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

 Greene Family Miscellaneous Papers

 East Greenwich, Rhode Island

 Miscellaneous papers, 1726-1853

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 1043

 Processed by: Lori Salotto and Rick Stattler, April 2002

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

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Scope and content:

            This collection, covering the years 1726 to 1853, consists of a variety of items that were donated as part of the "Albert C. and Richard W. Greene Collection." The papers were found during 2001 reprocessing of the twenty-four record groups that now comprise the collection, with the bulk being found among the "Greene Legal Papers" (Mss 453), which have since been dispersed among the other collections. These folders contain loose and bound account records, correspondence, a currency conversion table, miscellaneous letters, navigation tables, and poetry.

            Among the more significant items in this collection are account books for several Rhode Island businesses, including two general stores operated by John Randall; John Ray's small woolen mill in Burrillville; and the labor account book for the Smithfield Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company. These items were very likely acquired by either Richard Ward Greene or Albert Collins Greene in the course of their legal work.

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            These records arrived as part of the "Albert C. and Richard W. Greene Collection." The actual date of the accession is not known for sure, but the collection was in hand by the late 1940s. Therefore, the date of 1948 was assigned to the collection.

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Processing note:

            There were a variety of papers that were part of the "Albert C. and Richard W. Greene Collection" that did not fit into any of the collections that were part of the larger entity. Therefore, a separate collection of miscellaneous papers was created. Papers of Isaac A. Arnold, Joseph Arnold, Christopher Washington Greene, William A. Greene, Lodowick Updike, and an unknown account book were found in Stephen Arnold's papers (Mss 75) and the papers of Silas Holmes were found in the William Arnold Papers (Mss 71). The rest of the material was found in the Greene Legal Papers (Mss 453). A detailed transfer list can be found in the collection file.

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Box 1, folder 1. Greene, Christopher W. (1798-1849) (son of Jeremiah)

            Three loose accounts, 1824.

Box 1, folder 2. Greene, William Albert (1815-1840) (son of Albert C.)

            Undated accounts with A.C. and W.M. Greene

Box 1, folder 3. Greene, William Arnold (1795-1822) (son of Jeremiah)

            Loose accounts and correspondence, 1819-1822

            Mostly related to cargo and voyages of brig Lydia and Margaret, trading with Surinam.

Box 1, folder 4. Holmes, Silas (c1785-1860), of East Greenwich

            Three mercantile letters received, 1815

Box 1, folder 5. Le Gros, Edouard

Navigation ciphering book, written entirely in French, 1726-1730. It includes a sample log book of an imaginary trip from Cape Lizard in England to Cape Cod.

Box 1, folder 6. Medbury, Joseph

            Letter received from unknown party re case vs. Rhodes, 1808

Box 1, folder 7. Randall, John

            Ledger, 1842-1853


This volume is not clearly signed, but was probably kept by John Randall. John Randall (1814-1876) was born in Providence, the son of Daniel and Lydia (Harris) Randall. He married Mary C. Gallagher (1814- ) and had the following children who survived to adulthood: John H. Randall (1837-1860), James H. Randall (1839-1877), Susan Miller (1842-1862), Almira Randall (1845-1873), and Herbert M. Randall (1847-1865). He apparently was a partner in a grocery in Pawtucket in 1843, owned a factory in Johnston in 1850, and was a partner in a bakery in 1853. He outlived all but one of his children, and died on May 18 1876. See Frank Alfred Randall (Randall and Allied Families), 107; and the 1850 U.S. Census, Johnston page 193.


The first 35 pages of this volume are a ledger for a grocery store in 1842 and 1843. The 1840 census index and the 1857 Pawtucket directory suggest that the general store was probably located in the village of Pawtucket, R.I. (then within the town of North Providence). A page in the rear of the volume shows an account with the firm of Harris, Randall & Co., which may be the partnership that owned the grocery. Written over an account on a blank part of page 25 can be seen the childish signature of John H. Randall, a son of John Randall who was born in 1837.


The later part of this volume is a ledger for a grocery from 1852 and 1853. The customers purchased the usual milk, eggs, butter, and sugar, but also unusual quantities of buns, cakes, crackers and bread. Many of the customers appear in the 1853 Providence directory, clustered along a stretch of North Main Street from #337 to #500 and along adjacent side streets such as Bacon and Randall. Two accounts near the end show cash debits rather than grocery orders. These are Jeremiah Williams and John Randall. Both are listed in the directory as bakers at 432 North Main Street. A Jeremiah Williams signature on the back page and a labor account signed by J. Williams suggest that the ledger was kept by a partnership of Randall & Williams, who specialized in baked goods but also sold general groceries.

Box 1, folder 8. Ray, James

            Weaver's books, 1844-1845


James Ray apparently ran a small woolen mill in Burrillville. These two volumes detail the cloth woven by his employees from 1844 to 1845. The information is very fragmentary. On page 8A of volume 2 is a 1844 receipt from Jonathan D. Nichols for $84.00 he was paid by Ray. According to Representative Men and Families of Rhode Island, 3:2178, Nichols was employed at Mohegan Mill in Burrillville at this time, so these account books may relate to that mill.


An 1845 summons inserted in volume 2 instructs Leonard Nason to "bring with you the book containing your receipt for rent and other charges against said Ray." These two volumes were thus apparently presented at the U.S. District Court as evidence. Richard Ward Greene was the District Attorney at that time, which probably explains how the volumes got into his collection.


By 1850, Ray was apparently living in Westerly, R.I., where he gave his occupation as spinner (1850 U.S. Census, Westerly page 409). Living with him was William N. Ray (apparently a brother), who was named as a witness in the 1845 suit. If this is indeed the correct James Ray, he was born circa 1822 and was thus about twenty years old when he ran the mill.

            Contents of volume 1:

            Pages 1-2. Cash accounts, 2/17 - 3/23/1844

            Pages 3-11. "Account of cloth wove," by employee name, 7/24 - 12/7/1844

            Pages 1214. Account of cloth woven, by employee or loom number, undated

            Contents of volume 2:

            Pages 1-4. Scrap paper

            Pages 5-22. Account of cloth woven, by employee or loom number, ca. 1844

            Page 1A (back of volume). Cash accounts, undated

            Page 3A. Account of cloth woven, by employee name, 1844, month unknown

            Pages 8A-9A. Five receipts issued, 9/1844

            Page 23A. Two receipts issued, 9/1844

Inserted: Summons to witnesses in case of James Ray vs. Dana Wheelock, March 18 1845.

Box 1, folder 9. Robinson & Howland.

            Customer receipts, 1815


Martin Robinson and Benjamin Howland operated as a partnership selling books and stationery in Providence.

Box 1, folder 10. Smithfield Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company.

            Labor account book, 8/25 - 12/26/1825.


This company's mill was located in what was then Ashton Village in Smithfield on the west side of the Blackstone River. It was founded in 1810 by several partners. By 1825, original partner George Olney had bought out his partners and became sole owner. According to an 1878 history, the mill was jokingly known as "Sinking Fund Mill" because of its poor management and precarious finances. The mill was bought out by the Lonsdale Company in the 1840s, but was used only as a storehouse after 1869 and has long since been destroyed. The village west of the Blackstone has since been renamed Quinnville, and that part of Smithfield has been set off as the town of Lincoln. Four of the original mill houses still survive in Quinnville.


            This volume is not marked with the name of the company or its owner. However, George Olney appears as the first entry for each week, and is paid more than the other employees. He was apparently paying himself an overseer's wages out of the company's account. In other supporting evidence, many of the workers appear to be from Cumberland or Smithfield, R.I. according to the 1820 and 1830 census indices. In particular, long-term employees Amos Follett Jr. and Sr. were both residents of Ashton Village just over the river on the Cumberland side. There was no other working mill in the immediate Ashton area in 1825.


The manner in which this volume came into possession of the Greene family is unclear, but Richard Ward Greene did represent George Olney in a legal case in 1848.


            History of the State of Rhode Island, 163. Philadelphia: Hoag, Wade & Co., 1878.

Lincoln, Rhode Island Statewide Historical Preservation Report, 25. Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission, 1982.

Abigail Sprague Manuscript History of Cumberland, R.I.H.S. Manuscripts Division, box 2, folder 93 (Folletts)

Box 1, folder 11. Cash book, 1800-1801.

            Fifteen pages of cash accounts kept by unidentified Newport person.

            Does not match up with Senter family accounts.

Box 1, folder 12. Currency conversion table, undated but circa 1740s.

            New Tenor currency was issued in 1740, and Old Tenor notes retired circa 1751.

            Information is "per Clement Cooper, schoolmaster." Cooper was an East Greenwich resident.

            Preserved Pearce of East Greenwich b.1723 may have owned this.

Box 1, folder 13. Index to unknown ledger, undated (apparently from N.Y. / Penn. area)


Box 1, folder 14. Letters (5) from "Clary" to "Alson" from "Gloomy Chamber," 1802 and undated. These letters are unusual and difficult to make sense of, but seem to relate to a betrayal of a jilted lover. No geographical or biographical clues were found to help identify the author or recipient. Typical passages: "Consequencely thea have gained Alson's favor at the expence of Clary's frendshipe - alass you have cruely betrayed & sacrifised Clary hoo wass your true genuine friend to please my malicious envious enemys." "After exciting & gainning a Feemail hart & affection by artful sedulity and indeed takeing eavry advaintage in thear power to ruin & debach them." The context shows that Alson was male, and that Clary was a "feemail," but the nature of her grievance is unclear. The letters total twenty pages.

Loose oversized folder. Ledger: unknown, January to September 1783.

            Kept by an unknown merchant, with accounts for ships Britannia, Canary, and Phenix

            Very likely a merchant from England or one of its colonies.


Box 1, folder 15. Memorandum "of services done for the owners of factory being begun at Potowomut"


Box 1, folder 16. Poetry, 1814 and undated

Box 1, folder 17. Miscellaneous letters, 1797-1813 and undated

Letter to Daniel Webster from William A. Rhodes re Burrillville Bank, 1828. 6 p.

Letter from the female members of the Catholic Congregational Church of East Greenwich, receiver unknown, 1819

                        Letter to Elisha Gardner from D. Updike, 1813

Letter to Capt. John Breeze from Sm'l W. Balch & Co. discussing Rio de Janeiro trade, 11/21/1811

                        Power of attorney given to Benjamin Greene from Samuel Vernon, 1806

                        Letter to Capt. Benjamin Greene from Samuel Vernon, 1806

                        Letter to Job Randall from William Battey Jr., 1803

                        Letter to ? Lyman from B. & C. Aborn, 1800

                        Letter to Mr. Brown from unknown author, 1797

                        Three short letters, author and receiver unknown, undated

                        Letter to "dear sir" from C.R.P. Rodgers, undated

                        Letter to Mary E. Amory from Henry W. Bowen, includes some poetry, undated

                        Letter to Joseph Maxwell from Daniel Vaughn, undated 

                        Letter to "my dearest grandma" from C.G.B., undated

                        Letter in Spanish, author and receiver unknown, undated

                        Letter to "my dear sister", author unknown, undated 

Subscription to the RIHS to fund Theodore Foster Papers, signed by Jas. Fenner, circa 1833

                        Letter to "Mr. Greene" from George Bullock, undated

                        Letter to Susan ?, author unknown, undated

                        Letter to Gorton ? from James White, undated

                        Letter to "dear brother," author unknown, undated

                        Letter to SW Peckham from C.T.P., undated

                        February 10th letter to Sudie from Theo, undated

                        Letter, unknown receiver or author, undated

Box 1, folder 18. Miscellaneous papers, 1787-1830 and undated

                        Updike, Lodwick, two loose receipt, 1824

                        Arnold, Joseph: a loose receipt, 1820

                        Arnold, Isaac A.: two loose receipts, 1818-1819

                        Agreement for water rights to a pond between Elisha Thornton and Rowland Rathbone, 1806

                        Whittemore, Jacob, one loose receipt, 1805

                        Slocum, William Capt.: one loose receipt, 1803

                        Brown, Clarke Capt.: two loose receipts, 1803

                        Lease from Solomon and Simeon Whitford to Solomon and Jane Whitford, 1803

                        Arrival notice of the brig Sally from Martinique, Holder Tallman, master, 1801

                        Certificate of marriage for James Remington and Elizabeth Holden, Dec. 29, 1797

                        Loose labor account for work done on stable, 1796

                        Loose labor account, 1795

                        Tompkins, Sam Capt.: loose account, 1795

Hatch, E. Capt.: loose account of fish caught on board the ship Matilda, 1787

                        List of individuals who had paid their engine tax, undated

Photocopies of three newspaper clippings: obituary of Ann Carter Francis, small article about potatoes, and an article about management of fields in farming, undated

                        Loose labor account, undated

                        List of building materials, undated

                        List of individuals either applying or renewing a license, undated

                        Loose account between the brig Betsey and the estate of Nathan Briggs, undated

                        Memo about a partnership agreement between ?S.L. & R.M.L., undated

                        List of furniture and other items, undated

                        Loose labor account for carpenter wages and chimney work done on house and cellar, undated

                        Loose labor account for work on board ship, undated

                        Ticket to a lecture on chemistry by Professor D'Wolf, undated

                        Notice from Anthony, Denison, & Co. for the settling of accounts, undated

                        Receipt for cleansing and repairing alabaster, undated

                        Building instructions, undated

                        Instructions on how to make paragorick, undated

                        "Memorandum of a cargo at all time Suitable to Martinque Market", 1819

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Amory, Mary E.

Arnold, Joseph

Arnold, Isaac A. (b. 1780)

Bakeries - Rhode Island - Providence

Balch, Samuel W.

Battey, William Jr.

Betsey (brig)

Booksellers - Rhode Island

Bowen, Henry W.

Brazil - Commerce

Breeze, John Capt.

Briggs, Nathan

Brown, Clarke Capt.

Bullock, George

Burrillville Bank

Burrillville, R.I. - Commerce

Commerce - Martinique

Commerce - Brazil

Congregational Church - Rhode Island - East Greenwich

Foster, Theodore

Francis, Ann Carter

Gardner, Elisha

Greene, Benjamin Capt.

Greene, Christopher W. (1798-1849)

Greene, William Arnold (1795-1822)

Greene, William Albert, 1815-1840

Grocery stores - Rhode Island

Harris, Randall & Co. (Pawtucket, R.I.)

Hatch, E. Capt.

Holden, Elizabeth

Holmes, Silas, c1785-1860

Howland, Benjamin

Le Gros, Edouard

Lincoln, R.I. - Commerce

Lydia and Margaret (brig)

Martinique - Commerce

Matilda (ship)

Maxwell, Joseph

Medbury, Joseph

Medicine - formulae, receipts, prescriptions

Money - Tables

Navigation - Study and teaching - France

Pawtucket, R.I. - Commerce

Peckham, S.W.


Providence, R.I. - Commerce

Randall, Job

Randall, John, 1814-1876

Randall & Williams (Providence, R.I.)

Rathbone, Rowland

Ray, James, 1824-

Remington, James

Rhodes, William A.

Robinson, Martin

Robinson & Howland

Sally (brig)

x Sinking Fund Mill - see Smithfield Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company

Slocum, William Capt.

Smithfield Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company (Smithfield, R.I.)

Smithfield, R.I. - Commerce

Surinam - Commerce

Textile industry - Rhode Island - Burrillville

Textile industry - Rhode Island - Smithfield

Thornton, Elisha

Tompkins, Samuel, Capt.

Updike, Lodwick (1807-1860)

Vaughn, Daniel

Vernon, Samuel

Waldo, Daniel (1762-1864)

Weavers - Rhode Island

Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852

White, James

Whitford, Jane

Whitford, Simeon

Whitford, Solomon

Whittemore, Jacob

Williams, Jeremiah

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