1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Elisha Reynolds Papers

 Yeoman of South Kingstown.

 Papers, 1733-1803

 Size: 0.25 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 629 SG 1

 Processed by: Robin Flynn, May 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Elisha Reynolds was probably born in 1706 in South Kingstown, the son of Henry and Sarah (Greene) Reynolds. Elisha married Susannah Potter, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Cole) Potter, in 1728. One of their children was Elizabeth Reynolds, who married Thomas Potter; this couple were the parents of Elisha Reynolds Potter, Sr. (see SG 2). Elisha Reynolds died in1791.

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Scope and content:

            The collection contains non-personal material such as deeds and other land-related documents, accounts, bonds, and estate papers including Elisha's will, ranging from 1733 to 1803. Among the deeds is a bill of sale from David Greene to Reynolds for "a negro woman named Binor about forty or fifty years of age", dated 1761.

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            The papers in this subgroup were probably part of a 1968 transfer from the University of Rhode Island Library to the RIHS, comprised of over 2000 documents from several Washington County families, the foremost of which are the Reynolds, Potter, Gardiner, Hagadorn, Wells, and Davis families. The papers had formerly been in the private collection of historian William Davis Miller, a descendant of the Davises, and were given through bequest to the university upon Miller's death in 1959.

            A smaller portion of his collection had gone to the Rhode Island Historical Society the same year; this portion is divided primarily between MSS 629, subgroups 2 and 3, the papers of Elisha Reynolds Potter and his son, Elisha Jr.

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Processing note:

            The documents in this collection had been mingled in chronological arrangement with the papers of other South Kingstown families in a collection known as the "Potter Papers", which was a merging of William Davis Miller's 1959 gift to the RIHS and the 1968 University of Rhode Island transfer, along with several other smaller gifts from various parties. In 1998, the Potter Papers were sorted into several family subgroups under a single collection number. The largest subgroups are numbers 2 and 3, the papers of Elisha Reynolds Potter Sr. and Jr., respectively.

            After separation from the rest of the collection, the Elisha Reynolds Papers were arranged by type, and re-housed in upright acid-free storage. Some of the documents are extremely fragile, and care should be used when handling them.

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Box 1 of 1.

Folder 1. Accounts and receipts, 1768-1792

Folder 2. Bonds, 1733-1786

Folder 3. Deeds and bills of sale, 1740-1790, including one for "negro woman named Binor" from David Greene, 1761.

Folder 4. Memorandum between Col. Elisha Reynolds and John Potter concerning Little Rest Hill             land, 1753

Folder 5. Petitions to General Assembly concerning plan of Elisha Reynolds and others to move             courthouse from Tower Hill to Little Rest, 1752

Folder 6. Receipt book, 1740-1748

Folder 7. Will, copies of will, and estate settlements, 1790-1803

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Slavery - Rhode Island - South Kingstown

South Kingstown, R.I. - Land records

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