1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers

 Family, mostly of Newport, R.I.

 Family papers, 1735-1913. Bulk, 1756-1849

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1026

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, November 1998

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Thomas G. Hazard (1738-1820) was the son of George Hazard. He traced his line of descent through his grandfather Thomas, his great-grandfather Robert, and his great-great-grandfather Thomas Hazard, the immigrant. There were many Thomas Hazards in colonial Rhode Island, and this one adopted the initial "G." (after his father George) to help distinguish himself from the rest circa 1765. Though he lived in Middletown and South Kingstown at various points in his life, he was best known as a prominent Newport landowner. He married Mary Easton, daughter of Jonathan. Most of their eight children remained in Newport, including Benjamin Hazard (1770-1841), a prominent local political figure.


Robinson, Caroline E. Hazard Family of Rhode Island 1635-1894 (Boston: published by author, 1895), especially pages 42-43, 83-86.

Rogers, L.E., ed. Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island (Providence: National Biographical Publishing, 1881), 176.

Historical Catalogue of Brown University 1764-1904 (Providence: Brown University, 1905)

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Scope and content:

            This collection includes papers of Thomas G. Hazard, six of his children, and several other immediate family members. Of particular interest are the papers of his son Benjamin Hazard (1770-1841), who served as a Newport representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly for 34 years, and seems to have played a major role as a power-broker in state-wide elections. Although only twenty-six of his letters are preserved in this collection, most of them are rich in political gossip from the pre-Dorr years.

            Thomas G. Hazard's papers are also of general interest. They include good political letters from the 1780s and 1790s, including one extremely detailed twelve-page letter from Continental Congress delegate David Howell that discusses the newborn nation's diplomatic efforts at the close of the Revolution. There are also three bills of sale for slaves purchased by Hazard. On a lighter note, there are several amusing letters from his son Benjamin, written as a struggling young lawyer in Newport in the 1790s. There are also several depositions and other documents from a lengthy lawsuit brought by Anthony Wilbor, in which several of Hazard's sons allegedly beat Wilbor for attempting to take seaweed from their beach.

            The remainder of the collection is mainly interesting as a whole. There are many letters back and forth between family members, which collectively give a portrait of family life in early Newport.

            Thomas G. Hazard should not be confused with his first cousins: the diarist Thomas

"Nailor Tom" Hazard and Thomas "College Tom" Hazard, who was the ancestor of the famous Hazards of Peace Dale. The papers of the Peace Dale Hazards comprise hundreds of boxes and are described in a separate series of finding aids. This collection from Thomas G.'s branch of the family, however, is valuable in its own right.

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            These records were found interspersed through the Miscellaneous Manuscripts collection in 1998, and the principals involved were discovered to be closely related. A search of the accession records turned up a gift of "Hazard and other papers" donated by Robert W. Maynard on July 30 1964. Maynard was the great-great-grandson of Thomas G. Hazard. Though there is no further evidence, it seems very likely that the bulk of the Thomas G. Hazard Family Papers came through this gift.

            A folder of papers relating to an estate suit filed by Thomas G. Hazard Jr. was donated by David Dumas in 1975. It was filed with this collection because it relates exclusively to the estate of Mary Hazard #397, daughter of Thomas G. Hazard.

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Processing note:

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Family members are identified by the numbers assigned in Robinson's The Hazard Family of Rhode Island.

Hazard, Benjamin #47 (1702-1768). Of Newport. Uncle of Thomas G.

Folder 1:

1735-1749      Pages 9 to 26 of suit brought by widow Mary Hazard (mother of Thomas G.).

Hazard, Benjamin #396 (1774-1841). Lawyer, of Newport. Son of Thomas G.

Served as a state representative from 1806 to 1840.

Folder 2 (correspondence):

----/01/12     From [Richard Peters?]

1816/01/14   From Walter Channing. Offers legal advice.

1818/03/13   From Stephen Twining.

1829/03/23   From E. Whittlesey. Discusses patronage under Andrew Jackson.

1829/06/23   From Thomas P. Ives. Bank crisis at Pawtucket.

1831/01/10   From Thomas P. Ives. Blackstone Canal Company crisis.

1831/02/03   From Dutee J. Pearce. Vacillations of John B. Francis.

1831/02/05   From Thomas P. Ives. Politics.

1831/02/10   From Moses Brown Ives. Re John Brown Francis.

1831/3/7       From Joseph L. Tillinghast. Rhode Island governor race.

1831/04/08   From Lemuel Hastings Arnold. Re upcoming elections.

1831/04/23   To unknown. Re elections.

1832/06/18   To Judge John Pitman. Re case of seaman who forfeited wages for misconduct.

1833/04/08   From James F. Simmons. Local politics.

1833/10/10   From Matthew C. Perry. Re revival of Elliot's conduct at Lake Erie in 1812.

1835/04/03   To Lemuel Hastings Arnold. Election strategy.

1835/05/01   From Edward Everett (1794-1865), Abbott [Lousenne?], and F.C. Gray. In support of Webster's nomination for presidency.

1835/06/21   From George Curtis. Recommends Charles Jackson as judge.

1835/07/23   To Enos Hitchcock (draft). Re Taylor - Champlin debt case.

1835/11/26   From Charles H. Russell. Offering free passage on Boston & Prov. RR.

1836/06/02   To Lemuel Hastings Arnold. Lyman Cotton Manufacturing Co. affairs.

1837/12/28   From John Brown Francis. Urges Hazard to visit president in Washington.

1838/01/09   From John Brown Francis. Political machinations.

1838/09/17   From Nehemiah R. Knight. Denies rumors that he is leaving Senate.

1839/10/20   From John H. Clarke. Asks Hazard to defend General Assembly.

1840/11/21   From John W. Wing. Sorry that Hazard cannot help with state boundary case.

Folder 3 (miscellaneous):

Biographical sketch by Prof. Goddard, undated

Deed from Catherine Wickham, 1807

Various drafts of an 1820 act for relief of poor pensioners imprisoned for debt

Rail pass for Boston & Providence Railroad, undated

Certificate as attorney of U.S. Supreme Court, 1829

Petition from citizens of Cumberland, 1837

Act to incorporate the State Bank of Rhode Island, 1828

Report as chairman of committee on boundary line with Massachusetts, 1832

Plaintiff's closing argument, Nicholson vs. Reynolds et al, undated

Four Rhode Island College (Brown University) bills, 1790-1791

Misc. other memoranda, 1806-1838.

Hazard, Daniel Lyman #753 (1821-?). Of Providence.

Son of Benjamin, grandson of Thomas G.

Folder 4:

Undated        Letter from sister Harriet and mother Harriet (Lyman) Hazard

Hazard, Enoch #398 (d.1844). Physician of Newport. Son of Thomas G.

Folder 5:

????/08/31    Letter from sister Ruth E. Hazard (#400) re her estate.

????/11/24    Letter from G.C. Segur of West Killingly, Conn.

1794/09/03   Diploma from Rhode Island College (Brown University).

1798/09/04   Letter of recommendation from Christopher G. Champlin as surgeon

1806/03/24   Letter to Sec. of War Henry Dearborn, accepting appointment as surgeon

1826/05/05   Note from Benjamin Rodman re destruction of Newport church steeple in 1761

1827/08/14   Letter from Samuel Rodman

1833/05/02   Deed to Richard Hazard, laborer

1835/07/17   Agreement with Jeffrey O’Riley for construction of stone walls for barn

1838/11/18   Letter to G.C. Segur (draft)

1839/04/25   Deed from Catherine and James Phillips

1839/09/14   Letter from brother Benjamin (#398) re estate of brother George P. (#393).

1840/06/27   Commission as surveyor-general of the state military hospital

1842/11/29   Lease from John G. Moses and john Morris

1842/12/08   Agreement with sister Mary (#397).

1843/06/24   Commission as surveyor-general of the state military hospital

1815, 1818      Invitations of wife to Masonic balls in Newport.

1796-1840      Several receipts dated 1796-1840

Hazard, George P. #393 (1763-1839). Son of Thomas G.

Folder 6:

1796/08         Judgement re money due as guardian of cousin Enoch Hazard #391

1797/10/28   Receipt from cousin Enoch Hazard

1799/02/22   Letters to Thomas Shearman and Elisha R. Potter (on same sheet)

1802/09/01   Letter from sister Ruth H. Hazard #400

1808/02/09   Letter from brother Benjamin #396

undated         Receipt from William Franklin re Enoch Hazard

Hazard, John Alfred #399 (d.1799). Son of Thomas G.

Folder 7:

1795                Diploma from Rhode Island College (Brown University).

1799/07/12   Letter to sister Ruth Hazard #400, written nine days before death.

Hazard, John Alfred #755 (1806-1880). Lawyer of Newport.

Son of Enoch, grandson of Thomas G. Son-in-law of his uncle Benjamin Hazard #396.

Folder 8:

1833/11/13   Letter from father-in-law / uncle Benjamin Hazard #396.

1834/?Letter from brother-in-law / cousin Peyton R. Hazard #747

1842/06/07   Commission as ensign of Newport Artillery

1842/06/08   Commission as aide to the Governor.

Hazard, Jonathan Easton #394 (1764-1849). Of Newport. Son of Thomas G.

Generally known as Easton.

Folder 9:

1821-1824      Farm labor accounts, Newport.

1821/09/05   Letter from Benjamin Hazard #396 re their father's estate

1829/04/09   Account with John Dennis

1829/08/08   Account with David Rodman for shoes

1839/10/25   Last will and testament

Hazard, Mary #203 (1727-1777). Of South Kingstown. Unmarried daughter of Thomas G.

Folder 10:

1776/01/22   Last will and testament (1787 copy)

Hazard, Peyton R. #747 (1810-1849). Mariner of Newport and New York.

Son of Benjamin, and grandson of Thomas G.

Folder 11:

1829/04/13   Seaman's protection certificate, Newport

ca.1831           Seaman's protection certificate, Providence

1834/05/19   Letter of reference from Capt. Thomas Waterhouse

1836/10/26   Letter from father Benjamin Hazard #396

1849/06/20   Letter to Capt. Finch, recommending Mr. Hazard as a pilot

1849/07/03   Letter from mother Harriet (Lyman) Hazard and brother Daniel #753.

Hazard, Ruth #400 (d.1806). Unmarried daughter of Thomas G.

Folder 12:

1802                Last will and testament

Hazard, Thomas G. #207 (1738-1820). Of Middletown, Newport and South Kingstown.

Folder 13 (correspondence):

1767/10/22   From Joseph Clarke, declining invitation.

1772/03/21   From brother Jonathan Jr. "Intend to adopt Easton for my son, if you will give him to me, for its a doubt with me, whether I shall ever have one of my own."

1783/08/26   From David Howell, representative to Continental Congress in Princeton. Very important letter re the new nation's international diplomatic efforts. Describes the reception of commander-in-chief Washington in Princeton, the debate over the creation of a standing army. 12 pages.

1792/09/25   From R.I. Gov. Arthur Fenner. Delays in attending to unspecified business.

1793/10/04   From Gov. Arthur Fenner. Authorizes Hazard to hire a "proper guard boat for the public security of the state against the contagious distemper now prevalent in Philadelphia", to protect Newport against the yellow fever.

1795/04/01   From Henry Marchant in Newport. Somewhat indignant letter disputing Hazard's right to hire a laborer/slave named London who had contracted with Marchant.

1796/03/08   From son Benjamin in Newport. Request for money. Detailed catalog of the indignities of poverty faced as he began his law practice in Newport. Was unable to collect his mail at the post office for lack of funds; could not pay laundress.

1796/04/01   From son Benjamin in Newport. Passes on rumors re father's awards case in court, and offers suggestions for manipulating Gov. Fenner.

1796/10/04   From Clark & Nightingale. Offer to purchase cheese.

1802/09/01   From daughter Ruth E. in Newport. She requests that her brother Dr. Enoch Hazard be paid for the medical care he had provided her.

1806/02/14   From son George P. Hazard. Case delayed.

1806/05/20   Draft of letter to James Fenner, son of Gov. Arthur Fenner, re suit.

1809/06/01   From son Benjamin in Newport. Assumed debt of Mr. Wickham to George Champlin.

1816/08/10   From --- Smith of Portsmouth Navy Yard. Sends deposition.

----/12/09     [From son Benjamin]. Urgent request for money - library books overdue...

----/--/16       [From son Benjamin]. Recommends law books. Enigmatic complaint re shoes: "If Governor Collins was alive I would sent him my shoes for telescopes. They have not only holes in the heel but everywhere else."

Undated        [From son Benjamin]. Courts slow. "I believe all the lawyers in the state won't make so much this year as Channing made in one year before he died." Recommends law books. "I shall not mention my shoes in this letter."

Undated        Draft letter to "Mr. Printer", defending himself against accusations of Sylvester Robinson in debt case.

Folder 14 (legal documents):

1756/04/09   Deed from John Potter 3rd of South Kingstown land. Specifies Thomas Hazard, son of the late George; mentions a trustee until Hazard reaches legal age.

1756/08/01   Lease from Newport proprietors.

1760/01/--    Deed to brother George #204 of South Kingstown land.

1763/03/11   Agreement with Newport town council to erect market house and hog house

1764/06/29   Deed from Stephen Franklin of New Shoreham for "one Negro woman nam'd Jenny one negro boy nam'd Step", for one thousand pounds.

1768/02/18   Unsigned bond from George Kinyon re lease.

1771/07/07   Bond to William Redwood.

1774/03/14   Agreement with Jonathan Easton

1791/12/29   Deed from town council of Jamestown for "a certain Negro boy named Newport Martin now the property of Rebeckah Martin."

1791/12/29   Deed from town council of Jamestown for "a certain Negro woman named Bettey Martin now the property of Rebeckah Martin."

1792/10/--    Resolution of R.I. General Assembly re mortgage case

1799/04/13   Depositions re case of Anthony Wilbor, who claimed to have been savagely beaten by George, Enoch and John Hazard for attempting to collect seaweed from their beach.

1802/07/19   Agreement with Anthony Wilbor re collecting seaweed from beach.

1802/10/26   Bond to William Crooke

1803/08/04   Lease from Francis Malbone of Newport land.

1810/07/18   Bond from Joseph Stanton Jr. to the "Committee for Settling and Adjusting the Business of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians", as treasurer of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians.

1811/09/--    Agreement with Elisha R. Potter re maintenance of boundary fence

1815/07/28   Memorandum re Robert Jeffreys' deed

1815/10/13   Deed of Thomas G. Hazard land to Enoch Hazard for unpaid taxes

1816/07/29   Notary certificate re Elisha Smith Jr.'s deposition

[1816?]           Questions asked in deposition, Hazard vs. Wilbor

[1816/07/29]Deposition of Elisha Smith Jr. re case vs. Anthony Wilbor

1817/10/11   Depositions of Thomas Clarke Jr., re Hazard's suit vs. Thomas Champlin.

1817/12/16   Lease to Phillip Tourjee of Newport land.

1819/01/05   Lease to Benjamin Lake of Newport land.

Undated        Deposition of William T. Congdon in suit vs. Thomas Champlin

Folder 15:

1798-1818      Two bound sets of documents re debt proceedings vs. Robert Taylor

Folder 16 (receipts, etc.):

15 items, most of little general interest, 1764-1819. Includes the following:

1792-1804      Includes bill submitted for "Expense as one of the Indian Committee", listing expenses from 1792 to 1804, mostly for travel back and forth to Charlestown.

1794/11/29   Receipt for coffin made by Walter Nichols, three days after death of wife.

1801/12/07   Receipt for son Benjamin's law studies with William Channing in Newport.

Hazard, Thomas G. Jr. #1339 (b.1862). Civil engineer, of Narragansett.

Son of Thomas G. #754; great-grandson of Thomas G. #207.

Folder 17:

1912-1913      Several documents re estate of Mary Hazard #397, dau. of Thomas G. #207.

Hazard, Thomas H. #388 (b.1765). Son of George P. Hazard; nephew of Thomas G.

Folder 18: Papers as executor of father's will.

1788/10/--       Settlement with uncle Thomas G. Hazard.

1788?11/--      Arbitration agreement with Jonathan Easton

1790/11/23     Receipt to Jonathan Easton for estate

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Arnold, Lemuel H. (1792-1852)

Blackstone Canal Company

Brown University

Channing, Walter (1786-1876)

Clarke, John H. (1789-1870)

Curtis, George (1796-1856)

Everett, Edward (1794-1865)

Fenner, Arthur (1745-1805)

Francis, John B. (1791-1864)

Hazard, Benjamin (1702-1768)

Hazard, Benjamin (1774-1841)

Hazard, Daniel L. (b.1821)

x Hazard, Easton        see Hazard, Jonathan E. (1764-1849)

Hazard, Enoch (d.1844)

Hazard, George P. (1763-1839)

Hazard, John A. (d.1799)

Hazard, John A. (1806-1880)

Hazard, Jonathan E. (1764-1849)

Hazard, Mary (1727-1777)

Hazard, Peyton R. (1810-1849)

Hazard, Ruth (d.1806)

Hazard, Thomas G. (1738-1820)

Hazard, Thomas G. Jr. (b.1862)

Hazard, Thomas H. (b.1765)

Howell, David (1747-1824)

Ives, Thomas P. (1769-1835)

Knight, Nehemiah R. (1780-1854)

Lawyers - Rhode Island - Newport

Marchant, Henry (1741-1796)

Newport, R.I. - Social life and customs

Perry, Matthew C. (1794-1858)

Rhode Island - Politics and government, 1775-1865

Simmons, James F. (1795-1864)

Tillinghast, Joseph L. (1791-1844)

United States - Foreign relations - 1783-1815

Wilbor, Anthony

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