1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Madison Family Papers

 Farmers, Warwick and North Kingstown, R.I.

 Papers, 1858-1932. Bulk, 1890-1932.

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 92

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, March 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            George W. Madison was born on November 24, 1851 in Warwick, R.I., the son of Joseph W. Madison (b.1820) and Maria Smith Madison. His father was the manager of the extensive Ives-Goddard-Russell family farm on Potowomut Neck in Warwick, the property now known as Goddard Park. George followed his father as manager of the farm. Eventually he inherited the Tockwotton Farm in nearby North Kingstown from his father, which he incorporated as Tockwotton Jersey Farms Inc. in 1927. It operated as one of the largest dairy farms in Rhode Island, on eighty acres of pasture land. As of 1932, it owned a herd of fifty Jersey cattle. The farm is still on North Quidnessett Road in the Davisville section of North Kingstown, and is still operated by the Madison family.

            Madison, in addition to his agricultural activities, served three terms as a Republican state senator from 1917 to 1920, was a member of the Baptist Church, and was an active Freemason. He married Fanny L. Spink on October 12, 1875, and they had six children: Warren, Harold L., Ralph, Louise, Francis S. and G. Manton.

            George W. Madison had one sibling, his sister Celia Maria Madison, who married Thomas G. Mathewson (b.1854) in 1881. Thomas was also active in the management of the Goddard land, and inherited his own family lands in North Kingstown in 1901. Thomas and Celia's only surviving child was Anna Maria Mathewson, who married Dana Lawrence in 1909.


Bicknell, Thomas W. The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (New York: American Historical Society, 1920), vol. 4, pages 153-154.

Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1932), vol. 4, pages 314-315.

Cole, J.R. History of Washington and Kent Counties (1889), page 443.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists largely of the diaries of George W. Madison, kept intermittently from 1892 to 1932. The diaries are detailed regarding the flow of work on the farm, but not very expressive regarding his personal life. During the last two diaries, there are many entries in a different hand, often signed "L.M." We can assume these entries were made by daughter Louise Madison.

            The collection also contains one diary dated 1907, kept by Madison's sister Celia M. Mathewson; and a few pages from an account book dated 1858 to 1861, listing work done for T.P. Ives and William Goddard, and presumably kept by the father Joseph W. Madison.

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            The collection was donated by Manton E. Madison in 1989.

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Processing note:

            The authors of the diaries were not identified until 1997, and had formerly been cataloged only under the heading "Tockwotton Farms". Internal evidence led to the above identifications, which can be confirmed by checking anniversaries of George Madison's birth and marriage.

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Diaries of George W. Madison (one volume for each year):

            1890-1892; 1906; 1911-1932.

            1931 and 1932 kept partially by Louise Madison.

Diary of Celia M. (Madison) Mathewson, 1907

Partial account book of Joseph W. Madison, 1858-1861

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Agriculture - Rhode Island - Warwick

Dairy farms - Rhode Island - North Kingstown

Diaries - 1890-1932

Diaries - 1907

Goddard estate (Warwick, R.I.)

Mathewson, Celia M. (Madison)

Madison, Joseph W. (1820-1900)

Madison, Louise

North Kingstown, R.I. - Social life and customs

Tockwotton Jersey Farms

Tockwotton Farms (old heading)

Warwick, R.I. - Social life and customs

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