter for each and every Quarter afterward." 

Mr. Corbett left the institution November, 1832, and 
Mr. Christopher Robinson took charge of it as preceptor in 
December, 1832, at the request of some of the Trustees, 
and continued it until March, 1833. 

" At a special meeting of the Trustees, November 26th, 

1832, Wanton Casey, Esq., being called to the Chair, a 
communication from Professor George W. Greene was re- 
ceived and read, proposing to take the Preceptorship of the 
Academy, and Avishing sundry repairs to be made." 

It appears by the records that Professor Greene soon 
after abandoned the plan he had formpd for establishing a 
school of a high order, and returned to Europe, where he 
resided for seventeen years, ten as United States Con- 
sul at Rome. Professor Greene, after his second re- 
turn from Europe, was appointed teacher of modern lan- 
guages in Brown University, which he retained for several 
years, and then received the appointment of Lecturer of 


United States History at Cornell University, which he re- 
tained as long as his health would admit. He is now living 
in retirement at East Greenwich, still engaged in literary 
pursuits, and where he has written and published a number 
of the most valuable and interesting books on American 

The next preceptor was Joseph Harrington, who took 
charge of the institution in the year 1833, and held it one 
year. He was succeeded by Joshua O. Coburn, who took 
possession March 17th, 1834, and left April 4th, 1835. 

August, 1835. " Whereas, An application having been 
made by Thomas P. Rodman, of Newport, to the present 
Board of Trustees, to become a Teacher in the Academy, 
and having produced such testimonials of his qualifications 
as were necessary to said board, it is therefore resolved 
that the said Thomas P. Rodman be, and he is hereby ap- 
l^ointed Preceptor of the said Institution." 

Mr. Rodman remained only one year, and it appears from 
the records of September, 1836, that Mr. Coburn was re- 
instated : 

" Daniel Greene and John P. Roberts, who were at a 
previous meeting of said Trustees appointed a Committee 
to confer with Mr. Joshua O. Coburn, and agree with him 
to take the Preceptorship of said Academy, made a verbal 
report as follows : that said Coburn would take said insti- 
tution, ])rovided he could be insured the sum of $600.00 
Y>eY annum. 

" Said Trustees, considering the importance of having a 
good instructor for said Academy, agree to accept of said 
offer, and the said Joshua O. Coburn is hereby ai)])ointed 
Preceptor of the same, and the said Trustees (present) 
agree personally to make up the deficiency, if any, in said 
school, so that the said Coburn shall receive said sum of 
$600.00 yearly." 

Mr. Coburn was the last preceptor under the old admin- 

About this time, Mr. Thomas J. Johnson, of East Green- 
wich, made an effort to buy up the shares of the institution, 
for the purpose of establisliing a school of a higher order 
than had. existed here for some time previous, under the 
patronage and control of the Methodist society ; but as he 
was unable to purchase shares enough to possess a controll- 
ing influence, the project was abandoned and the Academy 


passed into other hands. The new proprietors not meeting 
with the success they anticipated, in the year 1839 sold the 
institution to the Rev. Daniel G. Allen, A. M., a graduate 
of Middleton College. 

Mr. Allen in the month of August following repaired 
the building thoroughly, and commenced a school under the 
new system of instruction and government in Sej^tember, 
with Mr. Joshua Newhall, A. M., as assistant. He com- 
menced the first term with thirty-five students, and during 
his management the number of students increased to above 
ninety. He had a very prosperous school for two years, 
when he sold the establishment to the Providence Confer- 
ence of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

We have been informed that Mr. Allen sacrificed much 
care, labor, and expense over and above the income of the 
establishment, to secure the permanancy of the school in 
this place. At the time he commenced his school, it will be 
remembered that business of all kinds was entirely pros- 
trated liere. However, his resolute will prevailed, and he 
has witnessed what no one expected when he commenced, 
the establishment of an institution that is an honor to our 
village and State. 

Soon after the Academy was transferred to the Provi- 
dence Conference, a new charter was obtained from the 
Legislature which also holds the charter of the old Kent 
Academy, and the name of the institution was changed to 
Providence Conference Seminary. Under the new organ- 
ization the Rev. Benjamin F. Teft, A. M., was appointed 
principal, Daniel G. Allen and Joshua Newhall, assistant 
teachers, and Miss Lavinia Livermore, preceptress. Soon 
after this Mr. Teft called to his assistance a new set of 
teachers, a part of whom were never engaged in the school. 

The institution, however, prospered, but at the com- 
mencement of the second year Mr. Teft unexpectedly dis- 
appeared from the faculty, the oflice of principal devolving 
upon a substitute. The Rev. George F. Pool was appointed 
to fill the vacancy, and under his administration the aca- 
demic year was concluded with only seven students. Discour- 
aged at this ruinous prospect the Trustees leased the 
Seminary to the Rev. Daniel G. Allen, and he again called 
Mr. Newhall to his assistance. Miss Jemima Brewer was 
appointed prece})tress. At the expiration of the year Mr. 
Allen gave up the school and the Trustees employed the 
Rev. George B. Cone, A. M., who commenced the fourth 
year with prospects of scccess. 


As the number of students increased from term to term, 
and it was becoming difficult to procure suitable accommo- 
dation, it was finally resolved to erect a boarding-house. A 
building, three stories in height, and of sufficient dimensions 
to accommodate about one hundred students was erected, 
with suitable recei:)tion and dining-rooms. 

Mr. Cone had for assistants, Simon G. Waterhouse, Rev. 
Samuel C. Brown, Charles Hazard and Edward Harlow. 
Miss Brewer was apj^ointed preceptress, and afterwards 
Miss E. A. Adams. 

Mr. Cone was succeeded by the Rev. William R. Bagnall, 
A. M., as principal, and Miss Mary Whitney, preceptress. 
Mr. Bagnall had charge of the institution one year, and 
and was succeeded by the Rev. Robert Allyne, A. M., 

Mr. Allyne was the most valuable acquisition the Semin- 
ary had ever received. Puring his administration, and 
mostly through his efforts and perseverance, the present 
elegant and commodious Students' Hall was erected. 
It contains, conveniently arranged, principal's office, recep- 
tion room, reading room, museum, recitation rooms, music 
rooms, and on the third floor is an elegant chapel, contain- 
ing one of the largest organs in the State. 

As the limits of this work will not permit a further ex- 
tension of this subject we Avill bring it to a close, but if 
this history should reach a second edition, this and several 
other subjects will be further elaborated, as the material for 
it is ample. 

From the first Catalogue issued in 1840, we give the list 
of the Faculty and a few general remarks : ■ 



Rev. Daniel G. Allen, Principal. 

J. Newhall, a. B., 

Languages and Mathematics. 

Miss Lucy G. Eldredge, Preceptress. 

Miss Hannah C. Eldridge, 
Drawing and Painting. 

Miss Anna S. Burge, 
Teacher of Music." 


" Geneeal Remarks, (1840). The Academy went into 
operation under the direction of the present teachers, in 
September last ; since which time it has enjoyed an un- 
expected share of Public Patronage. As the Institution 
has never possessed the advantages of a Library, Philo- 
sophical Apparatus and such other means of instruction, it 
cannot be expected, under its present entirely new organiza- 
tion, immediately to avail itself of them. Until its means 
shall enable its friends to procure apparatus, diagrams and 
familiar illustrations must take the place of experiments, 
and a wish to retain and increase the patronage the 
Academy now enjoys, is, it is presumed, a sufficient 
guaranty that the instruction given to the scholars will be 
thorough and i)ractical." 

The list of the Faculty as taken from the last Catalogue, 
is as follows : 



Eev. Francis D. Blakeslie, A. M., 

Principal and Professor of 3 f oral Science and History. 

Joseph Eastman, A. M., 
» Latin and Greek. 

Roland S. Keyser, A. M., 

Natural Science and Mathematics. 

Joseph Hastings, Jr., 
Director of Music. 

John W. Dershimer, 

Commercial Department. 

Samuel R. Kelly, 

Mrs. Mary F. C. Edie, Preceptress, 
English Literature, German and French. 

Mrs. Augusta M. Blakeslie, A, M., 

Mental Science and English Branches. 

Miss Carrie F. Davis, 

Vocal Culture. 

Miss Addie L. Makinster, 
Draiving and Painting. 


Miss Ella Minnette Kenny, 


Miss Sarah E. Arnold, 

Mrs. JuLLi A. Mosher, 


The reader will see there is vast difference in the school 
in 1840, with only five teachers and a few branches of 
study, to 1877 with its twelve teachers and numerous 
branches of knowledge. 

This institution was the first school of the kind in the 
State, and has continued to the present time without the 
interruption of a single year. From its founding to the 
year 1839 it was conducted as a stock Academy. It then 
passed for a short time into private hands, but upon the 
organization of the Providence Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in 1840, the school became the property 
of the Conference by purchase. 

The design of the school is to furnish the best possible 
facilities for thorough culture in all departments of 
academic instruction under religious influences. Although 
under the control of a single denomination, the religious 
teaching is non-sectarian, and frequently the majority of 
the students are fi-om other than Methodist families. 

The Academy grounds contain five acres, giving an am- 
ple play-ground, and a lawn beautifully laid out and orna- 
mented with trees and shubbery. Upon these grounds 
stands the Boarding Hall, the Windsor House — where most 
of the faculty reside, and the Academy. The Academy 
building is a tasteful, substantial structure, and is believed 
to be unsurpassed by any institution of the same grade. It 
contains ample and commodious recitation rooms, besides 
parlor, oftice, library, reading-room, cabinet, and one of the 
finest seminary chapels in New England. The buildings 
throughout are warmed with steam and lighted with gas, 
rendering the premises comparatively safe from fire. The 
Academy Library contains about three thousand volumes. 
The cabinet of geological and mineralogical specimens, and 
the Museum illustrating the history, habits and customs of 
various nations, embrace about three thousand specimens, 
and are rarely surpassed in variety and completeness. 
Members of the school also have access to the excellent 


Free Public Library of the town, which is but a few rods 
from the Acadeiuy grounds. 

The institution owns a good philosophical and chemical 
apparatus, a stereopticon, a set of English astronomical 
slides showing the various real and apparent motions of the 
heavenly bodies, a French eudiometer, a powerful electric 
machine, with a twenty-four inch i>late, Wightman's gas- 
ometer, and a fine set of gas bags, to be used with the 
Drummond light. The institution aAvards four diplomas — 
one to each graduate on liberal learning, one to those com- 
pleting the musical course, one to the commercial graduates, 
and one to graduates in art. 

" Arrangements are made with the State military authori- 
ties by which those students wishing to become familiar 
with the military drill can have the daily use of arms and 
the State's armory, located just across the street from the 
Academy. A proficient officer gives instruction. 

The college preparatory course embraces thorough in- 
struction and drill in the studies required for admission to 
college. It is designed to j)repare students to enter any 
American college or university. The classical graduating 
course is as comprehensive and thorough as that of any 
seminary or female college. Gentlemen, as well as ladies, 
who may Avish to take a systematic academic course, can 
pursue this to graduation, and receive a diploma. In the 
scientific department most of the branches are taught 
which are comprised in the corresponding department of a 
collegiate course. The courses of instruction in the musi- 
cal, oratorical and commercial departments are very 
thorousrh and exhaustive. 

Musical Institute. 

The general supervision of this important department 
has been committed to Dr. Eben Tourjee, Director of the 
celebrated New England Conservatory of Music, at Boston, 
whose high reputation gives satisfactory assurance of its 
excellence in every respect. It is designed to afford 
superior advantages for pursuing the study of music, both 
as a science and an art. An acquaintance with music, to 
some extent at least, has now become a necessary element 
of education. 

We will close this chapter by giving the names of all the 
principals who have had the government of the Kent 


Academy, the Providence Conference Seminary, and the 
Greenwich Academy : 

1802— Abner Alden, A. M 1808. 

1808— Joseph L. Tillinghast, A. M 1811. 

1811— Aaron Putnam, A. M 1812. 

1812— Ezekiel Rich, A. M 1815. 

1815 — James Underwood, A. M 1817. 

1817— Rev. Daniel Waldo, A. M., died at the age of 101 1818. 

1818— Benjamin F. Allen, A. M 1822. 

1822— Nathan Whiting, A. M 1823. 

1823— Charles H. Alden, A. M 1825. 

1825— Rev. Ebenezer Coleman, A. M 1826. 

1826— Christopher Robinson, A. M 1829. 

1829— Rev. Henrv Edes, A. M 1831. 

1831— Penuel Corbett, A. M 1832. 

1832— Christopher Robinson, A. M 1833. 

1833— George W. Greene, A. M 1831. 

1834— Joseph Harrington, A. M 1834, 

1834— Joshua O. Coburn, A. M 1835. 

1835— Thomas P. Rodman, A. M 1836. 

1836— Joshua O. Coburn, A. .M 1838. 

1838 — Rev. James Richardson, A. M 1839. 

1839— Rev. Daniel G. Allen 1841. 

1841— Rev. Benjamin F. Teft, D. D., LL. D 1842. 

1842— Rev. George F. Pool, A. B 1843. 

184;3— Rev. Daniel G. Allen 1844. 

1844— George B. Cone, A. M 1847. 

1847— Rev. William Bagnall, A. M 1848. 

1848— Rev. Robert Allvne, D. D = 1854. 

1854— Rev. George W.'Quereau, D. D 1858. 

1858— Rev. Micah J. Talbot, A. M 1862. 

1862— Rev. Bernce D. Ames 1864. 

1864— Rev. James T. Edwards, A. M 1870. 

1871— Rev. David H. Ela, A. M. 

1873 — Rev. Francis D. Blakeslie, A. M., present Principal. 




I AM indebted to Mrs. William N. Sherman, the accom- 
plished wife of the editor of the Pendulum^ for the follow- 
ing elaborate and interesting history of this Society, which 
furnished such imj^ortant and absolutely necessary assist- 
ance to our soldiers in the field and camp, and afterwards 
to the destitute " Freed people." Mrs. Sherman was sec- 
retary of the "Greenwich Ladies' Soldiers' and Freed- 
men's Aid Societies," and cheerfully gave her time, means 
and efforts, to sustain these societies as long as they were 

Loyalty and Patriotism of the Ladies. 

In May, 1861, or soon after the fall of Sumpter, the loy- 
alty and patriotism of the ladies in East Greenwich was 
aroused. A meeting was called through The Rhode Island 
Pendulwiii^ and work commenced for the soldiers. It was 
considered unnecessary at that time to organize a society as 
a speedy settlement of the unhappy difficulties which threat- 
ened our beloved country was anticipated. It was, how- 
ever, deemed essential that a village treasurer should be 
appointed. Mrs. William N. Sherman received this appoint- 
ment, and the contributions for the benefit of the Green- 
wich soldiers were placed in her hands, It was voted that 
a subscription paper be circulated with the following heading : 

"Several ladies feeling the importance of thoroughly 
furnishing our volunteers with such articles that are not pro- 
^ vided, and which will be needed by them while away from 


home, we call upon the patriotic and benevolent to aid them, 
by contributions in money." 

The sum subscribed on this paper was $93.25. A con- 
cert by amateur performers, conducted by Dr. Eben Tour- 
jee for the same object was held. Mrs Eben Tourjee and 
and Miss Anna Henshaw were the leading soloists. One of 
Chickering's pianos was kindly loaned for the occasion by 
Daniel H. Greene, M. D. The avails of the concert were 
$51.68, making the whole^ sum received by the treasurer 
$144.93. Although no society was formed, ladies from all 
the religious denominations cooperated and harmoniously 
labored for the general cause. 

After the terrible battle of Bull Run in July, 1861, which 
sent such a thrill of agony throughout the nation, the ladies 
desiring to know especially the condition of the Kentish 
Guards, commissioned the treasurer to write a letter of 
inquiry. "VVe copy a portion of Chaplain T. C. Jameson's 
reply : 

« Camp Clark, July 30th, 1861. 
" My Dear Mrs. Sherman : 

" Through want of time and great fatigue, it has not been 
possible for me to answer sooner your kind note. A thou- 
sand thanks for the interest which you manifest in our 
brave men who are now suffering so much from the fatigue 
and excitement of the recent and terrible battle. May God 
reward both you and your associates a thousand fold. I 
have consulted freely with the captain of the East Green- 
wich company and others, and beg leave to suggest that 
you can aid our men (and soldiers more worthy of aid 
never carried musket nor drew sword) very much ; first, by 
using your influence to have some ice sent to us as soon 
as possible. In this hot climate, and in our exhausted and 
half sick condition this article is really quite indispensable, 
and unfortunately our supply is entirely exhausted, and we 
are suffering in consequence. Second, the men are not able 
to carry writing materials, and a supply of these placed in 
the hands of the captain for gradual and judicious distri- 
bution, would be an excellent use of a small portion of the 
money. Third, I shall like very much to have a small and 
carefully selected company library, of from fifty to a hun- 
dred appropriate miscellaneous and moral books, to be 
placed in the care of responsible officers and loaned at 
proper times, and for a few days at a time to the men. No 
more acceptable use than this can be made of a portion of 

ladies' soldiers' aid society. 227 

the money. Fourth, tlie men are required to purchase for 
themselves materials for cleaning their guns and other 
equipments; in our ex})osed condition this is a matter of 
much importance, and involving more expense than most 
persons are aware of. If you will authorize a small portion 
of the money for this purpose, it will be of real service, 
and confer a favor upon us all. With renewed thanks to 
yourself and the other ladies who are thinking so kindly 
and generously of us in our isolated and exposed condition, 
" I remain, very affectionately and gratefully, yours, 

" T. C. Jameson." 

In Auo-ust a letter containino- the foUowino- extract was 
received from one of the officers of Comjiany H, Second 
Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers, requesting the ladies 
" to send at once all the money which had been collected 
for them, as a majority of the men are entirely destitute of 
money, and are unable to }>rocure the most common neces- 
saries of life, (some might call them luxuries), such as 
tobacco, pipes and matches." As only about twenty dollars 
remained of the money to which reference was made, the 
ladies decided that the sum to which each member of the 
company would be entitled would be so small, that its ap- 
propriation for yarn with which to knit them stockings 
would be a more permanent good, therefore voted not to 
accede to the request. The money received had been ap- 
propriated thus far to the Kentish Guards. Twenty-live 
dollars were sent to the Rev. T. C. Jameson, chaplain of 
the regiment, before it left the State, to be used as occa- 
sion required for the benefit of Company H, Second Regi- 
ment Rhode Island Volunteers. 

Mr. Jameson was desired to consider particularly the 
necessities of the sick in dispensing the funds entrusted to 
his keeping, in part payment for the India-rubber overcoats, 
in the purchase of articles for their pocket-cases, and for 
ice, especially for this company. 

Extracts from another Document : 

" Camp Brightwood, October 22d, 1801, / 
Company H, Second Regiment, R. I. V. ) 

" To the Treasurer of the East G-reenwich Yolunteer 

Association : 

" Whereas^ It is generally understood that our friends in 
East Greenwich, Rhode Island, have at various times since 


the commencement of the present unhappy struggle, con- 
tributed sundry sums of money for our comfort and benefit, 

" Therefore^ We, the undersigned, non-commissioned 
ofiicers and privates of Company H, Second Regiment 
Rhode Island Volunteers, respectfully request the custodian 
of said sums of money to transmit the same to our com- 
missioned officers, to be expended for our benefit, as they 
know our wants better than any one else, and we have the 
utmost confidence in their integrity." 

To this were attached sixty-six names. The ladies in 
their associated capacity again voted not to acquiesce. 
Subsequent events proved the wisdom of their decision, as 
their only desire was to benefit the soldiers. 

Extracts from Chaplain T. C. Jameson^ Letter in answer 
to one of Inquiry : 

"Camp Brightwood, November 22d, 1861. 
" Mrs. W. JSr. Sherman : 

^^ Dear Madam — I thank you for your letter of the 19th, 
and for the copy of the camp correspondence. I had heard 
nothing of the affair before, and was not only surprised, 
but mortified and grieved that you and your associates 
should have been annoyed by such communications, and 
that your protracted labors of kindness for us should have 
met with so thankless a return. For myself, I care but lit- 
tle. I learned long since that the servants of Jehovah are 
sent on many a thankless errand, and that they must not 
turn back on account of the ingratitude and selfishness of 
wicked men. It is enough for the servant to be as his 
Lord, and we must consider Him who endured such con- 
tradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be wearied and 
faint in our minds. The sentiment of the strange letter 
received by your association is strangely prevalent in the 
army ! Intemperance, profanity, the use of tobacco and the 
unrestrained indulgence of the appetites are looked upon as 
rather soldierly virtues. By too many the proprieties of 
life, the rights of private property, good manners, the im- 
provement of the mind, the Sabbath, and religion itself is 
ignored. Tobacco, cards and whiskey must be had, and 
they can be transported, but as for books and worship, and 
religion, and war and the army, there is no time and place 
for them. Among it all there is but one thing for us, and 
that is to work on patiently as did our Master. Before I 


LxVDIES' soldiers' AID SOCIETY. 229 

left, you doubtless remember that twenty-five dollars were 
sent to me by your Society, to be used for books or in any 
other way which might seem desirable for the good of the 
company. In such way as I believe to be in strict accord- 
ance with your wishes, I have expended nearly one-half 
of that sum, and the rest still remains in my hands. I have 
repeatedly urged Captain Brown to take and use it as he 
thought best. This he has declined doing, and at the same 
time assuring me that he would watch, and when he found 
any thing to be needed by the men would call for the whole 
or part, as the case might be. I will still hold it in the 
same way, or return it to you as you may direct. I am not 
willing to have any agency in the use of it as is indicated 
by the letter which you received. 

" And now allow me to caution the ladies against regard- 
ing this ungenerous exhibition as a specimen of the feeling 
of the whole regiment. On the contrary there are hun- 
dreds who appreciate, and will ever be grateful for the af- 
fectionate and coijstant interest which the ladies of East 
Greenwich, and the whole of Rhode Island have taken in 
our welfare. We have been cheered and benefited in 
every way by the almost numberless acts of kindness re- 
ceived from our friends at home. The position of chaplain 
is indeed, as you perceive, one of no ordinary difficulty ; 
the wisdom of the serpent needs to be united with the 
harmlessness of the dove in the highest degree. Some have 
been so annoyed as to be compelled to give up the work 
in despair ; others ai'e toiling on amidst almost insuperable 
difficulties. My situation has never been so bad as either 
of these. By most of the officers and men, I have ever 
been treated with the greatest respect, and every facility 
for usefulness guaranteed to me. In the meanwhile, let the 
ladies not be weary in well-doing, for in due season they 
will reaj) if they faint not. 

" Very truly, 

"T. C. Jameson." 

" P. S. If you see Mr. Dodge again, remember me to him 
most kindly, and be assured that we shall ever regard any 
favor which the ladies may show to him, or any of our sick 
and wounded as a great kindness to us all. T. C. J." 

At a regular meeting which was held December 6th, 
1861, it was proposed by Mrs. Rev. Dr. Crane, that a society 
be formed, and known as the " Ladies' Soldiers' Aid So- 


ciety." This proposition was seconded by Mrs. Louisa D. 
Mumford. The meeting was organized for business by the 
choice of Mrs. Clara A. Ludlow as president, and Mrs. 
Mumford, secretary. The officers of the Society repre- 
sented five religious denominations, and were as follows : 

President — Mrs. William P. Greene. 

Vice-President — Mrs. William G. Bowen. 

Corresponding and Recording Secretary — Mrs. William N. Sherman. 

Treasurer — Miss Sallie G. Allen, 

Collector — Mrs. Sheffield Arnold. 

It was " Voted^ That the object of the Society shall be 
to furnish the soldiers with useful articles of clothing and 
sanitary comforts ; " and also Yoted^ That any lady may 
become a member by donations in money or work." 

The members' names were as follows : 

Mrs. Clara A. Ludlow, 
Mrs. Louisa D. Mumford, 
Mrs. Rev. Dr. Crane, 
Mrs. Eliza Gardiner, 
Mrs. William G. Bowen, 
Mrs. William N. Sherman, 
Mrs. William P. Greene, 
Mrs. Sheffield Arnold, 
Mrs. Charles W. Greene, 
Mrs. Nathaniel Sands, 
Mrs. Joseph Eastman, 
Miss Mary M. Sherman, 
Mrs. Lydia Crandal, 
Mrs. Mahala Young, 
Miss Mary E. Young, 
Mrs. Pardon Wightman, 
Miss Mary Pierce, 
Miss Ellen E. Eldridge, 
Mrs. Thomas Mathewson, 

Miss Anna Tourtelotte, 
iSIrs. Sarah Eldredge, 
Mrs. John C. Harris, 
Mrs. Russel Vaughn, 
Miss Hattie Cornell, 
Miss Mfirtha Thompson, 
Miss Addie Hawkins, 
Miss Julia Spencer, 
Miss Abbie L. Updike, 
Miss Alice Updike, 
Mrs. Enoch W. Lovell, 
Mrs. Juliet C. Nason, 
Mrs. Hannah Slocum, 
Miss Emily R. Eldredge, 
Miss Lizzie B. Greene, 
Mrs. Franklin Greene, 
Miss Sallie G. Allen, 
Mrs. Anne Ames. 

Various means were adopted to obtain funds to carry 
forward the object of the Society. . Exhibitions of paint- 
ings, curiosities, tableaux, fairs and festivals, were brought 
into requisition. Liberal donations in money and materials 
for work were gratefully received from ladies and gentle- 
men who were not connected with the Society. Among 
this number we would refer to the late Mrs. Silas W. 
Holmes, whose unobtrusive charities were frequent and 
liberal, and to Robert H. Ives, Jr., Esq., who was killed at 
the battle of Antietam, and whose name may well be classed 
among that list of noble martyrs whose valuable lives were 
sacrificed for their " country's good." 

Special donations were sent to Lovell Hospital, Ports- 
mouth Grove, in our own State ; to Missouri, and through 
Miss Dix to the Washington hospitals. The Second, 

ladies' soldiers' aid society. 231 

Fourth and Eleventh Rhode Island Regiments, and the 
First Regiment New York Mounted Rifles, received assist- 
ance from the Society. Ten dollars were sent to the United 
States Sanitary Commission through Russell M. Larned, 
Esq., agent for Rhode Island. 

In November, 1862, about thirty young ladies — some of 
them members of the "Aid Society," organized a Knitting 
Circle, their special object being to labor for our volunteer 
soldiers. The officers were as follows : 

President— Miss Mary M. Sherman. 

Vice-President— Miss Mary H. Brown. 

Secretary— Miss Lucy M. Brown. 

Treasurer — Miss Emma L. Rhodes. 

Directresses— Miss Laura M. Eddy and Miss Lizzie S. Knowles. 

Committee of Ways and Means— Miss Mary H. Brown, Miss Lizzie B. 
Greene, Miss Maria Rhodes, Miss Annie D. Coggeshall, Miss Melissa B. 

Gentlemen were permitted to attend the evening meet- 
ino:s by the contribution of money or yarn. 

In December, 1864, Rev. Professor Bernice D. Ames, a 
former principal of the Greenwich Academy, and agent of 
the Christian Commission, Philadelphia, visited East 
Greenwich to make collections for that Society and received 
$74.00. Mrs. Silas W. Holmes contributed twenty-five 
dollars of the amount, and thirty-five Avere accredited to 
" The Circle." The names of the other contributors are 
unknown to the writer. 

We find in a report by R. M. Earned, Esq., agent of the 
United States Sanitary Commission for Rhode Island, the 
acknowledgment from the Knitting Circle of twenty-two 
pairs of socks for Rhode Island soldiers in Libby Prison, 
Richmond, Virginia. The full extent of the work accom- 
plished by this Society we are unable to state, as the secre- 
tary died some years since, and the records, which were in 
her possession, cannot be found. 

Miss Anna Eldredge and others, with some of the 
members of the Aid Society, were especially interested in 
furnishing supplies to destitute families of soldiers in the 
village, with very great acceptance. 

Copi/ of a Letter from Captain B. S. Brown: 

"Camp Second Regiment, R. I. V., 
Near Stafford, C. H., November 27, 1862 

" Mrs Sherman : 

" Bear 3Iadam — Your note of November 19th came 
safely to hand last night. I embrace the earliest oppor- 
tunity of giving you the information required, and of 


replying to such other points of your note as may seem 
desirable. In regard to the number from East Greenwich, 
there are at least thirty men in the Company from that 
place and the immecliate vicinity. The whole number of 
men in the company is ninety-four, but only seventy-fiye 
are at present with us, the remainder being, some of them 
absent, sick, others on detached service. 

" The entire company is sadly in want of stockings. 
Hequisitions for them have been sent to the proper persons 
again and again, but thus far we have failed to receive them. 
Thus many of the men are to-day suffering for the stockings 
that government should have furnished them a month ago. 
Anything the ladies in East Greenwich can do to relieve 
this want, will, you may be sure, be met with the liveliest 
expressions of gratitude by us. As you remark, the stock- 
ings you may send will be double^ yes, treble their value in 
money to us at j^resent. We can do without the money, 
but without the stockings we must suffer. You may send 
them by Adams Express, and direct to 'Captain B. S. 
Brown, Company H, Second Regiment, Rhode Island Vol- 
unteers, Aquia Creek Landing, Ya.' 

" Like you, I hope that the war will soon be at an end, and 
that not only myself, but the whole company may be re- 
stored to our families and friends. I am very glad that 
you are so much interested in my children at Sabbath 
School, and hope they may prove worthy of their teacher. 
I feel confident that under your care and instruction they 
will acquire those virtues and graces that are alike the 
beauty of youth and the strength of age. 

" It is true great things are expected from General Burn- 
side's well known energy and ability, and I think we may 
safely say, whatever he may do, that he will accomplish all 
he can. His whole heart is in the work of crushing the 

" In relation to the funds in your possession, so confident 
am I that the money will be appropriated properly, that I 
feel entirely willing to take your statement to that effect. If 
you wish however to have some one examine your bills 
of expenditure, any one whom you may select for the pur- 
pose will be acceptable to me and the company. 

" Yours with respect, 

"B. S.Brown." 

A box was forwarded to Company H, December 11th, 
1862, containing one hundred and ten pairs of yarn stock- 

ladies' soldiers' aid society. 23S 

ings and thirty pairs of mittens. Forty-six pairs of stock- 
ings were knit from yarn purchased with the money in the 
hands of the Treasurer of the Volunteer Fund. Miss Pa- 
tience B. Cook contributed thirty-six pairs, the Aid Society, 
the Knitting Circle and others making up the number. The 
appropriation of all the money received by the Treasurer of 
the Volunteer Fund, especially for Company H, was agreea- 
ble to the ladies interested in that company. The ladies ex- 
pected the box containing the stockings would reach the 
company in about three weeks, but three months had elapsed 
before it reached its destination. 

Extracts from a Letter from Captain Thomas Foy : 

" Camp Second Regiment, R. I. V., ) 
Near Fredericks, Virginia. ) 

" Dear Madam — I have the honor to acknowledge the 
receipt of your kind note of 24th ult., in which you inform 
me that there is a box on board the schooner ' Elizabeth 
and Helen,' containing one hundred and ten pairs of stock- 
ings and ten pairs of mittens for Company H, contributed 
partly by the Society of which you are the Treasurer, and 
partly by ' friends,' and hoping if it is not too late I will be 
able to receive two pairs of the stockings and one pair of 
mittens ; 1 thank you very kindly for your good will in my 
behalf, but, although I take pride in claiming to be a 
' Greenwich boy,' I fear I cannot claim any of the stockings 
or mittens. I read your letter to Lieutenant John C. Bev- 
eridge, Avho is at present commanding Company H, and he 
informs me that he received full instructions from Captain 
B. S. Brown in relation to the contents of the box. I am 
requested by Lieutenant Beveridge to say, that, in behalf of 
Company H he thanks you, and when he receives the box, 
with the letter contained therein he w^ill reply in a suitable 
manner. I did see the ' published report in the Pendulum 
of the bills of expenditure of the money collected for Corn- 
pany H, Second Regiment,' and in my humble opinion it 
was not necessary that they should be ' carefully examined 
by Mrs. William P. Greene and Mrs Louisa D. Mumford.' 
Permit me to say, madam, that the report reflects honor 
upon the treasurer who submitted it. 

"It is understood here in camp that the schooner is 
down at Belle Plain Landing. She arrived to-day, and 
there has been a ' detail ' made of six men and a cor- 
poral to go from here at reveille to-morrow to assist in un- 


loading her. The corporal is from my company. It is 
said she contains boxes from various parts of tlie State 
for the various companies. Everything is quiet on the 
Rappahannock. Please convey my respectful regards to 
the members of your Society, and, 

" Believe me your obedient, 

"Thomas Foy." 

Copy of a Letter received from Acting Captain John C. 

Beveridge : 

" Camp Second Regiment, R. I. V., ) 
Near Fredericksburg, March 5th, 1863. \ 

'■'' 3frs. William N. Sherman; 

" Madam — In the absence of Captain B. S. Brown, and 
as commander of Company H, I take the liberty to inform 
you of the safe arrival of the box containing one hundred 
and ten pairs of stockings and thirty pairs of mittens ; that 
I also distributed the articles in accordance with your wish, 
delivering to each of the original members of the company 
two pairs of socks and one pair of mittens, to the others 
one pair of socks. I also embrace this opportunity in be- 
half of the company of returning their heartfelt gratitude 
and thanks to the ladies who thus so kindly contributed 
articles so necessary to their comfort. Although East 
Greenwich is not my place of residence, yet being so long- 
connected w4th Company H, both as an enlisted man and 
an officer, I do fully appreciate the honor conferred on the 
company, as that their welfare should be so tenderly consid- 
ered by the ladies. Three hearty cheers were given by the 
company for the ladies of East Greenwich, which, if they had 
been present to hear, would have been full compensation 
for the expense and labor tendered in their behalf. With 
my best wishes for the welfare of the ladies of East Green- 
wich, I am, madam, very respectfully, your obedient ser- 
vant, "John C. Beveridge, 

" First-Lie\itenant Commanding Company H, Second Regiment, R. I. F." 
Thus it will be seen that this fruitful subject for much 
criticism and speculation in regard to the action of the 
ladies, resulted in a greater and more permanent good than 
could possibly have been achieved, if the money had been 
forwarded at the request of the soldiers, to be expended 
in the purchase of pipes and tobacco. 

It was estimated by the " Aid Society," that from the va- 
rious oro'anizations in which some of the members of that 

ladies' soldiers' aid society. 235 

Society were especially interested, that East Greeenwich 
ladies directly and indirectly aided the soldiers to the 
amount of more than three thousand dollars. This sum 
included money, rubber bed blankets, hospital garments, 
wines, jellies, ice, vegetables and reading matter. Over one 
thousand yards of bandages and compresses, prei)ared from 
surgeons' directions, were furnished by the Society. Among 
other things which belonged to General McClellan's grand- 
mother, and given to the Society by his aunt, Miss Lucy 
McClellan, was old linen, from which, a box of prepared 
lint was made and sent to tlie hospital. 

The Society existed until October 29th, 1865, when it 
was unanimously voted, to dissolve the " Soldiers' Aid So- 
ciety " and form a " Freedmens' Aid Society," transferring 
all money and materials on hand to that Society. 

In closing the records of the " Soldiers Aid Society," the 
secretary wrote : " The Society met agreeable to adjourn- 
ment with our indefatigable co-laborer, Mrs. Charles W. 
Greene, Avhose unwearied exertions, self-denying efforts 
and liberality, have been devoted to the interests of the So- 
ciety from its foundation to the present time. May she 
live many years to bless the world with her kind benefac- 

We cannot refrain from bearing testimony to Madam 
Anne Ames. This aged friend of the soldiers demonstrated 
her patriotism by her labor of love. Her hand and heart 
were alike interested for those who were aiding in the 
preservation of the "nation's life." Although seventy- 
eight years old, she knit over one hundred and fifty pairs of 
stockings for the Society. 

A pleasant picture lingers in our memory of Mrs. Frank- 
lin Greene. Her placid genial face, her social and inter- 
lectual graces, ever made an atmosj^here of sunshine in the 
cloudiest days. Her presence was always an attractive 
feature of our gatherings. No fair Penelope of olden 
time ever labored more assiduously than did she, and the 
click, click, of her knitting needles made merry music in 
our ears. Who can estimate the many kindly thoughts of 
sincere sympathy and patriotic love that were woven in, 
as stitch by stitch she made rapid progress for the comfort 
of " Our Boys in Blue." 



National Covenant. 

In May, 1864, some ladies, wishing to show still further 
their loyalty and love for their country, signed their names 
to "The Ladies National Covenant." The pledge of the 
Covenant was as follows : 

" For three years, or during the ymi\ we pledge ourselves 
to each other and to our country, not to purchase any 
imported article of apparel, where American can possibly be 

To this pledge were attached forty-seven names, headed 
by Madame Anne Ames, the venerable mother of the late 
Chief-Justice Ames of this State, and aunt of the great his- 
torian Motley. 

Names to the Pledge : 

Mrs. Anne Ames, 

Mrs. Charles W. Greene, 

Miss Abigail Reed, 

Miss Mary Reed, 

Mrs. Rev. Dr. Crane, 

Mrs. Rev. Prof. Bernice D.Ames, 

Mrs. H. B. Hart, 

Mrs. William G. Bowen, 

Mary Collins, 
Mrs. Betsey Bicknell, 

Louisa J. Arnold, 

Cynthia P. Bolton, 

Emma V. Adams, 

Mattie E. Gardiner, 

NancieM. Harrringtou, 

Phebe Titus, 

Emma S. Tabor, 
Mrs. Nathaniel Sands, 
Mrs. Henry \y. Greene, 
Miss Louisa Sands, 
Mrs. Sarah P. Eldredge, 
Miss Susan E. Black, 
Miss Anna E. Livesey, 

Kate C. Greene, 

Mrs. Lydia T. Hopkins, 
Sarah A. Vaughn, 
Mrs. Louisa D. Mumford, 
Amey A. Simmons, 
Miss Elizabeth B. Greene, 
Mrs. Franklin Greene, 
Miss Ellen E. Eldredge, 
Mrs. William P. Greene, 
Mrs. William N. Sherman, 
Miss Susan M. Godding, 
Miss Sarah M. Clark, 
A. Anna Keeney, 
Mary E. Miller, 
A. A. W. Aikin, 
Miss S. E. Greene, 
Miss C. P. Greene, 
Miss H. V. Greene, 
H. S. Joslin, 
Maggie Newall, 
E. P. Gardiner, 
H. C. Dawley, 
Annie P. Burdick, 
Mary Arnold. 

" Do noble deeds, not dream them all day long. 
So shall life, death, and the vast forever 
Be one sweet song. ' ' 



The Frocdmen's Aid Society was organized October 29tli, 
18G5, at the same meeting at which the Sokliers' Aid So- 
ciety was dissolved. Mrs. William P. Greene, President, 
oeciipied the chair, and Mrs William N. Sherman was 
chosen Secretary. Owing to the ill health of Mrs Greene, 
she deemed it unwise for her to attempt to hold any pronii- 
nent position in the new organization. Devotion, faithful- 
ness and zeal characterized her interest for lier country as 
the presiding officer of the former Society. The officers of 
tlie Freedmen's Aid Society were : 

P/T'.sK^eHi— Miss Sarah M. Clark. 
Conx'spomlin;/ and Hci-ordiiu/ Se^retanj- 
TrcasiD'er — Miss Sarah M. Clark. 

-Mrs. William N. Sherman. 

The names of the members of the Society were as 
follows ; 

Miss Sarah M. Clarke, 
Mrs. William N. Sherman, 
Mrs. William P. Greene, 
[Mrs. Charles W. Greene, 
Mrs. Franklin Greene, 
Mrs. Eleanor Elclredge, 
Mrs. Gulielma Freehorn, 
Mrs. Esther M. Whitney, 
Miss Susan A. Pierce, 
IVLrs. Sheffield Arnold, 
Mrs. Anne Ames, 
Mrs. Chetty Ames, 
Mrs. Nathaniel Sands, 
Miss Lizzie B. Greene, 
Miss Mary M. Sherman, 
ISIiss Ahhie G. Shaw, 
Miss Carrie S. Hopkins, 
Mrs. Thomas Spencer, 
Mrs. Kev. Dr. Crane, 


Thomas ISIathewson, 
Anna S. Shaw, 
Mary Pierce, 
Samuel Arnold, 
Lucy W. Crane, 
Henry W. Greene, 
Sarah P. Eldredye, 
William G. Bowen, 
Eliza Gardiner, 
Mary Crane, 



Judge Joseph Tlllinghast, 
Smith W. Pierce, 
Carrie INI. Pierce, 
Bev. Charles W. Ray, 
Thomas INIusgrave, 
William Arnold. 


The Soldiers' Aid Society transferred to this Society 
such materials as remained on hand at its dissolution, in- 
cluding thirty-five dollars in money. The Society sent sey- 
eral of its Avell filled boxes and barrels through the agency 
of Rev. H. G. Stewart, General Agent of the Khode Island 
Association for Freedmen, to Mrs. Josephine S. Grifiing, 
General Agent of the National Freedmen's Relief Associa- 
tion at Washington, D. C. 

We find by reference to the records that the Society was 
under sj^ecial obligations for materials for work and money, 
to Messrs Moses B. I. Goddard, Robert Ives, Frank E. 
Richmond, Mrs. William G. Goddard, Mrs. Moses Ives and 
others, of Providence, Avhose summer homes are in the 
vicinity of East Greenwich, and to David G. Wilbur, of 
this village for various favors. 

Items from the Records of the Society January bth^ 18G6: 

" The Secretary read a circular addressed ' To the Friends 
of Humanity,' from the Executive Committee of ' The 
National Freedmen's Relief Association for the District of 
Columbia,' signed by the committee and several members 
of Congress, with the Chaplain's statement of the wants of 
the freed people." 

" Received to-day from Miss Amy A. Simmons, the out- 
side for another quilt, pieced by her mother and grandmother, 
botli of whom were long since numbered with the dead. Tliis 
contribution Avas regarded as an evidence of deej) interest 
in that class for whom the Society is laboring." 

" January 8th. This day is said to be the coldest for over 
thirty years ; the thermometer ranging fifteen degrees below 
zero. This Svas not a regular meeting of the Society. The 
weather being so severe and the emergency so great, an extra 
meeting was called, at which eight ladies were present, Mrs. 
Charles W. Greene, and Mrs. Franklin Greene at whose res- 
idence we met. Miss Sarah M. Clark, Miss Susan A. Pierce, 
Mrs. Samuel Arnold, Mrs. Gorton Burlingame, Miss Lizzie 
B. Greene and the Secretary, Mrs. William Greene. One 
bed-quilt was finished and an entire one quilted. No idle 
hands to-day. Lights were kindly furnished by Mrs. C. W. 
Greene, who is deeply interested in the object of the Society." 

" February 2. The Secretary read a circular from General 
O. O. How-ard, of the War Department, Bureau of Refu- 
gees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, dated January 26th, 
1866, in Avhich he commends Mrs. Josejihine S. Gritting as 
a worthy almoner of the Ijounties of tlie Society." 

ladies' feeedmen's aid society. 239 

"December 17th, 18GG. Two or three circulars were 
read asking assistance for the Freed people. Why will the 
government deny assistance to these poor suffering refugees ? 
Circulars from different organizations presenting the claims 
of the Freed people, were frequently received. These ap- 
peals were soul-stirring and worthy, but the ability to assist 
all was not within the precincts of the Society, but we did 
what we could." 

" jNIarch, 18G7. A circular was received by the Secretary 
and read before the Society, dated New York, January 
18th, 1867, headed, '• Famine at Home!! which portrayed 
the suffering existing in the South and Southwest from the 
failure of the crops, owing in part to a severe drought, and 
in part to conditions relating to the late rebellion. As the 
circular had the names of res]ionsible gentlemen attached 
to it, Nathan Bishop being Chairman of the Executive 
Committee, and James M. Brown, Treasurer, the Society at 
once resolved to hold a festival and ai:>propriate the proceeds 
to this specific object." 

William N. Sherman, Esq., editor of the Pendulum^ in 
order to call the attention of the public, gave a very full 
and extended notice in his paper of the needs and suffer- 
ings of the white and colored people in some portions of 
the South. Tlie posters contained the following notice ; 

" Festival for the Starving. 

The Greenvnch Ladies' Aid Society 

I)ropose holding a 


In Masonic Hall, 

Tuesday Evening, March lOtli, 18G7, 

In behalf of the suffering poor at the South, whose 

condition is represented as appalling." 

Friends in Providence, whose summer homes were here, 
sent contributions for the tables, embracing fruits, salads 
and such like things. We remember that Mrs. Judge 
Richard AV. Greene furnished a very large and nice ham. 
Mrs Crawford Allen's large oysters were the admiration of 
those who have a fondness for those bivalves. One gentle- 
man having been served to a plate of them, returned for 
more, when a lady reminded him that they w^ere six cents 
each. He replied, " Yes, I know, but I want more of them, 
they are so very nice ! " Candace, Mrs. Rufus Waterman's 
" Ethiopian Queen," afforded great amusement. As we noAV 
occasionally look at these specimens of woman's ingenuity 


and skill, presiding over the cradle made and presented by 
" Friend " Freeborn, in which reposes a nicely dressed doll, 
a recollection of that " Festival " comes before the mind, 
imparting a lesson of gratitude to the author of all our 
blessino's, that out of the fearful suffering which our natiou, 
both North and South, then ex})erienced, has arisen the 
great blessing of freedom to millions who had been in 

The avails of the festival amounted to one hundred and 
seventy-five dollars, which were forwarded to James M. 
Brown, Treasurer of the Relief Fund, and in due time its 
reception was acknowledged by Lim. 

In answer to an appeal in the Summer of 1868, twenty- 
nine dollars, to purchase necessaries for the sick, were sent 
to Mrs. J. S. Griffing, at Washington, who was always a 
favorite agent of the Society. L. P. Brockett, M. D., wrote 
in relation to her, that "if the most thoroughly unsel- 
fish devotion of an earnest and gifted woman to the inter- 
ests and welfare of a despised and down-trodden race, to the 
manifest injury and detriment of her own comfort, ease or 
])ecuniary pros|)ects, and without any hope or desire of re- 
ward, other than the consciousness of having been their 
benefactor, constitutes a woman a heroine, then is Mrs. 
Grifiing one of the most remarkable heroines of our times." 

We annex a copy of a letter from Mrs. Grifiing as a speci- 
men of a large number of letters received from her in an- 
swer to letters and contributions sent from the Society : 

" Wasiiixgtox D. C, April 21st, 1869. 
" My Dear Mrs. Sherman : 

" Your very interesting letter came two days since, and 
the barrel yesterday. Again most heartily do I thank you, 
and this seems very tame language for one who sees as I 
do, so many who are in such varied suffering for want of 
clothing. Poor Mrs. Peyton, who lay dying last Sunday, 
(as I sat in lier room, not more than seven by ten feet, and 
as dark as night), stretched out her bony arm, and almost 
gas-ping her last breath, said "see how bare I am; the ver- 
min eat me, and I am so nervous I shall die ; oh, how I 
want to go ! ' and she lived but a few hours more, and 
went to her rest. 

" Then, at another house, I found poor Mary Conover, 
who had lain in rags till her flesh is worn off her bones, 
with no one to care for her, or her poor clothing. I found 
her with her head on an old woman's lap — her body on the 

ladies' freedmen's aid society. 241 

l»a]k't still ; she liad no cliaiigc of clothing, hut I sent her 
one last night from your barrel, and Mary cried like a child 
for joy, and said it was God who heard her ; he knew hoAV 
she suffered and had ' nobody to go 'i)on '; and wi]>ing the 
tears off of her bare arms, she said, ' what could I do with- 
out my blessed Master? I'se done all I kin; I'se earned 
my bread and dose as long as I could, and now I'se so bare ; 
how did dey know it, Avho made disV Honey, I tell you 
'twas my Massa in heaven ; he tole 'em of dispoor creatur ; 
he'll i)ay 'em too, honey, dat he will ; he's got do man- 
sion in de skies ; his chillen all going dar ; if dey 
'uRMnber us jjoor uns here, dey'll have de high seats dar.' 
How I want you should realize Avhat faith they have in 
compensation. I w^as impressed more than ever last. week, 
after a short attack of fever that kept me in bed and out of 
the otHce for ten days, when the old women came in and 
found me at my post again. Hannah Shanklin, one of the 
finest in organism and s}>iritual character, took me in her 
arms and said, 'You is Avell again, isn't you? I know'd you 
would be — you wasn't goin' — you couldn't die, cause Ave 
])rayed and i>rayed, and tole our Master in Heaven, if he 
]»lease let you slay till we go, and Ave all felt it in here, 
(laying her hand upon her heart), and Massa above said 
you Avouldn't die.' Old Anna Clifford, ninety years old, 
responded, 'heknoAvs dem dat do his Avork ; he's goin' to 
keep his arm tight roun dem ; he Avont turn dem off' like 
Ave is — Avid nobody to go 'j)on.' 

" Having learned dependence in slavery, ui)on the arm 
of flesh, Avhich has proven a broken reed to them, they 
never cease to illustrate their firm hold of the loving Friend 
Avho has never forsaken them, and seem, as none others 
Avhom I have seen, to grasp the object of heavenly disci- 
1)1 ine, and the rcAvard of Avell doing. They seldom com- 
l)lain of their lot, and make keen observations of the 
sorrows- of others, never failing to show that 'GodAvill 
make it all right,' as they express it. 

"You ask me to name the slaves of General Washington 
noAV livino- here : Anna Fero'uson is one, and Ambrose 
Cooper, (now one hundred and eleven years old) is the 
other. I knoAV of none besides these tAVO. Uncle Am])rose 
fell into the fire the other day, and was brought in a cart 
from the poor colored man's house Avhere he liad been taken 
in — two miles on the Avestern suburbs — and dropped doAvn 
in Fredericksburg, a settlement on the south side of the 
city, where almost none but freed peoi)le who came from 


Fredericksburg, Virginia, first landed in time of the war. 
The old man was burned on one side, the flesh literally 
crisped on one limb, so that he could not walk, and he was 
taken up by some colored women and helped into the nearest 
shanty, and laid on a pile of rags behind the stove, where he 
lias lain for eiglit weeks past. When at evening the mother 
of the family came from her ' service place,' she was sur- 
prised to find the stranger an inmate of their one-roomed 
cabin, but began to ask wliere he came from, and almost 
intuitively saw that he was something to her; and before 
long tlie truth came out that more than sixty years ago, he, 
the old man, left her and her mother down ' in the country,' 
and came to this city with George Washington as his body 
servant. They had not met since, and had no knowledge 
of each other. Is it any wonder that they see the hand of 
God in this ? The daughter is an uncommon woman, and 
has lost almost all of her children in slavery, has some 
grandchildren of fatliers who died in the army, and one 
sickly daughter here. From your clothing I made the old 
man a complete suit, for lie Avas only half covered, his cloth- 
ing poor at the best, all burned off. I provide all his food, 
and carried him your comforter, and he lies there on the 
floor praising God, that He has raised up such friends for him, 
when all he kncAV, or all who had known him Avere gone 
and left him Avith no friend or home on earth. I am going 
to see him again soon. He has sent for me to talk Avith me 
about his dear ' old Massa George,' as he calls him noAV, to 
distinguish him from another of the family Avhom he after- 
Avards served. 

" Old Anna has had her clothing, night-cap and all, 
made from your garments, and ahvays asks after you, as if 
you were benefactors sent for special help to the poor. Of 
course these people knoAV nothing of the money A^alue of 
clothing, but it is the higher A^alue of its real use, Avhich 
they prize so much, and are so thankful for. The ' old man 
patient,' as he Avas called in the hospital, died two Aveeks 
since. He Avas one of the Washington family, Avas over 
one hundred years old, ripe in faith and love, and died very 

" Old Fanny Tylor has been an object of special care 
to me for two years past. I found her at the Avash-tub last 
Aveek, although her eyes are dim Avith the film of years. 
She is not less than one hundred years old, and has the 
child of the fifth generation in the two-room shanty Avhere 
she lives, Avith a grandchild Avho is subject to fits. The old 

ladies' freedmen's aid society. 243 

auntie was washing their little pile of rags, for she said the 
Lord did not like her 'wid dirty close on.' She is wonder- 
fully clear in her mind and talks much of her life in the 
j)ast century ; remembers about the Revolutionary men and 
their acts, and is sure of heaven any day when ' my Massa 
says come.' She has been entirely clothed from your gar- 

" Old Nancy Williams is ninty-nine years old, and has 
been an ol)jectof care for the last four years. ^ You have 
been, as she says, ' better den Massa and Missis both, to 
give her such tine close!' She has never in her life had 
any thing but coarse linsey, and takes great pleasure in 
going to church (Methodist) in her calico dress. Aunt 
j\[ary Eastman is another of the ninety years' old saints 
that you have clothed. Also Elcy Harlan, one of the most 
])rincely looking Avomen — six feet tall, and straight as an 

" Susan McGuirc, also ninety, is another of the sweetest 
si^irits. She was once whipped on her bare back, at a 
wliip]>ing i)Ost in Maryland, for being detected with eighteen 
others in the crime of trying to learn to read ! 

'^ Patsy Bird is another, tall and very black, who, on her 
master's twelve plantations was intrusted with the health 
of all his slaves, and went from one farm to another, the 
mother of thirteen children and wet nurse to all the chil- 
dren of her mistress. The first Union officers she ever saw 
were standing in her master's front door, and heard him 
say, ' No, I will not give them up ; they are mine, and I 
feed them. No, I will not surrender. I will eat acorns 
first,' with an oath. Patsy saw them handcuff him and put 
him on the wagon train for the Old Cape Jail. ^ When he 
started his slaves were on the same train. His Avife Avas 
taken to a quiet farm house AAdiere she soon died from the 
shock of seeing ruin and poverty before her. Patsy fre- 
(piently Aventto the jail in this city and carried some luxu- 
ries to her old master, Avho always shoAved great regard for 
her. Patsy sighs as she speaks of seeing the buildings in 
flames before they Avere out of sight of the old home. ^ She 
brought Avitli her eight children, six of Avhom died Avithin 
four montlis after she came here. You remember what a 
great mortality there Avas among the blacks Avhen they 
ilocked into tliis city in such great numbers as freed people. 

" Patsy is my main dependence noAV to cook and carry 

food to the sick and old. Yesterday she found Robert and 

' Sallie Hunter, aA'Iio came on the same wagon train with her, 


.111(1 their daiiglitcr Martha, sixty-five years okl, all sitting 
out ill a little nook of sunshine — Sallie, stone blintl, and 
Martha raj)idly sinking with consumption, (she had on an 
old ragged dress, no shoes or stockings, and sitting with 
her feet on a piece of tin picked up from the road-side); 
old Kobert so feeble as to totter, in his eighty-ninth year — 
all turned out of home because they could not pay house 
rent. Patsy was out all day finding a stable to put them 
in, and up early this morning to carry them food and 
clothes. I saw this poor family to-day, and never met a 
more resigned and truly suffering one. Your garments 
liave gone to-day to record your acts of unselfish love for 
God's dear down-trodden ones. Many, many more cases I 
might name, but you have not time to hear, nor I to write 

" You ask ' why all this suffering when Congress appro- 
l)riated 130,000,-^5,000 for Georgetown, |5,000 for the 
County of Washington over the river on the Maryland 
side, and 20,000 for this city and over in Virginia for miles 
around.' No part of this is expended in clothing. It could 
not be, however, so great is the want of food and shelter. 
AYliy do we not have money in hand to care for all ? This 
is never done by government. The agents have the pro- 
visions and fuel through government orders, in oflice hours 
never out of them. That is the way in all departments now. 
AYitli the mayor it is not so difiicult to help out of office 
hours, but money is never given under any circumstances, 
although cases occur where it is greatly needed. Our Avork 
is to j^ut up in fifteen-cent j^ackages thousands of dollars 
worth of sugar, tea, salt, rice, coft'ee and soap, and pack- 
ages of a peck of meal for multitudes of these worn-out 
slaves (we do not even help half of the suffering widows 
and children, that go hungry from day to day) ; and to 
penetrate to the very inmost soul all cases that we do not 
know, who come with tickets from others, and hear the 
same sad tale of a hundred in a day, till our own faces 
wear the shadow of the pangs they feel. Oh, that we could 
bear more and do more. I cannot tell you how much I 
prize your fellowship and cooperation. God knows. 
"My love to one and all, 

"J. S. Griffixg." 

Amono^ the laro^e number of those whose condition had 
been iin2)roved by the benefactions of the society, it was a 
pleasure to know, that there were two who had been at- 

ladies' fkeedmen's aid society. 245 

tachccl to the family of General Washington. Anna Fer- 
guson received, Avitli other articles, the iirst one of tlie 
eighteen bed-quilts Avhicli Avere made and furnished by the 

In order to show how industrious the ladies were we will 
mention that tlie number of one style of nnder-garments 
made for women and children was three hundred and forty- 
eight, nearly all of which were made from new material 
furnished by the members of the Society. Tavo hundred 
and ninety-one pairs of stockings were furnished. The 
number of articles sent from the Society, comprising bed- 
ding and every variety of wearing apparel for men, women 
and children, was eighteen hundred and twenty-eight. 

Tliis Society continued its labors nntil April 8tli, 1870, 
when the necessity for its continuance no longer existed. 
Tlie nineteenth and last barrel, filled as nsual with clothing, 
was expressed to Mrs. Griffing, at Washington. If it were 
proper we would gladly record the names of the few noble 
and faithful ladies whose fidelity and exertions in behalf of 
the soldiers and freed peo])le continued from the commence- 
ment of the war until this Society closed its labors, but 
their record is on high. 

In the Summer of 1866 a fair was conducted by Miss 
Nancy Allen, Miss Anna Waterman, Miss Kitty Larned, 
Miss Carrington, Miss Blodgett and other yonng ladies Avho 
were summer residents, assisted by Mrs. AVilliam P. Greene, 
JMrs. Thomas Mathewson, Miss Mary Crane, Miss Mary M. 
Sherman, Miss Lizzie B. Greene, Miss Anna Shaw and Miss 
jVbbie G. Shaw, who were members of the Aid Society. 
The amount realized was six hundred dollars, Avhicli was 
forwarded to the treasurer of the " Freedmen's Relief As- 
sociation," at Washington. 

The amount contributed for the freed peo])le in money 
and clothing through the ladies of East Greenwich, was 
nineteen hundred and one dollars. So far as we could 
conmiand the facts we have endeavored to faithfully repre- 
sent the work accomplished by the ladies of East Green- 
wich during our country's "darkest days." The sacrifice 
of ease, the energy required to overcome obstacles and the 
])atient toil for others' good, Avould fill many pages of yet 
unwritten history, but these heroines unknown in earthly 
lore, may in the Book of the great hereafter, find their 
names inscribed by Him Avho knoAveth all good and faithful 
servants deserving the i^laiidit, " Well done ! " 



While Avriting this liistory, sevcrnl persons in this vicin- 
ity kindly sent nie a number of valuable old ])a])ers, many 
of wliicli furnished material for the work, and some of 
tliem, although not directly connected with East Green- 
Avich, were interesting enough to be worth i)rcserving. As 
they could not be used in the foregoing chapters, I have 
concluded to put them in a chajiter by themselves witliout 
any particular arrangement. Among them was a diary 
kej)t by Daniel Ilowland commencing A. D. 1740. 

Extract feom the Diaey of Daniel IIoavlaxd. 

"In 1739, war with Spain began. In May 1744, war 
with France was proclaimed here." 

"July the 5th 1740. Died, John Wanton, Late Gov- 
ernor of Rhode Island and was Decently Buried on the 7th 
of the Same a Great Concourse of People attending the fun- 

Rather a singular Avay of noticing the death of a gov- 
ernor by saying he was "decently buried." 

"December 1741 and the first of January following there 
fell 6 or 7 Snows one upon another, without a thaw between. 
Bristol ferry was so froase the said winter that people 
pnssed upon the Ice from December 23d to January the 
10th. January the 30th Father came away from Boston 
and Got home February the 5th there being thirteen in Com- 
pany most part of the way and travelling every Day, the 
bad travellinoj Avas caused bv a sfreat Snow which fell the 
28th and 29th of January which with the rest of the Snows 
that was then remaining' on the Ground Avas counted 5 foot 


Deep upon a level; about the 5lli and 8Ui of February the 
rivers were so extremely frose that live men went from 
Bristol to Newport on the Ice, and Nathaniel Manchester 
came from Bristol ferry to Greenige, and a few days before 
John Baly went from Coeset shore to Swansy u2)on the Ice ; 
our well that is 3 or 4 and twenty foot Deep was frose to a 
solid body of Ice, for three weeks, so that we got no 
water in the time about the first of February 1741. Feb- 
ruary the 25tli 1741 a Wedding Guest came from Freetown 
to common fence pint on the Ice, across the Bay. Some- 
time the last of February the Ice was measured up against 
Fall River and found to be 25 inches thick and about Shades 
ferry it was oO inches. March 6th. there went a man over 
Bristol Ferry and led a horse Avith a sled. March 7th. 
there fell a snow, which with the Rest since hard wether 
set in makes o2 inches." 

" March 10th. a man went over Bristol Ferry upon the 
Ice, and two boys came from Portsmouth to Coeset. March 
20th it was generally thought that a man might have Gone 
from Common fence i)int to Swansy on the Ice. March the 
24th, the Bay above us not yet broke up. March 26th. it 
broke up and the Ice came down by Acres. April 23d. I 
Avent to NcAvport, and in Moon's lane there Avas a snoAV 
bank for Rods together 3 feet or 3J feet Deep. June 2d. 
the Ice thaAved in John Ilowland's Well. June the 6th. 
tliere Avas SnoAV Brought to a tOAvn meeting held at the 
town house in Portsmouth, half a hat croAvn full from Job 
Lawton's farm. June the lOth. at the Wedding of Josej^h 
Freeborn, We the guests Drank Punch made of Snow ; 
The like Never known in these j^arts Before." 

" 1742. The S})ring very forAvard, the peach-trees 
bloomed in April for the most part ; a very promising Sea- 
son the fore part of the year but folloAved by a violent 
Drouth, Avhich began About tlie 26th of June and for about 
ten weeks, Avithout Rain except some scattering Drops some 
times and very Seldom any at all." 

" February the 19th, 1743. Grassliopi)ers seen to Day 
])lentifully hopping about in the Meadows; the Winter past 
since Noa ember, exceedingly moderate, the Ground bare 
mostly, and l)ut little frost, fine pleasant Weather .some- 
times for a Week together and Summer like Days very 
common. November the 8th. Extraordinary Dark about 
the middle of the Day, so that people Avere obliged to light 
candles to do their business. January 1774 there appeared 


a Blazing Star in the West in the Evening for a great while 
and afterwards it was seen by many in the Morning before 
it was light Easterly. The same Year in February died 
Martha Dyer aged JSTinety Nine years and Nine months, 
and her Sister Susan Brownel, aged Ninety Six years and 
Eleven months, both lived in one house, many years, and 
died in the same in a Aveek's difference." 

"June 17th, 1745. Louisburg surrendered to the English 
after a Siege of six weeks and five days. In May came 
orders from the King to the several Governments to Raise 
a Number of forces in order to join the British forces at 
Cape Britton, to go on an Expedition against Canada, in 
comi)liance with which Rhode Island raised three hundred 
men directly and the other Governments a great many 
more, but no fleets come as yet October the first. In the 
last of Sej^tember a general alarum in Boston Government, 
throughout the Province thirty or forty thousand men 
gathered into Boston out of the Country all Avhich was 
caused by inteligence of a large French fleet near the Cape 
Sable shore." 

" NoA^ember the 4th our Country Sloop and Sogers, which 
were enlisted for Canady on Bord the transports hauled oft" 
in Order to Sail to Anopilus Royal by order of Assembly in 
order to Strengthen that place against the French fleet, 
which we have inteligence has Sailed homewards Some- 
time last Month. Our forces afore mentioned, proceeded 
to the Vinyard shore, and there cast away one transjiort 
but lost no Men, took- them on bord the other transports, 
afterwards lost one more totally upon some of the islands, 
run the Country Sloop on shore, and the other transport. 
The Sloop they Got off again and after losing great num- 
bers of their men by reason of hardship and Sickness, 
returned home without proceeding any further. Wood in 
Newport ten pounds (-^50) a cord ; Hay not to be got at 
all hardly. Grain very scarce of all sorts." 

" In December 1746 Our Commissioners settled the 
Bounderies betwen the Governments ; Boston not Joining." 

These " Bounderies " I presume were those between 
Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which were so long in 
dispute, and Avere only decided by laAv a iew years since. 

" In the last of JMay came a man of War Snow and lay 
off by Block Island and took tAvo flag of truces, and prest 
several men out of Vessels. In the last of NoA^ember a 
prodigious Mob in Boston, chiefly exasi^erated by the Men 


of Vi'dv i)resslng many of the people and tlie Govcrnoi-'.s 
Avinkino; too niiicli a.t it." 

" In February Commodore KnoAvls besieged find took 
])ort Louis upon Ilispanola in Order as tis reported to 
make it a free port for the English, which I think was al- 
together needless, it being so already to several Govern- 
ments without employing fifteen of the King's Sliips to 
settle a traders dispute. About Midsummer came orders 
to proclaim a cessation of arms Between English, French 
and Dutch, and some time after the Spaniards also." 

" Marcli the 23d, 1749, it being the 5th Day of the Week, 
we put our Goods on bord a Boat in Order to move to East 
Greenwich, from Portsmouth came away the next Morning, 
and arrived at Updikes Xewtom (AVickford), just before 
Night, after a tedious passage and a very hard gale of 
AVind ; the Next Day carted up our Goods and got into 
our new House." 

This new house was the one now owned and occu[)ied l)y 
John Kenyon, and therefore by this date Ave know how old 
tlie liouse is. 

'' May the 5th Anno 1749, Peace proclaimed between 
English, French and Spaniards at NcAvport. 

" June the 15tli 1750, The General Assembly ]>assed an 
Act Incorporating East GreeuAvich, West Greenwich, AVar- 
Avick and Coventry into a County by the Name of Kent, 
Avith a proviso (viz.) That the Inliabitants of said County 
sliould by Free Contribution or Subscription build a Court 
House, near the Dimensions of the County House in Provi- 
dence to be suitable to liold a Court in by the last of Oc- 
tober, Avhich being Comj^leted agreeable to the Act, Avas 
Confirmed and the Officers chosen at that Sessions of As- 
sembly, through great Opposition parts of A¥arAvick and 
Providence in general doing their utmost Endeavours to 
stoj^ their proceedings." 

Tlie Court House here mentioned is not the present one. 
The older one Avas pulled doAvn in 1804, and the ju-esent 
built on its site. The opposition referred to Avas caused by 
the jealousy then existing betAveen the tOAAms of WarAvick 
and East Green Avich, AYarAvick being anxious to have the 
Court House located at Old AA^arwick, as it Avas then the 
most populous portion of the Town of AVarAvick, but the 
contribution and subscription of East GreeuAvich being 
much the greatest, the controversy Avas ended by building 
at East Greenwich. 


" October the 27th. TJie Sheriff Avith a Jury (after two 
days spent to get a Full One) proceeded to set off a certain 
]\arcel of Land which John Rice had Kecovered of John 
Pierce, and attempting to run across some Land in posses- 
sion of Joseph Nichols, was forewarned which they took a 
great Opj^osition and very dangerous to proceed and so fled 
to Providence for aid, returned two Days after with forty 
men, which were warned to appear in arms, But Did Not 
appear in arms, and with that aid proceeded to set off the 

" The 22d of this Month we had a very violent Storm at 
S. E. but short attended w^ith an Extraordinary Gale of 
Wind Aviiich brought in a very high tide, Avhicli did Con- 
siderable Damage in chief of the Harbours about this Shore, 
and at Providence the loss is considerable sustained by the 
tide, in their Stores amongst the Salt chiefly ; in Newport, 
the Merchants suffered many thousand pounds Damage in 
their Stores amongst Dry Goods, Sugar and Salt." 

" This year 1752, Our Style Avas altered from Old to New, 
in the Month of September beginning the 1st and 14th. 
March folloAving A'ery Avarm, tlie Season seeming to be as 
much altered as the Style, some peach blooms said to be 
oijcned in this month N. S. but very plenty according: to 
O. S." 

" January 1755. Some stirr in all the American Gov- 
ernments about the French and Indians fortifying at or 
near the River Oliio. Our Government (R, I.) voted 100 
men for to join the other forces in an attem])t upon that 
fortification, and such further Service as should be thouglit 

" February the 5th the j)etition ])referred by Joseph 
Nichols and Ruf us Green in order to destroy our County of 
Kent, received its expected fate, for after a Warm Debate 
in the Assembly they declined taking a Vote upon it, and 
so withdrcAV it." 

" This year, , the 18th November, about half after 4 
o'clock in the Morning Ave had a very surprising Shock of 
an Earthquake, and on the 22d about 8 at Night Ave had 
another small one, but A^ery perceivable. 

" On the 9th of July tliis year General Braddock met 
Avitli an almost total defeat, himself and great i)art of his 
head Officers being killed, just after they had passed tlie 
River Monongahala in their march towards the fortification 
on or near the Ohio." 


" October 'Jlst, wc were ordered to raise 400 men in the 
Government by an act of Assembly to join our forces al- 
ready in tlie Pl\i)edition formed against Crown Point wliicli 
was done at a very great expense, some leaving £300 besides 
tlieir wages, who were all dismissed without being mustered 
tlie rest of our forces sent home and dismissed presently 

FouxDixa OF KixG Solomox's Lodge of Masons. 

Tn the year 1810, a Masonic Lodge, under the name of 
" King Solomon's Lodge, No. 11," was estal)lished in East 
Greenwich. I shalll^e^able to give only the first paragraj)!! 
of the charter with the names of the charter members, all 
of whom have long since passed away: 

" Whereas^ a petition has been ])resented to us Ijy Peter 
Turner, Wanton Casey, Stephen Franklin, Abner Alden, 
James Miller, Thomas Allen, Thomas Tillinghast, Jr., 
Stephen Douglas, Job Tillinghast, all Ancient, Free and 
Accei)ted Masons, praying that they, with such others as 
shall hereafter join them, may be erected and constituted a 
regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons ; which peti- 
tion, appearing to us as tending to the advancement of 
Masonry and good of the Craft." 

As a remarkable circumstance, all of the above named 
})ersons were over eighty years of age when they died, and 
one of them, James Miller, died aged ninety-eight years. 
He had held the office of town clerk. 

Commerce and the Fisheries. 

The following is an extract from a " Genealogical liecord 
of the Fry Family," compiled by Benjamin Greene Fry, of 
Providence : 

"The Town of East Greenwich previous to the Revolu- 
tionary War had a large coasting trade in which my grand- 
father, Benjamin Fry, was to some extent engaged ; among 
other enterprises he imported a cargo of slaves from the 
coast of Africa, some of Avhose descendants still remain, 
bearing the family name of Fry. 

"In the War of the Revolution a Captain Gazzee, a 
resident of East Greenwich, fitted out a small schooner of 
fifty tons, called the Felicity, as a privateer, and with her 
surprised and captured a large English ship, with a valuable 


car£»;o of dry goods, brought lier into the liarbor and 
anchored her in the uj^per end of the cove. I liave heard 
my father say that the English captain was so mortified at 
his capture that he actually shed tears, and remarked that 
had he been captured by a respectable force, he " could 
have borne it with more fortitude ; but to be captured by 
a d — d old squaw in a hog-trough was more than he could 

" Captain Gazzee was a Frenchman with a very dark 
com])lexion, hence the allusion to an Indian squaw. He 
left a number of descendants, some of whom are still living 

" Within my own recollections many citizens of the toAvn 
were engaged in navigation, among others Colonel William 
Arnold, in connection with his sons Major Stephen Arnold 
and Caj^tain Perry Arnold, employed two brigs and a 
schooner, in the trade with the Dutch Colony of Surinam 
and the West Indies, exporting mules, fish and stoves, and 
im])orting sugar, molasses and other products of the islands 
and the Sjxanish main, as South America was then called. 
Colonel Arnold Avas the proprietor of tlie old tavern," Tlie 
Bunch of Grapes," which is still occupied as a Hotel, with 
the identical sign and now called the " Updike House." 

" Jonathan Salisbury, Captain Josejvh and Keynolds Spen- 
cer, Joseph and Barney Greene and others owned and em- 
])loyed vessels in the coasting trade and cod fisheries. The 
fish were caught and salted on the Newfoundland coast, 
and then dried on fiakes on Hope-Walk Hill. My father, 
John Fry, was for several years engaged in the same busi- 
ness. I still remember the names of some of his vessels, a 
sloop called the Industry, Avhich ran regularly to Nan- 
tucket, another the Betsey in the trade to the James River 
and the cities of Norfolk and Hichmond, Virginia, and a 
schooner called the Beaver Avhicli was wrecked in a liun-i- 
cane in the Island of Antiqua. 

" About the year 1809, a company was organized, for the 
whale fishery, and two ships, the Hudson and tlie L)aui)hin 
were fitted out ; but the Embargo, and the Non-Intercourse 
laws, followed by the war of 1812, put a check upon all 
maritime enterprise, from which the town has ncAcr re- 
covered. The Hudson was Avrecked at Turks Island, and 
the Dauphin was driven on shore at the east end of Long- 
Island by a British privateer, and thus ended the whale 
fishery at East Greenwich. The oil works stood on a wharf, 
at the foot of Division Street. " 


The embargo law passed by Congress iii 1812, was very 
disastrous to the commerce of East Greenwicli. At that 
time amimbcr of vessels were engaged in trade Avith the 
West Indies and the southern ports of the United States. 
A brig partially loaded, was lying in the harbor near Long 
l*oint, Avhen the news arrived tliat the act had become a 
law. Tlie collector of course notified the owners that the 
vessel must remain in the harbor until further notice, but a 
difference of opinion arose between the captain and the 
collector, and as a cargo was engaged for Surinam, the ca])- 
tain was determined (if possible) to carry it. Persons on 
the wharves observed that the brig settled deeper in the 
water every morning, until at last the suspicions of the 
collector were aroused and he intimated that he should go 
on board the next day and ascertain the source of the mys- 
tery; but the next morning the vessel had disappeared. 
The cargo had been })ut on board during the nights by 
boats from Old Warwick harbor. 

Stoxixgtox Kailkoad. 

The Stonington Kailroad, which passes through the wliole 
length of the village of East Greenwich, gave a great im- 
pc^tus to the growth and prosperity of the town. Tlie first 
survey carried the road through the valley west of the vil- 
lage, but the directors were induced, by making a curve, to 
bring the road through the village, to the great convenience 
of the inhabitants. The elegant and costly granite britlge 
across King street, is not only an ornament to that ])ortion 
of our village, but a monument to the taste and skill of the 
chief engineer. Major McN'eal. When the road Avas first 
built it was only intended for through travel between Bos- 
ton and New York, and way travel was a secondary con- 
sideration ; therefore a small and very inferior l)uilding for 
a depot station Avas erected, sufficient it Avas supposed for 
the fcAV Avho AvoukV avail themselves of this ncAV way of 
travel; but the intercourse between East Greenwich and 
other places became so great, the old depot Avas over- 
croAvded, and in the year 1873, the directors erected the 
present beautiful and convenient structure. 

The road Avas opened for business, November lUth, 1837. 
Two trains only Avere run, the steamboat train and the ac- 
commodation, and only one train each per day. Captain 
Nathanael Greene Avas the first station agent, but I ani un- 
able to ascertain the amount of the first year's receipts. 


There were 34,300 tickets sold at this station during the 
year of 1876, and this does not inchide the commutation 
tickets. East Greenwich at the present time has more privi- 
leges than any other station except Kingston, as every pas- 
senger train stops here. 


In the year 1795 a number of the citizens of our village 
])rocured a charter from the Legislature for a lire corpora- 
tion. A large fountain was built on Division street, nearly 
o])posite where the old windmill once stood, and bored logy 
for the transmission of Avater were laid through the princi- 
]ial streets. A fire engine was purchased and a liouse built 
for its nse, but it never was brought iuto use at a fire but 
once, when a blacksmith's shop belonging to Jonathan Sal- 
isbury was burned, 

This engine would now be considered a great curiosity. 
It was sim2)ly an open square tub, with the machinery in 
the centre, which consisted of a small double-acting force 
pump, operated by brakes at the sides. At one end of the 
engine was a small elevation, where the cai)tain of the fire 
company stood and directed the stream of water from an 
apparatus Avhich consisted of a revolving tube called a 
" goose neck" and a brass i)ipe about six or eight feet long, 
Avithout a hose. The Avater Avas poured in at each end of 
the tub, and Avhen in use the engine Avas stationed at tlie 
fire, and tAvo roAvs of persons extended from it to the 
Avater supply, and the Avater Avas conveyed to the engine 
in leather Avater buckets, the full ones by one row, and the 
empty ones returned by the other. Every person Avhosc 
jn-operty Avas insured at the Providence Mutual Insurance 
Company, then the only one in the State, Avas required to 
kec]) a pair of these buckets ahvays ready for use. Mem- 
bership Avas an exemption from military duty and the jury 
box, and therefore the company Avas ahvays full. The an- 
juial supper of the company Avas a great event, as the 
members had the privilege of inviting their friends. 

The Free Library. 

The Free Library Corporation was organized under the 
privileo^e of Chapter 132 of the Revised Statutes, on March 
3d, 1867. 

William Greene, George W. Greene, Daniel H. Greene, 
James 11. Eldridge, William N. Sherman, Joseph W. 


Coiigduii, Kicliard G. Howlaiul, Silas A. Crane, Samuel M. 
Kiiowlcs, James T. Edwards, Henry A. Rhodes, Jose]>]i 
Eastman, William W. Hill and Gilbert Robbins w^ere tlic 
oriijjinal members. 

William Greene, president, George AV. Greene, vice- 
president, James T. Edwards, secretary, James lI.Eldridge, 
treasurer, Joseph W. Congdon, librarian. 

In June following the first books were purchased and a 
room hired on Main street, and opened as a library and 
reading room — Miss Mary II. Brown in charge as librarian. 
August 13th a very liberal sum w^as realized from amateur 
tlieatricals at the Armory, under the direction of Mr. 
Alfred A. R^\ad, Jr., which was given to the library. In 
September, the same year, the Shroeder library Avas ])ur- 
chased for the sum of thirteen hundred dollars, consisting 
of a A'ery valuable collection — history, biography, travels 
and science ; some of them very rare and costly English 
editions, and near two thousand volumes. 

Payment for these books Avas assumed by Governor 
Greene, and a lot Avas purchased in November on Pearce 
street for eight hundred dollars for a site for a library 
Iniilding, plans for Avhich, draAvn by Mr. Morse, architect, 
of Providence, Avere accepted by the corporation, and a 
building erected during the summer of 1870, at a cost of 
about six thousand dollars. Of this sum Governor Greene 
paid one-half. Other contributions Avere made, and the 
balance hired of the Savings Bank, secured by mortgage, 
noAV amounting to three thousand dollars. The basement of 
the library building is arranged for the tOAvn clerk's oftice, 
Avitli a safe for the records, secure from fire and from in- 
jury by dampness. The number of volumes is now about 
three thousand, and the circulation is from four to six 
thousand per year. 

Within the last year the membership of the corporation 
has been increased, and it is proposed hereafter to supi)ort 
the institution by an annual assessment of two dollars upon 
each member. 


On the summit of the hill on tlie east side of the village 
once stood a long low structure called a " Rope-Walk." It 
Avas oAvned and operated by Joseph Greene and his two 
sons, Joseph and Barny, (B;irnabus) Greene ; many now 
living in East GreenAvich can, in imagination, see the old 
man AvalkingsloAvly backAvard, Avith a large band of hemp 


around his waist, spinning Avitli his fingers, while one of 
liis sons turned the crank of the hirge wlicel which operated 
the spindles. 

" That building, lonji; and low, 
*\Vhere the wheels go round and round 
With a drowsy, dreamy sound, 

And the spinners backward go," 

When East Greenwich in its height of prosperity as a 
commercial port, and extensively engaged in maritime af- 
fairs, this rope-walk was quite an important concern, em- 
[iloying a number of workmen constantly at work, making 
cahles and cordage for the numerous vessels then owned 
here, while the air around was filled Avitli tjie agreeal)le 
odor of tar, with which the ropes were saturated to protect 
them from salt water. The rope-walk was used as long as 
there was business enough to support it. 

General Barton's Expeditiox. 

As this book is to be a history of East Greenwich and 
tlie vicinity, the bold and successful expedition of General 
Barton is here introduced. Warwick Neck is only about 
four miles from. here in a direct line, and ]»lainly visible 
from nearly every portion of our village. An ill-advised and 
ill-timed attack on Professor Greene's History of Rhode 
Island is reason sufficient for inserting it. The following is 
from Lossing's Pictorial Field-Book : 

"Early in May, 1777, (one hundred years ago), the com- 
mand of the British troops who held possession of New- 
]»ort, devolved upon Major-General Prescott, infamous in 
llie annals of war, as one of the meanest of petty tyrants 
wlien in power, and of dastards when in danger. Possess- 
ing a narrow mind, utterly untutored by benevolence or 
ciuirity ; a judgment perverse in the extreme ; a heart cal- 
lous to the most touching appeals of sympathy, but tender 
when avarice half opened its lips to plead, he was a most 
unfit commander of a military guard over people like those 
of liliode Island, who could a|)preciate courtesy; but he 
was a tyrant at heart, and having the opportunity he exer- 
cised a tyrant's doubtful prerogatives. 

" General Lee was captured by the British in New Jersey, 
in December, 1776, while j^assing from the Hudson to join 
Washington on the Delaware; the Americans had no ]>ris- 
oner of equal military rank to exchange for him, therefore 
Colonel Barton conceived the bold plan of capturing Gen- 


cral Prescott, in order to exchange lihn for General Lee ; 
it was accomplished on the night of the lOtli of Jnly, 1777, 
six months after the capture of Lee. 

" At that time General Prescott was quartered at the 
house of a Quaker named Overing, about ii\e miles above 
Newport, on the west road leading to tlie ferry, at tlie 
north part of the Island. Barton's plan was to cross Nar- 
ragansett Bay from the main, seize Prescott and carry him 
to tlie American camp. It was a very hazardous under- 
taking, for at that time there were three Britisli frigates, 
with their guard-boats, lying east of Prudence Island, and 
almost in front of Prescott's quarters. With a few cliosen 
men Colonel Barton embarked in four whale-boats, Avitli 
muffled oars, at Warwick Neck, at nine o'clock in the 
evening, and passed unobserved over to Rliode Island, be- 
tween the islands of Prudence and Patience. They heard 
the cry, 'All's well,' from the guard-boats of the enemy, as 
tliey passed silently and unobserved, and landed in Cod- 
dington's Cove, at the mouth of a small stream which 
passed by the quarters of Prescott. Barton divided his 
men into several squads, assigning to each its duty and 
station, and then with the strictest order and profound 
silence, they advanced towards the house. The main por- 
tion of the expedition passed about midway between a 
British guard-house and the encampment of a company of 
light horse, while the remainder was to make a circuitous 
route to approach Prescott's quarters from the rear and 
secure the doors. As Barton and his men approached a 
gate, a sentinel liailed them twice, and then demanded the 
countersign. 'We have no countersign to give,' Barton 
said, and quickly added, ' Have you seen any deserters hei"e 
to-night? ' The sentinel was misled by this question, sup- 
posing them to be friends, and was not undeceived until 
his musket was seized and himself bound and menaced with 
instant death if he made any noise. The doors had been 
secured by the division from the rear, and Barton entered 
the front jiassage boldly. Mr. Overing sat alone, reading, 
the rest of the family being in bed, and Barton incpiired for 
General Prescott's room. Overing pointed upward, signi- 
fying that it was directly over the room in which they 
were standing. With four strong men and Sisson, a power- 
ful negro Avho accomj^anied tliem, Barton ascended the 
stairs and gently tried the door. It was locked ; no time 
was lost in parleying ; the negro drew back a couple of 
l^aces, and using his head for a battering-ram, burst open 


the door at the first effort. Tlie general, supposing the 
intruders to be robbers, sprang from liis bed and seized his 
gold watch that was hanging upon the wall. Barton placed 
his hand gently upon the generaPs shoulder, told him he 
was his prisoner, and that perfect silence was his only 
safety now. Prescott asked time to dress, but it being a 
hot July night, and time precious. Barton refused acquies- 
cence, feeling that it Avould not be cruel to take him across 
the bay, where he could make his toilet with more care, at 
his leisure. So, throwing his cloak around him, and i)lac- 
ing him betAveen two armed men, the prisoner was hurried 
to the shore. In the mean time. Major Barrington, 
Prescott's aid, hearing the noise in the general's room, 
leaped from a window to escape, but Avas captured, and he 
and the sentinel stationed in the centre of the party. At 
about midnight captors and prisoners landed at WarAvick 
Neck Point, Avhere General Prescott first broke the silence 
by saying to CNdonel l^arton, ' Sir, you liave made a bold 
push to-night.' ' We have been fortunate,' coolly replied 

" Captain Elliot Avas there with a coach to convey the pris- 
oners to Providence, where they arrived at sunrise. Pres- 
cott Avas kindly treated by General Spencer and other offi- 
cers, and in the course of a fcAV days Avas sent to the head- 
quarters of Washington, at Middlebrook, on the Karitan. 
Prescott AA as exchanged for General Charles Lee in April 
folloAving, and soon afterAvards resumed his command of 
tlie British troops on Phode Island. 

" On account of the l)raA'ery displayed and the import- 
ance of the service in this ex2)edition. Congress, having a 
'just sense of the gallant behavior of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Barton and the brave officers and men of his party, Avho 
distinguished their valor and address in making prisoner of 
Major General Prescott, of the British army, and Major 
William Barrington his aid-de-camp,' Aoted Barton an 
elegant SAVord ; and on the 24th of December folloAving, he 
Avas promoted to the rank and pay of colonel in the Conti- 
nental army. 

"Tlie officers on the expedition AVere AndrcAV Stanton, 
Samuel Potter, John Wilcox. Non-commissioned officers, 
Joshua Babcock and Samuel Philips. Privates, Benjamin 
Pren, James Potter, Henry Fisher, James Parker, Jose]>li 
Guild, Nathan Smith, Isaac BroAvn, Billington Crumb, 
James Haines, Samuel Ajns, Alderman Crank, Oliver Sim- 
mons, Jack Slierman, Joel Briggs, Clark Packard, Samuel 


Cory, James Weaver, Clark Cranclall, Sampson George, 
Jedediah Grenale, Joseph Ralph, Kichard Hare, Darius 
Wale, Jeremiah Thomas, Josej^h Denis, William IJniff, 
Charles Ilasset, Thomas Wilcox, Pardon Cory, John Hunt, 
Daniel Page (a Xarragansett Indian), Thomas Austin, Jack 

Sisson, (black), and Howe, or Whiting, boat steerer. 

" Prescott while in command at Newport, rendered the 
citizens nncomfortable in every way j^ossible. lie impris- 
oned some of them for months, without any assigned rea- 
son ; among others was William Tripp, who had a large 
family, but the tyrant would not allow him to hold any 
communication with them, either written or verbal. The 
first intelligence he received from them was by a letter, 
baked in a loaf of bread, which was sent to him by his wife. 
In this way a correspondence was kept up during his con- 
finement of many months. 

" When Prescott took possession of his town quarters lie 
liad a fine sidewalk made for his acccommodation some dis- 
tance along Pelham and up Spring street, for which purpose 
he took the door-steps belonging to other dwellings. The 
morning after the evacuation the owners of the steps 
hastened to Prescott's quarters, each to claim his door-stone. 
It was a very exciting scene, for sometimes two or three 
persons, not positive in their identification, claimed the 
same stone. Prescott's fine promenade soon disai)peared 

" ' The good citizens, some younger, some older, 
Each carrying a door-stone home on his shoulder," 

bore off their long-abused door-stejis." 

And after all this trouble and danger, the object proved 
to be useless. General Lee when exchanged joined tlie 
army again, but at the battle of Monmouth, the American 
army nearly lost the victory in consequence of the disobedi- 
ence of orders by Lee, and soon afterAvard suspended him 
from his position in the army, without pay for one year. 
He never joined the army again, and died a few years after 
at General Greene's residence on Cumberland Island, and 
his remains now lie in the Greene cemetery at Dungeness. 

General Lee's failino;s were those belonoincj; to an un- 
governable temper, and jealousy of General Washington. 
lie aspired to the position of commander-in-chief, and as 
he did not succeed he became soured and lukewarm in the 
cause, and there were strong suspicions that he was a traitor. 
He died a miserable, neglected and disappointed man. It 
would seem that treason is hereditary, as his son, the late 


General Lee, commander-in-chief of the sonthern rebellion, 
followed in the footsteps of his father. 


In the year 1852, July 3d, Mr. John B. Lincoln issued 
the first number of the Kent County Atlas, in East Green- 
wich. It was a well conducted paper, and the citizens of 
our village were delighted with the idea of having a news- 
])aper of their own. They encouraged it in every way^ in 
their power, wrote communications, furnished historical 
articles, collected items of news for the editor, but as Mr. 
Lincoln possessed no faculty for business or finance, the 
paper soon came to its hist issue. It was set up and printed 
liere on an old-fashioned hand-press, and distributed every 
Saturday morning, at .^1.50 per year. 

In the year 1854, Mr. William N". Sherman purchased 
the press, type and other material formerly belonging to 
Mr. Lincoln, and issued the first number of the lihode 
Island Pendulum, on the 27th of May, 1854, by Avhom it 
has been edited and i)ublished ever since. 


There is an "Odd FelloAVs' Lodge" here, named "Har- 
mony Lodge." It is in a very flourishing condition, and 
the members are pre])aring to build a large hall on a lot 
OAvned by them on Main street, opposite the Court House. 
The lower story is to be used as a hall for lectures, con- 
certs, shows and such purposes, and the upi)er story for 
the use of the Lodge. 

There is also a Temple of Honor, named "Advance 
Temple," and a Lodge of Good Templars by colored 

Mineral Spring. 

" Those persons who are visiting Greenwich for the season, will he pleased 
to learn that they can hero enjoy the benefits of a mineral spring, In a 
little notch at the head of the cove, wiiere the Potowoniut road crosses 
the Stonington railroad, is the "Red Spring," whose waters contain iron, 
magnesia, and some other mineral substances, and are highly henelicial 
when taken at the right time and in the right quantities. A walk of a 
mile brings one to the spot, where the party about to imbibe, or in other 
words drink, ought to arrive about sunrise and drink just as the sun is 
rising, and be very cautious not to drink any more than they want. We 
have drank it with beneficial results a few moments (say about IL'O) later. 
The knowing ones say it tastes nearly as bad as the Saratoga water, which is 
certainly high praise. We dare say that when it shall have been as much 
f/assifkd, it will be fully as potent. The benefits of the springs of Sara- 
toga'and the bathing at Newport are here united. This notice is not iroinj, 
although the Spring is. Go and imbibe gratuitously." 


The spring above referred to, is located about half a mile 
from the depot in East Greenwich and arises from a valley 
near, which evidently contains " bog iron ore," as the water 
is so strongly impregnated with iron held in solution, that 
the stones, leaves and everything with which it comes in con- 
tact, is covered with a heavy deposit of oxide of iron ; 
hence it has acquired the name of the "red spring." The 
water has been analyzed and holds in solution as much 
magnesia and iron as the Stafford Springs in Connecticut, 
once so celebrated. When the Stonington Railroad was con- 
structed, the contractor built a strong bank wall to pro- 
tect the spring, considering it sufficiently valuable for preser- 
vation. The grounds in its immediate neighborhood are 
very beautiful, and the Potowomut Railroad station is 
within a few rods of the spring, and boats can land at a 
very short distance from it, and the celebrated resort for 
clam-bakes, the " Old Dish," is very near it. If a hotel is 
erected there it will be a fashionable place of resort. 

The New England Nokmal Institute of Music. 

The New England Normal Institute of Music is located 
at East Greenwich, and its sessions are held at the Green- 
wich Academy during a portion of the months of July and 
August. It is not a local or state institution, but a na- 
tional one, and is the only one of its kind in the United 
States. Musical people and music teachers from the 
most distant states of the Union attend, and the citizens of 
East Greenwich while it is in session enjoy a great literary, 
scientific and musical treat. I will close this little article 
with this notice of the " Grand Oratorio Concert," from 
the Providence Journal: 

" Gra7id Oratorio Co7icert at East Greenwich. 

" The quaint and pleasant old Town of East Greenwich had 
a larger concourse of music-loving people within its limits 
yesterday than ever before in its history. There was a large 
delegation from this city, and from the summer resorts 
about, many came in carriages, while the session of the 
New England Normal Institute of Music furnished a large 
number. The occasion was the performance of the grand 
oratorio of 'Elijah,' by Mendelssohn. It is rarely that 
the opportunity is given to hear an oratorio adequately 
rendered and music-lovers were glad of the opportunity. 
The fine hall of the Institute was well filled, and its admi- 
rable acoustic qualities added much to the effect. 


"The concert was under the management of Dr. Tonrjee, 
and the singing under the accomplished baton of Mr. Carl 
Zerrahan. The chorus was by the members of the Insti- 
tute, assisted by a delegation from the Handel and Haydn 
Society from Boston. The choruses were given with great 
force and spirit, giving token of almost perfect training, 
and were admirably supported by the Germania orchestra, 
which intensified and vitalized, without being overwhelmed 
by the volume of sound. Among the accomplished musi- 
cians of the orchestra it was pleasant to see the ' good, 
gray head' of Mr. Thomas Ryan, of the Mendelssohn 
Quintette Club. The solos were given by Miss Lilian B. 
Norton, soprano, who has a magnificent voice, that pro- 
duced the finest effect. Mrs. Flora E. Barry, who sang 
with her accustomed grace and skill, Mrs. A. B. Carrington, 
who appeared in place of Miss Ita Welsh, who was una- 
voidably absent, Mr. A. Wilkie, tenor, and Mr. J. F. 
Rudolphsen, basso. All are artists of distinguished reputa- 
tion, w^hich they fully sustained under the demands of the 
oratorio. The duo between Miss Norton and Mr. Rudolph- 
sen was particularly admired. 

" The oratorio was not given in full, owing to its great 
length, but its most striking passages were rendered in full, 
and the connection and meaning of the composition fully 
preserved. It was a most admirable performance, and in a 
hall the size of that of the Institute had more than the dis- 
tinctness and general effect of its performances in Boston 
by the Handel and Haydn Society. One could not but 
wish that it could be given in Providence, Avhere so many 
more could have enjoyed it. It would be a revelation to 
many of the grandeur and sweetness of the oratorio, which 
we believe has not been heard in our city. 

" No one who attended yesterday regretted the journey. 
During the performance of the oratorio a portion of Parker's 
magnificent ' Redemption Hymn ' was given, Mrs. Flora E. 
Barry rendering the solo ' Sorrow and Morning Shall Flee 
Away ' with the finest effect and receiving hearty applause^ 
This is the second time that the hymn has been performed 
in this country, the first being at the triennial festival of 
the Handel and Haydn Society. Its composer, Mr. James 
C. T. Parker, was present. After the hymn the oratorio was 
resumed and concluded. Mr. Rudolphsen was unfortu- 
nately taken with a sudden hoarseness, but finished his 


I do not imagine that any one will deny that this work 
contains nearly every thiilg connected with our village. 
Some things may seem trifling and of no consequence, but 
if a copy of this history shall survive a century, doubtless 
what now appears insignificant will then be considered 
valuable. Perhaps some will cavil at the remarks and as- 
sertions of the writer, but then we have Scripture author- 
ity for our views on this subject. Job says, " Oh that mine 
enemy would write a book." There is a sharp, cutting 
malice in that saying, as many at this day experience. 
Probably Job wished an opportunity to review, and conse- 
quently criticise, a work written by some one he personally 
disliked. At any rate nothing is more bitterly malicious. 

As this work is published during the Bi-centennial year 
of the settlement of the Town of East GreeuAvich, and at 
the termination of the National Centennial, we will fittingly 
close with the following original hymn, by William N. 
Sherman, Esq. : 

" Eternal God! To Thee we raise, 
In humble thanks and solemn praise, 
Onr heart and voice before Thy throne, 
For blessings of a century gone. 

When our young nation was oppressed, 

Thine arm sustained in our distress. 

And when upon the battle field 

Thou wert our strength and Thou our shield. 

A hundred years have passed away, 
And on this hundredth natal day. 
The banner of our sainted dead 
Floats in rich folds above our head. 

Forever wave that banner high. 
Through every arch of Freedom's sky. 
And North and South, and East and West, 
In Union be forever blest. 

Then God's right hand shall shade our fears 
And bless the coming hundred years; 
And Freedom from her mountain height 
Proclaim aloud that — rifiht is mifjht. 

A century hence! We shall be gone! 
But generations yet unborn 
May float the flag — may voices raise 
And sing again Centennial praise." 


% %\)0xi |t0tori) of ll)0tie Island, 

By Geoege Washington Greene, LL D., 

(Late Non-Resident Professor of American History in Cornell University,) 

Author of the " Life ol Major-General Nathanael Greene," " Historical View of the American 

Revolution," " The German Element in the War of Independence," etc., etc. 

13 nio : 386 pages. 

The Atlantic Monthly says of it : 

Mr. Greene's to write a history of Rliode Island is one of those 
facts which one recognizes with a sense of personal advantage too rarely 
felt in a world where at best the right man so often sets about the wrong- 
work. * * * * There is no attempt to cast the light of romance about 
the prime facts of a storj^ so precious to humanity in their simple grand- 
evir, but the vital point is brought out with fresh force, and we revere 
anew the greatness and clearness of soul in Roger Williams which, in an 
age when the whole world was bloodily j^ersecuting for opinion's sake, 
could conceive the idea of a perfect toleration iji matters of religious be- 
lief, and could establish at once the principle that the power of the state 
must never extend to these. This is the undying honor of Rhode Island, 
that in her narrow bounds, on the borders of a desert continent, in spite 
of the hate and jealousy of her si-ster colonies, she could preserve invio- 
late a principle of which, as yet, mankind hardly dreamed; and of all 
the benefits which America has bestowed uj)on the world, it may be 
questioned whether this ijrinciple is not the greatest. * * » * One 
of the pleasantest chapters of the book is that on The Mode of Life in 
our Forefathers' Days. This has a quite idyllic charm, and is only too 

From Harpers' Magazine : 

A Short History of Rhode Island, by George Washington Greene, 
LL. D., is an admirable historj- of its kind. It tells the story of Rhode 
Island with the clearness and simplicity which always distinguish the 
style of Professor Greene. 

From the Magazine of American History : 

The name of Mr. Greene is enough to commend this history, and no 
man knows better its precise value than himself. He divides history into 
two classes. " One a sober teacher; the other a pleasant companion." 
* * * * ^Yg accept his book as a pleasant comijanion. It is more 
than this. It is happily divided and compact in form and treatment, and 
supplies all the information the ordinary reader looks for, with philosophy 
enough to satisfy the higher requirements of the historical student, who 
reasons backward to causes and forward to results from events. 

From the Neio York Tribune of June 15th: 
A valuable addition to the author's historical studies, but we trust not 
to their final completion, is presented in this compendious history of his 
native State. The work bears throughout the impress of the writer's 
vigorous mind, is enriched by numerous original and suggestive reflections, 
and presents a variety of lucid and picturesque sketches in his peculiar, 
felicitous style of composition. 

Bound in Fine Cloth, $2. 
J. A. & R. A. REID, Publishers, 

^. S6 "Weybosset St., Providence, R. I. 

J 92e