1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Inventory

5.   Subjects

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 Massachusetts State Militia Records

  Records, 1811-1833

 Size: 0.25 feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1009

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, October 1997

Additions by Robin Flynn, December 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            These records all relate to the regiment of Massachusetts militia based in the area that was later ceded to Rhode Island in 1862, including the towns of Rehoboth, Seekonk, Swansea and Pawtucket. The records cover the years 1786, 1789, and 1822 to 1833.

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Scope and content:

            The collection contains mainly annual muster and election returns (for officers) from several Massachusetts towns, dated between 1786 and 1833. There is also a small amount of correspondence dated between 1811 and 1833, the bulk of which (1830-1833) is addressed to Colonel Lyndal Bowen.

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            The bulk of these papers were donated by Mrs. T. Frederick Chace in 1941, and kept folded in an envelope. At some point, they were placed in a box with the unrelated and unprocessed papers of historian Henry R. Chace. In 1997, during the processing of the Henry R. Chace Papers, the envelope was found and removed to form a separate collection. The papers were unfolded and placed in acid-free folders. Three items from 1786 and 1789 were added to the collection; their provenance is unknown.

            In 1999, during the re-processing of MSS 301 (the Bowen Family Papers), several items were transferred out of that collection to MSS 1009: 21 election returns for the 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 5th Division of Massachusetts Militia dated between 1828 and 1833 (Rehoboth, Swansea, and Seekonk); military correspondence to Col. Lyndal Bowen dated 1830 to 1833; four miscellaneous letters, 1811-1832 and undated (see transfer list below); and a commission to George Bliss dated March 3, 1829. These papers were formerly filed in MSS 301 in a folder marked “Lyndal Bowen”, and were probably transferred to that collection from the original 1941 donation.

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Annual returns, First Regiment, Second Brigade, Fifth Division, Massachusetts Militia

1786:  Pardon Pearce's Company                  Swansea

1789:  Samuel Carpenter's CompanyRehoboth

            Daniel Carpenter's Company  No location given

1822:   Joshua Miller's Company                   Rehoboth (2 copies)

            Hervey Mason's Company                 Seekonk

            Danforth L. Peck's Company Swansea

1824:  Jonathan Carpenter's Company          Seekonk

            Cyrus Wheaton's Company                Rehoboth

            Samuel Smith's Company                  No location given

            William Cole's Company                   No location given

            Samuel Brown's Company                 No location given

            Isaac Pearce Jr.'s Company                No location given

1827:  Nathan B. Goff's Company                No location given


1828:  Nathan B. Goff's Company                No location given (May)

            Nathan B. Goff's Company                No location given (October)


1829:  Election returns (3)                             Rehoboth

            Commission to George Bliss              Rehoboth

            Roster of officers, 1806-1829             Various Mass. towns


1830:  Election returns (4)                             Rehoboth, Swansea

            John Medbury’s Company                 No location given (October)

1831:  Ellis B. Pitcher's Company                 Pawtucket

            Election returns (2)                             Rehoboth, Swansea

1832:  Zebina Bourn's Company                   Seekonk

            John Medbury's Company                  Pawtucket

            Election returns (3)                             Swansea, Rehoboth, Seekonk

            Oaths and subscriptions                      Various Mass. towns


1833:  Election returns (4)                             Swansea, Rehoboth

Correspondence to Lyndal Bowen, 1830-1833

Miscellaneous letters, 1811-1832 and undated (see transfer list below)

Miscellaneous printed material for Massachusetts Militia, ca. 1823-1832


            Phillip Nichols' Company                  No location given

            Zebina Bourn's Company                   No location given. Blank except for title.

            Election return                                    Seekonk


Typescript abstracts and transcriptions of other related records from Chace's collection prepared by Mrs. Lewis A. Waterman (initials K.V.W.). The originals were not donated:

            List of Mrs. T. Frederick Chace's papers

            Abstracts of officer election returns, 1828-1833

             Abstracts of discharge and resignation papers, 1829-1831

            Warrant for arrest of Capt. Ellis B. Pitcher, 1832, with related letter

            Militia correspondence, 1830 and 1833

            Roster of officers, 1822-1829

            Oaths of officers, 1831-1833

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Bowen, Lyndal

Chace, Mrs. T. Frederick

Militia - Massachusetts

Pawtucket, R.I. - Militia

Rehoboth, Mass. - Militia

Seekonk, Mass. - Militia

Swansea, Mass. - Militia

Waterman, Mrs. Lewis A.

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