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or THE 


MAY 9, 1846. 

Bt JOSIAH p. TUSTINogl^tJ^'^^ ^^^S'r^^ 

i8G7 \ 

PROVIDENCE: *^'"»»'ash\n^ 

*. n. BROWX. 25 MARKET SaUAR*- 

■-N 1 <\ IP' 

Warrex, JuNt 10, 1843. 
At a special meeting of the Benevolent Baptist Society in 
this town, held in the Lecture Room of the Church, on the 
9th inst. it was 

" Resolved unanimously, That the undersigned be a Commit- 
tee to solicit for the press a copy of the Historical Discourse 
delivered at the Dedication of the new Church Edifice, on 
the 8th day of May, by the Reverend Josiah P. Tustin, Pas- 
tor of the Church." 

It affords us pleasure, Dear Sir, to communicate to you ^he 
above resolution, while we assure you of the continued r«- 
gard of 

Your friends and obedient servants, 


In the following pages there are some historical 
notices of a sacred succession of Independent 
Churches, in the Principality of Wales, who held 
the sentiments of the modern Baptists, in more or 
less purity, during the long lapse of the dark ages, 
and even from the first introduction of Christianity 
into Britain. It is the history of principles, rather 
than the names of sects, that has engaged our at- 

The author need make no apology for directing 
the attention of those of his brethren who enjoy 
literary leisure, and possess a religious spirit, to a 
subject always interesting whenever named, but 
which has been sadly neglected by scholars in the 
Baptist, and other evangelical persuasions. It is a 
most cherished and prevalent opinion, with the 
Welsh Baptists, that their distinguishing principles 
have been preserved in their purity, by the Cam- 
brian people, through all the ages from the first 


introduction of Christianity into their Island. That 
God has had his scattered and hidden people in 
Piedmont and Holland, as well as in Wales, through 
the night of the dark ages, there can be no doubt. 
But it seems to have been a part of His wise ar- 
rangement for their preservation, that they should 
be kept in obscurity, and that obscurity now makes 
it very difficult to t?ace their history. What we 
find concerning them in the historical works acces- 
sible to the general reader, are but the scattered 
fragments thrown by their enemies into contempt. 
It is not too much to say, that the history of 
Cambro-British Christianity is yet to be written. 
Adequate attention has never yet been given to the 
purely Cambrian portion of British history. The 
causes of this neglect can readily be assigned. 
Among these reasons is the fact stated by Sir James 
iMackintosh : " The history of this native race has 
not yet been extracted from fable; nor has any 
Welshman yet arisen who has made such attempts 
to recover the perhaps still remaining materials, as 
will warrant us in asserting that they have alto- 
gether perished. An early conquest damped the 
national feeling, which would have fondly clung 
to the slenderest fragment of such memorials, from 
the pursuit and preservation of which at the fa- 
vorable time they were diverted by their long reli- 
ance on the legends of Geoffrey of Monmouth." 

But we may safely hazard the assertion that the 
materials for the Ecclesiastic?! History of the old 


British Churches, are by no means lost. They 
are locked up in the yet untranslated Welsh lan- 
guage, and deposited in many an old Welsh 
book or manuscript, laid away in the archives of 
their abbies and parish churches. Of the most au- 
thentic and valuable writers among the Welsh Bap- 
tists, Joshua Thomas' History of the Welsh Bap- 
tists, is the most accessible : but even of this work, 
only some meagre portions, imperfectly translated,, 
have appeared in the English language. 

All that has been attempted, in the following al- 
lusions to Cambro-British Christianity, has been a 
rapid bird's eye view of a few prominent facts, 
chiefly derived from such authorities as Ivimey's 
History of the Baptists ; Robinson's Ecclesiastical 
Researches, and Crosby's History of the Enghsh 

Abundant references could have been made to facts 
in the Civil History of the Welsh, in works which 
are accessible to the author ; such as Powell's History 
of Wales, exhibiting the succession of the Princes 
of Wales, from. Cadwallader the last king, to Llewe- 
lyn, the last prince of British blood; written origin- 
ally in British, by Caradoc, of Llancavan: Published 
in English by Dr. Powell : Also, a Sketch of the early 
history of the ancient Cymry, from the year 700 B. C. 
to A. D. 500. 8vo. London, 1803. Also, the His- 
tory of Wales, with an x\ppendix, in Nine Books. By 
Rev. William Wanington. London, A. D. 1786- 


But the abundant materials in these, and in similar 
works could be brought into but very little requisition, 
in a brief historical sketch, such as this pretends to 
be, the only object of which is to take a rapid glance 
at the order of events as they stand associated in the 
connexion between this quiet village church and the 
ancient churches of the British race, on another con- 
tinent. Had pastoral duties afforded the requisite 
leisure for such a service, the writer would gladly 
have penetrated further into the Aboriginal history 
of this vicinity, and have exhibited at greater length 
many facts, of more than a local interest, which are 
intimately associated with the events which led to 
the settlement of this Town, and the organization of 
this Church. Regretting both the fact of the hith- 
erto sad neglect of our local history, and the unwrit- 
ten memorials of the worthy men who deserved a 
higher meed of praise than such a passing notice ; 
and lamenting his inability to present this Discourse 
in a better form, it is given, such as it is, as a token 
of respect to the members of the Church and Congre- 
gation under his pastoral care, by their sincere friend, 

Warren, July, 1845. 


«« One is your Master, even Christ : and all yb 
ARE Brethren." 

It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to give a 
summary of Christianity, in a few points af 
doctrine, expressed in a few words. The high- 
est efforts of sanctified genius and the greatest 
powers of human expression, when employed in 
defining and classifying within a small com.pass, 
the peculiarities of the Gospel, have been atten- 
ded with perplexity and dissatisfaction. 

The Author of our Religion, " who spake as 
never man spake," taught the spiritual truths 
he revealed, in language which could only have 
been dictated by the clearest conceptions of his 
all-originating mind. He connected eternity 
with time, threw a strong and burning light 
upon the shadows of futurity, and brought home 
to the bosoms of men, a present apprehension 
of the substantial realiticsof the invisible world 


The Doctrines he revealed were simple and 
yet sublime; the Worship he established was 
spiritual and purifying; the Conduct he re- 
quired was holy and benevolent. 

His Religion viewed as a collective system, 
may be considered doctrinally, as to what we 
are to believe, experimentally, as to what we are 
to feel, practically, as to what we are to do. 
The equal blending of doctrine, feeling and 
action, in the high exercise of a well propor- 
tioned symmetry, is the human realization of 
the great Idea developed in the religion of Jesus 

All religion grows out of a sense of human 
want ; and man is therefore disposed to be a 
religious being. 

The object for which we have assembled to- 
day, is connected with religion. To its sacred 
purposes we have now convened to dedicate 
this Building, as a tribute of grateful homage 
to Almighty God, and of adoring love to our 
Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

The declaration of the objects implied in this 
design, would be an appropriate theme for our 
j)resent discourse. The Doctrines we believe, 
the Feelings we cherish, and the Ends we pro- 


pose to accomplish, might naturally be exhibited 
in connexion with this solemn occasion. But 
the statement of our Religious Faith, and the 
illustration of our cherished Designs, could not 
be satisfactorily compressed within the limits 
of time assigned for this exercise. 

It is therefore fitting and necessary that we 
should restrict our views to a smaller compass, 
and confine our attention to the facts that be- 
long to our present position. 

But the Present is connected with the Past, 
by the ties of religious as well as of civil relation- 
ships. The current of time is rapidly sweep- 
ing by, and we stand on a spot where we 
can look back upon the stream as it rushes up 
to the present, and down its course as it glides 
away in its onward progress to the ocean of 
eternity. The memories of the past come rush- 
ing up before us, and the dim visions of the fu- 
ture rise unbidden to our view. 

We stand on a spot hallowed by many ai> 
association of ^Qcrcd and thriUing iniQrtst, 


It is well for us, now that we have retired 
for a while from the hum of business, and the 
common interests of secular life, to lift the vail 
that hides the Past, and trace the line of events, 
which, as human causes, have produced the re-' 
suits of the Present. " God lives in history," 
and History is no less '' Philosophy teaching by 
example," than the voice of God teaching by 
his Providence. 

I have said that we are assembled here in 
contemplation of Religion in its relations to 
former times; and these relations, as they af- 
fect us personally and socially, are found in- 
termixed v/ith all the details of the civil and 
religious History of the generations that hav-e 
preceded us. 

It was the love of Religion, and of Religious 
Liberty, that put in motion the train of events 
which led to the formation of our social insti- 
tutions and brought us together on the spot of 
ground, and the point of time, we now occupy. 
There can be no proper apprehension of our 
past history, whether we consider ourselves as a 
religious Society, as a part of this Town or 
State, or of the New-England Community, 


without investigating those religious causes, 
which led to the formation of civil and religious 
society on this Western Continent. 

While the history of this Church and^Town, 
partakes of much that is common to the gene- 
ral characteristics of New-England, it is more 
signally distinguished by the history of peculiar 
principles, in which our social existence origi- 
nated, and with which we have always been 
identified. To trace the history of these pe-f 
culiar principles, and the events with which 
they were connected, is therefore the particular 
object of the present Discourse. 

The Principles which I design to illustrate 
historically, may be reduced to three : 

1. Liberty of Conscience in Religious con' 


2. The Independence of each Christian 

Church and its separate existence from 
Civil Government, 

3. The admission of only such persons into 

the Church as profess experimental 
Christian Faith^ by the ordinance of 
Baptism y in the form of Immersion. 



These three religious principles were identi- 
fied with the origin of this community, and 
were so combined in the belief of the ancestors 
of this Church and Town, that in their estima- 
tion, the presence of one of them implied the 
necessary union of the others, and the rejection 
of one, in its logical and natural tendency, 
■vitiated or excluded the whole : — all standing 
or falling together. 

These views of Faith were considered by the 
forefathers of this Church, as they are believed 
by us, their representatives and successors, to 
'be identical with the Doctrine and Worship of 
the Apostolic Churches. 

It should be distinctly understood, as it is 
fully admitted, that these principles do not con- 
stitute the Summary, nor even the most consid- 
erable part, of the Christian System. Nor is 
it pretended that each and every one of them, 
or all of them together, are peculiar alone to 
the Religious Communion with which we stand 
connected, in distinction from all other names 
and orders of Christian people ; and it is the 
peculiar glory of Evangelical Christianity in the 
present age, that the lines of distinctive differ- 
ence between the various orders of Protestants, 


are less visible than in most preceding period* 
since the Reformation of Luther. At no time 
probably, since the first two centuries of the 
Christian Church, has there been so deep and 
general a disposition among earnest-minded 
Christians to derive their'entire faith and practice 
from the New-Testament alone, as at the pres- 
ent. All Evangelical denominations seem dis- 
posed to act upon the principle, that the Bible 
alone is the religion of Protestants. 

The claims of Tradition and Custom are 
sifted and reduced to their true merits ; and 
the authority of the Inspired Scriptures is ele- 
vated above the ordinances of men. And hence 
there is less to distinguish the leading evangel- 
ical denominations from each other, than in 
former ages. 

It is an occasion of thanksgiving on this 
auspicious day, that there are so many doctrines 
of fundamental importance in Religion, which 
we hold in common with the whole fraternity of 
Evangelical Protestants. And we trust that 
holding the unity of the Spirit, in the bonds of 
peace, we are still drawing closer together, 
disposed to act upon the apostolic precept, 
" Whereto we have already attained, let us 


walk by the same rule, let us mind the same 

These considerations being premised and 
understood, we shall be free from the charge 
of intending offence to any Christian sensibility, 
if we proceed to trace out the progress of the 
peculiar principles which characterized the ori- 
gin and history of this church ; even if, in such 
illustrations there may be any occasion by way 
of contrast to point out the errors of other forms 
of Faith. 

But it is not the history of a Sect, or the 
prevalence of a name, that we are in quest of, 
so much as the history oi principles. It should 
be a matter of small concern to any of us, as 
to the antiquity of our denominational appella- 
tives ; — which in the case of almost every per- 
suasion of Christians, have not been of their 
own selection, but most frequently bestowed 
on them in a way of reproach, by those who 
were their enemies. Such was the case with 
the Puritans, whose name was applied in con- 
tempt to a class of men of whom the world was 
not worthy ; — of the Methodists, whose zealous 
piety provoked the invention of a term by which 


(he operations of religion on the passions, should 
be rendered opprobrious to the formal worldling 
or the proud hypocrite ; — of the Quakers, whose 
modest piety was charged upon them as a mark 
of servile fear; — and of the Baptists, whose 
primitive ordinance has characterized them 
with a name, they never preferred or selected, 
but which they are yet perfectly willing to bear. 

The distinguishing principles to which I 
have adverted, as characterizing this Church in 
its origin and formation, are believed by us to 
be identical with the faith and practice of the 
Primitive Christians. Though they are not 
summed up in so many terms in the language 
of the Text, they are implied and embodied in 
those words of our Saviour, ** One is your Mas- 
ter even Christ : and all ye are brethren ;" — > 
words which are an appropriate motto for a 
Baptist Church. 

There can be no relighn, without authority 
to enjoin it : and the doctrines of religion, to 
have any influence, must rest on authority of 
the highest order ; and the religion that is from 
God, has such authority. Jesus Christ pro^ 
claimed himself a's the only Mediator between 


God and man, and the only Lord of the hinnau 
conscience. When his disciples professed his 
name, they declared their allegiance to him, 
and their internal Faith, by public Baptism. 
This was the order in which Christ himself 
connected the conditions of obedience ; — '' He 
that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved." 
And his inspired Apostles observed the same 
principles, in the same order. They always 
regarded Baptism as the outv/ard act of Inter- 
nal Faith ; as the test-oath and naturalization 
act, by which a stranger and alien declared his 
allegiance to Christ his King, and became a 
naturalized citizen of the visible church. Thus 
the apostle Paul declares it, as the act of a 
soldier who has put on the regimentals of the 
army, into which he has been sworn : or as the 
act of a servant assuming the livery of the mas- 
ter, whom he has bound himself to serve : " For 
as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, 
have put on Christ." Nay, the very method 
by which Baptism was administered, declared its 
significance and its binding obligation. It wavS 
a solemn act of burial in water, by which a 
man declared his belief of the burial and resur- 
rection of Christ : his own deadness to the 


world, and his rising again to newness of life. 
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were 
baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into 
his death ? Therefore we are buried with him 
by baptism into death : that like as Christ was 
raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, 
even we also should walk in newness of life. 
For if we have been planted together in the 
likeness of his death, we shall be also in the 
likeness of his resurrection.'"' 

Thus, each believer declared his own disci- 
pleship, to his own Master. What was required 
of one, was necessary for all. All therefore 
were received into the community of Brethren, 
on equal conditions.* There were no char- 

*The church was in the beginning, a community 
of Brethren. All its members were taught of God ; 
and each possessed the liberty of drawing for him- 
self from the Divine Fountain of life. (John vi. 
45.) The Epistles, which then settled the great 
questions of doctrine, did not bear the pompous 
title of any single man, or ruler. We find from 
the holy Scriptures, that they began simply with 
these words : " The apostles, ciders and brethren, 
to our brethren." Acts xv. 123." — D\luhignr's Rc- 
fonnafinrr, vol. 1, p. 17. 


tered or hereditary rights, attaching to any clasft 
or order. Each Christian Society was consti- 
tuted on the basis of the social and moral equal- 
ity of all its members, upon the professed Faith 
of each. There being no divinely appointed 
model of church constitution and government, 
given by Christ or his apostles, the disciples 
were left to their own discretion in arranging 
the details of each separate community, accord- 
ing to the customs of their particular age, or 
country. But the great fundamental principles 
of their Faith contained all the general outlines,. 
within which the particular arrangements of 
each Society must be necessarily embraced. 
Each church inherently possessed the authori- 
ty to elect its own officers, who should act as 
the pastors, and official representatives of the 
body; to determine the regulations by which their 
affiiirs were to be governed, and the particular 
conditions of admitting, or rejecting members; — 
all subject however to the general outline-laws 
laid down by Christ and his inspired apostles. 
The churches, accordingly, which were 
formed during the life time of the apostles,, 
seem to have been nothing more than convert- 
ed, or Christianized Synagogues, which in each 
case had been a separate and independent re-- 


ligious society by itself.* So that when the 
whole, or the majority of the members of any 
particular Synagogue had become converted, 
they still continued the same organized body 
as before ; and they continued to use their for- 
mer privilege of electing their own overseer, 
bishop, or pastor, and to choose deacons, stew- 
ards, or whatever other officers were necessary, 
for the executive management of their own in=-. 
ternal affairs. 

Each Christian Church, therefore, became, 
or continued to be, a society or popular assem- 
bly, formed on the model of the previously ex- 
isting Synagogue, having a free, voluntary and 
elective government, in the choice of its own 
officers, and inheriting within itself, all the ele- 
ments of religious liberty. The pastor was 
simply the elected teacher, and moderator in 
their assemblies, holding no hereditary rights, 
but only primus inter pares, — the principal 
elected by his peers. 

* See Lightfoot's Harmony of the New Test. Vol, 
III. p. 257. Also, Coleman's Primitive Church, pp. 
'.^3 — 47. Also, \Vhatolevs Kingdom of Christ, pji 


The standard of all authority, was the re- 
corded teachings of Christ himself, or the in- 
spired epistles of the apostles, who alone held 
a higher rank, from their position as the wit- 
nesses of Christ's ministry and resurrection ; 
and they exercised a paramount authority as 
the infallible interpreters of the Divine Will. 
But the apostles themselves, disclaimed any- 
thing like the hereditary aristocracy of the Le- 
vitical priesthood ; and by their own sanction, 
they legalized the popular form of government 
in the Synagogue worship, as the mode of or- 
ganization in the newly formed Christian 
Churches. They made not the slightest claims 
to an order of the Christian ministry, parallel 
or analagous, to the Levitical priesthood : nor 
did they incorporate into their worship, the ele- 
ments of their national temple service, such as 
a sacrificing priest, the altar for sacrifice, the 
sacred vessels, or any of the glittering regalia 
of their ritual service. The only Priest they 
recognized was Jesus Christ, their ever-living 
intercessor ; the only sacrifices they olfered, 
were their own bodies and souls, a living sacri- 
Oce, as a voluntary and spiritual service, — the 
sacrifices of a pure heart and a benevolent life j 

X jury q£ wat— 
tbe last of tile vnc^es. Sot igaigt ammdnr 

^oAiBssgiKeA^BstiexSj, liie^ ipos&es CLiiioir> 

24 Historical discourse. 

ren, as independent, yet separate branches oi 
the one Spiritual Community, of which the Lord 
Jesus Christ, was the Invisible and Heavenly 
Head. Still with all this outward diversity in 
organization, they were all one in the fellow- 
ship of love and faith, holding the communion 
of the saints, united in spirit as different mem- 
bers of one body, or as brethren of the same 
great family. But with all their diversity of 
endowments, there was the unity of Religion. 
'' There were diversities of gifts, but the same 
Spirit : diversities of administrations, but the 
same Lord : diversities of operations, but it is 
the same God who worketh all in all. There 
is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are call- 
ed in one hope of your calling : one God and 
Father of all, who is above all, and through 
all, and in you all : one Lord, one faith, one 

There was no visible representative, as the 
earthly head of each of these churches, or of 
all of them together : but Christ himself was 
the invisible Head of the universal, invisible 
church. His kingdom was indeed within the 
world, but it was not of the world. Though 

jHistorical discourse. 2^ 

each community possessed the organized form 
of a human society, it was yet not of the nature 
of an earthly kingdom ; as it was not originat- 
ed for any earthly purpose, nor conducted on 
the principles of worldly policy. Those who 
were members of this spiritual society, formed 
for spiritual purposes, might yet in another 
capacity, be members of a secular society, 
formed for secular purposes : if they were schol- 
ars, they might belong to an Academy : if farm- 
ers, they might belong to an Agricultural Soci- 
ety : if they w^ere citizens of any particular 
country, they were to retain their citizenship^ 
*' rendering unto Caesar, the things that are Cae- 
sar's ; but rendering to God, the things that 
are God's ;" — but the authority of Caesar vras 
never to bind their conscience, nor their privi- 
leges as Christians ever to exempt them from 
the lawful claims of human government, within 
its own proper capacity. Christ Vv'as the Mas-* 
ter of all, as believers ; and to his own Master, 
every one was to stand or fall. 

Such, in outline, were the simple principles 
which characterized the organization cf lh6 
Christian church in its best and earliest days< 


This is not the time, nor the place to show 
how these distinguishing principles were grad- 
ually obscured and neutralized, and became 
intermixed with forms of doctrine and worship 
foreign to those of the original church. The 
faithful pen of History could easily trace the 
rise and progress of insidious errors, which 
insensibly stole in upon the unguarded church, 
and at length brought on the spiritual despot- 
ism, which in later times, reduced her to a ser- 
vile allegiance to secular power. But without 
detailing the incidents of History, it is sufficient 
to show the progress of those three distinctive 
principles to which I have adverted, and which 
entered elementarily into the formation of the 
apostolic church, — the corruption of which 
paved the way for the subsequent admission of 
every form of error. 

All the events of history, reduced to a simple 
analysis, show how insidious, but yet how oper- 
ative, is the influence of a false principle, or of 
a true one, misapprehended. And as a general 
fact, perhaps it is true, that for want of candid 
and attentive reflection, the mass of men do 
jiol see the unsoundness of any false principle, 
till its working is fully developed in practice. 


and they see the baleful results to which it 
actually and legitimately leads. 

Thus in the latter part of the second cen- 
tury, a misconception of the supposed efficacy 
of Baptism, led to the conviction that it was 
essential to salvation ; and hence infants, and 
others who were in danger of dying without 
the benefit of the sacramental grace of Bap- 
tism, received the application of that crdmance, 
and were thus supposed to be absolved from 
the guilt of original sin. And those whose 
critical state of health would endanger their 
lives, by immersion, received the application of 
water in their s'.ck chamber, or on a dying bed : 
and thus was introduced Clinical Baptism,^ 
which, in time, prepared the way for a general 
substitution of the form of its administration. 
By thus admitting Infants to Baptism, the wall 
of partition between tho church and the wcrld 
was gradually taken down, and Christ's visible 
kingdom became a kingdom of this world. 
By exalting the efficacy of Baptism to a Sacra- 

' So called from being administered onnhcd — from 
.a G;eek word, signifylnor couch . 


mental Grace, the great doctrine of Justification 
by Faith, insensibly merged into the notion of 
a covenant ofworhs : and thence were entailed 
the devices of Popery, and the belief in works 
of Supererogation. Henceforward the Doc- 
trine and Worship of ^the church declined to- 

In the "same manner, the gradual elevation 
of the Bishop of Rome, led to a commanding 
supremacy over all the other churches in those 
territories that were lawfully subjected to the 
civil government of the Roman Empire : and 
the supremacy which the neighboring churches 
had at first voluntarily yielded to the enlight- 
ened oversight of the Roman Bishop, at length 
led to the usurpation of power, which by the 
unhappy concurrence of political events, re-^ 
suited in a Diocesan government, which super- 
induced the greater concentration of a 3Iefro- 
politan bishopric, and this was at last matured 
into the still higher pretensions o^di Patriarchal 
supervision, and the unlimited despotism of a 
universal Papal Hierarchy. 

Henceforward, Christianity which was in- 
tended for the heart of man, became the ser- 
vile creature of the State, and the instrument 


of her own undoing. Having ascended the 
throne of the Cassars, she assumed the purple 
and the diadem, and enrolled the legions of 
Rome among the hosts cf the faithful. Then 
the cross was lifted in the van of conquering 
armies, and was made the sanction of inquisi- 
torial injustice. When the sword was once 
drawn in defence cf the cross, its scabbard 
Was thrown away, and for more than ten cen- 
turies it continued the scandal of religion, and 
the plague cf the w^orld. 

But though the name of Christianity was 
applied by the temporal powders to the worst of 
purposes, and became the w^atchword for war 
tliroughout Europe, her pure spirit still lived 
in the hearts of thousands, and her enlighten- 
incr influence was never lost, in any acre. Her 
conservative power may be clearly traced a- 
mong some smaller or larger communities in 
every age and country cf nominal Christendom. 
The v^'itnesses for the truth, and the dissenters 
from the reigning apostasy of Antichrist, were 
always found among thousands of sequestered 
r!:roups of Christians, who loved the Gospel, 
Hud held it in its purity of Doctrine and of 
Worship : who arc known in liistorv by the 


name of Novatians at Rome, the Donatists in 
Africa, the Faulicians in Greece, the Cathari 
or Puritans in Italy : in all the south of Eu- 
rope, in Germany and Holland, these Christ- 
ians were knov/n as the Albigenses, Montenses, 
Waldenses and Anabaptists, — names not as- 
sumed by themselves, but applied in contempt 
by the dominant power of the papal church. 

It would be easy to show, that while the long 
night of spiritual despotism brooded over Eu- 
rope for so many centuries, the pure worship 
and simple doctrine of the Gospel were always 
preserved by a band of faithful witnesses : and 
its light can be clearly traced, sometimes in 
brighter, sometimes in feebler lines, from the 
very hrst dav.n of the star which guided the 
men of the East to the cradle of the Messiah. 

Though her light was smothered and con- 
cealed in her prison house at Rome, — though, 
her sanctity was defiled and her authority de- 
secrated, by those " who were at hate with 
prayer and studied curses," her living Spirit 
could not be quenched, and her dungeon was 
broken open by the strong arm of Luther, and 
she again stood forth in the immortal freshness 
pf youth and beauty. Its influence stopped 


not at the place or the time, that gave it birth. 
It restored man to mental independence and 
moral dignity, while at the same time it fitted 
him to retain this supremacy. We can trace 
its great principles henceforth animating and 
governing the events of all subsequent history. 

It would be an easy and delightful task to 
trace the history of the principles of the apos- 
tolic and primitive churches, through various 
channels and by various names, in an unbroken 
line of succession, from the first communities 
of Brethren, down through the long; night of 
papal despotism, till they re-appear in ail their 
brightness and beauty, in modern times. 

But the particular connexion which this Bap- 
tist Church sustains to the church of Christ in 
former ages, even back to the apostles' times, 
will enable us to delineate the progress of 
Christian principles, apart from all the churches 
on the Continent of Europe. 

It is a fact generally known, that many of 
the Baptist churches in this country derived 
their origin from the Baptist churches in 
Wales, a country which has always been a 
nursery for their peculiar principles. In the 
earlier settlements in this countrv, multitude^ 


of Welsh emigrants, who left their fatherland, 
brought with them the seeds of Baptist princi- 
ples, and their ministers and members laid the 
foundation of many Baptist churches in New- 
England, and especially in the Middle States. 

It is not pretended, and it is distinctly dis- 
claimed, that our churches in this country lay 
claim to any literal cr lineal order of succes- 
sion from the apostles. If literal succession 
were worth anything, we have as Baptists, a 
much clearer and a much cleaner pedigree than 
those advocates for prelacy who trace their 
ministry through the turbid channel of the pa- 
pal apostasy, and who are forced to acknow- 
ledge the Pope as a true Christian Bishop, and 
the Romish communion as the true Catholic 
Christian Church. But the very nature of our 
peculiar principles leads us to place no confi- 
dence in the doctrine of a regular and literal 
apostolic succession, even if it could be clearly 
made out in favor of our own genealogical 
descent ; a theory, however, which is utterly 
untenable, whether viewed in the light of his- 
torical evidence, or the dictates of common 
sense : a theory which has been exploded by 
the ablest divines in every evangelical commu- 


nity, and is now abandoned by the most candid 
and independent advocates of prelacy itself.* 

While we speak therefore, of the clear iden- 
tity and unbroken succession of the pure prin- 
ciples of the Gospel doctrine and worship^ 
through the several ages of the past, we speak 
of no such succession as implies a priesthood 
of regular descent, or of such religious ordi- 
nances as depend for their sacramental efficacy 
upon the authority of priest, council or pope. 

The valid administration of the Christian or- 
dinances is derived from the nature of a church, 
and the end for which it is organized. 

In nature, each Christian Church, is an or- 
ganized Society, based upon a mutual covenant 
of all its members, having the inherent right, 
like every other Society, to elect its own officers, 
form its own particular rules and by-laws, to 
admit or dismiss its individual constituents, — 
all subject hovv^ever to the general outline con- 
ditions of obedience laid down by the authority 
of the Great Head of the Church. The ends 
for which the church and its ordinances are 

* See Whateley's Kingdom of Christ, pp. 182-«-- 
189. Appendix A. 


appointed, are the spiritual improvement of all 
its members, the advancement of truth, and 
the direct promotion of peace and righteousness 
on the earth. 

The duties of ail Christian converts are 
plainly laid down in the Scriptures ; and among 
these duties, it is enjoined that they should 
assemble together in a social capacity, to pray, 
to instruct and exhort each other, to observe 
mutual watchfulness, to bear each other's 1 ur- 
dens, and to enjoy the ordinances of religion. 
Any body of Christian converts, brought to- 
gether in a heathen, or in a Christian land, 
are perfectly competent to organize themselves 
into a church, and appoint one of their number, 
having suitable gifts, to the office of the minis- 
try. A person thus elected and ordained, is as 
much an authorized minister cf the Gospel, and 
possesses as high, commanding sanction, to 
preach and to administer the ordinances of re- 
ligion, as if an unbroken line cf elections and 
ordinations should connect his ministry with 
the chair cf St. Peter, 

On these principles each cf the independen 
Christian Churches of our forefatheri was form" 
td. And hence fro.n the nature of the case, pa 

HifiTORtcAL Discotns*. 5^ 

literal or lineal descent is of any value, even if 
it could be ascertained to be historically un- 
broken. But the Holy Spirit, acting by the 
Divine Word, can create a church and ministry, 
" ex re nata," without any pedigree than that 
of Adam ** who was a son of God" — a church 
fresh from heaven, by the free ill apse of the 
Divine Spirit. 

Such was the principle on which the First 
Baptist Chuich in this State, and the first on 
this continent was formed. Roger Williams 
and eleven cssociates, feeling the inward power 
of Divine Truth, and dissatisfied with what they 
considered the abuses of the doctrines and or^ 
dinances in surrounding churches, agreed to 
form themselves into a Christian Church. 
Taking the Bible for their only guide, they 
saw it was their duty, first of all, to profess their 
inward faithj in the name of Christ, by the or- 
dinance of baptism-^which symbolized his 
burial and resurrection, and declared their own 
spiritual separation from the world, by their dy- 
ing to sin, an4 their arising to newness of life. 
There was then no properly baptized minister 
en the continent ; and yielding to the necessity 
of the case, they appointed Mr. Ezekiel Holli- 


man to baptize Mr. Williams, who then in turii 
baptized all ihe rest. If the validity of Baptism 
depended on any sacramental virtue or episco- 
pal ordination, there could be no question 
as to its regularity in the case of those bap- 
tized by Mr. Williams himself He was first 
a regularly ordained clergyman of the church 
of England, and as that church both before and 
after its separation from the papacy, had re- 
cognized immersion as a valid and primitive 
form of baptism, the act of Mr. Williams in 
baptizing his eleven associates, must be recog- 
nised as Christian baptism, even by the advo- 
cates of prelatical succession.* 

But though the persons thus baptized, might 
justly consider their baptism, and all descend- 
ing from them, as valid, according to the 
episcopal theory^ they did not for a moment 
rest the authority of the ordinance upon any 
connection with prelatical ordination. They 
seem to have acted, as Backus suggests,! on the 

* See Knowles' Memoirs of Roger Williams, pp. 

t There is a case proposed by Zanehius, Professor 
of Theology at Heidelberg, in 1568, in his commentary 


Simple principle of Scripture and common 
sense, that although it is the province of a reg- 
ularly ordained Christian minister to dispense 
the ordinances of religion, — and that in ordinary 
cases it is disorderly and inexpedient to depart 
from this general principle, yet, that in cases 
of necessity, where ministers could not be found, 
it was perfectly proper for a layman to admin- 
ister the ordinances, and thus commence a 
regularly established ministry, dc novo. Such 
is the testimony of the earliest Fathers in the 
Christian Church, and of the ablest Eclesiastical 

on the fifth chapter of Ephesians, in treating of Bap- 
tism, in which " he propounds a question of a Turk 
coming to the knowledge of Christ and to faith, by 
reading the New-Testament, and withal teaching 
his family and converting it and others to Christ, 
and being in a country where he cannot easily come 
to Christian countries, whether he may baptize them 
whom he hath converted to Christ, he himself being 
unbaptized ? He answers, I doubt not of it, but that 
he may, and withal provide that he himself be bap- 
tized of one of the three converted by himself. The 

" Knowles' Memoirs of Roger Williams, pp. 166, 7. 


In consequence of a misapprehension of the 
facts connected with Roger ¥/illiams' baptism, 
it has been often and heedlessly repeated, after 
that it has been so often contradicted, that all 
the baptisms and ordinations of American 
Baptists, are traceable to Roger Williams, and 
that his were irregid ar ; — and thus the origin 
of our Denomination in this country has been 
unjustly imputed to him. 

Now, although all those who were baptized 
by Mr. Williams, must, by the admission of 
Pedobaptists themselves, have been baptized, 
the fact is, that very few of the Baptists in this 
country have sprung from the church in Pro- 
vidence. From the earliest periods of our col- 
onial settlements, multitudes of Baptist minis^ 
ters and members came from Europe, and set- 
tled in diiTerent parts of this continent, each 
becoming the centre of an independent circle, 

reason he gives is, because he is a minister of the 
word, extraordinarily stirred up by Christ; and so as 
such a minister may with the consent of that small 
church, appoint one of the communicants, and pro- 
ride that he be baptized by him." Backus, Vcl. 1. 
pp. 105. 6. 


wherever they planted themselves. There are 
at present over 700,000 regular Baptist com- 
municants in this country, and of these, proba- 
bly not one hundredth part have ever had any 
connection with the venerable church in Pro- 
vidence ; *' though her members have been 
numerous, and she has been honored as the 
mother of many ministers."* 

A very largo proportion of the earliest Bap- 
tist churches on this Continent, were directly 
of Welsh descent. The first Baptist church 
in Massachusetts wis established in Swanzea 
in 1663, when the Rev. John Miles, with a 
number of Baptist members, came from Wales, 
and tradition says, brought with them their 
church records, and thus re-established, or per- 
petuated the church which had previously ex- 
isted in Swanzea, in the Principality of Wales. 

The Warren Baptist church, is a branch, or 
rather a reproduction of the Welsh Baptist 
church first established in Swanzea. 

As it is our object to sketch the history of 
our peculiar Christian principles, as they gov- 

■ Knowle*, p, 169 


em the events of human society, and are in- 
volved m all the relations of the past, it is im- 
portant to trace the connection between the 
Christianity of Wales and the particular Baptist 
church from which this Body originated. 

The Welsh race, from which the ancestors 
of this church sprung, are the only pure de- 
scendants of the ancient Britons. The earliest 
inhabitants of the British Islands were the Celts, 
a general name, descriptive of the nations in 
the north-west of Europe, in the times of Julius 
Caesar. But that particular part of this race 
who settled in Britain, bore the still more an- 
cient name of Cimbri, (or Cymry,) a tribe of 
Calmuc or Tartaric origin, who soon after the 
Trojan war, sallied forth from the regions 
around the Caspian sea, and traversed their 
fearless way across the Continent of Europe, 
and colonized on the borders of the German 
Ocean. Passing thence into the north of France, 
in the province of Britanny, they crossed the 
English channel, and found a final resting place 
in the Islands of Britain. 

They were a wild aboriginal race, probably 
the descendants of Gomer, the eldest son of 


Japlieth, who was the youngest son of Noah ; 
partaking of all the stern qualities of the ori- 
ginal Tartaric race, large in size, of great 
bodily strength, impetuous in war, impatient 
of labor, and gorerned by the strong impulses 
of heroic passion. Such was the original stock 
of that wild and vigorous race of men subse- 
quently called the British, whose existence be. 
came authentically known to the civilized 
world, about the time of Caesar's invasion, 55 
years before the Christian era. 

The exact period, and the particular means, 
of the introduction of Christianity into Britain, 
are not certainly known. We know, authen- 
tically, that the Gospel was early and widely 
diffused in Gaul and all the surrounding coasts 
on the Continent, in the first and second cen- 
turies ; and on this account it is reasonable to 
suppose that it should early have reached the 
neighboring Island of Britain, particularly whea 
we consider the maritime habits of the people. 
While the apostle Paul was imprisoned, for 
two years at Rome, about the year of our Lord 
(33, many Welsh soldiers, who had joined the 
Roman army, and many families from Wales, 
who had visited the imperial city, became con- 


verted to Christianity. Among these, were 
Pomponia, Grecina and Claudia Ruffina, the 
saints in Caesar's household ; the first of whom 
was the wife of Aulus Plautus, the first Roman 
governor in Britain, and the last of whom was 
a native Briton, the daughter of Caractacus, 
the Welsh king, and whose husband, Pudence, 
was a believer in Christ. 

There is, therefore, every reason to believe, 
that many native Welshmen, converted under 
Paul's ministry at Rome, or by the instrumen- 
tality of Christian soldiers in the Roman army, 
carried home the precious seed of the gospel, 
and scattered it among the hills and valli^s of 

From this period, till about the end of the 
second century, we have no very authentic in- 
formation concerning the spread of the gospel 
among the Welsh, who at that time were the 
same, not only in origin, but in name, as the 
unmixed race of the ancient Britons. About 
the year A. D. 190, we find Tertullian boasting 
that the Gospel had subdued the savage tribes 
of Britons, who were yet unconquered by the 
Roman arms. At about the same time, Lucius, 
a 'British king, sent to Gaul or to RomC; or 


more probably to both, for Christian teachers 
to carry on the missionary work among his 
own people. Lucius was evidently not the 
original founder, but the restorer and second 
father of the British churches. 

It is much more probable, however, that 
Lucius sent to Gaul for Christian teachers ; — 
from the fact, among other reasons, that the 
Welsh or British churches, had already varied 
from the Romish, in many ritual matters ; the 
British churches also maintaining their inde- 
pendence against the already growing assump- 
tions of authority by the Roman bishops : while 
they observed the same rites with the Gallic 
churches, which were planted directly from 
Asia Minor : thus proving that the British 
in the second century principally received 
their Christianity either immediately, or by 
means of Gaul, from Asia Minor, which may 
have easily taken place through their commer- 
cial intercourse.* 

During the Third, Fourth and Fifth cen- 

* See Neander's Church History, p. 50 : also, Mo- 
sheim's Eccl. History, pp. 99, 100: also, Mosheim'f. 
De Rebus Chri&tianorum, pp. S13— 15, 



turies, Christianity seems gradually to have 
taken root among the British race, and not a 
few of the royal blood, as well as multitudes of 
inferior birth, became converts to the Christian 
faith. About the year A. D. 325, the Roman 
Emperor, Constantine the Great, a native 
Welshman, made a public profession of Christ- 
ianity, at the same time abolishing all the per- 
secuting edicts of his predecessors, and prepar- 
ing the way for the dissolution of the whol& 
system of paganism throughout the Roman 
empire. His conversion is ascribed by Theo- 
doret,* to the influence of his mother, Helena, 
who was a Welsh lady, the daughter of Coel- 
godebog. Earl of Gloucester. After residing 
for a time in Britain, with her husband, who 
was a Roman, they removed with their son 
Constantine to Rome, where he subsequently 
achieved a brilliant career, and became the 
first Christian Emperor in the world, as Lucius, 
another Welsh Prince, 135 years before him, 
had been the first Christian king, since the 
earthly ministry of him who is King in Zion. 

* Theodoret Eccl. Hist. Liber I. cap. 17 : also, 
»ee Milner's Eccl. Hist. Vol. 1. p. 318 and Vol. II. 
p. 39. 

IllSTORiCAI- Discouitsi:. 45 

During the interval between tlie conversion 
;' Constantine, A. D. 325, and the Saxon In- 
vasion, in 449, the process of gradual corrup- 
tion was working out the results of Papacy 
among most of the churches in the Roman 
Empire, on the Continent of Europe. But a- 
mong the Welsh, or native Britons, the love 
and practice of primitive Christianity still pre- 
vailed, and but little disposition was felt to ad- 
mit the innovations and superstitions of the 
rising reign of Antichrist. 

Their faith in the essential doctrines of the 
gospel, was, however, severely tried by the pre- 
valence of an insidious heresy, which began to 
agitate the public mind, about the year A. D. 
405, and which originated in the philosophical 
speculations of one of their own countrymen. 
It was the system of Pelagianism, a heresy the 
most deeply rooted, and the most difficult effec- 
tually to combat, that ever found a lodgment 
in the Christian church ; which tasked to the 
utmost the profound talents of St. Augustine, 
at the time of its origin, which taxed all the 
energies of Luther and Calvin, at the Reform- 
ation in the IGth century; — which employed 
the acutest powers of our American Edwards 


and which has tried the faith of multitudes of 
Christians in every age since its origin. The 
author of this system was Pelagius, a native 
Welshman, whose real name was Blorgan, or 
Tilarigena, translated by the contemporary 
Greek writers into Pelagius, the corres- 
ponding word in their language; and it is by 
this name he is generally known in history.* 

Combined with the origin of Pelagianism 
and the religious agitation which ensued 
among the British, a series of political events 
now began to change their social destiny. 

Owing to the declining state of the Roman 
Empire at its centre, the last of her protecting 
legions were withdrawn from Britain about the 
year 446. Immediately the Picts and the Scots 
from the North poured their desolating bands 
of robbers upon the British territory, while the 
Angles, Jutes and Frisians, bands of piratical 
adventurers, invaded the island by sea. Thence- 
forward the original homogeneous character ct 
the British people in England, became greatly 
changed. Wave after wave of foreign popula- 
tion poured in upon the native race, and be- 

^ Moehcim's Eccl. Hist Vol. I. pp. 370—374. 


came intermixed with the British stock. The 
most numerous and successful of these invading 
hordes, were the Angles, a valiant race of Ger- 
manic origin from the vallies of the Elbe, who, 
rapidly combining with the original British, 
impressed upon them the strong features of 
their own character, and gave their name to the 
principal part of the island, which thencefor- 
ward has borne the name of Angland, and in 
modern times its present name o^ England. 

But a large portion of the native British, and 
especially of their young men who had been 
trained in the Roman army, valiantly resisted 
the approaches of these invading foreigners, 
and more than once drove back the barbarous 
tribes from their island. The mercenary bands 
still continuing to return and desolate their 
country, the British people who were still un- 
mixed with the foreign tribes, called in to their 
aid and defence the powerful arms of the Ger- 
man Saxons, who by stratagem and treachery 
combined with the Angles themselves, whom 
they had been engaged to resist, and after many 
bloody and desperate battles, drove the remain- 
ing British before them into the mountains of 
Walo?, and took complete possession of the en- 


lire country of England. By tliis juncture of 
the Angles with the Saxons, and both together 
being grafted on what remained of the original 
British in England, was laid the foundation of 
modern English institutions, and the basis of 
the Anoflo-Saxon character. 

The unconquered remnants of the ancient 
British were crowded step by step, by each 
successive wave of foreign immigration that 
swept over from the Continent, till they were 
entirely driven out of England, and took a final 
refuge in the sequestered vallies and mountain 
fastnesses of Wales, a district on the West of 
England, about 180 miles in length, by 80 in 
breadth. Here these relics of the original 
Cambrian race, the only pure descendants of 
the British stock, known by the more modern 
name of Welsh, have lived for 1400 years, an 
unmixed and homogeneous people, leaving 
behind them among the Anglo-Saxon conquerors 
of their former territory, but a small portion of 
their blood, and but few distinct traces of their 
national character.* 

The disappearance of the British from the 
soil of England, was followed by an almost 

^ Appendix B, 


entire e5:tinction of Christianity among the 
compound relics, wliich formed the Anglo-Saxon 
race ; and the barbarous religion of these hea- 
then invaders, sharpened their ferocity in their 
conflicts with the British Christians. When at 
the end of 150 years from the Saxon invasion, 
Austin, with forty other missionary monks, was 
sent by Gregory the Great to convert the Sax- 
ons, they found both the Christian religion and 
the British language extinct in the English 
territory; an avv^ful proof of the ferocity of 
the warfare which had raged between the 
heathen invaders and the exiled British Christ- 
ians, the only remains of whom had become 
entirely shut up among the mountains of Wales 
and Cornwall, except a few in Cumberland, 
en the borders of Scotland, or those who 
had been driven into Britanny, beyond the 
English Channel. Over all the rest of Eng- 
land, paganism had again established itself 
triumphantly : the churches were demolished, 
or converted into idolatraus temples, and the 
public worship of the true God had ceased,* 

" Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. Vol. I. p. 3«4. 


During the interval of 150 years betwcer^i 
the banishment of the British, and the arrival 
in 596, of Austin, to convert the Anglo-Saxons, 
who had now become entirely pagans, the rem- 
nants of the old British race had found a safe 
retreat in the sequestered regions of Wales. 

Here, unlike their English conquerors, they 
continued to be simple-minded, well-informed 
and zealous Christians, retaining the primi- 
tive ordinances of religion, the independence 
of their churches, and fanning the flame of 
patriotism and the love of religious liberty. 
They remained in quiet obscurity, experienc- 
ing, so far as is known, but few changes of 
prosperity or adversity, till about the beginning 
of the seventh century, when, at the re- 
introduction of nominal Christianity into Eng- 
land, the Welsh Christians again appear on 
the page of history, holding forth their pecul- 
iar principles, in bright contrast with the cor- 
ruptions of the times. Gregory the Great, 
having ascended the pontifical chair in 590, 
he sent Austin, with forty monks, in 596, to 
convert the Saxon pagans to papal Christian- 

In a short time nearly all the Anglo Sax- 


ons became nominally Christians. The way 
was led by Ethelbert, the most distinguished 
of the Saxon kings, among whom England 
was then divided, who had married a christ- 
ian wife, named Bertha, the daughter of Char- 
ibert, king of Paris ; and being converted, by 
her influence, <o Christianity, he was followed 
by nearly all his subjects, of whom he caused 
ten thousand to be baptized in a single day, 
in the river Swale, near York, which by roy- 
al edict, was consecrated as a baptismal river. 
This kind of conversion becomixig so rap- 
idly and successfully promoted, Austin was 
appointed, in 597. by the Court of Rome, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and primate of all 

*The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Austin being 
confirmed, the Pope " exhorted him to proceed with 
his work ; advised him not to demolish the pagan 
temples, but to convert them into churches, purifying 
them with holy water : for the pagans would love to 
■worship in the places long held sacred : only the 
idols must be destroyed. He also advised that the 
people be allowed on festal days to assemble around 
the churches, erect booths, and there feast them- 
selves, much as during their pagan state, yet with- 


Having been so successful among the Anglo- 
Saxons, in the year 604 Austin attempted to 
bring under the jurisdiction of Rome, and to a 
conformity with his national church, all the 
pastors and churches of the ancient Britons, 
who are thenceforward better known in history 
by the name of the Welsh, and who had now 
been entirely shut up in the Principality of 
Wales. But these British pastors and churches, 
the successors of the ancient British converts 
to Christianity in the first and second centuries, 
utterly refused to submit themselves to the 
jurisdiction of Rome, or to compromise matters 
with the new national church established by 
Austin in England. These strenuous Welsh 
Christians, retaining their ancient spirit and 
the institutions of their primitive Christianity, 

out sacrificing to their idols." Mosh. Eccl. Hist. 
Book 1, Cent. VI. Part I, Chap. I, Sec. 2. 

In the year 602, Austin built his Cathedral at Can- 
terbury ; in 604, he erected St. Paul's Church, in 
London, and in the next year the West Monastery^ 
(afterwards called Westminster^) adjoining London. 
Thus in a few years all England became nominally 
Christian, and the foundations of the modern English, 
church were laid. 


turned a deaf ear to all the conditions proposed 
for their union with Rome. At length, how- 
ever, they consented to hold an interview with 
Austin, in a council which met on the borders 
of Herefordshire, which on the part of the 
Welsh was composed of 1200 pastors and dele- 
gates. The chief conditions of uniformity pro- 
posed by the Roman prelate of the English 
church, were the three following. First: That 
the Welsh should observe the festival of Easter, 
which from the peculiar religious associations 
of the Romish church at that time, was the 
great test question of papal allegiance, and the 
non-observance of which was incompatible with 
their communion with the papal church. Al- 
though the controversy was nominally concern- 
ing the time of the great festival of Easter, the real 
principle involved, was the question of spiritual 
bondage to Rome, or of the unfettered liberty 
of conscience in religion. The Second condition 
proposed by the English prelate, was their ec- 
clesiastical subjection to his own primacy : and 
this involved the great principle as to whether 
Christ should be king in his own kingdom, 
and the practical question of the union of 
Church and State, and ihc original independence 


of each church. The Third term of uniformity 
submitted by Austin, was that he should give 
Christendome, which, in the language of the 
times, meant baptism, to their children. And 
this involved the great religious doctrine of 
personal responsibiHty and experimental faith. 
These three propositions comprehended, in fact, 
the three great comprehensive principles asso- 
ciated in the events which led to the establish- 
ment of this Church and Town, the illustration 
of which will be more distinctly conspicuous 
in the details of our ancestral history. 

But with all these conditions of uniformity 
proposed by the English prelate, the Welsh 
pastors and churches steadily refused compli- 

Irritated by his failure, and despairing of 
effecting the desired union by the arguments 
of reason and scripture, to which the Welsh 
resorted, Austin proposed to leave the settle- 
ment of the questions to miraculous arbitration, 
" by agreeing that the party which should per- 
form a miraculous cure, was to be considered 
as sanctioned by the interposition of heaven.* 



He pretended to have cured a blind man, and 
to have exercised other miraculous powers, 
which pretensions the creduHty or the pious 
fraudulency of his followers assisted him in 
maintaining. But the Welsh Christians adher- 
ing to the principles of faith and the religious 
ordinances which they had received from their 
British ancestors, were accused by Austin with 
holding obstinate prejudices and unpardonable 
heresy ; and that if their errors of faith could 
not be cured by persuasion, they should be ex- 
tinguished with blood. Many of the pastors 
and delegates were put to the sword by the 
bordering Saxons, who, as the Welsh historians 
say, were led on at the instigation of Austin^ 
who was enraged at the insolence of their con- 
scientiousness. This crowning act of cruelty 
was consummated but two years before the 
death of Austin, in 607, and but one year be- 
fore Gregory the Great was declared by the 
Emperor Phocas to be not only the Pontiff of 
Rome, but Bishop of the universal church, and 
recognized as a temporal prince, as well as the 
spiritual vicegerent of Christ on earth. This 
great event is the landmark which the Spirit 
of Prophecy had predicted as the visible date 


ot the full establishment of the reigii of Anti- 
christ.* From that period onward till the 
death of Llewellyn, the last prince of the Brit- 
ish blood, in 1274, when Edward I. reduced 
the brave Cambrian race to its present depen- 
dence as a Principality of the English crown, 
the history of the Cambro-British people is in- 
volved in much obscurity. Their religious 
history is indeed recorded among the existing 
monuments of their own native language ; but 
as Sir James Mackintosh suggests, f no native 
Welshman, in modern times, of sufficient gen- 
ius and industry, has arisen, to recover the re- 
maining authentic records of their history, 
which their national feeling, damped by con- 
quest, has been in danger of neglecting, amid 
the perishable legends of fable and tradition. 

The faithless and merciless acts of oppres- 
sion by which the rapacious invaders had al- 

* It is a remarkable fact, that the National Church 
of England was fully established on its present basis, 
within one year of the time when Gregory the Great 
was declared by royal edict to be the visible head of 
the universal church. 

t History of England, Reign of Edward I. 


most driven the unhappy Britons to despair, 
produced a state of society most unfriendly to 
the preservation and transmission of that part 
of their history, for subsequent times. 

But as God had preserved his scattered and 
hidden people in Piedmont and Holland, and 
as thousands were found in every age, who 
formed an uninterrupted succession of witnesses 
to the Truth, so now in Wales, multitudes of 
these sequestered people, unbroken in spirit, 
formed a regular chain of true and faithful 
witnesses to that Gospel which they had re- 
ceived from their Christian ancestors of former 
centuries, and which they here preserved amid 
their quiet and fertile vallies, shut up by lofty 
mountains from the rest of the world, as if God 
had designed these mountain fastnesses as the 
barriers of protection for his chosen and faith- 
ful people, against the corruptions and assaults 
of the papal hierarchy. And it seems to have 
been a part of the wise arrangement of Provi- 
dence for their preservation, that they should 
be kept in obscurity, and that obscurity now 
makes it very difficult to trace their history. 
What is chiefly found concerning these Welsh 
Christians in the Ecclesiastical and Secular 


Histories of their Jater Contemporaries, are but 
scattered fragments, which their enemies in the 
Church and State of England, would have 
gladly thrown into obscurity and contempt. 

But in the recesses of their mountainous 
Principality, they still retained their liberty and 
independence, and loved the religious princi- 
ples which they had received from their fathers. 
And when, in later times, the vail of darkness 
was drawn aside, which for several centuries 
had hid them from the notice of the world, 
they reappear on the page of history, displaying 
the same noble qualities of character which 
distinguished their British ancestors, the same 
native frankness and generosity, the same love 
of liberty and hatred of oppression, the same 
characteristic honesty and uprightness, the same 
love of home and of country, and holding their 
Christianity pure and unmixed with human 
traditions, as they received them from their 
Christian ancestors of the first centuries. 

Their pastors and theological writers had 
but few opportunities to appear on the great 
arena of the historical world ; subjected as they 
always were, to the prejudice and jealousy 
^yhich are ever the fate of a despised and; 


dreaded sect : and what references are made 
concerning them, but poorly conceal the hatred 
of their enemies, and their ill-disguised dread 
of the influence of sentiments before the light 
of which, their own cherished systems must 
have withered away. Indeed there are many 
evidences that these Welsh pastors were men 
whom their enemies might affect to despise, 
but whom they were compelled to fear. The 
theological colleges, which in their early days 
were located at Bangor in the North, and Car- 
leon in the South, were long the abodes of sa- 
cred learning. In the Seventh Century it is 
said that the College at Bangor was resorted 
to by more than 2000 theological students at 
one time. These schools of piety were not 
like the Catholic monasteries, but were con- 
ducted on much the same principles as the fra- 
ternities of the modern Moravians, or like the 
Baptist Missionary establishment at Serampore, 
in India, in which a kind of community of in- 
terest and affection united all the members in 
the bonds of Christian brotherhood. 

But in later times the British pastors received 
their knowledge of Christianity, apart from the 
institutions of learnincr, each drawing for him- 


self from the oracles of Divine Truth. Distin- 
guished by their love of religious liberty, 
opposed to the authority of human tradition in 
matters of religion, with all the sympathies of 
their nature against the union of ecclesiastical 
power with the state, and exercising the great 
Protestant doctrine of the right of private judg- 
ment in interpreting the Scriptures, they stood 
forth as the representatives of these great prin- 
ciples which the primitive British Christians 
had received from the apostles, which were al- 
ways preserved by a sacred succession of men 
of whom the world was not worthy, and which 
at a new and fortunate juncture of political 
affairs, were reasserted and practically exem- 
plified by Roger Williams in establishing this 
State, and by John Miles in establishing this 
blood, and both of whom had learned the prin- 
ciples of Cambro-British Christianity. 

If it belonged properly to the object of this 
discourse, it would not be a difficult task to trace 
the history of Baptist Sentiments in other and 
parallel lines, through the channel of history. 
But as previously suggested, it is not our purpose 
to present a summary of a denominational creed, 


iior to trace the prevalence of a sectarian name, 
thi:ough all the historical phases of the past. 
Other and abler pens have been worthily em- 
ployed in rescuing from oblivion the memory 
uf those great men, the lustre of whose princi- 
ples shone like stars in the dark night of papal 
corruption.* And it is the history of the prin- 
ciples, rather than of the men, — of the senti- 
ments, rather than of their names, that chiefly 
interests us in our present investigations. 

During every period of the history of the 
British Christians in Wales, there were con- 
temporaneously with them, in other parts of 
Europe, Societies of men, who held the pure 
and uncorrupted principles of the gospel : and 
wherever any one of the distinguishing princi- 

*I cannot forbear from referring in this place to 
the masterly illustrations of Baptist principles in the 
Historical Discourse of the Rev. William Hague, 
delivered in Providence in 1839. For brevity as 
well as comprehensiveness, that Discourse contains 
the clearest, most candid and philosophical exhibition 
of Baptist principles, and the true nature of the events 
which led to the establishment of this State, that I 
have any Avhere seen, in so small a compass. 


pies, I am tracing, was held, the others were 
generally, and intimately blended with them. 
Wherever the doctrine of believer's baptism 
was cherished, the ideas of the unfettered lib- 
erty of conscience, the independence of the 
church, and the supreme authority of the 
Written Word, were all considered its logical 
deductions, and its Scriptural concomitants. 

And when the Reformation by Luther be- 
gan in the sixteenth century, there were multi- 
tudes of Christians in Piedmont and Holland, 
who came forth from their retirement, and 
maintained in public, what the pressure of 
outward persecution had before prevented them 
from declaring Many of them long before 
Luther's time, had cherished principles which 
Luther himself never clearly apprehended ; and 
when they found that he accepted the notion of 
Consubstantiation in the place of Transubstan- 
tiation, and maintained the right of the magis- 
trate to use the sword in suppressing heresy, 
and in promoting the truth, they felt that the 
Lutheran Reformation needed itself to be re- 
formed. The leaders of that great moral revo- 
lution, not advancing to the full extent of the 
results to which their own leading principles 


would have conducted them, were thrown into 
conflict with men and with principles, as much 
in advance of themselves, as they were in ad- 
vance of the papal church, whose authority 
they had thrown off. Luther, Zuinglius and 
Melancthon, though they all conceded the an- 
tiquity and the Scripturalness of the doctrine of 
Believer's Baptism, and its mode by immersion, 
yet found that doctrine connected with other 
principles w^hich involved the freedom of the 
conscience, the right of the church to govern 
itself, and its separate existence from the 
State : — which were conclusions they were not 
yet prepared to accept, and hence, being all 
logically and Scripturally united, they were all 
proscribed together.* Luther admitted the 

^ Bishop Burnet (History of the Reformation, Vol. 
II. p. 176) candidly acknowledges that the Baptist 
Denomination in England have been unjustly repre- 
sented, by being identified with some of the German 
Anabaptists who engaged in the political disturban- 
ces at Munster. He attributes the rise of the Bap- 
tists in Germany to their carrying out the principles 
of Luther, regarding the sufficiency of the Scriptures^ 
and the rights of private judgment ; and in this the 
Catholic writers agree with him, who charge Luther 


nullity of Infant Baptism as a scriptural ordi- 
nance, yet practised it, from the connexion it 
had with the State church, and with other 
standing ordinances which he was not disposed 
to abandon.* Zuinglius pleaded for Infant 
Baptism, and yet (in his Work, De Paedobapt.) 
admits that " The institution of Anabaptism 

with being the father of the German Baptists and say- 
that when he persecuted them "he let out the life of 
his own cause." Robinson's Ecclesiastical Research- 
es, p. 543. (For the above reference I am indebted 
to Hague's Historical Discourse, p. 66 ) 

* Luther says, in so many words, " It cannot 
be proved by the Sacred Scriptures that Infant 
Baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun with the 
first Christians after the apostles." Quoted in Booth's 
Paedobaptism examined. Vol. 11 p. 4. — And "Baptisni 
itself," Luther says, (Opera, Vol. I. pp. 336, 7,) "is 
nothing else than the word of God with immersion in 
water." And again he says, — " Washing from sins. 
is attributed to Baptism ; it is truly, indeed, attribu- 
ted, but the signification is softer and slower than it 
can express by Baptism, which is rather a sign both of 
death and resurrection. Being moved by this reason, 
I would have those that are to be baptized, to be 
altogether dipped into the water, as the word doth 
spund, and the mystery doth signify." 



(as Baptist principles were then called) is not 
a novelty ; but for thirteen hundred years has 
caused very great disturbance in the church, 
nnd has acquired such strength that the attempt 
1 this age to contend with it appeared futile for 
D, time." But thirteen hundred years back- 
ward from the time of Zuinglius, carry us up 
() the early part of the third century, the very 
period when infant baptism is believed to have 
crept into the church : when Tertullian, who 
is the first Ecclesiastical historian among the 
ancient Fathers who alludeHo it, mentions it as 
Jiaving first begun to be practised in Africa, in 
the year 204 : — at the same time he speaks of 
it as an innovation, and dissuades from baptiz- 
:ig infants, and proves the delay of it to a more 
lature age, is to be preferred. (Tertullian De 
Japtismo, Cap. XVIII.) 

Previous to the time of Tertullian, there is 
510 undoubted mention made of Infant Baptism, 
in any way : and from the silence of the Fath- 
rs between Tertullian and the Apostles, on the 
nbject, the matter must be relinquished as an 
listorical question: and wc are accordingly 
iroiight up to the Inspired Scriptures them- 
-ivo- Noander, the most candid and profound 


Ecclesiastical historian of the present, or pes*^ 
haps of any age, says of the apostolic period — 
" The practice of infant Baptism was remote 
from this age :" and he adds^ " Not only the 
late appearance of any express mention of In-^ 
fant Baptism, but the long continued opposition 
to it, leads to the conclusion that it was not of 
apostolic origin." (Eccles. Hist. Apostolic 

No wonder, then, that Mosheim, the great 
Lutheran Historian of the last century, should 
say of a body of Christians every where scattered 
over Europe in sequestered groups in every 
period of the dark ages, — " That they held 
that no persons ought to be baptized until 
they come to the full use of reason."* And 
the same historian when speaking of the origin 
of the Anabaptists, whom he associates v.'iththe 
Waldenses, Albigenses and Mennonites, as 
interchangable names for people holding sub- 
stantially the same principles, says, " The 
true origin of that Sect which acquired the 

' Eccl. Hist. Vol. n. chap. 3, p. 127, 


name of Anabaptists by their administering 
anew the rite of baptism to those who came 
over to their communion, and derived that of 
Mennonites from the famous man to whom they 
owe the greatest part of their present felicity, 
is hidden in the remote depths of antiquity, and 
is of consequence, extremely difficult to be 

But the line of descent through which we are 
at present tracing the prevalence of Baptist 
principles, leads us to discover their re-appear- 
ance in England and Wales, at the time when 
Roger Williams stood forth as their rep- 
resentative, in forming this State, and John 
Miles as his counterpart, in colonizing the 
district now embraced within this Town. Pre* 
vious indeed, to the prevalence of Luther's 
Reformation in England, the followers of John 
WicklifFe, and the Lollards who were substan- 
tially in fact and principle the same as if they 
had been called by the 7iamc of Baptists, had 

^Mosheim Bccl. Hist, Cent. XVI. Sect. III. Part 
II. chap. 3. § 2. 


■Stood up as the hold opponents of tradition in 
religion,'' djudi of the imion of ecclesiastical pow- 
er with the State ; and they were too often 
called upon to seal their faith with their blood, 
" not loving their own lives unto the death." 

And when the pressure of civil and spiritual 
tyranny was removed, the fires that had been 
sleeping under the ashes, again broke out into 
a flame, and soon all England was moved by 
their light and warmth. The consequence was, 
that when the English reformation began to 
dawn, Baptist sentiments were proclaimed all 
at once, in many parts of the realm. As early 
as in 1549, we are told by Bishop Burnet, 
(11 p. 143,) that many Baptists fled from Ger- 
many into England, who maintained that Infant 
Baptism was no baptism, and so were re- 

But the source through which these senti- 
ments were mainly derived, by those who a- 
dopted them in England, was from Wales. 
Two hundred years before the Lutheran Re- 
formation dawned in England, John Wickliffe, 
persecuted for boldly maintaining the Truth of 
the Scriptures, and for translating them int< 
Enj^lish, was compelled to retire to Hereford 


shire, and the adjoining counties, on the friend- 
ly borders of Wales, and there the seeds cf 
truth which he deposited, took root and flour- 
ished. It was in that very neighborhood that 
William Tyndal was born; who, 150 years 
after Wickliffe's death, caught the light of his 
principles, and followed his footsteps in giving 
another translation of the Bible to the English 
nation. Both of these men were Baptists, in all 
their distinguishing principles, if not in name. 
Tyndal perished in the flames of martyrdom, 
in Flanders, in 1532. His last words were, 
*' Lord, open the eyes of the King of England." 
Wickliffe died a century and a half before him, 
in 1384, not an actual martyr, but from the 
fatigue and suffering incurred in persecution. 
Forty years after his death, his bones were dug 
up, burnt and thrown to the winds, by his en- 
raged enemies. 

From the same borders of ¥/ales there went 
forth influences that stopped not at the place 
nor the time that gave them birth. As soon 
as the Reformation dawned, and the pressure 
of persecution was removed, there suddenly 
f^ppeared a multitude of men professing Baptist 


sentiments. Many of the British Christians 
came forth from their hiding-places in the Prin- 
cipality of Wales, where they had preserved 
the doctrines and the ordinances of the Gospel, 
unadulterated by the corrupt church of Rome, 
having never bowed the knee to Baal. This 
accounts for the fact, that at the commence- 
ment of the Reformation so many Baptists all 
at once made their appearance. No one can 
fell lohen they first became Baptists : nor how 
long their little churches had continued in this 
British Piedmont. Hence, in less than a hun- 
dred years, their sentiments were found scat- 
tered all over the Eng-lish nation. In the reiorn 
of Charles the First, and in the time of the 
Commonwealth, they had wondierfully multi- 
plied. A large part of Cromwell's army, and 
many of his generals and leading officers were 
Baptists They were complained of by their 
contemporaries, " as growing more rapidly than 
any other sect in the land."'* 

If the limits of this Discourse permitted, we 
could name a catalogue of Baptist Ministers, 
Civilians, Scholars, military officers and other 

* See Baillie's Letters, I p. 408 


professional men, the number of whom would 
surprise even the general reader, who is not 
intimately acquainted with the history of those 

A large proportion of those free and bold 
spirits who bore so conspicuous a part in 
rescuing the English people from the oppres- 
sion of a usurping monarchy, and an eccle- 
siastical despotism, \vere of the ancient Brit- 
ish stock, and many of them were native 

Oliver Cromwell was of Welsh origin, and 
Roger Williams and John Miles were both 
born in Wales. It was to the circumstances 
of his birth and early training, that Roger 
W^illiams was probably indebted for those 
great prhiciples of religious faith and human 
liberty which have thrown such a peculiar 
glory around his name. It is too oiten sup- 
posed and asserted, that to this man belongs 
the praise of being " the first person in modern 
Christendom to assert in its plenitude the 

* For a convenient reference to this subject, see an 
able article in the March JNo. of the Christian Review 
for 1543, 

■j:Z historical discourse, 

doctrine of the liberty of conscience, the';; 
equality of opinions before the law."* The 
eloquent historian of the United States has 
given currency to this opinion, which he with 
most others who have attempted to write the 
history of Roger Williams and of Rhode-Island, 
have mistaken, from a m.isconception of the 
circumstances connected with his origin, and 
from a want of acquaintance with the relig- 
ious history of the Cambro-British people. 
While every existing State is truly represented 
by Mr. Bancroft as " connecting by the clos- 
est bonds, the energy of its faith with its form 
of government, there appeared," he says, " in 
their midst, one of those clear minds which 
sometimes bless the world by their power of re- 
ceiving moral truth in its clearest li^ht, and of 
reducing the just conclusions of their princi- 
ples to a happy and consistent practice." " He 
announced his discovery under the simple prop- 
osition of the sanctity of conscience. The 
civil magistrate should restrain crime, but nev- 
er control opinion ; should punish guilt, but 

"^ Bancroft's Hist. U. S. Vol. I, p. 375. 


never violate the freedom of the soul." * * * 
" In the unwavering assertion of his views he 
never changed his position : the sanctity of 
conscience was the great tenet, which, with all 
its consequences, he defended, as he first trod 
the shores of New-England : and in his extreme 
old age it was the last pulsation of his heart.*" 
The splendid description which Mr. Ban- 
croft has given of Roger Williams, repre- 
sents him as emerp;inff from the moral 
darkiiess by which he had been surrounded, 
and in the deep workings of his keen and far- 
sighted mind, groping and grappling and bf ing- 
ihg to light, a mighty principle, the tiucleus 
and concomitant of other stupendous concep- 
tions, to which all the rest of the world were as 
yet strangers. This singular eminence, to 
which the father of this State has been exalted, 
is equally unnecessary and unreasonable. It 
has made him the subject of undue praise on 
the one hand, and of unjust representation on 
the other. His defenders have been betrayed 
into a spirit of vain-glorious adulation ,- his ac- 

♦ Bancroft's Hist. U. S. Vol. I, pp. 367, 8. 


cusers have been quickened into a spirit of 
captiousness and detraction. He is praised by 
the one as a star of the first magnitude, which 
all at once shed its brilliant light upon man- 
kind, as the pole-star of their destiny : by the 
other, he is viewed as an erratic planet, break- 
ing from its orbit, subject to no law, and strik- 
ing its path into the realms of chaos. He has 
been called the great modern law-giver in mor- 
al and political jurisprudence, by many Bap- 
tists, who are willing to own him as the father 
of their religious denomination in this country; 
and by others he has been accused with being 
" conscientiously contentious^'^ — governed by a 
spirit of restlessness, which rendered him as 
liable to stumble on a false principle, as to 
alight upon a true one ; while his worried con- 
science was nothing but a sanctimonious bundle 
of pride, self-ccnceit and evil passions. 

Both of these cppcsite views of his character 
are equally unfounded. The truth is, that he 
possessed a noble character, combining a vig- 
orous intellect, disciplined and furnished by 
generous learning, with a moral nature, sof- 
tened and sanctified with the graces of piety. 
But in all his published works, and in all his 


written memorials, there is no evidence that 
his intellect was so singularly quick and far- 
sighted, or that his moral philosophy was self- 
derived from his own original conceptions. 
He drew his moral creed from the Bible alone : 
and from his intercourse with multitudes of 
noble minds in his fatherland, whose intellect, 
philanthropy and piety, were equal to his own. 
Though he occupied a peculiar position, and 
seemed to strike out new and startling theories, 
in New-England, he was not in advance of 
thousands in Wales and in England, who had 
as clear and familiar an acquaintance with the 
great principles he advocated, as he had him- 
self: and from whose companionship, indeed, 
he must have derived his first conceptions of 
the doctrines he maintained. To him, indeed, 
belongs the honor of establisJiing thejirst civil 
government in modern Christendom, which 
gave equal liberty of conscience to all its sub- 
jects : but the moral principle on which he act- 
ed, so far from being his own original discov- 
ery, was the carrying out, under fortunate cir- 
cumstances, of the great idea, v/hich multitudes 
before him had clearly derived from their Bibles, 
?ipart from, all human systems of ethics or poll- 


tics. Both he and they, drew their sentiments 
from the Bible : and they had long held as sim- 
ple and primary convictions, those truths, which, 
when once boldly advocated before the world, 
seemed like the inspirations of enthusiasm, or 
the daring presumption of heresy and treason. 
And they were but links in that long chain of 
witnesses for the truth which connected those 
Cambro-British Christians, who, in the earlier 
part of the Seventeenth Century, startled Eng- 
land from her dreams of spiritual slumber, with 
generations of holy men before them, who in 
every age, preserved and contended for the 
*' faith once delivered to the saints." 

About the time that Roger Williams hac^ 
planted his colony at Providence, on the basis 
of those truths which have immortalized his 
name, among the multitude of his contempora- 
ries who held the same sentiments in Wales 
and in England, was the Rev. John Miles, 
whose history is identified with the origin of 
this Town. 

When, under the influence of the English 
Reformation, in the reign of Charles I. many 
distinguished persons, both in and out of the 
established Church,adopted Baptist Sentiments, 


'^sveral of them visited Wales, to confer with 
(he Churches in that Principality. Amono- 
these Apostles of the English Reformation, who 
visited Wales, were Penry, Wroth, "William 
Erbury and the celebrated Vavasor Powell. 
They found many of the old British Baptist 
churches who held the sentiments of the Re- 
formers, in advance of the Reformation itself 
As the Waldensian and Piedmontese Christians 
on the Continent, were disappointed when they 
found that Luther's Reformation still allowed 
of many existing corruptions, the reformer him- 
self substituting Consubstantiation for Tran- 
substantiation, and recognizing the jurisdiction 
of civil Government in the affairs of conscience, 
so these old Welsh churches were not disposed 
to accept, as the full expression of their relig- 
ious Faith, the doctrines of their newly reform- 
ed brethren from the English church. Among 
these churches of the old Baptist order, were 
six, who had formed an association on the prin- 
ciples of their ancient Christianity. These 
were the churches of Olchon, Llanwenarth, 
Llantrisaint, Carmarthen, Dolan and Swanzea. 
It is the last of these six churches, with which 
we, as a people, are historically connected. 


In the year 1649, being the first year of 
Cromwell's protectorate, the Rev. John Miles 
became pastor of the Church in Swanzea, in 
Glamorganshire, a county in the south of Wales, 
He soon became one of the leading ministers 
of the Baptist denomination in that Principality. 
In 1651, he was sent as the representative 
of the Baptist churches in Wales, to the Bap- 
tist Ministers' Meeting, in Glazier's Hall, Lon- 
don, with a letter giving an recount of the 
peace, union, and increase of tl e Baptist 
churches in his country ; and returned with a 
letter written by the London Ministers to their 
Brethren in Wales, in which they were advised 
to form new churches ; so that their members 
who resided at a distance might be made more 
useful : ' and that the smaller churches so form- 
ed should associate together for the occasional 
observance of the Lord's supper, and the pro- 
motion of Christian fellowship. 

Mr. Miles continued his ministry with the 
church in Swanzea for thirteen years, during 
which time he added two hundred and 
sixty-three persons to his church,* at the 

*BnckuB,Vol.I, p. 351. 


same time, acting as the leading repre- 
sentative of the Baptist Churches in Wales, 
and was their medium of correspondence with 
the Church^'s in London, Dublin and several 
other places. But in 1662, two years after the 
restoration of Charles II. the Act of Uniform- 
ity was passed, by which two thousand of the 
most pious and useful ministers in England 
and Wales, not conforming to the requisitions 
of the established Church, were ejected from 
the places they had occupied during the pro- 
tectorate of Cromwell. Among these non- 
conforming ministers, of whom many were em- 
inent Baptists, was the Rev. John Miles, who 
immediately after his ejectment came with some 
of his brethren to New-England, bringing their 
church-records with them.*t 

The first notice we find of Mr. Miles, on his 
arrival in America, is at Rehoboth, where find- 
ing spirits kindred to his own, he immediate^ 
gathered around him the materials for organizing 
a church. He probably landed, at first, at Bos- 
ton or Salem, but discovering that the spirit of 

' Backue, Vol, I, p. 353. I Appendix C- 


persecution, which had banished Roger Wil* 
liams, still lingered there, and lured by the in- 
telligence that some of his brethren were scat- 
tered through Rehoboth, on the westerly bor- 
ders of the Colony, near the bounds of Rhode- 
Island, he soon took up his abode in that 
Township. It was here that Mr. Obadiah 
Holmes had resided, who, about twelve years 
before, had been publicly whipped at Boston, 
for holding Baptist sentiments, and for acting 
accordingly. The cruel treatment of Mr. 
Holmes, was equalled only by the unjust fine 
and imprisonment of the Rev. John Clarke 
and Mr. John Crandall, whose only offence 
had been to hold the sentiments of the Baptists, 
and to venture on a visit of mercy to onelof 
their aged brethren within the limits of Massa^ 
chusetts, where heresy in religious opinions 
was as actionable in the eye of the civil law, 
as were the most flagrant vices of actual con- 
duct.* But as injustice always defeats itself, 

* Even twelve years before the persecution of these 
three men, as early as 1639, the very year when Roger 
Williams established his church in Providence, there 
>vas an attempt made to form a Baptist church in 


&nd the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the 
church, so the effect of this inquisitorial tyran> 
ny was to create a re-action in favor of the 
sentiments of the men who had been persecut- 
ed for maintaining them. 

On the arrival of Mr. Miles in Rehoboth, 
finding several of these persecuted heretics, 
whom he and his companions in their father- 
land would have regarded as the true succes- 
sors of the ancient British Christians, he united 
with them in the house of Mr. John Butter- 
worth, in Rehoboth, in a solemn covenant, in 
forming a new church, or in reproducing the 
same one which he had represented in Wales. 

Weymouth, a town fourteen miles south-eaot of Bos- 
ton, The leading men who held the interdicted sen-; 
timents, were John Smith, John Spurr, Richard Sylr 
Tester, Ambrose Morton, Thomas Mackpeace, and 
Hobert Lenthall, who, being presented before the 
Court, for their heresy and treason in dissenting from 
the established churches, were fined and imprisoned 
with various degrees of severity, and the attempted 
organization was crushed by the strong arm of the 
secular law. See Backus, Vol. I, pp. 113, 114, and 
:penedict, Vol. I, p. 357. 


The names of these original constituents wero 
John Miles Pastor, Nicholas Tanner, James 
Brown, Joseph Carpenter, John Butter worth, 
Eldad Kingsley and Benjamin Alby. All these 
seven men appear to have possessed high stand- 
incr and influence, notwithstanding their crime 
of dissent, as their names are often found in 
the records of the Towns of Rehoboth and 

As soon as it was known that this church 
was organized, and were observing the ordi- 
nances of religion on Baptist principles, the 
orthodox churc' es of the Standin^r Order solic- 
ited the government of Plymouth Colony, with- 
in whose jurisdiction the church had been 
formed, to interpose its authority for the ex- 
tirpation of the heresy. In accordance with 
this solicitation, the members of this little 
chu "ch were fined each five pounds, for setting 
np a public religious meeting without the 
knowledge or consent of the Court, to the dis- 
turbance of the peace and the received faith of 
the community. They were at the same time 
ordered to desist from their meeting for one 
month, and advi:ed to remove tl.eir n eeting to 
pome ether place, where they might not preju. 


dice any other church. Upon this order and 
advice, Mr. Miles and his church removed to 
Wannamoiset, a place south of Rehoboth, be- 
ing a part of the present town of Barrington, 
not then included within the limits of any ex- 
isting town, though Rehoboth, which at that 
time embraced nearly all of the present County 
of Bristol, in Massachusetts, claimed a kind of 
jurisdiction over it. At first they appear only 
to have removed ihe'ir place of meeting to Wan- 
namoiset, as permission was afterwards given 
to Mr. Miles to purchase land and to continue 
his residence in Rehoboth* After the action 
of the Court in the removal of the church from 
Rehoboth, these exiled brethren erected their 
first meeting-house, about three miles north- 
west of Warren, on a spot within the limits of 
Wannamoiset, (now Barrington,) a few rods 
south of the Rehoboth line, and a little south 
of the road, that now leads from Warren 
through Seekonk, to Providence.* 

On the 3Cth of October, 1667, the Plymouth 
Court, according to the encouragement previ- 

"^ Appendix D. 


ously given, made to the founders of this church, 
along with others, a grant of land, to be called 
Swanzea, after the name of the Church and 
Town which Mr. Miles and his friends had 
left in Wales. The Plymouth Colony had al- 
ways from the first, exhibited a more liberal 
spirit, in matters of religious opinion, than 
their brethren of the Massachusetts Bay.* 

It was in the Colonies of Massachusetts Bay 
that nearly all the proscriptions for liberty of 
conscience were enacted. It was here that 
those suspected of Witchcraft, were hanged ; 
that the Quakers shared the same fate ; and 
that the Baptists were imprisoned and expatri- 
ated. As Roger Williams had always receiv- 
ed more candid and merciful treatment at 
Plymouth, than in the colonies of Massachusetts 
Bay, so for the same reason, doubtless, John 
Miles and his friends, at their first landing, 
immediately proceeded to find a resting-place 
l^ithin the limits of the Plymouth Colony. And 
although they were fined and silenced by the 
authority of that government, it is evident that 
a milder policy would have been more grateful 
to the Court and the Ministers, if they could 

* Appendix E. 



honestly have seen its consistency with the ex- 
isting union of Church and State, and the re- 
ceived conviction that it was the duty of the 
magistrate to use his sword for tlie suppression 
of heresy. Accordingly, the Plymouth Courts 
more willing to remove the Baptists from their 
jurisdiction, than to punish them within it, de- 
clared, *' that in case they should remove their 
meeting unto some other place, where they may 
not prejudice any other church, and shall give 
us any reasonable satisfaction respecting their 
principles, we know not but they may be per- 
mitted by this government to do so."* 

On the 30th of October, in the same year, 
(1667-8,) the Court of Plymouth made an am- 
ple grant of all the district called Wannamoi- 
set, and parts adjoining, described in general 
bounds, as embracing " all the lands between 
the salt water and river, and the bounds of 
Taunton and Rehoboth," to be held by Mr. 
Miles and his friends, for their accommodation, 
as an incorporated Town, within which they 
were at liberty to exercise all their rights of 

•Plymonth Records, July 2d, 1667. 


conscience as members of a Baptist church. 
The territory thus granted under the incorpo- 
rated name of Swanzea, then embraced not 
only what is now Swanzea, in Massachusetts, 
but also the present town of Somerset, in the 
same State, and the present towns of Warren 
and Harrington, in Rhode-Island. 

The two fif jt names in the petition for the 
grant of this Town, are Mr. Miles, the Pastor 
of the church, and Capt. Thomas VViilet, who, 
though not a Baptist, but probably a member 
of the Reformed church of Holland, yet felt 
the value of religious toleration, and freely join- 
ed with Mr. Miles and his friends, in securing 
the grant of a Town, within which liberty of 
conscience might be allowed to all ; who, 
thouorh of different sentiments, could still live 
as peaceful neighbors, in the exchange of the 
civil amenities of common life. The spirit of 
these two leading men doubtless reflected a 
generous influence over all the community. 
As Mr. Miles, like Roger Williams, was a 
scholar and a well-bred gentleman, so Capt. 
Willett had adorned his naturally amiable char 
acter by the elegant refinements of foreign 
travel, and the intelligence derived by compan- 


ship with eminent men in other lands. He 
was one of the last of the Leyden Company 
who came to Plymouth, and by his intimate 
acquaintance with the manners, customs and 
language of the Dutch, was frequently sent by 
that Colony, to represent their interests among 
the people of New-Netherlands. In 1647, he 
became the successor of Capt. Miles Standish, 
in the command of the military at Plymouth ; 
was frequently elected one of the governor's 
assistants, and on the surrender of New-York 
by the Dutch to the Englisii, in 1664, he visit- 
ed that town with the Commissioners of Ap- 
peals, where he performed his duties so succes- 
fully to all parties concerned, especially to the 
Dutch, that after the re-organization of the 
government, he was elected the first English 
Mayor of the city of New-York, which office 
he held for two years. After acting as umpire 
between the Dutch and the English, and heal- 
ing their divisions and strifes, his peaceful na-. 
ture inclined him to the shac'es of retirement, 
and he returned to his quiet home, in that part 
of Swanzea which is now Barrington, where, 
just before the breaking out of Philip's war, 
he died, on the 4th of August, 1674, and was 


buried in a sequestered spot, about three miles 
west from this place, where a simple stone, 
bearing a brief inscription, records the memo- 
rial of a man, who is worthy to receive from 
the government of the great commercial me- 
tropolis of our country, a more appropriate and 
enduring expression of gratitude they owe to 
their first English Mayor.* 

When the Court of Plymouth the grant 
of Swanzea to Mr. Miles, Capt. Willett, and 
their friends, they were also empowered to de- 
termine the conditions on which they would 
receive strangers as members of their Town. 
As a refuge was thus afforded by the liberal 
nature of their incorporation, to all who might 
have different scruples of conscience in matters 
of religion, and to adventurers and refugees, 
who had no conscience at all, care was taken 
by the Town, that none should be admitted as 
members of their community, who should cor- 
rupt the morals or religious character of the 
inhabitants, or who were likely to become 

* Biographical Note of Capt. Willett. See Appen- 
dix F. 


common paupers, as a charge to the Town. 
Four persons were appointed by the Town, at 
the head of whom was Capt. Willett, to pre- 
scribe the conditions on which any might be- 
come inhabitants, and in performing their duty, 
they adopted the following conditions : 

1. That no erroneous person should be ad- 

mitted into the Township, either as an 
inhabitant or sojourner. 

2. That no man of any evil behaviour, as a 

ccntenticus person, should be admitted, 

3. That none should be admitted that may 

become a charge to the 'i own. 

These rules, while they strongly reflect the 
spirit of rigid morality which marked all the 
early colonists of New-England, were submitted 
for review to Mr. Miles and his church, in con- 
sideration of their prominent position as the 
leading members of the Town. The church, 
not unmindful of their distinguishing principles, 
that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, — 
that the civil magistrate in the one, has no 
jurisdiction in the spiritual affairs of the oth- 
er, — that personal faith, expressed by baptism, 
is the only proper condition of membership in 


a Christian church ; and desiring to allow the 
same religious liberty to others which they 
claimed for themselves, made an address to 
Capt. Willett and his associates, not members 
of their church, in which address they gave an 
explication of the manner in which they wish- 
ed the proposed rules to be understood, and 
manifested a strong desire to found a commu- 
nity on the liberal and comprehensive princi- 
ples of the Bible, by which the glory of God 
and the good of man may be best promoted. 
The explanations made by the church, were 
agreed to by Capt. Willett and his associates, 
as Trustees, and being unanimously adopted, 
Feb. 20, 1669, they became the foundation on 
which the Town was established. 

By this time, although the larger part of the 
citizens of the Town were Baptists, many oth- 
er persons besides Capt. Willett, of liberal 
sentiments and pious life, who were not Bap- 
tists, were concerned in the settlement and 
prosperity of the Town. 

Notwithstanding the Second Charter of 
Rhode-Island, granted by Charles II. on the 
6th of July, 1663 (four years before the Town 


of Swanzea was incorpcrated,) most clearly- 
included the present towns of Bristol, Warren 
and Barrington, and all that territory *' extend- 
ing eastwardly three English miles, to the east 
and north-east of the most eastern and north- 
eastern parts of the Narragansett Bay, as the 
said Bay extendeth itself from the ocean on the 
south unto the mouth of the river which run- 
neth towards the town of Providence,"* yet 
when the town of Swanzea was incorporated, 
four years afterwards, the Plymouth govern- 
ment assumed jurisdiction over all the territory 
embracing the present towns of Bristol, t War- 
ren and Barrington, and granted the two lat- 
ter as a part of the Town of Swanzea. 

Some questions were raised by the Rhode-. 
Island people, respecting these boundaries, and 
commissioners were several times appointed by 
the King and the Colonial governments, to set- 
tle the difficulties ; but the original grant by 
the Plymouth Colony was still maintained for 
more than eighty years, and the boundaries 

* See Second Charter of Rhode-Islahd 

1 See note on Bristol as an Indian Town, Appendix 


fixed by the Charter were not ascertained and 
ackno viedged till th3 year 1746, when, after 
repeated litigation, the present Town of Bris- 
tol, and the Town of Warren, then embracing 
what are now both the present Towns ol War- 
ren and Barrington, became recognized parts 
of the State of Rhode-Island. 

Accordingly, it is only ninety-nine years 
since the Town of Warren ceased to be a part 
of Swanzea, in the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, when its inhabitants became citizens 
of the little State, in whose civil and moral 
welfare they have ever since been so deeply 

The history of this Church and Town, there^ 
fore, cannot be properly contemplated apart 
from their original connection with the Church 
and Town of Swanzea, with which they were 
so long identified as constituent parts. 

It is therefore necessary to the purpose of 
this Discourse, to present a brief sketch of the 
continued history of Swanzea, from the time 
of its settlement by Mr. Miles and Capt. Wil- 
lett, until the partitioning of this Town, and 
the separate organization of this Church. 


Nothing of special interest appears to have 
occurred in the affrirs of the Church or Town 
ofSwanzea, from 1669 till Philip's War, which 
began in June, 1675, in the sufferings of which, 
the Swanzea people bore so conspicuous and 
melancholy a part. At the beginning of this 
War, the Church still worshipped in their first 
meeting-house, about three miles north-west of 
this place, and about a mile and a half west of 
Miles' Bridge, the place now known as Barneys- 
ville. The ground occupied by the present 
villaze of Warre.i, though then a part of the 
Swanzea grant, was still occupied by the rem- 
nants of the once powerful tribe of Wamp^.no ^^ 
Indians, whose former chief, the good and 
faithful Massasoit, had held his residence, there 
is every reason to believe, but a short distance 
from the spot where we are now convened.* 
After Massasoit's death, which occurred at 
some time between the months of May and 
December, of 1661, his son and successor, 
Philip, repaired to Mount Hope, whic then 
became, probably for the first tii e t' e red- 

* Appendix H, 


dence of the Great Sachem of the Wampano- 

This powerful Chief had seen his father 
Massasoit, holding, with enduring constancy 
for forty years, the solemn compact which he 
formed when he welcomed the first Englishman 
to the shores of Plymouth, and little dreamed 
that before the onward march of civilized soci- 
ety, the race of red men must fade away, and 
in less than two centuries, leave scarcely a re- 
lic of a noble people, who, in more fortunate 
times, would have been an ornament to their 
age, and to human nature 

Roused by the recollections of ancient glory, 
and stung with the consciousness of failing 
strength, Philip resolved to employ his mighty 
genius in combining all the powerful tribes of 
New-England Indians, in striking one exter- 
minating blow, which should sweep from the 
land, all the colonies of strangers, who had 
dotted t! eir hunting grounds with harvest 
fields, and farm houses, and thriving towns, 
and aspiring churches. 

Some of his warriors, burning with impa- 
tience for the attack before the time appointed 
by Philip for the general onset, had already 


betrayed his design by committing depredations 
on the settlement in Swanzea, while the Baptist 
Church and Congregation were assembled for 
worship, on Sabbatli, the 20th of June, 167/), 
The government of Plymouth speedily made 
preparations to protect the defenceless inhabit-^ 
ants, who lived in this vicinity, and several 
military companies were at once called out from 
Plymouth and Boston, and at the same time 
^the people were requested by the government 
to observe the following Thursday as a day of 
fasting and prayer. While the Swanzea Church 
had been observing the day as requested, re- 
turning from their place of worship, they were 
surprised by the Indians, and several of them 
were killed, among whom was Eldad Kingsley, 
one of the first constituent members of the 
church. The people of Swanzea and Reho- 
both were soon collected into garrisoned houses; 
and on the following Monday, June 28, the 
forces arriving from Plymouth and Boston, they 
entrenched themselves in the mansion house 
of Mr. Miles, which stood about fifty rods west 
of the bridge, which still bears his name. The 
next day the troops returning over the bridge, 
marched down the eastward side of the War- 


ren river, towards Mount Hcpe, finding on their 
way the heads of eight Englishmen, whom the 
Indians had murdered, set upon poles by the 
side of the road, at a spot about one mile east 
of this place. Marching on to Mount Hope, 
they found that Philip had fled to the east side 
of Taunton River : but nothing daunted, they 
attacked his warriors in their fastnesses wher- 
ever they found them : and collecting all their 
forces together, they crossed the Bay into the 
Narragansett country, and by a series of well 
concerted attacks, they carried fire and sword 
into every wigwam ; and striking blow after 
blow, at almost every point at once, in a short 
time, they left nothing but a few scattered rel- 
ics of the once powerful tribes of the Wam- 
panoags and the Narragansetts. Ph)lip, hunt- 
ed down like a stricken deer, at last fell a vic- 
tim to the treachery of one of his own people : 
and thus sunk the last of a noble race, whose 
melancholy fate would even now have been al- 
most forgotten and unwept forever, but for the 
imperishable interest associated with his mem- 
ory, by the brilliant genius of Irving. " With 
heroic qualities and bold achievements, that 
^ould have graced a civilized warrior, and" 


have rendered him the theme of the poet and 
the historian : he lived a wanderer and a fugi- 
tive in his native land, and went down, like a 
lonely bark, foundering amid darkness and 
tempest — without a pitying eye to weep his 
fall, or a friendly hand to record his struggle."* 

Although one half of the dwellings in Swan- 
zea were laid in ashes during the war, the 
inhabitants immediately after the extermination 
of the Indians, began to spread themselves in 
various directions, and some of them repaired 
to the site on which this village now stands, 
which had been previously occupied by the 
wigwams of Massasoit's Indians. In a short 
time the eastern part of this Township be- 
came thickly settled ; and as there was no 
other place of worship, but the Baptist meeting- 
house in the Town of Swanzea, embracing as 
it then did what are now the Towns of Swan- 
zea and Somerset in Mass., and Warren and 
Barrington in Rhode-Island, the people found 
that some more central spot must be selected 
for the accommodation of their wide-spread 

Sketch Book. 


Accordingly, two years after the war, (1677) 
the Town resolved to assist the church in re- 
moviuor their meeting-house from its former 
position three miles N. W. of this place, to the 
lower end of New-Meadow Neck, immediately 
opposite this village, across the river. But as 
difficulties occurred in their attempted removal 
of the House, the project was abandoned, and 
in about two years afterward, the Town assis- 
ted the church in erecting a new meeting-house, 
40 feet long, 22 feet wide, with 16 feet posts, on 
the site of the old grave yard at Tyler's Point, 
just below Kelley's Bridge.* At the same time, 
they built by the side of their meeting-house, a 
dwelling house, which the Town transferred to 
Mr. Miles, to indemnify him for money which 
he had advanced tojhe Town in defraying the 
expenses of the Indian war, 

The place of the new meeting-house at Kel- 
ley's Bridge, was at that time the most central 
point in the Town, and was then called the 

•The vote of the Town to assist the church in 
creeling a house of worship on Tyler's Point, is dated 
March 29, 1680. 


•* Pbce of Trade;" and for sixty years after- 
wards, nearly all the shipping in the foreign and 
coasting trade, held by the people in this vicin- 
ity, was connected with wharves and ware- 
houses on New-Meadow Neck, near the tvvo 
Bridges, now known as belonging to Capt. 
Bowen and Mr. Kelley. 

But the population continuing to extend 
northward and eastward into what are now the 
Towns of Swanzea and Somerset, in Mass. 
in the course of twenty years after the meeting- 
house was built on Tyler's Point, it was found 
to be extremely unsuited to the convenience of 
the majority of the people; and accordingly, 
about the year 1700, it was remo d to North- 
Swanzea, as it is now called, to a spot directly 
west of the place now known as Cornell's Tav- 
ern, where it stood till the present meeting- 
house of the Swanzea church was erected, in 
1717. Tradition says, the meeting-house was 
moved across tlpe Warren River to the east 
side, on the ice. 

But the new position of the house of worship 
being equally unsuited to the religious accom- 
modation of the numerous people then inhabi- 
ting the present Town of Barrington, it created 


the necessity for the establishment of another 
church : and as many Congregationalists had 
lived in various parts of Swanzea from its first 
incorporation, advantage was taken of the oc- 
casion thus afforded, and the present Congre- 
gational church in Barrington was organized 
shortly after the removal of the Baptist meeting- 
house, from Tyler's Point, in 1700. The first 
meeting-house of the Barrington Congrega- 
tional church was erected a few rods south of 
the venerable Elm trees at^ the corner of the 
road, one mile west of Warren. 

Notwithstanding the trying circumstances 
in which Providence had placed the learned 
and pious Mr. Miles, he continued during and 
after the Indian war, to exercise his ministry 
with great success and acceptance. While 
il^siding at his first location near Barneysville, 
he was engaged in the noble occupation of in- 
structing youth, as well as of preaching the 
Gospel. He appears to have possessed a con- 
siderable amount of property, and was always 
irreatly interested in the affairs of the Town, as 
-ell as of the church. He was held in 
'le highest esteem by the other religious per- 


suasions ; for notwithstanding his almost unpar- 
donable heresy of being a Baptist, he was 
employed by the Congregational churcii of the 
standing order in the Town of Rehoboth to 
preach for them once on a week day, every 
fortnight, and on every alternate sabbath, dur- 
ing nearly all of the year 1666.* 

During the interval between 1667-8, till 
the completion of their new meeting-house on 
Tyler's Point, in 1680, Mr. Miles preached to 
his persecuted Baptist Brethren in Boston ; and 
so acceptable was his ministry there, that they 
urged upon him the proposal to become their 
pastor, which however, to the joy of his people 
in Swanzca, he did not accept. After the 
meeting-house was finished he returned to his 
church and residence at Tyler's Point, where 

* Mr. Backus says, Vol.1, p. 5G6, " We are told 
that being once brought before the magistrates (on a 
charge for we know not what,) he requested a Bible, 
and upon opening it, he turned to tliese words in Job : 
19 : 23, " But ye should say, why persecute we him, 
seeing the root of the matter is found in me," which 
having read he sat down ; and the word had a good 
effect upon their minds, and moved them to treat hira 
with moderation if not with kindness." 


he continued to reside three years, when he fell 
asleep in Jesus on Feb. 3, 1683. He exercised 
his ministry for thirty-eight years ; about half of 
that time, in his native country, where for sev- 
eral years he was the leading Baptist minister 
in Wales ; and with distinguished success for 
twenty years in this vicinity during the stormy 
times of Indian warfare, and the more unnatural 
despotism of religious intolerance. Less fortu- 
nate than his noble co-adjutor, Capt. Willett, 
not even a rudely inscribed stone points out the 
spot where rest the earthly remains of a man 
whose memory is still precious, and whose 
name will be revived with immortal honors at 
the resurrection of the just. He was, most 
probably, buried in the old grave-yard near 
where his dwelling and meeting-house stood at 
Tyler's Point, just across the river, a few hun- 
dred yards from this place.* 

* All that we have been able to ascertain of Mr. 
Miles' family is that his wife was named Ann Hum- 
phrey, by whom he had three children, John, Susan- 
nah and Samuel. John must have been a full grown 
man when Swanzea was founded, as he was one of 
f.he first clerks of the Town. Of hi» daughter ve 


After Mr. Miles' death, the church were with- 
out a pastor for nearly two years, when Capt. 
Samuel Luther, who had sustained every office 
of honor and trust which the proprietors of the 
Town could bestow, was ordained to the work 
of the ministry in 1685, by the assistance of 
Elders Hull and Emblen of Boston. Both be- 
fore and after he became pastor of the church, 
his name often appears on the Records of the 
Town : having been appointed moderator of 
the Town meeting, and on the most important 
committees, and for several years representative 
to the Legislature, showing the este<^m in which 
he was held both at home and abroad, until his 

know nothing but the name. His son Samuel was 
in College at Cambridge at the time of his father's 
death. In 1684 he graduated and went to Fngland, 
and after receiving the degree of Master of Arts at 
Oxford and taking orders in the Episcopal church, he 
returned to America and settled as minister of King's 
Chapel in Boston in 1689, where he died in 1729. Mr. 
Backus incorrectly supposes that this Samuel was 
Mr. MWes' grandson, but there are several facts which 
prove the correctness of the statement in Farmer's 
Register, that he was the son of Mr. Miles. 


death, which occurred on the 20th Dec. 1716, 
having been pastor of the church upwards of SI 
years. He possessed an ample estate, and re- 
sided on the west side of the Kickemuit river, 
one mile east of this place, and was buried in 
the old grave-yard near his residence, where a 
tomb-stone still stands over his ashes. He has 
had a large posterity, among whom was the late 
Col. Ichabod Cole, the present venerable Mr. 
Seth Cole, Capt. Shubael P. Child, and many, 
if not most of the numerous families bearing 
the name of Luther, in this vicinity. 

The Rev. Ephraim Wheat on, who for 12 
years had been the colleague of the Rev. Sam- 
uel Luther, succeeded him as sole pastor at his 
death. His ministry in Swanzea was attei ded 
with such great success, that in five years from 
1718, he baptized and received into his ;hur; h 
fifty members, and during the 17 years cf his 
pastorate, he baptized about one hundred, who 
became memb . o ii<- church; while he was 
also instrumental in erecting their present house 
of worship. He wrote an account of the re- 
markable revival in his c nr h t-., M Thomas 
Hollis of London, the distinguished Baptist 



patron of Harvard University, who sent him a 
letter of congratulr.tion on his ministerial suc- 

I cess, accompanied with a present of becks. 
The celebrated John Comer was his assistant 
at one time ; und at a later period the same ser- 
vice was performed for two years, by the Rev. 
John Callender, who afterwards became pastor 

; of the First Baptist church in Newport, where 
he published his Century Sermon, with enlarge- 
ments, containing the most authentic informa- 
tion extant, respecting the early history of 
Rhode-Island. During the ministry of Mr. 
Wheaton, he resided within the bounds of 
Rehoboth, where he died on the 26th of April, 
1734, aged 75, and was buried in the grave-yard 
near the residence of Dr. Samuel Bullock, 
where a decent monument stands over his grave. 
Near by his side, was laid the lamented Comer, 
who died on the SSd of the following month, 
before he had completed his 30th year.* 

* The descendents of Mr Comer, in this vicinity, 
have in their possession, two volumes of his journal 
and correspondence, which would furnish ample ma* 
terials for his biography ; but the limits proper for 
this Discourse forbid any extended notice of that 
rood and useful man. 


Mr. Wheaton was a man of piety and talents, 
and left considerable property, with a numerous 
family. His four sons were settled on different 
portions of his lands, and among his lineal 
descendents are Judge Wheatcn of Norton, 
Mass., Dr. Wheaton, an aged and eminent 
physician in Providence, the Hon. Henry 
Wheaton, U. S. Minister to the court of Prussia, 
the Rev. Henry Jackson of New-Bedford, 
Mass., the Hon. Charles Jackson, present 
Governor of this State, and the large and re- 
spectable family bearing the ancestral name, 
who reside in this Town. 

During the last yenr of Mr. Wheaton's min- 
istry, Mr. Samuel Maxwell was ordained his 
colleague, who at Mr. Wheaton's death, became 
sole pastor of the church. He seems to have 
been successful in his ministry, so that in the 
six years of his pastorate, he baptized about fifty 
persons. But being somewhat unsettled in his 
principles, he became, in 1738, a Sabbatarian, 
and was dismissed from his office. He was 
however always esteemed a pious man, and 
lived to a good old age, in the south part of 
Rehoboth, where he left numerous descendents 
who still bear his name, in that neigborhood 


After the church had been destitute of a 
pastor, two or three years, they elected the 
Rev. Benjamin Herrington, who entered upon 
his office, the 1st of July, 1742. He was a 
man of remarkably popular talents, having al- 
most always a crowded audience, and during 
his short ministry of six years, baptized and 
added to the church about eighty persons. 
At length, however, his character suffered from 
the imputation of improper conduct, and not 
sufficiently clearing up the charges against him, 
he was dismissed from the church. May 3, 
X750, when he went to Canterbury, Conn, 
where he preached to a few people, aud lived 
in obscurity to old age. 

On the removal of Mr. Herrington, Mr. 
Jabez Wood, grandson of Thomas Nelson, the 
progenitor of the extensive Baptist family of 
that name in Middleborough, Mass., was call- 
ed to supply the pulpit, and after considerable 
hesitation on the part of the church, was at 
length ordained, Sept. 5, 1751, to the pastorate 
in which office he continued without much 
success for twenty-eight years, when he was 
dismissed, and removed to Vermont, where he 
iied in 1794. 


During the period thus briefly sketched, the 
interests of this community now bearing the 
name of Warren, were inseparably connected 
with the Church and Town of Svvanzea, of 
which they formed a part. The ministers of 
that church had been men of able talents, and 
sound religious faith, and for a considerable 
part of that period, the church was probably 
the largest and most flourishing Baptist church 
in New-England. 

Their members resided at a distance of 
many miles around, in the various towns which 
were then included in that of Swanzea, and 
not a few came great distances to enjoy among 
this highly favored people, the ordinances of 
the Gospel. They were favored with repeated 
revivals of religion, especially during the min- 
istry of Mr. Wheaton, when there were up- 
wards of two hundred regidar members of the 
church, and a very large and respectable con- 
gregation gathered from all the surrounding 

It was for these reasons, that the distinct' 
organization of the Warren Baptist Church, is 
of comparatively so recent a date. The Town 


of Warren, though plainly included in the 
Rhode-Island Charter of Charles II., in 1G64, 
had been embraced in the grant which the 
Plymouth Government had made in partition- 
ing off the Town of Swanzea, and the Massa- 
chusetts Government claimed jurisdiction over 
it, till the boundaries fixed by the Charter, 
were ascertained and ratified by royal enact- 
ment in 1746. 

The question of the boundary line between 
Massachusetts and Rhode-Island, began to be 
discussed in the Rhode-Island Legislature as 
early as 1729, in which year Commissioners 
were appointed to act with those from Massa- 
chusetts, in settling the disputed line, but not 
agreeincr nothinor effectual was done. In 
1734, Gov. Wanton, of Rhode-Island, sent a 
petition to the King, praying that the matter 
might be settled, which was replied to in 1738, 
by the proposal of the crown to appoint a com- 
mission from the other Colonies. But to 
" save cost and altercation," it was deemed 
best to make another trial to settle the dispute 
among themselves, and accordingly a new com- 
mittee was appointed by both parties, who met 



in Bristol, in 1739, when, as before, no suc- 
cess attended the commission. 

In 1740, the King, agreeably to his rec- 
ommendation, appointed a commission from 
without the Colony, while committees were 
appointed by the contending parties to appear 
before the commissioners. The Court met at 
Providence, in June, 1741, and organized by 
appointing Cadwallader Colden, of New-York, 
President of the Board. They came to a de- 
cision, June 30, 1741, by agreeing to transfer 
from Massachusetts to Rhode-Island, the terri- 
tory of Little-Compton, Tiverton, Bristol, a 
large part of Barrington, and a portion of 
Swanzea, which embraced forty-seven families, 
together with " Attleborough Gore." But 
Massachusetts, declining to comply with this 
decision, appealed to the King in Council. 

In 1746, the decision of the King and Coun- 
cil was received, confirming the agreement of 
the Commissioners : whereupon the Legislature 
of Rhode-Island immediately in the same year, 
(1746,) passed an act incorporating the towns 
by their respective names, as portions of Rhode- 
Island. The concluding part of the act, is as 
follows : " And that part of the territory con- 


firmed to Rhode-Island, which has heretofore 
been part of Swanzea and Barrington, with a 
small part of Rehoboth thereto adjoining, with 
the inhabitants thereon, be incorporated into a 
township, by the name of Warren." This 
name was given in honor of Admiral Sir Peter 
Warren, who, in June of the previous year, 
(1745,) commanded the English fleet, which, 
in connection with the Colonial army, of about 
4400 strong, commanded by Gen. William Pep- 
perell, had captured Louisburg and the Island 
of Cape Breton from the French, after a toil- 
some and dangerous siege of six weeks. By 
clearing the coast of French ships of war, Ad- 
miral Warren rendered the greatest service to 
this population, wbx) then, as now, made their 
chief dependence on maritime trade. 

By the same act which partitioned off, and 
named Warren, as a part of Rhode-Island, the 
" Attleborough Gore" was named Cumberland, 
after the Duke of Cumberland, who had just 
before gained the battle of Culloden, for which 
Americans as well as Englishmen, shared in 
the national pride and rejoicing. 

Thenceforward the population of this village, 
which had previously been very small, began 


to increase, and the chief seat of trade was 
withdrawn from the Barrington side of the 
river, and wharves were built and shipping ac- 
cumulated at what is now the village of War- 

Although the town, at its first incorporation 
under its present name, embraced all of War- 
ren and Barrington, the number of freemen 
admitted as Corporators was only seventy-six, 
and the larger part of these resided on the Bar- 
rington side. Before the boundaries between 
Massachusetts and Rhode-Island were settled, 
Barrington had been separated from Swanzea, 
and incorporated under its present name in 
1718, but that name was sunk, when the town 
became a part of Warren in 1746. And not* 
withstanding the population considerably in- 
creased for the next twenty-four years, a major- 
ity of the freemen still resided on the west side 
of the river in 1770, when, thinking that their 
own interests would be better served by a di- 
vision of the Town, and believing that they 
were unfairly taxed for the benefit of the people 
on this side of the river, they petitioned the 
Legislature to be set off as a town by them- 
selves, under their former name of Barrington. 



' The measure was opposed by the eastern por- 
tion of the population ; but in 1770, the Legis- 
lature, yielding to the demands of the majority^ 
passed an act, the concluding part of which is 
as follows : " All the lands on the westerly side 
of the river that extends itself from between 
Bristol and Rumstick Northerly to Miles' 
Bridge, is to be made a township, and called 
Barrington." The name of Barrington was 
thus revived, after having been extinct for 
twenty-four years. 

' The separate organization of the Warren 
Baptist Church grew out of the circumstances 
in which Brown University originated, both 
being formed at about the same time, and mu- 
tually connected in the agency by which they 
were established. As early as the year 1707, 
the Philadelphia Association, composed of the 
Baptist Churches in that vicinity, was formed, 
with the view of promoting the welfare of the 
Baptist interests in An: erica. At an early pe- 
riod, they projected plans for the education of 
a suitable ministry : but at that time, almost 
every College in the country v/as so much un- 
<ier the restrictions of denominational govern- 


ance, that for a candidate for the Baptist min- 
istry to be educated in one of them, was too 
often attended with a humiliating sacrifice of 
feeling, personal position, and even of honora- 
ble Christian principle itself. Even so late as 
1780, the Massachusetts government allowed 
none but Congregational ministers to be over- 
seers in the University at Cambridge.* 

Accordingly, the " Philadelphia Baptist As- 
sociation obtained such an acquaintance with 
the affairs ot Rhode-Island, as to bring them- 
selves to an apprehension that it was practi- 
cable and expedient to erect a College in the 
Colony of Rhode-Island, under the chief di- 
rection of the Baptists, in which education 
might be promoted, and superior learning 
obtained, free from any sectarian religious 

The distinct project of establishing a Bap- 
tist College in this State, seems to have origi- 
nated in the mind of Morgan Edwards, a cel- 
ebrated Baptist clergyman of Wales, who, in 
1761, left his native country, and arriving in 

* Backus, Vol. Ill, p. 47. 
1 Backus, Vol. HI, p. 235. 


Philadelphia, became the pastor of the First 
Baptist Church in that city. He at once be- 
came the moving cause of various enterprises, 
which have placed the Baptist churches in this 
country under great obligation to remember 
the talents and time which he devoted to their 
best interests, both in Europe and America. 

Immediately after the plan of a College was 
attempted, Mr. Edwards put forth vigorous ex- 
ertions at home and abroad, in raising money 
and obtaining books for the Institution, and he 
was mainly instrumental in procuring for it a 
Charter in this State. In the later periods of 
his life, Mr. Edwards deemed this the greatest 
service he ever did for the honor of the Baptist 

After the plan for forming a College in this 
State was distinctly projected by the Philadel- 
phia Association, in 17G2, they selected as a 
suitable leader in the important work, Mr. James 
Manning, who, in September of the same year, 
had taken his first degree in the College of 

' Funeral Sermon by Dr. Wm Rogers : from 12th 
No. of Rippon's Annual Register. 


New-Jersey. In the following year, while on 
a voyage to Halifax, in Nova-Scotia, having 
been directed to visit Rhode-Island, he landed 
at Newport, and proposed the subject of his 
mission to several gentlemen of the Baptist de- 
nomination, among whom were the Hon. Sam- 
uel Ward, then Governor of this State, Hon. 
Josias Lyndon, who was also afterwards Gov- 
ernor, Col. John Gardiner, Deputy Governor, 
and twelve others of the same persuasion, who 
readily concurred with the proposal, and enter- 
ed upon the use of the means to accomplish it.* 
Notwithstanding various secret contrivances, 
and some open attempts were made to defeat 
the enterprise, an a nple Charter for the pur- 
pose was granted by the Legislature of this 
State, in February, 1764. 

It immediately became a question of great 
practical interest, as to where the College 
should be located. No funds had as yet been 
collected, and it was evident that the College 
could not support itself, at least in its feeble 
beginning. It was therefore necessary to con- 

Backus, Vol. II, p. 236. 


aect it with some other situation, whose pecun- 
iary income would furnish means for helping 
to assist the College. At that time there were 
nearly sixty Baptist communicants residing in 
the Town of Warren, the majority of whom 
held their membership with the Swanzea 
church, and nearly all of them seem to have 
preferred to be considered as a branch of that 
venerable church, in whose communion they 
and their forefathers had found so much edifi- 
cation and comfort. 

It was with reluctance they could be induc- 
ed to leave a church, so time-honored in name, 
and so prosperous in state. But as the popu- 
lation of this village was then rapidly increas- 
ing, it became obvious that the time had arriv- 
ed, when they would best secure their religious 
welfare, by continuing no longer as a branch 
of the mother church in Swanzea, but by form- 
ing themselves into a separate and independent 
body. After much prayerful deliberation, it 
was concluded by the Baptists in this Town, 
on the one part, and by the friends of the Col- 
lege, on the other, that Mr. Manning should 
remove to this place, with the view both of or- 
ganizing a church, and of beginning the Co^ 


lege ; and in the summer of 1764, removing 
with his family from New-Jersey, he took up 
his residence in this village. He immediately 
opened a preparatory Latin school, while at 
the same time he was diligently employed in 
preaching the Gospel, having been previously 
ordained by the Baptist church at Scotch Plains, 
near Elizabeth-Town, N. Jersey, under the 
pastoral care of the Rev. Benjamin Miller.* 

On the 15th day of November, 1764, the 
Church in this place was constituted, being 
composed at its organization of fifty-eight mem- 
bers, thirty-five of whom had been received 
from the Swanzea church, and twenty-three 
others, some of them having been baptized by 
the ReV: Samuel Maxwell, who had preached 
for a time in this town, some having been bap- 
tized by the Rev. Gardner Thurston, of New- 
port, and some by Mr. Manning, after he arriv- 
ed in this place. By previous appointment, 
the members intending to be formed into a 
church, had engaged the Rev. John Gano of 
New-York, the Rev. Gardner Thurston of New- 

Appendix I. 


"port, and the Rev. Ebenezer Hinds of Middle- 
"boro', Mass. to assist in the proposed constitu- 
tion. The day being kept in the solemn 
exercise of fasting and prayer, " in the forenoon 
the Rev. Mr. Thurston preached a sermon, and 
after a short intermission of service, the people 
returned, and the Rev. John GanO) James 
Manning, and Ebenezer Hinds, each made a 
prayer suitable to the occasion, after which, 
the church covenant, previously prepared by 
Dr. Manning, was presented and read."* 

After the constituent members had signed 
the covenant, " they were asked by the Rev. 
Mr. Manning, whether they in the presence of 
that assembly, viewed that as their covenant 
and plan of union in a church relation, which 
question was answered by them all in the af- 
firmative, standing up ; after which, three of 
the brethren, Samuel Hix, Amos Haile, and 
John Coomer, in behalf of the Church, pre- 
sented a call, previously prepared by the breth- 
ren, to the Rev. James Manning to become 
their pastor.f The call was read publicly by 

* Appendix K. t Appendix L. 


the Rev. Mr, Gano, after which, he asked the 
Rev. James Manning if he accepted it, which 
was answered in the affirmative. 

" Then Mr. Gano preached a sermon, suita- 
ble to the occasion, in which he reminded both 
pastor and people of their respective duties, 
and urged the mutual performance of both, 
from those important motives which the nature 
of the relation requires. Thus ended the so- 
lemnities of the day.* 

From this time onward, during the six years 
of Dr. Manning's ministry, the Church and 
College increased and flourished together. 
Having already commenced the business of in- 
struction by opening a Latin school immediate- 
ly on his arrival in this town, Dr. Manning had 
prepared the way for beginning the Collet, 
when, in Sept. 1765, he was elected its Presi- 
dent : but he seems to have been the only in- 
structer till in 1766, when the late Hon. David 
Howell, a graduate of New-Jersey College in 
that year, was appointed the first Tutor in the 

'* Quoted from the Church Books 


College.* The next year, (1767,) the Rev. 
Morgan Edwards — to use his own words — 
*' set out for Europe to solicit money towards 
.paying the salary of the President and Assis- 
tant ; for hitherto we had no funds ; and suc- 
ceeded pretty well, considering how angry the 
-mother country was with the colonies, for op- 
,posing the stamp act. Afterwards the Rev. 
Dr. Hezekiah Smith and others gathered small 
^ums in America, for the same purpose, but 
after all, the endowment is so scanty, that 
^;he College is in arrears to the President 
to this day, who has suffered considerably by 

But notwithstanding the pecuniary embar- 
rassment of the College, the Church, accord- 

* " During a large portion of his protracted life, Mr. 
•Howell was connected with the College in Rhode- 
Island. For three years, he was a tutor, and the first 
ever appointed in that institution; for nine .years, 
l*rofes3or of Natural Philosophy ; for thirty-four 
years, Professor of Law ; for fifty-two years, a mem- 
hev of the Board of Fellows ; and for many yearn, 
Secretary of the Corporation." Prof. Goddard's Me- 
moir of Dr. Manning. 


ing to the agreement they made in their call 
to Dr. Manning to the pastorate, appear to have 
given him a liberal support. Shortly after the 
Church was organized, and the College estab- 
lished, a house of worship was erected over the 
precise spot occupied by the one recently re- 
moved, and about two thirds of the size of the 
one lately taken down on the north side of this 
Edifice, and overlapping a few feet of ground 
covered by it; and a spacious mansion was 
erected, for the double purpose of a College' 
and parsonage, on the land occupied by the" 
eastern and middle parts of the spacious house' 
of worship in which we are now convened.*" 

The first Commencement was held in the 
Meeting-House, Sept. 7, 1769, when seven 
young men, matriculated in 1765, took their' 
first Degree in the Arts.t Of these, the Rev. 
Charles Thompson, who succeeded Dr. Man- 
ning in the pastorate of this Church, took the 
highest honors, and pronounced the Valedictory 
Address. Two more of this class were emi- 
nently useful Baptist Ministers ; one of whom, 

' Appendix M. t Appendix N. 


the Rev. William Rogers, D. D, was the suc- 
cessor of Morgan Edwards, as pastor of the 
First Baptist Church in Philadelphia, and for 
many years was Professor of Oratory and Belles 
Lettres in the University of Pennsylvania ; — the 
other, was the Rev. William Williams, for 
many years pastor of the Baptist Church in 
Wrentham, Mass. and who was elected to the 
Fellowship of the College in 1789. Mr. Wil- 
liams, in the course of his ministry, instructed 
many young men in the study of theology, and 
probably prepared more young men for Rhode- 
Island College, than any other man, since its 
beginning. A fourth member of this Class, was 
Generai James Blitcliell Varnum, afterwards 
distinguished for his eloquence as a member of 
Congress from the State of Rhode-Island, and 
was also a Brigadier-General in the American 
army in the war of the Revolution, and was 
subsequently appointed Judge of the North- 
Western Territory, whither he removed in 1787, 
and died at Marietta, Ohio, in 1790, aged forty 

* See Memoir of Gen. Varnuni, in the " Memoirs, 
'•f the Rhode-Island Bar," by Wilkins Updike, Esq. 



In immediate connection with the origin of 
the College and Church in this place, was formed 
the Warren Association, the oldest Baptist As- 
sociation of the kind in N. England, which took 
its name from this place, where its first meeting 
was held, in 1767. Various measures had be- 
fore been repeatedly resorted to, by Baptist 
Churches in some parts of New-England, to 
combine their exertions, in order to procure 
exemption of the civil government, from the 
'* ministerial Taxes," and other annoyances of 
the kind, to which they were subjected by the 
" Standing Order." In every colony in Ne\y- 
England, except Rhode-Island, the Baptists 
were exposed to various civil disabilities, vvhile 
all the protests and remonstrances to which 
they resorted, had proved unavailing. In Mas- 
sachusetts, however, the appeals of their min- 
isters and churches had begun to incline the 
Legislature toward a more lenient policy :* 
which, awakening in the Baptists, the spirit of 
hope, they applied to several of their indepen-. 
dent sister churches in the other colonies, to, 

^ Appendix O. 


enter into an association, to be based on prin- 
ciples of mutual right and advantage, and social 
and moral equality, the main object of which 
should be to produce a closer agreement among 
themselves, and to exert a joint influence over 
their fellow-citizens in the respective colonies, 
and their Legislatures, in order to gain the same 
<iivil and religious freedom, which had hitherto 
been monopolized by the " Standing Order." 
On the 2Sth of August, 1766, the Warren 
Church voted, " That an Association be enter- 
ed into with sundry churches of the same faith 
and order, as it was judged a likely method to 
promote the peace of the churches." As the 
location of the College in conjunction with the 
church, had now made this village a place of 
resort and a general rallying-point, for the lead- 
ing members of the Denomination in these re- 
gions, it was deemed best to connect the an- 
nual meeting of the Association with the anni- 
versary of Commencement, so that all who 
came from a distance might have the opportu- 
nity of attending on both occasions. Accord- 
ingly, the anniversary of the Association was 
fixed on the first Tuesday after Commencement, 
which order of time, in the respective auiiiver- 


saries of the College and of the Associatioi^ 
has ever since been observed.* 

Immediately after the first Commencement, 
the College began to grow in social importance, 
and public attention, far and near, was attract- 
ed to it. As no public edifice was yet erected 
for its permanent accommodation, applications 
were made to the Corporation from the counties 
of Providence, Newport, and Kent, for its es- 
tablishment among them, each holding out 
strong inducements, in competition with this 
town, for the honor and benefit of its location. 
This church, immediately after the first Com- 
mencement, voted that " The Meeting-House 
in this Town be and is, for the use of the Cor- 
poration and President at Commencement 
times ; and oftener, if wanted by either, only 
so as not to interfere with Divine Worship : 
Provided, that the College Edifice be founded 
and built in the County of Bristol ; and that 
the Parsonage House in said Warren be for the 
use of the President, so long as the President 
be our Minister." 

* Appendix P. 


As the place for the permanent location of 
the College was still undetermined, the four 
towns of Warren, Providence, Newport, and 
East-Greenwich, in four different counties of 
the State, all preferred their claims as being, 
each respectively, the most eligible situation. 
The consequence was, that the public mind 
was greatly agitated by the contention which 
grew out of these conflicting claims. Mr. 
Edwards, in referring to the subject, says, 
*' Warren was at first agreed on as a proper 
situation, where a small wing was to be erected 
in the spring of 1770, and about .£800 raised 
towards effecting it. But soon afterwards, 
some who were unwilling it should be there, 
and some who were unwilling it should be any- 
where, did so far agree as to lay aside the said 
location, and propose that the county which 
should raise the most money, should have the 

The two ablest competitors in this contest 
were the towns of Providence and Newport. 
The latter town raised <£4000 by subscription, 
but Providence gained the advantage, by raising 
^4280, and after an earnest discussion on the 
merits of the conflicting claims, the Corpora- 


tion, on the 7th of February, 1770, decided by 
a vote of twenty-one to fourteen, that the edi- 
fice be built in the town of Providence, and 
there be continued forever.* 

But as Dr. Manning had been identified with 
the College from its first foundation, and was 
the soul of its prosperity, a great practical dif- 
ficulty arose between the Corporation and the 
Warren church, as to which he must relinquish. 
He was devotedly attached to his people, and 
they were as devotedly attached to him ; and 
when the alternative was presented, he was 
about to resign his presidency, rather than his 
pastorate. After considerable correspondence 
between the Corporation of the College, and 
the Warren Church and Congregation, Dr. 
Manning was persuaded to resign his charge 
of the church : and in the following May, 1770, 
removed with his undergraduates to Provi- 
dence ; — which, in the language of the church 
records, " was to the wonderment of his people, 
he being greatly admired and renowned, before 

* Manuscript Letter of Dr. Manning to Dr. Heze- 
kiah Smith, dated Warren, Feb. 12, 1770. 



he rejected his people, which was in the sixth 
year of his ministry." The grief of the church 
in the removal of their admired and beloved 
pastor, had its counterpart in the dissatisfaction 
and chagrin of the town in losing half of their 
territory in the same year, when Harrington 
was partitioned off, and erected into a separate 

After the church had been destitute of a pas- 
tor for about one year, they called Mr. Charles 
Thompson, the valedictorian of the first grad- 
uating class, to preach to them, and by the 
assistance of Elders Ebenezer Hinds of Middle- 
boro', and Noah Alden of Bellingham, he was 
ordained to the pastoral charge, July 3, 1771. 
He was born at Amwell, New-Jersey, April 
14, 1748, and became pastor of the church at 
the age of twenty-three. A great blessing at- 
tended his ministry ; so that during the four 
years of his pastorate, the membership of the 
church was almost doubled. But when the war 
of the Revolution broke out, in 1775, its per- 
nicious effects were sorely felt by this people. 
Mr. Thompson was appointed a chaplain in the 
American army, which office he held till 1778, 
when being at home on a visit, the English 



troops came up to Warren* on the morning of 
May 25, 1778, and burned the Meeting-House, 
Parsonage-House, an Arsenal and several pri- 
vate dwellings, and carried Mr. Thompson away 
as a prisoner, and confined him at Newport, 
from which he was released in about a month, 
by what means he never knew. 

After this, he preached some time at Ash- 

* The occasion of the attack upon Warren, was 
that General Sullivan having been appointed to com- 
mand the American forces on Rhode-Island, the 
English, who were blockaded at Newport by the 
French fleet, were anticipating an attack upon the 
Island by the Americans from the main. To defeat 
this design, the English commander sent 500 men up 
the river, who landed at daylight on the morning of 
the 25th of May, between Bristol and Warren, and 
moved in two detachments, the one for Warren, 
where they destroyed the Meeting-House and Par- 
sonage House, blew up the Arsenal, and burnt up 
other property ; — the other, for the head of Kicke- 
muit river, where the boats were building for the 
American expedition, and there they destroyed about 
seventy flat-bottomed boats, set fire to one state 
galley, and burnt a large quantity of pitch, tar, ship- 
timber and other property belonging to the Ameri- 
cans, at that place. 


ford, Connecticut, till 1779, when he became 
pastor of the church in Swanzea. So great 
was the shock which this population sustained 
by the calamities of the war, that the church 
and people were very much scattered, many of 
them taking refuge in the interior of the coun- 
try, and so few remained, that no public relig- 
ious meetings were held for several years. A 
'large part of the remaining members of the 
church resumed their membership with the ma- 
ternal church in Swanzea, upon the condition 
that they should have full liberty to be dismiss- 
■ed when the Providence of God should permit 
the Warren church to be re-organized. 

Thus, after this church had maintained u 
separate existence for fifteen years, it again 
merged into the original church, of which the 
Baptists residing in this village and immediate 
vicinity, had formerly been a branch for about 
one hundred years, previous to the separate 
organization of this church in 1764. It was 
this union and agreement between the two 
churches, that encouraged Mr. Thompson to 
become the pastor of the Swanzea church, on 
the 7th of October, 1777. Immediately after 
Mr. Thompson commenced his ministry at 


Swanzea, new life was infused into the church, 
and a glorious revival of religion ensued, during 
which he baptized seventy-five persons, about 
thirty of whom resided in Warren. The con- 
nection of the Warren with the Swanzea breth- 
ren appears to have been distinguished with 
the happiest influences. It was not till after 
the war, that this church ceased to be a branch 
of the maternal church at Swanzea, and resum- 
ed its Separate existence. On the 5th of Feb- 
ruary, 1784, the congregation in this place 
resolved to build another House of Worship, 
on the same spot where their former one had 
stood ; and in the course of the following year^^. 
they erected the Meeting-House recently taken 
down, which has been so dear to the religious 
Associations of a large part of this congregation, 
from their earliest childhood. 

On the 29th of August, 1785, the Legislature 
granted a charter to the Benevolent Baptist 
Society, composedof Baptist members and oth-^ 
ers friendly to their interests, for the purpose 
of establishing a permanent fund for the main- 
tenance of the ministry in the Baptist Church 
and Society in Warren. The House of Wor- 
ship having been erected, and a chartered So- 


ciety established, with a fund for the support 
of the ministry, in September of 1786, the for- 
mer members of the church, and others who 
had been elsewhere dispersed, were again re- 
organized on the basis of their former covenant 
and plan of union. 

Although the former miembers of the Warren 
church had encouraged the settlement of Mr. 
Thompson at Swanzea, after their own church 
was broken up in the war, it was evidently with 
the expectation that he might become their pas- 
tor again, whenever they should be re-organ- 
ized. His ministry, however, had been so em- 
inently successful at Swanzea, and his engage- 
ments as a teacher of youth were such, that he 
could not honorably relinquish his station, and 
he continued the beloved and useful pastor of 
the old Swanzea church, till 1803, when he 
removed to Charlton, Mass. where soon after, 
May 1, 1803, he died of the consumption.* 

After the church had been re-organized in 
Sept. 1786, in the following month the Rev. 
John Pitman, removing with his family to this 

* Appendix Q. 


town, became the pastor of the church, having 
been previously ordained to the work of the 
ministry. Mr. Pitman's labors were very ac- 
ceptable and edifying to the church, and at- 
tended with a moderate increase of its member- 
ship, having baptized eighteen persons during 
the three and a half years of his pastorate. 
Early in the summer of 1790, he resigned his 
pastoral office, and removed to Providence.* 
For a period of three years and a half, aft 
the removal of Mr. Pitman, the church wei 
destitute of a pastor, during which time thr , 
were supplied with preaching, principally by 
the Rev. Nathaniel Cole, subsequently of Plain- 
field, Conn, and by various other ministers, 
who visited the place. At length, in October 
of 1793, Mr. Luther Baker, born in this town, 
June 11, 1770, was called by the church to the 
work of the ministry, and to the pastorship of 
the church, which soon began to revive, under 
his care. Mr. Baker's ministry at several peri- 
ods was blessed with extensive and powerful 
revivals of religion. In the year 1805, ninety 

* Appendix R. 



persons were added to the church, nearly all of 
them by baptism. Another revival commenced 
immediately after the session of the Warren 
Association, which was held in this place in 
Sept. 1812, in which over sixty were baptized 
in the course of a few months. 

Within the period of the Rev. Mr. Baker's 
ministry, and especially within the forty years 
extending from the great revival in 1805, up 
to the present time, this church has been re- 
peatedly blessed with refreshing seasons from 
the presence of the Lord. The most extensive 
and powerful work of grace, known by the name 
of a revival of religion, which this church has 
ever experienced, began in the latter part of 
the winter of 18'20, after a season of peculiar 
darkness and difficulty. The church had been 
divided in her councils, and greatly perplexed 
in the exercise of discipline, in matters which 
related to their former pastor, and dissatisfac- 
tion crrowinor out of the circumstances attend- 
ing his resignation. They had been for some 
time without a pastor ; but under the faithful 
preaching of the Rev. Dr. Gano, of Providence, 
who with others, frequently visited this people 
at that time, in the fulness of the blessinor of 


the Gospel, and with an unction from the Holy 
One of Israel, this weary heritage all at once 
became greatly revived ; and an overpowering 
religious influence was felt by this population, 
which was never equalled by any thing of the 
kind, before or since. On the 11th of March, 
of that year, the Rev, Flavel ShurtlefF began 
his ministry, which, in conjunction with the 
faithful labors of Dr. Gano and others, was 
blessed by the great refreshing of the church, 
and the conversion of a multitude of the im- 
penitent. In a few months, one hundred and 
thirty were added to the church, nearly all by 
baptism, who, with many others that joined 
other churches, were the subjects of this gra- 
cious visitation. 

But the period of time, extending from the 
present, up to the great revival under Mr. Ba- 
ker's ministry, is so familiarly known to many 
who still live to relate what they were personal 
witnesses of, and the existing records of the 
church are so full of the transactions of the 
last forty years, that it would only be an easy 
work of compilation, to fill up many pages with 
events of glowing interest, and sketches of re- 
markable character. The limits of this Dis- 


course, already too much extended, forbid us 
the easy and pleasant task of detailing the ma- 
terials of history, so abundantly to be found in 
the records of the church, in the personal rec- 
ollections of many of its living members, and 
in occasional publications containing allusions 
to this church and people. 

Mine has been the more difficult, though not 
less pleasant duty, of unfolding to view the 
sources of our religious and social existence, 
by collecting facts and testimonials, many of 
which had become well nigh lost forever, and 
most of which were out of the reach of the 
present generation. It must be the work of 
some future pastor or historian of this church, 
to take up its history at the points where we 
leave it, and embody those materials which are 
much less likely to become lost, than those 
which have furnished the sketches presented 
in these pages.* 

*The original Records of this church, from its or- 
ganization in 1764, to the burning of the meeting- 
house and parsonage house in May, 1778, were mostly 
destroyed in that fire. The Providence of God^ 
however, so ordered it, that Mr. John Throop, led by 


This church has had from the beginning, up 
to the present time, nine regular Pastors. 

The First Pastor, the Rev. Dr. James Man- 
ning, a graduate of Princeton College in the 
class of 1762, began with the church, Nov. 15, 
1764, and resigned April 26, 1770, 

The Second Pastor, the Rev. Charles Thomp- 
son, a graduate of Brown University in the class 
of 1769, became pastor of the church, March 
31, 1771, and closed his connection with the 
church, when it was scattered and disorganiz- 
ed by the burning of the meeting-house. May 
25, 1778. 

The Third Pastor, the Rev. John Pitman, 
became Pastor immediately after the re-organ- 
ization of the church, October 26, 1786, and 
resigned in June, 1790. 

The Fourth Pastor, the Rev. Luther Baker, 
was ordained to the work of the ministry, and 
to the pastorship of this church, on the third 

principles of friendship to the church, had taken a 
complete copy of the records, up to November 30, 
1769 ; which with disconnected fragments of the orig- 
inal records saved from the fire, were afterwards 
copied into the Church Books by William Turner 
Miller after the re-organization of the church. 


Thursday of October, 1793, and resigned No- 
vember 1, 1814. 

The Fifth Pastor, the Rev. Silas Hall, a 
graduate of Brown University in the class of 
1809, was called to the pastorate, and accepted 
the call, on the day of Mr. Baker's resignation, 
Nov. 1, 1814, and resigned May 1, 1817. 

The Sixth Pastor, the Rev. Daniel Chessman, 
a graduate of Brown University, in the class of 
1811, and a licentiate of the Second Baptist 
church in Boston, was ordained to the work of 
the ministry and to the pastorship of this church, 
March 5, 1818, having supplied the pulpit from 
August of the preceeding year. He was dis- 
missed by the church, Jan. 23, 1820. 

The Seventh Pastor, the Rev. Flavel Shurt- 
leff, a graduate of Brown University in the 
class of 1814, commenced his labors as min- 
ister, March 11, 1820, and resigned, September 
18, 1821. 

The Eighth Pastor, the Rev. John C. Welsh, 
a recent member of Waterville College, and a 
licentiate of the First Baptist Church in Boston, 
was ordained to the work of the ministry and 
to the pastorship of this church, June 11, 1823, 
and resigned; November I, 1840. 


The Ninth Pastor, and the present incum- 
bent, a graduate of Brown University in the 
class of 1838, was recognized as Pastor, April 
23, 1842. 

During the organized existence of the church, 
embracing the intervals between its pastors, it 
has been without pastoral care, the aggregate 
sum of eight and a half years. 

The present number of members is 264 

The whole number of members from the begin- 
ning is 770 
Of these there were at its first organization, 58 
Added by Dr. Manning, in six years, 15 
Added by Mr. Thompson, unknown.* 
Added, at the re-organization in 1786, by dis- 
mission from Swanzea, of those not formerly 
members of this church, 18 
Added by Mr. Pitman, in about three and 

a half years, 21 

Added by Mr, Baker, in twenty-one years, 251 

Added by Mr. Hall in two and a half years, 34 

Added by Mr. Chessman, in about two years, 3 

* There were undoubtedly many persons baptized 
and added to the church under the ministry of Mr. 
Thompson, — but the records containing their names, 
&c. were destroyed by the fire. No account of those 
thus added, can be included in the summary oi 


Added by Mr. ShurtlcfF, in one year and a half, 13B 
[Added in the interval, 2 

Added by Mr. Welsh, in seventeen and a half 

years, 179 

Added in the interval, 23 

Added by the present pastor, in three years and 

a quarter, 33 

Julyl, 1845. 

While this church has not been unduly rigid 
in the maintenance of its authority, and in the 
administration of discipline, it is yet the pain- 
ful fact, that since its organization, of all the 
members added, seventy-six have been excluded 
who were not afterwards restored, being a frac- 
tion over ten per cent, of the whole. 

In these rapid outline sketches of our social 
and religious history, we have arrived at a 
period known to the personal recollections of 
many who are now before me. Time only for- 
bids the picturing forth before you, of those 
familiar persons and events that would awaken 
in your hearts the recollecton of your dearest 
and most sacred associations. 

Neither can we enforce at present those 
lessons of instruction with which the past ad- 
dresses us from the dust and sepulchre. We 
have been reviewing the history of remoter. 


periods, but where are the men whose lives and 
whose actions we have been recording? " Our 
fathers where are they ? and the prophets, do 
they live forever ?" The glowing hearts that 
once swelled with joy, or sunk in sadness, at 
the revival or the declension of piety, are now 
cold in the grave : the eyes once watchful for 
the signs of the times, are dimmed forever ; the 
voices that chanted the high praises of Israel's 
God, are silent now; and ''the old familiar 
faces are gone." Some, whose spirit of gen- 
erous piety, longed to see the day when a 
temple, such as we are in, should be reared, 
have not lived to see it ; and even some who 
beheld these massive walls slowly rising, have 
never seen their completion ; they have gone 
the way of all the earth. And we too are dwell- 
ing on the banks of that stream of time whose 
rapid current is ever winding on from the 
eternity of the past, to the eternity of the future; 
we see the moving course of events on its sur- 
face ; now they are above us ; now they are 
below us ; but they never stop before us. 

*' We can never say they're here, 

But only say they're past." 

Meanwhile we should feel that we are not liv-^ 


ing for the present, nor for ourselves; but for 
the future, and for others ; for our families who 
are the hopes of the church : for the young, our 
substitutes in another generation, who are to 
receive our work as we pass it over to them, 
and to hand it on to still coming aaes ; for our 
country, whose existence and welfare must de- 
pend upon the maintenance of those great prin- 
ciples of civil and religious freedom, which our 
forefathers brought to light amid surrounding 
darkness, and struggled for, amid cruel mock- 
ings and bloody sufferings ; and for God, who 
is first and last, and all and in all, God over 
all, blessed forever. 

In the erection of this noble and substantial 
Edifice, we have been doing a work, less for 
ourselves, than as a legacy for posterity ; and 
though our eyes may not long see these walls 
our hands have builded, — and its earthly glory 
will all fade away amid the splendors of the 
upper sanctuary, in the New Jerusalem ; yet 
even then it may not dim the brightness of a 
happy retrospection to remember that on earth 
we were willing, as the royal Psalmist was, to 
give a generous offering to the outward beauty 
of Divine Worship. Meanwhile, we hope to' 


oifer up our prayers and praises, to receive in- 
struction and encouragement within this tem- 
ple, which we have endeavored to render chaste 
and beautiful, but not gorgeously splendid, nor 
superfluously expensive; unadorned with tin- 
sel and tracery, yet solemnly imposing, and 
complete in its proportions. Yet we do not 
forget, that our sublime and spiritual religion 
is not inconsistent with the severest exactness 
and the utmost purity of taste ; that the inlets 
of sensation are the medium of our earliest 
ideas, our most permanent associations, and of 
our religious impressions themselves; that while 
they who worship God acceptably, must wor- 
ship Him in spirit and in truth, we may make 
the sight of the eye affect the heart, the hear- 
ing of the ear the entrance of faith, the sounds 
of harmony the source of inward melody, and 
our lowly worship on earth the emblem as well 
as foretaste of those celestial services where the 
worshippers are " before the throne of God^ 
and serve him day and night in his temple : 
and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell 
among them ; and they shall hunger no more, 
neither thirst any more ; neither shall the sun 
light on them, nor any lieat ; for the Lamb 


, ism the midst Of the throne Shall feed 
them, and shdl lead them unto living fountains 
of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears 

from their eyes." ,..,,„ 

Here, then, while we dedicate this temple to 
the spiritual service of a spiritual God, praying 
that the glory of this latter house may be grea - 
er than that of either of the former, let us seek 
after greater soundness of religious doctrine, 
greater purity of religious discipline, greater 
liberality of religious sentiment, greater am.a- 
bleness of religious manners, greater benevo- 
lencein religious philanthropy; that we may 
have communion with the Father m his house, 
tte Son on his throne, and the Spirit in our 
hearts ; that looking through the v>s.ble thing 
which deceive, to things invisible, which never 
deceive, we may behold the glory of that spirit- 
ual building, not made with human hands,-the 
church itself, the body of Christ," by w^om 

all the building, fitly framed together, groweth 
unto an holy temple in the Lord; ."whom al- 
so we may be builded together for an habitation 
of God through the Spirit." 

And now, in conclusion, we can say, m the 
spirit ofpiety with wluchthe Psalmist, who 


had it in his heart to build a temple to the 
Lord, '' not offering unto the Lord his God of 
that which cost him nothing," could express his 
joy at going up to the sanctuary, and rejoice 
in the holy city, ''Peace be within thy walls, 
and prosperity within thy palaces. For my 
brethren and companions' sakes, I will now 
say, Peace be within thee. Let thy work, O 
Lord, appear unto thy servants, and thy glory 
unto their children. And let the beauty of the 
Lord our God be upon us ; and establish thou 
the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work 
of our hands establish thou it." Amen- 




Note A.— Page 33. 

As a specimen of the candid and independent spir- 
it of a liberal class of men, who, like Dr. Thomas 
Arnold, late of Oxford, and Archbishop Whately, 
love the form of episcopal government, and yet place 
the question of Apostolic succession on its true his- 
torical merits, we subjoin a few passages of Bishop 
Whately, on the " Difficulty of ascertaining unbroken 

But as there are some persons who are too ready 
to separate from any religious community on slight 
grounds, or even through mere caprice, " to heap 
up to themselves teachers, having itching ears," it 
has been thought, — or at least maintained, — that the 
only way of affording complete satisfaction and re- 
pose to the scrupulous, and of repressing schism, is 
to uphold, under the title of " Church-principles," 
the doctrine that no one is a member cf Christ's 
Church, and an heir of the covenanted Gospel-pro- 
raises, who is not under a Ministry ordained by Bish- 
ops descended in an unbroken chain from the Apos- 
tles. K* 


Now what is the degree of satisfactory assurance- 
that is thus afforded to the scrupulous consciences ol 
any members of an Episcopal Church ? If a man 
consider it as highly probable that the particular Min- 
ister at whose hands he receives the sacred Ordi- 
nances, is really thus apostolically descended, this 
is the very utmost point to which he can, with any 
semblance of reason, attain : and the more he reflects 
and inquires, the more cause for hesitation he will 
find. There is not a Minister in all Christendom 
who is able to trace up with any approach to certainty 
his own spiritual pedigree. The sacramental virtue, 
(for such it is, that is implied, — whether the term be 
used or not in the principle I have been speaking of) 
dependent on the imposition of hands, with a due 
observance of apostolical usages, by a Bishop, him- 
self duly consecrated, after having been in like man- 
ner baptized into the Church, and ordained Deacon 
and Priest, — this sacramental virtue, if a single link 
of the chain be faulty, must, on the above principles, 
be utterly nullified ever after, in respect of all the 
links that hang on that one. For if a Bishop has not 
been duly consecrated, or had not been, previously, 
rightly ordained, his Ordinations are null ; and so 
are the ministrations of those ordained by him; and 
their Ordination of others ; (supposing any of the 
persons ordained by him to attain to the Episcopal 
ofRce) and so on, without end. The poisonous taint 
of informality, if it once creep in undetected, will 
spread the infection of nullity to an indefinite and 
irremediable extent. 


And who can undertake to pronounce that during 
that long period usually designated as the Dark Ages 
no such taint ever was introduced? 
could not have been wholly e.xcluded without a per- 
petual miracle; and that no such .mraculons mter- 
ference existed, we have even historical proof.- 
Amidst the numerous corruptions of doctrme and of 
practice, and gross superstitions, that crept ,n 
those ages, we find recorded descriptions not only of 
he profound ignorance and profligacy of ife, of 
many of the Clergy, but also of the grossest irreg- 
Tarfties in respect of discipline and form. We read 
of Bishops consecrated when mere children ;-of men 
officiating who barely knew their letters;_of Prelates 
expelled," and others put into their places, by vio- 
lence -of illiterate and profligate laymen, and l.ab- 
tual drunkards, admitted to Holy Orders ; and in 
short, of the prevalence of every kind of disorder 
and reckless disregard of the decency which the 
Apostle enjoins. It is inconceivable that any one 
even moderately acquainted with history, can feel a 
certainty, or any approach to certainty, that, amidst 
all this confusion and corruption, every requisite 
form was, in every instance, strictly adhered to. by 
men, many of them openly profane and secular, un- 
restrained by public opinion, through the gross iguo- 
lance of the population among which they lived ; 
and that no one not duly consecrated or ordained, 
was admitted to sacred offices. 

Even in later and more civilized and enlightened 
times, the probability of an irregularity, though verJ 


greatly diminished, is yet diminished only, and not 
absolutely destroyed. Even in the memory of per- 
sons living, there existed a Bishop concerning whom 
there was so much mystery and uncertainty prevail- 
ing as to when, where, and by whom, he had been 
ordained, that doubts existed in the mind of many 
persons whether he had ever been ordained at all. I 
do not say that there was good ground for the suspi- 
cion ; but I speak of the fact, that it did prevail ; and 
that the circumstances of the case were such as to 
make manifest the jwssihility of such an irregularity 
occurring under such circumstances. 

Now let any one proceed on the hypothesis that 
there are, suppose, but a hundred links connecting 
any particular minister with the Apostles; and let 
him even suppose that not above half of this number 
pass through such periods as admit of any possible 
irregularity ; and then, placing at the lowest estimate 
the probability of defectiveness in respect of each of 
the remaining fifty, taken separately, let him consi- 
der v/hat amount of probability will result from the 
multiplying of the whole together. The ultimate 
consequence must be, that any one who sincerely 
believes that his claim to the benefits of the Gospel- 
Covenant depends on his own Minister's claim to the 
supposed sacramental virtue of true ordination, and 
this again, on perfect Apostolical Succession, as 
above described, must be involved, in proportion as 
he reads, and inquires, and reflects, and reasons, on 
the subject, in the most distressing doubt and per- 


But .f each man's Christian hope is made to rest 
on h.s receiving the Christian Ordinances at the 
hands of a Minister to whom the sacramental vir- 
tue that gives efficacy to those Ordmances has 
been transmitted in unbroken succession irom hand 
to hand, every thing must depend on that parUcuIar 
Minister: and his claim is by no means estabhsh- 
ed from our merely establishing the unmterrupted 
existence ./ such a class of men as ChrisUanMrn 
isters "You teach me," a man m.ght say, that 
my salvation depends on the possession by you- 
the particular Pastor under whom I am placed-of 
a certain qualification; and when I ask for the 
proof that you possess it, you prove to me that it 
s possessed generally by a certain c/as. of persons, 
cf whom you are one, and probably by a large 
^najority of them!" How ridiculous ,t would be_ 
thought, .f a man lay'^g cla.m ^o the throne of 
some country, should attempt to establish .t with- 
out producing and proving his own pedigree merely 
by showing that that country had alzcays been ur,- 
dcr hereditary regal government! 

Note B.— rage 48. 

At the same time that the unyielding Br.tons were 

dnven into Cambria, multitudes of the British Christ- 

.ans and Br,t,sh .oldiers, fleeing from the horror, ol 

Ihe Saxon invasion, passed over to the Continent, 


and took refuge in that peninsula in France, between 
the Seine and the Loire, then called Armorica^ bul 
which has ever since borne the name of Britanny, 
from the language and institutions of the insular 
Britons. Here, by their intermixture with the Franks, 
they became a peculiar people, and in their seques- 
tered region have ever since preserved the distinctive 
marks of their Welsh origin. They have been the 
glory and the bulwark of the French nation; inherit- 
ing the same simplicity of manners, the same love of 
liberty, the same hatred of oppression, the same in- 
vincible loyalty, which have characterized the Welsh 
race wherever they have lived. In France, as \\e\\ 
as in Britain and in the United States, the descend- 
ants of the Welsh have shown to the world that the 
strongest mental independence and the most invinci- 
ble attachment to religious liberty, are the best safe- 
guards to the stability of civil institutions, and the 
permanent interests of hurifan society. 

When in the last century the French Revolution 
was desolating all that was dear and venerable to the 
people of that bright and sunny land, the Welsh de- 
scendants in the plains of Britanny along the Loire, 
were the last to yield to the ferocious policy of Dan- 
ton and Robespierre, and they arose as one man, to 
stem the furious tide of Jacobin Republicanism. The 
splendid genius of Alison, in his chapter on the 
*' War in La Vendee," has drawn an immortal eulo 
gium of those " Christian martyrs whose blood ce- 
mented a fabric of eternal duration." These descend- 
ants of the ancient Britons, present one of the most 


brilliant illustrations on record, of a people whose 
inherent love of liberty, and undying devotion to re- 
ligion, may be inseparably connected with the strong- 
est elements of patriotism, and the safest foundations 
of national perpetuity. While tlie dogmas of Athe- 
ism were propagated by their natural accompaniment.'? 
of fire and sword, desolating the altars of religion 
throughout all France, " there sprung," says the 
eloquent historian of Europe — "from the aslies of La 
Vendee, a spirit which hurled Napoleon from his 
throne, and is destined to change the face of the mor- 
al world. It first put the cause of Revolution openly 
and irrevocably at war with that of Religion : the 
friends of real freedom may thank it for permanently 
enlisting on ihc'ir side a power which will riever be 

Note C. — Page 79. 

From the fact that Mr. Miles and his friends 
brought their church record.s with them, it has been 
supposed, with good reason, that the Baptist church 
in Swanzea is but the continuation, or re-production, 
of the old church in Swanzea, in South Wales, That 
the old church records were actually brought to this 
country, seems scarcely to admit of a doubt, though 
of late, some have been disposed to question the fact. 

* Alison's History of Kurope, Vol. I, Chap. XII. 


Tradition, in earlier and later times, among the Bap 
lists in the vicinity of Swanzea, asserts the fact 
I^Ir. Backus, in his History of New-England, (Vol. 
If, p. 117,) in speaking of" a piece of villainy which 
was detected in Swanzea," says, " That town was 
first granted to five men, three of whom were Bap- 
tists ; and they laid out sundry parcels of land, which 
they called pastors' and teachers' lots. They had a 
large and curious book of church records, which was 
brought from Wales ; and the surveys of those lots 
Were recorded therein. In 1718, Richard Harden 
became both a Deacon and the Clerk of the First 
Church in Swanzea; and was encouraged to T)uild 
and make improvements upon one of those lots, near 
the Meeting-House ; and he was also a leading man 
in Town-affairs. Having such advantages, he was 
tempted with the notion, that by destroying the rec- 
ord of those lots, he could obtain that whereon he 
lived, as common land. And behold, all the records 
of Swanzea church, betwixt 1663 and 1718 were ta- 
ken out of the Book, and have never been recovered 

Note D.— Page S^. 

For the following statement I am indebted to the 
kev. Abiel Fisher, present Pastor of the First Baptist 
Church in Swanzea, to whose diligence and fidelity 
in collecting the scattered memorials of hi3 ancient 
CHiurch and ToNvn, I am indebted for several of thr; 


Appendix. ''*' 

facts prpsonted in connection with the Svvaiwei 

'''"Tt ha. been supposed, and often stated by Backus 
nnd others, that the first Meeting-House was erected 
near Kelly's Bridge, on Tyler's ?oint, opposite War- 
ren • but I have ascertained that it was about three 
..iles north-east from that pomt, a little south-wes 
of the road leading from Warren, to Seekonk and 
Providence. The very spot has been pointed out o 
me, being on a road leading from the main road to 
ihe house of Squire Allen, lately deceased Th.s 
road leads out of the main road, between the hov^es 
of Timothy P. Luther and John Grant, onjy 20 or 
30 rods from the latter. The line of Seekonk is only 
a few rods north of this spot. It seems nearly cer- 
tam, that while most of the church resided m Reho- 
both, (as that town then embraced Seekonk,) they 
chose a site for their Meeting-House as near their 
residence as possible, where they could be permitted 
for a time to worship God according to the dictates 
of their own consciences." 

Note E.— Page 84. 
The founders of the Plymouth Colony were the 
first band of those free and pious spirits, who rising 
a ove the corruptions of the National Church, had 
Z^t their native land, to seek a purer worship fa. 
Itay from their beloved home. ^^^^^^;^^- 
tiefis, and under stormy skies. Ih.v tue. = 



their wanderings by removing to Holland, " where 
they knew that they were Pilgrims, and looked not 
much on those things, but lifted up their eyes to 
heaven, their dearest country, and quieted their 

Here, under the ministry of their excellent pastor, 
the devoted John Robinson, they lived for a while, 
in a tolerable degree of peace and comfort, and re- 
ceived many converts among their numbers, whicir 
soon amounted to 30CI communicants. 

But desiring to live under the protection of Eng^ 
land, and to retain the name and language of Eng- 
lishmen : and being unable to give their children 
such an education as they had themselves received ; 
and grieved at the profanation of the Sabbath, and 
many other religious abuses among the people of* 
Holland; for these and many other similar reasons^ 
they began to agitate the question of removing to' 
some part of America; and finally, after many a 
bafHing detention and a long, tempestuous voyage, 
they commenced the colonization of New-England,. 
on the rock of Plymouth, where they landed on the 
22d of December, 1620. Here, beneath unknown 
skies, with the wide dreary Atlantic on one side, and 
a gloomy unbroken forest on the other, they laid in 
suffering and in faith, the deep foundations of that 
moral character, which has made the New-England 
people the pride and glory of our nation, in peace,, 
and in war, our firm and immoveable bulwark. Nev- 

♦ Governor Bradford's History of Plymouth Colony. 



cr was there a company of men, of stricter virtue, 
whose consistent holiness and practical fear of God, 
more signally honored their profession, than these 
Plymouth Pilgrims. 

The (Colonists who founded Massachusetts Bay, 
eight years afterwards, were not Independents or 
Separatists, like their Plymouth brethren, but were 
non-conforming members of the Church of England. 
Their conscientious convictions and their dearest 
sympathies still attached them to the National Church, 
while they opposed Avhat they believed to be her 
Romish errors and superstitions ; and though in all 
points they could not conform to it, they still sought 
the welfare of their souls in its ministrations ; and 
lamenting what they believed to be its defects, not in 
a spirit of bitter hostility, but of pious grief, they 
were still disposed to honor the good and forget the 
evil, so strangely mixed in the doctrine and ritual of 
that communion. They were yet unwilling to break 
the bands of ecclesiastical fellowship, and only wish- 
ed a greater freedom for the exercise of their personal 
faith, by a practical departure from the ritual econ- 
omy of that church ; — a movement, which they did 
not then foresee, would lead eventually to an entire 
separation from the English Establishment, and to 
the formation of New-England Congregationalism. 

Many of them had been nursed on the lap of lux- 
ury, while not a few were cf noble birth and lofty 
station ; and nearly all had enjoyed the advantage 
c-i the highest mental and social culture. In the 
brilliant display of their personal virtues and their 


religious graces, they reflected more of cheerfulnes:. 
and warmth of sentiment, but less of moral coura^u 
and singleness of purpose, than their Separatist hretli- 
ren of Plymouth; while in the want of a candid teni- 
per towards their brethren of a different faith, the 
isymmetry of their character was more frequently 
disfigured by a spirit of relentless intolerance, wiiic- 
singularly contrasted with the general display i.: 
their otherwise almost unrivalled virtues. They h' 
lieved in Christ as the only Head of the church, an'.i 
in the Holy Scriptures as the only standard of their 
Faith : and as such, they were even then far in ad- 
vance of the age in which they lived. But they had 
not yet sufficiently lost sight of the spirit and max- 
ims on which the dominion of the English Throne 
and Altar were based, to admit the claims of person- 
al conscience to their full extent ; and hence, in 
forming their social community in Massachusetts 
Bay, they could not bring their civil laws and relig 
ious institutions, both together, in perfect accordance 
with the principle of liberty of conscience in spiritual 
affairs. Their honest piety and sincere benevolence 
did all that possibly could be done, to reconcile tho 
duty of an implicit faith in their creed, with the lib- 
erty of every man " to think as he pleased, provided 
he thought right ;"~and of this, they were to be tho 
self-made iudjics. 


Note F.— Page 88. 





Capt. Thomas Willet was one of the last of the 
Leyden company who came to this country. He 
arrived at Plymouth in 1629, being then 16 or 18 years 
■old. He was educated as a merchant ; and as the 
greater part of his life was spent in Holland, he had 
acquired an intimate knowledge of the customs and 
language of the Dutch : a circumstance which ren- 
dered him so highly acceptable to the Dutch of New- 
York. On his arrival, he was sent by the people of 
Plymouth who had established a trading house at 
Kennebeck, to superintend their business as agent. 
He continued at Kennebeck, about six or seven 
years, when he married a lady at Plymouth, and 
probably removed to Dorchester, and thence between 
1641 and 1647 returned to Plymouth. In 1647 he 
became the successor of Miles Standish in the com- 
mand ot the military at Plymouth. 

In 1651 he was elected one of the Governor's assist- 
ants, and was annually continued in that office tilll665, 
when the pressure of his other duties obliged him to 
decline further election, and James Brown, of Swan- 
zea, was chosen his successor. In Feb. 1660 we find 
Capt. Willet an inhabitant of Rehoboth, having ob- 

162 ArPE.NDIX. 

tained liberty of the town to purchase large tracts oi 
land in its vicinity. In 1661, being empowered by 
the Court of Plymouth, he puchased of VVomsitta, 
the eldest son of Massasoit, the large tract of land af- 
terwards called Rehoboth North Purchase, now At- 
tleborough and Cumberland. This tract, however, 
he relinquished into the hands of the Plymouth Col- 
ony in 1666. He was also the original purchaser of 
Taunton North Purchase, (now Norton, Mansfield 
and Easton,) as well as of many other tracts of land 
in the vicinity. On the surrender of New-York to 
the English under Col. Nichols, in August 1664, by 
the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant, Capt. Willett ac- 
companied the Commissioners of Appeals, viz. Nich- 
ols, Carr, Cartwright and Maverick, to that city : and 
rendered them great service by his acquaintance with 
the customs, usages and language of the Dutch, in 
organizing the new government. He performed his 
duties while there to the entire satisfaction of all the 
parties concerned, and rendered himself so acceptable 
to the people, that after the organization of the gov- 
ernment he was elected the first English mayor of 
the city of New-York. To this ofiice he was elected 
a second time ; and the Dutch had so much confidence 
in his integrity, that he was by them chosen umpire 
to determine the disputed boundary between New- 
York and New- Haven. While he was Mayor of 
New-York he appears to have held his standing as a 
citizen, and his property at Rehoboth, and to have 
sustained office therein. When the two years of his 
Mayorality had expired at New-York, he returned to 


Capt. Willett's name appears the first on the list of 
individuals to whom liberty was given to form a town- 
ship by the name of Swanzea. In the settlement of 
the town, Capt. Willctt and Mr. Miles may justly be 
considered the most prominent men ; and they are 
usually styled the Fathers of the Town. He contin- 
ued to reside on his farm in Swanzea, during the re- 
maining part of his life. Capt. Willett on July 6, 
1636, married Mary Brown, who is generally supposed 
to have been the daughter of Mr. John Brown, the 
elder, at Plymouth. She was sister of Mr. James 
Brown, one of the constituent members of the Swan- 
zea church, and whose name was held in high esteem 
in the the town and colony. Of eight children, some 
of them died in childhood, while several of Capt. 
Willett's descendants have distinguished themselves 
in the history of the country. His grandson Francis 
Willett was a prominent man in the colony of Rhode- 
Island. Another descendant, his great grandson, the 
late Col. Marinus Willett, served with distinguished 
honor in the Revolutionary war, and was also iMayor 
of New- York. 

Capt. Willett appears to have had his residence at 
the north west part of Swanzea, a part of which is 
now in Barrington, and a part in Seekonk, where he 
died, August 4, 1674, at the age of sixty-three. He 
was buried at the head of Bullock's Cove, in what 
is now Seekonk, where a rough stone still stands to 
mark the spot, on which is legible the following brief 
and rudely carved inscription : 

104 ATi'EXDlX. 

Here lyetli the body of the wortiiy Thomas Willett, 
Esq., who (lied August ye 4th in ye 64lh year of his 
age, anno 

Who was the first Mayor of New-York and twice did 
sustain the place." 

His wife Mary died about 1660^ and lies by hit: 

Note G.— Page 91. 
The grant of the Plymouth Court, in 16G7, which 
described the town of Swanzea as embracing 
" all the lands between the salt water and river, and 
the bounds of Taunton and Rehoboth, &c." — has 
been by many supposed to include the present town 
of Bristol^ as well as Warren, Barrington, Swanzea 
and Somerset. Bristol, however, was not included 
in that grant, but continued for several years after, 
as an Indian Toicnship. After Massasoifs death, in 
1661, it appears, that most ot the remaining Wampa- 
noags removed from this immediate vicinity, and 
were collected together more compactly, on a smaller 
territory, being the same as the present town of Bris- 
tol. In a Manuscript Document belonging to the 
town of Warren, called "The Grand Deed of Saile 
of Lands from Osamequin and Wamsetto his son, 
Dated 29th March, 1653," the territory described as 
follows, was sold : " All those severall parcells and 
necks of ujilands. Swamps and Meadows- lycing and 


being on the south side of Sinkhunch (Seckonk) els 
Rehoboth, «fcc." After the deed describes the lands 
thus sold, it ends as follows: — And the said Osame- 
quin, (Massasoit,) and Wamsetto, (Alexander,) his 
son, covenant, promise and grant, that whensoever 
the Indians shall remove from the Keck, that then 
and from thenceforth, the aforesaid Thomas Prince, 
Thomas V/illet, Miles Standish, Josiah Winslow, 
shall enter upon the same, by the same agreement, 
iis" their Proper Rights and Interest to them and their 
heirs forever." 

By virtue of the preceding Deed, the remnants of 
his tribe, after Massasoit's death, began to collect 
together, with Philip tor their chief, on the Mount 
Hope lands. Some Indians, however, still continued 
to live in Warren, till about the beginning of Philip's 
war, as they were reluctant to give up so much of 
their territory on so easy terms. 

Frequent altercations took place between the Col- 
onists of Swanzea and the Wampanoags, about the 
boundary lines of the Mount Hope lands ; until at 
length, sliortly before the war, a fence was run from 
the Warren to the Kickemuit rivers, on the line 
which is the present boundary between Warren and 
Bristol. Tradition says that this fence stood for many 
years after the war. 

The Indians continued to hold and occupy the low- 
er part of the Neck, — that is, that portion of it now 
constituting Bristol — until Philip's war, when being 
exterminated or driven away, their remaining rights 
to the territory were extinguished. The propri«tor.s 


of Sowanis claitneJ tlie deserted territory by the pro- 
visions of tho Grand Deed ; but, after a long contro- 
versy, the Government decided it to be conquered 
land, and should be sold to assist in defraying the 
expenses of the war. " In 1680, Mount Hope terri- 
tory, about 7000 acres, was granted to the colony by 
the crown, for their services and sufferings in tho 
war. * * Rhode-Isiand urged their claim. * * 
Mount Hope territory was sold soon afterwards by 
Plymouth, for three hundred pounds. The king's 
letter, communicating the grant of Mount Hope, con- 
tained encouraging assurances of further favors, upon 
proper application." (Morton's Memorial, Davis' 
Ed. p. 469.) 

At the same time, the Proprietors of Sowams, in 
the MS. Record Book, say, " That for the lands now 
in dispute between the Proprietors and the pnblique, 
whether ours or conquered Lands, the Proprietors 
doe, (forthwith all as one man,) take effectual course 
for the defence and clearing our Interest in the Lands 
aforesaid." (See also Holmes' Annals, I, 400.) 

The Deed of Bristol, given by the Government of 
Plymouth, which is dated Sept. 14, 1680, states the 
compensation to be "Eleven hundred pounds of our 
current money of New-England ;" and describing the 
land called " Mount Hope Neck" and Poppasquaslj. 
Neck," says, " excepting only and reserving tlio 
Lands already granted to the inhabitants of Swanze.i 
at the north end, or entrance of said Neck, (being 
liie same as Warren,) and also the one Hundred acres 
of Land now belonging unto the family of Gora£!i><. 

APPnxDix. 107 

and the meadows formerly purchased of the In* 

Note 11,— Page 93. 

The ground occupied by this village, was undou'jt- 
edly the liome of Massasoit, the faithful friend of the 
pilgrims. Ever since the time of his death, 184 
years ago, tradition has represented this as the place 
■of his general residence; and in the memory of the 
X)ldest people in this vicinity, " Massasoii's spring," 
*iear Baker's wharf, in this village, has been a time- 
honored place, associated with the name of that great 
■chief. But there are copious proofs of more authen- 
tic character than simple tradition, which fully estab- 
lish this fact. The arguments proving this point 
would here be adduced ; — as it entered into the plan 
of this Discourse to give an extended supplementary 
notice of the fact that Massasoit held his residence 
near the spot where this Discourse was pronounced ; 
but since this small volume has been put to press, it 
has been deemed desirable to illustrate the aboriginal 
and colonial history of this neighborhood much more 
at length, than was contemplated in the plan of the 
author; and accordingly, the subject referred to in 
the beginning of this Note, is reserved for a Supple- 
ment to this volume, by General Guy M. Fessenden, 
whose diligence and accuracy in such investigations, 
specially qualify him for writing the Secular History 
tjf this town. The author the more cheerfully resigns 


these topics to Gen. Fcssendcn's department, as lip 
already indebted to that gentleman for scveril ^iJ^^i 
and suggestions presented in these pnges. 

Note 1. — Page 1]S. 

The fullowing is a copy of tlie letter of Dipmissio;i 
given by the Baptist church at Scotch Plains to thr 
church at Warren, in behalf of Mr. Manning, 

The original letter, now in my possession, is sign- 
ed by all the male members of that chnrch, fourteen 
in number. It is presented as a happy .<5pecimen oi' 
the metiiod of doing church business by our fore- 

" The churcli of Jesus Christ, meeting at the Scotcit 
Plains, in the county of Essex, province of East New- 
Jersey, professing Believer's Baptism, Laying on of 
liands. Election of Grace, Effectual Calling, and Final 
Perseverance in Grace, &c. 

To the Ciiurch of Christ of the same Faith and Or- 
der, in Warren, in the Government of Rhode- 
Island, do send our Christian Salutation : 
Dear Brethren; Whereas our Revd. and re- 
spected Br. ]Mr. James Planning, Iiath by yuur call 
removed his Residence from amongst us, and now 
abides with you; and hath requested of us a Letter 
of Dismission in order to Joyn with you. And hop- 
ing it will be more for his Comfort and your Advan- 
tage so to do : We therefore recommend him as an 
orderly Zealous Professor; and has been called and 


regularly ordained in this Church to the Ministry of 
the Gospel, in wliich his Proficiency and Profitiing 
has appeared to many : And we doubt not when 
joyn'd with you by virtue of this Dismission as he 
will be discharg'd frona our immediate oversight, 
Vou will receive him and make use of him in Love 
and all the relative Duties of his important Station. 
We are Joyn'd in our Prayers for him and You that 
the glorious Head of the Church would bless you 
with every Gift, Grace and Prosperity, through Jesus 
Christ our common Lord. Amen. 
November ye 25th, ano 1764. 

[and thirteen others."] 

Note K.— Page 119. 


Whereas wc, unworthy sinners, are through the 
infinite riches' of free grace, as we trust, brought out 
of darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel, 
and the grace of it, transformed into the Kingdom of 
God's dear Son Jesus Christ our only Lord and Sa- 
viour, and made partakers of all those privileges which 
Christ purchased with his precious blood, think it o)ir 
duty and greatest privilege we can enjoy here on earth, 
to walk in all the commandments and Ordinances, 
not only for our own comfort and peace, but for the 
manifestation of the glory of God, and for the mn- 


tual help and society of each other; and as it hath pleas- 
ed God to appoint a visible Church relation, to be the 
way and manner whereby He is pleased to commu- 
nicate to his people the blessings of his presence, a 
growth in grace and furtherance in the knowledge ot 
our Lord God, 

We therefore, this day, after solemn fasting and 
prayer for help and direction, in the fear of His Holy 
Name and with hearts lifted up to the nK)st high 
God, humbly and freely offer up ourselves a living 
sacrifice unto Him who is our God in Covenant, 
through Jesus Christ, to walk together according to 
his revealed word, in visible gospel relation, both to 
Christ our only head, and to each other as fellow 
members and brethren of the same household of 

And we do humbly engage, that through his 
strength we will endeavor to perform all our re- 
spective duties, towards God and each other, and 
to practise all the Ordinances of Chtist, according 
to what is and shall be made known to us in our 
respective places, to exercise, practise and submit 
to the government of Christ in this Church. 

And we declare that it is our mind that none 
are properly qualified members of this Christ's vis- 
ible Church, but such as have been wrought upon 
by the grace of God, delivered from their sins by 
the Justifying Righteousness of Christ, and have 
the evidence of it in their souls, have made pro- 
fession thereof, that is, of a living faith in Christ, 
and have been baptized by immersion, in the name 
of the Holy Trinity, 


Further, it is our mind, that the imposition or 
tion-imposition of hands upon believers, after bap- 
tism, is not essential to Church Communion, and 
that where the image of Christ is discerned, ac- 
cording to the rules of God's word, and those pre- 
vious duties, but now mentioned are submitted to 
according to Gospel rules, we are ready to hold 
communion with all such walking orderly in the 
Church of Christ. 

And now we humbly hope that although of our- 
selves we are altogether unworthy and unfit thus 
to offer up ourselves to God or to do him any ser- 
vice or to expect any favor, or mercy from him, 
yet that He will graciously accept of this our free- 
will offering, in and through the merits and med- 
iation of our dear Redeemer, and that He will em- 
ploy and improve us in his service to his own 
praise, to whom be all the glory both now and 
forever. Amen. 

[The original copy of this church covenant, in 
the hand-writing of Dr. Manning, is now in my 
possession. J. P. T.] 

Note L.— Page 119. 

The Chcrch of Christ in Warren, in the Colony 
ofRliode-Island, Baptized upon a personal profession 


of faith, holding the doctrines of Regeneration, Per 
severance in grace, «fec. — being constituted and or- 
ganized a Church this 15th day of November, A. D. 
1764, present to the Revd. James Manning, Jate of 
Nassau Hall, in New-Jersey, their Christian saluta- 
tion : 

Reverend and dear Sir, 
Inasmuch as God in his Providence hath seen lit 
to give us an opportunity of being constituted a 
church of Christ, That we may according to the pat- 
tern showed us in the Gospel, partake of the or- 
dinances which Christ hath left in his church, and 
walk together as Brethren in Christ : by his Apostles 
having instructed us tJiat ordained pastors are those 
that are to feed his people with knowledge, and ad- 
minister ordinances amongst them, we do this day 
unanimously request that you would accept this our 
call to the work of a Pastor over and amongst us, 
having been fully satisfied heretofore of your call and 
ordination in the work of the ministry in a regular 
church of Christ in Eiizabethtown, East Jersey, under 
the Pastoral care of the Revd. Benjamin Miller ; 
And as we are of opinion that they who preach the 
gospel should live of the Gospel, we do here declare 
our intention to render your life as happy as possible 
by our brotherly conduct towards you, and communi- 
cating our temporal things to your necessities so long 
as God in his providence shall continue us together; 
your acceptance hereof we humbly hope will be a 
mean under the divine blessing of our mutual fui 


'iherance and growth in grace; thus we prefer our 
request and subscribe your Brethren, 



SYLVESTER CHILD, ] r i i if r ,u 

JOHN CHILD, \ In behalf of the 

EBENEZER COLE, j ^^"''^^ 



Note M.— Page 122. 

Tho first House of Vv^orship, built by this Society 
in 1764, was about 44 feet square, with a four-sided 
hip roof, surmounted at the top and centre with a 
small belfry, in w^hich was hung a ship bell, the rope 
of which hung directly down in the audience room, 
so that when ringing, the sexton stood in the centre 
of the middle aisle. The style of the architecture 
was very plain, without tower or porch, and the build- 
ing was never painted. 

The front door, on the east side, led directly into 
the audience room : and immediately within the en- 
trance, to the right and left, were stairs leading into 
the galleries. At the west side was the pulpit, with 
its sounding-board. This church had then introduced 
psalmody as a part of public v/orship, though even so 
late as in 1764, there was a divided use among the 
Baptist churches in New-England, some churches re- 
garding metrical hymns, and all kinds of music, as 
unaathorized by the New Testament. In this church , 


however, there was then no organized ehoir ; tin 
hymns were rend off, two lines at a time,hy tlie Dea 
con, and sung hy the congregation. [For the facts 
abovestated, the author is indehted chiefly to Ciencral 
(i. M. Fessenden.] 

The second Church Edifice was erected in J 784, 
on tlie spot occupied by the former, partly on the same 
underpinning, and extending westward about 17 feet 
The vote of the Society to erect this building, stands 
jecorded Feb. 5, 1784, when they adopted the plan 
by which the house was built. A building Commit- 
tee, consisting of Dea. Ebenezer Cole, William T 
jMiller and William Barton, were appointed and au 
Ihorizcd to negotiate with General Nathan Miller, to 
build the Iiouse for $2000. It appears, however, that 
tliis sum proved too small to erect such a building 
with, and it was not finished, so as to be used, till in 
the sumujcr of 1786. Its diniensions were 61 feet in 
length and 44 feel in width ; it had a tower at the 
fast and front end, 14 feet square and 44 in lieight. 

This house at first contained 63 square pews on 
the lower floor, and Jiad galleries on three sides. Tiie 
]»ulpit at the west end, was supplied with the old 
fashioned stunding-board. In 1800, a steeple, forty- 
three feet and a half in height, was placed on the 
lower, making the whole height 87 1-2 feet. At the 
i.ame lime, the bell still in use by the Society, was 
jilaced in the tower. In the tipring of 1832, the old 
•square peu.s were taken Uj), and rcjdaced by niodeiu 
rlips, making 74 on the lower floor. The organ now 
owned by the kiuciclVj was ublaincJ in llic aulunm l^ 
lie same V( ar. 

A.rpENf)ix. rV5 

"in Ahiy, 1844, this house, to make room for tlic 
s4,one building, was removed a little northerly, and iii 
i\'ovcmher of the same year, was taken down. 

The present Church Edifice is erected partly or. 
llie ground occupied by the two former Houses of 
Worship, and partly on ground south of that location, 
including the land on which the original Parsonage 
and College building stood. Its dimensions are the 
following : the length of the body of the house is 84 
feet, the width 70 feet, and in height, 34 feet from 
the ground to the outside cornice : in front is a tower, 
23 feet square, 86 feet high, snrmounted with a bat- 
tlement, rising 8 feet and projecting out one foot. 
The side and end walls of the main building, are 
surmounted by battlements of the same order with 
the tower, rising about six feet from the roof. The 
walls of the building are constrncted of dark brown 
and gray stone, laid in iiorizontal courses, technically 
r.alled the " Scotch coursed rubbls," the courses va- 
rying from 12 to 18 inches in height, but each course 
carried uniformly round the whole building. 

'JMie thickness of the lower walls at the foundation 
IS 7 feet, brought in at the surface of the ground 
to 3 feet, while at the upper extremity they are reduc- 
ed to 20 Indies. The thickness of the main walls 
is 5 feel at the foundation, brought in at the surface 
of the ground to 2 1-2 Icet, and from the audience 
room floor to tiie fop, the walls are uniformly two 
feet thick. 

The style ol" the Ldilicc is ihe RIodium (j'othic, 
«A>iiibiling the outlinc& of llidl oidei, but without th.s 


various forms of tracery and carved work which ren* 
der that order of architecture so gorgeous and expen- 
sive. There are fourteen arched windows in the 
main building, each 24 feet high, five in each side, 
and two in each end. There are also five arched 
windows in the tower, two in the basement, and three 
in the organ room, the one in front being very large. 
The windows are filled with stained glass, of a vari- 
ety of colors, interspersed with borders and interme- 
diate courses of white ground glass. The effect of 
this glass is to throw a soft religious light over the 
whole interior, which, combining with the dark col- 
ors of the wood work, and the long drawn aisles, is 
very solemn and impressive. The pulpit is of a very 
peculiar construction, its floor being on a level with 
the tops of the pews, open at the sides, the speaking 
desk of a reduced size, the platform of the pulpit 
appropriately furnished with carpet, and with a sofa 
and chairs made of black walnut, and finished with 
xirimson velvet. The pulpit is lighted by lamps 
placed on heavy bronzed standards. The house is 
lighted by four large bronzed chandeliers, each hav- 
ing eight burners. On the floor of the audience room 
are 146 pews, arranged in three double rows, with 
four aisles, two side, and two medial ; the pews are 
finished in combed oak, and capped with black wal- 
nut railings, all the pews being uniformly finished, 
and cushioned with crimson moreen. There are also 
open seats on the side aisles, against the walls. There 
is a gallery across the building, over the vestibule, 
""wan room being in the tower, on a level with 


In llie basement story is a lecture room capable of 
accommodating 500 people; a committee room; a 
large unfinished lumber room, and the Pastor's study, 
connecting by a flight of stairs, with the pulpit above. 
The house is warmed by two large furnaces, of the 
most approved construction ; while ventilators are sq 
constructed as to keep the air in the house at all limes 
pure, and the temperature equally comfortable. The 
lot on which the building stands, is about 145 feet 
square, inclosed by a cast iron fence of ornamental 
picket work, surmounting a base wall of dressed 
granite. The front and sides of the lot are orna- 
mented with elm trees, some of which have been 
growing for many years. 

The whole expense involved in the erection of 
this building is about $18,000. The Building Com- 
mittee engaged in its construction were Messrs. S. 
P. Child, Lewis Hoar, J. P. Tustin, S. A. Driscol, 
H. H. Luther, Charles Richmond, jun, G. M. Fes- 
senden, and C. T. Child. The design of the build- 
ing was furnished by Major Russell Warren, of Pro- 
vidence. The stone work was executed by Mr, 
William Andrews, of Providence, and the wood 
work by Mr. C. S. Tompkins, of Warren. 
The painting, glazing, staining, &c. were done by 
L. Cole & Co. of Warren. The whole Building is 
constructed of the most substantial materials, and 
all the work is executed with fidelity and good 



Note N.— Page 122. 

The following is an account of the first Commence- 
mont of the Rhode-Island College at Warren, Sep- 
tember 7, 1769, from the Providence Gazette and 
Country Journal, printed by John Carter, September 
9, 1769. 

PROVIDENCE, September 9. 

On Thursday, the 7th of this instant, was celebrat- 
ed at Warren, the first Commencement in the College 
of this Colony ; when the following young gentlemen 
<;ommenced Bachelors of Arts, viz : Joseph BsltoUf 
Joseph Eaton, William Rogers, Richard Stites, Charles 
Thompson, James Mitchell Varnum, and William Wil- 

About ten o'clock, A. M., the gentlemen concern- 
ed in conducting the affairs of the College, together 
with the Candidates, went in procession to the Meet- 

After they had taken their seats respectively, and 
the audience were composed, the President introduc- 
ed the business of the day with prayer; then follow- 
ed a salutatory oration in Latin, pronouuced with 
much spirit, by Mr. Stites, which procured him great 
applause from the learned part of the assembly. Ho 
spoke upon the advantages of Liberty and Learning, 
and their mutual dependence upon each other, con- 
cluding with proper salutations to the Chancellor of 
the College, Governor of the Colony, &c. particularly 
expressing the gratitude of all the friends of the Col- 
lege to the Rev. Morgan Edwards, who has encoun- 


tered many difficulties in going lo Europe, to collect 
donations for the Institution, and has lately returned. 
To which succeeded a forensic dispute in English, 
on the following Thesis, viz : " The Americans^ in 
their present circumstances^ cannot^ consistent with 
good policy^ affect to become an Indepetident State." 
Mr. Varnum ingeniously defended it by cogent argu- 
ments, handsomely dressed ; though he was subtilly 
but delicately opposed by Mr. Williams, both of 
whom spoke with emphasis and propriety. 

As a conclusion lo the exercises of the forenoon, 
the audience were agreeably entertained with an ora- 
tion on Benevolence^ by Mr. Rogers ; in which, among 
many other pertinent observations, he particularly 
noticed the necessity which that infant Seminary 
stands in, of the salutary effects of that truly Christ- 
ian virtue. 

At three o'clock, P.M. the audience being conven- 
ed, a syllogistic dispute was introduced on this The- 
sis : " Materia cogitare non potest.'' Mr. Williams 
the respondent ; Messieurs Belton, Eaton., Rogers and 
Varnum the opponents. In the course of which dis- 
pute, the principal arguments on both sides were pro- 
duced towards settling that critical point. 

The degree of Bachelor of Arts was then conferred 
on the candidates. Then the following gentlemen, 
(graduates in other colleges,) at their own request 
received the honorary degree of I\Ia8ter in the Arts, 
vi2 • Rev. Edward Upham, Rev. Morgan Edwards, 
Rev. Samuel Stillman, Rev. Hezchiah Smith, Hon. 
Joseph Wanton, Jun. Esq., Mr. Jabez Boweiiy and Mr, 

180 7^ppENDIX. 

David Howell^ Professor of Pliilosophy in said Co! ■ 

The following gentlemen, being well recommend- 
ed by the Faculty for literary merit, had conferred on 
them the honorary degree of Master in the Arts, viz: 
Rev. Abel Morgan^ Rev, Oliver Hart, Rev. David 
Tkotnas, Rev. Samuel Jonas, Mr. John Davis, Mr. 
Robert Strettle Jones, Mr. John Stitcs, Rev. James 
Bryson, Rev. James Edicards, Rev. William Boulton, 
Rev. John Ryland, Rev. William ClarJ:, Rev. Joshua 
Toulmin, and Rev. Caleb Evans. 

A concise, pertinent and solemn charge was then 
given to the Bachelors by the President, concluding 
with his last paternal benediction, which naturally- 
introduced the valedictory orator, Mr. Thompson, 
who^ after some remarks upon the excellences of the 
oratorial art, and expressions of gratitude to the pat- 
rons and officers of the College, together with a val- 
ediction to them, and all present, took a most affec- 
tionate leave of his classmates. The scene was 
tender — the subject felt — and the audience affected.* 
The President concluded the exercises with prayer. 
The whole was conducted with a propriety and so- 
lemnity suitable to the occasion. The audience, 
(consisting of the principal gentlemen and ladies of 
this Colony, and many from the neighboring govern- 
ments) though large and crowded, behaved witii tho 
utmost decorum. 

[* The original manuscript copv of this Oratic>n, iit the hand- 
•vvritin? of Mr. Thompson, is in the possession of bis descend - 
ants, in this town. J- P- T.T 


Not only the candidates, but even the President, 
Were dressed in American manufactures. Finally, be 
it observed, that this class are the first sons of that 
College, which has existed for more than four years, 
during all which time it labored under great disad- 
vantages, notwithstanding the warm patronage and 
encouragement of many worthy men, of fortune and 
benevolence; and it is hoped, from the disposition 
which many discovered on that day, and other favor- 
able circumstances, that these disadvantages will 
>30on, in part, be happily removed." 

Note O.— Page 124. 

As early as in 1753, after various memorials iarid 
remonstrances addressed to the Government of Mas- 
sachusetts, by several Baptist churches in that Col- 
ony, the spirit of intolerance, by which the " Stand- 
ing Order" had exacted the ministerial Tax from the 
Baptists, and otherwise subjected them to very op- 
pressive civil disabilities, was so much softened, that 
the Lieut. Governor, Council, and House of Repre- 
sentatives, passed an act, entitled, " An act in addi- 
tion to an act, passed the IS'th year of his present 
Majesty's reign, entitled. An act further to exempt 
persons commonly called Anabaptists, within this 
province, from being taxed for aid towards the sup- 
port of ministers." One passage of the proceedings 
of the Massachusetts Legislature of that session 
stands thus : — 


" Be it enacted^ bj the Lieut, Governor, Council 
and House of Representatives, that no person for the 
future shall be so esteemed to be an Anabaptist as to 
have his poll or polls and estate exempted from pay- 
ing a proportionate part of the taxes that shall be 
raised in the town or place where he or they belong, 
but such whose names shall be contained in the lists 
taken by the assessors, as in said act provided, or" 
such as shall produce a certificate under the hands 
of the minister, and of two principal members of such 
church, setting forth, that they conscientiously be- 
lieve such person or persons to be of their persuasion, 
and that he or they usually and frequently attend 
the public worship in such church on Lord's days. — 
And he it further enacted, that no minister nor the 
members of any Anabaptist church, as aforesaid, shall 
be esteemed qualified to give such certificate, as 
aforesaid, other than such as shall have obtained 
from three other churches, commonly called Anabap- 
tists, in this or the neighboring provinces, a certifi- 
cate from each respectively, that they esteem such 
church to be one of their denomination, and that they 
conscientiously believe them to be Anabaptists, the 
several certificates as aforesaid to be lodged with the 
Town Clerk where the Anabaptist, (desiring such 
exemption,) dwells, some time betAvixt the raising or 
granting of the tax, and the assessment of the same 
on the inhabitants. This act to continue to be in 
force for five years from the publication thereof, and 
no longer." 


Note P.— Page 126. 

For a more detailed account of the Warren Associ- 
ation, the following account is presented from Bene- 
dict's History of the Baptists. 


This body was formed in the place from which it 
took its name, in 1767, at which time three ministers* 
from the Piiiladelphia Association came u with a 
letter to encourage the measure. Only f ur churches 
at first associated, viz. Warren, Haverl HI, Belling- 
ham, and the Second in Middleborough. The dele- 
gates from six other churches were present,, but they 
did not feel themselves ready to proceed in the un- 
dertaking. As the annual Commencement :f the 
College had been fixed on the first Wednesday of 
September, the anniversary of the Association was 
appointed the Tuesday after. This arrangement is 
still observed.! The second and third sessions of this 
Association were held in the place where it was 
formed. The fourth was at Bellingham, and the fifth 
at Sutton, in 1771, by which time it had increased to 
20 churches, and over 800 members. This year they 
began to print their Minutes, and have continued to 
do so to the present time. The two churches in Bos- 
ton fell in with this establishment a few years after 
it was begun, but it was some time before the Provi- 
dence church, which is now the oldest and largest in 

* Jfr. Backus has not mentioned their names. Dr. Jones and 
Morgan Edwards were probably two of them. 

t During about twenty years past, the Association has had the 
first day of its meeting, on the first Wednesday instead of th« 
first Tu,esday after Commencement. 


it, could be brought into its measures. The doctrine 
of the laying-on-of-hands was probably the principa. 
cause of this delay. This Association for a number 
of years included a large circle of churches, whicL 
were scattered over a wide extent of country, in 
Rhode-Island, Massachusetts, New-Hampshire, Ver- 
mont and Connecticut. Most of them were, however, 
in Massachusetts, aud in process of time, Boston be- 
came not far from its centre. It has, from its begin- 
ning, been a flourishing and influential body ; has 
contained a number of ministers of eminent standing 
in the Baptist connection ; has successfully opposed 
the encroachments of religious oppression ; has aided 
the designs of the College at Providence ; has devised 
plans of a literary and missionary nature ; and has 
been more or less concerned in whatever measures 
have had a view to the promotion of the cause of 
truth, of the Baptist interest in New-England, and 
remoter regions. By this body were presented many 
addresses to the rulers of Massachusetts, and some of 
the Continental Congress, against civil oppressions 
for conscience' sake; by it also were issued many 
publications in defence of religious freedom. It was 
almost constantly employed in measures of this kind, 
from its formation, to the close of the war, in 1783; 
and no small success attended its exertions." 

Note a.— Page 133. 
Additional notice of the Rev. Charles Thomp- 
son, by Rev. A. Fisher, of Svi^anzea. 

Besides the great and gracious revival of religioa, 


under Mr. Thompson's ministry with the Svranzea 
church, immediately after his settlement, in 1780, 
there were two more revivals during his ministry 
i with this people; one in 1789, and the other in 1801, 
which greatly encouraged the church and the minis- 
ter. The whole number baptized by him, while 
minister at Swanzea, was one hundred and seventy- 
six. But inconsequence of the re-organization of the 
Warren church, and the formation of other churches 
within the circle formerly embraced by the Swanzea 
church, the decrease of this church was so great, that 
before Mr. Thompson left, his field of labour had be- 
come very much lessened, so that when he left the 
church, it was not much larger than when he found 

His support was small, so that he was obliged to 
labour with his own hands, keep store, and instruct 
scholars, to obtain a living. Mr. Thompson was a 
native of New-Jersey, having been born at Amwell, 
April 14, 1748. As Mr. Manning came from New- 
Jersey at the beginning of the Rhode-Island College 
in Warren, Mr. Thompson came on with him, or 
very soon afterwards, for the purpose of obtaining an 
education. After the irruption of the English troops 
into Warren drove Mr. Thompson with his family 
away from the place, he abode for a short time in 
Ashford, Conn, preaching at various places, until he 
settled in Swanzea, in 1779. Here he faithfully per- 
formed the duties of a minister of the gospel, with 
much success, for the period of twenty-three years, 
when he removed to Charlton, Mass. where he 
died, May 1, 1803. (^.^ 



In the early part of his ministry he married Miss 
Sally Child, daughter of Sylvester Child, of Warren, 
by whom he had five children, viz. William, Abby, 
Margaret, Sally and Charles. 

Mr. Thompson was tall in person, and of a fine fig- 
ure. The expression of his countenance indicated 
benignity and intellect. He was industrious, improv- 
ing his time as if he knew its value. In his family 
he was kind, but firm, and the same qualities he dis- 
played in the church and everywhere else. 

As a preacher, he had a voice of great compass, of 
sweet and commanding tones. His feelings were 
deep and tender; often he wept over the people, 
lyhile he uttered his voice in notes of thunder, to 
awaken the sinner from his sleep of death. His ser- 
mons were studied, but not generally written. He 
understood his own deep responsibility ; he knew the 
account he must give to the great Judge ; he felt the 
worth of the soul ; and with emotion besought tho 
sinner not to die. In language, he was plain and 
forcible ; he feared not to declare the great truths of 
the Bible, — such as man's sinfulness and helplessness, 
the holiness of God's law, and ihe blessedness of the 
gospel. He clearly held up and maintained the gov- 
ernment of God, and his election of his people to eter- 
nal life. He well understood that all his hopes of 
success depended on the gracious influences of the 
Holy Spirit. In short, he never in his preaching lost 
sight of the cross of Christ, in which he gloried. And 
while he dwelt on these glorious themes, he led hie 
hearers^to look at death, the resurrection, the final 


judgment, heaven and hell. On the one hand, he 
portrayed the glories of heaven ; and on the other, in 
melting but awful strains, he showed to the impeni- 
tent the agonies of the second death. Such preaching 
could not fail to lead the wicked to tremble, and in 
multitudes to flee from the wrath to come. The 
church he fed with the bread of life, so that under his 
ministry they were instructed and rendered holy. 

He was also very successful in the instruction of 
youth; and many were the young men whom he in- 
structed in the ways of science and of virtue. Such 
talents as he possessed could not be hid ; he was often 
called to preach on public occasions, and multitudes, 
besides the people of his own particular church, were 
benefited by his faithful labors. At his death well 
might it be said, " A great man has fallen in Israel." 

Mr. Fisher adds ; — 

The churches of Swanzea and Warren stand in the 
relation of mother and daughter. As in the order of 
nature, while the daughter advances from youth to 
womanhood, the motherbecomes old anddecrepid, so 
it is in tliis case. 

Once, after the daughter had gone out from her 
mother's house, in her extremity she was received 
back to be cherished in her bosom. Now that the 
mother has become old and weak, it is hoped that the 
daughter will not forget the knees on which she was 
dandled, while the mother rejoices in her prosperity. 


Note R.— Page 134. 


The Rev. John Pitman was born in Boston, Aprii 
26, 1751. At the age of thirteen years, he removed 
with his father, to engage in mercantile business, at 
Beaufort, S. C. ; but after a short residence there, he 
returned to Boston. Though educated by religious 
parents, he describes himself as having early tried 
" to harden himself in sin, and shake off the restraints 
of his early education. He became profane, active in 
all mischief, and was surpassed by few of his com- 
panions in iniquity. In this course he continued, till 
some time in 1769; when He who has all power was 
pleased to say, Thus^far shalt thou go, and no farther. 
Then his conscience was alarmed in reality : his sins 
rose to his view, and the fuars of eternal misery press- 
ed upon his mind. He resolved to change his course 
of life, to repent and turn to God." 

The subsequent exercises of Mr. Pitman's religious 
experience, given in extensive. details in his own pa- 
pers, describe the progress of a soul, having been first 
enlightened by the Holy Spirit to see the plague of 
his own heart, through all those successive acts of a 
work of grace, till it comes to see the excellence of 
Jesus Christ, the suitableness of the plan of salvation 
revealed in the gospel, and its final and appropriating 
application for a personal interest in the promised 
blessing, — peace in believing, and joy in the Holy 
Ghost. He was baptized by Dr. Stillman, Feb. 24j 


Though he had become a citizen of that " kingdom 
which is not of this world," he loved his country, 
was an early advocate of its independence, and felt it 
his duty to maintain its rights and privileges. At the 
passage of the " Boston port bill," in 1774, he re- 
moved to Philadelphia, and subsequently joined a 
volunteer company, consisting principally of Quakers 
belonging to that city. During the various scenes of 
his military duty, and on other occasions, he not only 
displayed the bravery of the soldier, in a righteous 
cause, but in an eminent degree, that decision and 
attachment to the service of his Heavenly Father 
that gained him the esteem and respect of all his com- 

Air. Pitman began to preach in 1777, having pro- 
bably united with some church in Philadelphia, by 
whom he was approved as a preacher of the gospel. 
After he was ordained, he preached at various places 
in New-Jersey, from 1777 till 1781, when he again 
removed to the city of Philadelphia. 

On Sept. 21,1778, he was married to Rebecca Cox, 
daughter of Richard Cox, of Upper Freehold, N. J. 
While at Philadelphia, he was engaged chiefly in 
secular business for the support of his family, but al- 
ways preached the gospel on the Sabbath, and at oth- 
er times. For about five months, in the latter part of 
1781, he supplied the pulpit of the First Baptist church 
in that city, after the church had been left without a 
pastor, by the secession of their former pastor, Mr. 
"VVinchester and his party, who adopted the sentiments 
9^ the Universalists. In May, 1784, he removed tq 


Providence, R. I. where, although he became engag- 
ed in different kinds of secular busines?, he devoted 
part of his time to the acquisition of useful knowledge 
in his ministerial profession, and to its several voca- 
tions. In Sept. 1785, he was appointed steward of 
the College, and continued in that office one year, 
during the greater part of which he supplied the Con- 
gregational church in Attleborough, Mass. 

In Oct. 1786, he received an invitation from the 
Baptist church in Warren, R. I., to become their pas- 
tor, and after resigning his office in the College, re- 
moved thither with his family, and continued to offi- 
ciate as their minister, till July, 1790, when he 
removed to Providence, and re-united with the Bap- 
tist church there. 

His preaching in Warren was abundantly blessed 
He was highly respected in the town, and the utmosL 
harmony subsisted between him and the church. 

In the first great revival in the Warren church in 
the years of 1804-5, several who were then added to 
the church, dated their first awakenings from his 
preaching. He continued to supply the Warren pul- 
pit frequently, after his removal to Providence, till 
the 20th of March, 1791, when he accepted a call to 
officiate as minister of the Baptist church in Paw- 
tuxet, R. I. 

Mr. Pitman held his residence in Providence, and 
continued to preach for the church at Pawtuxet for 
six years, when in April of 1797, he commenced 
preaching for the Baptist church in the First Precinct 
of Rehoboth, Mass. being the same that was subse-. 


^utntly erected into a separate town, under the an- 
cient [ndian name of Seekonk. 

Here lie labored in the ministry with only a short 
interruption, the remaining part ot' his life. His ex- 
crtiony among this people were crowned with the 
liivine blessing. Gradual atiditions were frequently 
made to the church during his ministry ; and in the 
year 1820, the Lord poured out his Spirit upon the 
inhabitants of that town, and thirty-seven were added 
to the church. 

On Monday night, July 22, 1822, after having 
preached on the preceding Sabbath with unusual en- 
gagedness and solemnity, he was attacked with apo- 
plexy, which terminated fatally on the following 
Wednesday, in the seventy-second year of his age. 
A few minutes after he was first taken, he remarked, 
" I shall die, and not live." 

His remains were interred on the ensuing Friday, 
^vhen a very appropriate sermon was delivered by Rev. 
William Rogers, D. D. from 2 Cor. v. 1. 

A portion of Dr. Rogers' sermon at the funeral of 
Mr. Pitman, is to be found in the September No. of 
the American Baptist Magazine for 1822, in which 
an elevated character is given of Mr. Pitman, as a man^ 
a Christian^ and a Minister. In the November No. 
of the Magazine for the same year, is an extended 
and ably written biographical notice of Mr. Pitman, 
from which nearly all the facts in this Note are ex- 
tracted, and of which, this article pretends to be a 
very short abridgment. The judgment of some of the 
eldest and most candid of Mr. Pitman's living friends. 


in this town and elsewhere, has been sought by the 
writer; and they uniformly agree in saying that the 
Biogr-'phy referred to in the Magazine is drawn with 
great candor and discrimination. Many person- 
al recollections of interesting incidents in Mr Pit- 
man's history, could be supplied, by some among iiS, 
who knew and loved him well; but the brevity need- 
ful and proper for this small work, necessarily fore- 
closes them, Mr. Pitman left a wife and three chil- 
dren to mourn their irreparable loss. 


No sketches have been drawn in these articles, of 
the pastors of this church, after Mr. Pitman, to the 
present time. They are all, with one exception, 
(Rev. Daniel Chessman) still living; and the record 
of their life and character more properly belongs to 
some future and more extended history of this church. 
The writer closes these records of the events and the 
men of former times, feeling that it will be an ea«y 
and grateful tagk, at some other time, to take up this 
history from the points where it is now left ; and the 
materials of which must hereafter be more abundant 
and accessible, than the sources from which these 
sketches are drawn. 

It is with pleasure, that in connection with this 
Discourse, the author can introduce within the covers 
of the same book, a supplementary article by General 
Guy M. Fessenden, who has undertaken a similar 


work of exhuming the materials for the early history 
of this town, to what the present writer has, with re- 
spect to this church. Both these articles are design- 
ed to be like the base ofan inverted cone or pyramid, 

• ler at the foundation, and tapering to a point, nar- 

wer as we come down to the present. 



W A 11 R E N, R. 1. 






By G'?'i^l. FESSENDEN. 




The following pages were written at the solicitation' 
of the Author's friends, supported by his own view 
of the importance of such a work. 

The connection of Massasoit and his immediate 
household, with the first settlers of New-England, 
constitutes an important feature in the early history of 
our country. 

From the difficulty in obtaining correct information, 
respecting that distinguished aboriginal family, and 
especially, the place of their residence ; writers, living 
at a distance from the scenes they describe, have been 
led into erroneous statements, and these errors have 
been copied and repeated in subsequent historical 

The local residence of the writer gives him the ad- 
vantage of reconciling facts and testimonies, which 
could not be reasonably expected of others, differently 

Besides making due acknowledgment for the quo- 
tations given, the writer deems it proper to observe, 
that he has derived much information from the fol- 
lowing works : 

Young's Chron. of the Pilgrims, Holmes' Annal?, 


Davis' Morton's JMemorials, Drake's Book of the In- 
dians, Church's and Hubbard's Hist, of Philip's War, 
Old Indian Chronicle, R. I. Hist. Soc. Coll., Hakluyt's 
Voyages, Prince's, Mather's Masrnalia, Bhss' 
Hist, of Rehoboth, Barber's Hist. Coll., Adams' and 
Barber's Histories of N. England, Updike's Mem. of R. 
I. Bar, Belknap's Am. Biog. , Kno%Yles' and Gammell's 
Mem. of Roger Williams, Backus' Hist, of the Bap- 
tists, Thatcher's Ind. Biog. Hubbard's Hist. N. Eng- 
land, Manuscripts, — Record Book of the Proprietors 
of Sowams, and parts adjacent, from 1653 to 1751, — 
Swanzea Records from 1670 to 1718, — Warren Rec- 
ords from 1746. 
Warren, August, 1845. 


The early history of this town, in conse- 
quence of the lapse of time, the various nation- 
al, state and town governments under which it 
has passed, and the diversified sources to which 
we are compelled to resort for information, in- 
volves difficulties of research, requiring much 
patience, candor and industry. 

The territory, of which it is a part, since 
first known, has been successively under the 
national or subordinate jurisdiction of the Abo- 
rigines, of France, England, North and South 
Virginia, New Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay 
and Rhode-Island. Besides following these 
general changes, the town while under the In- 
dian Sachems, was called So-wams in Pokano- 
ket, until 1667, when it became a constituent 
part of Swanzea, Mass. which was incorporated 
that year. It so remained till 1746, when it 
was set off from Massachusetts and annexed to 
Rhode-Island, and including Barrington, which 
had been previously erected into a separate 
township in 1718, was incorporated into one 
town by the name of Warren. In 1770, the 
town was divided, the western part resuming 


the name of Barrington, the remaining part 
constituting the town with its present limits. 

The history of the aboriginal inhabitants ot 
this place and vicinity, their character and con- 
dition at the time of the first visit of white men, 
their decline and final dispersion before the 
irresistible force of civilization, are full of in- 
terest. The brilliant discovery, by Columbus, 
of the western world, in 1492, induced the great 
maritime powers of Europe to send exploring 
vessels to this continent, with the object of ac- 
quiring territory by right of discovery. It is 
somewhat remarkable (as historians observe,)* 
that three great commercial powers should em- 
ploy for that purpose, persons all of the single 
nation of Italy, which was not then noted for 
its extensive navigation. While Spain em- 
ployed Columbus of Genoa, and England the 
Cabots of Venice, France engaged the services 
of Verrazzano of Florence, to which we would 
add, (and we are surprised at the omission) 
that Portugal also employed an Italian, Amer- 
icus Vespucius of Florence. 

Of these, the French pilot, Verrazzano, dis- 
covered and visited this vicinity. We find that 
Francis I. of France, in the spring of 1524, 
sent the ship Dolphin (or Dauphin) Capt. Ver- 
azzano, who sailed along the coast, from South- 
Carolina to Newfoundland, occasionally stop- 
ping and visiting the coast, and named the 

''* Holmes' Annals, I. 55. 


vvliole country Neiv-France. On this voyage, 
he entered the Narragansett Bay, the account 
of which visit, and his description of the na- 
tives, v/e take from his letter to the King, after 
his return.* He states that he sailed from 
Madeira on the 17th of January, 1524, in the 
ship Dolphin, with eight months' stores and 50 
men ; that he made the land after steering a 
west course, in 50 days, and passed on along 
the coast northerly, until he came to Block 
Island. We now quote his words, as given by 
the translator : 

"We discoured an Hand in forme of a tri- 
angle, distant from the maine land ten leagues, 
about the bignesse of the Hand of Rhodes ; it 
was full of hils couered with trees, well peo- 
pled, for we saw fires all along the coast ; we 
gaue it the name of your Majesties mother.! 
And we came to another land, being 15 leagues 
distant from the Hand, where we found a pass- 
inor good hauen, wherein beinor entred, we found 
about 20 small boats of the people, which with 
diuers cries and wondrings, came about our 
ship, comming no nearer than 50 paces towards 
vs, they stayed and beheld the artificialness of 
our ship, our shape and apparel, then they all 
made a loud showt together, declaring that 

* Published in " Hakluyt's Voyages," A. D. 1600. 
New Edition, Quarto, London, 1800. 3d Vol. p. 357. 

t Louisa was the name of the mother of Francis 


they reioyced ; when we had something ani- 
mated them, vsing their gestures, they came so 
neere vs, that we cast them certaine bels and 
glasses, and many toyes, which, when they had 
■received, they looked on them with laughincr, 
and came without feare, aboard our ship." 

'' They were dressed in deer skins wrought 
artificially with diuers branches like damaske, 
their hayre was tied vp behind with diuers 
knots. This is the goodliest people, and of 
the fairest conditions that we haue found in 
this our voyage ; they exceed vs in bignes, they 
are of the colour of brasse, some of them in- 
cline more to whitenesse, others are of yellow 
colour, of comely visage, with long and blacke 
haire, which they are very careful to trim and 
decke vp, they are of sweete and pleasant 
countenance; — the women are very handsome 
and well favoured, of pleasant countenance and 
comely to behold ; they are as well manered as 
any women, they were deeres skins branched 
or embroidered as the men use, there are also 
of them which weare on their armes very rich 
skinnes of Luzernes, they weare diuers orna- 
ments according to the vsage of the people of 
the east." 

" Wee bestowed 15 dayes in prouiding our- 
selues ; evry day the people repaired to see our 
ship, bringing their wiues with them, whereof 
they are very ielous and caused their wiues to 
stay in their boats, and for all the intreatie we 
•could make, we could neuer obtain that they 


would suffer them to come abord our ship. 
There were two kings of so goodly stature and 
shape as is posible to declare ; the eldest was 
about 40 yeeres of age ; the second was a young 
man of 20 yeeres old ; and when they came on 
board, the Q,ueene and her maids stayed in a 
very light boat, at an Hand, a quarter of a league 
off." " There was a little Hand neere the ship 
where the men went, the woods v/ere okes, ci- 
presse trees, and other sorts vnknown in Eu- 
rope, damson and nut trees ; there are beasts 
in great abundance, as harts, deere, Luzerns, 
and other kinds." 

He then describes their boats, as made of 
one log, by the aid of fire, and tools of stone, 
and were of sufficient capacity to carry 10 or 
15 men. He continues : — 

" We saw their houses, made in circular 
forme, 10 or 12 paces in compasse, coured 
with mattes of straw, wrought cunningly to- 
gether." " They live long and are seldom 
sicke, and if they chance to fall sicke at any 
time, they heale themselves with fire, without 
any physitian, and they say that they die for 
very age." 

" The mouth of the hauen iieth open to the 
south, half a league broad, and being entred 
within it, between the east and the north, it 
atretcheth twelve leagues, where it waxeth 
broader and broader, and maketh a gulfe about 
20 leagues in compasse, wherein are fiue small 


Hands, very fruitfull and pleasant ; full of hie 
and broade trees, among the which Hands any 
great nauie may ride safe. Turning towards 
the south, in the entring into thehauen, on 
both sides there are most pleasant hils, with 
many riuers of most cleare water falling into 
the sea." " In the middest of this entrance, 
there is a rocke of free stone growing by nature, 
apt to build any castle or fortress there."! 
" This land is situated in the parallel of Rome, 1 
in 41 degrees and 2 terces. The oth of May 
we departed " 

Most writers who have noticed the discove- 
ries of Verazzano, consider the foregoing ex- 
tract as referring to Block Island and Narra- 
gansett Bay.* The latitude 41d. 40m. is given 
by him very correctly, considering that in those 
days the marine instruments for observing it. 
were the astrolabe, semisphere, ring and cross- 
staff. The general description is very accurate 
and disagreements are found only in some of the 
distances and magnitudes given by him, which 
are readily accounted for ; — first, from the fact, 
that at that time a French league was seven 
tenths of an English mile shorter than the pre-- 

* Bancroft Hist. U. S. T, 15, 16; New- York Hist 
Col. 1, 45-60 ; Belknap Am. Biog. I, 33 or 63; Moul- 
ton New-York, I, 147, 148; N. Amer. Review XIV, 
p 293-311; R.I. Hist. Coll. 


ent league ; and also, that in writing to the 
King an account of his wonderful discoveries, 
Verazzano would naturally be likely to over 

This visit constitutes the first ever made by 
white or civilized man to any portion of the 
State of Rhode-Island ; nor was a second 
made until after tlie lapse of ninety-seven years, 
during which time the attention of the Euro- 
pean governments was turned to the peculiarly 
exciting state of affairs at home, and but little 
was done in the way of discovery on this con- 
tinent. Some settlements were attempted at 
the south, but mostly failed ; — the eastern fish- 
ery was carried on ; but there is no account of 
any visit, during that long period to any place 
in or near the territory of Rhode-Island. 

The fact, we think, is fully established, that 
the second visit of civilized white men to any 
part of the State, was made to the spot now 
occupied by the village of Warren. 

About the commencement of the 17th cen- 
tury, the spirit of discovery and settlement on 
this continent, again revived under more aus- 
picious promises than before. In 1620, our 
pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth, and were 
soon visited by the principal Sachem of the 
territory between Narragansett and Massachu- 
setts Bays, and a simple treaty entered into 
between the parties. This Sachem was Massa- 
9oit, who resided at the Indian village of So- 



warns, in the Pokanoket territory, about 40 
miles distant from Plymouth. The village or 
town of Sowams was situated upon the spot now 
occupied by Warren, and the dwelling of Mas- 
sasoit was located within a few yards of the 
running spring near BaKer's \vharf * 

The region now constituting Bristol, Bar- 
rington and Warren, in Rhode-I&Iand, with 
parts of Swanzea and Seekonk, in Massa- 
chsetts, was called Pokanoket by the In- 
dians, and was the district occupied by the 
tribe of Wampanoags, under the imme- 
diate government of Massasoit, whose do- 
minion, however, extended over nearly all the 
south-eastern part of Massachusetts, from Cape 
Cod to Narragan.^ctt Bay. 

The comparative mildness attending the 
plague of 1616, in this region, the fertility of 

* Massasoit's spring is situated about 80 feet from 
the original ni^h water mark, on land gradually de- 
scending to the river, ft is near Baker's wharf, in a 
pubic street, and in its natural state was a common 
but powerful spring. In consequence of making the 
street and wharf, and erecting buildings near the 
spot, and raising the land, the spring has been exca- 
vated and walled up like a well. It is noAV eight feet 
deep : at five feet from the bottom, a sluice way is 
left in the wall : the water never fails, but is always 
up, or near to this aperture, and for eleven months 
of the year, a stream the size of a man's arm, is run- 
ning through it. Near the shore it comes to the sur- 
face, and flows into the river. The water is of a pur« 
and excellent quality. 


the soil, the uncommon facilities for fishing, 
and being the head tribe of the nation, and res- 
idence of the principal chief, caused Pokano- 
ket to be more thickly settled than any other 
portion of Massasoit's dominions. 

The hill in Bristol then called Montop was 
immediately renamed by the English Mount 
Hope : this gave a name to the whole neck, 
which, from the Mount to Miles's bridge 
in Swanzea, was known as Mount Hope 
neck. On this neck were three Indian villages, 
viz. Montop, located near the Mount ; Kikc- 
muit, around the spring of that name, and So- 
wams or Soivamset (pronounced S'womset) on 
the spot where the village of Warren now 

The remains of these settlements are plain 
id be discerned ; — in this immediate vicinity, 
human bones are o'ften disinterred, shells a- 
bound in the soil, and many Indian relics, con- 
sisting of warlike instruments, and implements 
for domestic and mechanical purposes, are fre- 
quently collected.* Around Kikemuit spring, 
tor a space of ten acres, the soil is mixed with 
oyster, clam and quahaug shells, to the depth 
of several feet. 

Some authors have located the residence of 

" Tlie writer lias made a coilcction of curious re- 
lics of undoubted aboriginal origin, which havo been 


Massasoit at Mount Hope ; others have sup- 
posed it to have been m Barrington. The for- 
mer appear to have been led into their mistake, 
by supposing that as Philip had for some time 
resided, and at last was killed, at Mount Hope, 
that it was, therefore, the residence of his fath- 
er Massasoit, and his brother Alexander before 
him ; — while the latter have been betrayed into 
their error, from a misconstruction of a note in 
Callender's Historical Discourse.* 

* The following is the note referred to in Callen- 
der's Hist. Dis. — " Perhaps Sowarjis is jiroperly the 
name of the river, where the two Swanzea rivers 
meet and run together for near a mile, when they 
empty themselves into the Narragansett Bay ; or of 
a small island, where the two rivers meet, at the bot- 
tom of INew Meadow Neck, so called." R. 1. Histo 
Coll. IV. 84. 

This note of Callender's is not, as has been sup- 
posed, his own correction of a statement made by 
himself, but the pass.ige in his discourse, to which he 
refers, is a q'jotation from Clark's narrative, viz. 
" Sowams is tlie neck since called Phebe's Neck, in 
Barrington." We have, therefore, the opinions of 
both dark and Callender, as to the location of Sow- 
ams. They are both worthy of consideration ; the 
former from its antiquity, and the latter from the fact 
of his having been the assistant minister at Swanzea, 
from 1728 to 1730.* These two authorities agree in 
placing Sowams somewhere on the shores of Warren 
river, no intimation having been made by either of 

* Mr. Callender had an aunt buned on New Meadow Neck, 
on whose grave-stone is the following inscription : — '' Sarah, 
wife to Edward Luther, Esq. daughter of Ellis and Mary Cal- 
lender, of Boston. Died June 2, 1711, aged 27 years." 


The earliest accounts do not locate Massaso- 
it's residence at either of those places. His 
dwelling is always stated as being at Sowam- 
set or Pokanoket ; — the latter a general name 
for the territory occupied by his tribe ; and the 
former the name of the particular village of his 
residence.* The facts tending to prove this 
statement, and also that the present village of 
Warren was formerly Sowamset, will now be 

them, as to Sowams being at Kickemuit or Mount 
Hope, or at any other place. At tJie time when they 
wrote, probably but very little importance was attach- 
ed to the residence of Massasoit, and VVinslow's nar- 
rative was probably but little known out of England, 
where it was published. 

The small island mentioned (called Little Island) 
is about 500 feet in length by about 150 in breadth. 
The soil is a mere swamp ; the salt grass is cut from 
it yearly, and this constitutes its only use. Ordinary 
tides nearly cover it, and extra high tides completely 
overflow it. Any person acquainted with the island, 
would at once decide, that it never was, and never 
could be, the residence of a human being. Of course, 
there is no spring of water upon it, nor is there one 
to be found on the southern part of New Meadow 

Now if it can be established (of which we have no 
doubt) that Massasoit's residence was upon the east 
side of Warren river, then the testimony of these two 
authors must be considered as in favor of the location 
which we indicate. 

*" Massasoit, they brought down to the English,, 
(at Plymouth,) though his place was at forty miles 
distance, called Sowams, his country called Pokano- 
ket."— Hubbard's History N, E,, p. 59. 


In the summer of 1621, Governor Bradforcr 
concluded to send a deputation to Massasoit, 
on a friendly visit, to make him a present, to 
learn the exact place of his residence, to see 
the country, to confirm the former treaty, and 
to procure seed corn. Accordingly, on Tues- 
day, the 3d of July, 16^.1, Mr. Edward Wins- 
low, subsequently Governor of Plymouth col- 
ony, Mr. Stephen Hopkins and an Indian nam- 
ed Squanto, Squantum or Tisquantum, for a 
guide, commenced their journey, and from Mr. 
Winslow's narrative, we can easily trace the 
course of their route. Their first day's travel 
brought them to a spot now called Titicut, a 
village on Taunton river, in the north-west 
part of Middleboro', where they passed the 
night. The next morning, Wednesday, July 
4, they proceeded six miles by the river, on the 
south side, to a well-known wading place, 
where they crossed over, and proceeding on, 
arrived that afternoon at Pokanoket, the resi- 
dence of Massasoit. They remained with him 
two nights, and the intervening day of Thurs- 
day, July 5, lodging in his dwelling. This day 
'Massasoit brought two fishes that he had shot.'* 

* Probably Bass, as those fish swim near the sur- 
face. — R. Williams, in his "Key," says of the In- 
dians, " They kill Basse, (at the fall of the water,) 
with their arrows." And " Purchas" says, " Tliey 
will with arrowea kill birds flying, fishes swimming 
beasts running." 


< )ji Friday morning, July 6, before sunrise, they 
departed for home : they passed the following 
night at the same place they passed the first 
night out, and the next day, Saturday, July 7, 
arrived home, " wet, weary and surbated." 
They reported the distance as about 40 miles 
from Plymouth, speak of a number of rivers 
that they waded through, but not a word is 
said of crossing an unfordable river, especially 
at the close of the journey, or at their leaving, 
(" before sunrise") for home, which they must 
have done, if they crossed Warren river into 
Barrington. So obvious is this, that no person 
in this vicinity, either of Barrington or Warren, 
entertains the least idea that these travelers 
could have passed Warren river. 

In March of the year 1623, Mr. Winslow 
was again sent on a visit to Massasoit ; he was 
accompanied this time by Mr. John Hamden, 
and an Indian named Hobbamock, for a guide. 
The narrative of this journey is given by Wins- 
low more minutely than the former, both of 
which were originally published in London in 
1622 and 1624, respectively, and have been 
correctly republished, for the first time, in 1841, 
by Rev. Alexander Young, in his work entitled, 
*' Chronicles of the Pilgrims." The incidents 
of this expedition to Sowamset in Pokanoket, 
possessing greater interest than the former, and 
bearing directly upon the points to be estabv 


lished in this investigation, will here be trans- 
cribed almost entire.* It commences ; — 

" News came to Plymouth that Massassowat 
was like to die, and that at the same time there 
was a Dutch ship driven so high on the shore 
by stress of weather, right before his dwelling, 
that till the tides increased, she could not be 
got off. Now it being a commendable manner 
of the Indians, when any, especially of note, 
are dangerously sick, for all that profess friend- 
ship to them, to visit them in their extremity ; 
therefore it was thought meet, that as we had 
ever professed friendship, so we should now 
maintain the same, by observing this their laud- 
able custom ; and the rather, because we desir- 
ed to have some conference with the Dutch. 
To that end, myself having formerly been there, 
and understanding in some measure, the Dutch 
tongue, the Governor again laid this service 
upon myself, having one Master John Hamden 
for my consort, and Hobbamock for our guide. 
So we set forward, and lodged the first night 
at Namasket.t The next day, about one of 
the clock, we came to a ferry in Conbatant's 
country. J There they told us that Massasowat 
was dead, and that day buried ; and that the 
Dutch would be gone before we could get 

* The points of abridgment are not marked in this 
cjxtract from Winslow's Journal. 

tNow Middlcborougli, Mass. 

I This ferry was across Taunton river. 


thither, having hove off their ship aheatly. This 
news struck us blank, but especially Hobba- 
mock, who desired we might return with all 
speed. Considering now, that he being dead, 
Gonbatant was the most like to succeed him, 
and that we were not above three miles from 
Mattapuyst, his dwelling place, I thought no 
time so fit as this to enter into more friendly 
terms with him, and the rest of the Sachims 
thereabout, I resolved to put it in practice, if 
Master Hamden and Hobbamock durst attempt 
it with me ; whom I found willing to that or 
any other course [which] might tend to the 
general good. So we went towards Matta- 
puyst. In the way, Hobbamock brake forth 
into these speeches : " My loving sachim, my 
loving sachim ! Many have I known, but never 
any like thee " And turning him to me, said, 
whilst I lived, I should never see his like 
amongst the Indians ; saying, he was no liar, 
he was not bloody and cruel,, like other In- 
dians; in anger and passion he was soon re- 
claimed ; easy to be reconciled towards such 
as had offended him ; and that he governed his 
men better with few strokes, than others did 
with many ; truly loving where he loved ; yea, 
he feared we had not a faithful friend left among 
the Indians ; showing how he ofttimes restrain- 
ed their malice, &/C. continuing a long speech 
with signs of unfeigned sorrow. 

At length we came to Mattapuyst, and went 
to the sachim's place ; but Conbatant, the sa- 



chim, was not at home, but at Puckanokick, 
which was some five or six miles off. The sa- 
chim's wife gave us friendly entertainment. 
Here we inquired again concerning Massasow- 
at ; they thought him dead, but knew no cer- 
tainty. Whereupon I hired one to go with all 
expedition to Puckanokick, that we might 
know the certainty thereof, and withal to ac- 
quaint Conbatant with our there being. About 
half an hour before sunsetting, the messenger 
returned, and told us that he was not yet dead, 
though there was no hope we should find him 
living. Upon this we were much revived, and 
set forward with all speed, though it was late 
within night ere we got thither. About two of 
the clock that afternoon, the Dutchman de- 
parted ; so that in that respect our journey was 

When we came thither, we found the house 
so full of men, as we could scarce get in, 
though they used their best diligence to make 
way for us. There were they in the midst of 
their charms for him, making such a hellish 
noise, as it distempered us that were well, and 
therefore unlike to ease him that was sick. 
When they had made an end of their charming, 
one told him that his friends, the English, were 
come to see him. Having understanding left, 
but his sight was wholly gone, he asked, Wlio 
was come ? They told him. He desired to 
speak witli me. When I came to him, he put 
forth his hand to me, which I took. Then he 


Said twice, ^' Art thou Winslovv ?" I answered, 
yes. Then he doubled these words, " O AVins- 
low, I shall never see thee again." Then I call- 
ed Hobbamock, and desired him to tell Massa- 
sowat that the Governor sent me with such 
things for him as he thought most likely to do 
him good, and whereof if he pleased to take, 
I would presently give him ; which he desired ; 
and having a confection of many comfortable 
conserves, &.c. on the point of my knife, I gave 
him some, which I could scarce get through 
his teeth. When it was dissolved in his mouth, 
he swallowed the juice of it; wdiereat those 
that were about him much rejoiced, saying he 
had not swallowed any thing in two days be- 
fore. Then I desired to see his mouth, which 
was exceedingly furred, and his tongue swelled 
in such a manner, as it was not possible for 
him to eat such meat as they had. Then I 
washed his mouth, and scraped his tongue, af- 
ter which I gave him more of the confection, 
which he swallowed with more readiness. Then 
he desiring to drink, I dissolved some of it in 
water, and gave him thereof Within half an 
hour, this wrought a great alteration in him, 
in the eyes of all that beheld him. Presently 
after, his sight began to come to him, which 
gave him and us good encouragement. I in- 
quired how he slept, and they said he slept not 
in two days before. Then I gave him morCj 
and told him of a mishap we had by the way, 


in breaking a bottle of drink, saying if he would 
send any of his men to Patuxet, I would send 
for more of the same ; also for chickens to 
make him broth, and for other things, which I 
knew were good for him ; and would stay the 
return of his messenger, if he desired. This 
he took marvellous kindly, and appointed some, 
who were ready to go by two of the clock in 
the morning ; against which time I made ready 
a letter. 

He requested me, that the day following, I 
would take my piece, and kill him some fowl, 
and make him some English pottage, such as 
he had eaten at Plymouth, which I promised. 
After, his stomach coming to him, I must 
needs make him some without fowl, before I 
went abroad, I caused a woman to bruise some 
corn, and take the flour from it, and set over 
the broken corn, in a pipkin, for they have 
earthen pots of all sizes. When the day broke, 
we went out, it being now March, to seek 
herbs, but could not find any but strawberry 
leaves, of which I gathered a handful, and put 
into the same ; and because I had nothing to 
relish it, I went forth again, and pulled up a 
sassafras root, and sliced a piece thereof, and 
boiled it, till it had a good relish, and then took 
it out again. The broth being boiled, I strain- 
ed it through my handkerchief, and gave him 
at least a pint, which he drank, and liked it 
very well. After this, his sight mended more 
and more ; also he took some rest ; insomuch 



a,^ we with admiration blessed God for giving 
Ills blessing to such raw and ignorant means, 
liuuseH'and all of them acknowledging us the 
instruments of his preservation. 

That morning he caused me to spend in go- 
i i'T from one to another amongst those that 
V 're sick in the town, requesting me to wash 
I'ii'ir mouths also, and give to each of them 
e> >!ne of the same I gave him, saying they were 
f^:H)d folk. This pains I took with willingness, 
tlunigh it were much offensive to me. After 
dinner he desired me to get him a goose or 
duck, and make him some pottage therewith, 
with as much speed as I could. So I took a 
man with me, and made a shot at a couple of 
ducks, some six score paces off", and killed one, 
at which he wondered. So we returned forth- 
with, and dressed it, making more broth there- 
with, which he much desired. Never did I see 
a man so low brought, recover in that measure 
in so short a time. 

About an hour after, he began to be very 
sick, cast up the broth, and began to bleed at 
the nose, and so continued the space of four 
hours. Concluding now he would die, they 
asked me wh^.t I thought of him. I answered, 
his case was desperate, yet it might be it would 
save his life ; for if it ceased in time, he would 
forthwith sleep and take rest, which was the 
principal thing he wanted. — Not long after, 
his blood stayed, and he slept at least six or 
eight hours. When he awaked, I washed liii 


face, and bathed and suppled his beard and 
nose with a linen cloth. But on a sudden, he 
chopped his nose in the water, and drew up 
some therein, and sent it forth again with such 
violence, as he began to bleed afresh. Then 
they thought there was no hope ; but we per- 
ceived it was but the tenderness of his nostril, 
and therefore told them I thought it would stay 
presently, as indeed it did. 

The messengers were now returned ; but 
finding his stomach come to him, he would not 
have the chickens killed, but kept them for 

Many, whilst we were there, came to see 
him ; some, by their report, from a place not 
less than an hundred miles. To all thcit came, 
one of his chief men related the manner of his 
sickness, how near he was spent, how his friends 
the English came to see him, and how sudden- 
ly they recovered him to this strength they saw. 
Upon this, his recovery, he brake forth into 
these speeches : " Now I see the English are 
my friends, and love me ; and whilst I live, I 
will never forget this kindness they have show- 
ed me. At our coming away, he called Hob- 
bamock to him, and privately revealed the plot 
before spoken of, agamst Master Weston's col- 
ony, and so against us, saying himself also in 
his sickness was earnestly solicited, but he 
would neither join therein, nor give way to any 
of his. With this he charged him thoroughly 
to acquaint me by the way, that I might inforru, 


the Governor thereof, at my first coming home. 
Being fitted for our return, we took our leave 
of him ; who returned many thanks to our Gcv- 
erndr, and also to ourselves for our labor and 
love ; the like did all that were about him. So 
we r'eparted. 

That night, through the earnest request of 
Conbatant, who till now remained at Sawaams, 
or Puckanokick, we lodged with him at Mat- 
tapuyst. Here we remained only that night, 
but never had better entertainment amongst 
any of them. The day following, in cur jour- 
ney, Hobbamock told me of the private con- 
ference he had with Massasowat, and how he 
charged him perfectly to acquaint me there- 
with, as I showed before ; which having done, 
he used many arguments himself to move us 
thereunto. That night we lodged at Namas- 
ket, and the day following arrived at home." 

Although these narratives sufficiently estab- 
lish the locality of Sowams, and therefore the 
residence of Massasoit, we can refer to other 
portions of history, corroborative of them. 

Tradition, confirming our conclusion, is yet 
extant amoncj the people of Warren ; eld«^rly 
persons nov/ living, quote their predecessors as 
having received this testimony, from the fiisl 
white people who settled in this vicinity. A 
map of Neu -England, originally published in 
1677, republished in 18'2G and prefixed to Da- 
vis' edition of Morton's Memorial, although 



very imperfect in many respects, has a crown 
marked upon it, evidently to denote the resi- 
dence of the principal Sachem. This crown 
is not placed on the seaward end of Mount 
Hope, or any other Neck, nor is it on the west 
side of Warren river, but exactly where War- 
ren stands. 

In the "judgment" of the Court of Commis- 
sioners, held in Providence, to decide the 
boundary question between Massachusetts and 
Rhode-Island, dated June 30, 1741, is this 
passage : " That the place where the Indian 
called King Philip lived, near Bristol, was call- 
ed Pauconoket, and that another place near 
Swanzea, was called Sowams or Sowamsett." 
From this extract it is evident that Sowams 
was between Bristol and Swanzea, and nearest 
the latter; — as these two townships adjoin, and a 
point near the division line would seem to be 
intended ; which is precisely where we decide 
it to have been. 

Mr. Morse, in the first volume of his Geog- 
raphy, 5th octavo edition, 1805, in a description 
of Warren, expressly states, *' This was also 
the dwelling place of Massasoit, afterwards 
called Osamequin, an Indian Sachem, who was 
the great friend of the Plymouth pilgrims in 
the infancy of their settlement. His spring, 
near the margin of the river, still bears his 

The Rev. Alex. Young, from whose book, 
'' Chronicles of the Pilgrims," the precedinij 


narrative of Winslow's Journal is extracted, 
expressly states on page 208, where Winslow 
describes his arrival at the residence of Massa- 
soit, " They arrived at Warren, R. I." 

From the foregoing, and other historical 
writings, the following statements may be con- 
sidered as established facts : 

1. That the Indians invariably gave names 
to all varieties of land and water, as necks, 
hills, rivers, springs, villages, countries, &-c.* 

2. That the first settlers generally retained 
those names, however uncouth, until the places 
named were occupied by the English, and often 

3. That *' Mount Hope" had a name, and 
although it was known for many years previous 
to 1676, while in actual possession of the na- 
tives, yet no Indian name has ever been men- 
tioned except Mont-haup, and therefore that 
was its Indian name.t 

4. That Mont-liau]) was readily Anglicised, 
and for no other reason, the English, at once, 
called it Mount Hope. 

5. That in consequence, the whole neck, 
including Bristol and Warren village, was call- 
ed Mount Hope neck. Mount Hope lands, &c. 

6. That ". Pokanoket" was a name for the 
territory occupied by the Wampanoags, includ- 

'^R. I. Hist. Soc. ed. of Callender's Hist. Disc.p.88. 
t It was called Mount Hope at least as early as 166fi- 
Mort. Mem. 267. 


ing Bristol, Warren, B'^rringtoii in R. Island, 
and pnrts oi Swanzea ai d Seekcnk, Mass. J 

7. That there was a place in Pckancket^ 
called Sowams, or Sowamsct^ and that was the 
place of Massasoit's residence.! 

8. That Pokanoket and Sowams are spoken 
of, by the earliest writers, synonymously, as be- 
ing the residence of Massasoit ; but Mount 
Hope and Kikemuit, are neither so spoken of, 
but the contrary is plainly the fact respecting 

9. That in going to Sowam.s twice and back, 
Mr. Winslo v mentions Crossing, and particu- 
larly describes^ Taunton river ; that he left 
Massasoit's residence once " before sunrising," 
and arrived there once " late within night," 
yet he says nothing of crossing a deep, wide, 
rapid and unfordable river, just at the termina- 
tion of his journey out ; and that therefore he 
did not cross Warren river, and consequently, 
Sowams was not in Barrington. 

10. The Indian name for the southern part 
of Barrington neck was Popanomscut, while 
the northern part was called Wavnamoisett ; 
Sowams therefore could not have been in Bar- 

11. That Massasoit lived " some five or six 
miles" from Mattapuyst (Mattapoiset, or Gard- 
ner's Neck, in Swanzea) that Mount Hope is 

t Mort. Mem. 55. 
§ Mort. Mem. 169. 


nine miles from Mattapoiset ; and therefore, 
Mount Hope was not Sowams. 

12. That Kikemuit was on Kikemuit river ; 
that said river is shoal, diiOficult and dangerous 
of access to a stranger, hardly suitable for sloop 
navigation, and only then at high water ; there- 
fore a " Dutch ship" and a stranger would" not 
and could not sail up it ; that Kikemuit was its 
original Indian name, and therefore not So- 

13. That Sowams was on Sowams river ; 
(now Warren river, on the opposite side of the 
town from Kickemuit river) which river is nav- 
igable for ships of 500 tons to Warren ; the 
channel being crooked, a " Dutch ship" might 
readily, at that time, have run aground. 

14. That Massasoit lived where a Dutch 
ship run aground " right before his dwelling ;" 
and therefore it was Warren river, and not 
Kikemuit river, that the Dutch ship went up. 

15. That if Winslow, who is peculiarly mi- 
nute in his descriptions, had gone to Mount 
Hope, he would have described that remarkable 
elevation ; his not mentioning it, is proof that 
he did not visit it. 

16. That the Indians always settled around 
running springs, and therefore Massasoit did 
the same ; and that the spring and location we 
decide as having been his, are in every respect 
suitable, the former sendin"^ out a larcre stream 


of pure water, the latter attractive and well 
adapted as a place of residence.* 

17. That the ordy spot that conforms to all 
the conditions of the testimony, that reconciles 
all the different statements, and that agrees with 
all the ancient descripti(5ns (especially those of 
Winslow) of Massasoit's residence, is at the 
spring called Massasoit's spring, near Baker's 
wharf, in Warren. 

This town being the residence of the princi- 
pal Sachem, was the place first occupied by the 
English, of any in the State. Four years before 
Roger Williams settled upon the Mooshausick, 
or Blackstone upon the Sneechtaconet, and six 
years before Coddington upon Aquidneck, an 
English house was established in the year 1632, 
and Englishmen resided (probably for trade) 
at Sowamset. In Gov. Winthrop's journal is 
the following statement : 

" April 12, 1632. The Governor received 
" letters from Plymouth, signifying that there 
" had been a broil between their men at Sc- 
** wamset and the Narragansett Indians, who 
*' set upon the English house there, to have ta- 
" ken Owsamequin, the Sagamore of Packano- 
*' cott, who fled thither, with all the people, for 
" refuge ; and that Capt. Standish being gone 
*' thither, to relieve the three English which 
" were in the house, sent home in all haste for 

* Young's Cliron. Pi I, p. 207. 


" more men and other provisions, upon intelli- 
'' gence that Canonicus, with a great army, was 
" coming against tliem ; on that, they wrote to 
*' our Governor for some powder, to be sent 
" with all possible speed ; for it seemed they 
*' were unfurnished. Upon this, the Governor 
*' presently despatched away the messenger 
*' with so much powder as he could carry, viz. 
" 27 pounds. The messenger returned and 
" brought a letter from the Governor (Bradford) 
" signifying that the Indians were retired from 
*' Sowamsett to fight with the Pequots." 

Capt. Standish remained some time at So- 
wamsett ; for Gov. Winthrop received a letter 
from him at that place, on May 1. 

The location of Warren being ascertained 
to have been the place of Massasoit's residence, 
it is rendered proper that some notice should 
here be given of the character and history of a 
man, who, though a heathen, proved himself 
true to the dictates which the light of nature 
suggested. He possessed all the elements of a 
great mind and a noble heart. With the ad- 
vantages of civilized life, and the light which 
a pure Christianity would have supplied, he 
might have achieved a brilliant destiny, and oc- 
cupied a high niche in the temple of fam.e. 
This chief never has had full justice done to 
his character.* In all the memorials of Indian 

* Trumbull, Ind. Wars, p. 43, says of Massasoit, 
"He seems to have been a most estimable man. He 


character which have come down to us, Massa- 
soil's character stands above reproach. No one 
has ever charged him with evil. Other Indian 
chiefs appear on the page of history, as noted 
for some one great act, or distinguishing qual- 
ity, mostly of a warlike, but occasionally of an 
amiable or benevolent nature ; yet after a brief 
space, betrayed into some act of weakness, or 
guilty of cruelty and want of fidelity. But 
from the time when Massasoit repaired to Ply- 
mouth, March 22, 1621, to welcome the Pil- 
grims and to tender to them his friendship, till 
the time of his death, in 1661, a period of more 
than forty years, when the Pilgrims were weak 
and defenceless, encountering sickness, want 
.and death, when at almost any moment Massa- 
soit could have exterminated them, in no one 
instance did he depart from those plain engage- 
ments of treaty which he made when he plight- 
ed his faith to strangers. He was not only 
their uniform friend, but their protector, at 
times when his protection was equivalent to 
their preservation. It was well for the Pilgrims 
that Massasoit lived between them and the pow- 
erful tribe of the Narragansetts, under Canoni- 
cus, on the western side of the Bay, who early 
showed a determination to attack and expel 
them, and w^re prevented only by Massasoit. 

was just, humane and beneficent, true to his word, 
and in every respect, an lionest man." 

A suitable character is also given him in Thatcher's 
Ind. Biog. Vol. I, pp. 13-2— 14(4. 


There can be no doubt, that the faithful char- 
acter and the unusually amiable disposition of 
Massasoit, combined with the singular sickness 
which so extensively prevailed among the In- 
dians between Narragansett Bay and Cape Cod, 
in 1G17, were preparations made by Divine 
Providence for the reception of the Pilgrims. 
The only account of the personal appearance 
of Massasoit, which we have, is found in Davis' 
edition of Morton's Memorial, p. GO. " The 
king is a portly man, in his best years, grave 
of countenance, spare of speech." The exact 
time of his death is unknown ;* but from cer- 
tain historical facts, it is rendered quite cer- 
tain that he died some time in the autumn of 
1661. Assuming his age, at the arrival of the 
pilgrims, to have been about 40 years, (he be- 
ing " a portly man, in his best years,") he 
must have been upwards of 80 at his decease* 
Some years previous to his death, he associated 
Mooanam, alias Yv^amsutta, alias Alexander, 
with him in his government ; and in the few 
last years of Massasoit's life, we notice that 
Alexander acts occasionally in his own name. 

* Published documents prove Massasoit to have 
been alive in May, 16G1, and very probably so late as 
in September of the same year. (See Drake's Book 
of Indians, Art. Uncas ; and Thatcher's Ind. Biog. 
Vol. I, p. 291) and on the 13th of Dec. 1G61, we find 
by a letter of Roger Williams, that Massasoit was 
dead : under that date lie writes, — " Ousamaquin, the 
Sachem aforesaid, also deceased." Knowles' Mem. . 
Rog. Williams, p. 406. t 


The pilgrim fathers entertained the greatest 
regard for Massasoit, and the account of their 
reception of him at his first visit is curious and 
interesting. On Thursday, the 22d of March, 
1621, only 101 days after the pilgrims had 
landed at Plymouth, Massasoit, accompanied 
by his brother Quadequina, and sixty of his 
warriors, — all armed with bows and arrows, 
their faces painted " some, black, some red, 
some yellow, and some white, some with cros- 
ses and other antic works ; some had skins on 
them and some naked : all strong, tall men in 
appearance," — approach Plymouth, in order to 
form a friendly league. Having first sent word 
to the English of his coming, he suddenly made 
his appearance with his warriors, in imposing 
array, upon a hill, (now called Watson's hill) 
a short distance from the new settlement. In 
the rear of the hill, is seen the valley through 
which Massasoit wound his way, in order not 
to be seen until he arose upon the hill and ar- 
ranged his company of picked men, in the best 
manner to impress the pilgrims. Immediately 
the pilgrims essayed to make a show, to pro- 
duce an effect upon the barbarians ; but, alas I 
sickness and death had spread such havoc 
among them, in that most distressing winter, 
that nearly half of their number were now no 
more, and of the remaining number, few were 
prepared for any pressing emergency. But a 
crisis had now come, and something must be 
done. First of all, Edward Winslow went to 


the imposing company of heathen strangers, 
carrying a pair of knives, a chain and a jewel 
for Massasoit, and a knife and jewel for his 
brother ; also a pot of strong water, with some 
biscuit and butter for a treat, which were read- 
ily accepted. Winslow remaining as a hostage, 
Massasoit with twenty unarmed men, descend- 
ed the hill, towards the pilgrims. Capt. Stand- 
ish mustered his company ; but so reduced had 
they become at this time, that only six musket- 
eers composed it. The captain made his best 
display ; deep-toned orders were given, follow- 
ed by facings and wheelings, and handling of 
matclilocks.* Shade of Baron Steuben ! we 
have been accustomed to refer to you as the 
nc lilus ultra of old fashioned tactics ; but the 
Btyle of those used on this occasion, was a cen- 
tury and a half old in your day ! — Capt. Stand- 
ish marched with his company to the brock at 
the foot of the hill, to meet Massasoit, and gave 
him a military salute, which was politely res- 
ponded to ; the distinguished visitor was then 
conducted to an unfinished building, hastily 

*The musket, at that time, was the matchlock ; 
the lighted match was attached to a spring; to fire 
the piece, the pan called the "toucli pan" was 
previously opened, and on springing the match, its 
lighted end would bo brought in contact with the 
powder in the pan. Matchlock muskets were first 
used in 1521. Bayonets were first attached to mus- 
kets aboqt IGOO. Flint locks were first used about 



prepared with *' a green rug and three or four 
cushions" Then Gov. Carver approached, 
followed by the band, consisting of a drum and 
a trumpet, and the military company. The 
governor and the king saluted each other by 
kissing hands, when Carver took a seat and 
called for " strong water" and " fresh meat," 
of which they all partook, and then proceeded 
to treat of peace and mutual protection. A 
plain and short treaty was agreed upon and 
signed, which was afterwards kept for fifty 
years. After signing the treaty. Gov. Carver 
conducted his guest back to the brook, and 
took leave of him. Then Gluadequina and oth- 
ers came down the hill, were received and treat- 
ed in the same manner, and then dismissed. 

The place of Massasoit's residence having 
been ascertained, it becomes an inquiry of pe- 
culiar interest, to know something concerning 
his family. His family was numerous, consist- 
ing, so far as is known, besides his wife, of two 
brothers, Q,uadequina and Akkompoin ; three 
sons, Mooanum, alias Wamsitta, alias Alexan- 
der ; Pometacom or Metacom, alias Philip, 
and a son named Sunconewhew ; a daughter, 
of whose name we are ignorant; Alexander's 
w^ife, Namumpum or Weetamoe, Philip's wife, 
Wootonekanuske, and Philip's son. 

QuADEQuiNA " was a very proper tall young 
man, of a very modest and seemly countenance." 
(Young's Chron. Pil. 195.) We have already 
mentioned his visit to the Pilgrims on March 


226, 1621, with Massasoit ; he appears to have 
filled some hijxh station in his brother's ffov- 
ernment. Ou Sept. 13, l(r21, he, with eight 
other principal men, signed a " Treaty of Ami- 
ty" with the Pilgrims. 

Akkompoin, is best known in history as 
counsellor to king Philip, in his war ; his name 
is occasionally seen attached to deeds of land, 
made by Philip. It is also found on several 
treaties made by Philip with the English ; a- 
mong which were those made at Plymouth, 
August 6, 16G2; at Taunton, April 10, 1671, 
and Plymouth, Sept, 29, 1671. In the year 
1CG3, Philip and " Uncompawen" claimed a 
part of New Meadow Neck in Barrington, up- 
on the ground that it was not included in the 
grand deed of 1653, made by Massasoit and 
Alexander. " Although it appears," says the 
record at Plymouth, " pretty clearly so ex- 
pressed in said deed, yet that peace and friend- 
ship may be continued, Capt. Willett, Mr. 
Brown, and John Allen, in behalf of themselves 
and the rest," agreed to give Philip and Uncom- 
pawen the sum of £11 in goods (Drake III, 15.) 

On Sunday the 30th of July, 1676, twenty 
Bridgewater men, learning that Philip, with 
his otiicers, warriors, wife and son, were prowl- 
ing about in their vicinity, proceeded to hunt 
for him ; they came upon a party of the enemy 
at " a certain place" upon Taunton river, at- 
tacked and killed ten of them, one of whom 
•was Akkompoin. t* 


MooANAM^ alias Wamsitta, alias Alexander^ 
the eldest son of Massasoit, and his heir appa-^ 
rent, was associated with his father in the 
Wampanoag government for a number of years 
previous to his father's decease. The deed of 
1653 was made in the joint names of himself 
and Massasoit. Alexander married Weetamoe,. 
** queen of Pocasset." 

In 1662, soon after the death of Massasoit,. 
Wamsitta and his brother Metacom, repaired 
to Plymouth, and *' professing great respect," 
requested that English names might be givea 
them, wlien the Court named them respectively, 
Alexander and Philip. Soon after this, Gov. 
Prince of Plymouth, learning that Alexander 
was plottincr rebellion against the Eno-lish, sent 
Major Winslow with ten armed men, to take> 
him and bring him down to Plymouth, to an- 
s^vver to the charge ; on arriving there, he was- 
taken sick, returned home, and died in a few- 

Thus Aleitander became Chief Sachem and' 
died within a year, and was succeeded in the 
sachemship by 

PoMETAcoM, or Metacom, alias Philip. 

Few of the aboriginals occupy so conspicu- 
ous a position in history, as this noted chief. 
'' King Philip's war" has immortalized his 
name, and although one hundred and seventy 
years have since passed away, it is yet a sub- 
ject of frequent and common remark. He 
marrie:! Wootonekanuske, own sister to Weet- 


amoe, his brother Alexander's wife. Of her 
we know nothing, only that she was taken pris- 
oner by Col. Churcli, on the 31st of July, 

In 16G5, Philip, acccrdincr to an Indian law 
or custom in such a case, with an armed force, 
repaired to Nantucket, to kill an Indian named 
Assasamoogh, who had spoken disrespectfully 
of his father Massasoit. The Indian fled, but 
Philip would not leave the island until the Eng- 
lish had paid a large ransom for him. (Nine 
years after, that same Indian was a preacher to 
a native church of 30 members.) 

From his contiguity of residence, Philip was 
intimate v.ith the first settlers of Warren. In 
iG()9, he sold to Hugh Cole and others, 500 
acres of land in Swanzea. This tract was on 
the west side of Cole's river, which took its 
name from Mr. Hugh Cole, who resided there- 
on previous to 1675. At the breaking out of 
the Indian war, two of Hugh Cole's sons were 
made prisoners by the Indians and taken to 
Philip's head-quarters, at Mount Hope. Philip, 
from his friendship for their father, sent them 
back with a message, that he did not wish to 
injure him, but as his younger warriors might 
disobey his orders, advised him to repair to 
Rhode-Island for safety. Mr. Cole immediate- 
ly made ready and started with all his family. 
They had proceeded but a short distance, when 
he beheld his house in llamcs. After the war, 
Mr, Cole returned and located on the east side 


of Towiset Neck, on Kikemuit river, in War- 
ren. The farm, and the well he made in 1677,. 
are yet in possession of his lineal descendants. 
Philip also performed a simihir act cf kindness 
in protecting the family of Mr. James Brown, 
one of the constituent members cf the Swanzea 

On the r2th of August, 1676, King Philip 
was surprised and killed by Col. Church, at a 
little knoll on the south-west side, at the foot of 
Mount Hope. Church had him beheaded and 
quartered; his head and scarred hand he gave 
to AkUrman, the Indian who shot him, to ex- 
hibit through the country. The remains of his 
corpse were left suspended from four different 

Namumpum, alias Weetamoe, Queen of Po- 
casset (now Tiverton) was the wife of Alexan- 
der ; and from all accounts she was an arrogant 
and consequential woman. Several times she 
entered complaints at Plymouth Court, against 
her husband, mostly on account of his not pay- 
ing her the portion of proceeds of lands which 
she claimed. She lived on a hill a little north 
of Rowland's ferry bridge. After the death of 
Alexander, we find her the wife of Peter Nan- 
uit, who was the first person to inform Col. 
Church of the certainty of war, and that Philip 
had promised his men that the next Lord's day, 
when the people were at church, they might 
commence killing cattle, ^c. In the war of 
1675, Weetamoe and her husband were at va- 


riance, she taking sides with the Indians, and 
lie fighting under Col. Cliurch against her peo 
])le. At the commencement of the war, she 
was driven from her own territory by Col. 
Church ; and not long afterwards, we hear of 
her by the celebrated Mrs. Rowlandson (wife 
of Rev. Joseph Rowlandson) who was taken 
captive at the burning of Lancaster by the In- 
dians, on the 10th Feb. 1676. In the narra- 
tive of her captivity, she states that she was 
purchased by a Narragansett chief, named 
Quinnapin (nephew to Miantonnomo) who had 
three wives, one of whom was Weetanioe, whom 
she (Mrs. Rowlandson) served as a slave. She 
observes, "A severe and proud dame she was; 
bestowing every day, in dressing herself, near 
as much time as any of the gentry of the land; 
— powdering her hair and painting her face, 
going with her necklaces, with jewels in her 
ears, and bracelets upon her hands. When she 
had dressed herself, her work was to make gir- 
dles of wampum and beads." On a particular 
occasion, Mrs. R. says she was dressed in " a 
kersey coat, covered with girdles of wampum. 
Her arms from her elbows to her hands, were 
covered with bracelets ; there were handfuls of 
necklaces about her neck, and several sorts of 
jewels in her ears. She had fine red stockings, 
and white shoes, her hair powdered, and her 
fice painted red, that was alwa}s before 

Weetamce finally returned with Philip to 


the vicinity of her former home, and on the 
6th of August, 1676 (six days before Philip 
was killed) fleeing towards her home in Pocas-* 
set, before a party of Englishmen, who were 
out in pursuit of herself and her company, she 
arrived at Mattapoiset, and attempting to cross 
over to Pocasset on a raft, she failed in her 
effort, and was drowned, and her body wash- 
ed ashore at Mattapoiset, where the Eng- 
lish discovered it, and cut off the head, 
which they carried to Taunton, and stuck 
upon a pole, without knowing (as Cotton Ma- 
ther says) whose head it was ; but some In- 
dian prisoners there saw it, and " made a most 
horrid and diabolical lamentation, and fell into 
such hideous bowlings as can scarce be imitat- 
ed, crying out that it was their queen's headj^ 
What became of Peter Nannuit, the second 
husband of Weetamoe, we knov*' not ; but her 
last husband, Quinnapin, was taken prisoner, 
carried to Newport, tried by a Court Martial on 
the 24th of August, 1676, and shot the next day. 

SuNcoNEWHEW, was the third son of Massa- 
soit. Of him we know but little. His name 
appears attached to a deed given by Philip, 
March 39, 1668, confirming the sale of the 
town of Rehoboth, made by his father in 1641.. 
The signature is, " the mark of S. Suncone-- 
whew, Philip's brother." 

The Daughter of 3Iassasoit. Of her, but 
little is known. Philip gives as a reason, in a 
letter to Gov. Prince, why he did not visit Ply-^^ 

srpPLSWENT. 43 

mouth, that his " sister is verey sik." The 
letter is supposed to have been written about 
the year 1GG3. (Mass. Hist. Coll. 2d vol.) 
On Sunday, the 30th of July, 1(576, she was 
taken prisoner by a company of Bridgevvater 
soldiers, in the same skirmish in which her un- 
cle Akkompion was killed. 

The son of Philip, is the last person of the 
family we shall notice. His name is not given, 
but his fate is. Mrs. Rowlandson states, that 
■during her captivity, she was requested by Phil- 
ip to make some clothes for his son, for which 
he paid her. He was nine years old when he 
was taken prisoner, by Colonel Church, 
on the 31st of July, 1676, and carried to 
Plymouth. It became a question of great 
importance, as to what should be done with 
this son of Philip. The English doubtless con- 
sidered that much more danger was to be ap- 
prehended from the son of Philip, than from 
any other of their prisoners, of whom they had 
many on hand, and among them was Philip's 
wife, the mother of the boy. We hear of no 
discussion as to the disposal of any but of him. 
It was obvious, that whatever punishment was 
inflicted upon him, could be only on account 
of his father's sins. As usual on doubtful oc- 
casions, the English sought the opinions of the 
clergy, to solve this question, which to them 
was so intricate. The replies of several minis- 
ters are extant, and were, on the whole, in fa- 
vor of sparing the boy's life. Their decision 


was founded upon the rule laid down in Deut. 
24 : 16 ; and 2d Chron 25 : 4. He was finally 
shipped off, with a great number of his coun- 
trymen, in the spring of 1G77, and sold into 
slavery, either in Spain, Bermuda or the West- 

The village of Sowamset, having been the 
place of Massasoit's residence, was visited by 
Edward Winslow, shortly after the arrival of 
the Pilgrims at Plymouth ; and about nine 
years afterwards by Miles Standish, and others, 
who had ventured to open there a trading es- 
tablishment with the Indians. This spot had 
therefore probably become somewhat familiar^ 
at a very early period, to the people of Ply- 
mouth, in their associations with Massasoit and 
his numerous subjects. 

Accordingly, it seems most probable that the 
place now occupied by the village of Warren, 
was visited by Roger Williams, before any oth- 
er part of the present territory of Rhode-Island. 
Mr. Williams had openly and fearlessly advanc- 
ed his great doctrines of civil and religious 
freedom, shortly after his arrival in this coun- 
try ; and his opposition to the prevailing opin- 
ions of his contemporaries at Boston and Salem, 
brought down upon him the stern visitation of 
the secular power, which these puritans had 
always thought, should be employed for the 
support and defence of religion. The viewa 
of Mr. Williams being so utterly uncongenial 


with those of his puritan brethren, on matters 
of *' soul liberty," and the personal accounta- 
bility of. each man for his religious opinions to 
his Maker alone, he was already disposed to 
leave the settlement at Salem, and seek an asy- 
lum for himself and friends, even before the 
last act of persecution was passed, which ban- 
ished him from the colony. Several facts ren- 
der it distinctly evident, that he had for some 
time before, contemplated a removal from Sa- 
lem, to Massasoit's vicinity. We shall give 
a few prominent facts bearing upon the case, 
and express opinions which we think are fairly 
deducible from the premises. 

Gov. Winthrop's journal gives an account of 
Mr. Williams' trial, and his sentence of ban- 
ishment. He says, — " He had drawn above 
twenty persons to his opinion, and they were 
intended to erect a plantation about the Narra- 
gansett Bay." " A pinnace was sent (from 
Boston) to carry him aboard the ship, but when 
they came to his house, they found he had been 
gone three days before ; but whither, they 
could not learn." Between the time of Mr. 
Williams' departure from Snlem, in the middle 
cf January, 1G3(3, till the last of the following 
April, — a period of about 100 days, — it is re- 
markable that there is no record of his situa* 
tion, how or where he passed all that interven- 
ing time. A majority cf writers on this sub- 
ject, express their belief that he passed that 


time in part with his old friend Massassoit. 
which of course must have been in the village 
of Sowams. 

Several passages in Mr. Williams' letters, as 
well as in other authorities, prove that while 
contemplating a removal from Salem, previous 
to the act of his banishment, he had consulted 
Gov. Winthrop on the subjectj had mortgaged 
his house, in order to raise funds and make 
suitable preparation ; that his mind was direct- 
ed towards Massasoit's neighborhood as a place 
of abode, and that he left Salem deliberately, 
and not in flight, as a fugitive before the imme- 
diate pursuit of a sheriff. 

In a letter of Mr. Williams to Maj. Mason, 
dated Providence, 22d June, 1670, he says, 
" Gov. Winthrop privately wrote me to steer 
my course to the Nahigonset Bay." " I steer^ 
ed my course from Salem (though in winter 
snow, which I feel yet) unto these parts." " I 
was sorely tossed for one fourteen weeks, in a 
bitter winter season, not knowing what bread 
or bed did mean." 

In the same letter he again speaks of Gov. 
Winthrop as " my true friend Mr. Winthrop, 
the first mover of my coming into these parts." 
In a letter to the General Court of Massachu- 
setts, in 1654, he says, " Upon the express ad- 
vice of your ever honored Mr. Winthrop, 
deceased, I first adventured to begin a planta- 
tion amoncr the thickest of these barbarians," 


Most writers* on this .subject have thouglit 
that Mr, Williams came on foot from Salem to 
Massasoit's residence, and account for the four- 
teen weeks after his banishment, on the sup- 
position of his being a large part of that time, 
a fugitive in the wilderness. Mr. L. Bliss, Jr. 
in the History of Rehoboth, says, " His jour- 
ney was by water, in the very heart of winter ; 
and after suffering incredible hardships, from 
cold, and hunger and fatigue, for fourteen 
weeks, he arrived and pitched his tent at Seek- 
onk." Various extracts from Mr. Williams' 
letters and depositions, exhibit expressions 
which show that he had friendship and regard 
about equally, for Massasoit, Canonicus, and 
Miantonomo. In one of his letters, he says, 
*' In gifts to Ousamequin, yea, and all his, and 
to Canonicus, and all his, tokens and presents, 
many years before I came in person to the 
Narraganset, and when I came I was welcome 
to Ousamequin, and to the old prince Canoni- 
cus." In another letter he says, " I mortgaged 
my house in Salem, for supplies to go through." 
In a letter or deposition, dated " Providence, 
13, 10, 61, so called," (13th of Dec. 1661) he 
states, " r testify and declare, that at my first 
coming into these parts, I obtained the lands 
of Seekonk of Ousamequin." From this de- 
position, it is rendered certain, that in what- 
ever way Mr. Williams traveled from Salem, 

'" Knowlcp, Bancroft, Gammell. 


he came first to Massasoit, and obtained his 
permission to settle at Seekcnk. The peculiar 
phraseology in seme of Mr. Williams' letters, 
obliges us to agree with Mr. Bliss, in the state- 
ment that he came by water, but it is incredi- 
ble that he would be fourteen weeks on the 
passage. We know that Roger Williams was 
an excellent boatman ;* but we do not find him 
using the terms and phrases of seafaring life 
on other occasions, except when the subject 
matter of his remarks has something of a ma- 
rine character; and there is too much of 
this seafaring language in his letter to Major 
Mason, to suppose it merely as a figure of 
speech. t 

The probability of Mr. Williams' having 
visited Massasoit by water, in his wandering 
from Salem, is greatly confirmed by consid- 
ering that the only mode of transportation at 
that time, was by water. Boats frequently 
came from Massachusetts to Narragansett Bay, 
on trading voyages for corn, &lc. Doubtless 
Mr. Williams had a long and tedious passage 
from Salem, and suffered much from the in- 
clemency of the Vv-eather. 

*Mr. Williams when 73 years of age, rowed him- 
self in a boat from Providence to Newport, in one 
day, the 8th of January, 1673, a distance of 30 miles. 
— Knowles, p. 338. 

t Besides the seamen's phrases above, Mr. Wil- 
liams says to Major Mason, " J should not be mj-. 
Jested and tossed vp and down again." 


After the arrival of Mr. Williams at the re- 
sidence of Massasoit, he probably spent his 
time in exploring this vicinity of country, seek- 
ing an elio^ible site for his new settlement. It 
is with feelings of peculiar interest we reflect 
upon the time that Roger Williams was a guest 
of Massasoit, probably nearly all of the months 
of February and March of 1636, when Sowams 
was a thriving Indian village, the river banks 
dotted with Indian huts, and these native lords 
of the soil lived free from all the restraints of 
civilized and conventional life. We may imag- 
ine Roger Williams, accompanied by Massa- 
soit, traveling about both by land and by water, 
visiting the many beautiful spots in the vicinity 
of Warren, and then returning to the hospita- 
ble dwelling of the chief Massasoit, loved by 
his tribe, and the fame of Williams as the friend 
of the Indians having preceded him, both of 
them would be met and hailed wherever they 
went, with expressions of love and respect. 

It was doubtless at this time, that Mr. Wil- 
liams acquired that intimate knowledge of pla- 
ces, which enabled him, two years after, when 
John Clarke and others, seeking a place to 
found a settlement, called on him for advice, 
to direct their attention to the most eligible 
places, and he " readily presented two places 
before them, in the Narragansett Bay, the one 
on the main, called Sowwams, and Aquetneck, 
now Rhode-Island." 


Having ascertained the town of Warren as 
the place of Massasoit's residence, and alluded 
to the various changes of ownership and gov- 
ernment, to which this region of country has 
been subjected, we now propose to give a con- 
nected account of the several towns W'hich 
were partitioned off from this vicinity of Mas- 
sasoit's territory. 

Reliohoth was the first permanently settled 
town in this immediate neighborhood. The 
Rev. Samuel Newman, with a large part of his 
congregation from Weymouth, and a number 
of persons from Hingham, settled upon a cer- 
tain tract of land about ten miles square, in 
1644, which they had previously purchased from 
Massasoit, in 1641. This first purchase then 
called Rehoboth, now constitutes the present 
towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk and Pawtucket, 
in Mass. The inhabitants of Rehoboth, after- 
wards at different times, made other purchases 
of lands lying contiguous to their town, from 
the Indians : and over these new purchases, as 
they became inhabited, the jurisdiction of Re- 
hoboth was extended by act of the Plymouth 
Government. From these various purchases, 
several of the adjoining tovrns, including War- 
ren, which were subsequently erected, were 
wholly or in part, partitioned off. 

The second Rehoboth purchase of land, was 
Wannamoiset, in 3645, which now constitutes 
the northwestern part of Barrington Neck. 

The third regular purchase, was of '^ Sowams 


and Parts Adjacent."* This embraced Bar- 
rington Neck, called by the Indians Popanom- 
sciit, being the southeastern part of that town ; 
and all the meadows around the various and 
several shores of Bristol, Warren, and New- 
Meadow Neck. These meadows or grass lands, 
included in this purchase, embraced a strip or 
border of land of unequal width, (as wide as 
the salt grass would grow from the river,) run- 
ning all around the several Necks, viz, New- 
Meadow, Mount Hope, Popasquash, and both 
sides of Kikemuit river. 

The fourth regular purch-^se, called the " Re- 
hoboth North Purchase," was made of Wam- 

* Although the Deed of this third purchase em- 
braced all of Earrington Neck, called Popanoinscut, 
the notoriety of Massasoit's residence rendered it 
suiTicient at that time, to call all the tract by the gen- 
eral name of " Sovvanis and Parts adjacent." The 
whole of Barrington was allotted, taken up, and set- 
tled, under its original Indian names ; but Soicums is 
never mentioned as being on the west side of War- 
ren river. In the Record Book of the " Proprietors 
of Sowams and Parts adjacent, "Warren river is call- 
ed Sowams river. (Page 11, under date of June 29, 
1G33.) In other places, in the same book, under va- 
rious dates, the Korthirestem part of Barrington is 
called Wannamoisctt : the Southeastern part coming 
up to the line of the former, is called Popanomscut ; 
the extreme point, subsequently named Rumstick, is 
called Chachapacasset : Keio Meadoio JN'VcA-, is first 
called by that name, June 29, 1653 : Mount Hope 
Hiil and Mount Hope AVcA" are applied to those 
places, first under dates in 1631. 

o:^ Si;i'i>LEM£NT. 

sitta' alias Alexander, in 1661. This tract 
embraces what are now the towns of Attle- 
borough, Mass., Cumberland, R. I., and a small 
part belonging to the present town of Rehoboth. 

The town of Seekonk was taken from Reho- 
both, and incorporated as a separate town in 
1S13, under its ancient Indian name of Seekonk. 
PawtucJcet in Mass. was taken from Seekonk, 
and incorporated as a separate town in 1828. 
Attlehorough was taken from Rehoboth and 
incorporated in 1604. Oambcrland was taken 
from Attlehorough, and incorporated in 1746. 
In 1667, Swanzea was incorporated, and it 
then included Wannamoiset, all the rest ci 
Barrington, with Somerset, Mass. and Warren , 
R. I, Barrington was separated from Swan- 
zea, and first incorporated in 1718 ; but in 1746, 
was included in the charter by which Warren 
was incorporated. Somerset was separated 
from Swanzea, and incorporated in 1790. 
While it constituted a part of Swanzea it \\p 
called the " Shawamet purchase." 

We now come to the incorporation of Wa r- 
ren in 1746. 

The question of the boundary line between 
Rhode-Island and Massachusetts, had been 
contested at various times, by different parties, 
ever since 1664, until 1729, when the Rhode- 
Island Legislature appointed commissioners, to 
act with others from Massachusetts, and were 
authorized to ascertain and settle the disputed 
line. Nothing having been accomplished by 


this attempt, Gov. Wanton of R. I. in 1734, 

sent a petition to the King to have the question 
settled, which was replied to m 1738. This 
reply proposed a commission, to be appointed 
by the crown from the other colonies. 

But to " save cost and altercation," both 
parties agreod to make another eifort to settle 
the disputed question by mutual arbitration, 
without resorting to a higher tribunal. Even so 
early as in 1733, both of the rival Provinces, 
by acts of Assembly, had appointed each of 
them " three indifferent persons to decide the 
matter, with a power, if they could not agree, 
to name a seventh." These six Commissioners, 
thus appointed as a court of reference, met 
in Bristol, in 1739, but "they could neither 
agree in settling the boundaries, nor in the 
choice of a seventh person." 

In 1740, according to the previous recom- 
mendation of the king, a commissioner from 
places without the two colonies, was appoint- 
ed by the king in council, at the same time 
that committees were appointed by the con- 
tending parties, to appear before the Board 
of Commissioners. 

The court met in Providence, in June, 1741. 
Cadwallader Colden, of New-York, was chosen 
president of the board. On the 30th of June, 
1741, the court decided to transfer from Mas- 
sachusetts to Rhode-Island, Attleborough Gore, 
Little Compton, Tiverton, Bristol, a great part 
of Barrington, and a portion of ^Swanzea, em- 



bracing forty-seven families.* From this de- 
cision of the court, Massachusetts dissented in 
whole, and Rhode-Island in part, and both par- 
ties appealed to the King in Council. 

These appeals were brought before the king's 
council, December 11, 1744, and then referred 
to a committee, who made a report on the 28th 
of May, 1746, confirming the judgment of the 
Commissioners. This decision was received 
in this country in the same year. Immediately 
the Legislature of Rhode-Island passed an act 
incorporating the several towns under their re- 
spective names, as constituent parts of Rhode- 
Island. The concluding part of the act, is as 
follows • 

" And that part of the territory confirmed to 
Rhode-Island, which has heretofore been part 
of Swanzea and Barrington, with a small part 
of Rehoboth thereto adjoining, with the inhab- 
itants thereon, be incorporated into a town- 
ship by the name of Warren." 

The name of this town was given in honor 
of Admiral Sir Peter Warren, who the year 
before, June, 1745, had commanded the En- 

* It is evident that the people of Swanzea included 
within the disputed territory, preferred to be under 
the jurisdiction of Rliode-Island ; as they passed a 
vote at a Town Meeting of Swanzeti, on the 27th of 
March, 1741, that they were willinjr to come under 
tlie Rhode-Island Government, and expressed their 
apprehension that they belonged rightfully to Rhode- 


giish fleet, which in conjunction with the col- 
onial army of 4,400 men, under the command 
of Gen. William Pepperell, captured Louisburg 
and the Island of Cape Breton, after a storming 
and siege of six weeks continuance. 

In 1770, the inhabitants of the west part of 
the town, petitioned the Legislature to be set 
off- by themselves, and incorporated into a town 
by the name of Barrington. This measure was 
opposed by the eastern portion of the people, 
embracing what i& now Warren ; but their op- 
position to the measure was without effect. — 
A part of the act of the Legislature, passed in 
1770, is as follows : 

" All the lands on the westerly side of the 
river that extends from between Bristol and 
Rumstick, northerly to Miles' Bridge, is made 
into a township and called Barrington." 

The name of Barrington was thus revived 
and the town re-organized, after having been 
extinct for twenty-four years. Bristol, it will 
be seen, was not included in any of these 
chano-es and divisions through which these oth- 
er towns have passed. Although the territory 
of Bristol seems to have been claimed by the 
Swanzea proprietors after Philip's war, it was 
decided to be conquered land, and therefore 
belonging to the crown ; and it was first char- 
tered as a town, under its present name, in 

* " Montaup, which became the subject of a dis- 


The original deed from the Indians, of the 
territory, embracing a part of Warren, possess- 
es considerable interest, as well from its intrin- 
sic value as a legal instrument, as it also is 
supposed to be the last deed that Massasoit ever 
sicrned. At the time it was criven, he insisted 
upon the English binding themselves " never 
to draw away any of his people to the christian 
religion." This was a point, however, which 
he subsequently yielded ;t and if his rejection 
of Christianity was a sin, it was the fault of his 
ignorance, while by rejecting the Gospel he 
doubtless supposed he would be promoting the 
welfare of his people. 

The following is a copy of this Deed, taken 
from the Record Book of the " Proprietors of 
Sowams and parts adjacent :" 


from Osanieqiien and VVamsetto his son, dated 

29th I\Iarch, 1653. 

TO ALL PEOPLE to whome these presents 
shall come, Osamaquin and Wamsetto his Eldest 
Soiie Sendeth greeting. KNOW YEE, that wee 
the said Osamequin & Wamsetto, for & in Con- 
sideration of thirty five pounds sterling to us the 
said Osamequin and Wamsetto in hand payd By 
Thomas Prince Gent; Thomas Willet Gent: Miles 
Standish Gent: Josiah Winslow Gent: for And 

pute between the Massachusetts and Plymouth Col- 
onies, was finally awarded to the latter, by a special 
decision of king Charles." Thatcher's Indian Bio^ 
1. 174. 

t Thatcher's Ind. liiog. L 139. 


in the behalfe of themselues and divers others of 
the Inhabitants of Plimouth Jurisdiction, whose 
names are hereafter specified, with which said 
summe we the said Osamequin and Wainsetto 
doe Acknowledge ourselues fully satisfied con- 
tented and payd, HAUE freely and absalutely bar- 
gained and Sold Enfeoffed and Confirmed and by 
these presents Doe Bargaine Sell Enfeoffe and Con- 
firme from us the said Osamequin and Wamsetto, 
and our and Every of our haiers unto Thomas 
Prince, Thomas Willet, Miles Standish, Josia Wins- 
low, Agents for themselues and William Bradford 
Senr Gent : Thomas Clark, John Winslow, Tho- 
mas Cushman, William White, John Adams and 
Experience Mitchell, to them and Every of them, 
their and Ev^eryof their haiers and assigns forever; — 

All those Severall parcells and Necks of vpland, 
Swamps and Meadows Lyeing and being on the 
South Syde of Sinkhunch Els Rehoboth, Bounds 
and is bounded from a Little Brooke of water, cal- 
led by the Indjans, Mosskituash Westerly, and so 
Ranging by a dead Swamp, Estward, and so by 
markt trees as Osamequin and Wamsetto directed 
unto the great River with all the IMeadow in and 
about ye Sydes of bothe the Branches of the 
great River wtii all the Creeks and Brookes that 
are in or upon any of the said meadows, as also all 
the marsh meadow Lying and Being wth out the 
Bounds before mentioned in or about the neck 
Called by the Lidians Chachacust, Also all the 
meadow of any kind Lying and being in or about 
Popasquash neck as also all the meadow Lyeing 
from Kickomuet on botli sides or any way Joyn- 
ing to it on the bay on Each Side, 

TO HAUE AND TO HOLD all the aforesaid 


vpland Swamp Marshes Creeks aiul Rivers withe 
all their appurtinances unto the aforesaid Thomas 
Prince, Thomas Willett, Miles Standish, Josia 
Winslow and the rest of the partners aforesaid to 
theme, And Every of theui their and Every of 
their haiers Executors And assignes for Ever And 
the said Osameqnin and Wamsctto his Sone Cov- 
enant promise and grant, that whcnsoeuer the In- 
dians Sliall Rcmoiie from the Neck that then and 
from thenceforth the aforesiid Thomas Prince 
Thomas Willet Miles Standish Josiah Winslow 
shall enter vpon the Same by the Same Agree- 
ment as their Proper Rights And Interest to th.em 
and their heirs for Ever To and for the 

true perforemance of all and Every one of the afore- 
said sevcrall Perticulars wee the said Osamequin 
and Wamsetto Bind us and every of us our and 
every of our heirs Executors Administi'ators and 
Assignes ffirmly by these presents. 

In Witness whereof wee haue hereunto sett our 
hands and Scales this twentieth day of March, 
anno Domini 1653. 

The marke of ?V3 
OSAMEQUIN & a (Sealc.) 
WAMSETTO isi & (Seale.) 

Signed Sealed & Delivered 
in ye Presence of us 
John Browne 
James Browne 
Richard Garrett 

There were eighteen dwelling-houses within 
the limits of Warren, previous to Philip's war. 
located at the northern and eastern part. These 


Iiouses were all burned down at the commence- 
ment of the war, and the residents dispersed, 
most of them going to Rhode-Island, where 
they remained a year or more. They were 
well received by the Islanders, and by jjermis- 
sion planted and raised a crop of corn for their 
subsistence. (Callender.) 

We next take an extract from the origi- 
nal charter of the town of Swanzoa, as it is 
copie^^l in the Town Records. '' A True copy 
of the grant of this Town of New-Swansey, 
Lying upon Record at the Court of Plymouth, 
Blarch 1, 1067 : This Court have granted unto 
them ; all such Lands that Lyeth betwixt the 
salt water Bay and coming up Taunton river, 
(viz.) all the land between the salt water, and 
river, and the bounds of Taunton and Reho- 
both not prejudicing any man's particular In- 
terest." These bounds, it will be seen at once, 
emln-ace the whole of the town of V/arreu. 

What became of this charter is now un- 
knovvU ; but it would seem from a clause in the 
second charter, that the former was deemed 
imperfect or insufficient. The clause alluded 
to, refers to the first grant, and is as follows : 
" It may be now questioned whether y^ s^ 
grant, conveyance and surrender be sufficient, 
firm, authentic, sure in law to all intents ac- 
cording to the true meaning thereof, as is to be 
cjesircd, for want of formality or rules of law. 



usual or requisite in such cases. Now for 
y^ more and better," &c. 

The second charter bears date July 23, 1689, 
in which the bounds of the town are thus ex- 
pressed : 

'' Butted and bounded according to Court 
grant towards ye West, upon ye great salt wa- 
ter Bay and River that goeth up towards ye 
Town of Providence ; even so farr up towards 
ye North as ye south line or bounds of ye 
Town of Rehoboth ; and upon that line to- 
wards ye East, upon ye Bounds of Rehoboth 
aforesaid ; and then Northerly untill it come 
to ye Bounds of ye Township of Taunton, on 
which it also bounds ; Along upon ye River 
called Taunton River ; &l likewise towards ye 
South is bounded upon the North line of ye 
Towne of Bristoll, that runneth cross Mount 
hope neck to ye River of Swansey afores'^ to- 
wards ye West ; according to ye Grant of ye 
Court of New Plimouth afores^". 

The precise time, when the first dwelling- 
house was built upon the spot now occupied by 
the village of Warren, we have no means of 
clearly ascertaining. The site of the village 
is named in the Swansea Town Records 
as Brooks' pasture, as^early asl071 1. At 
a town meeting Feb. 25, 1679, the fol- 
lowing action was taken upon the distribu- 
tion of this territory : '' It is voted that 
the whole Tract of Land called Brooks' Pas- 



tiire* up to the old fence by John Wheaton 
shall be divided in a distinct division, and a 
survey up to Swanzey Two Mile to be taken." 
Also, at a town meeting, Au<t. 31, 1680, '' It 
is ordered, concluded and agreed, that whereas 
the committee chosen for the survey of Brooks' 
Pasture the 25 of Feb. 1G79, Have now brought 
in their report of it to be Three hundred acres. 
It is now ordered That convenient Highways 
be laid out in said land ; 

That the Land for House Lots be laid 
out ; 

That the remainder be laid out to each man 
according to his proportion as Rankt, and that 
each man draw his Lot when put in form." 

The above mentioned drawing for the divid- 
ed lots took place on April 10, 1 082. 

Town Meeting Oct. 19, 1G81, is the follow- 
ing record, " That complaint be made to a 
Majestrute to panell a Jury to lay out a High- 
way through Brooks' Pasture to the Ferry to 
New Meadow Neck." All the above extracts 
are taken from the Swanzea Toiun Records. 
Turning to the Projjrictors' Mecords, we find 
the following : — 

At a meeting of the proprietors Apr. 1, 1718, 
" Then a vote was passed yt Brooks' Pasture 
and ye Island thereby, should be let out." 

* The tract called Brooks' 'pasture is identical with 
nearly all the part of Warren that is now compactly 
built, as well as the eastward extension ot the vicinity, 
on the Bristol line. v* 


" At a proprietors meeting on ye 29 of Feb. 
1719-20, It was voted yt it should be put into 
a notification for ye laying out of Brooks' Pas- 

" At a proprietors meeting ye 16 of March, 
1719-20, a vote was passed y't Brooks Pas- 
ture should be laid out." At another meeting 
of the Proprietors, April 19, 1725, was enacted 
the following : " By virtue of a warrant from 
one of his Majesties Justices of ye Peace for ye 
County of Bristol, Voted, That the land in 
Brooks' Pasture be all laid out in 102 lots, ac- 
cording to quantity and quality." 

These several votes, above enumerated, refer 
to different portions of the land to be divided, 
and became the basis of all the deeds of real 
estate, by which tenure in landed property is 
still held in Warren. 

Having given some account of the various 
divisions of territory, and the successive gov- 
ernments, through which this territory has 
passed, it belongs to the history of Warren, 
to exhibit some of the leading events of 
Philip's War, which had its beginning within 
the limits of the town. 

We shall give a short summary of the open- 
ing events of that bloody and destructive war. 
The field where Philip collected and arrayed 
his forces, " on the upper part of the neck," 
was within this town. The people of Plymouth 
were awakened to their danger, and the colony 
put on their guard, by the following deposition, 

^UPPLEMliNT. 03 

given at Plymouth a short time previous to the 
war, by one of the early citizens of Warren, 
" Hugh Cole, aged forty-three, or thereabouts, 
being deposed, saith ; That in February last 
passed before the date hereof, he went to 
Shewamett, and two Englishmen more with 
him ; and that their business was to persuade 
the Indians to go to Plymouth, to answer a 
complaint made by Hezekiah Luther. The 
Indians (saith he) seeing us, came out of the 
house towards us, being many of them, at the 
least twenty or thirty, with staves in their hands; 
and when the Indians saw there were but three 
of us, they laid down their staves again. Then 
we asked the Indians what they did with those 
staves in their hands ? They answered, that 
they looked for Englishmen to come from Ply- 
mouth, to seek Indians, to carry them to Ply- 
mouth, but, they said, they were not willing to go. 
*' And some time after, in the same morn- 
ing, Philip the Chief Sachem, sent for me to 
come to him, and I went to Mount Hope, to 
him. And when I came to Mount Hope, I saw 
most of the Indians that I knew of Shewamett 
Indians, there at Mount Hope, and they were 
generally employed in making of bows and ar- 
rows, and half pikes, and fixing up of guns. 
" And I saw many Indians of several places 
repair towards Mount Hope. And some days 
after I came from Mount Hope, I with several 
others, saw one of Captain Willett's rangers 
coming- on post on horseback, who told us. 


that king Philip was marched up the neck, 
with about three score men ; and Zacary Eddy, 
on his report, went to see if he could find 
them ; and he found them towards the uijpcr 
part of the neck, in several companies. 

" One Caleb Eddy further saith, that he saw 
many there in arms ; and I was informed by 
John Padduck, that he saw two several guns, 
loaded with bullets or slugs ; and I further tes- 
tify that those Indians that I saw coming to- 
wards Mount Hope, as aforesaid, came better 
armed than I usually have seen them ; Further 
saith not."* 

Philip had been for some time suspected of 
making warlike preparations, and upon enqui- 
ries being instituted, an Indian named Sassa- 
man, formerly Philip's secretary and counsel- 
lor, was induced to reveal to the English, the 
fact of the Sachem's intention of commencing 
hostilities. Philip, exasperated at this, caus- 
ed Sassaman to be killed, and his body put 
under the ice of Assawomset pond, in JNlid- 
dleborough, Mass. ; and to induce the be- 
lief that he was accidentally drowned, his 
slayers left his gun and hat upon the ice. 
This event occurred, January 29th, 1G75. — 
When the body was discovered, the neck was 
broken, and it had other marks of injury, which 
the English at once concluded must have been 

* Mass. Hist. Coll. Vol. G. Thatcher's Ind. Bio. 


inflicted by other hands than his own. Besides 
this, an Indian testified his having seen the 
murder committed by four Indians. In the 
following June, three of the accused were ar- 
rested, tried and convicted by a jury at Ply- 
mouth. The jury was composed of twelve En- 
glishmen and four Indians ; and their decision 
was the following : — " Wee of the jury, one 
and all, both English and Indians, doe joyntly 
and with one consent, agree upon a verdict." 
Two of the condemned Indians were hanged 
on the 8th of June, and the other shot within a 
month. The Plymonth Court then sent an or- 
der to Philip to appear before them, and render 
an account for the part he had taken in the af-^ 
fair. Rather than obey this injunction, which 
involved so much risk to himself, he chose to 
commence the war at once. 

He and his tribe immediately sent their 
wives and children over to the Narragansetts, 
on the west side of the Bay, for protection. — 
At this time, Philip resided at Mount Hope,* 

* For the benefit of persons unacquainted with the 
location of Mount Hope JVcck, we present a brief gen- 
eral description of it. Mount Hope Neck is about 
nine miles in length, two miles wide at each end, and 
narrowing to one mile, at a point about three miles 
from the northern extremity. About half of the neck 
projects into the bay ; tlie remaining part is formed 
by the Kikemuit river on the east side, and Warren 
river (formerly Sotcams river) on the west. About 
a mile and a half from the opening of the Warren river 
into the bay, it is divided by Little Island and KcwMcad- 


where he was diligently engaged in gathering 
and preparing his forces. His available war- 
riors, under his iinmediate command, including 
the tribe of his sister-in-law, Weetamoe, the 
Pocassets in Tiverton, were about 500 men, 
besides 1000 warriors whom he depended up- 
on, by his league with the neighboring tribes. 

The English settlements nearest to Philip's 
head quarters, were situated at the northern 
part of Vv^arren.* On Sunday, tlie 20th of 
June, 1675, Philip's warriors marched up the 
neck, and plundered some of the colonists' 
houses, tenantless for the time, in consequence 
of their occupants being absent at church. — 
An express was sent to Gov. V/inslo^v, at Ply- 
mouth, who immediately ordered the following 
Thursday to be observed as a day of Fasting 
and Prayer, at the same time that he issued or- 
ders calling out the troops, and notified the 
Governor of JMassachusetts of the state of af- 
fairs in Swanzea. On ^londay, June 21, the 
troops under Major Cudworth, left Plymouth, 
and tliey arrived at Swanzea as early, at least, 
as the 24th. It is stated by some authors that 

ow Neck. About one mile of the northern end of the 
neck is in Swanzea ; the next two and a half miles, 
including the " narrow of the neck," are in Warren ; 
the remaining five and a half miles are in Bristol. 

* "There was a settlement within Mount Hope Neck, 
appertaining to Swanzea. It contained eighteen 
houses, all destroyed." Morton's Memorial, Appen 
dix, 463. 


the troops could not have been in Swanzea on 
the 24th ; but certain facts overlooked by these 
writers, show that the troops from Plymouth 
were quartered in some parts of Swanzea, when 
the Indians attacked the people returning from 
public worship, on the appointed fast day, — 
Captain Church, an actor in tJie war, states, 
the Plymouth troops v/ere in Swanzea, on the 
24th ; and a letter from ]\Ir. Nathaniel Thomas, 
in JMorton's Memorial, p. 429, is dated the 25th 
of June, and speaks of the tragical affairs of 
the previous day: and continues "^ the forces 
here are dis[)ersed to several places of the town, 
and some to Rehoboth, which this day we in- 
tend to draw into a smaller compass." The 
territory of the town of Swanzea was, at that 
time, of great extent, being not less than twelve 
miles in length. It seems, therefore, plainly 
evident that the troops from Plymouth, were 
quartered in detached companies, in different 
parts of this widely extended town. Not know- 
ing the forces of the Indians, they considered it 
imprudent to pass down the Neck, to attack 
them at Mount Hope, till the Boston troops 
arrived. Iluljbard says, respecting the first at- 
tacks of the Indians, especially that on the fast 
day, " all which outrages were committed so 
suddenly, that the English had no time to make 
any resistance." The Indians had already kil- 
led the cattle of the English, in Swanzea, and 
on one occasion, one of them being refused 
liquor, and attempting to take it by force, was 


fired upon and wounded. But on Thursday, 
June 24th, the day appointed for a fast, as the 
Svvanzea people were returning from church, 
they were fired upon by the Indians, and one 
man was killed and another wounded. Two 
men going for a surgeon to attend the wounded 
man, were killed in the way. Six men were 
killed in another part of the town ; and in a 
short time, so closely were the colonists beset, 
that the Indians would " shoot at all the 
passengers, and killed many that ventured 

* Most writers ag-ree that the first English blood 
was shed on Thursday, the fast day, as we have 
mentioned above ; but a passage in Hubbard's Indian 
Wars, which gives an account of the killing of the 
" six men," presents a different statement, and refers 
to " six men" who were killed before, and not in- 
tended as the same who were killed on the fast day. 
The express sent on June 20, to notify Governor 
Winslow, of the threatened danger pending over 
Swanzea, on its return the next day, passing through 
Bridgewater, left there a requisition for twenty well- 
armed men, to repair forthwith for the defence of 
Bourn's garrison at Mattapoiset in Svvanzea, which 
contained seventy persons, including only sixteen 
men. Seventeen of the Bridgewater troops imme- 
diately started on horseback, " and were the first that 
were upon their march in all the country." On their 
way to Mattapoiset, they met many people of Swan- 
zea, " newly turned out of their houses, making dole- 
ful lamentations and bewailing their losses." On the 
22dof June, as a part of these Bridgewater troops 
had gone to escort Mr. Brown, their pilot, home, on 
their return from this duty, toward the garrison, they 


On Saturday, June 20, a company of infant- 
ry, under Captain Daniel Henchman, and a 
company of mounted troops under Captain 
Thomas Prentice, left Boston for Mount Hope. 
Captain Mosely, of Boston, also raised a large 
company of volunteers who left soon after. — 
On Monday, June 28, the above named three 
companies arrived together at Mr. Miles' house 
*' within a quarter of a mile of the bridge lead- 
ing into Philip's lands." Here they joined the 
forces from Plymouth which had previously 
been quartered in various parts of Swanzea, 
but which were now drawn together into a 
smaller compass. The same day twelve of 
Capt. Prentice's troops passed over the bridge, 
and were attacked by the Indians, who killed 
one of the English, named William Hammond. 
Previously to this, the Indians had boldly ap- 

came suddenly upon a party of Indians ; but not be- 
ing molested, and being unauthorized to fight, unless 
they were first assaulted, they passed on towards 
their ga,rrison, where they found a party of the Eng- 
lish going to a barn, about one fourth of a mile dis- 
tant, for corn. The soldiers informed them that they 
had seen the Indians but a short distance back, and 
advised them not to go. Notwithstanding this ad- 
vice, the English went, and were attacked at the 
barn by the Indians, and six of their number killed. 
The troops hearing the attack, immediately prepared 
their horses and rode to the barn, when the enemy 
fled. This tragical affair appears by the statement 
of Mr. Hubbard, to have occurred on Tuesday, the 
22d of June, two days before the fast day. 


proached, and shot two sentinels on duty at 
Miles' Garrison. 

On Tuesday, June 29th, nine or ten Indians 
showed themselves near the garrison, upon 
which the horsemen and Mosely's volunteers 
pursued them for a mile and a quarter beyond 
the bridge, where they killed five or six of the 
Indians, and then returned to head quarters. — 
In consequence of this disastrous charge, Phil- 
ip became alarmed, and in the following night, 
he with all his men, left Mount Hope Neck in 
their canoes, and passed over Taunton River 
to Pocasset. 

On Wednesday, June 30th, the whole En- 
glish forces marched down Mount Hope Neck 
towards Philip's abode. At the distance of " a 
mile and a half" from Miles' bridge, they came 
to some houses newly burned.* They also 
noticed a Bible newly torn, and the leaves scat- 
tered about. *' Two or three miles further 
on,t at the narrow of the Neck," they saw the 
heads of eight Englishmen, stuck up on poles 
near the highway. These they took down and 
buried. Proceeding " two miles further," they 
found " empty wigwams and many things scat- 
tered up and down, arguing the hasty flight of 

* This would bring tliem near Rock Raymond, or 
Kings' Rocks, as they are now called. 

t Tliis was doubtless near the Pound, on Kicke- 
muit River. The pound did not then exist, but was 
first built, as it now stands, in 16S5. 



the owners."! For a ''halfmifc further on," 
they passed through fields of stately corn, 
and came to Philip's own wigwam. " Two 
miles further, they came to the sea-side," and 
Captain Cudworth, with some of the Plymouth 
forces, passed oyer to Rhode-Island. <^ 

Major Savage and his command rested all 
through a rainy night in the open field. On 
the morning of Thursday, July 1, Major Sav- 
age's command returned to head quarters at 
Mr. Miles' house. On their way, they met 
many stray dogs without masters. On Friday, 
July 2, the troops scoured the country north of 
Miles' bridge, and killed four or five of the en- 
emy. On Saturday, July 3, Capt. Mosely and 
his trooi)s, with Capt. Page and his dragoons, 
again traversed Mount Hope Neck, to make 
sure of the departure of the enemy. On Sun- 
day, July 4, Captain Cudworth returned from 
Rhode-Island to the garrison, having left forty 
jnen under the command of Captain Church, 
to build a fort on Mount Hope Neck.* On Mon- 

t This was at Weypoiset, or the narrous of Kickc- 
ijiuit River, in Bristol. 

§ The above marked quotations are from Hubbard's 
Indian Wars. 

* The writer after diligent scarcli, was fortunate 
enough to discover the remains of this Fort. They 
are situated opposite tlie narrou-s of Kiclcemuit river, 
in Bristol, on the top of the most south-western of 
several hills, on the north side of a cove. They con- 
sist now chielly of the remains cf the fire-place in 


day, July 5, Capt. Hutchinson arrived from Bos- 
ton, with new orders, and on the next day, July 
6, all the troops except Captain Cudworth and 
his command, started for Narragansett to treat 
with that tribe, in order to prevent their taking 
part with Philip. 

It does not belong to the object of these re- 
searches, to extend the history of the Indian 
war, any farther than to show the causes by 
which it originated, and to ascertain and define 
the particular localities in Warren and its vi- 
cinity, which were the scenes of the opening 
part of that tragical and distressing period. — 
After Philip had withdrawn his forces from 
Mount Hope Neck, the various Indian tribes 

the fort. This fire-place was made by preparing- 
a suitable excavation, and laying low stone walls at 
the sides and the end, for which flat stones were 
used, evidently brought from the adjoining beach. — 
The remains of these ruins are now beneath the sur- 
face of the ground, which at this place, is depressed 
several inches below the average surface of the ground 
in the immediate vicinity. The hill is fast wearing 
away, by the action of the water which washes its 
base. The wearing away has already reached the 
fire-place, from which the charcoal and burnt stones- 
are often falling down the steeply inclined plane be- 
neath. It was here that Captain Church, when ou 
his singular and adventurous expedition to caj^ture 
Annawan, roasted horse-beef for his men, on the 26tli 
of August, 1676. Here, also, he confined several 
prisoners ; he " had catched ten Indians ; and they 
guarded them all night in one of the flankers of the 
f>ld English garrison " Church's Hist., p. 130 


in tills part of New-England, mostly entered 
into league with him. The storm of war burst 
upon the devoted colonies ; and it continued 
to rage with fearful violence for more than a 
year after Philip was first driven from Mount 
Hope Neck. Its consequences were disastrous 
in the extreme ; it caused wide-spread and uni- 
versal mourning throughout New-England. — 
As the result of this most distressing of all the 
Indian wars with the Colonists of New-Eng- 
land, at least six hundred of the inhabitants 
who were " the flower and strength of the 
country, fell in battle or were murdered by the 
enemy." '' Twelve or thirteen towns in Mas- 
sachusetts, Plymouth and Rhode-Island, were 
utterly destroyed, and others greatly damaged." 
'' About 600 buildings, chiefly dwelling houses, 
were consumed with fire." More than 100,000 
pounds sterling were expended by the Colo- 
nists, besides an immense loss in the destruc- 
tion of their goods and cattle. Among the 
houses burnt, thirty-four were in Swanzea, 
which left only six houses standing in the town 
at the close of the war.* 

Philip's war had so reduced to ruins the 
town of Swanzea and the surrounding vicinity, 
that the whole neighborhood was nearly as des- 
olate as a wilderness. Shortly afterwards, 
however, the scattered population gradually re- 

* Judge Davis' Appendix to Morton's Memorial. 


turned and settled upon the deserted territory. 
There being no Indians left on Mount Hope 
Neck, the settlements of the English soon oc- 
cupied the sites of the former wigwams and 
villages of the natives. 

The Plymouth government at a very early 
period had encouraged the organization of com- 
panies of Proprietors, or joint-stock companies, 
who were empowered to buy lands of the In- 
dians, and then sell and divide such lands a- 
mong themselves, on conditions of mutual 
agreement. These companies of Proprietors 
were required to keep a book of Records and 
Memorials, in which the various divisions of 
land were to be entered ; and they were empow- 
ered to make choice of some one of their num- 
ber as clerk, to enter and record the several 
divisions of their lands in due form and course 
of law. These entries thus became permanent 
records of real estate, '' to be transmitted and re- 
main to posteritie," — provided the entries of such 
lands should not infringe or hinder the entry of 
said lands in the records of the respective towns, 
within whose jurisdiction the territory of such 
company of Proprietors might happen to fall. 
The purchases of land from the Indians were 
recorded on parchment with great care and 
exactness ; but when the Proprietors would 
come to subdivide these tracts among them- 
selves, the only individual title of each owner 
to his portion, would consist of a recorded 
vote, passed at a regular Proprietor's meeting, 


certifying that such a portiom had been allotted 
to him. After the several towns in this vicin- 
ity had become incorporated, town meetings 
and Proprietors' meetings were frequently held, 
independently of each other, and it sometimes 
happened that the separate action of one of 
these bodies would be at variance with that of 
the others. 

Soon after the close of Philip's war, by vir- 
tue of the grand deed of sale from Massasoit, 
authorized by the Plymouth court, the Sowams 
purchase, excepting the belt of meadow land 
bordering on the water courses, which had 
previously been apportioned, was divided into 
suitable tracts for farms and building lots, and 
thus were laid the foundations for the owner- 
ship of all the real estate in the town of War- 

In the course of time, the Proprietors sold 
out portions of their lands to other people, who 
in selling again to one another, gave regular 
title deeds. We have already stated that Brooks' 
pasture, which included the site of the village 
of Warren, was laid out and divided among the 
Proprietors, in several portions, at different 
periods, extending from 1680 to 1725. 

But the territory of Warren, being then a 
part of Swanzea, was subject to the legislation 
of that town, as a branch of the Plymouth col- 
ony ; and the lands not owned and divided by 
the Sowams Proprietors, were distributed ac- 
cording to regulations adopted by the town of 


Swanzea, on the 7th of Feb. 1670. By these' 
regulations, it was " ordered, that all lots and 
divisions of lands that are or hereafter shall be' 
granted to any particular person, shall be pro- 
portioned according to the three-fold ranks 
underwritten, so that where those of the first 
rank shall have three acres, those of the second 
rank shall have two acres, and those of the third 
rank shall have one ; and that it shall be iri^ 
the power of the Selectmen for the time being,. 
or Committee for admission of inhabitants, to 
admit of and place such as shall be received as 
inhabitants, into either of the said ranks, as 
they shall judge fit, till the number of three 
score inhabitants shall be made up, and that 
when the said number of three score is accom-. 
plished, the lands that are already bought shall; 
be divided, and proportioned according to the- 
said three-fold ranks ; that in the mean time,, 
the said Selectmen or Committee shall hav& 
full power to grant lots unto such persons as- 
may not be placed into any of the said ranks, 
until further order provided ; the grants not ta 
exceed nine acres to a man." [Then follow 
the three ranks of landholders in separate col- 
umns, as determined by the Committee.] 

The legislation of Swanzea, from its first 
incorporation in 1667, till the district of War- 
ren ceased to be a part of it in 1746, was al- 
ways characterized by the spirit of civil and 
religious freedom, which first led the fathers of 
the town to make it a safe asylum for those 


who wished to worship God according to the 
dictates of their own conscience. And yet a 
careful distinction was preserved between hiw- 
lessness respecting civil and social duties, and 
that liberty of the soul in religion which they 
did not feel it their right to abridge or coerce. 
It was made the duty of every citizen to stand 
in his place, in providing measures for the 
safety and welfare of the town. At a town 
meeting, lawfully warned, Nov. 4, 1670, it was 
" ordered that whatsoever inhabitant of this 
town shall absent himself from any town meet- 
ing to which he shall at any time hereafter be 
legally warned, he shall forfeit for every such 
offence, four shillings." In so new and un- 
settled a state of the community, great care 
was taken to protect the rights of the citizens 
from trespass by each other, and also to guard 
against misunderstanding or collision with the 
Indians, who, till Philip's war, occupied the 
lands of Mount Hope Neck, south of the line 
now separating Warren from Bristol. To 
guard against trespass by each other's cattle 
upon the newly laid out farms, at a town meet- 
ing, June 14, 1072, " Jonathan Bosworth was 
a])proved of and appointed by the town to keep 
an ordinarij ; and to be Pound keeper, and for 
every beast that is pounded, he is to have three 
pence poundage." To render equal justice to 
the neighboring Indians, even so late as at the 
very eve of Philip's war, the town, in regular 
meeting, May 19, 1G75, " ordered that Nathan- 


iel Lewis and Caleb Eddy, do view the fence* 
between the Indians and the town, and return 
the defects thereof to the town, by the sixth 
day come seven night." Also, " ordered that 
every man shall fetch his cattle out of the Neck, 
within the fence, and that all cattle that are 
found there after the 3d of June, and brought 
to Pound, shall pay for every beast or horse, 
2s. 6J." 

An equitable assessment was levied upon all 
the citizens of the town, for charges incurred 
in purchases of land made by the town from 
the Indians, and also for expenses necessary 
for the common welfare. Thus, at a town 
meeting, lawfully warned, Nov. 18, 1G72, it 
was '* ordered that the committee chosen by 
the Town, for the management of the Pruden- 
tial affairs of the Town, shall levy the several 
proportions of Pay due from the Inhabitants for 
the Land lately purchased from Philip Sachem, 
by Mr. Constant Southworth, and other charges 
relating thereunto." 

At the same time that the authority of the 
town claimed no right of visitation or interfer- 
ence in matters of personal religious foith, it 
made provisions for the support of religious- 
teaching, for the common moral welfare of the 

* It seems that the fence running from Warren to 
Kickemuit rivers, on what is now tlie line between 
Warren and Bristol, had been the boundary between 
Swanzea and the Indians, for aoxne time previous to 


people. After the Baptist Church had seen 
the necessity of removing their first house of 
worship, near the borders of Rehoboth, to a 
more central and eligible location, at a meet- 
ing of the Townsmen, March 13, 1675, ''there 
was granted unto Mr. John Miles, Pastor of 
the Church, one acre of land at the lower end 
of New Meadow Neck, viz : the south lot on 
the east side, for to build upon." At a town 
meeting lawfully held, Oct. 12, 1676, it was 
ordered, " according to a former agreement, 
'that the meeting-house, if removed, shall be re- 
moved to the lower end of New Meadow Neck." 
^In consequence of the dispersion of the inhab- 
itants of this neighborhod during the war, Mr. 
Miles was probably induced for a season, to 
change his residence ; and after preaching a 
considerable time in Boston, he was again pre- 
vailed upon by the "[people of Swanzea, to re- 
turn to his former charge. While thus absent, 
and in anticipation of his return, at a town 
meeting, Sept. 5, 1677, John Allen, John But- 
terworth and Hugh Cole, were chosen to agree 
with a carpenter to build Mr. Miles a house of 
residence ; and at Town meeting, May 27, 
1678, John Allen and John Brown were chosen 
to draw up a letter in the behalf of Church and 
Town, to be sent to Mr. John Miles, Pastor of 
the church and Minister of the town, manifest- 
ing their desire of his return to them ; and 
Thos. Easterbrooks was chosen to carry the 
Town's letter to Mr. Miles at Boston. After 


much delay in attempting to remove their for 
mer meeting-house, and probably at last fuid- 
ing it an impracticable project, at length, at 
Town meeting, Sept. 30, 1679, it was " voted 
and ordered that a meeting-house of 40 feet in 
length, and 22 feet in breadth, and 16 feet be- 
tween joints, be forthwith built ; and a Com- 
mittee be chosen for the letting out of said 
work and finishing the same, viz : John Allen, 
Hugh Cole, William Ingraham, Committee ;" 
and at a Town meeting, legally warned, March 
29, 1680, it was " voted that the meeting-house 
be set up at the lower end of New Meadow 
Neck, and that the Committee for said house 
appoint the individual place." 

From this period onward, the town having 
recovered from the sad effects of the war, 
measures were taken to ensure the increase of 
business, and the welfare of the population, in 
the town of Swanzea, and especially in the dis- 
trict of the present town of Warren. At a 
town meeting, held March 29, 1680, it was vo- 
ted and ordered that Miles bridge be re-built 
with all convenient speed. This bridge had 
probably been destroyed in the Indian war, and 
was of great importance, as the thoroughfare 
for travelers crossing the Warren river. At 
that time, there appears to have been no regu- 
lar ferry at Warren, as the necessities of the 
public had as yet created no demand for one. 
But after the survey of Brooks' Pasture, in 
1679, and the site of the present village there 


Oil was laid out for house lots, it was ordered, 
Town meeting, Aug. 31, 1680, ''that conven- 
ient highways may be laid out in said Land;" 
and at a subsequent meeting, October 19, 
1681, a petition was made to a justice, " To 
impannel a jury to lay out such highways as 
are at present needful, namely, through Brooks' 
Pasture to the ferry, to New Meadow Neck." 
By this, it appears that the settlements at War- 
ren, and the newly erected town of Bristol, and 
also, the overland traveling between Newport 
and Providence, required that a convenient 
ferry should be provided, affording a ready pas- 
sage across the Warren river, at the lower end 
of New Meadow Neck. For this purpose, at 
a Town meeting, March 13, 1681, " It was 
voted that six acres of land be left perpetually 
to accommodate a person to keep the ferry, or 
to be improved for the use and benefit of the 
town, as they shall see fit, and that this land 
be laid out by the Committee formerly chosen 
by the town to lay out Brooks' Pasture, and 
that it be laid out as conveniently as may be."* 
After the land comprising Warren and the 
other parts of Swanzea, had been divided a- 
mong the various Proprietors, and all the re- 
maining rights of the Indians to the soil had 
become extinguished, the town enacted, March 
21, 1684, that all the deeds of purchases of 
lands from the Indians to the English, should 

^ In 1725 this ferry lot was reduced by authority of 
the town, to one acre and a quarter in size. x 


all be called in, and if any were found not re- 
corded at Plymouth, they should be recorded 
there with all convenient speed ; and for the 
safe keeping of these records, they ordered a 
box to be procured, with three locks, which 
was to be kept for safety, wherever the town's 
committee might order. At a town meeting, 
May 22, 1699, it was voted, " that the keys of 
the town box for keeping the town records and 
writings shall be in the keeping of the Select- 
men, appointed from year to year, provided the 
Selectmen chosen yearly be proprietors in the 
town of Swanzea." 

By this time, the community began to be 
well organized, and the business of the neigh- 
borhood considerably increased. The spot oc- 
cupied by the village of Warren, on account of 
the advantages of the deep water in the river„ 
soon drew a portion of the population of Swan- 
zea to its vicinity, for the purposes of ship- 
building and navigation. As early as Jan. 1, 
1684, a majority of the town voted that " Tim- 
othy Brooks may keep entertainment for travel- 
ers;" while for the convenience of the public, 
scattered over the wide spread town, it was 
voted, although protested against by several 
citizens, Sept. 9, 1685, " that the place of all 
public meetings should be between Mr. Miles' 
house* and the great bridge ; and a house be 

* Probably Mr. Miles' old mansion house, neai 
Miles' bridge. 


there built for that end by a free contribution." 
The people in this vicinity, in those early 
times, seem to have been duly mindful of the 
necessity of education and religion, as the only 
safe basis for the organization of society; though 
in respect to the modes of supporting religion 
by law, they were at that time an exception 
from the existing usages of the other towns in 
the colony. They allowed the church to hold its 
own doctrines, &l to administer its own discipline, 
without interferance by the secular authority. 
On Aug. 28, .1693, a warrant having been 
read, from the Quarter Session of the colony, 
requiring the town to choose a minister accord- 
ing to law, the town meeting was addressed by 
a committee of the church, who desired the 
vote of the town, expressing their assent and 
approbation to the fact, " that they had a min- 
ister that they apprehended was according to 
law, viz. Elder Samuel Luther," and on the 
17th of the following month, the town " voted 
and chose Elder Samuel Luther, minister of tlie 
town of Swanzea." 

The people also provided for the education 
of their children at public expence ; and on 
March 2S, 1699, the town " confirmed the 
agreement made by the Selectmen with Mr, 
Jonathan Bosworth to be school-master for the 
town of Swanzea the year ensuing, and to teach 
school in the several places in the town by 
course, and to have for his salary c£18 per year, 
one quarter in money, and the other three 


quarters in provisions, at money price." To* 
carry on the business of education, the Select- 
men subsequently, January 12, 1702, agreed" 
with Mr. John Devotion, school-master, to give 
him c£12 current money of New-England, to 
be paid quarterly, and the town to " pay for 
his diet ;" and he was ordered to remove, each 
quarter to different places in the neighborhood, 
while the Selectmen agreed with the school- 
master to allow him 205. ster. to be paid by the 
town towards the keeping of his horse. After- 
wards, at town meeting, Dec. 28, 1713, it was 
" voted and agreed that the school-master's 
abode (boarding) shall be paid after the rate of 
4s. per week, in provisions at money prices." 
The inhabitants'^^eem also to have cheerfully 
taxed themselves, for all the expenses necessary 
for the general improvement of the town and 

At a town meeting, held March 23, 1707-8, 
it was agreed, " that if any of the inhabitants 
of this town shall at any time hereafter kill a 
grown wolf or wolves within this township, 
they shall be allowed ten shillings a head out 
of the town treasury, over and above the allow- 
ance of the law." At another time, March 3, 
1708, the town taking into consideration the 
great destruction of Indian corn, by crows, 
blackbirds and squirrels, agreed that every 
householder in the town should kill or cause to 
be killed six of the great sort of blackbirds or 
six squirrels, and one crow should pass iji kv. 


for two blackbirds or squirrels ; and they were 
to be killed and their heads brought in, by the 
lOtli of the following June, to men appointed 
for the purpose of counting them ; and if any 
householder should neglect or refuse this duty, 
as aforesaid, he shall for his defect, pay two 
pence for every head that is wanting of said 
number, at the lOth of June; and the commit- 
tee appointed to count the heads were empow- 
ered by the town to prosecute the order and 
dispose the fines as the law directed. 

It seems, however, that no assessment of tax- 
es was more cheerfully paid by the people, than 
the raising of money for the defence of their 
civil and reliirious rights. The original foun- 
dation settlement, by which the charter of the 
town had at first been granted, allowed every 
man the undisturbed exercise of his own person- 
al faith in matters of religion. Some interfer- 
ence with this religious liberty having been 
made by the court of Plymouth, the people at 
full town meeting, Oct. 24, 1712, by a unani- 
mous vote, declared " that all the inhabitants 
of this tovv'n shall enjoy their conscience liberty, 
agreeable to the foundation settlement of said 
town, and are not obliged to uphold and 
maintain the worship of God elsewhere than 
where they choose respectively to belong or to 
assemble " They also voted to raise a fund of 
five hundred pounds, and as much more as 
might be necessary, to maintain and defend 


the town's grant and foundation, at any court 
or place proper for such purpose. The town 
empowered its agents to send their grievances 
before her Majesty's Privy Council, if they 
could not enjoy their rights and privileges 
granted by the court at Plymouth, and con- 
firmed by royal charter. The Selectmen were 
ordered and empowered to assess the inhabi- 
tants of the town according to a rateable pro- 
portion, and the money was to be supplied, if 
necessary by the following autumn. 

As an evidence of the practical liberality and 
equity which distinguished this population at 
that time, is the fact, that while the ministry in 
the Swanzea Baptist church was supported by 
the town, in the mean time a Congregational 
church had been formed on the west side of 
New Meadow Neck, in Barrington, and some 
of these inhabitants adhering to the Congrega- 
tional church, proposed in 1717, that the town 
should either raise a tax of =£120 for the sup- 
port of their minister, or allow them to be 
formed into a separate town or precinct. The 
people of^fmi declared their principles; &, having 
read, at town meeting, the petition in question, 
with the charter on which they had at first been 
established, " after considerable fair and loving 
conference with said petitioners upon the prem- 
ises," it was voted, " that all the inhabitants of 
the town should enjoy their conscience liberty, 
according to said foundation establishment oi 
'?aid town ; and arc obliged to uphold and 



maintain the ministry and worshipof God, only 
in the several churches or congregations where 
they respectively choose to belong or assemble, 
and not obliged to support any church but 
where they partake of its teaching." 

The year follovk'ing this transaction, the 
territory west of Warren river was divided from 
Swanzea, and erected into a separate town, and 
so continued, till Warren and Barrington to- 
gether became a single town in Rhode-Island, 
by the act which ascertained and settled the 
line of division between Rhode-Island and 
Massachusetts, in 1746. 

At the time when Warren became a sepa- 
rate town, the population was still small, and 
the majority of its wealth, if not of its inhab- 
itants, was on the Barrington side of the river. 
The attention of the people was at that time 
almost entirely given to navigation and ship- 
buildinor. The first town meeting in Warren, 
after its separate organization, was held on the 
10th of Feb., 1747, at the house of John Child, 
which stood on the north side of Market-street, 
near Allen's corner. At the same time a col- 
ony rate of =£5000 being assessed on the State, 
c£115 of that sum was levied on Warren as its 
proportionable share. Previous to 1747, two 
public Ferries had been in regular operation, 
the one leading ft-om Main-street over the site 
of the present bridge owned by Mr. Kelly, the 
other leading from the foot of Washington- 
*vcet acros;j the river to BarrhijTton, 


In 1756, the only streets then laid out in the 
village, were Main-street, leading from J0II&' 
gate on the Bristol line to Kelly's ferry; and 
from Main-street, eastward, was the present 
Market-street ; and leading westward toward 
the river, were Miller-street , Church-street, 
and Washington-street, leading to the ferry.* 

In that year (1756,) the numher of houses :"n 
the present village was about twenty-five, t ard 
at the same time, there had been erected, ard 
were in use, three of the present wharves, viz. 
those of John T. Child, Caleb Eddy, and Na- 
than Child. 

From this period, till the revolutionary war, 
embracing a term of twenty years, the town 
contniued to grow steadily in its population, 
and in the increase of its business. The chief 
dependence of the people was on maritime 
trade, in its various forms of ship-building ; 

*The names of these streets as now used were 
subsequently applied. 

t The houses in the village of Warren, in 1756, 
were located and occupied as follows ; On Main-street, 
by John Kelly, Amos Bowen, Allen Cole, Amos 
Thomas, John Wheaton, John Easterbrook, Amos 
Haile, James Bushee, Mr. Jolls, at the gate, & a black- 
smith's shop ; On Market -street, by John Child, <fe a 
school-house ; On Millcr-strcet, by Mrs. Lewin, Na- 
than Miller ; On Church-street, Squire Maxwell, Ca- 
leb Turner; On Washington-street, by Caleb Carr 
(kept as a tavern) Samuel Miller, Benj. Easterbrook; 
On the shore, by Samuel Hicks, John Luther, Thomas 
Cole, and one or two stores, 


coasting, West-India and Foreign navigation, 
and the whale fishery. 

This community at that time, seem to have 
paid a due regard to matters of manners and 
morals. Repeated acts of the authorities of the 
town are on record, which show that the mag- 
istrate used not his office in vain, as a terror to 
evil doers, and as a praise to them that do well. 
Thus, in 1748, a fine of lOs. was levied upon 
an individual in the town, for disorderly be- 
haviour, and the money paid into the town's 
treasury : and in 1752 and 3, two men were 
fined by the town, each <^'l, for cursing and 
swearing. To make such evil doers, and all 
other disturbers of the peace and morals of the 
community, a warning to others and a shame 
to themselves, the town' ordered, April 19, 1769, 
the erection of a pair of stocks, in a convenient 
place in the compact part of the town, and ano- 
ther pillory, in a convenient place, on the west 
bide of the river.* 

The inhabitants of this village, for their re- 
ligious welfare, had generally attended the 

* The pillory, or pair of stocks in the village, was 
permanently located on the side-walk on the west 
side of Main'Street, about a rod north of its corner 
\yith Jeiferson-street. The punishment of the pillory 
was at that time considered a great promoter of good 
conduct, and to make the exposed culprit as conspic- 
uous as possible, the stock frame of the pillory in this 
village, was placed across the side walk, so that it 
])artly obstructed the passage on the side next to the 


church ill Swanzea, of which many of them 
were members, till in 1764, when the Baptist 
church in this town was organized, which, in 
connection with the Rhode-Island College, be- 
gun in this place the same year, and chartered 
in 1765, and with the Warren Baptist Associa- 
tion, formed at this place in 1767, soon afford- 
ed not only a religious home for the inhabitants, 
but became a centre of assemblage and a source 
of influence for the friends of religion and learn- 
ing throughout a wide extent of country. 

We have no certain means of ascertaining 
the population of Warren, at the beginning of 
the Revolutionary War. When the territory 
embracing the six towns of Cumberland, Bar- 
rington, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton and Little- 
Compton, was set oif from Massachusetts and 
became a part of Rhode-Island, the aggregate 
population of all these towns, was 4767, con- 
sisting of 4196 whites, 343 blacks and 228 In- 
dians. But no adequate measures were taken 
to ascertain the census of these towns, singly 
and respectively, at least of the town of War- 
ren, till it became necessary to number the 
population, in order to supply the requisite 
quota of soldiers created by the demands of the 
Revolutionary War. For a period of seven 
years before Barrington was separated from 
Warren, in 1770, the average recorded votes 
of the freemen of the town, for Governor, 
were 96 annually ; and for seven years after 
that period, the average vote of the freemen. 


of Warren, was 46. The latter number, re- 
duced so low by the division of the town, is 
also partly to be accounted for by the fact, 
that some of the citizens were absent from 
their homes, engaged in the war. The act- 
ual number of the population of Warren, as 
reported by a committee appointed by the town 
to take the census, on Feb. 22, 1777, was sev^ 
en hundred and eighty-nine. 

The people of this town were conspicuous 
and interested actors in the scenes of trial and 
suffering in the Revolutionary war. As early 
as Nov. 20, 1775, it was voted in town meeting 
that a military watch should be kept in the 
town ; and that if any man refused to watch 
when notified, he should pay the sum of three 
shillings : on Feb. 5, 1777, the town voted that 
an Artillery company should be raised among 
their citizens, and Daniel Fisk was chosen 
captain, and Benjamin Cole, Lieutenant. On 
the 12th of the same month it was voted that 
Shubael Kinnicut should purchase two good 
fire-arms with bayonets and cartridge-boxes, 
for the use of the only two persons in the town 
who were unable to equip themselves. 

As the time of struggle and suffering had 
now come, the town proceeded to adopt meas- 
ures necessary for the accomplishment of their 
share of the common service. In town-meeting, 
assembled, May 6, 1776 it was voted that the 
town treasurer should employ suitable persons 
♦o make up the powder and ball into cartridges, 


belonging to the town ; and all persons that 
possessed lead or balls were desired to bring 
them to the town treasurer, who was directed 
to purchase them ; and they also ordered that 
all the militia and alarm men should bring their 
guns to the tov/n treasurer, in order that their 
cartridges might be made to suit the differently 
sized guns. The town having been required 
by the law of the State, to furnish a quota of 
ten men for military service, it was voted at 
town-meeting, Sept. 16, 1776, to send twelve, 
and that every soldier that should equip him- 
self, complete with gun, bayonet, knapsack, 
cartooch-box and blanket, should have twen- 
ty shillings. 

There being yet some doubt as to the princi- 
ples of some in the community, in this time, 
which required every man to do his duty, the 
town required, Oct. 14, 1776, that every man 
in their midst should sign " the Test Act," or 
appear and give his reasons for refusing ; and 
that the town clerk should ascertain the num- 
ber of guns and all munitions of war belonging 
to the town, in the hands of the militia. 

At this time, such had already become the 
scarcity of provisions, that the article of salt 
was sold as high as six dollars per bushel. But 
to prevent extortion by individuals, the State 
government took charge of the salt which had 
now become so high and scarce, and dealt it 
out to the different towns, at the low price of 
six shillings per bushel ; and the town of War- 


ren, by vote of July 1, 177G, divided and pro- 
portioned the article among their people at the 
price fixed by the State ; while by vote of the 
20th of the following October, they ordered 
that no person should be allowed to receive salt 
who refused to subscribe to the Test Act. 

A committee consisting of Daniel Cole and 
William Barton, appointed to estimate the 
quantity of grain, and the number of inhabitants 
in the town, reported at town meeting, Feb. 
22, 1777, the number of inhabitants as 789, 
and 14 refugees from the county of Newport : 
and the quantity of grain, as 1,202 bushels of 
Indian corn, and 89 bushels of rye, and not 
barley sufficient for seed grain. On the 12th 
of the following July, it was voted that a com- 
mittee should receive the flour that was propor- 
tioned to the town, and deal it out to the sold- 
iers' families, at £l.lQs. per cwt. 

On the 25th of May, about 500 British and 
Hessian troops, under the command of Lieut. 
Colonel Campbell, started from New^Dort by 
water, and arrived before day-break at a place 
about half a mile south of Peck's rocks, on the 
Bradford farm, in Bristol, when having landed, 
they immediately proceeded to Warren by the 
main road. On arriving at the village of War- 
ren, they dispersed the inhabitants, disabled 
several pieces of cannon, and then hurried on 
with the greater part of their forces to the Kick- 
emuit river, to a point just below the present 

94 StPPLEMEXl'. 

Stone bridge, where a large number cf boat^ 
had been collected by the Americans, to facili- 
tate a contemplated expedition against the ene- 
my. These boats the British piled into a heap 
and burned. They then returned to Warren, 
where they finished their work of destruction 
by burning the Baptist church, parsonage, pow- 
der m.agazine, and several other buildings, pil- 
lacrinCT the houses, and takinp- a number of the 
citizens away as prisoners. Fearing an attack 
from the neighboring American militia, they de- 
parted in great haste.* On their route both 
ways, to and from Kickemuit river, they passed 
through Main and Market-streets. 

*x\gecl people, still living among us, well remeui- 
ber the appearance of these soldiers, as they passed 
through the town. The British were dressed in old- 
fashioned red coats, cocked hats and small clothes, 
with a great display of laced trimmings, shoe and 
knee buckles. The Hessians wore enormous fur 
caps, and large, wide and loose boots, into Vv^liich 
they thrust all kinds of articles pilfered from tlie 
houses ; and these articles hanging over the tops of 
their boots, gave them a singularly grotesque appear- 
ance, as they left the town. A lady now living, and 
several others were at the time in the house, which 
was afterwards Bradshaw's bake-house, on the east 
side of Main-street. They saw the troops pass by in 
hasty retreat, and at a short distance in the rear, a 
single individual, encumbered with a big drum, una- 
ble to keep up with the main body. These heroic 
women ran out and surrounded him, and told him he 
was their prisoner, when he immediately surrender- 
ed, saying, he was glad of it, for he was faint and 
tired. This prisoner v/as afterwards exchanged for 
one of the citizens of Warren. 


Early in the morning an express had been 
sent to Providence to inform the Americans of 
the attack upon Warren. General Barton im- 
jiiediately started with a party of mounted 
troops, in advance of a body of infantry, under 
General Sullivan, to the defence of his native 
town.* Before he arrived at Warren, the ene- 

"* General WilHani Barton was born May 26, 1748, 
in tlie liouse on Towiset Neck, (in tiie east part of 
Warren,) which is now occupied by his grand neph- 
ew, Mr. Benjamin Barton. The graves of the Gen- 
eral's parents are near each otiier, in the family bury- 
ing ground, on tiie far n ; and are inscribed as follows ; 
Capt. Benj. Barton, died April 22, 1773, aged 70; — 
IMrs. Lydia, wife of Capt. Benj. Barton, died Oct. 9, 
ISOS, aged SS. 

The liistory of Geu. Barton is so connected with 
the general history of the country in the times of the 
revolutionary war, that it is unnecessary for us to en- 
tor niinutely into the details of his evenlful life. Im- 
mediately after the battle of Bunker Hill, he entered 
into the military service of his country, and received 
the commission of Colonel in the continental army, 
and Brigadier General of the lihode-Island troops. 
His head was wise to plan, and his hand to execute 
the daring enterprizes of heroism. His capture of 
<jencral Prcscott displayed a firmness and an intrepid- 
ity rarely equalled on tlie page of history. Some 
time before, jMajor General I^ee, of the American 
army, being separated from liis troops, was betrayed 
by a tory into the hands of the enemy. As his servi- 
ces wore in great demand by his country, General 
Barton conceived the bold design of capturing an ofii- 
cer of equal or superior rank, in order, by an exchange 
of prisoners, to effect the lelease of General Lee. 
Having determined to surprise and carry off General 


my had fled ; and following in pursuit, he came 
upon them near Bristol Ferry; but his party 
being too weak to attack their whole force, and 
the General receiving a severe wound from a 

Prescott, he visited Warren to procure two whale 
boats, (as the people before the war had cairied on 
the whale fishery,) which, with others obtained else- 
where, were taken to a place near Howland's Ferry, 
and prepared for the critical undertaking by muffling 
the oars and rowlocks with undressed sheepskins. 
Awaiting a favorable opportunity, he crossed the bay 
unobserved, on a dark night, to Warwick Neck, from 
which place he could take his points of observation j 
and, in the night of July 10, 1777, he succeeded in 
accomplishing his brilliant enterprize. The following 
account of the capture of Gen. Prescott is taken from 
the Providence Gazette, of July 12, 1777,^ — two days 
after the affair. "Thursday morning last, a party of 
38 men of the Troops of this State, under the com- 
mand of Lieut. Col. William Barton, of this town, 
accompanied by Major Adams, of the Train, Capt. 
Phillips, Lieuts. Potter and Babcock, and Ensigns 
Stanton and Wilcox, went in five boats from Warwick 
Neck, with a view to take Major General Prescott, 
Commander in Chief of the British and Foreign 
Troops on Rhode-Island, whose head quarters was 
then at a house about four miles from Newport. The 
Colonel and his party, after passing the enemy's ships 
and guard boats, landed, about 12 o'clock at night, 
and, with infinite address and gallantry, got to Pres- 
cott's undiscovered. A sentinel at the door hailed, 
but was immediately secured, and the party immedi- 
ately, breaking the doors and entering the house, took 
the General in bed. His Aid-de-camp leaped from a 
window in his shirt, and attempted to escape, but was 
taken a few rods from tiie house. The party soon 
after returned to their boats, with their prisoners, and 


inusket ball in his right leg, the pursuit was 
abandoned. After the enemy had destroyed 
considerable property in Bristol, they re-em- 
barked in their ship, which repaired from their 
first landing place to Bristol Ferry just in sea- 
son to escape an attack from the Americans, 
who had now arrived under the command of 
General Sullivan. 

Soon after this attack, a part of General Var- 
num's brigade was ordered to Warren. One 
regiment was encamped upon the field imme- 
diately south of the rocks upon the summit of 
Windmill OY Graves^ Hill; where are still to 
be seen the levelled and graded places where 
their tents were pitched. The following winter 

some lime after they had put off, the enemy fired 
rockets from their several posts, as signals for an 
alarm, but too late — the bird had fled. The prison- 
ers were safely landed, about day break, at Warwick 
]\eck. On receiving the intelligence here, a coach 
was immediately sent; and the General and his Aid. 
dc-camp, attended by Col. Barton and some other 
officers, arrived in town at twelve o'clock. This bold 
and important enterprize must reflect the highest hon- 
or on Col. Barton and his little party. A Lieut. Col- 
onel of the Horse, with at least 70 Light Dragoons, 
took Major General Lee, (betrayed by a Tory,) five 
miles from his troops. A Lieut. Colonel of Foot, 
with only 38 privates and 6 officers, has taken a Chief 
Commander, when almost encircled by an army and 

General Barton was the intimate friend of Wash- 
ington and Lafayette. Ho died at Providence, Oct. 
22, 1831, aged 85 years. \* 


the troops stationed in Warren were quartered 
in stores upon the wharves and in private 

After the attack upon Warren, the people 
took still greater precautions than before, to 
prevent surprise by the enemy. The citizens 
fortified one of the bluffs on Burr's Hills ; the 
breast-work, guard-house and sentry-box were 
upon the west end of the second hill from the 
north ; here they kept a guard day and night, 
during the war. The expenses incurred by the 
town in these military services, were very great. 
In July of 1779, it was voted in town meeting, 
that the guard be continued in the town ac- 
cording to their first enlistment, and six hun- 
dred pounds were raised to pay the charges 
incurred ; and on the 4th of tlie next month, 
the town again voted to raise a guard of 26 
men, to have the pay and rations granted by 
the council of war ; and Moses Turner was ap- 
pointed to draft a petition to send to General 
Gates, for the supply of rations for the guard. 

But the pressure of necessity becoming still 
greater, the resources of the people of this town 
were taxed to the utmost extent. With a patri- 
otic zeal, that was unwearied and inexhausti- 
ble, the town voted, March 11, 1779, that 
Daniel Cole, Joseph Smith and William Barton, 
be a committee to ascertain what persons in the 
town had done more military duty than was 
their proportion, during the two expeditions 
against Rhode-Island, and to allow them such 


sums of money as the committee might think 
just, in order to bring the military duty equal 
throughout the town ; while, at the same time, 
the town-treasurer was directed to hire 1500 
dollars, to purchase grain for the use of the 
town. The State government having assumed 
the regulation of the pricesof provisions, which 
had now become very scarce and dear, and 
these proceedings being a great occasion of 
complaint to those whose selfishness inclined 
them to practice extortion, and whose treachery 
inclined them to favor the enemy, the town 
voted, August 20, 1779, that they unanimously 
approved of the proceedings of the Convention 
of this State ; and on the 7th of the next month, 
they appointed a committee of correspondence 
and inspection, to be empowered to investigate 
the conduct, and receive complaints against all 
persons offending, and upon evidence of guilt 
obtained, to inflict punishment by advertising 
them as enemies to their country. 

As the Avar approached to a close, the suffer- 
ings of want and poverty began to stare the 
people in the face. Nothing but the most en- 
during and patriotic zeal could thus have with- 
stood •' necessity's sharp pinch." Poor as the 
people had become, the town voted, July 3, 
1780, that a proper person be appointed at the 
expense of the town, to carry such winter cloth- 
ing as the friends and connections of such sol- 
diers as may enter into the continental service 
at the present campaign, may provide for them. 


On the first of the next month, the town ai> 
pouited Henry Ormsbee to tarnish their militia 
with camp furniture, viz. 21 mess pots, 21 mess 
pails, 21 mess bowls, 5 narrow axes, and 3 bag- 
gas^e carts ; and at the same time, Sylvester 
Child was appointed to purchase 500 weight of 
beef, on the credit of the town, the price not 
to exceed 50^. per cwt. On the 14th of the 
same month, the town voted to raise the sum 
often thousand dollars as a town tax, one half 
to be raised in two, the other half in four 
months. The continental paper money having 
become much depreciated, the town raised, 
Feb. 2, 1781, £15, 13s. in silver and gold, to 
satisfy a request of the General Assembly, to 
pay for the town's proportion of beef. At the 
same town meeting, Nathan Miller was direct- 
ed to pay the wages of the men enlisted for six 
months, at the rate of 40 shillings per month. 
During the last two years of the war, there are 
several recorded votes of the town, showing the 
care which the people took, for the soldiers 
who had gone from this town. Thus, March 
19, 1781, the town directed John Child to pur- 
chase f cwt. of sugar, ^ cwt. of coffee, and one 
bushel of rye meal, for the soldiers doing duty 
on Rhode-Island, who went from this town. 
While they voted March 6, 1782, to appoint 
Capt. David Barton to enlist the town's propor- 
tion of men for the continental army, they at 
the same time appointed John Child to pur- 
chase fifty-six yards of tow cloth and eight 



ptiirs of stockings, according to the act of the 
General Assembly, and to deliver these articles 
for their use, at East-Greenwich. 

After the Revolutionary War was brought to 
a close, it was found that the suiferings of the 
people of Warren during those trying times^ 
had been severe in the extreme. Business had 
been almost entirely driven away from the place, 
and the families of the soldiers especially, suf- 
fered severely from want of the necessary com- 
forts of life. Besides the destruction of the 
military stores deposited here, and also the 
boats, &,c, at Kickemuit, with the loss of 
the church, parsonage and college buildings^ 
and several other houses, and the private pro- 
perty pilfered from the inhabitants, the follow- 
ing is a statement of the shipping lost during 
the war, up to January I, 1783, belonging to 
the inhabitants of Warren. 

Schr. Roby, Capt. Kingsly, cargo oil, 100 tons 

Brig , Mason, cargo oil, 120 " 

Sloop U. States, Coddington, 45 *' 

Schr. Weasel, Paine, 15 " 

Brig , Mauran, 120 " 

Schr. Moses, Miller, cargo sugar, &e. GO " 
Sloop Polly, Whiting, 45 " 

Sloop Gen. Stark (privateer) Pearcc, 120 " 
Sloop George, Champlin, 60 " 

Brig Gen. Wayne, Pearee, 120 « 

Sloop Abigail, Miller, 45 " 

Schr. Swordfish, Collins, 120 « 

Sloop Rebecca, Champlin, 60 " 

Schr. Hunter, Crawford, 60 " 

Making a total of 1090 tons. 


ascertained to be lost up to that period, only 
ninety of which was insured. 

As the chief dependence of the people was 
on the various branches of maritime business, 
the disastrous effects of the war were the most 
conspicuous in this department. The citizens, 
however, very soon commenced anew their for- 
mer occupations, and ship-building was again 
carried on to a considerable extent. The Bap- 
tist church was rebuilt in 1785; the popula- 
tion began to grow in numbers and in wealth ; 
and soon the village of Warren assumed an ap- 
pearance of neatness and enterprise unknown 
before. While various branches of commerce 
were pursued to a considerable extent, for ma- 
ny years after the Revolutionary War, ship- 
building was the largest item of their business. 
Many of the ships built here were celebrated 
for their uncommon speed in sailing. One of 
these vessels was the U. S, frigate '' General 
Greene," of 600 tons burthen, and arranged 
for 32 guns. This frigate was ordered by Oli- 
ver Wolcott, Secretary of the U. S. Treasury, 
and was to be commanded by Capt. C. R. Perry, 
the father of O. II. Perry, who to superintend 
the construction of the ship, removed with his 
family to Warren, in 1798. This ship was 
built in the yard of Messrs. Cromwell and Caleb 
Child, and cost the Government, u'hen coi:; 


pleteJy fitted for sea, 8105,492 32. She was 
iaunched and sailed in 1799.* 

Another first-rate vessel, of very uncommon 
speed, built at this place, was the sloop of war 
"Chippewa." Commodore O. H. Perry, as 
agent for the U. S. Government, contracted 
with Capt. Caleb Carr to construct this ship in 
the shortest possible time ; and, on March 15, 
1814, only 57 days from the time her keel was 
laid, although there had been many stormy and 
snowy days, this ship of 411 tons burthen, and 
carrying 16 guns, was delivered to the Commo- 
dore, ready for her rigging and armament : and 
in a few days afterwards she went to sea, com- 
pletely armed and rigged.! 

In the course of a few years after the revo- 
lutionary war, the business of Warren consid- 
erably increased, and at the beginning of the 
present century it had acquired a basis of per- 
manent success. From the latter period till 
the present time, the people have been various- 
ly engaged in trade ; while no event of mate- 

* In 1814, the " General Greene" was lying at the 
Washington navy yard, when that city was about to 
be attacked by the British ; and in order to prevent 
her falling into the hands of the enemy, she was des- 
troyed by the order of government. 

t In the year before, the privateer " Macdonough," 
of 300 tons, which was so successful during the war, 
under the command of Capt. Wilson, was built in 
the same yard and by the same person as the Chippe- 
wa. She was also celebrated for her remarkable 


rial importance has disturbed its onward and 
gradual prosperity. The last war with Great 
Britain was felt as lightly by this town, as by 
almost any other commercial town, in propor- 
tion to its business and population, on our sea 

Before the Revolutionary war, the whaling 
business was carried on in Warren to some 
considerable extent ; but after that period it 
altogether ceased,* till it was recommenced in 
July of 1821, when the ship Rosalie was pur- 
chased and fitted out for a whaling voyage to 
the Pacific ocean. Since that period there 
have been fitted out from this port 21 ships, G 
barks, and 3 brigs for whaling, amounting to 
9900 tons. The present fleet in this service 
consists of 17 ships and 5 barques, amounting 
to 7161 tons. There have also been lost and 
condemned during this period of 24 years, 4 
ships and two brigs ; while one barque and one 
brig have been sold, all amounting to 1839 
tons. There are also at present, belonging to 
Warren, in the merchant service. West India 
trade, freighting and coasting business, 2 ships, 
6 brigs, 3 schooners, and 5 sloops, amounting 
to 2082 tons : which, toofether with the whalinsr 

*ln 1795, the only whaler belonging to the state 
of Rhode-Island, was the brig "Ranger," of 122 
tons, of Providence. Besides this there was then 
no other whaler belonging to the country out of the 
state of Massachusetts. 


Inisincss, make tho present aggregate of ton- 
nage belonging to this port 9*243 tons. 

The increase of the commercial business in 
tliis town, about the beginning of the present 
century, led to the organization of the Warren 
Insurance Company, which was incorporated 
Jan. 1, 1800, with a capital of $40,000. This 
institution ceased from underwriting, July 1, 
1844. Its earnings during the forty four and a 
half years of its existence, clear of all expen- 
ses, were $455,250 63 : total amount of its 
losses paid out, $199,450 63 : amount of div- 
idends paid to the stockholders, $255,800, 
averaging during the time, 14 per cent, per ann.* 

The state of trade, and the increase of bus- 
iness, for successive periods during the last 
sixty-five years, may be represented by the fol- 
lowing statement of additions by admeasure- 
ment and tonnage in the port of Warren ; the 
account of which is furnished by Capt. Wm. 
Turner, for many years surveyor of the port. 

Added : 

From 1790 





, 5403 tons. 

'' 1800 




4505 '' 

" 1810 




4533 '' 

'' 1820 




7808 '' 

'' 1830 




4727 '' 

" 1840 




3925 *' 

* For the account of the shipping statistics, and 
he Warren Insurance Company, the writer is indebt- 
d to Paschal Allen, Esq. z 



The increase of population in this town 
seems not to have varied much from the pro- 
portional increase of the general population of 
the state of Rhode-Island ; though its present 
numbers show an unusually large addition 
within the last few years. The estimated pop- 
ulation of the town in 1748, two years after its 
separation from Massachusetts, was 680, of 
which about 600 were whiteSj 50 blacks, and 
30 Indians. 


pulation of Warren 

The population of Rhode 


Island in 1701 was estima- 
ted at about 10,000 




In 1730 17,935 




" 1748 34,128 




" 1755 40,414 




" 1770 59,678 




" 1782 52,442 




" 1790 68,825 




" 1800 69,122 




" 1810 76,931 




" 1820 83,059 

1845 nearly 3000 

" 1830 97,210 

" 1840 108,830 

The following table of the thermometer, 
kept by Paschal Allen, Esq. shows the average 
temperature for 8 years, from 1837 to 1844 

Average heat of 8 Autumns, (Sept. Oct. Nov.) 51.16. 
« " of 8 Winters, (Dec. Jan. Feb.) 30. 05. 

" " of 8 Springs, (Mar. April, May,) 48. 93. 

« " of8 Summers, (June; July, Aug.) 70. 28. 

* Then including Barrington. 


Of these eight years, the average annual 

lieat was 49. 35. 

Maximum was in 1839 . . 50. 63. 

Minimum was in 1837 . . . 47. 79. 

Maximum, Autumn, 1840 . . 52. 17. 

Winter, 1842 . . 34. 

Spring, 1840 . . .49. 14. 

Summer, 1843 . . 70. 16. 

Minimum, Autumn, 1842 . . 49. 14. 

Winter, 1844 . . 25. 01. 

Spring, 1843 . . .42. 79. 

Summer, 1837 . . 67. 75. 

The average number of deaths for 20 years 

iding 1834, was about IJ per cent, of the 

lole population of the town. Since that time 

bill of mortality is as follows : 



No. of deaths. 

Over 70 years, 


































Bill of lytahty furnitlicd by Capt, Wni. Turner. 


Having^ given a general view of the leading 
facts in the history of Warren, during succes- 
sive periods, it remains for us to exhibit some 
statements, besides those already given, of the 
present state of the town. The history of the 
Baptist church having been written in the for- 
mer part of this volume, no notice of it need 
here be taken. We shall now present some 
facts in the history of the Methodist, and the 
Episcopal churches, beginning, in the order of 
time, with 

The Methodist Church. — The first Meth- 
odist sermon ever preached in Warren, wa 
delivered by Rev. Daniel Smith, in the fall a 
1789. The second was delivered by the Re. 
Jesse Lee, the celebrated pioneer of Methodiim 
in New-England, in July, 1790. In the •!- 
lowing year he again preached in Warren, nd 
was followed by Rev. Lemuel Smith and Jev. 
Menzies Rayner, who for six months preahed 
alternately once a fortnight. At the epira- 
tion of that time, a class was formed mder 
their direction, consisting of 12 or 14niem- 
bers. In the fall of 1792, a church wasorgan- 
ized by Rev. Ezekiel Cooper, preaher in 
charge of the circuit. The Rev. Ph ip Wa- 
ger was the first regularly appointed m lister to 
this station, in 1793. Until 1794, i\\( Society 
held their meetings in a spacious b''n, fitted 
up and rendered convenient for theinccomnK!- 
dation, which stood near the north iid of the^ 

SUrrLEMENT. 109 

back road, between the old and the new roads 
leadiiio; from AVarren to Swanzea. 

Daring the ministry of Rev. John Chahners, 
the stationed preacher in 1794, the Society 
erected a neat church edifice in the village. 
This was the first church edifice belonging to 
the Methodist denomination in Rhode-Island, 
and next to the one in Lynn, Mass , which was 
the first in New England. The dedication 
sermon was preached from Ilaggai II : 9, on 
Sept. 14, 1794, by Rev. Jesse Lee. 

This Society in its inftmcy encountered ma- 
ny trials. In the year 1800, its number was 
reduced to two members, both of whom were 
females. During the following year, about fif- 
teen were baptized, and joined the church. In 
1805, the church edifice was furnished with a 
pulpit, sounding-board, and 48 pews. 

In 1833, the house was raised, and a tower, 
steeple, and basement story were added to it. 
In the January session of the General Assem- 
bly, in 1834, the church obtained a charter of 
incorporation. The church and congregation 
continued still to increase, so that in 1830, it 
became necessary to enlarge the building ; and 
accordingly, 13 feet were added in length to 
the north end, and the old fashioned square 
pews were taken down, and replaced by modern 
slips. The number of pews under the new 
arrangement was 74. 

In 1844, the numbers attending worship 


with this church, had so increased, that it again 
became necessary to enharge the accommoda- 
tions. It was therefore concluded to erect a 
new house, of greater dimensions ; which deter- 
mination was immediately carried into effect. 
This new church edifice is a very beautiful 
specimen of architecture. The length cf the 
body of the house is 78 feet; the extreme 
length, including the piazza for the colonnade, 
is 91 feet, and its breadth is 62 feet. The 
height from the ground to a heavy projecting 
jet work, is 39 feet. The front elevation of 
the house is strikingly beautiful ; from a gran- 
ite base arise four Grecian Doric columns, 32 
feet in height, and 4J in diameter at the base, 
supporting a heavy corresponding pediment ; 
above this, from the roof rises a lofty steeple, 
of accurate proportions, the whole height of 
which from the ground is 130 feet. The build- 
ing contains 132 pews en the lower floor, be- 
sides commodious galleries around three sides; 
and there is a basement story lOh feet in height. 
The ceiling of the audience room is panneled 
and arched ; which, together with the walls, 
are painted in Fresco, which gives a very plea- 
sing; and elegant effect. The interior arrange- 
ments, size, and general appearance of this 
building, place it in the front rank of New 
England churches. Its present church mem- 
bers are 231. 

The next in order of time, in its organiza- 
tion, is 


St. Mark's Ciiukch. — For many years there 
had been several individuals and families resi- 
ding in Warren and its vicinity, strongly at- 
tached to the Episcopal church, a part of whom 
attended worship at St. Michael's, Bristol. Mr. 
John Luther, a highly respectable citizen, gave 
by will, dated June 14, 1762, a lot of land for 
the erection of an Episcopal church, which 
land, however, afterwards became converted to 
another use. 

The first Episcopal minister that ever 
preached in Warren, within the mem.ory of the 
present inhabitants, was Rev. Mr. Henshaw, 
the present Bishop of the Diocese, in 1812, 
then a young man in Deacon's orders, and pur- 
suing his theological studies at Bristol, under 
the care of the late venerable Bishop Griswold. 
A desire was then expressed, by several influ- 
ential individuals, that an Episcopal Church 
might be established in the town ; but the war 
with England existing at that time, caused so 
great a depression in the business prosperity of 
the town, that the project was, for the time, re- 
linquished. In the autumn of 1828, the Rev. 
John Bristed commenced holding church ser- 
vice in Cole's hall, on Sunday afternoons; the 
Bishop expressed his approbation, and preached 
the first sermon. 

In November of the same year, a church 
was organized, under the name and title of St. 
Mark's Church, Warren. During the follow- 
ing January session of the General Assembly, 


a charter was obtained. The following per- 
sons composed the first Wardens and Vestry : 

Wardens. — Geo. Pearse and Geo. Monroe. 

Vestrymen. — Freeborn Sisson, William 
Carr, William Collins, John Stockford, Na- 
thaniel Phillips, William Turner, Seth Peck, 
John Pearse, Amasa Humphrey, Charles Whea- 
ton, and John R. Wheaton. 

In 1829, the Church and Society erected, 
(with the exception of about 8800, obtained 
through the agency of Rev. Mr. Bristed, from 
abroad,) a neat and handsome church. This 
building, standing in the centre of a spacious 
quadrangular lot, bounded on three sides by 
public streets, and with its full Ionic front, is 
justly considered an ornament to the town ; it 
was completely furnished, and provided with a 
small organ, the first ever introduced into War- 
ren, The church was consecrated by the Rt. 
Rev. Bishop Griswold, on the 15th July, 1830, 
and Rev. G. W. Hathaway appointed Rector. 

In 1834, the congregation had so enlarged, 
that it was found necessary to add eighteen feet 
to the body of the church, affording room for 
twenty-four additional pews ; at the same time 
a projection of ten feet was added for a vestry 
room. The length of the body of the building 
is eighty feet ; the extreme length, including 
the vestibule and vestry, is one hundred feet, 
and it is forty-two feet in breadth. In 1836, 
the present powerful organ was set up, at a cost, 
including additions since inade, of over two 

,. J 


llioiisand dollars. In 1839, the present bell, 
(two previous bells having been broken,) weigh- 
ing above 1900 pounds, was put up, and the 
interior of the church has lately been elegantly 
finished and painted in Fresco. 

The whole cost of the church and furniture 
has been about ten thousand dollars. 

The chur:-.h commenced with only one com- 
municant belonging to the town, and two others 
in the vicinity ; since then, under the success- 
ful instrumentality of the present and only Rec- 
tor, two hundred and thirteen have been added ; 
the present number being one hundred and fif- 
ty. One hundred and eighty-nine have been 
confirmed, and two hundred and thirty-eight 
have been baptized. Four of those admitted 
to the communion have been ordained to the 
ministry; and one female communicant dedica- 
ted herself to the Foreign Missionary work, 
and became a victim to the deadly climate of 
Africa. Connected with the church, is St. 
Mark's Parish ScJiool, which was established 
by a vote of the corporation of St. Mark's 
church, in 1845. It is designed more particu- 
larly for the accommodation of the families of 
the parish ; though it is open to all who may 
wish to avail themselves of its advantages. 

A new and commodious house, nearly oppo- 
site the church, has been purchased, and fitted 
lip for its acconmiodation. The school is under 
the special supervision and direction of the 


Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of the church , 
and is desighed to be made equal to the best 
schools in the country. Instruction is given 
in all the branches of an ordinary classical and 
ornamental education. 

The instructors are Mr. Henry W. Pearse, 
Principal; Miss Sarah Collins, Miss Ann Fran- 
ces Andrews, and Miss Elizabeth Burr. 

Having described these churches and the 
Parish School connected with the latter, we next 
present an account of the other public institu- 

The Ladies' SeminaPvY. — This 
flourishing Institution for the education of young 
ladies, is pleasantly situated at the north end of 
the town, a little removed from the midst of the 
village. The seminary building is a large and 
commodious house of three stories in height, is 
forty-six feet in front, and including an exten- 
sion of the rear, is seventy-eight feet in length. 
There is attached a large garden and play- 
ground, for the convenience of physical exer- 
cise. The property is owned by several gen- 
tlemen of the town, who have generously 
devoted its income to the cause of a liberal 
education. The present Trustees of the Insti- 
tution are the following named gentlemen : — 
S. P. Child, H. li. Luther, C. Richmond, jun. 
Esqrs. and Rev. J. P. Tustin. 

The school first commenced in May, 1834, 
under the tuition of Robert A. Coffin, A. M. 
assisted by Mrs. Coffin and three other ladies,. 

in the several departments of instruction. Mr. 
Coffin retained the charge till January 1, 1838. 
The present high degree of prosperity of this 
seminary has been attained by the indefatigable 
labors of A. M. Gammeil, M. A., who for the 
last four years has presided over its interests, 
assisted by Miss Mary A. Reed, Miss Rebecca 
W. Gammeil, Miss Mary A. Barry, and Miss 
Sarah H. Walker. The average number 
'of pupds is about 70. There are connect- 
ed with the Seminary an extensive chem.ical 
and philosophical apparatus, a library of well 
selected volumes, and a large cabinet of shells, 
minerals and other illustrations of natural sci- 
ence. — This Seminary is believed to offer the 
best facilities for female education. 

Among the other Institutions of the town, 
riTe the following : Eleven Private schools, em- 
bracinor about 300 scholars in average attend- 
ance, and three Public schools, with an average 
attendance of about 230 scholars. 

The Warren Lyceum, commenced as a de- 
bating society by the name of the Social Club, 
in March, 18*29, and was incorporated in 1831. 
In 1844, by act of the General Assembly, the 
name was changed to Warren Lyceum. — 
It now consists of upwards of one hundred 
members, and possesses a library of 700 vol- 
umes. During the v/inter season, it sustains a 
series of popular lectures. 

The Philanthropic Society of Warren^ form- 
ed for the common benefit of widows and or • 


phms of its (biisassd niGnibors, was instituted 
January, 1794, and was incorporated February, 
1799. The capital stock of this Society inves- 
ted in 1845, is 83400. It has about ninety 
members who are at present living. 

The Washington Lodge of Free Masons, 
was instituted in 1798, and incorporated by 
act of General Assembly in the following year. 
A Royal Arch Chapter was authorized by n 
dispensation, on the 8th of February, 1809. 
The number of Masons connected with the 
Lodge at the present time, is fifty-six. 

The Amity Lodge No. 6, of the Lidependent 
Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted October 
10, 1844, and now consists of fifty members. 

T/i3 Warren Ba,nk, was chartered in 1803, 
with a capital of $135,000; shares 850 each. 

The Hope Bank, was chartered in 182-2^ 
with a capital of 8120,000 ; shares 8100 each. 
In the active business of Warren, there la 
invested, in 1845, about, 

8500,000 in the Whale Fishery, 
$200,000 in Foreign Trade, 
8100,000 in Domestic Trade, 
8100,000 in Manufactures. 

The Burial Places belonging to Warren, in 
consequence of the antiquity of this, and the 
surrounding settlements, are objects of consid- 
erable historical interest, mainly in consequence 
of their being the resting place of several per- 
sons distinguished for the part they acted ia. 



the scenes of former generations. These Burial 
Places will be noticed in the order in which they 
were first used for the purposes of sepulture. 

1. The Burial Place upon New-Meadow 
Neck, was at one period within the limits of 
Warren, and is one of the most ancient grounds 
in this vicinity. The earliest inscription in it, 
is upon the stone that records the decease of 
Frances Low, in June, 1702, aged 70 ; but 
there are nearly an hundred graves, evidently 
of a more ancient date; many of them are 
nearly obliterated and are marked only by two 
rough stones without inscriptions. As this 
neighborhood was settled upon by the English, 
about the year 1670, it is probable that the 
ground was commenced as a burial place at, 
or near that time. 

It is somewhat remarkable that there are but 
few monumental inscriptions, in New-England 
of a date previous to the year 1700. Even at 
Plymouth there are only some six ; the earliest 
of which is dated 1681, and the others respec- 
tively, 1684, 1687, 1691, 1697 and 1699. The 
100 unknown graves at New-Meadow Neck 
are doubtless those of the first settlers, in this 
vicinity. One of them is without doubt, the 
resting place of Rev. John Miles, the first 
minister of Swanzea ; another that of the first 
Hugh Cole. 

Of those whose names arc inscribed, we 
have already noticed the grave of Rev. John 


Callender's aunt in this ground. There is one 
other that we shall notice, who deceased when 
that territory constituted a part of Warren. The 
inscription upon the grave-stone is as follows : — 
"Mrs. Desire Kent, w do of Mr. Samuel Kent, 
of Barrington, was the first English woman's 
grandaughter, [born] on New England, died Feb. 
ye 8th, A. D. 1762, aged about 94 years." 

We learn from her descendants, that she was 
the grand-daughter of Mary Chilton, the first 
person of the Mayflower's passengers who 
stepped upon Plymouth Rock. Mary Chilton 
was married to John Winslow, the brother of 
Gov. Edward ; their daughter, Sarah Winslow, 
was married to Edward Gray; their daughter. 
Desire Gray, is the Desire Kent above named. 

2. The Second Burial Ground used in this 
vicinity, was on the Kikemuet river. The old- 
est inscription in it is that of John Luther, who 
died April 14, 1697, aged 34 ; and it is proba- 
ble that the ground was commenced to be used 
about that time. 

In this ground is buried one of the Governors 
of this State, — the Hon. Josias Lyndon; he 
married Mary Carr, a near relative of the an- 
cestors of the families of that name, now resi- 
ding in Warren. When the British took pos- 
session of the island of Rhode-Island, Gov. 
Lyndon fled with his family to Warren. The 
leading events in his life are alluded to in the 
inscription upon his tomb stone, which is as 
follows : 


"lu Memory of the Hon. Josias Lyndon, Esq. 
He was born in Newport, on Rhode Island, on the 
10th of Blarch, A. D. 1704, and received a good 
education in early life. In the year 1730, he was 
chosen Clerk of the Lower House of Assembly, 
and of the Inferior Court of the County of New- 
port, and continued so with great applause, with 
the intermission of only two years, until his death. 
In the year 17(18, to put an end to the violence of 
party rage, he was prevailed on to accept the place 
of Governor, which he filled with Reputation. 

He died of tlie Small Pox, at Warren, on the 
30th of March, 1778. 

His manners gentle, and innocent his life, 
His faitli was firm on Revelation built ; 
His parts were solid, in usefulness he shin'd, 
His life was long filled up witli doing good." 

3. The Warren North Burial Ground is 
located within the village. A grave stone in it 
has the following record ; '' John, son of Mr. 
John Thurber and Ruth his wife ; he died July 
19, 1773, aged 1 year, 3 months, and 10 days : 
The first that was buried in this Burying 

Upon another stone is this inscription : " In 
memory of Mrs. Lillis, the wife of Ebenezer 
Cole, Esq., who departed this life March 8, A. 
D. 1775, aged sixty years. This is the second 
person buried in this ground." 

A monument in this ground commemorates 
the name of Nicholas Campbell, who was born 
in the island of Malta, Dec. 24, 1732; he came 
to this country previous to the Revolution, and 


was one of the number who threw the tea over- 
board in Boston harbor, in 1773. 

He discharcred the duties of a ^ood citizen, 
and was highly respected; he accumulated 
property by industry and upright dealing, and 
at his death, (which occurred in his 97th year, 
on July 21, 1829) he left by will about $5000, 
as follows ; " My will is that the residue of my 
estate shall be by my Executors placed in some 
public funds, the interest whereof to be appro- 
priated to the schooling of indigent children, 
i)oth male and female, of the Town of Warren, 
and for other charitable purposes." 

He then directed that the above fund should 
be managed, in perpetimm, by his three execu- 
tors, on the demise of one of whom, the survi- 
vors were to appoint another in his place, and 
so on forever. 

4. The Warren South Burial Ground is 
established upon the modern plan, of making 
the resting-place of the dead an attractive re- 
sort to the living. 

The proprietors of this ground, now number- 
ing one hundred and thirteen, obtained a charter 
of incorporation in 1840. They purchased a 
piece of land, measuring over seven acres, and 
laid out about one half of it in 256 lots, of 16 
feet square each, with avenues and alleys run- 
ning at right angles with each other. 

The nine avenues leading North and South 
are named alphabetically from A to I, commen- 



cing on the west ; and the lots in each avenue 
are numbered from 1 to 32, commencing at the 
north end, and alternating from side to side. 

A Receiving Tomb was built the same year, 
at a cost of $350. 

The monument standing about two rods 
northwest of the Receiving Tomb, is upon the 
first grave made in this cemetery ; it was made 
on the 27th of Feb. 1840. 

The affairs of the corporation are managed 
by a board of trustees ; and its plan requires 
that all funds received from the sale of lots, 
shall be expended upon the premises ; any per- 
son purchasing a lot becomes thereby a mem- 
ber of the corporation, but a lot can qualify for 
membership only one person. On the demise 
of a member, the lot left by him must contain 
250 square feet unoccupied, to qualify an heir 
or successor as a member ; and if there is 
more than one heir, the trustees are to decide 
who of them is to represent the lot in the cor- 

The trustees can prosecute individuals for 
misdemeanor and trespass, and the members 
are competent witnesses in such suits. 

In concluding this historical sketch of War- 
ren, it is proper to remark, that allusions to the 


recent affairs of the town have been purpose- 
ly avoided, for the reason that it does not be- 
long to the plan of this work so much to make 
a formal record of events familiar to the public, 
as it has been to disclose the sources of our 
past history. The materials for continuing the 
present and future history of the town will 
doubtless be preserved and easily obtained at 
any time hereafter, when they may be needed. 
In the notices given in the first part of this 
treatise, of the earliest visits of foreigners to 
this vicinity, the assertion was made that the 
voyage of Verrazanno to Narragansett Bay, 
was the first ever made by white or civilized 
man to any portion of Rhode-Island. The 
writer has given due attention to the accounts 
of the alledged Ante-Columbian voyages of the 
Northmen to this country, and especially to 
those portions of their voyages which are sup- 
posed to refer to their passing in A. D. 1002 
and 1008, through the east passage of Narra- 
gansett Bay to Mount Hope Bay. He is fully 
convinced that more historical light is requi- 
site to ascertain the precise localities visited by 
them. It is obvious that the positive disagree- 
ments in these narratives completely outnum- 
ber and outweigh those parts of their descrip- 
tions which are in the least applicable to facts, 
as they are known by us. A ^ew extracts will 
serve as specimens, to show that their state- 
ments are at variance with the conclusions at- 
tempted to be drawn from them. 


These narratives, as publislied by Professor 
Rafn, say that the Northmen " sailed south- 
wards, and arrived at a place M-here a river 
falls into the sea from a lake. Opposite to the 
mouth of the river, were large islands. They 
steered into the lake, and called the place 
Hop." This description, it is asserted, refers 
to a visit made by the Northmen to Mount 
Hope Bay, through the eastern or Seaconnet 
passage. But there are no islands '' opposite 
to the mouth" of that passage. Professor Rafn 
liimself says that " Hop'' in the Icelandic lan- 
guage, means a small bay, or the land around 
it. Of course it does not mean hill or mount ; 
and the theory which has supposed the term 
Montaup, as used by the Aborigines, to have 
been first applied by the Northmen to Mount 
Hope, is groundless. 

The narratives state that *' there were no 
houses in the country, but the people dwelt in 
holes and caverns ; — that the people were sal- 
low and ill-looking ; had ugly heads of hair, 
large eyes, and broad cheeks." These accounts 
altogether disagree with the known habits and 
appearance of the aborigines, when visited by 
Verrazanno. The narratives further say that 
" Karlsefne and his company had erected their 
dwelling-houses a little above the bay, and there 
they spent the winter. No snow fell, and the 
cattle found their food in the open fields." It 
is obvious that this account cannot apply to a 


latitude so far north as Rhode-Island. Again f 
the description says, — "the Skrellings, (na- 
tives,) had a sort of war slings ; they elevated 
on a pole a tremendously large ball, almost the 
size of a sheep's stomach ; this they swung 
from the pole upon land over Karlsefne's peo- 
ple, and it descended with a fearful crash. 
This struck terror into the Northmen, and they 
fled along the river." This account is not on- 
ly inapplicable to all the native tribes on the 
American continent, but wears a shade of 
improbability and absurdity, with respect to 
any people. 

Another account represents the Northmen 
as discovering a tribe of men "dressed in 
white." From Mount Hope Bay, it is inferred 
by some writers,* that the Northmen proceeded 
to Massachusetts Bay; and there they saw 
" something at a distance which glittered." 
This account of what they saw, bears such 
strong marks of being fabulous and incredible, 
that it materially vitiates the credibility of the 
whole narrative, and nullifies all the deductions 
which pretend to identify this vicinity with the 
places visited by the Northmen. We give this 
absurd story just as it stands in the narrative. 
The object which " glittered at a distance," 
" was a uniped, who immediately betook him- 
self to the bank of the river where the ship 

* Northmen in New England ; by JosJiua T. Smith. 



lay. Thorwald Eirekson was sitting near the 
helm. The uniped shot an arrow at him. — 
Thorwald died of the wound. The uniped 
subsequently retired. Thorfinn's crew pursued 
him. They presently saw him run into a neigh- 
boring creek. They then returned, and one of 
them sang, 

" Pursue we did, — 
'T is true, no more, 
The uniped, 
Down to the sliore. 
The wondrous man, 
His course quite clear, 
ThrouHi Ocean ran." 



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