no # 5
3 1833 01796 8865
Digitized by the Internet Archive
COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND .
BLISHA R. POTTER.
Author of the Early History of Narragansett
SIDNEY S. RIDER
SIDNEY S. RIDER.
Xvkc /between, Kingstturfv and East Qr eenrrlch
Remains of Habitations **■• v
Of the numerous French settlements in America, those
in Canada, Maine, and some others, probably had their
origin in the love of enterprise and adventure. But the
motives which produced the settlements in Rhode Island,
Massachusetts, and the Southeastern States were, in a great
measure, religious. The reformation which took place in
the sixteenth century was attended with almost unceasing
wars and civil convulsions. The principle of tolerating all
religious opinions to the utmost limit consistent with the
preservation of public morality and order, was then almost
unknown. Religion was regarded by all governments as a
part of the machinery of state, and to attack the established
church was of course rebellion against the powers that were.
The Lutheran reformation soon spread over Europe. In
France the protestants were generally known by the name
of Huguenots. The origin of this name is not certainly
In 1562 the dissensions between the two religious parties
in France had arisen to such a height that an open war broke
out between them. The Catholic party for the greater
part of the time from the beginning of the troubles until
the repeal of the Edict of Nantes and the expulsion of the
protestants from France, had the advantage of having all the
power of the civil government exerted in their favor. The
war continued with more or less violence until 1572, when
the leaders of the protestant party having been invited to
Paris on pretense of bringing about a general reconciliation,
the ever memorable massacre of St. Bartholomew took place.
In this massacre seventy thousand protestants, including
almost all the leaders of the party, fell victims to the bloody
spirit of religious persecution.
6 HISTOEICAL TRACT.
The Catholics in France and at Rome celebrated this event
with thanksgivings and jubilees, and medals were struck to
commemorate their victory.
This massacre took place in the reign of Charles the
Ninth, and during the remainder of his reign the conscien-
tious protestants enjoyed no rest. Henry the Third, who
was supposed to favor protestantism, was assassinated in
1589. Henry the Fourth succeeded, and quiet was restored
to the nation for a time.
Henry the Fourth, who before his coming to the throne of
France had been King of Navarre, had been educated a pro-
testant, and was naturally inclined to favor their cause. On
his accession, from motives of policy, the greater part of
his subjects being attached to the Church of Rome, he made
a public profession of the Catholic religion, but he was of
too enlarged a mind to lend himself to be the instrument of
oppression to any party and to endanger the peace of France
and the stability of the government, by a vain endeavor to
produce a uniformity of religious opinion.
In the year 1598 he published the celebrated Edict of
Nantes, so called from the city of Nantes where it was
signed. By this a free toleration was granted to the protes-
tants in matters of religious opinion ; the offices of the state
were made accessible to them; funds were allowed them for
the maintenance of their worship ; and for a further secur-
ity to them against the malice of their persecuting foes
and against any sudden change of policy in the govern-
ment, certain cities were assigned to them as places of
refuge and defence.
The giving to the protestants the control of certain por-
tions of the kingdom seems inconsistent with all modern
notions of religious freedom. It may have been justified by
the turbulent state of the times. But it laid the foundation
of much of the subsequent troubles.
FKENCH SETTLEMENTS IN KHODE ISLAND. 7
During the whole of this prince's reign the terms of the
Edict were faithfully adhered to. He perished by assassin-
ation in 1610, and with him the hopes of the protestants for
security in time to come.
During the succeeding reign of Louis the Thirteenth, the
Edict of Nantes was several times solemnly reaffirmed, and
the confirmation by Louis the Thirteenth, dated March 12,
1615, is especially remarkable for its expressions of liberal-
ity and toleration of religious differences.
Had the protestants been governed by wise and moderate
councils, their fate might have been different. But they
bitterly assailed Henry the Fourth, for his change of relig-
ion, and they suffered themselves to become the victims and
tools of ambitious nobles whose only motive was to obtain
power in the state for themselves. The ambition of the
nobles to control the government was, for several genera-
tions, the source of almost constant civil war, and although
religion was generally the pretext, yet it was sometimes
merely a pretence, and frequently not unmixed with politi-
cal motives. Louis the Thirteenth laid siege to Rochelle,
which had become practically almost independent" , and it
was compelled to surrender in 1629. But even then the
free exercise of their religion was guaranteed to them by
the Edict of Grace, signed by Cardinal Richelieu, f
But the strength of the Huguenots as a party was now
broken, and in 1685 Louis the Fourteenth, under the influ-
ence of the clergy, repealed the Edict of Nantes. The
open profession of the reformed religion was prohibited,
the ministers of the reformed faith compelled to leave the
kingdom, and a series of persecutions commenced which
drove away from their country a large proportion of the
reformed ; in effect, all those who preferred the enjoyment
*Weiss's History of the French Protestant Refugees, i,, 48.
tWeiss's " " " " " i., 48. 50.
8 HISTORICAL TRACTS.
of their own religious opinions to compliance with the re-
ligion of the state. This was a blow to the prosperity of
France from which it was long in recovering. The perse-
cuted fled to England, Holland, Geneva, Brandenburgh and
America. The number has been variously estimated ;
sometimes as high as a million. They were not of the
poorer or more ignorant classes of society. They com-
prised within their ranks a large portion of the wealth, in-
telligence, and enterprise of the country, and were gladly
welcomed by the nations to which they fled, as a valuable
acquisition not only to their numbers, but to their intellect-
ual resources and manufacturing industry.
Those who settled at New Rochelle in the State of New
York, in New York city, on the James River in Virginia,
on the Santee River and in Charleston, South Carolina, came
over during the troubles which preceded and followed the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and from the same mo-
tives which prompted the settlements made in Massachusetts
and Rhode Island. Among their descendants were many
who took an active part in our American Revolution, and
who were otherwise distinguished as statesmen or public
benefactors. It will suffice to mention the names of Jay,
Laurens, Manigault, Marion, and Boudinot.
Within a few years after the repeal of the Edict, the set-
tlement in Massachusetts was made by about thirty French
families. They received a grant of ten or twelve thousand
acres of land in the township of Oxford, from the proprie-
tors of the township, and there they continued to live and
the settlement flourished until about 1696, when, harassed
by attacks from the Indians and the settlers, they were scat-
tered over the country. Most of them went to Boston.
As they had fled to this country for the sake of religious
opinion, it may naturally be supposed that after their arrival
here, they would maintain and respect the ordinances of re-
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 9
ligion. While at Oxford they maintained a minister of their
own sect, and when they had removed to Boston they built
and for a long time supported a church in which services
were performed in their vernacular tongue. Here, as else-
where, they and their descendants were of respectable con-
dition in society, and some have left behind them good and
great names which will long be remembered. For a more
particular account of this settlement reference may be made
to a very able and learned Essay on the History of the
French Protestants, by Rev. Abiel Holmes of Cambridge.*
♦Massachusetts Historical Collections, volume xxii.
Pa a2 Colli n
J) ech an/jit.
B erf in, dillarvndt.
The freat ~R<&d thxt
~P citer j4yiza*jJ>t
SzacAiel Carre Jfirvistr*
htffovu. lots that tesuis to the yreatfrUurmtto tAe-waxftoBoston,
La terrepewZ 'ervUe
JLa Veue Cjlay
THE FRENCHTOWN SETTLEMENT.
October 12, 1686, Richard Wharton, Elisha Hutchinson,
and John Saffin, a committee of the so-called Proprietors of
the Narragansett Country, made an agreement with Ezechiel
Carre, Peter Le Breton, and other French emigrants, for the
settlement of a plantation in the Narragansett Country, to be
called Newberry, but subsequently the location was changed
on account of its remoteness from the shore, and by another
agreement, dated November 4, 1686, the proprietors or
Bay Purchasers agreed to convey to the emigrants a tract in
the township of Rochester,* "above ye Long Meadow Kicka-
meeset about Capt. John fones his house wherein Each Fam-
ily yt desires it shall have one hundred acres of upland in
two Divisions viz A house lott Containing twenty Acres
being twenty Rods broad in ye front laid out in due ord*
wth Street or high way of Six Rods broad to run between
ye sd lotts upon wch they shall front. Secondly yt ye
Second division to make Sd hundred acres of upland shall be
laid out on ye Western Side of ye Sd house lotts as near as
ye Land will bear yt all ye Sd Meadow wth yt wch lieth
Adjacent between ye Southern Purchase & a west line yt is
to run from John Androes Northern Corner above ye Path
shall be divided into one hundred parts each one to have his
proportion according to ye quantity of Land he shall take
up & Subscrib for yt there shall be laid out for ye Sd Mr.
Ezechiel Carre ye pr. sent Minister one hundred and fifty
acres of upland & meadow in ye same manner proportiona-
ble Gratis to him & his heires forevr & one hundred acres
of upland & meadow proportionable to an Orthodox Protes
tant Ministrey & fifty acres of like land towards the main-
*This was the new name given to Kingstown, in June, 16S6, bv the
Government of Dudley, the predecessor of Andros. See Early History
of Narragansett, page 106.
tainance of a Protestant School master for ye Town f orevr ' '
The copy of the agreement is signed by Wharton, Hutch-
inson, and Saffin, and deeds were to be executed when the
terms were complied with. The names of the French set-
tlers who signed the counterpart were probably the same as
those which appear on the plat, viz. :
Ezechiel Carre, Ministre
La Veue Galay
Bertin dit Laronde
Moize le Brun
*In presenting these names, we have faithfully followed the manu-
script copy which has been furnished us from the British State Paper
Office, both as to the division of words or the use of capitals. Errors
may possibly have arisen in transcribing, but they must have oc-
curred before the document reached us.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 13
It is impossible from the plat to locate the place of settle-
ment exactly, but the tradition in the Mawney family and in
the neighborhood points to the Mawney farm and the land
around and north of the Briggs corners, so called, as being
the site of it. On the northerly part of the Mawney farm in
the southeast corner of East Greenwich, is a place by a spring
which has always been known as the French orchard. Here
are the remains of foundations of cabins or huts, shell banks,
etc. , and in my youth there were the remains of trees said to
have been planted by the French. Whether this was so or
not, the place is well identified as having always gone by that
name, and the country around it has always been known as
Frenchtown. The land is now owned by Robert G. Mawney.
At a place south of the road leading east from the Briggs
corners after crossing the river, are also the apparent remains
of cellars, or foundations of small houses, where was proba-
bly another collection of dwellings, as they would naturally
at first build their temporary habitations near each other for
mutual assistance and protection.
The highways upon the French plat do not agree with any
highways upon the East Greenwich plat, which is the one by
which the present titles to land there are held.
Dr. Ayrault in his memorial, says that the English ran
two highways through his land, and that Thomas Matteson
fenced in a part of it, and Samuel Bennett and William
Weaver built upon it, and from the position of these names
upon the East Greenwich plat, the probability is that Dr.
Ayrault' s land was at the Johnson four corners, next north
of the Briggs corners.
Dr. Ayrault says that the settlement consisted of forty-
five families, and that they soon built twenty-five houses and
a church. They had laid out lots for a church and a school
and a lot for the minister, Ezechiel Carre. They began to
improve their land, then a wilderness of woods and rooks,
14 HISTOEICAL TRACT.
and seem to have been suffered to remain there without any
serious difficulty for several years. When subsequently war
broke out between France and England, the French settlers
were, by resolution of the General Assembly, of March 3,
1689-90,* allowed to remain unmolested on their taking an
oath to comply with the conditions prescribed in the King's
Proclamation of War.
In the summer of 1687 the English settlers mowed the
grass on the bog meadows, and Governor Andros made an
order for the division of it, one-half to the English claimants
and the other half to ' ' the French families there, who being
strangers and lately settled, and wholly destitute and have
no other way to supply themselves. ' ' f Dr. Ay rault does
not mention this in his memorial.
But about two years after this, more serious troubles be-
gan between them and the English inhabitants, which led to
the breaking up of the settlement and the removal of nearly
all. Dr. Ayrault states that two familes removed to Boston
and the rest to New York, but it is well known that the Le-
moines (Mawneys) and Targes (Tourgees) remained there,
and Dr. Ayrault himself remained in East Greenwich for
several years afterwards and finally removed to Newport,
and was one of the first promoters of the foundation of the
Episcopal Church there. $
To a person unacquainted with Rhode Island history, it
may seem strange that any dissension should arise between
the English settlers, many of whom had been driven from
Massachusetts on account of their religion, and a number of
French settlers who had been obliged to leave their country
for the same cause. They were alike, protestants and all,
contending for the largest liberty of conscienee.
*R. I. Colonial Records, iii., 264.
tMassachusetts Historical Collections, third series, volume vii.,
182. Early History Narragansett, 220.
+See Arnold's Rhode Island, volume i., Appendix G.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 15
But there were land speculators and rings in those days
as well as now, and then as now some of the leaders stood
high in the church.
The charter of Rhode Island of 1663 had secured to Rhode
Island certain limits. But for all the outer borders of their
territory they had for many years to contend with Connec-
ticut and Massachusetts. It was not until 1746 that Rhode
Island gained possession of the eastern portion of their char-
ter grant ; the western portion, and especially the Narragan-
sett country, was the subject of continual conflict; Rhode
Island did not acquire peaceable possession of it until 1707;
the boundary was not actually settled until the decision of
the King in council in 1728.
This conflict of jurisdiction gave rise to great confusion in
claims to lands.
In June and July, 1659, Major Humphrey Atherton and
his associates, afterwards known, sometimes as the Atherton
company, and again as the Bay Purchasers, purchased from
the Indian sachems two large tracts of land, Quidneset and
Boston Neck. These were called the northern and southern
purchases. They included some of the most valuable lands
in the west part of the Colony, both from quality of soil and
from their advantageous situation, on Narragansett Bay.
This company consisted at first of Major Humphrey Ath-
erton, of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, Governor of Con-
necticut, Richard Smith, Sen., and R. Smith, Jr., of Wick-
ford, William Hudson and Amos Richardson, of Boston,
and John Tinker, of Nashaway.* Major Atherton had
been employed by Massachusetts in negotiating with the In-
dians, and having been for several years superintendent of
the praying Indians, he had thus acquired an influence with
them. They made offers of land to Roger Williams to in-
* Potter's Early History of Narragansett, 269, 58.
16 HISTORICAL TRACT.
duce him to become one of the company, but he refused
and informed them that their purchases were illegal.* It
will be seen that the company was so formed as to combine
different influences, and included besides persons from
Massachusetts and Connecticut, some from Rhode Island.
Subsequently Wharton, Saffin, Edward Hutchinson, and
others, became interested in the purchases, f
But the trouble about the Frenchtown lands grew out of
another transaction. The commissioners of the United
Colonies had undertaken to impose a fine upon the Indians
in the jurisdiction claimed by Rhode Island, and on non-
payment, had sent a military force and compelled the Narra-
gansett sachems to execute a mortgage, September 29, 1680,
of their whole country to them. J The Indians not paying
the fine, the Atherton company paid it for them, and the
sachems made a new mortgage of the whole country to the
company, conditioned to pay the money in six months. On
the expiration of that time two sachems, with some other
Indians, in September, 1662, delivered formal possession by
turf and twig, to the Atherton partners. How much the
Indians knew of the effect of these proceedings may be im-
agined. It was nothing but a mere farce.
The Rhode Island Legislature afterwards, in 1672, con-
firmed the Boston Neck and Quidneset purchases, § but they
never acknowledged the validity of this mortgage. If these
lands were within the limits of the Rhode Island charter, as
they were afterwards decided to be, then all these proceed-
ings were wholly void. The Atherton claim had been re-
jected by Governor Andros, and the Atherton company had
petitioned the English government for a grant of land to
* Roger Williams's Letter to Major Mason. See Early History of
Narragansett, page 162.
t Early History of Narragansett, 269, etc.
X Early History of Narragansett, 60, 234.
§ Early History of Narragansett, 214, 77.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 17
include the land they had sold to the French. But it does
not appear that they ever obtained it. *
It was under their claim to hold the Narragansett country
by this mortgage, that the Atherton company had made the
grant to the French settlers in 1686.
Nine years before this time, in October, 1677, the Legis-
lature of Rhode Island had made a grant of this territory
and established a township, then and still known as East
Greenwich, f and it was platted out to the settlers. %
These facts are sufficient to enable us to account for the
On the 22d of April, 1700, we learn from the Colonial
Recordsg that a court of enquiry had been held in Kings-
town to enquire into* a riot there, and that Dr. Ayrault's
son Daniel and several Englishmen were fined for participa-
tion in it. The General Assembly afterwards set aside a
part of the proceedings as illegal. But Dr. Ayrault was
tried before the General Court of Tryals at Newport, Sep-
tember 3, 1700, for nuisance and was ordered to open the
highways, meaning of course the highways as laid out by
the English settlers. Dr. Ayrault says, that they opened
the highways through his land in two directions. This fart
seems to aid us in identifying the Johnson four-corners, as
the location of the land he occupied.
* Arnold's Rhode Island, i. 505, 507.
t A resolution of the Rhode Island Legislature to establish the
Greenwich settlement had been passed at an earlier date, but in Octo-
ber, 1677, a special grant of the township was made to certain persons
by name. Peleg Sanford and Benjamin Speere were appointed to sur-
vey it. John Smith, of Newport, was afterwards appointed in place
of Speere. In 1700, the original plat being lost, a copy was proved
and established by the General Assembly. The plat now in existence
bears date 1716, and was made by William Hall, surveyor. R. I. Col.
Rec, vol. ii., 574, and vol. iii., 7, 26, 51, 403.
X Potter's Early History of Narragansett, pp. no, ill.
§R. I. Col. Rec, iii., 413. Potter's Early History of Narragansett,
18 HISTORICAL TRACT
In 16 87, a French protestant visited New England, and
examined the country with a view to ascertain and report
upon its advantages for settlement. Some of his letters
were published for the first time in the Bulletin Historique
of the Societe de l'Historie du Protestantisme Francais, in
February, 1867. They were translated by E. T. Fisher,
and published in the Liberal Christian, a newspaper published
in New York, and since re-published in a quarto pamphlet,
at Brooklyn, New York, in 1868, under the title of "Report
of a French Protestant Refugee in Boston, 1687."
He made a visit to the French settlement in Rhode Island,
but unfortunately the letter written in December, 1687, in
which he gave an account of it, is lost. In another letter,
November, 1687, he briefly mentions it thus: "There are at
Narragansett about one hundred persons of the faith. M.
Carre* is their minister."
This is all the information we can obtain in regard to the
settlement. Several families remained in Rhode Island
without being disturbed : two families at least in the very
neighborhood where the strife occurred : thus showing that
the trouble did not grow out of their nationality. In a sub-
sequent part of this memoir, we shall give an account of
several of the families of the Frenchtown settlement, and of
some other French settlers in Rhode Island.
It is with great difficulty that their descendants can now
be traced, so great have been the changes and corruptions
of the names. Two or three such have already been noted,
*A sermon by M. Carre was printed at Boston in 1689, under the fol-
lowing title, "The charitable Samaritan, a sermon on the tenth chap-
ter of Luke, verses 30-85. Pronounced in the French Church at Bos-
ton, by Ezechiel Carre, formerly Minister of Rochechalais, (sic) in
France, now Minister of the French Colony on Narrraganset, trans-
lated into English, by N. Walter." This title is taken from the Brinley
Catalogue. The little volume found its way from the Brinley sale to
the Library of Congress-
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 19
for instance, Le Moine became Money and still later Mawney;
Ganeaux became Gano; Daille became Daily or Daly;
Targe became Tourgee. Many others might be shown, but
these suffice to explain the difficulty in following them.
Upon the breaking up of the Narragansett settlement, many
of the settlers went to the southern states. Among those
who probably thus again emigrated were Pierre Collin,
Daniel Jouet, Moyez Le Brun, Daniel Le Gendre, Louis de
St. Julien, and Legree.
RELATING TO THE
COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND,
BRITISH STATE PAPER OFFICE, LONDON.
THE CONTRACT WITH THE BAY PURCHASERS.
Whereas there was Articles of Agreement made & Con-
cluded Between Richd Wharton Esqr Elisha Hutchinson &
John Saffin ye Committee for ye propriety of ye &arra-
ganstt Country and Ezekiell Carre Peter Berton & othrs
french Gentlemen their friends & Associates whose names
are thereunto Subscribed Bearing date ye 12th day of
Octor last Concerning ye Settlement of a Place called New-
berry Plantations in ye Narraganstt Country wch upon Sec-
ond Consideration in regard of ye Remoateness of ye same
from ye Sea they have by ye Mutual Consent of ye Sd
Committee declined ye Settlement of ye Sd Planta-
tion & ye Sd Master Ezekiell Carre Master Berton in be-
halfe of themselves & othrs their friends & Associates who
have hereunto Subscribed are now Come to & have made a
new Agreemt In manner and forme following this 4th day
of Nouembr 1686 Annoqr R R S Jacobi Secundi Anglia &
Imprimus That ye Sd Richd Wharton Esqr Capt Elisha
Hutchinson & John Saffin ye aforesd Committee do by these
Prsents Couenant Grant & Agree to & wth ye Sd Ezekiell
Carre Peter Berton French Gentlemen their friends & As-
sociates who have hereunto Subscribed to lay out A meet <£
Considerable tract of Land in ye Township of Rochester*
above ye Long Meadow Kickameeset about Capt John fones
his house wherein Each Family yt desires it shall have one
hundred Acres of upland in two Divisions viz A house lott
Containing twenty Acres being twenty Rods broad in ye
front laid out in due ordr wth Street or high way of Six
Rode broad to run between ye Sd lotts upon wch they shall
*See note, page 13.
24 HISTORICAL TRACT
front Secondly yt ye Second devission to make ye Sd hun-
dred acres of upland shall be laid out on ye Western Side
of ye Sd house lotts as near as ye Land will bear
yt all ye Sd Meadow wth yt wch Heth Adjacent be-
tween ye Southern Purchase and a west line yt is to
run from John Androes Northern Corner above ye
Path shall be divided into one hundred parts each
one to have his proportion according to ye quantity of Land
he shall take up & Subscrib for yt there shall be laid out for
ye Sd Mr Ezekiel Carre ye p r sent Minister one hundred &
fifty acres of upland & meadow in ye same manner propor-
tionable Gratis to him & his heires forevr & one hundred
acres of upland & meadow proportionable to an Orthodox
Protestant Ministrey and fifty acres of like land towards the
Maintainance of a Protestant Schoolmaster for ye Town
forevr yt for Every hundred Acres of Land be it upland or
meadow laid out in forme af oreSd each one shall pay pay unto
ye Sd Comittee or Assignes twenty pounds in Currant
money or in goods answrable to their satisfaction yt those
yt are not able to do or se cause at prsent to pay for their
Land they shall have three years time for payment at ye rate
of twenty-five pounds per hundred acres laid out as
aforeSd & So According to Proportion for wt Land they
shall take up & Subscribe for & in Case they doe not pay
wthin the tearme of three years each one shall pay interest
for ye Same at ye rate of Six per cent & for wt
money any one shall pay sooner it shall be abated accord-
ingly yt untill ye Sd Meadow be divided those yt inhabit
first on ye place in AforeSd Shall have the Benefitt of Im-
provemt & likewise of ye undivided Lands Adjacent untill
they be othrwise disposed yt upon payment of ye money for
ye Land as aforeSd & Leagall Deeds shall be Given Signed
& Sealed by ye Sd Committee to Each one According to his
Proportion of Land Granted in Wittness whereof the Parties
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND.
within mentioned have each for themselves Interchangable
Sett their hands & Seales the day and year above written
Signed Sealed & Delivered
by Mr. Hutchinson & Saffin
In the presence of
Walter Steuen Junr
Richard Wharton ( . )
Elisha Hutchinson ( . )
John Saffin ( . )
A true Coppy Extracted out
of ye Originall & Compaired
Octor ye 13th in ye year 1692
By me John Heath ConservaU*
[Indorsed] Coppy of Mr Wharton &c agreemt with Ezekiell
Carre &c for Settleing a town in the Narraganst
THE COMPLAINT AND REMONSTRANCE
The Complaint & Remonstrance of Petter Ayrault In Hab-
itant in ye French Town in Narraganstt of Some lregulari-
ties & Inhumanities Proceed upon him July 23th 1700 by
Some of ye Inhabitants of ye Town of East Greenwick in
Said Narraganstt Vizt
That upon ye 23th f Sd July, there Came unto my house
in Sd French Town after Sun Sett a great number of ye
town of Greenwick mixt wth some of Warrwick & Chante-
cutt who told me yt ye Court on ye othr side ye River wch
was keept at ye house of Pardon Tillinghast in Sd Town
desired to speak wth me I told them I was unwilling to go,
out of my house so late at night who Replyed we have a
Warrant & if you will not go fairly we will force you. Upon
wch I asked them for a Sight of their warrant & to Read
ye same to me wch ye Utterly Refused & putt ye same in
their Pocketts notwthstanding I was very Importunate wth
them to give me a Coppy of their warrant for my mony
w«h they absolutely Refused & Instantly laid their hands
upon me & dragged me to ye River Side & aft^wards ovr sd
river & placed me in their Court as they Called it at yt time
of Night where I was Interrogeted by them or most of them
of Sd Court my Reply to them was I was a Stranger & Un-
drstood not English & therefore desired I might have an In-
terpreter they told me I should have one, on ye Morrow Soe
they left me & my Son DanH at liberty upon Samll Bennetts
word yt I would answer it Next day wch accordingly I did
& Gave bond for my appearance to the next Court lett it be
FKENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 27
Consid r ed yt I was Sett upon In my own house at yt Unsea-
sonable time wth a Warrant wch they were ashamed to read
or give a Coppy of In fine my wife an aged Woman of Sixty
years of Age Infirm &|Sick Could not by all her Cryes &
Teares perswade them to Disiste but Contraywise did Strike
& flung hir on ye Pavement. -where she Continued Some
time for dead all wch I Conceive is not only UnNaturall &
Inhumaine & against all Law & Reason wch I Submit to a
Augusst 5th 1700
Allso ye Most Notorious & 111 behaviour of Samll Davis
& Abner Spencer to my Son Daniell Ayrault who they found
at my house ye Same time I was fetcht away & wthout cause
for ye same they tooke my Sd Son & Puling him out of my
house took by the head Feet carried him along some Part of
the way to said Tillinghast spoken of & flinging down on the
Stones Pulling him a long Giving him no reason for their so
doing and bringing him before their Court so called lett him
goe whose Complaint of Injustice to them no notice was
taken of, thus are we endangered of being ruened & De-
stroyed by Such lawles persons So I have great cause to seek
Newport August: 7: 1700 Doctor Pierre Ayrault appeared
before us whose names are here Under written whose are
Commissionated to hear and Enquire into ye Irregularityes
Cmomitted in ye Colony of Rhode Island & Provide Planta-
tions & Sd Ayrault haveing made his Complaint of Injustice
done him and haveing on the other Leafe Given it Under his
28 HISTORICAL TRACT
hand did upon his Corporall Oath before us aver it to be
ye Reall Truth.
Francis Brinley ^
Peleg Sanford V Commissions
Nath Coddington J
[Indorsed.] true Coppy of Pierre Ayrault Complaint of
July 23: 1700.
FURTHER COMPLANT AND REMONSTRANCE
May it Please yor Excellency
I Lately made bold to Lay before yor Excellency by Peti-
tion Some part of my grivances & wrongs done me on my
lands purchased in ye Narraganstt Country in ye Town of
Rochester of ye propriers thereof & have here given a short
and true Remonstrance of myself & Distressed Country peo-
ple Settlemt & ye sever H Occur ances and Passages they &
myself past thro there
Upon the fourth day of Nouembr 1686 Richard Wharton
Esqr &c & on our part our Ministr Ezekiel Carre & Peter
Berton agrees for a Sertain parsell of Land in Sd Narragan-
stt Country for Settling A Town thereon of an hundred
acres apiece to a family wch was done & Compleated or sev-
rell allotments laid out & a Coppy of ye Articles I make bold
to prsent yor Excellency wth, & wth a true Coppy of ye Piatt
of or severll Settlemt & Allotment as Laid out & we was
there Settled by ye then Propriers & Goverment who gaue
us oath of Alleagance we being about forty five five familys
building about twenty five houses wth Some Sellars in ye
Ground Setting up or Church & it being a very wilderness
Country fild altogether wth wood & stones & no former Im-
provements made thereon yt or Labour charge & trouble
was great but we had A Comfort we could then In joy or wor-
ship to God & had ye Governmts Protection to us in or Im-
provemts no prson disturbing us on our Labour no P r tend-
ing any claime to any of ye soile but they purchases of Sd
Lands by whom we were Setled we paying all takes to the
30 HISTORICAL TRACT
Government as was laid on us we peaceable Injoyed our
Lands and Improvements wthout any thing of ye least moles-
tation Under the then Goverment
The then Govermt being Removed we was then taken
Undr ye Govermt f ye Colony of Rhode Island &c who
seemed to treat us civelly also at ye first not Molesting us &
upon ye 20 of February 16g they Generll Court past an Act
yt we should be Sent for to Warwick by Majr John Green
one of the Assists whereby it should be signified unto us his
Majties Pleasure of an Act of Indulgance unto such french-
men as we, yt we Should be required to take ye Oath of Al-
leigance to his then prsent Majty wch according to Sd Genii
Court Act we were sent for to Warwick & Gave or oath of
Alleigance & had his Majties Act of Indulgence read to us &
a Promise of our Protection from Sd Govermt Undr or Lib-
ertys & Propertys
But the obseruance of Sd Act of Indulgence & ye Protect-
ing of us in or libertys & Propertys wee continued not two
years Undr Sd Govermt before we were molested by ye
Uulgar Sort of they People who flynging down of or fences
laying open our Lands to ruen Soe that all Benefitt thereby
we were Deprived thereof (ruen looked on us in a Dismall
State or wives & children liveing in fear of ye threats of
many unruly prsons) & wt Benefit we Expected from or Lands
for Subsistance was destroyed by Secretly Laying open or
fences by night & day & wt little we had prserued by flying
from france we had laid out undr ye then Improvements
looked so hard upon us to see ye Cryes of or wives & Child-
ren Lamenting their sad ^fate flying from Persecution and
Comeing Under his Majesties Gracious Indulgance And by
ye Governmt promised us yet we Ruened & when we Com-
plained to the Govermt we could have no relief altho some
would a helped us we Judge If by their Patience they could
a Born Such 111 Treatments as they must expect to a meet
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN EHODE ISLAND. 31
w th by ye Unruly Inhabitants their Settled also many of ye
English Inhabitants Compassionating or Condition would a
helped us but when they used any means therein they were
Evilly treated so yt these things did put us then upon looking
for a place of Shelter in or Disstresed Condition & hereing
yt many of or Distressed Country people had been protected
& well treated in Boston & Yorke some of or principale per-
sons went to Boston & York to seek out new Habitations
where ye Govermtts had Compassion of them & gave them
relief, & help to their wives & Children Subsistance
only two familys moveing to Boston & they rest to
New York & their bought Lands some of them & had
time given them for payment & so was they all forced away
from their Lands & houses orchards & vineyards taking some
small matter from some English people for somewt of their
Labour thus Leaveing all habitations some people got not any-
thing for their Labour & Improvemts but Greenwich men
who had given us ye disturbance giting on ye Land so Im-
proved in any way they Could & soon demolished & puld
down or Church.
But I being perswaded by many to stay & haveing fenced
in fifty Acres of Land purchased & made very good Im-
provements by a large Orchard Garden & Uineyard & a good
house was willing to keep my Settlement a bear all outrages
Comitted Against me wch furthr shall be related to, and as
many prsons who in their Sickness and Extremity would
send for me to Administer help unto them wch Under God's
Goodness I have been a help to raise many from Extream
Sickness yet have they soon forgot my Labour & rewarded
me wth Endeavours to root me out of my habitations & by
flynging down my fences yt I might not have any Subsist-
ance by my Land these Endeavors not succeeding in all
their Endeavours and othr Contrivance was against me
Upon the 25 of Janr 169 i one Giles Pearse & John Smith
32 HISTOEICAL TRACT
agreed togeathr in a Clandistine manner to gitt me out of
my habitation & Improvemts & for yt end Sd Pearse sells
one part of my Land about twenty five Acres to Sd Smith
in Sd Deed Containing my houses orchards Gardens & most
part of ye best of my Improved Lands & in Sd Deed was
allso Comprehended ye habitations to houses & Lands of
three othi' persons then Liveing on Sd Lands this being
about tenn years after or Settlements & Improvemts as men-
tioned Sd deed takeing in Ninety Acres of Lands (as men-
tioned all w*hin fences & Improvements ) & ye same day
ye deed was Signed and Sealed & ye witnesses spoken to not
to Deuvlge their secreed act the same day they went to
Greenwich both Smith & Pearse before a Justice of ye Peace
one John Heath & acknowledged it to be their act before
Sd Justice & ye 27th day of Sd month Sd Justice of ye
Peace who had ye records of Greenwich placed Sd deed on
record & Sd Justice herein was privy & Knowing to ye Sd
Clandistine Acts of Sd Pearse & Smith who certainly knew
ye sale of ye Land Undr wt Circumstances ye were undr
After this Sd Smith & Adherance gave me much trouble &
ye rest of us puling down or fences &> I complained to ye
Authority neuer could find relief I Keeping my house yt
ye Could not have any Opportunity to Enter in (to dispossess
me & these Actiones not takeing Effect for in my distress
many of Neighbours did Comfort me) yt their would be
some relief from ye Crown to me & they Propriers of Sd
Country & then anothr projecet was put in Execution
against me for as I have declared Greenwich men at their
pleasure Extended their lines* time aftr time without any
*Dr. Ayrault complains that the English kept encroaching on them.
He does not seem to have had the least knowledge that there was a
dispute as to the title to the lands. So far from encroaching on them,
there is not the least evidence that the bounds of the grant made to
the English settlers by the Colony, of Rhode Island were ever changed
in that neighborhood. Farther east they were changed, and the State
Records give the particulars.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 33
authority as I Understand from ye Propriety f Sd Country
or ye Genii Court & took in at last all ye French Town &
upon ye 14th f febr U±Z Greenwich & Severll of ye Town
of Warwick wth a Plat of such a parsell of land wch they
Called Greenwich Township prsents it to ye Generll As-
sembly ye Assembly Confirms ye Lands comprehended in
Sd Plat to be wthin Greenwich Township wth ut Considnng
yt Greenwich had Intrenched upon ye othr towns adjoyning
& they haveing ye Jurisdiction soon set to work for my
Kuen in anoth 1 ' way in wt ye Could
And as I have now Sd & given an accoutt of my Settlmt
fenceing & Improvements & so about fourteen years affer
upon ye 23 of July 1700 two of ye Assists of Warwick
(viz) Benjn Barton and Benjn Smith came to ye new Town-
ship of Greenwich wch had Swallowed up all ye french
Town bringing wth them a number of Warwick & Green-
wich men & at ye house of one Pardon Tillinghast one
of ye houses in ye french Town there they held a Court
of Enquiry as they called it one Capt John Fones wth
Severll othi's hereing of Sd Appointed Court came to
Inspect into their Proceedings & Capt John Fones took
an accott thereof of yt days Proceedall whilest he
was their wth his oath given to ye same a true
Coppy Thereof I have allso here laid before yoi' Ex-
cellency also a true Coppy how I was dealt wth yt
Evenin aftr Sun Down how there came to my house
a great Numb 1 * of Greenwich & Warwick people &
wthout shewing me any warrant for wt they
Came for draging me Away to their Court house & ye result
of ye Court ye next day & how by their Plat obtained by
ye Assembly in ye month of February 1699 before past they
sett out two highways to run throughy Land & hound me
in a bond to the next Court wch by ye Gov^s Warrant £
othrs Signing wth him afterwards was laid out one of Sd high-
34 HISTORICAL TRACT
ways on one Side of my Land ye whole Length thereof Run-
ing through my orchard ten Rod in wideth destroying my
orchard part of wch Land one Thos Mattison have since
fenced in & Improves & ye othr highway they ordred to run
athirt my Land takeing away about twenty acres of my
Land ye wch one Samll Bennett & Wm Weaver have built
thereon & Improves Sd Land so yt of my fifty Acres I haue
about twenty Acres left me & ye (known highway) or Road
into ye Country yt all ways was & lay on ye othr Side of
my Sd Land since Sd Action ye Widow Smith widow of
ye Sd John Smith herein mentioned have fenced in every
part thereof setting a house on Part of Sd highway & no
notice taken thereof thus I can but in a Brief give yor Ex-
cellency a short Accott of Part of my trouble & Pray all En-
deavours may be used to give Relief to your Distressed &
most Humble Seruant
Greenwich August 20: 1705.
[Indorsed.] Doctor Ayrault remonstrance of his Troubles.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE COURT
FEENCHTOWN, JULY 23, 1700.
Narrag:st Att a Court held at ye House of Pardon Til-
linghast att ye French Town or Plantation so called in Kings
Province July 23 1700.
Mr Benjn Barton Assist
Mr Benjn Smith Assist
Mr John Spencer Justice
Mr John Heath Clerke
Mr Thomas Fry Attorney
The Jury returned but not by the Sheriff (viz)
Mr Peter Greene Foreman
Mr Benjn Greene
Mr Jabesh Greene
Mr Amos Stafford
Mi* Jeremiah Westcot
Mr Othenell Gorton
Mr Samll Gorton Junr
Mr Charles Holdon
Mr Joseph Stafford
Mr John Potter
Mr John Burton
Mr Thos Burlingham
The Court being Sate ye Jury was called to take the it-
Engagements which was Administred unto them (but not
According to Form of ye Oath nor Engagement to a Grand
Enquest) wherein they were charged in Bhalfe'of or Souer-
36 HISTORICAL TEACT
aigne Lord the King to Enquire into ye High way's yt were
Stopped & Fenced in but not Nameing ye Town & to make a
returne to yt Court then Mr Attorney Placeing himself at
ye Upper End of ye Table at ye right hand of ye Justices
and Pulled out some papers & Desired ye Justices & Jury
to take Notice of w* he had to Lay before them then caused
an Act of an Assembly to be read by ye Clarke wherein was
granted 5000 Acres of Land to be Laid out in ye Narra-
ganset Country for ye Settling of an Town & This 5000
Acres Should be divided amongst Fifty persons whom
ye Sd Assembly did See cause to accommodate therewth to
be to them & their heirs & Assignes for evr: Provided they
did observe ye Prescriptions & Injunctions yt was laid upon
them by ye Sd Grant & perform ye same accordingly or
othi'ways to forfiet y e Sd lands Granted then was lead an
Ordr for ye Laying out ye Lands and Shewed a paper wch
they called a Platforme of those Lands laid out by them-
selves wthout form &■ wthout Scale or Compass or ye Sur-
uayers Name to it or mens to ye divisions Laid out or any-
thing of Sertainty in it for finding out ye highway but ac-
cording to wt those weh were ye Evidences given into
ye Jury w«h they doe Say & Aver to ye wch prsons at
yt time may be Known to be very Young & at yt time not
Capable to Know ye bounds nor Concernes of Each Divisions
as ye lines or bounds then were or where ye highways were
then ye Sd Attorney read an Ordr of their Town where
himself was by them Constituted & Appointed to be their
Attorney & it their behalf to Plead in any of his Majties
Courts of Judicature in defence of their rights & Priviledges
then he read a Coppy of a Letter he had Sent unto ye
Gov*' declaring their pretended agrieuances as yt there high-
ways was stopped & fenced in by some p'sons & desired their
might be a Court of Enquiry & a Jury to find out ye high-
ways & make returne thereof & then he read ye Governs
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 37
Answer to him yt it should be done accordingly then he
pleaded ye Lands & highways was laid out According to
Ordr & were recorded in their Booke of records & yt there
were Evidences yt would Shew unto y e Jury where ye high-
ways were but I did not see those Evidences Sworne ill
ye face of ye Court So ye Jury was sent forth & some of
Greenwich men went wth them then ye Court rise Up ab-
ruptly & disapated Untill their Dinner was Sett ready for
them then ye Jury was sent for to go to Dinner wth them
before they had agreed Upon A Verdict Aft'* Dinner some
private Consultation wth ye Jury they went out again &
staid out till Allmost night only I did obserue yt two pisons
of Sd Jury did come to advise wth ye Justices Privately in
ye Sd house & Aft r wards returned to their Fellows & neer
night as before Sd came and delivered their verdict wch was
as neer as 1 can remember in these words Following (viz)
Wee the Jury Inquiry for or Soueraigne Lord ye King doe
find yt Docter Peter Auralt has Presumptiously fenced in
ye highway according to Evidences Given to us & therefore
Guilty ye wch Sd Verdict ye Court did accept then did I
myself make a request unto ye Sd Court to Grant Mee A
Coppy of Sd Verdict wch I did in behalf of Docti* Peter An -
rait He being ye Object as I did understand they Pitched
upon according to Sd Verdict but could not obtain it Neither
was ye Sd Doct** called for to here ye Play made against him
nor ye Evidences given in Unto ye Jury nor their Verdict
when Delivered then ye Court rise up again abruptly & went
into ye house to Confer about some private Mattrs wch they
did Intend to Effect wch I wa s not aware of Neithr did I
think or Imagine any thing of wt they Intended wch aftr my
Departure they put in Practice as I am Informed but seeing
ye sun was neer Upon Setting & those of my Company being
desirous to returne home I went into ye house where ye Sd
Justices were & took my Leave of them w T ch as 1 do Conjee-
38 HISTOEICAL TRACT
ture they were glad to here of my departure they sent for
Sd Doctr Peter Auralt who Early ye next Morning came to
my house & gave me an accott of their injurious Actions
against him his son & wife wch their may be sever U Evidences
yt can testify to ye Truth therefore
Declared and Attested
per John Fones
Newport August :8:1700
Capt John Fones Came before us whose Names are Under
Written and Upon his Corporall Oath did declare that
ye wthin written paper to wch he hath sett his hand unto is
ye truth And nothing but ye truth Taken as Abovesaid
Francis Brinley \
Peleg Sanford V Commissions
Nathl Coddington j
[Indorsed] Capt Fones Euidence about Doctr Perre Ayrault
NOTE ON THE NARRAGANSETT PURCHASES
MASSACHUSETTS BAY PROPRIETORS.
The constant attempt of the authorities of Massachusetts
to interfere in the affairs of Rhode Island, and to subju-
gate the Indians and the chartered territory of the Rhode
Island Colony to her jurisdiction, deserve more than a pass-
ing notice, as they were the cause not only of the troubles
with the French emigrants, but of most of the early troubles
and sufferings of our ancestors. We should have had no
Indian wars with their attendant massacres, but for their
Their attempts to convert the Indians to Massachusetts
Christianity, were not looked upon with favor by the Rhode
Island authorities. These attempts were no doubt con-
sidered here as a part of a scheme to gain favor with the
Indians and establish authority over Narragansett. Roger
Williams made many efforts to Christianize the natives, but
with little success. In one of his letters dated 1654, he
says: " At my last departure for England, I was impor-
tuned by the Narragansett Sachems and especially by Nini-
gret, to present their petition to the High Sachems of Eng-
land, that they might not be forced from their religion, and
for not changing their religion to be invaded by war. For
they said they were daily visited by Indians that came from
the Massachusetts, that if they would not pray, they should
be destroyed by war."l Ninigret, on being requested by
Mayhew, to give him leave to preach to his people, bade him
go and make the English good first. They said it was too
difficult for them to understand. 2 The conduct of Christian
i. Potter's Early History Narragansett, 122, 154, 155.
2. Neal's New England, London, 1740, v. 1, p. 275.
40 HISTORICAL TRACT.
nations and people, was then as now, the greatest obstacle to
the spread of Christianity.
The ill feeling of the religious people of Massachusetts
towards the heretics of Rhode Island, was manifested in vari-
ous ways. When Rhode Island for her own protection
applied to be admitted into the Confederation of the Colo-
nies, she was repulsed. The refusal of the authorities of
Massachusetts to sell powder to the people of Rhode Island,
is but one example of the prevailing spirit. 1 This may have
been clone under a pretence of a general law. 2
They invaded the territory of Rhode Island at pleasure,
and made constant attempt to get the Rhode Island Indians
to submit to them. The Rhode Islanders and Indians were
generally on good terms. The great Indian war of 1676,
was considered by the people of Rhode Island, as brought
on by the misconduct of the English themselves. 3 The great
Sachem Miantonomo had been put to death by the direction
of the Massachusetts authorities, and under the advice of
the elders of the church. 4 And the editor of Winthrop is
obliged to express his condemnation of it. These wars
against the Indians were conducted with a savag-eness not
surpassed in more recent times. Their prisoners who were
not butchered were sold into slavery to the Bermuda, or
West India Islands. 5
The Puritans of Massachusetts, the term is used to denote
i. Coit's History of Puritanism, pp. 295, 524. Benedict's History of
the Baptists, ed. of 1813, v. 1, p. 466. Arnold's History of Rhode
Island, v. r. pp. 158, 258. R. I. Col. Rec , v. 1, p. 324; letter of Roger
2. Ancient Charters and Laws of Massachusetts Bay, p. 133, dates
in margin 1633, 1637.
3. Potter's Karly History Narragansett, p. 93; also R. I. Hist. Col.,
(Callender,) v. 4, p. 126, in note.
4. Winthrop's History of New England, ed. of 1826, v. 2, p. 131.
5. Coit's History of Puritanism, p. 411. Power's Early Hist. Narra-
gansett, 28, 80, 83, 84, 94.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 41
the dominant clergy who governed the colony without regard
to mere minor differences of opinion, have been held up to
the world as a set of saints for whom this world was not
good enough. Let us see.
They professed to be driven over here for the sake of
religious liberty. No such thing. They had that in Hol-
land. But there they could not lord it over others. They
could not punish heresy in their flock. And they were
afraid of being gradually scattered or swallowed up by their
Dutch neighbors. They came over, as most emigrants go
to new countries, to better their condition, and they did it.
Never did any set of men know better bow to reconcile God-
liness and land grabbing than they did. And as for religious
freedom, they never allowed it. Mrs. Remans' five verses
can be enjoyed by those who can substitute their imagina-
tion for facts, but when she says,
" They left unstained what there they found
Freedom to worship God,''
a greater falsehood was never put into poetry, and if we
enjoy religious liberty at the present day, we owe no thanks
to the Puritans of Massachusetts for it.
For all the outrages and abominations practiced by the
Massachusetts government towards the Indians and Rhode
Islanders, the Puritan clergy must be held responsible. The
clergy were supreme in the state. No one but a church
member could vote, or be a magistrate or juror. This of
course gave the clergy complete control. 1 As a matter of
course, all the politicians and office holders were very pious
and very orthodox. If General Butler had been a candidate
for governor in those days, he would have been obliged to
play the role of a saint with cropped hair, white bands and
i. As to the effect of this, see Savage's Winthrop new ed. of 1853,
vol. 2, 171, 209.
42 HISTORICAL TRACT.
sanctimonious visage and looked like some of those old min-
isters whose pictures, for want of something better, used to
be hung up over the doors and in the recesses of the old Har-
vard College library. And he would have gained in popu-
larity by hanging a few Quakers and witches. Everything
was done under the advice of the ministers. When the
great Sachem Miantonomo was treacherously taken prisoner
in a war between him and other Indian tribes, they advised
his death, and are responsible for the savage manner of its
execution, and thus in a great measure for the subsequent
wars and massacres. When they marched into Rhode Island
to carry out the great Indian butchery of 1676, the first of
their "Laws and ordinances of war," provided that no man
should blaspheme the Trinity, on pain of having his tongue
" bored with a hot iron."
The Puritan clergy thus taking the lead in politics and in
war, the Puritan soldiery butchered the Indians in most ap-
proved modern style. And in treachery they exceeded the
moderns of the West. One hundred and twenty Indians
surrendered to Captain Eels on a pledge of protection. The
government, disregarding the pledge, carried them to Plym-
outh, and sold and transported them all into slavery. And
the descendants of those men are probably now slaves in the
West India Islands, perhaps in Cuba.l When the Indian
Sachem Canonchet was taken, in order to give the Indian
allies a share in the barbarities, and thus attach them to the
whites, "by the prudent advice of the English command-
ers," the Pequods shot him, Mohicans cut off his head and
quartered him, Ninigret's men burned the quarters, and his
head was sent to the council at Hartford. 2
1. Potter's Early Hist. Narragansett, 8o. Church's Indian War,
Drake's ed., 1829, p. 52. Morton' Memorial, Davis's ed., 1826, p. 443.
2. Potter's Early Hist. Narragansett, p. 96. Hubbard's Indian
Wars, 1803, p, 168. Baylies' Hist. Plymouth, pt. 3, p. 117.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 43
When King Philip was taken, he was quartered,! and
the pieces hung on four trees. His head and hands were car-
ried first to Rhode Island. The Puritans proclaimed a
thanksgiving on the 17th of August, and on that day his
head was carried in triumph into Plymouth, and after being
exhibited through the country, was exposed on a gibbet
where it remained for thirty years. 2 The prayers of Church
to save the life of Annawon were disregarded, and he was be-
headed. Tispaquin, another chief, surrendered on a pledge
of protection from Church, 3 and he was executed with An-
nawon, " a dastardly act, " says Baylies, "which' disgraced
the government, ' ' who thereby basely ' < violated the English
faith. "4 When Philip's son, a boy of nine years of age, was
taken prisoner, his case was referred to the clergy for ad-
vice. John Cotton and Samuel Arnold were for putting
him to death, quoting texts of Scripture to sustain their
opinions; others were more merciful; and he was sold as a
slave and shipped to Bermuda. 5 In the Pequot war the
male Indian children were sold to Bermuda, the women and
female children were scattered about among the towns. 6
Some of the Indians^who fled for protection to Rhode Island,
were sold for nine years; none were sold for life or sent
abroad. The Massachusetts authorities complained that the
1. Church's Indian War, Drake's ed., 1829, p. 125.
2. Baylies' Hist. Plymouth, pt. 3, 452. Drake's Ed. of Hubbard, v.
I, p. 272.
3. As to Church's authority to promise protection, see Baylies' Hist.
Plymouth, pp. 3, 150; also Church's Indian War, Drake's ed., 1829,
4. Baylies' Hist. Plymouth, pt. 3, 183, 184. Church's Indian War,
Drake's ed., 1829, p. 144. Morton's Memorial, Davis's ed., pp. 453.455.
5. Baylies' Hist. Plymouth, pt. 3. 190. Morton's Memorial, Davis's
ed., p. 455.
6. Hubbard's Indian Wars, ed. of 1865, v. 2, p. 37. Morton's Me-
morial, Davis's ed., p. 193. Hutchinson's Hist. Mass., v. 1, ed. of ,
44 HISTORICAL TRACT
Rhode Islanders had refused to deliver them up on their
demand, that they might ' l be proceeded against according
to the covenant."!
Drake's Indian Chronicle consists of reprints of rare tracts
and letters written and published during those early times.
It is valuable, not so much for its exactness of detail, as for
its exposition of the mixture of piety and savageness which
actuated the Puritan people; and it gives us some facts ad-
ditional to those we have.
Captain Mosely took prisoners a father and son. They
were examined separately ; the father first. They then ex-
amined the son, and lied to him by telling that they had
shot his father and threatened that they would shoot him if
he did not confess ; and ended by shooting them both. 2 In
another case they led an Indian to the gallows, flung the end
of the rope over the post and ' ' hoisted him up like a dog
three or four times," and finally an Indian stabbed him and
sucked his blood. 3
Eight Indians came to Boston on an embassy with a cer-
tificate from Captain Smith. 4 One of them was taken and
hanged, because he had killed some one in the war. 5
In 1637, the Puritan soldiers meeting with seven Pequods,
killed five of them, and took one a prisoner alive, him u the
English put to the torture, and set all their heads upon the
fort. "6 The particulars of this torture are not given. In
July, 1676, their Mohegan allies asked the English to give
up to them one of the Narragansett captives to be tortured.
The English consented. The remainder of the story is too
i. R. I. Col. Rec, v. 2, p. 249. Knowles's Life of Roger Williams,
p. 347. Potter's Early Hist. Narragansett, pp. 94, 219.
2. Drake's Indian Chronicle, ed., 1836, p. 25 ; ed., 1867, p. 149.
3. Drake's Indian Chronicle, ed. 1836, p. 27 ; ed. 1867, p. 153.
4. Major Richard Smith, well known in Rhode Island history.
5. Drake's Indian Chronicle, ed. 1836, p. 30 ; ed. 1867, p. 157.
6. Winthrop's History of New England, ed. of 1826, v. 1, p. 223.
FEENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 45
horrible to be related here, the curious reader is referred to
Baylies' History of Plymouth, an excellent authority, pt. 3,
p. 136. The dead body of the squaw Sachem Weetomore
being found, her head was cut off and carried to Taunton,
where it was set upon a pole.l " We cannot," says Judge
Davis, " peruse without humiliation and disgust the unfeel-
ing sarcasms with which a reverend contemporary historian
relates this occurrence. "2
In the Pequod war, the English attacked and set on fire
the Pequod fort, and destroyed about four hundred Indians,
killing some, hewing some to pieces, etc. " At this time it
was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire, and
the streams of blood quenching the same. Horrible was
the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet
sacrifice and they gave the praise thereof to God, who had
wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their ene-
mies in their hands." 3
When the Indians took female prisoners at Lancaster, and
they suffered no wrong, such treatment so surprised the Puri-
tan savages that they were obliged to account for it by a
special interposition of God. 4 Baylies in his History of
Plymouth, says " all accounts concur in representing the
Indians of New England to have invariably respected the
honor of women. "5 Whatever of a savage character the
1. Hubbard's Indian Wars, ed. of 1865, v. I, p. 264.
2. Morton's Memorial, Davis's ed., p. 451.
3. Morton's Memorial, Davis's ed., p. 189.
4. Hubbard's Indian Wars, ed. 1865, v. 2, p. 260.
5. Baylies' History Plymouth, pt. 3, p. 36. Potter's Early History
Narragansett, p. 94. Drake's Indian Chronicle, ed. of 1836, p. 81,
Hubbard's Iudian Wars, p. 117.
Reference might properly have been made in this connection to the
treatment of Mary Dyer, who was banished and finally hanged on
accouut of her religious faith, in the estimation of the Massachusetts
authorities, the lack of it. The curious scholar is referred to Bishop's
New England Judged, for an account of these barbarous acts.
46 HISTORICAL TRACT.
Indians did, was attributed to < < the malicious hatred these
infidels have to religion and piety."
In 1646, the Council of the United Colonies, Rhode Island
not being one, considered the wilful wrongs and hostile
practices of the Indians, and their entertaining and protect-
ing offenders, etc., provided that the magistrates of either
of the jurisdictions may send "some convenient strength of
English, ' ' and < 'seize and bring away any of that plantation
of Indians that shall protect, ' ' etc. , < * women and children
to be sparingly seized, unless known to be someway guilty,
and because it will be chargeable keeping Indians in prison,
and if they escaped, they will be more violent and danger-
ous, ' ' satisfaction is to be again demanded of the Sagamore,
and if denied, the magistrates are to * < deliver up the Indian
seized to the party or parties endammaged, either to serve
or bee shipped out and exchanged for neagers as the case
will justly beare."l Hazard has modernized the spelling
The Commissioners of the United Colonies approved and
authorized the employment of mastiff dogs against the In-
And read the following: " Whereas Mr. Pincheon was
questioned about imprisoning an Indian at Agawam, whip-
ping an Indian and freezing of him, the Court is willing to
pass over Mr. Plums' failings against an Indian." This is
a vote of the General Court at Hartford, in 16 37. 3
When we read of such barbarities as we have recited, and
then reflect that these were the Indians who protected our
ancestors when they were driven away by the bigoted white
savages of our neighboring colony, and when we reflect that
1. Hazard's Historical Collections, vol. 2, page 63. Trumbull's
Connecticut Records, 1636-65, p. 531. Blue Laws, Andrus'sed., p. 55.
2. Hazard's Historical Collections, vol. 2.
3. Trumbull's Connecticut Records, 1636-65, p. 13.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 47
these wars and brutalities were brought upon them mainly
because of this kind treatment of our forefathers, an old-fash-
ioned Rhode Islander may be excused for expressing himself
in terms of severity.
And yet within a few years we have had a lecture before
our Rhode Island Historical Society, ridiculing these our
benefactors, and justifying the Puritans. Canonicus is rep-
resented as allowing Williams to "instruct his people in
Christian decency and behavior, so long as his supply of
groceries lasted." And this was received with apparent
gratification and a vote of thanks passed by the Society.
How long will it be before they join in the annual grand
blarney celebration at Plymouth, and sing hosannas to the
Puritans, who whipt, scourged and hung our Quaker and
That the Narragansett Indians were not civilized in the
Puritan sense is no doubt true. But they were, compared
with the other tribes, an agricultural people. And we have
the testimony of Roger Williams to their good and peaceful
character, (A. D. 1654): that they were "more friendly in
this than our native countrymen. * * Have they not
entered leagues of love and to this day continued peaceable
commerce with us? Are not our families grown up in peace
among them % " ' 'The Narragansetts as they were the first,
so they have been long confederates with you; they have
been true in all the Pequod wars to you * * * The
Narragansetts had never stained "their hands with any Eng-
lish blood, neither in open hostilities nor secret murders.
* * * It is true they are barbarians, but their greatest
offences against the English have been matters of money or
petty revenging of themselves on some Indians on extreme
provocations, but God kept them clear of our blood. * *
Through all their towns and countries, how frequently do
48 HISTOKICAL TRACT.
many and oft times one Englishman travel alone with safety
and loving kindness."!
"Commonly they never shut their doors day nor night,
and 'tis rare that any hurt is done. "2 That they were cor-
rupted afterwards by their intercouse with the whites, and
that they were made more savage by the treatment they re-
ceived, is doubtless true.
Governor Hopkins, in his history of Providence, 3 speak-
ing of the execution of Miantonomo by the advice of the
Puritan clergy, says: "This was the reward he received for
assisting them some years before in their war with the Pe-
quods. Surely a Rhode Island man may be permitted to
mourn his unhappy fate and drop a tear on the ashes of
Miantonomo, who, with his uncle Canonicus, were the best
friends and greatest benefactors the colony ever had. They
kindly received, fed and protected the first settlers of it,
when they were in distress and were strangers and exiles,
and all mankind else were their enemies, and by this kind-
ness to them, drew down upon themselves the resentment of
the neighboring colonies."
The late Chief Justice Staples, one of the most painstak-
ing and accurate of our antiquarians, who resorted to the
records for his facts, and not like some modern lecturers to
the imagination for them, says of him: "If he had not pro-
tected the first settlers of the State of Rhode Island, proba-
bly his liberty would not have been deemed inconsistent with
the safety of the United Colonies. * * He was sacrificed
because he was more liberal in his views than his Christian
neighbors, more benevolent in his actions, more catholic in
his religion. His memory should be embalmed in the grate-
1. Potter's Early History of Narragansett, pp. 154, 156, 157.
2. Williams's Key to Indian Language, vo). 1, R. I. Hist. Col., p. 50.
3. Massachusetts Historical Collections, second series, vol. 9, p. 202.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 49
ful recollections of every inhabitant of the State of Rhode
And in another work:
1 ' The descendants of the first settlers of Providence,
Rhode Island, and Warwick, should ever remember the
obligations that their ancestors were under to Miantonomo.
* * * When there was no eye to pity and no power to
save in the civilized world, Miantonomo was their friend,
their protector, their generous benefactor. " 2
Mr. Savage in his notes to Winthrop, 3 says:
1 ' With profound regret I am compelled to express a sus-
picion that means of sufficient influence could easily have
been found for the security of themselves, the pacifying of
Uncas and the preservation of Miantonomo, had he not en-
couraged the sale of Shaomet and Patuxet to Gorton and his
The names of the Puritan magistrates and clergy who per-
petrated these outrages, instead of being damned to ever-
lasting infamy along with the bigots and persecutors of all
past ages, are still retained in honor upon the calendar of
Massachusetts' saints, and an annual ovation performed in
their memory. If the wealthy Quakers and Baptists of the
present day had one spark of the spirit of their ancestors,
or any regard for their memory, they would place a copy of
Coit's Puritanism, SewePs and Go ugh' s histories of the
Quakers, and Benedict's History of the Baptists, in every
school and village library throughout the land.
It is common to defend the Puritans by saying that their
faults were those of the age in which they lived. If this is
a good defence, their defenders should have little to say
about Archbishop Laud, or the cruelties of Bloody Queen
Mary or any Catholic persecutions.
i. Gorton's Simplicity's Defence. R. I. Hist. Coll., vol. 2, p. 166.
a. Staples' Annals of Providence, 54.
3. Winthrop's History of New England, ed. of 1853, vol. 2, p. 161.
50 HISTOKICAL TKACT
That the old Puritans (clergy and all) bought and sold
slaves may be known to some. But it is not so well known
that they were probably the first inventors of a fugitive
slave law. In October, 1636, a treaty was made at Boston,
with the great Sachem Miantonomo. It contained nine
articles. But, as the Indians could not understand them per-
fectly, a copy of it was sent to Roger Williams, in Rhode
Island, to interpret it to them. This was probably a fair
specimen of their Indian treaties. It is here referred to for
the fifth article, ' ' to return our fugitive servants. "1 In
1643, Massachusetts, Plymouth and the two Connecticut
colonies made a confederation for mutual defence ; in 1672,
they renewed it. One of the articles provided that ' ' if any
servant ran away from his master * * in such case upon
the certificate of one magistrate in the jurisdiction out of
which the said servant fled, or other due proof, the said ser-
vant shall be delivered either to his master or any other that
pursues and brings such certificate or proof." But this
solemn agreement it seems was hardly needed, for in the
letters of a French Protestant Refugee, written in 1687, it
is said: " You may also own negroes and negresses. There
is not a house in Boston, however small, that has not one or
two," some five or six. "Negroes cost from twenty to
forty pistoles. * * There is no danger that they will
leave you, nor hired help likewise, for the moment one is
missing from the town, you have only to notify the savages,
who, provided you promise them something, and describe
the man to them, he is right soon found. "2
Selling into slavery was not confined to the Indians or the
blacks. In 1659, a son and daughter of Lawrence South-
wick were fined for ' < siding with the Quakers, and absent-
i. Potter's Early Hist. Narragansett, p. 21.
2. Winthrop's Hist. New England, ed. of 1826, vol. 1, 199.
wsemcb tnfrtiiMtosam is wtoam wla 51
log themselves from the public ordfaaaeee/'l Not paying
their fines the county fere ell them
into Virginia or Kermuda.
That the negroes were generally humanely treated is very-
pro Sable, but they had little protection from the Jaws. Dr.
Belknap^ in J 70 9 -the negro children were considered
incumbrances, and (ray like popple**" and that
the . and most effective threat to a negro, was that
loold be -old to the West Indie m Carolina.
In the "Body of Liberties :: of Massachusetts. A. D.
1641, we find it enacted: •'• There shall never be any bond
slavery, villanage nor captivity among m be law-
ful capt ;n in ju-r - as will:':,
sell them -.elves or are sold unto us ; and these shall have all
the liberties and Christian neagefl which the law of God
established in Israel requires. '' This legal recognition of
slave id to be several ;.rlier than can be found
in the laws of Virginia or Maryland.-^ Of the existent
slavery in Rhode Island. I have written in another pla<
The Rhode Islanders apprenticed or sold some of the Indi
for a term of years in tne great Indian war of 1675-6. 'J
sold none absolutely. They did in May. 1659, pass a law
authorizing the sale of an Indian guilty of grand force
but it was only after conviction and it was the guilty person
who was to be sold. Even this is not to be justified, but it
is not quite as bad as when one Indian committed a theft, to
catch and sell another one 8
In an act of the Massachusetts Legislature paeeed in
i. Sewel's History of the QuakeJs, vol. r. p. 278. Hinman's Biue
laws, p. '7.
2. Massachusetts Hist. Coll., 1st series, vol. 4, p. 2O0
3. Hildreth's History of United States, vol. r, p. 67S.
4. Lecture before the R. I. Hist. Society by the author, February 19,
5. Rhode Island Colonial Records, vol. 1, p. 412.
52 HISTORICAL TRACT
May, 1705, entitled " an act for the better preventing of a
spurious and mixed issue," etc., it was enacted that if any
negro or mulatto struck a person of the English or other
Christian nation he should be severely whipped. To further
illustrate the spirit of the people, the two following extracts
from private letters are introduced, the first, from Hugh
Peters, was written to John Winthrop, from Salem, proba.
bly about 1645. He says :
' i Mr. Endecot and my selfe salute you in the Lord
Jesus. Wee have heard of adividenceof women and child-
ren in the bay and would be glad of a share, viz. : a young
woman or girle and a boy if you thinke good. I wrote to
you for some boyes for Bermudas which I think i* consider-
The second is from Emanuel Downing, son-in-law of
Governor Winthrop. It was written in 1637-8. He says:
' l A warr with the Narragansett is verie considerable to this
plantation, for I doubt whither yt be not synne in vs, hauing
power in our hands, to suffer them to maynteyne the wor-
ship of the devill, which their paw wawes often doe; 21ie.
If upon a Just ware the Lord should deliver them into our
hands, we might easily haue men, woemen and children
enough to exchange for Moores, which will be more gayne-
ful pilladge for us than wee conceive, for I do not see how
wee can thrive untill wee gett into a stock of slaues sufficient
to do all our business for our children's children will hardly
see this great Continent filled with people, soe that our ser-
vants will still desire freedom to plant for themselves, and
not stay but for verie great wages. And I suppose you
know verie well how we shall maynteyne 20 Moores (negroes)
cheaper than one Englishe servant.
" The ships that shall bring Moores may come home laden
i. Massachusetts Historical Collections, series 4, vol. 6, p. 95.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 53
with salt which may beare most of the chardge, if not all of
yt. But I marvayle Conecticott should anywayes hasard a
warre without your helps. "1
We have seen that while the hatred of heresy was one
source of hostility towards Rhode Island, the passion for
land speculation was another. Roger Williams2 says: "You
will find the business at bottom to be * * a depraved
appetite after * * great portions of land in this wilder-
ness. * * * This is one of the Gods of New England."
Deeds of immense tracts were obtained from the Indians by
Massachusetts men on the one hand, and Rhode Island men
on the other. Sometimes there was a consideration, some-
times none, and how much the Indians understood of the
nature of a deed may easily be guessed. For the manner
in which treaties were forced upon them, and how little they
understood of them, repeated illustrations can be seen in
the histories of the times. 3
The Colonial Magistrates sent for the Indian Sachems at
pleasure, made charges against them and compelled them to
sign writings of the effect of which they knew nothing. So
King Philip was compelled to sign a writing acknowledging
himself a subject of the English. When at Boston, in 1671,
he was told that he had done so, he indignantly denied it, 4
said that it was merely an agreement of friendship and
Baylies, in his History of Plymouth, gives a character of
Philip very different from that generally given by the cleri-
cal historians. 5
The Rev. Samuel Peters has been very much censured for his
history of the first colonists of Connecticut. That he ex-
1. Massachusetts Hist. Coll., series 4, vol. 6, p. 65.
2. Potter's Early Hist. Narragansett, p. 162.
3. Potter's Early History of Narragansett, pp. 21, 47, 49, 79.
4. Hutchinson, 1, 281. Baylies' Plymouth, pt. 3, p. 53.
5. Baylies' Plymouth, pt. 3, p. 169.
54 HISTORICAL TRACT
aggerated the faults and foibles of those whom he considered
his persecutors, is very probable. He is commonly under-
stood as representing that they met in solemn meeting and
voted unanimously —
1st. That the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
2d. That he has given it to his saints ; and
3d. That we are the saints,
and accordingly they took possession.
This is rather an exaggeration of what Peters does say, but
not much. 1 He says that when the Sachems refused to give
the land to them, they voted themselves to be the children
of God, and that the wilderness in the uttermost parts of
the earth was given to them. Be this as it may, nothing
better represents the ruling spirit of the Puritans in their
treatment of the Indians. It represents what was in the
minds of all the people. It is true as a myth, in the sense
of the myths of ancient history. The same thing is now
going on at the West ; except that it is not the fashion of
the present day to profess any peculiar sanctity. They ask
no leave of God or any body else.
Another charge against Peters is, that he represents the
first settlers as meeting and voting that they would be gov-
erned by the Laws of God, until they had time to make bet-
ter ones. What he does say (page 54) is that the Colony
i i adopted the Bible for its code of civil laws, till others
should be made more suitable for their circumstances. ' ' This
was probably founded on some expression in the first Code
of Connecticut, where it appears that they provided for
being governed by the rule of the Word of God in cases
for which they had not provided in their code; 2 or, as Secre-
tary Hinman states it, ' ' for want of a law in any particular
case, shall be judged by the Word of God."l
i. Peters' History Connecticut, New Haven, 1829, pp. 46, 66.
2. Hinman's Blue Laws, pp. 130,150; also Baylies' History Ply-
mouth, pt. 2 p. 74. Laws of Plymouth.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 55
The Rhode Island code of laws of 1647, is a most excel-
lent one. It contains plentiful references to the laws of
England, 1 but no reference whatever to the Laws of God.
But then its authors were heretics.
The Puritans perhaps were not the first to bribe members
of the cabinet and government officers. They were very
cautious and perhaps conscientious as to using such a wicked
word. But Puritan shrewdness was equal to the occasion.
Chalmers openly charges them with attempting to bribe the
officers and influential men of the English government. 2
The Massachusetts Council, December 31, 1663, appointed
a committee i \ to improve some friend or friends in Eng-
land, "3 to obtain information " and prevent all inconvenience
the best they may. \ ' The General Court, May 18, 1664,
referring to this, authorized the committee to engage some
faithful friends in England, at an expense not exceeding
£400. The General Court had before this in 1661, author-
ized a committee for managing their affairs at London, to
remove all obstacles or objections that might lie in their way,
and their proceedings were to be kept secret unless the Gen-
eral Court should call for them. 4 In 1682,5 they had au-
thorized the committee managing their English affairs ' 4 to
improve any meet instrument for the obtaining ' ' a general
pardon and continuance of their charter.
Hereafter Railroad companies will not wickedly attempt
to bribe members of Congress, they need only improve them.
Their agents in England, either forged or surreptitiously
procured before it had passed the proper ordeal, a pretended
i. Proceedings of First General Assembly of Rhode Island in 1647,
ed. of Judge Staples. Providence, 1847.
2. Chalmers' Political Annals, pp. 412, 413, 461; also History of Rev-
olution of Colonies, vol. 1, p. 132.
3. Massachusetts Colonial Records, vol. 4, pt. 2, p. 101.
4. Massachusetts Colonial Records, v. 4, pt. 3, p. 39.
5. Chalmers' Political Annals, p. 461.
56 HISTORICAL TRACTS.
patent bearing date in 1643,1 giving to Massachusetts the
government of the Narragansett country, including of course
the site of our Frenchtown settlement. Of this pretended
patent Roger Williams says: 2 u The Lord High Admiral
President said openly in a full meeting of the Commission-
ers, that he knew no other charter for these parts than what
Mr. Williams had obtained, for he was sure that charter
which the Massachusetts Englishmen pretended, had never
passed the table." For other reasons and authorities, see
Mr. Aspin wall's pamphlet^ upon this subject. No one pre-
tends that the government of Massachusetts would procure
or countenance a forgery. It was a clique of unprincipled
land speculators acting under the cloak of their name and
under the garb of piety and hatred of heresy. And this
was the sort of people who caused a very large part of the
conflicts and civil disturbances which hindered and delayed
the peaceable settlement of Narragansett, and of which
Rhode Island has had most unjustly to bear the blame.
The feeling produced by these arrogant assumptions, by
these scourgings, banishings, hangings of our heretical an-
cestors has not yet entirely disappeared among the older por-
tion of our country people. And it ought not to, so long as
the authors of these barbarities are defended and canonized
as they are. I have in my youth seen elderly people who
could not speak of the " Massachusetts Presbyterians," as
they called them without a gritting of teeth.
We have had a few among our people who have taken
some pains to justify the memory of our ancestors. The
1. Miscellaneous State Papers, v. I. Secretary of State of Massa-
2. Letter to Mason. Potter's Early History Narragansett, pp 37,
161. See also the documents in Staples' ed. of Gorton's Simplicity's
Defence, p. 305, 195.
3. This exhaustive argument was republished by Sidney S. Rider,
Providence, 1865. A few copies yet remain unsold.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 57
late Hon. Henry Bull of Newport, was one of the first, and
latterly, Benedict in his History of the Baptists, the late
Judge Staples, Governor Arnold in History of Rhode Island,
Zachariah Allen, Esq., and Professor Diman, have done
good service in bringing to light the truth on these subjects.
The conduct of the Puritans and the savage character of
their treatment of the Indians, will by many be justified on
the theory that they could not be dealt with in any other
manner. Whether this excuse is available for a people pre-
tending to Christianity is doubtful. That after the Great
Swamp fight both parties acted like savages, is undeniable.
The Indians had been nearly destroyed in the fight, their
huts with their women and children, and their stores of pro-
visions burnt up, and the survivors driven out in the cold of
mid -winter to freeze and starve.
On the part of the whites the fury extended even to the
women. The women of Marblehead, coming out of church,
fell on two Eastern Indians who had been brought in as cap-
tives and "very barbarously" murdered them 1 And very
lately a monument has been erected (as the newspapers say)
to a woman who tomahawked and scalped ten sleeping In-
dians and then escaped. The wars with the Eastern Indians
were going on at the time of Philip's war.
It is becoming the fashion to erect monuments to the dead
Indians, now that they are out of the way and can give us no
trouble. Matthew xxiii., 30; Luke ix., 59: 60.
I. This occurred in 1677. See Hutchinson's Massachusetts Bay,
vol. 1, p. 307.
When, many years ago, the writer was collecting materials
for the " Early History of Narragansett " published in 1835,
it was with the utmost difficulty that the materials could be
obtained for the few pages of family history contained in
that work. Few families had preserved any family records,
and few seemed to care about them. And most of the infor-
mation in that work was obtained from the records with a
good deal of labor. From one person, the late Thomas B.
Hazard, of Peace Dale, who died A. D. 1845, at the age of
90, he obtained a great deal of traditional information about
Mr. Hazard's own, and other families, which in every in-
stance he found to be confirmed by the records, when
Since then the feeling has changed ; every family has
some one engaged in hunting up its history, and the passion
has been carried to a ridiculous extreme. Those who get
up the present fashionable genealogies begin way back in
English history with an account of all the princes, lords and
knights who have borne the name or any name similar to it.
We expect, of course, to find the descendants of some of
these nobles coming over about 1620, and settling in this
country. But here comes a sudden break ; and the family
history begins again generally somewhat in this style : The
first of the name we find in this country was . A
few years ago some one published a genealogical table of one
of our old families, and represented his ancestor as owning
almost the whole country. Such things as these may flatter
vanity, but they subject the writers, justly, and sometimes a
whole family unjustly to censure.
Savage, in his Genealogical Dictionary, volume 4, page
144, well says : "Much benefit to thousands of enquirers
60 HISTORICAL TRACT.
on our side of the ocean may be derived from the wise use
of a few words in the note of Mr. Hunter, on pages 6 and
7 of « The Founders of New Plymouth,' edition 1854: 'Mere
possession of a surname which coincides with that of an Eng-
lish family, is no proof of connection with that family.
Claims of alliance founded on this basis are not the legriti-
mate offspring of laborious genealogical enquiry, but of self
love and the desire to found a reputation for ancestorial
honor, where no such honor is really due. ' Well is the
topic explained in further remarks, founded on experience
of more than one gross case of indecent pretension. ' '
It was formerly very common for sea captains and travel-
lers to go to the Herald's office, in London, and procure
coats of arms of some one of their name. These were
brought home and sometimes framed and conspicuously dis-
played, and may hereafter perhaps be used as evidence of
connection with the English family. They are of course
worth but little.
There are but two families in this part of the country,
who to the knowledge of . the writer, can trace their families
into Europe for many generations before the emigration.
The family of Dr. John Clarke, the colonial agent, can, upon
undoubted evidence, go back several generations in England.
Its representatives are still numerous in South Kingstown
and Westerly; and the Bernons were of an ancient and hon-
orable family in Rochelle, in France.
One great difficulty in tracing by our records, arises from
having sometimes many of the same Christian name living
at the same time. In the Reynolds, Gardner, Hazard and
Babcock families, this is especially the case. In such cases
the tracing of the title to some tract of land, may aid mate-
rially. A very complete genealogy of the Brenton family
can be made from the Land Records of South Kingstown.
Another difficulty arises from the various removals of
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN EHODE ISLAND. 61
families from one town to another. In this respect the
Quaker Records afford great aid as to the members of that
Society. The general course of emigration was through
Massachusetts to Portsmouth and Newport, and from thence
across to the west side of the Bay. The Misquamicott settle-
ment originated in Newport. The settlers had to pass a
wilderness, and the name they gave it, Westerly, is signifi-
cant of the state of the country at the time.
After the close of our Revolutionary war, and in fact ever
since, there has been a very large emigration from the Nar-
ragansett country to the Western States. The greatest num-
ber of the early emigrants went to Vermont, to the borders
of Hoosic River in New York, to the Genesee country, in
which name was then included all the country around the
small lakes in western New York, to Wyoming and Wilkes-
barre, and the borders of the Susquehannah River, and to
Marietta in Ohio. And from thence their descendants have
become scattered all over the Western States. There was
also quite a large settlement of French from Rhode Island
near Chatham Four Corners and Hudson, in New York.
THE MAWNEY FAMILY.
Le Moine. The christian name of the first Le Moine is
not given on the plat, but by the tradition in the family, it
was Moses. The French settlers, according to the family
tradition, settled around a spring on the present Mawney
farm, and planted an orchard there, always since known as
the French orchard, and, within the remembrance of the
writer, there were trees there supposed to be remains of the
original orchard. When the settlement was broken up, the
Mawneys must have remained there; as the name of Peter
Money is on the oldest plat of East Greenwich known to be
in existence, and attached to the tract of land which has been
in the family ever since. The name seems to have been
first changed to Money, and later to Mawney. The same
tradition preserves the names of two children of Moses:
First, Peter; and second, Mary, who married an Appleby,
of New York.
Col. Peter Mawney, lived the greater part of his life in
East Greenwich, but removed to Providence before his
death, and his will is recorded there. He died in Provi-
dence, September 9, 1754, aged 65, and is buried, with
other relatives, in the old North Burial Ground. This
would make his birth about 1689.
He was twice married, first to Mary Tillinghast, who
died February 24, 1726-7, in the 34th year of her age, and
is buried in the Tillinghast burial ground, next north of the
Mawney farm; second, to Mercy, daughter of Pardon Til-
linghast, who survived him, and died in 1761, the widow of
James Brown, and is buried in the NorttcBurial Ground.
The children of Col. Peter Mawney were:
1. Elizabeth, born November 22, 1714, wife of Josep,
FKENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 63
2. Mercy, married Thomas Fry, Jr., December 23h
1742. In Col. Mawney' s will he mentions his grand-
daughter, Mercy Fry.
3. Lydia, married Dr. Ephraim Bowen, June 10, 1746.
See Bowen, post.
4. Mary, married James Angell, October 5, 1752,
grandmother of the late Prof. William G. Goddard. 1
5. John, born August 11, 1718; died June 13, 1754.
6. Pardon, born October 5, 1753; went to sea and never
7. Sarah, married Joseph Whipple. Their son Samuel
was father of the late Hon. John Whipple, Brown Univer-
sity, 1802, and their son George was grandfather of Joseph
W. Congdon, attorney at law at East Greenwich.
8. Amey, married Dr. Samuel Carrew, April 22, 1760;
died 1762, aged 26; buried in North Burial Ground,
John Mawney, son of Col. Peter, died before his father,
and his will is recorded in Providence. He married, Octo-
ber 29, 1745, Amey, daughter of Robert Gibbs, who is de-
scribed on his tombstone in the North Burial Ground, as de
scended from the family of Sir Henry Gibbs, of Dorsetshire,
England, Amey, wife of Robert Gibbs, was daughther of
Col. Joseph Whipple, and widow of Crawford. The
children of John and Amey Mawney were:
1. Pardon, born at Providence, December 27, 1748; died
on the homestead, in East Greenwich, given him by his
grandfather's will, August 6, 1831. He married Experi-
ence, daughter of Caleb Gardner, of South Kingstown. See
2. Dr. John Mawney, a physician, sometime sheriff of
Providence county, and was in the expedition that burnt the
Gaspee. He died in Cranston, in March 1830, in his 80th
I. Updike's Narragansett Church, p. 155.
64 HISTORICAL TRACT.
year, and was buried in the North Burial Ground. He
married, first, Nancy Wilson ; second, Elizabeth Clarke.
a. John, married Ruth, daughter of John Gladding, and
left one child, Elizabeth, who married William A. Cole, and
now resides in Shakapee, Minnesota.
I. Mary, daughter of John and Elizabeth, married
Henry Valentine, A. D. 1807. Their children were, first,
Maria A. ; second, Edward H. ; third, John M. ; fourth,
Elizabeth; fifth, Horatio; sixth, Harriet A.; seventh, Alfred
A., now in New York city. Mrs. Mary Valentine died in
Brooklyn, N. Y., 1864. Henry Valentine died in 1847.
c. Susan, born January 5, 1788; married Benjamin P.
Ware, 1812. He died in 1816. She died October, 1869.
Of the children, Albert P. Ware, born August 3, 1813, is
now living in Andover, Massachusetts, and Charles M. Ware,
born August 23, 1815, is living at Norwich, Connecticut.
3. Hannah, daughter of John Mawney, married Stephen
Harris, January 23, 1775. She died at the age of 34,
leaving one son, Stephen, father of the late Almoran Harris.
4. Mary died December 25, 1757, aged eleven years.
5. Nancy died, aged seventeen years.
Pardon, before referred to, died at East Greenwich, Au-
gust 6, 1831. His wife, Experience, was born November
1, 1751; married June, 1772. She died November 28,
1815. Their children were:
1. Peter Lemoine, born April 16, 1778; died in Moreau,
Saratoga county, New York, January 30, 1868. Children:
First, John G., died at Tyrone, Steuben country, 1837;
second, Pardon, deceased; third, Horatio, (Geneva, N. Y.);
fourth, Isabella Ann ; fifth, Sarah ; sixth, Peter, deceased.
John G. left children: First, Dr. John G., Mazomanie,
Dane county, Wisconsin; second, Caleb; third, William W.,
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 65
Dundee, Yates county, N. Y. ; fourth, Zeruah; fifth, Mary;
sixth, Sarah; seventh, Robert.
2. John G., born October 1, 1774, was for many years
clerk of one of the courts of Kent county. He died
December 28, 1846. Children: First, Mary ; second,
William; third, Tabitha; fourth, Benjamin; fifth, Robert G. ;
sixth, Julia married Ebenezer Hopkins; seventh, John G. ;
eighth, Harriet, married Oliver A. Weeks, died October,
3. One unnamed.
4 and 5. Amey and Nancy born March 23, 1777.
Nancy died 1787. Amey married first, Capt. William E.
Tillinghast, of Providence. He died 1817. Second, Elisha
Atkins, of Providence, and afterwards of Newport, B. U.
1816. No children. She died October 3, 1864.
6. Mary, born April 24, 1779; married, July 9, 1810,
Elisha R. Potter, of South Kingstown, member of Congress,
1796-1797 and 1809-1815. She died July 26, 1835. He
died September 26, 1835. Children: First, Elisha R., H.
C. 1830, second, Thomas; third, Dr. Thomas M., B. U.,
1834, U. S. Navy; fourth, William Henry, B. U. 1836, at-
torney at law; fifth, James B. Mason, B. U. 1839; sixth,
7. Moses, born November 4, 1780; married Elizabeth
Arnold, November 1816; died August 1, 1821. Children:
First, Robert G. ; second, Hannah, married Joseph R.
Arnold; third, Elizabeth Ann.
8. Hannah, born April 13, 1782; married first, Nicholas
Tillinghast. One son, Edward N., born September 11,
1805. Married, second, Jeffrey Davis, December, 1824.
She died Sept. 20, 1860.
9. Elizabeth Cranston, born July 7, 1784; married
October 19, 1805, Jeffrey Davis, of North Kingstown. She
died July 1814. Children: First, Abby, married Thomas
66 HISTORICAL TRACT.
B. Wilbor, of Coventry; second, George Albert; third,
William Dean, who married Mary E. Congdon.
10. Nicholas G., born March 18, 1T86; died August 27,
1874, on the homestead; unmarried; will recorded at East
11. Robert Gibbs, born 1788; went to sea in 1811 and
never heard from.
12. Caleb, born 1789, died 1790.
13. Tabitha, born 1791; died 1808.
14. Samuel Ayrault, born May 8, 1792; married, in
1816, Phebe Nichols; died January 8, 1866. Children:
First, Elizabeth, married Edward Wheeler, Auburn, New
York; second, Maria, married Maynard Chappell, Henrietta,
New York; third, Isabella Ann, married James G. Maynard,
Providence, Bureau county, Illinois.
15. Isabella A., born November 30, 1797; married
Peter G. Taylor, June 27, 1822; he died at Brooklyn, New
York, December 20, 1871; she died July 29, 1873. Chil-
dren: First, Pardon L., born 1824, died November, 1860,
at Brooklyn, New York; second, Isabella Ann, born 1826,
married, 1848, George W. Frost, of New Market, New
Hampshire; third, Amey Elizabeth, born 1831, married
Walter J. Gilbert.
The account of the French settlers here given, the locality
of the settlement and the name of the first emigrant of the
Mawney family, together with the early history of the fam-
ily, were taken down by an uncle of the writer from the lips
of Pardon Mawney a few years before the death of the lat-
ter, in 1831; and when it is considered that Pardon Mawney
was born in 1748, and was soon old enough to have con-
versed with some of the emigrants themselves, and with their
families, the tradition becomes more than ordinarily relia-
ble. Pardon Mawney' s grandfather, who died after the
birth of Pardon, must have been born in 1689, about the
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 67
time of the settlement. And until within comparatively a
few years there has been very little change in the families
which have owned the land and lived in the neighborhood.
Pardon Mawney was for many years in his youth in the
house of his uncle Gibbs, in Boston, and while there attend-
ed school. It was during his residence there that Gov.
Hutchinson's house was sacked by the mob, in August, 1T65;
and he was present when the furniture was thrown from the
windows, and picked up among the rubbish a pack of play-
ing cards representing scenes in the famous Rye House Plot,
which are still preserved.
THE BOWEN FAMILY.
Dr. Ephraim Bo wen, son of Thomas, died 1812, age 96
years. Married, first, Mary, daughter of Thomas Fenner,
February 9, 1737-8. Second, Lydia, daughter of Col. Peter
Money, June 10, 1746. Children by first wife:
1. Gov. Jabez, born November 17, 1739; died in 1815;
married, December 19, 1762, Sarah, daughter of Obadiah
Brown. She died March 17, 1800.
Children: a. Obadiah, born 1763; died 1793. I. Oli-
ver, born 1767. c. Mary, born 1772. d. Jabez, born
1774. e. Henry, born 1776; died 1777. /. Horatio G.,
born 1779; Librarian of Brown University; died March 23,
1848. g. Another, born 1782. h. Henry, 2nd, born 1785;
for thirty years Secretary of State of Rhode Island.
He married, second, Peddy Leonard, May 21, 1801.
2. Oliver, born November 17, 1742. His son, Oliver,
Jr. , was father of Mary Demont Bo wen, lately deceased.
Children by second wife:
3. Dr. William, born March 8, 1747, married Susan
Corlis, 1769, died 1832, aged 86 years. Children: a. Eliz-
abeth, married Thomas Amory, 1799, whose children were:
Mary; Harriet, married Robert H. Ives; John, Julia, mar-
ried Rt. Rev. M. A. D'W. Howe; Louise; Anna; Helen,
married William Raymond Lee; Thomas, b. Sarah, mar-
ried William S. Skinner, 1816. c. Maria, married Hon.
John Whipple, B. U., 1802, whose children were: John;
Maria, married Rev. Francis Vinton; Elizabeth, married
Prof. William Gammell; Sarah C, married, first, Robert P.
Swann, of Virginia; second, William H. Potter; Samuel,
died young; Harriet, married William S. Slater; William.
d. Harriet, married, 1815, Commodore Charles Morris,
United States Navy, whose children were: Charles; Har-
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 69
riet, married Rev. Dr. Coolidge; Louise, married William
W. Corcoran, of Washington; Elizabeth, married Dr. John
L. Fox; Helen; R. Murray; Dr. William B.; Maria, mar-
ried Rev. Mr. Duncan; George; Julia, married Dr. Addison.
e. Dr. William C. Bowen, born June 2, 1T85; died 1815;
married Rebecca Olney, 1812; had a son William.
4. Mary, born 1748; unmarried.
5. Sarah, born 1750; married Thomas Lloyd Halsey.
6. Lydia, born 1752; married John Innes Clarke, 1773,
of pilose daughters, Harriet married, 1811, Dr. Robert
Hare, of Philadelphia and Anna E., married, 1803, Oliver
7. Col. Ephraim, born 1753; married, first, Sally Angell;
was in the Revolutionary army, and one of the captors of
the Gaspee. Children : First, William B., born in 1777,
died August 26, 1826. Second, Julia, born in 1779; married
John D.Martin, 1803. Third, Nathaniel, died young. Fourth,
Sally A., died young. Fifth, Elizabeth, born in 1787;
married Hon. John H. Clarke, B. U. 1809, afterwards Sen-
ator in Congress. Mr. Clarke died in 1872. Their son,
Hon. James M. Clarke, B. U. 1838, was for several years
U. S. District Attorney in Rhode Island.
Col. Bowen married, second, Sarah Whipple in 1794.
Children: First, Esther; second, George T. ; third, Sarah ;
Col. Bowen died September 2, 1841, at his home at Paw-
tuxet, in Warwick.
|. 8. Benjamin, born 1755.
9. Dr. Pardon, born March 26, 1757; died October,
1826, aged 69 years; married Elizabeth Ward, 1780. Had
two sons, William, who went South, and Henry, who died
young; and three daughters, Esther, married Charles W.
Greene, 1806; Frances, who married Charles W. Greene,
TO HISTORICAL TRACT
1813, and Anna E., who married Franklin Greene, and is
still living at East Greenwich.
10. Benjamin, born 1759; went to New York.
11. Ann, born 1762; married Edward Mitchell, 1792.
Mrs. Mitchell died in Charleston, S. C., in 1855.
12. Betsey, born 1765; married John Ward, 1792; no
13. Fanny, 1768; married John E.fMoore, 1789.
Dr. William Bo wen, Dr. Pardon Bo wen, and Dr. William
C. Bowen, were all of great eminence in their profession.
See Thatcher's New England Medical Biography and Dr.
Usher Parsons' Sketches of Rhode Island Physicians.
THE AYRAULT FAMILY.
In Mrs. Lee's Huguenots in France and in America,! Dr.
Pierre Ayrault is spoken of as a native of Angers, in France.
He will be at once recognized as the author of the memorial
relating to the breaking up of the French settlement. Like
the Mawneys and other families, he remained and continued
on good terms with the neighboring Rhode Island settlers,
thus showing that the disturbance could have grown out of
no national antipathy. He probably soon removed to the
neighboring village of East Greenwich, as more convenient
for his professional practice. And in 16992 we find him
joining with others in the foundation of Trinity Church, in
Newport, where the petitioners are spoken of as " within
this island." This, however, is not conclusive. In 1704
Madame Knight, in her journey ings south from East Green-
wich, on towards New York, speaks of being joined by the
French doctor. In 1711-12 we find from the records at
East Greenwich, that Daniel Ayrault sold to David Greene
his house and nineteen acres of land. This probably was
the time of the final removal of the family to Newport.
Peter Ayrault' s will, made in 1705, proved June 4, 1711,
and recorded in the old parchment book at East Greenwich,
mentions his wife Frances, and his son Samuel, mariner
now abroad, giving to the latter a legacy, and giving the
remainder of his property to his son Daniel, merchant.
Daniel, the only son of Pierre of whom we have any
mention, was born about 1676-7 and settled in Newport. In
the old parchment book of records at Greenwich, we find
that Daniel Ayrault, with a number of others, received let-
1. Mrs. Lee's Huguenots, volume 2, page 108.
2. Arnold's History of Rhode Island, vol. I, p. 559.
72 HISTORICAL TRACT
ters of denization July 3, in the thirteenth year of William
Third, A. D., 1702. He married, May 9, 1703, Mary,
daughter of and Judith Robineau, and grand-
daughter of Elias and Susanna Neau, of New York. Their
marriage contract, dated April, 1703, is given at length in
Mrs. Lee's Huguenot's in France and America. 1 Daniel
died June 25, 1764, aged 87 years, 9 months and 17 days.
She died January 5, 1729, aged 44 years. He married,
second, Rebecca, widow of Edward Neargrass, in 1745.
The children of Daniel and Mary were :
1. Mary, born at East Greenwich, February 16, 1704;
married James Cranston, 1720-1 ; children, Walter and
Mary ; married, second, George Goulding, whom she sur-
vived, and died in 1764.
2. Pierre, born at East Greenwich, October 4, 1705.
3. Daniel, born at East Greenwich, November 2, 1707 ;
married, first, Susanna, Neargrass, in 1735 ; second, Re-
becca Neargrass, in 1737 ; third, Hart, daughter of Jahleel
and Frances Brenton, in 1745 ; she died in 1764. He died
in 1770. Children : a. Stephen, b. Daniel, died young.
c. Mary, died 1792. Children by Hart Brenton : a. Peter ;
b. Hart ; c. Rebecca ; d. Martha, born in 1759, died same
year, and three others who died young. Peter and Hart
both died unmarried.
4. Stephen, born at East Greenwich, December 11,
1709. The births of numbers two, three and four, are on
record at East Greenwich.
5. Anthony, born in 1712 ; died in 1726.
6. Elias, born at Newport, February 13, 1713-14 ; went
7. Judith, born at Newport, in 1716 ; died young.
8. Frances, born at Newport, September 2, 1718 ; mar-
i. Mrs. Lee's Huguenots, volume 2, page 107.
FEEXCH SETTLEMENTS Ds RHODE LSLAXD. 73
ried Walter Cranston. March 26. 1747. She died February
9. Samuel, born in Newport. March 22. 1720 : died
August 11. 1795, and buried at the Tillinghast burying
ground, on the farm north of the Mawney farm, in East
Greenwich. He is described on his tombstone as a mer-
10. Anthony, died when 4 years old.
11. Susanna, born June 29, 1723 : died May 3. 1- ■>.
12. Judith, born December 9, 1725 : died November
26. 1806 : married Joseph Tillinghast.
Children of Stephen, fourth child of Daniel and Mary.
His tombstone gives his age 54. The Mercury of April 22.
1794, contains a notice of him. He married December 23.
1740. Ann. eldest daughter of Peter Bours. She was born
April 2, 1724, and died December 17. 1754.
Children : a. Frances, baptized 1747 : married, first, in
1767. Edward, son of Gov. Gideon Wanton : second, John
Piper, b. Ann. c. Mary, baptized in 1742 : married, in
1764, George Scott. Mary had one daughter, Ann, who
married, first, William Robinson : second. Dr. John P.
Mann. She died in 1541. d. Bathsheba, died young.
The children of Edward Wanton and Frances, his wife,
were : First. Stephen A. : second. Sarah : third, Frances,
married William C. Robinson. Their children were : a.
Edward W.. born in 1797, died in 1515. h. Stephen A.,
born in 1799 ; married Sarah, daughter of Jeremiah X.
Potter, 1522 : was Grand Master of Masons, and died April
7. 1577, in South Kingstown. No children, c. Frances
W., died vounof. d. George C., died in 1520. e. William
C. Robinson, born in 1S03 : married Abby B., daughter of
Josiah C. Shaw. He died in IS 71.
Mary, daughter of Daniel, 2nd, died 1792. She married
Benjamin Mason, 1754. Children: Benjamin, Daniel,
74 HISTORICAL TRACT
Susan and Mary. Benjamin, last named, married Margaret
Champlin. Their son, George Champlin Mason, was father
of George C. Mason, Esq. , now living in Newport.
InHinman's Records of Wethersfield, Conn., and also in
the New England Genealogical Register, volume xv. , are
mentioned several of this name. From the similarity of
Christian names, they were probably relatives of the Rhode
THE BERNON FAMILY.
The person who, from his standing in his native country
and his wealth was probably the most conspicuous among
the French settlers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, was
Gabriel Bernon. He was born April 6, 1644, of an ancient
family at Rochelle, of which city it is traditionary in one
branch of the family here, he was hereditary registrar. In
anticipation* of the troubles he fled to London. 1 He landed
in Boston in 1688. He was one of the principal persons con-
cerned in the French settlement at Oxford, Massachusetts,
for which we must refer to the very full account in Massa-
chusetts Historical Collections.! Quite full accounts of him
and much of his correspondence are published in the work
last refer red a to, and also in Updike's History of the Narra-
gansett Church, and in Mrs. Lee's Huguenots in France and
In the very full genealogy of the Bernon family, published
in France, the posterity of Gabriel Bernon are not given.
But his correspondence with his brother Samuel; with Ben-
jamin Faneuil, (of Faneuil Hall memory,) who married his
sister Marie; and with another brother-in-law, Pierre San-
ceau, all of whom are mentioned in the printed genealogy,
and which correspondence is now in the possession of his
descendants, all prove the connection. The genealogy ex-
tends back to 1545. The Faneuils after coming to this coun-
try returned and lived in France.
Bernon and Faneuil and Louis Allaire were concerned to-
gether in various mercantile operations. He remained in
Boston about ten years and removed to Newport about 1697.
He was one of the first petitioners for the establishment of
i. Massachusetts Historical Collections, vol. 22, p. 69.
76 HISTORICAL TRACT.
an Episcopal church in Newport, September, 1699,1
and from this and other similar movements originated the
English society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign
parts in 1702. Bernon's first wife, Esther Le Roy, died in
Newport, June 14, 1710, aged fifty six years, and her grave-
stone is still to be seen there. For a short time after the
death of his wife he resided in Providence, and then began to
make purchases with a view to trade in Kingstown. In
those days the great road for travel from Boston to New
York followed the shore, and was sometimes known as the
Pequot path. Wickford, or as then sometimes called, Up-
dike's Newtown, and Tower Hill, were two of the principal
places of business on it. He purchased of Lodowick Updike
a wharf lot at Wickford, built a wharf, a warehouse, and a
sloop. 2 While in Kingstown he was active in support of
St. Paul's Episcopal, church, of which Rev. James McSpar-
ran was rector; but about 1719 we find him again settled in
Providence, where he remained until his death.
In 1712 he married for his second wife Mary Harris
daugnter of Thomas Harris, 2nd, and grand niece of Wil-
liam Harris, the companion of Roger Williams.
Of the children of Bernon's first marriage, Jane married,
October 11, 1722, Col. William Coddington, of Newport.
Esther married, May 30, 1713, Adam Ap Howell, or
Powell. 3 Their daughter Elizabeth, born in Newport,
April 8, 1714, married Rev. Mr. Seabury, of New Lon-
don, whose son Samuel by a former marriage was the first
English bishop in America. 4 Esther, (daughter of Adam
and Esther Powell,) was born in Newport, May, 1718.5
1. Arnold's History of R. I., vol. I, p. 559: vol. 2, pp. 76, 116.
2. Updike's History of the Narragansett Church, p. 42.
3. Trinity Church Records, Newport.
4. Updike's History of the Narragansett Church, pp. 139, 143-
5. Newport Records.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 77
She married Judge James Helme, of South Kingstown, and
died March 22, 1764, in her forty-sixth year. See Helme
family, post. Mrs. Esther Powell died a widow, October
20, 1746, aged sixty -nine years, and was buried in the Con-
gregational burying ground at Tower Hill.
Marie, another daughter of Gabriel Bernon, married
Gabriel Tourtellot. See Tourtellot family, post.
Sarah, another daughter, married Benjamin Whipple,
November 11, 1722.
Mr. Bernon' s eldest son Gabriel and four daughters,
children by his first wife, all came with him to America.
This son died, unmarried, in early manhood by a shipwreck
at the mouth of Narragansett Bay. In his will, dated Feb-
ruary 16, 1727-8, proved in Providence, February 10,
1735-6, and there recorded, he mentions his former wife,
Esther, his children, Mary Tourtellot, Esther Powell, Sarah
Whipple, and Jane Coddington, and four small children by
his present wife, Mary, viz. : Gabriel, Susanne, Mary, and
Eve : also his son-in law, Benjamin Whipple. Of their
latter children, Gabriel died young.
Susanne, born 1716, married Joseph, son of William
Crawford, August 23, 1734.
Mary Bernon, born April 1, 1719 ; died October 1, 1789 ;
married Gideon Crawford, son of William Crawford. He
was born January 29, 1709 ; died 1792. Their daughter
Sarah was the first wife of Capt. Zachariah Allen. Eve
Bernon died unmarried.
The location of Bernon' s dwelling house in Providence is
perfectly well known. 1 It was on the lot of the original
" Roger Williams Spring," on the west side of North Main
street, and next north of his great grandson, Gov. Philip
i . Knowles's Life of Roger Williams, p. 431.
Almost directly opposite Bernon's house was the dwelling
of Roger Williams, next to which, though at a later day,
was King's Church, now St. John's.
G. Bernon House Lot.
Roger Williams Spring.
W.+E. Now St. John's.
Roger Williams Lot.
Gov. Philip Allen's.
At the age of eighty, Mr. Bernon embarked for Europe,
and while in London, was presented at Court.
He died in Providence, R. I., February 21, 1736, aged
92 years, and was buried beneath St. John's Church, which
owed its origin to him,l and in which a bronze tablet is
erected to his memory. An obituary notice of him was
published in Boston. He was a gentleman by birth and
estate, and in leaving his native land the greater part of his
estate was necessarily left behind him ; he was a courteous,
honest, kindly gentleman, behaving himself as a zealous
professor of the Protestant religion and dying in the faith
and hope of a Redeemer, and with the inward assurance of
salvation ; leaving a good name among all his acquaintances,
and by his upright life giving evidence of the power of
Christianity in sustaining him through his great sufferings
i. Arnold, vol. 2, p. 75.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 79
in leaving his country and a great estate that he might wor-
ship God according to his conscience. A great concourse of
people attended his funeral, and listened to an agreeable and
eloquent sermon from Psalm 39 : 4, preached by the Rev.
The family of Bernon is registered in the " Historical
and Genealogical Dictionary of the families of ancient
Poitou, ' ' and it is stated there that the name has been known
and celebrated since the " earliest ages of the French mon-
archy. ' '
Numerous articles of value preserved among his descend-
ants, go to show the wealth and social standing of Mr.
For some of the numerous descendants of Bernon, see the
families of Crawford, Allen, Tourtellot, Helme and Car-
As the name of Carre is found in the Bernon genealogy it
is very probable that Rev. Ezekiel Carre was a relative of
THE TOURTELLOT FAMILY.
We find on the Frenchtown plat the name of Abraum
Tourtellot. He must, therefore, have been in this country
in November, 1686.1 He was engaged in mercantile pur-
suits, in partnership with his brother Benjamin, who died
on a voyage from London to Boston, September 25, 1687,
and Abraum was administrator of his brother's estate, the
inventory of which would show a considerable trade. He
lived at Roxbury, and by his wife, Mary, had two children,
Gabriel, born September 24, 1694, and Esther, born June
The tradition in the Rhode Island family is that they are
descended from Gabriel Tourtellot, who was born at Bor-
deaux, and who married Marie, daughter of Gabriel Bernon,
with whom he came over from Rochelle. Bernon 's will,
dated February 16, 1727-8, proved in Providence, Febru-
ary 10, 1735-6, mentions Mary Tourtellot among his chil-
They, Gabriel and Mary, had three children, two sons and
a daughter. He lived at Newport, and sailed from there,
as master of a vessel, and was with his eldest son, (christian
name unknown), lost at sea. The daughter married
Harding. Abram, the other son, settled in Gloucester, and
was a large land owner there. His mother lived with him
in Gloucester and died there. He married Lydia Ballard.
Their children were :
First, Mary, born March 20, 1721 ; married Mit-
chell. Second and third, Lydia and Esther, twins, born
January 24, 1723; Lydia married Thomas Knowlton.
Esther married Samuel Dunn. Fourth, Abram, born Feb-
x. Savage's Genealogical Dictionary, vol. 4, p. 315.
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 81
ruary 27, 1725; married Harris, and settled in
Thomson, Connecticut. Fifth, Jonathan, born September
15, 1728; married Williams, and settled in Scituate,
K. 1. Sixth, Benjamin, born November 30, 1730; married
Ballard, and settled in Vermont. Seventh, Sarah,
married John Inman.
Abram, son of Gabriel, married, second, January 29,
1743, Hannah Corps, a widow, whose maiden name was
Case. They had five children :
1. Stephen, died young, of small pox.
2. William, married Phebe Whitman, of Providence,
and settled in Gloucester. Had eleven children: a. Mary.
b. Hannah. c. William, married Lydia Eddy; children:
Cyrus, Amasa R. , now living, Abradia, John and Lydia. d.
Barbary. e. Nancy. /. Sarah. #and h. Hope and Mercy.
i. Whitman. j, Amey. k. Abram.
3. Jesse, married Angell ; setted in Mendon,
Massachusetts ; ten children.
4. Daniel, married Urana Keech, and lived and died in
Gloucester. By his first wife, he had three children: a.
Jesse, who was Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He
married Steere. They had twelve children; among
them was my old friend and schoolmate, Jesse S. Tourtel-
lot. b. Jeremiah, c. Dorcas, who married Captain
Aborn, of Pawtuxet. Their son Robert lives in New York.
5. Anna, married first,— Jones ; no children; sec-
ond, Ebenezer White, who had six children: a. Nancv. b.
Esther, c. Nabby. d. Sally, e. Frances and /. Mary,
who was the second wife of her cousin Jesse, and he was her
Abram, the son of Gabriel, married for his third wife,
Williams. No children.
CRAWFORD AND ALLEN FAMILIES.
Gideon Crawford emigrated from Lanark in Scotland, and
settled in Providence about 16T0. He married Freelove,
daughter of Arthur Fenner, 1687; he died 1702; his grand-
son, Joseph, born 1712, married, 1734, Susanne, daughter
of Gabriel Bernon. Their children were: First, Sarah;
second, Joseph; third, Freelove, married John Jenckes ;
fourth, Susanne, married Samuel Nightingale; fifth, Mary,
married Dr. Amos Throop; sixth, Candace, second wife of
Capt. Zachariah Allen; seventh, Esther; eighth, Lydia;
ninth, Anne, born in 1759; married Capt. Zachariah Allen,
(third wife). . She died in 1808. He died in 1801.
The children of Capt. Zachariah Allen and his third wife,
1. Zachariah, died young.
2. Lydia, born in 1782, married, in 1804, Sullivan
Dorr, of Boston. She died in 1859. He died in 1853.
3. Ann, died unmarried in 1859.
4. Philip, B. U. 1803, married, in 1814, Phebe, daugh-
ter of Benjamin Aborn. He was Governor of the State,
and Senator in Congress. He died in 1865. Mrs. Allen
died in 1864.
5. Candace, died in 1860, unmarried.
6. Zachariah, born September 15, 1795. B. U. 1813.
Married, May 1, 1817, Eliza Harriet Arnold, daughter of
Welcome Arnold. She died August 30, 1873, aged 76.
Mr. Allen received the degree of LL. D. from Brown Uni-
versity in 1851.
7. Crawford, B. U., 1815, married, June 5, 1838, Sarah
Senter, daughter of Rev. Nathan B. Crocker, D. D. He
died April 22, 1872, aged 74.
HELME AND CARPENTER FAMILIES.
Rowse Helme, died 1712; his will is on record in Kings-
town; his son, Rowse, married Sarah Niles, and died 1751.
His children were : First, James, see post; second, Sands, died
1738; third, Rowse; fourth, Nathaniel; fifth, Benedict; sixth,
Simeon; seventh, Benedict; eighth, Silas; ninth, Sarah ;
tenth, ; eleventh, Oliver; twelfth, Samuel.
James Helme, born 1710; married Esther Powell, grand-
daughter of Gabriel Bernon, in 1738. Mr. Helme was
elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in 1767, and
was a Judge of that Court for many years, and held other
important offices. Their children were: First, Esther, born
1740, married Capt. Francis Carpenter, 1767 ; their son
was Willett Carpenter, lately deceased ; second, Powell, died
1780, single; third, Rowse J., who was an attorney at law,
an account of him is given in Updike's Memoirs of the
Rhode Island Bar ; fourth, Sarah ; fifth, Elizabeth; sixth,
James, see post ; seventh, Adam, died unmarried; eighth,
Samuel, born 1755, for many years Clerk of the Court in
Washington county. His son, Powell, married Elizabeth
Kenyon, was for many years clerk of the Supreme Court in
Washington county, and Town Clerk of South Kingstown,
and died October 20, 1861; ninth, Sarah; tenth, Gabriel,
died single; eleventh, Nathaniel.
James Helme, son of Judge James, was born 1749-50,
married Sarah Clarke, 1777 ; he died 1824, in South Kings-
town. Their children were : First, James, who had chil-
dren : a. James, now living at Woonsocket, married Elmira
Allen, of Franklin, Massachusetts.
b. Sarah, married George Rickard, of Providence. They
had seven children, of whoni four are now living : 1. Sarah ;
84 HISTORICAL TRACT
2. James H., married Abby S. Weld of Woonsocket ; 3.
George Silas, married Penina Jackson, of Woonsocket ; 4.
c. Mercy P., married James B. Ay res, of Yates county,
New York. They had two children : 1. Martha Wanton,
married, 1st, Sanford W. Kress, of Yates county ; 2nd,
d. Jonathan Perry, married Mary, daughter of William
James, of Providence. Had three children, only one now
living, Anna P., married Leonard O. Smith, of Franklin,
Connecticut, and is now living in Philadelphia.
e. Adam Helme, married Ann Cory, living in South
Kingstown. Children : Mary E. ; Hittie Ann ; Adam
The other children of James, son of Judge James, were :
Second, John, who married Susan, daughter of Elisha R.
Gardner, and left two daughters : Mary, who married John
Wilbur, of Fall River ; Ann, who married Thomas Nason,
of Woonsocket. After Mr. Helme' s death, his widow
married Rev. Israel Washburn, a Methodist clergyman. He
died at Middleboro', Massachusetts, in 1864.
Third, Bernon, for many years clerk of the Court of
Common Pleas in Providence County, died 1826 ; married
Elizabeth Olney, 1811. Had two children ; James Powell,
who died 1825, aged eight years ; and Mary, who died sin-
Fourth, Nathaniel, B. U. 1819 ; died 1822, unmarried.
Was an excellent classical scholar, and for several years In-
structor in the classical school at Little Rest, now Kingston.
Willett Carpenter, before named, married Elizabeth,
daughter of Joseph Case and sister of the late Dr. Benja-
min W. Case, of Newport. He inherited the large estate
on Boston Neck, which had belonged to the Willetts and
owned it at the time of his death. His children were :
FRENCH SETTLEMENTS IN RHODE ISLAND. 85
Howell H., and Rev. James H. Carpenter, of Wakefield, a
clergyman of the Episcopal Church. On the Willett farm
was the residence of Theophilus Whale or Whaley, sup-
posed to be one of the regicide judges. 1
I. For full account of the Willett family see Stiles' History of the
judges ; Thomson's History of Long Island, and Updike's History of
the Narragansett Church.
THE GANEAUX FAMILY.
Francis Ganeaux came from Guernsey and settled at
New Rocbelle, where he died at the age of 103. The name
was soon Englished into Gano. Stephen, son of Francis,
had several children, of whom Daniel married Sarah,
daughter of Nathaniel Britton, of Staten Island, and re-
moved to Hopewell, New Jersey. Their children were :
First, Daniel ; Second, Jane ; third, Stephen, died young :
fourth, Susanna ; fifth, Rev. John Gano, born at Hopewell
July 22, 1777, ordained in 1754. He lived for some time
at Frankfort, Kentucky, and died August 10, 1804. He
married Sarah, daughter of John Stiles. Children : a.
John, died in 1764. h. Daniel, born November 11, 1758.
c. Peggy, born in 1760. d. Rev. Stephen, born December
25, 1762 ; settled over the First Baptist Church, in Provi-
dence, in 1792. e. Sarah, born February 4, 1764. f.
John S., born in 1766. g. Isaac Eaton, h. Richard Mont-
gomery, i. Susanna, k. William.
Sixth, Nathaniel; seventh, David; eighth, Sarah. 1
Rev. Dr. Stephen Gano was thrice married, first to Cor-
nelia Vavasour, October 25, 1782. Of their children, Cor-
nelia V. married Rev. John Holroyd. Margaret H. mar-
ried Rev. David Benedict, well known as the author of the
History of the Baptists.
Second, married Mary Talmadge, August 4, 1789. Of
their children, Sally S. married Rev. Peter Ludlow. Maria
T. married Rev. Henry Jackson. Clarissa A. married,
first, Newton Robbins, and second, James Ludlow.
Third, married Mary Brown, July 18, 1799. Their only
child, Eliza Brown, married Joseph Rogers.
i. Benedict's History of the Baptists, vol. I, pp. 485, 550, and vol. 2,
p. 306. Memoir of Rev. John Gano, New York, 1806.
The tradition of this family, as given me by the late Judge
William Mar chant, is that three brothers came over from Ba-
yonne, in the time of the persecution, one of whom settled
at Cape Cod, one at Barnstable and one at Martha's Vine-
yard, from which latter place Capt. Huxford Marchant, a
sea captain, removed to Newport. His son, Henry, was
educated for the bar and began the practice of the law in
Newport, in which he attained great eminence. He was for
several years a member of the first Continental Congress,
and was one of those who signed the Articles of Confedera-
tion when adopted. He was Attorney General of the State.
Like many others attached to the new government, he had
to leave Newport while it was in the possession of the British.
He purchased a farm in South Kingstown and lived there
for a time. 1 He received the degree of LL. D. from Yale
College in 1792, and died in 1796, at which time he held the
office of United States District Judge.
His son, William Marchant, graduated at Yale, 1792. He
resided for a time in Newport and afterwards in South
Kingstown, where he died. He held the offices of Judge of
the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of the Court of Com-
mon Pleas, and member of the State Senate. He died Jan-
uary 21, 1857, aged eighty-two years. His son Henry was
for a long time a manufacturer in Pawtucket and died in
May, 1865. William, son of Judge William, is now living
on the homestead farm in South Kingstown.
i. See an account of his life in Updike's Memoirs of the Rhode
On the plat the name of this family is spelled Targe. In
the old deeds and wills of the family in North Kingstown it
is generally spelled Tourgee. After the breaking up of the
French settlement the family remained in North Kingstown,
but just over the Greenwich line in the immediate neighbor-
hood of the proposed settlement. It seems from the plat
that a father and son were among the settlers. The tradition
as preserved in the family, gives the names of Peter and three
sons: Peter, John and Philip. Professor Tourgee of the
Boston Conservatory of Music, gives me the following, ob*
tained from the records at Wickford. Children of Peter:
First, Thomas, born December, 1722; second, Philip, born
October, 172 A; third, Elizabeth, born 1728; fourth, Peter,
born February, 1733; fifth, John, December, 1735„
John died 1812. His son Jeremiah, born December,
1778 and died 1867. His son, Ebenezer, born in Warwick,
1809, died October, 1878, was father of Professor Eben
Tourgee, of Boston.
THE LUCAS FAMILY.
This family was of French descent, and was connected
with the Hillhouse and Brenton families, and in Narragan-
sett with Matthew Robinson. 1 Augustus Lucas, the first
emigrant, married Marie Lefebvre, daughter of Daniel Le-
febvre, of Garhere, January 6, 1696, at St. Malo, in Bre-
tagne. She died February 12, 1698, at Newport. He
married, second, at Bristol, Barsheba Elliot, September 21,
1704. Their daughter, Barsheba, was born August 27,
1708, and died, the wife of Matthew Robinson, at Kingston,
December 21, 1775.
i. Potter's Early History of Narragansett, p. 296, and Updike's Epis-
copal Church in Narragansett, pp. 280, 505, 506, and the notices of
Matthew Robinson and Augustus Johnson in Updike's Memoirs of
Rhode Island Bar.
THE JERAULD FAMILY.
In 1742 Dr. Dutee Jerauld, then about thirty years old,
came from Medfield, Massachusetts, and settled in East
Greenwich, and died in July, 1813, aged 91. His parents
were Huguenot refugees. His father was a physician. One
of his daughters married Samuel Pearce. Their son, Hon.
Dutee J. Pearce, resided in Newport, and was a very able
lawyer, Attorney General of the State, member of Congress
for twelve years, and acquired considerable influence there.
See Dr. Greene's History of East Greenwich, and Dr. Par
sons' Sketches of Rhode Island Physicians.
THE GINNADO FAMILY.
Lewis Ginnado emigrated from France and married in
Newport. He died in Exeter, Rhode Island, near Chap-
man's Mills, May 23, 1795, aged 79. His wife, Sarah,
died in 1801. His daughter, Esther, married Gideon Free-
born. Daniel, his son, lived and died near Mumford's
Mills. A lot of land there is still known by his name.
Daniel Ginnado' s will was proved in South Kingstown, in
February, 1816. In it he mentions his children, Samuel
H., Lewis, Daniel, Joseph D., Susanna Sherman, Dorcas
H., and Peggy.
The will of Daniel Ginnado, 2nd, was dated December,
1817, and proved in South Kingstown, January, 1818. He
mentions his wife, Sally G. Ginnado, son, Samuel Slocum
Ginnado, and nephews, Daniel and Alfred.
Besides the families of whom we have given some account
above, there are other families of French descent: The
Levalleys, in Warwick; Jacques, Jaquais, Jacowaise; Le
Baron; Geoffroy; Tarbox; Bardine, sometimes English from
Bourdille. 1 Andrew Nichols emigrated from Ireland, and
married a French wife of the name of Petrel, and the late
John T. Nichols* Sr., of Kingston, was their grandson.
Louis Alaire, whose name is on the Frenchtown plat, was
probably a relative of Bernon % s.2
Of the Frenchtown settlers, the following, probably, went
South: Collin, Jouet, Moize Lebrun, Legendre, St. Julien,
For the documents from the British State Paper Office,
including the map, we were indebted to the courtesy of Gen.
Schenck, while minister at the Court of St. James. A re-
duced copy of this is prefixed. The other plat is reduced
from the old plat of East Greenwich, and gives the lots as
they were held by the settlers under the Rhode Island title.
We are indebted to several ladies and gentlemen for as-
sistance and contributions; and more especially to Sidney S.
Rider, for the great pains he has taken in contributing in-
formation and in making the statements, dates, etc., exact.
Still, no doubt, errors will be found, as for instance, on page
61 it is related that a company of French settled at Chatham
Four Corners, in New York: the word French is an error
for Friends, and was not discovered in time to be corrected;
and again on page 19, the name Legree should have been
i. Massachusetts Historical Collections, volume 22, page 81.
2. Bernon Family, and also Savage's Genealogical Dictionary.
3. Mrs. I^ee's Huguenots in France and America, volume 2.