1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 General Six Principle Baptist Archives

 Religious body, Rhode Island

 Records, 1680-1955. Bulk 1743-1917.

 Size: 2.5 lin. ft. (32 volumes and 7 boxes)

 Catalog number: MSS 145

 Processed by: Angie Chute, June 1993; expanded, July 1999

 USE MICROFILM    BX6480 F75 F52 (part: Foster and Johnston)

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Six Principle Baptist Churches were founded on the six principles of the doctrine of Christ (Heb. vi.1,2); repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. The First Baptist Church in Providence (founded in 1638) was the first American church to adopt Six Principle doctrine, in 1652. The Second Baptist Church in Newport was formed along the same principles in 1656. Another early Six Principle church was in Swansea, founded in 1680.

            In 1771, the First Baptist Church in Providence adopted Calvinist theology when James Manning, President of Brown University became pastor. Some Six Principle adherents broke off and formed their own church in Johnston at this time. By the late 1700's, the various Six Principle churches had between three and four hundred members. A division occurred in this church in 1819 between those who wished to continue strict adherence to the principles upon which it was founded and more liberal elements.

            Churches were founded in many Rhode Island cities and towns. The churches began meeting annually as early as 1729, but was not actually incorporated by the Rhode Island General Assembly until 1895. Yearly meetings were held and well attended by members of the various Six Principle Baptist churches. Some of these churches exist today, but some have disbanded. For example, the Scituate Church sold its land to the city of Providence to make way for the Scituate Reservoir and then disbanded. As of 1980, three churches attended the annual conference: Coventry (Maple Root) Church, First Richmond (Wood River) Church, and North Kingstown (Stony Lane) Church.

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Scope and content:

            The Six Principle Baptist Church collection consists of volumes of records, Sunday School reports, Treasurer's reports, membership records, vital statistics, correspondence, legal papers and annual reports. The material dates from 1680 to 1945 and is arranged into series based on individual churches and by the annual meeting of all churches. Series include:

                        Series I: Anthony (Knotty Oak)

                        Series II: Cranston

                        Series III: East Greenwich

                        Series IV: Johnston

                        Series V: Richmond

                        Series VI: Scituate Union (Kent)

                        Series VII: South Kingstown (Waite's Corner)

                        Series VIII: South Scituate

                        Series IX: Swansea

                        Series X: Warwick (Lippitt & Phenix; Bethel)

                        Series XI: West Greenwich (Noose Neck)

                        Series XII: Wyoming (Wood River)

                        Series XIII: Executive Committee; Annual Conferences

                        Series XIV: Coventry (Maple Root)

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            The bulk of the Six Principle Baptist Church Collection (27 volumes) were given on "permanent loan" by the General Six Principle Baptist Church Conference on December 30, 1959. Oddly enough, six of this listed volumes were already here. The five South Scituate volumes had previously been deposited in 1947 as a gift of Niles Walcott, and the Baptist Yearly Meeting book was deposited originally in 1906 by Charles Wyman Hopkins. In 1966, the records of the Maple Root church were placed on "unconditional loan" at the library and added to the previously deposited archives.

            The provenance of one volume remains unknown: the Swansea volume covering 1854 to 1858. According to a note in the accession book, it was already here by 1959. In addition, two volumes were donated in 1991 by Ellis Wilcox, and one was purchased in 1992 from David Karbonik.

            The condition attached to the 1959 deposit is that it must "be kept together as a special collection collectively known as 'General Six Principle Baptist Archives' on permanent loan not to be removed from the Historical Society except by special permission of the Historical Society and the General...Conference."

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Processing note:

            During processing, loose papers were removed from the volumes and placed in archival folders.

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Series I: Anthony (Knotty Oak)

Box 7  Misc. Papers, 1904-1917


Series II: Cranston

Vol. 1     Records, 1842-1853 

Box 7     Misc. Records, 1846-1853


Series III: East Greenwich

Vol. 2     Records, 1743-1831 

Vol. 3     Minutes, 1855-1865 


Series IV: Johnston

Vol. 4     Records, 1771-1833 


Series V: Richmond

Box 7     Misc. Papers, 1836


Series VI: Scituate Union ( Kent)

Vol. 5     Index of Record Book, 1841-1872 

Vol. 6     Records & Vital Statistics, 1841-1872 

Vol. 7     Minutes, 1877-1912 

Vol. 8     Sunday School Records, 1880-1886 

Vol. 9     Sunday School Records, 1880-1899 

Vol. 10   Sunday School Records, 1890-1896 

Vol. 11   Sunday School Records, 1899-1910 

Vol. 12   Sunday School Records, 1907-1916 

Vol. 13   Treasurer's Book, 1906-1918 

Box 6     Loose minutes and reports, 1842-1925 (2 folders, with Coventry records)



Series VII: South Kingstown-Waites Corners

Vol. 14   Records & Vital Statistics, 1854-1945 


Series VIII: South Scituate

Vol. 15   Records, 1762-1825 

Vol. 16   Records, 1821-1854 

Vol. 17   Records, 1858-1886 

Vol. 18   Records, 1887-1923 

Vol. 19   Records, 1898-1925 

Box 1     Misc. Papers, 1847


Series IX: Swansea

Vol. 20   Records, 1680-1853 

Vol. 21   Records of Vital Statistics, 1789-1827 

Vol. 22   Records, 1854-1858 


Series X: Warwick

Vol. 23   Records (Lippitt & Phenix), 1845-1851 

Vol. 24   Members & Vital Statistics ( Bethel Church), 1857-1892 

Vol. 25   Records ( Bethel Church), 1857-1909 

Vol. 26   Records, 1907-1910 

Box 7     Misc. Records, 1845-1863

Box 7     Record, 1828-1863 (Old Warwick), with membership information.  1875 transcription by Mary A. Greene.


Series XI: West Greenwich (Noose Neck Hill)

Vol. 27   Records, 1823-1868 

Vol. 28   Records (Noose Neck Hill), 1842-1868 

Box 2     Minutes, 1842-1850.  2 volumes (with Coventry records).

Box 7     Misc. Papers, 1823-1868


Series XII: Wyoming ( Wood River) ( Richmond, R.I.)

Vol. 30   Sunday School Records ( Wood River), 1869-1884   (See also: Series XIII)

Box 7     Correspondence, 1918


Series XIII: Executive Committee/Annual Conferences

Vol. 29   Records of the Baptist Yearly Meeting, 1774-1854

Vol. 30   Minutes of Executive Committee, 1859-67 

Vol. 31   Annual Conference Reports, 1874-1902 

Vol. 32   Minutes of Executive Committee, 1894-1917 

Box 7     Legal Papers, Reports, Correspondence, 1912-1953

Box 7     Annual Register, 1790; Annual Report, 1847


Series XIV: Coventry (Maple Root)


Box 1     Minutes, 1782-1838 (1839 transcription)

               Minutes, 1811-1893

Box 2     Minutes, 1813-1819

               Incorporated Church Society charter, minutes and accounts, 1824-1905

               Membership book, 1844-1858

               Minutes, 1839-1884

Box 3     Membership, 1858-1931

               Minutes, 1885-1921

Box 4     Sunday School attendance totals, 1896-1907

               Membership book, 1903-1936

               Minutes, 1894-1923

Box 5     Annual meeting minutes and treasurer's reports, 1907-1956

               Sunday School attendance totals, 1907-1920

               Minutes, 1922-1937

Box 6     Minutes and membership, 1782-1839

Box 6, fol. 3    Deed to lot for first meeting house, 1787

                        Deed to lot for present meeting house and Sunday School, 1797

                        Draft of subscription for building meeting house, 1796

                        R.I. General Assembly charter, 1824

                        "Names of Part of the Members of Bethel Church Dismissed", undated

Box 6, fol. 4-6.  Loose treasurer's reports, 1911-1955

                        Receipt book, 1916-1925

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Anthony, R.I. - Churches

Baptist Church - Rhode Island

Baptist Yearly Meeting

Churches - Rhode Island

Coventry, R.I. - Churches

Cranston, R.I. - Churches

East Greenwich, R.I. - Churches

Johnston, R.I. - Churches

Kent Six Principle Baptist Church

Maple Root Six Principle Baptist Church

Noose Neck Hill Six Principle Baptist Church

Richmond, R.I. - Churches

Scituate, R.I. - Churches

Six Principle Baptist Church - Records

South Scituate, R.I. - Churches

South Kingstown, R.I. - Churches

Swansea, Mass. - Churches

Waites Corner Six Principle Baptist Church

Warwick, R.I. - Churches

West Greenwich, R.I. - Churches

Wood River Six Principle Baptist Church

Wyoming Six Principle Baptist Church

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