1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Daniel Stedman Diary

 Farmer and shoemaker of South Kingstown, RI

 Diary, 1826-1849

 Size: .25 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 1129

 Processed by: Karen Eberhart, January 2004

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Daniel Stedman was born in South Kingstown, RI on April 25, 1787 the son of Daniel McCoon Stedman (1766-1806) and Martha Braman (1768-1841). He lived his entire life in South Kingstown, dying there on January 11, 1859 of consumption. He made his living as a farmer in the summer and a shoemaker in the winter. He farmed his own land and also worked for others in the community, primarily Jeremiah Niles Potter. Daniel was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in 1819 and held that appointment until 1836. He was able thereby to supplement his income by acknowledging legal instruments, filing Writs and presiding at marriages.

            Daniel married three times: 1 - Freelove Reynolds on 12/22/1808 ; 2 - Ann C. Fowler on 10/21/1832 ; 3 - Alice (Potter) Sheldon on 9/8/1850. Daniel had eight children all by his first wife Freelove Reynolds. Daniel McCoon (1810-1900); James Reynolds (1812-1828); John (1815-after 1870); Freelove Reynolds (1816-1892) married Thomas S. Tourgee; Joseph Reynolds (1819-after 1870); Benjamin T. (1821-1895); Rachel Peckham (1825-1923) unmarried; Jeremiah Potter (1828-1896).




Oatley, Henry Clay, Jr. and Cherry Fletcher Bamber, ed. Daniel Stedman's Journal, 1826-1859. Greenville, RI: Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2003.

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Scope and content:

            Daniel became interested in recording the events of his life and events in the community in 1826 and he started to keep a diary. The diary records many births, deaths and marriages that would not otherwise have been recorded along with the events of daily life in a small village in southern Rhode Island. There is considerable information about the shoemaking trade as his oldest son Daniel McCoon also became a shoemaker. Daniel also comments on the textile industry under the direction of the Hazard family and his views on temperance. At the back of the bound volume are his account records and memoranda on money owed by him and to him for 1830-1851. The transcribed and published version of this diary (see bibliography) includes an extensive index by subject and name.

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Processing note:

            The loose pages of the diary were reassembled as closely as possible to its original format. During that process I found that the transcription had misinterpreted the date of one fragment of the diary. In the published transcription the entries for March 20 - 23, 1829 should actually be February 20-23, 1829. There is one page of the diary that is missing entirely. It would have contained entries for March 9 - March 23, 1829 and April 24 - May 18, 1829.

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Folder 1          February 22 - March 25, 1826

Folder 2          March 29 - April 22, 1826

Folder 3          April 23 - June 5, 1826

Folder 4          June 6 - June 18, 1826

Folder 5          June 27, 1826 - March 24, 1827 (28 pages)

Folder 6          March 24 - April 25, 1827

Folder 7          April 26 - April 28, 1827 (includes comments for Apr 20-28)

Folder 8          April 28 - December 4, 1827 (16 pages)

Folder 9          December 3, 1827 - January 2, 1829 (48 pages)

Folder 10        January 3 - July 26, 1829 (24 pages; p.7-8, 17-18 missing)

Folder 11        July 27, 1829 - December 25, 1849 (Bound volume)

                        Accounts and memoranda, 1830-1851

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Baptist Church - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.

Diaries, 1826-1849.

Farms - South Kingstown, R.I.

Hazard family - South Kingstown (R.I.)

Potter family - South Kingstown (R.I.)

Robinson family - South Kingstown (R.I.)

Shoemakers - South Kingstown (R.I.)

South Kingstown (R.I.) - Social life and customs.

Stedman family - South Kingstown (R.I.)

Temperance - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.

Textile industry - Rhode Island.

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