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

 Clarke Family Collection

 Papers, 1676-1914

 Size: 2.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 351

 Processed by: Cindy Bendroth, July 1989

 Revised by Rick Stattler, December 1997

 USE MICROFILM    F89 .W5 J7 (Joseph Clarke memorandum book only), POS & NEG

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Clarke family of Rhode Island came from England in approximately 1637. Several branches of the family settled in Rhode Island. Some of the more noteworthy Clarkes represented in this collection are: Dr. John Clarke, (1609-1676) who helped settle Rhode Island with Roger Williams; Ethan Clarke of the West Indies mercantile company Clarke and Hammond; Peleg and Audley Clarke, a father and son merchant team; and John H. Clarke, U.S. Senator (1847-1853).

            The best source for genealogy is George Austin Morrison, Jr.'s The "Clarke" Families of Rhode Island (NY: The Evening Post Job Printing House, 1902).

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Scope and content:

            The documents in the collection were gathered from miscellaneous accessions to make them more accessible and to preserve them. The collection spans from 1676 to 1914, but the bulk of the papers date from 1775 to 1815. The arrangement is alphabetical, but oversized material is in the last two boxes, and several volumes were not boxed.

            One of the more interesting documents in the collection is the diary of 20-year-old Celia Greene Clarke of East Greenwich, dated 1829. After the death of her mother, she seems to have taken an active role in managing the servants on her large family farm, and caring for her younger siblings.

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            The papers in this collection have arrived from a wide variety of sources. A full explanation would only serve to confuse most researchers. A complete listing of all known provenance information for this collection is available in the collection file at the repository.

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Processing note:

            One large 1988 accession was combined with all other "Clarke" material. They were boxed together and a single finding aid was written and cards were made.

            The Joseph Clarke record book had been sent away for conservation treatment in 1986, but it is unclear if anything was done at the time.

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Box 1:

            Clarke, Benjamin S. (1800?-?) - Correspondence, wills and deeds, 1853-1878

            Clarke, Bradford (1778-1855) of Richmond, RI - Will, 1847

            Clarke, Celia G. (1808-1880) - Diary, 1829, East Greenwich. Later Mrs. G.A. Brayton.

            Clarke, Dorcas (1808?-?) - Deeds, 1875

            Clarke, Elisha, (1709-1755) of North Kingstown - (loan certificates) Bills, 1744

            Clarke, Ethan (1745-1833)

                                    Correspondence, 1785-1830

                                    Correspondence, 1777-1833 (5 folders)

                                    Factory ledger, 1784-1786

            Clarke, Ethan Ray - Supreme court document, 185l

            Clarke, Hannah (1747?-?) from Henry (1777-1823) and Catherine Clarke, Sept. 30, 1816

            Clarke, Henry F.

                                    Pocket diary and accounts, 1817-1819,

                                    Correspondence to Ruth Hale of Rowley, 1809

            Clarke, Joanna (widow of Joseph Clarke, married Dec. 20, 18l0) - Deed, June 18l2

            Clarke, John (Newport physician, wed Elizabeth, Jane and Sarah) - Will, 1676

            Clarke, John (1740-1836) - Deeds, 1774, 1783

            Clarke, John G. (1824-189l?) - Correspondence, 1892

            Clarke, John H. (1789-1870) (U.S. Sen.) - Letter to Sec. of State William Buchanan, 1849

            Clarke, Joseph - Deeds, Letters, 1755-1804

            Clarke, Joseph (b. 1776?) (son of Joshua (1733-18l5)) - Deeds, 1800-18l5

            Clarke, Joseph Jr. - Deed (Power of Attorney to Samuel Parry), 1762

            Clarke, Joshua (1733-18l5) - Deeds, 1757-1762

            Clarke, Joshua Jr. (1767-1817) (married Deborah Carpenter) - Deeds, 1800-18l3

            Clarke, Joshua - Deed, 1829

            Clarke, Oliver (1743-?) - Power of Attorney, 1763

            Clarke, Paul (1757-1806) of Westerly and Newport - Correspondence, 1779-1782

Box 2:

Clarke, Peleg and Audley - Correspondence (re: Brig Sally, 1794-1801). Apparently photostats from originals at Brown University.

            Clarke, Ray (1782-1847)

                                    Correspondence and miscellaneous, 1801-1829                                                                     Correspondence, 1803-1831

                                    Letter book and diary, 1812-1813

            Clarke, Renewed (1782-1847) - Inventory, 1877

            Clarke, Samuel (1737-1792) (wed to Susannah) - Will, 1807

            Clarke, Samuel (wed to Renewed) - Will, deeds, certificates, 1829-1840

            Clarke, Samuel - Soldier letter from, August 1775 (FRAGILE)

            Clarke, Samuel W. - Certificate, 1856

            Clarke, Thomas - Bill, 1780

            Clarke, Thomas, of North Kingstown - Debts, 1786

            Clarke, Weeden (1756-1837) - Bond, 1798

            Clarke, William Pitt - Letter to brother Paul Clarke, March 13, 1794

            Clarke, Mr. (unknown) - Two letters from Welcome Arnold, 1785

Box 3 (oversized):

            Clarke, Ethan - Accounts with Clarke and Hammond, 1792-1795

            Clarke, Ethan - Certificate and correspondence, 1801-1819

            Clarke, Ethan - Factory ledger, 1785-1786

            Clarke, Ethan - Journal, 1797-1798

            Clarke, Ethan - Journal 1784-1791

            Clarke, Ethan - Journal 1786-1788

            Clarke, John - Exercise book, c. 1817

            Clarke, Mary - Exercise book, 1824

            Clarke, Peleg (d. 1797) - Invoice book, 1783 (photocopies from Brown University)

            Clarke, Samuel - Exercise book, n.d.

            Clarke, Samuel - Exercise book, 1792

            Clarke, Samuel - Exercise book, c. 1812

            Clarke, Samuel W. - Cashbook and bankbook, 1789-1804

            Clarke, Samuel Ward - Exercise book, 1792-1793

            Clarke, Samuel Ward - Ship's Accounts and exercise book, 1788-1790 

            Clarke, Walter (1637-17l4) of Newport - Deed, 1699


Box 4: Joseph Clarke - Personal record book circa 1750, in volume with original official Westerly town record book covering 1669-1702.

Volume l: Ethan Clarke - Ledger, 177l-1777

Volume 2-4: John G. Clarke, West Kingston, RI - Farm and general store business accounts, 1896-1914

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*Arnold, Welcome (1745-1798)

Buchanan, William

Clarke and Hammond

Clarke, Audley

Clarke, Benjamin S. (1800-?)

Clarke, Bradford (1778-1855)

Clarke, Celia (Greene)

Clarke, Dorcas (1808?-?)

Clarke, Elisha (1709-1755)

Clarke, Ethan

Clarke, Ethan (1745-1833)

Clarke, Hannah (1747?-?)

Clarke, Henry F.

Clarke, Joanna

Clarke, John

Clarke, John (1740-1836)

Clarke, John (of Newport)

Clarke, John G.

Clarke, John H. (1789-1870)

Clarke, Joseph (b. 1776?)

Clarke, Joseph

Clarke, Joshua (1733-1815)

Clarke, Joshua Jr. (1767-1817)

Clarke, Mary

Clarke, Oliver (1743-?)

Clarke, Paul (1757-1806)

Clarke, Peleg (d. 1797)

Clarke, Ray (1782-1847)

Clarke, Renewed (1782-1847)

Clarke, Samuel (m. Renewed)

Clarke, Samuel (1737-1792)

Clarke, Samuel W.

Clarke, Thomas

Clarke, Walter (1637-17l4)

Clarke, Weeden (1756-1837)

Clarke, William Pitt

*Diaries, 1812-1813

*Diaries, 1817-1818

*Diaries, 1829

*East Greenwich, R.I. -Social life & customs

Farms-West Kingston, RI

General Stores

Hale, Ruth (of Rowley)

Parry, Samuel

Sally (brig)


Westerly, RI - Town Records

*Represents new cards filed in 1997

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