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Full text of "Memoirs of the Wilkinson family in America : comprising genealogical and biographical sketches of Lawrance Wilkinson of Providence, R.I., Edward Wilkinson of New Milford, Conn., John Wilkinson of Attleborough, Mass., Daniel Wilkinson of Columbia Co., N.Y. ... and their descendants from 1645-1868"

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"Like leaves on trees the life of man is found. 
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground ; 
Another race the following spring supplies, 
Thev fall successive, and successive rise ; 
So generations in their course decay; 
So flourish these, when those have passed away." 


" People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestry." 





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the United States for the Southern District of Illinois. 


BOUT two hundred and twenty years ago Lawrance 
Wilkinson landed upon the shores of New England. At 
that time America was a howling wilderness with only a few 
openings made by European settlers. Dense forests filled the 
valleys and crowned every hill top, and the wild beasts and the 
wilder savages were the sole occupants of this wide extended 

To leave the comforts and luxuries of the Old World and take 
up an abode in the New, under these circumstances required a 
degree of moral courage and self-denial which only a few possessed ; 
and had not the providence of God brought to bear the sweets of 
social, civil and religious liberty, the now fertile and smiling fields 
of the United States would still have remained the uncleared 
hunting grounds of the Indians. 

But Liberty — " Sound delightful to every human ear," — 
rendered more dear and desirable by the iron heel of oppression 
— opened the gates of the great sea, and forced a passage over 
the mountain wave. Hither came our ancestor, and, at the close 
of the first decade of Roger William's planting at "Mooshaussick" 
at the head of Narrangansett Bay, received with others from the 
hands of this founder of the only soul-liberty colony the world 
ever knew, a quarter right grant of twenty-five acres, where he 
pitched his tent and settled for life. 


The commotions in his native land, the civil strife between 
King and Parliament which had borne him upon its lofty billows 
and plunged him in its lowest depths and bereft him of fortune, of 
King, of home, and all the tender associations that cluster around 
the old hearth stone — drove him from his father-land to seek a 
home in the the wilds of New England. 

To trace his descendants through all the various branches down 
the stream of time to their present homes is the object of this 
work. It has been a labor of years. With the opening and 
peopling of this country we find them scattered abroad from Maine 
to Georgia along the Atlantic coast — from Oregon to California 
along the far off Pacific — from St. Paul to New Orleans along 
the winding Mississippi, and from the Metropolis of our nation 
to the pioneer settlements of the remotest West. Some are sailors 
and dwell upon the ocean wave, others inhabit the islands of the 
sea, and in every mart of commerce the Wilkinson family finds 
its representative. In Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York, 
Albany, Buffalo, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, 
St. Paul, Chicago, New Orleans, London, Paris, Rome, and Sidney 
in Australia they be found. They pass each other as strangers 
on the great thoroughfares and in the crowded streets and the ties 
of consanguinity are not known. 

This book will unfold to them their origin in America, and will 
introduce to their acquaintance a host of relatives hitherto unknown. 
Should it meet the approbation of the families herein registered 
the author will feel compensated ; for it has been a labor of love 
— occupying the time he was laid aside by disease of the throat 
from the arduous duties of the pulpit. The work is not designed 
for public, but private circulation. A record of our own people 
— their acts and reminiscenses — a family record; — it comes a 
souvenir to those who welcome it — and while it rescues from 
oblivion the names and deeds of our ancestors, and preserves their 
memories ever green in the hearts of the succeeding generations 
of the great family, may it prove an incentive to the youth of the 


coming generations to do nothing to tarnish the fair fame of their 
worthy sires — 

" Lives of gmd men all remind us 

We mav make our lives sublime, 
And departing leave behind us 

Footprints on the sands Oi time — 
Footprints that perhaps another 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 

Seeing, shall take heart again." 

Patriotism is a prominent trait of the family. They have 
been in every strife for the national existence from the earliest 
days to the present time. In King Phillip's War, 1675 — in the 
French and Indian War, 1755 — in the War of 18 12 — and in 
the Great Rebellion of 1861- — they shouldered the musket, or 
girded on the sword and fought for freedom, independence, and 
for the preservation of the Union. This roll of honor it has 
been our design to preserve, and also, to give place to the religious 
element. In the early days of the Colony it was more prominent 
than in modern times, but it is far from being extinct at the present 
day. The influence of the fathers is still felt. 

" And let us hope as well we can. 
That the Silent Angel who garners man 
May find some grain as of old he found, 
In the human cornfield ripe and sound. 
And the Lord of the Harvest deign to own 
The precious seed by the fathers sown." 

The other families mentioned in this work are traced as far 
back as the memory and records of the living members are able 
to furnish. I have no doubt a more careful and extensive research 
would connect the descendants of "Widow" Wilkinson and 
Lewis Wilkinson of New Milford, Conn., with Edward who 
settled there in 1645, and was one of the original planters of that 

town; and the descendants of Wilkinson of Roxbury and 

Wrentham, Mass., father of Joseph, Oliver and David, is 
undoubtedly descended from John Wilkinson of Attleborough, 

The remaining families are of more recent date in America, 
and consequently more complete. 


Those unacquainted with genealogical researches can form no 
adequate idea of the amount of labor required to collect and 
arrange the statistics and materials of the biography of the numerous 
descendants of early settlers of our country during a period of 
two hundred and twenty years. The examination of town, county 
and state records — old wills, deeds and inventories — city cemeteries 
and country graveyards — histories and libraries ; — and the labor 
of an extensive correspondence, which labor is greatly increased 
by the delay of some, and the refusal of others to furnish the 
desired information — all require great patience and perseverance, 
and an expenditure of time and money for which no adequate 
remuneration can be expected. The compiler has spared no pains 
nor expense to secure thoroughness and accuracy, but the conflicting 
statements obtained from different members of the same family — 
different dates for the same event found in records and even upon 
tombstones, warn him that perfect accuracy is impossible. In a 
few instances the memory of living persons was the best and only 
evidence that could be obtained, there being no record of births 
or deaths in existence— such may prove fallacious ; but in the 
main the work is as reliable as other works of the kind. 

In the words of another I conclude by saying: — 

" If any do not find so full an account of themselves and families 
as was anticipated, it is because no more was furnished. Justice 
demanded that subscribers and their families should have the 
largest space consistent with the plan of the work, but this will be 
no cause of complaint from those who have manifested no interest 
in its publication." AUTHOR. 

Jacksonville, February., 1869. 




HODE ISLAND was settled bv Roger Williams, a native 
of Wales, who was born 1598, and was liberally educated 
under the patronage of Sir Edward Coke. He embarked for 
America, Feb. 5, 1631, and went to Salem to preach in connexion 
with Rev. Mr. Skelton. His favorite theme was liberty of 
conscience in religious matters, and that civil magistrates as such 
have no power in the church, and that Christians as such are 
subject to no laws or control, but those of King Jesus. These 
doctrines offended the rulers of Massachusetts Colony, and he 
was banished by sentence of their court. In the winter of 1636, 
he came to Seacunck, now Seekonk, and began his plantation, but 
was ordered away by the Governor, as being still within the limits 
of their jurisdiction. He departed thence, and crossed the river, 
and stopped near a spring, which is called Roger Williams' Spring 
to this day. Here he began to build, and, in recognition of God's 
merciful care, gave the name of Providence to his settlement. 

He had previously married Mary , and their family is as 

follows : 

Roger Williams, | 

Mary . / 

I. Mary, b. Aug. 1^331 d. 1699. 

II. Freeborn, b. Oct. 1635, d. 

in. Providence, b. 1638, d. 1685. 

IV. Mercy, b. July 16, 1640, d. 


V. Daniel, b. Yeh. 15, 1642, d. May 14, 1712, 

VI. Joseph, b. Dec. 1643. d. Aug. 17, 1724. 

I. Mary was born in Plymouth, Mass., m. John Sayles about 
1650, r. at Providence, and had (i) Marie, b. July 11, 1652; 
(2) John, b. Aug. 17, 1654; (3) Nancy, m. Wm. Greene, b, 
March 6, 1652, son of John and grandson of John, the first 
settler of Warwick, R. I.; (4) Phebe, m. Job Greene, b. Aug. 
27, 1656, brother of William; (5) Elinor, m, Richard Greene, 
b. Feb. 8, 1660, brother of William. These Greenes were 
ancestors of Gen. Greene of Revolutionary fame. 

II. Freeborn was b. in Salem, Mass., m, first Thomas Hart, 
r. Newport ; had (i) Mary, m. Gov. Samuel Cranston of Newport, 
R. I. She was buried by the side of her mother in the Clifton 
Cemetery at N. Freeborn, m. second Gov. Walter Clark, of 
Newport. Samuel Cranston was Governor of R. I. 29 years. 

III. Providence, b. in Providence, never m., died in Newport. 

IV. Mercy, b. in Providence, m. first Resolved Waterman, 
and had (i) Richard, (2) John, (3) Resolved, (4) Mary, (5) Waite -, 
second Samuel Winsor, and had, (6) Samuel, (7) Joshua, (8) 
Hannah; third John Rhodes, and had (9) William, (10) John. 
She r. Providence. 

V. Daniel, b. in Providence, where he always resided; m. 
Rebecca Power, daughter of Zachary Rhodes of Pawtuxet, and 
had (i) Daniel, (2) Peleg, (3) Roger, (4) Joseph, (5) Providence. 
Daniel's son Roger was b. May, 1 680, d. in Scituate, Jan. 30, 
1763; his daughter Rebekah b. April 20, 1735, m. David 
Thayer — his daughter Mrs. (Patrick) Harriet Brown — her daughter 
Augusta m. John Carter Brown, of the house of " Brown & 
Ives," Providence. 

VI. Joseph, b. in Providence and always lived there, m. Lydia 
Olney, daughter of Rev. Thomas Olney. She died Sep. 9, 1 724. 
Their children were (i) Thomas, b. Feb. 16, 1671, m. first 
Mary Blackman. She d. July i, 171 7. Second Hannah Sprague, 
and had Joseph, Thomas, John, and Abigail, (2) Joseph b. 


Nov. 10, 1673, m. Lvdia Harrington, (3) Mary b. June, 1676, 
(4) James b. Sept. 20, 1680, (5) Lydia b. April 26, 1683. 

Joseph Williams and Lydia Harrington had the following 
children i, Mercy m. William Randall; 2, Jeremiah m, Abigail 
Mathewson, d. April 13, 1789; 3, Mary m. Francis Atwood j 
4, Lydia m, Joseph Randall; 5, Martha m. John Randall; 6, 
Patience m. Samuel Dyer ; 7, Meribah m. Jabez Brown ; 8, 
Jemima m. Benjamin Potter; 9, Barbary m. Benjamin Congdon ; 
10, Freelove m. John Dyer, she died April, 1775. 

Jeremiah Williams and Abigail Mathewson were married 
Dec. 24, 1735, and had i, Andrew m. Lydia Mathewson; 2, 
Jeremiah, m. Bethia Williams ; 3, Joseph m. Hannah Paine ; 
4, Zachariah m. Lydia Williams; 5, Nathan m. Sarah Hoyle ; 
6, Mathewson d. July 29, 1773; 7, Caleb m. first Tabitha 
Fenner, second Amev Dean ; 8, Huldah, m. first Zephania 
Randall, second Andrew Knight; 9, Abigail m. Wm. Spencer; 
10, Sally m. Arthur Latham; 11, Freelove m. Chad Brown. 

Andrew Williams and Lydia Mathewson had i, Andrew m. 
a Spencer ; 2, Henry m. an Earle ; 3, Mathewson m. first 
Mary Greene, second Theresa Larned ; 4, Rhody m. John 
Searle ; 5, Elsie ; 6, Abigail m. first Geo. Lindley, second a 

Mathewson Williams and Mary Greene had one son, i, 
William Greene, m. first Maria Earle, second Sarah A.nn Blinn ; 
bv his second wife, Theresa Larned, had 2, Mathewson ; 3, 
Lydia; 4, Sarah; 5, Thomas; 6, Charles. 

Wm. G. Williams m. ist. Maria Earle, and had i. Geo. 
E. ; 2, Charles W. ; 3, Martha E. By his 2d wife Sarah Ann 
Blinn ; had 4, Ann L., m. Stephen Greene, and they have Stephen 
and Louisa; 5, Sarah A. B.; 6, Martha; 7, Frederick W. 

The above sketch of Roger William's family was furnished 

the author through Stephen Randall by Wm. G. Williams of 

Providence, his family being the eighth generation in the lineal 

descent from the founder of R. L, through Joseph, his youngest son. 



Roger Williams' family increased rapidly in the early days of 
the Colony. Gov. Stephen Hopkins says his descendants amounted 
to 2000, as early as 1 770. An attempt has been made to disparage 
the character of Roger Williams, but the Rev. Mr. Callender in 
his Century Sermon says,' " He appears by the whole tenor of his 
life to have been one of the most disinterested men that ever lived, 
and a most pious and heavenly minded soul." Gov. Hutchinson 
says, "Instead of showing any revengeful temper or resentment, 
he was continually employed in acts of kindness and benevolence 
to his enemies." Gov. Hopkins again remarks, that " Roger 
Williams justly claimed the honor of being the first legislator in 
the world that fully and effectually provided for, and established 
a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience." In the terse 
language of Williams, himself, we learn his object in founding a 
Colony : " I desired " said he, " It might be for a shelter for persons 
distressed for conscience."* He was scrupulously careful that 
neither man nor woman, Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic, 
Presbyterian or Quaker, should be molestfed for opinion's sake. 

For about fifty (47) years he lived in Providence, and in 1683 — 
being 85 years of age — he died, and was buried on his own lot 
(No. 38) between Benefit and North Main Streets, near the 
spring which still bears his name. His house stood on the east 
side of North Main St., and his family burial ground was just in 
the rear of the carriage house of Sullivan Dorr. For many years 
his grave was forgotten, and could not be identified — the mounds 
having become leveled with the surrounding earth and covered 
with green sward. Z. Allen, Esq., in his " Memorial of Roger 
Williams," says: "Historical records state that the death of 
Roger Williams occurred in the year 1683, and that he was buried 
with martial honors. The smoke of the musketry, temporarily 
hovering in the air over his grave, formed as permanent a mark 
of respect as was ever bestowed to honor it. Not even a rough 
stone was set up to designate the spot." 

* I. Backus, Ch. Hist. 94. i. Bancroft's Hist. U. S. 379. 


In 1 77 1, a special committee was appointed to ascertain the 
spot where he was buried, and to draft an inscription for the 
monument, which was voted to be erected "over the grave of the 
founder of this town and Colony." At that time — ninety years 
after his burial — the locality of his grave was known. The 
Revolutionary war prevented the erection of this monument. In 
Knowles' "Memoir of Roger Williams" is quoted the following 
statement of Captain Packard made about 1808: "When Capt. 
P. was about ten years old, one of the descendants of Roger 
Williams was buried at the family burial ground on the lot right 
back of the house of Sullivan Dorr, Esq. Those who dug the 
grave, dug directly upon the foot of a coffin, which the people there 
present told him was that of Roger Williams. They let him 
down into the new grave, and he saw the bones in the coffin, 
which was not wholly decayed, and the bones had a long mossy 
substance upon them." 

Mr. Allen continues — "after a lapse of 177 years of oblivious 
neglect, the researches for the identification of the grave were 
finally commenced on the 22d day of March, i860, in the 
presence of several gentlemen, who were invited to witness the 
process of the disinterment. The assistance of two experienced 
superintendents of the public burial grounds was obtained to direct 
carefully the researches. Pointed iron rods were procured for 
piercing through the green sward, to ascertain where the texture 
of the subsoil might be rendered loose by former excavations, and 
suitable boxes were prepared to receive the exhumed remains. 

The first preliminary operation was the stripping off the turf 
from the surface of the ground occupied by the graves, all comprised 
within less than one square rod. The green sward covering the 
sloping hillside presented to view a nearly uniform surface. After 
the removal of the turf and loam, down to the hard surface of 
the subsoil, the outlines of seven graves became manifest, the 
three uppermost on the hillside being those of children, and the 
four lower ones, those of adults. 


It was immediately discovered that two of the latter adjoined 
each other, thus showing in accordance with the testimony of 
Capt, Packard, that when the last one of the two was dug, the 
end of the coffin contained in the other must have been laid open 
to view. This proximity is delineated on the plat of the land 
which Stephen Randall has caused to be made to exhibit the 
relative positions of the graves. 

The utmost care was taken in scraping away the earth from the 
bottom of the grave of Roger Williams. Not a vestige of any 
bone was discoverable, nor even of the lime dust which usually 
remains after the gelatinous part of the bone is decomposed. So 
completely had disappeared all the earthly remains of the founder 
of the State of Rhode Island, in the commingled mass of black, 
crumbled slate stone and shale, that they did not Meave a wreck 
behind.' By chemical laws, we learn that all flesh, and the 
gelatinous matter giving consistency to the bones, become finally 
resolved into carbonic acid gas, water and air, but the solid lime 
dust of the decomposed bones was here doubtlessly absorbed by 
roots, or commingled with the earth in the bottom of the grave, 
being literally the ashes of the dead. 

On looking down into the pit whilst the sextons were clearing 
it of earth, the root of an adjacent apple tree was discovered. 
This tree had pushed downwards one of its main roots in a 
sloping direction, and nearly straight course towards the precise 
spot that had been occupied by the skull of Roger Williams. 
There making a turn conforming with its circumference, the root 
followed the direction of the backbone to the hips, and thence 
divided into two branches, each one following a leg bone to the 
heel, where they both turned upwards to the extremities of the 
toes of the skeleton. One of the roots formed a slight crook at 
the part occupied by the knee joint, thus producing an increased 
resemblance to the outlines of the skeleton of Roger Williams, 
as if, indeed, moulded thereto by the powers of vegetable life. 
This singularly formed root has been carefully preserved, as 


constituting a very impressive exemplification of the mode in 
which the contents of the grave had been entirely absorbed. 
Apparently not sated with banqueting on the remains found in one 
grave, the same roots extended themselves into the next adjoining 
one, pervading every part of it with a net-work of voracious fibers 
in their thorough search for every particle of nutricious matter in 
the form of phosphate of lime and other organic elements 
constituting the bones. At the time the tree was planted, all the 
fleshy parts of the body had doubtlessly been decomposed and 
dispersed in gaseous forms, and there was then left only enough 
of the principal bones to serve for the roots to follow along from 
one extremity of the skeleton to the other in a continuous course, 
to glean up the scanty remains. Had there been other organic 
matter present in quantity, there would have been found divergent 
branches of roots to envelope and absorb it. This may serve to 
explain the singular formation of the roots in the shape of the 
principal bones of the human skeleton. 

" The entire disappearance of every vestige of the mortal 
remains of Roger Williams, teaches after his death an impressive 
lesson of the actual physical resurrection of them, by ever-acting 
natural causes, into renewed states of existence constituting a 
physical victory over the grave, as his precepts and example, 
before his death, have taught the greatej moral \ictory of the 
christian faith over worldly oppression." 

To Stephen Randall belongs the credit of inaugurating measures 
for erecting a monument to his memory — to be built of granite 
on Prospect Hill — 200 feet in height. Money has been deposited, 
and the founder of Rhode Island, will soon be honored with an 
appropriate testimonial of an appreciating posterity. 


HE first six white persons who came to Providence were: 

1. Roger Williams, 

2. William Harris, 

3. John Smith, (miller.) 

4. Joshua Verin, 

5. Thomas Angell, 

6. Francis Wickes. 

Angell and Wickes had not yet arrived at their majority. They 
came from Seekonk, where they had wintered and crossed over 
East river in the spring or summer of 1636, before the month of 
July, they being then at Providence. The Indian name of the 
land was Ashocomack. The party first landed on a rock within 
a little cove north of India Point, and were greeted with the 
welcome word "What cheer," or "Wat cheer," as the natives 
pronounced it. Thev then went round Fox Point in their little 
canoe,* and up the river as tradition has uniformly stated it, to 
a spring, southwest of where the Episcopal Church now stands, 
and at which spot, Moses Brown says, a brick house was built by 
Nehemiah Dodge about 1823. On this lot, containing six acres, 
Roger Williams afterwards built his house. This house was 
also held by his grandson Roger Williams, the son of Daniel 
Williams, when Benefit Street (or Back Street) was first laid out 
in 1748. It was afterwards owned by Col. Jabez Bowen, and 
was never owned by the Crawfords as some have asserted. These 

* See New American Cyclopedia, in loc. art. Rhode Island. 


first settlers had each a lot of five (now six) acres, extending from 
the river on the west to the lane on the east end, between them 
and the lot on which the Friends' Boarding School is built, and 
extending down southward, east of the college to Tockwotton — 
now called India Point. Each man was required bv special order 
of the town as the old records show, to fence his lot, and as stones 
were plentv thev had no trouble in erecting walls which are visible 
at the present dav. 

It appears the first settlers of Providence laid out their lots 
with a frontage on King's Street, the present North and South 
Alain Streets from Harrington's Lane to Wickendcn Street, and 
extended back to Hope Street. The lots on the west side of 
North and South Alain Streets were reserved for warehouses and 
wharves, generallv comprising two lots of forty feet each, with a 
gangway on each side for access to the salt water. There were 
great tracts of woodland reserved for the common benefit of 
the original proprietors, designated as "Stated Commons," and 
located in the country west and north of the above described lots, 
which were called "plantations." Hence the name of " Providence 
Plantations," has been retained to this day as the name of this 
State in connection with that of the Colony settled on the adjacent 
island of Rhode Island. 

Roger Williams' lot was No. 38, northward from "Alile End 
Cove " at the south end of the town. This cove disappeared 
years ago. It was between Wickenden Street and Fox Point 
Hill, and a bridge, that crossed the creek communicated with it. 
This bridge is now an underground culvert. Bridge Street 
originally derived its name from it. William Harris' lot was No. 
36 ; John Smith's No. 41 ; Joshua Verin's No. 39. It will be 
seen Williams' and Verin's lands joined. 

Verin did not stay long in the Colony, and the following record 
concerning him explains the reason : " It was agreed that Joshua 
Verin, upon breach of covenant, or restraining liberty of conscience, 
shall be withheld from liberty of Noting till he shall declare the 


contrary." He restrained his wife from attending meeting as 
often as she desired, whereupon Verin removed from the Colony 
as the records show, and would not submit to the order. So 
careful was Williams to allow nothing to undermine this fundamental 
principle of religious liberty in his newly established government. 
The men and rulers of Massachusetts made a great ado over this, 
Verin claimed his lands, and was not deprived of them. 

These six men above named all became proprietors, though 
Wicks and Angell did not receive full shares till they became of 

Roger Williams was on the best of terms with the Indians, and 
obtained a deed of his lands sometime after his settlement, bearing 
date " The 24th of the first month commonly called March, in 
the second year of our plantation or planting at Mooshausick, or 
Providence," 1637. 

The description is as follows : 

"The lands and meadows upon the two fresh rivers called 
Mooshausick and Wanaskatuckett * * from the rivers and 
fields of Pawtuckett ; the great hill of Neoterconkenitt on the 
northwest, and the town of Mashapauge on the west. 

"We do freely give unto him all that land from those rivers 
reaching to Pautuxett river, as also the grass and meadows upon 
Pautuxett river. 

The mark of \ Caunanicus. 
The mark of || Miantinomu." 

This tract was called " Providence," and included the present 
county of Providence and the greater part of Kent. The rivers 
mentioned are described as follows : The Mooshausick rises in 
the town of Smithfield in a small pond west of the Harris Lime 
Rock and flows south and empties into the cove from the north a 
little below the old mill bridge, and is now nothing but a walled 
canal spanned with paved bridges for carriages and railroad cars. 
The Wanaskatuckett rises in what is now called the Stillwater 
reservoir in the west part of Smithfield and runs a southeasterly 
course, and flows into the cove from the west, and upon which 
the Olney Paper Mills, and the Acid Works are now situated. 


The Pawtuckett River rises in Worcester County, Mass., and 
empties into the Narragansett Bay at India Point. The Pawtuxett 
River rises near the Connecticut line and falls into the bay five 
miles below Providence. 

The "fields of Pawtuckett" alluded to in the above description 
are defined as follows in the early records :* " We declare that 
the bounds are limited in our Town Evidence, and by us stated 
about 20 years since, and known to be the river and field of 
Pawtuckett, Sugar Loaf Hill, Bewit's Brow, Observation Rock, 
Absolute Swamp, Orfoord and Hepsis Rock ; and the men that 
were appointed to set it, were Chad Brown, Hugh Bewit, Gregory 
Dexter, William Wickenden." Massachusetts and Connecticut 
were constantly overstepping the boundary line. 

The population of the Colony did not increase very rapidly at 
first. In Sept., 1650, there were but 51 taxable persons above 
sixteen years of age, and in the lOth month, 1684, there were 
IIO; in Aug., 1688, there were 172. This by no means 
included all the people of said colony, for as early as 1674, 
Providence contained 500 souls. 

*i. B3ok of Record;, p. 128, Providenc 


HE first article of agreement, or civil compact made by Roger 
Williams, and recorded is the following. It is copied verbatim 
from the Old Book with brass clasps, page i. The date is on the 
left hand page, and the civil compact on the right hand : 

"August 20, 1637. 
"We whose names are hereunder, desirous to inhabit in the 
town of Providence, do promise to submit ourselves in active and 
passive obedience to all such orders, or agreements as shall be 
made for public good of the body in an orderly way by the major 
consent of the present inhabitants, masters of families, incorporated 
together into a Town fellowship, and others whom they shall 
admit unto them, only in the civil things.* 

Richard Scott, Edward Cope, 

William Reynolds, Thomas Angell, 

Chad Browne, Thomas Harris, 

John Warner, Francis Weeks, 

John Field, Benedick Arnold, 

George Richard, Joshua Winsor." 

William Wickenden, 

Grants of land were made and recorded shortly after to Robert 
Cole, Francis Weston, Richard Waterman. Waterman became 
a distinguished man in the colony, and was chief recorder, or 
clerk for many years. 

"Orders and agreements the second year of the Plantation. 
William Carpenter, Thomas Angell, 

Benedict Arnold, Edward Cope, 

*New Book Transcribed p. i. 
Backus' Ch. Hist, of New England, p. 50. 



William Reynolds, Mary Sweet, 

Mrs. Alice Daniels, (after wife of John Greene). " 
"28th of the twelfth month," William Field was admitted. 
*'iOth of the 4th month (June)," order confirming certain 
grants of land to 

John Greene, John Throckmorton, 

Thomas James, William Arnold, 

Ezekiel Holyman, Stukely Westcott, 

Thomas Hopkins. 
The following instrument over the signature of Roger Williams, 
names the company who were admitted to town fellowship on the 
payment of thirty pounds : 

"Providence, 8th of the 8th month (so called), 1638. 

Memorandum, That I, Roger Williams, having formerly 
purchased of Caunnanicus and Miantinomu this our situation or 
plantation of New Providence, &c., the two fresh rivers of 
Wanasquatuckett and Mooshausick, and the ground and meadows 
thereupon ; in consideration of thirty pounds received from the 
inhabitants of said place, do freely and fully pass, grant, and 
make over equal right and power of enjoying and disposing of the 
same grounds and lands unto my loving friends and neighbours, 
Stukely Westcoat, John Throckmorton, 

William Arnold, William Harris, 

Thomas James, William Carpenter, 

Robert Cole, Thomas Olnev, 

John Greene, Francis Weston, 

Richard Waterman, Ezekiel Holyman, 

and such others as the major part of us shall admit into the same 
fellowship of vote with us : 

As also, I do freely make and pass over equal right and power of 
enjoying and disposing of the lands and grounds reaching from the 
aforesaid rivers unto the great river Pautuxett, with the grass and 
meadows thereupon, which was so lately given and granted by the 
aforesaid Sachems to me; witness my hand, 

Roger Williams." 

Other names to the number of one hundred made up the 

proprietors in what is called "Providence purchase." 


Two prominent principles appear in the above ci\il compact, 
and memorandum. i. The majority rule in political matters. 
2. Supremacy of conscience or religious belief o\er all civil 
enactments ; in other words unrestricted religious liberty. They 
" submitted themselves in active and passive obedience to all 
such orders or agreements as shall be made only in civil things.''^ 
Matters of religious concernment were beyond the reach of laws 
enacted by human beings, and no man need submit to the dictation 
of any other man, or company of men in religion. 

The settlement on the island Aquidneck adopted a similar | 
rule, and the Charter obtained by Roger Williams in 1644, 
united the two plantations of Providence and Newport, or Rhode | 
Island, and granted to the inhabitants " full power and authority to 
rule themselves by such a form of civil government as by voluntary 
consent of all, or the greater part of them, they shall find most 
suitable to their estate and condition." 

It was through the influence of Sir Henry Vane, who had 
been Governor at Boston during the Pequot war, and was greatly 
assisted by Roger Williams in subduing the savages, and who 
was now a member of Parliament, that the Charter was obtained. 
The territory was described as follows: "Bordering northward 
and northeast on the patent of Massachusetts, east and southeast 
on Plymouth patent, south on the ocean, and on the west and 
northwest by the Indian* called the Narragansetts ; the whole tract 
extending about twenty-five miles unto the Pequot River and 
country; to be known by the name of 'The incorporation of 
Providence Plantations in the Narragansett Bayin New England.' " 

The government established under this charter was at first a 
pure democracy. There was a legislative body called a Court of 
Commissioners, consisting of six persons from each town; but 
heir 'acts were subject to repeal by the votes ot the freemen of 
each town. All judicial officers, and officers to manage town 
affairs, were elected by popular suffrage. 

Roger Williams arrived home with this Charter in September, 


1644, but it was not adopted by the Court of Commissioners 
until 1647, '^"'^ ^^^ following are the Presidents and their terms 
of service under this Charter: 

1647, John Coggeshall, 1655-6, Roger Williams, 

1648, Jeremiah Clark, 1657-9, Benedict Arnold, 

1649, John Smith, 1 660-1, William Brinton, 
1650-1, Nicholas Easton, 1662-3, Benedict Arnold. 
1632-4, None. 

Coddington of Newport did not like the Charter, and went to 
England and procured its annulment, and in 1651 returned with 
a commission, erecting the Island of Rhode Island and Canonicut 
into a separate governm.ent. In Nov., 1651, Roger Williams 
and John Clark went to England, and succeeded in getting 
Coddington's commission vacated and the old charter re-established, 
and returning, arrived at Providence early in the summer of 1654. 
At the first general election he was chosen President of the 

The following order copied from the old records will show the 
indifference manifested by the people of Providence in town affairs 
as late as 

"Oct. II, 1657. Ordered, that because of the often and 
present great difficulties of getting ten to make a town meeting,^ 
that if upon lawful warning seven only meet, their meeting shall 
be legal."* 

On the 8th of July, 1663, King Charles II. signed the last 
Charter, and the following are the Governors under that Charter 
down to the Constitution: 

1663, Benedict Arnold, 3 years. 1679, John Cranston, i year. 
1666, William Brinton, 3 " 1680, Peleg Crawford, 3 " 
1669, Benedict Arnold, 3 " 1683, Wm. Coddington, 2 " 
1672, Nicholas Easton, 2 " 1685, Henry Bull, i " 

1674, Wm. Coddington, 2 " 1686, Walter Clark, i " 

■'I Book Records, p. no. 


1676, Walter Clark, i " 1687, None, 

1677, Benedict Arnold, 2 " 1688, " 

This Charter was suspend by Sir Edmond Androse, or Andross . 
Upon its re-instatement the following were elected Governors : 

1689, Henry Bull, i year. 1755, Stephen Hopkins, 2 years. 

1690, John Caston, 5 " ^757? William Greene, i 

1695, Caleb Carr, i " 1758, Stephen Hopkins, 4 

1696, Walter Clark, 2 " 1762, Samuel Ward, i 
1698, Samuel Cranston^ 29 " I7^3> Stephen Hopkins, 2 
1727, Joseph Jenckes, 5 " 1765, Samuel Ward, 2 
1732, William Wanton, 2 " 1767, Stephen Hopkins, i 
1734, John Wanton, 7 " 1768, Josiah Lyndon, I 
1 74 1, Richard Ward, 2 " 1769, Joseph Wanton, 6 
1743, William Greene, 2 " ^775i Nicholas Cook, 2 

1745, Gideon Wanton, i " 177^, William Greene, 7 

1746, William Greene, i " 1786, John Collins, 3 

1747, Gideon Wanton, i " 1790, Arthur Fenner, 15 

1748, William Greene, 7 " 1805, Henry Smith, ^r^'^ I 

1806, Isaac Wilbour, Lt. Gov., i year. 

The following persons served from 1807 to the establishment 
of the Constitution which was occasioned by the Dorr difficulty : 
1807, James Fenner, 3 years. 1831, Lemuel Arnold, 2 years. 
181 1, William Jones, 6 " 1833, John B. Francis, 5 " 
1817, NehemiahKnight,4 " 1838, William Sprague 2 " 
1821, William C.Gibbs, 3 " 1840, Samuel W. King 3 " 
1824, James Fenner, 7 " 1843, James Fenner, 2 " 

The Constitution adopted by the ''Law and Order" party went 
into operation on the first Tuesday in May, 1843. Since then 
the following have been Governors: 

1845, Charles Jackson, i year. 1854, W. W, Hoppin, 3 years. 

1846, Byron Diman, i " 1857, Elisha Dyer, 2 " 

1847, El'sha Harris, 2 " 1859, Thomas G. Turner, 1 " 
1849, Henrv B. Anthony, 2 " i860, William Sprague, 3 " 
1851, Phillip Allen, 3 " 1863, James Y. Smith, 3 " 

1866, Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. 


One fundamental principle has always been adhered to in Rhode 
Island, It is her glory and her boast that no person within her 
jurisdiction was ever legally molested for his religious opinions. 
No act of her legislature can be found compelling conscience, or 
regulating those important concerns which lie between man and 
his Maker. There may be found this among her legislative 
enactments, that " Every man who submits peaceably to civil 
government in this colony shall worship God according to the 
dictates of his own conscience without molestation." And no 
outward pressure which has been brought to bear has ever been 
able to swerve her from this Godlike principle. Her response to 
the surrounding colonies in 1656, who desired her to unite in 
crushing the Quakers, was, "We shall strictly adhere to the 
foundation principle on which this Colonv was first settled." 
Quakers found a safe asylum in Rhode Island. 

Although the smallest State in the Union, yet, she is the parent 
of that principle which underlies our Republic, and which is the 
corner stone of civil and religious liberty. " Roger Williams," 
says Professor Gervinus, in his introduction to the History of the 
Nineteenth Century, "founded in 1636, a small, new society in 
Rhode Island, upon the principles of entire liberty of conscience, 
and the uncontrolled power of the majority in secular concerns. 
The theories of freedom in church and state, taught in the schools 
of philosophy in Europe, were here brought into practice in the 
government of a small community. It was prophesied that the 
democratic attempts to obtain universal suffrage, a general elective 
franchise, annual parliaments, entire religious freedom, and the 
Miltonian right of schism, would be of short duration. But these 
institutions have not only maintained themselves here, but have 
spread over the whole Union. They have superseded the 
aristocratic commencements of Carolina, and of New York, the 
high church party in Virginia, the theocracy in Massachusetts, 
and the monarchy throughout America ; they have given laws to 
one quarter of the globe, and dreaded for their moral influence, 


thev stand in the background of every democratic struggle in 
Europe." Roger Williams' own language expressing this illustrious 
sentiment is that "every man has the absolute right to a full liberty 
in religious eoncernments." The same freedom was allowed in 
politics as in religion. 



HE prevailing religious sentiments in the early days of the 
Colony were those of the Baptists and Quakers. All 
religions were toleratel. The leaders among the Baptists were 
Roger Williams, Chad Brown, William Wickenden, Gregory 
Dexter and Thomas Olney. 

Among the Friends, or Quakers ; George Fox, Richard Scott, 
William Wilkinson, John Burnett, John Stubbs and William 
Edmundson. Here men of every creed lived together happily, 
and those without any religion were not molested. Thither 
persecuted men fled for refuge and found a safe asylum. The 
only weapons used were those of the intellect. Reason, argument, 
truth and free discussions were encouraged. Williams and his 
coadjutors had no fears for the truth. In the contest with error 
she is an over match, for " She is mighty and will prevail," was 
their sentiment. 

" Truth crushed to earth will rise again, 
The eternal weight of years are hers ; 
But error wounded writhes in pain, 
And dies amid her worshippers." 

" Roger Williams," says Bancroft, " had already matured a 
doctrine which secures him an immortality of fame, as its application 
has given religious peace to the American world. A fugitive 
from English persecution, he had revolved the nature of intolerance, 
and had arrived at its only effectual remedy, the sanctity of 
conscience. In soul matters he would have no weapons but soul 
weapons. The civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never 


control opinion ; should punish guilt, but never violate inward 
freedom. The doctrine contained within itself an entire reformation 
of theological jurisprudence ; it would blot from the statute book 
the felony of non-conformity ; would quench the fires that 
persecution had so long kept burning ; would repeal everv law 
compelling attendance on public worship; would abolish tithes 
and all forced contributions to the maintainance of religion ; would 
give an equal protection to every form of religious faith ; and 
never suffer the force of the government to be employed against 
the Dissenter's meeting house, the JewishS ynagogue or the Roman 
Cathedral. 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."* 

He would hold no communion with the Church of England, 
" for " said he, *' the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience 
is most evidently and lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Jesus 
Christ." The magistrates insisted on the presence of every man 
at public worship; Williams reprobated the law; the worst statute 
in the English code was that which did but enforce attendance 
upon the parish church. To compel men to unite with those of 
a different creed, he regarded as an open violation of their natural 
rights ; to drag to public worship the irreligious and the unwilling, 
seemed only like requiring hypocrisy. "An unbelieving soul is 
dead in sin" — such was his argument ; "and to force the indifferent 
from one worship to another, was like shifting a dead man into 
several changes of apparell." "No one should be bound to 
worship, or to maintain worship against his own consent. " 
" What !" exclaimed his antagonists, amazed at his tenets, " is not 
the laborer worthy of his hire?" "Yes," replied he, "from 
them that hire him."f 

*i Bancroft's Hist. U. S., p. 361. 
|i Bancroft's Hist. U. S., p. 370. 



HISTORY of proper names not only affords a very curious 

I chapter for the etymologist, but also, illustrates the progress 
of society and throws much light upon the customs and pursuits 
of departed ages. 

The process of gradual development is visible in names, and 
although it has hitherto been entirely at random, it is to be hoped 
the time is not far distant when more care will be taken in naming 
offspring. It is suggested that every child should have a middle 
name, and that middle name should be the maiden surname of 
the mother. The advantages of this system is apparent to the 
genealogist ; it at once determines the wife's maiden surname, 
and thereby aids materially in tracing family connexion in the 
maternal line. 

Surnames do not antedate A. D. lOOO, and their use is, therefore, 
comparatively a modern custom. They are derived from a variety 
of sources — from occupation, from dignities and offices, from 
personal and moral qualities, from baptismal names, from natural 
objects, from heraldic charges and from traders' signs, from social 
relations, periods of time, age, &c. There are those indicative 
of contempt and ridicule, and others derived from virtues, oaths 
and exclamations. Surnames were originally soubriquets. 

Originally all names were significant, and the Bible gives ample 
proof of this in the signification of the ancient Hebrew names: 

Adam^ signifies earth-man, Moses^ drawn out of the water, 
or red-earth. Elijah^ Jehovah is my God. 


Amasa., a burden. James., a supplanter. 

Israel., a soldier of God ; Simon., hearing with acceptance, 

prevailing with God. Asa., a healer, ph3'sician. 

Laura., a laurel. Hannah., grace. 

Deborah., a bee. Mary^ bitter, star of the sea. 

Abigail., my father's joy. Ke-ziah., cassia. 
Elizabeth., worshipper of God. 
The same is true of names of Greek origin, as : 

George., a land holder. Sophia., wisdom. 

Philip., A lover of horses. Sybil., a prophetess. 

Leonidas., lionlike. Theresa., carrying ears of corn. 

Christopher., bearing Christ. Margaret., a pearl. 

y/r^/7^/tf«^, ruler of the people. Lydia., native of Asia Minor, 

Names of Latin, English and German origin, as: 

Lawrence., crowned with Oliver., an olive tree, 

laurel. Cadivallader., battle arranger. 

Augustus., exalted, imperial. Victoria., victory. 

Lucius., born at break of day. Anthony., priceless. 

William., resolution helmet, Albert., nobly bright, illustrious, 
or helmet of resolution, Florence^ blooming. 

Ada., happiness, rich gift. 

The chief of the Delaware tribe of Indians asked the meaning 
of Col. Sprout's name, he being a man of large stature. On 
being told, a twig, or bud, or sprig, he replied : " No, he is the 
tree itself." 

Schlegel has found among the Hindoos significant names, and 
the names of many other nations, both barbarous and enlightened 
exhibit the same fact. D'Israeli says, *'The Indians of North 
America employ sublime and picturesque names ; such are : 
the Great Eagle, the Patridge, Dawn of the Day, Great Swift 
Arrow, Path Opener, and Sun-Bright ;" and even at the present 
time, " Each-side-of-the-Sky," " Streak-of-Light " and "Horned 
Snake" are coming from the West to see President Grant. 


Whatever may be said of the surnames of other people, the 
English surnames are characterized for their great variety and 
their extraordinary number. The reason of this variety is we 
have borrowed from everything, good and bad. The number is 
incredible. Rev. Mark Noble says a friend of his collected all 
he could find of the letter A, and they amounted to more than 
1500 — some letters of the alphabet have more, some less — by 
estimation there are between 30,000 and 40,000, others place the 
number considerably less. The English author and statistician 
E. J. Vernon estimated the number at one-half the above figures. 

Shakspeare asks, "What's in a name?" W^e answer, much 
every way. A name however insignificant instantly recalls the 
man to our remembrance, his personal appearance, his moral 
qualities, or some remarkable event of his life. How often the 
mere name opens the fountain of a tender parent's tears, suffuses 
the maiden's face with blushes, agitates the heart ; lights with rage 
the eye of an enemy, and awakens the liveliest hopes, fears, 
regrets, and sorrows. There is much in a name, and if the hairs 
of our head are numbered by the omniscient Jehovah, no mortal 
receives his name among men without His cognizance and purpose. 

The meaning of the term surname., according to Dr. Johnson, is 
'"'- The name of family \ the name which one has over and above 
the Christian nam.e." Sire-name, sir-name, and finally, surname, 
as we now use it, indicates the father's name which is perpetuated 
in cAery child born in wedlock. The practice of giving surname, 
as before remarked, came gradually into common use during the 
iith, I2th, 13th and 14th centuries. Different surnames were 
borne by the same person at different times. In 1406, says Lower, 
a man describes himself as William, the son of Adam Emmotson, 
in 141 6 called himself William Emmotson. Another who is 
designated John the son of William, the son of John de Hunshelf, 
appears soon after as John Wilson (or John, Will's son). Other 
names, such as: Willielmus, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Thomas, 
Henson and Magot prevailed about this period. 


"The Romans frequently formed one name from another by 
elongation, as: Constans, Constantius, Constantinus ; a series of 
names exactly parallel to our Wilks, Wilkins, Wilkinson." 

There is no reason to suppose the abbreviated, or nurse name 
implied any disrespect to the persons to whom they were given, or 
that the Dicks and Dicksons were less respectable than the Richards 
or Richardsons of olden time. Mr. Clarencieux says, "Daintie 
was the deuice of my host of Grantham, which would wisely 
make a difference of degrees in persons by the termination of 
names in this word -son^ as between Robertson, Robinson, Robson, 
Hobson, Richardson, Dickson, Dickinson; Wilson, Williamson 
and Wilkinson, as though the one were more worshipfull than the 
other by his degrees of comparison." 

We have said that surnames are derived from baptismal names. 
The name IVilliam is the basis of no less than twenty-nine 
surnames. The syllable son to the cant names Sim, Will, &c. 
We have three principal terminations, viz : kin^ ot^ cock. Of the 
first two it is only necessary to state they are diminutives, kin being 
derived from the Flemish, and ot from the French. 
is: William, Williams, Williamson, Wills, Wilks, Wilkins, and 

The class of baptismal names to which Wilkinson belongs 
Wilkinson ; Wickens, Wickeson, Bill, Bilson, Wilson, Woolcock, 
Woolcot, Wilcocke and Wilcox ; Wilcoxon, Wilcockson, Willet, 
Willmot, Willy, Willis, Wylie, Willott, Till, Tillot, Tilson, 
Tillotson, Tilly and Guilliam. 

The antiquity of the name of Wilkinson is very great, going 
back nearly a thousand years to the days of William the Conqueror. 
A Dr. Wilkinson of Manchester, President of a medical college, 
has the genealogy for nearly 900 years, and we are able to trace 
an unbroken descent of our own lineage from the beginning of 
A. D. 1500. 


HE more one studies ethnology, or the history of races and 
families, the more will he become convinced of the marked 
and permanent influence of blood. Whatever the soil, clime, or 
physical condition; whatever the crossings by intermarriage, all 
who have given the subject attention must have observed the 
continuance from generation to generation of some peculiar trait 
of character which was known in the earliest ancestor. The 
law of descent in this respect is as inexorable as the law of 
gravitation. Human history teaches us the influence of blood or 
race. That qualities of character run in the blood, and are 
propagated through successive generations from father to son, 
one only needs to glance at any particular family and follow the 
stream of human life downward in its spreading, widening flow to 
be convinced of its truth. The particular characteristics will be 
seen cropping out here and there no matter vvhat the circumstances 
that surround the individual. Though sunk in poverty and clothed 
in squallid rags, noble blood will show itself, and traits of nobility 
will shine out like a diamond in its setting of filth. An Edwards, 
a Bunyan, a Spurgeon burst upon our vision like stars of the first 
magnitude in the constellations of christian excellence, and if we 
trace their ancestry back through a few generations, we find 
perhaps, in a lowly cottage an aged father and mother whose whole 
life has been one of devotion to God, eminent for religious worth, 
and this is but the breaking out of that moral excellence on 


meeting with a corresponding current of intellectual greatness 
that dazzles and astonishes present beholders And the opposite 
is true. This force of blood is just as visible in the transmission 
of evil qualities as good, and the breaking out of some enormous 
crime, is but the culmination of certain traits whose fountain head 
was far back upon the ancestrial hills. 



HE double dates mav not he understood bv all. The change 
from old to new stvle did not take place in England and 
America till Scpt.'mher^ '75-^> when ele\ en da\s were dropped 
from the calejidar to correspond with other nations in the correction 
ot keeping time bv Gregory. . 

In computing time the solar vear is reckoned 365 1 da\s, but this 
is too much bv 1 1 minutes and a fraction. \\ this excess be 
neglected in the course of centuries the iirst ot Jajiuarv would 
fall back towards midsummer, and in 1582, the time of Pope 
(jregor\ XIH. it was found that the vernal equinox which in 
A, D. 325 happened on the 21st of March, actuallv occurred on 
the loth of March. For the purpose of rectifying the calendar, 
the Pope ordered that ten davs be dropped from that year. This 
was called "New Stvle," and the former calendar, "Old St\le."' 
I'he new calendar was soon adopted in all catholic countries, but 
in England and her colonies, as abo\ e remarked, it was disregarded 
till 1752, when the error of the old calendar amounted to e!e\ en 
davs, and by an act of Parliament the\- were dropped from Sept. 
of that vear. 

The double dates mav be thus explained. The birth of Joseph 
Wilkinson, son of Samuel isgi\en Jan. 22, 1682-3. The civil, or 
legal year in England formerly, commenced on the 25th of March, 
and was so reckoned till 1752, when the ne\\-, or Gregorian calendar, 
was adopted which makes the \ car commence on the ist of Jan. 


But before that period, as some other nations had adopted the 
New Style, it was usual for English and American writers to 
designate both years if the event occurred before the 25th of 
March, and after the ist of Jan. Hence in the case above 
mentioned, if the year commenced the 25th of March, the date 
would be Jan. 22, 1682; but if the year began the ist of Jan., 
the date would be Jan. 22, 1683, and changed to New Style by 
adding eleven days, would be Feb. 2, 1683. 


1. Abbreviations: b.,born; m., married ; d., died ; r., resided ; 
dau., for daughter ; unm., for unmarried. 

2. The Arabic figures in the left hand margin indicate the 
whole number of names from Lawrance; the Roman numerals 
the number in any given familv ; the figures in parenthesis ( ) at 
the right of a name refer to names post ; and the figures in brackets 
[ ] to names ante. The small figure at the right of a name thus, 
John'\ indicates the generation to which John belongs; an 
interrogation mark (?) implies doubt, or uncertainty. 

The plan of this work in the main, is that suggested in the 
New England Genealogical Register^ but the following are new 
features : 

1. The families appear together with dates of birth and death ; 
hence the period of life is ascertained at a glance. 

2. The lineal descent of each family is traced at the beginning 
of the families, and the labor of searching out the descent saved 
to those not accustomed to such work. 


7'hc author acknowledges with gratitude t)ie aid he has received 

from individuals, and tVom authors, and he teels under especial 

obligations to Andrew J. Wilkik.'^on, of Keokuk, Iowa, for 

instituting researches in England; to Ahab G. Wilkinson, of 

Washington, D. C, tor securing the splendid chromo lithograph 

froiUispiecc ; to Albkr'I- S. Wilkinson, of Pawtucket, R. 1., for 

names and information concerning the Pawtucket branch of the 

famil-,- ; to Judge JosiAH Wr.srcoTT, of Scituate, R. I., for facts 

and incidents of the Scituate branch ; to Samukl T, Wilkinson, 

of Wrightstown, Bucks County, Pa., for the names of the Penn. 

branch ; to Stephen Randall, of Providence, R, I., for incidents 

in the life of the Hopkins faniilv ; to Henj. Fessenden, of Valley 

Falls, R. 1., for the sketch of the Fessenden family, and also, the 

sketch of Abraham and Isaac Wilkinson; to Albert Hubbard, 

Town Clerk of Scituate, R. 1., for his obliging assistance; to 

Alfri'.d Wilkinson, of Syracuse, N, Y., for " material aid ;" to 

the L'.brariaiii of Prouulcrice Athcneuiii and Jstof Library of 

Ncxv Tork^ to Aloses Brown's AISS.^ Staple'' s Annals of Prov'idaice^ 

■ Lnuer on Sur)iarnrs^ and Gnitd's Broivn University^ Callender s 

Century Sermon^ Rev, C. C. Benien's Sketches Scituate^ Sanderson s 

Biography of the Signer's of Declaration of Independence,^ Benedict's 

History of the Baptists,, White' s Memoir of Samuel Slater ,, Savage's 

Genealogical Dictionery of the First three Centuries of New England,, 

Blisses History of Rehoboth ; Boiven's Naval fvlonuments^ Cooper's 


Naval History^ inikins Upd'ikt'\^ History of the Narragansett Churchy 
Stephen HopknCi Hutojy of Provielcnce ; Z. Allen s Alemorial of 
Roger ft illunns^ Arnold' s Histoiy of Rhode Island^ Lossing's 
History the U. A\, Baneroff s History U. S.^ Alassaehusetts' and 
Rhode Island Historieal Colleetions \ also to A'Ir. Browne, City 
Clerk of Providence, and to JoH.v R. Bartlett, Secretary of 
State Of Rhode Island, 'ior access to public records in their 
respective offices. 

Lawrance Wilkinson 


Susannah Smith. J 



I. Lawrance Wilkinson^ (2-7). 

HE traditions concerning our paternal ancestor have been 
greatly at variance, as will be shown hereafter, but the 
documentary evidence seems quite satisfactory and conclusive. 
No effort has been spared to arrive at a correct conclusion, and 
the author flatters himself that the account herein presented is in 
the main reliable. He has not been satisfied with an unsupported 
statement, or a tradition recently put into print ; but has gone to 
original sources, and from public and private records gathered 
such facts as their pages contained of the ancestor of the Wilkinson 
family in America. 

He has in connexion with Andrew J. Wilkinson of Keokuk, 
Iowa, instituted researches in England, and by so doing has brought 
strong confirmation of the facts elicited some years ago by H. G. 
Somerby, Esq., the distinguished genealogist of Boston, Mass. 
Correspondence with William Courthorpe, Somerset Registrar of 
the College of Arms, London, and with the Rev. John Dingle 
of Lanchester, and others in England, has been opened, and 
although their researches have not been perfectly conclusive, yet 
taken in connexion with other facts previously ascertained, they 
form a statement upon which we may rely with confidence. 


Mr. Courthorpe in a communication dated April 30, 1866, sends 
the pedigree of the Wilkinson family from which Lawrance is 
descended, and says, "In compliance with the instructions of 
your friend I have been looking into the business placed before 
me in relation to the family of Wilkinson: — Seldom or never 
can we connect the families of emigrants to America at that early 
period with their relatives in England; they were probably 
designedly left out of the English Pedigree, and unless they carried 
with them to their adopted country a clue to their English ancestry 
it was soon lost altogether. In Durham there is a family in 
which the name of Lawrance Wilkinson is found, but although I 
have gone through Surtee's Durham, and consulted other books, 
especially a List of the officers who served in the Royal and 
Parliamentary armies, nothing is found beyond what I send you : 
you will see in the Durham Pedigree a William Wilkinson who 
may have had a son Laurence Wilkinson who was the emigrant, 
but this seems to be the only probability gathered from our books." 

The Pedigree forwarded contains the name of Lawrance's 
father, and is given elsewhere. The Rev. John Dingle under 
date of March 23, 1866, says: "You will perhaps be aware, 
that during the Commonwealth the registers were kept by the 
civil authorities. It so happened that one of our books containing 
the registers for fifty years (1603-1653) came to a conclusion 
while that regulation was in force, and another was commenced. 
The former was never restored to the church, and I have never 
been able to get any trace of it, though it must probably be among 
the public records somewhere. The name Lawrance Wilkinson 
however, occurs in our Registers, and names of the family who 
resided at Harperly in this district abound. There is another 

Harperly Darlington, where an old family of Wilkinson's 

still resides, and I should imagine that they must have been 
originally the same. A Lawrance Wilkinson is mentioned as 
having had one daughter baptized in 1587, and a son in 1590. 
This was perhaps the grandfather referred to ; another is mentioned 



as ha\ ing one daughter in i653, and another in 1654; and his; 
death occurred in 1674, or 1683, as in each of these \cars the 
burial of a person of that name is mentioned" 

In another communication to the author from "Lanchester 
Parsonage" under date of Jan. 16, 1867, he savs : "It appears 
from the Register that the Wilkinsons were Iin ing at Hiirperly both 
before and for sometime after the period you refer to, (1645-1652) 
but e\ en if the estate was sequestered it is not improbable that it 
was granted to another branch of the familv of which there 
appears to have been several branches located on various estates 
in this neighborhood. How the different branches have been 
related I have been unable to trace, but that there has been some 
connexion appears from the use of certain peculiar christian 

These with the researches and positiNC statements of Mr. 
Somerby, give us the ancestry of Lawrance, and I shall now enter 
upon such facts, and incidents concerning him as may be found 
i.n our own records which have been carefulK and thoroughlv 

From the pedigree forwarded bv Courthorpe, and the researches 
of H. Cj. Somerby, Esq., made at the instance of W. H. 
Wilkinson, merchant, formerly of Boston, Alass., now of Sidney, 
New South Wales, Australia; it appears LAWRANCI^ Wilkinson, 
our paternal ancestor and the first of our kind m America, was 
the son of William Wilkinson, and Marv (Convers) his wife, 
sister of Sir John Con\ers, Bart., and grandson of Lawrance 
Wilkinson of HarpcrK House, Lanchester, County Durham, 
England. Nothing, or but little is known of his early vouth. 
At a later period we find him a J^ieute)iant in the Ro\'al Army, 
fighting for the Crown and endeavoring to sustain the tottering 
throne of his sovereign. King C^harles I. against the usurpation 
of Cromwell. He was however, takeii prisoner at the fall of 
Newcastle, and his estates sequestered bv order of Parliament. 
The following is taken from the records of the Register's office 
in Durham. 


" Seq-uestrations in Durham, 1645-47. Lawrance Wilkinson, 
of Lanchestcr, officer in arms, went to New England." 

With the permission of Lord Fairfax he Left his father-land 
never to return. On his arrival at Providence he was immediately 
received into the fellowship of the infant Colony, and lands were 
granted him as will appear from the following 

See "Records or" the Town of Providence, 1637 to 1682." 

The first mention of his name on this side of the Atlantic is 
that found in the "First Book' of Records," page 87 or the "2d 
Old Book" with brass clasps, pages 30-31, where he with a 
number of others, appended his name to the original civil compact 
of the founders and early settlers of the colony established by 
Roger WilHams, dated as follows: Xx3'^3C^,'«v 

"The 19TH OF THE iiTH Month, 1645. 
'" We whose names are hereafter subscribed having' obtained a 
free grant of twenty-five acres^ of land apeice with right of 
commoning'^ according to the said proportion of lands from- the 
free Inhabitants of this Town, do thankfully accept of the same., 
and hereby do promise to yield active, or passive obedience to the 
authoritys" of King and Parliament [The Estate of England'^] 
established in this Colony according to our Charter,^ and to all 
such wholesome laws and' orders that are or shall be made ; also 
not to claim any Right to the Purchase of the said Plantation,^ 
nor any privilege of vote in Town aff^airs untill we shall be received 
as free men^' of the said Town of Providence. 
John Brown, Lawrance Wilkinson, Samuel Bennett, 

Pardon Tillinghast, Daniel Cumstocke, Edward Smith, 

William Fenner, Benjamin Smith, John Fenner, 

John Jo^nes, John Smith, John Sayles, 

Thomas Clemenie, John Clawson, Stephen Northup, 

Henry Shepard, Thomas Hanklin, Daniel Brown, 

Robert Pyke, Benjamin Herden, Epinetus Olney, 

Mathewin Bellou, Edward Inman, John Steere, 

Thomas Walwin, - Henry^eddock, George Way. 

" N. B. All those, signers of this. agreement did not do it at 
the date, but as they were received into Towne fellowship. See 
page 137 and 138 &c., for several of them in the year 1651. 
M. B."' 


The present inhabitants ol" Rhode Island will recognize 
among these names, the ancestors of some of the first men of the 
State. The Browns', the f'euners', the Smiths', the Olneys', 
the Steeres', the Sayles', the Tillinghasts', and the Ballou's of the 
present generation, not only hold possession of some part of their 
ancestors' estates, but are honored with the highest civil and 
militar)- positions in the gift of their fellow-citizens. 

The following things are noticeable in the foregoing agreement ■■, 
viz., observe : 

1. ''^ The free gift of ttventyfive acres.''' These were quarter 
right grants. 

2. The '•'•right of commoning" was not only the right to pasture 
cows, cattle, sheep, horses, ^c, but of tilling the land on the 
stated common, and other commons of the Freeholders. 

3. " The Estate of England'''' is marginal, and was added at a 
later date. The unsettled state of England in the wars of King 
Charles, and his Parliament in the days of Cromwell gave rise to 

4. It appears they had a Charter. Roger Williams had secured 
one in 1644. 

5. They were *•' ?iot to claim any right to the Purchase of the 
said Plantation.''' The original purchasers have beeji elsewhere 
given, and they claimed special privileges and rights not yet 
granted to these new comers. 

6. They must be '•'•received as freemen''' n\ order to entitle them 
to the privileges of the elective franchise. 

7. The note would give latitude to the arrival of any given 
signer of this agreement, but some one or more signed it at the 
date, but what particular ones it is impossible now to determine. 
Hence, Lawrance Wilkinson may not have arrived in this Colony 
at the date above given. The names are placed at random, not 
in order consecutively, or in columns, but hap-hazard,and several 
of them by their marks while the Clerk appended their name. 
Some signing bv a cross or mark were able to write, as their 


signatures to other articles plainly show. Other names signed 
are erased. 

The following is the first record I am able to find after the 
civil compact above mentioned. It is said the early records of 
Providence were loosely kept, and a part of them were lost when 
the Town was burned during King Philip's war, hence this may 
not in fact be the next mention of his name. It is very singular 
that he should be ten or twelve years in the Colony, or even five 
or six years, without manifesting that aggressive spirit which 
characterized his later years : 

II. "At a Quarter Court, Jan. 27, 1657. Ordered that 
Lawrance VV^ilkinson shall have three acres of land lying by the 
New field beyond the great Swamp."* 

Where the " New P'ield," or the " Great Swamp " was I 
am not able to state, but certain sections then described as swamps 
are tillable lands now. 

The boundaries of Lawrance Wilkinson's land are partially 
described by the following records : 

III. '^ Robert Colwell had a house lot of five acres laid out to 
him in the Neck being at the head of a lot which the said Robert 
Colwell sold unto Roger Mowrv, only a highway between, 
bounding cm the North with the land of Anna Smith (which 
formerly was John Smith, Mason's) on the south with the land 
of Lawrance Wilkinson, and on the east end with the land of 
Lawrence Wilkinson, <Scc.t Laid out by R. Waterman, Town 
Deputy, 1658." 

IV. "At a Town Meeting, May 15, 1658. Mr. Olney 
Moderator. Ordered^ that all those that enjov lands in the 
jurisdiction of this town are Freemen. ";{: 

Lawrance Wilkinson was admitted Freeman at this time, 
if he had not been before ; but this by no means determines the 
point. No other record however has been found of his admission 
prior to this. 

*■!. Book of Deeds Transcribed, p. IIO, and and Old Book, 74. 

tl. Book, 29. 

Jl. Book Records, p. 108. 


V. "At a Quarter Court, Jan. 27, 1659. ' 

" Chosen Juryman for this Quarter, Thos. Arnold, Wm. 
White, Thos. Walling, Valentine Whitman, Lawrence Wilkiilson 
and Edward Smith."* 

VI. "August 15th, 1659. Lawrence Wilkinson, chosen 
Commissioner to the Court of Commissioners to be held at 
Portsmouth 23d of Aug., 1659."! 

At this early date we ftnd him a member of the Legislature, 

plainly showing that he had gained the confidence of the people. 

VIL "At a Town Meeting", March the^, 1660-61. 

" It is granted unto Lawrance Wilkinson that he may take up the 
five acor Lott which Christopher Smith Laid down in the Neck 
in Liew of all his Right which he has gott to take up, which is 
thirteen acors and A Hafe."| 

Christopher Smit:h was his father-in-law. We have spoken of 
him elsewhere. Those familiar with the early division of the 
Town will recognize the location. Charles, II. was restored in 
this year, (.1660) Cromwell having died in 1658. - , 

VIII. " At a Quarter meeting April 27, 1666. Thas. Olney, 
Moderator. Forasmuch as Lawrence Wilkinson hath desired to 
have a share of Meadow recorded which he hath taken up, it 
lying up beyond Loquasqussuck,^ northern end ; it is granted that 
it shall be recorded when it is known whether it be not within 
the land to be laid out on the east side of the seven mile line," but 
within the lands which were to be laid out in the first division. "§ 

I. ^'- Loquasqussuck" — was afterwards spelled ^'- Locusquissit" or 
for short Loquissit^ and was at, or near the place where Samuel 
Wilkinson, Lawrance's oldest son, settled in Smithfield about ten 
miles north of Providence. The origin of the name is not 
known — supposed to be from the noises produced in the evening 
by Locusts, Tree-toads, &c. Others say it is an Indian name.|| 

*i Book of Records, 1637-1682, p. 103, Providence, R. I. 

f I Book of Records, p. 105, Providence R. I. 

J I Book p. 94 and i Old Book 42, Providence, R. I. 

^i Book of Records 187, Providence, R. I. 

Iljas. Wilkinson, says, "that section of the town -was alvi-ays -called Loquissi't— a 
militia company was known by that name — and the turnpike leading to Providence" had 
that name, but the origin of tlie name is not known." 



; 2. " The Seven, mile line" extended from near the northeast 
corner of the present town of Coventry northward to the Mass; 
State line. It is frequently mentioned in the old records. 

. These hardy pioneers spread out rapidly in the settlement of 
the country and in the acquisition of lands. 

IX, "At a Quarter Meeting : — 1667." The following 

were chosen Commissioners to the Court of Commissioners or 
Deputies to the General Assembly — viz. "John Throckmorton, 
Edward Inman, Lawrance Wilkinson, and Resolved Arnold."*' 

• X. "Lawrance Wilkinson — Return Original "Right. Capt. 
Arthur Fenner was before me the 9th day of June 1703, and 
acknowledged that when he was one of the Town Surveyors ; he 
Layed out to Lawrence Wilkinson of Providence a tract of 
Swamp Land neare ye place commonly called the World's-End 
Meadow, Lying on both sides of the river called Moshasuck 
River, Joining on the South to a Swamp of Samuel Whipples, the 
Southeastern corner of Said Land is a white oke tree on the" east 
side of said River marked — the southwest corner of said Land 
is a Red oake tree on the west side of said River marked-^the 
northwest corner of said Land is a white oake marked on ye west 
side of said River — the north east corner of said Land is a blacke 
oake tree on the east side of said River marked — the said land 
aforementioned that is contained within the bounds prescribed is 
about twelve acres : this land abovementioned was Layed out by 
mee, Arthur Fenner, Surveyor a Little before the Indian warr 
broake out, \yhen King PhilHp Rose in arms against the English 
in the month of June 1675. 

These lines were acknowledged for a truth by Arthur Fenner, 
Surveyor, the day and yeare aboue written. 

Befor me Joseph Williams, Assistant. 
Recorded this 15th day fFebruary, 1716-17. 

^r mee Richard Waterman, Clerke." 

The above gives us some idea of the timber that covered the land 
in the early days, and indicates the nature of the soil. No one 
from present appearances would ever imagine the character of the 
primeval forests. • 

^Staples' Annals of Providence. 


The exact locality of this land has not been determined, iX 
was somewhere on the Moshassuck^ and near the "World's-End 
Meadow." Those familiar with these ancient names would have 
no trouble in locating it. Moshassuck, or as it is sometimes 
spelled '' Mooshassic," is the perpetuated Indian name of the 
river which empties into the cove from the north. It is now a 
mere walled canal spanned by bridges. Two centuries ago, the 
scener\' of its banks was regarded as "sacredly romantic." 

XI. May 6, 1673. "Laid out unto Lawrence Wilkinson one 
lot on the plain where his cellar is — in length one hundred and 
twenty poles, and in breadth eighty poles."* 

This Return of sixty acres occurs with a large number of 
others, viz : William Hakeniss, John Steere, Cjregorv Dexter, 
Arthur Fenner, S. Manton, Richard Waterman, Edward Manton, 
Thomas Arnold, William Wickenden, Hannah Ballou, Robert 
Pyke, John Field, and Edward Inman ; Richard Pray, (jeorge 
Shepard, William Fenner, &c. 

The date preceding is May 6th, 1673, ^"^ '^ prefixed to a 
remonstrance against the oatK of allegiance required bv the King 
of England. 

XII. "Oct. 1673. ^^ ^ Quarter Court, &c. 
Lawreiice Wilkinson chosen Grand Juryman."! 

XIII. April 28, 1673. " -^^ ^ town meeting 28th of April, 
(the 27th being the Quarter day, but it fell to be the ist dav of 
the week) 1673. Mr. Arthur Fenner, Moderator. 

This day were chosen men to serve at the General Assembly 
at Newport, for Deputies: John Throckmorton, William Harris, 
Anthony Everinden and Lawrence Wilkinson. "|; 

Providence and Newport divided the honors of entertaining 
the Legislature of the Colony at an early period. 

The following are the lots drawn at dift'erent times by the 
Purchasers of the town of Providence. 

*J Book of Records, 279, Providence. 

fl " « 281, 

jl " « 272, » 



XIV. Larids drawn on the '' Stated Commons :'"'' 
Lavvrance Wilkinson drew Lot No. 41. 

The Stated Common was situated where the State Prison now 
stands, and extended back over Smith's Hill into the country. It 
consisted of a thousand acres, and was divided into 104 shares, 
ajid then numbered and drawn by the shareholders. Many years 
after the original drawing fjune 15, 1724) this tract was platted, 
and filed in the Clerk's office of the city of Providence. 

Lawrance Wilkinson's name appears upon the original plat, 
now (1865) in the office of the "Society for the Improvement 
of Domestic Industry," Providence, R. I. 

XV. Lands draivn on the South Side of Olney Street: 

On the "Proprietors Piatt of Providence," Lawrence Wilkinson 
Axc^ Lot No. 1 1. 

How much land was included in these draughts is not known 
by the compiler. The Piatt was projected in 17 18, several 
years after the drawing took place. The lots were larger than 
those on the Stated Common, and were intended to be of equal 

XVI. Lands draivn west of the '"''Seven Al'ile Line :^' 

*'• April 12, 1675. The names of those which drew papers 
and their places in order as it fell unto them at a Town Meeting 
the I 2th of April 1675. Capt. Feiiner, Moderator, it being for 
the dividing of the land bevond, or on the west side of the seven 
mile line as foUoweth, 5cc. Lawrance Wilkinson drew Lot 
No. 72."* 

XVII. Lands drawn between the Seven Mile Line and Four Milt 
Line : 

May 24, 1675. *'The names of those which drew papers 
and their places in order as it fell unto them at a Town Meeting, 
May 24, 1675. Thomas Harris, Moderator, 'it being for the 

*Book of Records, 504-5. For the number of acres contained in one of these 
draughts, see Return Original Right. Benj. Wilkinson, "Laid out on the original Right 
oi Lawrance Wilkinson and in the Hundred and Sevent)' acre Division. Recorded in 
Providence Purchaser's Records, p. 258. Rich'd Brown, Clerk." 


dividing of the Land' between the "Seven mile line," and the 
"Four mile line," east side of the Seven mile line, &:c.* 

Lawranee Wilkinson drew Lot No. 20." 

XVIIL Lands drawn west of the Sei)en mile line i^id Division^. 

March 17, 1683-4. "List of Draughts made 17th March 
j68|, for the division of the land on the West side ot the Seven 
mile line,. &c. 

Lawranee Wilkinson drew Lot No. 32. "f 

From the records it appears Lawranee took up about looo 
acres of land in and around Providence, and if he lost his 
patrimony in the old world by sequestration, he was not long in 
gaining a larger estate in the new. 

XIX. The following Deed from Lawranee Wilkinson to his 
son Josias, bearing date Aug, 31, 1691 ; about one year before 
his death ; is the last record of the transfer of property that we 
find, and is interesting as it describes the residence of our paternal 
ancestor in Providence. It reads as follows : , 

Deed from Lawranee IVilkinson to his son fosias Wilkinson : 

^*To all to whom these Presents shall come: Know ve that 
I Lawranee Wilkinson, as well for the naturall loue and affection 
which I have and beare unto my well beloved son Josias Wilkinson 
of Providence (&c) give (&c) a certain house and lot which the 
said Lawranee Wilkinson dwelt on, as also. Twelve acres of 
swamp bounded upon ye land of Samuel Whipple, and on ye 
north end on James Ashton's meaddow ; together with three 
parts of a purchase Right in Common: All which said houses 
and lands herein speciffied are in ye possession of Lawranee 
Wilkinson aforesaid until signing hereof, and then to revert unto 
said Josias Wilkinson, his heirs, or assignes forever as his or their 
own proper estate, according to the Tenour of East Greenwitch 
in Kent, free from all Mortgages, Leases, Jointures, Dowers, 
intails. Wills, Judgments, Executions, or any other encumbrances 
whatsoever committeed or dorie by me, the said Lawrence 
Wilkinson, my heirs and assigns forever ; to the only purpose and 
bfihoofof ye said Josias. Wilkinson his heirs and assigns forever; 

■*See note on preceeding page. 
■[•I Book of Records, 311. 


And I, Lawrance Wilkinson do covenant and agree (usual . 

In witness whereof I haue hereunto set my hand and seale this 
thirty and one day of August in the yeare of our Lord God, one 
thousand six hundred ninety and one, and in ye third yeare of their 
Majestyes Reigne — William and Mary. 

Signed, sealed and delivered 

with the Presence of us 
Jonathan Sprague, 
Mehettabell Sprague. . 

Lawrence Wilkinson. 

L. S. 

. Recorded Nov. 2, iJcS, f r Thos. Olney, Clk.*" 
Rev. Jonathan Sprague, the subscribing witness, was a Baptist 
minister, and preached for many years to a society in the east 
part of what is now Smithfield, and died Jan. 1741, 2ged 93. 
He is the author of the reply to the association of Ministers of 
Mass., which is preserved in Benedict's History of the Baptists, f 
and was a very judicious, talented and pious man.| He was a 
firm friend of the Wilkinson family, and was called upon at a 
subsequent period to aid the heir of this property in securing her 

Josias' daughter, Hannah, married James Dexter, and the 
original residence of Lawrance Wilkinson in Providence, is now 
known as the "Old Dexter Place." 

About one year after this deed of gift, Lawrence departed this 
life and the following 

XX. Letter of Administration ivas granted: 
"At a meeting of ve Towne Councill, Aug. ye 31, 1692 : 
Whereas Lawrance Wilkinson of this Towne of Providence 
departed this life the gth day of August, 1692, and dicing intested, 
an Inventory being taken of the said Lawrance Wiilkinson, his 
estate, and hath been this day by ye councill examined ; And 
whereas Samuel Wilkinson and John Wilkinson, hath desired 
administration upon their said deceased Father ; his Estate ; 

■^^2, Book of Deeds, pp. 109-110, Providence. 

f 2 Benedict's History of Baptist, p. ^1-69. 

X Backus' Church History cf N. E., p. 149. Am. Tr;:ct Society Ed. 


.ue] Wilkinson and John Wilkinson have this day given in 
jond to ye Councill to legally Administer upon their deceased 
Father, Lawrance Wilkinson, his estate ; the Tovvne Councill 
thereupon have given unto them a letter of Administration to 
Administer upon ye said estate."* 

I have presented this documentary evidence chronologically 
and consecutively for obvious reasons, and v/ill now speak of his 
marital relations. 

Lawrance married Susannah Smith ; o?ily daughter probably, of 
Christopher Smith. f He appears from the records to have been 
quite a prominent man in the infancy of the Colony. Savage 
mentions his name in the list of freemen, 1655. 

" He was chosen at a Quarter Court, 27th of the 2d month, 
[April] 1655. Roger Williams being Moderator, for the General 
Court and Province of Mass., &c." 

One Capt. Reyne having lost a servant by name of James 
Bitts, a Scotchman, the Town of Providence voted to return 
him to the Court of Seacunck. As Bitts was refractory and 
refused to go, Capt. Reyne desired aid. " Christopher Smith," 
says the record, "to the good example of all younger persons, 
willingly offered himself to help. "J 

June 4, 1655, he was chosen Sergeant and filled the office 
acceptably. § He had a share of meadow laid out to him "beyond 
a meadow commonly called the World's End, in lieu of a share 
of a meadow formerly laid out to him between the great meadow 
& Pawtucket Path."l| 

The Pawtucket Path has since become a noted highway in N. 
E. On the same page his name is mentioned again, and " Richard 
Waterman and Thomas Harris were appointed to set bounds 
between him and Thomas Olney jr., in the Stamper's bottom." 

June 27, 1658, he took up sixty acres of land and one share 

*i Council Records, p. i. 

f " Smith, Christopher, Providence — in the list of" freemen there 1655 — had daughter 
Susanna, who married Lawrance Wilkinson; engaged for allegiance to Charles II., June, 
1668. In 1672 his wife was Alice (?) but what was her family name, or whether she 
were first, 2d, or later wife is unknown." — Sa-vagc^s Genealogical Directory of N. E. 

J I Book of Records, 124, Providence. 

^i Book of Records, p. 123, Providence. 

II do. 113, do. 


of meadow.* In i 672, he gave a deed of real estate to Shadrach 
Manton.f In this deed his wife's christian name is mentioned. 
It was Alce^ and not Alice as Savage has it. No name has been 
more frequently repeated in the Wilkinson family, or at least in 
certain branches of it. Even at the present day the name occurs 
in more than one family. 

Christopher Smith's name has been perpetuated in Providence 
by " Smithes Hill" as his first share of lands was bounded as 
follows : " On the north, and on the south with the Brow of 
the Hill, 5cc.";|; He was more than once elected Deputy to the 
General Court, and held other offices in the Colony. We have 
no account of any other child save the wife of Lawrance 
Wilkinson. She proved to be an excellent wife, and a kind and 
affectionate mother. Her impress was made upon her ofi'spring, 
and her life in the wilderness of the New World, was marked 
with peculiar success. She is the mother of us all, and we rejoice 
to do her reverence. 

"As morn"ng when she shed her golden locks, 
And on the dewv top of Hermon walked, 
Or Zk n hill, so glorious was her path." 

We have no record of her death, nor place of burial.^ She 
probably died before her husband, as no mention is made of her in 
the records. 

This closes the documentary evidence of Lav/rance Wilkinson. 
He had been in America between forty and fifty years, and had 
become the father of six children, three sons and three daughters. 
He had been a firm supporter of the grand doctrine of soul liberty, 
and aided as a citizen in establishing the Colony upon a firm basis, 
and in protecting it against the encroachments of Massachusetts 
on the one side, and Connecticut on the other. He added his 
influence and voice in enacting, as a legislator, some of the wisest 

*i Book of Records, 8i, Providence. 

f do. 290> do 

Ji Book of Records, 39, Providence. 

|See Memorials of Roger Williams by Z. Allen, p. 9. 


and best laws that ever blessed and honored any government. 
He aided in the wars with the Indians, nor laid down his arms 
tiil they were thoroughly subdued. He became the owner of 
many broad acres upon which he settled his three sons, and 
endowed his daughters — he was respected and honored by his 
fellow-citizens, and at last fell asleep and rested from his toils. 

"Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labor done, 
Serenely to his final rest he passed ; 
While the soft memory of his virtues, yet 
Lingers like t,wilight hues, when the bright sun is set." 

No stone marks his grave ; and, as Roger Williams, the 
Founder of the Colony was buried, and his grave forgotten ; so 
with many others of the first settlers, his place of interment is not 

For other facts concerning Lawrance Wilkinson, see Biography 
No. I. 


1. Lawrance Wilkinson^ "I [i] 

AND V . ' •■ . 

Susannah Smith. j j: '^ •■■■. 

Of Providence, R. I. 

2. I. Samuel,' (8-13) b.- '-■:-', d. Aug. 27, 1727. 

3. II. Susannah,- b. March 9, 1652, d. 

4. III. John,' (14-19) b. March 2, 1654, d. April 10, 1708. 

5. IV. Joanna,"^ b. March 2, 1657, d. 

6. T. JosiAs,-{2o) b.v •-'- .. ■ d. Aug. 10, 1692. 

7. VI. Susannah,"^ b. Feb." 1662, d. 


IS^IHERE has been some diversity of opinion about the birth 
l^.^l of Samuel. An article appeared in the June number, { 1 865) 
of the Heraldic Journal — published in Boston — entitled the 
"Wilkinson Family and Arms," by Hon. Theodore A. Neal, which 
states that Lawrance Wilkinson, after "having obtained special 
permission from Lord Fairfax in 1652, went with his wife and 
son to New England." From this it would appear Samuel wa's 
born in England. No record of his birth is to be found in this 
country, and it is probable, the above statement of Mr. Neal is 
correct, although there is some difficulty about it. Lawrance 
married Susannah, daughter of Christopher Smith of Providence, 
but we find no account of this marriage in the old records of 
Providence, neither do we find any account of Christopher Smith 


until after 1650. He appears in the list of Freemen in 1655. 
After a thorough and careful search of the first records kept by 
Roger Williams and the town clerks of his day, we find nothing 
to determine this matter positively, hence we are left to conjecture, 
that Christopher Smith came to Providence after Lawrance 
Wilkinson had established himself there. No records of Samuel's 
birth has been found anywhere, neither have we any data to 
determine it. The birth of his next younger sister, as given by 
Savage, occurred March 9, 1652. He was then in Providence. 
Samuel married Plain Wickenden, daughter of Rev. William 
Wickenden and although we have notices of publication of Plain's 
sisters, we find nothing of hers. Their publications were as 
follows : 

"Jan. 27, 1659. At a Quarter Court: Thomas Smith hath 
this day declared his intention of marriage with Ruth Wickenden."* 
A fatal accident happened to this couple later in life, they were 
both drowned in the Pawtuxet river. According to Savage 
"they had John b. 4 Aug., 1661; Thomas^ 9 Aug., 1664; 
William^ b. lO Jan., 1667, and Joseph b. 18 Feb., 1669, if the 
memory of aunt Plain was correct when she testified to their age 
14 March, 1670." 

" Oct. 27, 1660. At a Quarter Court: John Steere hath this 
day declared his intention of marriage with Hannah Wickenden." 
They had William^ b. Nov. 25, 167 1. 

These publications were in pursuance to an order from the 
authorities, which had become a matter of record as early as Nov, 
3, 1655, and were as follows : 

"Ordered — that Publications of marriage shall be under the 
hand of a Magistrate set upon some eminent tree in the Town 
Street, after which publication, marriage shall be lawful after a 
fortnight, if no exception come in within a fortnight's time ; that 

*i Book of Deeds, p. 103, Clerks Office Providence, R. I. 


in extraordinary cases Persons may in shorter time procure and 
purchase a Town Meeting where there may be publication,"* 

The Rev. Wm. Wickenden had but three daughters and no 
sons. The Steeres and Smiths, descendants of these progenitors, 
have constantly intermarried with the Wilkinsons without being 
cognizant of the relationship existing between them. 

Samuel became an expert surveyor and was constantly employed 
to survey public and private domains as will be seen by referring 
to the early records of Providence. His name appears more 
frequently than any other ,man's as surveyor — administrator — 
appraiser of Estates — overseer of the last will and testament, &c. 
In the records of real estate is a deed by Samuel Wilkinson and 
Plain his wife and John Steere, to Joseph Smith, dated March 
24, 1696-7. The consideration was "The Love and Respect 
that we beare unto our kinsman Joseph Smith." The description 
is as follows: "Eighteen acres of land layed out upon the right 
of commonage formerly belonging to Wm. Wickenden, deceased, 
now in the possession of said Wilkinson and Steere, Situate in 
in Providence and west from the town about seven miles, in a 
Tract known by the name Wyumkheag."t 

Joseph Smith was the son of Thomas Smith who married 
Ruth Wickenden above mentioned. John Steere was the husband 
of Hannah Wickenden the sister of Samuel's wife, and hence the 
joint ownership of real estate. 

In his younger days Samuel was constable as appears from the 
following record bearing date July 12, 1683 : 

" To Samuel Wilkinson, Const. 

You are in his Majesty's name required to order Abigail 
Sibley and her child out of town.";}; 

It was a common trick for Mass. to impose such dissolute 
paupers upon R. I., but her records bear frequent evidence of a 

*i Book of Records, p. 119, Clerks Office, Providence, R. I. 
j2 Book of Deeds, p. 202. do. do 

%i Book of Wills, p. 69, Probate Office. 


determination to harbor no such characters, and she kept the 
strictest watch over the moral conduct of her citizens. Samuel 
was one of the overseers of the last will and testament of Major 
John Dexter, son of Rev. Gregory Dexter, Jan. 8, 1710-11.* 
This John Dexter had a son James who married Hannah, Josias 
Wilkinson's daughter. 

Samuel was appointed in connexion with Major J. Jenks, to 
run the boundary line between Mass. and R. I., from Pawtucket 
Falls north to the Mass, line in 171 1, there being a controversy 
between the two States which was never settled till about i86o.t 
The final adjustment was affected by compromise; R. I., giving 
its portion of Fall River to Mass. and receiving the town of 
Pawtuxet and a part of Seekonk in return. In 17 15, he gave a 
deed of certain real estate in what is now Smithfield to his son 
Samuel, jun; He was one of the appraisers of the estate of 
Thomas Hopkins in 17 18, also, of the estate of Seth Whipple 
1 724.1 This Thomas Hopkins was the son of Thomas Hopkins 
who settled in Providence in 1641, having followed Roger 
Williams in 1636 from Plymouth, and married Elizabeth daughter 
of William Arnold the first. 

The elder Thomas had two sons, William and Thomas. The 
former married Abigail Whipple and was the grandfather of 
Stephen Hopkins. Seth Whipple was also, a relative by marriage. 

Samuel was a Justice of the Peace for many years in the 
infant Colony, and his house was a common resort for young 
people who desired his official services in the matter of matrimony. 
On one page of the public records are recorded thirty-one couple 
v/ho were married by "Capt. Samuel Wilkinson, Justice,"§ and 
other pages show that he did a thriving business in this line, and 
as in the days of Noah, so in his day in the town of Providence, 
"They were marrying and given in marriage." These facts 

*i Book ofWill,-, Prcbats Office, Providence. 
f2 Arnold's History of R. I., p. 42. 
J2 Book of Wills, Probate Offi e, Pnvi Isnce. 
1 1 Book of Marriages, r. 77. 


show the confidence reposed in him by his fellow-citizens. He 
;was elected Deputy for Providence to the General Court, as the 
Legislature of Rhode Island was then called, as early as 1693, 
and was returned from time to time during a period of twenty 
vears, down to 1723.''' '■ •■'''■ ; ■ • 

After the restoration of Charles II. " King of Great Brittain, 
&c.," Samuel and his brother took the oath of allegiance, and the 
.following record was made of that event. "Engagements of 
AUegience of Josias Wilkinson and Samuel Wilkinson — the last 
"Monday in May, 1682, before Joseph Jenks."f In the first 
Book of Births, page 23, Board of Health office. Providence, 
(may be found recorded the family of Samuel and Plain, the names, 
and dates of birth corresponding exactly with the record of our 
old family Bible. 

Previous to 1708, difficulties arose between the proprietors of 
Providence Purchase and the Proprietors of Westquodnaik (now 
Wesquanaug) about the boundary line between their respective 
purchases. This continued a long time and the bitterest feelings 
were engendered on both sides. It was finally adjusted by a 
committee of eleven of whom Samuel Wilkinson was one, and 
the settlement bears the mark of his pen.| 

Samuel died Aug. 27, 1727, intestate, and the appraisal of his 
personal property and real estate is recorded in Providence. § 
:His son Joseph' was empowered to settle his estate. It appears 
'that Joseph was his only remaining son in the Colony — Samuel 
jr., having died the preceding January — John had moved to 
.Pennsylvania, and William had gone to England. 

The appraisal took place Sept. 26, 1727, and the inventory 
gave the following results : 

Personal effects, ^645 1. 13.5, 
Real Estate, 952.01.5, 


*See Colonial Records, &c., Staple's Annals. 
f I Book of Records, 307, Providence. 
^Records of Scituate, R. I. 
^3 Book of Wills, p. 85, 



00. oo 




.00. oo 










As the antiquarian may derive some pleasure in searching out 
their localities, we insert the items of Real Property as copied 
from the record. 

"Imprimis (i) Homestead Farm, 
Item (2) one piece of land lieing neere to Edward 
Mitchels and John Harndeen, 

(3) To the Round Coue neere to the ferry, 

(4) To \ part of a 25 acre Right of thatch fed 

lieing at Baylor Cove, 

(5) To J part of a lot that lieth in that land which 

was called " Stated Common," 

(6) To \ part of 25 acres Right lieing in said 


(7) To \ part of one ware House Lott in said land, 

(8) To ^ part of a purchase right in thatch fed 

lieing by Winsor's Swamp, 

Some of the above places are readily located — others are 
among the things that were. The "Homestead Farm," was 
about ten miles from the city of Providence in a northerly direction, 
near the " Harris Lime Rock" in the present town of Smithfield, 
on the original right of his father. 

The following is the first record made of this land: 
"At a Quarter Meeting, April 27, 1666, Thomas Olney, 
Moderator : 

" Forasmuch as Lawrence Wilkinson hath desired to have a 
share of meadow recorded, which he hath taken up, it lying up 
beyond Loquasqussuck, northern end — it is granted that it shall 
be recorded when it is known whether it be not within the land 
to be laid out on the east side of the Seven Mile Line, but within 
the lands which were to be laid out in the first division."* 

It was not within the land alluded to, and Samuel took possession 
of it and made it his home during his long and useful life. Being 
a man of contemplative turn of mind he preferred the quiet of 
the country to the bustle of a growing city. He was a man of 

*i Book of Records, 187, Providence. 


more than ordinary intellect, and bore the reputation of being a 
sound reasoner, and a good debater upon political and religious 
subjects. Gabriel Bernon alludes to him in his reply to James 
Honeyman of England, where he refers to Gov. Jenks' reply to 
the Quaker controversy which had been carried on by Samuel 
Wilkinson and his son William, the Quaker Preacher.* He was 
buried, probably, on the farm alluded to, but no stone marks his 
grave. There is a small graveyard on the farm, containing some 
very ancient mounds, but which of the number is the last resting 
place of Samuel is not known. 

For further particulars concerning him, see Biography No. II. 

II. Susannah, the eldest daughter, died young. Her name and 
birth are preserved by the Hon. James Savage in his " Genealogical 
Dictionary." Place of burial not known. 

III. John was born in Providence, R. I. Married, April 16, 
1689, Deborah Whipple. She was born Aug. i, 1670, and was 
sixteen years younger than her husband. The advanced age of 
John at the time of his marriage, and of one or two others in the 
lineal descent of this branch, causes a less number of generations 
than will be found in the lineal descent of Samuel who married 
at a much earlier age. John became an extensive land owner, 
and at a very early date fixed his residence in that part of 
Providence which was in 1731, called the town of Smithfield. 
His house was on the margin of the Blackstone River, near what 
was called " Martin's Wade," a little south of the present villa 
of Ashton. Here he took up, from time to time, tracts of land 
varying from four to twenty acres on the west side of the river, 
and crossing over into what was called the ''Gore of Land," 
alias Attleboro, now Cumberland, he purchased a number of lots, 
some of which his descendants hold at the present day. He bought 
at one time eighty acres of John Blackstone, and the same was 
sold by his son, John, to Sylvanus Scott, for the sum of <£i6o. 

Kistorj' of Narragansett Church, p. 53. 


The description runs as follows: "All that land which my 
Honored Father, John Wilkinson in. his life time bo't of John 
Blackston."* [This Jno. Blackstone was the only son. of the: 
famed Wm. Blackstone, the first s.ettler in R. I^ .See Blissl 
Histj of Rehoboth, p. 13.] ' .' ■.'-,• .■ .•,:'?... ■;■.:... ^' ,'.;;.' 

A Deed from. Abraham Marin to John Wilkinson bears dat^ 
1 685 T— consideration ".£1.10, currant; Salver "-^--description. ->^" A 
full quarter part of a purchase right of Gommoiiing .throughout 
the Jurisdiction of the said town of Providence, reaching so far 
as the seauen mile line, with all the. undivided lands. and meadows 
whatsoever belonging, or appertaining unto: the said quarter part 
of Commoning." Dated:>" in thefirst Vearof his Majesty's reign 
James the 2d, etc." James 11. comrrieneed his reign in 1685.'"}^ 
By attempting to establish the Roman , Catholic religion: against 
^he wishes' of his people he was obliged to, abdicate in .16,89, 
reigning only four years. , ;The revoliition/ollow*ed. The disrespect 
to King craft was not confined to Engbrid, it reached America 
and some of these ancient deeds bear mai'ks of the people's 
displeasure. The folly of the .King.had its influence in shapiag 
the future of the Colonies, and Roger W^illiams, having had sad 
experience in regard to religious intolerance, determined that nobody, 
should suffer for conscience sake within his domains. ThetirfifiS; 
became an educator and thfe people wpre taught wisdom. Thej 
following, as it determines the location of his dwelling in the wide 
spread town of Providence, is of, interest. 

"John Wilkinson, Return Original Right. 

January ye 29, 1707-8. ,. 

Layed out about four acres of Rockey uneven land to John 
Wilkinson for allowance for the Highway that was layed out ait 
Martin's Wadeing place, which land for allowance lieth on 
adjoining to John Wilkinson's home land, and beginning at a 
Red oak tree marked and rangeth Southwestwardly to a Bladk 
oak tree marked, being a corner of Eleizar Whipples Lott, and 
from said Black oake to range Southwardly to a heapc of stones 

*5 Book of Deeds, p. 108, Providence. 

f6 Hume's Hist, of England, p. 285. ' 


being a Corner of John Dexter's land, and from said heap of stones 
to range Northwestwardly with Dexter's land till it meeteth with 
said Wilkinson's former land, and thence to ye aforesaid Red 
Oake, where ye Range began." 

" Layed out by mee, Ths. Olney, jr., Surveyor. 
Recorded Nov. ye 9, 1 709, '^r. Tho. Olnev, Clerk,"* 
This was near the "Dexter Lime Rock," and the John 
Dexter referred to was the son of Rev. Gregory Dexter. The 
early records or the Colony shov/ John to be an active, energetic, 
business man, and he was not confined to Providence in his land 
purchases. He had lands assigned him in the Rehoboth Ndrth 
Purchase. The following is an extract from a Deed of sale from 
his sons, Daniel and Jeremiah to Israel Wilkinson, jr. A part 
oi the description reads: "Seven acres and forty-one rods of 
common, or undivided land, to be taken up within Rehob^th 
North Purchase so called, on the Right of our Honoured Father 
lohn Wilkinson, deceased." ' ■■ 

. He was admitted freeman, IVIay 3, 1681, and always exercised 
the elective franchise. ~ Being a strong, athletic man he feared 
nothing in human form, and his rashness was sometimes checked 
by severe casualities. He was noted for his bravery and daring 
in the wars with the Indiians and did not mind the hand-to h^nd 
conflict with the ferocious savages. In one encounter with them 
he was severely wounded and the General Assembly voted hipi a 
pension. He held several town offices, was Deputy for Providetice 
at the General Courtin 1699, 1700, 1706, &:c. He died suddenly, 
and was found by the side of the road between his own and his 
brother Samuel's house. 


" Here followeth ye Record of ye inventory of John Wilkinson 
of Providence, Deceased, his Estate : 

A true Inventory of all and singular the Goods & Chattels 
and Credits which were bi'ought to our view of ye Estate of John 

Wilkinson who deceased, April ye lO, 1708, appraised ye 26th 

\^ . ■ ■ • > H 

*i Back of Deeds. 


of April, 1708, by us whose names are hereunto subscribed and 
in manner and value as followeth : 

"Imprimis, To his wearing apparel and Cane, =£19.15.00 

To beds, bedding, table linen, chests & other goods 

in ye North room, 18. 15.00 

In ye North Chamber a bed & stead & furnature 

& wheat, rye, feathers, &c., 6. 11.00 

In ye East Chamber a bed & bed-stead & furnature, 

with grain & other things, 8. 18.00 

In ye Lower East Room in Pewter, brass pots & 

kettles & other house hold utensells, 17.18.00 

In Peantry, frying pans, milk vessels, with other lumber, 2.00.00 
In ye Cellar in Cider, Pork, Tobacco & Casks, 9.00.00 

In ye West Chamber two beds with furnature with 

some cloth, grain, &c. 19.16.00 

In ye Garrett in Tobacco, Flax & some tooles, 21.14.00 

In ye Corner West Room in Tables, Frames, Chaires, 

Wheels, Utinsells for ye fire, 5.16.00 

To Joyner's tooles, 3. 1 2.00 

To Cooper's tooles, 1. 14.00 

To Carpenter's tooles, 2.13.00 

To Husbandry Tooles: 6 Cart-wheels, Plows, 

Chains, Yokes, hoes, Axes, pitchforks, grind 

stones & Spades, 16.08.00 

To Corn in ye Cribb h rye in ye Barn, 10.09.00 

To Deale boards, • i.oi.oo 

To Swine, 4.10.00 

To a horse bridle & Saddles, 1. 10.00 

To 29 head of neat Cattell, 58.06.00 

To 12 Calves, 3.12.00 

To Cooper Staves, 14.00 

To a piece of Druggett at ye Fullers, & a piece at 

ve Weavers, 7.10.00 

To a Negro Youtb, 30.00.00 

To Severall perticulars in ye Clossett, 18.00 

April ye 30, 1708, ye above Inventory^ Elezer Arnold, 

was by ye Town Councill at their Councill [^ John Angell, 

meeting examined. [ Samuel Wilkinson. 

Attested: Tho. Olney, Clerk, j Joseph Jenks, jr. 
Recorded, May ye 4, 1708, 

per Tho. Olney, Clerk."* 

*l Book ofWills, Probate Office, Providence. 


The above inventory is presented as it shows several particulars 
in regard to the prosperity of the Colony at that early period — 
the productions of wheat, rye and tobacco, the increase of live 
stock, and the abundance that pervaded the households of the 
settlers all indicate a thrifty growing Colony. Another fact is 
noticeable — the "Negro Youth." No State or Colony was 
exempt at that period — not even Massachusetts, from the curse 
of slavery. But Rhode Island, at an early date rid herself of 
this incubus. 

His wife Deborah was appointed Administratrix, as appears by 
the following : 

" At a Council Meeting, April ye 30, 1708. 

" Whereas John Wilkinson of the Towne of Providence 
departed this life on ye loth day of this instant April, 1708, and 
dying intested, his Widdow, Deborah Wilkinson caused an 
Inventory to be taken of her said deceased husband, his Estate : 
The which said Inventory the said Deborah Wilkinson hath this 
day presented unto the Councill for examination. The which 
Inventory beareth date ye 26th day of April, 1 708, and was 
appraised by Eleizer Arnold, John Angell, Samuel Wilkinson 
and Joseph Jenks, jr. 

Administration ordered to the widdow."* 

The burial place of John is not remembered, but as almost 
every freeholder had a small yard on his farm it is probable he 
was interred on the west bank of the Blackstone a little south of 
his house on his own premises. 

For other facts concerning John, see Biography No. III. 

IV. Joanna. Nothing is known of this daughter, and some 
have doubted the existence of such a person. Savage gives her 
name and birth, but neither Israel of Smithfield nor William of 
Providence into whose hands came the papers of their ancestors, 
give any account of her. Whether she died young — lived a 
spinster — or was married and had a family, is not known. She 
and her posterity, if she has any, have been entirely forgotten. 

*i Book. Council Records, Providence 


There is a melancholy sadness in the thought of being "entirely 
forgotten" by our kindred that awakens the deeper syinpathies of 
our soul. .:.■./. 

■' 'V- JosiAs the third son was barn in Providence, but at what 
ti trie is not definitely known — probably about 1660. He married 
Hannah Tyler who came from Taunton, Mass., and by her had 
one daughter, an only child named Hannah. May 29, 1682 he 
took the oath of allegiance^ or " engagement of fidelity^" as it was 
called, to Charles 11. This oath it seems, was required of all 
the king's subjects throughout the British Colonies of America. 
"The General Assembly of R. I.," says Bancroft, f "scrupulous 
in regard to the rights of conscience, would listen to no proposition 
ejtcept for an engagement of fidelity^ and due obedience to the 
iaws." So careful were they that nothing should undermine .this 
fundamental principle of soul liberty in their government, 

Josias was a freeholder and his nattie appears quite frequently 
on the public records. A grant of "six acres of land in the 
north part of the town of Providence," bearing date 1689, and 
signed "Josias Wikofon X his mark appears." The clerk cxi- 
recorder was " Richard Arnold, one of the council of his Majestv's 
Territory and Dominion of New England."* 

It has been observed by some authors who were well versed in 
the practice of the early days of " Providence and Rhode Island 
Plantations," that it was the custom to allow the clerk or some one 
of their number to write the names of persons signing an instrument, 
and then they would make their mark, never dreaming that their 
posterity would regard them as unable to write. Whether this if» 
true in the above case, we are not informed, at any rate the 
prthography of the name indicates that the original draftsman, as 
well as the grantor, was human and liable to err. In searching 
the old records I have found that persons able to write, have signed 
instruments by making a cross. 

fa Bancroft Hist. U. S., p. 67. 
*i Book of Deeds, p. 180, Prov 


The land above conveyed was undoubtedly one of the six acre 
lots extending from North Main street, or the "Pawtucket path " 
eastwardly. Another deed from Josias to Henry Estance, of the 
same date is recorded.* 

It was this year or the year following, that King James 11. 
abandoned his throne, and hence no allusion is made to him in legal 
instruments. The old charter of 1663 granted by Charles II. 
having been suspended by Sir Edmond Andross was revived in 1689, 
the date of the above deed, and Henry Bull was chosen Governor 
of R. I. and Providence Plantations, and some of these ancient 
papers reveal the joyful feelings experienced on the occasion. In 
the light of subsequent events these manifestions of the spirit of 
liberty are easily interpreted. 

In 1 69 1 Josias received a deed of gift from his "Honored 
Father," Lawrence Wilkinson, of his homestead in Providence, a 
copy of which has been given ante^ and as there was a great deal 
of difficulty attending the transmission of this estate the 
documentary history of it will be here given. 

After Josias' death, which occurred but one day after the death 

of his father, his widow, Hannah Wilkinson married one Joseph 

Tucker who proved to be an unworthv husband, perhaps an 

intemperate man. As Josias died without making any will, his 

property fell to the care of the Town Council, and the following 

records were made : 

Aug., 31, 1692. " Whereas Josias Wilkinson of this Town 
of Providence departed this life the loth day of Aug., 1692, and 
dicing intestate his estate thereby fell to the care of the Town 
Council for administration ; the Council doe therefore commit the 
estate of the said deceased Josias Wilkinson unto the hands of 
Edward Smith and John Wilkinson upon the same to administer 
on the Council's behalf, and according are required the same to 
dispose, and to give an account to the Council of their proceedings 
therein from time to time.""f" 

■'-'I Books of Deeds, i8o, Prov. 
fi Council Book, p. i. 


A few months after this the administrators and widow thought 
it advisable to rent the farm and estate of Josias, and having made 
a conditional arrangement with one Henry Stacey to take the same, 
they presented the matter to the Town Council and the following 
order was issued : 

Dec. 3, 1685. "At a meeting of ye Councill, &:c." 

" Whereas the estate of the deceased Josias Wilkinson lieth in 
such order that there is a necessity in letting out of the farm and 
stock -, and whereas there is a motion made by one Henry Stacey 
to rent ye farme — the matter hath been proposed unto ye widow of 
ye said Josias Wilkinson, and she hath unto the Councill this day 
declared herselfe very willing and free that the said Stacey should 
rent ye said farme and stock and house if the Councill andhe can 
agree on the terms, only she herselfe to have her abode in ye house, 
and she to have a cow reserved to herselfe for her use."* 

At what time Hannah married Joseph Tucker is not known, 
but after the lapse of six or seven years we find them applying to 
the Council as follows : 

Dec, 26, 1699. "Joseph Tucker and Hannah his wife have 
this day desired an account of the Council how matters stand 
between the Council and themselves about the estate of the 
deceased Josias Wilkinson."* 

Not succeeding in getting the property into his own hands 
Mr. Tucker, assumed to sell the stock, cattle and horses, and 
neo-lected the farm and allowed it to run to ruin, and to such an 
extent did he carry matters that he even neglected to provide 
clothing for his wife's daughter, and the following complaint was 
lodged against him: 

March 10,1701—2. " Complaint made against Joseph Tucker 
for letting the farm run to ruin, the house also, and that he had 
sold several horse kind belonging to the estate of the deceased 
Wilkinson, also, the child of Josias Wilkinson is in a suffering 
condition for want of clothing, &c." After hearing this complaint, 
the Council cited Tucker to appear before them, and he 
acknowledged that he had sold the stock and horses; but what 
was done with him or the property we are not informed. It was 

"■■'I Council Book, Providence. 


probably put out of his reach, and April 8, 1707, he died, and thus 
ended this unhappv affair. The matter however, had become 
somewhat complicated, and it was a number of years before it was 
out of the hands of the Council. 

July 7, 1737. "Hannah Tucker, widow of Joseph Tucker, 
presented an inventory for administration, which was taken by 
John Wilkinson and Svlvanus Scott, June 15, 1707,"* 

This Sylvanus Scott lived near Lonsdale, on what is now known 
as the old Scott place. He was the father of Stephen Hopkins' 
first wife. 

Hannah having had the care, and the expense of clothing and 
educating her daughter, and since the property to which her said 
daughter Was heir apparent was in the hands of the Council it 
became necessary to apply to them for allowances in her daughter's 
behalf. Hence the following record appears upon the Council 

"Whereas the aforesaid Hannah Tucker, widow of ye aforesaid 
deceased Joseph Tucker, had a former husband by name Josias 
Wilkinson who died, by whom she had one child the which child 
h;ith been with her mother, the said Hannah Tucker until this day, 
and accounts with the said Hannah Tucker have soon made up as 
concerning her said former husband, his estate, and ye said child's 
bringing up, and what ye said Hannah Tucker was indebted unto 
ye said Josias Wilkinson, his estate, is allowed to her, and also, 
that ye said Hannah Tucker to have all ye use and profits of the 
aforesaid Josias Wilkinson his farm (which belongeth to his heirs) 
to be unto ye said Hannah Tucker's use until ye 25th day of 
March next ensuing."* 

Gideon Crufford was appointed Administrator. 

For a period of over sixteen years the deed given by Lawrence 
Wilkinson to his son Josias, had never been recorded, and the 
following requisition was made by the Ccouncil : 

June 25, 1708. "At a meeting of ye Council. 

" Whereas there was formerly a deed of gift of lands by 
Lawrence Wilkinson, deceased, madetojhis son Josias Wilkinson, 
his son also, being since deceased, but leaving one child surviving; 
but ye said deed not being upon any record, and ye Town Council 
having ye care of ye aforesaid of said Wilkinson's estate, doe 
therefore order and appoint Mr, Jonathan Sprague, and Justice, 

*i Bjok of Cauncil Reccrds, p. 51 and 53, Providence. 


Eleizer Arnold to look after said deed, and in whose custody they 
find it, of them, the same to demand and receive, and to deliver 
it to the Council for their disposing ye custody thereof."* 

The Jonathan Sprague, mentioned above, seems to have been an 
intimate friend of Lawrence Wilkinson, and his name as subscribing 
witness, appears upon the deed aforesaid. This accounts for his 
appointment by the Council to look after the deed. Whether 
there was an attempt to secret, or keep it from the .heir is not 
known. The action of the Council would seem to indicate that 
such was the fact. This Jonathan Sprague is the author of the 
reply to the Massachusetts ministers who offered to preach the 
Gospel gratuitously to the benighted Rhode Islanders which reply 
is found in Benedict's History of the Baptists. f He was a preacher 
of great powers of mind and a man of extensive influence in 
the colony. 

June 19, 1 7 10. The Guardian of Hannah Wilkinson daughter 
of Josias, died, and the Council appointed Eleizer Arnold as sole 
guardian. The Deed of Gift is found in the hands of Tho. Olney 
clerk, and is delivered to said guardian,! and was recorded Nov. 
2, 1708, per Thos. Olney, Clerke.§ 

But the matter was not yet disposed of. John Wilkinson and 
Edward Smith it will be remembered were appointed administrators 
of Josias' estate at first. John died in 1708, leaving the business 
unsettled. His widow, being his administratrix, reports to the 
Council as follows : 

Sept. 7, 17 13. "At a Council meeting. 

" This day in presence of the Council, Deborah Wilkinson 
widow of the deceased John Wilkinson delivered unto Hannah 
Wilkinson (the dau. of the deceased Josias Wilkinson and his 

heiress) the sum of Pounds which was upon the account 

of the Estate of the deceased Josias Wilkinson ; the said John 
Wilkinson being by ye Council made overseer of the said Estate." 

*i Book of Council Records, 51-53, Providence, 
f I Benedict's History of the Baptist, pp. 469-471. 
;J;i Book of Wills, (not paged] Providence. 
^2 Book of Deeds, pp. 109-110, Providence. 


Why the number of pounds is left blank cannot be conjectured. 
One more order followed and the matter was dismissed the Record. 

Sept. 15, 1 7 13. "Major William Hopkins was appointed to 
make up the accounts, &c., of Josias' Estate.'"^ 

This Wm. Hopkins was a relative of the family, and married 
Ruth Wilkinson, Samuel's daughter, and was the father of Stephen 
and Esek Hopkins, who distinguished themselves in the days of 
the Revolution. Thus we have waded through these ancient 
records, not because of any intrinsic value in themselves considered, 
but because of the names and dates which they furnish us, and 
the contemporaries of the subject of this sketch. 

Josias died aged about thifty-two. Place of interment not 

VI. Susannah, the second of the name, and the youngest 
daughter of Lawrence, married a Boss of Rehoboth, Mass. All 
knowledge of this family and their descendants is lost. The name 
of Boss appears frequently in this Genealogy. Sarah Wilder 
married Jeremiah Boss, and "Senator" Wilkinson of Minnesota, 
married Sally Boss, but whether they were descendants of this 
family is problematical. 

■*i Council Book, Providence. 

Note. — Savage mentions Josias as follows : "Josiah, Providence ; perhaps eldest son cf 
Lawrence, took engagement of allegience to Charles II. 29 May 1682, had no male 
offspring to survive him, and only a daughter Ruth [}) who married a De.xter of whom are 
still descendants." — " Gencalogicnl Dictionary of N. E" vol. IV. p. 551-2. 

Josias is the correct spelling of his name. He was the youngest son, and not the 
oldest. He had no daughter Ruth, but an only child Hannah who married James Dexter. 
Savage is generally very reliable. 


Samuel Wilkinson^] [2] Lawrance'[i] 

AND y 

Plain Wickenden, j 

, Of Providence, R. I. 

8. I. Samuel,^ (21-35) b, Sept. 18, 1674, d. Jan. 18, 1726-7. 

9. II. JoHN,'^ (36-41) b. Jan. 25, 1677-8, d. 175^. 

10. Ill, William,'^ (42) b. Aug. i, 1680, d. 

11. IV. JosEPH,^(43-57) b. Jan. 22, 1 682-3, d. April 24, 1740. 

12. V. RuTH,'^ b. Jan. 31, 1685-6, d. 

13. IV. Susannah,^ b. April 27, 1688, d. 

AMUEL was born the year before King Philip's War 
commenced. He lived in that part of Providence which 
afterwards became Smithfield, and carried on the business of 
a farmer, tanner and currier, and shoemaker,* and was a very 
industrious, hard-working man. He married Huldah Aldrich and 
had a family of fifteen children. His father gave him a farm to 
which he made additions by subsequent purchases. He does not 
appear to have been a public man, and his name is not found in 
connexion with any town or state office. Belonging to the Society 
of Friends, it was a matter of principle, as well as preference to 
forego the honors of such distinctions, and to quietly mind his 
own business. His place of residence was nearly west of 
Manville. The description contained in a " deed of gift, good-will 

•'■3 Book of Wills, p. 35, Providence. 


and affection" from his father will serve to point out its location. 

The conveyance is in words and phrases following: — 

"To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come: 
I, Samuel Wilkinson of ye Town of Providence in the Colony 
of Road Island and Providence Plantations in New England, 
send Greeting : Know yee, That I, Samuel Wilkinson, seueral 
good reasons mouing me thereunto, but especially the loue, good-will 
and natural aff-ec:ion which I have and do beare towards my 
beloued son Samuel Wilkinson of the towne and Colony aforesaid: 
Have giuen and granted * * a parcel of land containing by 
estimation f^ifty acres, be it more or less; and also, a dwelling 
house, and all other buildings standing upon said land, the said 
fifty acres of land was laid out on ye Original Right of Richard 
Scott,* and is that which my afoursaid son now dwelleth on, and 
is situate, Lieing and being within the townshipp of Providence 
aforesaid, and about ten miles north-westwardly from said Towne, 
or Harbour in said Providence, and lieth on the south-eastern side 
of the brooke called Westquattersett Brooke, and neere to the 
Pawtucket River; — **. In witness whereof I doe hereunto sett 
my hand and scale, this twenty-sixth day of November, and in 
the second year of the Reigne of souering Lord, George, King of 
Create Brittain, &c,, and ye yeare of our Lord one thousand 
seauen Hundred and fifteen; — 17 15. 

Signed <Scc., in the presence of 

Thomas Hopkins, Joiner, Samuel Wilkinson, (l. s.) 

William Hopkins, Carpenter, 

Recorded this 5th day of January, lyj", 

^r mee, Richard Waterman, Clerk." 

One hundred and fifty years ago this deed was made, and 
although some of the names therein mentioned have passed away, 
still many remain as they were, and are readily recognized by those 
familiar with the early settlement of Smithfield. Samuel had been 
married several years and was living on the farm granted by this 
deed, and it is very probable that his family which at that time 
numbered twelve needed an enlargement of his domains to 
accommodate a rapidly increasing progeny. 

*This Richard Scott was the one who wrote against Roger Williams. His letters are 
published, and may be found in the Library of Brown University. The composition is 
peculiarly severe and sarcastic — not holding Williams in very high esteem. See " Fox's 
N. E. Fire Brand {Quenched, Part II. p. 247." "Guild's Manning & B. U., p. 147." 


If any member of the Wilkinson family should be desirous of 
making a pilgrimage to the locality described in this deed, we would 
direct him to Manville, R. I,, thence take the road to the west 
bearing to the left till the river-road running north and south is 
reached, then take the right-hand road to the house now (1865) 
owned by Fenner Mowry, thence west about half a mile ; and 
the spot formerly made vocal by the numerous family of Samuel 
and Huldah Wilkinson is reached. 

Think not, however, to find an old farm mansion with spacious 
kitchen, cleanly swept parlor, dairy room stored with yellow butter 
and cheese, pantry shining' with long rows of pewter-plate, and 
tin pans filled with milk covered with golden cream ; a well stored 
cellar ; outhouses, barns, and sheds, bleating flocks and lowing 
herds, the merry laugh and joy-beaming countenances of happy 
children gamboling in the front yard. No! These are all gone! 
p-one forever. 

"From door and hall, from porch and lawn, 
The echo of the voice is gone !" 

Not even the superstructure of the old house is visible. The 
grounds around have an aspect of decay and solitude. Nought but 
the remains of an old cellar nearly filled up and covered with grass 
may be seen. The path to the well is closed up, being untrod by 
busy feet, the well itself has nearly disappeared ; and even the 
aged trees have fallen and decayed, or stand as sentinel mourners 
of the departed of other days. All is lonely, sad and desolate. A 
hundred years wrought this great change ! "AV transit gloria mundi.'''' 

Samuel, as well as his brothers and cousins, including Stephen 
Hopkins, belonged, as we have before stated, to the Society of 
Friends. He was highly respected by them, and was noted for 
his devotion to their principles, and for the practical manner in 
which he carried them out in his every day life. Richard Scotj- 
above alluded to, is said to be the first Quaker who came to 
Providence, and although he tried his steel upon Roger Williams 
in the severest manner, yet he was not molested for opinion's 


An incident illustrative of the peculiar views of the Friends 
will be inserted here. Samuel, near the close of his life, found a 
smooth stone of the size of an ordinary gravestone, which he 
marked with the initials of his name. After his death his son 
Israel completed the inscription by inserting his age, date of birth, 
death, &c., and with pious devotion to his "Honored Father," 
and, in order to mark his last resting place, erected it at the 
head of his grave. Mr. Comstock, a preacher among the Quakers, 
deeming it a vain thing, as well as a violation of their rule, with 
a sledge hammer broke it in pieces. The fragments were collected 
140 years aftewards by James Wilkinson, a great grandson, who 
replaced them on his grave in the old Quaker Burying ground at 
Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where his remains were originally 
deposited in 1726. This practice of the Friends has undoubtedly 
deprived us of many dates in this Genealogy. 

Samuel was admitted freeman in 1701. 

He was extensively engaged in the leather business, and carried 
on tanning and currying in connexion with his farming operations. 
He was proverbially honest. 

On the 13th day of Jan. 1726-7, he, being very sick, and feeling 
conscious that he must die, called in a {qw friends, among whom 
was his cousin Stephen Hopkins, then a young man about twenty, 
but who afterwards became Governor of the State, made his will, 
disposing of his earthly possessions. As it mentions probably, all 
the living members of his family, it may not be improper to give 
it a place here. The deep religious tone manifested at the beginning 
of this will, bespeaks a soul on the borders of eternity, where 
earthly scenes sink into insignificance. 


"I, Samuel Wilkinson of Providence, in the Colony of Rhode 
Island and Providence Plantations in New England, Junior, being 
very sick and weake of body, but of perfect mind and memory, 
thanks^be given to God for it ; and calling to mind the mortality 

*3 Book of Wills, Probate office, Providence. 


of my body ; and well knowing it is appointed for man once to 
dye, and after Death to Judgment ; Do make and ordaine this my 
last will and testament ; that is to say first and principally my soul 
I Recommend Into the hands of God that Gaue it, and my body 
to the earth to be buried in decent christian burial, at the Discretion 
of my Executrix and Executor hereinafter named. 

Imprimis. I make and ordaine Huldah, my beloved wife, and 
David Wilkinson, my son to be my sole executrix and executor 
of this my last Will and Testament ; that my said wife and son 
jointly together to take the administration of my estate. 

Item. And mv will further is that my said Executrix and 
Executor shall sell so much of my land or other estate as will 
satisfie and pay all mv Debts and charges of what kind, or nature 
soever they bee. 

Item. I give and bequeathe unto Zibiah Comstock, my 
daughter, five pounds in money to be paid by my above Executrix 
and Executor at the end of five years from the date hereof. 

Ite?n. I give and bequeathe unto Patience Arnold, my daughter, 
ten pounds in money to be paid in the same manner, and at the 
same time as my daughter Zibiah's is to be. 

Item. I give and bequeathe unto my Daughters, Huldah 
Wilkinson and Mercy Wilkinson, Twenty pounds apiece to be 
paid at the expiration of five years from the date hereof by my 
Executrix and Executor. 

Ite/n. I give and bequeathe unto Ruth Wilkinson and Plain 
Wilkinson, my Daughters twenty pounds apiece in money to be 
paid unto them, each of my Daughters as they shall attain to the 
age of twenty-one years. 

Item. And my will further is, that all the Remainder of my 
Estate, after my Debts and the Legacies afour Demised are all 
satisfied and paid ; that it shall be equally Deuided amongst my 
sons, namely, Josiah Wilkinson, Samuel Wilkinson, David 
Wilkinson, Israel Wilkinson and Ichabod Wilkinson, to Have 
and to Hold to them and their heirs forever ; but with this further 
Reserve, viz — that my above said sons, Josiah Wilkinson, and 
Samuel Wilkinson, nor either of them shall sell, or dispose of any 
land or Real Estate which shall, or may be allowede to them, or 
either of them, without the aduise and consent of my Executrix 
and Executor; together with the Town Councill of Providence 
for the time being. 

In witness and for the confirmation whereof, I, the said Samuel 
Wilkinson, sett my hand and scale this thirteenth day of January 


in the thirteenth year of his Majesties' Reigne George King of 
Create Britton, &c., Anno Domini, one thousand seauen hundred 
and twenty-six or seauen. 

Signed, Sealed, &c.. 

In presence of us, Samuel Wilkinson, (l. s.) 

James Aldrich, Thomas Arnold Jr., Stephen Hopkins." 

Five days after the execution of this will he fell asleep in Jesus. 

" not like the quarry-slave at night 

Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed 
By an unf.ltering trust." 

The death of Samuel carried soirow to many a heart. His aged 
father was still living, his youngest son Ichabod was but six 
years of age, and his eldest child less than thirty. 

There being fifteen in all, though not all were living, the widowed 
mother found a heavy burden, and more than she could bear. 
Two of the daughters Zibiah and Patience were married and had 
homes of their own. Ichabod was subsequently sent to Mendon, 
Massachusetts, to reside with his sister Mercy, who married 
Benjamin Thayer, and the family circle was broken never to be 
re-united in this vale of tears. 

IT. John was born at the homestead of Samuel at " Loquissit" 
in Providence. He left Rhode Island about 1700, and from 
facts recently elicited, went first to Hunterdon County, New 

Jersey, where he married Mary . He had a daughter Mary 

born July 17, 1708, while he was yet in Hunterdon County, and 
about 1713 he moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and 
purchased a large tract of land lying partly in Wrightstown, and 
partly in Warwick township. This is still called the "old Wilkinson 
tract," and is divided into beautiful farms with neat dwellings, 
and contains a prosperous community, John's purchase in 
Wrightstown consisted of 307 acres the deed bearing date May 
27,1713. At this time the primeval forests tenanted with savages 
and wild beasts, covered the land, and his neighbors were few and 
far between. 

In Aug. 1683 there were but three or four cottages in 
Philadelphia, and the deer ran among the trees on which the 


surveyor had marked the courses of the streets, but it grew very 
rapidly, and in 1720 it contained upwards of loooo inhabitants. 
A ready market was thus opened, and the pioneer settlers were 
greatly favored. 

July 3, I 728. John was in Providence and signed a Power of 
Attorney with William Hopkins, James Angell, Josiah Wilkinson 
and David Wilkinson, to Joseph Wilkinson to dispose of the 
Lands and other property of Samuel Wilkinson who had recently 
died. A few days after the following deed was given, and as it 
describes the old homestead of the first Samuel, and was the means 
by which the whereabouts of the Pennsylvania branch of the family 
was discovered, it is the more readily inserted. 

" To all People Before whome this Deede of Saile Shall Come : 
Josiah Wilkinson of Providence in the Colony of Rhoad Island 
and Providence Plantations In New England, husbandman, and 
John Wilkinson of Wright's Town in the County of Bucks, in 
the Province of Pensiluania, ; and William Hopkins and Ruth his 
wife, James Angel and Susannah his wife, David Wilkinson, 
Samuel Wilkinson, and Huldah Wilkinson, Jun., and Ichabod 
Comstock and his wife Zabiah, Joseph Arnold, Jun. and his wife 
Patience: All of said Providence and Colony of Rhoad Island 
aboue s'd — Sends Greeting: 

Know yee that wee the said Josiah Wilkinson, John Wilkinson 
and William Hopkins and Ruth his wife, James Angel and 
Susannah his wife ; and David Wilkinson, Samuel Wilkinson, 
Huldah Wilkinson, and Ichabod Comstock and Zabiah his wife, 
and Joseph Arnold and Patience his wife for and in consideration 
of the sum of seauen hundred and seauenty pounds Currant 
money of New England by us in hand already Received, and 
well and truely paid by Joseph Wilkinson of Providence in 
the Colony of Rhoad Island afore said, yeoman, the Receipt 
whereof wee doe hereby acknowledg and ourselves there with to 
be fully satisfied, contented and paid : Haue given. Granted, 
Bargained and sold. Aliened, Enfeoffed, Conuayed and confirmed, 
and doe by these presents fully, freely. Clearly and absolutely, 
Giue, Grant, Bargaine, Sell, Alien, Enfeoff, Conuey and Confirm 
from our selves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators unto 
him the said Joseph Wilkinson and unto his Heirs, Executors, 
Administrators and Assigns forever ; all our Right, title, Property, 


Possession, Claime and Interest In and to all the land, meadows. 
Common Rights of Lands with all the Houseing buildings, 
fenceing. Orchards and Reail Estate that our Hon'd father and 
Grand father : Capt. Samuel Wilkinson of Providence aboue said, 
deceased, was possessed with, or had Right to in said Providence 
att the time of his death with the preuiledges and appurtinanses 
thereunto belonging ; that wee now have, or that wee ourselues, 
our Heirs, Executors, or Administrators mought or ought here 
after haue ; as namely his Homestead fearme where on he Dwelt 
att or neare the place called Locosquisset being in Estimation one 
hundred and 20 acres, bounded on the highway that Leads to 
Westquotomset : with the dwelling house, buildings and all yee 
thereon and therein Contained; with all other his outlands, 
Meadows, Commons and Reail Estate; within the Township of 
Providence aboue said. To Have and to Hold the said Giuen and 
Granted Premises with the appurtinanses ; unto him the Said 
Joseph Wilkinson, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and 
Assigns, and unto his, and theire own proper use, benefit and 
behoofe free and Cleare for Euer, being freely and Clearly 
acquitted, Exonerated and fully discharged att the Sealing hereof 
from us the Said Josiah Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, William 
Hopkins and Ruth his wife, James Angel and Susannah his wife, 
and David Wilkinson, Samuel Wilkinson and Huldah Wilkinson ; 
and Ichabod Comestock and Zabiah his wife, Joseph Arnold and 
Patiance his wife: Our Heirs, Executors and Administrators, and 
of and from any other or former Gifts, Grants, Bargains, Sailes, 
thirds or dowers ; and the Said Joseph Wilkinson his Heirs, 
Executors, Administrators or Assigns, Shall or may by force and 
uertue of these presents from time to time and att all times for 
Ever hereafter Have, hold, use, Injoy and possess all the said 
granted and Bargained Premises, as his and theire own proper 
Right and undefeazible Estate of Inheritance In fe simple. 
Furthermore wee the said Josiah Wilkinson, John Wilkinson, 
William Hopkins, James Angell, David Wilkinson, Samuel 
Wilkinson, Huldah Wilkinson, Ichabod Comestock and Joseph 
Arnold, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators Shall and will 
warrant and forever defend the Said Bargained, Granted and 
Conueyed premises with the appurtinanses unto the Said Joseph 
Wilkinson, his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns 
against the lawful Claims, or demands of any person or persons 
whatsoever. In Witness and for Confirmation hereof wee haue 
hereunto sett our hands and scales this sixth day of July, In the 


Second Year of His Majesty's Reign, George the Second, King of 
Create Brittain, &c.. Anno Domini, one thousand seauen hundred 
and twenty-eight. 

Signed, Sealed and Delivered^ 
In the presence of us. i 

Ezekiel Warner. { 
Charles Barding. j 
The I mark of Josiah Wilkinson, (l.s.) David Wilkinson, (l.s.) 
John Wilkinson, (l.s.) Huldah Wilkinson, (l.s.) 
William Hopkins, (l.s.) Ichabod Comstock, (l.s.) 
James Angell, (l.s.) Joseph Arnold, Jr., (l.s.) 

Susanna Angell, (l.s.) 
Recorded upon Providence Records, this 22d day of February, 
Anno Dom., 1730-31, In the Booke for the entry of Deedes or 
Land Euidenccs Number Eight and in Page 424, 425, 426. 

■^r mee Richard Waterman, Town Gierke." 
A part of the property was paid over to John by Joseph and 
the following receipt was given : 

"Providence, July 8, 1728. 
" Received then of my brother Joseph Wilkinson, administrator 
of his father Samuel Wilkinson's Estate, the sum of Seventy-one 
pounds in part of a Legacie which was due to me out of my father's 
Estate, I say received by me, £71.00. 

John Wilkinfon."* 

The business being settled John returned to Pennsylvania, and 
we have no account of his visiting Rhode Island after this. He 
was an active, enterprising business man, and his pacific principles 
prohibited the appearance of his name upon the military rolls of 
honor. To say that he was nurtured amid the hardships of 
pioneer border life would be no figure of speech. Born in the 
wilderness of R. I., where his minority was spent, and then 
emigrating to the wilderness of Pennsylvania, where the wolves 
howl and the panthers scream made dismal music the live-long 
night, we may well conjecture his was no holiday life. And 
when the period arrives in which the gratitude of those who are 

*For a similar receipt from John Milton's, see i. Chambers' Cyclopedia of English 
Literature, p. 330. 


enjoying in so eminent a degree the truits of the labors, and the 
indomitable enterprise and perseverance of the early pioneers and 
fathers of the western banks of the Delaware, shall assume the 
active form of some enduring testimonial, conspicuous upon the 
monument they build will be the name of John Wilkinson. 

During his last sickness he wrote his will and expired a few 
days afterwards. The will was proved April 23d, 1751, and is 
on record in the Recorder's office of Bucks County, Penn. The 
precise day of his death has not been ascertained. He is buried 
in the family burying ground on his farm. 

III. William was born in Providence and was the most talented 
of Samuel's sons. In regard to his birth we find the following : 
" In the records of the Greenwich Monthly Meeting of the people 
called Quakers." Says Thomas Rowland, who was their clerk, 
''It appears that William, son of Samuel Wilkinson and Plain his 
wife, was born the ist day of the 6th month in the year of our 
Lord 1680." He early united with the Friends, or was a birth-right 
member, and became a public Preacher among them. He appears 
to have been a man of more than ordinary ability, and was highly 
esteemed for his sincerity, integrity and zeal in religion. He had 
lands granted him in the town of Providence, and afterwards 
Samuel Wilkinson, Jr. and John Steere, Jr. had a lot laid out to 
them on Wm. Wilkinson's right, by Samuel Wilkinson, Surveyor, 
and Richard Sayles his committee man, on the i6th day of May, 
1724. At a still later period, i 772, Israel Wilkinson of Smithfield 
purchased a part of said land — "a certain piece of Cedar Swamp 
situate in Smithfield, and in the Swamp commonly known by the 
name ' Mattaley,' " — of Hosea Steere of Glocester, County of 
Providence. Subscribing witnesses, John Steere, Jr. and Richard 
Steere. These were all relatives, descendants of John Steere 
who married Rev. Wm. Wickenden's daughter. 

In 1768, William went to Barbadoes on the northern coast of 
South America, with a cargo of honey and horses, etc., and 
whether he returned home from this island, or sailed thence to 


England is not known. The voyage was exceedingly tempestuous 
and his quaint description of it in a letter to his parents which 
has been preserved will be read with peculiar interest. He had 
taken lodgings at Ann Borden's in Bridgetown and while recovering 
from the effects of sea-sickness was well cared for by these kind 
friends. His letter commences: 

"Barbadoes, 20th of the 2d Month, 1708. 

Honored Father and Mother : 

I think it my duty to write to you at this time, and 
let you know that I am indifferently well in health — blessed be 
God for it — and am safe arrived at Barbadoes, although we had 
a long and tedious passage of thirty-three days ; for we sailed the 
tenth day of the first month and the wind at west and by south ; 
and on the eleventh at night, the wind blew a storm, so that we 
could not bear one knot of sail, but drived before it, and was 
drove on the Banks called St. George's Banks, lying thirty or 
forty miles to the eastward of Nantucket, where the waves shined 
like fire in the night, and they flung overboard some of the honey, 
and would have flung over some of the horses, but Ephraim would 
not consent until it was day, and then we got over the banks and 
had sea room enough, and so we sailed eastward eleven or twelve 
days, and could scarce make any sail, nor keep any reckoning 
how far we run, but we concluded we run twenty degrees to the 
eastward before we got far south, and an exceeding great sea 
running that broke over the stern, and broke tne breastwork of the 
vessel, and killed one horse, and made the rest roar so they talked 
very much of flinging them overboard, but still we persuaded them 
to keep them a little longer, and so we kept them all but one. I 
was very sea-sick almost all the way, but on the 13th of the 
Second Month we got on shore on Barbadoes ; and I perceived 
that there were two vessels going for New England : one to 
Boston and the other to Rhode Island, I think to send by them 
both so that you may hear." 

Another part of this communication reveals the religious 
clement of his character, his trust and implicit confience in his 
Creator, his belief in the superintending and overruling providence 
of God ; and, that high degree of faith manifested in the Apostle's 
expression " all things shall work together for good to them who 
love God " stands out in bold relief. The small-pox was then 


regarded as a terrible disease, baffling the skill of the physician 
and carrying thousands to premature graves. It had broken out 
in Barbadoes. In speaking of it, he says : 

"The smallpox is also here, not very prevalent yet, for it is but 
newly come. This I say not to scare you, for as for me, I am 
freely given into the hand of God for him to do with me as pleaseth 
him, whether in sickness or health, life or death, and I don't 
repent my coming. But as to my coming home at this time, I 
cannot say much, but expect to write again if it be the will of God ; 
but if it be otherwise, I desire vou to be content, for it is most 
certain that we must part one time or other, and my desire is, that 
whensoever it be, that it may be for the better. So remember 
my love to my brothers and sisters, and all my relations and friends, 
telling them I have not forgotten them. My love to you. 

William Wilkinson." 

Subsequently he went to England, married a Miss Mary 

in Yorkshire, and moved to London. His wife's maiden surname 
is not known. He had one daughter, an only child, named Hannah 
Maria. He frequently corresponded with his relatives in America, 
but never returned to his native land. He published a controversial 
work against Joseph Jenks, but the most friendly feelings existed 
between them. A copy of this work is said to be in the possession 
of Judge Staples of Providence. The work is alluded to in Gabriel 
Bernon's reply to James Honevman in regard to settling a young 
man as Pastor of the Church of England m Providence, Sept. 1722* 
He says, "We have a great many worthy gentlemen that apply 
themselves to read the Holy Scriptures, and are very well able to 
give an account of their faith ; as for instance, Mr. Jenks, our 
Lieut. Gov. by his answer to William Wilkinson, the greatest 
preacher among the Quakers, and Mr. Samuel Wilkinson, the old 
man deserves respect for his erudition in divine and civil law, 
historical narrative, natural and political."* 

Several of Williams's letters are preserved. One is dated as 
late as 1721, at which time it appears his father and mother were 
both living. He mentions the names of his kinsmen, Joseph 

*Wilkin3on Updike's "History of Narragansetts Church" p. 53. 


Smith, his mother's sister's son, Rufus Hopkins, Stephen Hopkins, 
his nephew, a lad only fourteen years of age, who afterwards was 
a member of the Continental Congress, his wife and daughter, 
his wife's father and mother, the latter being sick in Yorkshire, 
and several other persons, and events which show him to be an 
active business man, and in the confidence of the capitalists and 
land owners of both countries. Some of his letters were published 
a few years ago in the Providence yournal. He died in England. 
The time of his demise is not known. He was a useful man, 
leading a godly life, and died in the triumphs of the Faith. 

"His youth was innocent; his riper age 
Marked with some act of goodness every day ; 
And watched by eyes that loved him, calm and sage, 
Faded his last declining years away. 
Cheerful he gave his being up, and went 
To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent." 

IV. Joseph was one of the first settlers in Scituate. His 
grandfather and father both had taken up lands in that part of 
Providence which lies west of the "Seven mile line." The 
" Purchaser's Booke" describes all lands taken up in the early days 
of the Colony as being on the East or West Side of this line. 
Lawrence had a right there, and Hannah, the only daughter and 
heiress of Josias, had " three acres of meadow" laid out to her 
on this right in 1707.* 

The place where Joseph was born was within the present limits 
of Smithfield near the Harris Lime Rock. At what time he 
went into that part of Providence since called Scituate, is not 
definitely known, probably about 1700, when he was less than 
twenty-one years of age. The high and elevated portions of 
Scituate can be seen from Samuel's old residence, so when he was 
established in his new home, he was not out of sight of his 
birth-place. He married Martha Pray, the granddaughter of one 
of the first settlers in this part of Providence, and became an 
extensive land-owner. One hundred and thirty-seven and a half 
acres of land were laid out to Joseph, west of the seven mile line 

*i Purchasers of Providence Booke, p. 13, Providence. 


in 1700.'*' Over five hundred acres were laid out to him and his 
sons. He also, owned lands in Smithfield, and a deed of sale to 
Daniel Jenks is recorded in that town.t His first residence was 
where John Harris now lives, on the most northern turnpike in 
the town. He built the first frame barn in town, and all the men 
then resident in Smithfield, Gloucester, and Scituate were present 
at the raising; so spare were the inhabitants at that time. After 
the frame was erected all these men were seated on the sill 
between the great door posts, and were served with metheglin 
instead of rum. 

Joseph was admitted foreman in 1708. 

Mrs. John Harris who now occupies the old homestead, is a 
lineal descendant of Joseph through Benjamin, being the only 
daughter of Dr. John Wilkinson, who was a son of Benjamin. 
Joseph held nearlv all the town offices, being successively Justice 
of the Peace, member of the Town Council, Town Treasurer, 
&c. He was a Surveyor of land, and also, a member of the 
Legislature, or Deputy for Scituate to the "General Court " in 
1 73 1. He had fifteen children. The dates of the births, and 
deaths of several members of his family have cost several days 
research. He died in the 58th year of his age, and his loss was 
a public, as well as a private calamity. His widow survived him 
46 years and died in 1786, aged ninty-seven. 

Joseph's Will, being an excellent model of such an Instrument, 
has been procured by the compiler from the town clerk of Scituate, 
and is inserted in the appendix. Every member of the Wilkinson 
family will be amply compensated by perusing it, as it exhibits 
the business man more perfectly than any sketch drawn at the 
present time. 

For other facts concerning Joseph, see Biography No. IV. 

V. Ruth, the oldest daughter of Samuel was born within the 
precincts of Smithfield, near the Harris Lime Rock, about ten 
miles from the city of Providence, and about forty-five years 

^Proprietors and Purchasers Booke, p. 7, Providence. 
fi Book of Deeds p. 205, Smithfield, R. I. 


before Smithfield was set off as a separate town. Her advantages 
for an education were limited, as were all pioneer settlers in a new 
Colony ; but her father's house was not destitute of books, and 
her mother being the daughter of a Baptist Minister, fully 
appreciated the advantages of mental cultivation. Undoubtedly 
many of her father's old sermons were in her possession, and many 
of his books, and it is a well known fact, that a circulating library 
was established at the very place of her father's residence at a 
very early period. James Wilkinson, a man now (1866) eighty 
years of age, remembers going when a lad about ten or twelve, to 
get books from said library, the origin of which may have been 
the family library of Ruth's parents. Suffice it to say, Ruth, from 
judicious parental guidance, and a natural gentleness of disposition, 
accompanied with a firmness and energy that characterized her 
ancestors, became a distinguished woman in the infant Colony of 
Rhode Island. Her youth was spent amid the domestic scenes 
of home, with occasional visits to her relatives and acquaintances 
in Providence •, and the household affairs shared a portion of her 
time. She was far from being above doing anything that was 
necessary to be done in order to family comfort and convenience. 

She married William Hopkins, but the date of their marriage 
is not remembered. Tradition says he was employed by Ruth's 
father, either as a mechanic, or day-laborer on his farm, but as 
his name appears upon some ancient deeds (one of which has 
been quoted) as a subscribing witness with the designation 
"Carpenter," he was probably the former. He became a man of 
note, and no one was returned more frequently to the Legislature 
of Rhode Island, than William Hopkins. 

The Rev. C, C, Bemen in his Sketches of Scituate records an 
incident in the life of Ruth, which we ventui-e to insert, although 
some have doubted its genuineness in regard to these parties. 
*' The marriage of William and Ruth," says he, " has a very 
pleasant episode connected with it of a romantic character, and 
however it may be true in general. 


' For aught that ever I could read, 
Could ever hear by tale or history, 
The course of true love never did run smooth ; 
But, either it was different in blood. 
Or else misgrafFed in respect of years, 
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends.' 

Yet in this case the hindrances that seemed to stand in the way, 
were happily and skillfully removed. It looks like a woman's as 
well as love's strategy, and if so, that girl, Ruth, just turned 
of tvventy, might well be the mother of gifted children. 

The lover, William Hopkins, was a hired man in the employ 
of the father of Ruth, working in some capacity, probably on his 
farm, and it appeared to him and Ruth a little like presumption 
to make the proposal, or solicit the consent of " Captain Samuel 
Wilkinson, Esq.," as he was honorably described in written 
documents. The lovers dared not speak to the 'awful Justice' — 
for Samuel was a Justice of the Peace — concerning their secret 
flame, and their desire for wedlock, and they accordingly hit upon 
the following novel expedient: In the justice's house, or office, ij 
was customary to post up 'Intentions of A'larriage,' The timid 
lovers who had often looked with an emulous eye upon such 
important preliminary steps to 'a consummation devoutly to be 
wished,' wrote their notice and placed it upon the table of the 
justice in such a way as to attract his attention, and watched to see 
how it would be received. The judge who was to decide their case, 
came in and took up the paper where, 'Intention of marriage 
between William Hopkins and Ruth Wilkinson, both of Providence' 
was adventurously written. No appearance of dislike was seen 
on the countenance of Mr. Wilkinson, as he deliberately perused 
the paper ; and the hearts of the lovers, which fluttered not a 
little on this trying occasion, were not only relieved, but greatly 
overjoyed to perceive the 'squire,' with all due respect affix the 
notice in the accustomed place. There were some blushes on the 
faces of the young couple that day, no doubt, but they were joyful 
ones. Soon with the requisite solemnities, the marriage took 
place, and Mr. Hopkins, with his new wife, left for their home 


in the far western part of what was then Providence, where slender 
accommodations in the way of a house awaited them ; but 
ordinary difficulties could not daunt those who loved each other, 
and saw in the future, as the reward of their privations and toils, 
a well cleared farm, and a more commodious dwelling." 

The children born to these parents were: 

(i) IViUiam., b. m. Abby Curtis, had one son Christopher, 

who married Sarah Jenlcs and had Daniel who married Susanna 
Wilkinson, Sept. 4, 1774.* He was a sea captain, and his life 
was full of adventures. For a very interesting account of him, 
see Biography No. V. 

(2) Stephen^ b. March 7, 1707, m. Oct. 9. 1726, Sarahf Scott 
by whom he had seven children, as follows: 

1. Rufus, b, Feb. 10, 1727-8, m. Nov. 11, 1759, Sarah 
Olney,! had a family. He was master of a ship and ship owner, 
was also, agent in managing the Hope Furnace. He died in 
Scituate, Rhode Island. 

2. John, b. Nov. 6, 1728, was a sea captain, died of the smallpox 
in 1752, at St. Andero in Spain while in his father's employ. 

3. Ruth, b. Oct. II, 1731, died young, 

4. Lydia, b. Jan. 6, 1733, m. in Providence and left a large 

5. Sylvanus, b. Nov. 30, 1734, was commander of a vessel, 
shipwrecked on the island of Cape Breton, was surprised and 
barbarously murdered by the Indians. The memory of this young 
man deserves more than a passing notice. Althongh but 18 years 

*. Married. — " Daniel Hopkins son of Capt. Christopher Hopkins late of Providence, 
deceased, and Susanna Wilkinson dau. of John Wilkinson of Smithfield were married 
according to law by me. Ezekiel Angell, Elder. 

North Providence, Sept. 4, 1774." i. Book Births and Marriages, p. 31, No. Prov. 

•}•. Married. — " Wm. Jenks, Esq., J. P. gave notice that he had lawfully joined together 
in marriage Stephen Hopkins and Sarah Scott, both of Providence the 9th day of Oct., 
Anno, Dom. 1726, In the evening." 2. Book of Marriages p. Providence. 

%. Married. — "Nov. II, 1759, by James Angell Esq., Rufus Hopkins, son of Hon. 
Stephen Hopkins and Sarah Olney dau. of Capt. Joseph Olney, both of Providence." 
2. Book of Marriages p. 96. 


of age his skill as a navigator was acknowledged by all who knew 
him. The tempest that burst upon his ship with such violence 
as to render the aid of human skill and power unavailing, and 
caused his shipwreck has been vividly described by Falconer. 

♦'The ship no longer foundering by the lea 

Bears on her side th' invasions of the sea, 

All lonely, o'er the desert waste she flies, 

Scourged on by surges, storm, and bursting skies. 

The wounded bark, thus smarting with her pain 

Sends from pursuing waves along the main ; 

While dashed apart by her dividing prow. 

Like burning adamant the waters glow. 

Her joints forget her firm elastic tone; 

Her long keel trembles, and her timbers groan ; 
Upheaved behind her in tremendous height 
The billows frown, with fearful radiance bright ! 
Now shivering o'er the topmost wave she rides, 
While deep beneath the enormous gulf divides. 
Now liunching'headlong down the horrid vale 
Sa2 hears no mare the roaring of the gale ! 
Till up the dreadful height again she flies 
Trembling beneath the current of the skies, 
E'ven so she scales the briny mountain's height 
Then down the black abyss precipitates her flight." 

But striking upon the rocks the ship was dashed to pieces by the 
violence of the waves. Sylvanus reached the shore alive only to 
meet a more horrid death by the hands of the savages. The 
following appears upon his tombstone in the North Burying 
ground in Providence. 

In Memory of 

Son of Stephen Hopkins Esq., and Sarah his wife. 

Was cast away on Cape Breton shore and inhumanly 

Murdered by cruel savages on the 23th of April 1753. 

Aged 18 years, 5 mos, 23 days. 

6. Simon died, aged seven or eight. 

7. George was a sea-captain, sailed from the port of Providence, 
and was never heard from ! Thus perished the children of thi^ 
immortal signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

Stephen HpPKiNs was the most distinguished public man of 
this generation. Rhode Island has never produced a man of more 


native ability, nor a greater statesman. For more than fifty 
years he was a public officer, holding a variety of positions from 
town clerk of Scituate to that of member of the first congress. 
He was Governor of his native state nine years, and twentv-one 
years chancellor of Rhode Island college. When it is remembered 
that he never attended school, his attainments in scholastic lore 
become the more remarkable and praiseworthy. His writings will 
bear the rhetorical designation of neat in regard to style, and 
bespeak a well balanced and a well cultivated mind endowed with 
high and noble impulses. Withal he was a patriot worthy of his 
age and country. His gravity was proverbial, and Whittier has 
honored him with the following notice. 

"Three shades at this moment seem walking her strand, 
Each with head halo-crowned, and with palms in his hand, 
Wise Berkley, grave Hopkins, and smiling serene 
On prelate and puritan, Channing is seen." 

In 1765, he commenced the "History of the Plantations and 
growth of Providence," but never completed the work. It is 
printed in the Mass. Historical Collection, Second Series, Vol. 9, 
p. ic)']^etseq. In the sameyear he wroteand published by order of 
the General Assembly of Rhode Island, a work entitled " The 
Rights of the Colonies Examined," which was reprinted in London. 
He held the three honorable and important offices of Member of 
Assembly, Delegate to Congress, and Chief Justice of Rhode 
Island at the same time. He manumitted his slaves at an early 
period, and advocated universal freedom for the human race 
regardless of color. Providence is indebted to him for its public 
library, and every enterprise which had for its object the elevation 
and improvement of mankind received his hearty support. 

He always attended the Quaker meeting, and among the Signers 
of the Declaration of Independence he may be distinguished as 
being the only one with a hat on. In the town records of Scituate, 
the names and births of four of his children are to be found. His 
first wife died shortly after the death of his son Sylvanus, and her 
tombstone bears the following inscription : 


In Memory of 

Wife of Stephen Hopkins, Esq. ; 
Youngest daughter of Major Sylvanus Scott ; 
Departed this life, Sept. 9, 1753. 
Aged 46 years, 2 mos., 15 days. 
He closed his eventful career, July 13, 1785, aged 78 yrs, 4 mos, 
6 days, going down to the grave like a shock of corn fully ripe. 
He was prepared for the change by Divine grace, and died crowned 
with honor in the triumphs of the faith, and in the hope of a 
glorious resurrection, and a blissful immortality. His native state 
has erected a monument "in honor of her favorite son," and his 
memory is still cherished by an appreciating posterity. 
For a more extended notice see Biography No. VI. 
■(3) y^bn married Catherine Turpin and lived in Providence. 

(4) Samuel. 

(5) Esek was born in Scituate, Rhode Island, April 26, 17 18, 
m. Desire Burroughs, of Newport, Nov. 28, 1741, and had i, 
John, b. Aug, 25, 1742, (N.S.) at Newport; 2, Heart, b. Sept. 
I, 1744; 3, Abigail, b. Oct. 25, 1746: 4, Samuel, b. Feb. 19, 
I748,d. Sept. 22, 1750 ;5, Amey, b. Jan. 26, 1 751, at Providence ; 
6, Stephen b. March, 6, 1753 ; 7, Susanna b. May 10, 1756, m. 
Jonathan Maxcy, D. D. President of Brown University, Union 
College, N. Y. and Columbia College, S. C. 

For other facts concerning him see Biography, No. VII. 

8. Esek, b. June 21, 1758,* and others. 

Commodore Hopkins was a representative man on the water 
being the first American" High Admiral,"! or as he was designated 
by Congress, " Commander-in-chief of the Naval Forces." He 
exerted a great political influence after he left the Navy, and aided 
in establishing the peculiar institutions that characterize Rhode 
Island. For dash and daring few men equalled Commodore 

*l Book of Marriages, p. 159, Providence. 

■\i\ Lossing's Common School History of U. S. p. 238. 



Hopkins, and none excelled. His portrait may be seen in " Rhode 
Island Hall" on College hill, Providence; and if this paintino- is a 
truthful representation, he must have been a fine looking man. 
He died Feb. 26, 1802, and was buried about one-third of a mile 
northerly from his house in the town of North Providence on a 
piece of land of about one and one-fourth acres, that he gave to 
the town for a cemetery. 

See his Biography No. VHI. 

(6) Hope^ b. , m. Henry Harris, r. Scituate, R. I. 

(7) Jbigail, b. 

(8) Susannah^ b. , m. Nathan Angell, b. 17 18, d. 18 14, 

who was the son of Joseph, the son of James, the son of Thomas, 
who was one of the five men, who first came with Roger Williams 
to Providence. Their children were, Nathaniel b. 1744; 
Susannah, b. 1746; Rosabella, b. 1748, m. Samuel Chase; 
Samuel, b. 1755; Sarah, b. 1757, m. Col. Ephraim Bowen ; 
Abigail, b. 1760, and Nathan b. 1768, m. Amy Kennicut."' 

William Hopkins died in 1738. The following is a copy of 
his Will: 

"At a Town Council held in Scituate in County of Providence, 
the 9th day of October, Anno Dom., 1738. 


Stephen Hopkins, Benjamin Fisk, Ezekiel Hopkins, 
Samuel Bates, James Calvin, & David Sprague, jr. 

The last Will and Testament of William Hopkins of Scituate 
aforesaid, deceased, was presented to this Council in the following 
words : 

'In the name of God, Amen. This Eleventh of June, in the 
twelfth year of his Majesty's reign, George the Second King of 
Great Britian, A. D., 1738. I, William Hopkins, of Scituate, in 
the County of Providence, in the Colony of Rhode Island, 
yeoman, being very sick and weak of body, but of perfect mind 
and memory (thanks be to God for it) and calling to mind the 
mortality of my body, and knowing it is appointed for man once 
to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in 
manner and form following: that is to say, principally, and first 

*i'. Genealogy of the Angell Family, by Dr. A. F. Angell, Providence. 


of all my soul I recommend into the hands of God that gave it, 
& my body to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at 
the discretion of m.y executors hereinafter named. And as 
touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to 
bless me in this present life, I give, demise and dispose of the 
same in the following manner and form : 

Impr'unh^ I give to my three sons, namely, William Hopkins, 
Stephen Hopkins and John Hopkins, five shillings each, and the 
reason I give them no more is I have given them sufficient already. 

//■fw, I give to my two youngest sons, namely, Esek Hopkins 
and Samuel Hopkins, one Gun, one log chain, and one Horse, 
and likewise all my working tools besides, to be equally divided 
between them two. 

Item., I give my two sons, namely, Esek Hopkins and Samuel 
Hopkins, all my wearing apparel after my decease. 

Item., I give to my two younger daughters, namely, Abigail 
Hopkins, and Susannah Hopkins, my two Trunks and all that is 
in them, except my papers, to be equally divided between them, 

//ifw, I give to my daughter Susannah, Hopkins, my Bed and 
Bedding whereon I used to lie, namely two pairs of sheets, one 
pair of flannel and one pair of Linen, three blankets, and two 
rugs, one bolster and one pillow. 

Item., I give my three daughters namely, Hope Harris, & 
Abigail Hopkins and Susannah Hopkins Forty Pounds in money 
to be paid to each of them in one year after my decease. 

Item., and all the rest of my money and goods, I give and bequeath 
to my two younger sons, namely, Esek Hopkins and Samuel 
Hopkins, to be equally divided between them two. And I do 
nominate and appoint my son-in-law, Henry Harris to be my 
sole Executor to this my last Will and Testament; and further 1 
do pronounce and declare this my last Will and Testament, and 
in confirmation I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day 
and year above written. 

In the presence of us, 
Eziekiel Hopkins, ^ 

John Evans, > William Hopkins, (l. s.) 

Jabez Bowen. 

A true copy. 

Witness, Albert Hubbard,* 

Probate' Clerk." 

*Town Clerk of Scituate, 1866. 


At what time Ruth died is not known. She was living as late 
as 1721, and died previous to 1731, as an old quit claim deed 
given by William Hopkins, jr., indicates. She lived to see the 
forests cleared away, the country filling up with people, her 
children respected and honored citizens. They afterwards 
became firm friends of freedom, earnestly contending for the 
rights of the Colonies on the land and on the water. Stephen 
and Esek distinguished themselves in the War of the Revolution, 
the former as a statesman in the Councils of the nation, and the 
latter as the first American Admiral, 

Mr. Bemen above quoted, in a concluding remark says, '•'If the 
family had done nothing more than to give us the Mother of 
Governor and Commodore Hopkins we might be willing to build 
them a monument." 

VI. Susannah, the youngest child of Samuel, was born, lived, 
and died in Providence. She married James Angell, the son of 
John, and the grandson of Thomas Angell. Dr. Avery F. 
Angell of Providence, who is preparing the Genealogy of the 
Angell family says, "This Thomas is supposed to be the son of 
Henry Angell of Liverpool, England. He came from London 
with Roger Williams in 1631, stopped in Massachusetts till April, 
1636, when he settled with Williams in Providence. He was a 
minor in 1 638, and was supposed to be born in 1 6 1 8. He is believed 
to be the legal heir to the Estate of William Angell of Liverpool, 

amounting to $25,000,000." He m. Alice , and had; i, 

John, b. 1669, m. Ruth Field, dau. of Wm. Field who settled at 
Field's Point, R. I. d. 1720 ; 2, James, m. Abigail Dexter ; 3, 
Amphillis, m. a Smith ; 4, Mary, m. Richard Arnold ; 5, Deborah ; 
6, Alice, m, Eleazer Whipple ; 7, Margera. 

The family of John, who married Ruth Field, was as follows : 

I. Thomas, b. June, 1672, m. Sarah Brown; 2, John; 3, 
Daniel, m. Hannah Winsor ; 4, Hope b. 1682, m. Lydia Olney ; 
5, James, m. Susanna Wilkinson. "John Angell the father of 
James," says Dr. Angell, " was a man of enormous physical 


streno-th. It is said he carried nine bushels pf Pears on his back 


at one time, (?) that he attempted to carry four bushels of salt up 
stairs, but the stairs broke, and he got hurt." He died 1720. 
James and Susannah had the following children : 

(1) William^ b. , m. Amy Harding. 

(2) Ruth.,h. , m. John Wilkinson, son of John, Jr., and 

became the mother of Oziel, of Pawtucket, R. I. See his 

(3) Mary^ b. , m. Benjamin Greene, son of Samuel. 

(4) yames^ b. 

(5) Samuel.^ b. He was a Col. in the French and Indian War. 
William Wilkinson of Providence, says, " Susannah had a son 

Samuel, who was a colonel in the French War, and also, several 
daughters one of whom married John Wilkinson, grandson of the 
first John, and father of the late Oziel Wilkinson of Pawtucket, 
R. I." 

James Angell was admitted freeman May, 4, 1708, and died in 
1742. The date of Susannah's death is not known, nor her place 
of interment. 


John Wilkinson,^ ) [4] Lawrance.^ [i] 
Deborah Whipple, j 

Of Providence, R. I. 

14. I. John," (58-64) b. March 16, 1690, d. Sept. 25, 1756. 

15. II. Marcy,^ b. June 30, 1694, d. 

16. III. Sarah,^ b. June 22, 1696, d. 

17. IV. Freelove,^ b. July 25, 1701, d. 

18. V. DANiEL,''(65-72)b. June 8, 1703, d. 

19. VI. Jeremiah,^(73-84) b. June4, 1707, d. 


OHN married Rebecah, daughter of the 2d Richard Scott, 
March 20, 1 7 1 7- 1 8, the ceremony being performed by Richard 

Waterman, Justice, in Providence. At the time of his father's 
death John was 18 years of age, and, according to the law of 
Massachusetts Bav Colony he was entitled to a double share of 
his propertvlving within its jurisdiction, but he generously acquitted 
a part to his brothers and sisters retaining only an equal share. 
The injustice of the English law of primogeniture, though it 
benefitted him exclusively, was too palpable, and his sense of 
right would not allow him to take advantage of it. His integrity and 
honesty were proverbial. He afterwards, in 1729, purchased the 
estate of his brothers Daniel and Jeremiah and his sister Sarah. 
The Quit-Claim Deeds* given on the occasion is as follows : 

*2 Book Record of Deeds, Cumberland. 


^' Daniel and Jeremiah Wilkinson of Providence, and David 
Hogg and Sarah Hogg his wife of Attleboro, County of Bristol, 
Massachusetts Bay, send greeting : — Whereas our Honored Father, 
John Wilkinson, late of Providence, deceased, did in his lifetime 
purchase certain Lands within the township of Attleboro in the 
County of Bristol in the province of Massachusetts Bay in New 
England, and he dying intestate, his land by the law of said 
province, became dividable amongst his children in equal parts, 
saving to his eldest son a Double part, bv which means a Double 
part of all said Lands did of Right belong to our Eldest brother, 
John Wilkinson of said Providence, before he did acquit a part 
of it to his two brothers formerly, reserving but a part to himself, 
which is as followeth : One acre of meadow which our said Father 
purchased of George Robinson, lying and being on the Run, 
commonly called " Abbot's Run," upon the westerly side of said 
Run, situate in ye said Attleboro, being bounded on the South 
with a small red oake tree marked, near Abbot's Run, and bounded 
on the Northerly side by a clump of maple trees near said Run, 
Westerly by the upland. Easterly by the Run. Likewise two 
acres of Land, be it more or less, adjoining to said meddow as 
more fully appears upon the First Book of Records of Attleboro 
Lands, page 322. Likewise thirty-one acres and a quarter of 
Land, be it more or less, being the second lot in the last Division, 
lying upon Blackstone's Hill, the first corner is the east corner 
of Anthony Sprague's land, being a black oak, thence south, 
south-east forty rods to Waterman's land, then bounded with said 
land till it comes to the westerly corner, then turning the corner 
south-east twenty rods to a white oak standing within two rods 
for a corner, thence south-west half a point west sixty-eight rods 
to the farm line, then bounded with the farm and meadow till it 
comes to the first corner. Know ye, that we have forever 
Quit-claimed unto our Loving Brother, John Wilkinson of 
Providence, in the Colonv of Rhode Island, Cooper." 

Dated Dec. 12, 1729. Daniel Wilkinson, (l. s.) 

Jeremiah Wilkinson, (l. s.) 

John Dexter, Town Clerk. David Hogg, (l. s.) 

Sarah Hogg, (l. s.) 

It appears from this that his residence was in Rhode Island? 
and that he was a cooper as well as a farmer. 

Another Deed given by William Hopkins and Deborah his 
wife of Smithfield, and Joseph and Oziel Hopkins of Scituate 


appears to have been granted to John Wilkinson of Smithfield 
dated, March 24, 173 1-2. It is interesting only from its names, 
locality, and description which runs as follows: "A certain 
parcel of fresh meadow containing by estimation one acre and 
one-half, it being the one-half part, or moiety of ye meddow 
known by the name of ' Round Meddow' Lying within ye tract, 
or 'Gore of Land,' which is between Pawtucket River, and a due 
north line from Pawtucket Falls, and lyeth adjoining to said 
Wilkinson's other land." The consideration was ,£5.* 

John had seven children (perhaps more) two sons and five 
daughters ; the sons and their descendants are remembered, but 
the daughters are forgotten. They lived in Smithfield. The 
Pawtucket Wilkinsons are descendants of this John. 

His Inventory of Personal property amounted to £1991.13.4. 
a record of which may be found in the Smithfield Town Clerk's 
Office. The compiler has been unable to secure the dates of the 
births, &c., of John's family. 

II. Marcy, married, March, 12, 171 7-18, John Scott of 
Providence; Richard Waterman, Justice, officiating. f Their 
children are not remembered. This John Scott is believed to be 
a brother to Rebecca, and descendants of Richard, or John. 

III. Sarah, married David Hogg of Attleboro, nov/ 
Cumberland. He was a farmer, and built the house where Daniel 
Ellis now (1866,) lives, on the direct road from Diamond Hill to 
Pawtucket. They had : 

(l.) Hannah. 

(2.) Sarah^ m. Roger Hill, lived in Cumberland, R. I. 

IV. Freelove, married Mial Phillips and lived in Attleboro. 

V. Daniel married Abigail Inman, a descendant of Edward 
Inman, whose name may be found in connexion with Lawrence 
Wilkinson on the original agreement with Roger Williams, 1645. 
The wedding occurred Sept. 22, 1740. His occupation in the 
early part of his life was farming although he is described as 

*2 Book, Records of Deeds, Cumberland 
•j-i Book of Marriages, 6, Providence. 


Gentleman in the public documents of the day. He belonged to 
the Lodge of Alasons, and his seal on Deeds bears the compass, 
square and other emblems of the order. He was owner of several 
tracts of land and his signature appears attached to a conveyance 
Aug. 30, 1773, in connexion with his brother Jeremiah, when he 
was 70 years of age. The date of his death is not known, but 
the following record on the Town Books of Cumberland would 
show him to be alive as late as Feb. 24, 1777, when it was voted 
that an allowance of £4.15 be paid to Capt. Daniel Wilkinson 
for executing the will of James Howard. 

The General Assembly of Rhode Island set off the towns of 
Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton, Warren, and Cumberland 
(formerly called the " Gore of Land,") Jan. 27, 1746-7. The 
first town meeting was called Feb. lOth, following, and Daniel 
Wilkinson was chosen one of the " Ualiares of Reile Estate 
Respecting making freemen." [Valuers of Real Estate, &c.] 
The next annual meeting, Feb. 23, 1747, he was elected a member 
of the Town Council, which office he held for a number of years. 
He was Overseer of the Poor in 1759, and subsequently, and 
frequent entries are made for allowances to him for this service. 
He was a member of the Legislature for a number of terms, being 
Deputy for Cumberland in 1762, 1767, he. 

He was a noble, dignified man, a good citizen, honored and 
respected by the communitv. 

His place of burial has not been ascertained by the compiler. 
He had eight children, two of whom died within 1 1 days of each 
other in 1756. The others except a son who died at birth, married 
and had families. Nedabiah moved to Hartford, Ct. ; John to 
Skaneateles, N. Y, ; Olive to Choconut, Penn., and the rest lived 
in Cumberland, R. I. 

VL Jeremiah was born in Smithfield near " Martin's Wading 
Place" on the Blackstone River, a little south of Ashton, and 
early went into Cumberland where he took up lands. He ^married 

*Some S3V he married Patience Hide for his first wife July 3, 1735, see Records, 
Smithfield, Town Clerk's Office. 



Elizabeth Amev Whipple about 1738, and by her had twelve 

children, some say, 13, one dying in infancy. He was the father 

of the" Pr(9/)/'^/<'^^,"andthe followingsketch taken from " Hudson's 

Life of Jemima Wilkinson," will not be considered a very flattering 

account of the man. He says — " Her father, Jeremiah Wilkinson 

was a farmer by occupation, and possessed a small estate in 

Cumberland, the cultivation of which occupied his attention, and 

afforded a comfortable support for his family. He was a man of. 

strong mind, and rather stubborn disposition. Not having enjoyed 

the benefits of an education, he, as is too often the case, set alight 

value upon mental improvement, and made a merit of despising the 

politer accomplishments. He usually attended the Friend's 

Meeting being more attached to their Society than to any other 

religious Sect, yet was never acknowledged by them as a regular 

member of their community. In early life he married a young 

woman of the name Amy Whipple by whom he had twelve children 

six sons and six daughters. Jemima, their eighth child was born 

in the year 1 751, and to her exclusively, is this family indebted fo;" 

the celebrity of its name. Her mother was an amiable and intelligent 

woman, an exemplary house-wife, and an affectionate mother ; 

and to the care and instruction of her children was her whole life 

devoted. She was a member of the Society of Friends for many 

years, and highly esteemed for her benevolence and piety, and the 

uniform tenor of her useful life. She died soon after the birth of 

her youngest child, leaving the care and education of her children 

to their father, whose ideas on this subject extended but little, if 

any, beyond instructing them in those branches of labor and 

domestic economy, to which he had himself been accustomed, and 

by which his family had been supported. The loss of his wife 

was to him a very severe affliction, from the effects of which he 

never fully recovered. He remained single, and towards the close 

of his life became melancholy, spent the greater part of his time 

in solitude, and died at the advanced age of about seventy years." 

He further adds, "Jemima was about eight years old when her 
mother died." 


A itw points are worthy of notice in this brief sketch, and 
First ^ As to Mr, Ws setting a light value upon mentalimproveinent^ 
there is an obvious mistake. It is true educational advantages at 
that time were limited, but Mr. W. always encouraged mental 
improvement of a practical character, and though schools were 
kept in private houses and in log huts, his children were as steadily 
there as anybody's. 

Second. As to his religious preferences, or church relationship, 
he was a birth-right member, and was never to our knowledge, 
, excluded from the Quaker Society. He attended that meeting 
from principle, and died in their faith. • 

Third. Jemima was born *•' Nov. 29, the fifth day of the week, 
1752, and not 1751 as stated by Hudson. 

Fourth. As to the celebrity of the name of this family acquired 
from Jemima, it might have been of an exclusive character, but 
there may be some difference of opinion upon this point. 

William, the father of Simon, of Boston, was a man of some 
note, and Jeremiah his brother cut the first nail from cold iron in 
the world.* Benjamin was a Lieut, in the Revolution, member 
of the committee of Safety, 5cC. Patience married Thomas Hazard 
Potter, who with his brothers purchased 44000 acres of land 
extending from the centre of Seneca to the centre of Canandagua 
Lakes, and gave his name to a Township. Amy married a 
Darling, a manufacturer in Rhode Island of some celebrity. Jeptha 
renowned as an inventor, and his son Jeptha A. is the author and 
in\entor of the Rotary Cylindrical Printing Press, Steel Reed 
Machine, Revolving Fire-Arms which Colt purloined at Paris in 
France. It may be submitted if other members have not contributed 
to the celebrity of this family. 

Fifth. The age of Jemima at her mother's death is erroneously 
stated. Deborah was the youngest child of Jeremiah, and she 
was born Aug. 28, 1764. So instead of being Eight, Jemima 
must have been thirteen or fourteen years of age, quite a young 

*2 Arnold's History of R. I., p. 69. 


lady with some established principles of" character, no doubt, whose 
mind had received some excellent impressions from her amiable 
mother. But Hudson is anxious to make a case., and a few slight ' 
errors like the above are quite necessary for want of facts to make 
it. "In early life he married, &c.," says Hudson. He was 
about thirty-one years of age when he married Miss Whipple. 

If Jeremiah was about seventy when he died, his demise must 
have occurred about 1777, during the Revolutionary War, but if 
Mr. H. has observed his usual accuracy., it may not be altogether 


JosiAs Wilkinson,-^ [6] Lawrance.^ [i] 

AND ■ 

Hannah Tyler, j 

Of Providence, R. I. 
20. I. Hannah,^ b. d, 


ANNAH married James Dexter. The Hon. James Savage 
in his "Genealogical Dictionary of New England," savs, 

Josias Wilkinson had one daughter named Ruth^ an only child. 
He is mistaken, and has probably confounded the name of Samuel's 
daughter, the mother of Stephen and Esek Hopkms, with the 
daughter of Josias. The following record, taken from the first 
"Purchasers of Providence Booke," p. 13, confirms our family 
Bible record : 

"April 22, 1707. Three acres of Meadow * * on the 
west side of the Seauen mile line, on the right of Lawrance 
Wilkinson, * * the which meaddow lieth about a mile and a 
half westward of a hill called the Round Hill, * * and was 
laid out to Hannah Wilkinson, Heiress of Josias Wilkinson. 

Samuel Wilkinson, Surveyor." 

Her mother having married one Joseph Tucker, a worthless 
fellow. Hannah came near losing the property which her father 
had left her, through Tucker's prodigality ; but the watchfulness 
of her uncle John, who entered a complaint against him to the 
Town Council, an injunction was put upon his profligate course. 


and he was forbidden to sell any more of the property. He 
shortly after died, and relieved them from further anxietv. 

Hannah's husband, James Dexter, was the grandson of the 
Rev. Gregory Dexter who was born in England in 1610 — was 
a printer, and a correspondent of Roger Williams, and printed 
for him thq "Key — or Dictionary of the Indian Language," in 
1643, in London, He came to America with Roger Williams 
when he returned with his Charter in 1644, became one of the 
first Town Clerks, and was the fourth Pastor of the first Baptist 
Church in America. He was a prominent man in the Colony — 
well educated, a good preacher, and died at the advanced age of 
ninety. James, who was the second son of John Dexter, who 
was the son of Gregory, was born in 1691, and married Hannah 
about 1 7 16 or 17. They had: 

(1) John^ b. 1718. 

(2) "James^ b. 1 720. 

(3) David^ b. 1722. 

(4) Anna^ b. 1723. 

(5) Mary^ b. 1725, 

(6) Hopestill^ b. 1727. 

An influential branch of the Dexter family have descended 
from this couple, of whom Nathaniel G. B. Dexter, of Pawtucket, 
Col, J. S. Dexter of Providence, and others are tti'e present 
representatives. The old Dexter place in Providence is still 
remembered, but very few, if any living in that city, know that 
this was the residence of Lawrence Wilkinson, our paternal 
ancestor. The descent of the property for two or three generations 
was as follows: Lawrence deeded the property to Josias in 1691. 
Josias died in 1692, intestate, and the Town Council took it in 
charge — adjudged Hannah, the lawful heir — appointed trustees, 
or guardians, and gave it to them in trust till she should arrive of age. 
She married and that transferred the property into the Dexter 
family, and instead of being the " Old Wilkinson place " as it was 
originally, it is the " Old Dexter place.'' So time changes all 


things here below, and the place that knows us now, will soon 
know us no more forever. How oft we tread on hallowed ground 
and know it not ! 

Most all the facts here collected had been slumbering for more 
than one hundred and fifty years, and were entirely unknown to 
the present generation of the Wilkinson family. So men rise and 
pass away, and though their actions are forgotten, and their bodies 
crumble into dust, yet their virtues live, and are transmitted from 
generation to generation. 

"These shall resist the empire of decay, 
When time is o'er, and worlds have passed awav : 
Cold in the dust the perished heart may lie. 
But that which warmed it once can never die." 

The date of Hannah's death and place of burial are not known, 
probably in the family burying ground. 


Samuel Wilkinson^ ^ 

AND V[8] SaMUEL^'[2] LaWRANCE^[i] 


Of Smithfield, R. I. 

21. I. HuLDAH,' b. Dec. i6, 1697, d. 

22. II. JosiAH,^ (85-87) b. Aug. 29, 1699, d. 

23. III. Samuel,' b. Feb. 9, 1701, d. 

24. IV. Zebiah,^ b. Oct. 2, 1702, d, 

25. V. Patience,^ b. June 9, 1704, d. 

26. VI. Mercy,^ b. Dec. 12, 1705, d. Sept. 11, 1796. 

27. VII. DAViD,^(88-96)b. Oct, 16, 1707, d. Jan. 31, 1796. 

28. VIII. Jacob,^ b. 17091 d- 

29. IX. IsRAEL,^(97-i04)b. March 21, 1711, d. April 30, 1784. 


X. William,^ 


1713. d. 




1715, d. 


XII. Caleb,^ 


1716, d. 


XIII. Plain,^ 




1717, d. 

iMav 12, 



XIV. Peleg,^ 


1718, d. 

35. XV. IcHABOD,^ (105-107) b. 1720, d. 



ULDAH the oldest child was horn at the old homestead 
in Smithfield, or what was then called Providence. She 
married when she was more than thirty years of age, Elisha 
Dillingham, a man of more note than worth, although some very 
worthy men of this name now live in some of the New England 
States. Their children as far as known are as follows : 

(i) i/«.Wtf/?, married Nathan Harrington, and moved to what 
was called "Nine Partners" in Dutchess County, New York. 
He proved to be a very worthy man, and by industry and frugality, 
became quite wealthy. He belonged to the Quaker society, and 
was a speaker among them, and was highly esteemed by their 

(2) Mercys married John Lovett, and lived in Mendon, Mass. 

n. JosiAS or JosiAH, as his name is sometimes written, married 
Margaret Thompson, Dec. 13, 1736. He lived in Smithfield 
the first part of his life, or until about 1738, and then moved into 
the State of New York ; but at what particular locality is not 
known. They had three children, the oldest of which, Jemima, 
lived, died, and is buried in Smithfield. Amos and Chloe lived 
jn New York State. JoSias was a farmer, and was admitted 
freeman in Providence in 1730. The time of his death and 
place of burial are not known. 

in. Samuel never married, lived and died in Smithfield. He 
was admitted freeman in Providence in 1730. An anecdote is 
related concerning him. Being below mediocrity in intellect, he 
was frequently made the butt of ridicule, and his apt replies made 
with such innocent simplicity would frequently set the company 
ina roar of laughter. On one occasion while hunting, he mounted 
upon a log, when, behold ! a large black bear curled up in sound 
slumber appeared on the opposite side. He brought his gun to a 
present arms and fired. Bruin was killed. Always after that, 
when he went to the woods, he would slyly approach and peep 
over that log. The boys laughed at him, and said "■ Sammy, why 



do you always look over that log ?" He replied " You don't 
s'pose I'd look for a bear where there never was one^ do ye ?" 

Such poor unfortunates awaken a melancholy interest, and are 
frequently remembered long after the more gifted are entirely 

IV. Zebiah. The following record may be found in the first 
"Book of Marriages," Providence, R. I. 

" Colony of Rhode Island, ss. 

It is made to appear by a written instrument under the hands 
of upwards of twelve substantial evidences, that Ichabod Comstock 
and Zebiah Wilkinson, both of Providence, were lawfully joined 
together in marriage, on the 13th day of Sept. Anno Domini, 
1722, in a Friends' Public Meeting, held in said Providence." 

Their children were : 

(1) Ruth^hoxn at Providence, Jan, 20, 1723-4. 

(2) Elizabeth ^ b. Dec, 18, 1725. 

(3) Ichabod^ b. March, 1727-8. 

(4) Zebiah^ b. March 19, 1729-30. 
Probably others. 

Some of their descendants were in the town of New Berlin, 
Chenango County, New York in 1831. They emigrated to 
Michigan the same year, and nothing farther is known of them. 

Zebiah was a Quaker, a part of her family lived in Smithfield 
and a part in Providence. 

V. Patience married Joseph Arnold, and had a family, but 
[heir names, and the number, have not been furnished. 

VI. Mercy, married Benjamin Thayer, of Mcndon, Mass., 
Aug. 24, 1726, Jas. Arnold officiating. He was the son of Samuel 
and Mary Thayer, and was born Sept. 11, 1709. 

Their children were : 

(i) Patience^ b. Jan, 3, 1738; d. 1740. 

(2) Huldah^ b. Nov. 5, 1730. 

(3) Gideon^ b. Jan. 12, 1733; d. Nov. 21, 1752, at sea near 


(4) Samuel^ b. Dec. 5, 1734. 

(5) Benjamhi^ b. Oct. 7, 1 738 ; d. July 17, 1739- 

(6) Patience^ b. May 25, 1740. 

(7) Hope. 1 L • A 

Ichabod her youngest brother liyed with them until he moyed to 
Pennsylvania. Air. Thayer was his guardian during his minority. 
Among the old papers of Israel Wilkinson, Jr., the following 
record is found: "In Mendon, Sept. 11, 1796, then Marcy 
Thayer widow to Benjamin Thayer, departed this life aged Ninety 
years. Eight months, and thirty days ; who was the last suryivor 
of the family of Samuel Wilkinson, Jr." 

VII. David, married Alary, dau. of Richard Arnold, the son of 
Richard who li\'ed near Stephen H. Smiths in Smithfield. This 
senior Richard was the son of Thomas Arnold who came from 
England about 1640. Da\'id had nine children, three sons and 
six daughters. His sons died unmarried. Four of his daughters 
married and had families. David's wife, Alary, died July i, 
1803, aged ninety-one years, nineteen days, and was the last 
survivor of her father's family. 

At the death of his father, David was but Eighteen years of 
age, and his mother, in connexion with himself was appointed 
executrix of the Last Will and Testament of her deceased husband ; * 
but she declined executing the trust, and Da\'id became sole 
executor, and managed the affair with great prudence, and to the 
entire satisfaction of all the parties concerned. He became an 
extensive land-owner, and real estate broker. A large number 
of Deeds bearing his name as grantor or grantee are in the possession 
of the Author. The following, from Francis Inman of the " Gore 
of Land," to David, shows the kind of speculation rife in those 
days. The description is as follows : " All the bogg oar, or 
mine of iron that lieth in a certain tract of land which I purchased 
of the said David Wilkinson, situate in the 'Gore of Land' 

*See, 3 Book of Wills, p. 35, Providence, R. I. 


containing fifty acres ; and, also, one equal second part, one-half 
of all the other oars, mines, or minerals of Gold, Silver, Copper, 
Lead, or any other mettle of what kind soever, that shall be found , 
hereafter within the said tract, with privilege to dig and carry 
away. Signed. The mark of Francis X Inrn^n-" 

Dated Jan. 1 1, 1734. 

David was a man of considerable note in his native town and 
held many public offices. He spent the last part of his life in 
Providence, and was elected Justice of the Peace in that city 
May, I 771-2-3-4-5, &:c., holding the office for a number of years. 
During the exciting times of the Revolution he was an active 
advocate of the rights of the Colonies, and in 1 775 he was appointed 
a committee on printing. This position afforded a favorable 
opportunity for aiding the cause of Freedom, which did not pass 
unimproved. The following year, 1776, he was appointed 
Superintendent of the Press in Providence.* His bills were 
invariably allowed for this service. 

The cause of American liberty found ardent and active 
supporters in the Wilkinson family notwithstanding their pacific 
principles. Stephen Hopkins and David Wilkinson (who were 
both born in the same year, 1707,) of Providence, Rhode Island, 
Esek Hopkins of North Providence, Jeremiah Wilkinson of 
Cumberland, Oziel Wilkinson and Israel Wilkinson of Smithfield, 
Rhode Island, and John Wilkinson, jr., of Bucks County, Penn. 
were all Quakers, but they were more than passive supporters of 
their country's cause. 

The loss of his sons has caused the name of Wilkinson to 
become extinct in this branch of the family. The death of 
David's last son was peculiarly afflicting. An aged 'relative still 
living, remembers reading when a child, in a Providence paper of 
" The accidental death of Daniel, only surviving son of David 
Wilkinson, Esq., nineteen years of age, while witnessing the 
launching of a vessel above the great bridge in Providence, his 

*See Colonial Records and Schedule, 1775-6, p. 93,Secr'y of State's Office, Prov., R. I. 


head was jambed to pieces between the vessel and timbers of the 
bridge." His parents knew nothing of his absence from the 
house until the news of his death was brought to them. He had 
requested the maid to wake him early in the morning, in order 
that he might witness the launching of the ship, which she did 
without the knowledge of his parents. This sudden bereavement 
produced the deepest sorrow. 

It is said that David lost the native vigor of his mind during 
his last days. He was admitted freeman in 1730. 

IX. Israel married, April 6, 1732, Mary Aldrich, dau. of 
Moses Aldrich of Mendon, Mass. Savage says, "Mattithia, b. 
10 July, 1656, was one of the first settlers at Mendon in *i663." 
But whether Moses was a descendant of this man, or a later 
settler, is not known. He was a blacksmith by trade, and by 
perseverance and industry accumulated quite a large property in 
lands, mills, shops, &:c., as appears by his Last Will and Testament 
bearing date 1761. There are seven sons and five daughters 
mentioned in his Will, viz: George, Robert, Thomas, Caleb, 
Luke, Moses, Aaron, Abigail, Mary, Marcy, Lydia and Alice. 
Abigail and Marcy married Smiths, Lydia, Joseph Allen ; and 
Alice, Jeremiah Spencer. 

The following was found among the papers of Israel Wilkinson, 
Jr. : " Memorandum of the Children of Hannah Aldrich, widow 
of Moses Aldrich of the town of Mendon, in the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts. Abigail Smithy 4 children, 31 grandchildren and 
great grandchildren. 

Rachel Arnold^ 12; Mary Flaggy 4; Hannah Mowry^ 5. 

Mary Wilkinson^ 3 children, 15 grandchildren, 7 great 
grandchildren. Hannah Davis. 

Marcy Smithy 5 children, 21 grandchildren, 3 great grand 

In all 127 — quite a multitude. 

This Aldrich family was remarkable for its longevity. 

*See " Genealogical Diet, of N. E." 


George d. July 14, 1797, aged 81 yrs, 6 months. 

Robert d. July 6, 1794, aged 74 yrs, 5 mos, 27 days. 

Thomas d. Oct. 11, 1795, aged 71 yrs, 4 mos. 13 days. 

Caleb d. Nov. 8, 1809, aged 83 yrs, 9 mos, 24 days. 

Luke, d. Oct. 15, 1804, aged 76 yrs, 8 mos. 

Mary, d. March, 25, 1805, aged 91 yrs, i mo, 9 days. 

Lydia, d. Sept. 22, 1805, aged 83, yrs 10 mos, 16 days. 

Alice, d. Nov. 19, 1796. Age unknown. 

The others were quite aged people when they died. The 
combined aged of the seven above mentioned is 562 years, 9 mos? 
29 days, making an average of 80 J years. 

Israel was but fourteen years of age when his father died, and 
shared a fifth part of his property, after certain legacies had been 
paid to his sisters. He erected a house on the old homestead 
farm in Smithfield, which still stands, about half a mile north of 
his father's residence and about the same distance from the 
Blackstone River on the main road from Providence to Woonsocket 
Falls, three miles from the latter place, and twelve from the former. 
The new part of the house was finished in 1744, and was two 
stories high, and in shape like the letter L, fronting to the east 
and south. The scenery from this residence is picturesque and 
beautiful. To the east the land is rolling, diversified by hills and 
valleys, which, in the month of June, are covered with green grass 
and shrubbery, sloping gradually, while at the foot of these ranges 
rolls the Blackstone river like a silver belt wending its way to the 
ocean. Beyond the river Cumberland Hill, crowned with a little 
village, rises in the distance; and the author well remembers, for 
it was his home during the first decade of his life, beholding the 
sun rising over that hill, and shedding a flood of radiance upon 
meadow and woodland, gazing upon the moon beaming into his 
bedroom window, and sweetly smiling upon the grassy plot in 
front of the house, witnessing the military display of company 
training on Cumberland Hill, when the swords of the officers, 
guns and bayonets of the soldiers would flash in the sun like 


gleams of electricity. These were some of the scenes that have 
left their impress upon the opening mind at the old homestead in 
Smithfield, and they will never fade while memorv holds its place. 

For other facts concerning Israel Wilkinson, see Biography 
No. IX. 

XI. Ruth married Woodard Arnold, and lived in Smithfield. 
Their children, as far as known were : 

(1) Ishftiael. 

(2) Philip. 

(3) ^^^V//'3/«, m. Jennie Ballou, He was a phvsician and a 
very intelligent, well educated man — lived, practiced, and died 
in Smithfield. Thev had one daughter who married a Steere — 
lived in S., and left a large familv. 

XIII. Plain married John Rogers, a man of great ingenuity 
and skill in the mechanic arts. He was engage with his 
brother-in-law, Israel Wilkinson, in building the " Hope Furnace," 
and had it not been for their skill, the enterprise would have been 
abandoned. The Browns and Bowens were made rich by the 
operation, but Wilkinson and Rogers were not materially benefitted 
bv it. Before the Revolutionary war broke out, Rogers and 

his family moved to , Nova Scotia, but the most of them 

came back to Rhode Island. 

Thev had : 

(i) Samuel., unm., was a sea captain, and was cast away on 
Cape Cod, but being a strong swimmer he reached the shore. 
He was in the revolutionary war, and received a large tract of 
land in Ohio where the city of Columbus now stands, from the 
government for his losses and services in that memorable struggle 
for national independence. It is said he was dissatisfied with the 
grant, and sold it for a small sum compared with its real value. 
He was a good soldier, and at one time commanded a privateer. 

(2) John., b. about 1757, m. Sarah (or Sally) Ballou, and lived 
in Cumberland, Rhode Island, for many years ; he subsequently 
moved to Holden, Worcester County, Mass. He was a surveyor 



and mathematician, and left extensive works in MS. Enlisting as 
a private, he was soon promoted to orderly sergeant, then to 
Lieutenant, in Captain Stephen Olney's company, of North 
Providence. He afterwards became a Lieut. Colonel in a Rhode 
Island regiment, and was one of the body-guard of General 
Washington. An epaulette which Washington gave him is still 
preserved bv his descendants in Lockport, New York. He was 
at the crossing of the Delaware, and participated in many a hard 
► fought battle. This Capt, Olney above mentioned was a 
particular friend of General La Fayette. 

In 1824, when La Fayette made his last visit to America, he 
came to Providence, and as he was ascending the Court House 
steps, he saw Captain Olney standing there, and springing forward 
he caught him in his arms and kissed him with all the fondness 
that a parent would a long absent child. Olney said that Lieut. 
Rogers was posessed of the most undaunted courage of any man 
he ever saw. The bravery of Rogers was proverbial. On one 
occasion the Americans were retreating hard pushed by the 
Hessians. Captain Olney ordered Rogers, who was serving as 
Adjutant, to give them another fire. " Halt ! right about, face, 
fire!" cried Rogers. The enemy were so near that the smoke 
of their guns entered the ranks among the men. Confusion and 
dismay followed. Roger's horse was killed, and fell upon him, 
and he could not extricate himself. The Hessian soldiers observing 
his situation, rushed forward for plunder, he drew his pistols, shot 
and killed one, and wounded another. By this time his true 
friend, Ichabod Howard discovered his situation, and flew to his 
assistance. He shot a third, plunged his bayonet into a fourth, 
rescued Rogers, who, recovering his legs, joined in the pursuit of 
the flying enemy. Rogers never forgot his "true friend." Many 
years afterwards they both lived on Cumberland Hill, Rhode 
Island. Rogers kept a public house and a store. Ichabod had a 
failing, being human, but he did not always have money. He 
had, however, an unfailing resource to procure the necessary dram. 


By stepping up to the bar, he would say, "Esq. Rogers, do you 
remember them d — d Hessians?" "Yes, yes," would be the 
prompt reply, "what will you have to drink, Ichabod?" Lieut. 
Rogers was highly respected, and held several town and state 
offices, and was regarded by the people as a very capable and 
worthy man. He had ten children. 

1. Abigail, b. Apr. 25, 1795; m. Samuel Chaffin, and has a 

2. Nathan Ballou, b. Feb. 3, 1797; m. Lydia Larned, and has 
Sarah Maria; Wm. Helmer; Sarah, m. Silas R. Brown, has four 
children ; Eliza, m. Walter B. Van Horn, has five children ; 
James; Martha Ann; Edward Wilkinson, m. Jennie L. Gott^ 
has Charles; Maria, m. Chas. C. Brown has Francis N. Nathan 
Ballou ;s a first-rate independent farmer, and resides in Lockport. 

3. John A., b. Feb. 16, 1799 ; d. July 18, 1803. 

4. George Washington, b. March 27, 1801 ; m. ist Amy 
Comstcck and had J/n)\ d. about 1822 ; 2d m. Marcia F. Faxon, 
had Sarah Elizabeth, b. Dec. 17, 1833 ; m. Dr. Josiah H. 
Helmer, has Geoj-ge i?., Sarah E. R.^ Albert R. and William R. 
Sarah E. died July 10, 1866, greatly lamented by the family 
and the community. She was a good daughter, a devoted wife, 
and an affectionate mother. The following is an extract from an 

obituary notice in one of the city papers. "The unlooked for 
announcement of the death of this amiable lady, so universally 
respected and loved by those who appreciate genuine goodness, 
and true christian character was received by the entire community ' 
with sorrow and surprise. Born and reared in this city with all 
the care and solicitude which kind, affectionate and doting parents 
could bestow, and richly indeed was this parental care and wise, 
intelligentguardianshiprepaidintheintellectual, moral, and religious 
developement of a dutiful and grateful daughter, an affectionate 
and highly appreciated wife, a wise, discreet, and affectionate 
mother, and an amiable and benevolent christian woman, an 
ornament to society, a blessing to the community in which she 
lived." From a wide circle of friends, from the community, 
trom the church and from her family she is sadly missed. 



5. Eliza Brown, b. March 27, 1803-, 6. Eunice Capron, b. 
March 27, 1803; (twins,) 7. James, b. Feb. 1805; 8. Maria 
Ballou ; 9. John Wilkinson, b. 1807, (?) m. Eliza Faxon; 10. 
William Thayer, b. March 11, 1817, m. Julia J. Warner, Aug. 
21, 1848. Wm. Thayer is engaged in the banking business, 
was first teller in the Canal Bank, cashier in the Exchange Bank, 
President of the Western Bank, and is now cashier in the I^ockport 

Lieut. Rogers' sons emigrated to Lockport, New York, in the 
early settlement of that town. They still live there, and are 
among the foremost men in enterprise and talent, and some of 
them are regarded as among the richest men of Lockport, though 
they went there in indigent circumstances. George Washington 
became cashier of Canal Bank and afterwards President of 
Exchange Bank, and is known throughout the state of New York, 
as a man of sterling integrity. He is a member ot the Baptist 

(3) 'J'^^f^^^i unm., r. Novia Scotia. 

(4) Pla'in^ m. a Barlow, has a family, r. Walton, Delaware 
Co., N. Y. - 

(5) Deborah^ unm., r. Smithfield, R. L 

(6) Patience^ m. Thomas Wall, r. in Smithfield, had a very 
smart family, some of them moved to Philadelphia and are influential 
citizens there. 

(7) George^ unm., d. young. 

Some of the members of the elder John Rogers' family lived in 
Novia Scotia. Samuel lived everywhere. 

The following record was found among the papers of Israel 
Wilkinson, Jr., and is in his own hand writing: 

"In Sackville, Novia Scotia, June 17, 1774, then John Rogers 
departed this life, aged 62 yrs, 3 mos, 17 days." 

XV. IcHABOD was only five or six years old when his father 
died. As he shared equally with his four living brothers in his 
father's property, Benjamin Thayer of Mendon, Massachusetts, 


his brother-in-law, was appointed his guardian. Upon attaining 
his majority he followed his uncle John to Pennsylvania, where 
he married and had a family. 

Until 1866, while collecting names for this work, all knowledge 
of the whereabouts of this branch of the family had been lost. 
For more than one hundred years all intercourse had ceased, but 
now the acquaintance is renewed, and the lost found, through the 
instrumentality, and faithful record of an old deed. 

Samuel T. Wilkinson, a lineal descendant of Ichabod's uncle 
John, sends the following from Pennsylvania : 

" The Friends' Record of their Monthly Meeting., held at 
IVrightsioivn^ Penn.'" — "Meeting held the First of the Twelfth 
Month, 1742. At this meeting, Ichabod Wilkinson produced a 
certificate for himself from the Monthly Meeting held at Smithfield, 
in Road Island Colony, which was read and excepted (accepted)." 

There is a further record, that "the Friends who were appointed 
to see that the marriage of Ichabod Wilkinson and Sarah Chapman 
was conducted in an orderly manner, report that they were married 
the 7th day of the 7th month, 1743." 

Samuel, above alluded to, says, "I find there was a large family 
of girls, and but one son — that I find any account of — whose name 
was Joseph. Ichabod's farm was in the Solebury Right where 
Newhope now stands. About 1780, the sisters and brothers-in-law 
deeded the farm to Joseph, Ichabod having made no will. What 
became of the family I am unable to say, but think they all died 

In a later communication he says, " I am still under the impression 
that Ichabod's boys all died without issue. Sept, 6, 1780, his 
daughters and sons-in-law, made a deed to their brother Joseph, 
of all their father's real estate — he having died intestate, and if 
there had been other brothers, or brother's children living at the 
time, it would not have been legal without their own, or their 
attorney's signatures. The above named Joseph wrote his will, 
Oct. II, 1785. It was proved the 28th of the same month. 
He left all his estate, which was considerable, to his mother. 


Sarah Wilkinson ; and to his sisters, which is prettv strong evidence 
that the boys died without children. I have reason to think they 
had a brother John and a brother William. William I know 
died without a family, and the above is pretty strong proof that 
John did also." 

John Wilkinson^ ~| [9] Samuel,' [2] Lawrance.' [i] 

AND y 

Mary , J 

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn. 

36. I. Mary,^ b. July 17, 1708, d. 

37. II. KissiAH,^ b. d. 

38. III. Plain,^ b. d. 

39. IV. RuTH,^ b. d. 

40. V. John," (108-1 16) b. d. 1782. 
14. VI. Joseph,' ( ) b. d. 

I. Mary, was probably born in Hunterdon County, New 
Jersey, and married Aug., 1730, Joseph Chapman. At the time 
of their marriage they were members of the Wrightstown Monthly 
Meetmg, Bucks Co., Pa. In an old record of the Chapman 
family it appears "Mary was daughter of John Wilkinson, of 
Hunterdon Co., N. J." 

II. KissiAH or Keziah, married, July, 1731, Thomas Ross, 
"By the order of the Friends at Wrightstown." 

III. Plain, married, Jan. 2, 1738, Peter Ball. 

IV. Ruth, married John Chapman, Dec. 10, 1739, resided 
at Wrightstown. 

V. John married, ist Mary Lacy, May 27, 1740, and 2d. 
Hannah Hughes, 1770. He had five children by his first wife, 
and four by his second. 

Samuel T. Wilkinson, a descendant of John, resident of 
Wrightstown says, " My great grandfather though a Quaker, was 
a prominent Whig and a Justice of the Peace, and took an active 
part in the revolutionary war, and the minutes of Wrightstown 
Monthly Meeting show that he was dealt with a number of times 
for taking too active a part in the war." 

JOHN WILKINSON. [40] 1 1 1 

It will be remembered the Quakers denied all human authority, 
and regarded the power of the magistrate as delegated tyranny. 
Their members therefore were not to participate in building up, 
or sustaining any goyernment. They preached purity of life, 
charity in its broadest sense, and denied the right of any man to 
control the opinions of others. To hold an office was a graye 
offence not to be passed by with impunity, *■' Hireling ministers," 
and "persecuting magistrates" were denounced particularly and 
personally. When Mary Fisher and Ann Austin arriyedin Boston 
1656, they were cast into prison for inyeighing against magistrates 
and ministers, and the year following the legislature of that colony 
passed stringent laws punishing all who embraced their doctrines 
with fines, imprisonments, stripes, banishment and death. The 
federal commissioners recommended the enactment of this law by 
a small majority of one only. Soon the prisons were filled, and 
the old Elm tree on Boston common bore strange fruit, the bodies 
of suspended Quakers ! The bloody law was not abolished till 
1 66 1. They had good reasons for denouncing magistrates. 

The peculiar views of the Friends continued and in Pennsylvania 
the peace principles prevailed as well duringthereyolutionas before 
it, and John glowing with enthusiasm, and his heart swelling with 
patriotism, burst the straight jacket, and he went into the councils 
of his native state, and into the war with more zeal than become 
a follower of George Fox, and they excluded him ! He was 
really blameless, and we honor the man for his love of country. 

The following is some account of that affair: 

"At a Monthly Meeting held at Wrightstown, loth month 
ist, 1776, one of the Overseers reported that he had spoke with 
John Wilkinson concerning his acting as committee man, and 
one of the members of the late convention." 

On the "5th month 6th, 1777," they make the additional 
charge of his being a member of the Legislature, "and it being 
a violation of Friends Discipline to be instrumental in building up, 
or pulling down any government, they continued to deal with him 
from time to time until iith month 4th, 1777, when they issued 


their testimony against him," '•'it being thirty-seven years after 
he was married." "From his conversation with the different 
committees that were appointed to wait upon him by the meeting, 
there is no doubt, it was a great trial to him to be disowned from 
membership with Friends in his old age, but his love of Liberty 
was so great that he was willing to sacrifice everything else, in 
order to build up a free and independent government of our own, 
although he was a magistrate by authority of the British 
Government." Samuel continues, "So it appears from the 
records of Wrightstown iMonthly Meeting of Friends, that John 
was committee man from Bucks Co., and a member of the 
Convention of 1776, and also, a member of the Hrst Legislature 
of the State of Pennsylvania. He was a thorough-soine business 
man, influential and respected in his neighborhood, and even now 
in 1866, it is not an unfrequent thing to hear old men speak of 
Esq. Wilkinson as being one of the most active and influential 
men of his day. And notwithstanding he was so much engaged 
in public affairs, his private business was well attended to. He 
accumulated a large estate, the most of which was in land. In 
Aug., 1778, four years before his death he deeded to his son John, 
lying on his death-bed, 133 acres of land in Warwick, and when 
he made his will in 1782, he left 300 acres in Bucks County, 
besides 900 acres in the forks of the Susquehanna, to his surviving 
children. Also, =£779.135. i if^. and a remainder out of his personal 
estate. He died as he had lived, honored and respected by all 
who knew him." 

VL Joseph, married Barbary Lacy, Oct. 13, 1748, resided for 
a time at Wrightstown, and in 1 762 moved to Chester Co., Penn., 
where the following from the Court Records appears: "James 
Day and wife gave a deed dated Apr. i, 1762, to Joseph Wilkinson 
formerly of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Pa., of a tract of land in 
this county," and that on the 7th day of Oct., 1774. Joseph 
Wilkinson and Barbary his wife of Springfield Township, County 
of Chester, (now in Delaware Co.) conveyed the same or another 
tract to Wm. Harris. 


William WilkinsonM [10] Samuel,- [2] Lavvrance.'[i] 

AND y 

Mary , J 

Of London, Eng. 
42. I. Hannah Maria,^ b. d. 

I. Hannah Maria was born in England. Her mother's 

maiden surname is not known. A letter written to her father-in-law, 
Samuel Wilkinson, after the death of her husband is preserved 
by Mrs. T. K. Newhall of Providence. The letter contains her 
christian name, iiUudes feelingly to the death of her husband, and 
desires aid tor her daughter. A deep religious tone pervades the 
epistle, and bespeaks a person ot christian refinement. 

Hannah Maria married in England, became a widow, made a 
\ isit to America, and returned to her native land. Nothing more 
is known ot her, unless the following receipt may be of a later 
date. Its antiquity, together with the names mentioned therein 
is our apologv for inserting it : 

" Rec'd of Joseph Wilkinson of Scituate, in the County of 
Providence, yeoman. Administrator of the Debts, Goods, and 
Chatties of his Father, Samuel Wilkinson, late of Providence, 
deceased, in the Colony of Rhode Island, yeoman, the sum of 
Sixty-eight Pounds, one shilling and five pence in bills of credit 
and ten ounces of Silver at fifteen shillings ^ oz ; makes seventy-five 
Pounds, Eleven Shillings and five pence, being the Seventh part 
•of the personal Estate of said Samuel, deceased, which fell to his 
son William Wilkinson, who died leaving one only child named 
Hannah Maria Wilkinson, whose mother, Mary Wilkinson, 
her Gardean, appointed me, Thomas Richardson of Newport in 
the Colony of Rhode Island, Merchant, her attorney to receive 
the same, also Rec'd of S'd Joseph Wilkinson seven pounds one 
shilling and nine pence Bills of Credit for Interest of part of the 
above mentioned money for the time it lay in his hands. The 
whole being Eighty-two Pounds, Thirteen Shillings and 2d, I say 
Rec'd this i8th of 3d mo., caled May A. Dom. 1732. 

In presence of '^r me, Tho. Richardson." 

Nehemiah Marks, 1 

Tho's. Leach. 



I. Susannah, the oldest child of Joseph died aged, twelve years 
two days. No family records have been found, and much labor 
has been expended to collect from the record of deeds, wills, 
tomb-stones, &c., the dates of this family's births, marriages, and 
deaths. Those given above are in the main reliable. 

II. Prudence, married Dec. 31, 1732,* Isaiah Angell, son of 
Thomas. He inherited his father's Estate in Scituate below 
Clayville, which is now owned by David Field, Esq. Thomas, 
father of Isaiah moved from Providence to Scituate in 1709, and 
in I 710, built a two story tavern house, which was taken down 
about twenty years ago by Andrew Angell who was of the iifth 
generation from the builder, all the intervening generations having 
inherited the property by their lather. Isaiah was a lineal descendant 
of Thomas Angell who came with Roger Williams in 1636, and 
settled in Providence, the descent being as follows : Thomas, 
John (oldest son,) Thomas, (youngest son,) Isaiah, Dr. A. F. 
Angell, of Providence, author of the Angell Genealogy in MS., 
says, " Isaiah and Prudence were married, March 17, 1704." 
Evidently an error as she was not born at that time. They had 
but one child. 

(i) Prudence., b. June 6, 1734, m. Feb. 18, 1753, Gideon 
Austin. They had several children, of whom was Angell Austin. 

III. IsHMAEL was born in that part of Providence which became 
Scituate. His school advantages were limited, but his opportunities 
for becoming an active business man were well improved. He 
was admitted freeman in 1733, and married Feb. 27, 1734-5, 
Sarah Mowry of Smithfield, being about twenty-two years of age. 
He was one of the most enterprising sons of Joseph, and, being 
aided by his father, was put in possession of a farm of 80 facres, 
and a comfortable outfit in life, and was endowed with all the 
privileges of a freeman as soon as he was able to exercise the elective 
franchise. He built a very fine dwelling house and took possession 

*Town Records of Scituate. 

\% Book of Deeds, p. 252, Scituate, R. I. 


William Wilkinson^ "] [10] Samuel,^ [2] Lawrance.'[i] 

AND y 

Mary , j 

Of London, Eng. 
42. I. Hannah Maria/ b. d. 

I. Hannah Maria was born in England. Her mother's 

maiden surname is not known. A letter written to her father-in-law, 
Samuel Wilkinson, after the death of her husband is preserved by 
Mrs. T. K. Newhall of Providence. The letter contains her 
christian name, alludes feelingly to the death of her husband, and 
desires aid for her daughter. A deep religious tone pervades the 
epistle, and bespeaks a person of christian refinement. 

Hannah Maria married in England, became a widow, made a 
visit to America, and returned to her native land. Nothing more 
is known of her, unless the following receipt may be of a later 
date. Its antiquity, together with the names mentioned therein 
is our apology for inserting it : 

" Rec'd of Joseph Wilkinson of Scituate, in the County of 
Providence, yeoman. Administrator of the Debts, Goods and 
Chatties of his Father, Samuel Wilkinson, late of Providence, 
deceased, in the Colony of Rhode Island, yeoman, the sum of 
Sixty-eight Pounds, one shilling and five pence in bills of credit 
and ten ounces of Silver at fifteen shillings ^ oz ; makes seventy-five 
Pounds, Eleven Shillings and five pence, being the Seventh part 
of the personal Estate of said Samuel, deceased, which fell to his 
son William Wilkinson, who died leaving one only child named 
Hannah Maria Wilkinson, whose mother, Mary Wilkinson, her 
Gardean, appointed me, Thomas Richardson of Newport in the 
Colony of Rhode Island, Merchant, her attorney to receive the 
same, also Rec'd of S'd Joseph Wilkinson seven pounds one 
shilling and nine pence Bills of Credit for Interest of part of the 
above mentioned money for the time it lay in his hands. The 
whole being Eighty-two Pounds, Thirteen Shillings and 2d, I say 
Rec'd this i8th of 3d mo., caled May A. Dom. 1732. 

In presence of "^r me Tho. Richardson." 

Nehemiah Marks, 

Tho's. Leach. 



Joseph Wilkinson'' ~| [i i] Samuel,- [2] Lawrance.^ [i] 

AND y 

Martha Pray, j 

Of Scituate, R. I, 

43. I. Susannah,^ b. June 10, 1708, d. June 12, 1720. 

44. II. Prudence,^ b. d. 

45. III. IsHMAEL,*(ii7-8) b. Nov. 13, 1712, d. Nov. 3, 1742. 

46. IV. Benjamin/(ii9-27) b. Oct. 9, 1713, d. Oct. 1803. 

47. V. Christopher,^ b. Sept. 9, 1715, d. Aug. 30,1739. 

48. VI. Martha,-* b. Jan. 11, 1718, d. 

49. VII. Mary,^ b. April 21, 1720, d. Feb. 20, 1740. 

50. VIII. Joseph,^{i28-32) b. 1721, d. Sept. 28, 1755. 

51. IX. JoHN,^ b. July 29, 1723, d. Jan. 25, 1743. 

52. X. William,* b. Sept. 8, d. Nov. 20. 

53. XI. Samuel,* b. Feb. 8, 1726, d. Feb. 3, 1748. 

54. XII. Susannah,* b. d. 

55. XIII. Sarah,* b. d. 1759- 

56. XIV. Ruth,* b. d. 

57. XV. WiLLiAM,*(i33-4i b. 1734^ ^' 1818. 

I. Susannah, the oldest child of Joseph, died aged twelve years, 
two days. No family records have been found, and much labor 
has been expended to collect from the record of deeds, wills, 
tombstones, &c., the dates of this family's births, marriages, and 
deaths. Those given above are in the main reliable. 

II. Prudence, married Dec. 31, 1732,* Isaiah Angell, son of 
Thomas. He inherited his father's Estate in Scituate below 
Clayvillc, which is now owned by David Field, Esq. Thomas, 
father of Isaiah moved from Providence to Scituate in 1709, and 
in I 710, built a two story tavern house, which was taken down 
about twenty years ago by Andrew Angell who was of the fifth 
generation from the builder, all the intervening generations having 
inherited the property by their father. Isaiah was a lineal descendant 
of Thomas Angell who came with Roger Williams in 1636, and 

'■'Town Records of Scituate. 


settled in Providence, the descent being as follows : Thomas, 
John (oldest son,) Thomas, (youngest son,) Isaiah. Dr. A. F. 
Angell, of Providence, author of the Angell Genealogy in MS., 
says, " Isaiah and Prudence were married, March 17, 1704." 
Evidently an error as she was not born at that time. They had 
but one child. 

(i) Prudence^ b. June 6, 1734, m. Feb. 18, 1753, Gideon 
Austin. Thev had several children, of whom was Angell Austin. 

III. IsHMAEL was born in that part of Providence which became 
Scituate. His school advantages were limited, but his opportunities 
for becoming an active business man were well improved. He 
was admitted freeman in 1733, and married Feb. 27, 1734-5, 
Sarah Mowry of Smithfield, being about twenty-two years of age. 
He was one of the most enterprising sons of Joseph, and, being 
aided by his father, was put in possession of a farm of 80 *acres, 
and a comfortable outfit in life, and was endowed with all the 
privileges of a freeman as soon as he was able to exercise the elective 
franchise. He built a very fine dwelling house and took possession 
of it soon after he was married, and commenced house-keeping 
under the most favorable circumstances. It was situated near the 
Glocester line half a mile northwest of his father's residence, and 
is still standing and occupied. It was originally built after the 
model of his father's house, being nearly square, two stories high, 
stone chimney, four rooms below and six above, and was painted 
red, but it has been remodeled, and its color changed to white. 
Two porticos, one on the east, and the other on the south have 
been built by later occupants, and a small addition contiguous to 
the kitchen has been made. The house was finished off in panel 
work, with a large beam crossing the parlor ceiling. It is surrounded 
with fruit trees, and the road is lined with rock maples. The 
place was purchased by James Aldrich after the death of Ishmael. 
At the present time the mansion has a very genteel and comfortable 
appearance. Ishmael's farm was well cultivated and in good 

*z Book of Deed.-, p. 252, Scituate, R. I. 


condition, well fenced with stone wall, good out-buildings, fine 
orchard, and a healthy location. 

His first child, Anna, was born about 1736, and his son Stephen, 
about 1738 or 9. These are approximations. On the death of 
his brother Christopher, Nov. 5, 1739, he received certain legacies 
which increased his property. His father dying the following 
year he was named executor of his will, and his patrimony was 
further increased. The original receipts which passed between 
Ishmael and his brothers and sisters settling his father's Estate, 
are in the hands of the compiler, bearing date Nov. 8th, 1740. 
The signature of Stephen Hopkins who was guardian of John 
and Joseph, would hardly be recognized by one who was only 
familiar with his autograph on the Declaration of Independence. 

In 1742, Ishmael was appointed one of the Surveyors of 
Highways in Scituate, and November following, he was drowned 
while crossing Seekonk river on a Ferry with a yoke of oxen. 
They became frightened, and, in endeavoring to arrest them, he 
fell overboard. This sad event cast a gloom over the community 
where he lived. His loss was deemed a public as well as a private 

The following letter of Administration was granted to his 
widow : 

"Whereas, Ishmael Wilkinson of Scituate in the County of 
Providence, yeoman. Departed this Life on the Third day of 
November, A. D. 1742, and Died Intestate, and Sarah Wilkinson, 
Widow of the said Ishmael Wilkinson appeared before this Council 
and Prayed that she might have Letters of Administration of the 
Personal Estate of her Husband, the said Ishmael Wilkinson, 
Deceased, which being granted. 


These are in his Majesty's name, George the Second King of 
Great Britain, &c., To order, authorize and Impower you the 
said Sarah Wilkinson, To take into your possession. Care and 
custody all and singular the Goods, Chattels, Rights, and Credits 
of the said Ishmael Wilkinson, Deceased, and the same to 
administer according to law, and in all things to act and Do as 
the Law Requireth and Impowereth an Executor Relating the 


Premises, and True and Perfect account of said Estate, and your 
doings therewith to render to this Council or their successors 
which you are thereunto Lawfully called, and for your so Doing 
this shall be your sufficient authority. 

Given att a Town Council held in Scituate in the County of 
Providence, the 12th day of November in the Sixteenth year of 
his s'd Majesty's Reign, Annoq. Dom. 1742. 

'' Signed by order of said Council and sealed 
with their seal ^|^ Gideon Harris, Their Clerke." 

The inventory of his personal property enumerates the following : 
Indian Corn, Wheat, Rye, Oats, Tobacco, seventeen head of 
cattle, horses, sheep, swine, £100 worth of hay, ^£227 in Bonds 
and notes, in all amounting to X1035.16.4. His Real Estate is 
not given, but consisted of about 300 acres lying in Scituate and 
Gloucester. This indicates a thrifty young farmer, (he being 
about thirty years of age,) and had he lived, he would undoubtedly 
have made his mark in the world. 

Nothwithstanding more than 120 years have rolled by, Ishmael 
is still remembered by the town's people of Scituate, and the m^ention 
of his name is always coupled with his sad death. Rev. Mr. 
Bemen says, " the house made sad by that event was rendered 
still more forlorn by the death of his widow, who had hardly been 
appointed administratrix before she, also, was called to depart this 
life, and Uriah Avowry and Benjamin Wilkinson her husband's 
brother, both of Smithfield, were empowered by the Town Council 
of Scituate to take an inventory of the property." She died Feb. 
3, 1743. The two children were now orphans, but they had 
kind-hearted relatives who cared for them. Anna, on attaining 
her majority, married Thomas Bussy, and moved to Berkshire 
Co., Mass., and had a large family, and Stephen remained in 
Scituate, married, and had four daughters, but no sons. The name 
therefore, is extinct in this line. 

IV. Benjamin was born in Scituate, and at the age of twenty-two 
received a deed of one hundred acres from his father, the 
consideration being "the love, good-will and affection" which he 


bore his "loving son."* This deed is dated Dec. 31, 1735, and 
the land was on the easterly side of the highway which led by 
Ishmael's house in the town of Glocester. His brother Christopher 
dying Aug., 1739, willed him a portion of his property, and on 
the death of his father in 1740, he received a full share of his 
estate. His sister Susannah being then under age chose him 

He married in 1740, Alary Rhodes, daughter of Zachariah 
who was the grandson of Zachariah Rhodes, one of the first 
settlers at Pautuxet, R. I. He was very prominent among the 
Pautuxet settlers, and held many important positions and offices 
in the infant colony. 

July I, 1742, Benjamin was elected Lieut, of the "Train'd 
Band" of Scituate, and the following is a copy of the original 
commission in my hands. 

" By the Honorable Richard Ward, Esq., Governour, and 
Captain General, in and over His Majesty's Colony of Rhode 
Island and Providence Plantations^ in Neiv England. 

To Benjamin Wilkinson, Gent. Greeting. 

You, Benjamin Wilkinson being bv the General Assembly of 
this Colony, elected and chosen to the Place and Office of 
Lieutenant of the third company, or Train'd Band, of the Town 
of Scituate in the Countv of Providence, in the Colony aforesaid, 
are hereby in His Majesty's name, George the Second by the 
Grace of God, of Great Britain., France and Ireland., King, 
Defender of the Faith, &c., authorized, impowered, and 
commissioned to exercise the office of Lieutenant of the company 
aforesaid, and to command, guide, and conduct the same, or any 
part thereof; and in case of any Invasion or Assault of a common 
Enemy to infest and disturb this His Majesty's Plantation, you 
are to alarm and gather together the company under your command, 
or any Part thereof, as you shall deem sufficient, and with them 
to the utmost of your skill and Ability, you are to resist, expulse, 
expel, kill and destroy them, in order to preserve the Interest of 
His Majesty, and His good Subjects in these Parts. You are 
also to follow such further Instructions and Directions as shall 

*z Book of Deeds, p. 250, Scituate, R. I. 


from Time to Time be further given forth, either from the 
General Assembly, the Governour, and General Council, or your 
other Superior Officers. And for your so doing, this commission 
shall be your sufficient Warrant and Discharge. 

Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Colony aforesaid the 
First Day of July in the sixteenth year of His Majestfs Reipi^ 
Annoq. Domini, 1742. 

"Sealed with the Seal of said Colony 
by order of his Honorable Governour. 

R. Ward, Gov. 

Jas. Alartin, Secy." 

Benjamin afterwards became captain. 

Upon the death of his brother, John, he was appointed executor 
of his last Will and Testament, and executed the trust with 
fidelity. Jan. 21, 1743-4, Seventy-eight and three-fourths acres 
of land were laid out to him west of the seven mile line on the 
original Right of Lawrence Wilkinson. He was extensively 
engaged in land speculations, and exerted a great political influence 
in his part of the Colony. He was also made executor of his 
brother Samuel's will Feb. 3, 1748-9, and was one of the legatees. 
He purchased real Estate in Killingly, Ct., and resided there in 
1763. He went into Massachusetts north of Rhode Island, and 
established a village to which he gave the name of " Wilkinson ville," 
which is about forty miles west from Boston. Samuel Slater and 
sons engaged in the manufacturing business at this place at a later 
period. In 1784, he granted a deed of gift to his youngest son 
William in Gloucester.* He is described as being a resident of 
Smithfield in 1754.'^ At a later period he became occupant and 
owner of his father's old homestead, where he lived till his death 
in 1S03, at the advanced age of ninety. He is buried with his 
father in what is now the Harris field. 

Only two females now bear the name of Wilkinson in the line 
of Benjamin. Upon their death or marriage the name becomes 
extinct. He had a family of nine children. Mary, Lydia and 

^'See Record of Deeds, Gloucester, R. I. 



Rhodes married and lived in Woodstock, Ct. Lydia married a 
Morris and became the grandmother of the distinguished Com, 
Morris of the United States Navy. Samuel and Esther died 
unmarried, and are buried in Scituate. Rebecca married and lived 
in Thompson, Ct. Olive married and lived in Gloucester, R. I, 
John became a doctor, and lived on the old homestead in Scituate, 
and William resided in Providence, R. I. 

Benjamin's wife died Jan. 7, 1783, aged 63. 

V. Christopher, died at the age of twenty-three, unmarried, 
and was much lamented by all who knew him. His affectionate 
remembrance of his brother and sisters, is exhibited in his *will, 
where he gives Benjamin, Martha, Mary, and Joseph, each .£4, 
giving the latter his great coat, and ''a Buckskin dressed into 
washleather," and John forty shillings, and Ishmael the rest of 
his property, and naming the latter his executor. The subscribing 
witnesses were Sarah Whitman and Stephen Hopkins. The will 
is dated Aug. 27, 1739, and he died three days after according 
to the Council records; but an old paper found among the 
documents of Joseph Wilkinson, sen., says, " Christopher died 
August, ye 31, 1739, aged 23 years h 10 months & 19 Days." 

All public business papers and records of this period, bear the 
unmistakable marks of the masterly hand of Stephen Hopkins. 

VI. Martha, married Benjamin Phetteplace of Scituate. 
They had no children. The name is common in Scituate, Smithfield, 
and Gloucester, R. I. Time of her death and place of burial not 

Vn. Mary was born in Scituate, and died at the age of twenty. 
An old paper contains the following in regard to her: "Mary 
Wilkinson Died February, ye, 28th 1740, was born April ye 21." 
'^ Martha was 37, ye nth day of Jan'uy, 1755, and Moley 
[Mary] was 15 months younger." From this we ascertain her 
birth, April 12, 1720,0. S. 

*i Probate Book, p. 52, Scituate, R. I 


VIII. Joseph, married Alee Jenks, and kept a public house in 
the town of Scituate, R. I. He is mentioned in his father's will 
as follows: "I give to my son Joseph a part of the Homestead 
farm lying on the south side of the highway, and as far east as 
the fence called ' the old house meadow fence,' he paying to my 
son William, when of age, <£200, and if Joseph die before 
twenty-one, then my sons John and William shall have the land." 
Again, "I give Joseph 10 acres of land in Scituate adjoining 
Joseph Williams deceased," Also, " I give to Joseph one yoke of 
oxen, ten cows, sheep, &c., for five years towards looking after 
my two youngest children, Ruth and William, * * after five 
years the 10 cows, yoke of oxen, sheep, &c., shall be divided 
among my three sons Joseph, John, Samuel." 

Joseph had five children whose names are recorded in the Town 
Clerk's office of Scituate. His will dated July 3, 1755, mentions 
them all,* as follows : 

1. "I give to mv beloved wife Alee — £500. 

2. To my son Joseph all mv land and Real Estate, &c. 

3. To mv daughter Anne £200, at 18 years of age. 

4. To my daughter Alee £200, " " " 

5. To my daughter Amie X200, " " " 

6. To mv daughter Martha £200, " " " 

Gideon Harris, Executor." 

Joseph was admitted freeman in 1742. 

The name of Wilkinson is perpetuated in the line of Joseph, 
and his descendants are residing in Worcester, Mass., Albany, 
Troy, Lockport, and Waterville, N. Y., Keokuk, Iowa, and 
St. Joseph, Mo. 

IX. John was never married, died at the age of twenty. He 
was probablv engaged to a young ladv by the name of Whipple, 
but death blasted their prospects. 

His will bears date Jan. 19, 1743-4, and is as follows in its 

*i Probate Book, Scituate, R. I 


1. "I give to Deborah Whipple, .£15. 

2. To my loving mother Martha Wilkinson, my Real Estate. 

3. To my two brothers Samuel and William my wearingapparel. 

4. To my brother William mv silver shoe-buckles. 

5. To my four sisters, Martha, Susanna, Sarah, and Ruth, and 
my brother William all the rest of my personal estate. 

I appoint my loving brother Benjamin, Executor."* 

The old paper above alluded to says, '* John Wilkinson was 

born July 29th, aged 20 years & a half Lacking 4 days. 

Died January, ye 25th." 

The Council record says John died Jan. 25, i 743-4, consequently 
he was born Julv 29, 1723, O. S. 

X. William was never married, died young. It is difficult 
to ascertain the date of his birth or death. An old paper previouslv 
alluded to, has the following : 

" William Wilkinson was born Sept. ye 8th, and would have 
been if living now, 24 years old. Died November ye 20th, aged 
9 years & 2 months & 12 days." Unfortunately the paper is not 
dated, and contains no mark by which the year of his birth can 
be ascertained. 

XI. Samuel was never married, but died in his 22d year. His 
will dated July 17, 1748, is worthy of note as it mentions probably 
all the living members of his father's family. His mother was 
living at the time, his father having died eight years before, and 
his brothers John, Christopher, Ishmael, and one William, and 
his sisters Mary, Prudence, and one Susannah had gone to that 
bourn from whence no traveler returns. The angel of Death 
seemed to hover over this household, and like flowers they withered 

Samuel's will is as follows, [Extract] : 

1. "I give my Honoured Mother, Martha Wilkinson, 

(old tenour,) X150 

2. My Brother Benjamin, 150 

3. My brother Joseph, 150 

4. My brother William, 150 

*i Probate Book p. 97, Scituate R. I. 


5. My Sister Martha, ^250 

6. My Sister Susannah Westcott, 250 

7. My Sister Sarah, 250 

8. M'v Sister Ruth, 250 

9. My brother Benjamin's Son now born, 100 

& interest when 21. 

10. I give John Westcott Son of Oliver Westcott, 100 

11. " Anne Wilkinson dau. of my bro. Ishmael, dec'd, 25 

12. " Prudence Angeil, dau. of my Sister Prudence 
Angell, dec'd, 25 

13. I give Alee Wilkinson dau. of my bro. Joseph, to be 

put at int. till 21, 50 

I appoint mv brother Benjamin Wilkinson Executor of this my 
Last Will & Testament."* 

Rev. Mr. Bemen says, " Nine brothers and sisters only are 
mentioned in Samuel's will which casts some doubts upon the 
reputed number of fifteen children as belonging to Joseph." 

From the above it will be seen that the number fifteen is 
correct. Again, he says, " Samuel, a favorite name in the 
Wilkinson genealogy (& in fact all the family names are repeated 
generation after generation) was the namegi\'ento Joseph' sjirst-born 
Son." There were at least six sons older than Samuel, and he 
was the Eleventh child. 

The old paper above alluded to, containing a record of the 
deaths in the family written not later than 1755, contains the 
following : 

" Samuel Wilkinson was Born ffebruary ye 8th, and died fi^sbruary 
ve 3d, aged 22 years Laking 5 days." 

In the inventory and council proceedings. Probate Court of 
Scituate it appears he "died Feb. 3d 1748-9." So he must have 
been born Feb. 8, 1726-7. 

XII. Susannah, married Dec. 30, 1744, Oliver Westcott 
who was b. Sept. 5, 1720, and lived a little removed from Ishmael's 
on the same road. He was a son of Capt. Josiah tWestcott- 

*l Probate Book, p. Scituate, R. I. 

fFor record of the Westcott family see, I Book of Marriages, p. 84, Providence, R. I. 


The house built by Westcott about 1745, is still standing, and is 
used for storing old looms, spinning wheels, reels, &c., the musical 
instruments of olden times. It is a small one story house, wood 
color, gamble roof, with a large stone chimney. The garden spot 
is still visible, and the outbuildings have an aspect of decay. 

Here were born their children, viz : 

(l) John., b. March 26, 1745-6, married Amey Clark, and 
had I. Susannah, b. May 12, 1771 ; 2, Christopher, b. Jan. 10 
1773 ' 3' Stephen, b. April 2, 1775, m. Betsey Carver, r. Otsego 
Co., N. Y. ; 4, Artemas, b. Nov. 15, 1776 ; 5, Charles, b. 1779 ; 
6, Josiah,* b. Oct. 5, 1781, m. Mary Peckham, resides south, 
Scituate, R. I., and has Aniyh. Apr. 20, 1810, d. 1833; George C, 
March 20, 1812,^. 1832 ; i"^/// /». July 5, 1814, rt'. i^t^t^ ; De?naris 
b. Nov. 12,1815, tn. Gideon Harris.^ d. 1 838; Harris b. Jan. 21, 
1819,^. 1848, James P.., b. March 21, 1821 ; Andrew J.^b. Apr. 
15, 1824; Mary S. b. June 15, 1 826, d. 1841 ; Josiah E. b. Dec. 
24, 1828 ; John C, b. June 17, 1832, d. 1838 ; 7, George G., b. 
June II, 1784, m. Nancy Aldrich, d. 1854. 

John built a house a little to the east of his father's, and some 
distance from the road. The old chimney is left standing having 
bid defiance to the elements, and as Bemen says, " bids fair to 
stand as long as the Pyramids of Egypt, and points to times which 
have no other record!" 

The oven, unlike some of the very oldest houses, was not in 
the inside, but on the outside of the fireplace ; and there was a 
fireplace in the chamber above which may have been the attic 
study of the Elder [for John was a Baptist Minister]. How 
mournful yet how soothing, are the external relics. Four cherry 
trees of large size and a poplar tree have been cut down, and shoots 
have come up. An old pear tree, some of its branches dying, 
the curb gone and the well covered over, a large bunch of lilacs, 
and timbers with which the house was formed, scattered about as 
if blown down, or falling by weakness and decay. 

*See Biography No. X. 


"Holy to human nature seems 

The long-forsaken spot, 
To deep affections, tender dreams, 

Hopes of a brighter lot ! 
Therefore in silent reverence here. 

Hearth of the dead ! I stand. 
Where joy and sorrow, smile and tear, 

Have linked one kindred band." 

Judge Westcott, now 85 years of age, son of John, writes us 
as follows ; " My father had nothing but a common school 
education, such as there was in that day. He and one elder 
John Williams had a large church, mostly in Foster, of what is 
called the Old Baptist of the six principle order. About the 
year 1796, he sold his farm in Foster, and moved to Scituate, 
that being his native town, and took charge of a large church 
lying mostly in Scituate, some in other towns adjoining. The 
former Elder having died, (Rev. Reuben Hopkins) he baptised by 
immersion, and added large numbers to the church. His 
preaching was extempore without minutes. He remained in that 
church until his death, which took place Dec. 26, 1831. He 
was a Representative in the General Assembly in 1787 — was the 
tenth Town Clerk in Foster, having before that been Town 
Clejk in Scituate before Foster was set off. He was a popular 
Preacher — was called on at Funerals in this town and the adjoining 
towns more than any Elder of that day. He held the office of 
Justice of the Peace when quite young and for many years." 

-" He was a man by God 

The Lord commissioned to make known to men 
The eternal counsels ; in his Master's name. 
To treat with them of everlasting things; 
Of life, death, bliss and wo ; to offer terms 
Of pardon, grace, and peace to the rebelled ; 
To teach the ignorant soul ; to cheer the sad." 

" He in the current of destruction stood 
And warned the sinner of his wo." 

(2) Prudence^ b. 1747, d. 1812. 

(3) "^^H b. 1749, d. 1790. 

(4) Caleb^ b. 1753, m. Lydia Knowlton, d. 1826. 

(5) Mehetahel^ b. 1755, d. 1793. ■ 

(6) Phehe^ b. 1757, m, Christopher Smith, d. 1790. 


XIII. Sarah married Andrew VV^atermaii, in 1749. He 
was one of the largest land holders in Smithfield. Their children 
are : 

(i) William^ b. 1750, m. Mary Farnum of Smithfield, in 171 7. 
He was a sea captain, and held several offices of public trust. 
They had five children, i, Mary; 2, Stephen; 3, Nancy; 4, 
William ; 5, Sarah, all of Providence, R. I. He died October 

24, 1793- 

(2) Stephen — never married — was taken prisoner during the 

Revolutionary war by the British at sea, and was never heard 
from afterwards. 

(3) Lucretia^ died in infancy. 

(4) Nancy^ died in infancy. 

(5) Sarah^ b. 1754, m. in 1775, Jesse Foster of Smithfield. 
Had eight children, i, Stephen died in infancy, 2, Mary, married 
and died aged 37, leaving five children ; 3, William, lives in the 
state of New York ; 4, Elizabeth ; 5, Lydia ; 6, Sarah ; 7, John ; 
8, Ann Frances, all live in Rhode Island. Mr. Foster died 
July 8, 1832, in his eighty-first year, and his wife died October 
5, 1845, aged ninety-one. 

XIV. Ruth married, April 25, 1773, Benjamin Williams, 
son of Benoni Williams who was the son of Joseph Williams 
(and Sarah his wife) who was the son of Roger Williams, the 
founder of Rhode Island. They had no children, and are both 
buried on the north side of the Hartford Turnpike, near the 
present residence of John Harris. 

XV. William the youngest child of Joseph and Martha, and 
the second of the name, married Hannah Gore. Her connexions 
lived on the island of Rhode Island. William inherited, or 
purchased a farm in the southwestern corner of Glocester, and 
built a house which is still standing, and is occupied by a Mr. 
Smith. The view from this site is decidedly picturesque and 
beautiful. To the south lies Killingly Lake, and the meadows 
and woodlands covered with verdure, adds a charm to the 


scenery. William was an eccentric man and accumulated quite 
a property. Specie he sometimes deposited in banks of his own 
establishing, hiding it in the walls and stone-heaps about his farm. 
Since his decease quite an amount has been found thus secreted. 

He had several sons and daughters. Two of his sons married 
and moved to Pennsylvania. Some of his daughters married and 
lived in Connecticut. Judge Westcott, says "William Wilkinson's 
children were William, Benjamin, and Stephen. Benjamin 
never married — died in Glocester. William and Stephen moved 
to the southerly part of New York state, and died there, leaving 
families. The daughters, as far as I know, were Mary and 
Mercy, and one or two more, but they moved into Connecticut, 
and I know nothing more about them." 

Since this more definite information has been furnished by 
George Wilkinson of Tiskilwa, 111., a grandson of William. 
See post. 

John Wilkikson'M [14] John,- [4] Lawrance.' [i] 


Rebecca Scott, j 

Of Smithfield, R, I. 

58. I. JoHN,^ ( 142-144) b. d. June 23, 1804. 

59. II. Ahab,^ (145-149) b. d. 

60. III. Amey,^ b. d. 

61. IV. Sarah,* b. d. 

62. V. Susanna,* b. d. 

63. VI. Ruth,* b. d. 

64. VII. Joanna,* b. d. 

I. John was born in Smithfield, about 17 18, or 19; was a 
farmer and blacksmith, and had his shop on a little stream of 
water called the Mussey's Brook. It was at this place that a 
trip-hammer was erected notwithstanding the Parliamentary 
prohibition that "no rolling or slitting mill, nor tilt-hammer 


carried by water should be erected in the Colonies of North 
America."* John lived in Smithfield till some time after the 
close of the Revolutionary war, and then moved to Pawtucket, 
where he spent the last of his days. He lived to see his grand 
children growing up around him, and prided himself on mounting 
his horse with more agility than his son Oziel, or his grandsons 
Abraham, Isaac and David. He held a Lieutenant's commission 
granted by Gov. Wm. Greene, May 9, 1757. He married 
Ruth Angell, grand daughter of the first Samuel Wilkinson, and 
his second cousin. Her father was James Angell, son of John, 
and grandson of Thomas Angell, who came with Roger Williams 
from Seekonk, being one of the six original founders of 

He became quite decrepit during his last days, and had a cord 
attached to the ceiling over his bed by which he would raise 
himself. Several years before his death he made his Will, and 
inasmuch as he mentions the names of his children, &c., we give 
it entire. 


"Be it remembered that I, John Wilkinson, of Smithfield, in 
the County of Providence, R. I., yoeman. Being indisposed of 
Body but of a mind and memory capable of disposing of those 
things wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me, Do make and 
ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following, 
that is to say — I commit my spirit to him who created it, and 
my body to be buried in a decent and christian manner at the 
discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned. 

And as to the estate which I possess, I dispose thereof as 
follows — 

In the first place I give to my beloved wife Ruth Wilkinson, 
in addition to her right of Dower of my Real Estate during her 
life, all my indoor movable, or house hold furniture to be disposed 
of by her as she sees meet. 

Likewise my will is, and I do give my beloved Daughter, 
Martha Arnold, an Annuity of Fourteen Silver Spanish Milld 
Dollars a year during her natural life ; But provided she should 

^"Original Bill is in the Secretary of State's office, Providence. See Letters, 1746-50 


have issue to arrive to lawful age, then my will is, that I give 
her said issue the sum of X70,in good lawful silver money at the 
said Martha's decease which I hereby direct my Executor to pay 

Likewise my will is, and I do give to my beloved dau. Susanna 
Hopkins an annuity of 14 Silver Spanish Milld Dollars a year 
during her natural life, and at the decease ot the said Susanna I 
give to her two sons, Christopher Hopkins and Wm. Hopkins 
equally, share and share alike, the sum of .£70, lawful silver 
money to be paid to them as soon as the said Susanna, their 
mother shall decease, after they shall become of lawful age, which 
said annuitv, and the said X70, I hereby direct my executor to 
pay accordingly. 

And the remainder of my estate after the payment of my just 
debts and a sufficiency to discharge the above Legacies both real 
and personal Estate, I give to my son Oziel Wilkinson, his 
heirs and assigns. Lastly, I do hereby Nominate and appoint 
my son Oziel Wilkinson sole Executor to this my last Will and 
Testament and Trustee to execute and fulfill the trust hereinbefore 
mentioned. And I do hereby revoke all other and former wills 
and Ratify and confirm this to be my Last Will and Testament. 
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed mv name and set 
mv seal this ist day of Nov. 1791. John Wilkinson, (l, s.) 
Signed &c., in presence of 

Aaron Clark, Wm. Bryant, Ichabod Comstock."* 

IL Ahab, married Abigail Scott of Smithfield, June i, 1755, 
and had five children, four sons and one daughter. Three of 
the sons married girls by the name of Jenks, and their descendants 
are still living, and are quite numerous. One of the present 
representatives of this branch of the family, is Ahab George 
Wilkinson, in the U. S. Patent Office, at Washington, D. C. 

Statistics of this family have eluded all research and but very 
little is known of the remaining members. 

Ahab was admitted freeman in Smithfield, in 1758. 

IIL Amy married a Bucklin. 

IV. Sarah married an Arnold. 

Whether the remaining three girls were ever married is not 
known by the compiler. 

*See Book of Wills, Town Clerk's office, Pawtucket. 


Daniel Wilkinson"'^ [i8] John,- [4] Lawrence.^ [i] 

AND y 

Abigail Inman, j * 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

65. 1. Joab,^ (150-152) b. July 30, 1741, d. March 2, 1818. 

66. 11. DANiEL,\i53-i57)b. July 7. 1743, d. 

67. III. NEDABiAii,\i58-i6o)b. Sep. 24, 1745, d. 1802. 

68. IV. Lydl\,^ b. Oct. 14, i747,d. Sept. 29, 1756. 

69. V. Abigail,^ b. Feb. 9, 1749, d. Sept. 17, 1756. 

70. VI. A Sox/ b. Aug. 6, I75i,d. in infancy. 

71. VII. Joiix,^(i6i-i64)b. Nov. 13, i758,d. Jan. 6, 1802. 

72. VIII. Olive,^ b. iVIarch 28, I76i,d. Feb. 20, 1843. 

I. JoAB always lived in Cumberland, R. I., was a farmer, 
married March 3, 1774, Jerusha Ray of Wrentham, Mass. She 
was born in 1745, d. Oct. 30, 1795. Ebenezer Fisher officiated 
at the marriage. They had three children, one son and two 
daughters. He died in the 77th year of his age, and is buried in 
the old grave yard in Cumberland, south of the Quaker meeting 
house. The name is extinct in this line. 

II. Daniel married Anna Whipple, Oct. 16, 1767. Elder 
Daniel Miller performed the marriage rite. He sometimes traversed 
the seas, and died in the West Indies. He had live children, one 
son and four daughters. His descendants are still living of whom 
is the Hon. Smith S. Wilkinson, President of the Senate of 

III. Nedabiah married June 11, 1778, Lucy, dau. of Israel 
Whittaker of Bellingham, Mass., Elder Abner Ballou officiating. 
He had three children, one son and two daughters, and lived in 
Cumberland, R. I., and kept a public house where Liberty 
Metcalf now [1866] lives, and the following record of the Board 
of Excise on the Town books shows the rate of tavern licenses 
in those days : 

""In the census of 1774, this family numbered ttvo males above i5 years of age and 
one below, one female above 16 and one below ; in Ti.Wji'vc. 


"In Town Council Apr. 18, 1781. 

Voted^ that Nedabiah Wilkinson have license to keep a Public 
Tavern in the house wherein he now dwells in said Cumberland; 
he complying with the Law, and paying therefor into the Town 
Treasury the sum of £72, continental currency." 

He subsequently moved to East Hartford, Ct., where he 
purchased Real Estate, and, probably, kept a public house. The 
exact date of his death has not been ascertained. Letters of 
Administration were granted to his son, Otis of Bolton, Tolland 
Co. Ct., Sept. 15, i8o2, as appears from the Records* at the 
Probate Office, city of Hartford. 

The Inventory of Personal Property amounted to $3468,62 
Real Estate. 1000,00 

Total $4468,62 

His wife died March, 18 14, and is buried at Hartford Ct. 

The name of Wilkinson is extinct in this line as his son never 

married, but his descendants in the female line still live of whom 

is Mrs. Ralph Cheney, the great silk manufacturer of South 

Manchester, Ct. 

VII. John married Betsey Tower, dau. of John and Hannah 
Tower. Hannah was a near relative of John Hancock, Signer 
of the Declaration of Independence. They emigrated from 
Cumberland to Troy, N. Y. about 1790 where they remained 
eight years, and then moved to Skaneateles, N. Y., where he 
purchased an excellent farm about one mile east of the village, 
which is still owned and carried on by the Misses Wilkinson, 
granddaughters of John. He had four children, two sons and 
two daughters all of whom married, and one, Elpha, is still living. 
The Hon. Morton S. Wilkinson, U. S. Senator from Minnesota, 
is a descendant of this branch of the family. John died in the 
44th year of his age, and is buried on his farm in Skaneateles. 

VIII. Olive married Benjamin Chamberlain, son of Benjamin 
of Bridgewater, Mass., Dec. 18, 1783, John Dexter, Justice, 

*Book 27, Records of Wills, &c., Hartford, Ct. » 


performing the ceremony. They moved to Choconut, Susquehanna 
Co., Penn., and have six children. 

(1) Lezuis^ b. May 22, 1784, m. Nancy Murray, May, 18 10, 
and has A. Chamberlain, Esq., of Montrose, Pa., Dr. O. K, 
Chamberlain and Benjamin, both of Austin, Nevada. 

(2) Daniel^h. May 14, 1788, m. Orpha Scoville, Dec. I, 1810, 
resides Maine, Broome Co., N. Y. 

(3) Abigailox Nabby^h. Aug. I I, 1791, m. Buel Scoville, 1809, 
d, Sept. 18, 1 84 1. 

(4) Joab^ b. Sept. 2, 1795, m. Rebecca Dean, Dec, 1831, 
resides Kalamazoo, Mich. 

(5) Melvin^ b. Aug., 1798, m. Orpha Rogers, Sept., 1843, ^• 
Oct. 30, 1852. 

(6) Ol'ive^ b. Aug., 1801, m'. Oliver Losier, Jan. 10, 1827, 
resides in Montrose, Pa. 

Jeremiah Wilkinson" 1 [19] John '[4]Lawrance.^[i] 

AND y 

Elizabeth Amy Whipple, j 

Of Cumberland, R. L 

73. I. WiLLiAM,*( 165-75) b. July 31, 1739, d. 

74. II. Jeremiah,*(i76-86) b. July 6, 1741 d. Jan, 29, 1831. 

75. III. SiMON,^(l 87-90) b. Sept. 24, 1743, d. July 7, 1819. 

76. IV. BENjAMiN,^(i9i-97)b. Nov. I, 1745, d. Mar. 25, 1818. 

77. V. Patience,^ ] ^ . b. Mar. 20, 1741, d. Apr. 19, 1819. 

78. VI. Amy,^ / ^^'"s-b. " " " d. 

79. VII. Marcy,^ b. Aug. 14, 1750, d. 1830. 

80. VIII. Jemima,^ ' b. Nov. 29, 1752, d. July i, 1819. 

81. IX. STEPHEN,*(i98-204)b, Jan. 29.1755, d. 1821. 

82. X. Jeptha,^ (205-212) b. April 3, 1757, d. Aug. 15, 1803. 

83. XI. Elizabeth,' b. Dec. 6, 1760, d. 

84. XII. Deborah' b. Aug. 28, 1764, d. 1851. 


I. William was born in Cumberland, and married July 5, 
1759, Mollie Alverson ; the ceremony being performed by Job 
Bartlett, Justice of the Peace. Very little has been elicited 
concerning him. He had a family of eleven children and his 
descendants are quite numerous, and scattered over the country. 
George moved to Ira, Rutland County, Vt., where his descendants 
still live, an influential branch of the family. Simon moved to 
Boston, where he was well known and highly respected, and 
several members of his family still reside in that city, and one in 
Australia. Ruth and Molly moved to Attleboro, Mass., and the 
rest lived in Cumberland. 

II. Jeremiah lived in Cumberland, on the farm long known as 
the old Wilkinson place. He married for his first wife Hopie 
Mosier, (or Mosher) and by her had five children. She died 

, and he married Elizabeth Southwick for his second 

wife, by whom he had six children. Garner and Anna marrie d 
and moved to White Creek, N. Y. ; Jonathan moved to 
Hartford, Ct. ; Job to Penfield, N. Y. ; Jeremiah to Bennin2;ton, 
Vt. ; (.'') and the rest lived in Cumberland and Providence, 
R. I. 

Jeremiah was distinguished as an inventor. For a more 
particular account of him, see Biography No. XI. 

III. Si.Mox married Aug. 8, 1758, Hannah Whipple, daughter 
of Samuel Whipple, Elder Daniel Miller, officiating. They had 
four children, all daughters, two only married. He was my great 
grandfather on my mother's side. For his day and locality he 
was considered a great mathematician. He was a Surveyor of 
land and was frequently called by the surrounding inhabitants to 
adjust disputed lines with chain and compass, as well as to give 
the exact contents of bartered real estate. Having studied 
Astronomy, he could name all of the principle stars much to the 
wonder and surprise of his less educated neighbors and juvenile 
relatives. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for a period 
of fifteen years, and acquired the enviable cognomen of Peace 


The records of his native town will bear his name to succeeding 
generations, as an active, useful and influential man. His 
residence at first was on the farm now (1865) owned by Eliza 
Thompson on the direct road from Diamond Hill to Providence, 
and his last abode was on the place now owned by Liberty Jenks, 
on the same road about one mile nearer Providence. Simon died 
at the advanced age of seventy-six, and left an example worthy 
immitation. He was a Friend. The name is extinct in this line. 
His wife died in 1835, aged 94 years, and is buried in the old 
grave yard south of the Quaker meeting house in Cumberland. 

IV. Benja:min married Hannah Staples, April 12, 1770. 
Peter Darling, his uncle, being a magistrate, was called upon to 
unite the parties. They had seven children, five boys and two 
girls. Vernum and Russell moved to New York City, the 
others lived in Cumberland. The name is extinct in this line 
although the decendants through Vernum are still living in New 
York, and are influential bankers. 

Benjamin was actively engaged in the war of the Revolution. 
In 1775, he was elected Ensign, and the year following was 
promoted to a Lieutenantcy. He was one of the Committee of 
Safety in 1776, and held many important positions in those 

exciting times. He was fearless of danger, and went wherever 

duty led him.* 

V. Patience married Thomas Hazard Potter, of the Potters 
who purchased the tract of land extending from the centre of 
Canandagua Lake to the centre of Seneca Lake, containing 
44000 acres. t These Potters were originally from S. Kingston, 
R. I., and followed the Friend to Jerusalem, N. Y., where thev 
became influential and prominent men in the new country, and 
gave their name to a Township which it still bears in Yates 

Their children are as follows : 

*See Colonial Records of R. I. 

fSce Phelps & Ghoram's Purchase, by Judge Turner. 


(i) Jobu^h. 1772, married Aug. 21, 1808, Nancy Wilkinson, 
bis own cousin, and daughter of Jeptha Wilkinson. They 
resided in Potter, Yates County, N. Y. John di^d August ii, 


(2) Susanna^h. 1774, m. 1 806, Job Briggs, and moved to Dry 
Prairie, Mich. They have l, William ; 2, John ; 3, Maria ; 4, 
Joel ; 5, Russel ; 6, Lucina; 7, Thomas Jefferson. 

Susanna^ died at Athens, Mich. 

(3) Eliza, b. Nov. 16, 1785, at South Kingston, R. I., m. 
Baxter Hobart, June 24, 1813, whose parentage is of the highest 
respectability. They have : 

1. Smith Leander, b. , m. , resides in Syracuse, 

N. Y. He is a Presbyterian Clergyman, and general Missionary 
Agent for New York., &c. 

2. .Norton P., b. 

3. Caroline, b. 

4. Mary, b. 

5. Charles, b. 

EUxa died in Potter, Yates Count, N. Y., Aug. 28, 1829. 
VI. Amy married Peter Darling of Cumberland, and had 
several children as follows, viz : 

(1) Benjamin. 

(2) Elijah., married Nancy Ray. 

(3) Reuben. 

(4) Welcome. 

(5) Joanna.^ married her cousin Jonathan Wilkinson, moved 
to Hartford, Ct. 

(6) Jephtha. 

The above were married and live in Woonsocket and 
Cumberland, but the compiler has not been able to get any facts 
concerning them, except some of them are engaged in the 
manufacturing business. 

Vn. Marc Y married Willam Aldrich, who died at Schenectady, 
N. Y., when moving into the Genesee country from Rhode 


Island. They had no children. She lived to be 80 years of age 
and died in 1830. 

VIII. Jemima, was never married. She was a strange religious 
enthusiast, or monomaniac. Having listened to the distinguished 
George Whitfield, when he preached in Attleboro, Mass., she 
was seriously impressed, and deeply convicted of sin ; and while 
thus laboring under great concern of mind, she was seized with a 
malignant fever which was raging throughout Providence Co., and 
aftera long confinement she arose from her bed, suddenly recovered, 
declaring she had a mission to perform. She immediately commenced 
preaching publicly, and from house to house, claiming as some say, 
supernatural power, being able to discern what was transpiring in 
distant places, &c., which would now be attributed to claravoyance, 
and would in no wise subject a person to a charge of blaspbemy. 
She continued her mission forty years, having moved into what 
was then a wilderness country, near Crooked Lake in Nev/ York, 
and established a community which was quite flourishing while 
she lived. Very many falsehoods, and much error mingled with 
some truth have been propagated concerning her, but some of the 
first and best people in the vicinity where she lived, believed her 
to be a good woman, endeavoring to perform what she conceived 
to be her duty. Whether right or wrong they so believe, and 
are outspoken upon the subject, though an opposite public sentiment 
has been fostered by such a work as David Hudson's life of Jemima. 

The author, who had never heard a word in her favor, but 
had formed his opinion from Hudson's book, and the slurs which 
were thrown out against her, and from finding her name classed 
among religious impostors, was greatly surprised on visiting the 
vicinity of her last residence in Yates County, to hear respectable 
people speak highly of her benevolence and moral worth ; and 
these it will be remembered, were not her followers. 

For a more extended notice, see Biography No. XII. 

IX. Stephen married April i, 1791, Elizabeth Sheldon, 
daughter of Roger Sheldon, the Rev. Abncr Ballou being called 


to unite them. By this wife he had seven children whose 
descendants are still living in the western part of New York, 
and in Indiana. He was a member of the "Friend's" Society, and 
lived in Jerusalem, N. Y., having moved from Cumberland, R 
I. His wife died about 1807. 

He married about 1813, Lucy Botstord for a second wife, thev 
had no children, died Dec. 25, 1850, aged 85, buried in 
Covington, Wyoming County, N. Y. 

X. Jephtha was married by Thomas Avery, Esq., March 25, 
1784, to Lucy Smith of Groton Ct. He was a natural mechanic, 
end found cmplc^ment in the surrounding villages and cities. He 
was one cf ihe " Mir.utc ntn of Ecstcn" in the time of the 
Revolution, and engaged in the strife for independence. 

He was seized with yellow fever in Jersey City, and died in 
1803, leaving his wife and children to contend alone with an 
unfriendly world. Two years after this event she emigrated from 
Cumberland with six of her children, (leaving Nancy and Arnold 
to settle her business in Rhode Island,) for the wilderness of New 
York. She first stopped in the town of Milo, three miles east of 
Penn Yan in Ontario County, now Yates. Here she remained 
about a year, but soon purchased eighty acres of land in Jerusalem, 
built a I02; house and engaoied in farming-. She also purchased a 
share in the carding machine, and was joint owner with Captain 
Lawrence. She was a person of great energy of character, and 
what with her industry, and a small pension allowed her by the 
general Government she made herself and family comfortable, and 
educated her children. She nearly attained her one hundredth 
year retaining her faculties in a remarkable degree, and died in 
Pulteney, Steuben Co., N. Y., and is buried in the Wagener 
burying ground. Her grave is marked by a blue marble stone, 
erected by her daughter, Nancy, as a tribute of affection to a 
departed mother. This branch of the family is quite numerous, 
and widely scattered. Arnold lives in Providence, R, I. ; Ransom 
died in Greenbush, 111. ; Jeptha A. lives in London, Eng. ; Lucy, 



in Summerfield, Mich. ; Mary Ann, in California ; Nancy, in 
Potter, Yates Co., N. Y. ; Abigail A. and Alpha in Pulteney, N. Y. 

XI. Elizabeth, married Samuel Hartwell, and lived in 
Jerusalem, Yates Co., N. Y. They belonged to the Friends' 
Society. They had nine children. 

(1) Samuel., b. July 31, 1783, moved to Iowa. 

(2) EU-zaheth., b. Dec. 30, ijI'^J, m. Abraham Lent, r. 
Cohocton, N. Y., dead. 

(3) Ame}\ b. Aug. 27, 1789, unm., r. Jerusalem, N. Y. dead. 

(4) Stephen., b. Feb. 19, 1792, m. Catherine Lambert, 2, Miss 
Bagnell, r. Michigan. 

(5) 'Joseph., b. March 28, 1793, m. Mary Kidder, r. California. 

(6) Elijah., b. March 31 1794, m. Miss Brimhall and 2 others, 
r. Cohocton, N. Y., dead. 

(7) Mercy., b. May 12, 1796, m. John Lambert, r. Rochester, 
N. Y. 

(8) Moses., b. May 5, 1798, rn. Honor Germon, has two 
children, r. Jerusalem, N. Y. 

(9) Aaron., b. March, 22, l<Soo, m. Almira Fowler, r. Salina, 


XII. Debor VII, married for her first husband Benajah Botsford, 

and according to Hudson's account, had quite a time getting married 
in consequence of the opposition of Jemima. Deborah belonged 
to the Friends' Society and the Shaker practice of celibacy was 
endeavored to be carried into effect in her case, but in vain. He 
died aged thirty-nine, and she married Elijah Malin for a second 
husband. He died aged eighty-seven. She was noted for her 
skill and ingenuity in all kinds of needle-work, and was an exemplary 
woman. She died at the advanced age ot eighty-seven. 

In the census of the Colony of Rhode Island taken June, i 774. 
Jeremiah's family consisted of two males above sixteen years of 
age, one under, three females above sixteen, and tivo under •, in all 
eight members. 


JosiAii Wilkinson^ ^ [22] Samuel,-' [8] Samuel, ''[2] 

AND V Lawrence.^ [i] 

Margaret Thompson, j 

Of , N. Y. 

85. 1. Jemima,'' b. April, 1737, d. Feb. 26, 1821. 

86. II. Amos,'^ b. d. 

87. III. Chloe,' b. d. . 


EMIMA lived in Smithfield and Providence, R. I. She was 
never married, and is buried in the family burying ground on 

the old homestead of the Elder Israel Wilkinson in Smithfield. 

II. Amos, and Chloe, moved with their father Josiah, into 
the eastern part of the state of New York. Amos married and 
had a family, so says a distant relative now Hving, nearly ninety 
years of age, but no trace of the family can be found. It is 
probable he had no boys, and the name has become extinct. 

David Wilkinson^ ') [27] Samuel,'^ [8] Samuel,^ [2] 

and y Lawrence. 

Mary Arnold, j * 

Of Providence, R. I. 

88. I. Susanna,^ b. d. 

89. II. William,^ b. d. 

^Census of 1774, I male above 16, 2 under, 3 females above, i under, 2 blacks. ' 










1757, d. 




go. III. Mary,"' b. d. 1819. 

91. IV. Anna/' 

92. V. Samuel/' 

93. VI. Betsey,'"' 

94. VII. Patience,-' b. 1757,6. July 11, 1781. 

95. VIII. Sarah,'' 

96. IX. Daniel,-' 

I. Susanna, married Daniel Marsh of Providence. Through 
the reluctance of his descendants, very little has been elicited 
concerning David's family. His children's names are believed to 
be correctly stated above, but perhaps not chronologically arranged. 
Susanna was, probably, married- about 1754. Their children. arc 
as follows : 

(i) Mary., b. April 9, 1755. 

(2) W'lUiam., b. May lO, 1756. 

(3) Susanna., b, March 7, 1758, m. Cornelius I. Bogert of 
New York, died in Providence. 

(4) Jonathan., b. April 7, I 760, married and moved to North 
Carolina, and died leaving a family of several children. 

(5) Gould., b. Jan. 21, 1762. 

(6) Ruth., b. Feb. i i 764, died unmarried. 

(7) David Wilkinson., b. Dec. 22. 1765, 

(8) Daniel Gould., b. July 20, 1769. 

(9) yames., b. Jan. 17, 1771. 

(10) Anne., May lO, 1773, m. Nicholas Power, 

''This Mr. Power," says Judge Staples, "I think was the 4th 
Nicholas in regular descent. They had children as follows : 

1. Rebecca, married Wm. R. Staples, of Providence, for many 
years Judge of the Courts of Rhode Island ; Secretary of the 
Society for the Improvement of Domestic Industry ; author ot 
the " Annals of Providence," the best history of Rhode Island 
ever written. 

2. Sarah, married Jno, W. Whitman, no descendants. 

3. Susan, unmarried. 


III. iMary, married Chnrles Crouch, a lawyer, of Charleston, 
South Carolina. He was a man of some note, and they edited a 
paper in Charleston for several years, which was quite popular as 
a miscellaneous and literary publicition. They had several 
children one of whom was born in Pro\'iJ3nce, viz: 

(l) Jfine^ b. Oct. 4, 1763," {2) Abraha?n^ (3) Mary^ and others. 
One of this family was accustomed to visit James Wilkinson's 
family of Smithtield, but all knowledge of their descendants is 
entirely forgotten. Mary was appointed executrix of her father's 


IV. Anxa, married Jno. Clark of Providence. Probably had 
a family. Nothing is known concerning them. 

VII. Patience, married William Thurber, in 1772. They 
lived in Pro\'idence, and had four children, viz : 

(1) Waity\ b. April 2, 1773, r. Providence. 

(2) Kingsley^ b. Dec. 27, 1774, r. Pro\'idence. 

(3) 2d son b. June 26, 1778, r. Providence, d Oct. 9, 1778. 

(4) Alpha^ b. June 21, 1780, r. Providence, d. Aug. 8, 1782. 
Patience died at the early age of 27, and is buried in the 

••'North Burying Ground," near Providence. Her grave may be 
found among the Thurbur family, where several sarcophagi arc 
arranged together in the east part of the cemetery. 

Rev. C. C. Bemen in his "Sketches of Scituate," says '' David 
had three sons who lived from seve?iteen to tiventy-four years, but 
never married ; he had also six daughters, four of whom married 
and left families. Mary, the second daughter, married Charles 
Crouch, Charleston, S. C,, and died in 18 19. David died in 
Providence, about 1791, aged 84 years." 

The following is copied from a Bible in the possession of a 
lady by the name of Whitman, living in Providence, " David spent 
the latter part of his life in Providence. He had three sons who 
died young, at, or under twenty-five. They were all distinguished 

*a Record of Marriages, i66, B'd of Health's Office Providence. 
j-7 Book of Wills p. 975-6, Providence, R. I. 


for talent and ingenuity. The third son was killed by being 
crushed between a large ship and the wharf at a launch." 
The name of Wilkinson is extinct in this line. 

Israel Wilkinson'"] [29] Samuel,^ [8] Samuel,' [2] 

AND . Lawrance.^[i] 

Mary Aldrich, j * 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

97. I. Hannah, •'* b. Feb. i, 1733-4, d. May 26, 1826. 

98. II. HuLDAH,^ b. Nov. 22, 1735, d, ^737- 

99. III. Jacob,-' (213) b. Oct. 27, 1737-8, d. Jan. 19, 1766. 

100. IV. IsRAEL,^(2i4-2i)b. Mar. 10, 1741, d. Sept. 13, 1818. 
loi. V. RoBERT,''(222-29)b. Apr. i8, 1743, d. Apr. 18, 1788. 

102. VI. Wait,"* b. Sept. 29, 1 746, d. Nov. 2, 1777. 

103. VII. DAViD,\230-34)b. Oct. 10, 1748, d. Apr. 12, 1780. 

104. VIII. Martha,'^ b. Aug. 13,1750, d. Feb. 17, 1779. 
I. Hannah, married Joseph Davis of Cumberland, R. I., a man 

much respected in his own town. He was born Aug. 14, 1723, 
died May 29, 1777, leaving an only child. 

(l) Jsenath^ b. Nov. 30, 1756, d. Nov. 22, 1783. 

She married Ebenezer Metcalf of Cumberland, a very worthy 
man, who died Oct. 23, 1820. Their children were: 

1. Liberty, b. Aug. 18, 1776, m. Selinda Brown, d. March 5, 


2. Davis, b. Feb. 16, 1778, m. Sarah Newell, d. July 15, i 848. 

3. Amon, b. Dec. 28, 1779, rn. i, Hannah Wilkinson, 2, 
Sarah Thompson, d. Sept., 1845. 

4. Ebenezer, b. Dec. 17,1781, m. Phebe Almy, had Jacob, 
Ebenezer, d. March 2, 1854. 

5. Joseph, b. Oct. 27, 1783, m. Eunice Peck. 

They all lived in Cumberland, R. I., and were members of the 
Friends' Society, and are noted for their humanity and benevolence, 
and for every good word and work. Firm in their convictions ot 

*Census of 1774, 3 males above 16, i under j 3 females above, i under. 

JACOB JVlLKIhSON. [99] 143 

the truth of Qiiaker principles and practices, they have led consistent 
christian lives, free from persecution and bigotry. To these people 
as well as to the Baptist, is Rhode Island, and the world indebted 
to the best form of civil Government established among men. A 
Government which recognizes no authority in the civil arm to 
enforce conscience, no external power to interfere with "Soul 
I>iberty," but leaving every man, woman and child free to worship 
God, or not to worship God according to the dictates of his own 
conscience without molestation.* So careful were the early settlers 
of Rhode Island, that no infringement of this rule should be allowed, 
that Joshua Verin was denied the privilege of voting for restraining 
his wife from attending religious meetings. f 

The descendants of this family are not very numerous, but 
they are abundantly blessed in worldly matters, and are able 
financiers. The "Tax list" of Cumberland exhibits their taxable 
property real and personal amounting to ^1,300,000, or about 
one-sixth of the whole town. 

Joseph is still living, a firm Friend, and a follower of our blessed 

Savior, and is now (1866) over eighty-three years of age. His 

life is an example of industry, economy, and piety worthy of all 


The Bible containing the record of the Metcalf family was 

printed in America in 1731, purchased in 1745, [price X3.1OS.] 

and was presented to Joseph Davis, April 30, 1755, by his mother. 

It is now owned by Joseph Metcalf. 

The senior Ebenezer Metcalf was thrice married. By his second 
wife Anna, he had Whipple, b. May 29, 1788, d. Sept. 28, 
1795. By his third wife Abigail Dexter, he had Dexter, b. 
1799, m, Polly Bishop, d. June, 20, 1853. 

Ill, Jacob married Mary Potter, Aug. 21 1763, and died at 
the age of twenty-nine, and is buried at the Friends' burying 

*l Bancroft's Hist. U. S. 369 et serj. 

tSee Backus' Church Hist., 50, A. B. P. S. Edition, also, old Record in City Clerk's 
Office, Providence. 


ground at Woonsocket, R. I. His wife was a Quaker, Thev 
had but one child Cynthia, and lived in Smithfield, and Cumberland, 
R. I. His widow never married, but in 1794 moved with her 
daughter, who had married Welcome Capron, to Easton, 
Washington, Co., N. Y. She died in MayEeld Fulton Co., 
N. Y., and is buried there. 

Jacob was admitted freeman in 1760. 

IV. Israel married Silence Billou, (or Bolough) daughter 
of Elisha Ballou of Mendon, Mass., Feb. 14, 1772. Her 
mother's maiden name was Hephzibah Thayer, daughter of 
William Thayer, son of Captain Thomas Thayer, of Mendon, 

The children of William Thayer were (as mentioned in his 
Will) I, William; 2, Alexander; 3, Increase; 4, Amasa; 5, 
Hepzibah ; 6, Beula ; 7, Silence; 8, Abigail; 9, Beriah. 

The oldest son William married and had a son, Alexander, 
who seemed to be a great favorite with his grandfather. 

The second son, Alexander, married Parley 

Hephzibah m. Elisha Ballou and had daus. Lucy, Silence, &c. 
Beula m. a Ballou; Abigail m. Phineas Lovett. 

Silence m. an Ammidon, and Beriah an Eaten, and had Mary 
M., Sarah, John E. and William. 

The will above alluded to makes provisions for Hepzibah as 
long as she remains a widow. She died in Mendon, "about 
the ninth hour of the morning, June 30, 1804, aged 73 years, 6 
mos. and 18 days. She was," says Israel, " Widow to Elisha 
Ballou and mother to my wife." Her husband died " In Penn. 
at the Yellow Springs, Nov. 1777, aged about 48." "Lucy 
Ballou the youngest dau. of Elisha, died Sept. 3, 1802, aged 32 
yrs, 6. ms, 15 ds. Lived with her mother many years before 
her death." 

The will speaks of land lying near "Caleb's Hill" in Mendon, 
and the old homestead was in that vicinity. A deed of gift from 


William's father, Thomas, describes him as a wheelwright,* and 
is dated Feb. 25, 1728-g. 

Israel was a farmer, and purchased the old homestead in 
Smithfield, of his father, in 1776, and engaged extensively in 
buying and selling Real Estate. The following are some of the 
purchases made by him : 

In 1763, of Wm. Gasskel, 25 acres in Cumberland, paid 200 

Spanish mill dollars. 
" 1772, of Tho's. Arnold, 107 on Crookfall river, " .£570 
'' , " Hosea Steere, 3 " Cedar Swamp, 

Smithfield '' Valuable Sum of money " 

" 1773,'' Dan. Jer'h Wilkinson 8 " Rehoboth N. 

Purchase, 6.10s, 

'' " '• Daniel Stanly, 10 " " " 9. 

*' " '* Oliver Mann, 12 " Attleboro Mass., i.i6s. 

'-'• "'■ " Benj. Tower, 11 " " " 9.9s. 

*'I774, " Sam. Cooper, 8 '^ Rehoboth " 6.3s. 

*' I775» *' Abner Lapham, J Iron Mill & Refinery, 

Cumberland, 50. 

'' 1776, " David Wilkinson, 20 acres, Smithfield, 300. 

" " '' Israel Wilkinson, sen. \ Homestead farm, " 600. 
'^ '' '^ Rob't Wilkinson, \ " " " " 300. 

" 1780, " Nat. Randall, 25 acres, Cumberland, " 25 

Spanish m. dol's. 
" 1781, " Stephen Inman, 23 " " 150 

Spanish m. dols. 
" 1783, " David Wilkinson, 22 " Bellingham Propriety 88 

Spanish m. dols. 
" 1784, " David Wilkinson, 8 Com. Right Dedham 

Purchase, i. 

'' 1787, " Welcome Capron 23 acres, Cumberland, 100. 
ti tt tt Robt. Wilkinson, 3 pieces " 200. 

" 1788, " Samuel Arnold, § Iron Mill & Coal Barn 

Purchase, 30. 

" 1 816 " Jo. & Dav. Wilkinson, &c., \ Homestead 

farm, $608. 

"^Records of Deeds, Liber I page 251, Worcester, Mass. 



He owned a saw-mill on Crookfall river, and what with his 
farm, his traffic in real estate, and saw-mill he managed to keep 
himself busy. 

James Wilkinson, the only surviving son of Israel, says: "My 
father never held any office. He and his brothers were Quakers, 
birth-right members, but as he married out of their socie|:y 
against their rule, 2 Cor. 6: 14, and would not acknowledge he 
was sorry for so doing, he was dropped from their communion ; 
but he always attended their meetings — and dressed plain." 
Joseph Metcalf, says, " he was a small, spare man, very quick in 
speech and action." He was in his prime during the war of the 
Revolution, and although his pacific principles would not allow 
him to bear arms, yet he aided otherwise, and saw with delight 
the triumph of 

"This firm Republic, that against the blast 
Of opposition rose ■" 

and rejoiced in the establishment of our National Independence. 
He did not seek notoriety, but was content to be a tiller of the 
soil, and an active business man in that department, rather than 
a popular public character. 

His old account book is still in existence and the earliest entry 
is as follows : 

" Rufus Bart let t^ Dr. 

1772. To paid Bet. Leland for schooling two 

Scholars six weeks (a), j^ 7s. 3d." 

This is the characteristic of the man. He was a friend ot 
schools, and education found in him a ready advocate. 

He was an honest man, noted for his veracity, and was highly 
respected as a citizen, and lived and died in the midst of a large 
circle of acquaintances and relatives on the old homestead in 
Smithfield. The decease of his wife occurred several years before 
his own, and the following record was made by him : . " In 
Smithfield, Oct. 8, a. d., 1805, then Silence Wilkinson, wife to 
Israel Wilkinson, Departed this life, aged 55 years, 6 months 
and 6 days, between the hours of i and 2 in the day." 

DAVID WILKIhSON. [99] 147 

" She passed through glory's morning gate 
And walked in Paradise." 

V. Robert married Dec. 29, 1768, Mary Lapham, and had 
eight children. He was a farmer, and lived two miles south of 
Woonsocket, on the Blackstone River near Mott's dam ; the 
same farm was subsequently occupied and owned by his son 
Joseph. He built a good substantial house which still stands. 
He received a gift deed from his father Israel, the description 
being as follows : " One quarter part of my homestead farm, 
whereon I now Dwell, Situate, Lying and being within the 
Township of Smithfield — Together with one-quarter part of the 
Buildings thereunto belonging." The consideration was the 
*' Fatherly love and affection which I, the said Israel Wilkinson, 
have and do bear towards my son Robert Wilkinson of 
Smithfield." Dated the " Third day of August, and in the fifth 
year of his Majesty's Reign, George the Third, King over 
Great Britain, Anno. Dom. 1765."* 

This same property was sold by Robert to his brother Israel, jr., 
for X300, Feb. 27, 1776, f a few months before the Declaration 
of Independence, and these old deeds bear marks of the people's 

Robert owned real estate in Cumberland, and 1787, he sold 
his brother Israel, jr., three parcels lying on the east bank of the 
Pawtucket river. 

VI. Wait married David Buffum and lived in Smithfield. 
Their children are : 

(1) Lavina^ m. Ahab Mowry, r. Smithfield. 

(2) George^ b. I'J'JTf^ m. a Daniels, r. Smithfield, d. Aug. 11, 

(3) Huldah^ m. Caleb Comstock, r. Greenfield, N. Y. 

VII. David, married April 25, 1773, Lydia Spear, and had 
five children, all sons. Two of them married and became quite 
noted men in their native town and state. David was a farmer 

■•Record of Deeds, Liber 6, Fol. 86, Smithfield, R. I. 
f Record of Deeds, Liber 6, Fol. 470, Smithfield, R. L 


and occupied lands originally laid out to Lawrence Wilkinson. 

VIII. Martha, married Joseph BufFum — lived in Smithfleld, 
R. I. They had no children. 

IcHABOD Wilkinson^ ^ [35] Samuel,^ [8] Samuel,'-' [2] 

AND y Lawrence.^ [i] 

Sarah Chapman, j 

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn. 

105. I. Joseph,' b. d. Oct. 1785. 

106. II. JoHN,^ b. d. 

107. III. William,"' b. d. 
Several daughters. 

I. Joseph never married. His Will was written Oct. 11, 
1785, and was proved Oct, 2(S, 1785. He left his property to 
his mother, Sarah Wilkinson, and to his sisters. 

John and William probably died without issue, and perhaps 
were never married. The Land of Ichabod which was deeded 
to Joseph, was in Solebury right, where Newhope now stands. 

John Wilkinson,^ 4o]John"[9]Samuel'[ 2] Lawrence. '[i. 
Mary Lacy, and 
Hannah Hughes, J 

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn, 

First Wife. 

108. I. Mary,'"' b. about 1741, d. April 10, 1802. 

109. H. John,' (135-38) b, 
1 10, III, Stephen,"^ 
hi. IV, Tamer,'' 

112. V. Rachel,'' 
Second IVife. 

113. VI. Martha,^ 

1 14. VII. Ann L,,'' 



d. March, 





about 1770, d. 

d. April, 



115, VIII. Hannah,^ b. d. 

116. IX. Elisiia,^ (239) b. d. 

I. Mary married 4th mo. 18, 1765, Stephen Twining, who 
was born 5th mo. 4th, 1733. 

They had eight children : 

(1) John., b. 4th mo. 20th, 1761, d, young. 

(2) Elias., b. 3d mo. 26th, 1765, m. Stokes, (had two 

children, not living) d. 8th mo. 26th, 1832. 

(3) Rachel^ b. 8th mo. 25, ijji-, m, David Watson (had fou: 
children, of whom one only survives) d. 1808. 

(4) Tamer^ b. 2d mo. lOth, 1774, rn. David Palmer, (had five 
children, all useful members of society,) d. 2d mo. 21st, 1808. 

(5) Jacob^ b. 1st mo. 28, 1776, m. Margerv, dau of Jeremiah 
Croasdale, 4th mo. 22d, 1802, had eight children, viz: i, 
Croasdale, b. 5th mo. 7th, 1803; 2, Stephen, b. 6th mo. 23d, 
1805 ; 3, Elisha W. b. I oth mo. 27, i 808, d. 5th mo. 26th, i 823 ; 
4, Charles L. b. ist mo. 30th, i 8ii-, 5, Mary Ann, b. 6th mo. 
1 6th, 1 8 14, m. Eleazar Wilkinson; 6, Isaac C. b. 4th mo 6th, 
1819; 7, Aaron, b. i ith mo. 29, 1821,- Deborah b. 4th mo. 9, 1824. 

The living members of this family are all married (excepting 
Charles L.) "blessed with children, the comforts of life, and the 
respect of mankind in a good degree." Reside in Wrightstown, 

(6) Mercy^ b. 7th mo. 19th, 1778, d. young. 

(7) Eli-zabeth.^ b. lO mo. 23d, i 780, d. young. 

(8) Mary., b. i st mo, lOth, 1783, d. 1803. 

II. John married Jane Chapman, April 26, 1769. 

He received upon his death bed a deed of one hundred and 
fifty acres of land from his father being a part of the original 
purchase of his grand father in Penn. 

They had four children. 

III. Stephen, perhaps, was never married. 

His Will was written March 14, 1786, proved April i I, 1786, 
he left his estste to his stepmother, and to his brothers and 
sisters. He was a farmer, lived in Wrightstown. 


VI. Martha, married a Bennett, lived in Wrightstown, Pa, 

VII. Ann Lacy, married, 1792. Samuel Smith of Zion, Cecil 
Co., Md. He was a captain in the Army of the Revolution, and 
was in several battles during the struggle for Independence. In 
the war of 18 12, he was promoted to Brigadier General. 

Their children were: 

(1) George W.^ b. April 18, 1794, m. Isabel Raynolds of 
Killarning, Jan. 17, 1826. 

(2) Abner Reeder., b. March 17, 1797, and died aged 28. 

(3) Elisha W., b. March 26, 1800, d. Oct. 1863. 

(4) Samuel A. ^ b. June 2d, 1802, m. Mary Maroues of New 
York City, Nov, 13, 1827. 

(5) Thomas R.^ h. Jan. 22, 1804, died at New Orleans, of 
yellow fever, I 829. 

(6) Margery Ann, b. June 2, 1805, m. Isaac Van Hosen 1823 
and died Nov. 1839. 

(7) Andrew Jackson^ b. 181 5, educated at West Point, and 
was a Major in the Regular Army. At the breaking out of the 
Rebellion he was promoted to a Brevet Major General of 
volunteers. He married Anne Simpson of St. lyouis. 

(8) P. Jenks^ b. 181 1, m. Rebecca P. Smith, of Philadelphia 
in 1844. He is now a retired merchant boarding with his family 
at the La Pierre House in Philadelphia. 

VIII. Hannah, married Abner Reeder of Trenton, N. J. 

IX. Elisha married Mariah Whiteman, resided at Wrightstown, 

Joseph Wilkinson"* ~| [41] Joun,'^ [9] Samuel,- [2] 

AND y LaWRANCE.^[i] 

Barbary Lacy, j 

Of Wrightstown, Bucks Co., Penn. 
Joseph moved to Chester Co., Pa., but no trace of the family 
has been found. 


ISHMAEL WlLKIXSO^'^^ [45] JoSEPH,'' [l l] SaMUEL,' [l], 
AXD V LaWRAXCe' [i]. 

Sarah Mowry, j 

Of Scituate, R. I. 
117. I. Anxa,^ b. d. 

I 18. II. STEPIlEN/(240-43)b. d. 

I. Anna, married Thomas Bussey, moved to Berkshire, Co., 
Mass. They had a family, but their names have not been furnished. 

II. Stephen, married Sarah Sprague, April 9, 1760, and had 
four daughters. He was a farmer, and lived in Scituate, R. I. 
He purchased a farm of Dudly Wade, June 6, 1767.* The 
Wilkinson name is extinct in this line. 

Benjamin ^\"ilkinson*^ [46] Joseph,'' [ii] Samuel,- [2]. 

AND ;- Lawrence,^ [i] 

Mary Rhodes, j 

Of Scituate, R. I. 

119. I. Mary,-^ b. Aug. 26, 1741, d. 1807. 

120. II. Lydia,' b. Aug, 23, 1743, d 1798. 

121. III. Samuel,^ b. Dec. 5, 1745, d. Feb. 6, 1766. 

122. IV. Rebecca,^ b. Oct. 11, 1747, d. Jan. 1821. 

123. V. Rhodes,^ (244-49) b. Oct. 10, 1750, d. Dec. 2, 1825. 

124. VI. JohnY (250) b. Feb, 16, 1753, d. Dec. 26, 1836. 
.125. VII, Esther,-" b. Aug. 8, 1755, d. Dec. i, 1793. 

126. VIII. Olive,^ b. Mar. 3, 1758, d. May 10, 1807. 

127. IX. WiLLiAM^(25i-64)b. June 19, 1760, d. May 15, 1852. 

I. Mary, married Stephen Lyon and lived in Woodstock, Ct. 
She was born in Scituate, and died in Woodstock, about 18 17, 
aged 66. She had no children. 

II. Lydia married Lemuel Morris of Woodstock, Ct. Thev 
had ten childen, eight sons and two daughters, viz : Charles, 
Samuel, Riifus, Pardon, Nohadiah, Lemuel, Mary, George, Robert, 

*See Record of Deeds. Glocester, R. I. 


Charles., married Marium Nicols and lived in Woodstock, Ct. 
They had several children, the most distinguished of whom was 
Charles, b. Oct. 1784, died at Washington, D. C, Jan, 27, 1856. 
He was a commodore in the U. S. Navy, and had several children. 
See Biography No. XIII. 

Samuel., married Betsey Bradford, 

Nohadiah., married Prudence Hart, lives in Boston, Miss, 

Mary., married a Steere, 

The author has been unable to get much information concerning 
this family. The Biography of Com. Morris will be read with 
thrilling interest. He was one of the ablest officers in the U. S. 
Navv. Lydia died at Woodstock, Ct., aged about 55 yrs. 

IV. Rebecca marrried Gen. Daniel Larned of Thompson, Ct. 
They had ten children. 

(l) Polly., married John Cleavland ; (2) George, m., Sophia Gay, 
(2) A, Bowen ; (3) Augustus., m, I, Sally Patten, 2, Miss Pool, r. 
Thompson, Ct., (4) Otis .,{^) Daniel., m. Esther Dresser, (6)//^/'///^///. 
(7) Thomas., (8) Rebecca., m. Simon Davis and had one daughter 
Anna, who married a Baptist Minister, James M. Granger, D. D- 
Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Providence, R. I. 

V. Rhodes, married Clara Marcy of Woodstock, Ct. He 
had six children. His son Samuel was alive in 1865, and has an 
only daughter. Rhodes was a farmer, and died in Woodstock. 
The name of Wilkinson is extinct in this branch. 

VI. John, who lived in Scituate on the farm first settled bv 
Joseph, his grandfather, in 1700, married April 23, 1780, Mary 
Mowry of Smithfield. He was a surgeon in the Revolutionary 
War. After the restoration of peace he was a practicing physician 
in Scituate for more than forty-five years till his death. He had 
but one child, an only daughter who still lives (1866) on the 
old homestead of the first Joseph. See Biography, No. XIV. 

VII. Esther was never married. She appears to have been 
an active, energetic woman, full of enterprise and business, and 
had she been a man, would have accumulated a fortune under 


most any circumstances. As it was she preferred to take care of 
her own affairs, and she managed them with great prudence and 
economy, as her Will, made Nov 22d, 1793, (only eight days 
before she died,) and the Inventory of her personal property, 
plainly show. The former is recorded in the Town Cleric's Office 
of Glocester, R. I. She mentions her brothers, John and 
William. A copy of the latter is in the compiler's hands, and 
may be found in the appendix. 

The amount of her real estate is not given. No one can 
read this inventory, without seeing the woman in full rig, with her 
"dark Palch Green dress," "Caster Hatt" and riding whip 
mounted upon her horse on the road to Providence, nor without 
being impressed with the idea that she could ha'/e married had she 
been so disposed. 

The mention of the Bible bespeaks for her a love for the Creator 

and Redeemer of Souls. She was much respected by the community. 

She is buried in the homestead burying ground of Joseph in Scituate. 

A stone is erected to her memory bearing the following inscription : 


Daughter of Capt. Benjamin Wilkinson, 

Died, Dec. i, 1793, aged 39 years. 

The mighty God, the Wis^ and Just, 
Knows that our frame is feeble dust; 
Like grass we spring and die as soon. 
As morning flowers which fade at noon !" 

VIII. OLiyE, married iVIarch 29, 1778, Asaph Wilder of 
Glocester, R. I. He was a farmer. Their children are: 

(l) William Rhodes., b. 1779, married Eliza Maybury, resided 
in Newport, R. I. He went to Havanna, Cuba, on business 
and died there May 16, 1810, was brought home and buried in 
Scituate. (2) Benjarn'm Wilkbison^ b. 1781, was never married, 
died Dec. 4, 1800, and is buried in the family burying ground of 
Joseph Wilkinson, in Scituate. (3) Stephen., married Betsey 
Harris, moved to Ohio near Cincinnati ; is a very wealthy and 
enterprising man. (4) James m. Susan Wilmarth, moved to 


Montgomery, Ohio, and has a family. (5) Asaph^ m. Polly 
Mowry, lives Glocester, R, I. (6) Sarah^ m. Jeremiah Boss, 
lived in Providence, R. I, (7) Olive^ m. Philip Mowry, lived 
in Scituate, R. I., d, 1736. (8) Nayicy^ married a VV^ilmarth. 

The family and their descendants are quite numerous and 
prosperous. Abel Wilder, great grandson of Benjamin Wilkinson, 
lives on his grandfather's estate in Glocester. Olive's husband, 
Asaph Wilder, died May 10, 1799, aged 49 years, and is buried 
in the familv burying ground of Joseph Wilkinson in Scituate. 

IX. William was born in Killingly, Ct., and at the early age 
of fourteen was prepared to enter Rhode Island College. The 
breaking out of the Revolution interrupted his studies, as the 
college buildings were taken at first for quartering troops, and used 
afterwards as a hospital by the American and French forces. He 
engaged in his country's strife for freedom, and won an honorable 
fame for a young man in that memorable contest. He married 
for his first wife Chloe Learned, daughter of Dea. Ebenezer 
Learned of Killingly, Ct., and bv her had six children, all of 
whom are dead, as well as all of their descendants. Chloe died 
1797. In 1798, William married Marcy Wilkinson for his 
second wife. She was the daughter of Oziel Wilkinson of 
Pawtucket, and was a distant relative — the lines of descent 
meeting in Lawrance and diverging through his sons Samuel 
and John. They had eight children, only three of whom are now 
living. William was one of the first to engage iu the manufacture 
of cotton goods in this country, and in company with Samue} 
Slater, his brother-in-law and others, he did an extensive business, 
and realized a return commensurate with his labors. He lived in 
Providence, the city where his paternal ancestor, Lawrence, first 
landed, and died at the advanced age of nearly ninety-two. He 
was greatly interested in tracing his kindred however remote, and 
a sketch of the Wilkinson Family in his own handwriting is still 
preserved. He was noted for his hospitality and benevolent 
disposition, and his kindness of heart was felt by all who came in 


contact with him. Actualh' superior, but never known to 
manifest that superiority in a haughty manner, he was always 
ready to converse with his inferiors in such a bland, genial way, 
that thev felt quite at ease in his presence. The following 
anecdote illustrates this peculiar trait of his character. Meeting 
one morning in front of his residence on George St., a boy by the 
name of Wilkinson — a distant relative, and who at that time was 
driving a milk cart, he proposed to the lad to abandon peddling 
milk and come live with him — run of errands, cut wood, build 
fires, and wait upon the ladies, (5cc. "• No, Sir ! " was the prompt 
reply, " I prefer to be my own waiter." Mr. W. smiled, and, as he 
turned away, remarked : "Thatbovis a genuine Wilkinson." 
That boy to-day, is one of the best practical chemists in the 
country — a successful physician, and holds a position as assistant 
- and Professor in two of the best colleges in New York. 

Mr. W, graduated in 1783, and entered ujion the business of 
teaching immediately, takins; charge of the College Latin School, 
where he remained ten years. Dr. Manning, Prest. of the 
college in a letter to the Rev. Dr Smith, 1784, says: "Mr. 
Wilkinson is a good master." Mr. Guild in his work entitled 
** Manning and Brown University," says : ''He was eminently 
successful as a teacher, and fitted for College many of its 
distinguished alumnae. In 1785, he was appointed librarian of 
the College." 

This testimony coming from the source it does carries weight 
beyond similar expression from ordinary sources. He was a 
thorough Greek and Latin scholar, and the following advertisement 
taken from the Providence Gazette of 1786, will give some idea 
of his School: 

" William Wilkinson informs the public, that by the advice of 
the School committee, he proposes moving his school from the 
College edifice, on Monday next, to the brick school house ; and 
sensible of the many advantages resulting from a proper method 
of instruction in the English language, he has, by the committee's 
approbation, associated with him Mr. Asa Learned, as an English 


instructor. Those Gentlemen and I/adies who may wish to 
employ them in the several branches of the Greek, Latin and 
Eno-lish iancruages tauo;ht grammatically, arithmetic, and writing;, 
may depend on the utmost attention being paid to their children. 
Greek and Latin at twenty-tour shillings per quarter •, English at 
sixteen shillings," 

Wilkinson and Learned. 
Providence, Oct. 20, 1786." 

The Hon. James Burrill, LL. D., was prepared for college 
by Mr. W. and many other very eminent men. At the age of 
ninety he was accustomed to talk playfully of going to the College 
commencement to see his boys^ some of whom were sixty years 
of age. He has long enjoyed the reputation of being ''the most 
eminent classical and mathematical teacher in Providence." 

He was always vivacious and cheerful, " filling his place as 
head of the household, as husband and father, with wisdom, 
forethought, calm dignity, and unaffected cheerfulness." 

He outlived most of his numerous family, only three daughters 
now survive; and notwithstanding they feel no particular interest 
in this Genealogy, not approving of such researches, yet Mrs. 
Tibbitts has very kindly furnished the following : Biography 
No. XV. 

Joseph VVilicnsonM [50] Joseph,"' [ii] Samuel," [2] 

AND • LaWRANCE.^[i] 

Alcie Jenks, I 

Of Scituate, R. L 

128. L Amie,'' b. March 17, 1743, d, 

129. n. Alce,'" b. Oct. 26, 1744, d. 

130. HL Annie,'' b. March 23, 1748, d. 

131. IV. JosEPii,\265-7i)b. March 11, 1750, d. 1810-14. 

132. V. Martha,-' b. June 15, 1755, d. 

\. Annie, married Jonathan Hopkins of Scituate. Their 
children are : 


■ [\) Alee., m. John Rounds, r. Foster, R. I. (2) Penelope.^ m. 
Jenks Hopkins, r. Foster, R. I. (3) Esther., unm. r. Scituate, 
R. I. {/\) Pbsbe., h. 1778, m. William Bucklin, moved west. (5) 
Sophia., b. March 28, 1780, unm. r. North Scituate. (6) Riifus., 
b. 25, 1782, m. Lvdia Davis, r. Illinois. (7) Freelove., m. Russel 
Arnold, r. Scituate, R. I. (8) Joseph^ b. Jan. 30, m. Miss Smith, 
moved west. 

^11. Alce, married Bartram Rounds, lived in Glocester, R. I. 
They had (l) Joseph., m. Mary Green. (2) Bartrum., resided in 
Glocester. (3) James lived in Richfield, N. Y. (4) George lived 
in New York. (5) IVilliam., r. New York. (6) Alce. (7) Martha 
(8) Betse\\ m. Mr. R.,nio\'ed with his family to Richfield, N. Y., 
near Troy. 

III. Annie married Samuel Cole, and had several children, 
only (1) Samuel., (2) Susanna are remembered. 

IV. Joseph married Mrs. Elizabeth Peckham of Westport, 
Mass. Her maiden name was Brownell. She was born Oct. 
25, 1797, and died Oct. 30, 1841, aged 92 yrs, 5 dys.* 

Joseph was a farmer and a tavern keeper in North Scituate. 
His residence was a little south of his father's dwelling, and the 
Tavern was the same one now kept or recently kept by Mr. 
Steere, just on the edge ot Foster where the Providence and 
Ivillingly stage coaches change horses. This was the third Joseph 
in the lineal descent from Lawrence through Samuel his oldest 
son. The names of two of his oldest children are recorded in 
the Town Clerk's Office of Scituate. There were seven in all, 
six of whom married and had families. He was drafted in the 
days of the Revolution, and went to Newport to meet the British, 
but they had left, and he saw no service. The people of Scituate 
had a signal to warn the inhabitants of the approach of the Enemy. 
It was on Beacon Pole hill, and consisted of a tar barrel set on fire 
and run up in the night, and a flag by day. 

Joseph became a very corpulent man in his last days and died in 

"See I Book, Town Records, p. 104, Scituate, R. I. 


1 8 14. His widow survived him many years, and was called bv 
the relatives "Mrs. cousin Joe Wilkinson." It is said she was a 
notable woman for work and business, and that she was accustomed 
to ride to Providence on horseback to get cotton yarn to wea\e 
from iMessrs. Brown and Almy, and the Wilkinson's of Pawtucket. 
It was the custom at that time in the absence of machinery to send 
the yarn out into the country to be woven. Edward S. Wilkinson 
says " The first cotton used in the steam mill in Pawtucket was 
Georgia upland, bought of Alexander fones of Providence at six 
cents per pound. It was picked by hand, and sent out to the 
adjoining towns for that purpose, l^he price paid for picking was 
four or five cents per pound payable in goods at the store, l^he 
yarn was sent out into the neighboring towns to be wove on hand 
looms. Some was sent as far as Northampton, Mass. The. 
weaving was paid for in yarn at factory or ticket prices.* 
Mrs. Wilkinson was paid a high price for her work, and, it is said, 
some of the sheets of her weaving are now in use, so well did they 
work in those days. The business talent manifested by her has 
been transmitted in this branch of the family, as will be seen in her 
descendants, Charles Brownell, of St. Joseph, Mo., Joseph 
Brownell, of Troy, N. Y., and Andrew Jackson, of Keokuk, 

William Wilkinsom^ ^ [57] Joseph,-' [11] Samuel,- [2], 
AND Lawraxce' [i]. 

Hannah Hoar, ) 

Of Glocester, R. I. 

133. I. William,^ (272) t>- ^^ 

134. II. Marcy,"' b. d. 

135. III. Benjamin,^ b. d. 

136. IV. Hannah,^ b. d. 

137. V. Freelove,^' b. d. 

138. VI. George,-' (273-74) b. ' d. 

*Sec Transactions of Rhode Island Society for D. I. page, 88, (1861.) 

OT.UL WILKINSON, li^i] 159 

139. VII. Martha,"' b. d. 

140. VIII. Mary,-^ b. ' d. 

141. IX. STEPHEN;'(275-88)b. d. March. 1838. 

I. William married Sarah Mason, resided in Smithfield, Penn. 
He had one child. 

II. Marcy married Rev. Erastus Lained, lived in Pomfret, 
Conn. Their children were : 

(i) Erastus^ b. , r. Canterbury, Ct. 

(2) Lor'in^ b. , and others. 

V. Freeloye married James Hunter, resided in Pomfret, 

V^I. George married Lvdia Tidd, resided in New Braintree, 
Mass. They had two children. 

VIL Martha, married Oliver Smith, lived in Glocester, 
R. I. 

IX. Stephen married 1806; Mahala Burgess, who lived in 
Killingly, Ct. He had a family of fourteen children, ten sons 
and four daughters, who now live in Pennsylvania and Illinois. 

John Wilkinson* \ 58] John%[i4] JonN\[4]LAWRENCE.'[r 

AND - 

Ruth Angell, j * 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

142. I, OziAL,^ (289-98) b. Jan. 30, 1744, d. Oct. 22, 18 15. 

143. II. Martha,^ b. d. April, 1820. 

144. III. Susanna,"^ b. d. 

I. OziAL married Lydia Smith dau. of Jehu Smith of Smithfield, 
R. I. The following statement obtained in 1862 by Albert S. 
Wilkinson of Pawtucket, a grandson of Oziel, from Nathaniel 
Smith of Providence, formerly cashier of the Rogers Williams' 
Bank, gives us the lineage of Oziel's wife. Mr. N. Smith was 

"Census of 1774, a males above i6, i under; 3 females above 16, i under. 


about sixtv-nine years of age at that time, and said " Edward 
Smith of Smithfield was my great grandfather. Jehu Smith, mv 
grandfather was the first male child born in Smithfield, after the 
town was set off from Providence. He died in Providence, Oct. 
1 813, aged about 83 years. He was the brother of Ozial's wife. 
Another brother of Oziel's wife was killed on the " Plains of 
Abraham," at Quebec in Canada. His name was Abraham. 

Oziel had ten children by this wife all of whom were extensively 
engaged in th^ manufacturing business. His family may be 
regarded, with propriety, as the first manufacturers of America. 
They all married but George, who died in infancy. David and 
Lydia moved to Cohoes, N. Y., Smich to Pomfret, Ct., and the 
rest lived in Pawtucket. For a more extended notice of Ozial, 
see Biography No. XVI. 

n. Martha, married Christopher Arnold, and from the 
following extract from her will, it aopeirs he died leaving her a 
widow . 

"■I Martha Arnold of Smithfield, widow, now residing in 
North Providence, Relict of Christopher Arnold my late husband 
deceased, &c. 

First. Sell my real estate, and the residue it is my deiire 
should be paid to Deborah Arnold, daughter of my sister Sasinnah 

Second. I give — to my Sister Susannah Hopkins my best suit 
of clothes, &c. 

Third. I give^ — to my neice Deborah Arnold, daughter of my 
sister Susannah Hopkins my best bed, &c. 

Fourth. I give to Joanna J. Peck, wife of Foster Peck, Susan 
F. Arnold, Ann M. Arnold, the three daughters of Deborah 
Arnold, and Ruth A. Hopkins, daughter of William Hopkins, 
deceased, all the rest of my house-hold furniture. 

Dated, April 1st, 1820.' Martha Arnold, [l. s.]" 

Subscribing Witnesses 
I Pardon Sayles, ^ 

-^ Zillah Sayles, Council held April 2 2, 1 8 20.* 

( Ruth M. Thurston, j 

*3 Town Council Book, 434. North Providence. 


Martha had no children. 

III. Susannah married Daniel, son of Christopher and grandson 
of William Hopkins, brother of Esek and Stephen whose mother 
was Ruth, daughter of Samuel Wilkinson. It is singular how 
kindred become interlinked in the onward course of time, and that 
frequently without their knowing anything about' the degree of 
relationship existing between them. 

The following extracts from his will, like the preceding reveals 
the number of the family then living: 

Second. " Sell my real Estate I bought of Esek Hopkins to 
pay debts and funeral charges, &c. 

Third. I give — to my well beloved wife Susannah, all the 
remainder of my real Estate, &c. 

Fifth. I desire my granddaughter Joanna Arnold to live with 
her grandmother till she is Eighteen years of age. 

Seventh. I give — to my three children, Christopher Hopkins, 
Wm. Hopkins, and Deborah Arnold, after the decease of my 
well beloved wife Susannah Hopkins all my Real Estate. 

Eighth. I give to my granddaughter Joanna Arnold $100 to 
be paid to her by mv three children, Christopher $33.33, William, 
$33,33, and Deborah S33i33i vvhen she is Eighteen years old. 

Lastly. I appoint Joseph Jenks my Executor. 

Dated, June, 26, 1804. Daniel Hopkins, [l. s.]" 

Cod. added, iVIay 9, 18 15. 

Council held, Sept. 1815.'-' 

From this will it appears they had the following children : 

(i) Christopher. {1)) IVilliam. (3) Z)^/'(?;-(7/7, married an Arnold. 

They had () Joanna J. who married Foster Peck, (2) Susan F., 

(3) Ann M. 

In the census of Rhode Island Colony taken in 1774, this 
family numbered two males above sixteen years of age, one under, 
three females above sixteen, and one under, seven in all. 

I have not been able to secure the names of all of them. 

''2, Council anJ Probite Record 369, North Providsnce. 


Ahab Wilkinson' | [59]Joiin,'''[i4]Joiin,"'[4]Lawrk> ck,'[i 


Abigail Scott, j '" 

Of Smithfikld, R. I. 

145. I. SlMEOX/'(299-3o6)b. March 10, 1756, d. Nov. 27, 1816. 

146. II. John,"' b. June 15. 1757, d. June 23, 1826. 

147. Ill JosEPii/'(307-i7)b. Oct. 7, 1759, d. Sept. 25, 1812. 

148. IV. Sarah/' b. March 19, 1765, d. 

149. V. Georcje,"' b. Jan. 9, 1767, d. 

I. SiMKox married June 10, 1792, EHzabeth Jenks, had a 
Familv of eight children — lived in smithtield, and is buried in 
tamilv burving grounds, near the Dexter Lime Rock. 

II. JoHX married Martha Jenks. Thcv had no children. 

III. Joseph married Martha Jenks^ had a tamiU' oi eleven 
children, tour of whom, onlv. married. The famih became 
scattered. Samuel S. died in Portsmouth, Ohio, George in 
Montgomery, Ga., Jcnckes in New Orleans, La., Amv in 
Smithfield. R. I , Joseph in Claiborne, Ala., Ahah in Hartford, 

The name is perpetuated in this line through Ahab, the ©nl\ 
son who married. He had but one child, a son who is now a 
Government Clerk in Washington. 

JoAB Wilkinson^ ^ [65] Daniel;* [18] John/ [4], 

AND - LaWRAXCK,' [i]. 

Jerusha Ray, ) 

Of Cumberland, R. i. 

150. I. Eunice,^ b. 1778, d. Leb. 25, 1825. 

151. II. JoAB,^ b. '7^2, d. Aug. 31, 1795. 

152. III. Melatiel,'' b: 1785, d. Sept. 8, 1795. 
I. Eunice married Joseph Whipple of Cumberland, R. I. 

Thev had two children. 

-Census of 1774, 3 males above 16, 4 under; 4 females above 16. 


(i) "Joit'pb who married Follett. 
(2) Sarah who married a Harrington. 
The name is extinct in this line. 

In the census oi 1774, there were but one male, and one female 
abo\e 16 years of age, and none under. 

Daniel Wilkinson^ ^ [66] Daniel,^ [18] JoiiN,^ [4] 

AND LawRANCE,'[i] 

Anna Whipple, | * 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

153. I. Lydi.a,^ b. Mar. 14, 1768, d. 

154. II. JoAXXA,-'* b, Aug. 13, 1769, d. Oct. 16, 1825. 

155. III. RuTH,'^ b. July 12, 1772, d. 

156. I\'. Siiui',.\EL,"\3i8-23)b. Jan. 1 1, I 775,d. April i8,.i82g. 

157. V. Abigail,"' b. Oct. 14, 1779, d. Mar. 12, 1836. 
II. Joanna, born the same year with Napoleon Bonaparte, 

married Alexander Thompson of Cumberland, R. I. He was 
an industrious, and yery worthy man and was highly respected by 
the community. They had eight children. 

(i) Gladding O. b. Jan. 1 3, 1797, m. Lydia Carpenter, had 
children, yiz: Jane F. b. July 8, 1822, m. Wm, H. Carpenter, 
r. Cumberland. 

2. Ellen Maria, b. March 15, 1824, m, John E. Bishop, r. 

3. John E. b. Jan. 3, 1830, m. Ruth A. Weatherhead, r. 

4. William H. b. Dec. 31, 1833, m. Anna R. Wolcott, r. 

5. Charles G. b. Sept. 1839, d. Oct. 4, 1840. 

6. Frederick A. b, Feb. 10, 1845, "^- Harriett, L. Whipple, r. 

Gladding was a man of considerable note — held seyeral town 
offices, and was a State Senator. He died March 22, 1863, and 
his loss was severely felt by the whole community. 

*Census of 1774, i male above 16, and i female above and 3 under. 


His wife still lives on the homestead She is the granddaughter 
of Roger Sheldon who m. Huldah Streeter. 

(2) Syla or Silence^ b. 1796, died young. 

(3) y^'"^^-, ^. March 31, 1799, m. Lucina A. Sheldon, b, 
Aug. 20, 1810, lived in Cumberland, R. I., had (i) Alexander, 
b. Dec. 8, 1834, m. Sarah Grant, lives upon the old homestead ; 
(2) Sarah T., b. Feb. 5, 1841, m. Isaac E. Razee, and have: 
James E., b. f>b. 15, 1862 ; Ora H. b. June. 29, 1865, live at 
Diamond Hill Plain, R. I ; (3) Francis b. Oct. 13, 1843. 

He was a man ot [sterling integrity — a good farmer, and for 
many years was engaged in boat-building. He died Jan. 31, 
1861, greatly lamented by his familv and the whole community. 
It could be said of him that " He was an honest man, the noblest 
work of God." 

(4) Sarah, b. Jan. i I, 1800, m. Amon Metcalf, r. Cumberland, 
R. I., d. Aug. 4, 1857. 

(5) Eliza, b. Jan. I i, 1 803, m. 1865, Chas. D. Brown, r. 

(6) Lydla^ twin with Eliza, m. Willard Newell, r. Attleboro, 

(7) Ruth., b. Aug. 24, 1807, m. Joseph A. Weatherhead, r. 

(8) Daniel., b. June 1 1, I 8 i I, m. Fanny Cargill, lives in 
Cumberland. His house stands on the same spot where stood 
the old meeting house in front of which Jemima Wilkinson, the 
Prophetess, made her maiden speech. 

Their children are (i) Jane S., (2) Julia M., (3) Ruth E., 
r. Cumberland, R. I. 

III. Ruth married William Newell and lived in Duchess Co., 
N. Y. Their children are: 

(i) Whipple, b. I 795, m. Maplett Newman, r. Duchess Co., 
N. Y. ; (2) Mary., b. 1797, m. Samuel Sterling; (3) '^arah., b. 
1799, m. Stephen W. Moshier ; (4) JVilliain, b. 1801, m. Mary 
Bailey, d. 1833 ; (5) Lydia., b. i 803 •, (6) Atny., b. i 806, m. John 

OTIS WILKINSON. [159] 165 

Valentine; (7) Jbigail.h. 1809,01. Benjamin Hicks; (8) Joanna^ 
b. Jan. 8, 1813, m, Wm. Weatherhead. d, 1854. 

IV. Shubael married Mahala Smith and had six children. 
He moved from Cumberland, R; I. to Elbridge, N. Y., and some 
members of the family are still living in that vicinity. His oldest 
son moved to Michigan. Another went to California ; a third 
moved to Wisconsin and has become a State Senator. 

V. Abigail married Dexter Brown of Cumberland, R, I., and 
had se\'en children, as follows : 

(i) Shuhael^ b. , d.June 4, 1807 ; (2) Silence^h. , m. 

Otis Whipple; (3) Elmira^ b. 1806, d. Nov. 5, 1841 ; (4) Mary^ 

b. 1810, d. Mav 5, 1835 ; (5) Ann^ b. , m. L. Blackington ; 

(6) Am\\ b. ; (7) Ruth^ b. — , I 8 I 3, d. April 7, I 840. 

Nedabiah Wilkinson*^ [67] Daniel,'^ [18] John,- [4], 

AND -Lawrance' [i]. 

Lucy Whittaker, j 

Of Hartford, Conn. 

158. I. Candace,^ b. 17^1, d. May 24, I 785. 

159. n. Otis,'^ b. 1782, d. Sept. 1806. 

160. HI. Lucy,"' b. 1786, d. March 1814. 

n. Otis went to Bolton, Tolland, Co., Ct. Upon the death 
of his father he was appointed Administrator, Sept. 15, *i8o2. 
He received the principal part of his father's propertv, but did not 
long enjov it, as he died four years afterwards. The following is 
his will: 

" In the name of God, Amen ; I, Otis Wilkinson of East 
Hartford in Hartford Co., Ct., being of sound and disposing mind 
and memory, do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner 
and form following ; that is to say ; Impriinis^ I will that all my 
debts and funeral charges be paid and discharged by my Executors 
hereinafter named. 

Item, I give and devise unto my mother Lucy Wilkinson all 

*Book 27, Record of Wills, &c., Hartford, Ct. 


my real and personal Estate to her disposal except vvh:it is hereinafter 

Itern^ I give unto my brother-in-law, Stephen Buckland Goodwin 
my fowling piece. 

Ite7n^ I give unto my sister Lucy Goodwin, wife of Stephen B. 
Goodwin, Sixty dollars to be paid by my executor. 

Lastly^ I do make and constitute my mother, Lucy Wilkinson, 
and Nathan Menow, Executors to this my last Will and Testament. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
25th day of Sept. in the year of our Lord i(So6. 

Signed, sealed, &c , 

In presence of, 

Oliver Beaumont, Otis Wilkinson, [l. s.] 

Esther Bidweil, 

Hannah Goodwin. 

Court of Probate held at Hartford Oct. 8, 1806 when the abose 

will was presented.* 

Inventory of Personal Property -^2483,72 
Real Estate 1587,50 

Total $4071,22 
The following is copied from the records and inserted here, as 
as the descendants of this branch of the family were identified 
by it, and their whereabouts ascertained. 

Lucy Wilkinson, having rccei\'ed the personal and real estate 
of her son, died in 18 14, and the property passed into the hands 
of Mr. Goodwin who had married her daughter. "April 12, 
1814, Letters of administration to Stephen B. Goodwin of East 
Hartford. "t Court of Probate was held May 6, 18 14, and the 
Inventory gives the following results : 

Personal property $2463,37 
Real propert\ 1640,00 

Total $4103^37 

III. Lucy married Stephen Buckland Goodwin of the Goodwins 

of Hartford, Ct. His ancestry is of the highest respectability. A 

Mr. Goodwin of the city of Hartford, druggist, is getting up the 

*B()ok 2S, Wills "S^c., Hartford, Ct. 
-j-Book 31, Wills, &c., Hartford, Ct. 


Genealo2;y of the family, and his list includes some ot the first 
men in the early Colony of Connecticut. 

There is a brief genealogy of the family already published. 
Their children are : 

(i) yane A^ b. m. Frank Woodbridge, r. Manchester, 

Ct. (2) Oth Whittaker, b. un., r. Wethersfield, Ct., d. 

Apr. I, 1H30. (3) Lucy IVtlk'inson^ b. m. John Robins, 

r. Rochester, N. Y., d. Aug. (4) Jerusha Drcike^ b, Apr. 20, 
1811, m. Ralph Cheney, r. South Manchester, Conn. He is 
one of the firm of " Cheney Brothers," and is engaged in the 
manufacture ot silk, both sewing silk and woven goods. For 
twenty years this establishment has held the pre-eminence in 
America, importing the raw material from Japan and China. It 
was their custom to send the thrumbs, and tangled silk back to 
japan, and thus Yankee ingenuitv was put to shame, and forced 
to acknowledge Japanese superiority. Through the perseverance 
and inventive genius of Mr. Cheney, however, the secret of 
preparing the waste silk was discovered, and now the aid of the 
Celestials is not required. This company have large mills in 
Hartford, and their business amounts to about $2,000,000 per 

The location ot the South Manchester silk works is delightful, 
and the external appearance is a guarantee of the perfection of the 
internal arrangements. Nestled between the hills, on the banks 
ot a beautiful ri\cr everything, even to the operatives seems to 
be dressed in silk. Order, neatness, and precision characterize the 
establishment, and the wealth ot the proprietors is the necessary 
result of their industry, excellent management, and indomitable 

perseverance. (5) Alfred^ b. . Lucy is buried at East 

Hartford, Ct. 

The name is extinct in this line. 


John Wilkinson^ ^ [71] Daniel,-' [j8] Joiix,- [4] 

AND - Lawrence.' [i] 

Betsey Tower, ) 

Of Skankateles, N. Y. 

161. I. Elpha,^ b. Oct. 17, 1783, 

162. II. ALFRED,'^(324-29;b. Julv 6, 1786, d. July 19, 1859. 

163. III. John,'' (330-37) b. Sept. 30, 1798, d. Sept. 19, 1862. 

164. IV. Diana,'' b. Nov. 1801, d. Nov. 1854. 

I. Elpiia married Luther C. Lawrence of Skaneateles, N. Y. 
where she still resides. Their children are : (i) Siisan^ b. Jan. 
17, 1803, d. Oct. 6, 181 7. (2) John IV. ^ b Sept. 13, 1806, m. 
Sallv Benedict, resides in Pacific, Columbia Co., Wis. (3) Fernand'j 
C, b. June II, 1808, m. Jane Cooper, r. Skaneateles, N. Y. ; 
(4) Maria M. b. March 18, 181 1, d. March 9, 1835 ; (5) Elpha., 
b. Apr. 1814, r. Skaneateles, N. Y. ; (6) Alfred IV. b. Feb. 5, 
181 7, m. Aurelia Potter, r. Skaneateles; (7) Charles^ b. March 
31, 18.20, d. Oct. 3, 1834; (8) Caroline^ b. Oct. 15, 1823, m 
Wm. R. Wheeler, r. Rockford, 111. ;{()) Robert Toiver, b. Aug. 18, 
1826, d. May 22, 1850. 

Mr. Lawrence died some years ago. Elpha still lives, retaining 
in a remarkable degree her intellectual and physical activity. 

II. Alfred, married first Susan Smith, and had six children. 
He married 2nd Laura Edwards, who still lives on the old 

homestead in Skaneateles, N. Y. See Biography No. XVII. 

III. John was born in Skaneateles, N: Y; In his maternal 
line John was descended from a near relative of John Hancock, 
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His 
parents originated in Cumberland, R. I. During his childhood 
and youth John divided his time between the labors of the farm 
and the school-room situated near his father's residence. In 18 — 
he went to what was then called " Milan," now Syracuse. This 
place has had a multitude of names having been called successively 
"Bogardus Corners," "Milan," "South Salina," " Cossitts' 

DIANA ( TV ILK IN SON) ALLING. [ 1 64] 1 69 

Corners" and " Corinth," until the year 1820 when John Wilkinson 
gave it the name of Syracuse, which it has borne ever since. 

He was associated with Gbverneur Morris, James Geddes, 
Judge Forman during the years from 1817 to 1825, while the 
Erie canal was building, and his exertions were unremitted until 
it was in successful operation. He was one of the first men in 
engineering the New York Central R. R. A locomotive bears his 
nime to-dav. The city of Syracuse is greatly indebted to him 
for many of her public buildings. The Globe Hotel was built 
by him. 

He traveled much in this country and Europe, making the 
tour of the continent, visiting Liverpool, London, Paris, and all 
the principal cities, and kingdoms. On one occasion he was 
accompanied by his daughter Maria H. who has since, with her 
husband T. C. Welsh, a distinguished artist, crossed the Atlantic 
six or eight times. 

John married Henrietta W. Swartz and has had five sons and 
three daughters. Six of this family still survive, and inherit in a 
large degree the energy and business talents of their father. At 
the time of this writing four of the family are in Europe, and 
purpose remaining abroad two or three years. John died deeply 
lamented by a large circle of friends, a loss to the family, and the 
community that can never be repaired. He was a man of unusual 
strength of mind, and executive ability, always prominent in every 
public enterprise that tended to the improvement of mankind. In 
his financial enterprises he was always successful and has left his 
family in affluent circumstances. See Biography No. XVHL 

IV. Diana was born in Skaneateles, and married Thomas 
Ailing. Their children are: 

(i) Mark^ b. Nov. 8, 1831, m. Emeline Woodford, r. Cayuga, 
Co., N. Y. 

(2) Mary^ b. " " r. Syracuse, N. Y. 

(3) Lydia, b. July 9, 1837, r. " " 



Wilkinson^ ^ [73] Jeremiah,^ [19] John,^ [4] 













1780, d. 









Molly Alvkrson, | * 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

165. I. WiLLiAM,\338-40)b. d. 

166. II. GEORGE,^(34i-44)b. June 16, 1765, d. Jan, 4, 1855. 

167. III. David,=^ 

168. IV. Joiix,^ 

169. V. Ruth,-' 

170. VI. Molly,-' 

171. VII. Hannah,'' 

172. VIII. SrMON,^(345-53~)b. 1780, d. 1861. 

173. IX. Lucy,"' 

174. X. P^REELOVE," 

175. XI. Amey,^ 

I. William married Sept. 10, 1797, Lydia Ballou — had three 
children — lived in Cumberland, R, I. 

II. George married Lydia Whipple, and resided several years 
in Cumberland. He was a ship carpenter and was frequently 
employed in Providence, Newport, Warren, Boston and other 
places. For nearly a year he was engaged on " Old Iron Sides," 
in Boston. In 1808 he moved to Ira, Vermont, and engaged in 
farming, but the attractions of his old home and the luxuries ot 
seaport places lured him back again to R. I., but he soon retraced 
his steps to Vermont where he died at the advanced age of 90. 
He had four children. 

III. David was a sailor, and died at sea when but a young 

V. Ruth married John Chase of Attleboro, Mass. 
Their children as far as known, are : 

I, Oti$\ 2, Satnuel; 3, John; 4, WilUain \ 5, Pardon; 6, 
Barton \ 7, Lydia. 

VI. Molly married Joel Robinson, and had a family. They 
lived in Attleboro, Mass. Their children were : i, Olney.^ 
2, Martin., and two daughters. 

*Censusof 1774, 2 males above 16, 2 under; I female above, 6 under. 


VIII. Simon married Betsey Coope, who was born about 
1783, and died Jan. 11, 1849, i^imon moved to Boston, Mass., 
where his family still reside, he having died in 1861. They 
had a family of eight or ten children — highly respected, and some 
of them extensively engaged in the mercantile business. 

IX. Lucy married Noah Carpenter. 
XI. Amky married Noah South wick. 

Jeremi/.h Wilkinson,* ^ [74] Jeremiah;^ [19] John,'' [4], 


Elizabeth South wick, j 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 
By ist^ IVife. 

176. I. Anna,^ b. Mar. 10, 1768, d. Feb. 26, 1849. 

177. II. Garner, (354) b. May 28, 1769, d. May 24, 1852. 

178. III. jEREMiAH,"'(355-56)b. Jan. 25, i77F,d May23, 1812. 

179. IV. JoXATHAX,^(357-59)b. Feb. 22, i772,d. Nov. 30, 1808. 

180. V. Job,'' (360-71) b. Jan. 21, 1774, d. May i, 1836. 
By 2nd Wife. 

181. VI. RuTH,^ b. Feb. 26, 1779, d. Feb. 11, 1814. 

182. VII. Elizabeth,^' b. Mar. 8, 1781, d. Dec, 24, 1783. 

183. VIII. DANlEL/'(372-76)b. Jan. 3, 1783, d. July 18, 1865. 

184. IX. JuDiTn,=* b. May 29, 1785, d. May i, 1866. 

185. X. I>YDiA,^ b. Sept. 27, 1786, d. 

186. XL James,^ (377-82) b. Oct. 8, 1788, d. Julv 19, 1862. 

I. Anna was born in Cumberland, R. L, m. Samuel Chace, 
and lived at White Creek, Washington Co., N. Y. 

Thev had one child : 

(l) Silea., b. Dec. 12, 1792, d. Jan. 25, 1794. 
They subsequently adopted Anna Wilkinson, dau. of Jeremiah 
Wilkinson and Phebe (Eldrich) his wife. 

Mr. Chace was born July 16, 1769, died Sept. 21, 1826. 

II. Garner was born (sams year of Napoleon) in Cumberland, 
and married Aug. 6, 1794. Olive Smith. She was born Oct. 24, 


iyj4, at White Creek, N. Y., and died April 12, 1849. They 
had one child. 

The inventive genius of his father seemed to be inherited by 
Garner. He moved to Cambridge, N. Y., in 1794. White 
Creek and Jackson were included in the town of Cambridge at 
that time. His brothers Job and Jeremiah soon followed him to 
this place, and they worked at making scythe snathes. Soon after, 
about 1800, Garner purchased a farm and grist mill, and started 
the first carding machine in Washington county. In 1807, he 
converted the mill into a cotton fiictory, in 1808 he started a 
trip-hammer shop, and made scythes to suit his sticks. About this 
time in company with Benj. Merritt and others, he imported a flock 
of merino sheep. A portion of this flock was purchased by him 
from the company and formed the "Wilkinson flock," and, for ' 
several years bore a high reputation in that vicinity. Job Wilkinson 
and Benj. Peck imported the first merino Buck in Saratoga Co., 
and paid $1000, for him. They built a woolen factory in Milton, 
Saratoga Co., and manufactured the first broad-cloth in the state 
of New York, and Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins had a suit of 
clothes made from it. They undertook to build a cotton factory 
to go by steam — Gov. Tompkins was to assist them, but did not, 
and they failed in the attempt. About I 81 6, Job moved to 
Penfield, Monroe, Co. and invented a boring and morticing 
machine, and returning to White Creek, sold it to Garner for 
$51500, and he got it patented. In company with Paul Cornell, 
Isaac Lacy, and three others, Garner built a Baptist church and, 
also, an academy in White Creek village. 

He invented the Draw Bridge. It was constructed in such a 
manner that the bridge and draw went together without a tenon, or 
mortice, the timber was halved and dovetailed. He also, invented 
the patent hub and axletree, and made a two wheel buggy — 
drove it with one horse to Washington from White Creek, and 
secured a patent. The same is now used under cars and locomotives 
and is denominated the "Rolling Axletree," and enables the cars 
to turn curves at full speed without danger. 


He invented a pump intended for ships, it went with a crank 
and walking beam, and threw four streams of water at once. He 
used to remark jokingly, that he could pump the Atlantic dry in 
half a day. He was intending to get this invention patented, but 
being overtaken by misfortune, he was obliged to let it drop. He 
also, invented a patent window blind — the model is in the 
possession of his relatives at White Creek now. It was so 
arranged that the blinds on one side of the house could be opened 
or shut all at once. 

All of his inventions are noted for their utility, and simplicity. 
The common expression concerning them is found in Milton; 

" The invention all admired, and each how he 
To be the inventor miss'd ! So easv it seemed 
Once touni, which yet unbound most would have thought 

Garner died at White Creek, N. Y. 

ni. Jeremiah married Phebe Eldrich or (or Eldridge) of 
White Creek, N. Y. They had two children. He was engaged 
in business with Garner for some time then moved to Hoosick, 
Renselear Co., N. Y. where he died. 

IV. Jonathan, married Nov. 19, 1797, his own cousin Joanna 
Darling, and moved to Hartford, Ct., about 1798. Here in 
company with Jeptha Darling he purchased real estate, and engaged 
in business. The following extract from a deed shows his place 
of residence Sept. 13, 1798. 

" Know ye, that we Jonathan Wilkinson and Jeptha Darling 
both of the town of Cumberland, County of Providence, R. I., 
in consideration of X80 well and truly paid by Manning Bevans 
of Hartford, * * do sell to said Bevans a certain piece of land 
situate in West Hartford, &c."* 

In presence of Jonathan Wilkinson, [l.s.] 

Jeremiah Wilkinson, Jeptha Darling, [l.s.] 

Jonathan Bull. 

Subsequently, Oct. 7, 1800, he purchased other real estate 

situated in the parish of West Hartford, on the new highway 

*2i Book Town Records, p. 95, Hartford, Ct. 


leading to Farmington..* Another purchase was made of Luke 
Darling,'!' and still another of the select men of the town, viz : 
John Cadwell, Enoch Perkins, Elisha Mix, on Nov. 28, 1803. 
Previous to his death Jonathan made a will disposing of his 
property, but not conforming to the law in regard to the number 
of subscribing witneses, it was set aside, and his estate distributed. 
The inventory was taken by Levi Arnold and Charles Gilbert, 
as appraisers, and his personal effects amounted to $1528.57 — 
sworn to March 20, I 809. 

The following record, since it mentions the names of his 
children, or that part of them who were then living, and is all 
the information we have of them — is deemed worthy of place 
here : 

"Court of Probate held at VVeathersfield, in and for the 
district of Hartford, Jan. 2, l8og. Present, John Chester^ Esq^ 

Joanna Wilkinson and Ethan Smith, Executors named in the 
last Will of Jonathan Wilkinson — exhibited the will with but 
two witnesses — not allowed. "j; 

Feb. 21, 18 10. The estate was distributed by the court as 
follows : 

" To Joanna Wilkinson, widow one-third part of the personal 
property, also, one-third part of the real estate during lite, and to 
the children the remaining part of said estate, viz : Lamed 
Wilkinson, Joanna Wilkinson, and Samuel Wilkinson, to each 
an equal share of said Estate both Real and Personal. "J^ 

V. Job married Kesiah Chace of Cumberland, R. L., and 
moved to Milton, Saratoga Co., N. Y. He was a machinist 
and woolen manufacturer, and was engiiged in building carding 
machines, &:c., at Milton, up to 1 818. He then moved to 
Penfield near Rochester, N. Y., where he resided till 1 826, and 
thence moved to White Creek, N. Y., and engaged with his 

"'•■23 Book Town Records, p. 71, Hartford, Ct. 
f24 Book Town Records, p. 16, Kartford, Ct. 
J29 Book Town Records, p. 15, Hartford, Ct. 
y^zi) Book Town Records, p. 68, Hartford, Ct. 


brother Garner in making Scythes. Subsequently he returned 
to Macedon, Wayne Co., N. Y., where he died. He invented 
a morticing machine, and a machine for napping cloth, from 
which he derived considerable profit. His wife was a sister of 
Samuel Chace, who m. Anna W., Job's sister. She was born 
in I 777, and died Jan. 20, I 844. 

VI. RuTii, the oldest child bv Jeremiah's second wife was 
born in Cumberland, R. I. She married Oliver Follett, and had 
six children, all bovs : 

(i ) James, b. I 803, m. 1st, Marv Arnold; 2nd A^Iarv E. 
Aldrich, r. Smithfield, R. I. (2) Edw'in^ b. March 1 805, m. 
Melaney Whitney, r. Wrentham, Mass., d. Apr. I 5, 1865. (3) 
Daritel^ b. June 18, 1806, m. Fanny C. Burlingame, residence 
Cumberland, R. I. {^) Randall^ b. I 808, m. 1st Clarissa Cargill ; 
2nd Sally Ballou, r. Bellingham, Mass. (5) Alvin^ b. 1811, m. 

Marietta Sheldon, r. Cumberland, R. I. (6) Dariv'nu b. , 

r. Cumberland, dead. 

Vni. Damel, married Ruth Aldrich — had a family of six 
children, and lived on the old homestead of the elder Jeremiah, in 
Cumberland. R. I. Daniel was a man of some note in his own 
town — highly respected by the community, and belonged to the 
Friends' Society. 

IX. Judith married Lewis Walcott, Nov. 28, 181 3, and 
lived in Providence. Their children are: 

(1) Elizabeth S. h. Sept. I 1, I 8 14, m. April 30, I 839, Preston 
Bennett, resides in Providence. iMr. B., is a highly respected 
citizen, a firm Union man, and an amateur in literary pursuits. 

(2) Frances^ b. June 24, I 8 I 6, d. Nov. 22, I 8 I 8. 

Judith was a woman of great perseverance and energy of 
character, and when a little girl, she aided her father in perfecting 
and working the various machines that he had invented for 
manufacturing purposes. She had in her posession some of the 
silver spoons her father manufactured, which were probably the 
first made in the Colony of R. I. She survived her husband 


several years, ahd retained her faculties to the last in a remarkable 
manner. She was an exemplary wife. 

" Her house 
Was ordered well ; her children taught tlie way 
Of life; who rising up in honor, called 
Her blessed." 

XI. Ja.mes, married Rowena Aldrich, Nov. 4, 1813. He 
waa a very ingenious man, and some of his work is preserved by 
different members ot the family. His great mechanical skill i> 
exhibited, not only in the articles made, but also, in the fact that 
he made the tools with which to manufacture the articles. 
Specimens of wire drawn by him so fine that the orifice would 
not admit the light is still preserved ; and a sample shown at the 
great Wire Works in Worcester, iMass., was pronounced to be 
the production of a master workman. He was an excellent 
mathematician, and exceedingly skillful with the pen and surveying 
implements. As a designer he had few equals, and had he made 
this his business, and put himself in the way of employment, he 
could have amassed a fortune. The works he has left behin \ 
him are exceedingly curious. A little steel trap to catch flies, 
perfect in all its parts — chain, spring, jaws, teeth, &c — when open 
it would be entirely covered by a small pea. But he was not 
only great in little things — all his works are eminently useful. 

He had six children all of whom married, and they reside in 
Cumberland, Providence and New York City. 

In the census of 1774. This family had one male above 
sixteen and three under, one female above sixteen and one und^r. 

Simon WilkTNsox, ~| [75] Jeremiah,'' [19] Joiin,~ [4], 

A\D >Lawrance,^ [i]. 

Hannah Wiiippi.e, j 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

187. I. Vienna,^' b. Nov. 18, 1768, d. July 2, 1833. 

188. 11. LuciXA,"' b. May 26, 1771, d. 1829. 

189. III. Hannah,^ b. Aug. 17, 1777, d. Mar. 2r, 1778. 

190. IV. Hannah,-' b- Oct. 16, 1782, d. Nov. 5, 1831. 

VIENNA ( JVIL KINS ON) SHELD OiW [ 1 8 7] 177 

I. Vienna married June 26, 1791, David Sheldon, oldest son 
of Roger Sheldon and Huldah , Streeter, his wife, and a lineal 
descendant of the first of the name who settled in Providence 
with Roger Williams. 

Children : 

(i) 'James Mannings b. Dec. 12, 1791, rn. 1st Elizabeth Betsey 
Ballou who was born 1793, 2d Sabra Miller, b. March 20, 1794, 
d. March 15, 1867, r. Cumberland. By his ist wife, had, Lucina 
Wilkinson, b. Aug. 20, 1810, m. James Thompson; Ammon 
Metcalf, b. March 28, 1812, m. Jane Brightman ; Vienna 
Wilkinson b. March ^0, i 814, m. James Brown ; James Manning, 
b. March 15, I 816, m. Emeline Perry; Thomas Barney, b. Dec. 

17, 1819, m. Sarah Owen; Horace Weatherhead, b. Aug. 18, 
1823, m. Cynthia A. Graves, who d. July 15, 1866, in Oregon ; 
Elizabeth Angeline, b. Sept. i, 1826, m. Nelson White, r. 
Attleboro, or Cumberland. 

(2) Vienna^h. July 24,1794, m. James Wilkinson, r. Smithfield, 
R. I., New Berlin, N. Y., and Cumberland, R. L, where she 
died April 26, 1859. '^^^ '"''^^ fifteen children, vide family of Jas. 
Wilkinson — seventh generation. 

See Biography No. XIX. 

(3) Mariamna^ b. Aug. 15, I797,m. George Whipple, b. Dec. 
3, I 795, r. Pawtucket, R. L They have, James M., b. June 
6, I 8 17, m. Susan Smith and had, George E. b. Feb 21, 1847, 
r. Valley Falls, R. L ; Daniel P , b. Feb 25, 1819, m. Arrilla C. 
Greene, and had, Hannah IV. ^ b. Jan. 15, 1843, George G., b. 
Nov. 12, 1844, Israel y., b. Aug. 12, I 847, Arnold S.^ b. April 
I 3, I 85 I ; Samuel C. b. Julv 6, I 82 I, m. Hannah Arnold ; he is 
in California ; Arnold S. b. Aug. 26, 1823, d. ; Ellen M. b. Oct. 
9, I 825, m. Samual S. Collyer, and had, Mary E.^ b. March 21, 
1854, Maria IV., b. July 20, 1858, d. Sept. 16. 1868. Mr. 
C. is a machinist in Pawtucket, R: I. — member of the Town 
Council, &c.,- George W. b. March 16, 1828; Mary E.,b. Aug. 
16, 1830, m. Frederic A. Potter, and has, Florence E., b. Sept. 15, 
1857; John H., b. Aug. 4, 1833; Lucian A., b. Feb. 22, 1835, 
m. Mary Brocken. Mrs. W. was one of the most amiable of 



women, and an affectionate mother. She died Feb, 25, 1866, 
greatly lamented by all who knew her. 

(4) Sitnon IFhipple, b. Oct. 20, 1800, m. ist, P0II7 Arnold 
Ballou, b. Feb. 25, 1799, a descendant of Mathewin Ballou, of 
Providence, 1645, 2 J Sarah Ann Dxvis. By his first wife he had 
five children, (i) Albert Norris, b. March 9, 1823, m. Frances 
E. Ladd — has Jenette, Albert N. d. 1S49, and Albert Smith; 
(2) Ann Jane, b Nov. 30, 1824, m. W. Rav, inventor 
of a machine to knit india rubber cloth for shoe lining had, Charles^ 
ivvr/Vr/V ; Mr. Ray i-; dead -, (3) Olive Angenette, b. Feb. 23, 
l8i8,d. July 13, 1844; (4) William Whipple, b. Dec. 18, 1813,01. 
Ann Aldnch. He was a subaltern artillery officer in the Union 
army during the Great Rebellion ; (5) Bailous Arnold, b. June 
25, I 835, he was veterinary Surgeon in the Union Army during 
the Rebellion 

Albert Norris Sheldon is one of the first lawyers in the State 
of New York. He has been District Attorney of Madison 
County, and has been repeatedly urged to allow his name to be 
used in the political canvass as member of the State Legislature as 
well as member of Congress, but his extreme youth at the time 
probably, was the cause of his declining the honor as well as the 
perils of those high positions. He resides at Hamilton, N. Y. 

(5) David IVllkimon^ b. Feb. 10, 1804, m. Julia Rhodes, has 
a family. Some of his boys have distinguished themselves as 
scholars, r. Fitchville, Huron Co., Ohio. 

(6) IVilUam Fcyviier^h. Feb. 11, 1800, m. Maria S. Brown, b. 
Nov. 23, 1806, r. Union, Branch Co., Mich., has eight children: 
Anna Eliza, b Nov. 7, 1830, rn. Sept. 5, 1853, I-^'"- Hiram A. 
Curtice of P'itchville, O., moved to Iowa, thence to Kansas. She 
died on the Ohio river three miles below Louisville, K.y, Sept. 
15, 1858, on her way home. Benjamin E. b. Jan. 28, 1834, 
graduated at Oberlin College, was Prof, of Penmanship, took the 
first premium at the State fair. He taught a classical school at 
Lagrange, Tenn., at the breaking out of the rebellion, is now a 


lawyer, r. Napoleon, O., m. Anna Dodd, of Napoleon, has two 
children, "^^'m. F, b. Oct. i8. 1835, m. Mary Durv, has had 
seven children, he is a farmer, r. Ambov, Hillsdale Co., Mich. 
Irwin, b. Dec. 15, i 837, at Greenwich, O., d. Jan. 30, i 838 
Irving E. b. Feb. 24, I 839, m. 3>!argaret Coe, of Plymouth, O., 
has three children, was drafted during the rebellion, his health is 
now poor in consequence of exposure in the army. Oscar F. b. 
an. 20, I 84 I, at Greenwich, Ohio, m. June 5, I 864, Lucy L. 
White of Texas, Mich. She is dead. He was in the Union 
Armv three years, and was in the following battles : Penn. Grove, 
Ark., New Ionia, Mo., Chalk Bluit, (k:c. He was a faithful soldier 
and a good citizen. James D. b. Nov. 20, 1844, d. June 27, 
1853, Maria N., b. Aug. 8, i84i,at Greenwich, O, has been 
a teacher, m. Andrew Lyon, of Butler, O., r. Burlington, }.lich. 
He is a farmer. They have one child. 

(7) Riifus Grcenleaf\ b. Feb. 8, 1 8 10, m, Adelia D., has one 
daughter. Fie was lost at sea. 

"Alone in the dark, al;)ne on the wave, 

To buffet the storm alone ; 
To struij-gle aghast at thy watery grave, 
To struggle and feel there is none to save ! 

GoJ shield thee helpless one ! 
The stout limbs yield, for their strength is past ; 
The trembling hands on the deep are cast; 
The white brow gleams a mc.ment more, 
Then slowly sinks — the struggle is o'er." 

IV. Hannah, married Ammon Metcalf of Cumberland, had 
no childien, belonged to the Society of Friends. 

The mother of this family used to tell about the Indian 
disturbances in Cumberland when she was a little girl. They 
were exceedingly jealous of the encroachments of the white men, 
and at times they were very fierce and troublesome. On such 
occasions a man would come around to the houses on horse-back, 
and alarm the people and hasten them away to a place of sarety. 
The house where Samuel Whipple lived, now occupied by Liberty 
Jenks, was made a block house, and many a time all the inhabitants 
were obliged to flee to it for refuge from the savages. 

Once Mr. Wilkinson, having been alarmed by the sentry man, 


had just escaped from his house with his family when the Indians 
attacked it, hut finding the birds had flown, they wreaked their 
vengeance upon a great hog which they took from the pen and 
killed. They then pursued the flying family to the block-house, 
but did not overtake them before they were safely enclosed by its 
protecting doors. 

No one while passing the quiet fields of Cumberland at the 
present day would ever imagine that they had been the scenes of 
fierce and sanguinary encounters between our own kindred and 
the ruthless savages within so short a time. 

Benjamin Wilkinson^ ~| [76] Jeremiah," [ig] John,'- [4] 

AND - Lawrance.^ [i] 

Hannah Staples, j =^ 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

191. I. Amey,'' b. Oct. 26, 1770, d. April 4, 1859. 

192. II. Benjamin,^ b, May 8. 1772, d. Nov. 3, 1772. 

193. III. Welcome,"* b. Dec. 10, 1773, d. June 20, 1795. 

194. IV. VERNUM,'*(383-93)b. d. 

195. V. RussEL,^ b. d. 

196. VI. Cynthia,^ b. d. 

197. VII. Ben Greex,^' b. i78i,d. July 11, 1806. 
I. Amey married Joseph Staples. 

Their children are : 

(i) y^/wy, b. Oct. 14, 1792, m. Arnold Wilkinson, r. Providence. 

(2) Cynthia^ b. April 9, 1794, m. Levi Jenks, r. Manville, 
R. I., died May, 1855. 

(3) Welcome Wilkinson ^\i. March 10, 1796, m. Phebe Eddy, 
lived in New York. 

(4) Parley^ b. Aug. 25, I797,m. John Atwood, r. Providence. 

(5) 'Julia^ b , m. I, Benjamin Stoddard ; 2, Amos Lane, 

r. Pawtucket, R. I. 

III. Welcome never married — was drowned in the Pawtucket 

^'Census of 1774, i male above 16, i under; i female above, 2 under. 



" An.l the youthful and the brave, 
With their beauty and renown, 
To the hollow chambers of the wave 

In darkness have gone dcwn. 
Thev are vanished from their place — 

Let their homes make moan ! 
But the rolling waters keep no trace 
Of pang or conflict gone." 


IV. Vet.num married Freelo\'e Glazier, in 1800. Thev had 
a family of eleven children, his boys all died young and unmarried. 
The name is extinct in this line. Vernum mov ed from Providence, 
to New York, and his daughters married and live in the latter 

V. RrssEL married Peggy Folger. They had no children — 
resided in New York City. 

VI. Cynthia married John Sprague. 
Their children are: 

(i) Poll}\ m. a Cook, r. Cumberland, R. I. (2) Hannah^ m. 
Robert L. Bogardus, r. White Hall, N. Y. (3) Eliza^ m. a 

Carpenter, r, Pawtucket, R. I. (4) yohn^m. , r. Cranston, 

R. 1. 

Stephen Wilkinson* ) [81] Jeremiah,'^ [19] John,- [4] 
Elizabeth Sheldon, Lawrance.' [i] 
Lucy Batsford, j 

Of Covington, Wyoming Co., N. Y. 

198 I. Sally,^ b. Oct. 17, 1792, d. 

199. II. Preston,^ b. 

200. III. Manning,^ b. d. 

201. IV. Leonard,^ b. d. 

202. V,,=^ (394-402) b. Feb. 16, 1798, 

203. VI. Lewis,^ (403-409) b. Aug. 8, 1800, 

204. VII. Barton B. , -^(410-41 i)b. April 22, 1802, 

II. Preston never married — he had a fever which settled in 
his limbs, and made him a cripple. He lives in Yatesville, Yates 
County, N. Y. 


V. RuFUS, married Mrs. Eliza A. Jacobs, about 1821. Her 
maiden name, Pateridge. They had nine children, four of them 
are dead. 

VI. Lewis married Emily M. Smith. They have seven 
children, and live at Door Village, La Porte, Co., Ind. He is a 

VIL Barton Brentox married Marv Louis Trowbridge, 
Dec. 25, 1844. She died Sept. 1856, lea\ing two children. He 
lives at Aroma, 111. 

Jeptjia Wilicinson,M [82] Jeremiah,'^ [19] John,- [4] 

AND -LawRANCE,' [i] 

Lucy Smith, ) 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

205. I. Alpiia,^ b. Oct. 12, 1784, d. Feb. 12, 1857. 

206. II. Nancy,-^ b. Jan. 18, 1786, 

207. III. ARKoLD,^(4i2-i9)b. A'lay 25, 1787, 

208. IV. Ransom'^ (420-42 1 )b. Mar. 4, 1789, d. 

209. V. Jeptiia AvERY,^(422-35)b. Apr. 23, 1791. 

210. VI, Lucy,-' b. Aug. 11, 1792. 

211. VII. Mary Anx,' b. Sept. 23, 1793. 

212. VIII. Abigail Amy,-^ b. June 4, 1798, d. 

I. Alpha was born in the town of Cumberland, R. I., and, 
at the ao;e of twenty came with her mother, who was then a widow, 
to Perm Yan, N. Y,)^ Here she married Melchior Wagener, Y- 
moved to Pulteney, Steuben, Co., N. Y. Mr. Wagener was 
the son of David Wagener who brought the Friend Jemima 
Wilkinson, from .Montgomery, Co., Penn. to Ontario Co., N. Y. 
in 1789. He was one of her society and gave her a ftirm, with 
the proceeds of which she purchased a large tract of land, called 
the '• P^-iend's Tract," nov/ the town of Jerusalem, Yates Co. 
He settled at Penn Yan, which has since become the count\- 
seat; and built the first mills in this vicinity. Melchior built the 
first saw-mill in the townof Pulteney in 1810, and the firstgrist-mill 


in 1 814.* They had eleven children, active, energetic men and 
women, and useful members of society, highly respected for their 
inteo-ritv, industry and benevolence. Some of them have manifested 
the in\entive genius common to this branch of the Wilkinson 
family. Their children were: 

(1) Lo-olnia^ b. Sept. 6, 1807, m. Wm. Chandler, r. WoodhuU, 
Steuben Co., N. Y. 

(2) Sarah, b. Sept. 2 I, I 808, m. Joseph Lee, r. Fulteney, N. Y. 

(3) Zz/rv, b. Apr. I 7, 1810, m. Nathn'l Pierce, r. Woodhall, 
N. Y. 

(4) Nancy, b. July 7, 18 li, d. April, 12, I 812^,- • _,.■ ^ ,■ -^ 

^.:i^ (5) Washington W. b. Oct. 10, 181*2, m. l^^si^'^. l^rench, u 
d. I 846. 

(6) Ann^ b. April 4, I 8 i 5, m. David Osburn, r. Pulteney, N. Y. 

(7) Melchior^ b. July 12, 1 8 1 6, m. Laura M. Matthews, r. 
Pulteney, N. Y. 

(8) Jacoh^ b. April 23, I 8 18, m. Harriett Rice, r. Pulteney, 
N.' Y. 

(91 Jeptha Jvery., b. March 26,1821, m. 1st, Maria L. 
Hollenback, who died April, 19, 1863, aged 24 yrs. 2 mos. 8 
days, leaving one son George W., born Jan. 19, 1863, 2nd m., 
Charlotte Waggoner of East New York, March 4, 1865, and 
by his last wife has one son, Albert Avery, born, Dec. 3, 1865. 
These children are both living, bright, active boys. Mr. Wagener 
is an inventor, and has had a number of patents issued from the 
Patent Office, Washington, 

(10) David S., b. Oct. 18, 1823, m. Mary A. McArthur, r. 
Pulteney, N. Y. 

(11) Samuel L. b. Sept 3, 1826, m. Mary Johnson, r. Hector, 
Schulyer Co., N. Y. 

n. NAXcy, was born in Cumberland, R. L and came to 
Jerusalem, Ontario, Co., N. Y. in 1807. The journey from 
Providence to Penn Yan occupied thirty-one days. She married 

*See N. Y. G.izetteer, p. 62.6. 


for her first husband in i 808, John Potter, son of Thomas Hazard 
Potter, who married Patience Wilkinson, sister of Jemima, and 
consequentlv her own cousin. The wedding took place on 
Sunday, and Monday a frame house was erected for them on a 
farm of 336 acres in the town of Potter, now Yates Co., near 
where she now resides. There were 30 or 40 acres cleared, and 
they commenced life with fair prospects. At that time the country 
was a wilderness — with no roads — not eyena wagon track. Blaized 
trees and Indian trails were the guides to the early settlers' home 
in the forests. An Indian camp was near by, wolyes and panthers 
were very plenty, and awakened mid-night echoes all around them. 
One day she was on a vi^it to a neighbors a few miles away, and 
night coming on ere they were aware, she mounted her horse, and, 
with her infant babe in her arms, made her way through the dense 
woods towards home. The wolves were soon howling upon her 
track, and she urged her horse to the top ot his speed in order to 
pass a certain dismal place before they should overtake her. 
Fortunately she arrived home in safety. In a ravine near by was 
a place called the wolves' howling place. Here they appeared to 
congregate, and make night hideous by their incessant and prolonged 
howling. The concert would commence with a solitary howl 
from the eastern hills, which would be replied to from a western 
acclivity, and then another from the north, and a fourth from the 
south until the whole forests resounded with their dismal bowlings. 
Mrs. Potter introduced straw braiding, and rnaking hats which 
were in great demand at that time. In 1813 Mr. Potter erected 
the first saw-mill on his farm, and afterwards, while aiding in 
similar enterprises farther down the stream, he became involved 
in consequence of fire, and lost several thousand dollars. All this ' 
tract of country from the centre of Seneca Lake to the middle of 
Canandagua Lake — 44000 acres, was originally purchased by the 
Potters. It is a fertile and beautiful section well wooded and 
watered, and well adapted to grain and grazing. Mr. Potter died 
in 1854. Mrs. Potter is still living at the advanced age of 80 — a 

XJXCr ( JVILKIXSON) PO TTER. [206] 1 85 

woman of remarkable energv and perseverance. She sa\s, she 
has seen that country "'from a wilderness to a garden." In 1862 
she married for a second husband James Johnson, and still resides 
in the town of Potter near her first residence there, in a house of 
her own building. B7 her first husband she had nine children, 
some of whom have lived and become distinguished in their callings. 
They are as follows . 

(1) Eliza A. b. June 20, 1809, m. Feb. 27. 1827, by Rev. 
Dennison Smith, M. E. C. r. at Middlesex, Yates Co., N. Y., to 
John H. Glcason, son cf John Glcason and Anna Holnics, his 
wife. He was born April 6, 1799, in Pomfret, Ct. The\- ha\e 
(i) George Henrw b. May i, 1830, d. Dec. 29, 1831; (2) 
Harriet Ann, b. Jan. 6, 1835, m. Peleg Gardner; (3) Edwin 
Henry, b. Feb. 19, 1836, d. Feb. 28, 1837 ; (4) Helen Mar. b. 
June 9, 1840, m. Melville W. Robert. 

(2) Ha%ard Arnold, h. Dec. 21, 1 8 1 0, m. |Louisa Ballon of 
Cumberland, R. L, resides at Gene\'a, N. Y. Mr. Pottei- is a 
practicing physician. He has great reputation as a surgeon. He 
He studied with Dr. Frank Potter of Penn Yan — a coumii — • 
attended Lectures at Boston, Alass., Bowdoin College, Maine, 
Dartmouth College, N. H., and took his diploma at Bowdoin- 
He first settled on Cumberland Hill, R. L, then in Potter, ^ ;'.tes 
Co., N. Y., and hid a good practice in both places. He niu\ ed 
thence to Battle Creek, Mich., where he remained some time, 
and in 1855, remo\cd to Geneva, where he now reside.'-. He 
was principal surgeon in the Army during the Great Rebt Hion. 
As a surgical operator no man in America has a more extend 
reputation, and in Europe he is well known. An account otOne 
of his operations appeared in the March No. of the '• New 
York Medical Journal of Collateral Sciences." He was tlu- iirst 
to operate upon the spine, and frequent mention is made of his 
surgical exploits in the public prints. He has a son of gnat 
promise, now a surgeon in the army — a graduate of Ilobcrt 



(3) Jeptha Au:ry^ b. Aoril 24.. 1813, rnarrieJ, Aug. 27, 1 840, 
Sarah, daughter of Noah Davis, a native of Wales, has no 
children. He has interested himself in taking boys, and educating 
them in the business of farming, one of whom is now the owner 
of a farm in Michigan. He resides on the old homestead in the 
town of Potter, Yates Co., N. Y., and owns a farm of 320 
acres which is worth more to-day than the 44000 bought by his 
ancestors at the time of their purchase. He is engaged in the sheep 
business and owns the best stock sheep in the world. He paid 
$3000 for a s'ngle buck which he found in the state of Vermont, 
and values him at {^4.000. This sheep sheared thirty-one and 
a half pounds in 1865, and paid for himself within a year or two 
from the time he was bought. 

Mr. Potter is an active member of the Methodist Church with 
which he united in 1847, during the pastorate ot Rev. George 
Wilkinson. He has been frequently solicited to accept town and 
county offices, but declines the honor. 

(4) yohn lV'ilkinson^\>. Sept. 9, 1816, studied medicine with 
his brother Haz,ARD — attended lectures at Geneva Medical 
College where he took his diploma. He was never settled but 
practiced in different places — was never married — resided for a 
time at Prattsbergh, N. Y., and died July il, 1856, from the 
eflects of virus taken from a fractured arm of a patient, at the 
age of 40. He was a prominent and promising young man. 

(5) JVilliam.^ b. Oct. 5, 1818, m. Teresa Barse, resided at 
Avoca, N. Y. 

(6) Nancy Jtui^ b. April 27, 1821, resided at Potter, N. Y., d. 
July 27, 1822. 

(7) Jlvira Ann^ b. March 16, 1823, m. Albert Angell, r. 
Providence, R. I. 

(8) Edward Pitt ^ b. Dec. 30, 1824, m. Elizabeth Moore, r. 

Yatesville, N. Y. He commenced the study of medicine with 

his brother Hazard, but never completed his studies. He was a 

natural mechanic, and was accidently killed March 4, 1852, by 
being shot while out hunting. 


(9) Henry Dexter, b. Dec. 23, 1 828, r, Potter, N. Y., d. 
April 4, 1829. 

III. Arnold married Amey Staples, daughiier of Joseph Staples, 
and Amey (Wilkinson) his wife — a relative. They have had 
eleven children, three unnamed. Arnold at one time w^s 
engaged with Israel Wilkinson, in the wire drawing business at 
Needham, Mass., and, also, with his brother Jeptha Avery in the 
steel-reed business iji Providence, R. I., where he now resides. 
His sons are active, energetic, business men, skilful mechanics 
and very much respected by their acquaintances. 

IV. RANSo:\r, married Thankful Cole, and resided at Greenbush, 
Monmouth Countv, 111. He died leaving two children. His 
estate has never been administerd, and is occupied by a man by 
the name of Smith who pays a rental. 

V. Jeptka Avery, married Sarah H. Gibson, whom he met 
at Paris in France. She was the daughter of John H. Gibson, a 
wealthy gentleman of London. He ranked high in birth and 
influence, being an English Barrister, and Notary Public, and -t 
(me time refused the office of Mayor of London. Her mother 
was a near relation of the Douglasses oi" Douglass Castle, 
Scotland. They have had fourteen children, and the family 
reside at South Haven, Suffolk Co., L. I. Mr. W, is an inventor, 
and is at present in London, England, superintending his great 
Printing Press, the most remarkable invention in the world. See 
Biography No. XX. 

VI. Lucy, was born in Pro\idence, R. I., married John D. 
Williams, reside at Summerlield, Monroe Co., Mich. They 
have no children, but she is noted for her active bcne\olence in 
taking orphan children, and bringing them up until able to care 
for themselves. 

" Nor does she wait till to her door the voice 
Ot' Supplication comss; but goes abroad, 
With toot as silent as the starry dews 
In search of misery that pines unseen, 
And will not ask." 

VII. Mary Anx, married Ebenezer Gardner, whose parents 
resided on the eastern part of Long Island at Hampton. They 


ino\ cd to Warren, Pa. in i<'^33, and thence to Rock Island, 111., 
where he died. They had several children but the following are 
all the names we have been able to obtain . 

(l ) Ehenezn-; (2) Mary Ann; (3) Henry; (4) Anch; (5) Abigail; 
(6) Daniel. 

The following incident is vouched for by a near relative : Mr. 
Gardner when a young man, fell in Icjve with a young lady of 
poor, but respectable parents, and his tolks being of an aristocratic 
and wealthy family, objected to the marriage and drove him from 
home. He left and never returned. While in one of the states 
he met with, and married Mary Ann, but would ne\er tell his 
wife, or family anything concerning his ancestry and died without 
divulging the secret. Recently more has been learned of his 
father's family, as we have stated aboxe. 

Since his death, his wife has taken a son and daughter, and 
drove a herd of cows yoked mostly to wagons, across the plains 
and o\'er the mountains to California, where she has for the past 
few years, been engaged in the dairy business. She is not wanting 
in the spirit of adventure, and when they eiect a monument on 
the Pacific coast dedicated to the memory of remarkable characters 
and great deeds, her name should occupy a prominent niche, and 
her expedition, and enterprise should be fully recorded. In 
comparing her deeds with the early pioneers' wives in the fu'st 
settlement of the countr\-, we may truly conclude that women 
have not degenerated. 

VIII. Abk;ail Amy, married for a first husband James West, 
and had children : 

(l) James; (2) Jane Margaret. 

She has since married Abraham Lent, and lived for a time in 
Benton, N. Y., and mo\'ed thence to Ohio, and thence to Michigan 
where she died. 


Jacob Wilkinson'' ^ [99] Israel/ [29] Samuel," [8] 

AND -Samuel,-' [2] Lawrance.^ [i] 

AIarv Potter. j 

Of Smitiifield, R. I. 

213. I. CVNTIHA,'' b. May 2, 1764, d. July 29, 1826. 


YNTHIA married, Oct. 10, 1784, Welcome Capron, of 
Cumberland, R. I. He was born in Attleboro, Mass., 
March 10, 1766, and after his marriage resided iii Smithheld or 
Cumberland.* In the spring of 1794, they mo\'ed to Easton, 
Washington Co., N. Y. Mr. Capron was a blacksmith and a 
farmer, a;id carried on business at this place for a short time. 
Thev subsequently mo\ ed to Broadalbin, Montgomery Co., (now 
Fulton Co.,) N. v., where thev both joined the Quakers, and 
died in that connection. Their children were: 

(I) J/n-oI^^ b. Feb. 26, 1785, m. Hiscox, r. Smithfield, 

R. I., d. Aug. 25, 1826-, (2) Martha^ b. Sept. 16, 1786, m. 
Edward Robinson, r. Smithfield, R. I., dead; (3) Orion^ b. July 
10, 1788, m. Rosalind Knight, r. Smithfield, R. I. ; (4) Barton^ 
b. June 23, I 790, m. Sallv Benson, r. Smithfield, R. I. ; (5) Welcome^ 
b. Aug. 14, 1792, m. Maria Hines, r. Smithfield, R. I.; (6) 
Benjamin tVing^ b. Aug. 13, I 794, m. Hannah Capron, 2, , r. 

*Welccme and his wife sold all their lands, (except 13 ?nd one-halt acres) in 
Cumberland to Rob.'rt and Israel Wilkinson Jr., in 178^. See7th Book ot Deeds, p. 152, 
Tjwn ot Cumberland. 


Moreland, Schuyler Co., N. Y. ; (7) Dav'id^ b. April 16, 1797, 
m. Mary Knight, r. Easton, N. Y., d. Aug. 21, \'^T^i)\(%) Laban^ 
b Dec. 17, 1 80 I, m. Maria Schofield, r. Easton, N. Y. •, (9) FA'iab 
JVilkimon^ b, Oct. 28, 1 804, unm. r. Easton, N, Y.,'d. July 2, 

Mr. Capron died Jan. 3, 1841, having survived his wife fifteen 
years. They are both buried in the town of Mayfield, Fulton 
Co., N. Y. Mrs. Marv Wilkinson their mother always resided 
with them and is buried in the same cemetery. Three of this 
family are ministers of the Gospel. Jacob was a christian minister, 
a faithful servant in his Master's vin:yard; is not living. Barton 
is a Baptist minister, lives in Preble, Cortland Co., N. Y., and ' 
served over fifty years. He was a good Pastor and a good preacher, 
is not preaching now in consequence of advanced age. 

Benjamin Wing Caprox is a Baptist minister and is still in 
his Master's service proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel. In a 
letter to the author bearing date, March, 1S65, he says: ^' Fifty 
years ago this present month, the third Lord's day evening, I 
preached my first sermon from the words — ' Te must he horn again^^ 
John 3 : 7, — and the following August was licensed by the church, 
and in the spring of 1819, I labored as pastor of the second 
church in Lorrian, Jefferson Co., N. Y., and on the first day of 
July of the same year I received ordination at the hands of an 
Ecclesiastical Council." 

He continued his labors at Lorrian for two years and baptized 
seven, and married three couple. He then moved in the spring 
of 1821, to Freetown, Cortland. Co., N. Y., and commenced 
labor with the church of P'reetown and Marathon. In August 
following a revival commenced that continued through the fall 
and winter. It was at this place that he baptized Mr. Backus, 
the grandfather of the present distinguished Dr. Backus of New 
York. The following anecdote concerning him is worth 
preserving: Mr. Backus was 90 yrs, 6 mos old when he was 
baptized. The preceding Friday he had told his experience and 


dated his conversion some sixty years before. It was satisfactory 
to the church, and it was voted that he be received as a candidate 
for baptism and church membership, but it was thought advisable 
to postpone the ordinance till Sunday. The old man replied, "he 
had no objection, if it would not he waiting too long.'' 

Mr. Capron remained at Freetown eight years when the church 
became two bands, and the Marathon church was organized with 
sixty members Mr. Capron and his wife being two of its constituent 
members. Here he preached tour years and the church enjoyed a 
most precious revival. Twenty-four were baptized among whorii 
were two of his own children. When he left, the church numbered 
130 members, and during the twelve years he spent at Freetown? 
he baptized 137 persons and married 79 couple. He then moved 
to the town of Groton, and settled with the church in McLean, 
where he remained two years, and baptized seventeen and married 
nine couple. His next place ot labor was Marcellus, Onondaga, 
Co., where he remained five years, and baptized thirty-nine, and 
married twenty-lour couple. Thence he moved to Sempronius 
where he resided six years during which time he baptized forty-eight, 
and married thirty-one couple. After closing his service here he 
went to Port Byron, Cayuga, Co., N. Y., where he preached 
about four years, baptizing nine candidates, and married twenty-five 
\couple. Thence he moved to Hannibal, Oswego, Co., and during 
a stay of two years he baptized sixteen and married seven couple. 
Thence he went to Romulus, Seneca, Co. ; thence to Reading 
Centre, Schuyler Co. ; thence to Whitesville ; thence to Spring 
Mills, Alleghany, Co., and preached in Bingham, Potter, Co., 
Pa., where he was favored with another revival, and in the spring 
he organized a church there, and in May following he baptized 
into its fellowship twenty-four, and for sometime he labored in 
three different places. He visited Alleghany, Potter Co., Pa., 
and after preaching a few times he organized a church, which, 
was recognized by a council — he preaching the recognition sermon. 
During his services with the Bingham church, by request he went 


to Greenwood, Steuben, Co., and organized a church and received 
six the same day as candidates for baptism. At the following 
places, viz: Bingham, x^Ueghanv, West Union, Greenwood and 
Troupsburgh he buried in baptism sixty converts, and married 
fifteen couple. During the last two years he has been pastor of 
the church in Jasper, Steuben, Co., N. Y., and is now July, 
1866, at Moreland, Schuyler, Co., N. Y. The denomination 
cannot boast of a more industrious man, and his labors have been 
owned and blessed of God, as the following recapitulation plainly 
indicates. During his ministry he has organized four churches, 
baptized three hundred and thirty converts, married tivo hundred 
and eight couples, and for the last twenty-eight years of his 
ministry he has preached 3708 sermons, besides attending a large 
number of funerals. 

In concluding the letter above alluded to, he says: "In 
reviewing my labors I find abundant cause for self-abasement, 
and if I have been instrumental in doing any good in Zion — to 
God, ever blessed, belongs all the glory." 

Rev. Mr. Capron has been twice married, and has had the 
privilege of baptizing seven of his own children, and his present 
wife. When we review the life of this poor Baptist minister, 
and witness his toils and strug2;les amid the buffetinTs and taunts 

or? o 

of a gainsaying world — when we behold his labors for the good 
of others amid poverty and want, beset and crippled by the 
covetousness of worldly church members — still toiling on till the 
shadows of his declining sun are lengthening over the weary pathway 
of his earthly sojourn, can we doubt for a moment that there 
exists in his mind a firm conviction of the divine reality of the 
religion of Jesus Christ ! Not th^ favor of min, but: the grace 
of God is his reward here, and hereafter, '' Life Everlasting in 
the realms of glory." 

MJRr friLKINSON. [lib] 193 

Israel Wilkixson" ^ [100] Israel/ [29] Samuel/ [8] 

AND Samuel,'- [2] Lawranch. [i] 

Silence Ballou, ) 

Of SMniiFiKLD, R. I. 

214. I. Abigail,'' b. June 27, 1772, d. May 2, 1845. 

215. II. A Sox,'' b. March 13, 1775, d. at birth. 

216. III. Mary,'' b. Jan. 12, 1776, d, Nov. 5, 1861. 

217. IV. A SoN,*^ b. Nov. 18, 1777, d. at birth. 

218. V. Martha,'"' b. Oct. 24, 1780, d. 

219. VI. A Daughter,*' b. Oct. 16, 1783, d. at birth. 

220. VII. James," (436-450) b. March 2, 1786, d. 

221. VIII. IsRAEL,''(45i-454)b. March 23, 1789, d. Oct. 18, 1820. 
IX. Silence," b. Aprir28, 1791, d. Sept. 27, 181 7. 

I. Abigail, and all of this family, were born at the old homestead 
in the town of Smithtield. Here she resided till she was 38 years 
<,)ld, then moved to Cumberland Hill, and subsequentlv to the 
town of New Berlin, Chenango Co., N. Y. She returned to 
Rhode Island in 1837, and died at Mark Aldrich's in her native 
town, aged 73. She was ne\ er married, and is buried in her 
father's ''burying ground." 

III. Mary, resided at the homestead for 34 vears, then moved 
to Cumberland Plill where she built a house, and married Amasa 
Cook, and for a second husband Jesse Brown, Upon his death 
she mo\'ed to Lockport, N. Y., where she died at the advanced 
age of 85, having lived from the commencement of the war of the 
Revolution to the commencement of the Great Rebellion. She 
left two sons : 

(i) Rensselear S. (Filkinson^ b. Nov. 2, 1805, d. Aug. 19, 1859. 

(2) Elliott IVilkhiion^ b. June 13, i(Si8, in Cumberland R. I. 

^^;;-f.r^/f(7r married Mav 23, 1829, for his first wife Ann Streeter, 
a beautiful voung ladv just in the bloom of life, but she faded 
like the morning flower, and left manv to lament her loss, but 
none more sad and desolate than her bereaved husband. He 
married Apr. 30, 1840, for a second wife, Maria Ann Ballou. 



Bv his first wife he had, Marion Wallace, b. April 2, 1830, at 
Cumberland, R. 1., m. Oct. 16, 1849, Samuel Rollin Daniels of 
Lockport ; they have, Rensselear tVilkinson^ b. Oct. 6.. 185I ; 
IFm Russel, b. Sept. 13, 1853, ^- -^P^- ^'^•> ^^'5^ 5 George Samuel^ 
b. May 27, 1857 •, Frances Marion^ b. March I, 1864. The 
ancestors of Mr. Daniels were residents of Vermont, and his 
grandfather was killed by the Indians in the early settlement of 
that state. He is an active business man, resides in Lockport, 
N. Y. ; Ann Gray, d. Apr. 9, 1833 ' Rensselear Gray, b. Apr. 
8, 1833, d. March 2, 1840. 

By his second wife, had, Ann Maria, b. Jan, 30, 1841, at 
Lockport, m. June 19, 1862, Fianklin Sawyer, son of Jason 
Sawyer, of Royalton, N. Y. He is a merchant, resides at Lockport, 
N. Y. 

For a number of years Rensselear resided in Rhode Island, 
and was engaged in the mercantile business. In 1835 he moved 
to Lockport, N. Y. He died suddenly while on a visit in the 
city of Providence, R. I. The following notice is taken from 
the Lockport Da'ih Jotirnal of Aug, 20, 1859 " 

" Death of R. S. Wilkinson, — We announce with feelings 
of deep regret, the death of a much respected townsman and 
valuable citizen. Rensselear S, Wilkinson died at Providence, 
R. I., at two o'clock this morning. He left Lockport about two 
weeks since in his usual health, and as a relief from arduous labor 
and care. The news of his death was most unexpected and 
appalling, and will cast a gloom on a wide circle of friends, of 
intimate business and social relations." 

Rensselear S. Wilkinson was born at Smithfield, R., I. in the 
year 1805, and was therefore 54 years of age. At the age of 
about three years, his parents moved to Cumberland, R. I., u here 
he lived until fifteen years of age. He then went to Providence, 
he resided five years, and then returned to Cumberland, when he 
married his first wife. There he engaged in the mercantile business, 
in which he continued until about the time he came to Lockport 

MJRT WILKIXSON.. [216] 195 

in the year 1835. Soon after airhing in this place he entered into 
business partnership with Stephen B. Ballou, in the well known 
mercantile establishment of Ballou and Wilkinson. He continued 
in the mercantile business until 1851, under the various firms ot 
Ballou and Wilkinson, Wilkinson and McMaster, Wilkinson 
and Chrysler, Wilkinson, Chrysler and Beyfogle. In the summer 
of 1 85 1 he went into the Exchange Bank, holding the position 
of cashier, and discharging his duties with marked ability to the 
time of his death. As a business man and a financial officer, 
Mr. Wilkinson his set an example of promptness, energy, courtesy, 
unswerving integrity, and a desire to promote the public welfare 
well worthy of imitation. There is scarcely a relation in lite, 
where his loss will not be felt and deeply deplored. 

He is buried at Lockport. 

Col. Elliott IVilkinson Cook married Malvina Louisa Littlefield, 
and has three children. Charles Elliott, b. June 15, 1843, '^ ^ 
physician and surgeon, and graduated at Bellevue College, New 
York, settled at Tanawanda, N. Y. He was in the Union Army 
during the Great Rebellion. George Hamilton, b. Oct. 10, 
' 1846, was Capt. and Brevet Lieut. Col. of Vols, in the Lnion 
Army, received his Brevet tor honorable and meritorious service. 
He is now a Lieut, in the Regular Army, 28th Reg. U. S. Infantry 
stationed at Little Rock. Ark. He seryed two years during the 
Rebellion, and was at the downfall of Richmond. fVederic William, 
b. Feb. 14. 1856. 

Mr. Cook emigrated to Lockport in 1837, raised a company 
for the Mexican War, but did not go. In 1849 ^^ went to 
California as Treasurer of the "Niagara and California Mining 
Company," Col. E. Jewett, Prest, stayed three months in Central 
America, and one year in California. He returned to Lockport, 
and opened a store on Main Street, where he continued until the 
breaking out of the Rebellion. He then gave up his business, 
and set about raising a Regiment and with the help of Dudley 
Donnelly, Esq., and C. S. Skeels of Albany soon organized the 


28th Rcgt, N. Y. State Vols., DorDiolly was elected CoIoneL 
and Cook, Captain of Co. A., but was soon promoted to Major in 
which capacity he served until the Battle of Cedar Mountain. 
Being ordered to charge the enemy, he did so, broke their lines, 
but being unsupported, was surrounded and taken prisoner. While 
standino; within a few feet of the rebels, after he had surrendered. 
he was fired upon, the hall grazing his head and the powder 
blackening his face. Jeff". Davis hadissueda proclamation declaring 
all commissioned officers serving under " John Pope," to be outlaws 
and felons, and ordering their immediate execution on capture. 
Maj. Cook and 31 others were among the first lot taken after 
this proclamation (Aug 9, 1862) and 'was being taken to the rear 
for this purpose, when a superior officer ordered the rebel squad 
back to the lines where they were needed, as the battle was still 
raging. He was taken to Richmond, and confined in Libb\ 
Prison. On his release he tore down a notice that was stuck on 
a post, which said " the Federal officers confined in this room 
are 7iot Prisoners of War, but outlaws and felons^ and will be treated 
according." He was promoted for his gallantry to Lieut. Col., 
and had command of his Reg. during the remaining ter.m of their 
service. Col. Donnolly was killed in this battle, and Lieut. Col. 
Brown lost an arm, but was promoted to the colonelcy, also, 
elected County Clerk (jf Orleans Co., N. Y. He held both 
places, and only joined the Regiment when on its way home. 
The 28th was considered a "• fighting Rcg't," and bore a gallant 
partduringthe war, andhad inscribed upon its banners: Winchester, 
Cedar Mountain, Rappahannoch, Antietam, and Chancellorsvillc. 
Col. Cook was in the battle of Chancellorsvillc under Ger. 
Hooker, and was again surrounded, captured and taken to Libb\' 
prison. He was soon exchanged, after suffering the tortures of 
this "black hole" of Virginia the second time. He received 
many flattering testimonials from Gen'ls Banks and Slocum, as 
well as from Gen'ls Williams and Crawford with whcMii he served. 
He has a natural talent for military tactics, and is considered a 


superior officer. Col. Cook is an accomplished gentlemanly, highly 
respected by his fellow-citizens, resides at Lockport, N. Y. 

V. Martha, at the age of 28, left her father's residence and 
went with him on a visit to Easton, N. Y. She remained at her 
cousin's, Cynthia Caprons, where she formed the acquaintance of 
Heman Sherman, to whom she was married in 1809. They 
moyed to Chester, Warren Co., N. Y., and engaged in farming. 
Martha is still Hying in Chester, but her husband died in 1864. 
She is remarkable for her retentive powers, and is able to read 
manuscript without glasses at the age of 86. Her husband was 
the son of Jabez Sherman of Rochester, Mass., who was a near 
relative of the distinguished Roger Sherman, signer of the 
Declaration. iVIrs. Tabor, daughter of Martha, writes, "I ha\ e 
often heard my grandfather boast of his relationship to the 
'Connecticut shoe-maker,' — he being also, a shoe-maker. Some 
peculiar traits of that eminent man, I always flattered myself, I 
could see in my father." 

Their children are : 

(1) Stil/ma?i WiUiafus^h. March 21, 18 12, m. Sally White, 
reside in Chester. They have had 10 children, yiz : Elizabeth, 
h. Sep. 13, i839,m. ¥ch. 1858, John D. Smith, and has, Jannettr^ 
h. July i860, (I. Jug. 1862; Nettie Mar'ia^ h. Aug. 1862 •, Silence, 
b, Nov. 18, 1841, m .March, 1862, Theadore Smith, and has, 
Mhinie U., b. Jug.., 1865-, Stokes, b. May 31, 1845, <-'• ^F''--) 
1849; Melinda, b. Sept. 12, 1847, drowned June i, 1865 ; John 
Heman, b. March 31, 1850, drowned June i. 1865, (both on a 
fishing excursion) -, Martha and Mary (twins), b. Aug. 22, 1853 ; 
Nancv K., b. Feb. 15, 1857, d. ^"pt- ^^59? Estella, b. June, 27, 
1859; George H., b. iMarch 21, 1863. 

(2) Silence IVilkimon., b. Oct. 15, 181 5, m. ist, Noy. 15, 1 841, 
Ralph Thomson, and had, E^ugene, b. July 24, 1844, m. again 
Abram Tabor, Oct. 24, i 865. Mr. Thomson was a wagon-maker, 
and Mr. Tabor a farmer. They reside in Chester. 

Vn. James was born in Smithfield, married June 10, 1810, 
Vienna Sheldon, daughter of Dayid Sheldon, of Cumberland. He 


became the owner of his father's estate, which had been transmitted 
from sire to son for nearly 200 years. He was a good New 
England farmer, and was noted for his strength ot mind, and 
power of disputation upon religious and political topics. It was 
the custom of the people in his younger days to make evening 
visits during the winter, and about every question of a religious, 
political, civil, military, or literary character, that in any way 
affected the neighborhood, or the nation, was sure to be thoroughly 
ventilated. Upon religious topics the neighborhood were inclined 
to freedom of thought and speech, and might be denominated 
"Freethinkers," not perhaps, in the infidel sense of tbe term, but 
as the Quaker poet has since expressed the sentiment : 

"So the min he a man, let him worship at will, 
In Jerusalem's Courts, or on Gerizim's hill, 
When she makes up he jewels what cares the good town 
For the Baptist of Wayland, — the Qiiiker of Brown." 

He had been educated in the Quaker faith, but his father 
marrying out of the Society, and being possessed of an " obstinate 
perversity," which would not confess he was sorry for so doing, 
was disowned by the Friends, although he always dressed plain, 
used the plain language, and attended their meetings. 

James when quite a young man engaged in school teaching, 
and, at the age of twenty-four was elected captain of an Infantry 
Company of the 6th R. I. Regiment. As it may be desirable to 
preserve the form of the old commission a copy of it is inserted 
here : 

*■'■ Bv his Excellency ^ "James Fenrier^ Esquire^ Governor^ 
[l. s.] Captain^ General^ and Cojnmander-in-Chief^ of the State 
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 

To James Wilkinson, Gentleman.^ Greeting: 

You the said James Wilkinson having been elected by the 
General Assembly at the session held on the third Monday of 
June, instant, to the office of Captain of the Second Company of 
Infantry in the Town of Smithfie!d in the County of Providence 
in the State aforesaid, are hereby in the Name of the said State, 
authorized, empowered and commissioned, to exercise the Office 
of Captain of, and over the company aforesaid ; and command 


and conduct the same, or any part thereof. And in case of an 
Invasion, or Assault of a common Enemy, to infest or disturb 
this State, vou are to alarm and gather together the Company 
under your command, or such part thereof as you shall deem 
sufficient; and therewith to the utmost of your Skill and Ability, 
vou are to resist, expel, and destrov them, in order to preserve the 
Interest of the good citizens of this State. You are also to follow 
such Instructions and Orders as shall, from Time to Time, be 
given forth, either by the General Assembly, the Governor, and 
General Council, or other vour superior officers. And for your 
so doing, this commission shall be your sufficient Warrant and 

Given under my Hand, and the Seal of the State, this 25th 
day of June, i8ro, and in the thirt\'-fourth year of Independence. 

By his Excellency's command. 

Samuel Eddy, Sect'y. J. Fenner." 

The Muster Role, Warrant to warn out the soldiers, and to 
fine delinquents are still in being, and are interesting relics, as 
they inform us who were the young men living in that part of 
Smithfield more than half a century ago. Mr. Wilkinson was 
appointed in 1821, by the General Assembly, Justice of the Peace 
and held that office in his native State, about eight years. He 
was regarded as a Peace Maker, and many a suit has been settled 
by the parties, and much expense and vexatious litigation saved by 
his pacific course. 

In 1823, in com[)anv with David and Joseph Wilkinson he 
built a school house for the accommodation of their immediate 
families, and about thirty scholars were accustomed to assemble 
here; and the somewhat noted Abby Kelly, a girl of fifteeyi 
summers — was one of the teachers. Mr. Wilkinson was a friend 
to education, and always urged its necessity and importance upon 
the attention of his children, and gave them an opportunity to 
avail themselves of its advantages. 

At one time he engaged in the manufacturing business, and 
was one of a company in building Crookfall factory, but it proved 
an unprofitable investment. In 1831, having become embarrassed 
by endorsing notes to aid others, he sold the old homestead which 


had been so long in the hands of the Wilkinson's and moved 
with his family to New Berlin, Chenango Co. N. Y. 

This leaving " Home" and friends, was to Mr. Wilkinson and 
family, an event never to be forgotten. There stood the old 
house hallowed by the associations ot a century's occupancy in 
the ancestral line, with the traditions, incidents of childhood, and 
all the quaint and gentle reminders of olden days clustering around 
it ! Many a tear was shed, many a longing look was cast back 
to the old h'omcstead as the family left it never to return. Years 
have intervened, still the old house stands, but it has changed 
hands several times, and now, has, singularly enough fallen into 
the hands of a Mr. Rose who has married into the Wilkinson 
family. There is a determination on the part of some of the 
descendants to purchase the old tarm and re-occupy it, that it may 
still be the home of the descendants of Lawrence Wilkinson. 

A very singular marble monument has been erected in the 
the grave yard by James. It contains his lineal descent from 
Lawrence, his family, their wives' and husbands' names — date of 
marriages, births, deaths, &c. The grave yard is south-east of 
the house about sixty rods on the brow of the hill east of the 

James is still living in Cumberland at the advanced age of 

" Only waiting till the shadows are a little longer grown. 
Only waiting till the glimmer of the day's last beam is flown, 
Till the stars of heaven are breaking through the twilight cold and gray^ 
If they call me, I am waiting — only waiting to obey. 

"Only waiting till the reapers have the last sheaf gathered home, 
For the summer time is faded, and the autumn winds have come, 
Quickly reapers, gather quickly the last ripe hours of my heart. 
For the bloom of life is withered, and I hasten to depart." 

VIIL IsR.^KL married Abigail, daughter of Oliver Carpenter 
and Joanna (Ballou) his wife, of Mendon,1VIass. He was a farmer, 
but at an early age engaged in mechanical employments. He was 
one of the first in the business of wire drawing. William Gray, 
an extensive merchant of Salem, eno-aged Israel and Arnold 
Wilkinson to go to Needham, Mass., to draw wire. The enterprise 


proving successful, Israel remained two years at Needharn. 
Returning to SmithHeld he was one of the company in building 
Crookfall Factory. He engaged to build the machinery and 
went to Woonsocket for that purpose, but selling out his share 
of the stock, he mo\ed to Nassau, Rensselear Co., N. Y., and 
formed a partnership with Esek D. Walcott in the machinist 
business. At the conclusion of the war of 18 i 2, business not 
proving so good, he removed to Smithfield, and purchased a farm 
of Seth Appleby, and two years after sold the same to David 
Wilkinson, and moved to Mendon, Mass., where he died at the 
age of thirty-one, leaving a wife and three children to lament his 
loss. He is interred in the family " burying ground " in Smithfield. 
This place is described by Whittier : 

" Without the wall a birch-tree shows 

Its drooped and tasselled head; 
Within, a staj^'-horned sumack grows, 

I-'ern-leafed, with spikes of red." 

His grave is rharked by aplaingray stonebearing the inscription 
of his name, age and death. 

His wife survived him many years and died in Mendon. The 
following is taken from a Massachusetts paper: 

''In this town on the 20th of Nov. 18 — , Mrs. Abigail 
Wilkinson, widow of Israel Wilkinson, long deceased in the 68th 
year of her age. We simply announced the decease of Mrs. 
Wilkinson as above, in our last, with a promise of further notice 
in this issue. We have known her many years. She has long 
been one of our steadfast friends. A little over two years ago, 
her worthy and \enerabb sister, Mrs. Ldlis Thayer, also, a 
devoted friend to us and to our principles — preceded her over the 
Jordan of death. For a great many years those sisters dwelt 
together in a close home intimacy. There Mrs, Wilkinson's 
son and two daughters grew up to a worthy maturity, and the 
children of that son have since had the best of reasons to love 
and bless the memory of their kind grandmother. We take 
pleasure in paying our poor tribute to her memory, as a womanly 
woman, who lived a life and acted a part in her sphere of usefulness 


which entitled her to the affectionate remembrance of her own 
family, and the cordial respect of" all who intimately knew her. 
May our highly esteemed friends of the bereaved circle, near and 
more distant, especially those who are left desolate in her late 
home, be comforted from out of that realm of happy immortality 
which has received the dear departed to its abodes, and renewed 
her union with the beloved ones that went before. We commend 
them all to the loving kindness of our heavenly Father, the 
influences of his Holy Spirit, and theguardianship of his ministerintr; 

They had fourchildren, three of w horn still survive. Alexander 
T. lives in Worcester, and Lovisy and Silence in Milford, Mass. 
IX. Silence, left Smithfield, at the age of /zfi-^i/v, and went to 
N.'.ssau, N. Y. She married Solomon Barber Judd, a resident 
of Nassau, and moved to Williamsville, Erie Co., N. Y. wittiin 
eight miles of Buffalo, where he purchased a village lot, and built 
a good two story house, and engaged in the cabinet making business. 
They had but one child ; 

(l) Maty IVilkinson^ born July 24, 1 816. 

During the following year Silence was seized with typhoid fever, 
lingered a few days and expired — leaving her babe but fifteen 
months old to the care of its father. He, upon solicitation, sent 
her to her grandparents in Colchester, Ct., where she remained 
until she was eight years old. Shortly after the death of his wife, 
Mr. Judd went to Little Rock, Ark., where h" died. Her 
grandmother dying, Mary went to Great Barrington where she 
remained till 1832, and went thence with her uncle to Newark. 
N. J. Here she attended the Academy under the Rev. Isaac 
Worcester, and was assistant pupil, and afterwards taught two 
years alone. At twenty-three years of age she was married, June 
18, 1839, to Frederic O. Roff. a merchant of Newark, After 
making a bridal tour, visiting Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, 
5:c., being absent about three weeks, they returned to Newark 
when Mr. Roff died Aug. 7, 1839. _ Seven short weeks and then 


the tie that bound them was broken bv the cold hand of death. 
This unexpected bereavement was a se\ere affliction, and Mrs. 
Roff being again left alone, orphaned and widowed, found 
consolation in, and was sustained by Him, who promises to be a 
friend to the widow and the fatherless. Consecrating herself 
anew to his service, she determined to prepare for greater usefulness. 
She repaired to Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, Mass., and 
graduated in the class of 1843. ^^^ then engaged in teaching, 
and went to Jackson\ ille, 111., for that purpose — having been 
persuaded bv her relati\es to abandon a project of goinga missionary 
to Persia. 

She was assistant teacher under Rev. VV. H. Williams of the 
Jacksonville Female Academy two vears. While here she formed 
the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin Stevenson, a highly 
respected citizen and merchant to whom she was married by the 
Rev. Mr. Brimsmaid in Newark, N. J., March 25, 1846. 

Their children are : 

(i) Mary Alice, b. June 21, 1847, ^- J^h' 3' ^^4^ 5 l^) Maurice 
Wurts, b. Oct. 9, 1848 ; d. Dec. 16, 1863 ; (3) Bella Frances, b. 
Aug. 17, 1851 ; (4) Cornelia Minerva, b. April 3, 1855; (5) 
Benjamin Franklin, b. April 17, 1S66, (adopted.) 

(2) Maurice W. was a promising vouth, and was loved by all 
who knew him for his manlv virtues and amiable disposition. He 
made a public profession of religion sometime previous to his death, 
and manv will ne\er forget the earnestness and zeal he manifested, 
when he arose before the congregation and declared what great 
things his Sa\ior had done for him, and his determination to love 
aud serve God while life should last. It was his dying testimony 
concerning the divine reality of the religion of Jesus Christ — an 
expression of his acceptance of proflered mercv — the hope of 
heaven, and a blissful immortalitv through the atonement of a 
compassionate Redeemer. He died in the triumphs of the faith. 
How blissful such a death ! Well may the bereaved parents say 
in those sweet words of Bishoo Heher : 


" Thou art gone to the grave ; but we will not dejilore thee ; 

Since God was thy Ransom, thy Guardian, thy Guide ; 
He gave thee, he took thee, and he will restore thee ; 
And death hath no sting, since the Savior hath died." 

Mrs. Stevenson is an officer in the Ladies' Education Society 
of Jacksonville, " the principal object of which is to encourage and 
assist young ladies to qualify themselves for teaching by giving, 
or by loaning without interest such sums of money as would enable 
them to complete their course of study." A noble object truly. 
She is an active worker in every benevolent enterprise. 

Mr. Stevenson is a thorough going business man, and his 
mercantile operations have been crowned with success. 

The family are members of the Presbyterian Church, and reside 
in Jacksonville, 111. 


Robert^ WilkinsonM [ioi] Israel,-* [29] Samuel,'' [8] 

AND y Samuel,'^ [2] Lawrence,'' [i] 

Mary Lapham, j '■'■ 

Of Smitiifield, R. I. 

222. I. Jacob,'' (455-456) b. Feb. 8, 1769, d. March 6, 1842. 

223. II. Joseph,'"' (457-460) b. Dec. 12, 1770, d. April 14, 185 i. 

224. III. Anna," b. Oct. 15, 1772, d. Oct. 8, 1778. 

225. IV. Abner," b. March 5, 1776, d. Oct. 5, 1776. 

226. V. Rachel," b. July 4, 1777, d. Sept. 20, 1778. 

227. VI .Marcy," b. Sept. 22, 1779. 

228. VII. Wait," b. Sept. 5, 1781. 

229. VIII. David,'' (461-471) b. Dec. 5, 1783, d. Aug. 19, 1836. 

I. Jacob, was a farmer, and lived in Smithfield, m. Jan. 30, 
1800, Amy Streeter, had two children — both daughters. The 
jiame is extinct in this line. 

II. Joseph, at the age of 37, m. Sarah Newman, an amiable 
young woman 18 years of age, whose life was fleeting as it was 
lovely ; for in less than six weeks from the day of their nuptial 

■•^CcniUi of 1744, 2 miles above i6, z unicr, i female above i 5, 2 under. 


watherino; he was called to weep tears of wo over his lost bride. 
A somewhat singular circumstance occurred just before Airs. 
Wilkinson's sickness, which may not be uninteresting to relate, 
as it is given bv a friend of the family who was cognizant of the 
tacts. A wounded do\e flew into the window where she was 
sitting, and making a circuit around the room, fell dead at her 
feet. The circumstance seemed to impress her with sad forebodings 
and she exclaimed, " I shall not Ii\e long." In a tew davs she 
was indeed taken sick with scarlet fe\er and died in a short time. 
The remembered happiness of the few short, but blissful days of 
wedded lo\e lingered long in the bosom of her husband who 
tenderly regarded her, and as an evidence or the honored lo\e he 
bore her, there was found in his private drawer after his decease 
a lock of her beautiful hair with the copy of an epitaph he composed, 
and which has been transcribed upon her tombstone — these relics 
liaving been caretullv and sacredly prcser\ed tor upwards of fortv 
vears ; thou2;h ignorance may contemn let the wise read and 
ponder — ''the heart knoweth its own bitterness," and as a last 
tribute to the memorv of the beloved one, we can concei\e of 
nothing more touchingly beautiful to the feeling soul than the few 
following lines to one so dearly lo\'ed : 

" I saw the stranger weep !" 

"Calm and untroubled she resigned licr breath, 

And sank serenely in the arms of' death ; 

And while in dust her body mouldering lies, 

A new-born Angel treads her native skies; 

O ! thou that wast — there's none can excel ! 

My guide, my friend, my best beloved, — Farewell.' 

Mr. Wilkinson married some seven years after the death of his 
first wife, Alary Arnold, daughter of Israel Arnold,* a worthy 
woman by whom he had several daughters, but no sons. He was 
a man of talent, a practitioner in the lower courts and was noted 

*The ^7// of Stephen Arnold of Pawtuxet gives to his son, Israel Arnold, lands 
purchased of the Indian Chief, i Book of wills, Prov., (other side up same page, i He 
gives to Israel 350 acres b'ot of Edw'd Inman at a place called Waimnkh^ — three sons are 
mentioned, Israel, Stephen, and Elisha. 

Stephen's farther was PVilliam, he had a bro. Benedict, who was Gov. of R. I. in 1663, 
cVc, in all 9 years. 


for his shrewdness in managing difficult and doubtful cases. He 
never sought or desired public office or notoriety, and when elected 
to the office of Justice, declined serving. He served in his younger 
days in the military department, and held a captain's commfssion. 
He was an able financier, and lived 78 years upon the farm left 
.him by his father, Robert Wilkinson, and died leaving a handsome 
property. About two years previous to his death he left the old 
homestead, and moved to Woonsocket, but his remains rest upon 
the ground he so often trod, beneath a noble oak where he played 
when a boy, and where he requested to be laid when dead, 
having himself previously prepared the grave. His wife survived 
him but a few months and reposes by his side. A neat but 
substantial monument has been erected by his children to the 
memory of a beloved father and mother whose loss is irreparable. 
They had four childen. 

VT. Marcy, married Benjamin Coe. 

They had two children : 

(i) Jlden, b. Dec. 24, 180 1, m. a Taft, and resided in 
Woonsocket, R. I. He is dead. (2) Robert^ b. June I, j8ii, 
m. Nancy Paine, lives in Providence, R. I. 

\TI. Wait, married Nathaniel Strecter, lived in Smithfield. 
Mr. S., d. Oct. 1850. They had six children, viz: 

(i) Mary, b. Nov. 5, iSoo, d. Alarch 12, 1829, unm., r. 
Smithfield; (2) Orilla^ b. Aug. 22, 1802, d. Jan 8, 1829, m. 
Otis Marsh, r. Cumberland; (3) Marc\\ b. July 22, 1805, m. 
Silas Marsh, r. Hamlet, R. I.; (4) Lucy^ b. May 29, 1811, d. 
Dec. 7, 1846, m. L. S. Brown, r. Pr<)\ idcnce ; (5) Wiliunn^ b. 
Oct. 28, 1 814, m. Laura A. Cook, r. Providence. He is a 
machinist of the first class, and holds a prominent position in the 
Providence Machine Co. Has a family. (6) David^ b. March 
15, 1817, m. Abigail Sibley, r. Woonsocket, R. I., died suddenly 
Jan. 7, 1867. 

VHI. David, married for his first wife L'jcy Caprop., she had 
one child, and died at an early age. 


He subsequently m. Thankful Sayles, dau. of Jeremiah of 
Glocester, R. I., and by her had ten children David purchased 
a farm of Israel Wilkinson on the west side of the Blackstone 
River, between Manvilleand Woonsocket, and within sight of his 
brother Joseph's residence, where he lived and died. He was a 
man of delicate constitution, a good scholar, well versed in 
mathematics, including surveying and navigation. He was 
frequently elected to offices of trust, being at different times 
Member and President of the Town Council, Representative 
to the General Assembly of Rhode Island, and Master of the 
Morning Star Lodge of Masons ot Cumberland. He died aged 


53, leaving a large family of children to lament his loss, and was 
interred in the familv burving ground on his farm. 

Davjd Wilkinson-' ^ [103] Israel,* [29] Samuel," [8] 

AND Samuel,'- [2] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Lydia Spear, J * 

Of Smitiifield, R. I. 

230. I, Eliab,'"' b. Dec. 22, 1773, d. June 20 18 10. 

231. II. Spear," b. May 4, 1775, d. Sept. 3, 1776. 

232. III. IsAAC,*^ (472-478) b, Oct. I, 1776, d. Feb. 25, 1863. 

233. IV. Israel," b. Now 16, 1777, d. young. 

234. V. David/ b. Sept. 21, 1779, d. April i, 1780. 

I, Eliab, married Nabbv Capron, daughter of Joseph Capron, 
of Cumberland, and li\'cd in Smithfield, R. I. He was a superior 
scholar in the natural sciences and mathematics, and a most 
beautiful penman, and taught school in his native town. Young 
men resorted to him for instruction in surveying and navigation. 
He calculated and prepared in connexion with Elisha Thornton 
an almanac which was printed annually for several years. He 
was cashier of Smithfield Union Bank, and held that position for 
a number of years till his death. The bills upon this bank were 

*Censuj of 1774, ; males above 16, 2 under j z females above. 


never counterfeited during his term o' office, his penmanship 
could not be imitated. He was an expert Land Sui'\ evor, and 
was frequcinlv employed bv his tcllow townsmen. 

He died at the age oi 37, in the prime of life, bu.t left no 
children. With him the name of Wilkinson expires in this line. 
His widow married Alphcus Amadown. 

in. Isaac, married Hannah Streeter, and lived upon whatwas 
called the "Great Road" in Smithfield. He had se\ en children, 
three only are living. Mr. Wilkinson was highK' esteemed bv 
his fellow citizens, and was frequently honored Vv'ith offices and 
public trusts. He was first elected Town Sergeant, then. 
Representative, Town Treasurer, Senator, ice, ice, and always 
acquitted himself to the satisfaction of his constituents. The 
following obituary notice was taken from the Pro\ idence Post^ 
and exhibits the estimation in which he was held in the State : 

'•Died in Smithfield, R. I., Feb. 25, 1863, Hon. Isaac 
Wilkinson, in the 87th year of his age. 

The above notice was published in the Post of February 26, 
1863. We intended to haye noticed earlier the death of this life 
long Democrat, but it has been unayoidably delayed until now. 
The following sketch has been furnished us by one who knew 
him long and intimately. 

Isaac Wilkinsi)n was born in Smithfield, R. I. in the year 1776. 
His first public position was that of Deputy Sherifi^ of the County 
of Providence. In 1 809 he was chosen a Delegate to the General 
Assembly, and served in that capacity at inter\'als xor manv years. 
In 1833, he was chosen a State S.^nator, (they were at that time 
chosen by the State at large), and was annually re-elected for 
several years. In 1842 he was elected a Representati\'c from the 
town of Smithfield, and was also, chosen a Senator on the State 
ticket. He declined the place of Senator, and took his seat as 
Representative, but served only one session, being then in the 
sixty-seventh year of his age. 

He voted at every Presidential election, from the first term of 
Jefferson down to the present, and always voted the Democratic 

JOHN WILKINSON. [235] 209 

ticket. He was one of four from his native town who voted for 
Andrew Jackson in 1824. The electors of his own town manifested 
their confidence in his integrity and worth by electing him for 
tzventy-eight successive years town treasurer. After filling these 
and other positions of honor and trust, he died on the 25th of 
February last an old man full of years, being in the eighty-seventh 
year of his age. He was buried on the same farm where he was 
born, lived, and died. 

He was married in 18 19, and leaves a widow, two sons and a 
daughter. Although highly esteemed by his townsmen, it was 
within the circle of his home and neighborhood that his many 
virtues and the great love he had in his heart was truly appreciated. 
Their affection for him was manifested by their never failing kindness 
and tenderness to him in his old age. 

And thus, one by one, pass away from us the truly good and 
great of an expiring generation — the men who have fashioned and 
fostered our political institutions, and our social virtues and customs. 
Their lives are humble and their names unknown to the world ; 
yet in those lives are written volumes of wisdom and lessons of 
inestimable value to those who follow them. Their labors are 
often unapplauded by the great multitude; yet they achieve much 
for both the present and the future. How pleasant it is, if at last 
they sink to rest in a 'green old age,' respected and loved by all 
who have known them, their glorious lives fading from us, as the 
morning stars fade in the more brilliant light of coming day." 

His son David Streeter, and his daughter Hannah M. reside 
on the old homestead farm, and Isaac Randolph, the only remaining 
son resides in Pawtucket. 

John Wilkinson^ ^ [109] John,* [40] Johx,^ [9] Samuel,^ 

AND ,'[2] Lawrence.' [i] 

Jane Chapman, j 

Of Warwick, Bucks Co., Pa. 

235. I, JoilN,*"' b. Aug. 12, 1770, d. in infancy. 



236. II. ABRAiiAM,''(479-483)b. Apr. 12, 1772, d. March 1 2, 1816. 

237. III. EliAo ^ b. Jan. 12, 1774, d. Sept. 1774. 

238. IV. Amo?/ b. Oct. 3, 1776, d. 1799. 

II. Abraham, married, Nov. 18, 1795, A4ary Twining. 

He inherited his father's estate in Bucks Co., Pa., consisting 
of one hundred and fifty acres, and being a part of the tract 
originally bought by John who was the first of our name, or 
kindred in Pennsylvania. He was a good farmer, member of the 
Friends' Society, and died highly respected by the community. 
He had five children. 

IV. Amos went to Philadelphia, where died aged 23, unmarried. 

Elisha Wilk.ixson'^ \ [i ^^] John,' [40] John,-' [9] Samuel,- 

AND ,[2] Lawrence,' [i] 

Maria V^^iiitman, j 

Of Wrightstown, Pexn. 

239. I. Ogdex,'' ( ) b. 

No information has been obtained concerning this man. 

Stephen Wilkinson^^ [^^8] Ishmael,^ [45] Joseph [ii] 

and > Samuel,'^ [2] Lawrence,' [i] 

Sarah Spp.agi'e, j 

Of SciTUATE, R. 1. 

240. I. Marcv,''' b. • d. 

241. II. Sarah,'' b. d. 

242. III. Lydia,'' b. d. 

243. IV. Joanna," b. d. 

I. Marcy, married Daniel Hutchinson, li\'ed in Smithficid, 
R. I. Their children are: 

(i) IVilliam^ b. July 1 8, 1785, m. i, Abigail Handv, 2, 

Bacon, lived in Smithfield, is dead ; (2) Daniel^ b. Sept. 20, 1793, 
m. I, Dimarous Warner, 2, Ann Southwick, r. in Smithfield; (3) 

HANNAH ( jy ILK INS ON ) L TON. [244] 2 1 1 

Lyd'ta, b. Mav 4, 1795. rri. Benjamin Harris, r. Smithfield, d. ; (4) 
Phehe, b. Oct. 15, 1798, unm., d. ; (5) Sally Ann^ b. Apr. II, 
1803, m, Benj. Harris, r. Smithfield. 
n. Sarah, married Abel Mowrv. 

III. Lydia, married Seth Mowrv. 

IV. Joanna, married Jeremiah Smith, li\e in Glocester, R. I. 
Their children : 

(i) Stephen., m. Nancv Law, and had, Almada, Marietta, 
George L-., Sarah A., Jeremiah, Josephine and Maria; (2) Polly ^ 
m. Stephen Page, and had, Laura A., Seneca, Smith, Jeremiah, 
Marv J., Caroline, Martha and Allen ; (3) Russel^ m. Lydia 
Brown, and had, Alcv, Lvdia and William ; (4) Amasa^ m. Sarah 
Turner, and had, James, Joanna, Phebe, Harriet, Mary, Albert, 
Jane, Ellen and Bvron ; (5) Sophia^ m. Rufus Eastman, and had 
children, but thev are all dead; (6) Elcx^ m. George Law, no 

The most of these li\e in Glocester, R. I. 

Rhodes Wilkinson^ ^ [123] Benjamin,' [46] Joseph,^ [i i] 

AND -Samuel,"- [2] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Clara Marcy, j 

Of Woodstock, Ct. 

244. I. Hannah,*^ b, Dec. 28, 1783. 

245. II. Mary," b. Nov. 24, 1785, d. Sept. 1853. 

246. III. Rhodes,'^ b. Jan. 29, 1787, d. May, 1812. 

247. IV. Clara,*' b. Feb. 11, 1789. 

248. V. Samuel," (484) b. June 8, 1796. d. 1865. 

249. VI. Esther," b. June 15, 1800, d. Dec. 20,1864. 

I. Hannah, married Danforth Lvon, and lives in Providence, 
R. I. He is dead. Their children are : 

(l) Pascal D. b. 1809, d. Oct. II, 1826; (2) Mary W., b. May 
24, 1821, still livina;, resides in Providence. 


IV. Clara, married Alverson Sumner. Thev have no children, 
reside in Woodstock. Ct. 

V. Samuel, married Maria Bradford, has one dau., lived in 
Woodstock, Ct. He was a farmer. 

VI. Esther, married William Session, live in Woodstock, 
Ct. Their children are: 

(l) George R. married Sarah, reside in Abington, Ct. ; (2) Ellen 
[^. married George Allen, reside in Abington, Ct. ; {2) Emma lf\ 
married William Ingalls, r. 111. 

The compiler has been unable to secure further data concerning 
these families. The Wilkinson name is extinct in this line. 

John Wilkinson' "j [124] Benjamin,^ [46] Joseph,'^ [j i] 

AND -Samuel- [2] Lawrence.^ [i] 

Mary Mowry, j 

Of Scituate, R. I. 
250. I. Amey," b. Dec. 4, 1780. 

I. Amey, married John Harris, of Scituate, and lives on the 
old homestead first occupied by the elder Joseph. Mr. Harris 
is a man of considerable note in his native town and state — has 
held nearlv all the town offices — been a member of the Legislature, 
and judge of the Courts of Rhode Island. He and his wife still 
live, retaining their intellectual [acuities to a remarkable degree. 
The Judge is an interesting man to converse with, is familiar 
with the early settlement of the town, and the early settlers also. 
The author acknowledges that many incidents related in collection 
with the first Joseph, were obtained from him ; and while collecting 
facts, names, and dates in Scituate, the position of the apple tree 
from which his great grandmother Wilkinson shot the bear, the 
place where the Indians held their pow wow and dance, the 
location of the old houses, &:c., were all pointed out b\' him. He 
feels an interest in perpetuating the memory of the early settlers, 
and manifests commendable zeal in handing down the sayings and 
doings ot our ancestors to future generations. 


Their children are : 

(l) Daniel M.^ b. Nov. 23, 1805, m. Waitv Rhodes, r. Bute 
Co., Cal., his familv in Providence ; (2) 'John TF., b. Aug. 16, 
1807, m. Sarah Cushman, r. Cincinnati, O., d. Sept. 19, 1847 > 
(3) sVilllam^ b. March 6, 1810, m. Zilpha Torrey, r. Scituate, 
R. I ; (4) Mary, b. Oct. 7, 181 1, d. Aug. 6, 1816 ; (5) George, h. 
April 16, 1814, m. Delia Field, r. Dayton, Ohio ; (6) Eliza Jnn^ 
b. June 15, 1816, ni. Dr. Thomas K. Newhall, of Scituate, R. I. 
Dr. Newhall practiced medicine in Scituate for several years, but 
gaining in reputation and prcterring the city practice to the country, 
he moved to Providence, where he is regarded as a careful and 
skillful physician, and is rapidly gaining the confidence of the 
metropolitans. The doctor is a well read man, social, genial and 
companionable, and will win success in his profession. His wife 
is every way worthy such a husband. (7) Stephen Z)., b, Feb. 3, 
1820, m. Adeline Burrows, r. Marysville, Cal. : (8) Henrv^ b. 
Jan. 4, 1823, m. Jennie Voomer, r. Nevada. 

William Wilkinson-^ ^ [i^?] Benjamin,^ [46] Joseph,-' 

AND ! [l Ij SaMUEL,'-[2]LaWREXCE,* [l] 

Chloe Learned and j 

Marcy VVilkia'son, j 

Of PnuviDEXCE, R. I. 

First Wife. 

251. I. PoLLV," b. Jan. 13, 1 784, d. March, 1785. 

252. II. Betskv," b. Jan. 8, 1786, d. May 30, 1864. 

253. III. William,'"' b. April 13, i788,d. Sept. 9, 1807. 

254. IV. Bexjamtx,'' b. April 5, 1790, d. Aug. 25, 1791. 

255. V. Sarah,^ b. Aug. 13, 1792, d. June 18, 1819. 

256. VI. Nancy WilliamsHi. Jan. 22, 1795, d. Sept. 14, 1831. 
Secnd Wife. 

i^-j. VII. Samuel,*^ b. Nov. 8, 1799, d. Sept. 21, 1800. 

258. VIII. Rebecca," b. April 23, 1801. 


259. IX. JoJiN Lawjjexce/ b. Nov. 20, 1802, tl. Aug. i, 1807. 

260. X. Susanna Angeli,,M-). Aug. 22^ 1804, d. Sept. 29, 1805. 

261. XI. Mary Rhodes,^ b. Oct. 15, 1836. 

262. XII. WiLLlA.M," b. April «;, 1809, d. July .^o, 1810 

263. XIII. William H.,«(485-87)b. Nov. 22 181 1 d. Mavg 1854. 

264. XIV. Susan Angell/' b. May 13, 1815. 

III. William, sailed from Providence with Captain Aborn, 
bound for Canton, China, fell overboard from the rigging, and 
was drowned. 

V. Sarah, married Charles N. Tibbitts, May 13, 18 16' — 
lived in Providence, R. I. They had one child : 

(l) William Henry., b, , m. Harriett L, Cady, lived in 

Providence, R. I. He died leaving no children. 

VI. Nancy Williams, married Josiah Keene of Pros idencc, 
R. I., May 25, 1830. Thev had no children. 

VIII. Rebecca married Dec. 12, 1825, Daniel Le Baron 
Goodv/in, eldest son of Daniel and Polly (Briggs) Goodwin. 

Mr. Goodwin is a clergyman of the Prot. Episcopal church, 
and was born July 28, 1800 — resides on Smith's Hill, Providence, 
R. I. Their children, as presented by himself, are as follows : 

(I) Sarah Wilkinson, born lo Aug., 1828-, ['2) Mary Briggs., 
b. 23 Nov., 1830, died 7 Feb., I 833 ; (3) Elizabeth Lamed., born 
16 March, 1833, died 6 July, I 834 ; (4) Daniel., born TO March, 
1835, [Graduated at Brown University, class of 1857. ^^ ^"^ 
an Episcopal clergyman — settled at Bangor, Maine]. (5) Hannah 
Wheeler., born 17 Aug., 1 837, married to Samuel Smith Drur\ . 
M. D., of Bristol, R. I., 29 Dec, 1863; {b) William Wilkinson. 
born I Aug., I 839, died Jan. 25, I 840 ; (7) Jnn Dent, born 17 
Ian., 1841-, (8) Rebecca Le Baron, born 9 June, 1 843, died 17 
June, 1854 ; (9) Susan Wilkinson., born 18 June, I 845. 

XI. Mary Rhodes, married Charles N. Tibbitts, her half 
sister's husband. They had no children. Mr. Tibbitts is dead 
and his widov/ still lives on George St., Providence, R. I. 

XIII. William Henry, m. Sarah Snelling Drew, daughter 

JL Cr ( IVILKINSON) R O USDS. [265] 215 

of the late Capt. John Drew of the U. S. Navv of Boston. She 
was born Dec. 25, 1818. They have had three children, one 
only, living. Mrs. Wilkinson, now a widow, resides on Smith's 
Hill, Providence, R. I. 

Joseph Wilkixso:x^ ~| l 'SO Joseph,* [50] Joseph,'' 

AND V ( 1 1 ) Samuel,- (2) Lawrence.' 

Mrs. Elizabeth Pkckuam, j [ 1] 


265. I. Alcy,*^ b. Aug. I'l, 1778, d. 

266. II. Joseph,^ b, April 4, 1780, d. young. 

267. III. Hannah,^ b. d. 

268. IV. BRowNELL,«(488-98)b. March 20, 1 785, d. Feb. 15,1861. 
269 V. ALMADUS,'''(499-503)b. Aug, 20, 1787, d. Oct 25, 1837. 

270. VI. Elizabeth,^ b. * d. 1858. 

271. VII. Mercy," b. Sept. 6, 1792, d. May 6, 1861. 

I. Alcy, married Caleb Rounds, and lived in Foster R. I. 
Their children were : 

(i) Mm-ccUa^ m. Ira Winsor, r. Foster, R. I. ; (2) Adahala^m. 
Richard Bishop, r. Foster, R. I. : (3) Lurania^ m. Ira Winsor, r. 
Foster, R. I. j (4) Sarah^ m. Richard Bishop, r. Foster, R. I. ; 
(5) Sophia^ m. Simmons Davis, r. Foster, R. I. ; (6) Tabitha^ m. 
David Westcott, r. Lcwiston Falls, Me. ; (7) Caleh^ m. Rhoda 
Russel, r. Baltic, Ct. ;(8) Merc}\ m. Alison Tinkham, r. Harmony, 
R. I. ; (9) Elizabeth^ m. Benjamin Hopkins, r. Foster, R. I. (10) 
Elice^ b. May 6, 1803, m. Jeremiah Hopkins, r. Foster, R. I., 
died Dec. 3, 1858. He died Aug. 6, 1855. They had, i, P. 
Kalista, 2, James Richmond, 3, Geo. Leonard, m. Laura Kinney, 
and has 3 children, Leonard B.. Walter, and Inis L., 4, Benj. D., 
m. Esther Rounds, 5, Henry C. 6, Samuel, 7, Albert C, m, 
Ellen M. Sheldon, 8, Gilbert. These live in N. Scituate, R. L 

Lurania^ Sarah ^ Elizabeth and Elice are dead. The compilei 
has not been able to secure the dates of the births, marriages, and 
deaths of this family. 


III. Hannah, married John Smith, lived in Foster, R. I. 
Thev had : 

(l) Diana^ m. Arnold Angell ; (2) Sophia, m. Stephen Davis ; 

(3) yoseph^ m. Susan Slater ; (4) Gcoi'ge^ m. Hill, r. South 

Scituate, R. I.-, (5) Paulina, m. Charles Angell; (6) Parley; (7) 

Hannah^ m. James Locke ; (8) Jaines^ m. Rice ; (9) 

Johti, m. ; (10) Stary^ m. ; (i l) Maty, m. Angell. 

IV^. Brownell, married ist, Tabitha Thomas, of North 
Scituate, R. I., 2d, Maria Spaulding, 3d, Sarah Phillips, lived in 
Worcester, Mass., where a part of his family now reside. Bv 
his first wife he had six children, and by his third, five. He was 
a machinist, having learned his trade in Pawtucket, R. I., when 
he was 18 years old, and worked at it constantly till within a few 
months of his decease. For mechanical skill and ingenuity he 
was particularly noted, and, as a finished workman, had few equals. 
He died in Worcester, Mass. 

V. Almadus, married Margaret Magee [or McGee], daughter 
of George McGee, and Eliphel (Perkins), of P'oster, R. I. 
Almadus lived in Providence, R. I. at the time of his death. He 
was born in Scituate, R. I., and was a farmer. He was, also, a 
tavern keeper as his father had been before him, and had 
houses of this kind in North Scituate, Foster, and Providence, 
and in Brookline, Ct. He was much esteemed by his neighbors 
for his quiet, gentlemanly manners, was an honest man, kind and 
arenerous. He had a family of five children, all married except 
one. His family are noted for their business talent, being successful 
merchants, popular, and enterprising men. Joseph B. resides in 
Troy. Andrew J. in Keokuk, Iowa. The daughters married 
men of excellent business talent, and are merchants in I'roy, N. Y. 
Eliphel (Perkins), Almadus' wife's mother had a brother Samuel 
Perkins who married Rhoda Hopkins. Their oldest daughter 
Mary Hopkins married a Stoneman. Major General George 
Stoneman, of the U. S. Army, is their son or grandson, 

VI. Elizabeth, married Nehemiah Randall, of Scituate, 
R. I. Their children are: 


(i) Lillis^ b. April 26, 1807, m. Samuel G. Anthony, r. 
Providence, d. Nov. 16, 1864. They have, i, Samuel, 2, Henry, 
3, Barnis, 4, Susan J., 5, Elizabeth A. {2) Pat'ia, b. Feb. 24, 
1809, m. Benj. F. Hopkins, r. Providence, d. Oct. 12, 1864; 
(3) Barniss., b. Jan. 2, 181 1, m. John Gee, r. Providence; {4) 
Henry., b. Jan. 15, 1 8 1 3, r. Scituate, R. I., d. Feb. 5. 1835; 
(S) Phebe, b. 1815 ; r. Scituate, R. I., d. 18 17; (6) Eli-zabeth., b. 
Nov. 26, I 818, m. Stephen Randall, r. Johnston, R. I.; (7) 
Amanda., b. March 23, I 819, m. Henry B. Eddy, r. Providence; 
{'6) Stephen., h. March 23, 1 82 I, m. i, L. A. Sanders, 2, C. 
Brown, r. Providence. They have one child, Henry. (9) Peleg., 
b. May 6, 1823, m. Louisa \Vilbour, r. Providence; (10) 
Nehem'iah., b. Apr. 16, i 825, m. Orrey Russell, r. Indian Orchard, 
Mass.; (i i) Benjamin., b. 1827, m. Mary York, r. California; 
(12) Mary Eliza., b. Dec, 1829, m. Manassa Cobb, r. Scituate, 
R. I.; (13) Rhodes B., b. March, 1832, m. Sarah York, r. 

Vn. Mercy, married Lyman Burnham, of Blackstone, Mass. 
Their children: 

(i) Sarah, m. Nathaniel Wade, r. Blackstone, R. L ; (2) Esther., 
m. Artemas Staples. 

William Wilkinson^ ^ [^33] William,^ [57] Joseph,^ 
AND y[i I J Samuel,^ [2] Lawrence.^ [iJ 

Sarah Mason, j 

Of Smithfield, Pexn. 

272. L Nancy,*^ b. d. 

Perhaps others. 

L Nancy, married Cyrel Fairman, and jesides in Smithfield, 



George WilkixsonM [138] William/ [57] Joseph,'^ [i i] 

y\ND y Samuel,^ [2] Lawrence,^ [ij 

Lydia Tidd, J 

Of New Braintree, Mass. 

273. I. Harriet,'' b. July, 1801. 

274. II. George/' (504-507) b. Nov. 3, 1804. 

I. Harriet, married Chauncey Parkman, and resided in 
Northfield, Mass. 

II. George, married Rhoda Woodward, resides in Hartford, 
Ct. They have four children. Harriet resides in Philadelphia, 
and Lewis and George in Boston, Mass. 

• Stephen Wilkinson^ ^ [H'J William/ [57] Jo.^eph," 
AXD v[i i] Samuel,- [2] Lawrence/ [i] 

Mahala Burgess, j 

Of Gloucester, R. I. 

275. I. Amev/ b. 

276. II. George,*' (508-515'b. Jan., 27, iSio. 

277. III. NEL30N,'''(5i6-523)b.D2c. 13, iSi I, d. March'io, 1864. 

278. IV. William/ b. d. 

279. V. James," b. d, 

280. VI. Mary/ b. d. 

281. VII. Sarah/ b. d. 

282. VIII. William/ (524-526) b. March 6, 1821. 

283. IX. Hazel,^ (527-534) b. June 5, 1823. 

284. X. James M.(535-538jb. Feb. 26, 1825. 

285. XI. Truman B./ b. d. 

286. XII. Joseph/ b. d. 

287. XIII. AsAPir/ (539) b. 

288. XIV. Nancy/ ^ b. d. 

I. Amey, m. Erastus Fairman, r. Amboy, Lee, Co. Ills. 

II. George, m. Julia Ann Manton, resides in Tiskilvva, 
Bureau Co., 111. They have eight children. 


III. Nelsox, born in Glocester, R. I., m. Elizabeth Niles, 
of Charleston, Pa., Dec. 1 3, 1 840, r. Buda, Ills., he was a farmer, 
an honest man and a christian. He had a family of eight chiildren. 

yil. Sarah, m. Philander Niles, r. Middleburg, Pa. 

VIII. William,, m. ?Jarv Hill, r. Charleston, Tioga Co., 
Pa., has three children. 

IX. Hazel, m. Jane West, b. May 4, 1827, r. in Buda, 

X. James M., m. A. J. Mclnroy, has four children, r. in 
Charleston, Pa. He v/as in the Union Army and lost a leg in 
front of Petersburg, June 18, 1864. James enlisted Feb. 8, 1864, 
and went to Harrisburg and thence to the front via Port Royal, 
Rappahannoch and Bowling Green. June 18, they were ordered 
to charge a fort that commanded the Weldon road, and advanced 
so close that the enemy were obliged to throw their shells almost 
straight up into the air in order to let them fall upon our troops. 
One burst about 10 feet from James, and threw a small round 
shot into his knee joint. He crawled back about two miles, and 
found an ambulance which tool: him to the Division Hospital. 
His leg was amputated on the following day, and he was taken 
to City Point, with three in an ambulance. This he describes 
as ha/-d times. During July his life was despaired of, but he, 
putting his trust in God, survived, and left Alexandria for 
Washington Nov. 28, v/here he rem.ained till Jan. 19, 1865. 
Two days after this he arrived home, disabled for life in the service 
of his country. He is highly respected bv his fellov/ townsmen, 
and as an appreciation of his patriotism and worth, the}' have him Collector and Constable. 

XIII. Asaph, m. Marv A. Short, r. Charleston, Tioga Co., 
Pa., has one child. 

This branch of the family are noted for their energy, industry 
and perseverance, and deserve the favorable consideration of 
their fellow citizens. 

For many years this branch of the family had been lost. 


OziEL Wilkinson^ ^ [^2] John/ [58] Johx,^ [14] John,^ 

AND J [4] Lawrence,^ [1] 

Lydia Smith, j * 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

289. I. Lucy,® b. Nov. 20, 1766, d. Dec. 3, 1840 

290. II. ABRAHAM,'''(540-47)b. Oct. 10, I768,d. Apr. 15, 1849 

291. III. Isaac," (548-49) b. Oct. 10, 1768, d. Mar. 2, 1843 

292. IV. David,«v55o-53) b- Jan. 5, 1771, d. Feb. 3, 1852 

293. V. Marcy,*' b. Mar. 19, 1773, d. Sept. 29, 1855 

294. VI. Haxxah," b. Dec. 15, 1774, d. Oct, 2, 1812 

295. VII. DANiEL,\554-58)b. Jan. 26, 1777, d. Mar. 19, 1826 

296. VIII. George, b. Jan. 23, 1779, d. Jan. 25, 1783 

297. IX. Smith," (559-64) b. July 5, 1781, d. Nov. 5, 1852 

298. X. Lydia," b. Sept. i, 1783, d. July 28, 1836 
I, Lucy, married Timothv Greene, son of Paul Greene of 

Potowam, Warwick, R. I. He Vv'as a relative of Gen. Greene 
of Revolutionarv fame, and was born June 12, 1760. In the 
early part of his life he was a tanner and currier, and continued 
in that trade till some time after his removal to Pawtucket, where 
he did an extensive business. 

The Rev. Mr. Goodrich, in his centennial address makes the 

following allusion to Mr. Greene, , in 1799. the second 

cotton mill was begun. This was reared by Mr. Oziel Wilkinson, 
and his three sons-in-law, Samuel Slater, Timothv Greene and 
William Wilkinson, and was built on the Masachusetts side of 
the river. I have named Mr. Greene as a son-in-law of Oziel 
Wilkinson. He had been previously engaged in the manufacture 
of leather. His tannery occupied the site of what are now 
called Greene's Mills. Indeed, his original business was the 
manufacture of shoes, and even after he gave his attention to 
tanning, he employed several men in the former business. As 
illustrating the extent of his operations in tanning, the incidental 
statement of one of his workmen may be quoted : "We ground 
200 cords of bark per year, while I worked for Mr. Greene, 

*Census, i male above 1 6, 3 under ; 2 females above, 2 under. 


We tanned icco hides a year for him, and fulled 1500 for 
others." Mr. Greene's activity contributed to the prosperity of 
our town, and his descendants have continued to do their share 
of the business of this place." 

He at length abandoned the employment of tanner and currier 
and engaged with Slater and Wilkinson in the manufacturing 
business which was then in its infancy, and by his perseverance 
and energy he gave an impetus to the cause that the State of 
Rhode Island still feels on many of her tributaries. He aided 
in building the ''White Mill" above alluded to in 1799-1800, 
and was associated with Slater a great many years, and finally 
purchased his share in the above mill, and managed the affairs 
alone tor a number oi: years, under the name or " Timothy Greene 
& Sons." 

He ranks among the first and most enterprising of New 
England Manufacturers, and the state of Rhode Island, is greatly 
indebted to his enterprise in this branch of domestic industry. 

Their children are as follows : 

(]) Sarah., b. May 5, 1789, married William Harris, who was 
born Dec. 28, 1785, and died recently. Their children are: 

I. Elizabeth, b. March 14, 18 10, d. Jan, 2, 181 1; 2. Eliza 
Green, b, Aug. 28, 181 1, m. Rev, Dr. Henry Waterman, of 
Providence, R, I, He is Rector of St. Stephen's Church in that 
citv. They have one child named Lucius, 3, William Francis, 
b. March 30, 1816, died in 111,; 4, Joseph Wilkinson, b. Jan. 
16, 1819; 5, Samuel Greene, b, July 20, 1820, d, April, 1821 ; 
6. Sarah Jane, b. July I, 1823, m. Frank Anthony, had one 
child, Mary, and died April, i 862; 7. Catherine Jenks, b. March 
I 2, 1825, married, but has no children. 

Sarah d. Nov, I, 1825. 

(i) Samuel.,h. May 12, 1791, married Sarah Harris, dau., of 
Stephen Harris, of Providence. They have two sons: 

I. Paul, a manufacturer, unmarried, resides at Woonsocket, 
R. I. Charles Harris was a captain in the Union Army of the 
Great Rebellion of 186 1-5. He was in the bayonet charge at 


Newburn, at the mine springing in front of Richmond, or 
Petersburg, and fought twelve battles. He lives with his father 
in Woonsocket, and they are largely engaged in the manufacturing 
business. Mr. Samuel Greene is a natural mathematician, and 
has invented a sliding scale greatly superior to Gunter's. Plis 
rules for estimating: the velocity and power of water and machinery 
are the most simple and concise ever used, and it is hoped Mr. 
Greene will s;ive the world the benefit o[ them. He is a natural 
draftsman, and his dr.ifts of machinery loo!: like engravings, so 
neatlv are they executed. He is an amateur in geology .and 
mineralogv, and has a very fine cabinet ot his own collection. 
He gave the name B:r7ion., to the villa vv'here he resides, and bears 
the reputation of being a man of sterling integrity. 

(3) Z)^/.'/V/, b. April 16, 1793, m. Ann Tyler, dau. of Ebenezer, 
has four children. 

(4) JFiHia?n.,h. Sept.. 22, 1795, d. Sept. 2, 1796. 

(5) Mary., b. April 8, 1797, m. Aaron Putnam, d. Oct. 17, 

(6) Paul, b. April 22, 1799, d. May 10, 182 i. 

(7) Elixa., b. Nov. 17, looo. Eliza, married April 16, 1821, 
Benjamin C. Harris, son of Stephen Harris, and brother of Samuel 
Greene's wife. Their children are: 

I. Mary G , b. Aug. 8, 1822, d. March 9, 1824; 2. Stephen, 
b. Sept. 26, 1824, d. July 25, 1842 ; 3., b. Dec. 3, 1825, 
m. Kate Dexter, of Boston, Oct. 14, 1852. She died Sept. 18, 
1854, leaving a daughter who also died. He m. 2J wife, April 
17, I 86 1, Sarah Bullock; 4. James, b. Feb. 23, 1827; 5. Elizabeth, 
b. Dec. 20, 1828, m. James Vila, of Boston, July 2, 1850. He 
died Nov, 22, 1850, She m. 2d husband, Oct. 27, 3 858, Edward 
B. Revnolds, of Boston. 6. Edwin, b. Nov, 4, 1830, m. Clara 
Crowly, Oct. I, 1861; 7. Benjamin C. b. Aug. 17, 1833; 8. 
Robert, b. May 14, i 835 ; 9. Anna Greene, b. June 22, i 837 ; 
10. John, b. iMay 31, 1839, d. Nov. i, 1839; 11. Carolina A., 
b. Aug. 27, 1840-, 12. Charles F., b. April 2, 1844, d. Feb. 2, 


(8) Anna TV., b. April 15, 1S03, married May, 1822, Edward 
Walcott. Their childien are: 

I. Anna G., b. April i, 1S23, m. Thomas T. Phillips, of 
Philadelphia, April 3, 1S45. They reside south and have a family 
of children. 2. Edward, b. April 5, 1827 ; 3 William, b. Aug. 
1829, married. 

Thus it will be seen Timothy and Lucy are the progenators 
of a numerous posterity. They were members of the Friends' 
Society and led consistent christian lives. Ke was noted for his 
business talent and for the promptness with which he fulfilled 
every engagement. Multitudes of poor people found employment 
and received aid at his hand, and after fulfilling his mission he 
fell asleep on the oth of the second month, 1034. His wife 
closed her earthly pilgrimage the 3d of the twelfth month, 1840, 
at the advanced age of 7.;., well stricken in )-ears. She has left a 
life-record that will be long remembered by her surviving relatives* 
They are both interred in the North Providence CemiCtery. 

II. Abraham, ] 

III. Isaac, j (twins\ were the oldest sons of Oziel 

Wilkinson, and were born in Srnithfield, R. I., on the same day. 
They removed with their father to Pawtucket in 1783, where 
they labored together in their father's anchor shop. Isaac took 
the whole charge of the shop with a large number of men, at 17 
years of age. The two brothers continued to labor for their 
father until about 1 790 when thev commenced a partnership in 
business, which continued till 1829. Their iron business became 
very extensive, as they had furnaces in Pawtucket, Providence 
and Fall River. They also, built some kinds of cotton machinery, 
and built and operated extensive cotton mills at Pawtucket, 
Valley Falls and Albion in Smithfield: Abraham inconsequence 
of an injury received in the discharge of his arduous labors in the 
anchor shop, became unfitted for heavy labor, and took the 
management of their financial affairs, while the extensive business 
of their anchor shop, machine shops, and furnaces devolved upon 


Isaac. The latter eminently fitted for such work by his 
.extraordinary physical powers, and great mechanical skill, continued 
in his labors until he was nearly seventy years of age. The great 
revolution in cotton business in 1829, caused a dissolution of the 
partnership of the two brothers, and their remaining years were 
passed in comparative quiet, 

Isaac Wilkinson was a devoted and consistent christian, having 
been baptized and received into the first Baptist Church in 
Pawtucket in I 8 I 6. His house was ever after the home of the 
Baptist clergy, and his ample means were liberally contributed to 
build and sustain Baptist churches. No member of his church 
did more to sustain the cause. He bore his pecuniary reverses 
with great fortitude and equinimity, and only lamented the loss 
of power to help the needy. 

As the world with its pleasures and cares faded from his vision, 
his faith in the Divine providences became stronger, and his hopes 
of a blessed future with his Savior, and the loved saints who had 
gone before became brighter. He died atter a short illness in the 
75th year of his age. Isaac married Lois Marsh and had two 

Abraham was a member of the Legislature of Rhode Island in 
I 807, and was frequently returned by his consistuency. He held 
many town and county offices and filled them to the entire 
satisfaction of the people. He survived till I 849 in his 81 st year, 
and fell asleep, bidding adieu to surrounding friends. He married 
Lydia Whipple and had a family of eight children. 

IX. David, was born in Smithfield, Rhode Island, married 
Martha Sayles, daughter of Jeremiah Sayles, who was the son of 
Thomas Sayles and Esther (Scott), who was the son of John and 
Elizabeth Sayles, who was the son of John Sayles and Mary 
(Williams) his wife, the oldest daughter of Roger Williams. 
This last mentioned John Sayles signed the original compact in 
company with Lawrence Wilkinson as may be seen ante. His 
son John was born Aug. 17, I 654, and his son Thomas was 

MARCr IFILKINSON. [293] 225 

b. Feb. 9, 1698-9, and his son Jeremiah was b. Dec. 17, 1743, ^"^ 
his daughter Martha, David's wife, was b. June i r, 1776. Thus 
we go back to Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island in 
this branch of the family. 

Albert S. Wilkinson, son of David, sends the following sketch 
of the Savles family, being his mother's line of descent as far back 
as was remembered by them : 

" Jeremiah Sayles, son of Thomas Sayles and Esther Scott, his 
wife, born in Smithfield, R. I., on " Sayles Hill," — so called, 
17th Dec. 1743, O. S. He died in North Providence, 27th June, 
18 18. He married Anna Steere, dau. of Jonah Steere and 
Lydia Whipple his wife, born in Glocester — it is supposed — 
Rhode Island loth Jan., 1753, (O. S. 1st Jan.) She died in 
North Providence, i6th July, 1835. 

The above were married — it is believed — ist Aug. 1775. 
Their children were: (i) Martha, b. in North Providence, June 
II, 1776, who married David Wilkinson, of Pawtucket •, (2) 
James, b. in Providence, Oct. II, I 777, died unmarried, Jan. 27, 
1794; (3) Abigail, b. in North Providence, Aug. 18, 1788, m. 
Ira Pidge, of Providence. She died 3 or 4 years ago leaving a 
family of children. (4) Stephen b. in North Providence, Sept. 3, 
1791, died unm., Dec. 27, 1823." 

The author has in MS. quite an extensive genealogy of the 
Sayles family and the Steere family from the first settlement of 
the Colony to the present time. 

David had four children. He was a man of great mechanical 
skill, and invented some of the most valuable machines ever used 
in the mechanic arts. For a more extended notice see : 

Biography No. XXI. 

V. Mracy, married William Wilkinson of Providence, R. L, 
Dec. 31, 1798. Their children: 

(l) Samuel^ b. Nov. 8, I 799, d. Sept. 2 I, I 800 ; (2) Rebecca, 
b. April 23, 1 80 1, m. Rev. Daniel Le Baron Goodwin, an 
Episcopal clergyman of Providence, R. I., and has had seven 



daughters and two sons ; (3) "John Laiurence, b. Nov. 20, 1803, 
d. Aug. I, 1807; (4) Susanna Angell^ b. Aug. 22, 1804. d. Sept. 
29 1805; (5) Mary Rhodes, b. Oct. 15, 1806, m, Chas. N. 
Tibbitts ; (6) JVilliam^ b. Apr. 5, 1809, d. July 30, 1810; (7) 
William Henry^ b. Nov. 22, 181 i, m. Sarah S. Drew, d. May 9, 
1854 ; (8) Susan Jngell, b. Alay i 3, I 8 I 5. 

Two of the familv still live in Providence, on George Street. 
Marcy's husband had been previously married. 

For further particulars see ante p., and Biography No. XV. 

VI. Hannah, married Oct, 2, i 79 l, Samuel Slater of Belper, 
Eng. He was the first successful cotton manufacturer in 
America. Their children are : 

(l ) William^ b. Aug. 3 I, I 796, d. Jan. 3 i, 180 I, r. Pawtucket, 
R. I. ; (2) Eli-zabeth^ b. Nov. 1 5, 1798, d. Nov. 4, I 801, r. 
Pawtucket, R. I. ; (3) Mary, b. Sept. 28, I 80 I, d. Aug. i 9, I 803, 
r. Pawtucket, R. I. ; (4) Samuel, b. Sept. 28, I 802, d. July i 4, 
1 82 1, r. Pawtucket, R. I. ; (5) George Bassett, b. Feb. 12, 1804, 
m. Lydia Robinson, May 6, 1825, r. Webster, Mass. She was 
born Feb. 25, 1795, had four children, viz: (i) Samuel Everett, 
b. Aug. 10, 1826, d. Feb. 14, 1854; (2) George Arkwright, b. 
Feb. 27, 1829, d. March 7, 1841; (3) Elizabeth Hamilton, b. 
March 8, 1831, m. James Henry Howe, have Elizabeth Slater, 
b. March 31, 1864; (4) William Strutt, b. Oct. 4, 1833-, 
George B. Slater, d. Nov. 15, 1 843. (6) John, b. May 23, I 805, 
m. Sarah J. Jenks Tiffany, of Boston. She was born Feb. 2, 
1807, d. Oct. 28, 1859. Their children are: (i) Esther P., 
b. Jan. 20, I 828, died same day. John Francis, b. March 10, 
I 83 1, d. July 3, I 862, (3) Sarah Jane, b. Feb. 30, I 833, m. Oct. 
29, I 857, Thomas Durfee, one of the Justices of the Supreme 
Court of Rhode Island. They have one child, Samuel Slater, 
b. Sept. 23, I 855 ; (4) Horatio Nelson, b. Mar. 20, i 835, m. Oct. 
5, 1858, Elizabeth Vinton, a niece of the Episcopal clergymen, 
Doctors Francis and Alexander Vinton. They have two 
children, Caroline, b. July 2 I, I 859, Samuel, b. Nov, 30, i 860 ; 


(5) Hannah Wilkinson, b. Jan. 20, 1837, m. Henry A. Rhodes, 
March, 19, 1857. They have two children Charles Crawford, 
b. Nov. 21, 1862, d. Apr. 28, 1864; Mary Slater, b. Sept 2, 
1864; John,d. Jan. 23, 1838 ; (7)//or^//(? A^^A(j«,b. March 5, 1 808, 
m. Mrs. Sarah J. Slater, his brother's widow, r. Webster, Mass. 
He is an active, energetic business man, and is the only living 
member of his father's family. He has one child, Mary, b. Feb. 
17, 1846 ; (8) IFilliam^ b. Oct. i 5, 1 809, r. Providence, R. I,, d. 
Aug. or Sept. 1825 1(9) Thomas Graham^ b, Sept. 19, 1812, d. 

Several biographical sketches of Samuel Slater have been 
written. One may be found in Bliss's "History of Rehoboth." 
A book of about 550 pages was published in 1 836 entitled 
" Memoir of Slater and History of manufacturers," by George 
S, White, a very readable book, but did not prove satisfactory 
to all the parties concerned, and is out of print. 

He was born in Belper, Derbyshire, Eng., June 9, 1767, and 
died in Webster, Mass., April 21, 1835. 

Hannah, his wife, died at Pawtucket, R. I., Oct. 3, 1812. 

For other facts concerning Slater, see Biographies. 

Vn. Daniel was born in Smithfield, R. I., m. Nancy, 
daughter of Ichabod and Elizabeth Tabor. She was born in 
Tiverton, R. I., July 20, 1778, died in Pawtucket, May 5, i 860. 
They had live children. Daniel was a quiet unassuming man 
and a worthy citizen, and was concerned in the Pomfret Factories 
as one of the firm. 

IX. Smith married Elizabeth, daughter of Sampson Howe, 
of Killingly, Ct. She was born May I 9, I 785 in Killingly, and 
died Jan. 14,1843. Smith was a successful manufacturer and 
for many years resided at " Pomfret Factories," now Putnam, Ct. 
He was born in Smithfield, R. I., and died in Putnam. He was 
the principal owner of that fine estate and the following extract 

*See "Memoir of Slater," by Geo. S. White, p. 241. 


from a letter to G. S. White refers to the cotton manufacturing 
business in its inception. He says: 

" Mr. Slater boarded in my father's family, at which time 
there were only a few houses in Pawtucket, while building 
his first machinery, and in the course of the year was married to 
my sister Hannah, who died in I 8l 2, leaving six sons quite young, 
having buried four children. When the manufacturing business 
first commenced in Pawtucket, it may be very naturally supposed 
that it was frequently a subject of conversation, especially in a 
family so immediately connected with it. I recollect to have 
heard frequent conversations on the subject, in which the state 
and progress of the business was discussed. 

An attempt to manufacture cotton was made at Derby, Ct., 
under the patronage of Col. Humphreys, late minister to Spain. 
One at or near Hurlgate, N. Y., under the patronage of Mr. 
Livingston, was commenced, but failed and was abandoned. I 
believe nearly all the cotton factories in this country from i 79 I 
to I 805, were built under the direction of men who had learned 
the art or skill of building machinery in Mr, Slater's employ. 
Mr. Slater used to spin both warp and filling on the water-frame 
up to 1803. The operations of manufactories up to I 8 I 7, 
were confined to spinning yarn only, which was put out in webs, 
and wove bv hand-loom weavers. Mules for spinning filling 
had not then been introduced. The cotton used to be put out 
to poor families in the country, and whipped on cords, stretched 
on a small frame about three feet square, and the motes and 
specks were picked out by hand at four or six cents per pound, 
as it might be for cleanness." 

Smith was an active, energetic man, strictly honest in all his 
dealings, and may well be classsed among the first manufacturers 
in America, He had six children. 

X. Lydia married Hezekiah Howe Nov. 8, 1 809. He was 
son of Sampson Howe, and Huldah (Davis) his wife, and was 
born in Killingly, Ct., Julv 9, I 783. 

Their children are : 


(i) Maria IVilkinsoti^h. Feb. 26, 181 1, m. David Warren 
Leland, of Charleston, S, C, Oct. 20, 1835, in Trinity Church, 
Boston, Mass., by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Wainwright and died 
without issue at Charleston, Feb. 26, 1837 ; (2) Elizabeth., b. 
Jan. 28, 1813, b. Sept. 15, 18 14; (3) Hexekiah^ b. Apr. 14, 1815, 
d. March 16, 1835 ; (4) Augustus b. Feb. 15, 1817, m. Lavinia 
Abbott, daughter of George Abbott, of Cohoes, N. Y., had 
Hezekiah, d. 1850, Maria A. Hcwc now living in Newark, 
Ohio, with the mother, Augustus died at Cohoes, Apr. 16, 1850. 
(5) Elizabeth., b. June 17, 1818, is still living at Saratoga Springs, 
N. Y. 

Lydia, the wife of Hezekiah, died at Cohoes, July 28, 1836. 
but he still lives with his daughter at Saratoga Springs. He has 
been extensively engaged in the manufacturing business, and 
Cohoes is greatly indebted to him for his enterprise and activity 
in this branch of industry. 

Simeon Wilkinso:sM [145] Aiiab,-' [59] Jonx,'^[i4] Joiin,^ 

AND -[4] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Elizabe'ih Jenks, J 

Of Smitiifield, R. I. 

299. I. MiRA,*' b. Aug. 21, 1792, d. Nov. 24, 1857. 

300. n. Saraii,*^ b. Aug. 3, 1794. 

301. ni. Ahab W.,<^ b. July 3, 1796. 

302. IV. Lydia,*^ b. Dec. 24, 1798. 

303. V. Rebecca S.," b. Sept. 25, 1800. 

304. VI. Washington A. J.,*' b. Oct. 7, 1804. 

305. VII. Elizabeth,^ b. Mar. 30, 1808. 

306. VIII. John J., « b. Mar. 3, 18 rr. 

II. Sarah, married Philip Thomas. They have one child, 
George Henry, who m. Elizabeth J, Woodward, of Franklin, 
Mass., resides in Buffalo, N. Y. 

VI. Washington Adams Jefferson was born at the old 
homestead in Smithfield. His early years were spent upon the 



farm, but at the age of twenty-one he became engaged in 
manufacturing. In 1833 he married Mary T. Remington, 
daughter of Capt. Peleg Remington, of Pawtuxet, R, I. In 1844 
he moved with his family to Southbridge, Mass., and in company 
with I. P. Irwin, purchased the cotton mill at Ashland. This 
was destroyed by fire a few years after, and 1856 he returned 
to Rhode Island, residing for many years near the old homestead. 
His character from early boyhood was unexceptionable. By 
nature very retiring, a man of few words and conscientiously 
strict in the performance of duty. During a long, active business 
life he experienced varied misfortunes through which he manifested 
a noble christian character. Although of quiet habits, he is 
always cheerful, enjoying whatever the present offers, not regretting 
the past. 

Three of his family are living and three are dead. His sons 
are faithful and efficient business men, one living in Providence 
and another in South America. 

VII. Elizabeth, m. Edward A. Hale. He is engaged in 
manufacturing, resides on the same spot where John Wilkinson, 
the second son of Lawrence, first built his house on the Blackstone 
River near Aston 200 years ago. Their family are : 

(l) Edward Crawford ; (2) Charles S. ; (3) Samuel; (4) Mary 

VIII. John J., m. Lydia W, Bentley. They have seven 
children and live in Bristol, R. I. He is a manufacturer. 


Joseph Wilkixson^'^ [147] Ahab,^ [59] John," [14] John,^ 

AND >[4] Lawrence,' [i] 

Martha Jenks, j 

Of Smitiifield, R. I. 

307. I. Samuel Scott,*' b. Jan. 27, 1786, d. Oct. 12, 1821. 

308. II. George," b. Aug. 8, 1789, d. Oct. 22, 1824. 

309. III. Abby," b. June 10, 1791, d. Mar. 20, 1862. 
3io. IV. Jenckes," b. Alar. 3, 1794, d. 1819. 

311. V. Amy,*^ b. Nov. 20, 1795, d. Dec. 10, 1820. 

312. VI. JoAXXA," b. Dec. 27, 1797, d. 

313. VII. Joseph," b. Nov. 14, 1799, d. July 5, 1820. 

314. VIII. Mercy," b. Sept. 6, 1801, d. Mar. 4,1822. 

315. IX. Julia Axx," b. Dec. 4, 1803, d. Aug. 3, 1838. 

316. X. Ahab," (579) b. Jan. 7, 1806, d. Oct. 20, 1833. 

317. XL Martha," b. Aug. 21, 1809, d. 

L Samuel Scott never married. He was a finished classical 
scholar and graduated at Brown University in 1809. He studied 
law in Maine with Judge Bailv, of Wiscassett, was admitted to 
the bar in 1812, and practiced in that State till 181 7. He died 
in Portsmouth, Ohio whither he had gone to engage in business. 
He was a worthy young man, highly esteemed by the community, 
and a good lawyer. The death angel seemed to hover over this 
familv and no less than six of them fell beneath his shafts from 
1 8 19 to 1824. 

11, George was about 22 years of age when his father died, 
he took charge of the younger children superintending their 
education. In 18 14, he went to Ludlow and connected himself 
with the Springfield manufacturing Co., but left in 1818 for 
Mobile, Alabama, still holding his shares in the Co. His object 
in leaving was to find a place for his younger brothers, as they 
desired to be in business with him. The first year in Mobile he 
did a commission business and purchased cotton for manufacturers^ 
Sec. He purchased a township about 200 miles up the Alabama 
river from Mobile, and it was the design to colonize it, introducing 


the business life and talent of New England into the Southern 
Plantations. A company of sixteen was formed, and they purposed 
erectino; mills and engaging in the manufacturing business. This 
township was at Montgomery, Ala., which has since become the 
capital of the State. George became a leading man in the place, 
was Intendant of the town. He died at the early age of 35. 
The plans of the company were never fully carried out. 

IV. Jencks went out in i 8 l 6 on a prospecting tour to the 
South-western States for the purpose of finding a suitable place to 
settle, where he and his bi others could all be together, was taken 
sick and died at New Orleans, La., at the age of 25. 

VI. Joanna married Dexter M. Leonard, and resides in 
Williamantic, Ct., no children. Mr. Leonard died July 4, 
I 858. Mrs. Leonard is still living and is noted for her energy 
and business talent, 

VII. Joseph never married, he went South in I 81 9, with his 
brother George and stayed the winter in Mobile. The ist of June 
following George went up the river and purchased the township 
above mentioned. Joseph was left to close up the unfinished 
business, and then to follow George. He started about two 
weeks afterwards, and stopped at Claiborne, about 100 miles from 
Mobile, to transact some business, was taken sick and died 
suddenly, aged 21. George did not arrive till after his death, his 
feelings can be better imagined than described. Joseph was a 
promising young man, and his early death was sincerely lamented 
by a large circle of friends. 

IX. Julia Ann, m. Daniel Tracy, no children, resided at 
Windham, Ct. 

X. AllAB, m. Eliza Ann Jillson and moved to Williamantic, 
Ct., about 1830-2. June 12, 1832, he purchased a lot of land 
of Sam'l Gray "near the centre of Williamantic village for the 
purpose of converting the same into a public road, and for no 
other purpose."* The same year he bought another lot in said 

*30, Book Town Records, p. 213, Williamantic, Ct. 

AHJB IVILKINSON. [3 r6] 233 

village "bounded North by Union St. — west by Clark and 
Wilkinson's road, south by Hartford Turnpike and the new road, 
east by the land of iMr. Gregory.*" Oct. I, I 832, he made 
another purchase. t Julv I o, I 883, a deed of land was given to 
secure a note,^ and Sept. i 7, I 833, " Ahab Wilkinson of 
Windham, Ct , in consideration of .^i 500 received of Abby 
Wilkinson, Joanna, Julia A. and Martha — all of Windham, 
conveys a certain village lot and building situate in Williamantic.§ 
Sept. 26, 1833, Ahab purchased a wood lot.|| Oct. 20, 1834, 
" Deed of sale bv Administration of the estate of Ahab Wilkinson 
deceased, to Abby, Joanna, Julia Ann, and Martha Wilkinson,^ 
Thus ends the record of Ahab so far as the traffic in real estate 
is concerned in Williamantic. He was an active business man — 
highlv respected by the community. He was in Co. with Loring 
Carpenter, and the Windham town records show the transfer of 
six different parcels of land from Asa and Seth Jillson to Eliza 
Wilkinson, Ahab's widow and Wm. E. Jillson — consideration 
85000. *'^ This occurred May 31,1841. He had one child a 
son, who is now in the U. S. patent office. Washington, D. C. 
XI. Martha, m. Dr. 01i\er Kingsley, resided Williamantic. 
The doctor had a large and increasing practice, and possessed 
the confidence of the community. They had one son born and 
died March I o, 1848. The Dr. died Oct. i, 1847, aged 40. 
Martha is still living at Williamantic, Ct. 

'■^10, Book Town Records, p. 230, Williamantic, Ct. 

" p. 229, 

" P- 348, 

" P- 351. 

" p. 82, 

" P- 335- 

'33 'd. " P- 419. 










11 30 



Shubael Wilkinson^ [156] Daniel,^ [66] Daniel,^ [iS] 

AND > JoHN,^ [4] Lawrence/ [i] 

Mahala Smith, ) 

Of Elbridge, N. Y. 

318. I, Daniel Smith,'' b. Jan, 8, 1813. 

319. IL Abigail,'* b. Apr. 14, 1816, 

320. III. Joanna," b. June 27, 1819. 

321. IV. James," {579-581) b. Mar. 12, 1822. 

322. V. Smith S.,''^^582-583)b. Dec. 7, 1824. 

323. VI. Otis,*^ b. Oct. 8, iS27,d. Oct. 20, 1847. 

I. Daniel Smith never married, resides in Adrian, Michigan. 
He is a farmer. 

II. Abigail married William J. Machan, and resides in 
Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N. Y. 

Their children are as follows : 

(l) Sylvia AI., b. July 15, 1841 ; (2) Jlice J., h. Dec. 28, 
1842; (3) Elizaheth^ b. June 25, 1845. 

III. Joanna married Esek Sanders, and lives in Earlville, 
Madison Co., N. Y. Their children are : 

(i) Abigail M., b. July 13, 1845 i (2) Alma^ b. Sept. 21. 1848 

IV. James married for his first wife Harriet Talmage, and for 
a second a sister of the first. He is in California and his family 
reside in Blissfield, Mich, 

V. Smith S. married Helen Tabor, has two children and 
resides in Prairie DuLac, Wisconsin. He is a lawyer, and ha^ 
been a State Senator, and President of the Senate. As a legal 
practitioner he has few superiors. 

Alfred Wilkinson^ "| [162] John,^ [71] Daniel,^ [18] 
Susan Smith and ^ John,'- [4] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Laura Edwards, J 

Of Skaneateles, N. Y. 

324. I. JoAB,'' (584-585) b. Oct. 22, 1 8 10. 

325. II. Winfield Scott,** (586-589) b. Sept. 11, 1812. 

SARAH IVILKINSON. [329] ' 235 

326. III. Harry,*^ b. April 28, 1815, d. f^b. 3, 1849. 

327. IV. iMoRTON Smitii,*^ (590-591) b. Jan. 22, 1819. 

328. V. Elizabeth," b. Dec. 23, 1821. 

329. VI. Sarah/ b. Mar. 21, 1825. 

I. JoAB, niarried Lydia Douglass, and has had seven children. 
His hfe has been a chequered one — born in Skaneateles, N. Y., 
the oldest of six children — he left home for the first time in the 
Patriot war in Canada, and walked all the way afoot and alone 
to iMeridosia on the Illinois river with a stick across his shoulder 
and all his worldly goods suspended from the end of it, and 
commenced getting his daily bread by using the shovel and pick 
on a railroad. Since then he passed through many vicissitudes. 
He has been captain of a flat boat on the Illinois river bound 
for St. Louis, a captain in the Regular Army, several years 
^s bridge builder, mate of a western steamboat — twice elected 
Justice of the Peace, served through the Mexican war as ist 
Lieutenant of Regulars — candidate for the Legislature, but was 
beaten by the present Senator from Illinois Ex-Gov. Yates- 
Resides Illiopolis, Sangamon Co., III. 

II. WiNFlELD Scott, married Frances Sampson. Thev 
have four children. Mr. Winfield is a man of great native 
powers of mind, modest and unassuming in his deportment, of 
extensive general information and reading, and is highly respected 
\n the community where he resides. 

IV. Morton S., married Sally Boss, lives in Mankato, Blue 
Earth Co., Minn. They have two children. He is a lawyer, has 
been U. S. Senator. 

For other particulars concerning him, see Biography No. 

V. VI. Elizabeth and Sarah still reside at the old homestead 
in Skaneateles, N. Y., the first place settled by John, some 
sixty or seventy yeaas ago. They carrry on the farm. 


John Wilkinson^ 1 [^^3] Jo"^S* [71] 

AND > Daniel,^ [18] John,^ 

Henrietta Wiliielmina Swartz, J [4] Lawrence, '[1] 
Of Syracuse, N. Y. 

330. I. John Swartz/ b. Aug. 8, 1827, d. July 25, 1836, 

331. II. Joshua Forman," (592-594) b. June 12, 1S29. 

332. III. AiFREE/(595-599)b. Aug. 17, 1831. 
333. IV. Maria Hermans,'' b, Dec. 15, 1S34. 

334. V. Theceosia B.,*^ b. July 16, 1837, 

335. VI. John,* b. Feb. 14, 1840. 

336. VII. Janette Lee.« b. Sept. i, 1841, d. Oct, 8, 1842. 

337. VIII. Dudley P.,« b. Oct. 1, 1843. 

II. Joshua Forman married Louisa B. Rayner, and has 
three children. Resides in Syracuse, N. Y. He is a Banker. 

III. Alfred married Charlotte May, daughter of the 
distinguished Rev. Samuel J. May. They reside in Syracuse, 
N. Y. They have had five children. He is a Banker. 

IV. Maria Hermans married Theodore C. Welsh, an artist 
of considerable repute. His sketches of Alpine Scenery are 
decidedly beautiful. They have crossed the Atlantic 8 or 10 
times, and are now in Europe. 

They have one child: (l) Henrietta JVilhelmina Clara., b. 
Sept. 30, 1 86 1, resides in Syracuse, N. Y. 

V. Theodosia B., married Joseph Kirkland, resides in Tilton, 
Vermillion Co., 111. 

They have one child: (l) Caroline M.^ b. March 20 1865. 

VI. John married Mary Ware Fogg who died Feb. 22, 1865. 
He is a Bank clerk. 

William Wilkinj-on^^ [165] William,^ [73J Jeremiah, 
and y [19] John,'- [4] Lawrence,' [i] 

Lydia Ballou, j 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

338. I. Betsey," b. Jan. 1798. d. i860. 

339. II. William," (600) b. 1800. 

340. III. Eliza," b. 1803. 


I. Betsey married Israel Smith, resides in Pawtucket, R. I. 

II. William married Mehitable Angell, has one child, resides 
in New York. 

III. Eliza married Henry Angell, resides in New York. 

George Wilkinson^ ^ [166] William,* [73] Jeremiah,^ 

AND H^Q] John,- [4] Lawrence.' [i] ■ 

Lydia Whipple, j 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

341. I. Pardon W.,\6oi-4)b. Nov. 8, 1796, d, Sept. 28, 1866, 

342. II. Anny,** b, Mav 25, 1798, d, young. 

343. III. George," (605-7) b. Sept. 4, i 902, d. May 27, i 863. 

344. IV. Ira,*^ (608-617) b. Oct. 15,1804. 

I. Pardon Whipple married Cynthia Mason, resided in Ira, 
Rutland Co. Vt. He was a farmer, held many town and county 
offices — was a member of the Legislature and died much respected 
as a prominent and worthy man. Thev had four children. 

For a more particular account of him, see Biography No. 

III. George married Cynthia Tower, had three children, and 
lived in Vermont. 

IV. Ira married Emeline Griggs, and has had ten children. 
He resides in Ira, Vermont. 

Simon Wilkinson^ [172] Willam,^ [73] Jeee.miah,'^[i9] 

AND V John," [4] Lawrence.^ [i] 

Betsey Coope, j 

Of Boston, Mass. 

345. I. SlMON,^ b. 

346. II. David," b. 

347. III. Elizabeth," b. 

348. IV. William Henry," b. 

349. V. Andrew Jackson," (6 1 8-620) b. 

350. VI. Caroline," b. 

351. VII. Lucina," ' b. 


352. VIII. Francis/ b. 

353. IX. Sarah," b. 
I. Simon, r. Boston, Mass. 

IV. Wm. Henry was a merchant, went to Sidney, N. S. W. 

V. Andrew J., hardware merchant in Boston, Mass., married, 
has three children. 

Gardner Wilkinson^ ^ [177] Jeremiah,* [74] Jeremiah,"' 

AND \\}9\ JoH^i' [4] Lawrence.' [i] 

Olive Smith, j 

Of White Creek., Washington Co., N. Y. 

354. I. Smith,'' (621. -622) b. April 23, 1798, d. May 15, 1829. 
I. Smith, m. Oct. 2,1819, B. Mariah Aldrich, of Smithfield, 

R. I. She was born Apr. 18, i 800. They had two children — 
both daughters. He died at White Creek. 

The name is extinct in this line. His widow survived him 28 
years and died in i 857. 

Jeremiah Wilkinson^ ^ [i 78] Jeremiah,^ [74] Jere.viah,'' 

and H19] JuHN,- [4] Lawrence', [j] 

Phebe Elbuidge, j 

Of White Creek, N. Y. 

355. I. Anna," b. May 15, 1809. 

356. II. James," b. Mar. 18, 1811, d. May 18, 181 2. 
I. Anna, was married at White Creek, N. Y., Nov. 11, 

1833, to James P. Noxon. They have five children : 

(1) Phebe Ann, b. Oct. 8, 1 834, m. McDonough Cornell at 
Philadelphia, July 23, 1857. They have two children. i. Ella 
Frances, b. May 26, 1858 at White Creek; 2. Howard Noxon, 
b. Feb. 17, i860. 

(2) Sally Maria., b. March 3, 1836, m. Elou Sweet at 
Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1857. They have one child : i. Burton 
E., b. April 27, 1862, at White Creek. 

(3) Mary Frances., b. Oct. 3, 1838; (4) James Edward., b. 
Dec. 6, 1842 ; (5) Bogardus, b. Nov. 2, 1848. 


Jonathan Wilkinson^"] [179] Jeremaih,'[74]Jeremiah,-'[i9] 

AND I JoHN,'^[4] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Joanna Darling, j 

Of Hartford, Conn. 

357. I. Larned,'' b. 

358. II. Samuel/' b. 

359. III. Joanna/ b. 

Nothing is known of this family further than their names appear 
upon the Judge's order in the division of property left at their 
father's death. 


Job Wilkinson^ [i8o] Jeremiah,^ [74] Jeremiah,^ [19] 

AND VjoiiN,- [4] Lawrence/ [i] 

Kesiah Chase, j 

Of Macedon, Wayne Co. N. Y. 

360. 1. Silea Ann/ b. '796. 

361. II. JoB,'^ b. 1799 (?)d. 1837. 

362. III. Isaac," b. 1800, d. 1826. 

363. IV. Elizabeth," b. 1802, d. 1847. 

364. V. Jeremiah,'^ b. 1806, d. iMay, 1865. 

365. VI. Samuel Chase,*^ (623-624) b. 1808., 

366. VII. Barney,«(625-628) b. Jan. 6, 18 10. 

367. VIII. DANiEL,\629-63i)b. April 1, i8i2,d. 1866. 

368. IX. HirAxM/ (632) b. iMar 20, 1804. 

369. X. William Garner," b. Jan. 29, (?) 18 17. d. 1849. 

370. XL Mary Jane, « b. 1819. 

371. XII. Maria," b. Mar. 15,1821. 

I. Silea Ann never married, r. Kansas City, Mo. 

II. Job, m. Gertrude Lansing, r. Fenfield, N. Y. — no children 
— he was a clothier. 

IV. Elizabeth, m. i. Russel Scovill, 2. Denison Rogers. 
By first husband, had, (i) Mary 'Jane^ m. Charles Rogers, and 
had, Mary J. d. I 842, (?) (2) George^ m. and lives in Ohio; (3) 
Edwin^ m. and went south ; (4) Eli'z.a^ m. Clark Mather, has 2 
chil., r. Penn. ; {^)_ Seymour, m, has 2 chil., r. Bellfontaine, O. 

V. Jeremiah, m. his bro. Job's widow, r. Schodae, N. Y., 
he was a carder and cloth dresser, and was engaged in the 
mauufacturing business. 

VI. Samuel Chase, had 3 wives, i . Susan Bradley, 2 Rachel 

, 3. , he is Justice of the Peace, and a 

member of the Baptist church, r. near Kalamazoo, Mich., had 
chil. by his ist and 2d wives. 

VII. Barney, m. Elizabeth Briggs and has a family, he is a 
lumber dealer, and has been town cleric, &c., and resides at 
Riga, Lenawa Co., Mich. 


VIII. Daniel, m Ruth Shourds, is a carpenter, r. Palmyra, 
Mich , has a family. 

IX Hiram, m. Ann E. Miller. He is a clothier, merchant 
tailor, and dealer in furnishing goods, &c., r. Palmyra, Wavne 
Co., N. Y., of the firm " Huvck & Wilkinson." He was 
formerly engaged in the manufacture of farming implements at 
Macedon, N. Y., has been Justice of the Peace i6vrs — a very 
worthy man. 

X. Wm. Gatinkr married and died in Galveston, Texas. 

XI. Mahv Jane, m. Joseph Purdy, a lumber dealer — no 
children, r. Macedon, Wayne Co., N. Y. 

XII Maria, m. Caleb Carpenter, a merchant tailor, r. Kansas 
City, Mo., he has been Justice of the Peace, chil. 

(i) William was in the Union Army during the Rebellion ; 
il) War r en. 

Daniix Wilkinson' ^ [183] Jeri.miah,^ [74] Jeremiah,-' 

AND I [19] John,"' [4] Lawrence,^j] 

Ruth Aldrich, j 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

372. 1. Ei.i/.ABETii Arnold,'' b. Oct. 29, 18 12. 

373. II. Ruth Aldrich,** b. Oct. 13, 1814, 

374. III. Ann Maria,^ b. Feb. 24, 1816. 

375. IV. Lydta Ardelia,*' b. Mar. 20, 18 19. 

376. V. Frances Lois,** b. Oct. 31. 1821. 

I. Elizabeth Arnold, married James R. Case, and resides 
at Hastings Dacota Co., Minn. 

Their childreare : 

(0 James Augustus, b. Nov. 5. 1839; (2) Maria Antoinette \ 
(3) George Edivard ; (4) John Harris ; (5) Lilla Bell; (6) Edward 
Deforest: (7) Daniel Rodney ; (8) Daniel Eraser ; (9) George., and 
two others. 

II. Ruth Aldrich, married James A. Angell. They reside 
on the old homestead of the first Jeremiah in Cumberland, R. I. 



The place is well known as containing the best fruit in Rhode 

Their children are : 

[i] Daniel tV.^ b. May ii, 1S36, m. Hannah R. Evans, resides 
in Cumberland ; (2) Nathaniel "James ^ b. 27, 1841, married Louisa 
A. AVetherhead, r. in Cumberland, they have Ruth Alice ; (3) 
Elcy Maria^ b. May 10, 1846; (4) John Harris^ b. May 23, 1852. 

III. Ann Maria, married George W. Edwards, resides New 
Town, L, I. Mr, Edwards does business in New York City. 

Their children are: 

(i) Maria Augusta, b. ; (2) George Franklin, b. ; (3) George 
Gideon b. April 10, 1843; (4) Charles F., b. ; (5) Elizabeth 
Isabella, b. Feb. 10, 1850 ; (6) Emma Frances, b. Sept. 10, 
1852 ; (7) Lydia Ardelia, b, Oct. 9, 1858 ; (8) Ruth Wilkinson, 
Feb. 22, i860. 

Mr. Edwards has been for many years engaged in the packing 
business, and has intercourse with eveiy part of the civilized 

IV. Lydia Ardelia married John Smith Harris — resides at 
Ravens Wood, L. I. Mr. Harris was the son of Jabez Harris 
and Wait (Wing) his wife of Smithfield. He was born and 
resided for some years in Scituate, R. I., about one mile north 
of Stephen Hopkins' place on what was called the Gail Borden 
farm. He is a lineal descendant of William Harris who came 
with Roger Williams to Providence, The line of descent is as 
follows : William^ — Jonathan^- — Jabez^ — Stephen** — Jabez^ — John 
Smith.' His mother Wait (Wing) was the grand-daughter of 
John Smith who gave the name Jo Smithfield, Rhode Island. 
His grandfather Stephen married an Aldrich of Smithfield, and 
his great grandfather Jabez married an Arnold, The first 
settlement of the Harris' in Smithfield was on the land where the 
Rhode Island Lime was first discovered, and the " Harris Lime 
Rock" takes its name from them. At the age of 17, John S, 
engaged for himself, and being possessed of indomitable 


perseverence he has advanced step by step to a good degree of 
affluence. He went into the manufacturing business in Killingly, 
Ct., in the early part of his life from 1833 to 1838, and 1839, 
came to New York City where he met with flattering success in 
the packing business. After about six years he built a cottage 
on the site of his present residence at Ravens' Wood. The 
land was a marsh, where now stands his beautiful mansion and 
out-houses, when he first came there, but now the made land, 
beautiful trees, graveled, walks, green sward carpet interspersed 
with flowers of every hue and variety, make his retreat apppear 
more like a Palace with its ornamental surroundings. The view 
of his place just east of Blackwell's Island from the deck of a 
steamer as you approach New York on a bright morning is 
decidedly picturesque and beautiful. A steamer formerly plied 
between New York and Harris' Landing. Mr. Harris has the 
cane that belonged to Wm. Harris, who came with Roger 
Williams to Providence. It is at least four feet long with a 
handle or hook, used when riding to pick upon an unruly hat 
from the ground. Judge Harris who married Dr. John Wilkinson's 
daughter, is an uncle of John S. 

Mr. Harris has been twice married, his first wife was Roly 
Cornell and by her he had one son, Jabez, who is in business in 
New York. 

By his present wife, he has one child, (i) Lydia Ardelia., b. 
Feb. 23, 1843. 

V. Frances Lois married David P. Buker, M. D., of 
Providence, R I., where they now reside. Dr. Buker is a 
successful practitioner, was in the army as Surgeon during the 
Great Rebellion, and has an extensive practice at the present 
time. He is a scientific man in his profession, and i^vf are more 
successful in the healing art. 

They have three children : 

(l) Ruth Frances^ b. Sept. i 8, 1846 ; (2) David Perry., b, June 
17, 1848; (3) David Lewis., b. July 18, Ig55. 


Jamks Wii.kixsonM [i86] Jeremiah,' [74J Jhrkmiaii,-"' 

AND - [19J JOHX,' [4] LawRF.XCE,' [ij 

RowEXA Aldricii, ) 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

377. I. Aecy Almena," b. June 4, 1815. 

378. II. James AuG.,\633-36)b. June 4, 181 7, d. July 20, 1861. 

379. III. Jeremiah Aldricii,'^ (637-639) b. April ji, 1819. 

380. IV. Arnold Alduicii,'^ (640-644) b. April 25, i 823. 

381. V. Rowena Aldrich," b. Dec. 4, 1825. 

382. VI. Jane Elizabeth,^ b. Dec. 26, 1831. 

I. Alcy Almena married Joseph Remington, resides in 
Providence, R. I. 

They have : 

(1) Hellen Roiueria^h. Sept. 17, 1836, m. John VV. Nicols 
and has, Walter R. and Helen Frances; (2) Frances Almena., b. 
June 27, I 841, m. Henry Allen, and lives in Cranston, R. 1. 

II. James Augustus married Susan A. Wetherhead, and has 
four children. He is an energetic business man, and enjoys 
the confidence of his employers and the community. 

III. Jeremiah Aldricii married Catherine E. Shonard, and 
lives in Ravens Wood, L. I. His place of business is 74 Front 
Street, New York. He is extensively engaged in the commercial, 
mercantile, and forwarding business. He has three children. 
See post. 

IV. Arnold Aldrich, married Emma A. Hill, and has five 
children, resides in Pro\'idence, R. I. He is in the manufacturing 

V. Rowena Aldricii, married Seth William Baker, of 
Providence, R. I. He is a manufacturer and resides at No. I 13 
Cranston St. Providence. They have no children. 

VI. Jane Elizabeth, married Olney Fenner Thompson of 
Providence. Mr. Thompson fell dead in the street in Philadelphia 
in I 866. They had no children. 

The daughters of this family are noted for their physical and 
mental activity, and for their womanly business talents. 

ANN G. [WILKINSON) HUNT. [390] 245 

Vf.knum Wilkinson-^ ^ [194! Benjami.x,^ [75] Jeremiah,^ 

AND ,-[ig]'Joiix,"' [4] Lawrence,^ [i] 

Freelove Glazier, I 

Of New York City. 
S83. I. Sarah Glazeir,'' b. 180 1? 

384. II. Benjamin G./ b. Jan. 25, 1803, d. Sept. 23, 1 804. 

385. III. Sarah Spencer,*^ b. i 805 .? 

386. IV. Joseph Cornell/ b. i 807 ? 

387. V. Mary Chace,'' b. June 23, 1809. 

388. VI. iMargaret RussEL, b. Nov. 3,1810. 

389. VII. Phebe Folger/ b. Jan. 12, 1812. 

390. VIII. Ann Grafton/' b. Sept. 14. 1814. 

391. IX. Freelove Maria/ b. 1816. 

392. X. Hannah Glazier/ b. 1818. 

393. XI. VernuxM Russel/ b. 1820. 

V. Mary Chace married 1st George G. Marble, 2d. Rev. 
John Middleton, resided in Wheatland, N. Y. 

Their children as far as known are : 

By Jirst husband: (l) Vernum IVllklnson ; (2) George Russel. 
By second husband : (3) ^ohn Stainford; (4) IFiUiam Vernu?n ; (5) 
yames IV. 

VI. Margaret Russel, married Abraham Shaffer, resides in 
Sycamore, DeKalb Co., 111. 

Their children: 

1. Alan Catherine : 2. Jernum IFilkinson ; 3. yohti Middleton.^ 
killed in the Battle of Pittsburg Landing ; 4. Abram ; 5. George 
Russel, f ; 6. Henry Rockford ; 7. yames Arnold; 8. Benjamin 
Franklin \ 9. Ann Maria married James Middleton ; 10. George \ 
II. Abram \ 12. Margaret Freelove, and others. 

VII. Phebe Folger, married ist William L. Ferrett, 2d, 

. Charles Webb. Mr. Webb is in the Banking business in New 
York City. They have had one child : 

(l) Hannah Eliza, b. , m. Dr. Chas. Phillips. 

VIII. Ann Grafton, married Eugene B. Hunt. He is a 
Banker of New York City. They have no children. 


IX. Freelove Maria, married James Arnold. Thev have 
one daughter. Air. Arnold is paying Teller in the Tradesman's 
Bank, Broadway, New York. 

X. Hannah Glasier, married Benjamin Folsom, and resides 
East Boston, Mass. 

Their children as far as known are : 

(i) Vernum R. ; 2. Freelove Elizabeth; 3. Williajn Henry 
Hobert; 4. Benjaynin W. (?) ; 5. Maria ; 6. George; 7. Ann Eugene 

XI. Vernum Russel never married, died in Providence, 
R. I. 

RuFus Wilkinson^ ^ [202] Stephen,^ [82] Jeremiah,'^ 
AND ^[19] Joii^%^ [4] Lawrence,' [i] 

Mrs. Eliza A. Jacobs,) 
394. I. Names of this family not furnished. 
395- II. 

396. III. 

397. IV. 
498. V. 

399. VL 

400. VII. 

401. VIII. 

402. IX. 

Lewis Wilkinson' ~| [208 Stephen,^ [81] Jeremiah,^ [19] 

and > Joiin,^ [4] Lawrence,^ [1] 

Emilv M. Smith, j 

Door Village, LaPorte, Co., Ind. 

403. I. Frances,'^ b. July 19, 1826, d. Dec. 31, 1829. 

404. II. Francis Marion,* b. Mar. 4, i829,d. Mar, 20, 1829. 

405. III. Stephen Rockwell," b. June i, 1830. 

406. IV. Edwin Ruthven,'' (645-647)b. Nov. 12, 1832. 

407. V. Lewis HARTWELL,*b. Feb. 4,1834. 

BELL WILKINSON. [411] 247 

408. VI. Emily Maria,*^ b. Oct. 17, 1836, d. Aug. 30, 1839. 

409. VII. Martiia,« b. Nov. 23, 1840, d. Oct. 23, 1848. 

IV. Edwin Ruthvex, married March 26, 1856, first Mary 
Ann Boardman who died Sept. i. \%<^-j \ second Ozl. 24, i860, 
Sarah Ann Van Meter, of Kankakee, 111. They have three 

V. Lewis Hartwell, married Feb. 9, 1854, Elizabeth A. 
Rice, of Scipio, LaPorte Co. Ind. 

Bartox Brento^ Wilkixsox^ ^ [204] Stephen,* [81] 
AXD y Jeremiah,^[i9] JOHX,~[4j 

Mary L. Trowbridge, J Lawrexce,^ [i] 

Of Le Roy, Gexesee, Co., N. Y. 

410. I. Fraxcis Albert,*^ b. Oct. 16, 1846, d. Jan. 8, 1857. 

411. II. Bell,« b. May 28, 1848. 


Arnold Wilkinson^ ^ [207] Jeptha,^ [82] Jeri:mi.\h,^[i9] 

AND V JoHN,^ [4] LaWREiXCK,^ [i] 

Amy Staples, j 

Of Providence, R. I. 

412. I. Bkx. Green,*^ (648-652) b. June 30, i<Sii. 

413. II. Harriett,** b. Feb. 9, 1S14. 

414. III. Mary Ann,« b. Mar. 26,1817. 

415. IV. James A:ivroLD,\653-655) b. Jan. 14, 1819. 

416. V. Amy Ann,*^^ b. Oct. 6, 1820. 

417. VI. Lafayette,'' (656-657) b. Mar. 8, 1S24. 

418. VII. Avery,** b. Nov. 25, 1829. 

419. VIII. Pliny Earl,** b. Feb. 28,1831. 

I. Ben Grkene, married ist Elmira Bachelder; 2d Maria 
Bowers ; 3d Maria Skinner. He has three children by his last 
wife, — resides Towanda, Cataraugus, Co., N. Y. 

II. Harriett, married Benjamin Hathaway, has resided in 
Providence, R. I. Their children : 

(i) Harriett Ahn'ira^ b. Dec. 7, 1836, m, Levi L. Burdon, of 
Providence, has one child Benjamin H, (2) Elizabeth LeiL\ b. 
Julv 31, 1842. 

III. Mary Ann, married ist, Joseph Brown; 2. James 
Bellinger, and resides in the State of New York. Thev have 
two children. 

IV. James Arnold, married Caroline Waterhouse, daughter 
of Chas. Waterhouse, of Maine, who was for many years clerk 
of the House of Representatives of Maine. Mr. Waterhouse is 
engineer and machinist in Fletcher's Manufacturing Co., of 
Providence, — a prompt, energetic, and reliable man, and 
understands his business. They have had three children. 

V. Amy Ann, married William Webster — residence 
Providence, R. I. Mr. Webster is dead. They have : 

(i) Emma^ b. March 31, 1846, m. Waldo Pearce, and have, 
Emma Louisa, r. Providence, R, I.-, (?) Grace^ b, Nov. 1854. 

VI. Lafayette, married Abby A. Healey, resides in 
Providence, R. I. He is a machinist, in Corlis & Nightingales' 


establishment, an excellent workman. They have two children. 

VII. Avery, married Ann Sanders, — lives No. 13, Martin 
St., Providence, R. I. No children. 

VIII. Pliny Earl, married Mary Ellen Lasell, resides in 
Providence, R. I. No children. 

NSOM WlLKIXSOX' "I [208] JePTHA,^ [82] JeI'EMIAH,^ 

AND ^[19] John,- [4] Lawkexce.^ [i] 



Of GiiEEXBusii, III. 

420. I. Names not furnished. 

421. II. 

Jeptha Avery WilkixsonM [209] Jeptha^[82]Jeremlah-' 

AND V[l9] JOHX,^ [4]* L\WRE.\CE.^ 

Sarah H. Gibson, j ['] 

Of London, Eng. 

422. I. Ellen H.,'^ b. June 16, 1828. 

423. II. Fredeiuck D.,*^ b. Aug. 13, 1829. 

424. III. Jkphtiia A.,*^ b. Feb. 26, 183 1. 

425. IV. Julia S.,** b. Aug. 21, 1832, d. Sept. 27, 1858. 

426. V. Emma xM./' b. Aug. 25, 1835. 

427. VI. ViCToiiiA J.,*^ b. Oct. 24, 1838. 

428. VII. Joseph A.,*^ b. 1840, d. voung. 

429. VIII. Charles,*^ b. i^^42, d. " 

430. IX. xA.lbert,'^ b. Feb. 27, 1844. 

431. X. Anawan,^ b. 1846, d. '' 

432. XI. Mary C," b, Nov. 8, 1848. 

433. XII. George E.,*^ b. 1850, d. " 

434. XIII. Florence A.," b. Jan. 8, 1852, d. Vlar. 5, 1857. 

435. XIV. Mary A.,« b. 1854. 

II. Frederick D., married Elizabeth Hawkins. He is a sea 
captain, and sails from the port of San Francisco, Cal. He is an 



expert navigator and a judicious captain. They have no children. 

V. E:\IMA M., married Nathan F. Turner, resides Bellport, 
L. I. 

IX. Albert was in the Union Army during the Great 
Rebellion. He went out in 145th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers 
and served 18 months, and was in the battles of Chancellorsvilie 
and Gettysburg. He is a young man of fine talent and great 


Tames VVilkinsonM [220] Israel,^ [100] I^^RAel,^ [29] 
AND y Samuel,''^ [8] Samuel/ [2] Lawrence.' 

Vienna Shkldon, j [i] 

Of Smithfield, R, I. 

436. I. Silence,' b. May 8, 181 1. 

437. II. Laura/ b. Oct. 8, 1812, d. iMar. 8, 1854. 

438. III. Hannah,' b. Apr. 8, 18 14. 

439. IV. Amasa C.,' (658-662)b. Dec. 2, i8i5,d. Feb 7,1849. 

440. V. Oeville Chapin,' (663-668) b. Jan. 17, 1818. 

441. VI. James,' b. Oct. 27, 1819, d. Sep. 6, 1821. 

442. VII. Israel,' (669-677) b. July 11, 1821. 

443. VIII. Mary Minerva,^ b. Feb. 7,1823. 

444. IX. James Elliott,^ b. Nov. 4, 1824. 

445. X. Vienna Sheldon/ b. Sept. 9,1826. 

446. XI. William Sheldon,^ b. July 2, i828,d. Jan. 20, 1851. 

447. XII. Simon,' b. Apr. 16, 1830, d. Aug 27, 1852. 

448. XIII. Asa Williams,^ b. Feb. 23, 1832. 

449. XIV. Abigail,' b. May 8,1834. 

450. XV. LuciNA,' b. Oct. 28, 1837. 


II ENCE married Mar. i, 1838, Orlando J. Odell, of New 
Berlin, Chenango Co., N. Y. He was a farmer, and in 

1 844, moved to Vergennes, Kent Co., Mich., where he purchased 
a tract of land which he cleared, and sowed to grain. The year 



of the Crimean war lie took about ."J^iooo for his wheat crop. 
He was Postmaster and supervisor, and held several town offices. 
He died Sept. 7, i860, greatly lamented by all who knew him. 

Their children are : 

(i) Adelbert^ b. April 2, 1839, r. Vergennes, Mich. 

{2) Jbhy Le Rue^h. May 6, 1 844, m. Aug. g. 1862, Isaac 
Brock Malcolm. He is a physician ot considerable practice and 
skill, and is rapidly gaining the confidence of the people. Thcv 
reside in Lowell, Mich. They have two children — Robelle, b. 
May (S, 1863, and Frederick Albert, b. Aug. 31, 1865. 

(3) S'nneon Ja?nes^ b. March 21, '847, studied medicine with 
Mr. Evander Odell, his uncle, and is at present in a drug store 
at Grand Rapids, Mich. 

n. Laura, married Job Wilcox Kinvon, of New Berlin, N. 
Y. He is a farmer, and in 1856, after the death of his wife 
moved to Lowell, Mich., where he now resides. Laura died 
of spotted fever, in Sherburne, Chenango Co., N. Y., and is 
buried in the Episcopal Church yard at Smithfield. Their children 
are : 

(i) Joseph^ b. Oct. 26, 1834, m. July 9, 1854, iMargery 
Shepherd of Gait, C. W., and has four children, — Laura A., b. 
April 18, 1855 -, Orlando J., b. Feb. 12, I 857 ■■, Florence, b. 
Mav 26, i860 ; Jane Elizabeth, b. Dec. 24, 1866. He was in 
the Union Army during the Great Rebellion, and fought some 
of the most terrific battles of that desperate struggle. He enlisted 
in Co.|I. 26th Mich. Infantry, Aug. 9, 1 862, and was in the 
following battles, Black Water, Mine Run, Wilderness, Corbin's 
Bridge, Po River, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Talopotomy, Coal 
Harbor, Petersburg (i 864), Deep Bottom, Strawberry Plains, 
Ream's Station, Petersburg (1865), Amelia Springs, Appomatax 
Court House, &c., and was honorably discharged June 4th, I 865. 
He deserves well of his country, and is justly entitled to the name 
of veteran soldier, (2) James Wilkinson^ b. July 7, 1836, d. Nov. 2, 


I ^^39 5 (3) Marion IV. b. Feb. 26, I .S38, in. Aug. I 862, Noah 
Birch, has, Willie, b. Jan. I o, I 865, r. near Lowell, Mich. ; (4) 
James, b. June 1 o, i 840, d. Oct, 12, 1 ^59 ; (5) Ruth.^ b. April 14, 
I 842, d. Jan. 1 1, I 862 ; (6) Job Wilcox., b Jan. 7, I S45, enlisted 
Feb. I 865, in Co, I,, 26th Reg. Mich. Infantry and was in the 
battles at Petersburg, Amelia Springs, Sailor's Creeic, Farmville 
and Appomatax Court House. He was seized with Army fever 
and diarrhea and died June 22, I 865, at Camp Curtin Hospital, 
Harrisburg, Pa. He had been discharged, June 4, but never 
reached home. 

" Call me not when bugles sound, 
Call me not when wine flows round ; 
Name me but amidst the brave; 
Give me but a soldier's grave." 

(7) William^ b. June 20, I 817. 

HI. Hamnah, married Alvers Benson of Providence, R. I. 
He was a skillful mechanic, and moved to New York and was 
engaged in R. M Hoe's great establishment. He was killed by 
the falling of an elevator in one of the large printing offices. 
Mr. Benson was a member of the United Independant Artillery 
of Providence, and rose through all the grades of office to the 
rank of colonel of that ancient and honorable military corps. In 
largest practice he had few equals, and took the silver medal 
prize Sept. 24, I 825, awarded by the commander. Col. Hodges. 
His commission as Lieutenant, was from Gov. James Fenner, 
bearing date May I o, I 830, and as colonel, from Gov. Lemuel H. 
Arnold, dated June 25, r 832. He was highly esteemed by all 
who knew him for his honesty and gentlemanly bearing, and his 
extreme anxiety to please everybody. The sad news of his 
sudden death carried sorrow to many a heart. 

They have^one child : 

(i) Huldah Ann., b. June 27, 1837, m. Charles Hawkins. 
He has for many years been press foreman in the New York 
Herald offi.ct., and is esteemed for his punctuality and promptness 
in business, his firm integrity, and his obliging disposition, and 


inimitable good humor. They have one child, Charles, b. July 
7, I 859, resides with his grandmother Benson in Providence, 
R. I. Mr. Hawkins died in 1868. 

IV. Amasa Cook married Anna Jenks, of New Berlin, N. Y. 
He was eno;aged in agriculture, and while moving west with his 
family, was taken sick at Hulberton, Orleans Co., N. Y., and 
died very suddenly, aged "^3. He is buried at that place, a plain 
marble slab marks his grave. His wife was left with five children, 
the youngest being less than three weeks old. She went to West 
Kendall where she supported, and educated her children in a very 
creditable manner, two or three of them having been teachers. 
Ann and Amasa died of fever in I 863 within three days of each 
other. His widow married again, moved to Michigan, and died 
in 1866. Amasa held severil town offices, and was captain of a 
militia company. 

V. Or:viLLE Chapin married Cyrena Guile, of New Berlin, 
N. Y. He was educated at Oxford Academy, N. Y., is a 
farmer and lives near Sherburne, Chenango Co., N. Y. He 
has been honored with a number of town and county offices and 
in the military holds a major's commission. He volunteered 
during the Great Rebellion but did not get into active service. 
He is frequently called upon to attend Justices' Court as counsel, 
and is noted for his sound logical common sense. They have 
six children. His son Orville was in the Union Army three 
years, during the Rebellion. 

Vn. Israel was born in Smithfield, R. I., married Oct. 2 i, 
I 847, for his first wife Sophia Lathan Brown of Pawtucket. 
She was a relative of the Providence Browns. In 1854 she first 
experienced religion, and was baptized at Clarkville, Madison 
Co., N. Y., by the Rev. Wm. H. Card, and united with the 
Baptist Church in that place. She died at Port Byron, N. Y., 
June 21,1 859. The following are taken from the papers which 
noticed her death : 

" The deceased leaves a husband and six small children besides 
a large circle of friends to mourn her loss. A loss which will 


be long and deeply felt, both in the home circle, and throughout 
the entire community as she was a most estimable woman." — 
Port Byron Gazette. 

" From the time of her baptism to the day of her death her 
life was a living exemplification of religion. Her last counsel to 
her surviving sisters in Christ was, 'Sustain the prayer meeting;.' 
To her the praver meeting was a bethel. It may be said of her 
in truth, *• she hath done what she could.' Her sickness was short 
and painful — her exit peaceful and triumphant at the early age 
of 8, and she is now, — 

' Asleep in Jesus I Blessed sleep ! 
From which none ever wake to werp.' " 

Neiu York Chronic. 'e. 

At a meeting of the Baptist Society the following resolutions 
were adopted : 

"Wheras an all-wise Providence has called us to mourn the 
death of our highly esteemed sister, Sophia L. Wilkixsox, 
wife of our Pastor, Rev, Israel Wilkinson. Therefore: 

Resolved, That the summons which calls us to mourn the 
death of our dear sister, also announces the removal from the 
Church Militant to the Church Triumphant, one of its most 
exemplary and worthy members, and adrnonishes us who are 
spared, with an emphasis both solemn and impressive, that we 
be also ready for that final change that awaits us. 

Resolved^ That our deceased sister not only enjoyed in an 
eminent degree, the confidence and regard of the entire church, 
but of the whole community in which she lived. 

'None knew her but to love her;' 

and by a life characterized by strict integrity, and for the last few 
years of her life, that deep piety and practical christian character 
she haS richly merited the good name which she has left, as a 
priceless legacy to her companion and children. 

Resolved^ That we tender her bereaved husband and friends 
our deepest sympathies in their affliction and as a further 
manifestation of our regard for her, we cause a copy of the 
foregoing resolutions to be presented to Elder Wilkinson and 
also, to be published in the Port Bvron Gazette and New York 

She is buried in the cemetery at Port Byron. 


Mr. Wilkinson married, Oct. 2i, i860, Caroline Elizabeth 
Bonnev, daughter of Josiah S. and Parnell W. Bonney, of New 
Bedford, Mass. 

July 27, 1865, he received the Honorary degree of Master 
of Arts, from Union College. 

He is the author of the Memoirs — upon which work he 
bestowed six years labor. In 1867, he received the appointment 
of superintendent of schools of the city of Jacksonville, 111., to 
which place he moved Sept. 5th, 1867. 

VIII. Mary Minerva married Willis Aylsworth, of New 
Berlin, N. Y. They moved to Michigan and settled near 
Cannonsberg, Kent Co.. where Mr. Alysworth purchased a 
quarter section of land of the Government. It was a perfect 
wilderness at that time, but under the hand of cultivation it has 
been made to " blossom like the rose." Mr. Alysworth is an 
active business man, and a first-rate farmer, perfectly honest in 
all his dealings, and is much respected as a citizen. 

They have one child : 

(l) Mary Minerva, b. Feb. 6, 1845, m. Wm. G. Litle, 
resides at Cannon, Mich. 

IX. James Ei>liott, never married, he is a blacksmith and 
machinist, a first-rate workman, and resides in Cumberland, R. I. 
He owns a beautiful farm in Michigan, which he has never 

X. ViEXXA Sheldon was married at Danielsonville, Ct., Oct. 
21, 1847, to Lafayette Avery, of Preston, N. Y. They moved 
to Illinois, where Mr. Avery had an extensive ride, being a 
physician, but upon the death of his father, they returned to New 
York, and settled at South Otselic, Chenango Co. In i860 
they moved to LaGrange, Mo., where they now reside. Dr. 
Avery graduated at Geneva Medical College, and was a surgeon 
in the Union army during the Rebellion. 

They have had two children : 

(l) Vien7ja Sheldon^ b. Sept. 4, 1848, r. LaGrange, Mo. 


(2) Hubbard^ h. Oct. 14, 1 853, d. Nov. 2, 1862. 

XI. William Sheldon, never married. He was a great 
sufferer from earlv infancy, being afflicted with a white swelling, 
caused the amputation of one of his limbs above the knee at the 
age of five. He survived many years manifesting the greatest 
fortitude under the severest suffering. He loved the Savior, and 
would frequently sing his praises after he became blind and 
perfectlv helpless. He had a remarkable memory, and could 
repeat the casual conversation of persons weeks after it occurred. 
He died at Manville, R. I., and is buried in the family burying 
ground at the old homestead in Smithfield. 

Xn. Si.MON was born in Smithfield, R. I., was never married, 
recei\ed his education at Seekonk Seminary, went to Jacksonville, 
Ell., and engaged as a clerk in the mercantile business, and died 
shortly after he experienced a hope in the Savior. He is buried 
in the cemetery at Jacksonville in the family lot ot B, F. 

Xni. Asa Williams, was born in New Berlin, N. Y., 
studied medicine for a short time with Dr. Avery, and attended 
Lectures at New York Medical College. Being unable to pay 
the usual matriculation and admission fees, he was admmitted to 
the Labratory as an assistant in chemistry and in consequence 
he has become one of the best practical chemists in the United 
States. At present he holds a position as associate professor in 
the College of the city of New York, and also, in the Bellevue 
Hospital College. He is first assistant and constant attendant 
upon Prof. Doremus in all his great lectures at Cooper Institute 
and elsewhere, performing all his experiments with such accuracy 
as never to disappoint an audience in witnessing whatever is 
advertised in the programme. He has an extensive practice as a 
physician in New York City, and is master of his profession in 
every sense of the word. He is not married. 

XIV. Abigail married Wm. W. Weeden, and moved to 
Michigan. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion, he enlisted 



in the Michigan cavalry, and was in the service three years. He 
was in some of the severest battles of that terrible period, but 
was permitted to return to his family at the expiration of his term 
of service with life and health unimpaired. They moved to 
Arkansas after the war closed, and from thence to Memphis 
Tenn., thence to Cumberland, R. I., where they now reside. 
They have: 

(l) Jnna Laura^ b. i860; 2. Una Bell^ b. March 15, 1866. 

XV. LuciNA married Albert O. Razee of Cumberland, R. I. 
He is an active business man, and she one of the best of wive?. 
They have three children : 

(l) Frank J.. h.Yth. 9, i860; (2) Minnie y/,, b. April 9, 
1864 ; (3) Benjamin James^ b. 1867. 

They reside at Diamond Hill Plain, R. I. 

Some of the first nail machines ever invented in the world^ 
may be seen upon their premises, they being the original inventions 
of Jeremiah Wilkinson. 

Israel Wilkinson" ^ [221] Israel,' [100] Israel,^ [29J 
AND y Samuel,'^ [8] Samuel,- [2] 

Abigail Carpenter, j Lawrence.^ [i] 
Of Mendon, Mass. 

451. I. Alexander Thayer,' (678-686) b. June 10, 18 15. 

452. II. Edwin CARPENTER,'b. Oct. 19, i8i6,d. Oct, 27, 1817. 
452. III. LovisY Thayer,' b.Jan. 10,1819. 

543. IV. Silence JuDD,' b.Jan. 28,1821. 

I. Alexander Thayer, married for his first wife Maria 

He has been engaged in the mercantile business in Boston, 
Mass., and elsewhere, and also, in the Railroad business, and 
during the Rebellion he was Assistant or Deputy Collector of 
Internal Revenue at Worcester, Mass. He has held several 
public offices, and has been captain of a military company. His 
present residence is Milford, Mass. By his first wife he had 
nine children. 


He married secondly, Emily Morrison of Woonsocket, R. I. 

III. LovisY and Silence never married. They are firm 
friends of Freedom, and the cause of the oppressed and down-trodden 
slave finds in them ready and willing advocates. They are noted 
for their benevolence, and the interest they manifest in the welfare 
of their kindred, bespeaks their goodness of heart. 

Jacob Wilkinson®^ [222J Robert,^ [101] Israel,* [29] 
AND y Samuel,'' [8] Samuel,^ [2] Lawrence.^ 

Amy Streeter, j [i] 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

455. I. RiiODA,' b. Feb. 3, 1 801, d. 1866. 

456. II. Sabra,^ b. Mar. 18, 1803, d. Jan. 1861. 

I. Rhoda, married Willing Vose, and resided in Woonsocket, 
R. I. They have one child : 

(I) Julia, b. Feb. 17, 1829, m. Lewis L. Miller, r. Cumberland, 
R. I. 

II. Sabra married Aaron Vose, and moved to Steuben Co., 
N. Y. 

Their children are : 

(i) Lucia^ b. m. Elijah Holley. r. Thurston, N. Y. ; 

(2) Arlon^ b, m. Mary A. , r. Steuben Co., N. Y.-, 

(3) Mary^\i. m. Edmond Jones; (4) Robert, b. m. Amelia 

W^alker; (5) Amanda^ b. m. Newton Walker; (6) Emeline^ 

b. m. Amos Chatman ; (7) Jdin^ b. ; (8) Filena, b. ; 

(9) Rhoda, b. m. Alderman. 

Joseph Wilkinson,^ ^ [223] Robert,^ [ioi] Israel, 

Sarah NE^VMAN and H29] Samuel,^ [8] Samuel,^ [2] 
Mary Arnold, j Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

457. I. Mary Ann,"^ b. Feb. 14, 1808. 

458. II. Almira,' b. Nov. II, 1814, d. Jan. 25, 1840. 

459. III. Eliza," b. Feb, 27, 1817. 

460. IV. Sarah,' b. Feb. 6, 1823. 


I. Mary Anx, married Emor Coe, (son of Ephraim,) a 
merchant in Woonsocket and Providence for a number of years. 
He is now engaged in the manufacturing business for which 
Woonsocket is noted. His paternal ancestor came from England 
and settled at Newport in the early days of the Colony. A 
brother, who came with him, settled on Long Island. 

Mr. Coe is an early settler in Woonsocket, and remembers 
when all the business was carried on at the "Old Bank " — there 
being but two stores, two hotels, and about twenty dwellings in 
that vicinity, and none where Woonsocket now stands. Mr. 
and Mrs. Coe are worthy citizens, members of the Congregational 
Church, and greatly beloved by the community. Their children : 
(l) Lafayette Wilkinson., b. Sept 6, 1833, m. Abby Balcom, has, 
(i) Lillian Myra, b. May 8, 1859, d. March 17, 1863; (2) Lillian 
Myra, b. March 11, 1864, live in Woonsocket; (2) Abnira 
Washington., b. Oct. 17, 1835, d. Oct. 5, 1855. 

n. Almira was born in Smithfield at the old homestead near 
Mott's dam on the Blackstone River. At the age of twenty-three. 
Sept, 4, 1837 she married John Buffum, a merchant of 
Woonsocket, R. L, now in California. After their marriage 
they moved to Alton, 111., where he engaged in business. They 
have one child, Almira Wilkinson, b. Nov. g, 1839. Her 
mother dying when she was but six months old, her grandfather, 
Joseph Wilkinson sent lor and brought her to Rhode Island, 
and made her one of his devisees. She married Franklin 
Arnold Steeke, jeweller, of Providence. Mr. Steere is a lineal 
descendant of John Steere whose name appears upon the first 
town book 1645, in company with Lawrence Wilkinson, and 
who married Hannah Wickenden, sister of Plain, Samuel 
Wilkinson's wife, and daughter of Rev. William Wickenden, 

They have: (i) Myra Adelaide., b. March li, j86o, d. Aug, 
15, i860; (2) Joseph Wilkinson., b. Jan. 19, 1862 ; (3) Franklin 
Arnold., b. May 5, 1866. Residence two miles from Providence 
on the Pawtucket Turnpike, at a place called " Wayland." 


The death of" Almira at the early age of twenty-six, far from 
friends and home, being the first and only death among the 
children of Joseph, was a severe affliction. She was loved by 
all who knew her. Her mortal remains repose at Alton, 111., 
upon the bluffs that overlook the majestic Mississippi. 

" There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow, 
There the first roses of the year shall blow 5 
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade 
The ground now sacred by thy reliques made." 

III. Eliza, married Edward Gould Buffum, and resides in 
Woonsocket. He has been quite a traveler, and is now in 
Europe, a correspondent of the A^^zc York Herald. Mrs. Buffum 
is characterized by versatility of mind, and more than ordinary 
intelligence, — writes a good newspaper article in prose or poetry, 
and manages her own ailairs with considerable shrewdness. She 
is a member of the Episcopal Church. Thev have no children. 

Harper & Brothers have just published a handsome 12 mo. 
volume entitled " Sights and sensations in France, Germany, and 
Switizerland" consisting of a series of charming sketches, 
embodying the experiences of Edward G. Buffum, a veteran 
American journalist, who for many years resided in Europe. 
A sketch of his life bv Wm. A. Gould appears in the book. 
" We have not for many a dav " says Appleton's 'Journal July 17, 
1869, " met with a more tender and touching sketch than Mr. 
Buffum's 'My neighbor, Little Agla, the Flower-maker.'" 

IV. Sarah married Thomas Steere of Norwich, Chenango 
Co., N. Y. He was born March 31, 1819, moved with his 
parents to Michigan where he read law in the office of William 
Fenton of Fentonville. He subsequently returned east, and 
engaged as clerk in Providence, R. I. Here he formed the 
acquaintance of Miss Wilkinson to whom he was married at her 
father's residence, July 2, 1844. Resuming the study of law 
he was admitted to practice in the state of Rhode Island. He 
was elected a member of the Legislature, and chosen Speaker of 
the House, which position he filled with credit to himself. 
During the administration of President Pierce (?) he received the 


appointment of consul to Scotland residing at Dundee, which 
office he held four years His services were duly appreciated, am! 
application was made by the chamber of commerce, and the 
member of Parliament, signed by a large number of the most 
influential men of Dundee for his return, but another appointment 
had been made previous to his arrival in America. 

At the breaking out of the Rebellion, Mr. Steere was among 
the first to engage in its suppression. He went as first Lieutenant 
in the first R. I. Regiment,* and participated in the Bull Run 

During the past two years he has edited the Providence Post, 
and continues the practice of law. He is a good lawyer, spirited 
writer, and an able speaker, and possesses one of the best private 
libraries in Rhode Island. 

Mrs. Steere is worthy her spouse, managing well her affairs in 
her husband's absence — governing her household with prudence 
and guiding her off^spring in the path of virtue. They are members 
of the Congregational Church. They have, (^\) Frank^h.^ 1848, 
d. at the age of three months ; (2) Mary Adelaide b. March 8, 
1850, resides at Woonsockct, R. I. 

David Wilkinson,M [229] Robert,^ ['oO Israel,* [29] 
Lucy Capron, and > Samuel,* [8] Samuel^ [2] Lawrence.^ 
Thankful Sayles, j [i] 

Of Smithfield, R. L 

461. L Abby Ann,' b. Nov. i, 1810, d. Aug. 7, 1837. 

462. n. Lucy Capron,'^ b, April 29, 1814. 

463. in. Robert Smith,' (686-689) b. Feb. 19, 1817.* 

464. IV. Mary Lapiiam,' b. Jan. 7, 18 19, d. June 5, i 842. 

465. V. Joanna Sayles,"^ b. Mar. 29, i 820. 

466. VI. Julia Emma,' b. Oct. 13, i 82 i, d. April 8, i 848. 

467. VII. William Scott,' (690-692) b. Mar. 26, 1823. 

468. VIII. Amanda Malvina,' b. Mar. 12, 1825. 

*Vide. I Record of the Rebellion, p. 125. 


469. IX, David LAWRENCE,"(693-694)b. Oct. 6, 1826. 

470. X. Adelia Ballou," b. Mar. 25, 1 828. 

471. XL Thankful Sayles,' b. July 9, 183 1. 

I. Abbv Ann, married Caleb Bryant of Woonsocket, R. I. 
She was a person of great vivacity of character, and was much 
Joved by her acquaintances. 

Their children ; 

(l) Abhy Jnn, b. July 3, 1833, d. July 3, 1833; (2) Caleb 
Leonides.^ b. April 28, I 835, d. Aug. 23, I 835 ; (3) Julia Ann^ 
b. July 17, 1837, d. July I 7, 1837. 

These with their mother are buried in the family burying 
ground in Smithfield. As we gaze upon the little graves we are 
reminded of the touching words of Colridge : 

" Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade 
Death came with friendly care 
The opening buds to Heaven conveyed 
And bade them blossom there." 

II. Lucy Caption was born in Smithfield, R. I., at the 
homestead, married, first., Barton Cook of Cumberland, a very 
worthy man. They lived for a number of vears on Cumberland 
Hill, and had : 

(i) Joseph B., b. June 15, 1837, m. Elizabeth Congdon 
resided at ^VoOnsocket, R. L, died Dec. 14, I 863 ; (2) Estella 
Geraldine^ b. July 7, I 839, d. July 18, i 840 ; (3) Alice O., b. June 
27, I 842, m. Frank Alderman, died June r I 857 ; (4) Annette^ 
b. June 9, I 844, d. June 30, 1 844. 

Lucy has been thrice married, her second husband was Otis 
Lovett, and the third is not remembered. Her family are all 
dead. How sad the thought ! 

" The dead are in their silent graves, 
And the dew is cold above, 
And the living weep and sigh - 
O'er dust that once was love." 

III. Robert Smith, m. Aug. 18, i 84 i, Mariah Morrison of 
Woonsocket, R. I. He has been engaged in the mercantile 
business, and has lived in Clyde and Newark, N. Y. His present 
residence is Milford, Mass. He is an active business man, and is 


highly respected for his honesty and veracity. He has three 
children. His wife died during child-birth I 866 or 7. 

IV. Mary Lapham, married John O. Sayles, a descendant 
o*^" the Sayles who married the oldest daughter of Roger Williams. 
She was an estimable young lady, and was loved by all who kne.v 
her for her amiability. Her early death opened the crystal 
fountains in many eves. She had one child : 

( I ) Jobfi IVilkinsou, b. April T 842, married . 

He was in the Union army during the Great Rebellion, 

V. Joanna S.wLEs, married, March i 7, 1842, Elbridge G. 
Cook. He is a successful business man, resides in Milford, Mass., 
but his place of business is Boston, 

Their children are ; 

(l) Jgnes Lucy^ b. Dec. 21, I 843 ; (2) Orville IVhipple^ b. 
Jan. I, I 846 ; (3) Revile Ford., b, March i 9, 1 848 ; (4) Eva 
IVilkinson., b. July 14, I 850 ; (5) Elbridge Gerry ^ b. March i 4, 
I 860 ; (6) Earle David^ b. Nov, I, i 86 1. All reside in Milford, 

VI. Jui.iA, married Samuel Ford, and lived in Newark, 
Wayne Co., N. Y. She died at child-birth. 

" The Angel of the Covenant 
Was come, and, faithful to his promise, stood 
Prepared to walk with her thro' death's dark vale. 
' And now her eyes grew bright, and brighter still. 

Too bright for ours to look upon, sulfused 
With many tears, and closed without a cloud. 
They set as sets the morning-star, which goes 
Not down behind the darkened west, nor hides 
Obscured among the tempests of the sky 
But melts away into the light of heaven." 

VII. William Scott, married April 27, i84<S, Laura C. 
Paine, He keeps a market in Milford, Mass, He is an 
energetic man in business, and is highly esteemed by the 
community. They have three children. 

VIII. Amanda Malvina has never married. She resides at 
Milford, Mass., but spends much of her time in Boston, 

IX. David Lawrence, married, June 15, 1853, Sarah L. 
Turtelott. They reside in Milford, Mass., and have two 

JANE WILKINSON. [479] 265 

children. He well maintains the name of his honored ancestor. 

X. Adelta Ballou married Samuel Ford, her elder sister's 
former husband. They have resided in Clyde and Newark, 
Wavne Co., N. Y., but at present their residence is Brooklyn, 
N. Y. Mr. Ford is a merchant. Thev have five children : 

(i) Henry Lawrence; (2) Francis EU-za \ (3) Sa7nuel \ (4) 
Earnest ; (5) Adel'ia Bartha. 

XI. Thankful Sayles, married Amaria A. Taft, and resides 
in Milford, Mass. They have one child: 

(i) Jesse .1., b. Feb. 8, 1 857. at Mendon, Mass. 

Isaac Wilkinson^ "| [232] David,^ [^03] Israel,* [29] 
AND > [Samuel^ [8] Samuel^' [2] Lawrence.^ 

Hannah Streeter, j [i] 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

472. I. David Streeter,' (695) b. Feb. 29, 1820. 

473. II. Lydia, b, Nov. 18, i.s?i, d Oct. 3, 1824. 

474. III. Hannah M.,^ b, Dec. 16, 1823. 

475. IV. Lsaac Randolph,' (696-699) b. Apr. 21, 1826. 

476. V. George,' b. June 18, 1828, d. Dec. 10, 1830. 

477. VI. James,' b. Aug. 18, 1831, d. Sept. 21, 1832 

478. VII. Francis B.,' b. Dec. 30, 1834, d. Jan. 16, 1840, 

I. David Streeter, married Almaria Hendrick, they live in 
Smithfield. R. I, He is a farmer. 

II. Isaac Randolph, married Eliza Arnold. 

He is engaged in mercantile business in Pawtucket, R. I, He 
is scrupulously honest in all his dealings, and is highly respected 
bv the communitv. Thev have four children. 

Nsox,M [236] JoHN,^ [109] John,* [40] 
\ JoHN,^[9] Samuel,^ [2] Lawrence.^ 

Abraham Wilkin; 

AND Y . 

Mary Twining, J [j] 

Of Warwick, Bucks' Co., Pa. 
479. I. Jane," b. Oct. 10, 1800, d. July 30, 1830. 



480. 11. John/ b. d. Sept. 3, 1822. 

481. III. Abraham,^ b. Oct. 5, 1805, d. Jan. 28, 1848. 

482. IV. Samuel T.J(700-7)b. Nov. 29, 1810, d. Apr. 26, 1867. 

483. V. ELEAZERj(7o8-7i3)b. April 7, i8i2,d. Mar. 20, 1855. 

IV. Samuel T. married, June 24, 1841, Caroline L. Simpson. 
They have four children. She was born Dec. 14th, 18 14, and 
died Aug. 30, 1848. For his second wife, Mr. Wilkinson 
married, Dec. 13, 1849, J^^^'^ Simpson, who was born, May 5, 
1820. They also, have four children. 

It was through Mr. Wilkinson that the author discovered the 
Pennsylvania branch of the family, and by his faithful 
correspondence many important and interesting facts have been 
elicited. He holds to the faith of his ancestors, and is a member 
of the Friends meeting at AVrightstown, Bucks Co., Pa. In 1700 
or thereabouts, his great great grandfather left Rhode Island, and 
eventually settled in Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly for a time 
correspondence was kept up between the cousins, but as time 
rolled away communication ceased, and for more than 100 years 
all knowledge of the relatives was entirely forgotten. Now 
communication is opened again and acquaintance renewed, and 
a sympathy manifested that only the ties of consanguinity could 
awaken. Samuel died suddenly after a brief sickness of four or 
five days. He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent parent 
and posssessed a heart filled with love and charity for every one. 

V. Eleazer, married June 12, 1843, Mary Ann Twining 
who was born June 15, 18 14. They have a family of six children, 
and reside at Warwick, Bucks Co., Penn. He is a farmer, 
belongs to the Society of Friends, and is a very worthy man. 

Samuel Wilkinson^ ^ [248] Rhodes,^ [^23] Benjamin,* 
AND H46] Joseph,' [ii] Samuel,^ [2] 

Maria Bradforde, j Lawrence.^ [i] 
Of Woodstock., Ct. 

484. I. Mary," married a Phillips, resides in Woodstock, Ct. 
The name of Wilkinson is extinct in this line. 


William Henry WiLKiNso>;'1 [263] William,'^ [127] 
AND > Benjamin-* [46]JosEPH^[i i] 

Sarah Snelling Drew, j Samuel^[2] Lawrence. ^[i] 

Of Providence, R. I. 

485. I. William,' b. June 19, 1849, d. Dec. 19, 1856. 

486. II. Sarah Drew,' b. Mar. 11, 1851, 

487. Ill, Eliza,' b. April 13, 1853, <^- ^^^y ^9^ '854. 

Brownell Wilkinson^'^ [268] Joseph,^ [^SO Joseph,* 
AND I [50] Joseph,^ [ii] Samuel,' [2] 

Tabitha Thomas, and )- Lawrence.^ [i] 
Maria Spaulding and | 
Sarah Phillips, j 

First Wife. 

488. L Thomas Knight,''(7I4-7I7) b. Jan. 10, 1804, d. 

489. II. Amy Harriet,' b. Aug. 2, 1805, d. 

490. III. Jame? TnAYER,'(7iS-72i) b. Sept. 2, 1807, d. 

491. IV. Susan Ann,'' b, Nov. i^, 1809, d. 

492. V. William Field,"^ (722)b. Mar. 2, 181 1, d. i860 or 1 .? 
93. VI. Charles B.,' b. Nov. 22, 1814, d. Feb. 23, 1824. 

Third Wife. 

494. VII. Charles D. W. C," (723) b. April 21, 1830, d. 

495. VIII. Tabitha Caroline,' b. April 30, 1832, d, 

496. IX. John Brownell,' b. Mar. 5, 1835, d. Aug. 29, 1835. 

497. X. Sarah Elizabeth,' b. Mar. 25, 1839, d. 

498. XL Mary Haxnah,' b. Mar. i, 1841, d. 

I. Thomas Knight married Lydia Salisburg, and lives in 
Waterville, Oneida Co.,N. Y. He was a machinist and worked 
at his trade, and was superintendent of the cotton and woolen 
mills in Waterville, until Julv, 1 85 I, when he lost his right 
fore-arm by being entangled in the machinery. In April, 1852, 
he was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace of the town 
of Sangerfield which office he resigned in i 853. In April, 1853, 
he received from President Pierce the appointment of postmaster 
at Waterville, Wliich positon he now holds. 


II. Amy Hariuet married Abijah S. Perry of Chicago, 111., 
where she now resides, her husband having died several years 
since. They had : 

(i) Charles; (2) Delia; (3) William. 

Ill James Thayer, married Electa E. Allen, daughter of 
Thomas and Matilda (Brown) of Hartford, Ct. He is a house 
painter and lives in Lockport, N. Y. — has been adjutant, 
quartermaster and paymaster in the military service. They came 
^o Lockport in 1835. Has a family. 

IV. Susan Ann, married Adin Harrington, a carpenter by 
trade. They live in Norwich, Chenango Co., N. Y, 

Their children are : 

(l ) Cornelia ; (2) Susan. 

V. William Field, married Athalia Tucker. 

He was a merchant at Reynales Basin, Niagara Co., N. Y. 
He moved to Lockport, and died leaving a , widow and one 

VII. Charles DeWitt Clinton is an actor, and the only 
one in the great family in America. Most every trade in the 
mechanic arts, every profession, lawyer, doctor, minister, teacher, 
and every department in commercial and mercantile pursuits, are 
represented, but very few have acquired much notoriety in the 
fine arts as artists, or as authors. He is a comedian of fair talent, 
and played in I 864, in Leavenworth, Kansas, New Orleans and 
Cincinnati, in company with Miss Gladsten, an actress of 
considerable repute. 

He was at one time lessee and manager of the Detriot Theatre, 
Mich., and also of the Worcester Theatre, Mass. 

He is the oldest son of Brownell by his third wife, and has been 
married and has one child. 

For other facts concerning him, see Biography No. 

X. Sarah Elizabeth was married by the Rev. J. Banvard, 
Sept. I , I g62, to Henry G. Longly of Worcester, Mass. He 
was a worthy young man, highly respected by the community 


and honorable in all his dealings. He was engaged in the 
mercantile business in the empioy of "Jenkins^ Ha7nilt07i & Co.^ 
and just previous to his marriage he enlisted in the 5 i st Mass. 
Regiment, and went forth with that band of patriots to put down 
the slaveholders' Rebellion. At Nevvburn, N. C, he fell a 
sacrifice upon the altar of his country. His remains were brought 
to Worcester, and interred with military honors. 

The following extract from a letter of condolence to his wife 
from his Lieut, shows the esteem in which he was held by his 
fellow soldiers : 

"Henry is gone ! while we cannot but mourn deeply his loss, 
for he was very near the hearts of every one of us, being of a 
most happy and cheerful disposition, always kind and ready to 
make every one's burden lighter with willing hands' and pleasant 
words, we ought not to feel there is no comfort for us. It is a 
comfort to think that kind friends surrounded him during his last 
hours, and administered all that human wisdom could devise for 
his wants — it is a comfort to know that he was beloved by all his 

A Worcester paper contained the following: — "The funeral 
of H. G. Longley of company C, fifty-first Mass. Regiment, 
will take place this afternoon, at two o'clock, from the third 
Baptist Church. 

Mr. Longley was about twenty-one years of age, and prior 
to his sickness was one of the stoutest and healthiest men in 
the regiment. His comrades all loved him, and deeply feel his 
loss, and lament his early death. His ardent patriotism alone 
led him to abandon a good situation at Jenkins, Hamilton & 
Co.'s and enlist. He was noble and generous, strictly jubt, 
honorable and manly in his business and social relations, and 
was warmly attached to his friends. He leaves a wife, to whom 
he was married soon after his enlistment." 

Mrs. Longley still resides in Worcester, with her mother, and 
her sisters Tabitha Caroline and Mary Hannah. 


Almadus Wilkinson '^ [269] Joseph,^ [131] Joseph,^ 
AND /-[so] Joseph,^ [ii] Samukl,^ [2] 

Makgaret Magee, J Lawrence,^ [i] 

Of Pkovidence, R. I. 

499. I. Mary Ann/ b. Feb. 10,1812. 

500. II. George Perkins,^ b. Jan. 4, i 814, d. Jan. i, 1857. 

501. III. Joseph Brownell, (724-726) b. Oct. 7,1817. 

502. IV. Marinda Sophronia,'' b. Dec. 22, i 825, 
. V. Andrew Jackson,"^ (727-731) b. May 20, 1830, 

I. Mary Ann, married, Aug. 31,1 846, Anthony Lawton, 
of Newport, R. I. His ancestors are of the highest respectability, 
he being descended in both the paternal and maternal line, from 
the English gentry. They were early in this country, and the 
present representatives well maintain the dignity of their ancestry. 
He is a clothing merchant in the city of Troy, and the following 
extracts from an article in the Albany County Democrat show the 
estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens. "About 
eighteen years since the subject of this sketch, who is a relative 
of the Messrs. Wilkinson, and a Rhode Islander, came to the 
city of Troy with a firm and determined resolution to win success 
in an establishment of this character. He at once engaged in it 
with energy, firmness, and resolution. He engages in nothing by 
the halves, such men rarely fail. Failure is not a word to be 
found in his vocabulary of business life. Circumstances may 
sometimes disappoint the earnest hopes and calculations, but this 
only arms such men as Mr. Lawton with fresh energy and courage, 
and they renew the effort with a spirit unbroken, and an energy 
r.nsubdued. Firmness and decision are the distinguishing traits 
o{ his character. He has succeeded in winning rank and distinction 
as a good business man, and in securing the reward that is due to 
industry, economy and devotion to business." * * Mr. 
Lawton is an intelligent gentleman, fair and honorable in his 
dealings, and pursues a course which justly entitles him to the 
esteem of his fellow citizens. " He is an active, influential, 
jading Republican, and we belong to a dillerent school ; but that 


has nothing to do with his character as a business man, or a good 
citizen. He is entitled to the enjoyment of his opinion as we 
claim we are to ours. These differences should never be permitted 
to interfere with the social or business relations of life. Our 
different views in politics is no reason for v/ithholding from him 
that justice which is due to his merit as a business man and a 
good citizen." 

This favorable notice from a political antagonist illustrates a 
trait of Mr. Lawton's character. Frank, out-spoken and genial 
he seldom gives off^ence even to his most earnest opponents. 
They respect his honesty. The author of the above articles 
continues : — " His ancestors were highly respectable and 
distinguished citizens of the patriotic state of Rhode Island — they 
were among its early settlers and contributed their full share of 
influence in giving character to that industrious little state. 
Industry, economy and devotion to business has ever been the 
distinguished traits of character of its citizens, and it has sent out 
its full share of voung and enterprising sons to carry those habits 
of industry and economy to every state in the Union." Our 
space forbids a more extended notice, though the subject could be 
pursued with profit. They have one child: 

I. George Perkins born Aug. 19, 1847 in the city of Albany, 
N. Y., and is now a member of "William's College, having 
entered the institution in 1864. He was appointed one of the 
moon-light speakers at the commencement of i 866. 

II. George Perkins, was born in Scituate, R. I., and moved 
to Troy, N. Y., in I 842, and in company with his brother 
Joseph B. who had made previous arrangements at Troy, opened 
a cash retail clothing store, i 54 River street, with a capital of 
about two or three thousand dollars.* They were pioneers in 
the ready made clothing trade in Troy, and managing their affairs 
with prudence they met with good success. In 1 843 the partnership 
existing between George and his brother, Joseph, was dissolved, 
and the former continued the business some years on his own 

*See Freedjey's Leading Men and Leading Persuits, p. 137. 


responsibility adhering to the cash principle. In 1849, finding 
his capital increased to about .^20,000, he commenced selling 
goods to the trade at wholesale with the usual credit. This proved 
successful, and in 1854, his brother A. J. AVilkinson was admitted 
a partner, contributing both capital and experience to the common 
stock. They employed about one hundred hands in their 
manufactory, and in their warehouse, seven men are employed 
with the partners at the head, giving attention to the general 
supervision, as well as to the details of the concern. In I 854V 
their sales reached, and steadily increased to ."iji 100,000. 
per annum. Capital invested $40,000. George never married, 
died in the prime of life aged 43. He is buried in the cemeterv 
at Troy. 

III. Joi^EPH Browxell, married, Sept. 2, i 844, Sarah Shafer, 
of West Troy. He is a clothing merchant in Trov, N. Y., and 
has been successful in his mercantile enterprises. Mr. and Mrs. 
Wilkinson are both members of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Dr. 
Potter, Rector, Mr. Wilkinson being a member of the vestry. 
They have had three children. 

For a more extended notice see Biography No. 

IV. Marinda Sophronia, married, Jan. 10, 1848, Edward 
S. Randall of Rhode Island, and moved to Trov, N. Y., where 
they now reside. Mr. Randall is a clothing merchant and is doing 
a good business. 

An article in a Troy paper contains the following notice of 
Mr. Randall: " He came to this city about eighteen years ago, 
an adventurer in pursuit of fortune, with forty dollars capital. 
With him came a young Wilkinson with a capital of one hundred 
dollars. Without any practical knowledge of the clothing 
business, but energetic, enterprising, industrious, and economical, . 
and confident in his ability to succeed in whatever business hd 
should give his attention ; with resolution and such habits, he 
launched boldly his little barque upon the turbulent waters of a 
business life in the city, and selected this class of business in 


connection with young Wilkinson. As a first step to secure 
success he resolved to attend to his concern himself; to be the 
purchaser, salesman, book-keeper, and cashier, having no small 
army of subalterns to eat up all his earnings, and hence all made 
would be their own bevond what was paid out for materials and 
to operatives and the necessary expenses of the establishment. 
This resolution he has adhered to, to the present time. Such 
men merit success, aud they rarely fail of accomplishing it." 
His habits secured credit, and he has witnessed a yearly increase 
in trade and profits. " He remained with Mr. Wilkinson about 
two years, when they dissolved partnership, and he continued 
business in his own name, adhering to his habits of industry, 
economy and devotion to business and preserving his credit 
unshaken. He has prosecuted it with that reasonable success 
that is f.-ertain in the end of gi\ing him all that the most rational 
ambition can hope or wish. Such men we esteem, and it gives 
us pleasure to witness and chronicle their success." 

When we witness the success of these young men it should 
stimulate others to imitate their example and build a monument 
that shall entitle them to the respect and consideration of the 

Their children are : 

(i) HeleTi Frances.^ b. July, 7, 1849; (2) Frederic IV. .^ b. 
iMarch 31, i 85 l ; (3) Ferdinand., b. June 28, 1 853 ; (4) George 
Wilkinson^ b. Dec. 3 1, i860. 

V. Andrew Jackson, was married, July 13, 1859, to Martha 
Willia Thompson of Kentucky. Has had five children. He is 
a druggist in Keokuk, Iowa, and has been greatly prospered in 
business. He has been quite a traveler, making the tour of 
Europe, is a fine writer, an easy speaker, and a first class business 

See Biography. 



George Wilkinson^ ^ [274] Geouge,"^ [138] William,* 
AND H57] JosKPJi,^ [11] Samuel,- [2] 

Rhoda Woodward, J Lawrence.^ [i] 
Of Hartford, Ct. 

504. I. Harriet,'^ b. Dec. 24, 1835. 

505. II. Lewis,'^ b. May 5, 1837. 

506. III. George,'^ b. Mar. 16, 1840. 

507. IV. Jane Bayley," b. June 18, 1855, d. Aug. 15, 1854. 

I. Harriet married Albert Pike and resides in Philadelphia. 

II. Lewis married Anna Huntington, keeps a livery stable in 
Boston, Mass. 

George Wilkinson®^ [276] Stephen,^ ['4^] William,'* 
AND /-[s?] Joseph,^ [ii] Samuel,^ [2] 

Julia A. Manton, j Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Tiskilwa, Bureau Co., III. 

508. I. Marshall S.,' (732-735) b. Aug. 31, 1829. 

509. II. Lyman J.,' (73^-737) b. Aug. 17, 1833. 

510. III. Orrin," b. Sept. 27, 1836. 

511. IV. Betsey M.,' b. Jan. 28, 1837, d. Aug. 27, 1840. 

512. V. Charles H.,"* b. Dec. 10, 1841. 

513. VI. Mary Jane,' b. Dec. 10, 1844. 

514. VII. Manton,^ b. Sept. 22, 1849, ^- Oct. 13, 1849. 

515. VIII. William,' b. Jan. 24, 1851, d. Aug. 3, 1S53. 

I. Marshall S. married Clarissa Demott, resides at Tiskilwa, 
Bureau Co., 111. 

II. Lyman J. married Emeline Storms, resides at Tiskilwa, 

III. Orrin married ist, Margaret Welsh who died June 17, 
1863, 2d, Sarah Smith. 

VI. Mary Jane married William Smith, lives in Tiskilwa, 
Bureau Co., 111. 


Nelson Wilkinson^ ~| [277] Stephen,^ [hO William,* 
AND ,'[57] Joseph,^ [11] Samuel,' [2] 

Elizabeth Niles, J Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Buda, Bureau Co., III. 

516. I. Smith,' b. Alai". 15, 1S42, d. June 16, 1842. 

517. 11. Sarah A.,' b. Dec. 29, 1844. 

518. III. George W.,' b. Feb. 14, 1848, d. May 13, 1850. 

519. IV. Deborah N.,' b. June 19, 1849. 

520. V. Nancy J.,' b. July 12, 1853 (°^ 2)- 

521. VI. Julia B.,' b. April 9, 1855. 

522. VII. Lafayette,' b. July 17 or 18, 1858, d. Aug. 7, 1858. 

523. VIII. Clara S.,' b. Nov. 25, 1861, d. Feb. 24, 1864 
II. Sarah A. married Charles D. Fogg, b. June 17, 1841, and 

has : 

11) Calvin Elmer, b, Apr. 23, 1865, r. Buda, 111. 5(2) William 
Perlie^ b. June 5, 1867, 

Mr. Fogg was born in the State of Maine, entered the U. S. 
service in 1861 during the Great Rebellion, and at the end of 
two years was discharged for disability. He went again in the 
spring of 1865, and served till the close of the war. He has 
recently moved to Neponset, 111. 

William Wilkinson'^ [282] Stephen,^ [Hi] William,"* 
and ^[57] Joseph,'^ [ii] Samuel,^ [2 

Mary Hill, j Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Charleston, Tioga Co., Penn. 

524. I. Stephen,'^ b. Mar. 31, 1844. 

525. II. George,'' b. Aug. 16, 1846. 

526. III. Rosselle p.,' b. Oct. 21, 1859. 

Hazel Wilkinson^ ^ [283] Stephen,^ [141] William,* 
and H57] Joseph,^ [ii] Samuel,^ [2] 

Jane West, j Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Buda, III. 

527. I. Charles," b. Feb. 12, 1844, d. 
528.11. Eliza J.,'' b. Apr. 1,1846. 


529. III. Nancy A.,' b. May 3, 1848, d. 

530. IV. Philander A,,^ b. May 10, 1852. 

531. V. John W.,' b. May 3, 1854. 

532. VI. SOLRINA,' b. Oct. 2.?, 1S57, '^• 

533. VII. Alice A.,' b. July 20, i860. 

534. VIII. Tluman a.,' b. July I, 1S66. 

I. Charles joined the Union Army during the Great 
Rebellion, and was killed by the Rebels. 

II. Eliza J. married Joseph Brown, and moved to Kansas. 

James M. V^iLKixsoN" ^ [284] Stephen,^ [H^] William,* 
AND H57] Joseph,^ [i i] Samuel,- [2] 

A.J McInhoy, I Lawrence.' [i] 

Of Charleston, Tioga Co., Pa. 

535. I. Fannie M.,' b. Oct. 2, 1847. 

536. II. Mary J.,' b. Sept. 25, 1849. 

537. III. James,' b. Dec. 25, 1852, d. Mar. 11, 1865 

538. IV. William R.,' b. Jan. 11, 1867. 

Asaph Wilkinson^ [287] Stephen,^' [141] William,^[57] 
and yjosEPH^[i I ] Samuel' [2] Lawrence.' 

Mary A. Short, ) [i] 

Of Charleston, Pa. 
539. I. Alice V.," b. July 31, 1854. 

Abraham Wilkinson^] [290] Oziel,=^ [142] JohnV [58] 

AND VJOHN,^ [l4]JoHN,2 [4] LaWRENCE.' 

Lydia Whipple, j [ij 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

540. I. Amey,* - b. July 7, 1796, d. May 27, 1826. 

541. II. George,' (738) b. Apr. 23, 1798, d. Aug. 20, 1855. 

542. III. Whipple,"^ b. Dec. 30, i 799, d. July, 1838. 

543. IV. Sarah,^ b. July 14,1802, 

544. V. Ann," b. Mar. 5, 1803, d. Oct. 9, 1838. 

MART W ILK INS OX. (549) 277 

545. VI. Abraham S.,' b. Aug. 24, 1805, d. 1837- 

546. VII. Lydia,' b. Oct. 28, 1808. 

547. VIII. Vv^rLLiAM,'(739)b. Aug. 31, i8ii,d. Mar. i [, i860. 

I. Amey married Samuel G. Harris in 1823, brother of Wm. 
Harris who married her sister Sarah. These Harrises are the 
descendants of" the Harris who came with Roger Williams. Thev 
They had one child : 

( I ) Amey.^ b. , married a Colwell, son of Judge Colwell, 

resides in Illinois. 

II. Gk'irge, married Sarah De Wolf of Bristol, R. I. in 1829. 
They have one son, resides in North Providence. 

IV. Sarah married William Harris, Oct., 1826, had three 
children, as follows : 

(l) Jbraham fVilkinson., m. and lives in Providence ; (2) Anna, 
m. Preserved Arnold, resides in Pawtucket ; (3) Edward., resides 
in California. 

V. Anna married Nathan Lazell of Bridgewater, Mass., 
March, 1S2 r . Thev have one child ; 

( I ) Nathan married, and resides in Providence. 

VII. Lydia married Frederic A. Sumner of Bridgewater, 
Mass., March, 1830. They have several children, but the 
names ot the following onlv, have been obtained : 

(l ) Mary., m. a Stetson, r. Bridgewater, Mass. ; (2) Charles ; 
(3) Lydia^ m. a Clark, r. Boston, Mass. 
Several others' names not furnished. 

Mr. Sumner is dead. 

VIII. William W. married Harriett R. Colton, had one son, 
resided in Pawtucket, R. I. 

Isaac Wilkinson"^ [291] Oziel,^ [142] John,^ [58] John,-' 

and |'[h] John,2 [4] Lawrence.' [i] 

Lois Marsh, j 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

548. I. Nancy,' b. Aug. 23, 1802. 

549. 11. Mary,' " b. Oct. 11, 1804. 


I. Na>'CY married Henry Marchant of Providence, R. I. He 
was extensively engaged in the manufacturing business and in 
I 848-q, lived in Valley Falls, R. I. He is now in Providence, 
or vicinity, and is a man of wealth and influence. Their ch'ldren 
are : 

(i) Isaac^ b. Aug. 20, I 822, m. a Tucker; (2) Sarah., m. 
Henrv Hastings, resides West Medford, Mass; (3) JVancy, m. 
William Beals; (4) Henry ; (5) IFilliam. 

TI. Mary married Rev. Benjamin Fessenden. He is a lineal 
descendant of Nicholas Fessenden and a relative of the Mr. 
Fessenden who is at present a member of Congress. The 
Genealogy of the Fessenden family has been published. His 
descent trom Nicholas is as follows : 

I. "John Fessenden, the first of the name settled at Cambridge, 
Mass., had no children, sent to England for his nephew, Nicholas, 
whom he adopted. 2. Nicholas had seven sons of whom was, 
3. Benjamin., educated at Harvard College, settled as a minister at 
Sandwich, Mass. He had,' 4. Benjamin., educated at Harvard 
College, became an inn-keeper at Sandwich, Mass. He had, 5. 
William who became a printer at Boston, also at New York, and 
Philadelphia, married Martha, daughter of Nathaniel Freeman, 
and had, 6. Benjamin., the subject of this notice. He was educated 
at Harvard College, prepared for the ministry, preached several 
years. Mr. Fessenden is a very worthy man, exemplary in all 
his dealings, and has been extensively engaged in the manufacturing 
business, and has for the past 20 years resided at Valley Falls, 
R. I. Their children are: 

(l) Benjamin., b. Sept. 10, I 822, d. Oct. 18, 1824; (2) Oz;V/, 
b. Aug. 20, 1823, d. Dec. 25, I 829 ; (3) Benjamin., b. Sept, I, 
1825, d. July I 7, 1 828 ; (4) Mary^ b.Oct. 24, i 827, m. Wm. F. 
Sayles, resides at Pawtucket, R. 1. He is lineally descended 
from Mary, the oldest daughter of Roger Williams, and his 
ancestry is of the highest respectability. The discovery of his 
descent from Roger Williams was one of the most singular events 
in Genealogical research. The author has in MS, a large 


collection of the Sayles family, and they have frequently 
intermarried with the Wilkinson family and their relatives. Mr. 
Sayles has been greatly prospered in his business affairs, and 
from his uniform success must be classed among our most able 
business men in Rhode Island, and no state excells Rhode Island 
in this respect. Mr. Sayles is noted for his liberality, and for his 
interest in literary and scientific research, and is always ready to 
lend a helping hand to every enterprise which has tor its object 
the improvement of the human family. No man is more highly 
respected in Pawtucket, and no man is more deserving the 
I'espect of his fellow citizens. He has a family. (5) William., 
b. March, 12, 1830, d. Jan. 2, 1854 ; (6) Charles., b. Alay 13, 
1834, m. Mary E. Shaw. Charles was a patriot worthy of his 
ancestors. He joined the Union Army during the Great Rebellion, 
and was killed April I o, 1865, at RoUa, Mo., contending for the 
national existence of his beloved country. (7) Robert., h. March 
23, 1839, d. Feb. 19, 1845 > (8) Benjamin., b. Sept. 19, 1 84 1, 
resided at Valley Falls ; (9) Burrell^ b. Aug, 23, 1 843. 

David Wilkinson^ [292] Oziel^[i42] John,^ [58] John,-^ 

AND /'[14] JoHN,^ [4] Lawrence.^ [i] 

Martha Saylbs, j 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

550. I. Joanna,' b. Oct. 4,1802, d. Jan. 20, 181 5. 

551. 11. Albert Sayles," b. Dec. 19, 1804. 

552. III. John L.,' (740-74 i)b. Jan. 24,1811, d. May 20, i860. 

553. IV. Ardelia,' b. Dec. 23, 181 1. 

I. Joanna was born at Pawtucket, R. I., died at the age of 
thirteen, and is buried at the place of her nativity. 

II. Albert Sayles was born at Pawtucket, and on his 
mother's side is descended from Roger Williams through Mary 
his oldest daughter, the descent being as follows : 

I . John Sayles married Mary Williams,* they had, 2. John^ 

*i Book of Deeds, p. 241, Providence, R. I. 


who married Elizabeth , they had, i. Thomas who married 

Esther Scott, they had, 2. 'Jerejniah who married Anna Steere, 
they had, 3. Martha who married David Wilkinson the parents 
of Albert. 

He married Abby Howell, daughter of jMaltby Howell of 
Cohoes, Albanv Co., N. Y., Jan. 13, 1851. She died at Stone 
Ridge in the County of Ulster, N. Y,, on the morning of March 
16, 1856. Her remains were deposited temporarily in the 
ground at Stone Ridge, and afterwards brought by her husband 
to Pawtuckct, R. I., and entombed in the Family Vault. She left 
no children. 

Mr. Wilkinson is an inventor, and has contrived the most 
ingenius horse-shoe ever invented. The mode of fastening the 
shoe to the foot without nails, or with a single nail, and many 
other improvements for which he has secured patents in America, 
England and France, indicate that the spirit and genius of invention 
is not like to die out in this branch of the family. 

He is a man of active benevolence, and the interest he manifests 
in the culture of his brother's children, and the regard for the 
sacred relics of his departed relatives, gathering them together at 
the old homestead " Family Vault," all bespeak for him a tender 
sympathy for his kindred. The author is indebted to him, more 
than to any other member of the Wilkinson Family for aid in 
collecting names, statistics, and subscriptions for this work. For 
indomitable perseverance, industry and integrity, he has i^^' 
equals, and no superiors. With him there is no such word as 
fail, whatever he undertakes he completes. He acts upon the 
principle that resolution is omnipotent, and hence, the great 
invention which he has labored so hard and so perseveringly to 
perfect, characterized as it is for its simplicity, and practical utility, 
will be success. He resides at Pawtucket, R. I., the home of 
the inventors, and the scene of the first successful cotton 
manufacturers in America. 


III. John Lawrence, born at Pawtucket, R. I., lived many 
years in Canada where he had made his permanent home. He 
engaged with his father largely in the improvements on the St. 
Lawrence River, and in building the beautiful wire Suspension 
Bridge at Bvtown, now called Ottawa, the seat of the Canadian 
Government. He there married an English lady, Miss Elizabeth 
Ward, They have two children now living with their mother 
in Montreal. 

John L. died in Canada, and his brother Albert S. brought 
his remains, and had them entombed in the Family Vault at 
Pawtucket, R, 1. 

IV. Ardelia, married Charles Augustus Olmsted at Cohoes, 
Albany Co., N. Y. Jan. 27, 1835. They are now living at 
Lockport, N. Y. Their children are : 

(i) Martha Wilkinson., born at Lyons, Wayne Co., N. Y., 
March 16, 1837, married Doct. Rexford Davison of Lockport 
N. Y., Aug. 3, 1864, reside at Lockport. Dr. Davison was 
born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y. They have Blanch 
Cleveland, b. April 23, 1866 ; (2) Jlbert Houghton., born at 
Cohoes, N, Y., Dec. i, 183Q, and died at the General Hospital, 
Boston, Mass., Oct. 12, 1859. ^'^ uncle Albert S. brought his 
remains to Pawtucket, R. L, and entombed them in the Family 
Vault. (3) Charles Tyler^ b. at Cohoes, N. Y., April 28, 1842, 
is Prof, of mathematics of St, Stephen's College at Annan Dale 
on the Hudson, has been ordained deacon in the Episcopal 
Church. {^) J Son.h. Dec. 25, 1844, d. Feb. 5, 1845; (s) 
William Chadwick., b, at Cohoes, N. Y., June 11, 1847; (6) 
David Wilkinson., b. Nov. 9, 1 850. 

Danibl Wilkinson^ [295], Oziel^[i42]John,^[58] John- 

AND Hi 4] John,- [4] Lawrence.^ [ i] 

Nancy Tabor, j 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

554. L Edward Smith," b. Dec. 27, 1799. 



555. II. James," (742-743) b. July i8oi,d. Jan. 15, 1833. 

556. III. SAMUEL,'(744-746)b. Sept. 18, 1803. 

557. IV. Hannah Aplin," b. 

558. V. Daniel,^ (747-748) b. July 2, 181 1. 

I. Edward Smith was born in North Providence, R. I. 
During his youth he was in the midst of the excitement of the 
first manufacture of cotton, and frequently aided his father and 
grandfather in their various enterprises. He became a clerk in 
David Wilkinson and Co.'s store in I816, where he discharged 
his duties to the entire satisfaction of his employers. He 
subsequently went into the manufacturing business and was 
successful. Later years he engaged in the banking business, and 
still continues in the department of domestic industry. He has 
frequently represented his town in the Legislature of Rhode 
Island, and has held many important public offices. In every 
position he has met the expectation of his friends, and such is his 
affibilitv, that we are not aware of his having an enemy in all the 
circle of his acquaintance. He has always been distinguished for 
his love of truth, firm integrity, and scrupulous honesty. He is a 
regular attendant and communicant of St. Paul's Church, and 
his interest in matters of religion, Sabbath schools, and moral 
reforms, is active and not passive merely. He has collected facts 
and evidence showing the establishment of Sunday schools in 
Pawtucket, R. I., prior to any other Sunday school in America, 
and the evidence is conclusive. He has a very retentive memory, 
and in narrating events of which he is cognizant, he relates the 
attendant circumstances with a minuteness perfectly surprising. 

During the past few years he has become blind, and the glory 
of the outer world is entirely shut out, and like Milton's Samson 
Agonistes all has become — 

" Dark, dark, dark amidst the blaze of noon, 
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse, 
Without all hope of day !" 

II. James married Mary Niles, May i, 1823, and had two 


III. Samuel married Sarah I. Tanner, July 22, 1S28. She 
was born in Bristol, R. I., June 21, 1806, and died in Pawtucket, 
Aug. 16, i86[. They had three children. 

IV. Hannah Aplin married Samuel H. Vinson. They have 
one child, (l) Edward Wilkinson. Capt. Vinson is dead. 

V. Daniel married Sarah Ann Brown, June 23, 1835. She 
was born in Warren, R. I., March 16, i8ri. They have two 

Daniel is a prominent man in Pawtucket, and is always engaged 
in every public enterprise. He has held many offices of trust, 
and is highly respected by his fellow citizens. He has been 
eno-aged in the temperance cause for years, and has greatly aided 
in establishing societies for the promotion of moral reform. He 
is an easy speaker, and the productions of his pen have found 
their way into some of our most popular journals. In the cause 
of Public Schools he has always manifested a lively interest, and 
his own town is greatly indebted to him for her excellent system 
of public instruction. He is engaged in the banking business and 
resides in Pawtucket, R. I. 

Smith Wilkinson''^ [297] Oziel,^ [142] John,* [58] John,* 

AND VCh] Joh^%^ [4] Lawrence.^ [1] 

Betsey Howe, j 

Of Pomfret, Ct. 

559. I. Abeltne Howe,' b. Sept. 20, 1809. 

560. II. Rebecca,' b. Aug. 21, 181 i,d. Dec. 18, 1839 

561. III. Augustus S.," b. Jan. 21, 1813, d. July 6,1847. 

562. IV. EDMUND,'''(749-754)b. Oct. 12, 1815. 

563. V. Elizabeth MACY,'^b. Nov. 29, 181 7, d. Apr. 5, 1852. 

564. VI. Nancy Williams,'^ b. July 31, 1820. 

I. Abeline Howe, married Horace Whitaker, Oct. 4, 1827, 
These children were: 

(i) Harrison.^ 5"., b. June 24, I 828, r. Norwich, Ct., d.-Oct. 
26, 18305(2) Mary., b. Dec. 14, 1830, m. Amasa Mason, r. 


Buffalo, N. Y. ; (3) Eli%abeth^ b. May 28, I 834, m. William H. 
iVlason, r. Buffalo, N. Y. ; (4) Horace Wilhiison^ b. May i 2, 

I 845, and others. 

II. Rebkcca married Rev. George J. Tillotson, Jan. 8,1834. 
They resided in Putnam, Ct. They have no children. 

" A skillful workman he 
In God's great moral vineyard 5 what to prune 
With cautious hand he knew; what to uproot; 
What were mere weeds, and what celestial plants. 
Which had unfading vigor in them, knew; 
Nor knew alone ; but watched them night and day. 
And reared and nourished them, till fit to be 
Transplanted to the Paradise above." 

III. Augustus Smith never married. He went on a mission 
to New Mexico, and died at Taos, 

" He went forth with 
A noiseless band of heavenly soldiery, 
From out the armory of God equipped. 
Invincible, to conquer sin; to blow 
The trump of freedom in the despot's ear ; 
To tell the bruted slave his manhood high, 
His birthright liberty, and in his hand 
To put the writ of manumission, signed 
By God's own signature ; to drive away 
From earth the dark infernal legionry 
Of superstition, ignorance, and hell. 
High on the pagan hills, where Satan sat 
Encamped, and o'er the subject kingdoms threw 
Perpetual night, to plant Immanuel's cross, 
The ensign of the Gospel, blazing round 
Immortal truth ; and in the wilderness 
Of human waste to sow eternal life." 

IV. Edmund married Harriet Augustus Thayer, Nov. 24, 
I 856. She is a daughter of Williams and Lucy Thayer, and 
lineally descended from Roger Williams. The descent being as 
follows : 

Genealogy of Williams Thayer. 

1 . Roger Williams, born in Wales, 1598, died in Providence, 

2. Daniel, son of Roger, b. in Providence Feb. 5, 1642, d. 
May 14, I 7 I 2. 

3. Roger, son of Daniel, b. in Providence, May, 1680, d. in 
Scituate. Jan. 30 1763. 


4. Rebekaii, daughter of Roger, b. in Scituate, April 20, i 735, 
married David Thaver in Scituate, R. I., and had: 
(i) Roger Thayer, b. Dec. i. 1755, d. March 15, 1756. 

(2) Williams Thayer, b. in Uxbridge, Mass., May 22, i 760. 

(3) James Thayer, b. in Uxbridge, Mass., Jan 25, 1763.* 
They have six children, reside Putnam, Ct. 

V. Elizabeth Maecy married Edmund Perkins of Norwich, 
Ct., Dec. 29, I 845. Their children as far as known are : 

( l) Francis ; (2) Mary ; (3) Edmund^ &c. 

VI, Nancy Williams married Amasa Mason, Aug. 7, 1843. 
Their children are: 

(l) Amasa^ b. Mav 5, I 844, d. July 2, 1849, f"- Pomfret, Ct, ; 
(2) Martha Whitman^ b. April 27, I 846 ; (3) Clarence Wilkinson, 
b. in Buffalo, N, Y. Aug. 23, I 850. 

Washington A. J, WiLKiNsoN^^ [304] Simeon,^ [H5] 
and yAHAB,*[5g] JoHN,^ [14] 

Mary Remigtox, j John,^[4] Laavrexce.^[i] 

Of Providence, R. I. 

565. I. Henry Washington,^ (755-75^) b. Aug. 20, 1835. 

566. 11, John Edwin,' b. Sept. 25, 1837, d. Nov. 13, 1837. 

567. III. Elizabeth jENKs,'b. Aug. 25, 1839, d. Dec. 4,1840. 

568. IV. George Edwin,' (757) b. Oct. 22, 184 i, 

569. V. Mary Tower,' b. Apr, ii, 1845, d. Sept. 5,1848, 

570. VI. Mary ELizABETH,'^b. Dec. 2,1849. 

I, Henry Washington, married, Dec, 16, 1861, Anne 
Reed, of Davenport, Iowa. They have two children. He is 
engaged in a bank in Providence, R. I., where he resides. He 
is a young man of unimpeachable character, and is highly esteemed 
by all his acquaintance, 

IV, George Edwin is a bank clerk, also, and a very reliable 
and worthy young man. The position of trust which he occupies 
is well deserved, and his employers will have no occasion to regret 

*See 2 Book of Marriages, p. 82, Providence, R. I. 


the confidence reposed in him. Both of these young men are 
ornaments to society, and an honor to their parents. He married 
Sept. 20, I 866, Helen Sturgis, and has one son George Sturgis, 
born Nov. I 2, I 867, in Buenos Ayres, South America. 

John J. Wilkinson^ ^ [3°^] Simeon,^ [hs] Aiiab,^ [59] 
AND y JoiixV,^ [14] JoiiN,^[4] Lawrence.^ 

Lydia W. Bentley, j [i] 

Of Bristol, R. I. 

571. 1. Henry N./ b. April i 5, i°839. 

572. II. Ann Maria,'' b. June i 7, 184 i, d. Dec. 7, i 845. 

573. III. George E. S.,' b. Aug. 21, 1844 

574. IV. John J.,' b. April 28, 1847. 

575. V. Charles W.,'' b. April 22, 185 i, 

576. VI. Abby F.,' b. June 15,1855. 

577. VII. Isabella E.,' b. Mar. 7,1860. 

I. Henry N. married Ardelia D. Card, and r. Bristol, R. I. 
He is engaged in the manufacturing business. 

Ahab Wilkinson^ ^ [3 '6] Joseph,^ [h?] Ahab,* [59] 
and y John,^ [14] John,^ [4] Lawrence.^ 

Eliza Ann Jillson, j [i] 

Of Hartford, Ct. 
578. I. Ahab George," (758-759) b. Feb. 20, 1834. 

I. Ahab George married, for his first wife, Julia A. Dorman, 
Aug. 20, 1857. ^^^ ^'^^ April 14, I 859. He married for his 
second wife, Lue B. Wilson, of Columbia, Missouri, Jan. 26, 
1865. They have one child. 

Mr, Wilkinson graduated at Yale College in the class of I 856, 
finished his education in Europe, was associate professor of 
Ancient and full professor of Modern Languages in the University 
of Missouri in I 86 l . At the breaking out of the Rebellion the 
College was shut, and he found employment at Washington, 
D. C, as. first assistant examiner, in U. S. Patent Office, 


He has manifested great interest in this work, and the beautiful 
Chromo Lithograph of the " Coat of Arms," which forms the 
frontispiece of this book wes gotten up by him. Dr. Woodward, 
surgeon in the U. S. Army, who has had more experience in 
getting up colored Lithographs than any man in the U. S. says 
it is the best thing he has ever seen. 

James Wilkinson* ") [321] Shubael,° [156] Daniel,* [66] 
AND I Daniel,^ [18] JoiiN,'^ [4] Lawrence.^ 

Harriet Tal-mage, )>[i] 


Talma GE, j 

Of California. 

579. L Daniel,' b. Mar i 9, i[856. 

580. n. Jajies J.,' b. Dec. 14, 1857. 

581. HL Andrew J.," b. Jan. 8,1860. 

Smith S. Wilkinson* ] [322] Shubakl,' [156] Daniel,* 

and I [66] DaNIEL,=^ [78] J0HN,2 [4] 

Helen Tabor. j Lawrence, [i] 

Of Prairie Du Lac, Wis. 

582. L Abigail,' b. 1850. 

583. II, Stella,^ b. 1859. d. April 1861. 

JoAB Wilkinson* \ [324] Alfred,^ [^62] John,* [71] 
AND I Daniel,^ [18] John,* [4] Lawrence.^ 

Lydia Douglass, j [i] 

Of Illiopolis, III. 

584. I. Sarah," b. 

585. II. Emma," b. 


WiNFiELD S. Wilkinson^ ^ [325] Alfred,^ [162] John/ 
AND V [7 1 ] Daniel,^ [18] John,'-^ [4] 

Frances Sampson, J Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Morrison, III. 

586. I. Mary C.,' b. April, 1843. 

587. II. Alfred,' b. Dec. 6, 1846. 

588. III. Henry B.,' b. April8, 1848. 

589. IV. Francis,'' b. Mar. 1856, d. Nov. i86o. 

Morton S. WilkinsonM [327J Alfred.^ ['62] Same as 

and > above. 

Sally Boss, j 

Of Mankato, Blue Eart Co., Min. 

590. I. Morton Smith,'' b. Sept. 24, 1851. 

591. II. Ella,'' b. Sept. 23, 1853. 

Joshua Wilkinson" ~| [331] John.^ [163] Same as 

AND y above. 

Louisa B. Raynor, j 

Or Syracuse, N. Y. 

592. I. Joshua Forman,' b. Mar. 29, 1861, d. April 22, 1861. 

593. II. Mary,^ b. Sept. 19, 1862. 

594. III. Theodore," b. Oct. 5, 1864. 

Alfred Wilkinson" ) [332] John.^ [163] Sameasabove. 
AND > 

Charlotte C. May, .J 

Of Syracuse, N. Y. 

595. I. Margaret,'' b. Sept. 29, 1855, d. Apr. 21, 1857. 

596. II. Alfred,^ b. June 9, 1858. 

597. III. Marion,' b. Feb. 4, 1861. 
59^. IV. Josephine May,'' b. Oct. 22, 1862. 
599. V. Louisa Forman,'' b. Jan. 22, 1864. 

William Wilkinson^ 1 [339] William,^ [165] William,* 

AND V[73] JeREMIAH,=^ [19] J0HN,2 [4] 

Mehitable Angell. j Lawrence.^ [r] 
Of , N. Y. 

600 I. Lydia/ 

Pardon W. Wilkinson^^ [34'] George.^ [166]. Same as 

AND y above. 

Cynthia Mason, J 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

601. I. George W.' (760) b. Aug. i, 1823, d. Mar. 23, 1855. 

602. II. Jane,' b. Aug. 3, 1828. 

603. III. Don a.,' b. July i, 1833. 

604. IV. Clara,' , b. Aug. 5, 1838. 

I. George William married, 1859, Helen Joy of Poultney^ 
Vt. They have one child. Mr. Wilkinson was a naturaj 
mechanic, and acquired a great reputation by his skill and intuitive 
knowledge of the mechanic arts. 

For an extended notice of him, see Biography. * 

II. Jane married March 11, 1863, Warren Curtis. They 
live in Ira, Vt. He is a farmer. They have : 

(l) Clara b. Sept. 8, 1 855. 

III. Don a. is unmarried. He is a mechanic of the first classi 
and has charge of the large marble works, flouring mill, and 
machine shop all of his own building at Rutland, Vt. He has 
been in the employ of the company over ten years. He is a 
young man of influence, and bids fair to command the respect 
and defference of his fellow citizens. 

IV. Clara married, Nov. 17, 1857, Cornelius Lincoln of 
Ira, Vt. He is a farmer. They have two children : 

(l) George William^ b. Aug: 22, 1859 ; (2) -Oow Edgar., b. 



George WiLK I NSO^■■' "I [343] Gkorge.^ [j66] Same as 

AND > previous page. 

Cynthia Tower. J 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

605. I. Simeon ,' (761-764 J b. April 5,1832. 

606. II. Lydia a.,' b. Jan. 19, 1835. 

607. III. Jay,' h. Aug. 27, i 842. 

I. Simeon, married Mary Carpenter. Thev have four 
children, and reside in Weston, Vt. 

II. Lydia A., married Henry Gilmore. Thev reside in Ira, 
Vt. Their children are : 

(i) Arabella; (2) Bradley. 

Ira VViLKi s'^on** "| [344] George^ [166] Same as above. 


Emeline Griggs, j 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

608. I. Amy Ann,' b. Oct. 9, 1832. 

609. II. An(7eline,^ b. Dec. 13, 1834. 

610. III. Sabra E.," b. Nov. I, 1836. 

611. IV. W^arren,' (765); b. Oct. 8, 1838. 
612 V. b. d. 

613. VI. b. d. 

614. VII. ALxMIRA,' b. May 1, 1845, 

615. VTII. b. d. 

616. IX. Francis C.,'' b. Aug. 26, 1850. 

617. X. b d. 

I. Amy Ann, married Smith Johnson, resides in Ira, Vt. 
Their children are : 

(1) M'lron, b. July 19, 1856 ; (2) Frederic, b. March 21, 1858 ; 
(3) Elmer £'., b. July 18, 1 86 1. 

II. An(JELINe, married Justus Collins, and resides in Ira, Vt. 
They have one child : 

(i) Merlin., b. Nov. 20, 1864. 

ALCr A. {WILKINSON) COBB. [622] 291 

III. Sabua E. married Edwin Rogers. Thev live in Ira, Vt. 
They have tvi'o children : 

(\) Horace E.^h. July 22, 1862; (2) LiUie hahelle^ b. June 
18, 1865. 

IV. Warren manied Adeline Peck, and resides in Ira, Vt. 
They have one child. He is a farmer. 

VII. Almira married Henry Tower, and lives in Ira, Vt 
They have one child : 

(l) Chyton Henry ^ b. Dec. 31, 1864. 

Andrew J. WiLKixsoxM [349] Simon," [172]. Same as 

AND > previous paa;e. 

Miss | 

Of Boston, Mass. 

618. I. William H.' 

619. n. 

620. HI. 

Smith Wilkinson" \ [354] Gardner,^ [177] Jeremiah.^ 

AND ^[74] Same as above. 

B. Maria Aldrich. j 

Of White Creek, Washington Co., N. Y. 

621. I. Emily M.,' b. Feb 10, 1821, d. Dec. 7^, 1852. 

622. II. Alcy a.,' b. July 3, 1824. 

I. Emily M. married, at Schenectady, N. Y., Dec, 30, 
1847, McDonough Cornell. She died at Chicago, 111. They 
had two children : 

(i) Henry Billings^ b. Jan. 13, 1849, ^- "^^ White Creek, N. Y., 
Sept. 20, 1851 ; (2) Walter Wilkinson^ b. March 31, 1852, 
resides White Creek, N. Y. 

Mr. Cornell married for a second wife Phebe Ann Noxon. 

II. Alcy A. married, June 25, 18^3, Junius B. Cobb. 
Residence Chicago, III. 


Job Wilkinson" ^ [3^'] Jc*!^-^ [i8o]. Same as previous 

AND Vp^g^- 

Gertrude Lansing, j 

Of Penfield, Wayne Co., N. Y. 
No children.' 

Jeremiah Wilkinson* ^ [3H] ^'^• 

AND y 

Mrs. Gertrude Wilkinson, j 

Of Schodack, N. Y. 
No children.' 

Samuel C. Wilkinson*^ [365] id. 

AND ! 

Susan Bradley, and 

Rachel , 

Of Mich, 

By first luife. 

623. I. Hiram.' 

624. II. Francis." 

By second tuife. 

Barney Wilkinson^ ^ [366] id. 

and y 

Elizabeth Briggs, j 

Of Riga, Lenawa Co., Mich. 

625. 1. Ann Maria,' b. 

626. II. LoviNA,' b. 

627. III. Mary,"^ b. 

628. IV. Marion,'^ b. 

I. Ann Maria m. , r. Farmington, Ontario Co., N. Y 

II. LoviNA m. , r. Riga, Mich. 


Daniel Wilkixsom^] [3^7]- Same as previous page. 

AND . V 

Ruth Shourd^s. j 

Of Palmyra, Mich. 

629. I. Hannah Ann,' b. 

630. II. Job,* b. 

631. III. Emily,' b. 

I. Hannah Ann m. John , r. Mich. 

II. Job was an officer in the Union Army, was at the battle 
of Stone River, &c., under Rosencrans. 

Hiram Wilkinson^ [368] id. 

A N D y 

Ann E. Miller, j 

Of Palmyra, N. Y. 
632. I. Anna Josephine, b. Dec. 11, 1848. 

James A. Wilkinson^ "j [378] James.^ [186] Same as 

AND Vabove. 

Susan A. Weatherhead, j 

Of Cumberland, R. I. 

633. I. Emma Amelia,' b. May 21, 1844. 

634. II. Samuel A.,' b. Mar. i, 1846. 

635. III. Emma S.,' b. Feb. 7, 1848. 

636. IV. Charlie J.,' b. Aug. 4, 1851. 

Jeremiah A. Wilkinson'^ ^ [379] James.'' [186] Same as 

and Vabove. 

Catherine E. Shonard, j 

Of Ravens Wood, L. I. 

637. I. Clara,' b. May 6, 1846. 

638. II. James,' b. Sept. 11, 1851. 

639. III. Joseph,^ b. Dec. 7, 1855. 


Arnold A. WiLKixtox*'! [ I 80] James.^ [1^6] 

AND y previous page. 

Emma A. Hill, j 

Of Providexce, R. I. 

640. I. William Arnold/ b. Mar. r o, i 850. 

641. II. Charles Allix,' b. Mar. 3, 1852. 

642. III. Edward DzFoREST,' b. Jan. 17, 1856. 

643. IV. RowEXA Alida,' b. June 20, 1859. 

644. V. Arnold Aldricii,' b. May i, 1862. 

Same as 

Edwix R. Wilxinson" '"| [406] Lewis/' [203] Stephen.' 
AND \ [81] Same as above. 

Mary Ann Boardman and (" 

Sarah A. VanMeter, j 

Of Aroma, Kankakke Co., III. 

645. I. Van Edgar,' b. Sept. 2, 1861. 

646. 11. Lewis F.,' b. Oct. 20, 1862. 

647. III. Ettie E.,' b. Dec. 13, 1865. 

Ben Green Wilkinson*^"] [412] Arnold,^ [207] Jeptha.^ 

AND I [82] Same as above. 

Elmira Bachelder, ! 

AND j 

Malia Bowers, and j 
Maria Skinner, j 

Of Towanda, Cataraugus Co., N. Y. 

648. I. Mary," b. 

649. II. Fredefjck.' b. 

650. III. Almira,' b. 

651. IV. 

652. V. 

James A. Wilkinson*^ ^ [4 15] Arnold.^ [207] Same as 

AND V above. 

Caroline Waterhouse, j 

Of Providence, R. I. 

653. I. Maria E.,' b. Mar. 23, 1845, d. Sept. 1846. 


(554. II, Maria E.,' b. Jan. 4, 1847. 

655. III. Ida Arnold,' b. Mar. 14, 1855. 

LaFayette Wilkinson" 1 [417] Arnold.^ [297] Same as 

AND y previous page. 

Abby a. Haley. j 

Of Providence, R. I. 

656. I. Frank A.,' b. Jan. 4, 1849, d. Nov. 25, 1850. 

657. II. Frank, H.,' b. May 24, 1854. 


Amasa C. Wilkinson'' 1 [439] James,*^ [220] Israki,,'^[ioo] 
VIsraelJ [29] Samukl,^ [8] 


Anna Jenks, 

j Samuel,^ [2] Lawrence.' [i] 
Of West Kendall, Orleans Co., N. Y, 

658. I. Minerva,^ b. Oct, 20, 1840. 

659. II. Ann,^ b. June 30, 1842, d. Nov. 13, 186^. 

660. III. Mary,« b. June 18, 1844. 

661. IV. Ara,^ b. Aug. 28, 1846. 

662. V. Amasa Cook,^ b. Jan. 18, 1949, d. Oct. 31, 1836. 


INERVA married, Oct. 7, 1866, Charles H. Weldon, of 
Albion, Mich. He has been school commissioner. 
III. Mary married A. Godfrey. Reside in Missouri. 

Oryille C. Wilkinson'^ ^ [440] Jamks.^ [220] 
""'■ above. 


Cyrena Guile, 


Of Siierburx, Chenango Co., N. Y. 

663. I. Oryille Chapin,^ 

664. II. Nancy Ann,^ 

665. III. William Sheldon,'^ 

666. IV. Vienna Elizabeth,^^ 

667. V. Franklin Pierce,** 

668. VI. James E.,« 

b. Sept. 3, 1843 
b. Sept. 26, 1845 
b. Sept. 8, 1847 
b. Feb. 9, 1850 
b. Aug. 21, 1852 
b. Jan. 30, 1861 


e as 


I. Orville Chapin married, on March 10, 1866, Mrs. 
Jeannette Lamb, daughter of Benj, Barbour Green, her former 
husband having died before Petersburg in the Army. Orville 
enlisted in Co. A., ir4th N. Y. Volunteers, Aug. 2, 1862, 
served about three years, and was mustered out with the regiment. 
He was landed at Quarantine below New Orleahs, sick with 
typhoid fever where he remained four months and then joined the 
regiment, was in battles of " B." Island, Port Hudson, Franklin, 
and Donalsonville, and was then sent to Convalescent Camp, 
thence to New York City, where he remained one year, and 
then joined his regiment in the Shenandoah Valley. 

II. Nancy Ann married, June 16, 1864, Frederick A. Jones 
of Sherburne, N. Y. They have: 

(l) Cora Adella, b. Jan. lO, 1866. 

Israel Wilkinson' ^ [442] James,^ [220] Israel [100] 
AND I Israel,^[29] Samuel,^[8] Samuel- 

Sophia L. Brown and [ [2] Lawrence.^ [i] 
Caroline E. Bonney, J 

. Of Jacksonville, III. 
First Wife. 

669. I. La Fayette Avery,* b. March 21, 1849. 

670. II. LuRiLLA Amelia,'^ b. Jan. i, 1851. 

671. III. SiMoN,^ b. Oct. 25, 1852, d. Oct. 13, 1863. 

672. IV. Mary Elizabeth, « b. Dec. 24, 1854. 

673. V. Clara Lillian,^ b. Apr. 26, 1857, d. Mar. 30, 1864. 

674. VI. Sophia Latiian,'* b, June 3, 1859, 
Second Wife. 

675. VII. Ada Bonney,^ b. Sept. 23, 1861. 

676. VIII. Lawrance Smith,^ b. Oct. i, 1864. 

677. IX. Israel,^ b. April 4, 1867. 
677^^. X. Caroline Elizabeth,^ b. June 4, 1869. 

II. L. Amelia married. Sept i, 1869, John C. Card, of 
Mason City 111., son of Rev. Wm. H. Card, of Momence, 111. 
Resides at Mason City. 


Alexander T. Wilkinson'^ [45 Israel/ [221] Israel,'* 
AND (^ [100] Israel/ [29] Samuel/ 

Maria Sayles and I [8] Samuel, [2] Lawrence^ 

Emily Morrison, j [i] 

Of Worcester, Mass. 

678. I.,« (766-68) b. Feb. 19, 1835. 

679. II. Leonades,*^ (769) b. Feb. 28, 1837. 

680. III. Ira,« b. Nov. 25, 1838, d. Oct. 25, 1842. 

681. IV. Walter,' b. Dec. 5, 1840, d. May 5, 1862. 

682. V. Mary,« b. Jan. 2, 1843. 

683. VI. Abby,^ b. Nov. 21, 1844. 

684. VII. Emma,"^ b. May 31, 1847. 

685. VIII. Leslie.'^ b. Dec. 21, 1849. 

686. IX. Alice,^ b. Nov. 22, 1851. 

I. Edwin married Mary E. Rainsted, March 28, 1S60. They 
have three children, and reside in Milford, Mass. 

At the breaking out of the Rebellion, Edwin was among the 
iirst to take up arms in defence of his country and the cause of 
freedom. He went out with a Mass. regiment called the 
" Mozarts." He was on the Peninsula under McClellan, and 
was in the following battles : Williamsburg^ May 5, 1862, Fair 
Oaks., May 30th to June 3d, 1862 ; Front of Richmond^ June 27, 
1^62 \ Charles City \ Roads, ]une 29th 1862; Malvern Hill., 
June 30, 1862: i-\ Bull Run, July 28th and 29th, 1862, and 
Chantilly where he was severely wounded. 

To describe these battles, and what he saw, and the part he 
took in them would fill a volume. He can only name them in 
this connexion, and refer the reader to the extended accounts of 
them found in the histories that have since been written of these 
terrible struggles between slavery and freedom. His personal 
reminiscenses are exceedingly interesting, and his narrative put in 
book form would make a very readable volume. 

II. Leonades married Mrs. Rhoda V. Davis in 1864. They 
have one child, and live in Winchenden, Masb. Leonades was 


also, in the Union Army in the some regiment with his brothers. 
He was noted for his bravery ani noble daring while in action. 
It is said in the battle of Williamsburg, the first actual engagment 
of many of the new recruits, that while scores were trembling 
with fear amid the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery, 
he stepped out of the ranks and addressed the colonel with whom 
he was on terms of intimacy, as follows: '• Colonel ! now's the 
t ime to charge !" The example of his coolness under fire for the 
first time, was considered more than an equivalent for the breach 
of order. The colonel smiled, and touched his hat in recognition. 
When the order to charge came he rushed forward, and was far 
in advance of the line. He became a target for the enemy, and 
was wounded ; he turned back and retreated a few steps but 
immediately faced the enemy again. His comrades coming upasked 
him why he did so? He replied, "I don't want a shot in the 

back from those rebels." His wound was slight and he 

continued in the army, and was in all the battles above mentioned ; 
and when that terrible battle at Fredericksburg was fought under 
Burnside, Dec. 13, 1862, he was severely wounded, and carried 
to the rear. He was an under officer, and was promoted during 
the service. 

IV. Walter was never married. He enlisted with his 
brothers in the "Mozart Regiment," and was the first to fall in 
the deadly encounter at Williamsburg. 

The following appeared in a Milford paper under date of May 
17, 1862: "We hear from all sources of information within 
our reach, that this noble regiment together with the 38th N. Y. 
have nobly won the proud destinction which has been accorded 
to them by their commanding general. They are to have the 
name ' Williamsburg,' inscribed on their banners. These gallant 
regiments marched ten miles before the engagement, the last 
three at double-quick. They arrived just in time to relieve their 
weary comrades, who had been in the conflict nearly all day, and 
were ready to give out by mere exhaustion. One of their number 


Frank Anderson fell in the thickest of the fight, and others were 
severely wounded. Walter Wilkinson who has, since the 
promotion of Lieut. Johnson to the captaincy of Co. A., been a 
member of that Co. although he went out with Co. G., was 
killed by a musket ball entering his skull over the left eye, after 
he had been in the action over an hour. He died instantly. He 
was clerk to Capt. Johnson, and was a young man of much 
promise. The news of his death cast a gloom over his native 
village, and a spirit of sadness is noticable on the countenances 
of his youthful companions. He was the son of A. T. Wilkinson 
Esq., and was twenty-one years old ; his other two sons are 
members of Co. G. and were also in the battle. This stroke is 
almost too much for the bereaved father to withstand." 

The following lines from their regular army correspondent 
appeared in the Milford 'Journal : 

" Far from his home and friends. 
Where truth and duty sends 

A gallant band 5 
Prompt at his country's call 
Young Wilkinson left all 
To rescue from her thrall 
Our native land. 

First in the bloody strife 
First in our band his life 

Was sacrificed ; 
Write in our hearts his name 
To nourish Freedom's Hame 
Till every bondman's claim 

Be recognized. 

'Twas slavery dealt the blow ; 
'Twas slavery, deadly foe 

Of every good ; 
Now let the Nation slay 
This monster while it may. 
And bring the glorious day 

Of brotherhood. 

Although to kindred lost. 
Count not the heavy cost — 

'Tis Freedom's gain j 
The millions yet to be, 
Shall join the jubilee. 
To honor such as he 

The noble slain." 


A person on the ground describes the battle-field as follows : 
"To obstruct our advance, the rebels had felled a few hundred 
feet of trees and shrubbery at the edge of the woods. It was 
here that this Brigade was ordered to charge upon the enemy, and 
drive them out. It was here that Gen. Kearney rode gallantly 
before the regiment, while the bullets were flying like hail stones 
about him, and shouted — 'Go in ! Mozarts.' It was here poor 
Walter Wilkinson had fought and fell, and the hardest contest 
took place. Corporal Wilkinson, brother to Walter, showed me 
two holes through the right leg of his pants, where a ball had 
passed, just grazing the skin. Then came the tale of Anderson's 
and Wilkinson's fall, and the expressions of grief from all parties 
who knew them showed how strongly men become attached by 
association. Young Wilkinson has been acting clerk in Capt. 
Johnson's company, and had formed many acquaintances outside 
of his own campany. He is the first of our Milford volunteers 
that has fallen on the battle-field. With fearless courage he 
faced the enemy of his country. That portion of our men with 
whom Wilkinson and Anderson were fighting, had taken position 
in the space of felled trees on the left of the road — right in among 
the rebels, at times the fight was almost hand to hand. The felled 
trees and shrubberies furnished protection for both sides, as each 
man loaded and fired while lying as near the ground as possible, 
behind stumps and trees, and logs. As one side arose a little to 
take aim it became a mark for the other, who in turn was waited 
upon again. It was thus that Wilkinson, in his zeal to know if 
his shot took effect raised his head only to receive the bullet just 
above his eye that proved so fatal. He stooped a little forward, 
and expired without a groan. His comrades for some time were 
not aware he was shot. His body was rolled in his blanket and 
placed in the ground, and for two long years all attempts to 
recover it proved unsuccessful." 

" By a forest's side at rest 

We found the warrior lying, 


^ And around his noble breast 

A banner clasped in dying; 
Dark and still 
Was every hill 
And the winds of night were sighing. 

Turn thee now, fond father ! 

From the de id, oh turn! 
Linger not young brother. 

Here to dream and mourn ; 
Only kneel once more around the sod, ' 

Kneel, and bow submitted hearts to God. 

The body was afterwards recovered, brought to Milford and 
buried with military honor. The following placards were posted 
about the village on its arrival. 

" Honor the Brave. 
A preliminary meeting to arrange matters for the obsequies to 
be performed next Tuesday, in honor to 

Walter Wilkinson, 

the early, and first slain of the Milford Volunteers will take place 
this evening at the select-men's room. A general invitation is 

The funeral was held at the Town Hall ; all the ministers of 
the place, five different denominations, took part in the ceremonies, 
and adding their sympathies with the family and friends, the 
military and citizens accompanied them (with the M ilford Band 
to the tomb, where due honors were given by firing of guns. 

His remains were afterwards removed to the old family 
grave-yard in Smithfield. R. I. 

When the battle-sacred heroes returned to Milford, they were 
publicly greeted, and honored with the following welcome from 
Clare E. Newton. 

" They come, a band of heroes brave, 

Back to their homes and friends, 
Saved from the soldier's bloody grave 

To God our praise ascends ; 
For three long years they've bravely fought 

For Liberty and Right, 
We look upon the noble band, 

And many a bright tear starts ; 


As memory bringeth other forms 

Back to our sorrowing hearts, 
We think of Johnson, true and brave, 

OfWakott in his pride; 
And Wilkinson — green be their graves 

For they have nobly died." 

Robert S. Wilkinson' ^ [463] David/[229] Robert^[ioi] 
AND y Israel/ [29] Samuel,^[8] Samuel^ 

Mariah Morrison, j [2] Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Milford, Mass. 

687. 1. David L.,'^ b. June 18, 1842. 

688. 11. Elida M.,« b. April 24, 1844. 

689. III. Frank E., 8 b. Jan 18,1847. 

William S. Wilkinson^ [467]. Same as above. 

AND \ 

Laura C. Paine, j 

Of same place as above. 

690. I. Anna Mae,^ b. Nov. 4, 1848.. 

691. II. Thomas Paine,^ b. Jan. 20, 1852. 

692. III. Chas. FREM0NT,^b. July 12, 1856. 

D. Lawrence Wilkinson''"] [469]. Same as above. 

AND y 

Sarah L. Turtelott, j 

Of same place as above. 

693. I. Ellen L,,^ b, Nov. 28, 1854. 

694. II. Edith L.,^ b. May 27, 1863. 

David S. Wilkinson'^^ [472] Isaac,^ [^32] David,^ [103]- 

and y Same as above. 

Almaria Hendrick, j 

Of Smithfield, R. I. 

695. I. Sarephina S.,^ b. Oct. 23, 1845. 



Isaac R. Wilkinson'"^ [475]' Same as previous page. 
AND > 

Eliza Arnold, j 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

696. I. Ella Hannah/ b. Feb. 7, 1850. 

697. II. Hattie GERTRUDK^'^b. July 4, 1852. 

698. III. Emma Jane,^ b. Dec. 16, 1856. 

699. IV. Alice Ethel,^ b. Jan. 9. 1866. 

Samuel T. Wilkinson'") [482] Abraham/[236] John,^[io9 
AND ! John,^ [40] JoiiN,^ [9] Samuel,^ 

Caroline L. Simpson f [2] Lawrence.^ [i] 
AND Julia Simpson, j , 

Of Warwich, Bucks Co., Pa. 

700. I. Mary T.,^^ b. April 19, 1842, d. June 15, 1842. 

701. II. John S.,^ b. March 5, 1844. 

702. III. Edward,^ b. Dec. 18, 1845, d- Aug. 11, 1847. 

703. IV. Elwood,^ b. Aug. 12, 1848, d. June 20, 1854. 

704. V. Henry,^ b. Sept. 5, 1850. 

705. VI. Susanna,^ b. Jan. 18, 1853. 

706. VII. Albert,^ b. Nov. i, 1855. 

707. ' VIII. Eleazer,^ b. Sept. 11,1857. 

Eleazer Wilkinson' ^ [483]- Same as above. 

AND \ 

Mary A. Twining, j 

Of same place as above. 

70S. I. Charles T.,^ b. Nov, 6, i 843. 

709. II. Jane,^ b. Jan. 28, i 845. 

710. III. Caroline,^ b. Oct. 30, 1848. 

711. IV. Barcley,^ b. Oct. 29, d. Aug. 30, 1850. 

712. V. Mary,^ b. Sept. I, 1850. 

713. VI. CoMLEY,^ b. Aug. 8, 1852. 


■ Thomas K. Wilkinson'^ [488] Brownell," [268] Joseph^ 
AND H'SO Joseph/ [50] Joseph^[i i] 

Lydia Salisbury, j Samuel,^ [2] Lawrance.^ [i] 

Of Waterville, Oneida Co., N, Y. 

714. I. Charlotte Ursula/B. Apr. 16, 1826, d. Oct. 16, 1855 

715. II. Chas. Browxell,^ ( ) b. Oct. 15, 1827. 

716. III. Joseph Salisbury,*^ (77°) b. Oct. 20, 1829. 

717. IV. Betsey Ann,^ b. June 12, 1833. 

I. Charlotte Ursula, married Samuel Miller, a merchant 
in Churchville, Monroe Co., N. Y., Feb., I853? ^nd moved in 
1854 to Grand Rapids, Mich., where she died. They had one 
child, (i) Rosabelle. 

II. Chas. Brownell, married Cornelia B. Hubbard of , 

lives at St. Joseph, Mo. He is the Editor of the St. Joseph 
Morning Herald. He was a member of the Legislature of Mo. 
in 1867. For a more particular account of him, see Biography. 

III. Joseph Salisbury married Martha Haughton , lives 

in Waterville, Oneida Co., N. Y. He is a merchant. 

IV. Betsey Ann, married Joseph M. Salisbury, a merchant, 
and lives in Waterville, Oneida Co., N. Y. 

James T. Wilkinson''^ [49o]- Same as above. 

and V 

Electa E. Allen, j 

Of Lockport, N. Y. 

718. I. George Kinny,** b. Mar. 20, 1830. 

719. II. James Thos.,^( )b. May 6, 1833. 

720. III. Harriett PERRY,^b. Apr. 10, 1835. 

721. IV. Eliza Electa Huntington,^ b. Jan. 14, 1842. 

William F. Wilkinson''^"| [492]. Same as above. 

AND \ 

Athalia Tucker, j 

Of same place as above. 

722. I. Emma Park,^ b, Oct. 1854. 



Chas. D.W. CWilkinson'^I [494]- Same as previous page. 
AND > 

Sarah E. Togal, j 

Of Worcester, Mass. 

723. I. Frank Marshall,^ b. Feb. 22, 1858. 

Joseph B. Wilkinson' ^ [501] Almadus,^ [''^9]- Same as 

and > above. 

Sarah Shafe'r, j 

Of Troy, N. Y. 

724. I. Walter BROwNELL/b. Nov. 2, i<S45,d.July 18, 1846. 

725. 11. Joseph Broavnell,^ b. Sept. 8, 1847. 
926. III. Almadus,^ b. Oct. 13, 1849. 

Andrew J, Wilkinson^ ~| [503]- Same as above. 

AND y 

Martha W. Thompson, j > 

Of Keokuk, Iowa. 

727. I. George Perkins,^ b. Apr. 17,1860. 

728. 11. Margaret CLARKE,'^b. Yeh. 21, 1862, <J. Mar. 27, 1863 

729. III. William Thompson,^ b. Jan. 6, 1864. 

730. IV. Walter,^ b. Aug. 12, 1866. 

731. V. Mary Kinkead,^ b. Dec. 2, 1868. 

Marshall S. Wilkinson' "| [508] George^ [276] Stephen^ 

AND y [141] William,* [57] Joseph,^ 

Clarissa Demott, j [ii]Samuel^[2]Lawrence.^[i 

Of Tiskilwa, III. 

732. I. Harriet A.,^ b. Jan. 16, 1855. 

733. II. Orrin,^ b. June 3, 1857. 

734. III. Julia M.,^ b. Mar. 28, i860. 

735. IV. Mary J.,^ b. Mar. 14, 1862. 


Lyman J. Wilkinson^] [5<^9] Same as previous page. 


ExMELiNE Stevens, j ' 

Of same place as previous page. 

736. I. George Thomas,^ b. Oct. 10, 1859. 

737. II. William,^ b. Sept. 27, 1862. 

George Wilkinson'^ "] [541] Abraham,^ [290] Oziel,^ [142 

AND VJOHN,^[58] JOHN,S [14] JoHN,^ [4] 

Sarah De Wolf, j Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of North Providence, R. I. 

738. I. Frank,^ ( ) b. May, 1832. 

William W. Wilkinson^ ^ [547]- Same as above. 

AND > 

Harriett C. Colton, J 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

739. I. Joseph,^ b. d. 1854. 

John L. Wilkinson''^^ [552]David,^ [292]. Same as above. 

AND y 

Elizabeth Ward, j 

Of Ottawa, Canada. 

740. I. John Lawrance,** b. Sept. 23, 1850. 

741. 11. George Lewis,^ b. May 24, 1853. 

James Wilkinson^ ^ [555] Daniel,^ [295]- Same as above. 

and y 

Mary Niles, j 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 

742. I. Henry Niles,^ b. Feb. 8, 1824. 

743. II. Ann Rebecca,^ b. June 14, 1830, d. Dec. 9, 1832. 


I. Henry Niles married Sarah A. Read, daughter of Alvan 
O. Read and Martha J. (Roberts), his wife, of Pawtucket. She 
was born at Pawtucket, R. I., Jan, 15, 1827. Mr. Read is a 
manufacturer, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for qualifying 
civil officers, and for 20 years Town Clerk. He is also a deacon 
of the church. 

Henry N. is a book-binder and bookseller, and resides in P. 
They have one child. 

Samuel Wilkinson' "j [556]. Same as previous page. 

AND > 

Sarah I. Tanner, j 

Of same place. 

744. T. Edward,^ b. Nov. 29, 1829. 

745. n. Margaret,^ b. Apr. 17, 1833. 

746. in. James Henry,^ b. July 12, 1846. 

Daniel Wilkinson^ [558]. Same as above. 


Sarah Ann Brown,) 

Of same place. 

747. I. Joseph B.,^ b. Aug. 10, 1836. 

748. n. Jane Brown,^ b. Nov. 9, 1839. 

Edmond Wilkinson'^ [562] Smith,^ [297]. Same as above. 

AND > 

Harriet A.Thayer, j 

Of Putnam, Ct. 

749. I. Lawrence,^ b. Oct. 2, 1857. 

750. n. Anna,^ b. Feb. 24, 1859, d. May 4, 1864. 

751. ni. Edward THAYER,^b, July 6, i860. 

752. IV. Clarence,^ b. Oct. 4, 1861, d. Oct. 6, 1861. 

753. V. Maud,^ b. May 30, 1863, d. May 7, 1864. 

754. AT. Robert,^ b. Jan. 21, 1866. 


Henry W. VVilkinsonM ['565] Washington A. J,,' [304] 
AND V Simeon,^ [HS] Ahab,* [59]. 

Anne Reed, J Same as previous page. 

Of Providence, R. L 

755. I. Henry Reed/ b. Aug. 10, 1865. 

756. II. Alfred Hall,^ b. May 29, 1868. 

George E. Wilkinson' "j [568]. Same as above. 

AND \ 

Helen Sturgis, j 

Of same place. 

757. I. George Sturgis,^ b. Nov. i 2, 1867, in Buenos Ayres, 
S. A. 

Ahab G. WilkinsonH [578] Ahab/ [316] Joseph,^ [i47]- 

AND ! Same as above. 

Julia A. Dorman and j 
Sue B. Wilson, J 

Of Washington, D. C. 

1st Wife. 

758. I. A Daughter,^ b. Apr, 12, 1859, ^- ^P^- ^ 2, 1859. 
id Wife. 

759. II. iViARY Elizabeth/ b. Dec. 31, 1866. 

Geo. W. Wilkinson'^ [601] Pardon W.,^ [341] George/ 
AND V [i 66] William,* [73] Jeremiah,^[i9 

Hellen Joy, j John,- [4] Lawrence.^ [i] 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

760. I. Helen ANToiNETTE,^b. Sept. 29, 1854, d. Nov. 13, i860 

Simon Wilkinson' ^ [605] George,^ [343]- Same as above. 

AND > 

Mary Carpenter, j 

Of Weston, Vt. 


j6i. I. Ella Lavina,^ b. Sept. 28, 1854. 

762. II. CoKA Dell,^ b. Aug. 15, 1858. 

763. III. George Wm.,^ b. Jan. 12, 1861. 

764. IV. Nettie Estella,^ b. Nov. 16, 1864. 

Warren Wilkinson^^ [611] Ika,® [344]. Same as above. 

AND } 

Adeline Peck, j 

Of Ira, Rutland Co., Vt. 

765. I. Charles Wm,,^ b. 


Orville C. AVilkinson^^ [663] Orville,' [440] James,'^ 

AND } [220] Israel,^ [i 00] Israel* [29] 

Mrs. Jeannette Lamb, J Samuel^l8]Samuel^[2]Laavre:;ce 

Of Sherburne, Chenango Co., N. Y. 

Edwin Wilkinson^^ [678]Alexander'^ [451] Israel^ [221]. 

AND V Same as above. 

Mary E. Rainsted j 

Of Milford, Mass. 

766. I, Frederick Sayles^ b. Jan. 7, 1862. 

767. II. Nellie Augusta,'' b. Jan. 10, 1864, d. Mar. 27, 1864. 

768. III. Walter F.,^ b. Jan. 23, 1865. 

Leonades Wilkinson^~) [679]. Same as above. 

and / 

Mrs. Rhoda V. Davis, J 

Of Winchinden, Mass. 

769. I. Walter E.,^ b. Mar. 26, 1865. 

Joseph S. Wilkinson^^ [716] Thomas K.,'[488] Brownell^ 

AND V [268] Joseph^ [131] Joseph* [50] 

Martha Haughton, J Joseph^[ii] Sam'l^ [2] Lawrence.^ 

Of Waterville, N. Y. 

770. I. Ursula M.,^ b. June 16, 1863. 


HE.RV R Wilkinson'^ [742]'Csss] D.^rE^.Tagj] 

Of Pawtucket, R. I. 
771. I. Annie," b. Sept. 1 1, 1853. 


AWRANCE WILKINSON, the first of our race in 
America, was born in Lanchester, County Durham, Eng. 
He was the son of William Wilkinson bv his wife Mary, sister 
of Sir John Convers, Bart., and the grandson of Lawrance 
Wilkinson of Harplev House, Durham. 

Our knowledge concerning him on the other side of the 
Atlantic is limited to a few, but quite important particulars. His 
birth, his parentage, and his own conduct, entitle him to a very 
favorable consideration, and reflect honor upon his character as a 
conscientious adherent of the constituted authorities. The house 
to which he belonged had always been noted for its consistent 
adherence to the throne of England, and had from time to time 
been the recipient of many royal favors, and when the civil strife 
arose, he conscientiously girded on the sword, and went forth 
to fight for his King and country, and his ancient home. In 
short he was a loyalist, and at the surrender of Newcastle, Oct. 
22, 1644,* was taken prisoner by the Parliament and Scotch troops. 
At this period the Parliamentarians were greatly exasperated 
towards the adherents of King Charles I. Russell in his life of 
Cromwell says, "the Parliament had already manifested a very 
determined feeling of animosity against all the privileged orders, 
and were still directing the thunder of their power, not only 
against his Majesty, whose interest now appeared incompatible 

*See Humes' History of England, Vol. V., p. zyS. 


with their own, but also, against all that class whose wealth and 
rank were wont to constitute the support of the throne."* This 
spirit began to show itself as early as July, 1643, and continued 
to increase in intensity until the final overthrow of Charles. 
Many estates were confiscated, and the owners banished or 
imprisoned. At the time of his capture, Lawrance held^ a 
lieutenant's commission, and shared the fate of many others who 
fell into the hands of the enemy. He was deprived of his 
property, and his estates sequestered by order of Parliament. 
Deeply injured by the injustice of the Cromwellians, and feeling 
unable any longer to endure the oppression of the Government, 
he determined to leave his father-land ; accordingly, after having 
obtained special permission from Lord Fairfax, chief commander 
of the Parliamentary Army, he bid farewell to the scenes of his 
early youth — "'the dear old home" — now in the possession ot 
enemies, and embarked with his wife and child for New England 
to seek a home in the wilderness of America. 

Leaving their fatlier-Iand — their island home 
They cast a lingering look o'er hill and dell, 
And launching their fortune on old ocean's foam, 
Dropt a silent tear as they bid farewell; 
And while the winds the flowing canvass swell, 
They gazed sadly on their native shore 
Fast fading from their sight 5 they know full well 
Their wandering feet should pass it never more ; 
These thoughts of home and friends oppressed their bosoms sore. 

But why should they return where well they knew 
Persecution with a malignant hand 
Grasped her black sceptre ready to renew 
Her foul inflictions, and her base command : 
Nay; neither wilderness, nor desert sand. 
Where wild beasts howl, and Indian savage roam, 
Could strike such terror to the soul of man, 
, As the law of her ecclesiastic tome ; 

Hence farewell to all — kindred, friends, and island home. 

The blue hills fade from sight, the setting sun 
Throws back a lurid ray, the murky clouds 
Upheave and widen ; and now, one by one 
Like frightful monsters clad in inky shrouds. 
They rush to the fierce conflict; Neptune crowds 
The billowy deep — the waves boil and sweep 

*Russeirs Life of Cromwell, Vol., IL, p. no. 


Towering to the sky, bearing barks like gourds 
Upon their breasts ; — the vivid lightnings leap, — 
And the loud thunders bellow o'er the surging deep. 

To them old ocean with his vast expanse, 
Revealed a gtand and awe-inspiring scene, 
And his heaving beneath the lightning's glance. 
And tempest's wrath was terrible; but the sheen 
Ot" his glassy bosom beautiful as the gleam 
Of brilliants on a blushing maiden's breast; 
But ocean's grandeur in his awful mien. 
Ploughed by whirlwinds, or cradled into rest 
To those vast wilds was but miniature at best. 

And now the joyful sound of " land ! ho ! land !" 
Breaks upon their ears — and with fond delight 
They gaze upon the scene; and soon they stand 
Amid the forests of a world bedight 
With flowers gay, and with emerald bright. 
Their future home — the weary pilgrims rest. 
The land of Roger Williams, where the light 
Of Gospel truth shall never be repressed. 
But religious liberty abide in every breast. 

When Lawrance Wilkinson arrived in Providence, R. I., is not 
positively determined. There are different statements in regard 
to it. Among the old papers of Israel Wilkinson of Smithfield, 
R. I., in his own writing (written before the Revolution, lyy*;), 
are three several statements that ''he came to America about the 
vear 1640." Israel was born 1741 — at least 90 years after his 
arrival. Judge Staples in his " Annals of Providence," says — 
"his name first appears in Providence Records the 19th of the 
I ith month, 1645. (Jan. 19, 1646)." The Hon. Wm. Wilkinson 
of Providence, in a "Sketch of the Genealogy of the Wilkinson 
Family" in MS., says — "Lawrance Wilkinson as appears by our 
Town records, settled in Providence, in 1645." William was 
born in 1760. 

Rev. C. C. Bemen in his "Sketches of Scituate" says "Capt. 
Lawrance Wilkinson, the first of the name in R. I., came to 
Providence in 1645, nine years after Roger Williams." Savage 
in his "Genealogical Dictionary of N. E." says — "He was in 
Providence before 1646." 

The above authorities are very well agreed, but H. G. Somerby 
Esq. — the distinguished Genealogist of Boston — having made 


researches in England, says — " Lawrance Wilkinson left England 
by special permission of Lord Fairfax* in 1652, and went with 
his wife and son to New England and settled at Providence." 
Theadore A. Neal in an article contributed to the Heraldic 
'Journal^ makes the same statement. 

Here then is a discrepancy ; a difference of txuelve years from 
1640 to 1652. It will be observed that Israel Wilkinson of 
Smithfield does not state the time definitely. The others (except 
Somerby and Neal), undoubtedly get their information from the 
old record in Providence, a copy of which has been given in the 
documentary evidence concerning Lawrance. It bears date 1645. 
But this does not settle the question. The note appended to that 
civil compact says, " that all whose names are attached did not 
sign it at the date, but several in 165 1," or even later. I find 
no other record concerning Lawrance until 1657, but Mr. Savage 
gives the date of birth of his second child — a daughter — March 
9, 1652, he was then in Providence. I have seen somewhere 
one other statement among some old papers, that " Lawrance 
Wilkinson arrived in Providence about 1650." From these 
conflictino; statements it is somewhat difficult to tell which is 
correct. The name of the ship that bore him across the Atlantic 
is not remembered. 

I am inclined to think, after a careful investigation of this 
matter, that the latter date, 1652, is correct. The fact that the 
statements concerning his arrival in 1640 and 1650, are not 
positive, and those of 1645 are predicated upon the old records in 
Providence which give at least six or seven years latitude for the 
arrival of any given signer, leave chance for doubt. There being 
no record of his marriage, nor of the birth of his oldest son to 
be found in the Providence records would favor the assertion of 
Somerby and Neal. Although not conclusive, still the fact that 
his name is not again mentioned in the records until 1657, is 

*LoRD Fairfax was Commander-in-Chief of the Parliamentary Army after tht 
Earl of Essex. He was succeeded by Oliver Cromwell. 


entitled to consideration, and would seem to tavor the latter date. 
Another point upon which there has been considerable diversity, 
is his military rank. His position in regard to the popular move 
under Cromwell which resulted in the overthrow and death of 
the King has been strangely perverted and misrepresented, and 
Illustrates the great uncertainty of tradition^ the mutations to 
which it is liable, and the little dependence that can be placed 
upon it. 

1. Bemen says, "He had been a Captain under Cromwell 
and left England before King Charles was beheaded." (This 
event occurred Jan. 30, 1649.) 

2. Somerby says, '' He was a Lieutenant in the army of King 
Charles I." 

3. Sava2;e — "Tradition tells he was a Captain under Cromwell, 
but it is rather inconsistent that he should have hurried to get out 
of that service, and to be so early at Providence as to avoid much 
of the peril of the civil war, and forego all the benefits of the 
triumphs of the holy brethren in his native land." 

4. My father's family Bible, contains the following record — 
"He was a Captain under King Charles in the wars with his 
Parliament, but during Oliver Cromwell's usurpation he became 
exposed to the tyrranny of the Government, and was obliged to 
leave his native country." 

If all the above statements are true, he must have belonged to 
both parties which disturbed England in those stormy times of 
civil strife — positions strangely inconsistent with the well known 
firmness which characterized the man. 

Bemen's statement is, probably, merely traditional, and is 
obnoxious to the charge of inconsistency, as alleged by Savage ; 
and still an argument like the following may be opposed to this 
allegation of "inconsistency." Cromwell's success in the latter 
part of 1644, was deemed impossible ; it was a cloudy time for 
the "holy brethren." The Earl of Manchester had openly 
manifested a repugnance to fighting King Charles any more, 
considering him sufficiently humbled in the battles of Marston 
Moore and Newbury. Essex and Waller, Cromwell's generals, 
were at variance and seemed to take satisfaction in each others 

3i8 Biography of 

reverses. Cromwell himself had complained of Manchester's 
backwardness to engage in battles when the most favorable 
opportunities presented themselves for victories, "as if he thought 
the King was now low enough, and the Parliament too high," as 
he expresses it.* Under such circumstances it is nothing strange 
that a young man like Wilkinson just arrived at his majority, 
and holding a Captain's Commission, should desire to make his 
escape and save his life, if the rebellion was a failure, though his 
valor should be compromised by the operation. It was at this 
time that he sailed for America, where to say the least, there 
was a prospect of enjoying unmolested the principles for which 
he had been contending in his native land, and which at that time, 
there seemed to be no immediate prospect of success. That 
Cromwell did succeed at last, only proves the young man's 
judgment in error, and in this matter he was far from being alone. f 

Again, perhaps Cromwell's intention to become dictator, had 
not been understood by Wilkinson before, as it certainly was not 
by a number of his firmest adherents, and seeing his determination 
in this respect, he had no choice in a change of Kings. 

But this is mere speculation — the tacts are otherwise. The 
statement in my father's Bible is confirmed bv Somerby and Neal 
with the unimportant particular of his being a lieutenant instead 
of a captain. The oldest statement in manuscript that has come 
into my hands, is that made by the elder Israel Wilkinson, great 
grandson of Lawrance, which is a confirmation of the above. 
However much opposed it may be to our preference in this matter, 
the weight of evidence seems to be, that Lawrance Wilkinson 
was a loyalist, fighting in the service of his King, in favor of the 
constituted authorities, and against the usurpation 6^ Cromwell 
and the Parliament. This is perfectly consistent with his 
belonging to the gentry of England, which fact we have stated 
in another place. It also, does away with the inconsistency 

*See Russell's Life of" Cromwell, 137, I. Vol. Also, 5 Hume, 283-4. 
fSec. I, Russell's Life, &c., 138-150. 


mentioned by Savage, and furnishes an additional inducement 
for leaving England and coming to America. His coming to 
Providence in ]>reference to Massachussets, is another item of 
proof of his position in England. " If Lawrance Wilkinson 
was a loyalist and one of King Charles First's officers," (says 
an English Baptist minister, recently from near London, and who 
was a relative of Sir John Filmer, and who appeared well versed 
in English history and English politics of the times of Charles,) 
^' he would come either to Rhode Island or to Virginia." It is 
well known that both of these Colonies were resorted to by the 
loyal subjects of Charles, of all orders of society — the nobility, 
the gentry and the common people. Even during the Revolutionary 
struggle the latter named Colony contained a greater number who 
had not forgotten their loyalty, than any other province. 

Upon his arrival in Providence, Lawrance signed the Civil 
Compact and received a gift of twenty-five acres of land, which 
was called a "•quarter right," and upon this stood the primeval 
forest consisting of oak, walnut and pine, which was to be cleared 
up before the "staff of life" could be obtained. Now commenced 
his pioneer life. And what a contrast to his life in the old world ! 
There every luxury awaited his order, and faithful servants stood 
ready to do his bidding — here, even the necessaries of life could 
not be had, and by the sweat of his brow must he earn his 
subsistence. In a new settlement the clearing away of the forest 
was a tedious task. The trees must be felled and cut into logs of 
convenient length — the underbrush and limbs piled, and when 
sufficiently dry, burned. To the inexperienced with implements 
ill adapted to the work, this clearing land was peculiarly fatiguing, 
arduous and discouraging, and it is nothing strange that some, 
disheartened, returned to England. Expedients were resorted to 
to hasten the work, and the skill of the settlers was constantlv 
taxed in discovering more expeditious methods of cutting up, and 
disposing of the trunks of the long trees which had been brought 
to the ground by the repeated strokes of the ax. Fire was used, 


and when the wind blew briskly they would place large limbs 
across the log, and setting fire at the point of contact, one man 
could do the work of three choppers. After burning the timber, 
the land was prepared for Indian corn with a mattock, or heavy 
narrow hoe, which was struck into the ground, the seed put in, 
and the earth pressed back upon it. The rich, virgin soil yielded 

Tradition does not inform us what kind of a house Lawrance 
first built, but generally the settlers houses were built of logs 
with bark roof — crevices chinked with clay — with no jambs, but 
a stone back against which the fire was built, and an aperture 
in the roof for the smoke to escape. The doors were hung with 
wooden hinges, and were kept shut with a wooden latch with a 
string attached hanging outside. Glass windows, of a diamond 
shape set in lead, were sometimes used, but they were regarded 
as luxurious, not to be had by all. The floors were frequently 
made of hewn plank, and the hearth was — mother earth. When 
fire-places were first constructed, thev were made eight or ten 
feet wide, four feet deep, and five feet high, and large logs were 
rolled in, and a fire kindled that rendered candles, lamps and 
gaslight useless. Cellars were eventually dug, and we find an old 
record laying out to Lawrance Wilkinson, "on the plain where 
his cellar is" sixty acres, bearing date 1673. In the preparation of 
food the Indian mode was adopted until mills were erected. Corn 
was pounded in mortars — sometimes dug out of the top of a stump. 
Much of their food was obtained from the rivers and the forests. 
Fish were abundant, and wild game, such as bears, deer, turkeys 
and partridges were easily taken. So important was the supply of 
fish which the river afforded that as late as 1790, manufacturers 
were restricted by law in building their dams, and were required 
to leave a passage for the fish to go up during a certain part of 
theyear. Their food wasofthe plainest kind — tea and coffee were 
seldom used previous to 1780. Bean porridge, milk and water 
was the universal beverage at the table. 



Their clothing was chiefly home-spun. Sheep were kept and 
the wool was wrought with hand cards, spinning wheels, and hand 
looms by the women, and the various articles of apparel for both 
sexes were manufactured in each family. Flax was raised on 
every farm, and the best of cloth was turned out by our maternal 
ancestors, manv of them acquiring a reputation which is attested 
by the present existence of the articles woven. Woolen and 
cotton mills were not known in New England then. 

The social intercourse of the early settlers was of the most 
friendly character. An entire equality prevailed. As mutual 
sufferings beget mutual sympathies, it can readily be imagined that 
they were intensely sympathetic and friendly. Every one rejoiced 
in the prosperity of his neighbor. Envy, pride of birth or wealth, 
and haughty gearing were unknown among them. The sick and 
unfortunate were readily assisted. The peculiar character of 
the government, and the religious principles of Roger Williams 
fostered the widest and deepest fellow-feeling and good-will, and 
every thing was tolerated but sin. They frequently visited each 
other, and the frigid formality — heartless ceremony and expensive 
entertainments of the present day had gained no footing among 
the early pioneers. They were cheerful, cordial, frank, full of 
humor, and practiced the broadest charity. Quiltings among the 
women, and evening parties were frequently attended six or eight 
miles distant upon ox sleds. Gov, Hopkins says in his " History 
of Providence," " that when Blackstone was old and unable to 
travel on foot, and not having any horse, he used to ride on a 
bull which he had tamed and tutored to that use." 

Fruit was a luxury, and was not grown during the first years 
of the Colony, The first orchard in Rhode Island was planted 
by Blackstone, and Gov. Hopkins says, " Many of the trees 
which he planted about one hundred and thirty years ago, 
are still pretty thrifty fruit-bearing trees now (1765). He had 
the first of that sort called yellow sweetings that were ever in 
the world, perhaps the richest and most delicious apple of the 



whole kind. Mr. Blackstone used frequently to come to 
Providence to jireach the gospel, and to encourage his young 
hearers, gave them the first apples they ever saw. 

They were bold men who first settled this wilderness country. 
Extreme hardship awaited them ; and thev who ventured forth to 
clear awav the forests, and battle with the Indians for possession 
of their hunting grounds, have not received from their posterity 
the gratitude their sufferings and deprivations deserve. A great 
debt is still due them, and it is hoped an appreciating generation 
will soon arise, not. only to cancel it, but to honor the founders 
of our native state with befitting testimonials. Their history is 
replete with bold adventure and daring enterprise, and should we 
commemorate the great events, and noble deeds and sacrifices 
that characterized them in different localities, a hundred monuments 
would arise as tributes due to our history, and to the memory of 
the early pioneers of Rhode Island. 

Capt. Ivawrance Wilkinson, as he was called by his townsmen, 
was admitted as one of the original " Proprietors of Providence," 
and in the laying out of the land, and in the draughts of the 
subsequent divisions on the east, and on the west side of the 
Seven Mile Line, his name constantly appears with the other 
purchasers of the town. He soon acquired a large real estate, 
and held a prominent position among his fellow-citizens. In 1659 
he was elected a member of the Legislature which met at 
Portsmouth. He subsequently represented the people in that body, 
and frequently was chosen to fill offices of trust in the infant 
Colony. He was an active business man, and though frequently 
called to serve in a public capacity, he by no means neglected his 
private affairs. He was greatly interested in building up the town, 
and entered heartily into every enterprise which had for its object 
the promotion of the Colony. The great principle of soul liberty 
which characterized Roger Williams, found an earnest advocate 
in him. He participated in the Indian wars, and anecdotes are 
still related concerning his fearlessness in these encounters. He, 


with Major Hopkins and Roger Williams, would not leave 
Providence when the savages threatened its destruction. He was 
a man of great firmness and decision of character, and governed 
well his own household. As a father, he was kind and affectionate, 
and provided for his children as bountifully^ as the circumstances 
of a pioneer in the New World would admit ; as a citizen, he 
was affable and obliging, alwavs readv to lend a helping hand to the 
distressed and needy ; as a legislator, he met the approval of his 
constituency, and was friendly to every benevolent enterprise. 
He is entitled to the honor of being one of the original proprietors 
of Rhode Island, and his descendants still hold prominent places 
in that State, as well as in other states of the Union. And could 
he gaze upon his numerous progeny, as the generations have 
successively gone, spreading out with the unfolding and peopling 
of the country, dwelling, some of them where he dwelt, upon 
the Atlantic shores of the New World, and others of them on 
the opposite side of the Continent where the golden sands oi 
California enrich their toil, and the ceaseless roar of the Pacific 
lulls them to slumber — and still others roaming the ocean — 
inhabitants of every clime — upon the islands of the sea — in the 
heart ot great cities — amid the Green .Mountains ot Vermont, 
and the Alleghanies of Pennsylvania — the prairies of Illinois and 
upon the branches of many rivers — with what astonishment 
would he contemplate the changes which two centuries have 
wrought ! As he stood upon some lofty elevation and looked 
abroad he could say in the language of truth as well as poetry : 

" Another race has tilled 
These populous borders — wide the wood recedes, 
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled; 
The land is full of harvests, and green meads ; 
Streams numberless, thit manv a fountain feeds, ' 
Shine, disrmbowered, and eive to sun and breeze 
Their virgin waters ; the full region leads 
New colonies forth, that toward the Eastern seas 
Spread like a rapid tiame among the autumnal trees." 

He lived in his adopted country nearly half a century, and we 
have no account of his ever returning to his native land. His 


death occurred in 1692, nine years after Roger Williams, and if 
he arrived in Providence in 1645, he lived in the Colony as many 
years as Roger Williams did. The Council Records of Providence 
mention the inventory of his personal property, but the inventory 
itself has not been found. His last resting place is not known — 
probably on his own land which is now known as the " Old 
Dexter Place " in Providence. To explain the cause why so 
many of the early pioneers graves have been forgotten, the 
following extract from Z. Allen's "Memorial of Roger William's'' 
will be inserted : 

*•' The pioneer of the ancient forests deemed himself happy 
when he had succeeded in establishing his family in a log cabin, 
and in planting a few acres of corn among the huge stumps of 
trees. At his death the neighbors gathered around his humble 
cabin, and bore away his body to a convenient corner of his farm. 
No sculptor was there to record his name in brass or marble ; 
and the only mark of his solitary grave was the little mound 
raised above the level of the adjacent green sward bv the fresh 
addition of " earth to earth, ashes to ashes." On the widowed 
mother of orphan children, then devolved, as an only heritage, 
increased toils with diminished means of subsistence. 

Then, again, one of the prevalent sect of Christians in this 
Colony — the Quakers — were conscientiously scrupulous about 
indulging in the worldly vanity of setting up a stone with a 
sculptured name to perpetuate the memory of a departed friend, 
deeming every such memorial of human affections, a wicked 
monument of human pride. 

These peculiar conditions of the state of society as it existed 
during the period of the first settlement of the Providence 
Plantations, have given an appearance of stoical indifference, and 
even of a want of decent regard for the memory of the dead." 

So sleeps Lawrance Wilkinson — the father of us all — without 
a stone to mark his grave, although he may be justly ranked with 

"Founders of states that dignity mankind, 
And lovers of our race, whose labors gave 
Their names a memory that defies the grave." 

— See /). 46. 


AMUEL WILKINSON, the eldest son of Lawrance, 
and not the third, as the Rev. C. C. Bemen has it in his 
*' Sketches of Scituate," was born about the year of our Lord, 
1650. We have alluded to the obscurity which rests upon his 
birth place in another part of this work, and would refer the 
reader to what is said of him there, for all the information wc 
now possess upon this point. 

In 1672, he was married to Plain Wickenden, daughter of the 
Rev. William Wickenden, who was the second pastor of the first 
Baptist Church in America.* 

A brief notice of this worthy man may not be out of place in 
this connexion. He came from Salem to Providence in i639,t 
and was ordained by the Rev. Chad Brown who was at that time 
pastor of the church established by Roger Williams. Mr. Brown 
immediately associated Mr. Wickenden with him in the pastoral 
office. According to Richard Scott,! Backus, and some other 

*" Rev. Wm. Wickenden was the first Elder of the first Baptist Church in Ameiica." 
So says the ^'Alass. Hist. Coll., id Series, Vol. 9, />. 197." Ivvidently incorrect. 

r" WicKENDON, or WicKiNGTON, morc commonly Wickenden. William, perhaps 
ot Salem, 1639, but was of Providence, 1640,3 strong friend ot Roger Williams, and 
opponent of Samuei Gorton. Died 3 Feb., 1670 — had three daughters. Plain, who 
married Samuel Wilkinson — Ruth married Thomas Smith, and Hannah married John 
Sle:re. An extravagant traditijn assigns the name ot his first mentioned daughter to 
her want ot beauty, but as a descendant rejoices in our day in the same prefix, we mav 
give less than the usual credit allowed to such tales." Sa-vagc' i Genealogical Diitionary. 
" Fox^s N. E. Fire Brand i^encbed." Part II, p. 247. 

JRichard Scott was one of the first settlers in R. I., and had his house, and owned the 
land where the village of Lonsdale now stands. The old "Scott Place." — the homestead 
had descended from father to son without alienation until 1825. i-er R. I. Soiiet\-for I, 
D. I., 1861. f. i+y. 


authorities, William's service as pastor continued only from March 
to July. But Dr. Benedict, in his " History of the Baptist," 
says, "Mr. Williams held his pastoral office about four years, 
and then resigned the same to Mr. Brown and Mr. Wickenden, 
and went to England to solicit the first charter." It is not our 
purpose to reconcile these conflicting statements, although it may 
not be a difficult task ; our object being merely to show the early 
relation of Mr. Wickenden to this first Baptist church in New 
England. On the resignation of Mr. Brown, Mr. Wickenden 
was sole pastor, and served several years in that capacity. It 
will be remembei'ed these men were not salaried pastors, and 
settled as ministers are now, but preached without pay, and 
labored like other members upon the lands they had taken up, or 
otherwise, and when the people came together on the Sabbath, 
would arise and address them upon gospel duties.* They were 
called the Elders of the Church, and when more than one was 
present, and the first had exhausted himself, he would say, "there 
is time and space left if any one has further to offer." In that 
case another, and another would ofi^er what he had to say ; so 
there was no set time for the meeting to close. After Mr. 
Wickenden's service closed at Providence, he preached sometime 
in New York City, and such was the violence of feeling and 
persecution against Baptists, and their doctrine of Soul Liberty, 
that he was imprisoned four months as a reward for his labors. 
After his incarceration he returned to Providence with broken 
health, and soon removed to a place called "Solitary Hill,"t 
where he died Feb. 23, 1669,! deeply lamented, not only by his 
own family, but by the church and the community, as he had been 
a prominent man in the early days of the Colony in both sacred 
and secular matters. A street in the south part of the city of 
Providence still bears his name. 

*See "Guild^s Mannivg and Broiun Uni-venit)" p. zi(>. John Hcwland says they 
did not approve of singing, and never practiced it. 

■j-Tradition says this Hill received its name from Roger Williams. It is situated near 
the south part of Olneyville. It is fast disappearing. 
\" Sprague^i Annals of the American Pulpit,'" p. 15, n. 


His daughter Plain was an accomplished young lady of a 
sprightly disposition, and was discreet and prudent in her conduct 
notwithstanding her fearlessness and boldness, and was highly 
esteemed by all who were acquainted with her. She was possessed 
of more than ordinary executive ability, and performed teats that 
would astonish, and perhaps shock the exquisite sensibilities of 
modern ladies of fashion. Her education in consequence of her 
father's position in society, and the excellent opportunities of 
home instruction, was far superior to many of her day and sex. 
Jt is nothing strange that the youthful Samuel just verging upon 
n;anhood, should be captivated by her artless demeanor, for they 
had grown up together from early childhood and knew each other's 
worth, and she had become to him the one altogether lovely, if 
not the chief among ten thousand. The Poet has said the course 
of true love never did run smooth, but whatever trials, or 
oppositions they may have had, none are now remembered. The 
nuptials were duly celebrated, and the young couple just turned 
of twenty with bouyant hearts, and doubtless, many a vision of 
future happiness and prosperity, retired to their home — having 
taken up a farm in the wilderness, about ten miles north from 
Providence, in what is now Smithfield, on the west side of the 
Blackstone River and about half a mile north-west of what is 
now known as the " Harris Lime Rock ;" the farm lately owned 
by Capt. John Jencks. The precise locality of the old house of 
Samuel Wilkinson is at this late period (about 200 years after its 
first settlement) difficult to ascertain. The "Great Road" leading 
from Providence to Worcester is known to pass through his lands, 
and the old gra\eyard wherein is buried Capt. John Jenckes, 
William Aldrich, and others of more recent date, a kv/ rods east 
of said road, was a part of his possessions. Within that solitary 
enclosure, by the side of a thrifty growth of at least the tertiary 
forest — surrounded by a thick stone wall, may be seen some very 
ancient mounds of earth nearly leveled with the surrounding land, 
and marked by rough, unhewn, moss-covered stones. No inscription 


however, informs the passer by who sleeps beneath them, and 
the uncertain index of tradition hesitatingly points to them as being 
the last resting place of Samuel and Plain Wilkinson. Spruce, 
pine and evergreen have sprung up, or have been transplanted 
here in more modern times, but whether the passing breeze 
murmurs their requiem, or that of others, we cannot tell. Silence 
is all around the solitary spot. Neither the sound of the great 
city, nor the hum of spindles, nor vet the bleating of flocks, nor 
lowing of. cattle may be heard in that lonely place, nought but 
the sighing breeze and the chirp of the cricket breaks upon the 
ear. Oblivion and silence envelop all ; and silence and oblivion 
will envelop them till the trump of the Archangel shall awaken 
the sleeping dead, causing them to burst their cerements, and to 
come forth to newness of life. It is sad to search for the last 
resting place of departed ancestors, and be obliged to return 
unsuccessful. But this is a world of change. How impressive 
the word of inspiration — " Man dieth and wasteth away " — "As 
a flower of the field so he flourisheth, for tlie wind passeth over 
it, and it is gone ; and the place thereof shall knoiv it no more." 

Though it be difficult to locate the old house of Samuel, yet it 
is by no means difficult to locate the homestead farm. The place 
where he toiled, and by the sweat of his brow earned their daily 
bread is well known. Fortune smiled upon him in the morning 
of life, and bv frugality he increased his store. It may be said 
of Plain that "She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly 
with her hands," though a minister's daughter ; and her husband 
found "her price far above rubies." " His heart did safely trust in 

Frequent visits were made to Father Wilkinson's in Providence, 
for Father Wickenden had been borne to the silent tomb three 
years before their marriage. And these visits were returned by 
their " loving parents," whose hearts were made to rejoice in the 
prosperity of their children. 


Plain was a decided character, and some traditionary anecdotes 
are still related concerning her. After they were well established 
in their new home, she assumed and performed the duties of a 
pioneer housewife with an energy that bespoke the former training 
she had received at the hands of a Baptist minister of the primitive 
diys of Rhode Island Colony. The *•' Harris Lime Rock," and 
"Dexter Lime Rock" are monuments that will always perpetuate 
the memory of the first residences of Samuel and John Wilkinson. 
7 heir settlement, however, was many years antecedent to the 
quarrying of limestone at these respective places. A toot path 
at first by marked trees leading from one cabin to the other was 
all the road in those days — then followed the bridle path, and 
finally the road was made by felling the trees and making way for 
the transportation of produce in ox carts and wagons. 

Whoever will take the pains to go up the Blackstone about 
seven miles from Providence will come to what has been called 
for nearly two hundred years " Martin's Wade," or " Martin's 
Wading place," which is a ford in the river a little south of the 
present villa of Ashton, formerly called the "Sinking Fund." 
From this " wading place " extends a winding road back into the 
country. You first go down the river, and then turning to the 
right amid the young forest of shrub oaks, pine and underbrush, 
for which the town of Smithfield is noted, and winding over the 
hills in a westerly direction you come to a little settlement called 
the " Lime Rock, " containing a public house, store, and about 
twenty dwelling houses. A iev/ rods west of this village lies the 
"Harris Lime Quarry" where the far-famed R. L Lime is excavated 
and burnt. The " Great Road " runs in a north-westerly direction 
here, and out upon this road about a half-a-mile, on the west side 
of the highway was where Samuel and Plain pitched their tent, 
and erected their cabin amid the primitive forests of R. L No 
trace now remains of their house, no stone, tree, or ruin may be 
seen to point out the exact locality of their dwelling, as we have 
before remarked, but somewhere here it was, near a running brook 



that winds its way down the vallev towards the river. Into this 
dreary, solitary place Samuel brought his metropolitan wife, and 
commenced the work of civ ilization. The forests fell before his 
repeated strokes, the fields waved with grain, and the harvest of 
corn and potatoes, and the cereals rewarded his labors. Cattle, 
sheep, swine and horses were soon raised, and luxuries began to 
flow into their wilderness home, not however, without the toil and 
perseverance of Plain. Sugar, tea, coffee, rice, raisins and the 
groceries so common now in every country store could not at 
that time be so easily obtained. Providence was ten miles away, 
and was but a small town. Boston was about torty miles distant, 
and abounded with the much coveted articles. Samuel could not 
leave his farm and stock long enough to do the shopping, and like 
a sensible man allowed Plain to do the small business of this kind. 
Mounted upon her own mare with her panniers filled with the veal 
of a well fatted calf, killed the night before, and such other 
articles of farm produce as would find a ready sale by wav ot| 
barter — at three o'clock in the morning she might be seen wending 
along the bridle-path I have described, making her way to Boston. 
Winding through the forests, descending the hills, through the 
vales ; turning now to the right, now to the left, as the blazed 
trees would indicate, till she came to the river at "Martin's Wade," 
when gathering up her feet to keep them out of the water, she 
would cross and arrive at what is now called Attleboro at sunrise. 
After breakfast she would remount and pursue her journey to 
" Shawmut," the " City of Notions," alias Boston ; exchange her 
cargo, which was eagerly sought by the metropolitans, receive her 
longed for luxuries and return home next day, and none the worse 
for wear! Now there's a wife for you ! No wonder her husband 
valued her above rubies. When it is remembered that wild 
beasts and wilder Indians inhabited and roamed unmolested all 
along her route, we may well suppose a degree of moral courage 
was required not to be found among the fair sex of the present age. 
But an event was approaching fraught with anxious interest to the 


voung couple. Sept. 18, 1674, Samuel and Plain welcomed their 
first born to this shifting world of joy and sorrow. Now their 
mutual love was centered upon their darling bov, and a king with 
all the wealth of Ormus and of Ind might envy their rural 
happiness. The tender sentiment of the author of '•■ Gertrude 
of Wvoming " finds its antecedent here. 

O Love ! in such a wilderness as this, 
Where transport and security entwine, 
Here is the empire of thv perfect bliss. 
And here thou art a god indeed divine. 
I'ere shall no forms abridge, no hours confine 
The views, the walks that boundless joy inspire, 
Roll on ve days of raptured influence, shine ! 
Xor, blind with ecstacy's celestial fire. 
Shall love beholJ tlic spark of earth-born time expire." 

But this is a world of change, and these halcyon days were 
not to last forever, else this earth would have been a heaven. 
Frequently had the red-man^ the native of the soil looked in at 
their cabin door and asked for something to appease his hunger 
and thirst, and never had been sent away empty. But now he 
seldom called, and when he met the pale-face, a certain something 
in his eye and bearing bespoke mischief. It was merely noticed 
and passed by, and 

" All went merry as a marriage bell," 

among the pioneer settlers of the Colony. 

Suddenly in the spring of 1675, all New England became the 
theater of the most sanguinary, furious and desolating Indian war 
that America ever witnessed. King Phillip, that powerful, 
aspiring Chief of the Wampanoags had established a league with 
nearly all the tribes throughout the Colonies of Massachusetts, 
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York New Hampshire and Maine 
extending over 300 miles, with a view to exterminate the English 
and avenge what they concei\ ed to be, the wrongs of the Indians. 

''The better to affect this'' says the historian, "and to 
disguise his intentions, he amused the English by professions of 
friendship and submission ; renewed the treaties which his father 
had made ; disposed of his lands, and gave quit-claims of those 



before sold bv his father and brother to raise the means for 
supplying his men with tire-arms and ammunition ; cultivated the 
friendship of the neighboring tribes of Indians — smothering the 
feuds and reconciling the quarrels of centuries ; and thus bv 
deluding the English, and strengthening himself by increasing his 
connexions and alliances, he was preparing secretly and silently 
the work which was to shake New England to its centre, and 
deluge the land with blood." 

Roger Williams was the first to perceive the secret machinations 
of this wily chieftain, and made vigorous efforts to avert the 
impending tornado of savage wrath, and at first seemed successful, 
but the hearts of King Philip and his young men were fired with 
vengeance, and nothing but the blood of the English could satiate 
their thirst. Eour thousand of these savage warriors rushed forth 
to scenes of fire and blood and carnage that beggar description. 
Skulking behind logs, stones, houses and barns, they would pour 
a deadly fire upon the unsuspecting occupants of almost every 
house, as they came forth to their daily labor. There v/as no 
safety anywhei'e. No one knew but the next moment the crack 
of the rifle would salute his ears, and the whizzing bullet pierce 
his heart, and prostrate him upon his own doorstep a corpse.* 

From mount Hope, King Philip and his warriors had crossed 
over Narragansett Bay near Providence, into Connecticut making 
friends of every tribe, rallying them around his standard ; even 
visiting in person the distant Mohawks, to whom he portrayed in 
vivid colors the encroachments of the whites, and enlisting them 
in the common cause. Then commenced in good earnest the 
work of death. At Brookfield, Deerfield, Hatfield, Springfield, 
Hadley, and a number of other places, the savage war-whoop 
rang out, and the rushing flames of their dwellings became the 
winding sheet of many a settler in this wilderness of New England. 
Nearer and nearer rolled the tide of war. And when that terrible 

*See Church's Indian Wars. 



Pierce's Fight, 
was going on, the veils of the savages, and the rattle of musketry 
could be distinctlv heard at the humble dwelling of Samuel and 
Plain. This battle was fought on Sunday, March 26, 1675, on 
the river between Pawtucket and Vallev Falls, some say near 
where the Providence and Boston railroad now crosses the river. 
Others have located the battle-ground further up the river between 
Whipple's Bridgeand Study Hill, opposite Blackstone's residence.* 
We incline to tiie latter opinion, and it must have been on, or 
near the land owned at one time bv John Wilkinson. The fight 
commenced on the east side, but was transferred to the west by 
the headlong daring of Capt. Pierce and his men, where many 
a brave fellow fell overpowered by numbfrrs. Ar: ancient chronicler 
relates the story as follows : 

*' Cant. Pierce of Scituate, Plymouth Colonv, having received 
intelligence in his garrison at Scekoiik, that a party of the enemy 
lay near Blackstone's, went forth with sixty-three E^nglish, and 
twenty friendly Cape Indians, and in their march, discovered 
rambling in an obscure, woody place, four or five Indians, who, 
in getting away, halted, as if they had been lame or wounded, but 
our men had pursued them but a little way into the woods before 
they found them to be only decoys to draw them into their 
ambuscade. For on a sudden they discovered about five hundred 
Indians, who, in very good order furiously attacked them, being 
as readily received by ours; so that the fight began to be very 
fierce and dubious, and our men had made the enemy begin to 
retreat, but so slowly that it scarce deserved that name ; when a 
fresh company of about four hundred Indians came in, so that 
the English and their few Indian friends were quite surrounded and 
beset on every side. Yet they made resistance for above two hours, 
during all which time they did great execution upon the enemy, 
whom they kept at a distance, and themselves in order. For Capt. 
Pierce cast his sixty -three English and twenty Indians into a ring, 
and fought back to back, and were double-double distance all in 
one ring; whilst the Indians were as thick as they could stand 
thirty deep."| 

* said Elackstone's house and all his papers were burned by the Indians during this 

fSee Hubbard's Narrative, p. 150, et stj. 



Just gaze in imagination upon the scene. That Httle company 
of eighty-three men formed into a ring, surrounded by nearly a 
thousand savages whose hideous yells echoing amidst the forest 
are enough to make the knees of terror quake. 1 he shrieks and 
groans of their wounded and dying comrades is enough to appal 
the stoutest heart. While above the rapid roll of musketr)' which 
envelops that little circle in a wheel of fire is heard the strong, 
clear voice of Ca[)t. Pierce — " Steady, men '" But courage and 
valor are unavailing. One after another of this Spartan band 
falls and expires. They close up. The ring grows smaller and 
smaller. Still the wheel of hre with its radiating spokes of 
lightning stands firm as a rock in mid-ocean with the tempest 
raging around it. There is no disorderly conduct, no cowardice. 
Every man is true steel. It is a life and death struggle, and if 
despair like a black cloud settles down upon them admitting no 
ray of hope, then will they sell life at the dearest rate. Still they 
load and fire, and many a savage bites the dust. For two mortal 
hours this unequal strife is carried on. Overpowered at last, tor 
the little circle is reduced to twenty onlv, who can wield a musket •, 
•resistance ceases. Fifty-five English and ten friendU' Indians 
have fallen upon this fatal spot ! The rest break and flee and 
some escape ! Brave men ! Gallantly did they fight, and defend 
the life of the infant Colony. Their gorv bed was truly a bed of 
honor. "Thev sold their lives at a gallant rate" — says the author 
just quoted. " It being affirmed by those i&\N who did escape, that 
the Indians lost three hundred fighting men in this battle." 

Why does not Rhode Island raise a monument commemorating 
the valor of those noble men, who fell on her soil in defence of 
her precious life .'' 

Scenes like these would naturally awaken revenge in e\ ery heart. 
Samuel bears the title of Captain, and these were the events which 
paved the way, and created the necessity for such military honors. 
These, were not piping times of peace, but of busv, bustling, 
sanguinary war — war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt, in- 



the fierce encounter of the ruthless savage. Every able-bodied 
man shouldered his musket, and held himself in readiness to march 
to the scene of conflict, Samuel and his brothers John and Josias 
were in this war, and fought valiantly. Many people fled from 
their homes, and situated as Samuel was, some distance in the 
country alone, it is probable his wife and child fled to the garrison 
house in Providence for greater safety. For a time it seemed the 
Colonists would be annihilated. While many of the people of 
Providence fled to Rehoboth, and other places for safety, Roger 
Williams, Major William Hopkins and Lawrance Wilkinson 
remained at home, determined to defend their own town if 
attacked. Roger Williams, though seventy-six years of age, 
accepted a captain's commission of the militia of the Colony and 
kept the companies in constant readiness for active service. 
Though the best possible arrangements were made for the defence 
of the town, vet the Indians, emboldened by their success over 
Capt. Pierce, two days after (March 29) attacked the town and 
burnt thirty houses. It is said when they appeared on the heights 
north of the town, Mr. Williams went out to meet them, 
thinking his influence might pie\ail with them as it had done in 
other cases ; but though some of the older chiefs seemed kindly 
disposed towards him, they assured him that the young men were 
too much exasperated for him to venture among them with safety. 
He retired to the garrison house, and soon saw the town in flames. 
This terrible war, which cost the Colonies an immense amount 
of treasure and blood, was brought to a close by the death of 
King Philip in August, 1676. He was shot by a friendly Indian, 
and his head was cut off^ by Capt. Church with a rude sword 
made by a blacksmith of the Colony. The sword is in the 
possession of the Mass. Historical Society.* 

Peace again spread her wings oxer the Colony of Rhode 
Island. The people returned to their homes, but alas ! the family 

*Lossing's Pictorial History U. S., p. 102, n. 9. 


circle in many a household had been broken, and in a multitude 
of instances a heap of ashes marked the place of their once happv 
abode.* Samuel's home was unm.olested, and he returned to the 
quiet labors of his farm, where for many long years he enjoyed 
the bliss of connubial felicity in the bosom of his family. Six as 
fine children as ever surrounded the old hearthstone of any 
mansion Plain bore him, of whom neither parent never had 
occasion to be ashamed, but on the contrary, had ample reasons 
to feel proud. There v/as Samuel, the honest farmer of Smithfield, 
and John, who went to Pennsylvania and became the father of a 
numerous progeny, who rise up and call him blessed ; and William 
the Quaker Preacher, v/ho returned to his grandfather's native 
land, England, and whose controversial and epistolary writings 
bespeaks a mind well stored with knowledge, and rich in divine 
grace ; and Joseph the solid farmer of Scituate ; and Ruth, the 
mother of Stephen and Esek Hopkins,^ both representative men 
on land and water ; and Susanna, the mother of many Angells — 
truly this is a remarkable family ; and if ever parents had reason 
to rejoice that their children were well behaved and respectable, 
honored and loved by the community and the nation, it was Samuel 
and Plain, the heads of this family, 

Samuel was a Quaker, and is mentioned among the "eminent 
men of the town of Providence" in a letter sent by an "Association 
of Massachusetts Ministers" to the people of Rhode Island, 
making an offer of Preaching the Gospel to them gratuitously. 
The reply to this letter must be regarded as the sharpest, boldest, 
most polite note declining a proffered gift, or service ever penned 
in the English language.* 

Samuel was for many years a member of the Legislature of 
Rhode Island, and aided in enacting some of her most important 
laws. He was an ardent advocate of liberty of conscience, and 

*Lo»sing's Pictorial History U. S., p. 102, n. 9. 
ti Benedict's Hist, of the Baptist, p. 467-471. 



the mention of his name by Honeyman indicates the esteem in 
which he was held by his fellow citizens.* 

Samuel and Plain lived to be quite aged, and as the shadows of 
theirdeclining years began to lengthen, and they took a retrospective 
glance over all the way thev had come in their earthly pilgrimage, 
and beheld from the hills of age their children uniting their 
fortunes with suitable partners, and launching forth on the ocean 
of life, with one of old thev could exclaim, " Now let thy servants 
depart, for our eyes have beheld the salvation of the Lord," and 
we long to be at rest. 

At what time Plain departed this life we are not informed, but 
Samuel died Aug. 27, \^]^^.^\ He was probably, buried on his 
farm, as there are graves to be found there, but no inscription or 
monument tells the passer by where sleeps the dust of this early 
pioneer of the American wilderness. 

We know not their place beneath the green sod, 
But they sweetly repose on the bosom of God. 

—See p. 53. 

^History of Narragansett Church, p. 53. 

■j-Savage refers to Samuel as follows : " Samuel, Providence. Son of Lawrance, 
engaged allegiance to the King, 29 May, 1682, married 1672, Plain daughter of Wm. 
Wickenden, had Samuel, born 18 Sept., 1674; yohn, 25 Jan., 1678; William, I Aug., 
l68oi 'Joseph, 22 Jan., 1683; Ruth, 31 Jan., 1685, and Susanna, 27 Apr., 1688. Ruth 
mairied William Hopkins, and thus become mother of Esek, the tirst Commodore of an 
American fleet in 1776, and of the more distinguished Gov. Hopkins, whose chirography 
is so sacredly legible on the Declaration of Independence." 4. Savage'"! Gin. Diet, of 
N. E., p. 551-2. 



^OHN WILKINSON/'' the second son of Lawrance, was 

'^M born in Providence, R. T., Marcli 2. 1654, died April 10, 
1708. Nurtured in the wilderness amid trying scenes and 
hardships of border life, it is nothing strange he grew up a hardy 
and fearless man, always ready for any emergency, whether the 
athletic exercises of wrestling and boxing, or the deadly hand to 
hand encounter with the red men of the forest ; and it was not 
his fate to be conquered whatever the strife. He was noted ior 
his physical prowess, and no man in the Colony was an overmatch 
for him. The early records exhibit a peculiar trait of his character, 
and that is — an aggressive spirit. Never satisfied with present 
attainments he was constantly reaching out for greater acquisitions, 
and he was generally successful in obtaining the object of his desire. 
Perfectly honorable and upright, he used no artifice to accomplish 
his purposes. His father [awrancc, entertaining the correct idea 
for a settler in a new country, took up from time to time about a 
thousand acres of land in and around Providence, and thus set 
an example which his sons were not slow to follow ; but by the 
time they became of age it was necessary to go out several miles 
into the surrounding forests, as all the land in the immediate 

"■"'Savage mentions John as follows: "John, ProvidenLi-. Cvjn (perhaps the youngest) 
of Lawrance, by his wife Dcburah, manici i6th April, 16S9; had John, bi>rn March, 
1690; Mercy, 30 June, 1694; Sarah, 22 June, 1696; Freclo'ue, 25 July, 1701 ; 
Daniel, 8 June, 1703, and yercmiah, 4 June, 1707. This last was ancestor of the 
distinguished prophetess, Jemima Wilkinson. His eldest son married Rebecca, dau. of 
the second Richard Scott." James Savage's ^'Genealogical Dictionary of New England.^'' 
Vol. IV., p. 551-2. 


vicinity was appropriated by the older men and the earlier settlers. 

John went up the Blackstone about seven miles, and settled 
on the west side of the river in a very pleasant locality near what 
was then, and is now, called " Martin's Wade." The whole 
country was called Providence at this time, and the divisions of 
towns and counties were unknown. The road h'om Providence 
to Woonsocket runs near the river at this place, and another road 
coming from the west past the "Dexter Lime Rock "meets it at 
right angles. Directly opposite on the east side of the river road 
stands a house embowered with trees — the present residence of 
Mr. Hale who married Elizabeth Wilkinson, a lineal descendant 
of John. Here it was that John pitched his tent, and built his 
humble dwelling. At what time he first settled at this beautiful, 
quiet, and really romantic place we are not able now to determine, 
probably between 1680 and 1690. The present occupants affirm 
that the old part of a very ancient house was taken down many 
years ago when a new addition was put up — that said addition 
was taken down when another part was erected, and that the 
present house was built on the original site — being x\\& fourth 
house that has been built on the ruins of its predecessors. 

The view down the ri\ er from this place is decidedlv picturesque 
and beaMtiful. The Blackstone is nearly straight to Lonsdale, 
and the green Bats though narrow, are bordered by gentle 
decliv'ties on either side. In the di-^tance, and on the west side 
shoot up the spires of churches, and the many windowed factories 
of the Lonsdale company, while on the east side looms up that 
magnificent brick mill recently erected, and within a i&'w rods of 
the far-famed *•' Study H'llV — the historic retreat of the eccentric 

But how changed is the scene since the days of John's first 
settlement! Then the primitive forests bordered the river, and 
the heavy foliage hid the only human habitation in that direction, 
\iz: the distingusihed Richard Scott's. No railroads, no telegraphs, 
no villages, and no dams obstructed the waters of the river, and 


the only mode of conveyance was through the woods by blazed 
trees, or with the light canoe on the bosom of the gentle flowing 

John's neighbors in this sylvan retreat at a later period were 
the Whipples and the Dexters, sons of the Rev. Gregory Dexter 
— and from whom the "Dexter Lime Rock" takes its name — 
and the aborigines. The latter were very numerous, and frequently 
very hostile. They looked with jealous eyes on the encroachments 
of the white men, and used every means in the power to prevent 
the advancement of civilization. They did not hold John in very 
hio-h esteem, although they feared him. The Narragansett tribe 
had a camp in a swamp east of the river, and John had taken up 
land which extended into the swamp and included a part of their 
camp. Although he did not molest them, yet the very presence 
of the pale faces was an offence to these lords of the soil. 
Whoever will take the pains to examine the old records will find 
a description of this land purchased at a later date by John's son^ 
a part of which runs as follows: "one messauge or tract of land 
* * lying by said Wilkinson's at the 'Camp Swamp.' "* 

This place has a historical reputation in R. I., and is remembered 
as being one of the strongholds of the savages during King 
Phillip's War, in 1676, one hundred years before the Revolution. 
'-'■ Nine Mens Misery" is in this swamp and is so named from the 
fact that nine men were cruelly murdered, and shockingly mutilated 
by the Indians. Bliss in his " History of Rehoboth"t gives three 
traditions concerning the time, place, and manner of this deed ot 
horror. He says: "The third tradition respecting this event, and 
the one which seems the most probable, and the best supported 
by circumstances, is, that these nine men were a remnant ot 
Pierce's brave band, who were taken prisoners by the Indians, 
and reserved for torture. They were carried to a sort of peninsular 
of upland, nearly surrounded by Camp Swamp, and seated upon 

■^2 Book Records, 223, CumlieiLmd, R. I. 
|Blisb' History of Rehoboth^ p. 94. 


a rock in a kind of natural amphitheater, formed by the elevated 
ground around it. The savages commenced the war dance around 
them, and were preparing to torture them ; but disagreeing about 
the manner of torture, they fell into a quarrel among themselves 
in which some of the Indians despatched the prisoners with their 
tomahawks. This story is said to have been related to the English 
by an Indian who was soon after this taken prisoner. The Indians 
having scalped them, left their bodies upon the rock where they 
had slain them, and here they remained unburied till they were 
discovered by the English some weeks after. They were then 
buried, all in one grave, on the higher ground, fifteen or twenty 
rods from the rock on which thev were slain. A heap of small 
stones, in the shape of the earth on a newly made grave still 
marks the spot where they lie." Daggett also, mentions this 

There is still another tradition among the descendants of John 
in Cumberland, which says, these men were tortured — that they 
were bound to trees, and then ripped open, and their bowels wound 
around theni and the trees together, and that they were afterwards 
tomahawked ! The heart sickens with horror, as we contemplate 
the scene. 

It is nothing strange that John became a terror to the Indians. 
Such scenes as these transpiring on his own farm, or at least so 
contiguous to it, and the sufferers being his neighbors and his 
acquaintances, and one of them perhaps, a near relative, would 
be apt to arouse revenge and the most deadly hate. He was in 
King Phillip's V/ar, and was noted for his bravery and rashness. 
He was out twenty-two years of age, but he feared nothing in 
human form. His brother Samuel was a captain, but whether 
John was an officer or a private, we are not informed. 

Some five or six years after King Phillip's War the Indians 
became more tuibulent again, and a battle was fought not far 

*Daggett's Hist, of Attleboio, p. ^2. 


from the old Quaker meeting-house in the south part of the 
town of Smithfield, a little north-west of Scott's pond. The 
town of Providence was alarmed, and immediately every able-bodied 
man was under arms and marching to the scene of conflict. 
Arriving in the vicinity the crack of the musket and the whizzing 
of bullets warned them of the presence of the enemy. Down 
among the tall grass, as thick as grasshoppers; behind rocks, trees, 
and knolls of earth were the wily savages pouring in a destructive 
fire upon the unprotected band of settlers. The troops were 

underthe immediate command of Major S -. The Indians were 

crowding up nearer and nearer, and the white men were falling 
here and there, killed or wounded, and the prospect appeared 
gloomy enough. The savages were evidently flushed with success, 
and were making progress ::gainst the English, when the commander 
seizing a favorable opportunity put spurs to his horse and fled 
towards Providence. The old men of the town, including 
Lawrance Wilkinson, whose three sons, Samuel, John and Josias 
were in the fight, had gone out as far as the burying-ground to 
the north of the town, and there upon an elevation were anxiously 
listening to the battle. The Major out of breath, and in the 
greatest trepidation ri)de up, and with fear-oppressed utterance 
announced the entire overthrow and extinction of all our forces 
bv swarms of savages. '■'•Our men are all killed" siid he. Some 
of the aged men hastened forward to ascertain the truth of the 
matter and soon come within sound of the hrin<2; which was still 
going on with considerable energy. An old man with sorrowful 
countenance addressed the venerable Lawrance, expressing 
sympathy for the lr:)ss his of sons. ''■ I would much rather thev 
should all perish fighting like brave men than to run a\va\- like 

Major S " replied he. His own conduct at the battle o! New 

Castle was a confirmation of this sentiment. 

The fight continued nearly all day. As the savages secreted 
tlicmsehes in the tall grass, the Rhode Islanders did the same. 
The filing was promiscuoui mil broken. Near sun-down the 


senior officer gave orders to rise and discharge their pieces and 
fall in the rear. An a\vkv\'ard fellow cried out — "-We are all 
discharged already." The Indians understanding that the amunition 
of the whites was expended, immediatclv arose from their covert, 
whereupon the Rhode Islanders poured in a destructiv e hre. The 
savages, terror-stricken, turned and fled in contusion from the 
field — and the day was v\'on. 

John was se'.erelv wc^unded in this tight, and in the "Proceedings 
of the Gencrall Assemblv of R. I., 25th Oct., 1682," the 
following entry is made: 

"■ J^oted^ upon the p^etition oi John Wilkinson of the towne ot 
Pro\ idence, who was wounded in the late warr with the Indians, 
this Assemblv ('oe allow him the sum ot tenn pc.unds in, or as 
money, to be paid out oi the Generall Treasury.'"' 

John married at t^he age ot thirt\-fi\ e, Deborah Whipple and 
had three sons and three daughters. P rom this family descended 
most of the name in Cumberland, and several in Smithtield. The 
Pawtucket Wilkinsons trace their descent from the oldest son, 
John, who married Rebecca Scott ; and a numerous branch of the 
New York Wilkinsons, who settled in Syracuse and Skaneateles, 
are the lineal descendants of Daniel, who married Abigaillnman 
— and the famous Jemima of New Jerusalem notoriety, was the 
daughter of Jeremiah who married Elizabeth A. \Vhipple. 

.Morton S. Willviii.-.*..!!, U. S. Senator from Minnesota is a 
descendant from Daniel — and Jeptha A., the rcnow^ned inventor 
of a machine to manufacture weaver's reeds, and also, ot the 
"Rotary Cylindrical Printing Press," is a descendant of Jeremiah, 
John's youngest son. For enterprise and business talent — money 
making and invention, no branch of the Wilkinson family excels 
or even equals this. 

John was frequently honored by his tellow-citizens, who 
imposed upon him many offices of trust. He was Deputy for 
Providence to the General Court tor several years, and his service 

*Records of the Colony of R. I., Vol. III. 


was always acceptable to his constituency. He served his day 
and generation well. 

The locality where he first settled has undergone the changes 
so beautifully and truthfully described by the " Quaker Poet." 

" Over the roofs of" the pioneers 
Gathers the moss of a hundred years ; 
On man and his works has passed the chance 
Which needs must be in a century's range. 
The land lies open and warm in the sun, 
Anvils clamor and mill-wheels run — 
Flocks on the hill-sides, herds on the plain. 
The wilderness gladdened with fruit and grain; 
But the living faith of the settlers old 
A dead profesbion their children hold." 

John died suddenly in his 55th year, and was found sitting upon 
a stone by the way-side — dead. 

See />. 57. 


JOSEPH WILKINSON was one of the most active, 
energetic sons of Samuel. He improved every opportunity 

to prepare himself for business — reading every book — listening to 
every story with an earnestness that bespoke a hungering and 
thirsting after knowledge. He learned surveying from his father, 
who was an expert in that art and frequently called upon his boys 
to carry the chain. He had no school advantages ; the schoolmaster 
was not abroad in those days. In fact the country was a wilderness 
— the distance from one neighbor to another precluded the idea of 
schools. Children, if taught at all, were instructed by their 
parents at home. Books were rare, but those possessed were 
valuable, and were well read. And here was the secret of the 
success of those men — a feiv good books thoroughly read^ and enough 
TO DO. The result was : energetic, practical business men — 
farmers, mechanics, merchants, statesmen — with unblemished 
moral characters. " There were giants in those days." The 
trouble with us at the present time — the trouble with our children 
is, we have to many books — read too many and do not thoroughly 
digest what we do read ; too much surface work and not enough 
going to the bottom of things ; we are satisfied with an outside 
view, and do not stop to pry into the cause, the reason why and 
wherefore of natural and spiritual phenomena. More thought is 
is necessary. The man who thinks a good deal, will do a good 
deal. Your intellectual drone will never amount to anything. 

. 46 


Joseph was a hard thinker as well as a hard worker. Situated as 
he was, about ten miles from the "Harbour of Providence," in 
the wilderness of what is now Smithfield, he enjoyed no advantages 
which the present day aiTords. But his father's house contained 
books, and mechanical and surveying implements The hills, the 
forests, the rocks and running brooks — Nature's great Book — 
was open for instruction, and furnished abundant pabulum for a 
hungry soul. The red man of the woods, the wild animals, the 
sweet warblers of the groves, all were objects of attraction, and 
taught him many a lesson never to be forgotten. He frequently 
went " to town " with his father, and saw the " big ship," and 
the sailors and cargoes, and heard their long yarns of lands far 
away. He treasured all, and when he came to be a man, used 
all he had learned in boyhood and turned it to good account. 

He was a pioneer in Scituate — one of the first men on the 
ground. He was there in 1700, perhaps, when he was but a 
vouth. He early resumed responsibility, and acted well his part. 
When the town was set off from Providence in 1730, he was 
elected a member of the Town Council. His opinions were 
honored bv hi> compeers — his advice was sought and followed. 
He was a thorough going business man. He did his own business 
well, and therefore the town called him to do their business. He 
did not disappoint them — their expectations were realized. He 
was a good financier, and husbanded well his own resources; hence 
they made him Town Treasurer. His views of civil government 
and law were founded in justice, therefore, they elected him to 
the Legislature. Judge Westcott says Joseph was the first 
Representative to the General Assembly from Scituate. In 
whatever position they placed him, he met the expectations of 
his friends. 

Joseph was a good husband — he loved his wife. She was a 
notable woman and deserved to be loved. On one occasion in 
mid-winter a daughter was lying sick, not expected to live. The 
snow was very deep, teams could not go. She equipped herself 


with snow shoes and walked twelve miles over the deep snow to 
see the invalid and to care for her. Few women could do that 
now-a-days. Joseph esteemed her above gold. On another 
occasion while her husband was two miles away at work, she 
heard a noise in a sweet apple tree near the house. It was rare, 
choice fruit, and highly prized by all the family. Upon looking 
out she espied a large black bear up in the tree shaking ofF the 
apples. Bears like sweet apples, and Martha thought Bruin was 
getting more than his share. Her ire arose, and she determined 
to protect her property at whatever hazard. She seized the gun 
which was loaded for such occasions, went out and fired. The 
explosion and springing of the gun alarmed her — She let it fall — 
ran into the house and bolted the door. When her husband came 
home from work. Bruin was stark dead ! and they had bear's meat 
for some time after that. Joseph prized his wife above rubies. 
So common were bears at this time that log folds were built to 
protect the sheep from their predatory incursions. Joseph built 
his near the house, and when these prowlers in quest of mutton 
were heard rolling the logs, the old gun would awaken mid-night 
echoes among the hills of Scituate. 

Joseph was a kind father — he loved his children and made 
provision for them by giving them good farms, and starting them 
with a respectable outfit in life. He gave Benjamin one hundred 
acres, and Ishmael eighty acres of land.* 

The consideration of those deeds was "the love, good-will and 
affection" he bore his "loving sons." 

Joseph had something to do with military matters. He is called 
Lieutenant in public documents. Frequent collisions with the 
Indians rendered it necessary to equip, train and observe military 
discipline. Personally he was on good terms with the red-men. 
They rendezvoused near his dwelling. On one occasion they 
held a pow-wow and dance on his premises. A thunder-storm 
drove them all into the house. They consumed everything they 

*See 2 Book of Deeds, p. — , Scituate. 


could find, and departed without even so much as thanking the 
proprietor for their entertainment. Sometime afterwards they 
called and left some very fine venison. 

Joseph built one of the finest houses in Scituate, and the first one 
finished off in panel work. It was erected in 1 725, or thereabouts, 
a little north of the Drew place. It was two stories high with 
two square rooms below — an entry in front, and three rooms and 
a pantry in the back part. The second story had six rooms. 
This house was burned in the winter of 1854-5, having stood one 
hundred and twentv years. So well did thev build in those days. 

His application to business — his perseverance and industry, 
coupled with the natural rise in real estate as the country became 
settled, made Joseph a rich man. His cattle increased, his sheep 
and goats multiplied, and, like .Joseph of old he was greatly 
prospered in this world's goods. During his life-time he owned 
nearly a thousand acres of land. 

He died in 1740, aged fifty-eight, and his inventory of personal 
property enumerates five horses, fifty cattle, a large number of sheep, 
goats, &c., «5cc., all amounting to over ^£1200. He was buried 
in a field near his first residence in Scituate, where his remains 
still repose marked by two rough stones. The time will soon coi^ie 
when the last resting place of this pioneer of Scituate will be 
entirely forgotten, unless some of his lineal descendants erect to 
his memory a suitable tombstone. 

Posterity of Joseph ! your ancestor is worthy this honor. 

I visited thisplace in 1865, and as I paused at the grave of Joseph 
my attention was arrested by the surroundings. There stood the 
house as it stood in days of yore with the smoke curling from 
the chimney top — and there the barn with swallows twittering 
around it, and the feathery tribe within making the day vocal with 
their clarion sounds, and at my feet the mound which had for more 
than one hundred and twenty-five years held the sacred reliques 
of the departed in their calm, still sleep. 

As I mused upon the mystery of life and death, and was 


revolving the question — " If a man die shall he live again?" the 
dinner horn blew, and the picture painted in Gray's Elegy was 
complete — 

"The breezy call of inscense-breathing morn, 

The swallow twittering from her straw-built shed, 
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn 

No more shall arouse them from their lowly bed." 

— See ^.77. 


ILLIAM HOPKINS, the oldest child of William Hopkins 
and Ruth Wilkinson his wife, was born in Scituate, R. I., 
about the year 1705. He early manifested a predilection for the 
sea, and became an expert navigator and a successful sea captain. 
In point of intellect and talent he is said to be superior to his 
brothers Stephen and Esek, and was the most promising young 
man in the Colony ; and, had he lived tillthedaysof the Revolution 
would have made his mark in national affairs, but he died quite 
a young man, and .much lamented by all who knew him. The 
following anecdote is worthy preservation : At the age of about 
nineteen, he was in London, England, as mate, or master of a 
ship when a mob was raised in consequence of a public offender 
taking refuge in the King's palace or place of residence in that 
city, and the avowed determination of the King to protect the 
refugee. The excitement was great, and the passions of the mob 
raised to the highest pitch, and, ''''down with the Palace! down with 
the King!" was shouted from a thousand angry ruffians. With 
sledges, axes and iron bars they commenced the work of demolition. 
William seeing their determination to kill the King, placed himself 
at the head of a body of armed marines and sailors, and being 
joined by a multitude of loyal citizens, rushed to the rescue 
shouting — '■'■Fall in and protect the King." Their attack was so 
Impetuous that they dispersed the mob in less than ten minutes. 
The King soon learning the name of the leader of the rescuing 
party, gave Hopkins a pressing invitation to make his Palace his 


place of abode while he remained in London, which invitation 
was accepted. While there he received marked attention, and 
many royal favors. The King granted him a colonel's commission 
which he sold when he left England for $900. Among other 
presents was a court suit, consisting of vest, pants and coat, the 
latter very costly, embroidered and trimmed with gold lace four 
inches in width. This coat is still preserved, but not entire. It 
was cut in pieces and distributed among the members of the 
family after his death, as a memorial of the occasion, and the 
heroism of the donee. 

It was his custom to wear this suit when he came into port, and 
the joy of bis parents when he first returned, and related his 
adventure is better imagined than described. Stephen Randall of 
Roger Williams' monument notoriety of Providence, has been 
collecting the fragments, and has in his possession several pieces 
of the lace, coat and vest. The author has a small piece of the 
short pants, which were also cut up and distributed after his 
decease. It is scarlet silk velvet, and has been in use during the 
past one hundred and twenty years. This was obtained from a 
distant relative who resides in Central New York. 

He continued to traverse the sea and made several successful 
voyages. He frequently went to London and was always well 
received by the King. On one occasion he, with several American 
officers, was presented to the Queen of England. The most of 
them bowed very reverently and kissed her hand, which she 
presented for the purpose, but our gallant commander stood erect 
and gave her a kiss of very great respect upon her cheek, and 
notwithstanding the dignity of her Queenship, she in no wise 
resented the familiarity, but by the smile that wreathed her 
countenance, seemed rather pleased than angered by it. In this 
she showed her womanly common sense, for he being a good 
looking young man, she undoubtedly preferred to have him repeat 
the operation than to omit it altogether. 

At what time he married Abby Curtis we are not informed. 


Thev had but one son, Capt. Christopher Hopkins who married 
Sarah Jenks, and their son Daniel married Susanna Wilkinson, 
daughter of John Wilkinson of Smithfield, Sept. 4, 1774, Elder 
Ezekiel Angell officiating at the marriage ceremony.* 

William Hopkins was a military man with the rank of colonel, 
and when we consider the age at which these honors were conferred 
upon him, he certainly held a high place in the estimation and 
confidence of his King and countrymen. June 15, 1739, he was 
given the command of an armed vessel, and was authorized to 
to raise troops and fit out private vessels of war, to redress seizures 
aud depredations in the west Indies by the Spanish. f Orders were 
received from Gen, Thomas Wentworth from Camp Isle, Cuba, 
Aug. 12, I 741, to recruit for this service, and very active measures 
were taken to prosecute this war vigorously. Capt. Winslow 
was also ordered to recruit. The following is a copv of General 
Wentworth's letter to Richard Ward, the Governor ox R. I. 


His Majesty having directed nie to use my best endeavors 
to recruit his forces under mv command in his Colonies in North 
America, I have appointed Capt. Hopkins, Lieut. Chaloner and 
Lieut. Smith to repair for that purpose to your province not 
doubting of your giving them all the assistance in your power to 
levy soldiers not only tor completing Col. Gooche's Regiment, 
but if practicable to raise a greater number either to fill up the 
vacancies in the two old corps and in the marines, or to form 
another battalion, as it shall be found best for his Majesty's service. 

As I have no means of supplying the recruiting officers with 
money, you will Sir, be pleased to give the aforesaid Captains 
credit for such sums as may be wanted for that service, and to 
drav/ upon the Rt. Hon. Henry Pelham, Esq., the Paymaster 
General, tor the said use. As to the particular sums to be paid 
to the said recruiting officer, I refer you to his Instructior, which 
he will lay before you. 

All such as will enlist themselves on this occasion will be 
entitled to the advantages ofl^erred by his Majesty in his instructions 
on the first raisi.nfz Col. Gooche's Regiment. I don't doubt Sir, 

*i Book of Births and Marriages, p. 31, North Providence, R. I. 
fPublic Letters, 1731-41, \K 67, Sec. of" State's Office, Providence, R. I. 


but you will take the proper measures for their being transported 
hither, to support which charge, I flatter myself the respective 
Provinces will n:ake a provision, as all his Majesty's dominions in 
the West Indies are particularly interested in the success of this 

I beg leave to assure vou Sir, that such young gentlemen as 
shall give their assistance in raising men, and shall be properly 
recommended, will be provided for in the vacancies which may 
happen in Col. Gooche's Regiment. I shall Sir, have a more 
particular regard to vour friends, being I am 

Your Most Obt. Humble Serv't, 

Kingston, Jamaica, Thos. Wentworth.* 

2d Feb., 1 74 1 -2. 

This order was obeyed with alacrity, and through the activity 
of Capt. Hopkins the Regiments were filled up, and the troops 
were in readiness to sail when orders came to him, Oct. 8, 1742, 
to disband and discharge his troops as a satisfactory arrangement 
had been made b\ his Majesty and the reigning sovereign of Spain. 
There is a tradition that Capt. Hopkins led an expedition against 
some place in Cuba, and iought a battle, carrying the city by 
assault, but it must have been previous to the date last mentioned. 
He was a brave, fearless man, nobleand dignified in his deportment, 
open and frank in his character and was universally beloved and 
respected by the community. 

In the year 1743, an event occurred which gave him some 
trouble and was a source of annoyance while he lived. While 
coming into the port of Providence he attacked and captured a 
Dutch ship, there having been some difficulty existing which 
occasioned the attack, and for this he received a note of censure 
from the English authorities. f 

He died the following year much lamented by his family friends 
and fellow-citizens. 

The following quit claim deed, as it shows the relationship of 
the Hopkins and Wilkinson families will be read with interest by 
the descendants of both branches. The signature of William's 

*PubHc Letters, 1742-45, p. 21, Sec. of St.ite's Office, Providence, R. I. 
yPublic Letteis, 1742-45, p. 34, Sec. ot' State's Office, Providence, R. I. 




brother, Stephen Hopkins, the signer of the Declaration is not in 
the trembling hand which appears upon that immortal instrument. 
The original article is in the hands of the author, and will be 
preserved in a neat substantial frame, as an heir loom. 


"Know all People Before whome these presents shall Come: 
That whereas my Honoured Grandfather, Capt. Samuel Wilkinson, 
f, ate of Providence, in the Colony of Rhoad Island and Providence 
Plantations, in New England: deceased, dyed Intestate; whereby 
his Lands and Reail Estate fell to be devideable among all his 
Children, both sons and daughters : according to the law of said 
Colonv that was then in force at the time of his deith ; Therefore 
Know yee that I, William Hopkins, Jun'r of said Pro\idence and 
Colonv aforesaid : Being P^ldest Son and Heire to my deceased 
mother Ruth Hopkins: whose maiden name was Ruth VVilkinson; 
for, and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty-four 
Pounds Currant money ot New England by mee in hand already 
Received and well and truly Paid by my Unckle Joseph Wilkinson 
of said Providence and Colony aboue said ; veoman — the Receipt 
whereof I doe hereby acknowledge and mvselt therewith to he 
fully satisfied, contented and paid: Have Remissed, Released; 
and doe by these presents Remise, Release, and forever and 
wholly Quit Claime unto him the said Joseph Wilkinson, his 
heirs, executors, administrators and assigns torc\ er, all his title, 
claime and Interest in and to all the Lands, meadt)ws and comnuMi's 
that belonged to my said Grandta; her Samuel Wilkinson, deceased ; 
as I fully represent m/ said deceased [mother] the aboue named 
Ruth Hopkins ; that is to say as well that which was the homestead 
farme of mv said deceased Grandfather W^ilkinson : with the 
houseing buildings, fenceing and Improvements thereon, as also, 
all the other Lands, meadows and Commons within the Towne 
and Jurisdiction ot the Towne ot Providence abouesaid : To haue 
and To Hold all the abouesaid Released Lands and Privileges 
abouesaid unto him the said Joseph Wilkinson, his Heirs, Executors, 
Administrators and Assigns, and unto his and theire own proper 
use, benefit and beh<jofe free and Cleare forever: And I, the said 
William Hopkins for myselt, mv heirs, executorsand administrators 
doe couinant and Promise to, and with the said Joseph Wilkinson, 
his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns; that I the said 
William Hopkins, my Heirs, Executorsand Administrators: shall 


and will vvanajit and foreuer defend the said Remised and Released 
Lands and premises ; being the one-seauenth part of all the Lands 
and Reail Estate of the said deceased Samuel Wilkinson ; unto him 
the said Joseph Wilkinson, his Heirs, Executt)rs, Administrators 
and Assigns against the Lawful Challing, Claimes, or demands of 
anv person or persons whatsoever. 

In witness and for consideration hereof, I, the said William 
Hopkins, haue hereunto sett mv hand and Seale this twentv-third 
dav of Februarv in the fourth veare of the Reign of our Soureign 
Lord, Georgff the Second, King of Greatc Brittan, 5cc., Anno 
Domini : — 1 730— 3 i . 

Sig!ied Sealed and delivered^ 

In the presence of us | William Hopkins, J un'r. [l.s.] 

Richard Waterman, jun'r, j 

Stciphon Hopkins. J 

Providence in Rhoad Island Colony 
the tlav and \ear ahoue written. 
Personally appeared the aboue named 
AVilliam flopkins and acknowledged 
TiK- ahoue and within Written 
Instrument to he his own free and 
Vollintary act and Decde, before 

Richard, Assistant. 
— See p. 80. 


TEPHEN HOPKINS was bom, March 7, 1707. His 

U parentage and place of residence are well known. No 
obscurity rests upon either. And his mark as a private citizen 
and public servant remains indelibly impressed upon the hearts of 
his friends, and the records of his country. Rhode Island never 
produced a more accomplished statesn^an -, and she has erected to 
his memory a monument with an inscription which attests that 
his virtues and his talents were appreciated by his native state. 

His birthplace was in the northwest part of the town of Scituate 
in what was called by the Indians Chapumiscook. The house 
was situated about thirteen miles from the city of Providence on 
the road to Killinglv, Conn. 71ic farm where he was born, and 
which was owned by his father, consisted of about two hundred 
acres. It is now owned bv William Colwell of Smithfield, a 
man of wealth and influence. It is known as Cjov. West's farm, 
and when in the possession ui the Hopkins' was exceedingly 
fertile, producing excellent crops of corn, rye, oats and potatoes ; 
and was well adapted to grazing. 

To describe the place of one's birth from the appearance of 
the spot one hundred and sixty years after the event, especially 
in a new, and, what was then, an unsettled country, — covered 
with the primitive forests — is a task from which even the most 
vivid imagination would shrink, and the ordinary has but little 
hope of picturing the scene as it was. At best the present 
appearance only, can be given, and the filling up of the picture 


by sweeping away railroads, telegraph wires, steamboats — and 
eradicating cities, villages, and even rail, and stone fences, and 
common highways — at least, a multitude of them — and replacing 
the primitive forests, log huts, bridle paths, blazed trees, Indian 
savages and wild beasts — must be left for the reader to accomplish 
in his own way ; and though he has never seen the locality, yet 
will he come as near the truth as those who have always resided 
upon the premises. The house in which Stephen Hopkins was 
born has long since gone into oblivion and returned to dust. The 
well still remains, but the paths trod by active feet have disappeared. 

"The walks vvirh yrass are overgri)vvn, 

And weeds fill up the garden bed; 
The moss clings to the stepping stone, 
Ani tVom the trees the birds have flown, 

Now that the tree is dead." 

The present house near the spot where stood the old one is so 
near the old well that water is drawn from it without going out 
of doors. The old gravevard on the opposite side of the road 
remains, so far as locality is concerned, as it was one hundred 
and fifty years. Large and decayed apple trees scattered here 
and there, serve to show where the orchard stood, but it is 
doubtful if thev go back to the time of the birth of Stephen. 
The clearing of the land has materially altered the landscape, 
though the great natural features are retained to a certained extent. 
The contour of distant hills browned by the falling leaves of 
autumn, whitened by the snows of winter, or made verdant by 
the genial rays of spring and summer presents now, as it did then, 
a scene beautiful, and even magnificent to gaze upon, but the 
minutia have all changed with the revolving years. 

" The ancestry of Stephen Hopkins on both sides," says the 
Rev. C. C. Bemen, " was of the highest respectability." His 
father was William Hopkins, the only child of Major William 
Hopkins, and his mother Ruth Wilkinson, daughter of Captain 
Samuel Wilkinson of Providence. Thomas Hopkins,* the first 

*"Thomas Hopkins, Providence, 1641— had followed Roger WiWiams in 1636 from 
Plymouth; m. Elizabeth, d^u. ot' Wm. Arni)ll the first; had W\\V\am, Thomas. Swore 


ancestor of Stephen in America, came from England to Providence 
in the very early settlement of the town, and had a house and lot 
assigned him in 1638. Some have claimed him as the son of 
Stephen Hopkins who came out in the " Mayflower," but the 
evidence is not satisfactory. A careful examination into this 
matter has determined that he was not the same. He was elected 
Commissioner to the ••' Court ot Commissioners," as the legislature 
of Rhode Island was then called, in 1650, and also, in several 
subsequent years down to 1668. He married Elizabeth Arnold, 
sister to Benedict Arnold (not the traitor) but one of the Presidents 
of the "Court of Commissioners," and also, the first Governor 
of Rhode Island under the last charter granted by King Charles 
II. July 8th, 1663. Major William Hopkins,* son of Thomas, 
married Abigail Whipple, the daughter of John Whipple, one 
of the first settlers of Providence, and a relati\c of the distinguished 
Commodore Whipple. Major William Hopkins was quite an 
extensive landholder in Scituate, as the records of that town will 
show, and identified himself with all enterprises ot a public 
character for the promotion of the rising state. His name appears 
with that of Roger Williams and 7"homas Field as a committee 
for the sale of Indian captives at the close of King Phillip's war, 
August 14th, 1676, one hundred years before the Revolution. 
This practice of selling Indian captives was soon abandoned. 
The native sons of the forests could not be enslaved, and the 
investment proved an unprofitable one whenever made. He 
was an early patron of schools and institutions of learning, and 
greatly promoted the cause of education in the infant colony. 

allegience to Charles II. June, 1668, as did Thomas, Jr. in May, 1 671, was represent itive 
some years, and progenitor of Stephen, the Governor. .See Mass. Hist. Col. I, 4." 

— Savage's Gen. Diet., in loc, 

*" William, Providence. Swore allegience in May, 1668, (one month before his 
father Thomas) m. Abigail, dau. of John Whipple — Had ( wh> by his wife R uth, 
dau. of Samuel and Plain Wilkinson was father of the venerable Steplien, Gov. of the 
State, and immortal signer of the Decl'n of Ind'ce, as also of Esek,a distinguished naval 
officer in support of the same cause) they lived through [hat war, and were rewarded for 
their constancy. Twenty-nine of this name had been graduated in 1834,31 the various 
N. £. colleges, but one at Harvard." — id. 


The aspersion that Rhode Island gave no attention to the 
education of her children is sufficiently refuted by a reference to 
her records. We find his name with others, Jan. 1696, petitioning 
the town of Providence for a piece of land on D.exter's lane, or 
Stamper's hill on which to erect a school house. So early did 
the settlers make a move for the establishment of these primary 
institutions of Republicanism ; and from this germ Rhode Island 
to-day boasts of as good a public school system as any state in 
the Union. This lane was subsequently called Olney street, 
from one of the original proprietors of the town, and who was 
at one time, successor of the Rev. William Wickenden, as pastor 
of the Baptist Church in Providence. William, the father of 
Stephen, early settled in Scituate, taking up lands and establishing 
his residence some two or three miles south of the residence of 
Joseph Wilkinson, his brother-in-law. Large tracts of land were 
laid out to them on the west side of the " Seven mile line," as 
may be seen in "■ The Proprietor's and Purchaser's Book of 
Providence," now in the keeping of the Secretary of the "Rhode 
Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry," — - 
Judge VVilliam R. Staples. This " Seven mile line" constitutes 
the western boundary of the towns of Cranston, Johnston and 
Smithfield — extending north to the iMassachusetts State line. 

Of the childhood of Stephen but little is known, as no record 
or history of his early life was written, and traditions have expired 
with former generations. His father was a pioneer farmer, and 
we can well imagine the labor of the boys as they grew up. To 
clear away the primeval forests, to plant, and sow, and reap and 
to battle with the aborigines for the possession of their hunting 
grounds, were the labors and pastimes of the early settlers. 
Extreme perils and privations awaited them. Stephen and his 
older brother William were inured to labor and hardships, and 
these made them vigorous and fearless. A strong passion for 
reading which followed them through life, displayed itself from 
the earliest period, and they began soon to be regarded throughout 
the town as youths of much promise. 


It is somewhat amusing to read the accounts of diffeient 
biographers as to Stephen's educational advantages. They all agree 
as to his limited opportunities, but at the same time make them 
more than they were. The Re\ . Charles A. Goodrich says: — 
" His early education was limited, being confined to the instruction 
imparted in the common schools of the country. Vet it is recorded 
of him that he excelled in a knowledge of penmanship, and in 
the practical branches of mathematics, particularly surveying." 
Another author says — '^ Stephen Hopkins received nothing more 
than a plain country education by which he acquired an excellent 
knowledge of penmanship, and became con\ersant with the 
practical branches of mathematics." Dwight says, " He was 
favored with but few advantages for procuring an education in 
early life. Those he did enjoy were not extended beyond what 
could be derived from a country school. He advantageously 
improved these, so that he acquired an excellent acquaintance 
with penmanship, and to some extent with mathematics. He was 
a good practical surveyor of lands." Hemen — " His education 
must have been very inconsiderable. Tradition gives him one 
day's schooling, but it is very doubtful whether he had e\en that 
in a public school. We are not to suppose, however, that he had 
no instruction. His mother probably, taught him reading and 
writing, and his uncle, Mr. Joseph Wilkinson, living not far off, 
and himself a surveyor, it is likely instructed him in that art, for 
we find him still a youth, engaged in surveying." 

The fact is there were no schools in that part of Providence in 
that day. The only means of education was home instruction. 
They had books however, historical, theological and incidents of 
travel. The practical branches of reading and writing, geography 
and arithmetic were understood and taught. Stephen's mother 
was the granddaughter of the Rev. William Wickenden, a Baptist 
minister, and his uncle William Wilkinson was a distinguished 
preacher among the Quakers. The writings of Spender and 
Shakespeare, Milton, Jeremy, Taylor, John Bunyan, Dean Swift, 


Addison, Watts, Young, Blair, Thompson, Johnson — the best 
writers in the English language were extant, and professional men 
in the New World were not entirely destitute of books. A 
circulating library was established at a very early period, at, or 
near Stephen's grandfather's, Capt. Samuel Wilkinson's, who liyed 
in that part of Providence since called Smithfield. 

Stephen was not remarkable for his penmanship till after he 
was elected town clerk of Scituate, where the constant practice 
of recording deeds, land evidence, &:c., made him a beautiful 
penman, as the first books in the clerk's office of that town 
plainly show. Surveying he undoubtedly acquired of his 
grandfather Samuel Wilkinson, who was a most expert surveyor. 
His name appears more frequently on the proprietor's and purchaser's 
book ot Providence than any other man's in the early days of 
the Colony. There seems to have been a passion for this branch 
ut mathematics which has been handed down from father to 
son, and is insisted upon even at the present time. The author 
is owner of an old protractor made of brass, by Israel Wilkinson 
a cousin of Stephen's. He well remembers also, of being advised 
by his father when he went to Oxford Academy, by all means to 
gain a kno^vledge of surveying, as no branch of study would be 
more useful. After surveying, navigation was reccommended, as 
these two branches gave a person ascendency on land and water. 
Utility was the prevailing idea, though mental discipline was not 
entirely overlooked. 

One of the old surveys made by Stephen's grandfather, of lands 
in that part of Providence now called Smithfield, is in existence, 
bearing date as late as 1727, when Stephen was twenty years old, 
and another dated 1709. It was designed to have zfac simile of 
the same for this work, but it has been neglected. Stephen became 
an adept in this art. He was employed in surveying lands by his 
native town, and in 1737, he revised the highways, and projected 
a map of Scituate, and also, of Providence after he moved into 
that town. In 1740, he was chosen surveyor by the Proprietors 



in the County of Providence. His surveys were very accurate 
and the tests of the present day seldom find an error. On one 
occasion having passed through a thick shrubby plain he found 
that his vi^atch which cost 25 guineas (;i'i25,) in London, was 
missiiKJ-. Supposing the chain had become entangled in the bushes, 
and the watch pulled out thereby, he set the course back, and found 
it hanging on a bush ! 

According to the records of the town of Scituate, Stephen 
Hopkins and Sarah Scott were married by William Jenks, Justice 
of the Peace, Oct. g, 1726, each of the p:irties being about 
nineteen years of age. She was born June 24, i 707. Her father 
was Major Sylvanus Scott, the second son of John Scott.* Her 
great-grandfather was the distinguished Richard Scott, f 
"•gentleman," as he is designated in the old colonial records, and 
was one of the early settlers, and the first Ouaker who came to 
Providence. His name appears with Elder Chad Browne's Elder 
William Wickenden's, Thomas Angell's, Thomas Harris', and 
others in the second company who united with Roger Williams, 
after the thirteen original proprietors. Guild in " Manning, and 
Brown University," page 147, says he was one of the original 

His letters against Roger Williams and others are published in 
"Fox's New England Fire Brand Quenched," and a copy of 

*" Scott, John, Salem, 1648. Servant of Lavvrance Southwick, the Quaker; may 
have gone to Providence; and by wife Rebecca, there — had Sar.ili, b. 29 Sept., 1662; 
John, 14 Sept., 1664; Mary, i Feb., 1666; Catherine, 20 May, 1668; Deborah, 24 
Dec, 1669; and Sylvanus, 10, Nov. 1672. He took oatii of allegience to Charles II. 
in 1668. — Savage's Gen. Die. in he. 

t Richard, Boston, Shoemaker. Joined our church 28 Aug., 1 634; yet his wife 
Catherine, daughter of Rev. Edward Marbury, ( as Bishop, in N. E. Judged tells ) did not 
unite, nor either of the children Richard, John, Mary, or Patience — though Ann 
Hutchinson, their aunt, and her sister, had so great a sway in it. To this w. Governor 
Winthrop, I, 293, ascribes much power in giving light on believer's baptism, to Roger 
Williams, 1638, at Providence, wliere he was removed 1 637, before the time of disarming 
heretic favorers of Hutchinson. He is on the list of freeman 165^, and was among the 
Quaker converts 1658, and his wife 'an ancient woman' was imprisoned and vvhipt at 
Boston for benevolent services in diffusing her opinions; and her daus. Mary and Patience 
also, were imprisoned by equal impolicy. Mary, m. 12 Aug., l66o, Christopher Holden ; 
Patience, m. Henry Beere, and Deliverence, probably a younger dau. m., 30 Aug., 1670, 
Wm. Richardson." — Savage's Gen. Die. in loc. 


said work is in the University Library at Providence. Williams 
is represented in quite an unfavorable light in one of them — the 
error of prejudice and oi the age combined, which time has 

Sarah's ancestry on her mother's side was highly respectable. 
Her mother's maiden name was Joanna Jenckes, the daughter of 
Joseph Jenckes, who was also an early settler in Rhode Island. 
Her brother Joseph Jenckes, jr. was elected Gov. of Rhode Island 
in 1727, the year atter her marriage, and served in that capacity 
five years. Gow Jenckes married Martha Browne, daughter of 
John Browne, and grand-daughter of Elder Chad Browne, the 
first pastor of the first Baptist church in America, if we exclude 
Roger ^V^iiliams. 

We have no account of the celebration of the nuptials, but no 
doubt a happy company of young people joined in the festivities 
of the occasion at the house of the hiide's father. They were 
married in the evening. In his ^'Sketches of Scituate," Bemen 
says "the marriage took place June 27, 1726" — upon what 
authority we are not informed. The records in Scituate and 
Providence agree in making it as we ha\e before stated. To 
create a home for the newly married couple Stephen's father gave 
him seventy acres of land, and his grandfather Samuel Wilkinson, 
bestowed on his "loving grandson," an additional tract of ninety 
acres — making a snug little farm ot one hundred and sixty acres, 
in the remote part of Providence, since called Scituate. Here 
Stephen brought his wife and whether their dwelling was at first 
a splendid mansion, a lowly cottage, or a log hut, those who have 
been pioneers in a new country need no historian to inform them. 

The Scott's, the Hopkins', the Williams', and the Wilkinson's 
frequently intermarried both before and after the marriage of 
Stephen and Sarah, and as they owned large tracts of land in 
Providence, Scituate, Smithfield and Cumberland, which joined, 
it was only going to the nearest neighbor to find a wife, though a 
journey of twelve or fifteen miles was necessary. Stephen 


continued the business of farming for several years, when he sold 
his estate in Scituate at the solicitation of friends and moved to 
Providence where he afterwards made his home to the close of his 

In 1730, the town of Scituate was set off from Providence, 
and at the first town meeting, Hopkins, then but twenty-three 
years of age, was chosen moderator. He honored the position 
with which he had been honored by his fellow townsmen, and 
thus commenced the public career of Rhode Island's favorite son. 
He was esteemed as a young man of most extraordinary abilities 
in his native town, and when he came to the metropolis of his 
native state, he soon inspired a similar opinion in all who made 
his acquaintance. From this time onward to the close of his 
life he rose step by step through the various grades of office to 
the highest distinction his state could confer upon him. It was 
not merely force of intellect, but excellence of moral character 
that won the hearts of the people. His native dignity combined 
with a warm genial heart produced that attractive social disposition 
which bound all who knew him in the firmest friendship. He 
belonged to the Society of Friends and was emment for those 
benevolent principles and good will to all mankind which characterize 
that denomination of Christians. Such was the influence of his 
personal appearance that his presence hushed the boisterous hilarity 
of youth, and drew the involuntary recognition of the most 
reverend and grave of the company. 

In 1731, he was elected town clerk of Scituate, which office 
he held for a number of years. Whoever will make a pilgrimage 
to Scituate may satisfy himself in regard to the business talent of 
Stephen Hopkins, and also, in regard to his penmanship. From 
my boyhood in looking at the Declaration of Independence I 
imagined the autograph of Stephen indicated a poor penman and 
as I gazed upon the trembling lines concluded he must have been 
shaken of palsy. But such is not the fact. The appearance of 
his writing among the heroes of the revolution upon this immortal 


instrument has been used as a reproach, not only against Hopkins 
himself, but also, against the colony and state of Rhode Island. 
The town clerk of Scituate informed me that somewhere in print, 
he had read such a reproach as this — "Rhode Island, the land of 
darkness and of ignorance — her lack of interest in educational 
enterprises is manifested not only in her having no public school 
system, but also, in the chirography of one of her most eminent 
men — her governor for nine years — member of the Continental 
Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence." 

What was mv surprise in examining the records of the town 
of Scituate, where every page of the first, and succeeding books 
bears ample evidence of penmanship excelled by few, even masters 
of the art. At first for a few pages his recording lacked boldness 
being a hair mark, but improvement manifests itself until the 
beautifully shaded letters are a close imitation of neatly engraved 
copper plate. Never was there a reproach more undeserved. The 
family tradition of his nervous difficulty in his old age, and also, 
his feebleness of body just at the time of signing is a sufficient 
explanation and vindication. So determined was he to affix his 
own signature that succeeding generations might know his position 
in American affairs, that he guided his right hand by his left, and 
so left his trembling marks as a monumental inscription of his 
patriotism and devotion to human liberty. The silent pages of 
Scituate records attest his scholarship and genius. 

So well did he perform the duties of town clerk, and so rapidly 
did he gain the confidence of the people that in 1732, in the 25th 
year of his age he was elected Representative to the General 
Assembly, and he was re-elected annually until 1738, inclusive. 
In 1735, he was chosen President of the Town Council, and in 
1736, he was appointed by the Governor, Justice of the Peace, 
and was also, one of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas. 
The following year he was employed by the proprietors to revise 
the streets, and project a map of Scituate and Providence, which 
work required no little knowledge of mathematics, and was 


executed to the entire satisfaction of his employers. In 1739, 
he was chosen Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. 
In 1740, he was appointed surveyor of the proprietor's lands. 
He was clerk of the court and clerk of the proprietors at the 
same time. Having been returned to the legislature in 1741, he 
was elected Speaker of the General Assembly, and performed the 
duties of that position with such marked ability and dignity as to 
win the approbation of all parties. 

Commercial matters had for some time attracted his attention. 
His brother William had become a successful sea captain, and was 
highlv respected and honored, not only in the Colony but in Eng. 
The favorable notice of the King while in London, and the 
expeditions which had been fitted out against the Spanish in Cuba 
and the West Indies, and committed to him, had opened new and 
flattering prospects of wealth. His brother Esek also, had made 
several voyages to Surinam and other places, and the indications 
were favorable for speedy and ample returns. He accordingly 
sold his farm in Scituate in 17^2, and moved to Providence, and 
engaged in building and fitting out vessels, and commenced 
mercantile business. 

But such was the popular confidence in him that he was elected 
by the people the year he became an inhabitant of Providence to 
the same office and position he formerly held while a resident of 
Scituate. He was continued in the chair of Speaker of the House 
of Representatives with occasional intermissions up to 1751, when 
he was returned for the fourteenth time. In the latter year he 
received the appointment of Chief Justice of the Superior Court 
of Rhode Island. In all of these positions he was regarded with 
admiration and delight by his own relatives, and his services met 
with popular approval. 

He was one of the prime movers in forming a public library in 
1 750, and always active in diffusing the means of education. Having 
himself felt the want of instruction in early life, and afterwards ■ 
realized the advantages of extensive attainments in knowledge by 


his own efforts, he was desirous that others should possess and 
enjoy the means for cultivating and improving their minds on a 
liberal and broad foundation. He was a friend and patron of all 
measures which promoted the general education of youth. 

The year 1753 ^^'^^ °"^ of bereavement and almost insupportable 
grief and sorrow to him. AiBiction followed aiiiiction in rapid 
succession. His commercial enterprises had proved successful, 
and as his sons grew up they manifested a predilection for the sea ; 
and Rufus, John and Sylvanus, having made several voyages with 
their uncles, had become commanders of ships, although the latter 
was but nineteen years of age. The first blow that fell upon this 
doting parent's heart was the sad intelligence of the death of his 
son John at St. Andere in Spain who had fallen a prey to that 
terrible disease, the small pox. The next was the appalling news 
of the murder of his son Sylvanus by the savages after his being 
shipwrecked on the island of Cape Breton. These were followed 
by the decease of his wife in September, after a lingering illness. 
The storm at length passed by, and bowed, but not broken by its 
chastenings, he again resumed his duties as a public officer. 

In 1754, he was appointed delegate to a convention which met 
in Albany N. Y., consisting of commissioners from the several 
colonies, to hold a conference with the Indians of the Six Nations, 
and to secure their friendship, and also, to form some plan for 
security against French encroachments through Canada in the 
approaching war. Benjamin Franklin, Sir William Johnson and 
Roger Wolcott were among the members of this board.* 

In 1755, he married a second wife, Mrs. Anna Smith, widow 
of Benjamin Smith. She was a most estimable woman and proved 
a help-meet worthy of her spouse. 

He was elected Governor of Rhode Island very soon after 
this event, and continued to occupy the Gubernatorial chair until 
1767, inclusive, (excepting 1757, 1762, i 765-6,) a period of nine 

*New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and 
Pennsylvania and Maryland were represented. See Lossing's Hist. U. S., p. 151. 


years of the most stormy political times in the history of Rhode 
Island. The contest for Governor between Hopkins and Ward 
was spirited in the extreme, and had continued for several years. 
This with the political issues of the day had wrought the parties 
up to the highest pitch of political animosity, which was finally 
quieted by an official communication from Gov. Hopkins to the 
legislature then in session declining a re-election. Ward was also, 
dropped, and Josiah Lynden was elected Governor in 1768, by an 
overwhelming majority of over j <;oo. Nothing was more averse 
to the wishes and feelings of Hopkins than the strife and distentions 
which arose at this time, and his magnanimity in withdrawing his 
name from the canvass, and the pacific nature of his communication 
wherein he lamented the dissensions and the exasperated feelings 
of partisans, only elevated him in the estimation of his fellow 
citizens, and really enthroned him in their hearts. 

In the alarming period of the French and Indian War in 1757, 
Gov. Hopkins greatly exerted himself to strengthen the English 
and Colonial army by promoting volunteer enrollments in Rhode 
Island. The siege of Fort William Henry by the iMarquis de 
Montcalm, and its surrender to the forces under that general, with 
the subsequent cruel outrages and murders committed by the 
savages of the French army produced the most intense excitement 
among the inhabitants of Rhode Island. The British force had 
sustained a series of disasters during the campaign, and nothing 
seemed to impede the progress of the victorious Montcalm. The 
English settlements in the north were unprotected, families were 
being murdered or hurried away by savages into captivity. The 
people were thoroughly aroused to a sense of their danger. An 
agreement to meet the invaders was entered into by the people 
of Rhode Island, to which Gov. Hopkins was the first to affix 
his name. A company of volunteers was raised, consisting of 
some of the most distinguished men of Providence, and Hopkins 
was chosen commander, and was about to march to the scene of 
action, when by an unexpected withdrawal of the French, the 


Canadians and ihe Indians, and it then becames unnecessary, 
Hopkins was always a friend to liberal education. "The first 
meeting of the corporation tor founding and endowing a College 
or Universitv within the Colon\' of Rhode Island and Providence 
Plantations in New Engl?nd in Arrierica," says Guild, " was 
held at Newpoit, on the first Wednesday in Sept., 1764. From 
this point therefore, the commencement of the College properly 
dates. At this meeting the following gentlemen, twenty-four in 
number, as appears from the records, were present and qualified by taking the oath prescribed by the Charter namely: 
Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Hon. Joseph Wanton, Hon. Samuel 
Ward, John Tillinghast, &c. The Hon. Stephen Hopkins was 
chosen Chancellor; John Tillinghast, Esq., Treasurer; and Dr. 
Thomas Eyres, Secretary." 

Governor Hopkins always manifested a lively interest in this 
enterpiise. Aluch difficulty had been experienced in procuring a 
charter. It was finally secured — the Legislature of Rhode Island 
being induced to grant the prayer of the friends of liberal education. 
By the Constitution the corporation is made to consist of two 
branches, viz: Trustees and Fellows, with distinct and separate 
powers. The trustees are thirty-six in number, of whom 
twenty-two are to be Baptists, five Quakers, five Episcopalians., 
and four Congregationalists. The number of Fellows is twelve. 
Eight are to be Baptists, and the rest of any denomination. The 
President must always be a Baptist. "The Quakers," says 
Guild, " were represented by Stephen Hopkins, John G. Wanton, 
Edward Thurston and Nicholas Easton. No name is more 
prominent in the history of this period than that of Hopkins, and 
few men of any period have exerted so wide an influence upon 
the destinies of the country. For nearly forty-five years, as 
Chief Justice, Go\ ernor. Member of Congress, Legislator, or 
Representative, he was engaged in some kind of official duty 
connected with the tcwn, ihe State, or the rational Congress. 
His ViZvr.Q appears i^mcrg the Signers of the Declaration of 




Independence. The office of Chancellor of the corporation, to 
which he was elected at this first meeting, he held until his death 
in 1785, a period of twenty-one years. He was a warm personal 
friend of President Manning, and, by his extensive learning and 
genuine love of literature, proved a most efficient coadjutor in 
all the plans and efforts of the latter for the efficiency and the 
usefulness of the College."* 

In 1765, he was elected chairman of a committee appointed 
at a special town meeting held in Providence, to draft instructions 
to the General Assembly on the Stamp Act. He was not Governor 
that year. The resolutions reported were the same that Patrick 
Henry introduced into the House of Burgesses of Virginia, with 
an additional one stating that " we are not bound to yield obedience 
to any law or ordinance designed to impose any internal taxation 
whatever upon us, other than the laws and ordinances ot Rhode 
Island." These resolves passed in the Assembly, including 
the above, which had been rejected in Virginia. In this year he 
commenced the " History of Providence. "t 

Through the efforts of Joseph Brown, apparatus for observing 
the transit of Venus, which occurred June 3, 1769, was procured 
from London. The advantages that were likely to accrue to 
astronomy, and consequently to navigation and chronology, 
says Dr. Manning, was the procuring cause of this munificence 
on the part of Mr. Brown. Gov. Hopkins aided in taking these 
observations, and the street called Transit Street, was named in 
commemoration of this event. The observations were taken 

Note. — The commencement chair of Chancellor Hoplcins is now in the "Rhode 
Island Hall," Providence. It has the appearance of being a home production, and from 
similar patterns at certain old homesteads, I entertain but little doubt of its origin. It is 
an arm chair with square legs, the back, made of half-inch boards covered with leather, 
stamped with some sort of a die for ornament, and fastened with copper nails, the head 
of every third nail being an inch in diam:;ter. The seat is leather and ornamented like 
the back. This was used at Commencements in conferring degrees, and is called "Thi 
First Chancellor's Chair." 

♦Guild's Manning & Brown University, p. 65. 

fSec Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. IX., p. 197. 


on the hill where the street is laid out. When we consider his 
public engagements, and his private commercial and mercantile 
affairs, wc can hardly imagine how he could find time for literary 
and scientific pursuits. The secret of the whole matter is, he 
was systematic in e\ ery department of business, and consequently 
was never hurried for want of time. 

After the parties which had so long distracted and divided the 
Colony had subsided, and tranquility had been restored, he 
appeared again in the legislature. He represented Providence in 
1772-3-4 and 5. In 1773 he emancipated his slaves, and had 
in his last will and testament, which was drawn and executed 
before that date, decreed them liberty at his decease. The year 
following he secured an act in Rhode Island prohibiting the 
importation of negroes, and thus put an end to this accursed 

He represented the Colony in the General Congress with 
Samuel Ward in 1774 and 5. In the former year he was again 
appointed Chief Justice, holding at the same time the three 
honorable and important offices of Representative ot Providence 
in the General Assembly, Delegate to the General Congress and 
Chief Justice of Rhode Island. He attended the first Congress 
that ever met as a national council in Philadelphia, and discharged 
his duty with an honorable fidelity, which met the approbation of 
his constituents. He was President of Commissioners to devise 
the defence of New England. This body met first in Providence 
and afterwards in Springfield, Mass. They did much to promote 
the cause and secure the liberties of the Colonists, and were 
efficient in carrying into immediate effect all the measures for the 
public security, recommended by the Assemblies in the several 
provinces. While in Congress he urged decisive measures. Some 
of the members being desirous of further delay, in the hope of 
reconciliation, Hopkins remarked, in all the fire of youth in his 
zeal for the emancipation of his country, "The time is fully come 
when the strongest arm and the longest sword must decide the 



contest, and those members who are not prepared for action had 
better go home !" He was seventy years of age at this time, and 
was active and unwearied for the public good. His colleague in 
1776, was William Ellery, a decisive, bold and fearless man, and 
when the Declaration of Independence was presented for signatures, 
the bold hand of Ellery and the trembling lines of Hopkins exhibit 
a contrast only in appearance. The same fearless determination 
inspired the heart of each. 

On the naval committee Hopkins was placed next after John 
Hancock the chairman, and greatly assisted in the formation of the 
navy. His knoA^ledge and experience in commercial matters were 
here brought into exercise. His brother Esek had already won 
a name as an expert navigator, and commander, and the naval 
committee had full confidence in his boldness and ability to take 
command of the first armed fleet. John Adams who was associated 
with Hopkins on this committee says " The pleasantest part of 
my labors for the four years I spent in Congress from 1774 to 
1778, was in this naval committee. Mr. Lee and Mr. Gadsden 
were sensible men, and very cheerful, but Gov. Hopkins of 
Rhode Island, above seventy years of age, kept us all alive. 
Upon business his experience and jndgment were very useful. 
But when the business of the evening was over he kept us in 
conversation till eleven and sometimes twelve o'clock. His 
custom was to drink nothing all day until eight in the evening, 
then his beverage was Jamaica spirits and v/ater. It gave him 
wit, humor, anecdotes, science and learning. He had read Greek, 
Roman, and British history and was familiar with English poetry, 
particularly Pope, Thomson, and Milton, and the flow of his 
soul made all of his reading our own, and seemed to bring in 
recollection in all of us all we had ever read. I could neither eat 
nor drink in those days, the other gentlemen were very temperate. 
Hopkins never drank to excess, but all he drank was immediately 
not only converted into wit, sense, knowledge and good humor? 
but inspired us all with similar qualities." 



He was a member ot the committee which drew up and reported 
the articles of confederation. All through the struggle for 
Independence he was a firm and unflinching supporter of the 
cause of the Colonies, and wrote by order of the General 
Assembly '*• The rights of the Colonies examined," a masterly 
production which was reprinted in London. His advice to his 
fellow-citizens was — 

" Your cause is just, 

Strike for freedom, strike and trust. " 

Among the great men of these trying times none were more often 
consulted, none more revered and honored than Stephen Hopkins. 

There were younger men, who were more active physically, but 
for sound judgement, and real genuine wisdom he was — 

" Conspicuos, like an oak of iiealthiest bough, 
Deep rooted in his country's love. He stood 
And gave his hand to virtue, helping up 
His countrymen to honor and renown, 
And in his countenance sublime, expressed 
A nation's majesty, and, yet was meek 
And humble." 

He was a firm belie\'er in the religion of Jesus Christ. The 
e\ idences of Christianity were to him more than external— but 
convincing the reason, thev reached the heart and shed abroad 
an internal light and conviction, which left no room for doubt. 

The benign influence of these principles pervaded his entire 
life, public and private. 

"He gave 
Example to the meanest of the fear 
Of God, and all integrity of life 
And manners; who august, yet lowly; who. 
Severe, yet gracious; in his very heart 
Detesting all oppression, all intent 
Of private aggrandizement ; and the first 
In every public duty." 

He was a projector and patron of the free schools of 
Providence which are to-day among the most valued institutions 
of the State. In 1784, Rhode Island college conferred upon 
him the title of LL.D. The testimony to his intellectual 



greatness, and his literary and scientific attainments is ample and 
a few quotations from his contemporaries and other persons are 
here inserted. 

" This gentleman," says Dwight in the " Lives of the Signers," 
" furnishes another instance of the power of a strong mind, and 
application to study, by which a want of enlarged means for 
acquiring an early and systematic education, is overcome — many 
of which mav be seen recorded in these biographical sketches of 
these trulv great men, who exerted a commanding influence in 
the struggle for American Independence. By indulging his 
desire after knowledge, with a close application to books, he 
stored his mind with much general information, and became to a 
good degree a scholar, a man of science and general literature. 
He mingled considerably in public debate, but though he 
always spoke to the point on every subject, he was by his brevity 
sure never to weary his hearers. He was in his time a noted 
mathematician, and rendered great assistance in observing the 
transit of Venus which occured in 1769." 

Another biographer thus remarks : " From the vigor of his 
understanding, and the intuitive energy of his mind, he had 
established a character not only prominent in the annals of his 
country, but in the walks of literature. Possessing a powerful 
genius, his constant and assiduous application in the pursuit of 
knowledge eminently distinguished him in the first class of the 
literati. A leading and active promoter of literary and scientific 
intelligence, he attached himself in early youth to the study of 
books and men, and continued to be a constant and improving 
reader — a close and careful observer, until the period of his 
death. Holding all abridgements and abridgers in very low 
estimation, it is cited, in exemplification of his habitual deep 
research, and the indefatigability with which he penetrated the 
recesses instead of skimming the surface of things, that instead 
of depending upon summaries and contracted authorities, he 
perseveringly perused the whole of the great collection of both 


ancient and modern history, compiled about halt a century ago, 
by some distinguished scholars in Europe •, and that he also read 
through all of Thurloe's and other ponderous collections of State 

Dr. Manning, President of Rhode Island College, writing to 
Rev. Dr. Rippon of London, July 22, 1785, says: " Last week 
we buried our venerable Chancellor Stephen Hopkins, Esq., 
LL.D., for many years Governor of the Colony, and one of 
those distinguished worthies who composed the First Congress. 
He was one of the greatest men our country has reared. At the 
first meeting of the Corporation he was chosen Chancellor, and 
continued in that office till his death. In him the College has 
lust a most venerable member and officer, and foi myself, a 
particular friend." 

Mr. Guild, Librarian of the Brown University, says : " Dr. 
Manning's brief eulogium upon his particular friend. Governor 
Hopkins, the first Chancellor of the College, was well deserved. 
This great and good man closed his long, honorable, and useful 
life on the 13th of July, 178";, in the 79th year of his age. He 
professed the principles of the Society of Friends, at whose place 
of worship he was a regular attendant. He was a firm believer 
in the christian religion, but not bigoted in his belief; treating all 
societies of religious people with respect. He was a warm 
friend of the College and labored zealously to promote its 

— "His — was a rational repast 5 
Exertion, vigilance, a mind in arms, 
A military discipline of thought, 
To foil temptation in the doubtful held ; 
And ever-waking ardour for the right." 

Near the close of his lite he was visited by Gen. Washington, 
whom he received and entertained with the greatest urbanity. 

Several biographers have written his life, but the best is that 
found in the Sixth Volume of " Sanderson's Biography of the 
Signers of the Declaration of Independence." 


We insert here as a fitting close to this brief sketch the 
inscription upoti the monument erected over his grave in the 
•■'^ North- Burying-Ground" in Providence. 
[East Sirle) 
Born, March, 7, i 707. 
Died, July, 13, 1785. 

( IFest Side) 
Sacred to the memory of 
the illustrious 
Stephen Hopkins 
of revolutionary fame, 
attested by his signature 
to the Declaration 
of our national independence. 
Great in council, 
from sagacity of mind ; 
magnanimous in sentiment, 
firm in purpose, 
and good as great 
from benevolence of heart : 
he stood in the first rank of 
statesmen and patriots. 
vet among the most learned of men : 
his vast treasury of useful knowledge 
his great retentive 
and reflection powers, 
combined with his social nature 
made him the most interesting 
of companious in private life. 
[South Side) 
His name is engraved * 

on the inamortal records 


of the revolution, 

and, can never die. 

His titles to that distinction 

are engraved 

on this monument 

reared by 

the grateful admiration 

of his native state 

in honor 
of her favorite son. 



EV. JONATHAN MAXCY, D. D., was born in 
Attleboro, Mass., Sept. 2, 1 768. Early in youth he showed 
a love for books, and was noted for excellence in scholastic 
attainments. He entered Brown University, and graduated at 
the early age of nineteen, and on that occasion distinguished 
himself by delivering a poem on the future prospects of America, 
and the valedictory oration, both of which were highly applauded. 
Directly after graduating, he was appointed tutor in the College, 
which position he filled with great acceptance four years, or 
until 1 79 1, when he was chosen pastor of the Baptist Church 
in Providence. In 1792, he assumed the duties of the Presidency 
of the College, having been elected President pro tempore^ being 
only twenty-four years of age. In 1797, he was formally elected 
President, as appears from the records of the Corporation. " The 
splendor of his genius and his brilliant talents as an orator and 
divine," says Dr. Blake, " had become widely known, and under 
his guidance the college acquired a reputation for belles-lettres and 
eloquence inferior to no Seminary of learning in the United 
States." "His voice," says the Hon. Tristam Burgess, one of his 



most devoted and admiring pupils, "seemed not to have reached 
the deep tone of full age ; but most of all to resemble that of 
those concerning whom our Lord, the Savior of the world 
said, 'of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.' The eloquence of 
Maxcy was mental. You seemed to h.-ar the soul of the man, 
and each one of the largest assembly, in th:' most extended 
place of worship received the slightest impulse of his silver \ oice 
as if he stood at his very ear. So intensely would he enchain 
attention, that in the most thronged audiences you heard nothing 
but him and the pulsations of your own heart. His utterance was 
not more perfect, than the whole discourse was instructive and 

In the year 1802, having resigned his office. Dr. Maxcy was 
appointed President of Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., as 
successor of the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, deceased. In 
reference to this appointment, we find in Forsyth's Memoir of 
the Rev, Dr. Alexander Proudfit, a curious and interesting letter 
from the Rev. J. B. Johnson, then of Albany, and a trustee of 
the College, objecting to Maxcy on the ground of his being a 
Baptist, and hence that his influence as such would be unpropitious 
to the prosperity of the Institution, the support of the college 
being derived chiefly from those who were opposed to the 
Baptist persuasion, and, perhaps, ha<l no inconsiderable prejudice 
against them. 

The frivolousness of this objection is the more apparent when 
it is remembered that Union College does not claim to be of any 
particular denominational cast, but welcomes all of whatever 
persuasion to her fountains of literature. Another objection was, 
that he appeared to the writer to be a violent politician, judging 
from a Fourth of July oration delivered by him, which had been 
praised as containing some very brilliant expressions and keen 
sarcasm against the Anti-Federalists. (Those who have read the 
the oration, can judge for themselves how much importance is to 
be attached to this objection. The orator merely reveals his 


own political \'iews, and pays a slight compliment to his political 

A third and more serious objection was the unsoundness ot his 
theological views, of which the following extract from the preface 
to his sermon on the death of Manning, re-published in June, I 796, 
^as quoted for illustration : " The only thing essential to christian 
union," says Alaxcy, "is^^'^, or benevolent affection. Hence it is 
with me a fixedprinciple to censure no man except for immorality. 

A diversity of religious opinions, in a state so imperfect, obscure, 
and sinful as the present, is to be expected. An entire coincidence 
in sentiment, even in important doctrines, is by no means essential 
to christian society, or the attainment of eternal felicity. How 
many are they, who appear to have been subjects of regeneration 
who have scarcely an entire comprehensive view of one doctrine' 
of the Bible? Will the gates of Paradise be barred against these 
because they did not have the penetrating sagacity of an Edwards, 
or a Hopkins ? Or shall those great theological champions engrosr, 
heaven, and shout hallelujahs from its walls, while a Priestly, a Price 
and a Winchester, merely for a difference in opinion, though 
pre-eminent in \ irtue, must sink into the regions of darkness and 

A more unfortunate quotation could scarcely have been made. 
Breathing as it does the spirit of charity to all of whatever 
religious faith, the narrow views usually attributed to Baptists 
meets its own refutation. It is nothing strange that Dr. Maxcy, 
notwithstanding these objections, was chosen President of the 
college. Previous to this event, when only thirty-three years of 
age. Harvard TTniversity conferred on him the honorary degree 
of Doctor of Di\'initv, such was his celebrity as a scholar and 
divine. Here at Schenectad\- he officiated with an increasing 
reputation until 1804, when he accepted the unsought appointment 
of South Carolina College, with the fond anticipation of finding 
a warmer climate more congenial to his physical constitution. 

Over this latter institution he oresided almost without a 


precedent in popularity, during the remainder of his useful life. 

In his person Dr. Maxcy was small of stature, but of a fine 
and well proportioned figure. His features, says his biographer, 
were regular and manly, indicating intelligence and benevolence, 
and especially in conversation and public speaking they were 
strongly expressive. Grace and dignity were also combined in 
all his movements. His writings, or '•'• Literary Remains, " edited 
by the Rev. Dr. Romeo Elton, were published in 1844, in a 
handsome octavo volume. Eight years later a selection from his 
" Remains, " consisting of collegiate addresses, was published in 
London, making a pleasant little duodecimo volume of one hundred 
and ninety-one pages. This was also edited by Dr. Elton. 

Dr. Maxcy was married to Susanna Hopkins,* daughter of 
Commodore Esek Hopkins, of Providence, a name associated 
with the American navy and the history of the Revolution, (and 
the grand-daughter of William Hopkins and Ruth Wilkinson, his 
wife.) Besides several daughters, they had four sons, all liberally 
educated. One of whom, the Hon. Virgil Maxcy, was killed by 
the explosion of the great gun on board the United States 
steam-ship Princeton^ during a pleasure excursion on the Potomac. 

Dr. Maxcy died at Columbia, South Carolina, June 4, 1820, 
aged fifty-two years, leaving the alumni of three difi-'erent colleges 
to regret his early death — a devoted wife and family to weep his 
loss — and a country who loved and honored him to mourn over 
his departure in the midst of a life of virtue and usefulness. No 
painted canvas, or sculptured marble perpetuates the likeness of 
President Maxcy ; but " so long," says Elton, "as genius, hallowed 
and sublimed by piety, shall command veneration, he will be 
remembered in his country as a star of the first magnitude." 

* The following is copied from 2. Book of Marriages, p. I 67 Providence : 
Jonathan Maxcy, \ Cornelia Manning, b. June 11, 1792. 

AND |- Amy Hopkins, b. May 8, 1794. 

Susanna Hopkins. ) Desire Burroughs, b. February 19, 1796. 

Esek Hopkins, b. March 16, 1799. 

Stephen Hopkins, b. February 6, 1801. 
Virgil was undoubtedly a younger son. 


ESEK HOPKINS, the son of William Hopkins and Ruth 
Wilkinson, his wife, was born in Scituate, Rhode Island, 
April, 26, 1718. His birth-place has been described in the 
biography of his brother Stephen. During his youth he was a 
farmer, but the sea had charms for him not found on the land. 
Whenever he visited Providence he looked upon the ships and 
sailors with emulous eyes, and longed to be old enough to go 
abroad and see the world for himself. His desires were at length 
gratified, and he became an expert navigator. 

At the time of his father's death, which occurred in 1738, 
Esek was dangerously ill, and was not expected to live. His 
physician had given him up, but his strong constitution rallied 
and he survived. Upon his recovery his father's funeral train 
had passed away — the will had been read, and finding himself 
comparatively destitute and an orphan — for his mother had 
previously died — with no one to aid him, and that he must depend 
upon himself for a subsistence, he left his native town, as soon 
as he could command strength for the trip, and arrived in 
Providence with an old fire-lock on his shoulder, a silver pistareen 
in his pocket, and a handkerchief which contained his entire 
wardrobe in his hand. Here having found a vessel ready to sail to 
Surinam, he enlisted as a "raw hand," having disposed of his 
gun for a Spanish four-pence. 

This was the commencement of the sea-life of the first 


American Commodore, or "• High Admiral/'* and a more 
unpromising beginning was never made. But he was possessed 
of energy of mind and body equal to his ambitron, and principles 
that insured success. Few in his circumstances would have 
risen above the lot ot the common sailor, and would have left no 
record for future generations, but he was determined to excel; 
and, if physical prowess and native mental vigor — it obedience 
to superiors and a fearless discharge of duty — if coirect moral 
principles and rigid temperance — if boldness and noble daring on 
the bending mast in the howling tempest, and in the ensanguined 
sea-fight, entitle a person to pre-eminence and public consideration, 
then Esek Hopkins was worthy the honor his country conferred 
upon him. 

He followed the sea for two or three years at the same traffic. 
One dav when in the port of Providence, he took a little boat 
and rowed over into Waybosset, which at that time contained a 
thrifty growth of whortleberries upon which he feasted. While 
thinking over his sailor life, he felt convinced that the prevalent 
practice of using "grog" at 11 o'clock a. m., and 4 o'clock p. M., 
on ship-board, was a very pernicious custom, and that the sailors 
were likely to be only sailors, or. common seamen during their 
lives, who continued its use. He therefore resolved to abstain 
from the habit, and during his long life he totally abstained from 
the use of ardent spirits as a beverage. Here was laid the 
foundation of his future eminence. 

Another thing should not be lost sight of in the success of 
Esek as a seaman and a naval officer. It was his practical 
knowledge of navigation. His grandfather, Samuel Wilkinson, 
and his brother Stephen, were expert surveyors, and navigation, 
a kindred science, was inculcated as giving a person pre-eminence 
on the sea. Esek had availed himself of its advantages, and had 
some knowledge of it before he sailed on his first voyage. 

While at Newport, he made the acquaintance of Desire 

*Lossing's History. U. S. p. 238. 


Burroughs and on the 28th day of Nov., 1741, they were married 
by Nicholas Evres, Elder of the Baptist Congregation of that 
place.* Four children were born to them here previous to 1748, 
viz., John B., Heart, Abigail, and Samuel. Newport at this time 
was the metropolis of Rhode Island, and, in consequence of its 
excellent harbor, was tar in advance of Pro\ idence ; so much 
so that the General court voted an allowance to the Governor 
to defray the expenses of moving to the most im.portant town of 
the Colony. The union of Esek and Desire was a peculiarly 
happy one, and the incident mentioned by the Rev. C. C, Bemen, 
and previously quoted in the sketch of Ruth Wilkinson, the 
mother of Esek, is said by some to have occurred between these 
parties. They moved to Providence about 1751. 

Esek, though frequently at sea, was identified with home 
matters, and was perfectly conversant with the political parties, 
and issues of the day. He was elected Representative to the 
General Assembly for Providence in 1764, and was frequently 
returned to the I/Cgislature afterwards. For a number of years 
he held many important offices, and was instrumental in carrying 
out some very important political, and State measures. During 
the exciting times just previous to the Revolution, he was very 
active, and deeply interested in the welfare of the colonies. His 
influence was felt, and acknowledged beyond the limits of his 
native State. Firmly believing the doctrine that the people are 
the rightful sovereigns, and that kings are not necessary in an 
enlightened nation; — that taxation and representation are 
inseparable ; — that free trade and Sailor's rights should be 
maintained at whatever hazard, he entered the contest with a 
zeal worthy of the cause, and a determination to carry the colonies 
beyond the control of Great Britain, and to ultimate independence. 
No colony held the mother country in greater veneration than 
Rhode Island. In fact she had received favors which had been 
denied to others, but a crisis had been approaching since 1764. 

*. I Book of Marriages p. 159. Providence. 


Parliament had passed an act imposing duties on goods from some 
of the West India Islands not under the jurisdiction of England. 
About the same time the Grenv'ille resolution was proposed 
asserting "•that it would be proper to charge certain stamp duties 
on the colonies." Other unwise and oppressive legislation 
followed. Little by little her feelings were alienated, till many 
had become absolutely hostile, and were ready to shed their blood 
in defence of what they deemed to be their inalienable rights. 
News of the Boston Massacre produced intense excitement and 
indignation in Rhode Island, and when the tidings of the battle 
of Lexington reached Providence, the wildest enthusiasm 
pervaded nearly every heart. Gov. Nicholas Cooke took a 
firm and decided stand in favor of freedom, and made preparations 
for a sanguinary struggle. Mr. Hopkins was commissioned by 
him as Brigadier General in command of five companies to be 
raised for the protection of the colony. 

The land, however, was not to be his sole theatre of action, 
for he had hardly completed recruiting and organizing his corps, 
before he received a commission from the Continental Congress, 
as "Commander-in-chief of the navy." On the 22d of 
December, 1775, Congress passed the following resolution.* 

" Resolved — that the following naval officers be appointed : 
EsEK Hopkins, Esq^, Commander-in-Chief. 

Dudley Saltonstall, Captain of the Alfred. 

Abraham Whipple, Captain of the Columbus. 

Nicholas Biddle, Captain of the Andrea Dora. 

John B. Hopkins, Captain of the Cahot. 
&c., &c., &c. 

Resolved — that the pay of the Commander-in-Chief be $125 
per month." 

" By this law it will be seen," says Cooper, "that Mr. Hopkins 
was not made a Captain, but the ' Commander-in-Chief 'f a rank 

*i. Cooper's Naval History, p. 103. 
f 4. American Archives, p. 360-4. 


that was intended to correspond in the navy, to that held by 
Washington in the army. His official appellation among seamen, 
appears to have been that of Commodore., though he was frequently 
styled '• JdmiraT in the papers of that period." 

Hopkins assiduously applied himselt to perfecting the 
arrangements for an expedition which was then kept secret, and 
Feb. 17th, 1776, he got to sea from the Delaware — where he 
had been for some weeks ice-bound — with the hrst squadron 
sent out by the Colonies. The fleet consisted of the Alfred, 24 
guns; Columbus, 20; Doria, 14; Cabot, 14; Providence, 12; 
Hornet, lO; Wasp, 8; and Fly, despatch vessel ; four ships and 
three sloops. 

Paul Jones was a Lieutenant on the Commodore's Ship, Alfred. 
It was on board this ship that Jones affirms that he first hoisted 
the flag of the United Colonies, with his own hands, when 
Commodore Hopkins Hrst visited her. This occurred on the 
Delaware, ott Philadelphia; and the flag was the pine-tree and 
rattle-snake, the symbol then used by the Colonies. 

Of the commissioned officers in the fleet, eight of them 
belonged to Rhode Island — the result, probably, of the influence 
of the Commander-in-Chief. On the 19th, the squadron with a 
trcsh breeze was standing south for the Bahama Islands, and 
rendezvoused at Abaco. Here final ariangements were made 
for an advance upon New Providence. The attack was made, 
and the forts carried in gallant style, captuiing about 100 cannon, 
and a large <]u:uititv of ordinance stores and ammunition, and the 
governor of the Island. "On this occasion," savs Cooper, "the 
first that ever occurred in the regular American navy, the 
marines behaved with a spirit and steadiness that have distinguished 
them ever since." The object of the expedition being 
accomplished, Commodore Hopkins stood north homeward 
bound. When of^' Block Islar;d he fell in with and captured 
the British schooner Hawke, of six carriage guns, and eight 
swivels, and the bomb brig Bolton, of eight guns, two howitzers, 



ten svvivjls, and forty-eight men, and well provided with 
amrnunitioii and stores. For this act the President ot' Contiress 
complimented Hopkins officially.* Two days after this affair, 
Hopkins with three vessels attacked the Glasgow of 29 guns, 
Captain Tringham How, with a crew ot 150. men. It appears 
the Altred was poorly prepared to contend with the Glasgow, as 
her main-deck guns were so near the water, as to be useles in a 
fresh breeze. On this occasion, however, she was brought 
gallantly into action, but her wheel-rope was shot away, and 
broachitig to, she was raked by the Glasgow for sometime. 
The Commodore's son, John B. Hopkins, Captain of the Cabot, 
seeing the condition of the Alfred^ his father's ship, ran up within 
pistol shot of the Glasgow, and poured in a destructive fire, and 
received her broadsides nearly half an hour, manifesting the most 
undaunted bravery. Captain Whipple ot the Columbus was 
signaled to join in the attack, but failed for some cause to come 
to the rescue, and the Glasgow made her escape by getting into 
Newport, For this the Commodore, and particularly Captains 
Hazard and Whipple were censured. The latter demanded a 
court-martial, the request for which was forwarded to the 
President of Congress. The President addressed a letter to 
Commodore Hopkins, which was concluded as follows : 
"Though it is to be regretted that the Glasgow, Man-of-war, 
made her escape, yet, as it was not through any misconduct ; the 
praise due to you, and the other officers, is undoubtedly the 

The squadron put into New London. The cruise had 
lasted fifty-three days, and when we remember the prowess ot 
England on the sea, and the indiflerent qualities of the vessels, it 
must be deemed a bold, and adventurous one, and not entirely 
without beneficial results to the cause of the colonists. After a 
short stay at New London, Hopkins brought his fleet round to 
Rhode Island, but never made another cruise in the navy. 

"■'For a minute account ot" this action, Sec " Life of Paul Jones." 


A celebrated writer says, "-Commodore, or Admiral Hopkins, 
as he was generally called, even by Washington, who so addressed 
him in his official letters, performed other remarkable exploits, 
though he had great difficulties to contend with. His name 
became a synonym for heroism, and for American patriotism. In 
June, 1776, Hopkins was ordered by Congress to appear before 
the Naval Committee in Philadelphia to reply to charges which had 
been preferred against him for not annoying the enemy's ships on 
the southern coast. I^g^ was defended by John Adams and was 
acquitted. The unavoidable delay at a later period in getting his 
ships ready for sea, gave another opportunity for his enemies to 
complain ; and neglecting a citation to appear at Philadelphia, 
because no specific charges were made against him, and on account 
of his general disgust at the conduct of his opponents, he was 
dismissed the ser\ ice Jan. 2, 1777. He resided near Providence, 
and exerted during a long life a great political influence in Rhode 
Island, being often elected to the General Assembly of that State:" 

The following incident related by the Hon. Asher Robbins, will 
serve to show the legislative influence, as well as the impulsive 
character of the man while performing the gravest duties. March, 
1786, he was a representative for North Providence, and one 
afternoon Dr. Manning, President of Brown University, out of 
curiosity went to the State House to look in upon the Assembly, 
and see what was doing. ()n his appearance, he was introduced 
on the floor, and accommodated with a seat. Shortly after, 
the Commodore arose and nominated Dr. Manning, as a delegate 
to Congress, there being a vacancy to fill in that body at that 
time. He was unanimously appointed. Shortly after this event 
Robbins was at the house of Governor Hopkins, and there met 
the Commodore, who informed him that the idea never entered 
his head until he saw the President enter and take his seat on 
the floor of the Assembly, and that the thought immediately 
struck him that he would make a very fit member for that august 
body — the Continental Congress. 


Few men enjoyeJ the contiJence of his fellow-citizens in a 
greater degree than Commodore Hopkins. His opponents were 
invariably those who Vv'ere strangers to him, and when we consider 
the circumstances attending his youth — without the ordinary 
means of instruction — left an orphan at that age when he most 
needed parental care — and without patronage — his advancement to 
honor and renown are the more remarkable and praiseworthy. 
The Rev. Mr. Goodrich in his Historical Discourse, June, i86«;, 
(North Providence,) says ''of those whose homes were in this 
town, and who did bold service in the Revolutionary War, the 
name of Commodore Hopkins stands eminent. Though born in 
another town, he made for years this place his abode, and his 
ashes are mouldering within our borders. It were superfluous to 
praise him. His valor is a part of the heroic heritage of his native 
state; and his name and Perry's, who alike, in different wars upheld 
the honor of our country on the sea, have given our little state cause 
to glory in her naval warriors. For between two and three years 
Hopkins was Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, but the bitter 
sectional feeling in Congress which operated so much on many an 
occasion greatlv to the disparagement of New England men, finally 
succeeded in ousting him from his honorable position. But by this 
act our country suffered most." 

His family were highly respected, and intermarried with the 
first people in Providence. His daughter Susanna married the 
distinguished Dr. Maxcy, President o\ Brown University, and 
his sons were noted for- the part thev bore in the revolutionary 
struggle. John Burroughs Hopkins was concerned in the 
"Gaspee" affair, and was captain of the Cabot under his father 
in the first naval fleet as we have before stated. He was wounded 
during the action with the Glasgow. At a very early age he 
became a sea captain, and was noted for his bravery, and noble 
daring. ^ 

Some time before his death, Commodore Hopkins gave the 
town of North Providence a piece of land for a Cemetery, situated 

^.^^A: HOPKINS. 389 

about one-third of a mile from his residence to the north of 

Providence, and within this enclosure his mortal remains were 

deposited, -ind his tomb-stone bears the following inscription : 

"This stone is consecrated 

To the Memory of 

Esek Hopkins, Esq., 

Who departed this life 

on the 

26th day of February, A. D. 1802, 

. He was born in the year 1718, in Scituate 

in this State, and during the 

Revolutionary war, 

was appointed 

Admiral and Commander-in-Chief 

of the 

Naval forces of the United States. 

He was afterwards a member of our State Legislature, 

and was no less distinguished 

for his deliberation than for his valour. 

As he lived highly respected. 

So he died deeply regretted 

by his country and his friends, 

at the advanced age of 83 years and 10 months. 

' Look next on Greatness,' ' say where Greatness lies,"' 


The following facts though coming into mv hands after the 

above notice was nearly completed, are deemed worthy of place in 

this connection and will undoubtedly be read with interest. They 

were collected from the American Archives, and from original 

documents, and confirm the foregoing sketch. 

At the breaking out of the Revolution in the early part of 
1775, Esek Hopkins and Joseph. Brown were appointed by the 
General Assembly to go through the colony and decide what 
places should be fortified, and in what manner.* This shows 

* Guild's Manning and Brown University, p. 163. 



the estmate which the public put upon his abilities as a man of 

The Legislature of Rhode Island, in its October session, 
1775, passed an act to raise 500 soldiers. Esek Hopkins, 
John Sayles and Henry Marchant appointed a committee to 
prepare an act to Rhode Island Legislature.* 

After his appointments as Brigadier General he captured a 
number of prisoners and a committee was appointed to dispose 
of them. 

January i, 1776, the naval committee applied for three pilots 
to conduct vessels to Reedv Island Hopkins had been previously 
appointed Commander-in-Chief of the naval forces — court 
established and flag hoisted. f John Adams and Stephen 
Hopkins were members of that committee.* 

The following account of the sailing of the fleet written by 
an eye witness expresses the joy and expectation of the people 
at the time. 

" Newbern., N. C, Febuary q, 1776. 

*■' By a gentleman from Philadelphia we have received the 
pleasing account of the act-ual sailing from that place ot the first 
American fleet that ever swelled their sails on the western ocean 
in defence of the rights and liberties of the petjple of these 
colonies, now suffering under the persecuting rod of the British 
ministry, and their more than brutish tyrants in America. 
This fleet consists of five sail, fitted out from Philadelphia which 
are to be joined at the capes of Virginia by two s\\\\r:-. more from 
Maryland, and is commanded by Admiral Hopkins — a most 
experienced and venerable sea captain. The Admiral's ship is 
called the Columhus^ after Christopher Columbus, the renowned 
discoverer of this western world, and mounts 36 guns, 12 and 
9 pounders, on two decks, 40 swivels and 500 men. \\\c second 

•■Publir Records. 1775, Secretary of State's office. 
t. 4 American Archives p. 360 — 4 and 506. 


ship is called the Cahot after Sabastain Cabot, who completed the 
discoveries of America made by Columbus, and mounts 32 guns. 
The others are smaller vessels from 24 to 14 guns. They 
sailed from Philadelphia amidst the acclamations ot many 
thousands assembled on the jovful occasion, under a display of a 
union flag, with thirteen stripes in the Held, emblematical of the 
thirteen United Colonies, but unhappily tor us, the ice in the 
river Delaware as yet, obstructs the passage down, but the time 
will soon arrive when this fleet must come to action. Their 
destination is secret, but generally supposed to be against the 
ministerial governors, those little petty tyrants that have lately 
spread fire and sword through the southern colonies. For the 
happy success of this little fleet 3,000,000 of people offer their 
most earnest supplications to heaven."* 

This was called by the British by way of derision the 
" Misketo Fleet." 

Orders given the several captains in the fleet, at sailing from 
the capes of the Delaware, February 17, 1776, by Commodore 

"Sir: — You are hereby ordered to keep company with me if 
possible, and truly observe the signals given by the ship I am in, 
but in case you should be separated in a gale ot wind or otherwise, 
you then are to use all possible means to join the fleet as soon 
as possible ; but if you cannot, in four days after you leave the 
fleet vou are to make the best of your way to the southern part 
o't Abaco (one of the Bahama Islands) and there wait for the fleet 
fourteen days. But if the fleet does not join you in that time, 
you are to cruise in such places as vou think will most annoy the 
enemy. And vou are to send into port for trial all British 
vessels with an\- supplies for the ministerial torces, who you 
may make yourseh master of, to such places as you mav think 
best within the United Colonies. 

*. 4. American Archives, 964 — 5. 



In case you are in any verv great danger of being taken, vou 
are to destroy these orders, and your signals. 

EsEK. Hopkins, Commander-in-Chief.""' 

Arriving at their destination the follov/ing manifesto was sent 
on shore at New Providence : 

"To the Gentlemen, Freemen, and Inhabitants of the Island 
of New Providence : — 

The reason for my landing an armed force on the island is, in 
order to take possession of the powder and warlike stores 
belonging to the crown ; and if I am not opposed in putting my 
design in execution, the persons and the property of the 
inhabitants shalVbe safe ■, neither shall thev be suffered to be hurt 
in case they make no resistence. 

Given under my hand on board the ship Alfred^ March 3, 177*^- 
EsEK. Hopkins, Commander-in-Chief."! 

After securing the ammunition. Governor, &c., Hopkins gave 
orders to return to Providence: hailing a Danish ship in distress 
he gave her permission to put into one of the southern ports for 
repairs.;}; 1 he following is his report of his doings during the 
cruise, read April 16, 1776. : 

"Admiral Hopkins, to the President of Congress. 

Ship Alfred, New London Harbour, April 9, 1776. 

Sir: — When I put to sea the i :th of February, from Cape 
Henlopen, we had many sick, and hjur of the \ essels had a large 
number on board with small-pox. The Flor/iet and Wasp joined 
me two days before. The wind came at N. E., which made 
it unsafe to lie there. The wind after we got out came on to 
blow hard. 1 did not think we were in a condition to keep on a 
cold coast, and appointed our rendezvous at Abaco, one of the 
Bahama Islands. The second night we lost the Hornet and 
Fly. I arrived at rendezvous, in order to wait for them hfteen 

* 4. American Archives p. 1179. 
t 5. American Archives, p. 46. 
\ 5. American Arrhivcj p. 47. 


days agreeable to orders. I then formed an expedition against 
New Providence, which I put in execution 3d of March, by 
landing 200 marines under the command of Captain Nicholas, 
and 50 sailors under the command of Lieut. Weaver of the 
Cabot, who was well acquainted there. The same day they took 
possession of a small fort of seventeen pieces of cannon without 
any opposition save five guns which were fired at them without 
doing any damage. 

I received that evening an account that they had 200 and odd 
men in the main fort, all inhabitants. I caused my manifesto to 
be published^ the purport of which was &c., (See anti). Capt. 
Nicholas sent by my orders to the Governor for the keys of the 
fort which were delivered, and the troops marched directly in, 
where we found the several warlike stores, agreeable to the 
inventory enclosed. But the Governor sent [50 barrels of 
powder off in a small sloop the night before. I have all the 
stores on board the fleet, and a large sloop that I found there, 
and which I have promised the owner to send back and pav him 
hire for. 

The Flv joined us at Providence, and gave an account that he 
got foul of the Hornet and carried away the boom and head of 
her mast ; and I hear since she has got into some port of South 
Carolina. I have taken the Gov. Montfort Browne, the Lieut. 
Gov., who is a half-pay officer, Mr. Thomas Irving, who is a 
Counsellor and Collector of his Majesty's quit-rents in S. C, and 
it appears by the Court Calender, that he is also Inspector General 
of his Majesty's Customs of North America. 

Since we came out we have lost company with the Wasp. 
The 4th inst., we fell in with on the east end of Long Island and 
look the Schooner, commanded by young Wallace, of six carriage 
guns and eight swivels, and on the 5th took the bomb Brig of 
eight guns, two howitzers, ten swivels, and forty-eight hands, 
well found in all sorts of stores, arms, powder, &c. The 6th, 
in the morning, fell in with the Glascow and her tender, and 



engaged her near three hours. We lost six men killed and manv 
wounded. The Cabot had four men killed and seven wounded, 
the Captain is among the latter. The Columbus had one man 
who lost his arm. We received considerable damage in our 
ship; but the greatest was in havmg our wheel ropes and blocks 
shot away, which gave the Glascow time to make sail, which I 
did not think proper to follow, as it would have brought on an 
action with the whole of their fleet, as I had upwards of thirty of 
our best seamen on board the prizes, and some that were on board 
had got too much liquor out of the prizes to be ht for duty, I 
thought it most prudent to give over the chase, and secure our 
prizes; and got nothing but the Glascow's tender, and arrived 
here the 7th inst. with all the fleet. 

Among the dead are Mr. Sinclair Seymour, Master of the 
Cabot, a good officer. First Lieut. Wilson of the Cabot, and 
Lieut. Fitzpatric of the Alfred. The officers all behaved well 
on board the Alfred ; but too much praise cannot be given to the 
officers of the Cabot, who gave and sustained the whole fire for 
some considerable time within pistol shot.* 

I expect to leave this place in three or four days, and as Gen. 
Washington is expected here ever\- minute, it he will give me 
leave to enlist some of his men — shall be able to get away sooner. 
1 hear since the action the fleet has gone from Newport ; but 
whether they intend to return again I cannot tell ; bnt if I can 
get the fleet well manned — shall be able to give a more intelligent 

I have now on board 80 pieces of heav\' sail-duck which I 
purchased at New Providence, and have drawn bills on the 
Treasurer for. 

I am with great Respect, Your humble Servant. 

EsF.K Hopkins. "t 

The following is an extract from the inventory alluded to: 

* The Commodore's son, [ohn B. commanded the Cabot. 

f 5 American Archives, p. 823. Original report in Secretary ot" State's office, letters, 
1776, p. 35. 



"To the Hon. John Hancock, Esq, President of the 
Continental Congress. Inventory of stores taken at Fort 
Montague, March 3, 1776, 17 cannon, 9 36 pounders; 1240 
round shot; \i\ shells; 81 iron trucks for carriages; 22 
copper hoops ; 2 copper powder measures; i worm; i ladle; 
some old iron, copper, lead, &c. 

At Fort Nassau, ~\ cannon, 9 32 pounders; 15 mortars, 
4 II in.; 5337 shells; 9831 round shot; 1 65 chain double-headed 
shot, iScc, &c."* 

Admiral Hopkins to Stephen Hopkins: 

••'On board ship Alfred at the mouth of 

the New London river, April 21, 1776. 
" Dear Brother; 

Since I wrote nothing material has happened. 

We landed our sick (which were 140 men in the fleet) and got 

some new men out of the armv, and were ready to sail, when 

I received General Washington's letter bv express, a copy of 

which I have enclosed. 

I sent out the Cabot in order to strengthen the town Newport, 
where she is arrived, as vou will see bv Lieut. Hinman's letter, 
a copy ot which vou have enclosed. Two days past we were 
under sail to get out, but ashore on the rocks on Fisher's Island ; 
but grot ofi- again without much damage after about eight hours, 
and came in again, and ordered all the vessels in which I had 
under convoy, five of whom were at the risk of the Congress. 
The Flv is now out in order to learn the strength of the fleet. 
If thev are not much stronger than we, we shall go out the first 
fair wind. 

We are much better manned now than we ever have been. 
My son (John B. Hopkins) is ashore, at Mr. Shaws, and getting 
better of his wounds, but do not expect he will be able to go on 
board his Brig to take the command in less than three or 
four weeks. 

I am vour loving brother, 

Esek Hopkins. 

* 5 American Archives, p. 823. 


To the Hon. Stephen Hopkins, Esq, at Philadelphia. 
P. S. 1 have obliged most of the sailors that 1 have taken out of 
the armed vessels to do duty on board. Should be glad to know 
if that is agreeable with the sentiments of the Congress, that I 
may still follow the same rule."* 

About this time Congress passed the following resolution : 
" Resolved — that twenty of the heaviest cannon brought by 
Commodore Hopkins from New Providence, be curried to 
Philadelphia to fortify" that city.* 

The Captive Gov. applies to Hopkins for an enlargement of 
his liberty, whereupon he addressed the followmg line to the 
Gov. of Conn. 

" Admiral Hopkins to Gov. Trumbull. 

New London, April 25, 1776. 

Sir: The bearer, Gov. Browne, requests me to use my 
influence with your Honor, that he may have leave sometimes 
on parole, to go as far as where he can go to church. And as 
he is a gentleman of character, I make no doubt vou will give 
him as much liberty as is consistent with the public safety ; and 
further he cannot expect. 

I am with great respect. Your Most Obt. Servant, 

Esek Hopkins. 

To Jonathan Irumbull. Esq. Gov. of the Colony of Ct. at 

Lebanon. "t 

Com. Hopkins had borrowed 200 men of Washington which 
are demanded. He makes the following reply: 

"Admiral Hopkins to Gen. Washington. 

Providence May 1, 1776. 

Sir: Your favor of the 25th of April, per express, has been 

received. I am very much obliged to you for the use of your 

men, and shall despatch them to New York immediately in the 

Sloop Providence, Capt. Hazard. Although we still continue to 

* 5 American Archives, p. 1006. 
I 5 American Archives, p. 47. 
^ 5 American Archives, p. 47. 


be sickly on board all the vessels, so that it will be impossible to 
to go to sea with the fleet, before we got recruited with hands, 
which will not easily be done. 
I am with great respect, Sir, Your Most ()ht. humble Servant. 

Esek Hopkins. 
To Gen. Washington."* 

In writing to John Hancock, President of Congress, he alludes 
to a letter from Capt. Whipple making a request. (J. H. Clark 
says, it was not to be deprived of his office for not coming up in 
the fight with the Glasgow.) The following extract refers to it^ 

"Enclosed you have a copy of Capt. Whipple's request to 
me which I suppose, 1 shall grant, and expect that may bring 
on some more inquires, but do not expect any thing which may 
now be done will mend what is past. Esek Hopkins. "f 

He gives a detailed account of the fleet's doings in this letter. 
His magnanimity is shown by protecting his inferior officers, and 
bearing himself the burden of their faults. 


I'he Authoi has not had access to the papers of Esek Hopkins 
but received the following statement from the Hon. John H. 
Clark of Providence, grandson of Com. H. in regard to them. 
When the Commodore died Judge J. Dorrence had all his 
papers. Estate, ike, in charge. The Judge was then living in 
the Dorrence building in Providence, west side of the river. 
When he died, or moved from there, the papers of Com. Hopkins 
were left up stairs in the garret. One Wheaton Baker took 
possession of the Dorrence buildings, and having found the 
aforesaid papers to be of considerable importance, took them to 
Baltimore and endeavored to sell them, but not getting an oiler 
to satisfy him, he brought them back to Providence. Judge 
Wm. R. Staples, learning of the whereabouts of those papers 
secured the loan of them for perusal, and found them of such 

* 5 American Archives, p. 1168. 
f 5 American Archives, p. 1168. 


importance that he solicited the heirs to demand him to deposit 
them in the Rhode Island Historical Society at Providence. Mrs. 
Desire Leonard, daughter of Commodore Hopkins, and John 
H. Clark signing the said request as lieirs-at-law oi Commodore 
Hopkins. Judge Staples deposited them in said Society where 
they now remain. 

No doubt an interesting biography could be written of this 
distinguished Naval Officer, whose name like many other worthies 
of the Revolution has nearly faded from our memories. 

The portrait of Commodore Hopkins may be seen in the 
"• Rhode Island Hall" in Providence. The Hall is situated at the 
south side oi the college grounds on a beautiful elevation that 
commands a view of the city to the west, and to the south a 
most magnificent panorama of the Narragansett bay flecked with 
shipping and bordered with green sloping shores rising and 
rolling away into the blue distance. The Hall contains some 
very fine paintings, portraits, and models of ancient temples, and 
also, small cabinets of minerals. The successive classes of 
graduates from Brown University have honored tht- Hall with 
their photographs. Prominent among the portraits stand Esek 
Hopkins and A. E. Burnside. That of Hopkins was painted by 
Heade from a mezzotint engraving, and is certainly a very fine 
production. The peculiar dash and daring of the Commodore 
stands out prominently in the features and noble figure, and the 
roughness that some have attributed to him would scarcely be 
. perceived under the open countenance, large mild eyes, full face, 
and fair exterior of the figure before you. 

This has been photographed, and the author acknowledges 
the receipt of one of them from J. H. Clark. A steel 
engraving of Commodore Hopkins is in the possession of the 
Secretary of State of Rhode Island. 

Many anecdotes concerning him are related among the older 
men of Providence at the present day. He was laughed at for 
living in North Providence on such a miserable farm, and by 


wav of reproach was told bv one of the metropolitans "that 
nobody but a fool would live on such a piece of land," he replied, 
'•'■no fool could live on such a piece of land — he would starve, 
but vou see I am well fed." 

On another occasion — when Gen. Greene's fame as a military 
chieftain was at its height, he happened in Providence and Com. 
Hopkins gave him an invitation to dine with him. "At what 
hour do vou dine?" enquired the polite General whose habits in 
this respect had become somewhat modified by his contact with 
southern chivalry. "At 12 o'clock" — responded the Com. 
whose naval discipline was without parallax or shadow ot 
changing in these matters." But I do not dine till two or 
three " — rejoined Greene. " Then you won't dine with me by 
a long chalk '" replied Hopkins with characteristic sangfroid. 


SRAEL WILKINSON, the fifth son, and ninth child of 
the second Samuel, was born in the town of Smithfield, 
Rhode Island, March 21, 1711. The place where he was born 
presents a desolate appearance. The ruins of the old house are 
plainly visible, and the locality has been described in the sketch 
of his father. His educational advantages were limited, as were 
nearly all the pioneer settlers of this infant colony, to private 
instruction. Schools were kept in private houses, and but for 
a few months in the year. It is difficult to imagine even, the 
state of affairs as it existed in the days of oui' ancestors, and the 
great change that has taken place since. The log hut has been 
superseded by the neat, commodious dwelling — the forests have 
been swept away — the wild beasts and the savages have been 
supplanted by the advancing footsteps of civilization; — railroad 
cars dash athwart the fields where lumbered the ox-cart of the 
farmer, and the dull murmur of gliding rivers now resounds with 
the hum of ten thousand spindles at every waterfall. One 
hundred and fifty years have wrought a change so great that 
should the departed spirits be permitted to resume their clayey 
tenements, and walk the fields they once cultivated, and stand 
before the place where they erected their humble dwellings, thev 
would be lost in amazement at the mutations of time. 
They would see — 

" Busy millions quicking all the land. 
With cities thronged, and teeming culture high ; 


For Xjture smiles upon her trce-born sons, 
And pours the pienty that belongs to men : — 
Behold the country cheer'n,', villas rise 
In lively- prospect," anH all — "changed 
Into somctliing nev^-, and strange/ 

In the early youth of Israel the wild beasts ot the forests 
were common, and an adventure exhibiting the daring and 
pluck of the lad is handed down as a well authenticated tradition 
by the descendants of this branch. His father had a cornfield 
on the west side of the Blackstone river, a little south of what 
is now the Hamlet. At that time the country was covered by 
the primitive forests consisting of oak, chestnut and pine. A few 
acres had been cleared of timber, and corn put in, and a fine 
field was wa\ing to the passing breeze. Israel, at that time 
about twelve years of age, was passing through it one day, when 
he espied a large black bear pulling down the corn and devouring 
it. He immediately drew up his gun which missed fire, and 
Bruin hearing the click of the hammer made his escape into the 
adjoining woods. Narrating his adventure when he arrived 
home his elder brothers laughed at his marvellous account, 
remarking that had it been a squirrel his gun would not have 
missed file. The next day the intrepid vouth took his father's 
fire-lock, and posted off to the cornfield some two miles away. 
Arriving at about the same spot at the same time of day, he 
beheld Bruin at his old trick, and immediately attempted to bring 
his piece to a present arim^ but his strength failed him, and he 
was obliged to get behind a hill of corn, and resting his gun on 
the stalks he blazed away at his black majesty, and over he 
went, kicking and threshing among the corn. Immediately 
sounds of approaching footsteps were beared. The boy's hair 
stood on end thinking another bear was coming down upon him 
to avenge the death of his mate, when, lo ! the familiar form of 
his father on his old pacing mare approached him. The anxious 
parent had missed his boy and gun, and immediately went after 
him, and arrived in season to be in at the death. 



With countenance radiant with jov and exultation at the 
result of the exploit, the father and son lifted the dead body of 
the bear upon the horse, and mounting themselves returned in 
triumph to the house, convincing his brothers that his former 
tale was founded in fact. For generations this incident has been 
related, and the tradition is still handed down to the delight and 
terror of the juvenile portion of many a family. The writer of 
this well remembers hearing it related in his childhood till he 
saw bears in every dark corner of the room, and would scarcely 
venture at eventide into the long hall at the old homestead lest 
a bear should attack him. 

Israel was not only a farmer, but was extensively engaged in 
other enterprises. He was an ingenious man in the mechanic 
arts, and invented a machine for cutting screws, both wooden 
and iron. His place of work on the old homestead in Smithfield 
was just in the rear of the old red house, which stands on the 
river road from Providence to Woonsocket, nearly opposite 
Manville, and is now occupied by Albert Vose, and was the 
residence of James Wilkinson, a grandson of Israel, up to 1831, 
for more than forty-five years. The manner of cutting screws 
was primitive enough . The timber which held the gouge was 
about five feet long, two feet wide, and a foot thick, riveted with 
iron bolts an inch in diameter, headed and nutted, and of great 
strength. This timber was perforated with a hole to receive the 
Stick of which the screw was to be made, and was turned by 
hand, and the thread of the screw gauged according to any 
required dimension. After the first running through, the gouge 
was re-set, and the work completed. Also screws tor pressing 
spermaceti oil, and clothier's screws — paper and cider mill 
screws were manufactured here, and so far as we know, they 
were the first made in New England. The principle part of the 
tools and apparatus were subsequently sold to Oziel Wilkinson 
of Pawtucket, A witness still living, (1865) says he split up 
some of the blocks, or timbers which held the chisels or gouges, 


and collected the old irons, and sold them at auction in 1831. 
They had been Ivmg about the premises since his childhood, and 
the facts herein stated are perfectly reliable. 

Rhode Island has always been noted for her iron works, and 
for the number of establishments in this branch of industry. 
Mines of iron w^re discovered and worked, and furnaces erected 
in different parts of the Colony at a very early day. Israel was 
extensively engaged in these enterprises, and was well known in 
the surrounding Colonies. Few workmen would attempt to do 
what seemed perfectly simple and easy to be accomplished in his 
hands. He was called to Boston to aid in casting cannon previous 
to the Revolution. An anecdote is related of his going to Boston 
for the purpose of extracting the "core" of the cannon after 
casting, a difficulty the workmen could not overcome there. 
His wife careful of the pecuniary consideration, admonished 
him as follows — "Israel, see to it, that they pay thee well." 
Upon his return — entertaining no doubts of his success, but 
fearing that he had not been amply compensated for his labor and 
trouble, she enquired — "What did they pay thee?" and the 
answer — "As good a bowl of punch as ever a man drank!" 
more than confirmed her suspicions. 

The "Amity Furnace," at Manville on the Blackstone River 
was built, and carried on by him and his brother-in-law, Rogers — 
they were the principal workmen there for several years. The 
" Hope Furnace," also, where the Hope Factory, now stands in 
Cranston, was built by them. Their skill and perseverance made 
that establishment a success, the Browns, and Bowens, and some 
others were enriched by it, but Wilkinson and Rogers were not 
benefitted. The company consisted of Stephen Hopkins, Israel 
Wilkinson, Nicholas and Moses Brown and others. 

Arnold in his history of R. I. refers to this matter as followi : 
"The discovery of another bed of iron ore on the Pawtucket 
River, in Cranston, made early in the spring (1765) was esteemed 
of great importance. A company was formed, and a furnace 


erected on the lujithern branch of the rivei", and the petitioners 
(Stephen Hopkins, Israel Wilkinson, Nicholas and Moses Brown 
for themselves and their partners) were allowed to erect a 
permanent dam, provided thev would construct a suitable passage 
for fish around it, and maintain the same form the loth ot April 
to the 20th of May annually, agreeable to a law that had been 
in force for thirty years."* 

This compelling manufacturing companies to make provisions 
for fish to ascend the rivers of R. I., tended greatly to retard the 
progress of manufactures, and resulted in not a tew vexatious 
litigations. At Pawtucket, Oziel Wilkinson and others were 
constantly annoyed by suits. It appears the people did not 
comprehend the nature and importance ot the enterprises which 
have since proved the wealth of our nation. 

He took a deep interest in national matters during the exciting 
times of the Revolution, quite as much, perhaps as would be 
considered consistent for a man of his pacific principles ; but he 
was a lover of freedom, and looked upon the Colonies as fully of 
age, and able to take care of themselves without any further 
oversight ot their mother country. No one could doubt his 
patriotism. If he did not fire the cannon — he cast them, and if 
he did not use carnal weapons, he put no obstacles in the way 
of others using whatever was necessary to utterly destroy 
oppression and tyranny. 

Feb. 27, 1776, about four months before the Declaration of 
Independence, he granted a deed of 172 acres of land, the old 
homestead — to his son Israel, wherein he symbolized his hatred 
and detestation oftyranny — renounced his allegiance to the King 
— and publicly proclaimed his interest and teelings in the contest 
then raging to be on the side of his native country, and her entire 
independence. The Seal attached to that deed is a mounted 
cavalry man with a drawn sword held over his head in the act 

■*See 2. Arnold's History Rhode Island, z6l. 


of charging, and the concluding line instead of saving — "in the 
1 6th year of His Majesty's reign King George the Third," &c.,it 
closes — " in the sixteenth vear of the King's reign that now is,'' 
a very quiet, Quakerish wav of not recognizing the sovereignty 
of Great Britian. He watched with intense interest the retreat 
of Washington from Long Island into N. J. and across the 
Delaware, and when the dark cloud ot reverses seemed to be 
settling down upon our arms and upon our country and cause, 
and men's heads began to sink within them, his faith was firm 
and unshaken. He believed with Milton, that 

" When God brings 
Over the earth a cloud, will therein set 
His triple colored bow, whereon to look 
And call to mind his covenant." 

He lived to see his country free and independent, and then 
fell asleep, leaving a worthy example for our imitation. That 
example admonishes us that though dead he still speaketh, and 

"Go, call thy sons; instruct them what a debt 
Thcv owe their ancestors; and make them swear 
To pay it by transmitting down entire 
Those sjcred rights to which tiiemselves were born." 


OSIAH WESTCOTT was the fifth son of Rev. John 
Westcott and Ainey (Clark) his wife. He was born in 
the town of Scituate, R. 1., Oct. 5, 1781, and is a worthy 
example of what persevering industry will accomplish, even 
under the most adverse circumstances. His grandparents were 
Oliver Westcott* and Susanna (Wilkinson). He did not have 
the advantages of an early education, but by dint of hard labor, 
and by close application he prepared himself for usefulness. As 
he had no one to aid him in procuring an education, being a poor 
Baptist minister's son, he made up for the lack of succor by a 
determined will to be somebody, and to do something — and the 
sequel will show how well he succeeded. In his own terse 
language he was emphatically obliged!^ "to work for a living." 
He taught school during the winter, and worked at carpentry in* 
the summer, and thus secured the two-fold object — a knowledge 
of the common branches and the natural sciences, and the 
knowledge of a useful trade. He was married at the age of 
twenty-six to Mary Peckham, and afterwards engaged in 
agriculture, and soon became the owner of a large farm in his 
native town where he now resides. 

From 1808 to 1850, he was called by the suffrage of the 
people to fill various offices of trust, the arduous duties of which 
he discharged with such promptness and fidelity, as to command 

•■See note Jt the end of this sketch. 


the hearty approval ot his constituents. FIc was lown Clerk 
and Registrar ot Deeds and Probate, and member of the Town 
Council during a period ot thirty-one years, associate Judge in the 
Common Pleas in the County ot Providence twenty-four years. 
Representative in the General Assembly seven ov eight years; and 
also. State Senator trom his native district. In a letter to the 
author, bearing date, Aug. 4, 1865, he says, '•'^1 have had a 
little military experience. I commanded a company ot horse 
with the rank of Colonel, eight years. The company was called 
the ' Captain General's Caviliers.' Their Charter was granted 
in 1775, and they were in the Revolutionary service. When I 
left the Company it consisted of loo men, mostly equipped and 
uniformed. We stood ready in the War of 18 r 2, but were not 
called into active service. But I have done with public business, 
and almost everything else in this world, being now almost 
eighty-tour years ot age." 

No one can read his letters without being impressed with the 
native vigor of his mind. Judge Westcott is noted for his 
uprightness ot conduct — directness o'i purpose — energy and 
decision of character, and for a remarkably retentive memory. 
So proverbial was this, that he was called the " Town Clerk's 
Office," because he could cite almost anything contained in its 
ponderous volumes without referring to them ; and even now, in 
his advanced age, his retentive powers appear unimpaired in 
regard to the early matters of the town. The author acknowledges 
that many important tacts, names, and dates, in preparing this 
Genealogy and Biography were furnished b\' him, especially those 
concerning the Scituate branch ot the family. It would be a 
source of instructive interest and pleasure, and certainly great 
encouragement to youth, to portray minutely the li.e and character 
of Judge Westcott, but space forbids. When the period arrive> 
for the biographer to present before the American people the life 
of the early pioneer's children, whose youth was spent amid the 
hurry and bustle, and I may say — struggles of an infant Colony, 


to assume a place among the nations of the earth — the lite of 
losiAH VVestcott, characterized bv indomitable perseverance 
will stand out in bold relief and challenge respect. 

NoTK. — The ancestors of Oliver Westcott and the fami!v to which he belonged are 
as follows — "Capt. Josiah Westcott and his wife were married, Jan. iS, 17CO I." 

Their children were — 

I. Nicholas, h. Aug. 17, 1702. 

II. Hannah, b. Aug. 11, 1704, d. Feb. I, 1715. 

III. Tabitha. b. Dec. 7, 1706. 

IV. Josiah, b. March 6, 1708-9, m. Mary Collins, March 19, 1746. 

V. Nathan, b. March 23, 17 1 l. . 

VI. Daniaris, b. June 12, 171 3. 

VII. Caleb, b. Dec. 6, 17 16. 

VIII. Oliver, b. Sept. 5, 1720, m. Susanna Wilkinson. 

Sworn to by Nicholas. 

See I Book of Marriages, p. 84, Providence.' 


KRflAHAH WILKINSON, son of Jeremiah and Amey 
his wife, was born in Cumberland, July 6, 174.1. He 
married tor his first wife Hopic Masher, and for his second 
Elizabeth Southwicic. Her ancestry were highly respectable, 
and were noted for their sufferings for conscience sake. 
Elizabeth's grandfather, Lawrence Southwicic, so tradition says, 
came to America the same time Lawrence Wilkinson did, and 
settled in Mendon, Mass, in it>45 — -6. Belonging to the Society 
of FViends, he did not escape the persecution which rose against 
them in Mass. He was imprisoned, whipped, and ruinously 
fined, and in 1659, was banished the Colony with his aged wife,* 
They took refuge at Shelter Island in June, 1659. At that time 
the Island was owned by Captain Sylvester. They being 
exhausted bv their sufferings under a cruel persecution, and their 
consequent indigence and grief, died within three davs of each 
other. t 

Jeremiah was a brother of the 'prophetess', and lived in 
Cumberland on the old homestead where his father had 
established himself many vears before, and even from a boy 
exhibited great skill and ingenuity in making any article his fancy 
suggested, A forge had been established by his grandfather, 
and working in iron had constituted a part of the employment of 

•'See Mass. Rec. 4 pt., I. 367. 

fSec Remarks on the Narragansett Patent, brtore Mass. Hist. Soc, June 1862, by 
T. Aspinwall, p. 29. 


4IO Bl()GR.1PH'\- OF 

his ancestors for two or three ge;ieratioiis. He not only wiouijht 
in iron and steel, but also in gold an 1 silver. 'l"he countrs being- 
new, compirati\ elv, there was hut little competition, and the 
more wealthy neighbors were accustomed to furnish him with 
the requisite number of silver coins which he wtiuld n^elt and 
make into spoons, being the first of the kind in the \icinitv. 
Many of those old silver spoons are in existence now in xarious 
branches of the family. Mrs Judith (Wilkinson) Walcott, 
who lived on High street in Providence had one or more of them. 
At a very early period he engaged in making hand cards for 
carding wool, and for currying horses and cattle. As there were 
no mills for this purpose the carding of wool was quite a business, 
and he had as much as he could do to supply the demand o\ the 
surrounding community. Mrs. Walcott above alluded to aided 
in making cards when she was a child. He invented i machine 
for cutting and bending the wire of which the teeth were made 
at the same movement. The holes were punched with a lever 
attached to a bench with awls or sharp pointed teeth fastened to 
it ; at first onlv one row at a time was made, bnt subsequently 
improvements were added, and the whole card was punched at 
one movement of the lever. 

The difficulty experienced in procuring wire, gave rise to a 
new species of industry, and Jeremiah prepared his tools, plates, 
&c, and drew his own wire by horse power.* This is believed 
to be the first wire drawn in the Colony, or even in America. 

The author was presented with the wood work of one (^f the 
old cards by Mrs. Angell on the old Wilkinson place in 
Cumberland, and also, with specimens of wire drawn by horse 
power, by her grandfather. 

But the invention which gives Jeremiah Wilkinson a historical 
reputation throughout the world was that of cutting nails from 
cold iron. The manner in which this important branch of 
business originated illustrates the old maxim, that "necessity is 

*See Transactions of the R. I. Society of Domestic Industry, 1861, page loi. 

JE R E Ml . n-I II IL K INS O X. 


the mother of iinentuin", and has been \ ariouslv stated by 
different writers. Re\ . C C Hemen in his sketches, says 
"■Jeremiah was quite ingenious in mechir.ic>; he was the first 
one who made and used cut nails. W.bhin-T; some nails for the 
house he was building at Smithfield, during the Revolutionary 
War, and not being able to obtain them, he directed some 
Spanish hoops to be cut in the form of nails, and used them in 
the erection o\ his dwelling." 

The following statement is made by David Wilkinson in his 
"Reminiscences," and is perfecrh' reliable. He says, " Eleazer 
'■V'ilkiiison, junior, a Our<ker o\' Cumberland, told my father 
(Ozieljot Jeremiah's making card tacks of cold ir.)n. In laying 
the stri[) of" leather around the hand card, he lacked four large 
tacks to hold the corners in place, while driv ing the tacks around 
the outer edge. He took a plate of an old door tack oft the 
floor, cut four points with shears, and made heads in the vice ; 
but afterwards made a steel bow with scores in it, and put it in 
the vice, and in that was' made tacks."' This was in April, 1776. 

The machines for cutting nails were improved from time to 
time by Jeremiah. One of these primitive inventions may be 
seen on the premises of Mr. Razee who married Lucina 
VVilkinson, daughter of Jas. Wilkjnson Esq., now of Providence, 
— Their residence is a few rods south of the Hotel on Diamond 
Hill' Plii.'i. The old shears h.i\e become a historical relic. 
1 hey were purchased by David Wilkinson, and Samuel Green 
about forty years ago and ileposited with the Historical Societ\- 
m Pr()\ idence. The\ were a pair of tailor's shears, witli bows 
straightened out, and the blades cut off half the leno;th. 

One of the ablest historians of R. I. makes the f(dlowing 
allusion to this very useful and important discovery "The 
manufacture of iron in various forms," says he — " has always 
been a prominent branch of mdustry in his vicinity. It is said, 
that the first cold cut nail in the world was made in 1777, by 
Jeremiah Wilkinson of Cumberland R. L, who died in 1832, at 


the advanced atic ot ninty."* Men are still living in C'uniheilarid 
who well remember seeing original m ichines invented bv Jeremiah 
tor drawing wire and cutting nails. The m iking o\ taolfs proved 
quite lucrative. Thev were put up in papers and sold in 
Providence, Boston and other places. 

Jeremiah was a good farmer and horticulturist as well as 
mechanic, and the old homestead has been noted many years tor 
the abundance and e.xcellence of its cherries, and other truit. 
Multitudes of young people still resort thither, bring invariibl/ 
met with the most cordial hospitality. The author had the 
pleasure ot visiting the place in 1865. The old shop still stands 
— though in a tumble-down condition — the unJerpining having 
fallen in several places, though we are happy to learn it is soon 
to be repaired. Within its walls may be seen the original anvil, 
and many of the implements used by this son of V^ulcan. A 
very curious chest with drawers, partition, sliding shelves, and 
cubby holes for tools of all kinds still stands where the busy hands 
of Jeremiah left it. Across the road is an old house with its 
chambers containing various articles of invention. Among them 
is a morticing machine with crank, cogs, and wheels enough tor 
a small cotton factory. A reel full of tine wire was discovered 
having fallen down into the chimney where it had rested tor halt 
a century, or more, and is the remains of the primitive wire 
drawn in America. It is very badly corroded, but holds 
together in many places. Mr. W. manufactured molasses tro.n 
corn stalks — he invented the mill to grind the stalks, and pressed 
them in a common cider mill. 

The following obituary notice taken from a Providence paper 
alludes to his inventions and labors : 

"Mr. Jeremiah Wilkinson whose death we mentioned yesterday 
is thus noticed in the Pawtucket Chronicle of the 4th. inst. 

"Mr. W. was probably the first person who made a cold or cut 

*II. Vol. Arnold i History ot" Rhode Island, p.ige 69. 


nail in this coiintr}-. During the Re\olutionarv War he carried 
on the manufacture of hand card.s ; but finding it difficult to 
obtain tacks, or nails tor the purpose, (none being made in this 
countrv) he conceived the idea of making them cold, and finally 
succeeded bv cutting nails from thin plates of iron with a large 
pair of shears, which were then headed in a vice. Subsequently 
improvements were made by several persons, until the machine 
has arrived to its present perfection, which has rendered the 
business one of the must important in our ci)untry. Mr. W. 
made wire for his cards ; he also, made pins and needles, and his 
wife informed the writer of this article, that she had purchased 
a spinning wheel for three darning needles of her husband's make. 

* * * * -.: ■/.- ri ^,;- 

Although Mr. W.'s pacific principles would not permit him 
to take up arms in defense of his countrv, yet probably, he 
contributed his full share towards its independence.*' 

Jeremiah W^ilkinson is undoubtedh entitled to the credit of 
being the first man m starting three very important branches of 
American industry, viz: i. Drawing Wire; 2. Card 
.Making ; 3. Nail Cutting, and also, as being the inventor 
of the original machines bv which the above work was done. 
The importance of these industrial enterprises cannot now be 
estimated. His brow is worthy of the wre;t 1 his appreciating 
countrymen have place upon it. 

The following taken from a communication from a descendant 
of Jeremiah, sums up in brief his labors and inventions : 

*■' During the Revolution he invented a machine to draw wire 
to make hand cards, also, a machine to make tack-nails to make 
his cards with, and from this machine sprang the first cut nails 
made in America or in Europe. He made needles and pins, and 
sold darning needles for one dollar apeice during the Revolution. 
He also drew copper wire. He manufactured molasses out of 
cornstalks, and invented a mill to grind the stalks and pressed 
them in a common cider mill. He was also, a great horticulturist, 
and raised abyndance of fruit. His son Daniel succeeded him in 
this branch and was the greatest fruit grower in Rhode Island." 

bio(;raphy XII. 

EMIMA WILKINSON, dawghter of Jeremiah Wilkinson 
and Elizabeth Amev (Whipple) his wife, born on the fifth 

day of the week Nov, 2g, 1752, in Cumberland R. I. died July 
1, 1819, in Jerusalem, Yates Co, New York. I3v reference to 
the Genealogy it will be seen she was one of twelve children. 
Her parents were ordinary New England farmers, and were 
respected by the community in which they lived tor their 
consistent Christian principles — for their moral worth and honest\ . 
Jemima was their eighth child, and always noted for her singular 
characteristics, louring her girlhood she was very iond of dress 
and gay company, and attended nearly all the social parties in 
the neighborhood. Her educational advantages were limited to 
the common schools of the day, which included little besides 
reading, writing and arithmetic. 

At about the age of eighteen a religious excitement prevailed 
in Providence County, caused by the preaching of the distinguished 
George Whitfield, which nrade a serious impression upon the ; 
mind of Jemima, if we may judge from the change produced in 
her outward conduct. From a vain, proud, flaunting girl she 
seemed to be transformed into a serious, plain, and we may say, 
contemplative recluse — casting aside hei fine apparel — secluding 
herself from her gay companions and public and private parties, 
and attending only religious meetings, and seeking only the 
company of those who were seriously and religiously inclined, i 

JE MIMA IV I L A ll^S O N. 4 1 5 

Ahandonirig all light reading, she gave her attention to the Bible, 
which she studied with great care. 

Shortly after this, about 1775, a fever prevailed in the town of 
Cumberland, which was spread from the ships containing British 
soldiers in Newport. This tever attacked Mr. Wilkinson's 
family, jemima exerted herself to care tor the sick, and was 
frequently heard to say, it she wa> attacked she knew she should 
die. At length b\ constant cxposuie, she was brought under its 
terrible influence, and for a long time her life was despaired of. 
One night suddenly at 12 o'clock, while her watchers (one of 
whom was Sarah Whipple Tower 1 were in the room, she rose up 
in her bed and demanded her clothes. For nearly half an hour 
before she seemed to be in a trance — King perfectly motionless, 
and apparently without breathing, and perceptible pulse. This 
sudden start and demand, therefore, somewhat surprised her 
attendants, but being resolute women, they were not alarmed. 
She had previously pretended to see \isions and would recount to 
those with her, the wonderful revelations which had been made 
to her. But now, she claimed she had died, and had been raised 
from the dead ! that her carnal existence was ended, and henceforth 
her life was to be spiritual and divine — that she who was once 
Jemima VVilkinson, was dead and in heaven — and that her 
''tabernacle" which appeared to them, had been re-animated b}' 
the spirit and power of jesus Christ," and had become the friend 
of all mankind, or the *■' Universal Friend," — that she was 
endowed with the power of prophecy and miracles, and many 
other strange hallucinations. Her apparel was procured and she 
immcdiatel)' got up — knelt by her bedside and prayed, and then 
dressed herself, and from that time forward went about in as good 
health as she had usually enjoyed, only somewhat feeble and 
emaciated by her long confinement. Hudson says, she feigned 
sickness, and tells a long and absurd story about many foolish 
tricks she played of^ upon her watchers. There is no doubt 

*Guild's Manning and Brown University, p. 312. 


;)b()ut the realit\' of her sickness — it is attested by scores of 
persons whose veracitv is above suspicion. Her sudden recovery 
is a fact also, account ioi it as we may — and it is nothing 
surprisinu; that greiit: excitement prevailed in the town ot 
Cumberland when the people listened to her marvelous 

The Sabbath following against the remonstrance o{ her friend* 
she made her appearance at church. This church was located 
on the site of the house now (1865) owned by Daniel Thompson 
near Arnold's Mills in Cumberland. Her attire plain and simple, 
but with the utmost neatness — her countenance pale and languid, 
and with graceful form and movement, and the strange stories 
concerning her — she attracted universal attention. The weather 
was fine, clear, and mild, it being a New England October day, 
and the congregation had assembled about the meeting-house 
door after service, when Jemima with stow and measured step 
walked to an* adjoining shade tree whither the multitude 
followed her. • [The tree was directly in front of the meeting- 
house, not more than a ro 1 from it — ml betWv^en it and the 
road, and was cut down for fuel a few years ago.] Here she 
began to speak — the whole congregation gathered about her. It 
was her maiden speech, and for half an hour thev listened to her 
lecture upon the beauty of virtue and moralitv — the heinousness 
of sin, and the neceS'iitv of an amend.msnt of life, and the 
faithful discharge of every duty — -with perfect astonishment. 

" Her feeble voice, her graceful gestures, her pale face, her 
persuasive language, the mild expression of her fine eyes together 
with the marvelous story of her sickness — visions— and strange 
recovery, produced a lasting impression upon her heirers. Some 
were vexed at her arrogance and boldness, others intimidated by 
her set manner of speech — the inflexibility of her countenance, 
and the glances of her keen black eye, while the greater part 
believed her to be laboring under mental aberration occasioned 
by debility and sickness."* Her knowledge of Scripture 

Hudson's "Life of" JemiiTi.i Wilkinson." 


astoiiisheJ all who heard her. Her inemorv was very retentixe, 
and she could repeat a great part of what she read. Her lecture 
ended, she invited all who wished to talk with her tocall "at the 
the place where she sojourned" — meaning her father's house; 
hut as she recognized neither father nor mother, brothers nor 
sisters according to the flesh in her new state, she was careful 
not to use ; ny expression that could be construed into a recognition 
of such relationship. iVIanv regarded her as absolutely insane. 

The Bible now occupied all her spare moments, and she 
perused it? contents with an absorbing interest. She attended 
every funeral in the neighborhood, and every religious meeting, 
and whenever an opportunity was offered she was sure to speak, 
and warn the people to flee from the wrath to come, and 
embrace the oflers of mercy. The religious portion of the 
pe.:>ple, as well as many others, were charmed with her eloquence, 
and she received invitations to go abroad and preach. 1 hese 
invitations were accepted and she preached in Providence to 
crowded houses. She also, went to North and South Kingston, 
to Seconnet, to Newport to Taunton, and to New Bedford, in 
all of which places she was listened to with great interest and 
profound attention. What surprises us most is, that a person 
laboring under such hallucinations, should have influenced the 
class ot men she did, tor many of the first men in those places 
were carried away with her doctrine. Her manner and speech 
convinced multitudes that she was sincere in her own convictions 
ot duty, and that she had a mission to perform, and was 
fearfully in earnest in the peiformance of it. On one of her 
circuits she preached in Taunton, some say New Bedford, 
Mass., and during the course of her remarks some one in the 
crowd requested her to show a sign of her divinity, affirming that 
Christ performed miracles such as healing the sick — raising the 
the dead — walking on the water. Being pressed with this 
matter, she replied — "you who seek a sign^ meet me hereon the 
banks of the Taunton river" at such a day and hour. Accordingly 



at the day and hour appointed the river-bank was thronged with 
thousands of people who had collected from all quarters to see 
the miracle, tor notice had been given out that Jemima was to 
walk upon the water. Presently her carriage drove up — she 
alighted and walked into the midst ot the crowd, who opened to 
give her way. She ascended an elevation, and with a hrm voice 
enquired of the multitude — "what is it ye seek?" They 
responded — "• a sign of your divinity." She paused a moment 
and then took the following text "an evil and adulterous 
generation seeketh after a sign ; and no sign shall be given unto 
it."* Her discourse was textual, portraying in no enviable colors 
the character of those who seek after a sign. The second part 
was exceedingly brief, being merely the last clause of her text — 
" but no sign shall be given unto it" and then walked to her carriage 
and drove away. From this originated all the base fabrications of 
her walking on the water in New England. The Crooked Lake 
miracle had less foundation than this. From this instance many 
have inferred that she was more artful than insane, and we readily 
admit, as Shakspeare says, " Fhough this be madness, yet there's 
method in it — a happiness that oken madness hits on, which 
reason and sanitv could not so prosperously be delivered ot." 

Wnerever she went she made proselytes, and they were very 
frequently men of influence and high standing in society. " At 
Kingston, R. 1., in 1780," says Wilkins Updike, t " Judge Potter 
became an enthusiastic and devoted follower of the celebrated 
Jemima Wilkinson. For the more comfortable accommodation 
of herself and her adherents, he built a large addition to his 
already spacious mansion, containing fourteen rooms and bedrooms 
with suitable hre places. Her influence controlled his household, 
servants, and the income of his great estates. She made it her 
head-quarters for above six years. Judge Potter was her principal 
agent in procuring the lands in the State of New York." 

•■^Matt. 12 : 39. 

|History of Narragansett Church. 


Finding her proselvtes increasing she concei\ed the idea ot 
ortjanizina; a societv of her own. /\t South Kingston a church 
was built for her, and another in Connecticut. The latter was 
called the " Temple of the Lord," and was sold when she and 
her followers mo\ed to N. Y. In establishing her sect she 
adopted chieilv the practice and doctrines of the Quakers. T he 
Shaker practice of celibacy was subsequently promulgated. It 
was her custom to have several of her followers attend her in her 
journevs through the country, and a scribe would keep a daily 
record of events. One of these diaries written by a Mr. Hathaway 
is still in existence in the Historical Society at Penn Yan, N. Y. 
It describes her travels from New Milford, Ct., through the state 
into N. Y. and Penn. It is very well written, exhibiting the 
features of a diary of an itmerant revivalist of the present day. 

Her manner of speakii;g in her public addresses was peculiarly 
impressive. '' She would rise up and stand perfectly still tor a 
minute or more, and then proceed with a slow and distinct 
enunciation. She spoke with great ease and with increased 
fluency ; her voice clear and harmonious, her manner persuasive 
and emphatic. Her dress rich but plain, and in a style entirely 
her own ■, a broad brimmed white beaver hat with a low crown, 
and the sides when she rode turned down and tied under the chin ; 
a full light drab cloak, or mantle, with an unique under dress and 
cravat round the neck, with square ends that tell down to her 
waist forward. On horseback her appearance was imposing. In 
her religious peregrinations Judge Potter usually rode beside 
Jemima, and then her followers two by two, on horseback, 
constituted a solemn and imposing procession.'"'' 

In the summer of 1782, she went to Philadelphia attended by 
a few followers. She attracted considerable attention, and it is 
said while there, she was drawn through the streets by men after 
they had detached the horses from the carriage. After preaching 
a few times, it was with ditficulty that a place large enough to 

*VVilkin3 Updike's Hist, of Narragansett Church, p. 234. 


contain the vast audience could be found. The Trustees of the 
Methodist Episcopal St. George's church freely granted her the 
use of their house while she remained in the cit\'. Thousands 
listened with admiration to her singular eloquence, and in some 
respects novel doctrine, and many were persuaded to become her 
followers. She enjoyed the hospitality ot some of the wealthiest 
people of Philadelphia, and lived amid their splendors, but in 
comparative seclu>ion, as she alloweJ but te>v to tresspass upon 
her time. Whenever she appeared in the streets she was thronged 
bv the multitude. She remained in the city three or four months, 
and Oct. 19, I 782, she left and went upon invitation to the town 
of Worcester, Montgomery Co., Pa., and stopped with one 
David Wagener, a very wealthy farmer, where she remained a 
few weeks, and preached nearly every day during her stay ther-. 
Here she made many friends who were warmly attached to her, 
and when she departed several accompanied her a day's journey. 
Her followers were overjoyed at her return to R. I.— having been 
absent four or five months — and were eager to hear her preach 
again. One who had heard her spsilc frequently, says — "• She 
was a proverbial preacher — she spoke in proverbs, and in this 
respect was unlike any other preacher." She held meetings daily 
for about a week after her return, and in the course of a few 
weeks commenced itinerating again. 

There is something singular about her insanity. So firmly did 
she believe that she was appointed by Heaven to fulfil a mission 
that every plan, every action, and every thought seemed to dwell 
upon this one theme. Hudson says, " She fully confirmed her 
credulous followers in the faith of her divinity ; but the community 
at large believed her to be a poor, miserable enthusiast, and being 
a female, they were the more ready to pity her lunacy.'' 

Two of her living followers, the Misses Comstock, remarked 
to the author — "that her followers did not believe in her divinity, 
neither did she so represent herself." They further'added — "there 
might have been some among them who thought her divine, but 


we never knew them." Thev seemed to believe she had the . 
power of telHng what was going on in remote places — and it was 
on account of this that she was called the *■' Prophetess." But 
Dr. Manning, President ot R. I. College at Providence, in a 
letter to Samuel Stennett, D. D., Eng., bearing date, Nov. 8, 
I 783, gives the tollowing account of her. He had been speaking 
of ''the delusion of Reiley," and savs — '•'•About the same time 
one Jemima Wilkinson, near this place, who had been educated 
amongst the Quakers, pretended that she had been dead, then 
re-animated with a celestial spirit, and endowed with an 
extraordinary commission trom heaven to preach the Gospel. 
She sometimes called herselt the Comforter; and sometimes, 
when in an audience ot great numbers, pointing to herself, said 
that when Jesus Christ first appeared, he came in the flesh of a 
man, out that he is now come in the flesh of a woman. She has 
continued to traverse the country and publiclv preach ever since, 
accompanied with a number of disciples who do her homage on 
their bended knees. Many ha\e been carried away with her 
delusion, and believe her to he the Savior." 

She never allowed her followers to worship her. but strictly 
enjoined, when the more ignorant attempted acts of worship — 
" See thou doest it not." 

In 1784, she made a second \isit to Penn. and arrixed in 
Worcester, Aug. 28. She met with a cordial reception at the 
house of Mr. Wagener, and was heartily welcomed by her 
fnumerous friends. She organized a society which rapidly 
increased in numbers. She frequently visited Philadelphia and 
the surrounding country, proclaiming her mission and urging men 
to repent and turn from sin. Mr. W. placed one of his beautiful 
farms at her disposal, and all her traveling expenses were promptly 
met by her Society. Mr. Hudson relates one of his improbable 
and contradictory stories in regard to her tricks while here. He 
savs, " Among those who visited her, some were prompted by 
curiosi^v, and others by a desire to learn whether she knew their 


secret thoughts ; on their arrival, Jemima would retire to her 
private apartment, on the second flocM-, leaving her assistants below 
to receive them. Here they were ensjaged in conversation as long; 
as circumstances required, during which time Jemima's instruments 
drew from them as much ot the history ot their private griefs, 
or whatever was uppermost in their minds as they could obtain, 
which was always carefully and specifically related to Jemima 
before she gave audience to her visitors. By this contrivance, 
she was generally enabled to satisfy them that she knew the 
object of their journey, what they had heard of herself, and in 
some instances what they thought; and she was rarely liable to err 
when she informed them how much they were surprised to find her 
able to divine their cogitations without any previous conversation 
with them. By such tricks and various others, in which her 
attendants were well instructed as to the part they were to act, 
Jemima made herself mistress of the affections and confidence 
of her submissive followers." 

The whole statement is too shallow to need a refutation. It 
would probably require some one as astute as Mr. Hudson, to 
reconcile the absurdity of the sincerity of her followers, which he 
is constantly .attributing to them, and these numerous tricks in 
which they are made to participate. They must have been very 
bright subjects, who, while they were being pumped of their 
secrets by '•'Jemima's instruments," and witnessing their departure 
from the room, were still deluded by a trick the dullest child 
would have detected. This statement is but a sample of many 
others to be found in Hudson's remarkable production. 

In the spring of 1785 Jemima returned to Rhode Island after 
an absence of nine months. She received the warmest welcome 
and preached incessantly to listening hundreds. By her activity 
and skillful management her society was greatly increased. She 
kept up a correspondence with her society in Pennsylvania, and 
finally, sent her sister to take charge of affairs at Worcester, in 
that State. 


It was at this time that Jemima contemplated this project of 
removing to the west, or Canada where lands were cheap, and 
where her society would have a better opportunity to establish 
themselves in business. She immediately cast about to collect 
funds tor the purchase of wild and unoccupied lands. in this 
enterprise she exhibited superior talent and mental forecast, and 
being assisted by some ot her principal followers, an enthusiasm 
was created by her earnest appeals. She had read and heard of 
the beautitul country lying amid the Lakes in the central and 
western part of the state of N. Y., and her vivid imagination 
did not fail to picture it as the '■'■ New Jerusalem", flowing with 
milk and honey. She soon, by her fervid eloquence inspired a 
large number of her society in R. 1. with her spirit and nothing 
was talked about but the promised land, where they could enjoy 
their peculiar religion without molestation. Jemima having made 
all necessary arrangements she again in December 1787, set out 
tor Pennsylvania. During tour years her society increased and 
flourished in Worcester, but the vision of the promised land 
never tor a moment withdraw trom her gaze. To be removed 
from the petty annoyances which constantly arose among a 
gainsaying and unbelieving people, was a consummation devoutly 
to be wished by Jemima. Her insanity on the subject of religion 
is plainly evidenced by the rigid austerity with which she exacted 
obedience to the proprieties of religion. Some of her followers 
were light of heart, gay and giddy in their manners, and did not 
exhibit that solemn, down cast countenance which betokened a 
sense of an approacning judgment. She ordered a fast, and 
required every one to observe it, in order to solemnize their 
wayward hearts and minds. To her mind levitv was inexcusable, 
and those persons who persisted m immoderate laughter when 
they were so liable to die without a moment's warning, were tit 
subjects of discipline and correction. Consequently she ordered 
a silent fast, from which we learn that no one was to lauo-h or 
talk for three days, but all were to give their thoughts to meditation 



upon eternal matters, and the solemnities of religion. Such 

aceticism was verv repulsive to many o\' her followers, and one 

woman who was much given to mirth, v\'as ordered to have her 

mouth sealed up with strips of paper and wafers ! Her insanity 

was confined to her religion, and whatever pertained to her society's 

solemn aspect was deemed all important. One Amos Cianzey 

was severely chastised for climbing a tree for the purpose ot 

looking into the ladies' sleeping apartment; — he fell and broke his 

shoulder, whereupon he made confession of his fault to the 

" Friend," and was sentenced by her to wear a sheep bell for 

three weeks ! Another member for some immoral or irreligious 

act was required to wear a black cap for the same length ottime! 

Every irreligious act in her members was sure to meet with censure, 

and the above instances are only a few of the proofs of her 

insanity on that subject. Upon any other subject she was 

perfectly rational, but upon religion she was a wild enthusiast, a 

monomaniac. This however, did not interfere with her executive 

ability in planning for the removal of her society to the West, 

where they should not be molested by an inquisitiveand meddlesome 

world. Her whole energies were bent for several months in the 

preparation. She labored with the utmost assiduity, and in all 

business meetings she did not fail to paint in glowing colors the 

beauties of the " New Jerusalem," the Land of Promise, where 

an asylum would be opened for the oppressed and where they 

could worship God under their own vine and fig tree and no one 

to molest or make them afraid. At length all preparations were 

completed, and in April, 1789, she bid farewell to Worcester, 

Penn., and started for the wilderness, or the " Lake Country," 

as she sometimes called it, in the State of New York. Her 

retinue consisted of her firmest followers and their families, and 

their route lay first to Wilksbarre, thence by boat to Newtown 

(now called Elmira), along the east branch of the Susquehanna 

and Cheming Rivers. From Newtown they proceeded to a point 

ever since called the "■ Friend's Landing," about one mile south 


of the village ot Dresden on Seneca Lake. A man by the name 
of Hencher li\ ing in 1850, at Elmira, says, he well remembers 
when a bov, helping along jemima and her retinue with his father's 
teams, and that it seemed strange to him to sec the movements 
ot so large a company ot men, ail ordered h\ a woman. 

The society from R. I. and Conn, started, June, 1787, bv way 
of the AJohawk valley in batteaux, and reached their destination 
before Jemima arrived. During the fall they prepared the ground 
and in the following season sowed it with winter wheat which 
they har\ested in 1789, and this was the first wheat crop raised 
in Western New York.* Mr. Hudson, pages 78 and 79, " Life 
of Jemima," indulges in some very se\ere reflections upon the 
ruin of Mr. Wagener, Judge Potter, and some other wealthy men 
by Jemima. Ft is very sintjular that they should both follow her 
to Jerusalem, where they become, not only the first men of the 
cour,tr\ in influence, but also in wealth and respectability. '■SMy 
grandfather, David Wagener," says A. J. Wagener of Holtsville, 
L. L, '•'■ brought Jemima from Montgomery Co., Pa., to Yates 
Co., N. Y., where she, from a gift-farm proceeds in Pa., bought 
a township of land, called the "■ Friend's Tract," six miles from 
Penn Yann." 

The first house built for the Friend was a log hut erected on a 
three cornered piece of land a few steps from a beautiful cascade 
formed by a small brook and at least 40 feet in height. Here she 
staid nearly a year and then went up the brook nearly three-fourths 
of a mile to the west where the society built her a gable roofed 
house. This was the first frame house in VVestern N. Y., and 
is still standing. It is now (1866) occupied bv Reuben^ Turner,, 
a farmer — it has a parlor and two bedrooms on the first floor, the 
whole building'being but 24 feet long by 18 wide. Up stairs 
there are are two large rooms. Originally it had a large brick 
chimney with half-a-dozen fire places. At the time of my visit 
one of Jemima's old arm chairs was standing out doors with 

*See Gazetteer of N. Y , 718. 



flower pots in it. Its location is one mile south o\ Dresden and 
one and one-haU miles directly west of the '•'■ Friend's Landing " 
on Seneca Lake. Lhe scenery in this vicinity is picturesque and 
beautiful. The house is surrounded b\ two ancient orchards, 
the one at the west consisting ot sweet apples, and the other to 
the east of sour apples, set out bv the Friend. It appears she 
did not believe in mixing up trees, any more than she did the 
sexes. Some years after her arrival she selected William Potter, 
James Parker and Thomas Hathaway to go to Albany, and buy 
the land where they had settled — it being then in market. The 
committee fulfilled their mission — purchased 14,000 acres, and 
took the deed in their own names. They paid about 25 cents 
per acre, but kept the title deed secreted. They soon back-slid, 
and then for the first time it was ascertained that they owned all 
the land, but they generously offered to sell it at one dollar per 
acre to the settlers whose money thev had used in making the 
purchase. Some refused to pay the stipulated price — lawsuits 
followed — the society were beaten. Governor Clinton knew the 
object of the purchase, and had the society sought relief at the 
proper source, there is no doubt they would have been re-instated 
in theii possessions. The great expense of securing legal aid, as 
there was no lawyer nearer than ytica, rendered the settlers 
powerless, and they submitted to the traitorous conduct of the 
purchasers. The settlers were obliged to go to Newtown to get 
their wheat ground before they erected mills of their own — corn 
they pounded in the tops of stumps after the Indian fashion. 

Mr. Luther Sisson a resident of Dresden, N. Y. informed 
me, that he was well acquainted with the friend. "When I was 
a boy," says he, "She had me read for her, and also, write for 
her. I was frequently in her room as she allowed any body to 
be. I knew her intimately, and consider her a good woman. 
If a person is bad, as they say she was, it would be apt to show 
itself in her own household, and among her own friends, for she 
had respectable people with her who would not for a moment 


tolerate wrong;. The Fr'ierKrs house was always open, and free 
to all who came. The French Duke Laincourt was entertained 
aratis ; I saw him at her house. Gentlemen with their families 
from the south would stav all summer free of charge. She was 
a benevolent woman. When strangers came, her servants 
immediately put out their horses, and prepared a table tor them. 
When she died, she gave her property to the Malins, and one ot 
the Malins at her demise gave her share to James Brown, and 
his widow afterwards married Peter Oliver of Penn Yan." 

At this first place of settlement the Friend had one thousand 
acres set apart for her own especial use.* Such was her influence 
over her followers that they gratuitously planted and hoed her 
corn, sowed and reaped her wheat, cut and gathered her hay, 
always careful to cause the Friend no trouble nor expense upon 
these occasions. Her society increased in wealth and number 
as the country became settled. They generally purchased lands 
and held them in their individual rights, each being the owner of 
whatever he brought with him, or afterwards acquired. They 
made their own selection and were not obliged to locate near the 

About i8og, the /^r/V«</ changed her location to the head ot 
Crooked Like. Benedict Robinson and Thomas Hathaway 
purchased for her of Phelps and Ghoram about fourteen 
hundred acres of land lying in the town of 'Jerusalem paying for 
the same 15. 3^ per acre. ''This tract was extremely well 
chosen," says Hudson, "being in a healthful and pleasant 
situation, the lands having generally an eastern and southern 
aspect, finely wooded with the sugar maple, occasionally 
interspersed with the majestic oak and lofty pine, and the soil of 
he first quality for agriculture." On this tract of land, within 
sight of Crooked Lake, on the south side of a gentle declivity, 
she erected a large, plain, two story house, having in the upright 
part a wide hall from side to side east and west, with two rooms 

• *Sec Gazetteer of N. Y., p. 719. 


on each side of it about 20 teet square. The one in the 
north-east corner was used tor a dining room — south-east room 
for a parlor, south-west room tor a library, and the n()rth-we>t 
room for meetings. In this last mentioned room, Jemima, with 
her maids of honor seated each side ot her, held forth the wcjrd 
of truth as she understood it. It her '^advice," as presented in 
the tract reprinted on a subsequent page, is a specimen of her 
preachine;, no Christian could find fault with it. These rooms 
were appropriately furnished. Her household consisted of her 
maids of honor, Sarah Richardsand Rachel Malin, Eliza Richards, 
daughter of Sarah, four or five male, and nine or ten female 
domestics — about eighteen persons in all. These were men, 
women, and girls who willingly took up their abode with the 
Friend^ and were only too glad to do her bidding. She not only 
received the products of her large tarm, hut it was the custom ot 
many members of her society to make her liberal donations. 
When the season for ploughing an 1 planting arrived, those even 
who resided many miles away would be on the ground at early 
sun-rise, and such would be the number that many acres would 
be turned, and whole tields planted in a single day Says 
Hudson, "There is not to be found, perhaps, in the annals of 
human society, an instance of such strict, uniform and persevering 
tidelity and devotion to any leader, as was shown by these people 
to Jemima." Her society was now in the height ot its prosperity. 
Every thing that heart could wish seemed to be at their 
command. They found it literally a land flowing with milk and 
honey. Their flocks increased — their teams and horses were 
not to be excelled. Visitors of rank and distinction from the 
South, from France, and England were frequently enjoying the 
hospitality of the "Universal Friend." 

But these palmy days were not always to last. The disaffection 
of some of her society and the cupidity of others, as well as the 
opposition to the rigid austerity of her religious observances, 
excited no little persecution at a later period. It is said by Hudson 


that *■' a short time after she removed into the Lake Country she 
got into some difficultv by reason ot her pretenses. She 
maintained the sacredness of her person and the divinity of her 
character with huch impudent boldness as to give pubHc offense, 
in consequence ot which a complaint was made to the Grand 
Jury of Ontario County who presented an indictment against 
her for blasphemy. But she was never arraigned upon this 
indictment. Doubts were entertained by some as to the 
propriety of pursuing her with a criminal prosecution in a 
land where freedom of opinion and religious toleration are secured 
by a Constitution, and constitute the boast ot every citizen ; 
and others from delicacy to her sex, and compassion for a 
misguided fanatic, were unwilling to see anything done which 
could be ascribed to a spirit of persecution. These sentiments 
coming in aid of the earnest solicitations of her friends, prevented 
a public trial."' And still had there been the least shadow of a 
chance, these enemies would not have scrupled to a\ail themselves 
of it. No de!icac\ in regard to sex— no compassion for her 
fanatacism or lunacy would have barred them. Their will was 
good enough, but they well knew the facts would not sustain an 
action. Mr. Remer, now living in Dresden, says, " I knew the 
Friend., have heard her preach at my father's house many a time. 
I respected her as a woman of good morals, possessed of great 
powers of mind. Her preaching was like the proverbs of Solomon 
^she was emphatically a proverbial preacher, -and spoke in 
proverbs. Her eye had the power to charm — -it was the secret 
of her influence. 1 never believed the stories reported about 
her — did not believe in her religion nor in her mode of worship — 
she was an enthusiast, a sort of a religious monomaniac. She was 
no more deluded however than the Methodists, Presbyterians or 
Episcopalians are, in my opinion." Expressions like the above 
are common from the most respectable people in the vicinity of 
her last residence. It was her custom to preach regularly every 
vyeek till near her death, and she sometimes traveled abroad for 



that purpose. Her carriage is still in existence, and is now ( 1866) 
owned by ex-Sheriff Remer near Penn Yan. It is a quaint looking 
vehicle, in good running order — hung upon thorough-braces — and 
easy to ride in. Originally the tires were in pieces spiked on. 
The letters ''U.K." with a cross between them and ^ a star over 
the cross, are on the back of the carriage, thus, ''U.tF." These 
symbols greatly offended the ignorant people, and constituted, no 
doubt, the head and front of her blasphemy. All her goods and 
utensils were marked with "• U. F.," and she was always called — 
and is to this day, by the people in her vicinity, the '-'• Universal 
Friend." And well she merited the name. It matters not who 
the sufferer might be — her ready hand administered relief as well 
to foe as friend. The sick far and near found in her a ready 
visitor and sympathizer, Hudson ridicules this trait of her 
character, and can see nt) motive in it all, but selfishness and 

Many Clergymen, as well as Lawyers and Judges visited her 
for the purpose of entangling her in her words, but they were 
willing to confess a failure after the attempt was made. Some 
of these anecdotes are given hereafter. Hudson relates the 
following. A Mr. Day asked her if she did not belong to the 
family of Jeremiah Wilkinson? She replied '^ thou hast said it." 
He then said. '' Is not Jeremiah Wilkinson your father?" She 
replied, '*The first man is of the earth earthy ; the second man 
is the Lord from Heaven." She then enquired his name, — 
although she knew it well — and on receiving his answer, she 
replied "Day! Day! thy day will be turned into night unless 
thee mends thy ways." As to the miracles which it is pretended 
she performed it is not a little surprising that she stoutly denied 
them in her life time. Even Hudson, himself says — she used 
the following language, "The servants of the devil have accused 
me of all manner of wickedness. But their evil doings will 
fall upon their own heads. They have accused me of attempting 
to walk upon the water, and also, of obtaining presents and 


donations from my people by saying 'the Lord hath need of 
this thing' ''which things are false." " VV^th great earnestness 
she denied the truth of these assertions," says Hudson. A singular 
imposture that ! Space forbids a further discussion of the life of 
this remarkable woman. It only remains to add that her last 
sickness was dropsy. Toward the last part of her life she grew 
rt^eshly and corpulant, and as her disease was peculiarly painful 
her fortitude in suffering without a murmur becomes the more 
remarkable. Her last words were — " My friends 1 must soon 
depart — I am going — this night I leave you." She died about 
2 o'clock in the morning of Thursda\ , the first day of July, 1819. 
She had previously given directions that her body should be kept 
four days — that the coffin should have a glass inserted over her 
face, so it might be seen without removing the lid. She desired 
no funeral obsequies — no display, but that her body should be 
consigned to its last resting place without parade. 

The people came in large numbers the following Saturday and 
Sunday expecting to witness some performances, but nothing but 
the ordinary meetings of those days were observed. For many 
years her body remained in a tomb just east of the house but it 
was subsequently remo\ ed to the grave yard in the vicinity. 
A paper purporting to be her will was found, a copy of which is 
given below. As to her religious tenets it would be somewhat 
difficult to give an intelligible account. She had many of the 
forms, ceremonies and practices of the Quakers. She interdicted 
marriage, and in that respect conformed to the Catholic doctrine 
of celibacy. She was a clairvoyant, and a spiritualist as it would 
now be termed. This latter power gave her the title of 
" Prophetess." She observed and regarded the seventh day, or 
Saturday as the Sabbath, and so far she was a Sabbatarian. 
She did not believe that man had any authority over the woman 
as such, and was consequently a firm believer in woman's rights. 
She had her maids of honor, or her " two witnesses" as she 
called them, and gave the names of the ancient prophets to some 


of her followers — Sarah Richards was called the '^ Prophet 
Daniel " — another woman was called the *•*■ Prophet Enoch," a 
third, "John the Belov ed " — and one man was called the '•'Prophet 
Elijah " — but tor some immoralitv was deposed from his position. 
These persons held positions similar to that ot deacon in other 
societies or churches, but it is difficult to ascertain what her 
insane fancy intended by them. She preached against the vanity 
of riches — the sinfulness of pride and pomp of the world, and 
inculcated meekness and humility. The following is the only 
printed document containing the substance of her doctrines or 
advice, extant : 

'• The Universal I'riend's Advice to those of the same Religious 
Society^ recommended to be read in their piihlic meetings for Divine 
PV or ship:' 


"Adviskth all, who desire to be one with the Friend in spirit, 
and to be wise unto salvation, that they be punctual in attending 
meetings, as many as conveniently can. 

That they meet at the tenth /^^wr of the day, as near as possible. 

That those, who cannot well go to meetings, sit down at their 
several homes, about the time meeting begins, in order to wait 
for and upon the Lord. 

That they shun, at all times, the company and conversation 
of the wicked zvorld^ as much as possible : But when any of you 
are under a necessity of being with them, do your business with 
tew words, and retire from them as soon as you can get your 
business done ; remembering to keep on your watch, and pray 
for assistance, especially when the luicked are before you. 

That you do not enquire after news, or the public reports of 
any one ; and be careful not to spread any yourselves that are not 
of the Lord. 

That you deal justly with all men, and do unto all men as you 
would be willing they should do unto you ; and walk orderly, that 
none occasion of stumbling be given by you, to any. 

Let all your conversation, at all times, be such as becometh 
the gospel of Christ. 

Do good to all as opportunity offers, especially to the household 
of faith. 

Live peaceably with all men as much as possible ; in an especial 


manner do not strive against one another for mastery, but all ot 
vou keep vour ranks in righteousness, and let not one thrust another. 

Let not debate, evil surmisings, jealousies, evil speakings or hard 
thinking be named among you ; but be at peace among yourselves. 

Take up your daily cross against ungodliness and worldly lusts ; 
and live as you would be willing to die, loving one another, and 
forgiving one another, as ye desire to be forgiven by God and his 
Holy One. 

Obey and practice the divine counsel you have heard, or may 
hear, from time to time; living every day as it it were the last; 
remembering you are always in the presence of the High and 
Lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy ; and, 
without holiness, no one can see the Lord in peace, therefore, 
be ye holy in all vour conversation, and labor to keep yourselves 
unspotted from the world, and possess your vessels in sanctification 
and honor, knowing that ye ought to be temples for the Holy 
Spirit to dwell in ; and, if your vessels are unclean, that which 
is holy cannot dwell in you : And know ye not your ownselves, 
that if Christ dwells not, yea, and reigns not in you, ye are in 
a reprobate state, or out of favor with God and his Holy One ; 
therefore, ye are to shun the very appearance of evil in all things, 
as foolish talking, and vain jesting, with all unprofitable conversation 
which is not convenient; but flee from bad company as from a 
serpent. Be not drunk with wine, or any other spirituous liquors, 
wherein is excess; but be filled with the Holy Spirit, building 
one another up in the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 

Keep yourselves in the love of God, and when you come into 
Meetings or Evening Sittings^ make as little stir as possible, that 
you may not disturb the solemn meditations of others, but consider 
you are drawing near to approach the holy, pure, eternal Spirit, 
that cannot look on sin with any allowance. 

Endeavor to meet all at one time, and keep your seats until 
meeting is over, except upon some extraordinary occasion. 

Gather in all your wandering thoughts, that you may sit down 
in solemn silence, to wait for the aid and assistance of the Holy 
Spirit, and not speak out vocally in meetings, except ye are 
moved thereunto by the Holy Spirit, or that there be a real 
necessity. Worship God and His Holy One in spirit and in 

Use plainness of speech and apparel, and let your adorning, 
not be outward, but inward, even that of a meek and quiet spirit. 




which, in the sight of God is of great price. Thui saith the 
Psalmist — It is most like the King's daughter, all glorious within; 
her clothing is of wrought gold. 

Consider how great a thing it is to worship God and the Lamb 
acceptibly, who is a Spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and in 
truth : Therefore, deceive not yourselves, by indulging drowsiness, 
or other mockery, instead ot worshipping God and the Lamb. 
God is not mocked, for such as each ot you sow, the same must 
ve also reap; If ye sow to the flesh, yc must of the flesh, reap 
corruption \ but if ye are so wise as to sow to the Spirit-, ye will of 
the Spirit, reap life everlasting, Rom. viii. from the 6th to the 19th 
verse. ^' For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually 
minded is life and peace : Because the carnal mind is enmity 
against God ; for it is not subject to the law of Cjod, neither 
indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please 
God : But ve are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be 
that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man hath 
not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his. And, if Christ 
be in you, the body is dead, because of sin ; but the spirit is life 
because of righteous : But if the Spirit of Him that raised up 
Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, He that raised up Christ 
from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by 
his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are 
debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live 
after the flesh, ye shall die ; but if ye, through the Spirit do 
mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live. For as many as are 
led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For, ye 
have not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear ; but ve have 
received the Spirt of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abha. Father. 
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we arc the 
children of God ; and, if children, then heirs of God, and 
joint-heirs with Christ ; If so be that we suft^er with him, that 
we may be also glorified together with him. For I reckon, 
that the suff^erings of this present time are not worthy to be 
compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." Ye cannot 
be my friends, except ye do whatsoever I command you : 
Therefore be not weary in well-doing, for, in due season, ye 
shall reap if ye faint not. 

Those whose mouths have been opened to speak, or to pray 
in public, are to wait for the movings of the Holy Spirit, and 
then, speak or pray as the spirit giveth utterance ; not running 


without divine authoritv ; nor speak nor pray any longer than the 
Spirit remaineth with vou ; nor linger when moved to speak as 
mouth for the Holy One, or moved to pray by the same power. 

Let not contention, confusion, jarring, or wrong speaking have 
any place amongst you. Use not whisperings in meetings, for 
whisperers separate chiet hiends. 

Above all, give all diligence to make your calling and election 
sure, and work out vour salvation with fear and trembling, 
redeeming your time, beca'ise the days are evil. Forget the things 
that are behind, and press forward towards the mark and the prize 
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus ; that ye may be found 
without spot or rebuke before t^he Lord ; that ye may be delivered 
from the bondage of corruption, and brought into the glorious 
liberty of the Sons of God, where the Morning Stars sing 
together, and all the Sons of God shout for joy ; having oil in 
your vessels with your lamps, like the wise virgins, trimmed and 
burning ; having on your wedding garments, that when the Holy 
One ceaseth to intercede for a dying world, you may also appear 
with him in glory, not having on your own righteousness but the 
lighteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 

You, who are Parents, or intrusted with the tuition of chldren, 
consider your calling, and the charge committed unto you, and be 
careful to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord, and educate them in a just and reverend regard thereunto : 
And whilst you are careful to provide for the support of their 
bodies, do not neglect the welfare of their souls, seeing, the 
earliest impression in general lasts the longest. As it is written, 
''Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is 
old, he will not, easily, depart from it;" and let example teach as 
loud as your precepts. 

Children, obey your parents in all things, in the Lord, for it is 
right and acceptable in the sight of God. Honor your fathers 
and mothers, and the way to honor father and mother is not to 
give them flattering titles, or vain compliments, but to obey the 
counsel of the Lord, and them, in the Lord. Thus saith the 
wisdom of the Lord by the mouth- of the wise king Solomon, 
My son, forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my 
commandments, for length of days, long life, and peace, shall 
they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee, bind them 
about thy neck, write them upon the table of thine heart, so 
shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God 


and man. Trust in the Lord with ail thine heart, am] lean not 
to thine own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge Him 
and He shall direct thy paths Be not wise in thine own eyes ; 
fear the Lord, and depart from evil. Hear, ye children, the 
instruction of your father, and attend to know understanding ; 
for I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. The fear 
of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise 
wisdom and instruction. iVly son, hear the instruction of thy 
father, and forsake ncu the law of thy mother, for they shall be 
an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. 
My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not ; if they say, 
Come; let us lay wait for blood; let us lurk privily for the 
innocent without a cause ; let us swallow them up alive as the 
grave, and whole as those that go down into the pit, we shall 
find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 
Cast in thy lot amongst us, let us all have one purse : My son, 
walk not thou in the way with them ; retrain thy foot from their 
path ; for their feet run to do evil, and they make haste to shed 
blood. They lay in wait for their own blood ; they lurk privily 
for their own lives ; so is every one that is greedy of gain, that 
taketh away the life of the owners thereof. All of you be 
careful not to grieve away the Holy Spirit that is striving with 
you, in this the day of your visitation, and is setting in order 
before you, your sins and short comings : But turn ye at the 
reproof of instruction, which is the luay to life. 

Masters, give unto your servants that which is lawful and 
right, and deal with other people's children, as you would be 
willing that others should deal with you, and your children also 
in your absence, knowing, that whatsoever yc would that others 
do unto you, ye ought to do likewise unto them for this is the 
law and the prophets. 

Servants, be obedient to your masters according to the flesh, 
in fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as unto Christ, 
doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing 
service as unto the Lord, and not unto man ; knowing, that 
whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same same shall be 
received of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And you, 
masters^ do the same things unto them, forebaring threatening, 
knowing that your Master is in heaven ; neither is there respect 
of persons with him, but he is merciful and kind even to the 
unthankful and to the evil. 


. And allof you^ who have been, or may be so divinely favored, 
as to be moulh tor the Holy One, I entreat you, in the bonds of 
love, that when you are moved upon to speak in public, that ye 
speak as the Orocles of God^ and as the Holy Spirit givcth 
utterance, not withholding more than it meet, which tendeth to 
poverty ; neither add to his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou 
be found a liar. But do all with a single eye to the glory of God, 
that God and the Lamb may be glorified by you and through 
you : for he that vvinneth souls is wise, and the wise shall shine 
as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to 
righteousness, as the stars forever and ever. 

The tune is fulfiUrd — the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent ye^ 
and believe the Gospel., that the kingdom of God may begin wit,h 

He hath shewed thee, O Alan ! what is good ; and what doth 
the Lord require of thee, but to : 


< Love mercy, and 
( Walk humbly utph thy God. 
After performing her mission for more than forty years she 
died without making any recantation. Whatever may have been 
her idiosyncracies, it must be acknowledged that she was a most 
extraordinary woman, with wonderful natural abilities, great 
acuteness of mind and an executive ability that would have 
honored any calling. During her whole life she never yielded the 
jiretensions which she at first made, and her whole career had 
the merit of consistency. If any one feels disposed to throw the 
mantle of charity over her strange life, that of mental derangement 
induced by febrile decease and religious excitement is the only one 
that would seem to be available. For our part we offer nothing 
more bv way of extenuation of her strange conduct, which was 
a source of grief, mortification and pain to a large circle of 
kindred. Some have supposed she adopted this course to get a 
livmg without labor, and to gratify her avarice. V^iewed in this 
light she was wonderfully successful. But the theory is hardly 
consistent with the facts. There was no necessity of its 
(Continuance after the object was accomplished. 


As to her moral character the remarks of the Hon. Wilkins 
Updike in his History of the Narragansett Church are in pjint. 
He says "^ Whatever obloquy may justly rest on Jemima as an 
imposter, claiming the gift of prophecy, and the power of 
performing miracles, or hovycver culpable she may have been in 
attempting to exercise superhuman authority, or imposing her 
pretentions on a weak and credulous people, there is no just 
cause for imputation on her moral character. Justice demands 
the separation of the two, and those who have been cool and 
discriminating enough to do so, have freely acknowledged, that 
the gross aspersions upon her moral purity, are wholly groundless. 
Hudson's history of Jemima, published after her death, at Geneva 
in 1 82 1, in this respect is a mere repetition of stale fabrications." 

The above is but a confirmation of the testimony borne by the 
most respectable people in the vicinity of her last residence. 

The following description of her person in the Connecticut 
Maga-z'ine^ ij^ji will be interesting to those who have not read 
it. " She is about the middle size of a woman, not genteel in her 
person, rather awkward in her carriage ; her complexion good, her 
eyes remarkably black and brilliant, her hair black and waving 
with beautiful ringlets upon her neck and shoulders. Her features 
are regular, and the whole of her face is thought by many to be 
perfectly beautiful. As she is not to be supposed of either sex, 
so this neutrality is manifested in her personal appearance. She 
wears no cap, letting her hair hang down as has been described. 
She wears her neck cloth like a man ; her chemise is buttoned 
around the neck and wrists. Her outside garment is a robe, 
under which it is said, she wears an expensive dress, the fashion 
of which is made to correspond neither with that of man or 
woman. Her understanding is not deficient, except touching her 
religious fanaticism. Her memory is very great. Her preaching 
has very little connection and is very lengthy, at times cold and 
languid, but occasionally lively, zealous and animated." 

The portrait of Jemima — the only one ever taken, is in the 


possession of Peter Oliver, who resides near Penn Yan. As an 
artistic work it has considerable merit. The color and working 
up of the picture are tine, the expression admirable. The eves 
black, the hair combed straight back from the forehead and 
hanging in curls upon her shoulders, and the cravat of white 
muslin surrounding her neck, one fold snug and the other hanging 
loosely with ends like an ephod in front, about two-and-a-half 
inches in width neatlv crimped, pendant from the snug fold, the 
dress a loose, black surplice buttoned around the wrists; the 
whole being a work of art of no mean pretensions ; and it is said 
bv a large number of living witnesses who have seen her, to be 
a very accurate likeness ot the Friend at the age of sixty-three- 
The portrait is a bust, life size. The frame is worthv of note. 
It was made by a consumptive invalid with a knife, and certainly 
exhibits great ingenuity, skill and good taste. It is nearlv a foot 
wide on each side of the portrait, ornamented with beaded work 
and other kinds of carving. It is in the shape of the front of a 
plain church of the olden times, and was the work of many 

For the familv to which she belonged. Sec p. 132. 


The following is a copv of that purported to be her Last IVill 
and Testament: 

" The last Will and Testament of the person called the 
Universal Friend of Jerusalem, in the County of Ontario, and 
State of New York, who, in the year 1776, was called Jemima 
Wilkinson, and ever since that time, the Friend, a new name 
which the mouth of the Lord hath named. 

I. My will is that all m\' just debts be paid bv my executors, 
hereafter named. 

II. I give, bequeath and devise unto Rachel IVIalinand Margaret 
Malin, now of said Jerusalem, all my earthlv propertv both real 
and personal ; and that is to say all mv land lying in said Jerusalem 
and in Benton, or elsewhere in the County of Ontario, together 
with all the buildings thereon, to them the said Rachel and 


Margaret, and their heirs and assigns forever, to be equally and 
amicahlv shared between them, the said Rachel and Margaret — 
and I do also give and bequeath to the said Rachel and Margaret 
Malin, all mv wearing apparel, all my household furniture, and 
my horses, cattle, sheep and swine, of every kind, together with 
all my farming utensils, and all my movable property of every 
nature and description whatever. 

III. My will is, that all the present members of my famih 
and each of them, be employed if they please, and if employed, 
supported duringtheir natural life, by the said Rachel and Margaret, 
and whenever any of them become unable to help themselves, 
they are according to such inability, kindly to be taken care of 
h/ the said Rachel and Margaret. And my will also is, that all 
poor persons belonging to the society of the Universal Friend, 
shall receive from the said Rachel and Margaret such assistance, 
comfort and support during their natural life as they may need ; 
and in case any or either of my family, or others elsewhere in the 
society shall turn away, such shall forfeit the provisions herein 
made for them. 

IV. I hereby ordain and appoint the above-named Rachel 
Malin and Margaret Malin, Executors of this my last will and 

In Witness wherof, I, the person one called Jemima Wilkinson, 
but in, and ever since the year 1777, known as, and called the 
Public Universal Friend, have hereunto affixed my name and 
Seal, the 25th day of the 2d Month, in the year of our Lord 

The Public Universal Friend. [l.s.J" 
In presence of, &c. 

"■ Be it Remembered — That in order to remove all doubt of the 
due execution of the foregoing will and testament, being the 
person who before the year 1777, was known and called by the 
name of Jemima Wilkinson, but since that time, as the Universal 
Friend, do make, publish and declare the within instrument as 
my Last Will and Testament, as witness my hand and seal, this 
17th day of the 7th month, 1819. her 

Jemima Wilkinson, X 

Cross or mark. 
Or, Universal Friend," 
" Witness," &c. 
The validity of the above instrument has never been legally 


tested by any of the heirs ot Jemima, and it is still an open 
question whet' the property belongs to them or to the present 

At the risk of some repetition, I venture to give the following 
sketch of Jemima as penned by Judge Turner, who was well 
acquainted with her, having lived in the same vicinity for many 
years. The open and candid style of the Judge contrasts 
strangely with Hudson's History. He says: 

"■This eccentric founder of a religion, and her followers, having 
been the Pioneers of the entire Genessee country preceding even 
the Indian treaties for acquiring land titles; and having constituted 
in early days a prominent feature in all this region ; some account 
of them, it may well be supposed will be looked for in a work 
of this character. Jemima Wilkinson, or as she was called by 
her followers — " The Friend," or The " Universal Friend" was 
a dau, of Jeremiah Wilkinson of Cumberland, R. I. She was 
one of a family of twelve children. The Father was a respectable 
ordinary N. E. farmer. When Jemima was in her twentieth year, 
the entire familv, except her, had a severe attack of fever ; and 
after their recovery, she was attacked, and her sickness was 
severe and protracted, at times her life being despaired of. In the 
extremity of her illness, her friends had assembled around her 
bed side to witness her death, when, as she affirmed, it was 
revealed to her that she must 'raise her dead body,' She arose 
from her bed, and kneeling by its side, made a fervent prayer, 
called for her clothing and announced that her carnal existence 
had ended ; henceforward she was but divine and spiritual invested 
with the gift of prophecy. [This is briefly her own account of 
her sudden transformation as related to an informant of the author, 
who knew her well before and after her advent to this region]. 
She soon commence travelingand exhorting, and with a considerable 
degree of success; followers multiplied, some of them goodN. 
E. farmers. They soon furnished all her wants, and would 
accompany her sometimes to the number of twenty, on her 



missions. She traveled through New England, Eastern N. Y., 
and spent several years in the neighborhood of Philadelphia and 
Lancaster, Pa., accompanied by most of her followers ; and she 
had proselytes wherever she went. Her authority over thein was 
absolute. Upon one occasion at New Milford in Conn., she 
proclaimed a fast for thirty days on bread and water. Most of 
them strictly obeyed ; some of them becoming what Calvin Edson 
was in later years. After remaining in N. E. and Pa. about 20 
years, she came to Western N. Y. She was then near 40 ^ears 
of age. The author has a copy ot the Neiv Haven Ga'zette and 
Connecticut Alagazine of date, March, i 7H7, that has a letter in 
it from a Philadelphia correspondent written at the time '' The 
Friend " and her followers were in Philadelphia on their way to 
this region. Her personal appearance is therein described. 

Enlarging upon her account she first gave of her rising from a 
bed of sickness, — dead in the flesh — she assumed that there was 
once such a person as Jemima Wilkinson, but that she died and 
went to Heaven; after which the Divine Spirit reaminated that 
same body, and it arose from the dead ; now this divine inhabitant 
is Christ Jesus our Lord, — the friend to all mankind, and gives 
his name to the body to which he is united, and therefore body 
and spirit conjointly, is the Universal Eriend. She assumed to 
have '^two witnesses" corresponding in all respects, to those 
prophecied in Rev., Chapter xi. 3-13. verses. These were 
Jas. Parker and Sarah Richards. 

But the reader will be principally interested in the advent of 
this singular personage and her followers to the Genesee 
country; — previous to 1786, they were living in detached 
localities. In that year they met in Ct. and resolved on finding 
some fertile, unsettled region, far from towns and cities, where 
the Universal Eriend and her followers might live undisturbed in 
peace and plenty, in the enjoyment of their peculiar religion. 
They delegated three of their number, Abraham Dayton, Richard 
Smith and Thos. Hathaway to look for such a location. They 


weiit to Philadelphia and tiaversed the interior o'i Penn. Passing 
the Valley of Wyoming, they came across a backwoodsman by 
the name of Spalding, who tuinished them with a glimpse o\ the 
region around Seneca Lake, and gave them directions how to 
reach it. f\)llovving his instructions, they went up the river, an, I 
falling upon the track of Sullivan's army, reached the toot of 
Seneca Lake, and from thence proceeded to Cashong Creek, 
where they found two French traders (De Bartzch and Poudry,) 
who told them that thev had traveled through Canada and the 
Western Territory, and had seen no where so tine a country as 
the one they were in. A few davs exploration satisfied the land 
lookers and they returned by the rout they came, to inform the 
Friend of the result of then" travels. 

In June, 1787, twenty-Hve of the friends, among whom were 
Abel Botsford, Feleg and John Briggs and Isaac Nichols, with 
their families, met at Schenectady, and embarked on board of 
batteaux for the promised land. At Geneva they found but a 
solitary log hut, and that not finished, inhabited by one Jennings. 
They went up the east side of the Lake to Apple Town where 
they remained several days searching tor a mill site. 

The noise of falhng water, of the outlet of Crooked Lake 
attracted them to the west shore of Seneca Lake. Passing up 
the outlet they came to the falls, and exploring the neighborhood, 
fixed upon it as their location. They began their settlement in 
Yates Co., about 1 mile south of the present village of Dresden. 
It was August when they arrived. They prepared ground and 
sowed a field of wheat \\\ common, and the next season, 1789, 
several small fields of wheat were sown. [This corrects the 
impression that the first wheat was cut at Canandagua, 1790]. 
The first land purchase was made of the State, upon the '■'■Gore," 
previous to the running of the new Pre-emption line. It was a 
tract of 14,000 acres, situated in the east part of the present 
•^own of Milo and S. E. part Starkey. Wm. Potter and Thos. 
Hathaway were delegated to make the purchase. They applied 


to Gov. Clinton tor a grant of land, which was refused ofcourse, 
but he assured them that it" they would attend the public sale in 
Albany, thev would be able to obtain land at a satis'actorv price. 
They atttcnded the sale and bought the tract above named for a 
little less than 2.f. per acre. Benedict Robinson and Thomas 
Hathaway, soon after bought of Phelps and Ghoram, the town 
of Jerusalem, for i.f. yJ. per acre. 

The first grist mill in western N. Y., was built bv three of the 
society ; Richard Smith, Joseph Parker and Abraham Dayton. 
The site was the one occupied by the " Empire Mills," two and 
one-half miles from Penn Yan. It was built in the summer and 
fall of 1789, and flour was made in it in that year. Here also 
was opened the first public house by David VVagener. A son 
of his, Abraham Wagencr, of Penn Yan, now 76 years of age, 
well remembers seeing the French Duke Laincoiirt at his father's 
inn. The first framed house in the Genesee country, was built 
by Enoch and Elijah Malin, as a residence for the "Friend." 
The house is still standing, and is occupied by Chas. J.Townsend. 
It is a mile north (?) south ot Dresden, and half-a-mile east 
of S. B. Buckley's. The first school in the Genesee country 
was opened bv Rachel Malin, in a log room attached to this 
house. In 1789 a log meeting-house was built, in which the 
Friend preached and met with her followers. This house stood 
a few rods south of the residence of S. B. Buckley. But this 
is anticipating pioneer events that belong in another connection. 

Ma]. Benajah Mallory livingin Lockport,N. Y., gives the names 
of principal heads, of families, who were followers of the Friend 
and located in the settlement during the earliest years : Abraham 
Dayton, Wm. Potter, (father of Arnold Potter), Asahel Stow, 
John Supplee, Richard Smith, David Waggener, James Parker, 
Samuel Lawrence, Benjamin Brown, Jessee Holmes, Josh. 
Brown, Nat. Ingraham, Eleazer Ingraham, David Cuher, David 
Fish, Beloved Luther, John Gibbs, Jacob Waggener, VVilliam 
Sanford, John Barnes, Elijah Brown, Silas Hunt, Castle Dean, 


|no. Dean, Benedict Robinson, Thos. Hathaway. Besides these 
were unmarried men, and men and women who had been 
separated in adhering to the Friend. The followers were mostly- 
respectable men of small property, some of them had enough 
to be called rich in those days. Those who had consiaerable 
property, gave her a part, or were at least liberal in supplying her 
wants. Man and wife were not separated •, but they were 
ft)rbiddcn to multiply. A ic'fif persons transgressed, but obtained 
absolution by confessing and promising not to disobey again. It 
was generally a well regulated community, its members mostly 
lived in harmony — were temperate and industrious. They had 
two days rest in the week, Saturday and Sunday. 

At their meetings the Friend would generally speak, take a text 
preach and exhort, and give liberty to others to speak. The 
Friend appeared much devoted to the interests of her followers, 
and especially attentive to them in sickness. Maj. Mallory, 
insists that the old story of her promising to " walk on the 
water " is wholly false. 

When Col. Pickering held his treaty with the Indians at New 
Town point, nearly 500 Senecas encamped at Friend's Landing, 
on Seneca Lake. They were accompanied by Red Jacket, 
Cornplanter and Good Peter, (the Indian preacher), the Rev. 
Kirkiand, Horatio Jones and Jasper Parrish. Good Peter 
wanted an interview with the Universal Friend. She appointed 
a meeting with the Indians and preached to them. Good Peter 
followed her, and the Friend wanted his discourse interpreted. 
Good Peter objected, saying, " if she is Christ , she knows what 
I said." This was the meeting upon the bank of Seneca Lake, 
that gave rise to the report alluded to. 

The Friend did not join her colony until the spring of 1789. 
She then came with a reinforcement, a somewhat formidable 
retinue. [A Mr. Wm. Henchcr helped her on with his 
teams. His living son v/ell remembers her singular dress, and 
her controlling the movements of the party.]. Benedict Robinson 


gave her one hundred acres of" land, upon which she resided. Her 
business would seem to have been conducted by her female 
witness Sarah Richards, who ilid not arrive in the settlement 
until func, 1789. Some corespondence of hers and memorandums 
hpve been preserved. 

Jkrusalem, ist of 6th Mo., 1791. 

'"•I arrived with Rachel Malin, Elijah Malin, E. Mehetible 
Smith, Maria, and most of the Friend's family, and the goods 
which the Friend sent Elijah to assist in bringing on. We all 
arrived on the west side Seneca liake and reached the Friend's 
house, which the Universal Friend got built for our reception 
and with great joy, met the Friend once more in time, and all in 
walking health, and as well as 'isual. Sarah Richards." 

Sarah Richards died in 1794 or 5, and was succeeded by Rachel 
Malin. The father of the Friend never became her convert, 
but her brother Stephen and sisters, Mercy, Betsev (.^) and Deborah 
followed her in her advent to this region. 

The meetings of this singular sect were conducted very much 
after the manner of the ligitimate Society ot Friends. The 
congregation would sit in silence until some one would rise and 
speak. While the Friend lived she would generally lead in the 
public speaking, and after her Rachel Malin. In addition to this, 
and the usual observance of a period ot silence with each tamilv, 
upon sitting down to their meals, "•sittings" in each family, upon 
Sunday evenings was common. The family would observe 
perfect silence for an hour or more and then rise and shake hands. 

It has been observed that the French Duke Laincourt visited 
the Friend's settlement in 1795. He became much interested in 
the new sect — made the acquaintance of the Friend — was a guest, 
with his traveling companions, at her house, and attended her 
meetings. For one so generally liberal and candid, he writes ot 
all he saw there in a vein of censure and in some respects, 
undeserved. She and her followers were then at variance with 
their neighbors, and the Duke too readily listened to gossip that 
implicated the private character of this founder of a sect and 


added them to his (justifiable, perhaps,) denunciations of religious 

Her real character was a mixed one: — Her first incentives were 
the imaginations of'a mind highly susceptible of religious enthusiasm 
and strongly tinctured with the supernatural and spiritual, which, 
in our own day, has found advocates and has been systematized 
into a creed. The physical energies prostrated by disease, the 
dreamy mind went out, and following its inclinations, wandered in 
celestial spheres, and in a 'rapt vison,' created an image, something 
to be, or to personate. Disease abating, consciousness returning, 
this image had made an impress upon the mind not to be readily 
effaced. She became an enthusiast ; after events made her an 
imposter. All founders of sects upon new revelations have not 
had even so much in the way of induction to mitigate their frauds. 
A sect that has arisen in our own day, now counting its tens of 
thousands — the founders of a state, have nothing to show as 
their basis but a bold and clumsy cheat : a designed and 
premeditated fraud. It had not even distempered religious 
enthusiasm, no sick man's or sick woman's fancy to create a 
primitive semblance of sincerity or integrity of purpose. The 
trance or dream ot Jemima Wilkinson, honestly promulgated at 
first,' while the image of its creation absoroed all her thoughts, 
and threw around her a spell that reason could not dissipate, 
attracted the attention of the superstitious and credulous, and, 
perhaps, the designing. The notions of worldlv ambition, power, 
distinction ; the desire to rule came upon her when the paroxism 
of disease in body and mind had subsided, and made her what 
history must say she was an imposter and false pretender. 

And yet there were many evidences that motives of benevolence 
a kindly spirit, a wish to promote the temporal welfare of her 
followers was mixed up with her impositions. Her character was 
a compound. If she was conscious herself of imposition, as we 
must suppose she was, her perseverance was most extraordinary. 
Never through her long career did she for one moment yield the 


the pretensions she made upon rising from her sick bed and going 
out upon her mission. With gravity and dignity of demcanoi' 
she would confront cavillers and disbelievers, and parry their 
assaults upon her motives and pretensions ; always awing them 
to a surrender of their doubts and bisbelief. Always self-possessed 
no evidence could ever be obtained of any misgivings with her 
touching her spiritual claims. Upon one occasion James 
Wadsworth called to see her. At the close of the interview she 
said, *'Thou art a Lawyer, thou hast plead for others ; hast thou 
ever plead for thyself to the Lord.?" Mr. Wadsworth made a 
courteous reply, when requesting all present to kneel with her, 
she prayed fervently, after which she rose, shook hands with Mr. 
Wadsworth, and retired to her apartment. 

The Friend's community at first flourishing and successful, 
began to decline in early years. The seclusion and separation 
from the world contemplated by its founders was not realized. 
They had selected too fine a region to make a monopoly of it. 
The tide of emigration reached them and before they had got 
fairly under way, they were surrounded with neighbors who had 
little faith in the Friend, or sympathy with her followers. The 
relations of neighborhood, town and county soon clashed, militia 
musters came, and the followers refused the service ; fines were 
imposed and their property sold. The Friend was a long time 
harrassed with indictments for blasphemy, but never convicted. 

James Brown and George Clark who married heirs of Rachel 
Malin own the property that she inherited from the Friend." 

— See />, 136. 

p;^]HARLES MORRIS, son of Charles Monis and Marium 
1 ^^^ Nicols, and grand-son o[ Samuel Morris and Lvdia 
Wilkinson, was born at Woodstock, Conn., Oct., 1 784, and 
died in Washington, D. C. Jan., 27, 1856. By his grandmother 
he- was a lineal descendant of Captain Lawrence Wilkinson and 
inherited mucli of the firmness and daring o\ this paternal 
ancestor. As a bov he wis precocious and apt. His educationa- 
advantages were those offered in the common schools ot 
Connecticut. An incident is related illustrative ot his dauntless 
spirit, even when he was but eight or ten years of age. On one 
occasion the teacher thought he had sufficient cause to correct 
his pupil, and apprehending that a little frightening would 
answer in lieu of flagellation, he drew up a large cudgel, and 
threatened with great vehemence ot gesture, and wrath ot 
countenance to break every bone in his body. The little fellow 
straightened himself up in the dignity of conscious rectitude, 
and with a peculiar dcliant expression of countenance stood firm 
as a rock without manifesting the least fear, or expecting the 
least favor. So we can imagine he stood on the deck of " Old 
Ironsides," while musket balls like hail-stones were whizzing 
past him, and through his body. The child was father of the 

He had a strong predilection for the sea and the navy, and the 
reading of voyages and naval actions filled him with enthusiasm. 
July, 1799, at the early age of fifteen he was appointed a 
midshipman, and sailed from Portsmouth in the " Congress," 



Captain Sever. This ship together with the ''• Essex" had been 
ordered to the Indian seas, and was to give convoy to the 
homeward-bound India and China ships. Earlv in the mouth 
of Jan., I Soo they started on this cruise, then much the most 
distant that any American cruiser had ever attempted. A tew 
days out the ships encountered a heavy gale and lost sight of 
each other. Near her destination the "■ Congress" was 
dismasted, and a spar falling on young Morris dislocated his 
shoulder. His father who was purser of the ship, asked him if 
he still chose to continue in that calling : he replied promptly, 
•■'Yes, sir!" and was permitted to continue during the cruise in 
the West Indies. 

Returning home, he went out with Commodore Edward 
Preble in the "Constitution," and served with distinction in the 
war with Tripoli which continued from i8oi to 1805. On the 
night of P'eb. 15th, 1H04, he took a prominent part in the 
expedition commanded bv Lt. Stephen Decatur, which destroyed 
the frigate "• Philadelphia " in the harbor of Tripoli. This frig- 
ate, commanded by Capfain Bainltridge, was one ot Preble's 
squadron, and having ventured too far into the harbor, grounded . 
Being under the guns of the Tripolitan battery and having no 
means of escape, the officers, crew and ship were captured. It 
was to re-capture and burn the ''Philadelphia" that this night 
expedition was set on foot. Decatur having just previously 
arrived at Syracuse, and learning the state of affairs, obtained the 
consent of his Commodore, selected seventy volunteers, and 
putting them on board the ketch ^ Intrepid," which he had a 
short time before captured from the enem\ , accompanied bv the 
brig "Syren," started about eight o'clock in the evening. The 
" Philadelphia," lying within half gun-shot ot the Bashaw's 
castle and of the principal battery made the adventure extremely 
hazardous. About i i o'clock, he approached within two 
hundred yards, when he was hailed and ordered to anchor. He 
directed a Maltese pilot to answer that the anchor had been lost 


in a gale of wind. His object was not suspected until he was 
almost alongside of the frigate, when the Turks were thrown 
into the utmost confusion. Before they were aware of the 
character of their \ isitors, [Midshipman Morris had sprang on 
board followed hv Lieut. Decatur. These officers were nearly 
a minute on deck, dealing heavy blows with their sabres, before 
their companions joined them. That minute seemed an hour I 
Two men against a ship's crew of forty! Fortunately, the 
surprise was so greit that before the Turks could recover 
themselves a sufficient number had assembled equil to their 
adversaries ; about twenty Turks were killed, the rest jumped 
overboard or filed below. After setting fire to the ship in several 
places, Decatur and crew returned to the ketch. A favorable 
breeze springing up soon carried them bevond the reach of the 
enemy's guns, which had opened fire upon them from the 
batteries, and castle and two corsairs. In this daring exploit not 
one man was killed, and only four wounded. 

Charles was now twenty years of age, and being faithful in 
the performance of every duty and obedient to the orders of his 
commander, he was a universal favorite among his superiors in 
office. After a peace had been conquered he returned to 
America, and Jan., 1807, was promoted to a lieutenancy. During 
ing the five years following, he devoted himself to his calling, 
and served with honor in many important positions. On the 
8th of Jan., 1711, the armed schooner '■'Revenge," under the 
command of Oliver H. Perry was wrecked on Watch Hill Reef. 
A court consisting of Com. Hull, Lieut. Morris and Capt. Ludlow 
fully acquitted Perry of all blame, and extolled his coolness and 
judgment. Morris was exceedingly careful of casting a reproach, 
or even a reflection upon the prospects of his fellow officers. He 
rejoiced in their promotion. Envy had no place in his breast ; 
hence he was eagerly sought to preside in cases like the above. 

On the 1 8th day of June, 18 12, the President signed the bill 
declaring war against Great Britain. One of the causes of this 

452 B/OGkJPHJ- Of 

declaration was the impressment of American seamen, and the 
na\ y felt hound to protect its honor. The " Constitution," a 
forty-four gun frigate, Capt. Hull, had returned from Europe onlv 
a few days before, and was recci\ing a new crew with !iian\ 
new officers. '*■ Every nerve was strained," says Cooper, to get 
the ship ready tor sea as soon as possible. So hurried were the 
equipments that one hundred of the ship's people joined her only 
the night previous to the day on which she sailed trom Annapolis," 
Charles was given a Lieutenancy on this frigate and distinguished, 
himself as a seaman and naval officer as the sequel will show. 
The author above quoted, says "the '•Constitution' was 
exceedingly well officered. For her first Lieutenant she had 
Charles Morris, one of the very ablest men the American marine 
ever possessed. This gentleman enjoyed a reputation very 
unusual for one of his rank; while at the present time, after filling 
many places of high responsibility, no officer commands more of 
the confidence and respect both of the service and the country." 

The "■ Constitution " lifted her anchor on the i 2th of July, 
1812, and sailed from the Chesapeake bound for New York. 
On the 16th descried a frigate and gave chase, but the winds 
were to light too overtake her. Next day fell in with a British 
squadron consisting of a line-of-nattle ship, 64 guns ; — four 
frigates, each as heavily manned as herself, a brig and schooner; 
all of which gave chase. This fleet was com'iiandcd by Com. 
Broke of the British navy. Captain Hull had no intention of 
risking a battle against such odds, and made sail with a full 
determination to escape if possible. 

Now commenced 

The Three Day's Chase, 
which has passed into history as one of the most brilliant 
achievements of the kind ever recorded. It has no parallel in 
uaval affairs, and *■' Xenophon's retreat of the Ten Thousand " 
may be considered its counterpart on the land. At one time the 
wind being light, one of the enemy's frigates furled all her sails, 


and the boats of the whole squadron were attached to her to 
bring her along side of the "• Constitution." Lie'it A'lorris 
devised an expedient bv which she was kept out or' the way, and 
even gained ground of their enemies. The British officers with 
their glasses were watching everv nuvement v/ith the intensest 
imeiest, and were not a little chagrined at seeing her leavino; 
them farther and farther in the rear. 

The excitement necessarily incident to such a chase can 
scarcely be imagined. One must be on board and witness the 
approaching enemy strong enough to make defeat and capture 
certain — -ir they can only get within reach — in order to realize 
the feelings experienced by these gallant tars. 

Let us iinagine ourselves on board the '•'■ Con-.titution." Friday 
moriiing, Julv 17, i 8 1 2, clear weather and fresh breezes from 
the northward greet us as wc come up on deck. The hours arc 
passed in conversation respecting the probability ot meeting the 
enemy, and keeping a good look-out all around the horizon. 
At 2 o'clock four sails appear, but too f.'.r ofr" to be made out. 
.•\headv the officers are speculating as to the character o\ the 
strangers. Ihe man in the binnacle casts furtive glances over 
the blue waters, and shakes his head signihcantiy. Now he tacks 
to the east. At 4 o'clock a ship in sight bearing N. E. standing 
down tor us, and three ships and a brig N. N. \V. on the 
starboard tack. for two hours or more \\\r\\i airs from the 
northward waft us on our wav under cas^' sail. '■'• W arc ship, 
and stand towards that sail, keeping her a little off the larboard 
bow" — exclaims Capt. Hull. "■ A\- ! Av I" replies the man at 
the wheel. The rapid roll of the drum beating to quarters is 
heard, and everv man thrilled by an electric shock, is at his post 
in an instant. I he ship is cleared for action, and for three hours 
the light winds bear her slowly tov\ards the strangers. Tlie 
private signals ot the day are made, but not answered. Fhev 
are, therefore, not friends. At a' quarter past i i, the signals arc 
hauled down. " What think you.^" enquired the first lieutenant 


of Captain Hull. "They are too much tor us," — was the 
replv, " Give them a wide berth and save your bacon," rejoined 
an old tar siih voce. We make sail by the wind with starboard 
tacks on board. Clouds fleck the sky, — light airs from the 
south and west. All night the men have stood at their posts 
waiting patiently — watching intently. At 4 o' c, a. m. one of 
the enemies ships makes a signal. It means mischief. She has 
started the game, and thus, she signals her pack of hounds to 
join in the chase. At day-light three sails are discovered astern. 
Shortly after another. And now in full view appear two frigates 
off our lee quarter, and one ship-of-thc-line, two frigates, one 
brig, and one schooner astern. Fine prospect for a capture. 
If any one of the seven would come out, and single handed, try 
the fortunes ot the day, we would throw down the glove to 
them, or pick up theirs. But John Bull runs no ventures. He 
must needs have a fleet to capture a Yankee frigate. 

But lo ! the wind dies away — it is calm with us ! On come 
the hostile ships in battle array like a pack of hungry wolves 
thirsting for blood. From the port holes of every ship the 
bristling cannon appear ready to belch their contents into the sides 
of the "Constitution." Quick as thought the sharp clear voice 
of Captain Hull is heard — " Hoist out the first cutter and get 
the boats ahead^tow the ship's head to the southward." No 
quicker said than twenty men spring to the work — the oaken 
oars quiver beneath their brawy arms. The ship moves to the 
order of its commander. " Up with that twenty-four pounder 
from the gun deck for a stern gun," A dozen hearties bend to 
the work and it is done. "Bring aft the forecastle gun." 
"Cut away the taffarel to give them room." " Run two guns 
out of the cabin windows." Each order is obeyed with a 
promptness that challenges admiration. The "Constitution" 
resembles a bee-hive disturbed by some foreign intruder. Captain 
Hull is ubiquitous — Lieut. Morris is on the alert completing 
every order with precision. At 6 o'c. a. m. the ship's head is 


round to the southward. Orders are again heard on deck. 
'■'• Set top-gallant studding sails and stav sails." Like a cat the 
nimble sailors spring into the rigging and run along the lines as 
though t"hey were walking on terra tirma. Nearer approach the 
inveterate foe. A pull of smoke from the foremost frigate 
appears — the splashing of the solid shot in the hrinv deep short 
of its mark, and the dull report ot a thirty-two pounder breaks 
upon the ear. No response is made to the harmless shot. Hull 
and Morris are seen in close conversation. '^ Try it — try it," 
says Hull. The bowman casts the lead, and announces 
twenty-six fathoms water. Morris commands a boat — the kedge 
is thrown, and the '^ Constitution moves ahead. A shout goes 
up, and the men pull with a will. At half-past 7 A. M. the stars 
and stripes are hoisted, and one gun fired at the ship astern just 
to measure her distance. Half an hour after a dead calm, and 
the men pull at the oars in towing and kedging. The enemy 
haying a light wind gain upon us with their boats ahead and one 
using sweeps. On they come, and at 9 o'clock the "line-of-battle 
ship is in close chase, and the nearest frigate gaining on us. How 
the boys spring to their oars ! It is a life and death pull, and 
the remembrance of the '' jersey prison ship " puts new vigor 
into their arms. A light breeze strikes us from the south. 
Braced up by the wind on the larboard tack, now we move as it 
were out of the jaws of the British Lion. The nearest frigate, 
seeing her prey escaping, sends iron regards with fiery vengeance, 
but they fall short. The boats are ordered along side, two of them 
run up. Forty hogsheads of water arc started to lighten the 
ship. And now we gain on them again, but our deliverance is 
short, for another calm follows, and the first cutter is again 
manned to tow the ship. Six sails off the starboard beam, and 
the nearest frigate has all the boats of the fleet to tow her towards 
us. British power and numbers must be again met by Yankee 
ingenuity, and for two hours kedging is the order of the day 

456 BlOGRAPIir OF 

under the immediate direction of Lieut. Morris ; notwithstanding 
the success of the enemy seems iiievita'ole. 

At a quarter before f P. M. of the i8th, a strange sail is 
discovered two points abaft oil the lee beam — -the four frigates 
one point off the starboard quarter — line-of-battlc ship, brig and 
schooner olFthe lee beam. A I'ght breeze which does not reach 
us helps them along -muI nearer and nearer thev approach — while 
the chasing frigates commence firing their bow chase guns, and 
their shot comes splashing the water directly in range, and almost 
reach us. We reply with our stern chasers. At half-past three 
one of the ships is neaier than ever. Some of the officers and 
men begin to despair of making our escape. The enemy are 
jubilant, and exert themselves to the utmost. "-Lower the first 
cutter, green cutter, and gig — pull ahead and tow for life," cried 
Captain Hull. The crew bend to their oars with all their might. 
The excitement of the chase is intense. Every nerve is strained 
to its utmost tension. The kedge is thrown, and the ''Costitution" 
is again rescued from the grasp of the enemy. At eleven o'clock 
P. M. a breeze springiniz; up from the southward, the boats arc 
called back again and hoisted up — the fore-top-mast stay sail, and 
main-top-gallant studding sail are set, and we sweep ahead out of 
the reach of immediate danger. All night long the chase is kept 
up. It is a test of endurance. At 9 o'clock on the morning of 
the iQth, a ship to the windward is seen — an American 
Merchantman standing towards us. The frigate astern hoists 
American colors as a decoy. " Run up the English colors," 
commanded Captain Hull, and the British Lion was floating from 
our mast head as a warning to the unsuspecting merchantman to 
give a wide berth. At eleven a. m. the white caps appear in 
the distance. Every sailor's countenance brightens. On come 
the rolling waves and the sweeping winds. The squall strikes 
the " Constitution," and presses her huge side deep in the water. 
As good seamanship would have it, we arc to the windward, and 
CapLain Hull lets every thing go by the run apparently in the 

CHJR LES A:0RR IF. 4 5 7 

utmost confusion as if unable to show a yard of canvass, with 
sails hauled up by the brails and clewlines. The enemy perceiving 
this hasten to get everything snug, before the gust should reach 
them ; but no sooner do they get their sails furled than Captain 
Hull has his course and topsails set, and the " Constitution " 
darts forward like an arrow before the blast. 'Tis a well wrought 
stratagem to gain time. Wild huzzas are heard on board as she 
leaves the enemy far in the rear; and Commodore Broke and his 
oScers bite their lips in mortification and chagrin to see so fine 
a prize slip through their fingers — cut-maneuvered by a Yankee 

For sixty hours the crew of the " Constitution " have stood at 
their stations watching, and laboring and toiling at the sails, oars, 
guns, and ropes, and it is nothing strange that the weary sailors 
sink down to rest, and sleep soundly on the deck, or wherever 
thev happen to be — now the danger of the chase is past. 

Capt. Hull ai rived at Boston harbor on Sunday, the 26th of 
July. On reaching State street he was greeted with the repeated 
huzzas of his fellow cicizens, who were overjoyed at his 
masterlv retreat and escape. The enthusiasm was intense, and 
the gallant Hull knowing to whom the honor belonged, and 
willing to share with his fellow officers, caused the following card 
to be inserted in the books of the "Exchange Colfec House." 

" Captain Hull finding his friends in Boston are correctly 
informeJ of his situation when chased by the British Squadron 
off N. Y., and that they are good enough to give him more credit 
by escaping them than he ought to claim, takes this opportunitv 
of requesting them to make a transfer of a great part ot their good 
wishes to Lieut. Morris, and the other brave officers, and the 
crew under his command, for their very great exertions, and 
prompt attention to orders while the enemy were in chase. 
Captain Hull has great pleasure in saving, that notwithstanding 
the length of the chase, and the officers and crew being deprived 
of sleep and allowed but little refreshment during the time, not a 
murmur was heard to escape them." 

The Constitution and Guerrier. 

Capt. Hull very soon put to sea and Aug. 19th, 181 2, another 


opportunity was presented for heroism and naxal skill. A sail 
was descried to the leeward, and making chase it was soon 
discovered to be a British frigate. The '■'■ Constitution " cleared 
for action, and a little past 6 o'clock, p. M. the ball opened in good 
earnest. The graphic description of Cooper will be read in this 
connection with peculiar interest. Anecdote — Morris' anxiety 
to fight. — The guns o^the " Constitution" were double-shotted 
with round and grape shot, and at a little past six the bow of the 
American frigate began to double on the quarter of the English 
ship, when she opened with her forward guns, drawing slowly 
ahead with her greater way, both vessels keeping up a close and 
heavy fire, as their guns bore. 

In about ten minutes, or just as the ships were fairly side by 
side the mizzen mast of the Englishman was shot away, when the 
American passed slowly ahead, keeping up a tremendous fire, and 
luffed short round on her bows to prevent being raked. In 
executing this maneuvre the ship shot into the wind, got sternway 
and fell foul of her antagonist. While in this situation, the cabin 
of the " Constitution " took fire from the close explosion of the 
forward guns of the enemy, who obtained a small but temporary 
advantage from his position. The good conduct of Mr. Hoffman, 
who commanded in the cabin soon repaired this accident, and a 
gun of the enemy's that had threatened further injury, was 
disabled. As the vessels touched both parties prepared to board. 
The English turned all hands up from below, and mustered 
forward, with that object ; while Mr. Morris, the first lieutenant, 
with his own hands endeavored to lash the ships together. Mr. 
Alwyn, the master, and Mr. Bush, the lieutenant of marines 
were upon the taffrail of the "Constitution" to be ready to spring. 
Both sides now suffered by the closeness of the musketry ; the 
English much the most however. Lieut. Morris wrs shot through 
the body, the bullet fotunately missing his vitals. Mr. Alwyn 
was wounded in the shoulder, and Mr. Bush fell dead by a bullet 
through the head. It being impossible for cither party to board 


in the fiice of such a fire, anJ with the heavy sea that was on, 
tiie sails were filled, and just as the " Constitution " shot ahead, 
the fore-mast of the enemy fell carrying down with it his main 
m.ast and leaving him wallowing in the trough of the sea, a helpless 
wreck. When the enemy's mizzen mast was shot away, Capt. 
Hull, in the enthusiasm of the moment, swuno- his hat around 
his head, and in true sailor phrase exclaimed, "Huzza! my boys! 
we've made a brig of her !" 

The " Constitution" now hauled aboard her tacks, run off a 
short distance, secured her masts, aud rove new rigging. At 
seven o'clock she wor^ round, and taking a favorable position 
tor raking— a jack that had been kept flying on the stump of the 
mizzen-mast of the enemy was lowered. The victory was 
complete. The third lieutenant was sent on board the prize, 
and soon returned with the intelligence that they had captured 
the British frigate " Guerrier," one of the squadron which had 
recently chased the " Constitution," of New York. At eight 
o'clock^Captain Dacres came on board, and offered his sword to 
Captain Hull, but he refused to take it. 

The "■Guerrier" mounted forty-nine carriage guns, and was 
manned with 302 men. An efi^ort was made to bring her into 
port, but the next morning she was found to have four feet 
water in the hold, and was in a sinking condition. She was set 
on fire, abandoned, and at half-past three, on the 21st, she blew 
up. Our loss in the action was seven killed and seven wounded. 
The enemy lost fifteen killed and sixty-four wounded. 

During the healing of his wound, Lieut. Morris was in 
Providence, R. I., and tor some weeks his life was despaired of. 
He was reduced to a mere skeleton, but gradually began to 
gain in strength and flesh, and finally was able to enter the 
service again. 

The people of the United States were fired with the greatest 
enthusiasm when the news of the capture of the " Guerrier " 
reached them, and Hull and officers were feted, and public 


demonstrations were made wherever thev want. Lieut. Morris 
received a service of silver plate from the people of Philadelphiii, 
Sept. 5, 1812 ; was given the command of the " Adams," Jan., 
1 8 13, and passing the grade of master commandant, was promoted 
to the rank of eaptain, and received his commission bearing date 
March 5th 181 3, was a guest at a public dinner at Georgetown, 
D. C, the April, following and very soon thereafter went on 
board the " Adams," a twenty-eight gun ship, and started on a 
cruise upon the coasts of the United States and Ireland. He 
captured quite a number of the enemy's merchantmen, and greatly 
harrassed his commerce in the Atlantic. May, 18 14, he was at 
Savannah and in a letter to the Secretary of the Navy announces 
the capture of the British Brig " Epervier" of 18 guns by the 
U. S. sloop of war, Peacock, Captain Warrington. This action 
was fought with the greatest gallantry, and the victory obtained 
in forty-five minutes. It sent a thrill of joy throughout the country 
and added to the enthusiasm already awakened among the sailors 
and naval officers. 

He continued his cruise until Augustt, 1814, when the scurvy 
appeared on board, and the ship having been much injured by 
running on shore in thick weather upon Haut Isle, Capta n 
Morris entered the Penobscot river in Maine, and running up to 
Hampden made preparations to heave out for repairs. While 
engaged in this, a strong British expedition entered the river to 
capture the ship. The militia force assembled for her protection, 
giving way nothing remained for Captain Morris but to destroy 
her, which he did, directing his crew to break up into small parties 
— make their way 200 miles through a thinly settled country, 
and report to him at Portland. This order was strictly obeyed, 
every man arriving at Portland in due time. This feat shows 
the authority of the commander, and the obedience and implicit 
confidence of his men. Kind and [gentle, but firm as a rock, 
every man loved him, and obeyed him because they did love him. 

Arriving in Providence soon after this event, he paid his 


addresses to Miss Harriet Bowen to whom he was married, 
February, 1815, He still continued in the service, and was 
promoted to the highest naval distinctions in the gift of his countrv, 
honoring every position, and discharging its duties faithfully. 

To follow Commodore Morris in all his public acts and 
voyages, would require a volume of itself. Our space will allow 
but a brief notice of the remaining part of his useful life. After 
the peace with England he continued in active employment, either 
afloat or ashore, being oiV duty but two and a half years, in a 
professional career of fifty-seven ! He served twenty-one years 
at sea, commanding four squadrons on foreign stations, eight 
years in command of different Navy yards — Eieven years as navv 
commissioner, and eight years as chief of a bureau. At the time 
i)f his death he was at the head oi the bureau of ordinance and 
hydrography — seventv-two vears of age. He was a man greatlv 
loved and respected at the fire-side, and had a public influence 
commensurate with the important trusts imposed in him. 

One or two brief quotations showing the estimation in which 
he was held by his contemporaries will close this sketch. An 
officer of the '^Constitution," giving an account of the battle with 
the "Guerrier," savs: When Lieut. Morris received his wound 
bv a musket shot through the body, he was on the quarter for 
the purpose of boarding. He has since been promoted to the 
command of the frigate "Adams" of 32 guns. He has ever been 
distinguished in the navy for his unremitted application in the 
acquirement of nautical information, for activity, intelligence and 
xeal in the faithful discharge of his duty. His gallant conduct 
while under Commodore Preble in the Tripolitan War gained 
him the confidence of his commander, the admiration of his 
companions in arms, and the applause of his countrymen. He was 
the first man who gained the deck of the frigate "Philadelphia, 
on that ever memorable nighty when under the 
batteries of the enemy, she was wrapt in flames by the 
Spartan band under Lieut. Decatur; for which brilliant exploit 


the Pre.iident most justly gave the latter a Captain's commission. 
When the "•Constitution" made her escape from the British 
squadron oJf the capes of the Chesapeake, — to Lieut. Morris did 
the magnanimous PIull give much of the credit acquired in that 
masterly retreat. The manuevre of kedging a ship at sea in 
thirty fathoms water, was an ingenious and novel experiment, 
and was first suggested by him. Those who personally know 
the sterling worth and intrinsic merit of Captain Morris, cannot 
but rejoice that his manly virtues, and naval talents have now, 
a more ample field of exertion in his country's cause. Captain 
Hull in a letter to the Secretary of the navy passed a handsome 
eulogium in the following passage. ' I cannot but make yo j 
acquainted with th^ very great assistance. 1 received from that 
valuable officer, Lieut. Morris in bringing the ship into action, 
and in working her whilst alongside of the enemy ; and 1 am 
extremely sorrv to state that he is badly wounded, being shot 
through the body. We have yet hopes of his recovery, when, 
I am sure, he will receive the gratitude of his country for th's, 
and the manv gallant acts he has done in the service." 

The author of '' American Naval Biography'' speaking of him 
says — "unpatronized and unobtrusive. Captain Morris may claim 
as his own, the progress he has made. On his private character 
we could enlarge with delight, but our readers would find only a 
re-iteration of praise. \n personal appearance he exhibits too 
much of the pleasing to justify our ideas of the sturdy seaman- 
enduring hardships, toils and wounds. As not the least among 
the rewards of his merits he received the hand of Miss 
Harriet Bowen, daughter of Dr. William Bjwen of Providence^ 
in marriage." i. 

Ten children have been the result of this union and some of 
his sons have manifested the patriotism and heroic daring which 
characterized their father. His eldest son, Charles, fell nobly 
contending for the Union, during the " Great Rebellion," i-ji 
Missouri. Lieut. Georo;e his youngest son commanded the 


" CumSerliiiJ," when she was sunk bv the "■ Merrimac" in the 
Hampron Roads, oft' P'oitress Monroe, on the 8th of March, 
1862. The '' Cumberland" had been struck amidships bv the 
jron prow of the *■' Merrimac," lea\ ing a lirge hole througli 
which the water poured in a torrent. ••'■ l>ieut. Alorris, in 
command" — savs Headiv, ""saw that his vessel was rapidly Hliing, 
and kn = w that in a few minutes she would be at the bottom ; but 
he proudlv refused to strike his flag, determined if he could do 
no better, to sink alongside. A nobler commander iie/er trod 
the deck of a ship, and a more gallant crew never stood bv a 
tira\e commander. One sailor with both his legs shot o'i, 
hobbled up to his gun on the bleeding stumps, and pulling the 
janvard fired it, and fell back dead ! Deeper and deeper settled 
the noble frigate, yet her broadsides kept tlumdering on til! the 
water poured into the ports, submerging the guns." The swih 
wa\'es closed over the ship and gallant crew together ! Thai 
n >blv perished the voangejt son of Com m )do,e Morris. 


|R. JOHN WILKINSON, married April 23, 1780, Mary 
Mowry of Smithfield, R. I. Descendants of this A'lowrv 

family are still living in Smithfield. At the breaking out of the 
Revolution, he with his brother William, was a member of R. I. 
College, and was obliged to suspend studies when the College 
buildings were taken for barracks for the soldiers. He was not 
an idle spectator in these stirring times, but at the beginning of 
the war, 1776, he went out in a private armed vessel and aideJ 
in damaging the commerce of Great Britain. Having previously 
studied medicine he was received into the army on his return as 
surgeon, and acquired quite a reputation for his daring and skill 
in surgery. After the war he received a pension which is alluded 
to in a letter written by his brother V/illiam to a friend at 
Washington. He says, " My brother John Wilkinson, who 
died in Dec, 1836. Served as a surgeon in the Revolution and 
received a pension. He had one child, an onlv daughter, who is 
the wife of John Harris, Esq., of Scituate, R. I. I am informed 
^hat a further allowance was made to certain officers of the staff, 
and that there is now a balance standing in mv brother's name 
on the books of the Pension office." 

At the conclusion of the war he settled in Scituate, and had 
an extensive practice. In 1783 he was elected town treasurei". 
He was frequently called upon to officiate as Moderator at 
Town Meetings, and held many important offices. He was a 
man of great social qualities, and no one conld excel him in 

D R . JO HX If IL A INS O X. 465 

ar.ccdotcs. He whs regarded as the best, an. I the greatest stor\' 
teller in R. I. When pressed h\- a rival he ne\er lacked for want 
o: >tuck\ tor it theie were no old ones applicable to the case 
his readv wit could supply the demand, and the appropriate storv 
would be coined from the mint cntirelv new. 

Dr, John Borden, resident physician of the same town was a 
ri\ai, not only as a doctor, but as a story teller; and Wilkinson 
would rather resign the sceptrcof Esculapius than doft the plume 
to storv-telling. They trecjuently met and then came the tug of 

The Rew C. C. Bemen who resided in Scituate a it\w ye-a.v?< 
ago, and is now in Cincinnati, Ohio, relate.; an amusing incident 
ccncerning these worths doctors. He says " An amusing 
anecdote is told of Dr. Borden and Dr. Wilkinson his neighbor, 
who had hardly a ri\ al in story-telling, and an inexhaustible fund 
ot anecdote. These two gentlemen some sixtv-five years ago 
were talking in Dr. Wilkinson's house the evening after a large 
party the night previous, and were very much excited each ot 
them in narrating incidents of the Revolutionary war. It was 
with great difEculty that one could wait for the other to get 
through before he began, so powcrtully impressed was each with 
the importance of what he had to say — it was Greek meeting 
Greek in the tug of war. As neither would give in, both vociferated 
at once, 'and rising from their chairs in opposite directions, both 
with raised hands, approaching each other at the top of their 
voices, ard making their tongues go as fast as the\- could wag, a 
sudden explosion of merriment among the spectators — a number 
of whom were boys, and could not repress themselves trom the 
ludicrousness of the scene, brought the stories to a close, both 
exploding in mid-air ; and the two doctors laughing as heartily as 
any one at their comical situation and the rage for spouting they 
had both evinced in the idiosyncrasy of their temperaments. Mr. 
Isaac Field, now in his eightieth year, was one of the boys present 
at this scene, and says that he has had many a laugh since about 



No man was moie respected i\\.\n Dr. Wilkinson. Hi.^ success 
as a physician made many triends and gave him ascendency over 
all rivals. He contributed his inHucnre in establishing the R. I. 
Med. Soc, and his name occurs frequently in their proceedings. 
Rev. Mr. B. says, " He was a man uia. highly social and cheerful 
turn of mind, had a very large range of friends, and had acquired 
great knowledge of" mankind and general matters by going abroad. 
He aided essentially in the formation of the R. 1. Medical 
Society, and was highly esteemed in Scituate." 

His wife died, April J 3, 1829, aged 72, and is buried in the 
family graveyard of the first Joseph. The following is her 
epitaph : 

"Them also, which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." 

"Sweet are tlie slumbers nt tlic pious dead ; 
The blessed Emanuel^titieth trials; 
His power shall raise them trcni their gloomv bed 
To bliss iinnioital in the W(,il>i to eome." 

He survived her six or seven years, and then departed at the 
advanced age of 83, leaving an only daughter, who still lives on 
the old homestead. He is buried in the family burying ground 
beside Joseph Wilkinson, the early pioneer of Scituate, and his 
grave is marked by a plain, marble slab containing the following 
just eulogium : 

"•His virtues need no comment. — 

In the heart of his friends they are recorded 

Like a halo of unfading brightness — 

May they serve to illumine 

The path of those he loved." 


ILLIAM WILKINSOiV, youngest son of Benjamin 
Wilkinson and Marv (Rhodes) his wife, was born in 
Killinglv, Ct., in June, i 760. He entered Brown University in 
his 14th year. At the breaking up of the College during the 
war of the Revolution, he entered the army, and was soon 
appointed private secretary to Col. Crary, who commanded the 
R. 1. Regiment. At the close of the war he returned to College 
and took his degree in 17B3. He then took charge for many 
years of the Grammar School connected with the University, 
and was a very successful teacher. .Vlany prominent men of the 
day were prepared b\ him tor College. He never lost his 
affection for his Alma Mater, and never tailed to walk in the 
procession on Commencement Day trom the year before he 
entered College, when he was a boy ot thirteen, preparing for 
College in the Grammar School, till 1851, when he was past 
ninety-one years old. In 1792, he was without solicitation, 
appointed Postmaster by General Washington, and afterwards 
removed by Jefferson. He then became a publisher and 
book-seller, and, for a number of years, was the only one in the 
town of Providence. In 1815, he retired from active business. 
He served several terms in the General Assembly, and held other 
offices of trust in the town and state. In politics, he was always 
a Federalist. He was Treasurer of the Providence iVIutual 
Insurance Company until within a tew years of his death, and 
retained the office of Director till the last, retaining his faculties 



pcrtecrlv sound aiul clear, to the age of 92 \car5. He vva? 
married in '7^>'^, t.) Chloe Learned i>t Thompson, Ct., who 
died, 1 797. B, her he had six children. See Genealoj;v. 

His second witc, whom he married in i 798, was Marcv, dau. 
ot Oziel Wilkinson ot Pawtucket, hv whom he had eij;ht children, 
several ot whom died in infancy. He wa^ extensivelv en riaed 
in the manutacturino; business, which hid its origin, so to speak, 
in Ozicl's famil\^ — Samuel Slater marrying the sister of William's 
last wile. He always attended the First Congreg itional 
(Unitarian) Church in Providence. '■'• No man " sa\'s the Rev. 
C. C. Bemen, '•'was ot a more friendly and benevolent disposition 
than William Wilkinson, and none stood higher tor perfect 
truthfulness and integrity." 


ZIEL WILKINSON, the son of John Wilkinson and 
Ruth Angell, his wife, was born January 30, 1744, in 
Smithficld, R. I., probabK' at, or near the old homestead ot the 
senior John who married Deborah Whipple. OzicI was lineally 
descended from Lawrence in both the paternal and maternal line. 
The descent on his father's side was Lawrence — John — John Jr. 
— [ohn 3d — Oziel : — on his mother's side — Lawrence — San^iuel 
— Susannah (dau. of Samuel) who married an Angell, and Ruth 
Angell, his mother : so he was nearly a full blooded Wilkinson. 
The two main branches of the family were here united, and we 
shall have occasion by and by, to note a more singular union of 
the descendants of Lawrance — one in which all three of his sons 
are joined. 

Oziel's father had a blacksmith's shop in Smithfield on a little 


stream callci Musscv's Brook, that cmptie-; into the Blackstone 
River below Maiivillc. Here it was that he became famihar 
with the trade helping his father in the shop, and on the farm 
also, occasionallv. The inventive genius which characterized 
this branch oi the family at a later period, began to manifest 
itself at this obscure place, and trip-hammers were put in motion, 
and the heavy work o\ wielding the sledge was imposed upon 
the v.'ater — thus harnessing the elements to perform the work of 
man. 1 he educational advantages or Oziel, so far as schools 
were concerned, were quite limited, but his education in jespect 
to business matters, men, and the practical concerns of every 
day lite, was varied and extensive. 

He was a strong, robust, tine looking young Quaker with no 
inconsiderable iniluence with his associates. At the age of 22, 
April 8, 1766, he was married to Lydia Smith, daughter of Ed. 
Smith of Smithtield by Jeremiah \Vhipple, Esq., and immediately 
lecord was made ot the important e\ent in the Town Clerk's 
office of Cumberland. 

He continued his business with unabated \igor and success, 
and his reputation as a mechanic secured him patronage trom 
Attleboro, Providence, and all parts o\ the country. At the 
breaking out ot the Revolutionary W^ar, Oziel had six children, 
and belonging as he did to the Society ot 'Friends^ whose principles 
will not allow strite and bloodshed, his name does not appear 
upon the Military rolls ot that ex'enttal period. He was needed, 
however, in his shop, and served his country as well there, as he 
could ha\e done in the Held ; tor man\' articles were manufactured 
there which were serviceable in the contest tor treedom. Having 
a great deal ot work trom the merchants in Providence, and 
obtaining the principal ot his stock trom them, it seemed more 
convenient to transfer his business to the "Falls of Pawtucket " 
where there was a more permanent water power. He purposed 
this movement first, in 1775 or 6, Dut as the British held 
possession ot Newport, and the southern part ot Rhode Island, 


his friends dissiudeJ him from making; any change for the time 
being, alledging the probabiHtv of the ciptuie of Providence, and 
the destruction of his shop by marauding parties in case of such 
an event taking place. He very prudentlv conclu Je.i to remain 
in Smithfield, and at the conclusion ot the war, and the restoration 
of peace — about 1783-4, he perfected his project, and established 
himself permanently at Pav/tuckct. Here he was greatly prospered* 
and rapidlv increasing his property, resources, and business, he 
became a leading man in the town, and one of the moit enterprising 
manufacturers of America. He mav with propriety, be called 
the Father of American manufactures and m inufacturers — as 
Samuel Slater married into his family, and his own sons, and 
sons-in-law are the beginning of that industrial enterprise in 

It is somewhat surprising, when we consider the labors of this 
man, and the various establishments, he erected, and the kinds of 
work he turned off, that his name has so humble a place in history. 
However, his works speak for him, and the time is coming when 
his own unostentation will heighten, rather than obscure public 
regard. It was at his shop in Smithfield that minv important 
kinds of labor were performed, and where some useful inventions 
were commenced which are now perfected, and bring no small 
gain to hundreds of manufacturers. Here it was in 1775, that 
Eleazer Smith made the machine to manufacture card teeth for 
Daniel Anthony of Providence. Smith had woiked for Jeremiah 
VViikinson ot Cumberland, a relative of Oziel, and there obtained 
his knowledge of card making. When he had finished his 
machine he surprised the men of the shop by asserting he could 
make one that would punch the leather, make the tooth, and set 
it, all at one operation. It appeared like the visionary scheme of 
an enthusiast to bystanders ; but with us, at this late period, 
it is a very common matter of fact eliciting not the least surprise. 
Oziel's shop was a school of in\ ention, and although some of 
the machines were unshapely things, still they were the Genesis 


(it greater impi"o\ enients, and will- always he remembered as the 
beginnmg of many important branches of industry. Jeremiah 
V/iikinson or Cumberland in 1777, had, when driven by necessity, 
discovered how to obtain nails, though Enciland should not allow 
them to be imported. Oziel t<)ok the hint, and made a small 
machine with difterent sized impressions to head the nails, which 
had been cut with common shears with plates of iron, drawn 
under his trip-hammers. This invention was a simple affair, but 
it wrought a great work at that trying time of our country's 
necessity. It will be remembered that Lord Chatham had said 
'" He would not have the Americans make a hob-naiJ." Upon 
this suggestion or others similar, England acted in 1750, when 
Parliament passed "■ J law to prevent the erection of any mill., or 
other engine for slitting., or rolling of Iron ., or any plating forge to ivork 
with a tilt-hammer., or any furnace for making steel in any of said 
Colo7iies.'' The Original Bill sent to America is on hie in the 
Secretary of State's office ; — " Letters., 1 746 — -i 750," Providence, 
R. I. This was all done under the plea of benefitting the 
Colonies. It seems Providence creates necessities in order to 
develop the resources of the human mind. If everything should 
be furnished at hand, there would be no intellectual work — no 
in\ ention. This machine, or "• pinch press," as David Wilkinson 
called it, was placed on an oak log and he was set astride, and with 
his foot in the stirrup attached for the purpose, the work of 
heading nails was performed by a child. Here we see an 
important trait in Oziel's character and practice, which is too 
much lost sight of now-a-days. Children were kept busy about 
some useful employment, some kind of labor that brought a return 
as well as kept the hands from mischief. 

In 1 784 or 5, Oziel put his anchor shop in operation, and 
furnished a large number of anchors for ships which were being 
built at Pawtucket, Providence, Boston and elsewhere. Vessels 
of six and eight feet draught were built at Pawtucket, and, at 
this period, it was quite a port, having a considerable shipping ; 


and Providence, being only four miles away kept up a 2;ood 
demand. Oziel was now situated where he could enlaro-e his 
works and engage in all kinds of labor which the necessities of 
the market demanded. He therefore purchased of Israel 
Wilkinson, Jr., ot Smithfield, the machinerv for cutting iron 
screws, called the Flv Screw, for pressing paper, for oil works, 
and for clothiers. This machinery had been used for a number 
of' years by the senior Israel Wilkinson, wh(^ built the Hope 
furnace for the Browns of Providence, but as Pawtucket had 
great natural advantages, and was rapidly increasinu; in importance, 
the business farther up in the country was becoming less and less 
lucrative. Everything was turning towards Pawtucket, and, as 
Oziel was prospering his relatives were not envious of his 
prosperity, but cotnributed their patronage, and co-operation. The 
purchase o\ the screw machine proved a profitable investment, 
and an extensive business was carried on isi this department, and 
Taunton and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and other places were 
supplied with them. 

In addition to making nails, screws, and -.inchors, Mr. W. 
about, 1 79 1, tried the experiment of manufacturing iron into 
steel, and succeeded beyond his expectation. He also, made 
shovels and spades, — the first in America, — and other farming 
utensils, — also, different kinds of machinery which was sent to 
all parts of the country north and south. In 1793, "'' 1-' ^^ 
built a rolling and slitting mill, and thus greatly increased his 
business. The venerable Moses Brown in a letter to a friend in 
I 791, speaks of these improvements, and industrial enterprises as 
follows. '^The manufacture of iron into blisteied steel, equal in 
quality to Elnglish, has been begun within about a year in North 
Providence, and is carried on by Oziel Wilkinson. I thought 
of speaking also, of pig and bar iron, slitting it into nail rods, — 
rolling it into hoops and plates, — making it into spades and 
shovels, — hot and cold nails, anchors, &:c., ail in this district." 

But he was not confined to this kind of business. He, in 


company with others — (the companv name being — '■'■Samuel 
Slatei- and Co." and afterwards '' IFilkinson., Greene and Co.y 
purchased the flouring mill of Thomas Arnold, and furnished 
the staft of hfe to the surrounding community. He purchased 
his grain in Albany, N. Y,, and shipped it in sloops down the 
Hudson river to Pawtucket via New York. The Rev. Massena 
Goodrich in his centennial address, 1865, says — "The claim 
can be justly put forth that the first flouring mill in the state was 
erected in this town." 

About this time a new enterprise began to be in vogue. The 
high prices upon English manufactured cotton goods, and the 
abundant supply of the raw material in the southern states, 
suggested the propriety to some of our enterprising men, of 
erecting establishments, constructing machinerv' and manufacturing 
their own cotton cloth. Oziel was one of the first to make a 
practical demonstration in this matter. In 1790, or 91,3 building 
was rented, and cotton yarn spun. This was done in the old 
fulling mill, which stood at the end of the bridge — south side. 
When Samuel Slater arrived in Pawtucket under the patronage 
of Moses Brown and others Ozicl took him into his family, and 
aided him constantly by his enlarged experienced and wise counsels. 
Slater had had superior opportunities, and is entitled to the credit 
given him as the first successful manufacturer in America, and 
he was on the best of terms with Wilkinson, notwithstanding 
the latter was at first opposed to his matrimonial alliance with his 
daughter Hannah. Later years proved his second sober thought 
was the best. The first cotton mill was built at Pawtucket in 
1793, by Almy, Brown, and Slater, and was set in motion July, 
I 2th of the same year with only seventy-two spindles. No sooner 
was it determined that cotton yarn could be spun in America, 
than extensive preparations were made to supply the demand. 
In 1799, Oziel and his three sons-in-law, Samuel Slater, Timothy 
Greene, and Wm. Wilkinson began the second cotton mill in 
Pawtucket on the Massachusetts side of the river, known as the 



"White Mill." It was four stories high next to the river, built 
of wood, and was burnt down in '823. A stone building was 
erected on the same foundation which still stands as a monument 
of the industry and perseverance of its founders. 

We ought to hive mentioned ere this that scythes, guns, and 
cannon were made by the sons of Oziel, and quite an extensive 
traffic was carried on in these implements of war. It is said that 
the first solid cannon ever m.ide in the world was cast here, but 
as Oziel was a Quaker, and never used such carnal weapons, he 
certainly cannot consistently have the credit of this exploit, though 
it was all in the family. 

No opportunity for advancing th:; business and welfare of the 
place was allowed to pass unimproved. VVhatever was conducive 
to public utility, cither for peopling the country, or facilitating the 
mode of conveyance and travel, he was always ready to lend a 
helping hand, and further the enterprise. In 1804, when it was 
proposed to construct the "Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike," he 
had charge of building thirteen miles of said road, and furnished 
spades, shovels, and picks from his establishment in Pawtucket 
for the laborers. He was not above his business, and though he 
had become wealthy, he was not purse proud, and could carry his 
own nails which he had made, to Boston, and sell them in quantities 
to suit purchasers at sixteen cents per pound. 

He aided at a later period, in establishing the "Manufacturer's 
Bank" at Pawtucket, which has since been removed to Providence, 
and was its first President. Its Directors, of which he was one 
till his death, were the first men in the State. 

Oziel, as we have already said, belonged to the Society of 
Friends, was a worthy member, always present at the semi-weekly 
meetings, and exemplified the principles which they profess in a 
•Godly walk and conversation. He and his wife were elders in 
that Church, or Society. He interested himself in everything 
that tended to the good order and welfare of the community. 
His influence was great over the active business men of the place, 


and even the youth of the village readily submitted to his advice 
and direction. Moses Pierce, Esq., on the occasion of the 
Centennial Celebration of- the Town of North Providence, 
remarked, " I remember when Oziel Wilkinson was the nine 
o'clock of this village. Many a time have I played with the 
companions of my boyhood between those elm trees that stood 
in front of that dwelling, and when nine o'clock came, Oziel 
came to the door, saying — ' Jecms ! Jeems I does thee know it is 
nine o'clock."" That was the signal for us boys to find our homes." 
His manufacturing operations were not confined to the state 
of Rhode Island. With his sons-in-law he purchased a water 
power on the Quinnebaug River in Conn., and commenced 
building a cotton factory, and Pomfret to-day bears the n\arks of 
his enterprise and public spirit. It is difficult for us at this period 
to place ourselves in imagination even, back to the times of which 
we are speaking, and view the state of affairs as it actually was. 
Dependent as the people had been upon the mother country for 
nearly all supplies in the clothing line, — the excessive imposts, 
or taxes upon every foreign article, and the prob.ibilitv of continued 
extortion in every trying emergency, it was no trifling occasion 
for rejoicing when finally the secret had been discovered, and the 
machinery actually in operation, which was to manufacture our 
own fabrics. Edward S. Wilkinson a grandson of Oziel, says 
"I have frequently heard my grandmother (the wife of Oziel) 
say, that she wove cotton shirting on a hand loom from some of 
the first yarn spun by Mr. Slater on his water frame. The warp 
and filling was all twist of No. 6 yarn. She made shirts from 
the same cloth for her husband, and lie took great satisfaction in 
wearing them, and talking about them. He also, took a specimen 
of the cloth and exhibited it on Cheapside in Providence. It 
attracted a great deal of attention, and every one seemed to be 
very much pleased to think that we could now manufacture yarn 
and cloth for ourselves, and no longer be dependent on England 
for a supply." Mr. Wilkinson continues — " The first case of 


colored goods my grandfather made, was sent to Samuel Haydock, 
commission merchant, Philadelphia. He used to say, that from 
the day he purchased the cotton to the time he put his goods into 
market, if no more than a year was consumed, he thought he 
had done very well." 

It was his custom to send his goods to l^altimore with teams, 
which would bring back flour, then selling at sixteen dollars per 
barrel in Pawtucket. He built a dye-house tor coloring yarn, 
and a bleaching house for cotton fabrics. Pawtucket at thi> time 
was one of the most thriving business places in New England. 

Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College, in his travels in 
l8lO, vol., II, pages 27 — 28, says, —''There is probably no 
spot in New England, of the same extent, in which the same 
quantity, or variety ot manufacturing business is carried on. In 
the year 1796, there were here three anchor forges, one tanning 
mill, one flouring mill, one slitting mill, three snuff mills, one 
oil mill, three fulling mills, and- clothiers' works, one cotton 
factorv, two machines for cutting nails, one furnace for casting 
hollow ware — all moved by water — one machine for cutting 
screws, moved by a horse, and several forges for smith's work." 

Oziel died in Pawtucket — the scenes of his life labor — in 18 15, 
aged 71 years, and with his wife, is buried at the Friend's 
Meeting House in Smithtield, about a mile west from Lonsdale. 
A plain slab marks his last resting place. 

"Beneath rujiged elms, tliat yew-tiee's shade, 
Where heavts the turf in many a moldering heap, 
Kath in his narrow cell forever laid, 
♦ The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep." 


LFRED WILKINSON was born in CuniDerland, R. I., 
Julv 6, 1786. When he was four years old his parents 
moved to Trov, N. Y., and eight years after removed to 
Skaneateles, and settled en the farm one mile east of the village, 
where he resided till his death ; and upon which his parents, 
himself, and several other members ot the family are now buried. 
Living thus for more than sixty years upon the same premises 
and pursuing his quiet, honest, faithful life, he secured the respect 
and confidence of the whole community. Endowed with a mind 
of no common order, he was noted for the breadth and 
expansiveness of his views, and the thoroughness of his philosophy. 
Indeed, such was his acuteness in that direction, that his friends 
who knew him well, were often in the habit of calling him the 
Socrates of their acquaintance. He read very extensively the 
current literature of the day, but was more especially interested 
in whatever pertained to human progress and reform ; and his 
heart and hand were always open in behalf of any cause that 
promised improvement, or amelioration, in the condition of his 
fellow-men. No cause could be so unpopular as to deter him 
from its support, if he saw in it a prospect of benefit to any. No 
opposition could hinder him from living fully and entirely up to 
the convictions of his own conscience. With the most enlarged 
spirit of liberality, he examined all that was, or professed to be, 
new : yet, amidst all the theories to which his attention was 


continually called, bv his reading and rcHection, he remained 
always eminently practical in his hctual lite. 

His religious convictions were of the deepest and most 
abiding nature ; and while ihe form of his religious manifestation 
changed somewhat with the development o/ his spuit in the school 
of life, the substance remained always, and uniformly the same. 
His religious nature was one of peculiar interest. Along with 
the highest reverence for Deity, he combined an entire disregard J 
of whatever would fetter the aspirations of the spirit after " 
freedom ; and while he was always tolerant of the opinions ot 
others, he would never allow any questioning of his own. 
When about thirty years of age he became connected with the 
Baptist denomination, remained in that connexion until his , 
spirit required a larger latitude than was allowed by the formulary 
of that sect ; and the really democratic government of that church, 
was always in harmony with his notions of individual freedom. 
Politically he was always a democrat ; not in name only, but in 

His tastes were always pure, his habits of life exceedingly 
simple and plain, his word always as good as any man's bond ; 
and so he lived serene and noble, but never indifferent and 
apathetic, until at a good old age, he was gathered to his fathers, 
a noble example to those who may follow him. 

The accompanying song which was a special favorite of his, 
may appropriately close this notice. 


"When my web of life is woven, 

And my death-hour draweth nigh — 
When the golden rays of sunshine 

Bear mv spirit to the sky, 
When the "Silent land " draws nearer 

With its glory shining bright 
And my soul flees from its casing 

To a promised world of light. 

When my heart-beats cease their trembling. 

Sinking motionless to rest, 
And a silence never broken 

Lieth deep within my breast; 


When my form is laid to slumber 

Where the wild flowers drink the wind, 

O, I pray to be remembered 
By the friends I leave behind ! 

Love me not for good or evil 
I That has mingled in my heart, 

Stirring up its tide of waters 

With a quick and sudden start; 
-An J mv words of care and sorrow, 

And my earthly form forget — 
But 'mid vour soul's glad pleasures 

Let my spirit linger yet! 

Let it cpme to you at even. 

When the twilight breezes swell, 
And when vou shall feel its trembling, 

Think I've loved you all so well ! 
And within the world of spirits, 

it a harp to me is given, 
I will touch its chords of music 

To allure vou up to heaven." 

— See p, 168. 




eldest daughter of David Sheldon and Vienna (Wilkinson) 
his wife. On her mother's side she was a lineal descendant of 
Lawrence Wilkinson through his secord son John, the descent 
being as follows—John, Jeremiah, Simon, the last mentioned 
being her grandfather. She was born in the town of Cumberland, 
Rhode Island, July 24, 1794. Her father was a farmer and 
boat-builder and lived at the old homestead near the residence of 

Whipple in said town. 

Her opportunities for an education were confined to the 
common schools of that day, and the quiet home life amid warm 
hearted neighbors was unbroken. To other sources of 
information from the world at large were added the narratives 


of the youth of the vicinity who had returned from long and 
perilous voyages at sea. 

At the early age of sixteen, June lo, i8ro, she was married 
to James Wilkinson, a distant relative, who was also a lineal 
descendant of Lawrence Wilkinson through his oldest son 
Samuel, the descent being as follows ; Samuel, Samuel Jr. Israel, 
Israel Jr., the later being his father. 

She immediately accompanied her husband to her new home in 
the town of Smithfield. Here she wai installed as mistress of 
the household consisting of seven persons and had the oversight 
of all the labors, cares and duties incumbent upon the wife of a 
farmer possessing a well cultivated domain of about i 50 acres. 
This farm was a part of the premises formerly purchased bv 
Samuel Wilkinson, Senior, upon the original right of Richard 
Scott, Gentleman, the sharp and spirited, Quaker opponent of 
Roger Williams. 

The last part of the present old red house was built by the 
elder Israel about the year 1744, more than one hundred and 
twenty years ago. Here were born, Hannah, Huldah, Jacob, 
Israel, Robert, Wait, David and Martha — children of the first 
Israel, the staunch old Quaker of Smithfield, and the inventor ot 
the screw-cutting machine. Here, also, lived Israel, Jr., and, 
after his marriage with Silence Ballou there were born unto them 
in this house, Abigail, Mary, Martha, James, Israel and Silence, 
besides three others, who, dying at birth, were never named. 

The history of this old homestead goes back to the first 
settlement of the country, and the reminiscences are of the most 
pleasing character. The people called '■'' Frieruh'' had been its 
cccupants from time immemorial, and here the oppressed found 
shelter, and the poor charity. In descending from father to son, 
its ancient hospitality was not ignored, nor its practice discontinued. 
Neither were the pattering of little feet hushed within the old 
mansion. As in days of yore, so now the premises were made 
vocal by a new generation of which the subject of this sketeh 


w^s the mcnher. Fifteen children enlivened the scenes and made 
the old halls ring with their merry peals of laughter. 

At one time superstition eot the better of some of their good 
neighbors judgment, and it was declared that the old Wilkinson 
house was haunted. By placing the ear near a window in the 
north-east corner of the kitchen, the beating of a drum could be 
distinctly heard at certain seasons of the year. Many had listened 
and heard the invisible spirits of the air beating a tattoo near the 
haunted corner and retired with wonderful confirmation of the 
fact. For years these sounds were heard and their cause remained 
a profound secret. The inmates of the house were not alarmed 
at the harmless noise, and Mr. Wilkinson, himself, being a man 
of military turn of mind and holding a Captain's commission, 
was not at all displeased with this display of martial music. 
Some were bold in declaring '■^they would not live in such a house!" 
and much philosophical speculation was lost in the vain attempt 
to account for the invisible drummer. 

At length the secret was revealed. Mr. Wilkinson while 
listening to the mysterious sounds one evening, beating louder 
than ever before, accidentally placed his hand upon a pane of 
glass in a wmdow — the noise suddenly ceased — he removed his 
hand — it commenced again. Replacing his hand, the sound again 
stopped. The secret was discovered, and the mystery explained. 
It was nothing but the rubbing of the edges of a broken pane of 
glass produced by the jarring of a neighboring waterfall on the 
Blackstone River during high water ! Similar causes may have 
haunted many a house in the dark days of ignorance and 

For twenty-one years Mrs. Wilkinson resided at this primitive 
homestead and formed a large circle of acquaintances in Smithfield 
and Cumberland, Pawtucket and Providence. The intercourse 
with the Scituate Wilkinsons had become less and less frequent, 
and all knowledge of a large number of their descendants entirely 
forgotten by their Smithfield relatives. So distance and time 



make strangers of blood relations, while contiguity of time i\n\ 
place makes friends of strangers. 

But the ties which bound her to her relatives and friends in 
New England were severed in 1831, bv her husband's removal 
to New Berlin, Chenango Co., New York. Here, during a 
period of more than twenty years, she met with great reverses of 
of fortune and finally returned to her native town o\ Cumberland, 
where she died the 26th of April, 1859. 

The excellence of her character is attested by all who knew 
her; patient amid all the trying vicissitudes of life, kind and 
forbearintr to a fault ; never manifesting the least resentment 
whatever the provocation ; with an evenness of disposition thjt 
miiiht well be coveted, she lived gieatly beloved by all the circle 
of her acquaintance. As a wife »he was faithful and confiding — 
as a mother most loving and afiection-.'te — as a neighbor obliging, 
>\ n.pathetic ^md charitable. Being the mother of fifteen children 
her hands and heart were always full, and no person ever labored 
more incessantly from early life to a good old age. The Loid 
ira\e her strength according to her da\ , and tew were the hours 
uf sickness she suffered in her earthly pilgrimage. 

Her love and care for her children did not end with ihcir 
minority, but her anxious heart followed them after thev had 
united their fortunes with suitable partners and moved away to 
,cek homes in the new states of the far West. 

.Although not a member of any church yet in all th:it constitutes 

the practical life-work of the Christain she was far \u advance of 

ninn\ who make a public profession. She loved the Savior and 

oftentimes have we heard her sing his praises at her daily labor. 

The followino; stanzas which were found carefully preserved 

among her papers sometime after her death, fully express her 

acceotaiice o\ the precious invitation therein contained. 


"Come ti> nie ^e hcivv ladened, 
I will ease you of your load, 
I will lead the way to heaven 
To the road that leads to God." — Anon. 


"Come to niL- vc siek and 'Ar.rv, 
Come and 1 will ^ivc yi u rtit, 
1 will ope' the gates or hea\in, 
Thou shalt enter and b'- lurst. 

Come to me ve faint an i hungry 
I will teed vou from my store, 
From the moment thou hast tasted, 
Thou shalt never hunger more. 

Cvime to me ve f ILn irothrr, 
Cum-; unrv:Ll suur heart to rrir. 
1 will listen to ttiv sonow, 
1 >.>'iil wii an i toml'ort thee. 

I wi 1 b : to t.i;e a brother 
In the hour ut sorest need, 
]f thou'lt only come to Jcsuj. 
Ani rur paid.n sweetly plead. 

Come to me poor we^-ping orph..ri 
I will be to thee a sire, 
1 will in thy youthful hours 
Grant thee all thv heart's desire. 

Com.-, oh ! come, all ve that sulier 
I will make your burden light, 
Come repent ..nd seek fbrgivcnes?, 

I V. ill p.ircv n thee this night." 

1 o one who had labored incessantly through a long lite is not 
such an invitation from the great fountain of love and life — the 
giver of every good and perfect gift — most sweet an J consoling? 

The following paper like the preceding was found among a tew 

precious relics which she highly esteemed. It convevs her 

sentiments upon the subject of religion. Who has ever appreciated 

more fully the fundamental principle of the Gospel as expressed 

by the Apostle Paul } 

'^' Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and 
have not love, I am become as a sounding brass or a tinkling 

''Religion is Love." 

"Religion is pure, and like its author lovely and loving. It 
never lessens our attachment to one another, chilling no affection, 
drying no spring of charity and sympathy and fine feeling that 
feed the river and the milk of human kindness in the breast of 
man. The religion of Christ warms, but never chills us. The 
bosom where it resides feels an influence and imparts one too, 
which angels would recognize as kindred to what they inhale in 


their own Eden. Who can love the misanthrope, once a tnjn, 
but now less than the noble being who is stamped with the divine 
features and born tor social enjoyment ? 

When the great Christian Teacher was upon earth his first 
lesson was love — a love of everything good, and high and noble, 
and extending itself over the world of intelligence. Its hrst 
manifestations at the throne of God and its last, were for 
man. This is the lesson we are to learn, if we can be taught 
by it. While we exercise this principle we cannot go astray. It 
is impossible. We stand in a broad place covered by the panoply 
of fehovah, and instead of becoming the slaves of superstition, 
or the dupes oi' a party, we shall reverence the image of true- 
religion, find it where we will, in the palace or in the cottage, 
beaming from the face of the Indian, or shining on that of the 
African, Be the man high or low, tugging at the oar, or galled 
by the bonds of sla\ery, religion is the iame in all. 

As she goes forth clothed in the lovely regalia of her order, 
innumerable blessings, attend her. 1 he tears of the widow and 
the orphan are wiped away. Over the turmoil of life she spreads 
her hands, stilling the surges of sorrow, arching the mourner's 
brow with the lainbow of peace, and scattering the bright 
ornaments of serenii\ and joy on every side." 

Such was her view of religion, and such her practice. The 
tollov\'ing obituars notice which appeared in a .Vlass. paper is a 
fitting close to this biief sketch. 

'' Died, In Cumberland, R. I., on the 26th day of April, 
1859, .Mrs. Vi.-niia Wilkinson, wife of James Wilkinson, agt-d 
54 yrs 9 mos 

With melanchoU pleasure we recoril this obituary testimony to 
the eminent worth 01 Mich a wife and mother. For nearly half 
a century she was the faithful companion of the devoted husband 
who now bows under the weight of a most afflictive bereavement. 
Their union was a peculiarly congenial and happy one. Through 
prosperity and ad\ersity, jo\ and soriow, they walked hand in 
hand w'th true connubial sympathy which mutually cheered and 
strengthet'.ed them amid all the experiences of life. She was the 
mother (jf fifteen children, fi\ e of whom preceded her to the 
bpirit-land, and ten remain to bless her memory in this mortal 

She was as good a mother as she was a wife — very afTectionate, 
patient, careful, unwearied, and at the same time dignified. Her 
children were the legitimate offspring of abiding, conjugal love. 


Thev loved their parents and each other. Thus was exhibited 
the delightful spectacle of a family dwelling together in unity — 
happy in rendering each other happy. The survivors now take 
a plaintive and hallowed pleasure in ascribing much of this to 
their departed loved one. She was not only endowed with a loving 
heart, always disposed to do them and everybody else good, but 
with strong good sense, judgment and firmness to govern her 
household judiciously. They looked up to her instinctively with 
filial reverence and afFection. To them her counsel was law, and 
her direction order. They were only happy to conform to her 
wishes and instructions. Well may they treasure up her exemplary 
excellencies, and revere her memory as one of the best of mothers. 
She was deservedly loved and respected too, in the wider circles 
of social life, as a relative, friend and neighbor who loved to 
bless and curse not. 

But her life wore away — disease fulfilled its mission upon her 
physical frame, and her change came. She was ripe and ready 
for it ; her work done, her family grown up, her life brimming 
with love and usefulness, her soul prepared, her spiritual faith and 
hope unwavering. At peace with God and man, looking off' as 
from Pisgih's top upon the fair landscapes of Canaan's glorious 
spirit-land, she departed calmly to the mansion prepared for her 
bv the Son and angels of God. May many imitate her good 
example, and deserve at last a record fair like hers. May the 
now lonely husband, with the kind children chat share his 
bereavement, be embosomed by the divine loving-kindness and 
ministrations of consolation from the heavenly world, till finally 
re-united with dear departed in the tearless realms of immortality." 

She is interred in the family burying ground on the old 
homestead in Smithficld, R. I. 

" B 'jKle her grave the nurble white, 
Keeps silent guard by day and night ; 
Serene ihc sleeps, nor heeds the treail 
Of footsteps o'er her lowly bed." 


EPTHA AVERY WILKINSON, the son of Jeptha 
and Lucy (Smith) his wife was born in Cumberland, R. L, 
and has resided in Providence, New York, Long Island, and 
now resides in London, England. In May, 1812, he was 
teaching a school at, or near '^Salina Salt Point," Onondagua Co, 
N. Y. At the brealcmg out of the war of 181 2, with Great 
Britain, volunteers were called for to man some posts on Lake 
Ontario, and other places exposed to the enemy. Jeptha closed 
his school and ofteied his services in the New York volunteer 
cegiment, and was in active service about three vears. Before 
the war closed he was promoted to the rank of [^ieut. Colonel. 
After peace was restored he b'egan to invent a machine to 
manufacture weavers' reeds for the power looms which had 
recently been introduced into the cotton factories established by 
Slater. feptha had been previously engaged in the manufacture 
of cotton and woolen goods, and well knew the toilsome process 
of making these reeds by hand. He spent a long time in 
contriving this machine and finally brought it to perfection in 
Otsego Co., N. Y., I believe. He was advised by his friends 
who had witnessed the operation of his invention, to go to England 
where reeds were mere in use at that time and in greater demand 
than in this country. He, however, erected an establishment in 
Providence, R. L, and left it in charge of his brother Arnold 
Wilkinson, and then went to England, and made an e.xhibition 
of his machine at Manchester. He was favored by the cotton 


manufacturers, who saw a chance to obtain the much needed 
article at a lower rate than ever before presented, and was 
encouraged by them to erect an establishment at Manchester, 
which he did, and was doing a flourishing business, when great 
opposition arose from hand reed makers, who saw their business 
gradualiv departing from them. Thev declared that, if he should 
be permitted to go on hundreds and thousands oi poor people 
would be thrown out of employment. He was threatened and 
ordered back to America, but he disregarded them. One Sunday 
while attending church his buildings were destroyed by tire, the 
work of an incendiary, and probabl\ instigated by his opponents, 
the reed makers. ft is said that Richard Hargreaves, the 
inventor of spin.iing jenny was pcrsecuced by a class of operatives 
who used a similar argument that it would throw multitudes out 
of employment. They broke into>his house and destroyed his 
machine. The inventor of the fly-shuttle wa.s also, obli"-ed to 
flee his native county from the violent threatenings and 
persecution.-; ot ignorant and selfish operatives who opposed 
mechanical improvements, and had not talent enough to appreciate 
genius. Such a course has never had the effect to prevent the 
general adoption uf the improvement, and as they have been 
successively made, the people have always found employment. 
Mr. Wilkinson subsequently made arrangements with Meisrs. 
Sharp, Roberts 5: Co., at Dean's Gate, .Manchester, and leased 
his right to them for England. 

Atter this he patented his machine in the kingdom of the 
Netherland-, an 1 subsequently sold it to that kingdom for 
seventeen thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven dollars in 
gold. He then erected an establishment in Paris, (France) and 
while there he made the acquaintance of Miss. Sarah H. Gibson, 
daughter of John H. Gibson Esq. a wealthy gentleman, and a 
distinguished Barrister of London. Her mother was a relative 
ot the Douglasses, ot Douglass Castle, Scotland, of historical 
renown. They were married about and have had fourteen 

+88 nioGkJPur of 

children. The reed business did not prove successful in Paris, 
and Mr. W. returned with his wife to America intending to fall 
back upon his establishment in Providei;ce, but upon arriving 
there, he was informed by his brother that he was a ruined man 
as regarded property in Providence — that the establishment had 
gone to ruin and all was lost' This was an unlooked for stroke 
of ill-fotune and weighed heavily upon his mind. Other men 
might have sunk under these multiplied trials, and perplexing 
embarrassments, but he rose above them — determined to ride out 
the storm, and try again. 

The above is a brief sketch of the reed machine, an invention 
that is regarded indispensible in the cotton manufacturing business 
of the present day. The public are daily reaping rich harvests 
from its use, while the trials, and perplexities and losses of the 
gifted inventor are scarcely remembered. 

Mr. W. seems to have been particularly unfortunate with his 
inventions. The following extract from a letter from his son 
Albert of L, I. illustrates this point in regard to an invention tha^ 
has brought untold wealth to the successful manufacturer in 
America. All have heard of the ''Rf.voi.vkr," a species of fire-arms 
in general use in the army and nav)-, and all over the country, 
bnt very few know who originally invented it. It bears the name 
of '^ Colt's Revolver^"'' but while in Hartford, Ct. in June, 1866, 
I had conversation with several gentlemen in regard to Colt's 
fire-arm this being his place of residence; and they informed me 
that Colt was not the inventor, but that he got the drawings from 
a French officer in Paris, The following statement will explain 
the whole matter. Albert Wilkinson above mentioned says "My 
father conceived the idea of a repeating revolver, and while at 
Paris, France, showed his drawings to an officer of the French 
Government. A Mr. Colt of Colt's revolver notoriety then a 
\oung man saw the drawings in question at the office, or residence 
of this officer, and went and secured patents on the same, ahead 
of my father, .ind thus ha:> Colt built up a fortune and a name 


and robbed the original inventor of the honor to which he was so 
justly entitled ." 

Mr. VV. was not long idle after his return to America. With 
him the wheel seems to be the centre ot perfection and rotary 
motion the absolute perfection of all mechanical principles. All 
of his inventions however variously applied involve the circular 

Observing the operation of the common printing presses in use 
at that time, the idea occurred to him that great improvements 
might be made upon them. Accordingly he turned his atten- 
tion to a new mechanical invention, which after many years labor, 
and perplexities enough to discourage any man but himself, 
resulted in the 

" Rotary Cylindrical Printino Press," 
whieh for simplicity of structure, and velocity in action has not 
been equalled, and cannot be excelled. 

As there has been a great deal said and printed about this matter, 
and conflicting statements have been made by certain persons, 
disparaging the claims of Mr. W. to this world renowned 
invention, I shall give a detailed account of the development 
and progress of it and a description of the machine itself, and also 
the shameful manner in which its principles have been pirated, 
and secretly patented in distant countries, by unprincipled men, 
depriving Mr. W. of the profit, and in a great measure of the 
honor which justly belongs to him. 

The following account taken from the " Endless Register " 
printed in New York June 6, r86o, will be read with interest 
by the members of this family. 

'' To OUR READERS, — We now present some proof of the 
successful operation of our press. The paper which you now 
hold in your hand, was printed on fVilkinson's Cylindrical Rotary 
Printing Press — and this impression will best illustrate the nature 
of the improvement. We shall confine ourself to a brief out 
line of the history of the work. 



In the vear 1818, the type now employed on our cylinders 
was invented, and their connexion with a cylinder clearlv 
illustrated, in drawings and specifications made by Jeptha A. 
Wilkinson, a citizen ot" the United States then resident of London, 
England. The establishment of the reed jnachlne — a prior 
invention, — in the United States, England, Holland, France, 
Belgium, and elsewhere on the continent fully occupied 
Wilkinson's attention until 1837. CJoasequently little had been 
done up to that period towards the establishment of the press, 
beyond an examination ot modern as well as ancient machinery 
designed for printing. 

On the 9th day of April, 18^7, \ViIkinson was residing in 
Providence, R. I., his native place, — where preliminary 
arrangements were made for establishing the press. A working 
model of the type cylinder was made to carry two columus ot type, 
twenty-seven inches in length. .VIoulds were designed tor radial 
type, conformable to the cylinder, cast and impressions made 
on paper. On the 26th day of April, 1839, George Henry 
Hopkins, also a citizen of Providence, R. L, assisted Wilkinson 
in the typographical department, and set up the first type in 
regular form, placed upon the cylinder. Those who saw the 
first impressions made, will probably recollect the address to 
Napoleon's column, in Place V'^endome, at Pans, France ; and 
the more particularly so, on account ot its being the only matter 
in the form of type then placed on the tace ot the cylinder: — 

On the 29th of April, 1839, the Rev. Doct. Wayland, then 
President of Brown University, at Providence, called to see the 
cylinder with the type operate, and took several of the impressions 
made in his presence, as a specimen of the printing. On the 
13th of May 1839, the Rev. Doct. Wayland favored Wilkinson 
with a letter of introduction to the late Col. Stone, then editor 
of the A'. T, Dally Advertiser^ who introduced Wilkinson to 
Messrs, Harper and Bros, Eighty-two, Cliff St., and they 
recommended 'Messrs. R. M. Hoe and Co., as parties extensively 



engaged in mechanical affairs, and well versed in all that 
covcerned printing machines.' Wilkinson found Mr. Robert 
M. Hoe, on the i6th day of May, 1839, at his establishiuent in 
Sheriff" street, and there informed him of his new invention made 
in the art of printing; and at the same time presented for 
inspection, some specimens of the new tvpe, and impressions 
made on paper. Air. Hoe attentively examined them, and 
without the least hesitation or equivocation, said — '/ always 
thought it ivoulJ be time^ but could never before see how^ or in what 
manner if could he e/Jected.'' He seemed pleased with the discovery, 
and expressed a desire of having the cylinder brought immediately 
to N. Y. ; and proposed embarking alone with Wilkinson, in 
the establishment of this new mode of printing. Some remark, 
however, maJe relative to the name under which this new 
improvement should pass, was not satisfactory to Wilkinson. 
In justice to himself he could not consent to barter the honor of 
his invention for money. He therefore on the 17th day of iMay, 
addressed a letter to Joseph Brotherton M. P. then at London, 
a sincere friend, who had many years before, in a generous and 
noble manner, stood by and assisted Wilkinson through his 
troubles in the establishment of the reed machine at Manchester, 
England, informing him of the completion o[ the invention. 

On the 20th of July 1839, an agreement was made between 
Wilkirson, and Charles Jackson, in which Messrs. Brown and 
Ives joined, to assist Wilkinson in building a double cylinder 
press at Providence R, I., in order to further develop the plan 
of the machine and utility of the invention. Feb. 15, 1840, the 
double cylinder press was put in operation at the corner of Power 
and Fenner streets in the city of Providence. On the same day 
the 'Grab,' an important and simple instrument in handling large 
masses of type, was invented by Wilkinson. 

May II, 1846, an edition of several hundred papers was 
printed, copies of which were addressed to the Hon. Martin Van 
Buren, P., Richard M. Johnson, V. P., John Q. Adams, and 



to other members of Congress ; and also, to Seth Hunt, Esq., 
Col. Webb, Ed. Courier Z5 Enquirer; Messrs. Geo. A.J.Curtis, 
Wilkinson's type founders in Boston ; and to manv other American 
citizens. On the 25th of May folloA'ing a memorial was sent 
by Wilkinson to the care of John ^). Adams, asking aid of 
Congress, to establish the press on a more extensive scale. Feb, 
4, 1841. The Legislature of R. I. granted an act to incorporate 
the 'Wilkinson Printing Press Company ' — and enable him to 
establish his press in a proper mar.ner. Soon after the passage 
of said act, a communication was received from Moses Y. Beach, 
the Ed. and proprietor of the N. 7\ Sun^ relative to the said press. 
March 15, 2841, an agreement was made between VVilkinson 
and the said Moses Y. Beach for the establishment of the press 
in the city of N. Y., and on the 4th day of Aug., 1841, a double 
cylinder press was made to throw off" a sheet with thirty-two 
columns, twenty-two inches each in length, and subsequently 
started at the'*S'«« Office,' then at the corner of Spruce and Nassau 
Sts., city of N. Y., and twenty-one days prior to the date on the 
sheet printed at that time. 

On the 5th day of same mo. VVilkinson invented the folding 
machine, and fully illustrated the same, by drawings and 
specifications, which were presented to Mr. Beach. On the 9th 
inst., a shear to separate the sheet from the roll, and to act in 
concert with the foldmg apparatus and the press, was also 
invented by Wilkinson. On the 23d of Oct. following, the 
double cylinder press was then put in motion, and made to 
operate in connexion with the new folding and cutting apparatus 
which had then been completed, and a considerable number of 
sheets thrown oft' well printed, folded and cut neatly from a 
continuous sheet of paper. 

From that Jiioment a mysterious adverse current of events suddenly 
swept from Wilkinson the power of resistance. Those in whom 
he had placed the utmost confidence proved treacherous, — and 
he lost the legal control of the property in his inventions. 


Drawings of his improvernenti had been secretly taken^ and patents 
on his inventions fraudulently obtained in England and France. 
Wilkinson however, still exerted himself to find parties willing 
to aid or assist him in redressing the wrongs he had suffered, or 
in the further security of his rights, and establishment of his 

On reflection he resolved to call again on Mr. R. M. Hoe, and 
trv to net his assistance with a fair and honorable reciprocity of 
interest. Mr. Hoe complied with his request, and went to see 
the press and establishment as it then stood in the Sun office, and 
after an examination of the plan of the machinery, and the 
organization so far as developed in the establishment, said — 'this 
press will create a revolution iri the art of printing, and it will be 
a thorough one.' No arrangement however, could then be made 
with Mr. Hoe, on account of some financial difficulties which 
he alleged were at that time embarrassing him. 

Jan. 21, 1H42, Wilkinson called on James Gordon Bennett, 
and endeavored to enlist him in his enterprise. After listening 
to the statements made — he said — '' Mr. Hoe has engaged to 
build two presses, with an engine for the Herald., at a cost of 
some thirty-six thousand dollars which must be paid. Nevertheless 
I am willing to act in the adoption of Wilkinson's press, if Mr, 
Hoe will give his opinion of the same in a satisfactory manner. 
I can either sell the new presses ordered of Hoe or lay them by." 

April 5, 1843, Wilkinson went to Washington with models 
of his improvements which had fortunately been secured in the 
patent office prior to his engagement with Moses T. Beach, and 
thus Wilkinson's right in his own country was pieserved. May 
I 2, through the aid of friends permission was obtained of Beach 
to open the room, aud expose to view the long imprisoned press. 
It was found in one of the lowest of the dark vaults under the 
new Sun building, corner of Nassau and Fulton sts,, covered with 
dirt and rust. Negotiations for its release were entered into, 
and Beach gave his consent to have the press for a limited period 
and under rigid restrictions placed in a basement room, below the 


level of the street. In this dark place the R. I. model press 
was put in operation. But it was soon found that an evil genius 
followed Wilkinson, and in the short interval of his labor and 
during his absence, deranged the work in the machine. This 
was not an imaginary difficulty — an evil spirit certainlv did haunt 
theplaceand more than once deranged the machine and misplaced, 
concealed, and carried away the tools. 

May 20, 1843, "^^^^ ^^^ ^ "^''^y "'' ^^'^ before the on/er of Btach 
to close the door- was complied, with Mr. John Harper, of the 
celebrated house of Harper and Brothers saw the press in 
operation, and turned the cylinders once round and then said — 
' Oyie-cighth of the power required to move ojie of the Napier presses 
would he sujjlclent to turn this.' On being solicited to give further 
testimony on the score of justice to the invention, he replied, 
' Do you think that ive will assist you to cut o[] our oivn ears ?' 

Several years after, while Wilkinson was anxiously waiting for 
some favorable change in the current of events, a new triumph 
IN THE ARTS was announced, and the glorious advent of a new 
invention in the art of printing was proclaimed. A printing 
press of extraordinary dimensions, and surpassing power, had been 
made, and celebrated in the city of New York under the riaine 
of — 'Hoe's Lightning or Monster Pre>s' — and said to have been 
his invention ! This tremendous enp;ine of modern civilization 
was then in operation at the Sioi office ! The daily papers were 
filled with accounts of this most wonderful press, and Wilkinson 
could not be insensible to the effects produced bv a revelation, 
that there seemed to be but little short of a miracle, and to 
astonish the world. He believed that his inventions, if not pirated, 
had been abused and unjustly set aside, and that no regard 
whatever would be paid to his just rights. 

On the 8th day of April, 1850, Wilkinson memorialized 
Congress representing fully the nature of the improvement, and 
the situation in which the property in the invention was and had 
long been placed, praying tor pecuniary assistance to establish the 
press and protect his just rights. Hon. John A. King, M. C. 



from New York presented Wilkinson's memorial to Congress, 
himself favoring the praver ot the petitioner. The memorial was 
placed on file. 

April 19, 1851, arrangements were made with Ambrose L. 
Jordan, of New York, and others for the release of the property 
connected with Wilkinson's invention, then in the possession of 
Moses Y. Beach, and to effect the establishment of the press. 
A company was formed, and negotiations commenced with Beach 
Aug. 28, 1 8"^ I, for the relinquishment of the machine, and on 
the 29th, an assignment was made to A. L. Jordan, the president 
of the new company. Sept. i 5th, the patents obtained by Moses 
S., son of Moses Y. Beach on Wilkinson's inventions in England 
and France, were given up to Jordan, and on the i6th the wreck 
and remnants of the machinery were surrendered; and on the 
day following, the whole mass but little more than a heap of 
rubbish, was removed to No. 319, Fifth street, near Avenue D. 
New York City, and measures forthwith adopted by Wilkinson 
to repair the R. I. press, and bring it into operation. Thus this 
press, after having been in the posses.sion of Beach from the 6th 
day of March, 1841 — the day on which it was landed in the city 
of New York — until the 17th dav oi Sept., 1851 — over ten rears 
— was released and removed from the power of Beach, and the 
dungeon of the Si/n Building. At the time it was being removed, 
Alfred Beach, one of the younger sons of Moses Y. Beach, a 
youth who had always been friendly, aud exhibited towards Mr. 
Wilkinson a remarkable different line of conduct from that of his 
elder brother, was heard distinctly to say — ' Mr. Wilkinson, when 
you get your press in operation we will throw all Hoe's machinery 
into the street.' 

March 8th, 1852, the R. I. Model Press was again in order, 
and started in connection with the same folding and cutting 
apparatus invented at the Sun office in 1841, and now for the 
first attached to the Model Press, and every part was found to 
to perform well. On the lOth inst. an edition of several hundred 


sheets was printed when the press performed admirably, cutting 
and folding from a continuous roll. 

Several appendages, and improvements were added until Nov. 
15, 1852, when Ambrose L. Jordan, Henry Shelden, Geo. P. 
Nelson and Edward Clark met by appointment to see the operation 
o{ Wilkinson's newly invented surface shear, then attached to 
the press, and designed to separate the sheet from the roll of paper. 
A roll of damp paper was then placed in position, unwound by, 
and rapidly passed through the machine, perfectly printed on 
both sides, regularly cut, and in an open and fully extended 
manner cast upon the floor. No doubt whatever could then 
exist of the successful operation of this last and important 
improvement made, or of its value in the establishment of the 
business. Useful alike in cutting open or folded sheet?, in 
vertical, horizontal, or any required position, infallible in action, 
and marvelous in power ; — tar exceeding expectation and proving 
that fortunate results may flow from slight causes,— and that 
invention may sometimes exceed the pov/cr of hope, in the work 
of its creation. Arrangements were then made to build a larger 
press to throw off a double sheet of the size of the N. Y. Times^ 
Herald or Tribune.'''' 

The above statement of facts needs no comment of ours. 
The reader will see at once the manner in which he was defrauded 
of the whole thing, and stripped of the profits and honor of his 
remarkable invention. The following from the New York Jtlas., 
Nov. 22, 1853, expresses the right sentiment,— '' We perceive 
since Mr. Wilkinson's press has become a fixed fact, in the 
history of mechanical inventions, that one or two other aspirants 
have made their appearance, and are striving to deprive him of 
his invention and its honors. This is the too common fate of 
genius. Whitney, the author of the cotton gin — Arkwright, 
the inventor of the throstle and spinning jenny — Morse, whose 
mighty genius called into existence the magnetic telegraph — Grant, 
the author of the hat machine, and ten thousand others have 
realized the baseness and ingratitude which unprincipled men now 
seek to extend to Mr. Wilkinson : — all have been subjected to 


similar treatment. 

Wilkinson's Endless Rotary Press has been known to us the 
last sixteen years. Its inventor has during the whole of" that long 
period had to encounter every possible difficulty and embarrassment. 
VVe never doubted for a single moment his success. Now, that 
he has succeeded, let a generous and noble-minded world see that 
no injustice be done him. Let him be encouraged and rewarded ; 
let merit receive its due ; and, for once, let not baseness and 
impertinence triumph over modest and unpretending genius and 
perseverance. VVe congratulate Mr. Wilkinson that his days of 
turmoil and trial, are so near their end." 

In a previous issue of that paper, Nov. 13, I 853, the following 

notice appeared : 

'' l^HE Endless Press. 

This is the name of a newly invented printing press which is 
now in operation at the corner of Franklin and Centre Streets. 
I'he author of it is Jeptha A. Wilkinson, Esq., one of the 
most ingenious mechanics the world has thus far produced. He 
iN the inventor of the reed machine — an invention which produced 
an absolute revolution in the manufacture of cotton in England 
and America. 

The Endless Press will, with the utmost ease throw ofi^" twenty 
thousand copies of a newspaper, printed on both sides, in an hour. 
We saw it in operation the other day, and are prepared to say 
that it is destined to outstrip every other press known to the 
world. The impressions we saw the other day possessed a slight 
detect in column rule impression ; and there appeared to be an 
error in the distributi^m of the ink. These defects, however, 
can be easily remedied ; and we predict that the Endless Press 
will become the exclusive agent of all pressmen in a few years. 
The paper is placed on a cylinder, and forms an endless sheet — 
hence the name of the press. You can print by it any edition 
you desire, from fifteen hundred to fifteen hundred million." 

Other papers gave extended notices of this press, and all 
concurred in pronouncing it the greatest invention of the age. 

His son Albert Wilkinson writes as follows, — "The great 
drawback to the establishment of the invention has been the 
difficulty met with in trying to make some contrivance to lay the 
papers in a pile, after being delivered from the press, as it prints 
them so fast, that they come out at the end with a perfect rush. 
It has taxed the brains of the leading mechanics of New York 



for years past, but of no a\all. Father's arrangement for 
tfarryitig away the papers, is s^ood, and nobody has ever succeeded 
in getting any thina; to surpass it, but still every company with 
whom he enters into partnership, desires something better, and 
experinitnt uselessly to make an impiovemenu borne threcyears 
ago bis patents were about to run out in France, and Germany, 
and this necessitated a speedy renewal, and he went to Europe, 
at that time, carrying with him his Rhode Island, or First Press, 
and after renewing the patents, he was induced to established his 
press in London, and the only difficulty now experienced is the 
delivery of the paper from the machine. His partners desired 
something better than father's simple arrangement, and they have 
exhausted their brains in tiying to I'lnd something better but in 
vain. He may yet succeed, but will never be compensated tor 
the innumerable heart rending scenes and vexatious trials he has 
met with. His friends say — ' he has gone through discouragements 
enoutjh to kill outright a dozen ordinary men.' " 

His honesty and generosity iji his dealings are traits which ha\e 

always characterized him, and? his placing coniidence in the 

honesty and pretended fairness of'''others his greatly injured him. 

We are furnished with a description of this in the 

" American Rcghti;r , and Jnternational "Journal^'' and we take tli,- 

liberty of copying — -for the perusal ot the Wilkinson tamily — 

the article entire notwithstanding its length, it is eiuidfd ; 

" Wilkinson's Cvi-iKbRicAL Rotary Printinc; Prkss. 

Although some forty years liave elapsed since the first 

conception by the inventor Jeptha A. VV'.ilkinson, a native t)l 

Providence, R. I., then resident in Manchester, Eng., of this entire 

new system of printing, yet, it has never been put to a decided 

practical test until the issuing, of the "• Jnurican Hfgisur ■a\u\ 

International Jonrnal" it marks a new era in the printing arts. 

This number of the American Register J^Mzy 1st, i 860) containing 

thirtv-two super-royal octavo pages, has been printed upon one 

whole sheet, on both sides, and cut off at the proper space, at one 

operation. A feat never before perforiTied by anv printing press 

in this, or any other country. Having tliuS; thoroughly and 

practically tested in all its bearings, the mei:its of this invention, 

or rather series of inventions, for such they, consist — in the art 

of printing, we do not hesitate to recofnmend its .gener;il 

introduction-, especially for rapid printing, or where large editions 


of either newspp.pers, periodical journals, books, stereotyped or 
letter-prt ss, are required, and ecoiiomv is desired. 

The histc^rv of this tniK' important invention in the most 
valuable of the mechanic arts, and of the inventor himself, is but 
the thrice told tale of the great majoritv of those self-sacrificino; 
men, who have labored and strived tor successive vears amidst 
fhe pangs o'i povertyvanl deprivations, known onlv to themselves 
or their dependents^^the sneers and gibes of the world, and the 
subjects for the speculation ot unprincipled sharpers and designing 
nien, who do not hesitate to appropriate to their own selfish and 
lucrati\e uses, the hard-earned and toilsome productions of those 
who hope to advance the, and lessen the labors of their 
tellow-men ; in whi.h eHoits thev too often, are left to perish in 
thcii' patriotic cliorts. An intimacy of several years with Major 
'vVilkinson, has made us familiar with the progressive history of 
his in\'ention, and the many privations to which he has been made 
subject ; such, as many — except they were like himself, possessed 
ot an iron frame and a determined will, and perseverance, not to 
be baffled in anything he undertakes — would, long since, have 
sunk under the weight of his misfortunes, or abandoned his object 
in disgust. 

•The Cylindrical Rotary Printing Press, and its in\entor, may, 
with propriety be placed in the same category with those of the 
steamboat of f'itch and Fulton — the cotton gin of Whitney — the 
magnetic telegraph of Morse — (with which it seems to be almost 
a counterpart) and the many other geniuses of the world who 
have made themselves martyrs to their cause. Notwithstanding 
the almost superhuman labor which has been bestowed upon this 
series of inventions, and the large sums of money which have 
been sacrificed by the in\entor from his own purse, as well as 
that which has been brought, from time to time to his aid ; and 
the several attempts made to wrest from his possession the results 
of his intense studies, trials and experiments, it is truly fortunate 
that the inventor still survives to witness its practical and successful 
operations •, and we sincerely trust, to realize his justly merited 
rewards for the benefits he has thus conferred upon mankind in 
giving it an impetus in that department of the industrial world, 
which stands at the head of all others — the printing press — the 
grand !e\er of the human mind ; and to combat with those who 
have, or may attempt to deprive him of his pecuniary or other 
rights in this remarkable invention, and the honor due to him in 
the establishment of a new era in the printing arts. We shall 
not attempt in this place, a history of this important invention ; 


a subject we reserve for another occasion. Our only object here, 
being to describe the press and its practical operations ; together 
with the other machinery connected with the printing department, 
which difters very materially from the old method. 

Partial descriptions of this press were given several vears ago 
by some of the leading daily and other journals of New ^'ork 
City, when a demonstration of its utility was first presented to 
the printing public. Since that period however, the inventor has 
added some important improvements. The following description, 
therefore may be considered the most complete of any that has 
yet appeared; the result of our cwn examinations and practical 
tests. The press upon which the Journal was printed is veiy 
simple and compact m its construction. The frame which is of 
cast iron is ten feet long, five feet wide, including the running 
gear, and six feet and six inches high. All the movements of the 
press are upon the rotary principle, which secures a smooth and 
uniform action, exempt it from the danger of disarrangement, 
and subjects it to very little wear. There iire two cylinders upon 
which the tvpe are firmly fixed -, one placed above and the other 
below, Hoth above and below these cylinders there are a series 
of inking cylinders and distributers. The paper which is one 
continuous sheet, and rolled in a dampened state upon a spindle, 
as it is received from the mill, is placed at the rear of the press ; 
and the end of the sheet is there brought up over a metallic apron, 
inserted under the upper or first type cylinder, and after receiving 
an impression upon the upper side, passes in a direct line over a 
second metallic apron, to the upper surface of the lower cylinder, 
from which it receives the impression upon the lower side of the 
sheet. The sheet then passes to a cylinder at the head or delivery 
of the press, upon which is constructed a shear, where it is cut 
off ; thence it passes out of the press printed upon both aides 
into the packing apparatus. This apparatus is simple in its 
construction of conical form ; the top consists of a series of tapes 
along which the ^^heet flies after being discharged from the press, 
and falls upon an endless apron which forms the bottom of the 
machine, and are carried to any required distance from the press. 
This apparatus also, moves on the rotary principle, with the 
same power that carries the press ; and when in motion performs 
the work of both fly-boy and porter. As the paper is delivered 
from one gate only, instead of from eight or ten, it dispenses 
with the use of some twenty feeders, porters and other contingent 


One o{ the most extraordinary and important features of this 
press is the rapidity with which impressions may be multiplied. 
At an ordinary speed twenty thousand imperial sheets, equal to 
toriv thousand impressions, can be printed on both sides, cut and 
lolded trom a continuous sheet in one hour. 1 hus not onlv 
dispensing with the labor and errors of feeding the press by hand, 
but the danger of being caught by the machinery. The type 
being precisely coincident with the radii of the cylinder, it makes 
the impression on the paper with much more precision and less 
friction than can be eiiected by the usual method. The type 
also, are not so subject to injury by being battered and disfigured 
as those used on the ordinary system ; and consequently will last 
much longer. In fact every portion of the face of each type, 
vignette or engraving, even to che minute:>t lines, are brought to 
bear direct upon the paper in a line with the axis ot the cylinders ; 
thus giving them a remarkable clear and distinct impression, much 
more so than can be produced upon a flat bed. 

Among ail the perplexities connected with the printing press, 
there are none so difficult to encounter as the obtaining ot 
Kf^ister. 1 his evil arises from the changing of the forms, the 
shrinkage of the paper after having been printed upon one side, 
or as on che cylinder presses now in use, by the slipping of several 
sheets and che loose manner in which they are introduced into the 
press. The great importance of accurate reiiister, especially in 
the pamphlet or book printing department is well known to the 
craft. in Wilkinson's press, this evil is entirely overcome. Ihe 
passing through this machine in one continuous sheet, and in a 
uuect line with the type cylinders adjusted immediately diametrical 
to each other and printed upon both sides at one operation, the 
register must necessarily be perfect. And as there is no changing 
ol forms, a great saving of time and delay is also here obtained. 

Appended to the press is a small apparatus, which in the 
language of the inventor consists of six small wheels only, 
connected with each other and to the press in such a manner as 
to record correctly and infallibly, every revolution of the type 
cylinders and impressions made. The astonishing power of this 
simple device which was originally designed as an appendage to 
the press, for counting the papers, is almost incredible. Such is 
fhe extent of its power, that at the rate of twenty thousand 
revolutions of the cylinders per day, ic would require over sixteen 
hundred years to elapse before the sixth wheel could be turned on 
on its axis entirely round. Hence its nan\e, endlesi regtitr-r. I he 

5b2 — BIOGRAPHY 0F'<'^''^-^\ 

shear''foi'' separating the pape'r, unlike any other' ever 'i^inployed 
fbr't'h'^ {ilirpbse^ is attached to a tylinder at the gate df^'the pressV 
and' has also, a rotary;rtioverfi'ent''iii perfect unison with the other 
b^achihcrv without any alternate gV reciprocatingmotion. It 
jDcrfor'rrtii'it'SVVork 'with unerring exactness on a line between the 
4mpres'Siohs'',''an^ siit'H is 'the nicet^/ ofits adjustmeiit that there iV 
•ytotapparfent d^gfee'ofwcar; ' Thereis a folding apparatusi'Connected 
with this pre'SS; wh'ich-ciah' he used,' oi' dispensed with. .Thi's 
apparatus is Very; sirrtplc in its arrahgeuient without any alternate 
or reciprocatingmotion. 'I'he mo vertientS ate all di recta nd pbstt'ive; 
land /like those of the' press, rotar^^; bein.g also, harttionfous ift 
^cti6n, is ot equal speed. Objections haVe been raised to the 
■^ystenh of [Hhnting upon continuous rolls of paper,' ^^n account 
'•q\ Splicihg t1ii&^ sheets together ; this, however, is' proved to ^fe 
•drily' an imaginary evil. As it is found by practical demonstration 
that where' the parted sheets are spliced together by the ordinai'V 
gun» after ha\ ing been run through the cylinders and printed tiH 
both sides, it is only by the closest examination that the:fractured 
pants of the pa'percan be discovered ; and by an\' means, there is 
a Savihg of, at least three per cent, over the ordinary waste:«f 
.paper, that occurs in the old system of printing, 
' •The first, and most important, and yet the most difficult to 
'a'ttainy 'is the preparation of paper in condition for the printing 
•press.' Hitherto paper has been received from the mills cut of 
■the -desired dimensions, folded and bundled into reams in'a vei^f 
"dry state-; all requiring time, care and attention. Hence''"the 
'necessity to wet -it^^turn it and press it ; especially for book, Or 
6thef fiiee printing in order to render it flexible, smooth and of 
'even' dampness. Under the present system of machiner'v, 
.'tonne'tted with the manufacturing of paper at theMTilHs, pai^ticularlv 
in ' rolls, and dampened, ' such as is adapted -to ■.;Wilkiris'ori's 
"Cyli'ndr'i'cal Rotary Press the same evil has beeii" foblid-to e'Jiist. 
.In-order to counteract this difHculty, and to •accornpji5'fe«'§'0 
■desii'aMe ' an object, Major Wilkinson has recefrtly i>Vvelited'"a 
dampihg machine which surmounts the whole dffRicultyi 'I't'i's 
•als'o on the rotary principle ; very sim-ple in its 'Co-nstruCtiOdi, 
'entirely original-^ and consists of a series of^'tension rollers, thfotigh 
^Which the pa'l^^r' f^asses tothe main roll ; Where it is received'l, rtwt 
''5ifl-y'e\>'enly'dam'j)etied and perfectly smooth, but calendered, ready 
'for' the press. This last invention is quite as va^luable,- incid'entaHv, 
'^s -the printing press ; for' by- it^'th'-fe' inventor has surnioUnted' a 
'difficulty' 'idf -long staildihg • and' trials, -in the paper '■'■ making 

JEPTH-4^M;ERr JP;/lB^LVSOA'. 5(53 

depjrtmeiUj, viz:. the/yUing oi the pap^i; wjfhout wjiukl.ijig,, and 
.[)er-tectly and. evenly da,mping and calendering. ^t by one and the 
Mime operation... Besides ; thisdan>pin.g,inaphine entirely dispenses 
with the labor of the many haifijds iioM' eniployed in luetting doiun 
j)aper, &c.; and saves both the loss of time and expenses.. This 
damping, machine is worked ; by. , the ,^3i^f^ povver,that dfives^the 
press ; ai,id, also, like the press, ;per,t(p.|j;ms' its .Q\(yn,.vv';Ork; without 
human aid, after lieing set in motion. ,j, i\ :, , ,,, 

It is well known to all who are .in .l,he. habit, of , reading 
newspapers — and at the present, p9riocl,.,vvh,o jn the United, States 
does not? — that they da^ly meet wjth a difficulty .in. deciphering 
pftentiraes a whole column ot their paper,; owing to thC; pap^r 
being printed in a doubled and., wr.iu!ifle(J.; s,ta,tf, .which; (^i-ds 
becomes stretched out thereby throwing the, lines into, confusion. 
Such defects however, can' never arise'in this new ' system of 
[Minting." For alter ttie preparation of the paper b\^ fh6 mode 
•■which we have above descnhed, it is introduced intoitbe preks 
from the roll to tJ>e ty.p.f;,, crvhn.ders,; in, such a manne^-,,a, stilj 
keep It constaiul)- smooii'i, and ex.tended to its utmost limit' p.f 
tension, as well in its leiigth as its breadth! " 

"' Having -thus described the mo/^h/s 'yf>eraru/i 6f tut \i'reU^ wb' now 

^irome to;t,hat of ths typL% composing, &c.-, til! AVhich ^i'S ■•enti^reiy 

ot'iginiii »n,di;niiy^c^nsidered to form the;^iH,jCf,f the i whole 

,^e.ries ot. :L.n\ enti(.*ns connected with this new system. oi\p/jinting. 

The type composing sticks, galleys, &c., a'rq all upon 

'the' ladiai' principle, so' as' to correspond with' the' radii"of tlie 

c\ linders. And, instead 01 the nick, as in tlie ordin^j'y' tvf^^\ 

t he V have a groo.yp on the. Hat side by which, eaich locked 

one into the. other. . Conset^uently thev must alJ|,,bc,,..set one way, 

even to the spaces. In com.posing this is found to be of great 

advantage over the ordinary system, as" the' compositor is readily 

enabled'bythe'touch ot this groove to place it iri the right position, 

;and no error. can -oc^cur except in substituting" one lor another. 

Indeed a blind pprsoti after once learning the position, of the boxes 

• could by the aid ot th.e groove set the type with facility. In fine 

from the practical 'test vve are Confident that when a compositor 

has once become tamiliar with this system which but aT'ew days 

require, he will [)reter it. to the: old',- as the. type can be set, 

distributed and i:andled with as great, if not greater facility than 

the o.rdinary type and set with more certainty of correctness. No 

chases are used — no quoins or furniture ; and consequently no 

time' lost in docking u[' forms, as in the ordinary method. In 


removing the type, which in the old system is done by hand, in 
this new method it is accomplished by the demi-grah ; by which 
one-half, or even the whole of a page of this fournrd^ t>r half a 
column of newspaper can be readily lifted and conveyed to any 
desired place. 

All who may be skeptical upon the subject can satisfy their 
doubts by a visit to the printing office located at the foot of Grand 
htreet, corner of Tompkins Street, New York City, at which 
place the press is in operation. In connection with the foregoing 
we add, that the type upon which the " .hnerican "Journar^ is 
printed, was cast at the foundry of iVlessrs. White & Co., cor. 
ot Beekman and Gold Streets, New York City, in accordance 
with the patent secured by Wilkinson.'' 

Jeptha A. has fully maintained the reputation of his ancestors 
as an inventor, and his mechanical skill is of the highest order. 
This branch of the family have always been noted for their 
originality of invention, and for the boldness thev strike out into 
new and unbeaten tracks. In days gone by they have never 
received their full meed of reward, and it is gratifying to see in 
these latter days favorable expressions from an appreciating 
posterity. Such may be found in the "Transactions of the R. 
I. S. for the Encouragement of D. I.," 1861, also, in the Report 
of the *•*■ North Providence Centennial Celebration," June 
24, 1865. 

It is seldom the case that such men are fully appreciated by 
their contemporaries^ The body must moulder in the grave, 
until the daily utility of their inventions writes a history for them ; 
and then and not till then the greatness of their mind, and their 
transcendent genius shine out with a brilliancy that commands 
the admiration, and challenges the applause of men. 

Jeptha Avery Wilkinson is justly entitled to the honor of 
inventing : 

1. The Revolver. 

2. The Reed Machine. 

3. The First Cylindrical Priniinc; Press. 

— Sre y>, 187. 


AVID WILKINSON was born in Srnithfield, R. I., and 
was educated a mechanic. In his reminiscences he says : 
''•my father lived in the t.own of Srnithfield, in 1775, at the 
commencement of the war, and owned a blacksmith's shop with 
a hammer worked by water." A mechanic came there to make 
a card machine, and David was greatly interested in the work. 
He says, " I was then about five years old, and my curiosity was 
so great to see the work go on, that my father sat me on Mr. 
Smith's bench to look on while he worked. And at this time 
seventy years afterwards, I could make a likeness of nearly every 
piece of that machine, so durable are the first impressions on the 
mind of youth." At the age of six he was made to help in the 
business of heading nails by being set astride of a log, and with 
his foot in a stirrup, he would work the press which had 
been constructed by his father for this purpose. He was early 
initiated into all the mysteries of the blacksmith's trade, and when 
his father moved to Pawtucket Falls in 1783 or 4, he was quite 
an expert in wielding the sledge. 

His father bought the machinery for cutting iron screws, called 
the Fly b'crew for pressing paper, &c., of Israel Wilkinson, Jr., 
of Srnithfield in 1-786—7. The senior Israel had some years 
before established works in Smithfield for making these screws, 
and was accustomed to go to different furnaces in Massachusetts 
to mould them, as there were no moulders who would undertake 
the job. David says, " My father had once seen old Israel 
Wilkinson mould one screw, and after he had bought these old 


tools of voung Israel, as he was called, and at a time when he 
wanted some moulding done, he took me — then about fifteen 
years old — into his chaise and carried me to Hope Furnace, about 
fourteen miles from Providence in Scituate, to mould a paper mill 
screw, as they had no moulder at their furnace who would 
undertake to mould one. I had never seen a furnace in operation, 
or seen a thing moulded in my life. I moulded three or four 
screws before I left for home. I stayed there about a month. 
The screws weighed about five hundred pounds each, v/ere five 
inch top with cross holes, seven inches diamater, through a lantern 
head for a lever seven inches diameter. They were cast in 
dried-clay moulds, hooped and strapped with iron bands. I took 
the screws home to Pawtucket and finished them there. Thev 
were made for Hudson and Goodwm of New York, and Lazarus 
Beach of Danbury, Conn." 

This simple narrative reveals the mechanical skill of the lad, 
and no doubt his father looked forward with great assurance to 
the future success of his precocious son. The anchor shop, the 
ship buildino:, and the various other kinds of manufacturing 
business which was carried on at Pawtucket gave ample scope tor 
his inventive genius. He made screws of wrought iron for 
clothiers' presses and oil mills., but they were defective, and he 
told his father he wanted to make a machine to cut screws on 
centres, which would make them more perfect. His father gave 
him permission to commence one, and from this was afterwards, 
developed one of the most useful inventions the world has ever 
witnessed in the mechanic arts, viz : 

The Slidinc; Lathe, 
for turning iron and brass. His own account is so quaint and 
terse, that I shall not resist the temptation to quote it. He says, 
"About T794, (he was then twenty-three years of age) my father 
built a rolling and slitting mill at Pawtucket. On the gudgeon 
of the wheel of which, I put my new screw machine in operation, 
which was on the principle of the gauge or sliding lathe now in 
every workshop almost throughout the world, the perfection of 
which consists in that most faithful agent, gravity^ making the 
joint, and that almighty perfect number, three^ which is harmony 
itself. I was young when I learned that principle. I had never 
seen my grandmother putting a chip under a three-legged milking 


stool ; but she always had to put a chip under a four-legged table 
to keep it steady. I cut screws of all dimensions by this machine, 
and did them perfectly." 

Having accomplished his purpose he endeavored to avail 
himself o^ the advantages he foresaw resulting from his invention ; 
he therefore, made a model in miniature, and prepared to secure 
a patent, but imagining there might be something in use elsewhere 
he visited every place he could hear of where screws were 
manufactured. He went to New York; thence to Canaan, Ct.; 
thence to Taunton, Mass.; thence to Philadelphia, &c., but 
tound nothing to interfere with his invention, and returned home. 
In 1797, he went again to Philadelphia while Congress was in 
session, and made application* for a patent, Senator Joseph 
Tillinghast from R. I., assisting him. He was successful and 
returned home, but his head was full of other projects, and he 
gave but little attention to securing the pecuniary advantages his 
discovery would naturally give him. 

In the mean time he had given another direction to his newly 
discovered principle of cutting screws, and had invented the slide 
or gauge lathe. In this he met with considerable opposition and 
many perplexing discouragements. While he was at work on 
Slater's machinery the owners would not allow him to make one; 
but Mr. Slater sent to England, requesting his brother John to 
come to America, and bring a mechanic who had made a slide 
lathe on the principle of the old fluting machine. They came, 
and their lathe was tried for a few weeks and abandoned, and 
they resorted to the old hand tool as before. It was about this 
time that he obtained permission of his father, brothers, and 
brothers-in-law, who had purchased a water privilege on the 
Qinnebaug River at Pomfret, Ct., and were building a factory, 
to build a slide lathe. He made his patterns in Sylvanus Brown's 
shop in Pawtucket. While he was thus engaged a company in 
Providence had secured a master machinist from England by 
the name of Ogden to build a factory at Hope furnace in Scituate. 
He was a man of good abilities and great experience ; and 


hearing of David's attempt, he advised him to abandon the 
enterprise as chimerical, for the thing had been tried in England 
time and again, and had always resulted in failure. David was 
not to be discouraged; he completed his patterns for the lathe, 
and was already to start for Foxborough the next morning to 
secure the castings, when Svlvanus Brown tojk the liberty to 
burn them up! Somewhat vexed, but nothing daunted by this 
unlooked for freak on the part of Mr. Brown, 13avid prepared 
another set, got them cast, made his lathe — and it worked to a 
charm. Thus was secured to the world this great invention, 
which has resulted in enriching multitudes yf individuals, and the 
nation, but brought no return to the inventor until Congress 
voted him $io,OQO.* 

Here we find inventive genius and persevering industry 
combined ; an unusual combination. Genius will not tarry for 
the slow steps of plodding industry while it is giving form and 
life to its intangible conceptions. It has a higher purpose and 
rises to loftier elevations seeking new modes and endeavoring to 
develop grander results. Just money enough to carry on the 
enterprise is all sufficient to satisfy the ambition of Genius; at 
least it will not abandon its search — for filthv lucre. Hence how 
few of these real geniuses ever acquire a competence .' Surrounded 
by a community who have but little sympathy in common with 
them, and whose minds cannot comprehend the magnitude and 
importance of the results of their inventions, they are usually 
regarded as dreamers, '■'■putterers — always tinkering upon something 
of no account ;" and should they die unsuccessful they are at once 
forc^otten. How many have failed for want of means ; and, after 
having in their mental laboratory given being to " airy nothing," 
and evolved from chaos, as it were, a beautiful, useful creation — 
a mechanism that saves the sweat of many brows and the labor 
of a million hands, how often is it the case that some mere 
amateur, the pet of fortune, or wealthy patronage snatches the 

* See note at the end of this sketch. 



wreath from the brow of real genius, and places it upon his cwn 
diminutive head — while the world, all ignorant ot the rea^ gives 
honor to the spurious^ and applauds the thief! 
The F1R8T Steamboat. 
David was about 22 years of age, when he was returning home 
from the Hope Furnace in Scituate where he had been preparing 
some castings, and stopped to see the ore bed in Cranston. Here 
he found a Mr. Ormsbee who was repairing the steam engine 
used to raise water from the bottom of the ore pits— a depth of 
over seventv teet. He examined the engine with great care, and 
has given the following description of it : '' The engine was 
made with the main cylinder open at the top, and the piston 
raised with a lar2;e balance lever, as the news of the cap on the 
cylinder by Boulton and Watt had not yet come to this country 
when that engine was built." The two mechanics were mutually 
interested, and their conversation turned upon the power and use 
of steam. Mi'. Ormsbee said he had been reading of a boat's 
being put in operation by steam at Philadelphia, and the statement 
appeared not only possible, but eminently feasible to them, and 
they agreed to try the experiment. Ormsbee was to get the boat 
and boiler, and Wilkinson was to prepare the machinery and the 
castings. His narrative of this transaction is so simple arrd explicit 
that I venture to quote again from his *■' Reminiscences." He 
says Ormsbee made the proposal that 'Sf I would go home with 
him and build the engine, he would build a steamboat. I went 
home and made my patterns, cast and bored the cylinder, and 
made the wrought iron work, and Ormsbee hired a large bo at of 
John Brown belonging to one of his large India ships — should 
think about twelve tons (burden). I told hirn of two plans of 
paddles,— one I called the flutter wheel, and the other the 
goose-foot paddle. VVe made the goose-foot to open and shut 
with hinges, as the driving power could be much cheaper applied 
than the paddle wheel. After we had got the boat nearly done, 
Charles Robins made a pair of paddle wheels, and attached them 
to a small skiff, and ran about with a crank by hand power. After 
having the steamboat in operation, we exhibited it near Providence 
between the two bridges, — I think while the bridges were being 


built. After our frolic was over, being short of funds, we haulecf 
the boat up and gave it over." 

"About this time," he adds '*■ a young man called on me, and 
wished to see the boat, and remained a day or two examining all the 
works. He told me his name was Daniel Leach from Connecticut. 
I never knew where he came from, nor where he went." 

The foregoing statement of Mr. Wilkinson is sustained by a 
number of persons, namely, Jeremiah Childs, James Salisbury, 
Col. John S. Eddy, and Capt. John H. Ormsbee, all of whom — 
as well as others — were eye witnesses of the ahTair. Capt. John 
H. Ormsbee accompanied the experimenters to steer the boat, 

and says — •■' Elijah Ormsbee got the loan of a long boat belonging, 
according to the best of my recollection, to the ship Abigail^ then 
lying in Providence. This boat he took to a retired place about 
three and a half miles from Providence known as Winsor's Cove. 
A copper still, of from one hundred to two hundred gallons 
capacity, owned by Col. Ephraim Bowen, used by him in his 
distillery in the south part of the town for the distilling of herbs, 
was loaned him bv Col. Bowen. The cvlinder and castings were 
cast at Pawtuckct, 1 believe at the furnace of the Wilkinsons. 
The cove was selected for its little exposure to travellers by land 
or water, that he might not be disturbed at his work, and in case 
of his want of success, he would not be subject to the derision of 
the community. He succeeded in getting his machinery in 
operation, and on a pleasant evening in autumn, he left Winsor's 
Cove in the first boat propelled by steam that ever floated on the 
waters of Narragansett bay and Providence River, and arrived in 
safety at the lower wharf. The next day they left in the boat 
for Pawtucket, to show the friends in that village the success 
that had attended the enterprise. At Pawtucket the boat 
remained a day or two, and then returned to Providence. 
* * * The steam was applied to raise the piston, and then being 
condensed by cold water, the piston turned by atmospheric 
pressure. In this way the paddles of the boat at her sides, were 
moved forward and aft, no wheels being used, but upright paddles, 
which did not lift out of the water, but when moved forward they 
closed, and when moved aft they expanded, — their whole width 
being about eighteen to twenty-four inches wide. The progress 
of the boat was from three to four miles per hour in smoptb 
water, and if wheels had been substituted for paddles, would 
probably, have increased her speed to five or six miles per hour." 


This was in the year 1792 or 3, about sixteen years before 
Robert Fulton succeeded in his enterprise on the Hudson River, 
which took place in 1809. " It is fair to claim," says the Rev. 
Mr.Goodrick in his Centennial Discourse ( 1865) — "that had the 
Pawtucket been a longer stream, so that steam had been as 
important for it as for the Hudson ; or had some discerning 
capitalist been ready to afford the pecuniary aid needful for testing 
and perfectina; the inxention, the chaplet which adorns the head 
of Fulton might have been woven for the brows of Wilkinson 
and Ormsbee. And the Pawtucket River and Naiiagansett Bay 
would have had an additional claim to tame." 
'•'• Honor to whom honor is due." 

In the light of the above facts, to whom is the honor of the 
first successful experiment upon the application of steam to the 
propulsion of boats to be attribute There are those who 

answer — that " as these inventors did not make it available by 
bringing it into genera! use, it i^ not justly attributable to them." 
Shall we then do homage to the inventive faculty, only when it is 
accompanied with the adventitious circumstance of wealth and 
crowned with success? Where is wealth without genius i' 
Genius is the soul that vivifies and animates the lifeless form, 
and gives efficiencv to industrv and property. Knowledge, not 
money is power. The man who kuozvs the most, f he makes a 
right use of his knowledge, is entitled to the highest honor, and 
next to him is the man who does the most in the right direction. 
Wealth is as apt to be an appendage of a fool, as a wise man. 

These men were original inventors. It is not probable that 
either of them had ever heard of the publication of Jonathan 
Hull in 1737, nor the proposal of Abbe Arnal in 178 1, nor of 
the construction of the Marquis ot Juffroy in 1782, at Lyons, 
nor of the experiment of fames Rumsev in 1 784 on the Potomac, 
nor of the success of John Fitch before and after 1784. So far 
as their work was concerned it was original. 

Three or four years after this successful experiment, Mr. 
Wilkinson was in New York and visited Fulton's works and 


went over to Hoboken and saw Col. John Stevens' boring mill 
and also, a small steamer built by him. He says, *•' I thought 
Stevens was ahead of Fulton as an inventor." He traveled 
about the country a great deal collecting facts, and making sale 
for his manufactures. He was at the trial or Fulton and Ogden 
(1814-15) before the Legislature ot New Jersey in reference to 
the paddle wheel of steamers, and hearing that Fulton said he 
made the draft of the wheel in London, he thought it verv singular 
that the same idea should strike two persons so nearly at the same 
time, at such a distance apart. This paddle wheel was substantially 
the same that had been suggested when Wilkinson and Ormsbee 
made their successful steamboat experiment on Narragansett Bay, 
and that Charles Robins used on the " little skiif" before 
mentioned, and that Daniel Leach had examined so carefully at 
the same time. 

We insert the following incident here, as it explains an 
important item in regard to the original invention of the steamboat, 
although it is out of place in a chronological point of view. 

In 1840, Mr. Wilkinson was on the railroad from Utica to 
Albany. He fell in company with an' aged gentleman, well 
informed, and an ex-member of the Legislature of N. Y., and 
their conversation turned upon the subject of steam as a motive 
power. During that interview the following dialogue occurred : 

Stran. " I think more credit bas been given to Fulton than 
is his due ; and that Col. John Stevens is more deserving than 

Wilkinson. " I never thought P'ulton an inventor, but simplv 
a busy collector of other people's inventions." 

S. '' Well, I always said so, and he would never have 
succeeded had it not been for Daniel Leach." 

IV . " What do you mean by Daniel Leach ?" 

S. Why, a Yankee that Fulton kept locked up for six months 
making drafts for him." 

Mr. Wilkinson says, " The name of D.iniel Leach burst upon 
my ears for the first time for forty-nine years, and almost explained 
some mysteries." 

DAUD iriLKlNSON. 513 

It is probable, means will be taken to ascertain more about 
this Daniel Leach, and his connexion with Fulton, while 
experimenting with the application of steam. 

David was actively engaged in the first cotton manufactory, 
and aided in making the first machinerv used for that purpose. 
He says '•'Mr. Slater came out with Moses Brown to my father's 
at Pawtucket to commence an Arkwright water frame and breaker, 
two finishers and cardmg machines. I forged the iron work, and 
turned the rollers and spindles, in part. All the turning was done 
with hand tools, and by hand power, with crank wheels. When 
the card rims and wheels were wanting; I went with Slater to 
Mansfield, Mass., to a furnace owned by a French gentleman, 
named Danbv, who came I think with La Fayette's army, who 
has a son and one daughter now living in Utica and Auburn, 
N. Y. The card rims broke in cooling. Mr. Slater said the 
iron shrunk more than the English iron. I told him we would 
make a crooked arm, that would let the rim move round — the 
arms being carried one way, when the hub cooled would return, 
and leave the wheel not divided against itself, — which proves a 
remedy in ali cases, if the arms are made the width the right way, 
to let the cur\'e spring eas\-, with sufficient strength of iron. 1 
told him cast iron broke n^ore often by division in its own family, 
than by labor." 

By study and experiment, difficulties were overcome, and as 
the demand increased machinery was built and sent to every part 
of the country Mr. VV. continues, "We built machinerv to 
go to Pomfret and Killingly Ct.; to Hartford, Vt.; to Waltham, 
Norton, Raynham, Plymouth, Halifax, Plympton, Middleboro, 
and other places in Mass.; for Wall and Wells, Trenton, N. J.; 
for Union and Gray, on the Patapsco ; for the Warren factories 
on the Gunpowder near Baltimore ; to Tarboto' and Martinburgh 
N. C; to two factories in Georgia ; to Louisiana ; to Pittsburgh ; 
to Delaware; to Virginia and other places. Indeed, Pawtucket 
was doing something for almost every part of the Union, and I 
had my hands too full of business, and was laboring too much 
for the general prosperity^ to take proper care of the details, perhaps, 
and the advancement of my own individual interests." 

In 1829 Mr. W. moved with his family to Cohoes Falls, 
N. Y., near Albany, and engaged in the manufacturing business, 
but soon after he went about to get work elsewhere as certain 


influences of a political character materially injured that business 
at Cohoes, While there he built a church and supported a 
minister mainly at his own expense. The finanicial revulsion of 
1829, was the occasion of Mr. W.'s leaving Pawtucket, 
concerning which, Rev. Mr. Goodrich in his Historical Discourse 
makes the following renurk, — " Our town committed one 
suicidal act nearly forty years ago. In the severe business 
revulsion of 1829, David Wilkinson and other enterprising 
mechanics were allowed to leave the place. The capitalists of 
the neighborhood should have prohibited it. A few words of 
encouragement, and, in due time, seasonable pecuniarv aid, had 
kept them here." Undoubtedly Pawtucket would have been 
amply compensated by lifting the pecuniary burden that compelled 
his failure. His wanderings and labors are related by himself 
after he left Pawtucket as follows. 

"We were compelled now to get our living where we could; to 
go abroad, if we could not get work at home. I went to work 
on the Delaware and Raritan Canal, N. Y., — then on the 
St. Lawrence improvements in Canada ; then to Ohio on the 
Sandy and Beaver Canal , then to the new wire bridge on the 
Ottawa River at Bvtown, Canada and Virginia. Wheiever I 
could find any thing to do, I went ; and it is wonderful how I 
endured exposure to wet and cold." 

He was over sixty years of age at this time. 

We need not say he was a man of extraordinary strength of 
mind — his works attest that, especially when we remember that 
he never attended school after he was nine years of age. His 
" Reminiscences" — published in the "Transaction of the R. I, 
Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry," and also 
in the "Report of the Celebration of the One Hundredth 
Anniversary of the town of North Providence," 1865, are 
exceedingly interesting, and exhibit an original cast of mind. 
The former publication contains the " Memoirs ok David 
Wilkinson by the Rev. Geo. Taft, D.D," which will close 
this sketch. 

*'I purpose to record a few memories and impressions of David 


Wilkinson, and in doing so shall use the first person, not for 
ostentation, but for convenience. I knew him well and long. I 
have been with him at home and abroad, in sickness and health, 
in prosperity and adversity. His house was my home as often as 
I choose to make it so, and that was frequent, from the autumn 
of 1820 up to the time of his departure from Pawtucket to return 
no more, till he was brought back to be laid in the sepulchral 

He was a man. One of Nature's noblemen. He needed not 
the pomp and circumstance of heraldry to emblazon his name. 
The simple name without prefix or affix was enough. 

"Take him for all in all 
I sh ill not look upon his like again." 

''Th-' elements 
S.I mixeil in him, tii it Nature might stand up 
Anl !.jv to a\\ th? worli, — This ivas a ma/i." 

He was physically educated ; every muscle was developed 
every nerve braced up, and his whole frame energized by manual 
labor. There has been, and probably is now, in some branch of 
the family, a coin or medal struck in England, on one side of 
which there is a muscular arm wielding a sledge. A significant 
symbol. David Wilkinson nobly responded to it. It was necessary 
that his body should be strong and vigorous to sustain the operation 
of his massive intellect. His corporeal training strongly resembles 
that of one of Rhode Island's — one of America's — most 
distinguished sons. Gen. Nathaniel Greene. 

His intellectual training, according to the popular notion of 
education, was very limited. He never enjoyed the privilege of 
attending a grammer school, or an academy, or a college. He 
told me that he graduated and took his degree on the dark day ; 
a day memorable in the history of New England. It occurred 
in the year 1780. He was then attending a female school. The 
good woman was very much alarmed and dismissed her school. 
He was then nine years old, and went to school no more. 
Notwithstanding his limited opportunity for receiving the training 
and discipline of the school-room, he was, nevertheless, a well 
educated man. His education did not consist in an accumulation 
of learned rubbish, nor did it make dazzling show ; it was 
pre-eminently useful and practical. His mind was drawn out, 
developed, and expanded. It took a vast range. I have neither 
the leisure nor the ability to traverse the length and the breadth 
of his mind, nor to measure its height and its depth. He was 
prepared to grapple with any subject, no matter how novel. He 

"5^6 B/OGRJPHl OF 

attained to this high degree of mental power, hv thought. He 
was a patient and profound thinker. His intellectual machinery 
was always in motion. 

Compared with some men, he read but ii:w hooks. He read* 
men. He would not he long in social intercourse with a man, 
without understanding him. His library was a walkii^g one, and 
he diligently used it. He was a keen, even a severe observer. 
When he walked the street, or performed a journev, his eyes and 
ears were always open. It he saw or heard anything worth 
preserving, he made it his own. He gathered the wheat into the 
garner, and gave the chaff to the whirlwind. He improved him 
by conversation with the learned and wise, as opportunity offered. 
And for the attainment of information in this wav, he vras highly 
privileged ; for he enjoyed the society and the esteem of many — 
) ust as many — of the first men of the country as knew him ; tor 
instance : John Whipple, Nathaniel Searle, Tristam Burgess, 
Judge Story, the venerable and apostolic Bishop Griswold, Chase, 
the pioneer Bishop cf the West, Hcnrv Clav, and a host of others. 
I regret very much that these men ha\'e passed away, and I cannot 
communicate with them and obtain their reminiscences of David 
Wilkinson. Especially, do I exceedingly regret that I cannot 
confer with Bishops Griswold and Chase ; they were frequently 
his guests and partook of his large and generous hospitality. 
What I am now attempting to do should have been done twenty 
years ago. Then many sources of information were open that 
are now iore\ er closed, and I rim compelled to rely wholh i pon 
my own memories and impressions. in lea\ mg ihc educatiunal 
department of his life, 1 do not hesitaie to sa\, ihat 1 ha\e met 
with men more book-learned than he was , but 1 have never met 
with, nor do I ever expect to meet with, a 'ir/.u'r man than Da\id 

That he was a distinguished mechanic, his reminiscences, and 
other documents, unmistakably prove. They must speak for me, 
I will only add, that in conversing v/ith me, as he sometimes did 
about improvements and inventions in machines that he 
contemplated making, he seemed to ha\ e them all in full and 
successful operation in his own mind. 

It is well said by some one that "the reasoning power is the 
corner stone of the intellectual building, giving grace and strength 
to the whole structure." He possessed a pre-eminently logical 
head. From fixed principles, he proceeded step to step, to results. 
There was not a link in the chain of argument wanting. 1 his 
faculty essentially aided him in his improvements and discoveries 
in the various departments of mechanical science. If he sometimes 
appeared to jump at a conclusion it was only in appearance. He 
arrived at the conclusion by a mental process clear and severe as 



a mathematical demonstration. But few were capr.blc ( f 
comprehending the operations ot his mind, and thev only were, 
therefore, competent to judge correctly of them. The masses 
'had not his mechanical intuition and enthusiasm. 

He was one of the earliest, fastest and most valued friends of 
Samuel Slater, and assisted him in the construction of the first 
machine ever made in America for spinning cotton by water 

He was trulv an unselfish man. He identified his own 
individual prosperity with the prosperity of the place in which he 
resided. In benefitting himself, he benefitted the community 
and vice versa. It has been said ot Sir Christopher Wren, that 
if any one wished to see his monument, let him go into St. Paul's 
Cathedral, London, and look around. If any one wants to see 
the monument of David Wilkinson let him visit the place where 
he had lived, and look around. 

He was particularly attentive to young men. It he saw one 
of ability and industry and good habits, he would notice and 
encourage him. And many a young man, by his fostering care, 
has acquired wealth and taken an elevated position in society. 
And he was hardly less happy than the young man. 

He was good to the poor. I have often gone to him for the 
widow and the fatherless in their affliction, and he has opened his 
pocket-book and said to me, — '"Take what you want, and, if you 
find you have not enough, come and get more.' He enjoined it 
upon me to look after the needy, as he had not leisure to do so, 
and to call upon hnn tor aid. I did as I was directed. I have 
lepcatetilv called upun him tor means to help the destitute, and 
I never called in vain. 

He was a mason. One ot the tounders ot Union Lodge, 
Pawtucket. For many years he was its generous and cordial 
supporter. He was always its firm and reliable friend. He 
understood well the principles of the traternity. He looked 
beyond the external trappings and regalia. He saw and felt their 
moral significance. Hence he stood firm, when some quailed and 
fled before the storm ot the Morgan excitement. 

He was born and bred up in the faith of the Friends or Quakers, 
and always had a great respect for them. In mid life, he connected 
himself with the Episcopal Church. He was one of the principal 
founders of St. Paul's Church in the village of Pawtucket, and 
was one of its largest supporters tor years. He labored for its 
spiritual prosperity. He took a deep interest in the Sunday School 
connected with the church, visited it when it was in session, 
went from class to class and spoke a word of affection to teachers 
and scholars. He encouraged children to attend the Sunday 
School. I recollect during a season of hard times, there were 
some poor children that could not attend for want of comfortable 


apparel. He directed me to see them properly clothed on his 
account. I did so. This is but one item of what he did for the 
Sunday School. He was always ready and willing to aid. 

At Wilkinsonville, Sutton, Mass., where he had a large 
property, and there was no place for the public worship of God, 
he built a church and supported a minister, I believe, at his own 

When he removed from Pawtucket to Cohoes, N. Y., he 
built a church and supported a minister mainly at his own cost. 
Wherever he located himself, his paramount concern was to 
have a house for the worship ot God. 

Although he was a decided churchmin, he was no hio-ot. He 
loved all Christians and rejoiced at their prosperity. He was 
ever ready and willing to lend a helping hand to Christian 
communities that stood in need. The late venerable Nicholas 
Brown, ot Providence, spoke in terms of high commendation of 
his liberality to a poor Baptist church. He g.i\'e the lot on which 
the Catholic church stands in the village of Pawtucket. 

He was a true patriot. If he was now (1862) alive, his 
means, and influence, and hands, and heart, would be tor the 
Union ; and, if an old man were wanted as a sacrifice to lav upon 
the altar of his country, the victim would be ready." 

David Wilkinson died at Caledonia Springs, in the County of 
Prescott, Canada West, on the 3d day of Feb., 1852, and his 
remains were brought to Pawtucket and entombed in the Family 

Note. — The following is an extract from the report of the 

Senate Committee on Military Affairs — consisting of Rusk of 

Texas, Lewis Cass of Michigan, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, 

John A. Dix of New York and Thomas Benton of Missouri : 

" Apprfxiation of David Wilkinson as an inventor by 


In Senate of the United States March 28, I848. Mr. Rusk 
made the following report; — It appears that David Wilkinson, 
the petitioner, obtained in the year 1798, letters patent for the 
discovery of a machine for cutting iron,&c., called the guage or 
slide lathe." The inventor of this valuable improvement was, 
during the fourteen years to which the duration of his patent 
right was limited, occupied for the most part, in the manufacture 
of cannon for the navy, and perfecting the iron power loom 

DAllD niLKINSON. 519 

which has contributed so much to our national wealth and 
prosperity. Owing to these circumstances, and, perhaps in part 
to the inattention to matters of detail which too often characterize 
men of aenius, and ignorance of the requisitions of the law, the 
memorialist omitted to obtain in 181 2, when his original patent 
expired, a renewal of the right, which, under the cicumstances, 
would have been, without doubt, granted. Being thus left open 
to general use, an invention so vastly important in its character 
could not fail to be sought after, not only by the public at large, 
but also bv the agents of the government engaged in the fabrication 
of arms of various descriptions -, and hence we find that the guage 
and sliding lathe was early introduced and made use of in all of 
the arsenals and armories of the United States. Of the great 
utility, or rather indispensableness of the machine, in turning and 
forming the various portions of fire-arms of diilerent descriptions, 
the most conclusive evidence is found in the numerous 
communications from officers belonging to the ordinance 
department, and others high in command, which accompany the 
petition, all of which go to show the vast saving of labor and 
expense which has been ef^^ected by its introduction. * * * 
In the case now under consideration, the committee find a most 
powerful and striking illustration of the force of American genius; 
but unfortunately, the country at large has been permitted to enjoy 
the advantages growing out of an invention, which, in the opinion 
of a distinguished mechanist, has given to man, weak as he is, 
the power of the horse in propelling machinery and causing the 
hardest metals to yield to his skill, while the gifted individual to 
whom we are indebted for it, has failed to reap any adequate 
advantage from it. Through the agency of this invention, of which 
the memorialist is the true and undisputed author, the national 
government has been enabled to efi^ect objects scarce attainable 
by other means, or, if within their reach, not to be procured unless 
at a cost that can scarcely be calculated. If it be urged that 
the inventor might have secured to himself the benefits of his 
discovetv, for a time at least, by applying at the proper period for 
a renewal of his patent, and that he has himself to blame for his 
failure to realize pecuniary profit from it, the answer is plain and 
conclusive. The fault of the petitioner, if any blame can attach 
to him, has been that he cared more for extending the field of 
human knowledge, and thus benefittitig mankind, than for the 
comparatively secondary consideration of enriching himself. Again 
his failure to secure a renewal of his patent right, however iujurious 
to himself, has been eminently beneficial to the world at large, 


and most especially to the government of his country, which, as 
the committee is informed, has at present in use nearly two 
hundred ot these lathes in the public workships, constructed at a 
cost much less than the sum which would have been demanded 
by the original patentee, had he retained his exclusive privilege. 

The Committee have bestowed much attention on the subject, 
and have been induced to adopt the opinion, that David Wilkinson, 
as the inventor of the guage and sliding lathe, the government, 
as well as the country at large, owes a debt of iiratitude not to be 
easily estimated, and that the least that the government can do, is to 
manifest, however inadequately, by a pecuniary compensation, the 
sense entertained of the obligation under which the nation is 

Under these impressions, the Committee recommend the 
passage of the accompanying bill. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assefnbled. 

That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby 
authorized and required to cause to be paid to David Wilkinson 
the sum of $io,000, as a remuneration to him for the benefit 
acruing to the public service for the use of the principle of the 
guage and sliding lathe o^ which he was the inventor, now in use 
in the workshops <:>f the government at the different national 
arsenals and armories." 

This bill was passed in the Senate in fune, and in the House 
of Representatives in August, 1848. 

In conclusion we would say that David Wilkinson is entitled 
to the honor and credit of inventing two of the most important 
and useful machine