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

 Goddard Family Papers

 Family of Providence and Warwick.

 Family papers, circa 1762-1927.

 Size: 1.25 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 442

 Processed by: Robin P. Flynn, July 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The earliest Goddard family member present in this collection, William Goddard (1740-1817), was the son of Giles (Gyles) Goddard (a physician and one-time postmaster of New London, Connecticut) and Sarah Updike Goddard. The couple also had a daughter, Mary Katherine (c. 1736-1816). William, as a youth, was apprenticed to James Parker, a printer. Upon coming of age, William moved to Rhode Island and established the first newspaper to be printed out of Providence, the Providence Gazette and Country Journal. The first issue was produced in October, 1762. In 1765 (possibly earlier), Sarah Goddard became associated with her son in the production of the paper. William moved to New York after the repeal of the Stamp Act, and his mother, under the business name of "Sarah Goddard & Co.", took over the Gazette with the assistance of John Carter. Carter took over the paper when Sarah's company was dissolved in 1769.

            William seems to have been somewhat restless; over the length of his newspaper career, he established or was involved with separate publications in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Besides a newspaper, he also started, shortly after arriving in Baltimore, a line of post-riders from New Hampshire to Georgia, thereby establishing what became the United States Postal Service (a service which rivaled the existing English post-office system). Whenever he devoted time to this enterprise (and other business), his sister Mary Katherine took over management of his newspaper, The Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser (est. 1773). Mary Katherine also served as Baltimore's post-mistress, from 1775 to 1789, the first woman in the country to hold such office, and published the official copies of the Declaration of Independence.

             In 1792, William sold his long-established newspaper and retired to a farm at Johnston, Rhode Island. His sister Mary Katherine remained in Baltimore, where she kept a bookshop until 1802, and also retained a share in the newspaper she had helped to manage.

            The enterprising spirit of the earlier Goddards seems to have been carried on by some of the later generations whose papers are included in this collection. William had married Abigail Angell in 1786, and they had five children (four daughters). Their only son, William Giles Goddard (1794-1846), was also involved in the newspaper business for a time in his younger years. He graduated from Brown University in 1812 and went to Worcester with the intent of studying law. While there, he served as associate editor of the Massachusetts Spy. In 1814, he abandoned law as a career in favor of becoming an editor. He returned to Providence and purchased an established newspaper, the Rhode Island American, which he ran until 1825, when he became a professor at Brown. This career he continued until 1842.

            Two of William Giles Goddard's several sons, (Col.) William Goddard (1825-1907) and Thomas Poynton Ives Goddard (1827-1893), established a management company, Goddard Brothers, Agents, in 1850, which managed the Lonsdale and Hope companies, part of a prosperous textile manufacturing business owned by Brown & Ives. A third son, Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837-1916), was a Civil War veteran and in later life was involved in Rhode Island politics.



Harms, J. and P., ed. The Goddard Book , vol. 1 (Baltimore: Gateway Press Inc., 1894).

Kemble, H. "Brown & Ives Manufacturing Records" (unpublished finding aid, 1979).

Updike, W. A History of the Episcopal Church in Narragansett (Boston: The Merrymount

            Press, 1907).

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Scope and content:

            The collection contains mostly correspondence, business documents, wills, and other papers of the Goddard family members mentioned above, their spouses, and children. A good deal of the correspondence concerns family and social affairs; references to business activity occur most often in the earlier papers.

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            The bulk of the papers are mentioned in the Rhode Island Historical Society accession

records as a deposit from 1942; the name of the depositor is unknown. The Mary Katherine Goddard commission was donated by William G. Goddard in 1823, as one of the earliest manuscript gifts to the Society. In 1944 the Society obtained an incomplete letter from William Goddard to Josias Lyndon. The invitations and social letters of Mrs. Edith (Col. William) Goddard were the gift of Hope Goddard Iselin in 1961. The letters of Abigail Goddard and Ann Eliza Goddard, both dated December, 1788, were deposited by Henry A. L. Brown in 1970. Two letters from Thomas Doyle to Mrs. F.W. Goddard were purchased from Robert Neff in 1965. Three letters to Charlotte Ives Goddard were donated by Nino Scotti in 1967. An unknown quantity of William G. Goddard papers were purchased from Nino Scotti in 1969. Eight letters were purchased from Russell Koza in 1998, including two to William Goddard the printer from 1816, three to William G. Goddard from 1823-1836, and three to Charlotte (Ives) Goddard from 1837, 1860 and undated. An 1884 William Goddard letter was donated in 2001 by Richard Bowen.

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Processing note:

            The material was removed from flat archival boxes and re-housed in acid-free archival folders and upright archival boxes. The papers were re-arranged chronologically, with careful attention paid to provenance. Several items have been housed in the oversized collection; all but one of these, the 1831 Rhode Island Historical Society membership, were copied and the copies filed in the main part of the collection. Several letters which had been in envelopes and sealed into a scrapbook, were removed from the envelopes and situated chronologically into the upright archival boxes.

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Scrapbook, Robert Hale Ives Goddard, circa 1861-1909.

Box 1.

William Goddard (1740-1817)

Folder 1. Letter (incomplete) to Josias Lyndon concerning printing prices, circa 1762. With copy             of transcription.

Folder 2. Account to John Burrows, for carriage of newspaper, 1767-1774.

Folder 3. William Goddard (1740-1817) vs. Whig Club (Baltimore), 1777.

Folder 4. Letter from W. Stewart (New London) re: Battle of Rhode Island, Sept. 10, 1778.

Folder 5. Land deed to John Ward, April 29, 1805.

Folder 6. Letters, William and Abigail Goddard, Sept. 5, 1814 and undated.

Folder 7. Letters to his daughters Mary, Eliza, and/or "Sally", undated.

folder 7a. Letter from Francis Blake of Worcester, Feb. 19, 1816

                Letter from W. Sheldon of Worcester, Nov. 13, 1816

Abigail (Angell) Goddard (1758-1845)

Folder 8. Letter re: a wedding attended, Dec. 6, 1788.

Mary Katherine Goddard (c.1736-1816)

Folder 9. Copy - commission as post-mistress of Baltimore, Aug. 12, 1779. (Original is in             oversized collection.)

Folder 10. Letter (19th-c. transcription) from John Carter re: marriage of her brother William             to Abigail Angell, dated May 28, 1786.

William Giles Goddard (1794-1846)

Folder 11. Business contracts concerning Massachusetts Spy and Rhode Island American, 1813-            1820.

Folder 12. Copy - deed of sale for Rhode Island American, Apr. 13, 1814. (Original is in             oversized collection.)

Folder 13. Various membership certificates, 1815-1836.

Folder 14. Copy - land deed from Abigail Goddard, Apr. 14, 1818. (Original is in oversized             collection.)

Folder 15. Letters, 1820-1847 and undated.

Folder 16. Deed of sale of Rhode Island American to Francis G. Carlisle, Sept. 19, 1825.

Folder 17. Invoice of goods, "Samuel Arnold Esq. Agent", May 10, 1826 (assumed to be intended for W. G. Goddard).

Charlotte Rhoda (Ives) Goddard (1792-1881), wife of William Giles Goddard

Folder 18. Letters received from:

            Daughter (Charlotte Hope Goddard?), January 17, 1837.

            Brother Robert Hale Ives, August 24, 1860

            General Frank Wheaton re her son's involvement at 1st Bull Run, dated August 23, 1876.

            Son William Goddard, undated, ca. 1850?

Folder 19. Deed from Cornelia Green and Samuel G. Arnold, Oct. 8, 1845.

(Col.) William Goddard (1825-1907)

Folder 20. Letters, 1850-1884.

Folder 21. Miscellaneous, circa 1859-1866.

Edith (Jenckes) Goddard (dates unknown), wife of Col. William Goddard

Folder 22. Letters, 1867, 1880, 1881-1883.

Folder 23. Letters, 1893-1911.

Folder 24. Letters, undated.

Thomas Poynton Ives Goddard (1827-1893)

Folder 25. Letters and poems, 1853-1860 and undated.

Moses Brown Ives Goddard (1831-1909)

Folder 26. Letter from Hope B. Ives wishing a happy 12th birthday, circa 1843.

Francis Wayland Goddard (1833-1889)

Folder 27. Will of Francis Wayland Goddard, Sept. 2, 1881.

Folder 28. Deed, Francis Wayland Goddard to G. W. R. Matteson and Howard O. Sturges, Mar.

            9, 1888.

Folder 29. Trust account statements, Francis Wayland Goddard, 10/10/1910 and 10/10/1913.

Box 2.

Elizabeth Cass (Ledyard) Goddard (1842/3-1918), wife of Francis Wayland Goddard

Folder 1. Letters, Mrs. Elizabeth Cass (Ledyard) Goddard re: suffrage and her personal and             business affairs, 1875-1917 and undated.

Folder 2. Anti-suffrage speech, Elizabeth Cass Goddard, 1915.

Folder 3. Will and codicils of Elizabeth Cass Goddard, 2/27/1915-12/29/1917.

Folder 4. Elizabeth Cass Goddard, miscellaneous. The folder contains poems written for ECG             by Wallace Rice; trust fund? statements; an inheritance tax assessment for the ECG             estate; EGC's Rhode Island Historical Society membership; National Society of the             Colonial Dames completed applications; miscellaneous genealogy notes (related to             Colonial Dames?); and two typescripts of church sermons.

Charlotte Ives (Goddard) Danielson/Shaw (dates unknown), wife of A. Lockwood Danielson (1st             m.) and Robert N. Shaw (2nd m.) 

Folder 5. Correspondence to Charlotte Ives Goddard, Oct. 1887.

Folder 6. Letters, Charlotte Goddard Shaw, 1898-1927 and undated.

Folder 7. Letter to A. Lockwood Danielson, 7 November, 1877.

Folder 8. Letters, Mr. Robert N. Shaw (husband of Charlotte Ives Goddard), 1898-1923 and


Folder 9. Copies, Robert N. Shaw letters, 1906. (Originals in oversized collection.)

Henry Ledyard Goddard (1866-1893), son of F. W. and E. C. Goddard

Folder 10. Will of Henry Ledyard Goddard, March 10, 1890.

Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837-1916)

Folder 11. Letter, Ambrose Burnside to Robert Hale Ives Goddard, August 25, 1861.

Folder 12. RHI Goddard, Civil War documents, 1863 and 1865.

Folder 13. Letters, RHI Goddard, March 26 and 30, 1865.

Folder 14. RHI Goddard, ephemera, Rhode Island militia, circa 1866-1909.

Folder 15. Correspondence, RHI Goddard, pertaining to Rhode Island militia affairs, 1866-1905.

Folder 16. Correspondence, RHI Goddard, 1875-1909.

Folder 17. Letters to Robert Hale Ives Goddard concerning his participation in conveying sick             American soldiers from Montauk, NY to Rhode Island, 1898.

Folder 18. Lists of Spanish-American War soldiers transferred from Montauk, NY to Rhode             Island by RHI Goddard, 1898.

Folder 19. Letter, R.I. Lincoln Party to Zechariah Chafee soliciting his support, Aug. 7, 1906.

Box 3.

Robert Hale Ives Goddard (cont'd)

Folder 1. Lincoln Party Committee meeting minutes, 6/20/1906-11/15/1907.

Folder 2. Invitations and speaking schedule, Lincoln Union Party Campaign Comm., 1906/7

Folder 3. R.I. Lincoln Party miscellaneous.

Folder 4. RHI Goddard, papers concerning sale of Peace Dale Mfg. Co., 1918-1919.

Folder 5. Address: "The Lincoln Union Party to the Citizens of Rhode Island", undated.

Miscellaneous Goddard correspondence.

Folder 6. Letter, Ann Eliza Goddard re: wedding, circa Dec. 1788.

Folder 7. Letters, Julia Metcalf to Mary Goddard, 1827, 1828, and 1835.

Folder 8. Letter of S. U. (possibly Sally?) Goddard, Dec. 8, 1830.

Folder 9. Letter of Mary A. Goddard, Dec. 21, 1835.


Folder 10. Reports on Lonsdale, Peace Dale, Ashton, and Berkeley mills, by unknown author,             undated.

Folder 11. Genealogy notes, Goddard family, date and author unknown.

Folder 12. Miscellaneous, Goddard family. The folder contains miscellaneous lists, poems, and             letters, undated; addressees unknown.

Folder 13. Providence Gazette, August 5, 1809 and October 10, 1821 editions.

Oversized collection.

Originals of documents mentioned above and also -

            Rhode Island Historical Society membership certificate (no name listed), July 19, 1831.

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Ashton Company - Rhode Island

Battle of Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861

Berkeley Company - Rhode Island

Burnside, Ambrose E. (1824-1881)

Chafee, Zechariah (

Colorado - Social life and customs

* Danielson, Charlotte Ives (Goddard)

Goddard, Abigail (Angell) (1758-1845)

Goddard, Ann Eliza (dates unknown)

Goddard, Charlotte Rhoda Ives (1792-1881)

Goddard, Elizabeth Cass (Ledyard) (1842/3-1918)

Goddard, Francis Wayland (1833-1889)

Goddard, Henry Ledyard (1866-1893)

Goddard, Mary A. (dates unknown)

Goddard, Mary Katherine (c. 1736-1816)

Goddard, Moses Brown Ives (1831-1909)

Goddard, Robert Hale Ives (1837-1916)

Goddard, Sarah Updike (1701/2?-1770)

Goddard, Thomas Poynton Ives (1827-1893)

Goddard, William (1740-1817)

Goddard, William Giles (1794-1846)

Goddard, (Col.) William (1825-1907)

Goddard Family

Howe, Julia Ward (1819-1910)

Ives, Hope Brown (1773-1855)

Ives, Robert Hale (1798-1875)

Ives, Harriet Bowen (1832-1860)

Lincoln Union Party

Lonsdale Company - Rhode Island

Massachusetts Spy

Newspapers-Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Peace Dale Company - Rhode Island

Postmasters-United States

Rhode Island, Battle of, 1778

Rhode Island American

Shaw, Charlotte Ives (Goddard) (dates unknown)

Shaw, Robert N. (dates unknown)

Spanish-American War, 1898

Sprague, William (1830-1915)

Wheaton, General Frank (1833-1903)

Women - Suffrage - Colorado

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