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 Hazard III Papers

 Gentleman, South Kingstown, R.I.

 Papers, 1742-1804

 Size: 0.25 linear feet (2 volumes and 25 items)

 Catalog number: MSS 483 sg 3

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, November 1996

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Thomas "College Tom" Hazard III (1720-1798) was the son of Robert Hazard II (1689-1762). He attended Yale University, though he did not receive a degree; the appellation "College Tom" helped to distinguish him from the many other Thomas Hazards in Rhode Island at the time. He became a very devout Quaker, and was prominent in the efforts to prohibit the slave trade in Rhode Island in 1783. He was also one of the founding Fellows of Rhode Island College in 1764, which later became Brown University. He was a major land owner in South Kingstown, and operated a general store. He also employed handloom weavers to produce goods sold in the store as early as 1750.

            Thomas Hazard III married Elizabeth Robinson (1724-1804) in 1742; she was the daughter of Gov. William Robinson. They had three surviving sons; only Rowland Hazard I (1763-1835) remained in South Kingstown.


Bagnall, William R. The Textile Industries of the United States... (Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press, 1893), volume 1, 282-283.

Hazard, Caroline. Thomas Hazard son of Robt, call'd College Tom: A Study of Life in Narragansett in the XVIIIth Century, by his Grandson's Granddaughter (Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press,, 1893)

Robinson, Caroline E. The Hazard Family of Rhode Island 1635-1894 (Boston: Published by author, 1895)

Return to top

Scope and content:

            This collection includes 27 miscellaneous documents relating to Thomas Hazard. Among the more noteworthy are: his original Quaker marriage certificate; his will, dated 1793; a draft of a proposed bill to abolish the slave trade, apparently in his hand; and a personal account book detailing his farm and household expenses for over thirty years.

            Several references to individual Afro-Americans have been noted in this subgroup, including the following:


Item 3            Receipt, May 28 1762, from sister Sarah Hazard for, among other things, "my negro woman Billor Isabel ...also my negro child called Phebe", received from estate of their father Robert Hazard.

Item 15           Letter from John Pemberton at Philadelphia, May 15 1780, asks Hazard to assist his former servant, Primus who was to have been manumitted

Item 21.         Lease to Thomas Gould ("a black man"), March 25 1794.

Item 24           Agreement, April 1, 1789, with "Jack Sanford a Black man" for farm labor

Volume 1.      In account book, 1750-1781: settles accounts with Dr. Joseph Torry for labor of his man, Cuff, 1770 (page 196); Oliver Smith, eight years old, brought by his mother Elizabeth to work for Hazard, 1781(seventh from last page); "Zenibee" died January 3 1759 and Dick drowned July 22 1759 (fifth from last page); Priamus "came to live with me," six years old, 1757(second from last page).

Return to top


            The bulk of this collection seems to have been donated in 1945 by Caroline Hazard. A note on the 1788 slave trade bill indicates that it was donated on July 14, 1983, but no accession information can be found. The 1785 agreement with Samuel Elam was purchased from the estate of Albert Brown in 1910.

Return to top

Processing note:

            This collection is part of the Hazard Family Papers, which were processed with support from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Beinecke Foundation, and the extended Hazard Family.

Return to top


In double-oversized folder:

Item 1. Quaker marriage certificate, Thomas Hazard and Elizabeth Robinson, South Kingstown, March 27, 1742. Signed by about 50 witnesses. Badly torn with large parts missing.

Item 2. Deed from parents Robert and Sarah Hazard for 40-acre lot in South Kingstown, June 6, 1744. Torn.

Item 3. Receipt from sister Sarah Hazard for legacy paid as executor of estate of their father, May 28, 1762.

Item 4. Deed from John Russell III of Dartmouth, Mass., November 5, 1764, for two lots: 55 acres in Westerly, R.I.; and 3 acres in Charlestown, R.I.

Item 5. Power of attorney from Jonathan Hazard, regarding claims on Susquehanna Purchase, January 4, 1767.

Item 6. Power of attorney from S. Hazard, regarding claims on the Susquehanna Purchase, January 4, 1768.

Item 7. Receipt from Susquehanna Company for tax paid on behalf of father's estate, January 8, 1768.

Item 8. Receipt from Ezra Dean, re Robert Hazard estate, March 4, 1768.

Item 9. Letter from Jeremiah Willson, January 13, 1769.

Item 10. Letter from William Redwood of Newport, February 21, 1769.

Item 11. Receipt from William Redwood for nineteen Spanish dollars as subscription for Sewell's history, August 5, 1772.

Item 12. Extract from minutes of Smithfield Monthly Meeting of Friends re the propriety of Quakers signing the Test Act, October 13, 1776.

Item 13. Deed from John Sheldon of Cranston for two acres in Cranston, March 19, 1777.

Item 14. Receipt from Siah Averit to Andrew Nichols, 1779.

Item 15. Letter from John Pemberton of Philadelphia, May 15, 1780.

Item 16. Receipt from Andrew Nichols, July 28, 1781.

Item 17. Arbitration agreement with Samuel Elam of Leeds, England, May 2, 1785. Regarding the Portsmouth, R.I. estate of Samuel Elam's late father Gervais Elam (later known as Vaucluse).

Item 18. Draft of an act to prevent the slave trade, circa 1788.

Item 19. Last will and testament, December 19, 1793.

Item 20. Apprenticeship indenture of Hannah Corey (daughter of Richard) to Elizabeth Hazard (wife of Thomas) to "learn the art trade or mistery of houswifery", February 26, 1794.

Item 21. Lease to Thomas Gould ("a black man") of house and garden rights, March 25 1794.

Item 22. Lease to George Kinyon of South Kingstown, February 23, 1797.

Item 23. Transcript of death record of Elizabeth Hazard, February 5, 1804.

Item 24. 4 pages from a memorandum book. Includes tax notes, 1780-1784; and 1789 employment agreement with "Jack Sanford a Black man".

Item 25. Undated small notebook containing recipes for varnish.

In separate box:

Volume 1. Account book, 1750-1781. Farm and household accounts. Partial index in front.

Volume 2. Pocket notebook, 1776-1779. Farm accounts.

Return to top


Afro-Americans - Rhode Island - South Kingstown

Apprentices - Rhode Island - South Kingstown

Elam, Samuel

Hazard, Robert (1689-1762)

Pemberton, John (1727-1795)

Redwood, William (1734-1784)

Slavery - Antislavery movements - Rhode Island

Society of Friends - Rhode Island - South Kingstown

Susquehanna Purchase

Wilson, Jeremiah

End of finding aid - return to top